Final practice for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is underway, after 30 of 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
slowest: #66-Wallace 129.538 & #77-Lajoie 129.261.
notes: #77-Lajoie hit the wall in turn 4 and pancaked the side of the car. The team will repair it. #16-Biffle spun coming off turn 2 and slid into the grass, but did not hit anything.
First Saturday practice for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
slowest: #32-Hill 130.158 & #66-Wallace 129.243.
See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the New Hampshire Practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(9-20-2014)
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #2-Keselowski chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #1-McMurray took pit stall 32, with an opening in front of it.
#4-Harvick, who starts 3rd took the 29th pit stall, also with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #99-Edwards, who starts 8th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-20-2014)
Crafton on standby for Bowyer: Matt Crafton is on standby this weekend for #15-Clint Bowyer, whose wife is expecting the couple's first child. Crafton, the points leader in the Camping World Truck Series, is in New Hampshire with that series.(Motor Racing Network)(9-20-2014)
NASCAR confiscated tires after Chicago: NASCAR confiscated tires from the #2-Brad Keselowski, #4-Kevin Harvick, #31-Ryan Newman and #78-Martin Truex Jr.- teams last week at Chicagoland Speedway. Although there was speculation that teams were attempting to bleed air from the tires to gain grip, Sprint Cup Series Richard Buck said it was "just for normal due diligence". The tires were taken to NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. "That's just part of expanding the R & D Center," Buck said. "We bring the stuff back, keep it under our custody like we do with all the parts that are there and keep them for further evaluation. It's just part of the process. Some were taken during the race, some after. It's just a nice sampling of what's out there." Buck would not confirm whether he found anything unusual with the tires, other than to say, "We're already here at New Hampshire." Generally any infractions stemming from improprieties would be announced prior to the next event.(Motorsport)(9-20-2014)
Teams showing support for Pollex at NHMS: NASCAR teams are showing their support for Sherry Pollex this weekend, as #78-Martin Truex Jr.'s longtime girlfriend continues her fight with ovarian cancer. A number of cars at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will feature a teal ribbon with Pollex's name. Teal is the official color of ovarian cancer awareness. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is also breaking out his teal racing gloves again. Junior wore a pair last week at Chicagoland Speedway that are currently up for auction on eBay. All proceeds will be donated to an ovarian cancer research charity of Pollex's choice.(FoxSports)(9-20-2014)
Broken exhaust valve put Almirola out at Chicago: In three seasons with Richard Petty Motorsports, Aric Almirola had never exited a race because of an engine failure-until last week at Chicagoland. The blown engine couldn't have come at a worse time. Almirola was running sixth, 30 laps away from making a statement in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Instead, he finished 41st and plummeted from potential Chase surprise to the longest of long shots to survive to first elimination round. The culprit? A broken exhaust valve. "It was the same thing that happened to the #22 (Joey Logano) at Kentucky and the same thing that happened to the 9 car (Marcos Ambrose) at Atlanta," Almirola told the NASCAR Wire Service. "They've had a couple issues already this year, and they thought they had it fixed. They changed the way the valves were designed and thought that it wasn't going be an issue any more, and I guess it was again."(NASCAR Wire Service)(9-20-2014)
New Hampshire Notes & Facts - Saturday - drivers:
" Jeff Burton is the only driver to win the July race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway three consecutive years in a row (1997, '98 and '99).
" 24 different drivers have won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, led by Jeff Burton with four.
" Two drivers have posted consecutive wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (2003 sweep) and Kurt Busch (2004 sweep).
" Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart are tied for the series lead in runner-up finishes at New Hampshire with five each.
" Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at New Hampshire with 16; followed by Tony Stewart with 14.
" Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-10 finishes at New Hampshire with 22; followed by Tony Stewart with 18.
" Ryan Newman leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at New Hampshire with an 8.680.
" Denny Hamlin leads NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at New Hampshire with an 8.941.
" All 15 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at New Hampshire Motor Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Ryan Newman and Joey Logano won at New Hampshire in their second appearance.
" Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at New Hampshire without visiting Victory Lane at 30.
" Two active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have made their first career start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway: Joe Nemechek (7/11/93), and Joey Logano (9/14/08).
