Race Coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, 2016.
Television (TV): FOX at 6:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 5:30 pm/et; green flag approx. 6:18pm/et
Race updates on JAYSKI.com's Twitter
Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
Monday, May 30 at 8:30am/et on FS1;
Tuesday, May 31 at 6:00am/et on FS1;
Tuesday, May 31 at 2:00pm/et on FS2
Charlotte Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, May 29: (eastern time)
5:20pm: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Intros
6:00pm: Presentation of Colors by "82nd Airborne Division Color Guard" from Fort Bragg.
6:00:20pm: Invocation by Frank Harrison
6:00:45pm: Amazing Grace by Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band
6:03:40pm: National Anthem: 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus
6:05pm: Flyover: Four F-15 Eagle fighter jets, Seymour Johnson AFB
6:09:30pm: Command to Start Engines: Retired General George W. Casey joined by 75 Service Members and USO Volunteers
6:18:30pm: Start of the Coca-Cola 600
eastern time (NASCAR.com)
Rain could be an issue for the Coca-Cola 600: Bands of showers and rough surf Saturday heralded the expected arrival Sunday of Tropical Storm Bonnie, which is expected to make landfall somewhere near Charleston. The system, which reached tropical storm status Saturday afternoon, is forecast to make a rainy mess of the first holiday weekend of the summer season.
Off-and-on rainfall will reach as far inland as Charlotte, meteorologists said, possibly throwing a wrench into plans to run the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race as scheduled Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. National Weather Service meteorologist Trisha Palmer summed up Sunday's weather for Charlotte this way: "In general, Sunday looks like a fairly rainy day." It could be late Monday before Bonnie moves offshore, at that point along the N.C. coast. Palmer of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said forecasters expect rain to reach the Charlotte region early Sunday and continue during the day. Palmer said, " 'Occasional' rain is probably a good description" for Sunday's weather in the Charlotte area.Earlier Saturday, forecasters said they thought the rain might move out of the Charlotte area by afternoon. But later data indicated precipitation probably will continue through the evening. That would put Sunday's running of the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in jeopardy, possibly forcing a postponement. Either way, forecasters expect drier conditions Monday, with only a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms and high temperatures in the mid 80s.(Charlotte Observer)
FORECASTS (as of 12:00pm/et) from the National Weather Service:
Sunday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 75. North northeast wind 8 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Sunday night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 1am, then a chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 64. North wind 6 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
AND from the Weather Channel:
Sunday: Cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 72F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.
Sunday night: Rain showers early will evolve into a more steady rain overnight. Thunder possible. Low 61F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
See weather links on the Charlotte Race Info page (5-29-2016)
Charlotte Race Notes & Facts:
ˇ There have been 114 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, two races per year since the track opened in 1960. In 1961, there were two 100-mile qualifying points races held the week before the May race. The first six fall races at Charlotte were 400-mile events (1960-65).
ˇ 532 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying race at Charlotte Motor Speedway; 382 in more than one.
ˇ A season sweep at Charlotte has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007.
ˇ Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Charlotte in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 18: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon (five), Darrell Waltrip (two), Ken Schrader (one), Terry Labonte (one), Casey Mears (one) and Kasey Kahne (one).
ˇ Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Charlotte; led by Chevrolet with 43 victories; followed by Ford (30), Dodge (15), Pontiac (8), Mercury (7), Buick (4), Plymouth (4) and Toyota (3).
ˇ Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the May 29, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Bobby Labonte with a MOV of 0.027 second.
ˇ There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but only once for the Coca-Cola 600 (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2005 (334/336), fall of 2007 (334/337) and the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 (400/402).
ˇ Five of the 114 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 won by David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing. Four of the five races shortened were the 600-mile events (1968, 1997, 2003 and 2009).
Martin Truex Jr. wins Charlotte pole: #78-Martin Truex Jr. won the Coors Light pole for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with speed of 192.328mph for his 2nd pole of 2016, 1st at Charlotte and 9th of his career. Truex Jr. has never won a race from the pole.
#22-Logano will start 2nd, followed by #17-Stenhouse Jr., #11-Hamlin, #2-Keselowski, #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #4-Harvick, #19-Edwards, #6-Bayne, #27-Menard and #24-Elliott.
#22-Logano was fastest in the first and second rounds and will start 2nd.
Since the maximum of 40 cars entered the race, everyone made the race.
See round-by-round qualifying results on the Charlotte qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Charlotte Starting Lineup page (pdf).(5-26-2016)
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #78-Truex Jr. chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole (2nd) #22-Logano took pit stall 2.
#17-Stenhouse Jr., who starts 3rd took the 21st pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening behind it, also an opening in front it.
The 41st and final pit stall was taken by #2-Keselowski, who starts 5th.
With three extra stalls, three have been closed: 20, 42, 43.
The teams of #48-Jimmie Johnson, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. & #43-Aric Almirola will lose their place in order for pit-stall selection - typically they choose in order of qualifying results - for receiving their fourth warning of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday. Teams get warnings for minor violations that cause them to fail opening-day, prequalifying or prerace measurements. Johnson would have picked seventh, Almirola would have picked 20th and Earnhardt would have picked 25th (ESPN), Pit Stall selections will be most likely be released and posted Saturday morning.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com's Pit Stall Selection chart.
Tommy Baldwin, Jr. Honors Family Friend and Comrades on Sunday: The NASCAR Modified roots run deep for Tommy Baldwin. Growing up on Long Island and working on his dad, Tom's car he forged many close relationships over the course of that era. Twelve years ago, Baldwin rekindled a friendship that dated back to his youth with a friend of his dad's. Several years later "Butch" Stevenin, an avid Modified fan, introduced his son Derek to Tommy. The younger Stevenin is a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps - serving five deployments in the three different Battalions over the past eight years. It was then when Baldwin dug deeper into the work of our military. "It's very eye-opening when you hear stories directly from those who serve our country," said Baldwin. "I've always had an appreciate of what our service men and women do, but Derek has brought me into the trenches with him. We really don't know how much our military sacrifices and what they endure to protect us. It's all very humbling." This Sunday, Stevenin will join the team for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But he makes clear that it isn't about him. "I'm so grateful that Tommy has chosen to honor 17 of my 'brothers' who lost their lives serving our country, said Stevenin. "These men were all-in. They gave their lives to protect our freedom. And while I'm grateful to be (at Charlotte Motor Speedway) and be with the team, I'm proud to have the opportunity to share the memories of my comrades. I can't thank Tommy and his entire team for what they're doing on behalf of our real heroes." The #7 Nikko RC/Toy State Chevy will carry the names of the fallen soldiers. Derek's name will appear above the passenger door."I'd have to say that in all the years I've been working in NASCAR, this Coca-Cola 600 is going to be the most special. I'm proud to know Derek and to have the opportunity to honor those who give selflessly to ensure our freedom. We should all take a little time to recognize that."(TBR/140Buzz)(5-29-2016)
Stenhouse Jr. to make his 125th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start: #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will make his 125th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the same track where he got his first NSCS start in 2011 driving the legendary #21 machine earning a respectable 11th - place finish as a rookie. With 14 races remaining before the NSCS Chase cut-off, Stenhouse is just a mere 10 points out of 16th place. "Charlotte has always been a special place to me," Stenhouse said. "In 2011, I got my first Sprint Cup start there in the famed #21. It was an honor to race for the Wood Brothers with their rich history in NASCAR. I earned my best finish of 11th here that year so hopefully we can improve this weekend and earn a top-10 finish." In his previous 124 NSCS starts, the two-time XFINITY champion earned his best career finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2014 finishing second behind former Roush Fenway teammate Carl Edwards after an unexpected caution came with two laps remaining followed by a rain shower.(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-26-2016)
Logano Looks For May Sweep at Charlotte: Although it didn't count for the standings, Joey Logano's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race win halted a rough patch of consecutive finishes outside the top 20: Talladega (25), Kansas (38) and Dover (22). Heading into Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Logano sits 10th on the Chase Grid, a comfortable 62 points ahead of Ryan Newman on the cutoff line, but a points-paying win would ensure him a spot in NASCAR's playoffs. Logano won the last race at Charlotte in the fall, leading 227-of-334 laps. His highest finish in the Coca-Cola 600 was a third-place showing in 2011. In 14 Charlotte starts, Logano claims one win, five top five and eight op 10s. If he wins on Sunday, Logano will become the eighth driver to win both the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010). A Ford driver has not won the Coca-Cola 600 since Mark Martin in 2002.(Team Penske)(5-29-2016)
Edwards Eyes Coca-Cola 600 Repeat: #19-Carl Edwards provided NASCAR fans with an abundance of firsts when he won the 2016 Coca-Cola 600. Edwards' victory was his first at the track, first driving a Toyota and first for Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards looks to defend his victory in Sunday's edition of NASCAR's marathon race.(NASCAR)(5-29-2016)
Back to Back winners of the Coca-Cola 600:
Jimmie Johnson (3 in a row), 2003-2005
Jeff Gordon, 1997-1998
Dale Earnhardt, 1992-1993
Darrell Waltrip, 1988-1989
Neil Bonnett, 1982-1983
Darrell Waltrip, 1978-1979
Buddy Baker, 1972-1973
