SpongeBob logo hit
David Ragan was guilty of SpongeBob on SquarePants violence during Saturday’s SpongeBob SquarePants 400.
Making his first start as Brian Vickers’ replacement for Michael Waltrip Racing, Ragan got loose on turn four and skidded across the infield — and the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 infield logo — in the No. 55 SpongeBob SquarePants/Arn’s Dream Machine Toyota.
Green-flagging racing had resumed for only 16 laps and roughly seven minutes after a rain delay of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 39 seconds.
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Vickers was sidelined in March for the fourth time in his career because of blood clots.
Army veteran honored
The star of the drivers’ meeting Saturday wasn’t one of the world-renowned drivers or their crew chiefs.
It was retired U.S. Army First Sargent Joe Crandall, who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day — June 6, 1944 — as part of the 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion attached to the First Infantry Division.
Crandall was recognized at the meeting and received a standing ovation.
Crandall fought in five battles in Europe and received several awards, including the Bronze Star for valor. He was honorably discharged in October 1945 and served in the U.S. Army Reserves for an additional three years.
Singer at speedway
Country music singer Brett Eldredge stopped by Kansas Speedway before playing a show Saturday night in the Power and Light District.
Eldredge performed before last year’s spring NASCAR race at the track.
“I’ve always loved this area, and this speedway is beautiful and unique and we had the perfect setup on the track doing the show and I got to watch the whole race standing in the pits,” Eldredge said. “I’ve never got an adrenaline rush like that in my life. It’s cool to be a part of playing shows and get up close and personal with the drivers and go to the race and really see it like I’ve never been able to see it.”
Eldredge, a native of Paris, Ill., will also perform before the September race at Chicagoland Speedway, which kicks off the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“To be going to Chicago and playing a show in my home state, that’s going to be something special,” Eldredge said.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com, and Todd Engle, special to The Star