" Brad Keselowski (9/19/10) is the only active driver to post his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
" Four active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway: Joe Nemechek (9/19/99), Ryan Newman (9/15/02), Clint Bowyer (9/16/07) and Joey Logano (6/28/09).
Brad Park to drive pace car at New Hampshire: A six-time runner up as the National Hockey League's top defenseman, Brad Park will trade his skates for driving shoes when he gets behind the wheel of the Official NASCAR 2014 Toyota Camry SE Pace Car, leading the field for the start of the SYLVANIA 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. Playing in the same era as Bobby Orr, Park is considered one of the greatest defenseman to ever play the game, finishing behind the legendary #4 for the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman on six separate occasions. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1988 during his first year of eligibility and remains a household name among New England hockey fans. Park played more than 1,000 games in the National Hockey League, was a nine-time All-Star, and winner of the 1984 Masterson Trophy, given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.(NHMS)(9-20-2014)
Miller Lite extends partnership with New Hampshire: With NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Brad Keselowski on hand for the "toast", New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced that Miller Lite will continue its relationship with the Magic Mile, extending its successful partnership for another three years. The deal keeps Miller Lite on tap as the "Official Beer Sponsor of New Hampshire Motor Speedway" through the 2017 race season. The Lite Lobster Lounge is located directly across from the infield tunnel and is the perfect place for fans to relax before or after the on-track action throughout the weekend. It features live entertainment and the home of an occasional driver appearance. True to its name, the lounge features a variety of authentic lobster dishes, along with other sandwich and salad options for the non-lobster eaters. The lounge is open to all and promotes a family-friendly environment. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without products from its official sponsor, Miller Lite.(NHMS)(9-20-2014)
Keselowski wins New Hampshire pole: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light pole for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with TRACK RECORD speed of 140.598mph for his 5th pole of 2014, 3rd at New Hampshire and 8th of his career.
#1-McMurray is on the outside pole, followed by #4-Harvick, #11-Hamlin, #18-Busch, #48-Johnson, #22-Logano, #99-Edwards, #31-Newman, #42-Larson, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #55-Vickers.
Missing the race were: none, only 43 cars entered.
See starting lineup, round-by-round qualifying results, qualifying order and more on the New Hampshire Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(9-19-2014)
Where the 2014 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers will start at New Hampshire:
[listed by driver points position]
1) #2-Brad Keselowski, 1st
2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 13th
3) #22-Joey Logano, 7th
4) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3rd
5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 11th
6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4th
7) #18-Kyle Busch, 5th
8) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 6th
9) #41-Kurt Busch, 15th
10) #20-Matt Kenseth, 16th
11) #5-Kasey Kahne, 17th
12) #99-Carl Edwards, 8th
13) #31-Ryan Newman, 9th
14) #47-A.J. Allmendinger, 27th
15) #16-Greg Biffle, 26th
16) #43-Aric Almirola, 21st
First Round of Qualifying for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, after 30 minutes..
the rest of the top 12: 55 4 22 18 1 31 88;
out of the top 12 and not advancing to the final round: 24 15 41 20 5 10 17 9 43 3 27 51 13 16 47 14 34 40 26 78 83 38 23 33 36 7 98 83 77 66 32
Driver who will miss the race: none.
Qualifying Fast Facts - New Hampshire:
Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th Annual SYLVANIA 300 with a lap of 27.090 seconds, 140.598 mph (a new track record). Previous track record was held by Kyle Busch (138.130 mph, 7/13/2014).
This is his eighth pole in 189 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his fifth pole and 22nd top-10 start in 2014.
This is his third pole in 11 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Jamie McMurray (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2014 and his fifth in 24 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kevin Harvick (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his 19th in 28 races this season.
Kyle Larson (10th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
This is the 19th new track Qualifying record in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014.
This is the eighth track Qualifying record for Ford in 2014.
This is the fourth track Qualifying record for Brad Keselowski in 2014 - Phoenix, Dover, Kentucky and New Hampshire.
Friday practice for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over after 80 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. 137.825
slowest: #32-Hill 131.674 & #66-Wallace 130.604.
notes: If qualifying (4:35pm/et today on FS1) were to be cancelled or rained out, this practice would set the starting lineup. However, there is no rain in the forecast.