Honda's McHale and Layton win 2016 Jim Chapman PR Award: T.E. McHale and Dan Layton, who represent Honda in its diverse auto racing programs including teams using Honda engines in Sunday's 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, Friday were announced as winners of the 2016 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. In addition, to mark what would have been Chapman's 100th birthday, a new permanent award was unveiled. It will be displayed in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's media center. The Chapman Award is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth and was named Indy Car racing's "most influential man" of the 1980s. Chapman died in 1996 at age 80. The announcement and presentation were made at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by Michael Knight, chairman of the selection committee, and one of Chapman's closest friends. The award is determined by a vote of national media members, most of who knew Chapman, and is authorized by the Chapman family. PR representatives from all forms of motorsports are eligible for consideration. The permanent Jim Chapman Award, unveiled by three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, who was captain of Chapman's PPG Pace Car Driving Team, features a classic photo of Jim wearing his favorite navy blue double-breasted blazer and the names of all the award recipients. Established in 1991 by media and publicists within the CART series, the Chapman Award originally focused on achievement in CART. After a hiatus of several years, the award was resumed in 2004, with eligibility expanded to anyone working in racing PR. Chapman, who was born in Macon, Georgia, started as sports editor or managing editor of several Southern newspapers before joining the New York Times. He entered the PR business in 1946, as regional PR director for Ford Motor Co. in Detroit.(SpinDoctor500)(5-29-2016)
Winners of both the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600:
2010-Kurt Busch - 11th in the Sprint Cup Championship
2008-Kasey Kahne - 15th in the Sprint Cup Championship
2003-Jimmie Johnson - 2nd in the Sprint Cup Championship
1997-Jeff Gordon - won the Sprint Cup Championship
1993-Dale Earnhardt - won the Sprint Cup Championship
1991-Davey Allison - came in 3rd in Drivers points
1985-Darrell Waltrip - won the Cup Championship [first year of all-star race]
Triple at Charlotte? Never done:
No driver has won the Coca-Cola 600, All-Star race & the fall race at Charlotte:
2010-Kurt Busch - finished 30th
2008-Kasey Kahne - 2nd
2003-Jimmie Johnson - 3rd
1997-Jeff Gordon - 5th
1993-Dale Earnhardt - 3rd
1991-Davey Allison - 2nd
1985-Darrell Waltrip - 4th
Drivers who led at 500-mile mark, and won the Coca-Cola 600:
Most laps led in 600-mile race win at Charlotte (modern era)
" Jimmie Johnson, 2004 -- 334
" Richard Petty, 1977 -- 311
" Rusty Wallace, 1990 -- 306
" Davey Allison, 1991 -- 263
" Kurt Busch, 2010 -- 252
Charlotte Driver Notes & Facts:
ˇ NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Charlotte with 64.
ˇ Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart lead all active drivers in NSCS starts at Charlotte with 33 each.
ˇ 65 drivers in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history have made their first series career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
ˇ Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5/30/99), Jimmie Johnson (10/7/01), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5/29/11), Brian Scott (10/12/13) and Kyle Larson (10/12/13).
ˇ Nine drivers have posted their first career NSCS win at Charlotte: David Pearson (5/28/1961), Buddy Baker (10/15/1967), Charlie Glotzbach (10/20/1968), Jeff Gordon (5/29/1994), Bobby Labonte (5/28/1995), Matt Kenseth (5/28/2000), Jamie McMurray (10/13/2002), Casey Mears (5/27/2007) and David Reutimann (5/25/2009).
ˇ Nine drivers have posted consecutive wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including three consecutive by NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964 and both 1965) and four-straight by Jimmie Johnson (2004 and 2005 sweeps).
ˇ Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte without visiting Victory Lane at 32; followed by Ryan Newman with 30.
ˇ Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Charlotte with nine. Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers with three each.
ˇ NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison are tied for the series most top-five finishes at Charlotte with 23 each. Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with 13; followed by Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth with 10 each.
ˇ Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Charlotte with 31. Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers with 17 each.
ˇ Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Charlotte with a 9.571.
ˇ Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Charlotte with 1,735 laps led in 29 starts.
ˇ Two female drivers have competed at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick. (NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes a side in family feud: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not happy with his stepmother - again. Earnhardt told Scott Fowler as part of an exclusive Charlotte Observer interview Thursday that he was siding with his half-brother over his stepmother in a legal dispute. The issue: Whether Kerry Earnhardt can use his last name to market homes that he and his wife Rene helped design as part of a series of houses to be built by Schumacher homes. "Obviously, I'm in support of my brother," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. Kerry Earnhardt plans to call the homes "The Earnhardt Collection." Teresa Earnhardt - Kerry and Dale's stepmother and the widow of Dale Earnhardt Sr. - doesn't want that name used because she believes it could be confused as an endorsement or sponsorship by the estate of her late husband. A legal fight has dragged on for several years about this. Teresa Earnhardt's lawyers recently filed an appeal in federal court after a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling denied Teresa Earnhardt's challenge to the "Earnhardt Collection" trademark applied for by Kerry Earnhardt. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that Kerry deserves to be able to use his own last name on the line of homes. "This is a business venture that he's put a lot of effort and heart and soul in that I think he deserves," Dale Jr. said of Kerry. "So in this particular case, I side with my brother and his belief to be able to use the name as is - without any alterations or changes."(See full article / interview at the Charlotte Observer)(5-28-2016)
Hope for the Warriors featured on the #83: Running a "We Salute You" paint scheme on his #83 Toyota at Charlotte, Matt DiBenedetto's Hope for Warriors paint scheme honors the memory of troops lost while serving our country. DiBenedetto and #23-David Ragan are honoring fallen soldiers on their cars. DiBenedetto will honor Cpl. Jared Verbeek and Ragan will honor Lt. Col. Paul K. Mikeal of Mooresville, NC. Family members of both soldiers will be guests of BK Racing on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 600-mile Sprint Cup Series race, where they will get the opportunity to see the special military-themed car up close, meet Ragan and DiBenedetto and participate in pre-race ceremonies with the BK Racing team (BK Racing), see images of the scheme on the #83 Team Schemes page (5-28-2016)
Chip Ganassi To Be Inducted Into The Motorsports Hall Of Fame Of America: Chip Ganassi, one of racing's most-successful car owners, will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) at the 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone on Wednesday, June 29 at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach. Ganassi is the only car owner to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Between February 2010 and January 2011, his drivers swept those four events, giving him an unprecedented "Grand Slam" of America's major auto races. Overall, his teams have won 18 championships and more than 170 races. His open-wheel teams have amassed 11 championships and more than 100 victories - including five in the Indianapolis 500. His NASCAR teams have 17 victories including a Daytona 500, and have twice qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. His sports car teams have a record six Rolex 24 at Daytona trophies to complement their seven Rolex Sports Car Series championships. Before becoming one of the most successful team owners in American racing history, Ganassi raced himself, competing in the Indianapolis 500 five times with a best finish of eighth in 1983. Ganassi joins Bob Sweikert, Everett Brashear, Richard Childress, Gary Gabelich, Dave McClelland and Sam Posey in the MSHFA class of 2016. Tickets for the 2016 Induction Ceremony can be purchased by calling 248.349.7223 or through the MSHFA website at www.mshf.com.(MSHFA)(5-28-2016)
E.J. Wade Construction to sponsor DiBenedetto at Pocono: BK Racing announced the re-signing of sponsor E.J. Wade Construction to a primary sponsorship on Matt DiBenedetto's #83 E.J. Wade Construction Toyota Camry in the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 at Pocono Raceway. The race on June 5, 2016 will be E.J. Wade Construction's second race with BK Racing, debuting at Richmond in April. E.J. Wade Construction is a Class A Contractor and a VDOT Prequalified Contractor that has highly trained professionals who have their tradesman licenses in electrical, plumbing, HVAC and gas fitting tradesman licenses. E.J. Wade Construction is a company that believes in quality, reliability, friendliness, and putting the concerns of the client first. "I'm excited to welcome E.J. Wade Construction back on our No.83 car at Pocono," said DiBenedetto. "Jeff and his team were great to work with at Richmond and we are really looking forward to Pocono." Also returning on the #83 is RMC Events, a premier event staffing company. This will be RMC Events second time as an associate sponsor with DiBenedetto and the #83 team, previously supporting the car at Richmond (BK Racing), see am image of the scheme on the #83 Team Schemes page (5-28-2016)
Charlotte Motor Speedway Welcomes First-Time Fans: Charlotte Motor Speedway is throwing out the red carpet for first-time race fans attending this weekend's activities surrounding the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Ticket inquiries have come from all 50 states, 25 countries and more than 4,100 cities. Among those inquiries are many first-time fans who have never witnessed the experience of a race here. First-time fans attending can stop by the information booth located outside the main frontstretch grandstand at Gate 4 and pick up a "First-Time Fan" info packet. The packets contain a fan guide, schedule, map and "First-Time Fan" souvenir magnet. Fans can also tweet about their experiences by using #FTF16 and see what other fans are doing. First-time fans can also take part in a driver Q&A session on Sunday, May 29 prior to the running of the Coca-Cola 600. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson will appear at the fan stage located in the Fan Zone from 2:45-3 p.m. on Sunday. Fans can purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shopping online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-28-2016)
Mark Martin to drive the pace car before Coke 600: NASCAR legend Mark Martin made numerous memories while racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the 2002 Coca-Cola 600 winner will make a triumphant return to the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway on Sunday when - to commemorate being inducted into the 2017 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame - Martin will drive the Toyota pace car prior to the green flag for the 57th running of the Coca-Cola 600. "When the speedway called to ask me if I'd do it, my first reaction was 'Hell, yeah!'" Martin said. "Originally I'd planned to be at Indy, but now I get to do the 'double' in a way, and I can say I'll be driving at Charlotte. Charlotte Motor Speedway was always my favorite race track. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of success there, including winning a Coke 600. Bruton and Marcus always put on a fabulous show, and this will be cool to lead the field to green in front of thousands of fans that I enjoyed racing for all those years." Martin will attend the start of the Indianapolis 500 before heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway for his pace-car driving duties. The Batesville, Arkansas, native won four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a career that spanned from 1981 to 2013. Martin also captured two NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race wins, in 1998 and 2005, and six NASCAR XFINITY Series victories at the speedway. Fans can purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shopping online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-27-2016)
Charlotte Track Notes & History:
ˇ Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in 1959.
