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NASCAR

Confederate Flag Can't Ride With Us

... We Banned It A Long Time Ago

6/23/2015 11:42 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0623-nascar-confederate-getty-01NASCAR is reminding everyone where it stands in the raging debate over the Confederate flag ... saying it BANNED the controversial symbol a long time ago ... and ain't nothing changed. 

The debate over the flag has intensified ever since South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley vowed to have the flag removed from the statehouse in the wake of the tragic racial attack in the state last week.  

NASCAR  -- headquartered next door in North Carolina -- released a statement today, commending the governor and reminding the world ... they dissed the flag a long time ago.  

"NASCAR supports the position that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took on Monday. As our industry works collectively to ensure that all fans are welcome at our races, NASCAR will continue our long standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity." 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lures New Crew Chief ...

With Giant Diamond Ring!!

6/17/2015 5:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

06-dale-earnhardt-twitter-02Dale Earnhardt Jr. is taking the ultimate checkered flag ... he's getting married! 

NASCAR's most popular driver proposed to longtime girlfriend Amy Reimann while vacationing Wednesday in Germany. Reimann posted a pic -- naturally flashing her engagement rock -- in a Lutheran church Dale says his family attended 300 years ago. 

Reimann and Earnhardt have been dating since 2009 ... and you gotta figure she knew the question was coming sooner than later. Dale gave her a shout out in a commercial he shot last year.

You don't mention a run-of-the-mill GF in an ad you know will air constantly during NASCAR races. 

Jeff Gordon Raps

Makes Vanilla Ice Look Like Jay Z

6/5/2015 7:27 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

How do you make NASCAR even whiter than it already is???

Just watch this video of Jeff Gordon rapping with a 7-year-old kid. 

BTW, the kid is an aspiring YouTube sensation named Caleb C -- whose parents started posting his rap videos to YouTube back in 2013.

Michael Waltrip

'McDreamy' Has Racing Groupies

He's Legit On the Track

4/29/2015 11:33 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Patrick Dempsey is making serious strides on the racing circuit -- not only impressing other drivers ... but already racking up a solid bunch of race groupies ... so says NASCAR legend Michael Waltrip

The former "Grey's Anatomy" star recently left the show -- and has been making a serious effort to climb the ranks in the world of pro race car driving. 

And apparently, his efforts are not going unnoticed -- with Waltrip telling us McDreamy has a strong legion of female fans who can't get enough of him at the track.

So, if an actor can become a racer -- can a racer become an actor??? Waltrip gives it a shot in the clip ... and it's pretty hilarious. 

Dan Bilzerian

Defaces NASCAR Vehicle

4/24/2015 4:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0424-dan-bilzerian-nascar-TMZ-01Dan Bilzerian is new face of NASCAR ... well, at least for one race ... 'cause the billionaire playboy's grill will be on the front hood of a car competing in Saturday's Sprint Cup Race ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

So, how the hell did he make that happen? Dan's a huge poker player --and he recently beat the snot out of BK Racing owner Ron Devine.

But instead of forcing Ron to pay up in cash, Dan wanted to go all Ricky Bobby ... so he made a deal to get his mug plastered on one of Ron's NASCAR whips, which will be competing at Richmond International Speedway.  

The final product is hilarious ... with Dan's giant bearded face right on the front of Matt DiBenedetto's #83 car. He also added a sticker of Dan's pet goat Zeus to the rear for good measure. 

Baaaaaaad ass. 

#GoatJoke

0424-SUB-dan-bilzerian-nascar-TMZ-01

NASCAR Announcer

Steve Byrnes Dies of Cancer

Days After Tribute

4/21/2015 12:26 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0421-steve-byrnes-twitter-02FOX Sports announcer Steve Byrnes died Tuesday of cancer ... just 2 days after NASCAR fans, drivers and crew members paid him an emotional track side tribute.

Byrnes -- one of FOX's leading reporters for its NASCAR coverage -- was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in August of 2013. He was forced to take an indefinite leave from the job last year in October.

FOX and NASCAR teamed with Stand Up to Cancer to dedicate Sunday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway to Steve. Before the race people in the stands ... and crew members on pit road held up signs with Steve's name.

Steve watched the race on TV, and afterward tweeted his thanks for the show of love and support.

Byrnes is survived by his wife Karen and their 12-year-old son Bryson. He was 56.

Jeff Gordon

Hey Tom Cruise ...

Bring Back Cole Trickle!

4/6/2015 3:12 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

It's been 25 years since Cole Trickle punked Russ Wheeler and took the Daytona 500 ... but according to Jeff Gordon, it's time to get his ass back on the track ... in a "Days of Thunder" sequel!

FYI -- after the movie came out in 1990, there were rumors that Cole was loosely based on Gordon (even though it was really based on the late NASCAR driver Tim Richmond). 

So, when we saw Gordon out in D.C. today -- we had to ask how he felt about a possible remake ... and JG was all about it. 

Unfortunately, there aren't any plans for a "Part 2" yet ... but Cruise is reportedly signed on to star in another racing movie called "Go Like Hell."

It's no Cole Trickle ... but there are rumors Brad Pitt could co-star in the flick. So, that should get your engines going. 

NASCAR's Joey Logano

Cruisin' L.A. in Batmobile

... With Jeff Dunham

3/17/2015 4:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0317-MAIN-joey-logano-car-TWITTER-01"Chicks love the car"
               -- Batman (1995)

NASCAR superstar Joey Logano was channeling his inner-Bruce Wayne out in Los Angeles Tuesday -- cruising around the City of Angels in a Batmobile. 

