Chevrolet To Introduce New NASCAR Body For 2018: With the Chevrolet SS on its way out, Chevy will be looking for a new car to serve as the basis for its NASCAR stock car body for the 2018 racing season. The automaker has already confirmed its new racecar will arrive in time for the 2018 NASCAR season, but it has so far remained tight-lipped as to what it will be. Chevy's motorsports director in the U.S., Jim Campbell, refused elaborate on the brand's 2018 NASCAR stock car body in a statement released by General Motors. "It was already known that the Chevrolet SS was going to be discontinued in 2017," Campbell said. "That information was originally announced last summer. As you know, we don't talk about future projects. We'll make any announcement regarding our next Cup entry at the appropriate time."(GM Authority)(1-17-2017)
Ganassi hires new competition director: Chip Ganassi Racing [#1-McMurray & #42-Larson] has hired widely respected Mark McArdle as its new competition director. McArdle joins Ganassi following a two-year stint with Roush Fenway Racing. He will report to general manager Max Jones.(Motorsport)(1-17-2017)
Fifth Third Bank returns to sponsor Stenhouse Jr.: on Fifth Third Bank's website 53.com it lists the five races that Fifth Third Bank will be the primary sponsor on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford: Richmond in April, Talladega in May, Michigan in June, Daytona in July and Kentucky in July.(1-17-2017)
Roush Fenway 'Salutes' Mark Martin's Hall of Fame Career: For almost two decades there was no more formidable duo in NASCAR than Mark Martin and Jack Roush. This week Roush Fenway Racing will pay tribute to Martin's Hall of Fame career by showcasing a variety of content covering Martin's 19 seasons with the winningest organization in NASCAR history. Martin, who will be officially inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday night, won 83 races across NASCAR's top three National Series and finished runner-up in the Cup Series points standings on four different occasions (1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002), while helping Roush Fenway grow into one of the premier teams in NASCAR. Team owner Jack Roush will officially induct his first NASCAR driver into the Hall during the ceremony on Friday. "The thing that always stood out about Mark was his unmatched drive to win," said Roush. "Mark became one of the most driven and committed people I've ever seen. He put us on the map in NASCAR and certainly no one deserves this honor more. I'm very pleased with the part we played in the success that Mark was able to realize throughout his career and I'll always be grateful for his determination to succeed and desire to win." Throughout the course of the NASCAR Hall of Fame week, fans will be treated to a variety of behind the scenes content, including photos, videos and giveaways that highlight Martin's almost two-decade tenure at Roush Fenway. Fans will even have a chance to win prizes including diecast replicas, team hats and an official Mark Martin firesuit. Visit roushfenway.com/salutetomark for more details.(RFR)(1-17-2017)
NC lawmakers seek permanent race car exemption from EPA anti-pollution standards: After a scare last year among auto racing fans that the federal Environmental Protection Agency might enforce a new anti-pollution regulation affecting the industry, some North Carolina Republicans in Congress want a new law to protect the sport. Western North Carolina congressman U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry filed a bill this week that would permanently block the EPA from regulating modified engines frequently used in amateur car racing. McHenry's proposed legislation would amend the Clean Air Act to make race cars exempt from federal emissions standards on vehicles. Professional drivers in NASCAR use cars that already are exempt from the Clean Air Act because those vehicle engines were not originally manufactured for use on public roadways. The issue first emerged in early 2016 as the EPA rolled out a wide-ranging proposal related to fuel efficiency standards on commercial cars and regulations on aftermarket vehicle parts manufacturers. Federal officials maintained the intent of the proposal was never to start new enforcement on amateur racing but McHenry and other lawmakers pushed back, resulting in the EPA changing course in April 2016. Other North Carolina co-sponsors on the bill include Republican U.S. Reps. Richard Hudson, Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones, Robert Pittenger, George Holding, Mark Meadows and David Rouzer. The bill has a total of 68 co-sponsors in the House, including eight Democrats from six states.(Charlotte Observer)(1-17-2017)
Auto-Owners Insurance Expands Furniture Row Racing Sponsorship: Furniture Row Racing announced that Auto-Owners Insurance has agreed to a multiyear primary sponsorship for Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Fortune 500 company, which joined Furniture Row Racing in 2016 as a primary sponsor for three races, will double that amount in both 2017 and 2018. The six races the Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme will adorn Truex's #78 Camry in 2017 will be at Kansas in May, Michigan in June, Indianapolis in July, Richmond in September, Charlotte in October and Phoenix in November. Auto-Owners Insurance, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016, provides auto, home, life and business coverage for NASCAR fans and customers through local, independent agents in 26 states. The company is based in Lansing, Mich. The Auto-Owners Insurance blue hue shared a competitive experience with Furniture Row Racing in 2016. In the three races that Auto-Owners Insurance was the primary sponsor, Truex won the prestigious Southern 500 in Darlington, finished seventh at the fall race in Martinsville and was eighth at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.(Furniture Row Racing PR), see an image of the car on the #78 Team Schemes page.(1-16-2017)
More rules changes for 2017, tires....: NASCAR competition officials issued memos detailing rule book changes for the 2017 season in its three national series, including limits on tire allocation. The 80 total pages of revisions released Friday afternoon pertain to Sections 20 (Vehicle and Driver Safety specifications) and 21 (Pit Equipment and Crew Safety specifications) across the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Among the highlights in the tire rules updates:
" NASCAR set its regulations on tire allocation for all three series in 2017. In the Monster Energy Cup Series, the number of tire sets available to teams per event dropped for 13 of the 36 points-paying races and increased for eight events compared to last year. With the exception of the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the number of tire sets was only adjusted by one. Teams will have two fewer sets in the season-ending event this season, a reduction from 2016's 12 sets to just 10 in 2017.
" Tracks with one fewer set of tires allowed next season: Daytona (500 only), Phoenix (both races), Auto Club, Martinsville (both races), Bristol (both races), Kansas (both races), Kentucky and Chicagoland. Tracks with an additional set of tires allowed next season: Talladega (both races), Sonoma, Daytona (July only), New Hampshire (both races), Watkins Glen and Darlington.