ˇ The track's first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960 - won by Joe Lee Johnson.
ˇ The track was repaved midseason in 1994.
ˇ The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1999. It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season.
ˇ The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season. (NASCAR)
Elliott's throwback scheme for Darlington UPDATE: Chase Elliott will run a yellow and back NAPA Auto Parts scheme on the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in September. See an image of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page (5-20-2016)
UPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott revealed the yellow-and-black #24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Assurance of Quality Chevy that he will race in the Sept. 4 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway as part of the track's Southern 500 throwback weekend. The retro-themed paint scheme mimics a longstanding NAPA AUTO PARTS delivery truck. The design will feature a yellow hood and roof panel sporting NAPA AUTO PARTS' 1963 logo - the last version before the modern day yellow-and-blue design seen today. The logo introduced in 1963 was meant to remind customers that NAPA was nationwide and represented quality with knowledgeable employees - traits that still hold true today. The lower half of Elliott's Chevrolet is a sleek black with the current NAPA design emblazoned on the quarter panels as well as the deck lid next to a bright white No. 24 on the door panels. The rear television panel features the current logo design next to white script reading "90 Years Strong" as NAPA AUTO PARTS has been in business for over 90 years. The National Automotive Parts Association was formed in 1925.
"The yellow and black is based off of NAPA's old logo," Elliott comments as he unveiled the retro paint scheme. "The logo was actually on one of their delivery trucks in the 1960s and we modeled the entire paint scheme off of that truck. I think it turned out really good. I like it and I'm excited about running it in Darlington. I think we have a car that will certainly stand out, which is good."
The design is part of an overall throwback weekend at one of NASCAR's oldest venues. Built in 1949 by Harold Brasington, Darlington Raceway has hosted Sprint Cup races since 1950. The first Southern 500 at Darlington took place on Labor Day in 1950 courtesy of a deal made between Brasington and NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. More than 80 entrants showed up for the inaugural event. "We appreciate the support of our throwback program by Chase Elliott and Hendrick Motorsports," Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile said. "Chase's special paint scheme for the Bojangles' Southern 500 is one that fans won't want to miss on Labor Day weekend. We're so pleased that the teams, drivers and their partners have recognized the importance of celebrating the history of our sport at Darlington Raceway, one of the most iconic tracks on the circuit." The Tradition Continues on Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 is set for Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Hendrick Motorsports), see images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page (5-27-2016)
Larson closing in on first NASCAR Sprint Cup win: #42-Kyle Larson is close - and he knows it. Two weeks ago at Dover, he ran a near second to #20-Matt Kenseth in the AAA 400, dogging the race winner to the finish line on the final green-flag run. Last Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Larson had the lead in the $1-million-to-the-winner NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, only to be passed by Joey Logano with fewer than two laps left. But after a star-crossed sophomore season in 2015, when he finished 19th in the standings and took a backward step from his rookie campaign, Larson has plenty of reason to be encouraged by his recent performances. And there's no place he'd rather make his first visit to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series than Charlotte Motor Speedway, host venue for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. "It would mean a lot," Larson said on Thursday at CMS. "It would mean a lot to get it anywhere, but especially here at Charlotte, close to home. Friends and family and all sorts of people are here. All the teams' families are here. it just means a lot when you can win in your hometown or for the race shop and all that. We've been rolling good the last few weeks. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going. Our car has been getting a lot faster. Everybody at the shop has been working really hard all year long. We started the year off not great, but everybody stayed positive and kept digging. Lately, we've been bringing really good stuff to the track." Because of his strong performance in the All-Star Race, Larson knows he'll have to buck a trend to win NASCAR's longest event. "It'll be tough - the 600 is a really tough race," he said. "A lot of the times I've seen drivers in the past that run well in the All-Star race don't run well at the 600. Hopefully, that's not the case this week, but we're going to work really hard to try and have a good run. Hopefully, it all works out."
(NASCAR Wire Service)
Drivers with the most 2nd place finishes before winning a Cup race:
James Hylton had 12 second place finishes, won in his 187th race, at Richmond in 1970
Harry Gant had 10, won in his 107th race, at Martinsville in 1982
Sterling Marlin had 9, won in his 248th race, at Daytona in 1994
Bill Elliott had 8, won in his 116th race, at Riverside [CA] in 1983.
Lennie Pond had 7, won in his 130th race, at Talladega in 1978.
Kahne had 6, won in his 47th race, at Richmond on 5/14/2005.
Kyle Larson has four 2nd place finishes in 87 races, has not yet won.(5-27-2016)
Mears to run GEICO Military scheme at Coke 600: For the second season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers won't have their names on the windshields of their racecars in the longest race on the schedule. Instead, for 600 miles of racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Casey Mears' #13 GEICO Military Chevrolet SS will bear the name of Spc. Christopher Wright. This U.S. Army Ranger fell in service to our nation on assignment in Afghanistan. The #13 GEICO Military Chevy will be featured at Charlotte, the second of four weekends that Germain Racing's #13 is scheduled to display the GEICO Military paint scheme.(Germain Racing / GEICO Racing), see images of the car on the #13 team paint schemes page.(5-27-2016)
Box of Chocolates help mend fences between Edwards and Busch: Joe Gibbs Racing driver #19-Carl Edwards was made available to the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and one of the questions was:
Q) How did the photo come about with you and Kyle Busch with the box of chocolate after the Richmond incident?