See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the New Hampshire Practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(9-19-2014)
Kvapil replaces Ryan Truex at New Hampshire: It's musical chairs at BK Racing this week with last minute seat changes to the driver roster. While Cole Whitt remains in the #26 Toyota with sponsorship from Rinnai and Alex Bowman continues his campaign in the #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota, Travis Kvapil will reprise his role in the #83 Burger King Toyota this weekend and Clay Rogers will fill the #93 Iowa City Capital Partners Toyota. The changes were made on Tuesday and leave Ryan Truex on the sidelines this weekend. The team elected not to discuss Truex' status. "I didn't have anything going on this weekend," Kvapil said. "We had talked about doing something with the 93. These are my guys here. I had been with them for the last two years and feel I had a hand in building this team. I don't know what the plans are beyond this weekend, but it's good to be back." Rogers, 34, was once a development driver for Roush Fenway Racing. Most recently attempted to qualify for New Hampshire in July and Richmond two weeks ago but failed to qualify.(Motorsport)(9-19-2013)
Rinnai sponsoring Whitt at New Hampshire: Cole Whitt will race the #26 Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters Toyota Camry team car at NASCAR's Osram Sylvania 300 in Loudon, New Hampshire. Rinnai, the number-one selling brand of tankless water heaters in North America, began a partnership in June with BK Racing and Cole Whitt, who has raced the Rinnai-sponsored car in several other races throughout the 2014 racing season. Whitt continues his push toward 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year as the #26 Rinnai Team heads to New Hampshire. Cole currently sits in 5th place in the 2014 NSCS ROY standings and is only one point out of 4th. After successful primary runs at Sonoma Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, Rinnai completes their primary partnership with Whitt in New Hampshire this weekend. Rinnai will continue the partnership with Cole Whitt and serve as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.(BK Racing)(9-19-2014)
U.S. Chrome sponsoring Hill at New Hampshire: U.S. Chrome Corporation, the world-wide leader in innovative surface engineering, announced its sponsorship of Timmy Hill and the #32 in NASCAR's Sprint Cup event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014. "At U.S. Chrome, we have two passions," said Bob Reath, owner and CEO of U.S. Chrome Corporation. "Developing superior-performing, environmentally-friendly coatings - and racing. We are excited to have Timmy back in the 32 car with U.S. Chrome." Reath and Stoddard have a longstanding relationship that began nearly 25 years ago. In 1988, U.S. Chrome partnered with Dana Patten to run five Sprint Cup races. Based out of a two-stall garage in Enfield, N.H., the team made its racing debut at Michigan International Speedway with Frank Stoddard as the lead wrench and chassis specialist.(Go Green Racing)(9-18-2014)
13 winners in last 13 races at New Hampshire: Thirteen different drivers have taken the checkered flag in the last 13 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway - tied with Texas Motor Speedway for the all-time record streak without a repeat winner. And there's a better than average chance the Magic Mile takes sole possession of the record after this Sunday's Sylvania 300 as Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers #24-Jeff Gordon, #4-Kevin Harvick and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. are all missing from the 13-in-13 stretch. Gordon owns three victories at New Hampshire, but has not won there since 1998. Harvick has one win at New Hampshire, but he notched it eight years ago. In his last two races at the track, he has finished 30th and 20th, respectively. After posting three wins, his highest total since he racked up six in 2004, Earnhardt will try to automatically advance to the Chase's Contender Round with a New Hampshire checkered flag. In 30 starts at Loudon, he has seven top fives and 13 tops 10s to his credit, but has never finished higher than third.(NASCAR)(9-19-2014)
WeMo featured on McMurray's Chevy at NHMS: The #1 Chevy SS driven by Jamie McMurray will sport the vibrant green colors from WeMo this weekend at NHMS. WeMo is a growing family of innovative, easy-to-use products that use mobile internet to control your home electronics, power, water, and Wi-Fi right from your smartphone or tablet. WeMo also works with IFTTT, connecting your home electronics to a whole world of online applications.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(9-19-2014)
New Hampshire Clinch Scenarios: Though unlikely, drivers can mathematically clinch a spot in The Contenders Round without a win this weekend. If a Chase driver other than #2-Brad Keselowski wins, anyone who has at least a 45-point lead on the 10th highest winless Chase driver would advance to the next round. If a non-Chase driver or Keselowski wins, the potential clinching driver needs to lead the 11th highest winless Chase driver by at least 45 pts. Conversely, for a driver to be in a must-win situation at Dover, they would have to be 45 points or more behind the 9th ranked winless driver if there's a Chase winner that's not Keselowski; or 45 points or more behind the 10th ranked driver if there's a non-Chase winner or Keselowski.(NASCAR)(9-19-2014)
New Hampshire Notes & Facts - Friday - poles:
" Mark Martin won the inaugural Coors Light pole at New Hampshire in 1993 with a speed of 126.871 mph.