" In 2017, Monster Energy Cup teams will be required to start the race on the tires they used in Coors Light Pole Qualifying. This change does not apply to the XFINITY or Camping World Truck Series.(NASCAR)(1-16-2017)
more 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schemes added:
#2 Miller Lite, Alliance Truck Parts, Wurth, AutoTrader,
#3 Dow, American Ethanol, AAA,
#4 Busch Beer, Jimmy John's,
#5 Farmers, Great Clips, LiftMaster, UniFirst,
#6 Performance Plus,
#10 Nature's Bakery, Code 3 Associates,
#17 Fastenal, Sunny D,
#21 Motorcraft / QuickLane,
#22 Shell Pennzoil, AAA Insurance, AutoTrader,
#23 Best Furnishings,
#24 NAPA Auto Parts, Kelley Blue Book, SunEnergy1,
#27 Menards: Richmond,
#41 Monster Energy, Haas Automation, Mobil1,
#43 Smithfield, US Air Force, STP,
#48 Lowe's, Kobalt Tools,
#77 Five-Hour Energy,
#78 Furniture Row, Auto-Owners Insurance,
Team Penske and Nikon Metrology form technical alliance: Team Penske announced that it has formed a technical alliance with Nikon Metrology, a market leader in metrology instrumentation and technological innovation. The announcement expands upon an already existing relationship between the two companies. Under the terms of the new multi-year agreement, Brighton, Michigan-based Nikon Metrology will help enhance Team Penske's manufacturing process of its racecars competing in NASCAR, working closely with the organization's fabrication department. Team Penske will also rely on Nikon Metrology's superior optical instrumentation and resources to support its overall technical processes at its headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. After working closely with Penske Technology Group in the past, Nikon Metrology is looking forward to the new challenge of partnering with the winning Team Penske racing program, which celebrated its 50th anniversary season in 2016. Nikon Metrology plans to incorporate the new partnership with Team Penske into the company's future marketing and promotional efforts. Through specific case studies, Nikon Metrology will highlight how its equipment and support continue to raise the level of performance of Team Penske's racing programs.(Team Penske)(1-16-2017)
STP to sponsor the #43 again in 2017: One of the longest partnerships in NASCAR belongs to STP and Richard Petty, owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. The 2017 season marks the 45th season the two will collaborate.Upon entering the sport in 1972, STP - one of the most trusted names in automotive care with products like oil additives, fuel additives and brake and power steering fluids - won four championships in NASCAR's premier series with Petty. Nowadays, Aric Almirola is the driver of the team's #43 Ford Fusion, having first driven an STP-sponsored car in 2012. He will pilot the car once during the upcoming season - Martinsville Speedway's STP 500 (Lionel Racing), supposedly STP will also sponsor the #42 in a throwback scheme at Darlington, just not the same scheme as Martinsville. See an image of the Martinsville scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page (1-15-2017)
Stewart to race in at least 71 events in 2017 probably more: Tony Stewart may be a three-time champion at NASCAR's highest level, but track preparation nevertheless is a passion for him. You'll often find him on a track at Eldora Speedway, the dirt half-mile he owns. Just because Stewart has stepped away from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series doesn't mean he has abandoned the competitive side of racing-far from it. "I wish I'd have finished a little better at the end of the year," Stewart said of his final NASCAR campaign, in which he won at Sonoma and qualified for the Chase. "But I'm looking forward to all the stuff we're going to be doing this year-late model racing, sprint car racing. I'm building a three-quarter midget to run a couple of (county) fair races this year. Going to run a lot of different things at a lot of different places. There are some tracks that I've never been to that I'm going to get a chance to go to on our schedule. We're up to 71 races, and I'm guessing we're going to get another 10 to 15 more races on the schedule before it's all said and done.(RacinBoys)(1-15-2017)
Christopher Bell wins Chili Bowl: There's no race in the world that means more to Christopher Bell than the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. He's been close to winning a few times. He probably should have gotten that coveted Golden Driller in 2016, but he was too aggressive and spun out while battling lapped traffic. But one year later Bell was more patient, and his patience paid off. Christopher Bell is finally the winner of the Chili Bowl. "This has been a long-time coming," said Bell on the MAVTV broadcast. "This is a dream come true." Bell started second to Justin Grant by virtue of Friday night's pole shuffle. He stayed behind Grant for about 15 laps when almost everybody behind him moved to the outside. When Bell moved up he propelled by Grant to take over the lead. The Norman, Oklahoma native became the first driver from the state of Oklahoma to win the Chili Bowl since 1994. Daryn Pittman finished 2nd followed by Justin Grant, Tanner Thorson and Jake Swanson. Defending champ Rico Abreu finished 11th. NASCAR Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 16th. Kyle Larson didn't make it to the main.(Speed51)(1-15-2017)
Sport Clips returns with Hamlin in 2017; sponsors Jones: Sport Clips Haircuts is an active sponsor in NASCAR and is excited to enter its ninth season (2017) as a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing. Denny Hamlin enters his 12th full season with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017 behind the wheel of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2017, following an incredible 2016 season that saw him win his first Dayton 500. Sport Clips is scheduled to sponsor Hamlin at: Auto Club Speedway in March and Darlington (usually a throwback scheme) in September. Sport Clips will also sponsor #77-Erik Jones for four races in 2017" Bristol in April, Daytona in July, Indianapolis in July and Texas in November (Sport Clips). Sport Clips had sponsored Carl Edwards the past few years in the #19 JGR Toyota, but Edwards recently left the team and the sport and doesn't plan on racing in 2017.(1-14-2017)
NASCAR rulesbook updates for 2017: NASCAR issued a massive rules update to teams across all three national divisions on Friday -- not unusual for this time of the year. The most noteworthy addition is that the Sanctioning Body will allow drivers to wear biometric devices like Fitbits while inside the car. NASCAR will mandate the devices to operate under its own internal power and not have telematics capability -- in other words real-time capability to transmit car data. NASCAR will not allow any data acquired by such a device to be downloaded during qualifying or a race. For the device to be eligible, it must be either listed on the approved device list or be similar in functionality to one.
Rear Spoiler Height For the Cup Series, the rear spoiler height has been adjusted from 3.5 inches to 2.35 inches. What was then the Sprint Cup Series ran tests during races at Michigan and Kentucky as 2.5 inches.
Roof Hatch For both the Cup and Xfinity Series, a roof hatch is now mandatory at both Daytona and Talladega. It remains optional for all other venues.
Restrictor Plates at Daytona, Talladega The size of the holes in restrictor plates used at Daytona and Talladega will now be 7/8ths of an inch from 57/64ths of an inch.