Edwards: "Richmond, we pushed it right to the limit, as hard as I could race a teammate and Mars does a really neat thing for the winners of a race. If you win the race, Mars sends you a really neat box of chocolates. So at the shop the next week, Kyle (Busch) and I got together, we had a meeting and it was kind of a tough meeting, but we left on decent enough terms and Randy (Fuller, PR) gave me this box of chocolates and it's 'Congratulations on the Toyota Owners 400 win from Mars.' I don't know if that might have got sent before they stopped it or what, but I thought it was really cool of them to send that and I saw Kyle across the shop and I thought, 'Man, I have to ask him to sign it.' That's where that picture that we put up on Twitter and all that. I thought it was pretty cool. We somewhat made peace over chocolate so that's pretty good."(Toyota Racing)(5-27-2016)
Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing: updates to Camp95: In preparation for the second annual CAMP95, in which high school students will learn about the depth of careers in NASCAR, Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) is pleased to announce the following updates for the June 28-29 session: Alan Cavanna will emcee the event and moderate the panels and guest Q&A's. The two-day line-up currently includes interviews with NASCAR drivers Michael McDowell and Ty Dillon, a Pit Crew demonstration, PR & Social Media panel, a discussion with an ECR engine specialist, inside look at race team operations and a sponsorship session. Wingate by Wyndham in Concord, N.C. will have a special rate for CAMP95 attendees and their families, offering a discounted rate for a double-bed room. The Checkered Flag Crew, comprised of 14-year-old NASCAR enthusiasts, will be on-site to interview speakers and campers and bring insight to the experience across their social media platforms, as well as "taking over" the CSLFR race team channels for the event. Queen City Q, a favorite Charlotte restaurant serving North & South Carolina-style BBQ, will provide meals both days of the camp. Students interested in attending can fill out the application at cslfr95.com/camp95. Applications are due on Monday, May 30 and only 25 campers will be chosen to participate.(CSLFR)(5-27-2016)
NASCAR teams join forces with Hope For The Warriors: Several NASCAR teams and drivers will join Hope For the Warriors this Memorial Day weekend to honor several fallen service members during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. With the NASCAR Salutes initiative driving a patriotic theme for the weekend, Hope For The Warriors has capitalized on its relationships within the NASCAR garage to let several Gold Star families know that their loved ones are still remembered this Memorial Day weekend. The initiative incorporates drivers from Richard Childress Racing, BK Racing and Front Row Motorsports, who have partnered with Hope For The Warriors, to not only honor the fallen service members, but also to host the Gold Star families at Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. The Gold Star families will gather for a private dinner on Saturday night before heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday morning. On race day, Newman, Buescher, DiBenedetto and David Ragan have each agreed to do private meet and greets with the group. The families will have an opportunity to attend the drivers meeting and pose for photos with the drivers and cars while lined up on the grid during prerace. On a near weekly basis, Hope For The Warriors brings service members to the track through their Drive For Hope program, which focuses on engaging transitioning service members in a unique social setting while giving them an opportunity to learn about prospective careers, make networking connections and realize different ways their skills can transition as they reintegrate into the civilian sector.(PR)(5-27-2016)
Record-Setting Night for Speedway Children's Charities' Gala: On Wednesday, the biggest stars in the NASCAR industry came together for the 36th annual Sonic Automotive Speedway Children's Charities' Gala presented by The NRA Teach Freedom Foundation. The fundraising event, which attracted 450 attendees, generated more than $800,000 through table sponsorships and live and silent auctions. Held at the Ritz-Carlton in uptown Charlotte, the black-tie dinner and auction was hosted by NBC's Krista Voda, with entertainment provided by GRAMMY award-winning musician Darius Rucker and special honors bestowed upon NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart. The night was designed to honor philanthropist Tony Stewart, who is competing in his final season as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. Stewart is an accomplished driver with a total of 12 championships to his credit, including three titles in the elite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition to being one of the top drivers in the world, Stewart is also a successful businessman, owning race teams and race tracks. Stewart has still taken the time to help raise more than $1 million for Speedway Children's Charities over the years. Last year, the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities granted almost $750,000 to 77 deserving charities in the Charlotte region.(CMS)(5-27-2016)
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Returns To Pocono Raceway, needs fans: Nathan's Famous will return to Pocono Raceway this summer to hold a regional qualifying event for the annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest held on July 4 in Coney Island, N.Y. Pocono Raceway fans are encouraged to sign-up to compete. One male and one female winner will earn a seat at Coney Island to challenge defending champions Matt Stonie and Miki Sudo. The Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier will be held Sunday, June 5 at 11 a.m. in Fan Fare 2 behind the grandstands on the Nathan's Famous stage. The winner of the qualifier, one of 13 being held across the country, will gain entry to the annual finals at Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y., on July 4. More info at poconoraceway.com. Tickets for all races are now on sale at www.poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY.(Pocono Raceway)(5-27-2016)
Sad News - Bernie Fletcher: Bernard "Bernie" William Fletcher Jr of St Augustine FL passed away in Baldwin GA on May 21, 2016 at the age of 87. Bernie was born in Clarion PA and resided in DuBois PA in his early years. Bernie enjoyed automobile racing and NASCAR in particular. In the mid 1950's Bernie worked as crew member for the late Walt Chapman on one of the Fabulous Hornets with late driver Dick Rathmann. Bernie was active in the automobile business having begun his career as a wash boy at age 15 and having worked for or managed with several dealerships and owned various used car lots and rental businesses in St. Augustine. Service, donation and guest book info at whitfieldfuneralhomes.com (5-27-2016)
#2 Lite throwback scheme unveiled: Brad Keselowski unveiled the Darlington Raceway throwback scheme for the #2 Lite Ford, which is based on the original 1972 Miller Lite can (Team Penske Facebook), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(5-26-2016)
Rules changes for Kentucky, Michigan races: Changes to the rear spoiler, front splitter and rear deck fin will be put into play for two upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as the sanctioning body continues to reduce aerodynamic downforce and sideforce in an effort to promote closer competition on the race track. The changes, announced Thursday morning, will be in effect only for upcoming races at Michigan in June and Kentucky in July and are in addition to previous adjustments made by the officials in recent weeks. Initial moves implemented before the start of the season combined with a Goodyear tire matched more closely to the lower downforce package have resulted in closer competition through the season's first 12 races.
Why more chnages? "I think we look at it as a never-ending journey; if we can improve we're going to do that," Steve O'Donnell, executive vice president of competition and chief racing development officer said. "We wanted to go the direction of low downforce, see how that worked, not kind of go all the way in and hope that we are directionally right. And we are seeing that play out. We've seen some great racing at the beginning of the year. But we also knew that we had some more levers that we could pull if the direction kind of proved out, so we've tried some of those things. We've tested it and what we've also wanted to do is lower some of the corner speeds to allow for even more passing. That was one of the areas where we've seen minimal change, but there are some levers we can pull to really drive that down."
The changes for those races consist of a reduction in spoiler height from 3.5 inches to 2.5 inches, a splitter reduction of two inches and a re-sizing of the rear deck fin to complement the spoiler change. Beginning with this year's race at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR required teams to weld truck arm mounts; for the recently completed Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, downforce-generating electric fans were removed and the rear toe alignment was reset to zero to reduce sideforce. The changes to truck arm mounts and fans are to remain in place for the remainder of the 2016 season. The rear toe adjustment was initially only in play for the All-Star event but now will be incorporated into the June Michigan and July Kentucky races. Downforce is the pressure created across the surface of a vehicle at speed. Likewise, sideforce is generated by the flow of air along the sides of the vehicle.
O'Donnell said limiting the latest changes to two upcoming races is beneficial in two ways: Teams have spent plenty of time in development of setups with the initial base package and that information will still be relevant; and focusing on two tracks will give teams and officials much-needed information as they look ahead to 2017. "We have worked collectively on some directions we want to go in, but to do that right we think the final step is to let that play out on one or two tracks," he said. "And these are the two -- Kentucky and Michigan -- that we've played out and let the teams concentrate really on what they've done to prepare for the year. We think that's manageable and that'll give us enough data to look at for 2017."(NASCAR)(5-26-2016)
NASCAR Partners with Steven Soderbergh on Heist-Themed Film Project: NASCAR is collaborating with Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh on a feature film entitled Logan Lucky, starring Channing Tatum alongside Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Adam Driver and Seth MacFarlane. Depicting a theoretical heist at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the project will mark Soderbergh's first feature film since announcing his retirement from the film industry in 2013. Soderbergh, who also directed heist film Ocean's Eleven, is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed Traffic and Erin Brockovich, which garnered him two Oscar nominations and the accolade of Best Director.
This will not be Tatum's first experience working with NASCAR or Soderbergh. He and 22 Jump Street co-star Jonah Hill served as grand marshals for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 in 2014, while Tatum and Soderbergh previously teamed up for the Magic Mike films, Haywire and the 2013 thriller Side Effects, which was the most recent film project led by the acclaimed director.
"We are excited to work with Steven, Channing and all of Logan Lucky's incredible cast and producers," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "It's a big-hearted, fun story that showcases NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway as the world-class sports entertainment property and venue that they are, much like the Bellagio in Steven's Ocean's Eleven."