And not just any Batmobile ... the good one from the Michael Keaton era. 

0317-joey-logano-car-sub-TWITTER-01

Turns out, Logano was hangin' with Vegas mega-comic Jeff Dunham (the ventriloquist) ... who owns the car and wanted to take Joey out for a spin.

But like any other whip, the Batmobile requires gas ... so they stopped at a Shell station and filled up ... 91 of course. 

So, where did they go next? Tune in next time. Same Bat time. Same Bat website. 

NASCAR's Kurt Busch

No Dom. Violence Charges, No Prob

Cleared to Race Again

3/11/2015 9:44 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0311-kurt-busch-getty-01

Kurt Busch will be back on the track this weekend -- 6 days after criminal domestic violence charges were dropped ... NASCAR has reinstated the suspended driver. 

Busch toed the line following his suspension -- complying with all of NASCAR's requests, including participating in an anger management program ... according to NASCAR. 

As we previously reported, NASCAR took Busch out of his #41 car indefinitely when his ex-GF Patricia Driscoll got a restraining order against him ... based on Busch allegedly attacking her last fall after a race in Dover. Busch is appealing the restraining order.

But since then ... prosecutors decided there wasn't enough evidence to file criminal charges against Busch.

NASCAR says Busch will remain under "indefinite probation."

After the decision, Driscoll released a statement saying, "Even though Kurt remains on indefinite probation under this decision, I’m deeply concerned about the message NASCAR is sending by letting him compete for the championship after he was found by a judge to have committed an act of domestic violence.

She continued, "But I am gratified, at least, that NASCAR’s decision comes with the mandatory condition that he follow through on the treatment he so clearly needs."

Busch has also released a statement on the decision, "The important factor is that what I was accused of was a complete fabrication, and I never wavered through this whole process because of the confidence in the truth."

Kurt Busch

No Criminal Charges

In Domestic Violence Case [Update]

3/5/2015 7:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0307-kurt-busch-getty-01

update_graphic_red_bar

10:47 AM PT -- Busch's ex-GF also issued a statement saying she's "disappointed that full justice was not served here."

10:30 AM PT -- Busch just issued a statement saying, "I am grateful that the prosecutors in Delaware listened, carefully considered the evidence, and after a thorough investigation decided to not file criminal charges against me."

He continued, "As I have said from the beginning, I did not commit domestic abuse. I look forward to being back in racing as soon as possible and moving on with my life."

update-grey-gray-barProsecutors have decided they will NOT pursue criminal charges against NASCAR driver Kurt Busch over an alleged domestic violence incident ... claiming there's just not enough proof. 

Busch was accused of slamming his ex-GF's head against the wall of his trailer during an altercation in Dover, Delaware back in September. 

But a rep for the Delaware Attorney General's Office says ... after a thorough investigation, "the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime."

"For this reason, the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges in this case."

NASCAR Heist

Race Car Thieves Caught On Camera

2/27/2015 1:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

022715_nascar_launch_v2NASCAR driver Travis Kvapil's #44 ride was jacked from a hotel parking lot -- and TMZ Sports obtained surveillance video of the heist.

The car and the truck that hauls it were both stolen out of the Drury Inn parking lot outside Atlanta -- and in the video you can see a Jeep SUV pull into the lot. One person dressed in black gets out of the Jeep, walks across the lot toward the transport trailer ... and the Jeep pulls away.

Next thing you see is the white transport trailer ... hauled by a black pickup truck ... tearing across the lot. Law enforcement sources tell us the GTA went down around 5 AM Friday -- and took less than a minute. So far cops have no leads on the suspects, but they're hoping this video will shed some light.

Kvapil's team was forced to pull out of this weekend's Sprint Cup race in Atlanta. It's a small independent team, and they don't have a backup car.

Team owner John Cohen tells TMZ Sports ... "Last night I was thinking, I should tell them to block the truck off [with another vehicle]. But I didn't say anything, and it got stolen." He says he doesn't think the crooks even knew what they were stealing since there are no identifying marks on the trailer.

He adds ... "I'm hoping they return it once they see what's inside. What can they do with a racecar?"

A Sprint Cup series car is worth about $250,000.

0227-nascar-stolen-car-SUB-01

'Daytona' Champ Joey Logano

Loses Wedding Ring

... Recovers Perfectly

2/25/2015 6:49 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

022415_joey_logano_launchWhat do you do when you lose your wedding ring?

Freak out? Secretly try to get a new one made? Hell, there have been countless articles dedicated to this exact problem. 

But if you're NASCAR superstar Joey Logano -- who just won the Daytona 500 -- you stay calm, don't panic ... and fix the problem. 

Joey was out in NYC yesterday when he admitted he had to deal with a missing ring problem earlier in his marriage. 

So why didn't he freak out? Check out the clip ... 

Danica Patrick

I'm Not Loose!

[TMZ TV]

2/20/2015 6:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ TV

022015_tv_tune_in_danica_patrick_launch_v2Danica Patrick was looking to brawl with fellow NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin after they wrecked at Daytona -- grabbing him and yelling, "Don't be up my ass!"

Taken out of context ... this could be the sexiest fight ever -- but who would do that?tmz-on-tv-3

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