Lastly, NASCAR is now requiring Cup and Xfinity teams to use toe board energy absorbing material at the two restrictor plate tracks to strengthen the driver foot box. This was a response to the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series crash at Daytona that sidelined Kyle Busch for 11 races when he broke a foot and a leg respectively. The material adds 20 pounds to the cars' overall weight and NASCAR has raised the minimum weight of the cars by that amount to encourage them to use the material in all events.(AutoWeek)(1-14-2017)
Mondelez Quietly Does Not Renew NASCAR Sponsorship: NASCAR is in the hunt for a new official cookie and cracker sponsor, as Mondelez quietly let its pact with the sanctioning body expire after 2016 according to sources. Illinois-based Mondelez is made up of the former Kraft Foods, whose deal with NASCAR began in 2000. Mondelez last renewed with NASCAR in a three-year pact that started in 2014. Mondelez held the official cookies title with its Oreo, Nilla Wafers and Nutter Butter brands, and was the official cracker of NASCAR with its Ritz and Wheat Thins brands. On the flip side, NASCAR added five new official partners in '16: Monster Energy, Credit One Bank, Mack Trucks, Old World Industries (Peak) and Allegiant Air, along with a number of renewals. NASCAR typically asks low seven figures for official partnerships, sources say. After wrapping up its two-year hunt to land its new Cup Series entitlement partner, sources say that on top of renewal efforts this year with the likes of Goodyear, NASCAR's business development group is focused this year on trying to fill a slew of official partner categories including restaurant and QSR. NASCAR declined comment for this story.(Sports Business Daily)(1-14-2017)
Roush Yates Engines Recognized with award: The prestigious AVA Digital Awards recognized Roush Yates Engines for their outstanding accomplishments in the area of video and web-based production. Roush Yates Engines was presented with a pair of awards highlighting their excellence in marketing and creativity. The team was awarded Platinum in the category of Web-Based Production related to the newly created Roush Yates Engines website, which is focused on building brand, product and partner awareness. In addition, the organization was awarded a Gold award for outstanding achievement in the category of Video Production, Creativity & Editing for the production of the Building for Le Mans | Roush Yates Engines video. This video celebrated Ford Motor Company's 50th Anniversary return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The video inspired the Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines team on their way to building the 2016 Le Mans winning twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 race engine. AVA Digital Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP).(RYE)(1-14-2017)
Sad News - Brian Scott (not the driver): Brian Shawn Scott, 63, of Mooresville, NC passed away on January 9, 2017 in Charlotte, NC following a brief illness. He was born on October 7, 1953 in South Bend, IN. He worked for several years as a vice president of Keystone Cable Corporation before starting Scott Performance Wire (in 1990, supplying many NASCAR teams), which he owned and operated until his death. Full obituary, guest book and service info at Carter Funeral Home)(1-14-2017)
Brendan Gaughan to attempt to make the Daytona 500: Brendan Gaughan will attempt to race in the Daytona 500 this year. Gaughan said he will drive the Chevy Michael McDowell [was #59 Chevy] wheeled to a 15th-place finish for Leavine Family Racing in last year's race. The car owner is Mark Beard of Mount Pleasant, MI, a former driver and team owner in the Midwest-based ARCA series who had a couple of Xfinity starts during the 1980s. "Jay Robinson, the man I drove for a couple of years ago at Premium Motorsports, called me in the middle of the Christmas break and said a friend of his was trying to do a deal and run the 500," said the 41-year-old Gaughan, who qualified for the inaugural Xfinity Series Chase in 2016 driving for Richard Childress. "They bought the old Leavine car, they've hired ECR to do motors - real racing motors - and they asked if I would be interested. So it's got Richard Childress motors, and I'm going to have a Richard Childress pit crew - my guys (from his RCR Xfinity team) - and so we're going to the Daytona 500 and see if we can qualify." Beard doesn't possess a Cup Series charter, which would have guaranteed Gaughan a starting spot. So he will have to race his way in via qualifying speed and twin 150-mile races that set the 40-car field. Gaughan said he may have to beat only one other noncharter team for a starting spot. "We're an open team, but I feel very confident that with ECR motors we're going to be able to make the show," the former Truck Series Rookie of the Year said. If he does, it will be the second time Gaughan has raced in NASCAR's marquee event. The son of South Point owner Michael Gaughan made his Daytona 500 debut in 2004 driving a Dodge for Roger Penske. He finished 19th after starting 17th.(Las Vegas Review Journal), hearing the team will run the #75 (1-13-2017)
Many veteran crewman left the sport: Every year there are a group of veteran crewman that retire and walk away from the sport. Pit Talks try and recognize some of these crewman and say thank you for their time on pit road. This years crop of retirees might be the best talented group seen leave at one time.
Pit Talks obviously can't keep up with everyone and there are plenty more talented crewmen that have been left out, but these are the guys known:
Heath Cherry #11 car, rear carrier
Chip Goode #47 car, rear carrier
Todd Drackulich #14 car, front carrier
Jason Pulver #3 car, front changer
Mike "Tiny" Houston #13 car, front carrier
Read comments at Pit Talks.(1-13-2017)
Earnhardt, Jr., Kahne to run two NXS races each: Continuing a tradition of running his own JR Motorsports Chevy each season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to make a pair of starts in the #88 Chevy Camaro this season in races at Bristol in August and Richmond in September. Long-time JRM driver Kasey Kahne will drive the car at Daytona in February and Talladega in May. Scott Radel, director of engineering at JRM, has been tabbed to crew chief all four races. Radel has been a JRM engineer since 2013, and previously worked for Hendrick Motorsports. He won championships with JRM in 2014 and with two other teams as an engineer. Radel brings 20-plus years of experience in calling races. The #88 "All Star car" has been a full-time car the past two seasons, but with JRM's expansion to four full-time teams and the addition of new drivers William Byron and Michael Annett, it will be a fifth JRM entry in the four races named.(JR Motorsports)(1-13-2017)
Ford Performance announces Driver Development Program: In an effort to develop talent for its NASCAR program long-term, Ford Performance announced today it is formally initiating a multi-tiered NASCAR driver development program. The first stage of that program will be a formal relationship with Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) and its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) effort, where Ford has signed Chase Briscoe as one of the drivers for BKR for the 2017 season as part of his development. The BKR effort, as well as other to-be-announced driver development efforts at different levels, will develop talent for all Ford teams in NASCAR. Current teams will be consulted as part of the selection process, but drivers in the program will have contractual obligations to Ford. In addition to their role within the NCWTS race program and related marketing efforts, drivers in the new Ford program will also assist the company as test drivers within the Ford product development program.(Ford Performance)(1-13-2017)
Elliott Sadler to attempt Daytona 500 with Baldwin: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced that the team will compete in the 59th running of the Daytona 500 with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel of the #7 Golden Corral Chevy. Sadler, a 16-year veteran of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, will be running double-duty during NASCAR's opening weekend competing in both the Cup and Xfinity Series. The Emporia, VA native and Baldwin have a relationship dating back to their days at Robert Yates Racing when Baldwin served as crew chief for Sadler. "This is a great opportunity for me and everyone affiliated with Tommy Baldwin Racing," said Sadler. "I love the Daytona 500 and to have Tommy and Golden Corral offer me this opportunity is awesome. Tommy and I have known each other a long time. We actually won a qualifying race for the Daytona 500 together back in 2006. We're gonna rekindle some of that magic and work our tails off to get our car in the race. I know Tommy is putting a lot of effort into this and we're gonna go out and get the best result we possibly can for him and TBR's partners." Golden Corral returns for their seventh season together and will bring back their popular 'Top 10 Kids Eat Free' promotion. If Elliott Sadler finishes in the top-10 at Daytona, kids 10 and under will eat free at Golden Corral restaurants nationwide on Monday, February 27th.