Logan Lucky is tentatively scheduled for release in Fall 2017. Mark Johnson, Gregory Jacobs and Reid Carolin are producing. Zane Stoddard is executive producing for NASCAR. Pre-production filming will begin this weekend at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600.(NASCAR)(5-26-2016)
All-Star Race TV Ratings UPDATE: The 2016 NASCAR All-Star Race earned a 1.7 overnight rating on Fox Sports 1 Saturday night, down 19% from last year (2.1) and even with 2014. The 1.7 is tied as the lowest for the race in at least four years (complete overnights prior to 2013 were not available). The All-Star Race ranks as the lowest rated Sprint Cup telecast of the season in the metered markets, falling below the previous mark set by Kansas two weeks earlier (1.8). No other race has dipped below the 2.0 mark. As is usually the case, NASCAR's All-Star event pales in comparison to those in other sports. The NBA All-Star Game had a 5.4 in February, the NFL Pro Bowl had a 5.0 in January, and the MLB All-Star Game had a 7.8 last July. The race did top the NHL All-Star Game, which had a 1.2.(Sports Media Watch / ShowBuzz Daily) see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(5-24-2016)
UPDATE: The 2016 NASCAR All-Star Race had a 2.0 final rating and 3.291 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 Saturday night, down 5% in ratings and 14% in viewership from last year (2.1, 3.8M) and down 9% and 5%, respectively, from 2014 (2.2, 3.5M). The 2.0 rating is the lowest for the All-Star Race since at least 1999, falling below the previous mark set last year. Viewership was also the lowest in at least ten years. Head-to-head, it trailed the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals on ESPN (3.3, 5.5M) but not the NHL conference finals on NBC (1.4, 2.3M) and - notably - Major League Baseball on the FOX broadcast network (1.4, 2.2M).(Sports Media Watch / Programming Insider)(5-26-2016)
R-W-B M&M's for the #18 at Charlotte: On this Memorial Day weekend, Kyle Busch will sport a special #18 Red, White and Blue M&M'S Toyota promoting M&M'S partnership with Operation Gratitude and Walmart. For a limited time, fans can buy the Red, White and Blue M&M'S exclusively at Walmart. M&M'S candies were created 75 years ago as rations for our troops. During this year's promotion, for every bag purchased by a consumer, one bag will be sent to our American troops abroad. Fans can also show their support for our troops on social media with #CelebrateWithM. More can be learned about the program at www.myconfectioncorner.com. The Coca-Cola 600 would be special because the event is at what Busch often says is his favorite racetrack. He has come close to winning a Sprint Cup event at Charlotte, but he's yet to carry home a coveted Sprint Cup trophy from the track that is home to a majority of the NASCAR teams and is just around the corner from where Busch now lives in Mooresville, NC. Continuing the sport's longstanding tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces, all 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will bear the name of a fallen service member on their racecar windshields during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Busch's #18 Red, White and Blue M&M'S Toyota will feature U.S. Army PFC Robert Stephan Underwood, who hailed from O'Fallon, Missouri, on the windshield for Sunday evening's race (JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(5-26-2016)
Danica Patrick to run a camo scheme in Coke 600: This Memorial Day weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the #10 Nature's Bakery Chevy of Danica Patrick will feature a special camouflage paint scheme in honor of the men and women who have died in military service for the United States. While Sunday is a special day in the motorsports world, in Charlotte the focus will instead be on those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our country and our freedom. For the second consecutive year, the NASCAR community will come together to honor fallen U.S. Armed Forces members with "600 Miles of Remembrance" in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. As part of that tribute, this weekend the #10 Nature's Bakery Chevy team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is honoring Lance Corporal Benito Ramirez, who died May 21, 2006 in the Anbar Province of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ramirez's name will be featured in place of Patrick's on the windshield header of the team's car. Patrick's comments: "I think it's very fitting that Nature's Bakery decided to go with a special camouflage scheme on Memorial Day weekend to pay tribute to the men and women who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. They are true heroes. We're also honoring a 21-year-old Marine, Lance Corporal Benito Ramirez, who was killed in combat in 2006. He has direct ties to the Nature's Bakery family, so I know it means a lot to everyone at Nature's Bakery to have him featured on the car. And I know I speak for everyone on the #10 team when I say it is an honor to have his name on the car, as well."(SHR), see images of the car on the #10 team paint schemes page.(5-26-2016)
Buescher, CSX Honor Memory of U.S. Marine Killed in Iraq: On Memorial Day weekend, Chris Buescher and sponsor CSX will race in the name of a U.S. Marine killed while on patrol during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The #34 Ford will pay tribute to SSgt. Eric McIntosh, a 29-year-old Infantry Unit Leader who died conducting combat operations in Iraq in 2006. SSgt. McIntosh's name will be displayed across the top of the windshield of Buescher's #34 for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte as part of NASCAR's tribute to America's fallen military. SSgt. McIntosh was one month into his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Anbar province. He was survived by his wife, mother, sister and brother. CSX has a proud history of service in hiring individuals with military experience to operate the nation's largest eastern railroad. One in five CSX employees has served in the armed forces, and the railroad was presented the GI Jobs Most Military Friendly 2015 and ESGR Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Freedom Award. Additionally, CSX donated 200 grandstand tickets to the Charlotte Motor Speedway "Let the Troops Race" program so active military members can watch the race in person (Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(5-26-2016)
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Charlotte:
#48-Jimmie Johnson........................ 109.0
#18-Kyle Busch............................... 106.1
#5-Kasey Kahne.............................. 97.4
#20-Matt Kenseth.............................. 95.5
#11-Denny Hamlin............................. 94.9
#22-Joey Logano.............................. 93.6
#19-Carl Edwards.............................. 90.8
#16-Greg Biffle.................................. 88.0
#2-Brad Keselowski......................... 87.8
#4-Kevin Harvick.............................. 87.7
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)
Toy State and Go Baby Go Host Annual Charlotte Workshop: Toy State, a toy industry leader and innovator, has once again pledged its support to helping children with mobility issues. Today, along with Tommy Baldwin Racing, Toy State hosted their 4th Go Baby Go workshop over the last 12 months and the second in Charlotte. Today's workshop took place in Mooresville, NC at the Tommy Baldwin Racing shop. Toy State provided ten area children with a ride-on car that was outfitted to model the #7 Nikko RC / Toy State car driven by Regan Smith on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. Smith along with fellow NASCAR drivers Kasey Kahne, Michael McDowell and Ryan Preece were in attendance along with other members of the NASCAR community. Toy State is currently in the middle of a 14-race partnership with TBR as the primary sponsor of the #7 car. For more information about how you can get involved in Go Baby Go visit the University of Delaware's GoBabyGo website, udel.edu/gobabygo/. The site includes contact information for program affiliates across the United States and around the world, as well as information about how to bring a car-modifying workshop to your area.(140Buzz)(5-26-2016)
IMS announces spectacular holiday event: 'Lights at the Brickyard' coming in 2016: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will bring new levels of cheer to this holiday season with a spectacular "Lights at the Brickyard" seasonal event. Attendees will experience more than 40 scenes filled with 400 light displays along a 1.7-mile driving experience, which includes crossing the famous "Yard of Bricks" at IMS. In addition to the Lights at the Brickyard driving experience, other out-of-car holiday festivities and attractions will be offered for families to complete their adventure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dates are subject to change, but the event is tentatively scheduled to run from Nov. 18-Dec. 31. Exhibits will include festive holiday celebrations as well as racing-themed installations throughout the iconic venue. IMS has partnered with Winterland Inc., an international leader in holiday light installations and events to deliver the thrilling experience. Early-bird tickets will start at just $20 per car and will be available at a later date on www.IMS.com, or by calling the IMS ticket office. A $40 early-bird pass will provide expedited passage into the event. Prices will eventually increase to $30 and $60 for each.(IMS)(5-26-2016)
Five Legends Unveiled as 2017 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class: NASCAR announced the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The five-person group - the eighth since the inception of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 - consists of Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons. In addition, NASCAR announced that Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session at the Charlotte Convention Center to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2017 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton announced the class and Landmark Award winner, respectively, this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Great Hall."
The Class of 2017 was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, including representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders, a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com and, for the third year, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion (Kyle Busch). In all, 54 votes were cast, with four additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Ricky Rudd, Robert Yates, Waddell Wilson and Ken Squier). The accounting firm of EY presided over the tabulation of the votes.
Voting was as follows: Benny Parsons (85%), Rick Hendrick (62%), Mark Martin (57%), Raymond Parks (53%) and Richard Childress (43%).
The next top vote-getters were Robert Yates, Red Byron and Alan Kulwicki.
Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Buddy Baker, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Benny Parsons and Larry Phillips.
The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Ron Hornaday Jr., Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Larry Phillips, Jack Roush, Ricky Rudd, Ken Squier, Mike Stefanik, Waddell Wilson and Robert Yates. Nominees for the Landmark Award included Earles, Janet Guthrie, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier.
Class of 2017 Inductees:
Long before he became one of the preeminent car owners in NASCAR history, Richard Childress was a race car driver with limited means. Childress, the consummate self-made racer, was respectable behind the wheel. Between 1969-81 he had six top-five finishes and 76 top 10s in 285 starts, finishing fifth in the NASCAR premier series standings in 1975. Having formed Richard Childress Racing in 1972, Childress retired from driving in 1981. He owned the cars that NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt drove to six championships and 67 wins between 1984-2000. In addition to Earnhardt's championships, Childress drivers have given him five others. Childress was the first NASCAR owner to win owner championships in all three of NASCAR's national series, and his 11 owner titles are second all time. Childress also owned the vehicles driven by NASCAR XFINITY Series driver champions Clint Bowyer (2008) and Austin Dillon (2013), as the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver champion Austin Dillon.
The founder and owner of Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick's organization is recognized as one of NASCAR's most successful. Hendrick Motorsports owns an all-time record 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner championship titles - six with Jimmie Johnson, four with Jeff Gordon and one with NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte. Hendrick also has 14 total NASCAR national series owner championships, most in NASCAR history. Gordon and Labonte combined to win four consecutive titles from 1995-98. In 2010, Johnson won a record-extending fifth consecutive championship. Hendrick also owned the car driven by 2003 NASCAR XFINITY Series driver champion Brian Vickers. Hendrick's 242 owner wins in the premier series rank second all-time.
He is often described as the "greatest driver to never to win a championship," but Mark Martin's legendary career is so much more than that. He came incredibly close to that elusive title many times - finishing second in the championship standings five times. Over the course of his 31-year premier series career, Martin compiled 40 wins (17th all time) and 56 poles (seventh all time). Martin saw success at every level of NASCAR. He won 49 times in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, holding the series wins record for 14 years. He retired with 96 wins across NASCAR's three national series, seventh on the all-time list. In 1998, Martin was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.
