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Tony Stewart to retire after 2016 season, reports say

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NASCAR's Tony Stewart will retire after the 2016 season, multiple news outlets are reporting.

According to The Associated Press, the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion will announce his retirement at a Wednesday news conference, said an unnamed source "familiar with Stewart's plans." Clint Bowyer likely will replace Stewart as driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017, ESPN reports.

>> AUGUST 2014: Tony Stewart involved in fatal collision with other driver

>> SEPTEMBER 2014: Grand jury to weigh case of NASCAR's Tony Stewart

Stewart's team has not commented on news reports of the announcement.

Stewart, described by the AP as "a lock for NASCAR's Hall of Fame," has 48 Sprint Cup victories and 582 starts in 17 years. He won championships in 2002, 2005 and 2011. 

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But according to Motorsport.com, which broke the retirement news, Stewart has "not been the same person" in recent years. In August 2014, Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr., a driver who was walking on the track, at a race in upstate New York. Stewart faces a wrongful death lawsuit in the case. And in 2013, Stewart was injured in a crash in Iowa and missed one-third of the season.

Read more here.

NASCAR legend Buddy Baker dead at 74

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NASCAR legend Buddy Baker has passed away.

Baker, who won 19 cup races, including the 1980 Daytona 500, announced last month he had lung cancer.

>>PHOTOS: Buddy Baker through the years

Most recently, Baker hosted a show on Sirius XM Radio. They announced his passing around 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Baker was among the nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s class of 2016.

He was 74 years old.

WATCH: Airborne crash stuns, injures fans at Daytona NASCAR race

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the rain-delayed Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, which ended at 2:41 Monday morning with a horrific last-lap crash

The outcome was not in doubt as Earnhardt dominated the race. But as the pack of cars chased him on a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish, contact in traffic sent Austin Dillon's car flying upside down into the catch fence.

"That catch fence took a hell of a shot," Earnhardt said.

>> Click here to watch the video

The car tore down a section of fencing, and Dillon sailed back onto the track. His mangled car landed on its roof, and Casey Mears' crew members raced to pull Dillon from the wreckage.

WFTV's Christian Bruey reports that eight fans declined treatment, four were treated on site and one was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

>> PHOTOS: Horrifying airborne crash at Daytona NASCAR race

The crew members quickly waved to signal that Dillon was fine, and the driver climbed from the car and raised his arms in the air.

Sunday's crash happened along the same front stretch as a serious crash happened during 2013's Nationwide Race.

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Thirty-three people in the stands were injured in that incident when Kyle Larson's race car crashed.

Race officials found out what went wrong, then fixed and reinforced the fence to try to keep it from happening again.

For more videos and coverage from the scene, visit WFTV.

PHOTOS: Confederate flags at Daytona

5 things to know about American Pharoah's Triple Crown win

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American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years Saturday at the Belmont Stakes.

>> RELATED: American Pharoah wins coveted Triple Crown

Here are five things you need to know about the victory:

>> PHOTOS: American Pharoah wins Triple Crown

1. American Pharoah is the 12th horse in history to win the Triple Crown. According to CNN, the previous 11 horses to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont include Sir Barton in 1919, Gallant Fox in 1930, Omaha in 1935, War Admiral in 1937, Whirlaway in 1941, Count Fleet in 1943, Assault in 1946, Citation in 1948, Secretariat in 1973, Seattle Slew in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978.

>> PHOTOS: Winners of horse racing's Triple Crown

2. American Pharoah's time was the sixth-fastest in Belmont history. The 3-year-old colt finished the 1 1/2-mile race with a time of 2:26.65 and a lead of 5 1/2 lengths, The Associated Press reports.

>> PHOTOS: 13 horses that lost the Triple Crown at Belmont

3. Prior to American Pharoah's Triple Crown win, 13 other horses had won two of the year's three major races and fell short at the Belmont since 1979. According to Sporting News, they include California Chrome in 2014, I'll Have Another in 2012, Big Brown in 2008, Smarty Jones in 2004, Funny Cide in 2003, War Emblem in 2002, Charismatic in 1999, Real Quiet in 1998, Silver Charm in 1997, Sunday Silence in 1989, Alysheba in 1987, Pleasant Colony in 1981 and Spectacular Bid in 1979.

>> Special section: Triple Crown

4. This was American Pharoah trainer Bob Baffert's fourth try for a Triple Crown. He fell short previously with Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem. Owner Ahmed Zayat also has experienced several losses in his 10 years in the racing business, including three second-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby with Bodemeister, Nehro and Pioneer of the Nile, according to the AP.

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5. With the win, Pharoah's stud fee can be as high as $100 million. If the offspring prove to be as successful as their father, the stud fee for future generations would rise steadily, according to Time.

NASCAR drivers, fans pay tribute to announcer Steve Byrnes, dead at 56

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Longtime Fox NASCAR announcer Steve Byrnes died Tuesday of cancer, the network announced. He was 56.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths in 2015

Byrnes, who had neck and throat cancer, was diagnosed in September. The NASCAR community showed its support by renaming last weekend's Sprint Cup race in his honor. Fans and drivers also rallied behind him with the hashtag #ByrnesStrong. Learn more here.

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Click here or scroll down to see how social-media users paid tribute to Byrnes.

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Photos: Daytona 500: Before and after

Photos: 2015 Daytona 500

NASCAR jet dryers help airport dry runways

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Charlotte Motor Speedway sent three of its jet dryers to Concord Regional Airport to help dry off the runways so that local race teams can travel to Daytona. Airport officials said more than a dozen flights scheduled to transport more than 700 NASCAR personnel are scheduled to leave over the next two days. The jet dryers arrived at the airport around noon on Tuesday.

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