"We are excited to be working with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the seventh season," said Shelley Wolford, Vice President of National Marketing and Media at Golden Corral. "We will be cheering Elliott on to qualify at Daytona and then race for a Top 10 Kids Eat Free finish."
"We look forward to having Elliott join TBR and Golden Corral for the upcoming Daytona 500," said team owner Tommy Baldwin. "Elliott has always been a strong restrictor plate racer which makes this a great opportunity for everyone involved. We know our fans look forward to the 'Top10 Kids Eat Free' promotion every year so we want to capitalize on that and finish the Daytona 500 strong." Golden Corral, based in Raleigh, N.C., is the nation's largest grill-buffet restaurant chain with 482 restaurants operating in 41 states as of January 1, 2017.(TBR/140 BUZZ)
NOTE: the team is an Open team, meaning it will have to qualify via speed / Duels to make the race, depending on how many Open teams attempt the race. Baldwin sold his Charter to the #95 Leavine Family Racing team in late 2016.(1-12-2017)
Drivers have fun clocking laps at Goodyear tire test at LVMS: Four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers enjoyed themselves on the track during Day 2 of a Goodyear tire test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesday. #20-Matt Kenseth, #22-Joey Logano, #24-Chase Elliott and #1-Jamie McMurray clocked lap after lap at the 1.5-mile speedway on the sunny and windy day as Goodyear techs and the quartet of race teams banked valuable data to use in 2017 and beyond. The drivers enjoyed their time behind the wheel during the two-day test session. "It's fun to come out and test, and I like coming to Vegas," said Kenseth, the Kobalt 400 champion in 2003, 2004 and 2013. "It seems like everything has slowed down (on the track), which makes for better racing. I've always liked the race track, have had some good runs here and had some wins here. It's a fun race track, a fun town and always a good environment, so I enjoy racing here."
Logano understands the importance of the tire tests and what they can do for the sport. "You're able to knock the rust off and try to come up with the best tire," said Logano, the 2014 Kobalt 400 pole winner. "This is Goodyear's test, and we're here for Goodyear to make the best tire, not only for us drivers, but for the fans to have the best race to watch. There's a lot of theories on what makes the best race, and we're able to go through those and figure out what makes the track wide and let us move around. There are constant conversations about how we can make it better, and this is a great opportunity for us to test a lot of that."
Elliott got a lot out of the two-day session. "It's felt really good to get back going again," said Elliott, the 2016 NASCAR Rookie of the Year. "The time that passes between the last race and the first time you get back in a car seems like a long time. So, it's good to get back in, get acclimated and try to sharpen up your skills. This is a good place to do it, and it's similar to a lot of tracks we'll go to this season, so it's helpful in a lot of ways. Goodyear has been really good with how they've approached the test, and of all the tests I've done with them, this is as aggressive as I've seen them with making changes and trying new things with the tire. I think that's encouraging, and I hope they can take the data and try to help us provide some better racing down the road."
LVMS' 2017 NASCAR Weekend begins on Friday, March 10, with Stratosphere Pole Day, continues with the Boyd Gaming 300 Xfinity Series race on Saturday, March 11, and concludes with the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 12. Tickets are available at lvms.com or by calling 1-800-644-4444.(LVMS)(1-12-2017)
Phoenix Raceway to Host Open NASCAR Test Jan 31st: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars will appear at Phoenix Raceway for the first time in 2017 when the track hosts an open test session on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Phoenix Raceway will open its gates to fans from 9:00am to 3:00pm with general seating in the Bobby Allison Grandstand. Free parking is available and fans are asked to make a $5 donation to Phoenix Raceway Charities for admission.
Several 2016 NASCAR Chase contenders including #4-Kevin Harvick, #22-Joey Logano, #19-Daniel Suarez (instead of #20-Matt Kenseth) and #3-Austin Dillon are scheduled to be participate, while #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be making his first public appearance behind the wheel in six months.
With a new series sponsor, manufacturer changes and new faces to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, there will be plenty of excitement when the drivers look for valuable track time ahead of the 2017 season and Phoenix Raceway's Camping World 500 on Sunday, March 19. Tickets for the Camping World 500 start at just $25, and 2017 season tickets are available beginning at $99. Individual tickets and season tickets are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the PIR ticket office. Phoenix Raceway Charities is a Donor Advised Fund under The NASCAR Foundation, and its mission is to accelerate the development of children in Arizona by supporting education, children and families of our military and military veterans, and life enrichment programs for children and families in our community.(PIR)(1-12-2017)
NASCAR Summit Promotes Innovation, Safety, Preparation: Safety is a founding NASCAR tenet and as a contact sport with major multi-day events that span the calendar, it's vitally important that the professionals who will respond to incidents be prepared with the latest technology and best practices. That's why medical, safety, security and operations professionals from race tracks nationwide and abroad convened for the annual NASCAR Summit Presented by American Medical Response (AMR). The three-day gathering at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Concord, NC, concluded Tuesday and featured instruction from some of the nation's leading experts. It also provided an opportunity for the industry to share best practices and recognize and honor its best work.