Raymond Parks is one of stock-car racing's earliest - and most successful - team owners. Funded by successful business and real estate ventures in Atlanta, Parks began his career as a stock-car owner in 1938 with drivers Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall. His pairing with another Atlantan, mechanic Red Vogt, produced equipment good enough to dominate the sport in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Red Byron won the first NASCAR title (modified, 1948) and first premier series title (1949) in a Parks-owned car. Parks' team produced two premier series wins, two poles, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 18 events.
Benny Parsons won the 1973 NASCAR premier series championship and could be called an everyman champion: winning enough to be called one of the sport's stars but nearly always finishing well when he wasn't able to reach Victory Lane. He won 21 times in 526 career starts but finished among the top 10 283 times - a 54 percent ratio. One of Parsons' biggest victories came in the 1975 Daytona 500. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Parsons also was known as a voice of the sport making a seamless transition to television following his NASCAR career. He was a commentator for NBC and TNT until his passing in 2007, at the age of 65.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
H. Clay Earles
One of the original pioneers of stock car auto racing, H. Clay Earles played an integral role in the early years of NASCAR's development. Earles built and opened Martinsville Speedway in 1947, and the short track remains the only facility to host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races every year since the series' inception in 1949. The speedway held its first race on Sept. 7, 1947 - three months before the creation of NASCAR. That initial race drew more than 6,000 fans to the track, which had just 750 seats ready. In 1964, Earles decided it was time for a "different" type of trophy for his race winners. He gave winners grandfather clocks, a tradition that continues today.(NASCAR)(5-25-2016
NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 announced UPDATE: The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and winner of the 2017 Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, May 25th at 5:00pm/et following a vote by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel. The five NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees will be selected from the list of 20 nominees, and the third Landmark Award recipient will be chosen from the list of five nominees. The announcement will air live on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NASCAR.com and MRN.com.(NHOF), more info on the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the list of the nominees on Jayski.com's NASCAR Hall of Fame page (5-23-2016)
UPDATE: 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class was announced Wednesday afternoon:
Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition
Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
The Landmark Award winner is H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
Cassill to run patriotic scheme at CMS: Landon Cassill's #38 MDS Transport Ford will run a patriotic paint scheme for the Memorial Day weekend race, promoting the transportation company's support for the U.S. military. Cassill's #38 team will pay tribute to a fallen soldier with a Front Row Motorsports family connection for the Memorial Day weekend Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Cassill's MDS Transport Ford will carry the windshield name decal of Pvt. Earl Platt, a World World I Army infantryman who fought in two of the Great War's biggest battles before dying from the effects of mustard gas poisoning. Pvt. Platt was the great uncle of Gwen Bartley, the wife of Front Row Motorsports suspension mechanic and U.S. Air Force veteran Kurt Bartley.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #38 team paint schemes page.(5-25-2016)
Charlotte Goodyear Tire Notes: All Goodyear tires run this week will be branded with "Support Our Troops" instead of the customary "Eagle" . . . teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run completely different tire set-ups at Charlotte . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that debuted for Sprint Cup teams at the Sprint Showdown/All-Star event at Charlotte last week . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Charlotte on March 8-9 . . . drivers participating in that test were Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Brian Scott and Martin Truex Jr. . . . compared to what was run at Charlotte last year, both of these tires have an updated construction to bring them into line with what is run at other speedways . . . this left-side code features a compound change for more grip . . . this right-side code is a single tread compound tire which offers more grip than either of the two compounds run on Goodyear's multi-zone tread tire run at Charlotte last year . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Goodyear's "Wingfoot One" will be in the skies over Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend . . . this ship is based out of Pompano Beach, Fla. . . . Wingfoot One will provide aerial coverage for Fox Sports for both the NASCAR Xfinity and Sprint Cup races.(Goodyear Racing), see tire codes, set limits, pressures and more on the Charlotte Race Info page
Roush Fenway Racing Announces Multi-Year Extension with Fastenal: Roush Fenway Racing has secured a multi-year partnership extension with primary partner the Fastenal Company that will continue Fastenal's position as the anchor partner of the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team and driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. As part of the extension, Fastenal will also increase the number of its primary races in 2017 and beyond. "We are really excited to announce that Fastenal will remain the anchor partner of the #17 team for years to come," said driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. "Fastenal is a first-class organization with values that align completely with myself and this race team. We've seen a lot of improvement across the board this year. We are very happy that Fastenal will continue to be a part of the momentum at Roush Fenway. There has been a lot of hard work and effort put into this team and our goal and expectation is to reward Fastenal with a trip to victory lane and the Chase in the near future." Fastenal is currently in its fifth season as a primary partner in Roush Fenway's Sprint Cup stable, and its second full season as the anchor partner on Stenhouse's #17 Ford Fusion.
"To have a company of the caliber of Fastenal recognize the long-term value of a partnership with Roush Fenway, Ricky and the #17 team is gratifying for our entire organization," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "During our relationship, Fastenal has created and implemented a robust and impactful motorsports marketing program, and we are thrilled to have Fastenal continue to be a key part of the Roush Fenway family now and in the future." Fastenal, which boasts 2,600 stores nationwide, first joined Roush Fenway as a primary partner in 2010 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
"We are truly looking forward to continuing our partnership with Roush Fenway Racing as the anchor sponsor of the #17," said Fastenal President and CEO Dan Florness. "Ricky has done an excellent job representing our brand - both on and off the track - and we are extremely proud of the relationship we have built with Ricky, Jack Roush and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing. Extending our partnership reflects our belief in Roush Fenway Racing. The NASCAR program has helped us grow our business and excite our employees, and we feel a strong connection with the NASCAR community and fan base."(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-25-2016)
RPM & U.S. Air Force Partner for 600 Miles of Remembrance: Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.S. Air Force are once again partnering for NASCAR's 600 Miles of Remembrance program on Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Air Force Ford, will race in memory of fallen U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley with his name featured on the windshield header. A long-time partner with the military branch, Richard Petty Motorsports will feature a U.S. Air Force primary paint scheme on the #43 Ford for the Coca-Cola 600. This will be the first of two race weekends of primary sponsorship for the U.S. Air Force in the 2016 season [the other is Phoenix in November]. Almirola, born on Eglin Air Force Base, is deeply connected to the U.S. Air Force and understands the sacrifices made by military members and their families.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(5-25-2016)
Lee's Café to be featured on the #3 at CMS UPDATE: A logo from Lee's Café will be featured on a race car during a NASCAR race on May 29. Lee's East Rowan Café, at 203 W. Main St., Rockwell, NC, won a General Mills drawing to feature their logo on the upper quarter panel of the #3 race car driven by Austin Dillon during the Coca-Cola 600 race in Charlotte. The "Lee" of Lee's Café was Sarah Bickish's brother. Bickish said she got involved in the business to help her brother in 2012 and took over in 2013 when he passed away from cancer. Bickish greets many of her customers by name and prides herself on offering fresh, homemade food, like the hand-cut pork loin, charbroiled, flatiron Black Angus steak, potato salad and baked spaghetti. Bickish said Lee's Café usually wins something at the show every year. General Mills sponsored a drawing that offered a "VIP NASCAR Experience," with three prize packages available to the 350 restaurants at the show. When the final prizes were being announced, Bickish said Paul Hager, the restaurant's manager who was also at the show, said he realized the Café had not won anything all day. Lee's Café ended up winning the grand prize package. The value of the package is more than $210,000. Along with Lee Café's logo on both sides of the car, the package also includes pre-race passes, all-access passes, a meet and greet with Austin Dillon and the pit crew, pictures with Dillon and the car, VIP clubhouse seats, a 2-night hotel stay, a hospitality suite and a track tour. All transportation is provided and they will also receive food and beverage vouchers. The Lee Café's logo will be against a red background with the restaurant's name printed in white. The upper corners of the logo will each feature a black stallion.(Salisbury Post), see images of the car on the #3 Team Schemes page (5-20-2016)
