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NASCAR

Kevin Harvick Wins 3rd Brickyard 400

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SPEEDWAY, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick held off Matt Kenseth in overtime to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I can tell you today I was as excited as I’ve been of any of the races that we’ve won,” said Harvick.  “Look, for me, this is like living out your childhood dream, being able to race and win here.”

The victory was Harvick’s 53rd of his career, fourth of the season, 2nd straight and third overall in the event.

“I know how many times we’ve had fast cars here, come out the other end,” said Harvick. “Now to have won it back-to-back, three times, is something that’s a little bit surreal. I kind of have to just laugh about it, think back to all of those times that you told somebody you were going to go win the Indy 500, race INDYCARS, whatever the case may be. Now you’re in a stock car, 20 years into your career, still going strong.”

Also still going strong is 48-year-old Matt Kenseth.  Kenseth wheeled the No. 42 McDonald’s McDelivery Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet into second place, 0.743-seconds behind Harvick.

“Today we were able to be competitive, run up front,” said Kenseth. “Chad (Johnston, Crew Chief) had great calls, really good calls. Gave me everything I needed to win the race. I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t get it done honestly. Had the best tires, gave me good track position. Couldn’t quite get the 4 car.”

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In the final laps of the race it was looking like there was going to be a showdown between Denny Hamlin, Harvick and Kenseth with Kenseth having the freshest set of tires.

“We had on four new tires, lining up behind Denny who was the control car, the leader,” Kenseth explained. “Had Kevin underneath me. Was able to get around him and clearing him, kind of in second place.  Kevin had so much speed he pulled up behind me in the backstretch and pretty much pushed me down the whole straightaway. When we got about three-quarters of the way down, he took a left and passed me. There was just no way for me to defend that one. Those guys were really, really fast.”

Hamlin’s chance at victory slipped away when he blew a tire and slammed into the wall on lap 154.

“We had a fast cart, obviously, and was stretching out there, but I wasn’t pushing the right front at all,” said Hamlin.  “It’s just kind of roulette, whether you’re going to get one (tire) that’s going to stay together or not.  Mine didn’t and you saw the end result.”

Harvick’s teammates Aric Almirola and Cole Custer finished 3rd and 5th respectively, giving SHR three cars in the Top 5.  Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski finished fourth.

Next up for the NASCAR Cup Series is the Quaker State 400 at Kansas Speedway on July 12, 2020.

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NASCAR

Keselowski Wins At New Hampshire

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LOUDON, NH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski passed Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin on lap 221 and led the final 81-laps to win the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.

The victory was Keselowski’s third of the year and 33rd of his Cup Series career.  Keselowski’s margin of victory was 1.647-seconds.

“I’m really proud of my Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford Mustang team and the effort that they gave today,” said Keselowski. I think this is my fifth straight year with three wins, but I don’t want to stop there. I want us to keep going and I know this team can do it.”

Hamlin finished second, his 12th Top 10 finish in 2020.

“We were just barely a little slower than he was for most of the day,” said Hamlin. “We could make some really good moves on the restarts and whatnot. Overall I just thought that we were a second-place car. That’s kind of how we ended up.”

Martin Truex Jr brought the No. 19 Sport Clips Toyota home in third place, his 13th top-10 finish in 27 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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“We had a bit of an issue on pit road with a tire getting away, had to come from the rear,” said Truex. “That was pretty difficult. Sports Clips Camry was decent. I think we were probably a third-place car and we finished third.
Solid day. Just lacked a little bit of speed and drivability.”

The win leaves Keselowski in second place in the points standings, 81-points behind leader Kevin Harvick.

Hamlin’s second place finish helped him gain a spot in the points standings to third, moving Ryan Blaney back to fourth.

There were 22-lead changes among 7-drivers with Keselowski leading the most laps.  The race was slowed by 11-caution flags for 52-laps.

The next NASCAR Cup Series race is August 8 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.

NASCAR New Hampshire Results

NASCAR New Hampshire Results

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IndyCar

The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 15 – Aaron Reutzel, Matthew Dillner, Chip Ganassi and more!

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast features the 2-time and defending Champion of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 Aaron Reutzel.  We also talk to Matthew Dillner of Dirty Mo Media about the new show he co-hosts with Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chip Ganassi takes his own trip down memory lane and we hear from Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials about safety protocols in place at this year’s Indy 500.

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Local Racing

Dirty Mo Media’s ‘Lost Speedways’ About More Than Just Racing

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Dirty Mo Media/Peacock

MOORESVILLE, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Dale Earnhardt Jr and Dirty Mo Media’s new show “Lost Speedways” is taking a trip down memory lane and visiting some of the race tracks that formed the foundation for what we see at our local tracks and on television every weekend.

Earnhardt Jr and co-host Matthew Dillner are preserving the history of one of the America’s great sports, auto racing, but also the stories hidden behind those fences, walls and guardrails.

“The whole point of this show is to document history before it’s gone,” Dillner told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast. “To tell the stories about these racetracks that are shuddered and covered in weeds and being recaptured by nature.”

How the show came to fruition is a story in itself.  Earnhardt Jr and Dillner discovered they had something in common beside the sport of auto racing.

“We both realized we had the same hobby,” said Dillner, who is an executive producer of ‘Lost Speedways’ along with Earnhardt Jr and Mike Davis. “We had the same passion and nerdy obsession with mapping lost speedways. With him it was mapping lost speedways and with me it was mapping and exploring these lost speedways.”

Exploring these lost speedways is exactly what Earnhardt, Dillner and the Dirty Mo Media crew do.  Literally climbing through weeds and brush to uncover the stories of days gone by.

“They’re covered in weeds, but they have these mysterious stories and you’re bringing people back to that location and the people that were there and talking to them and it’s very romantic in a weird kind of a tribute,” said Dillner.

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The allure of the show is that it appeals to not only race fans but fans of history and Americana.

“It’s a lot about American culture and places that meant something to you, whether it’s a ballpark you grew up at or some memory from your childhood, all of that comes racing back when you’re exploring these places,” said Dillner. “For any history buff part of our show is about uncovering that history, the other part is kind of like ‘American Pickers’. We’re literally exploring, with boots on the ground, these locations and unearthing history. It’s definitely a magical combination.”

The magical combination responsible for ‘Lost Speedways’ put together the eight episodes with a small crew who had to overcome a huge obstacle.

“We’ve got a group of six or seven super-talented guys that fought through a Pandemic to meet our deadline for this show,” said Dillner. “A deadline that some studio shows didn’t make and we did it from our houses on laptops, overnights, working. Just really talented people with a passion to tell these stories and it’s something that I’m super, super proud of.”

Each episode takes the viewer to a different track and back in time with those who helped create the story being immortalized forever.

“They’ve got these great memories and incredible stories that haven’t been told and some of them think they’ve been forgotten, these places have been forgotten, these people have been forgotten,” said Dillner. “We’re bringing that to life in a really colorful way.”

All eight episodes of ‘Lost Speedways’ are available on Peacock TV, NBC’s new streaming service.

“I’m so, so happy that Dale convinced NBC to do this show on the Peacock and the fact that they said, ‘yes’ is incredible and we worked our butts off to make it happen and now we’re sitting back and enjoying the reaction,” said Dillner. “History matters to everybody, whether it’s your family history or something you grew up with, like you’re a big Pittsburgh Pirates fan, things matter from the past.”

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