" 18 drivers have Coors Light poles at New Hampshire, led by Ryan Newman with seven.
" Five drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at New Hampshire: Ken Schrader (1997 sweep); Jeff Gordon (1998-1999); Rusty Wallace (1999-2000); Ryan Newman (twice - 2003-2004 and 2011 sweep); Juan Pablo Montoya (2009-2010).
" Five of the 39 (12.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Ryan Newman in 2011.
" The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (five) than any other starting position at New Hampshire.
" Eight of the 39 (20.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire have been won from the front row: eight from the pole and seven from second-place.
" 21 of the 39 (53.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire have been won from a top-10 starting position.
" Nine of the 39 (23.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
" Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway four times: 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2009.
Sad News - Earl Ross: Earl Ross, the only Canadian driver to ever win a race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, died Thursday in Canada. He was 73. Ross made 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts during his career, running 21 of 30 races during the 1974 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. He scored his only series victory on Sept. 29, 1974 at Martinsville Speedway, leading the final 79 laps and beating Buddy Baker by a full lap to score the victory. He also won the 1974 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Award. Ross was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2011.
(National Speed Sport News)
NASCAR Statement: "NASCAR extends its condolences to the family and friends of Earl Ross, a true racer whose considerable on-track success helped grow the sport internationally. Ross was the first Canadian driver to win a race in what is today known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and he did it at one of NASCAR's most historic tracks for one of NASCAR's most historic owners. His 1974 win at Martinsville for Junior Johnson helped lay the foundation for the sport's tremendous growth in Canada, and beyond."(9-19-2014)
Bank may take possession of Rockingham Speedway: A Richmond County Superior Court judge will hear a motion next week which, if granted, will allow The Finley Group - a managing agent for Farmers and Merchants Bank - to "take immediate and exclusive custody" of Rockingham Speedway. The Salisbury, N.C.-based bank is also seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the track's current co-owners Andy Hillenburg and Bill Silas from accessing the property located on U.S. 1 in Richmond County. The bank claims Rockingham Racing Park LLC, co-owned by Hillenburg and Silas, owes more then $4.5 million as of Aug. 8. The motion is set to be heard at 2:00pm Sept. 25.(Charlotte Observer)(9-19-2014)
Feed the Children and Golden Corral partner with Tommy Baldwin at New Hampshire: Feed the Children, one of the world's leading anti-hunger organizations, has joined forces with Golden Corral and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team Tommy Baldwin Racing for the upcoming race this Sunday, Sept. 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "The Feed the Children program is near and dear to my heart," said Tommy Baldwin, owner of TBR. "They've come to my hometown of Long Island, and they've done great things for individuals all over the world. We're proud to go to New Hampshire Motor Speedway and raise awareness for such a worthy cause." Feed the Children and Golden Corral will both adorn the #7 Chevy SS driven by Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Annett. "Hunger affects children all over the world and even in our own communities," said Kevin Hagan, President and CEO of Feed the Children. "Feed the Children is proud to have a long partnership with the NASCAR community and thankful to include Tommy Baldwin in that partnership, especially during this weekend's race. Tommy Baldwin Racing and Golden Corral are not just helping us feed children, they're giving kids hope and the opportunity to just be kids."(TBR), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(9-18-2014)
