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New Lenox native Marla O’Guin earns her spurs as mechanic on prominent Funny Car team

Marla O’Guin is a “jump in and go for it” person. She was like that as a high-school freshman at Lincoln-Way Central when she tried out for the soccer team. “I didn’t know how to play the game,” she said. “I didn’t know the rules. …


Chase Elliott wins third race, takes Nationwide points lead


Chase Elliott didn’t have a particularly good Friday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet during practice for the Nationwide Series race ­Saturday. “Our car had speed at times; we just weren’t as good the whole time as I wanted to be,” he said. The 18-year-old has …

‘Easy Ed’ takes to pole-sitting duties


INDIANAPOLIS — Every night last week had something different in store for Ed Carpenter. There was the appearance with golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, whose spirits brand sponsors his car, at a liquor store Monday. There was a celebrity bartending turn at a posh steakhouse Wednesday. There …

Matt Kenseth sitting pretty with Sprint Cup win at Chicagoland


If history is any indication, Matt Kenseth is on his way to the 2013 Sprint Cup championship. For the first two years the Chase has opened at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, the winner of the GEICO 400 has gone on to win ­NASCAR’s Sprint Cup …

Race car driver Gary Bettenhausen dies at age 72

Officials with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway say race car driver Gary Bettenhausen has died. He was 72.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finds victory lane at Daytona 500 after long absence


Kelley Earnhardt Miller couldn’t bear to watch the last lap of the Daytona 500. After so many heartbreaks and close calls for her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., she lowered her head and told her husband, L.W., to let her know what happened.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins Daytona 500 after long rain delay


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Through rain and wrecks, on Daytona’s longest day, this was a drought Dale Earnhardt Jr. was determined to end.

NASCAR’s most popular driver won the Daytona 500 on Sunday night for the second time — a decade after his first victory …

Motorcycle rider Eric Palante found dead in Dakar Rally


Belgian motorcycle rider Eric Palante has died at the Dakar Rally, organizers said Friday.

Doctors’ orders: Dario Franchitti can no longer race


Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti said Thursday that doctors have told him he can no longer race because of injuries sustained in an IndyCar crash last month.

British racer Sean Edwards dies in training crash

BRISBANE, Australia — Sean Edwards, a promising British driver and the son of former Formula One driver Guy Edwards, died Tuesday in a crash during training. He was 26. Edwards, the Supercup Championship leader, was in the passenger seat as an instructor at a private …

Clint Bowyer finds some peace as he returns to Kansas


KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Clint Bowyer slid out of his No. 15 car in the parking lot of BB’s Lawnside BBQ, just south of downtown Kansas City, and greeted good buddy Guy Fieri with a hearty handshake. The Sprint Cup star and Food Network icon …

NAPA parts with Michael Waltrip after NASCAR Chase scandal


NAPA Auto Parts said Thursday it is dropping Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the year in the fallout of the team’s attempt to manipulate a race to get Martin Truex Jr. into NASCAR’s version of the playoffs.

Matt Kenseth’s big win to kick off Chase lost in shuffle of NASCAR’s less-than-memorable week


It seemed fitting that the GEICO 400 was red flagged for a five-hour, 10-minute rain delay Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. The first race of 10 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship didn’t end until almost midnight, and no one seemed to …

Kyle Busch easily wins the Nationwide race at Chicagoland


Kyle Busch has an excellent chance to pull off a trifecta of victories this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. But even after winning the NASCAR Nationwide series’ Dollar General 300 Saturday in record fashion, Busch pooh-poohed his chances in Sunday’s first race in the …

NASCAR brass gives its drivers directions on how to race


NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and president Mike Helton think their latest trick should fix what has been a drama-filled week, as the sport kicks off the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship with Sunday’s GEICO 400.

France and Helton met with drivers, owners …

A small consolation, but Truex turns the fastest lap in practice

Martin Truex Jr. , the driver that has garnered the most sympathy in NASCAR’S big brouhaha this week, seemed to take his anger out on the track Saturday.

Truex, who originally made the Chase and then got bumped after a 50-point penalty, laid down the …