The Summit featured more than 30 general and discipline-specific breakout sessions that addressed topics ranging from weather contingency planning to incident scene management. Presenters included leading physicians, track services professionals and law enforcement agencies. Nationally known speaker, attorney Gordon Graham delivered the keynote presentation. A top expert in law enforcement and public service training, he specializes in risk management. During the event's final general session, awards were presented to top medical, security and track services personnel for their outstanding achievements and innovations from the 2016 season. Award winners were:
" Mission Award: Daytona International Speedway
" Teamwork Award: Kentucky Speedway
" Innovation Award: Pocono Raceway
" Excellence in Track Services Award: Jay Donnay, Homestead-Miami Speedway
" Above and Beyond Award: Dr. Angela Fiege, Dr. John Maino, Dr. Brian Nao
" Nursing Director Award: Jackie Coats, Watkins Glen International
" Teamwork Award: Darlington Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway
" Security Director's Award: George Brazzale, Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Jim Hosfelt, Dover International Speedway
Tommy Baldwin Racing returns to roots running Modifieds: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced plans to compete on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) with driver Donny Lia in 2017. Returning to his roots, Tommy Baldwin will bring back the iconic #7NY. The car number has a rich history in the NASCAR touring series and the local tracks on Long Island, New York, amassing a combined total 54 wins with the late "Tiger" Tom Baldwin, Sr. Lia, a two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion (2007 and 2009) and Long Island native, brings a wealth of experience to the team. With a career dating back to 2001, Lia raced Baldwin on the Tour. Baldwin and Lia have crossed paths before with Baldwin serving as the crew chief for Lia's first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in 2008. The program brings Baldwin back to his childhood and sparks great memories along the way.(TBR/140 BUZZ)(1-12-2017)
Daniel Suarez named the driver of the #19 Toyota: 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champions, Daniel Suarez has been named the driver of Joe Gibbs Racing's #19 Toyota for 2017 running for Rookie of Year award. Suarez replaces Carl Edwards who announced earlier that he was leaving the sport immediately. ARRIS, Stanley and Subway will return as sponsors. Sports Clips is listed on the car. No word if Comcast/XFINITY will return as a primary sponsor in 2017. Dave Rogers stays on as the crew chief. As for Suarez's XFINITY Series plans, team owner Joe Gibbs said Suarez would probably run around 10 XFINITY Series races with other JGR drivers filling in. See images of the #19 car on the #19 Team Paint Scheme page (1-11-2017)
Transcript: see the full transcript of Carl Edwards press conference from Jan 11, 2017 when he stepped away from racing: Carl Edwards Press Conference Transcript (1-11-2017)
Edwards steps away from racing; Suarez to drive #19 Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that driver Carl Edwards has stepped away from racing in NASCAR. 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion Daniel Suárez will drive the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series #19 Toyota Camry in 2017.
Edwards, 37, joined Joe Gibbs Racing prior to the 2015 season and amassed five wins, 16 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes to go with nine pole awards in his two seasons with the organization. Over his 13-year career in NASCAR's premiere series he totaled 28 wins, 124 top-five, and 220 top-10 finishes, along with 22 pole awards. His 28 career wins ties him for 23rd all-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
"This has been a very difficult decision for me, but I'm confident that it is the right one for several reasons," said Edwards. "It would be impossible for me to thank everyone I need to, but I do want to take a moment to say I greatly appreciate the support from Coach and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, especially my team and teammates, my sponsors and of course my fans. I could not have a better situation in racing than the one I currently have, so stepping away from that certainly took a lot of consideration."
Edwards was the 2005 NASCAR XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year and captured the Series Championship in 2007. He amassed 38 wins in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in his career. Edwards also won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year honor in 2003 and totaled six career wins in the Series. "Certainly this was not something that we were expecting as we prepared for the 2017 season," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "However, it was clear in our conversations with Carl that he had given this careful consideration and believes strongly that it is the direction he needs to go. We support him in that. We loved having him be part of our team the past two years and we will miss him, but we hope he is happy in whatever is next for his life."
Daniel Suárez captured the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship in 2016 in just his second full season in the Series. He is the first foreign-born driver to win a NASCAR Championship. He won three races and earned 19 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes along with three pole awards last season. "This is amazing. I really can't believe it. It is my dream, but I did not expect it right now," said Suárez. "I can't wait to get started. I have a lot to learn, but I couldn't ask for a better situation. I have the support of a great team around me. I have so many people to thank that helped get me to this point of my career, starting with my family of course, but it would be impossible for me to list everyone. I do want to thank Coach (Gibbs) and everyone at JGR for this opportunity,. and I also want to thank ARRIS, STANLEY, Subway, Interstate Batteries and Toyota for their support. I can't wait for Daytona." Suárez will make his first-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 26, 2017.