Gibbs says crew chief changes coming: Joe Gibbs said he expects to announce multiple changes to the team's driver-crew chief lineup within about two weeks. "We've already decided," Gibbs said Wednesday of the moves, "but we need to talk to the sponsors and have quite a few discussions yet with people." Gibbs said the changes would be for next season. "We're kind of crew chief driven here," Gibbs said. "We spent a lot of time talking to all of our crew chiefs and making sure that we had the right lineup. The other key people you have to have involved in that, it always starts with the drivers. The drivers have strong feelings on who they feel like they can match up with. "That driver has got to believe in that crew chief, and that crew chief has got to believe in that driver. If you look at that over the years, that's a very hard thing to keep together. It is complicated. I think we've talked our way through all that. We've had a lot of intense meetings." The moves come with Carl Edwards joining the organization next year in a fourth car. That will require the team to find a crew chief for him. Kyle Busch has been with crew chief Dave Rogers since 2010 - the longest tenure among JGR's Sprint Cup teams. They've made the Chase four of their five seasons together, placing fourth last year. Frustration has mounted with the team, culminating with a radio exchange last month at Bristol where Rogers told Busch to "park it behind the truck and take your whiny little ass to the bus." Hamlin is in his third season with Darian Grubb. They've made the Chase twice. Hamlin's injuries caused him to miss it last year. Grubb returned last week after serving a six-week suspension when NASCAR discovered infractions with Hamlin's third-place car at Indianapolis. Hamlin is sixth in the points. Matt Kenseth, 10th in the points, is in his second year with Jason Ratcliff. They've made the Chase both years, finishing second last season after winning series-high seven races. Kenseth made the Chase this year despite not winning a race.(MRN) (9-18-2014)
Tommy Baldwin Jr. and Steve Park form American Muscle Driving Experience: Two of the most successful motorsports professionals to come out of the northeast have blended their wealth of knowledge to develop the most unique driving experience anywhere in the country. New York natives, Tommy Baldwin, Jr. and Steve Park, announce the creation of The American Muscle Driving Experience. Headquartered at the famed Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park and Golf Club, the program offers three customizable skill levels to advance through utilizing everything from high-performance American muscle cars to authentic race-ready professional stock cars. The program utilizes professional motorsport vehicle data acquisition systems to minimize the learning curve, allowing participants to advance their skills quicker than any other driving school. The program's custom data acquisition systems record driver inputs such as throttle, steering, and braking; along with other vehicle parameters such as engine RPM, vehicle speed, and accelerations. GPS and video-overlay technology is also used to map out racing lines and to make comparisons to our professional instructors. The American Muscle Driving Experience will also host several of the top racing drivers in the country. Participants will not only get to meet and ask questions to these special guest instructors, they will also get to see comparisons of driving data to the professional driver in the same vehicle and can even go for a ride-a-long experience at full racing speeds. Look for the American Muscle Car Driving Experience on Reed Sorenson's Sprint Cup Series #36 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend and at Dover International Speedway on September 28th.(140 BUZZ)(9-18-2014)
Gordon will be only driver to compete in all New Hampshire races: With Jeff Burton not scheduled to participate in the NHMS event, #24-Jeff Gordon will become the only driver to compete in all 40 Sprint Cup races at the New Hampshire track provided he takes the green flag Sunday.(Hendrick Motorsports)(9-18-2014)
Hall of Fame attendance declines: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame dipped slightly in the past year to 169,724, down from 176,838 visitors in the previous year. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said the decline was due to the previous year's attendance being inflated by larger-than-normal crowds for the Democratic National Convention two years ago. The tourism authority, which manages the taxpayer-funded hall, said the DNC attracted about 7,100 visitors in September 2012, which is the same level of decline in attendance from 2012-2013 to 2013-2014. Attractions like the hall often see declines in attendance in their first three years, as the newness of a museum or exhibit wears off. The CRVA said it believes the hall's attendance has stabilized. The hall, which opened in May 2010, was projected to attract about 400,000 visitors a year. It drew 272,000 visitors in its first year. The CRVA has not yet released a financial statement for the hall's most recent fiscal year, which ended in June. The hall has lost money in each of its first three years. Operating deficits are covered by hospitality taxes, such as a hotel/motel room tax, that fund the CRVA. The CRVA said the 2013-2014 audit will be released next month.(Charlotts Observer)(9-18-2014)
New Hampshire Notes & Facts - Thursday - track history:
" Groundbreaking for New Hampshire International Speedway, as New Hampshire Motor Speedway was originally named, was Aug. 13, 1989.
