No penalties issued for final lap at Fontana

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A chaotic final lap to Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway will yield no penalties from NASCAR.

The sanctioning body believes that Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin were not trying to intentionally wreck each other while racing for the victory — which wound up going to Kyle Busch, who passed the pair on the high line as they were colliding together (see above).

“It was the last lap of the race, and the last time they were both going to see Turns 3 and 4,” Sprint Cup Series director John Darby told the AP’s Jenna Fryer. “They were side-by-side. If somebody was of the mindset to retaliate, they probably would have been lined up nose-to-tail and somebody would have drove into the other car and spun him around.

“In this case, that is so far from the opposite, that it never even crossed anybody’s mind that I’m aware of that paid attention to the race.”

In addition, Tony Stewart shall escape punishment after trading shoves with Logano on pit road after the race. Logano had blocked Stewart down to the apron during the race’s final restart, causing Stewart to go after the Penske Racing driver. After a brief dustup, the drivers’ crews separated them.

“A few years ago we backed away from micromanaging drivers’ emotions,” Darby said about the incident. “You would hope in today’s world that if somebody didn’t win a race, they would be upset about it.

“I don’t know that we’ve actually got a rule book that describes every push in the chest or kick in the shin. If two guys get into a helluva fight, we’re going to have to react. But a couple of guys blowing off some steam and slapping at the air is not going to get anybody in a whole lot of trouble.”

Hamlin eventually spun and hit the inside retaining wall, suffering a compression fracture in his L1 vertebrae as a result. He was released from a Southern California hospital last night, but it is currently unknown when he’ll be expected to return to the track.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup