25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - In a battle between two drivers with everything on the line, AJ Allmendinger held off Marcos Ambrose in breathtaking fashion to win Sunday’s Cheez- It 355 at the Glen and claim an almost certain spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

In the closing laps, Allmendinger and Ambrose bumped each other, leaned on each other, raced each other side-by-side through the esses without wrecking—astoundingly—and swapped the lead before Allmendinger secured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory with a pass in Turn 6 with just over one lap left.

The 2.45-mile road course at Watkins Glen International gave both drivers their best chance to qualify for the Chase, and it was Allmendinger who prevailed in a two-lap battle that that was a long-time coming, thanks to three red-flag periods needed to repair safety barriers at the track.

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LONG POND, Pa. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. realized that it took a bit of luck for him to win at Pocono Raceway in June. But he knew his team was firing on all cylinders Sunday when he completed the season sweep.

Benefitting from impeccable pit strategy, Earnhardt led the final 14 laps and a car with the performance to hold off Kevin Harvick on a restart with three laps to go to ring up his third victory of the 2014 season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400.

"It wasn’t about luck this time," said Earnhardt, who roared past Brad Keselowski in the June race after Keselowski caught a piece of trash in his grill and began to overheat.

Earnhardt credited crew chief Steve Letarte and his team for not resting on their laurels at Pocono.

“We were determined to go home from the last win and improve the car,” Earnhardt said. “Steve and the guys studied and improved the setup. We had a little luck on the win the last time with Keselowski having the debris and we wanted to be in the driver’s seat this go-round with a faster car.”

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INDIANAPOLIS — As he crossed the yard of bricks, and the significance of his fifth victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway hit him like a ton of bricks, Jeff Gordon reveled in the moment that propelled him to victory in the Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at The Brickyard.

“God! I finally had the restart of my life,” Gordon shouted into his radio mic, recalling the move just 15 minutes earlier that launched him past Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne on Lap 144 of 160 in Sunday’s marquee NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Twenty years removed from his victory in the inaugural Brickyard 400, Gordon finished 2.325 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch who with teammates Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth finished 2-3-4 in the 20th Sprint Cup race of the season.

The win was the 90th of Gordon’s career, third-most alltime, his second of the season and, of course, his record fifth at IMS, breaking a tie with teammate Jimmie Johnson for most Cup wins at the Brickyard. The win also clinched Gordon a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, assuming he attempts to qualify for the remaining six races of the regular season.

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What do Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Dylan Kwasniewski have in common with the likes of Kenzie Ruston, Brandon McReynolds and Ryan Gifford?

They’ve all been members of the NASCAR Next program that helps promote young drivers in NASCAR’s national and touring series. Larson, Elliott and Kwasniewski used it as a springboard to bigger and better endeavors in stock cars, while the likes of Ruston, McReynolds and Gifford are part of a talented 2014 NASCAR Next class that hopes to do the same.

The 2014 class gathered Wednesday, July 16, at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C., for a day of fellowship, meeting and talking with the media – and racing go-karts against each other and the media in a friendly, yet competitive environment.

This year’s Next class includes not only Ruston, McReynolds and Gifford, but also rising stars such as recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner Erik Jones, Cole Custer, Ruben Garcia Jr., Gray Gaulding, Austin Hill, Jesse Little, Dylan Lupton, Ryan Preece and Ben Rhodes, who has won five K&N Pro Series East races this season overall, including four in a row.

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