"We are thrilled for Daniel," said Gibbs. "Once we learned that Carl would not return next season, Daniel was really the obvious choice to take the wheel of this newly redesigned 2018 Camry. He is a great fit for our team and our partners. He has worked extremely hard and proven to be a quick learner. He will have a great team around him and he will have great teammates to lean on. This might be a bit earlier than we anticipated, but he has earned the opportunity and we are excited for his future."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-11-2017)
Statement from NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France on Carl Edwards: "Carl Edwards has made an indelible mark on NASCAR. His hard-charging driving style has led to memorable moments that will live forever in the history of our sport. Carl's passion and personality will greatly be missed - as will the signature backflips that NASCAR fans have come to expect following his victories. We wish Carl nothing but the best as he enters this next phase in life."(NASCAR)(1-11-2017)
Carl Edwards to retire immediately? UPDATE Press Conference: #19-Carl Edwards is expected to announce Wednesday that he will retire immediately from NASCAR racing, according to sources familiar with his plans. Edwards, 37, spent 13 years in the Cup Series and won 28 times in 445 starts. No immediate reason was available for why Edwards would retire. Daniel Suarez will be named the replacement for Edwards at Joe Gibbs Racing, sources said. Suarez, from Mexico, became the first foreign-born driver to win a NASCAR national series when he earned the Xfinity Series title in 2016.(ESPN)
AND: Joe Gibbs Racing is scheduled to hold two separate news conferences [Edwards retirement? Hamlin contract extension?) starting at 10:00am/et on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 from its headquarters in Huntersville, NC.(JGR)
MORE: Edwards is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to pursue other interests outside of driving and will not compete in 2017. On Wednesday, JGR will announce at a press conference that Daniel Suarez will replace Edwards as the driver of the team's #19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota. Suarez is the reigning NASCAR XFINITY Series champion. Representatives of Edwards and Joe Gibbs Racing declined comment. David Wilson, president of TRD, U.S.A., also declined comment on Edwards' departure.(FoxSports)(1-10-2017)
UPDATE: As the NASCAR world waits to hear Carl Edwards' explanation for his sudden retirement, one reason can be ruled out. Edwards is not leaving for a TV job at Fox Sports or NBC Sports. "We were as surprised as anyone to hear the news about Carl Edwards' expected retirement, and we will be following the story alongside everyone else," said John Entz, president of Fox Sports Production and an executive producer, in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. "Fox Sports has really enjoyed having Carl in the booth and on our air in various capacities over the years, but speculation that he may be climbing out of the car to join the Fox NASCAR broadcast team is unfounded. Our team is set for the near future and we wish Carl well in whatever he chooses to do next." A spokeswoman for NBC Sports told USA TODAY Sports that Edwards was not joining that network, either.(USA Today)
PRESS CONFERENCE: JGR will hold two separate news conferences starting at 10am/et on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, from its headquarters in Huntersville, NC. Both press conferences will be live-streamed on NASCAR.com also via radio at Motor Racing Network the MRN App and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.(1-11-2017)
Dodge and NASCAR meet at Auto Show: on December 4 of last year, Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which is the parent of Dodge, said with substantial conviction that he wants to get Dodge back into NASCAR. "Yes, I'd love to," he said. "I talked to Jim France (executive vice-president of NASCAR) about this just last night." Marchionne made those statements at Daytona International Speedway during a press conference during the Ferrari Finali Mondiali, the annual gathering of Ferrari racers and fans. Ferrari is owned by the company Marchionne runs. Dodge left NASCAR in 2012, the year Dodge won the title with Penske driver Brad Keselowski. Penske moved to Ford at the end of the season, and Dodge pulled the plug on its NASCAR program.
Until now, there hasn't been much news about the possible reconciliation, until now: Monday morning, during the main press day of the North American International Auto Show (in Detroit), NASCAR and Dodge executives had a private meeting. Among those present was NASCAR President Mike Helton and Tim Kuniskis, whose title is Head of Passenger Car Brands, which includes Dodge. Of course, it could have been a casual how-ya-doing meeting, but given the brutal schedule for all automotive executives on Monday at the Detroit show, that seems unlikely.(The Drive), see past news on Dodge's possible return to NASCAR on the Dodge News and Links page (1-11-2017)
Roush Fenway Racing renews with Performance Plus; to sponsor Bayne: Roush Fenway Racing announced a team-wide partnership with Kleen Performance Products and Performance Plus, its premium motor oil brand. Performance Plus will serve as the official oil partner of NASCAR's winningest team, as well as the primary sponsor for multiple races with driver Trevor Bayne and the #6 Ford. Performance Plus is the premium brand of motor oils and lubricants that perform better even under the most extreme conditions. The brand uses conventionally refined oils and proprietary, twice-refined oils, blended with industry-leading additives, to meet or exceed all industry certifications, licenses, approvals and OEM warranty requirements. Kleen Performance Products is part of Safety-Kleen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Clean Harbors.(RFR), see an image of the scheme on the #6 Team Paint Scheme page.(1-11-2017)
NASCAR Considering Significant Changes To Race Formats, Point Distribution: The Sports Business Daily is reporting that NASCAR and industry stakeholders are considering significant competition changes to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series that could be implemented as soon as this season. Sources said that stakeholders across the industry including teams, drivers, tracks, media partners, Monster and NASCAR have been meeting to discuss the prospective changes which involve the format of the races themselves and how points are awarded for them. If implemented, the changes could address the length and format of Cup races and may result in race breaks, similar to other series where "heat" formats are used to break up the competition to feature multiple, shorter races rather than one longer one. NASCAR declined comment. It could not be determined how far along the discussions are, but timing is of the essence as NASCAR's season starts in mid to late February. Its season-opening media tour, when major announcements are often made, is in two weeks in Charlotte.(The Sports Business Daily)(1-10-2017)
Hamlin close to announcing contract extension: #11-Denny Hamlin said Monday his contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing is essentially done and just awaiting an official release by his team and sponsor. "It's just whenever they want to announce something," Hamlin told NBC Sports after helping Toyota Racing Development unveil a redesigned Camry model that will make its debut with the 2017 season. "It's probably a better question for Gibbs and (sponsor) FedEx, but I think they'll release something when they're ready." Multiple sources familiar with the deal said the sides had agreed to terms. The sources requested anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly. Hamlin, 36, is entering the final season of a four-year extension that he signed in June 2012 (while he still had more than a year left on his current deal).(NBC Sports)(1-10-2017)
Congrats Kurt Busch: Kurt Busch announced on Twitter / Facebook that he and Ashley Van Metre are married: "My life completely changed when fate brought us together. So happy to call you my wife."(1-10-2017)
Tire Testing at Las Vegas Tues & Wed: The start of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season is more than one month away but four competitors will be back behind the wheel much sooner. #1-Jamie McMurray (Chevy), #24-Chase Elliott (Chevy), #22-Joey Logano (Ford) and #20-Matt Kenseth (new 2018 Toyota Camry) are scheduled to take part in the season's first Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 10-11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The two-day Las Vegas tire test is the first of seven on the 2017 schedule. Other Goodyear tire tests for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams are on tap for Michigan (April 4-5), Indianapolis (April 25-26), Kentucky (May 9-10), Chicago (June 6-7) and Atlanta (Aug. 8-9). All are for 2017 races with the exception of AMS, which will be focused on 2018 as AMS will be repaved following the race in March 2017. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams will participate in a Goodyear tire test at Eldora Speedway May 16-17. Eldora is the only dirt track hosting a race among NASCAR's three national series. Also, with news of a repaving and reconfiguration at Texas Motor Speedway, Goodyear could add a test there as well.
OPEN TESTS: NASCAR's first organizational test, open to all but limited to one team per organization, will take place at Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Additional organizational tests for the series are scheduled for May 30-31 at New Hampshire, Aug. 15-16 at Chicago, Oct. 10-11 at Martinsville and Oct. 24-25 at Homestead. An organizational test for NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series teams is set for Charlotte May 2.
