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Menard, Johnson hash out Clash crash, move on

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – The Latest in NASCAR media day for Daytona 500 (all local time):

1:30 pm

Paul Menard says he talks to Jimmie Johnson on Wednesday's hash out in late-race wreck cost Menard a win at the Clash exhibition.

Johnson triggers a huge injury that wiped out almost the entire 20-car field when he dipped low and tried to side-draft Menard as they battled for the lead. Johnson became Menard, beginning a huge chain-reaction behind him. Johnson puts the previous Menard and won the race of rain shortly.

"Jimmie did what he did to try to win. It did not mean that," said Menard.

Menard was denied to discuss many details of the conversation, saying he was ready to "proceed" from the incident.

"What's done, looking at the rearview mirror of that one," said Menard.

Not everyone is ready to be released. Both drivers Corey LaJoie joked that she could have a better shot at the season opener "if Jimmie gets another 20 cars on Sunday."




Corey LaJoie believes he is the best beard in

It's about getting national exposure.

The face and beard of LaJoie are featured in front of his No. 32 Ford for Speedweeks.

"I was against it at first," LaJoie said in the Daytona 500 media day Wednesday. "But Old Spice has an idea of ​​what they want to do and they run with it. They only give us an option. There are no options of A, B and C.

" That is, & # 39; Your face appears in the car as it would look like a hair on the [gilid] car because we push our dry shampoo and deal "I think, & # 39; Fine, right? & # 39; But very much As soon as we put this thing down, it takes traction like no other way, more than anyone expected. "

There were jokes, memes and lots of puns since the debut scheme of Daytona last week.

LaJoie hopes to keep his car in one piece during a qualifying race on Thursday and on the season-opening Daytona 500 three days later, most of which his face does not end "a doubt of one-race deal.

"I'm hoping to keep things together as a cause that can open a whole & # 39; nother can of the worm I'd rather not have to go down or see myself plastered in my hood bending and the sideburns pushed and everything else, "he says." This may be the best thing that happens in my career or the worst thing that's going on in my career. "

Old Spice's LaJoie numbers pick the perfect driver to join for the season opener.

The 27-old LaJoie has a thick, brown beard with no even a gray handle This is the best in the Cup Series?

"First, obviously," he said. "It's still not close. I put all people in. "

He later acknowledged that Team Penske driver Paul Menard would be another driver even in the conversation.

" A few weeks ago, Menard was as if he came from the woods hibernation, "LaJoie said." But when Penske called him for a pic company, he had to knock an inch and a half of the matter. I will say now my beard is first. I do not know who I will make a second rank. "


12:50 pm

Kyle Busch said he was over negotiating contract with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Busch urged the No. 18 Toyota for Gibbs since 2008 and in the contract year in the organization He was surprised Wednesday to find out his condition in the contract was public knowledge but indicated that he was not really an independent agent.

"We are in discussion today, we talk. Everything was agreed, "Busch said." It's just a matter of putting a pen on paper. We are all good. "

Busch won 47 titles in the Cup with Gibbs and the 2015 championship. He raced for the title in each of the last four seasons.


12:30 pm

Johnny Sauter saved his 2019 season almost a month after it dropped without notice.

Sauter lost his ride to GMS Racing in January when the team decided to use the reigning Truck Series champion Brett Moffitt.

The decision prohibits Sauter, who won six races for the GMS last season and finished fourth in the championship finals. Sauter won the championship of the Truck Series in 2016, has not yet finished lower than last season. four in the last six seasons and won 13 times for the GMS.

Saul finally set up a new job before reporting on Daytona International Speedway. He will bring this season back for ThorSport Racing, which is run m snake 2009 until he joined GMS in 2016.

"I'm back home," Sauter says. "I'm not even proud of going back there and running for a championship."

ThorSport is expanding into four full-time Truck entries with Sauter. He will be friends with Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, Myatt Snider and Grant Enfinger. Snider will drive the selected races for the team.

Sauter arrived in Daytona three days before the opening of the Truck Series race on Friday night.


11 am

There is a paint scheme for Casey Mears Daytona 500. One of the open spots for Sunday's race ended when he qualified an all-black No. 27 Chevrolet. Without a guarantee in the field, Germain Racing can not sign the lead sponsor in time for qualifying.

Still wearing a plain, black fire suit, Mears at least had a hat Ryderz hat on his lap.

"They literally gave me this hat when I walked through the door," Mears told Daytona 500 media days. "I'm learning while I'm going. It looks like a pretty cool company."

The company produces skateboard rims.

Mears, with a Cup career win at the 488 start, said he had no other career scheduled for this season. He is second in 2006 Daytona 500.

Mears runs a second entry for Germain in a car built in partnership with Premium Motorsports. He is one of the six drivers who are gathering for the four open seats in NASCAR's season opener.


