Several NASCAR milestones will be hit at Loudon this weekend

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Chicagoland winner Matt Kenseth heads to the second round of the 2013 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup with a historic landmark he’s hitting. He’ll run a special silver paint scheme on his No. 20 Husky/Dollar General/Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing to celebrate his 500th Sprint Cup Series start.

Kenseth isn’t alone in hitting a milestone or anniversary at Loudon this Sunday. One-time teammate and mentor Mark Martin, who was instrumental in Kenseth’s early years in NASCAR from 1998 through 2000 at Roush Racing, will start his 875th Cup race on Sunday in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. He trails only Richard Petty (1,185), Ricky Rudd (906), Terry Labonte (885) and Dave Marcis (883) on the all-time list.

David Gilliland also makes his 250th career start this weekend. The driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford hasn’t made many headlines over the course of his career, but is a former Daytona 500 polesitter and finished second to teammate David Ragan at Talladega earlier this year in a shock result. Gilliland’s team, meanwhile, was in the news for its role in potential position-swapping for payoff with Penske Racing at Richmond. Joey Logano said the pass on Gilliland was “not that big a deal.”

Meanwhile, defending Sylvania 300 champion Denny Hamlin returns to the site of his most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory one year later, having not visited victory lane since.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.