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Stewart to miss start of final season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Tony Stewart will miss the start of his final NASCAR season after fracturing his back in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle, Stewart-Haas Racing said Thursday.

The three-time NASCAR champion sustained a "burst fracture of the L1 vertebra" when he crashed on an ATV Sunday and he had surgery Wednesday, the team said. A timetable for Stewart's return has not been determined, but SHR said he is expected to make a full recovery and race this year. Read More...

Legendary broadcaster Hall dies at 83

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Barney Hall, whose folksy delivery brought NASCAR racing to life for radio listeners across the country for more than five decades, died late Tuesday. He was 83.

NASCAR officials confirmed Hall's death early Wednesday, with chairman and CEO Brian France saying "the entire NASCAR family extends its condolences to the family, friends and fans of Barney Hall, a NASCAR broadcasting giant for more than 50 years." Read More...

Smith, Labonte among 5 enshrined in HOF

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Bruton Smith, the colorful chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., delighted the audience with an off-the-cuff speech Saturday while accepting his place in NASCAR's Hall of Fame, touching on everything from his building of Charlotte Motor Speedway to his unwavering support of Coca-Cola.

Smith, who owns eight tracks that host 12 Sprint Cup Series events, had steadfastly maintained he didn't care about making NASCAR's Hall of Fame as he repeatedly failed to make the ballot of nominees. Once he was finally elected, the octogenarian who recently completed treatment for cancer entertained the audience at the Charlotte Convention Center for almost 16 minutes. Read More...

Stewart at ease going into final season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Tony Stewart is a man at peace as he heads into the final season of his NASCAR career.

He is satisfied with what he has accomplished and has no regrets about the three glaring holes on his resume. Stewart is also adamant that his struggles the last two years, on and off the track, have nothing to do with his decision to retire at the end of this season. Read More...

RFR banking on personnel changes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Roush Fenway Racing opened last season with the same optimism as every other team in NASCAR.

It quickly became apparent the organization had fallen far behind the competition. Roush drivers failed to win a single Sprint Cup race last year and the organization didn't put a driver in the Chase for the first time since the playoff format began in 2004. Read More...

Chase format expands to Xfinity, Trucks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) NASCAR is expanding its Chase format to include its feeder series, meaning the champions from the Xfinity and Truck Series will now be crowned in a four-driver shootout at the season finale.

The format announced Tuesday by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France mostly mirrors the playoff-style setup used to determine the Sprint Cup champion the last two years. That system has 16 drivers race through three rounds of eliminations to establish a field of four in which the highest finisher in the finale wins the championship. Read More...

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