One change of note in the 2017 testing schedule is the addition of separate tests for the manufacturers' wheel force transducer (WFT) cars. The vehicles, provided by teams and fitted with various data-gathering devices, were previously allowed for each organizational and Goodyear tire test. NASCAR will also hold a two-day test April 11-12 at Daytona, using the first day to sort through potential safety/competition initiatives while Goodyear is expected to conduct a tire test with any potential changes on the second day. The 2017 season will be the third in which team testing is limited to participation in Goodyear tire tests, organizational tests or any developmental-type tests set by NASCAR. Private team testing has been prohibited since the start of the 2015 season.(NASCAR)(1-10-2017)
Chevy SS to end, no replacement planned: General Motors Co. will end sales of the Chevrolet SS car for the U.S. market by the end of the year, with no replacement planned, a GM executive confirmed Monday at the Detroit auto show. GM North America President Alan Batey said the sporty car built in Australia, will go away by the end of 2017. The car is what Chevy uses in some NASCAR racing and has been on sale for consumers in the U.S. since 2013. "Using the old adage, 'win on Sunday, buy on Monday,' we decided that in small numbers we'd introduce it the U.S. because we could, frankly, at a pretty low cost," Batey told reporters Monday after introducing a new Chevrolet Traverse SUV. "I would say the vehicle has been really well-received. It's small volumes, but it's been really well-received." In 2016, GM sold 3,013 Chevy SS sedans, up 4.1 percent from 2015. The SS is based off the Holden Commodore. Batey said the decision comes because GM is ending vehicle production in Australia. It will continue to sell vehicles in Australia. GM in late 2013 announced its planned to stop producing vehicles in Australia by 2017, cutting 2,900 jobs and closing an assembly factory and engine plant. GM said the decision stemmed from the sustained growth of the Australian dollar, high cost of manufacturing and the small domestic market (Detroit News)(1-9-2017)
Toyota Unveils 2018 NASCAR Camry: Toyota unveiled its 2018 NASCAR Toyota Camry race car in unison with the debut of the 2018 production Camry at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Following a dramatic redesign to its show room counterpart, the Camry race car will compete on the race track in 2017 as Toyota defends its NASCAR Premier Series manufacturer's championship. "The 2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR race car has been years in the making, and to unveil it simultaneously with our new production Camry is a milestone moment for our organization," said Ed Laukes, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. "The collaboration between Calty Design Group and TRD has produced a NASCAR Camry that showcases aggressive styling that is sure to turn heads on the race track and among our fans in Toyota showrooms across the country. Reimagining both the Camry race car and its production counterpart has been a tremendous undertaking and our goal has been to maintain parallel design characteristics so our fans can enjoy driving a Camry that closely resembles the one their favorite NASCAR driver races each weekend."
Spearheaded by Camry chief designer Masato Katsumata, the production Camry received a radical redesign for 2018 and engineers from Calty Design Research, Inc., Toyota's North American design studio, and TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) worked together to ensure the NASCAR Camry showcased the same aggressive attributes as its updated production sibling. TRD and Calty worked together with NASCAR throughout the process. Calty previously worked with Toyota and TRD to update the NASCAR Camry when NASCAR introduced its Gen-6 models in 2013, and again when Toyota updated the Camry race car in 2015. The design group also worked with TRD on the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Camry, the 2014 Toyota Tundra for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the current NHRA Funny Car Camry.
Toyota entered NASCAR Premier Series competition with the Camry in 2007 and the manufacturer won its first driver's championship in 2015, followed by its first manufacturer's championship in 2016. Camry drivers have won 95 NASCAR Premier Series races over 10 seasons. The NASCAR Camry will make its debut on-track in 2017 prior to the 2018 production Camry hitting showroom floors at Toyota dealerships later this year. The NASCAR Camry will first compete at Daytona International Speedway on February 18 in The Clash at Daytona before defending its Daytona 500 title on Sunday, Feb. 26.(Toyota), see more images of the car on the Toyota News and Links page (1-9-2017)
Is it time for NASCAR to make format changes? With speculation of format changes for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, one track president said he doesn't want to see anything "radical," but would be for a halftime break or quarter breaks in a race. Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, said Friday he would be for breaks in races but is against anything that shortens races. Discussion of any format changes has increased with Monster Energy becoming the title sponsor for NASCAR's top series. Some believe this could be a natural time to make such changes. See full article and vote on the poll there at NBC Sports (1-9-2017)
NASCAR Announces 2017 Charter teams: NASCAR revealed in February 2016 a landmark new ownership structure, awarding 36 Charters that guarantee entry into every points event in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Since then, some leasing and buying of Charters has occurred. The table below shows the Charters (which were awarded following the 2015 season) for 2017. Teams listed alphabetically.
(A) Premium Motorsports sold this Charter to Furniture Row Racing for its second team, the #77. In 2016, the Charter was leased by the #46 team of HScott Motorsports.
(B) Richard Petty Motorsports is leasing the #44 Charter to the #32 team of Go Fas Racing in 2017.
(C) Roush Fenway Racing will lease the #16 Charter to JTG Daugherty Racing's newly formed second team (#37) in 2017.
(D) Near the end of the 2016 season, Tommy Baldwin Racing sold its Charter to Leavine Family Racing.
(E) HScott Motorsports' #15 Charter was sold to Premium Motorsports.
(F) Go Fas Racing is leasing the #32 Charter to the #21 team of Wood Brothers Racing.
(G) Circle Sport and The Motorsports Group merged operations to field the #33 team with the Charter Circle Sport had.
In 2016, Circle Sport partnered with Leavine Family Racing to field the #95 for the season.
