DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Daytona 500 media day (all times local):
Seven-time and defensive NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson says Hendrick Motorsports is hard at work trying to figure out why he spun twice in Turn 4 during last weekend’s exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.
Hendrick teammate Chase Elliott also had in an issue during practice in the same turn, and Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had similar incidents in last year’s Daytona 500 that led to crashes.
Johnson says Hendrick has been “very aggressive” in trying to find additional speed in the car. Despite the apparent problems it has caused, Johnson noted that Kasey Kahne and Alex Bowman had no issues in that turn.
“We can’t sit still,” he said in vowing to keep pushing limits.
— Jenna Fryer
Rick Ware Racing has landed a primary sponsor for its longshot effort to make the Daytona 500.
Timmy Hill is driving the Chevrolet for the team and will attempt to earn one of the two remaining slots in the Daytona 500 field in qualifying races Thursday.
To support the effort, the team signed Spoonful of Music as its primary sponsor. Spoonful of Music is a nonprofit organization that uses music to improve the lives of adolescents with chronic or incurable diseases.
Rick Ware Racing said last month it will field a full-time car in the Monster Energy Cup Series with a variety of drivers, including Hill.
— Jenna Fryer
Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip has a lofty goal for his final NASCAR race.
Waltrip wants to “figure out a way to get to the front, run up front and finish in the top 10.” If that happens, the 53-year-old driver would “walk away proud.”
One problem? He was 35th in pole qualifying Sunday, hardly the kind of speed needed at one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks.
“Unless our strategy is, ‘We’ve got them right where we want them; they don’t even know we’re here,’ then we might be in a little bit of trouble on this one,” Waltrip said. “But I’m looking forward to trying.”
Waltrip announced last month that his 30th Daytona 500 would be the final driving stint of his NASCAR career.
— Mark Long
More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org
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