UPDATE - Dillon to run Cheerios colors at Charlotte: Austin Dillon continues a long-standing Richard Childress Racing tradition this weekend by carrying General Mills' Cheerios brand on the #3 Chevy in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. General Mills has been an active sponsor in motorsports for more than 15 years. Both Dillon brothers made their Daytona 500 debut with General Mills, with Austin in the Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet in 2013 and Ty in the Cheerios Chevrolet in 2015. In 2016, Cheerios is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The cereal debuted as "Cheerioats" in 1941. Dillon and the #3 Cheerios team will participate in 600 Miles of Remembrance on Memorial Day Weekend. Dillon's name will be replaced on his race car windshield header with the name of a fallen military service member for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The #3 team will feature Navy SEAL Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer Mark "Badger" Carter, who was killed in action in Balad, Iraq on December 11, 2007. There is a Crossfit "Heroes" workout named after Badger that Dillon and several RCR team members have completed in Carter's honor.(RCR), see images of the car on the #3 team paint schemes page.(5-25-2016)
Evernham restores Mario Andretti rookie car: Ray Evernham made his name in NASCAR, but this week, he's got the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on his mind. At the Brickyard, Evernham will have a very special car that he restored himself and owns: The Brawner Hawk Ford Indy car that Mario Andretti drove to a third-place finish and Rookie of the Year honors in the '65 Indy 500, as well as the 1965 USAC National Championship. Evernham restored the car to such a high standard that at the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, the Brawner Hawk won Best in Class -- Race Cars (1961-1967) and the Phil Hill Restorer's Award, "which is an award created to honor the artisan whose restoration of a classic, antique, historic or competition car is judged the best new restoration in its first concours appearance." And at the Brickyard, Andretti himself will be behind the wheel of the Brawner Hawk in a parade of 33 vintage cars that will pace the field.(full story at FoxSports)(5-25-2016)
Cup crew member suspended 2nd time for violating substance abuse policy: A crew member in the Sprint Cup Series has been indefinitely suspended a second time in his career for violation of NASCAR's substance abuse policy. Kelly Johnson, who most recently worked as a jackman with Tommy Baldwin Racing (#7 Chevy), was indefinitely suspended Tuesday for violation of NASCAR's substance abuse policy. It's his second violation in less than two years. Johnson was indefinitely suspended for violation of the policy in November 2014 and reinstated in January 2015 after completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program.(Motorsport)(5-25-2016)
Pocono Raceway To Honor A Hero: Pocono Raceway will honor a hero during its July NASCAR Race, CEO & President Brandon Igdalsky announced today. The six-week competition will culminate with a $5,000 prize being presented to the chosen hero at pre-race driver introductions on Sunday, July 31. Submissions are now being accepted to nominate a hero and fans will have a say in who is honored as the winner. All fans are eligible to nominate who they believe is a hero, whether it be a volunteer, active community service member, someone who has overcome hardship or someone you think is deserving. Top consideration will be given to those heroes who are aligned with Pocono Raceway's core values of Integrity, Respect, Service, Sustainability, Growth and Community. On-line nominations will be accepted until July 5, 2016 at poconoraceway.com/hero.html. There is a 500-word limit for nominations. Members of the Pocono Fan Council, with input from Pocono Raceway, will select three finalists who will be invited to 'The Tricky Triangle' July 30-31 for the Pennsylvania 400. Fans will then have the chance to vote for who they believe should be the winner during an on-line voting period. The three finalists will be invited to Pocono Raceway and be featured at the track on Saturday. The winner will be announced on Saturday and presented a $5,000 check during driver introductions on Sunday. The selected Hero will then participate in a full slate of activities prior to and during the Pennsylvania 400. Tickets for all races are now on sale at poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY.(Pocono Raceway)(5-25-2016)
Marty Snider's son wins ARCA race in debut: Son of NBC NASCAR announcer Marty Snider, 21-year-old Myatt Snider made his ARCA Racing Series race at Toledo Speedway last Sunday. Starting the #22 Cunningham Motorsports Ford with sponsorship from The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce from the third starting position, Snider won the race. Sunday was the first of nine ARCA races Snider will take part in this season. Dalton Sargeant finished second, followed by Kyle Weatherman, Chase Briscoe and Matt Kurzejewski.(NBC Sports)(5-25-2016)
Nationwide unveils Earnhardt's patriotic Coke 600 scheme: For the second consecutive week, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will get patriotic at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After piloting a special Mountain Dew scheme in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Earnhardt will get behind the wheel of a #88 Nationwide Chevy sporting some stars and stripes. He'll drive the scheme in the 600-mile race this Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Nationwide and Earnhardt worked together on the American flag-themed design, and perhaps the most notable feature can be seen on the car's windshield. It features the name of Lance Corporal Aaron Reed, who was killed in action on Aug. 3, 2005, in Iraq. Earnhardt and Nationwide have invited Lance Corporal Reed's mother, aunt and sister to attend the race as their guests. In addition, Travis Williams, the only surviving member of Aaron's squad, will join Nationwide and the Reed family at the race.(HMS), see images of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(5-24-2016)
Special patriotic scheme for McDowell at Charlotte: Michael McDowell will run a Thrivent Financial patriotic scheme on the #95 Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing Chevy in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CSLFR Facebook), see an image of the car on the #95 team paint schemes page.(5-24-2016)
Whelen to Partner with RCR's #31 at Charlotte: Richard Childress Racing announced that Whelen Engineering Co., the "Official Warning Lights of NASCAR", will serve as the primary sponsor on Ryan Newman's #31 Chevy for Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Whelen Engineering, the Official Warning Lights of NASCAR, is pleased to be the primary sponsor of the Whelen #31 Chevrolet for the Coca-Cola 600," said Phil Kurze, vice president of motorsports. "Ryan (Newman) is a familiar name to us since he has been in Victory Lane a number of times in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. It is fitting to have a graduate engineer driving a race car sponsored by an engineering company. The familiar red and white Sam Bass paint scheme will be displayed on the car and we look forward to the excitement of the longest race on the Sprint Cup schedule." The red and white colors of the #31 Whelen Chevy will hit the track for the annual Memorial Day weekend event, in which Newman has three top-five and six top-10 finishes, in addition to five pole awards.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #31 Team Schemes page (5-23-2016)
Dollar General Leaving as Primary Sponsor JGR's #20 after 2016: Dollar General will end its primary sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Sprint Cup Series entry after this year and is not planning to align with a new team next year. The company, which has been with JGR since the 2012 season, currently has a 30-race deal -- one of the largest in the sport -- with the #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth. It also has some track assets in NASCAR. Dollar General in a statement noted it has enjoyed a "great partnership" with JGR, but said, "Our strategy to reallocate our future marketing assets into new programs is strictly a business decision to align our priorities to better serve our customers in this rapidly changing retail environment." For JGR, Dollar General's departure will leave a big void to fill. Though the team is almost, if not entirely, sold out of inventory for the foreseeable future for its other three Sprint Cup cars, landing 30-race deals with a single company is an increasingly tough task in the sport. JGR is expected to announce a deal or deals to fill the void that will be left by Dollar General in the next month or so. Other primary sponsors of the #20 include Stanley Black & Decker and Dewalt, and it is possible that either they or sponsors of JGR's other cars could step up to help fill the hole.(Sports Business Daily)(5-23-2016)
NASCAR to Honor Fallen U.S. Armed Forces Members with Windshield Tribute at Charlotte: Continuing the sport's long-standing tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces, all 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will bear the name of a fallen service member on their race car windshields during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. For the second consecutive year, "600 Miles of Remembrance" will pay tribute this Memorial Day Weekend to those who bravely served and died defending our country. Windshield headers normally reserved for drivers' last names will read "SGT HARVEY," "LCPL RAMIREZ," and "SPC BEAUDOIN," among other names of the fallen. The special tribute will commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute, the industry's collective expression of respect and gratitude for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present. Fans can follow the conversation on social media using #NASCARSalutes.
Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars were chosen by the teams, and some have unique connections to the fallen. Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars and grand marshal cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day.
Throughout the week, NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various activities demonstrating the industry's support for the military, including:
ˇ During Saturday's Hisense 4K TV 300, NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will display red, white and blue XFINITY windshield decals on their race cars.
ˇ Goodyear will replace the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during the Memorial Day Weekend races.
ˇ NASCAR, Coca-Cola and Mars, through the annual military support program, DeCA, will offer a sweepstakes to shoppers at more than 180 commissaries who will have a chance to win a trip for two to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas. The kickoff event will take place at Fort Bragg on May 25 and feature #11 Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin. The 2016 DAYTONA 500 winner will tour the Warrior Transition Battalion Unit and visit with families at the South Commissary.
ˇ In partnership with Operation Gratitude, Mars will invite race fans to help assemble care packages for the troops in the midway at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The care packages will include Mars candy and be shipped following the Coca-Cola 600 to deployed military members.