2016 Car #; 2017 Car #; Organization with charter for 2017 (36 teams listed)
23 23 BK Racing
83 83 BK Racing
1 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
42 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
34 34 Front Row Motorsports
38 38 Front Row Motorsports
46 77 Furniture Row Racing (A)
78 78 Furniture Row Racing
13 13 Germain Racing
44 32 Go Fas Racing (B)
5 5 Hendrick Motorsports
24 24 Hendrick Motorsports
48 48 Hendrick Motorsports
88 88 Hendrick Motorsports
11 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
18 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
19 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
20 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
16 37 JTG Daugherty Racing (C)
47 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
7 95 Leavine Family Racing (D)
15 TBD Premium Motorsports (E)
3 3 Richard Childress Racing
27 27 Richard Childress Racing
31 31 Richard Childress Racing
43 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
6 6 Roush Fenway Racing
17 17 Roush Fenway Racing
4 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
14 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
41 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
2 2 Team Penske
22 22 Team Penske
32 21 Wood Brothers Racing (F)
95 33 Circle Sport w/The Motorsports Group (G)
Free NASCAR Hall of Fame Admission, Driver Autographs highlight NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day: In what has become a much-anticipated season kick-off event, NASCAR will offer FREE admission to the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day. That's just one of the many exciting offerings during the day-long celebration of NASCAR's passionate fans, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21 in Charlotte, NC. NASCAR stars past and present will participate in autograph and Q&A sessions throughout the day, in addition to free access to the Hall. Fans will be admitted into the Hall on a first-come, first-served basis in lieu of needing a ticket. Doors open at 8:00am/et. However, tickets to some of the autograph sessions must be secured in advance. Tickets for these autograph sessions will be available for free on NASCARHall.com starting at 10:00am/et on Saturday, Jan. 7. Each fan can secure up to two tickets for one of the seven autograph sessions (one ticket for an individual or two tickets for an individual and their guest). More info and list of drivers at nascarhall.com.
NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day will follow the previous evening's NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Induction Ceremony (Jan. 20, 8:00pm/et on NBCSN). As in previous years, current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars will help present each inductee. Scheduled to present at this year's induction ceremony are seven-time premier series champion Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon. For tickets to the Induction Ceremony, visit nascarhall.com/inductees/induction-ceremony. (1-6-2017)
Belmont Abbey College to Host Inaugural Motorsport Symposium: In celebration of the 10 year anniversary of its Motorsport Management degree program, Belmont Abbey College brings the leadership of the racing world to its campus for the inaugural Motorsport Symposium and Wheeler Awards on Tuesday, January 17. "We are very excited to gather our students, alumni and industry veterans to celebrate ten years of hard work and dedication in building this program," said Pat Wood Executive Director of Belmont Abbey's Motorsport program. Featuring a VIP panel of team presidents and leaders from IndyCar, NASCAR and other racing series, the symposium will discuss various topics vital to the industry such as the state of the racing industry and the promise of a great future in its youngest drivers. Notables such as Steve Lauletta/Chip Ganassi Racing, Jonathan Gibson/Penske Racing, Dave Alpern/Joe Gibbs Racing, Chris Traeger/NASCAR and Ben Geisler/World of Outlaws will give their insights into the world of Motorsport.(more info at motorsportprogram.com)(1-5-2017)
Indoor Racing in PA & NJ: In addition to over 100 Three Quarter (TQ) Midget, Champ Kart and Slingshot racers, and thousands of spectators, sponsors will play a big part in the second annual Indoor Auto Racing fueled by VP events to be held inside Allentown's PPL Center on Friday and Saturday, December 30th and 31st. VP Racing Fuels is the title sponsor of the entire Indoor Auto Racing Series which started a week ago in Trenton, NJ and ends inside Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Friday and Saturday, January 27th and 28th. Steve Post, a veteran NASCAR pit reporter for the Motor Racing Network will join the announcing staff of the Indoor Auto Racing Series for events in Allentown, Pa. and Atlantic City, N.J. Post will join the 'Voice of the Three Quarter (TQ) Midgets', Bob Marlow, and Pocono Raceway's chief announcer Earl Krause on the series starting with the Allentown event held inside the PPL Center on December 30 and 31. Post will also play a major role on the team at the Gambler's Classic inside Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on January 27 and 28. More info at indoorautoracing.com.(12-26-2016)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Sunday, February 19, 2017, 3:00pm/et
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 25, 2017, TBA
Born in JANUARY
17 Lake Speed, Harry Hyde, Michael McSwain, Gabe Martin, Squirt Johns, Al Terrell, Jim Hall
18 Bill Davis, Christian Fittipaldi, Jerry Oliver, Ronnie Chumley, Joe Martin, Gilles Villeneuve
19 George Hufford, Dorothy Shull, Walt Sprague, Don Tilley, Jim Whitman
20 Fireball Roberts, Ryan Pepe, George Gallup, Ralph Jones, Kenny Brightbill, Robin McCall
21 Ernie Saxton, Roman Pemberton, John Willenborg, Robert Hughes, Bud Harless, Mike Kempton
22 Mike Bugarewicz, Ashton Lewis Jr., Sean Pragano, Emma Blaney, Josh Pate, Grant Enfinger, Ray Clark, Bob Pronger, Danny Graves, Red Ortwein, Jeff McClure
23 Cole Custer, Matt Eversole, Austin Theriault, Bill Patterson, Daryl Rasnake, Boris Said Jr., Emanuel Zervakis, Major Melton, Jerry Grant, Art Dugan, Don Whittington, Terry Byers
24 Greg Wallace, Scott Speed, Bob Schacht, Mike Harmon, Austin Cameron, Bill Hyde, Gary Collins
25 Buddy Baker, Mike Broadwater, Harry Ranier, Chuck Hill, Neil Roberts, Shep Langdon, Joel Davis, Harry Dinwiddie, T.W. Taylor, Dale Quarterley
26 Sharon Leavine, Scott Wimmer, Paul Newman, Troy Welty, Al Bonnell, Red Tomlinson, Tony Nelson, Dave Pletcher
27 Taylor Cohen, Lake Speed, Jr., Jerry Robertson, Mike "Bubba" Hart, Gary Bradberry, George Follmer, Phil Good, Jerry Robertson
28 Bernece Wood, Phillipe Lopez, Jimmy Cox, David Green, Randy Renfrow, Mark DeMarco, Kenneth Lankford, Timothy Morgan, Chase Miller, Ray Chase, R.L. Combs, Robbie Robinson, Eddie MacDonald(GA), Jim Robinson
29 John Witske, Tommy Houston, Keegan Rice, Frank Mathalia, George Bush(NY), Bill Stickler, Frank Sessoms, Bob England, David Murry, Charlie Rudolph, Jeff Davis
30 Joe Falk, Rico Abreu, Wally Rogers, Wendy Venturini, Chad Boat, Andy Eversole, Don Cecchini, Ralph Zrimsek, Roy Hall, Al Smith, Norm Nelson
31 Kevin Patrick Dowd, Ed Samples, Brownie King, Shana Mayfield, Rick Wilson, Scott Lagasse Jr., Nolan Swift, Rex Hathcock, Tony Mullett, Jerick Johnson, Chris Winchell, Dub Utsman, Tommy Lane, Bobby Booth, G.T. Tallas
2017 News by Month