10:45 am

Ross Chastain, a watermelon farmer from Florida and wants a race car driver, has accepted he is likely to always be driving for the back- markers with little chance to win races.

Then, a chance to find a potential sponsor changed Chastain's life.

Chastain saw a motorhome between DC Head's head skills, and the chairman was fascinated to learn how Chastain got the extra money needed to fund his career dreams. Jeff Carpoff still wants to sponsor Chastain and paid Chastain to drive a race of the Xfinity Series for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Chastain won his second start at Ganassi's equipment and in November he had a full-time ride on Xfinity Ganassi funded by DC Solar.

The joy from his long-awaited vacation is short-lived. Global investigators have stormed DC Solar's headquarters in December and Carpoffs has been a quiet radio since then. Ganassi closed the Xfinity team, and Chastain was looking for work almost a month before the start of the season.

"I do not drive the car race that I think would be, but there are thousands of people whose lives are upside down and when I do not sleep at night, because of that," Chastain said. "Many people need to find new jobs."

Chastain is still related to Ganassi and is joining a full career schedule for 2019. He breeds his first Daytona 500 and full Cup schedule with Premium Motorsports, three Xfinity Series races, including Daytona opener with Racing Racing, and the remaining 30 Xfinity races on JD Motorsports.

Chastain also signed to drive Truck Series races for Niece Motorsports.

from Carpoff, who is still credited by Chastain giving his career help.

"They all know what they want to do. Here I am when they want," Chastain said. "I love them, I know they love me, they made a lot for me, they changed my life forever. They made me a winner of NASCAR, giving me a level of confidence that I never had before. I accepted the fact that I never won in NASCAR, and he changed it, to himself. "


10:30 am

Denny Hamlin spent the time of this NASCAR in memory of Joe Gibbs Racing co-founder of JD Gibbs.

The eldest son of the team owner and Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs died in January at age 49. JD Gibbs discovered Hamlin in the latter-model test at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina during the early 2000s.

Hamlin's charity gives $ 111 to the JD Gibbs Legacy Fund for every lap he leads to No. 11 Toyota in 2019. Hamlin also seeks to offer victory to Gibbs, better at Daytona.

"It'll be very important," Hamlin says. "Obviously, everyone knows how important he is for me and my career and everything he has done for us. Certainly success on the track is important for that. Now I pledge $ 111 for each our lap is important, it's important for me to stand up front and often. "

Hamlin's high career for laps lead was 1,380 in 2009.

Gibbs died from complications following long battle with a degenerative neurological disease. It was announced in 2015 that he was dealing with "conditions related to the functioning of the brain." He serves as president of the JGR at that time.



Daniel Hemric expects his surprise to run in trial times for Daytona 500 is just one of many highlights in his rookie season.

Hemric advanced in the final round of a single-car qualifying and reached the fifth in the timing stand – behind the four-car sweep of Hendrick Motorsports.

Hemric will make his Cup Series debut on the season-opening Sunday race and use the biggest stage to introduce himself as a throwback of the earliest NASCAR stars. Hemric grew up in Kannapolis, North Carolina, home of the Earnhardt family and grew up rooting for the late Dale Earnhardt.

His big break came along with Richard Childress Racing, the former Earnhardt team, and his car's number was from a sacred stash not given to any driver. Hemric will take the No 8 Chevrolet, used before the family of Earnhardt family Ralph Earnhardt and eventually Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earned by Earnhardt Sr. the No. 3 Chevrolet, and Childress brought that number to his grandson, Austin Dillon. Dillon drove No. 3 in victory at Daytona 500 last year.

"A great boasting from Kannapolis and a sense of pride in our race, when people realize where I came from, and how I get to this point, it puts the ingredients in every step," says by Hemric. "It's the dream of Americans how to get somebody at this level, and I'm pumped up to bring the flag for Kannapolis and have a shot to build something incredible."


9 am

Joey Logano is no longer the champion of the NASCAR Cup Series.

Even though he thinks he's calling people cold "champ," he says he and his Team Penske crew need to open the page and start looking at the new season. [19659002] "It was last year," says Logano on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. "One of Roger Penske's favorite quotes is, & # 39; Do not travel over your press clippings. & # 39; It was last year and we needed to keep looking forward because now we were previous champion in my eyes As soon as we got down to it, the happy championship was over and it came back to trying to win another one. We returned to zero with the others. "

He finished third with exhibition Clash on Sunday and return to the track three days later for the Daytona 500 media day.

28-year-old Logano won his first Champions Cup in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which released both fellow players Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.

He said that the win is the best part, not any to follow.

"For me, the most satisfaction is right when you get a car and you see your team and you see your family," says Logano. "That is, to me, the best and fun piece, to see the faces of others who are pleased with me and then return home after a media tour and watching all the TV specials and return types It's fun for me. "

Logano will try to be the first defending champion series to win Daytona 500 since Dale Jarrett in 2000.


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