ˇ NASCAR and Honor and Remember, Inc. will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who lost their life in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast, FOX Sports will recognize all service members who have lost their lives in the past year by displaying their names and branch of service on a graphic scroll. This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1:00pm/et. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service men and service women from different branches of the military. To view an online gallery of the service members honored as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance, visit NASCAR.com/salute.(NASCAR), see the names on the Charlotte Entry List page (5-23-2016)
Kahne says rumors not distracting: Having his name become grist for the NASCAR rumor mill isn't taking a toll on #5-Kasey Kahne. The Hendrick Motorsports driver was linked to a report about the future of Kevin Harvick that was debunked Thursday when Harvick signed a long-term extension with Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick said Friday he had told Kahne two months ago that he hadn't been contacted by anyone at Hendrick. Kahne said he had gotten acclimated to the speculation. "Those rumors have been out for a while now," he said. "It hasn't been distracting to me. I've been kind of fine with it because I know where I'm at. I know I have a deal through 2018. So it is what it is. People can come up with different ways to have a story, I guess. I think it was a story, and it probably worked out well for Harvick to have that going on once in a while."(NBC Sports)(5-23-2016)
Goodyear test at Michigan includes possible 2017 changes: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams saw their time cut short this past week during a tire test at Michigan International Speedway, but Goodyear officials said the on-track time was sufficient for the tire supplier's needs. Additionally, NASCAR officials were on hand for the May 17 session to examine the impact of recently announced rule changes for 2016 and potential aerodynamic adjustments for the 2017 season. Rain around the 2-mile track delayed the start of the test, and returned later, forcing officials to end the session just after 2 p.m. "We were able to run through our stuff pretty quickly and got some long runs in," Greg Stucker, Director of Race Tire Sales for Goodyear, said Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It was a confirmation test; we weren't going through a lot of different combinations or anything. We just confirmed that what we had taken was the right combination. Everyone was very comfortable with it. There was plenty of grip; it was cool, but we knew that going in. No surprises. We were real comfortable with everything."(NASCAR.com)(5-23-2016)
Some Coca Cola 600 officials and dignitaries announced: The 2016 Coca-Cola 600, the nation's largest Memorial Day weekend celebration, will feature a number of elected officials and dignitaries honoring our nation's servicemen and servicewomen at NASCAR's most challenging race. Gen. George W. Casey Jr. (Ret.), chairman of the USO, will be the Grand Marshal; Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin will serve as Honorary Starter; and Cookeville, Tennessee, Mayor Ricky Shelton will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 57th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 29. Continuing its tradition as the biggest Memorial Day weekend celebration in America, the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will pay tribute to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
To commemorate the special 75-year relationship between Coca-Cola and the USO, the USO of North Carolina - with the longest continuously operating USO center in the world - is bringing 75 service members and USO volunteers from across North Carolina to join Gen. Casey in giving the command to begin the race. Several of the service members and volunteers will also display a special USO 75th anniversary flag as the race command is given.
As a founding partner, The Coca-Cola Company celebrates the USO's 75th anniversary with limited edition "Share a Coke and a Song" packaging featuring the classic lyric "I'm Proud To Be An American." Beginning Memorial Day weekend through July 4, the custom design will be available nationwide on limited edition 16-ounce cans and 20-, 24- and 35-packages of 12-ounce Coca-Cola beverages. Fans are encouraged to join Coca-Cola in honoring the USO during this historic celebration.
Great seats are still available for the 57th running of the iconic Coca-Cola 600 and the rest of the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, with weekend passes starting at just $99. To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-23-2016)
To run at all Charlotte races in May 2016, 'Support the Troops' Goodyear Tires.
Goodyear Transforms NASCAR Race Tires to Honor U.S. Military: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will customize its iconic Goodyear Eagle race tires for the seventh consecutive year to support the U.S. Armed Forces. Goodyear, the Official Tire of NASCAR, will replace the "Eagle" logo on the sidewalls of its race tires with "Support Our Troops" messaging on tires used during all NASCAR races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. The NASCAR industry kicks off its annual military tribute, NASCAR: An American Salute, leading up to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. "Support for the military is part of the fabric of our company," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of global racing. "Goodyear's rich history of making tires for the U.S. Armed Forces is a source of pride for our associates - especially the many that have served - and these tires are a reflection of our deep respect for all Military branches." Goodyear has more than 100 years of history building innovative tires and equipment to help support and protect U.S. troops and is the largest producer of military tires in the country. The company was recently recognized as a Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine for its leadership in hiring and supporting veterans. In 2014, Goodyear surpassed a three-year goal of hiring 1,000 veterans and since then, Goodyear has renewed the commitment to hiring another 1,000 veterans over three years.(GoodYear), see images of all seven tires on the Tire News and Testing page (5-20-2016)
Share a Coke and a Song Superstar Tour at 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte: After an extensive search across the Carolinas and Virginia, the Share a Coke and a Song Superstar Tour presented by Walmart, Coca-Cola and Sprint has identified some of the Southeast's top vocal talent to perform during the unforgettable 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 20-29. The month-long tour, which launched on April 18, gave fans the special chance to audition in a mobile studio that traveled to 12 different Walmart locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with the winners selected by a panel of judges from Charlotte Motor Speedway. The following winners were selected and are scheduled to perform during the events listed below:
- Dixie Moon (quartet) - "God Bless America," NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Featuring Donnie Smith - Mount Holly, North Carolina; Debbie Hatchins - Stanley, North Carolina; Eric Sayne - Charlotte, North Carolina; Bruce Keedy - Cornelius, North Carolina
- Kayla Watson - Greensboro, North Carolina - national anthem, N.C. Education Lottery 200
Contestants for the Share a Coke and a Song Superstar Tour presented by Walmart, Coca-Cola and Sprint were judged on four qualities: pitch and range, pace, stage presence and traditional rendition. Each member of the judging panel scored each finalist contestant. The criteria sheets of all judges were totaled to provide an overall score for each finalist.
TICKETS: Great seats are still available for the 57th running of the iconic Coca-Cola 600 and the rest of the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, with weekend passes starting at just $99. To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-20-2016)
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, May 28, 2016, 1:00pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 9:30am/et
Born in MAY
29 Joe Weatherly, Ken Schrader, Bobby Hamilton, Al Unser, Jimmy Means, Todd Berrier, John F. Kennedy, Germán Quiroga, Steve Allen, Kaye Jenkins, Jessica Taylor
30 Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Reagan Page, Gale Wilson
31 Jerry 'Dad' Adamczyk, Jack Baldwin, Gayle Barnwell, Pat Calkins, Charlie Lewis, Krista Voda, Faith Anne Yeley
Born in JUNE
1 Ryan Pemberton, Jim Sauter, Lance Hooper, Anita Witzke, Brennan Pattie, Darel Dieringer
2 Kyle Petty, Sandy Jones, Scott Brewer, Reggie Sutton
3 Jamie McMurray, Troy Selberg, Barney Oldfield, Mark Smith, Dave Collins, Mark Graves
4 Terry and Jerry Windell, Michael Dokken, Barry Dodson, Brienne Davis, Carl Kiekhaefer
5 Bobby Hillin, Butch Miller, Gary Nelson, Bob Osborne, Ronnie Hoover, Raymond Parks, Jason White
6 Max Jones, Justin Allgaier, Scott Radel, Steve Wilson
7 Tim Richmond, Robbie Loomis, Rodney Childers, Joe Ewert, Brian Sockwell, Jason Small, Tom Czerwinski
8 Frank Mundy, Bob Leavine, Kristen Labonte, Tabitha Burton, Tom Schacht, Carlos Contreras, Lloyd Moore, Joey Coulter
9 David Hobbs, Billy Bigley, Mackena Bell
10 Chad Walter, Avery Manion
11 Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Parrott, Layne Riggs, Taylor Elizabeth Schaffer, Patti Wheeler
12 Sue Raines, Joe Pittman, Sandy Kahne, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brandon Benesch
13 Mark Marco, Harry Melling, R.D. Smith, Bryan Silas, Cory DeMarco
14 U.S. Army , Richard 'Slugger' Labbe, Doug Richert, Angela Styers, Dustin Stanley, Brett Thompson
15 Bobby Leslie, Riki Rachtman, Willie Allen, Cami Parsons, Stefan Parsons, Bryan Clauson, Tabitha Stricklin
16 Pete Pistone, Ernie Cope, Shannon Myers, Kathyrn Huber
17 Kevin Hamlin, Rick Allen, Mike Jarrett
18 Jody Eastridge, Ryan Bell, Mimi Sabates
19 1st NASCAR race, David Stremme, Joe Lewis, Charlie Glotzbach, Steve Post, Kyle Pearce
20 Ron Hornaday Jr, Jerry Cook, Ritchie Petty, Cecil Gordon, Terry Ford, Paul Dallanbach, Mike Geato, Ella Sofia Gordon, Joe Cline
21 Phil Parsons, Tony Liberati, Eddie Pearson, Brad Hutton, Rick Hubner
22 Cole Whitt, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Dan Wheldon, Diane Bodine, Jay Sauter, Kevin Hamlin
23 Michael Annett, Phil Bonifield, Wayne Edwards, Chris Wimmer, Joe Bisciotti
24 Jim Bown, Kevin 'Bono' Manion, Josh Kirk, Ben Eklund, Shanda Renee Shepherd, Hut Stricklin, Samantha Ingerson
25 Jim Hannigan, Joe Bessey, Alexis Stoddard, Shawn Warren
26 Lorin Ranier, Kevin Lepage, David Sisco, Steve Grissom, Mark Cronquist, Jorge Goeters
27 Johnny Benson Jr, Ricky Mast, Robby Reiser, Todd Drakulich, Elizabeth Anne Petty, Aaron Smith, Dwayne Moore
28 Junior Johnson, Kym Clarke, Mike Skinner, Rich Hubbs, Walter Smith, Scott Hewitt, Sean Murphy
29 Jeff Burton, Martin Truex Jr, Eddie Bierschwale, Jenna Fryer, Page Jones, Tim Petty, Josephine "Ricki" Hendrick
30 Sterling Marlin, Lyndon Amick, Don Miller, Blake Parrott, Allen Bestwick III, Ron Liddell, Chad Tigert, Troy Prince