" The 1.058-mile oval is located on approximately 1,200 acres; the multi-use complex is the largest sports facility in New England.
" The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was on July 11, 1993 - won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace.
" Speedway Motorsports, Inc. agreed to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob and Gary Bahre on January 11, 2008 and then renamed the track New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Goodyear Tire Notes for New Hampshire: NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series teams will run the same tire codes at New Hampshire this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams have run at New Hampshire since 2012 . . . this is the first time Camping World Truck teams have run this tire set-up . . . this is the only track at which either of these two tire codes will be run in 2014 . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at New Hampshire.(Goodyear), see full tire notes, tire codes, pressures, set limits on the New Hampshire Race Info page - Goodyear section.
Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the New Hampshire Race Info page - Chassis selection area.
Mountain Ridge Little League All-Stars to serve as grand marshals in Vegas: The Mountain Ridge Little League All-Stars captured the hearts of Southern Nevadans last month during their historic appearance in the Little League World Series. Now they will hold the attention of the starting field for the Rhino Linings 350 NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series race on Sept. 27 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The players from the first team from Nevada to advance to the Little League World Series will give the command for the drivers to start their engines when they serve as grand marshals for the Rhino Linings 350. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is making tickets to the Rhino Linings 350 available to all 24 Little Leagues throughout the Valley as to way to help honor Little League Baseball. Little Leaguers and their parents who are interested in attending the race are encouraged to contact their league representative.(LVMS)(9-18-2014)
Annett gets new sponsor: Cypress Associates, and its groundbreaking wellness policy CypressHQ, will join NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Annett and the #7 Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) team, signing a multi-year primary sponsorship agreement beginning with the race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 28. CypressHQ is the first fully insured wellness indemnity policy. Unlike any program before it, this innovative new product attacks America's healthcare epidemic while remaining compliant with HIPAA guidelines. Its unique structure utilizes available tax savings to completely offset the costs of providing employers with a suite of benefits that match or exceed anything offered by a traditional indemnity plan. It uses a combination of incentives, personal coaching and a game-based online platform to help employees take charge of their wellbeing. Cypress joins current Annett partners Pilot Flying J and Accell Construction at TBR.(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(9-17-2014)
Petty committed to two cars in 2015: At the start of 2014, Richard Petty Motorsports announced a three-year extension and investment increase by Smithfield Foods on the #43 Ford team. The previous year RPM welcomed new partners Strike 10 Entertainment and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to join Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force and longtime partner STP. The result was the RPM #43 team winning for the first time since 1999 and sending Aric Almirola into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Today, the organization with a championship history, winning present and proven marketing programs, announced it will use the same aggressive business and growth model to support the #9 Ford team in 2015 and beyond in a series of announcements. RPM will continue to be a two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup organization and will compete weekly with the #9 and #43 teams. The organization will also return current manufacturer partner Ford Racing and subsequently will continue its services contract with Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Engines to supply new Ford Fusion chassis and Ford horsepower for both teams. Twisted Tea Brewing Company will continue their primary sponsorship of the #9 team in 2015 as the RPM marketing and new business team continues various discussions with several companies.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-17-2014)
Stanley, DeWalt join Joe Gibbs Racing: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has entered partnership with world-leading tool and security provider STANLEY and professional power tool provider DEWALT beginning in the 2015 season. STANLEY and DEWALT will serve as primary sponsors for drivers Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, respectively. STANLEY will partner with JGR as the primary sponsor for 12 races on the #19 Toyota driven by Carl Edwards beginning in 2015, while DEWALT will serve as the primary sponsor for six races on the #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth. In addition, STANLEY will have associate branding on the #18 Toyota throughout the 2015 season, as well as on both the #19 and #20 Toyotas when not already serving as the primary sponsor. Other Stanley Black & Decker brands, including Mac Tools, BLACK+DECKER, and more, will continue to be a part of the NASCAR program with JGR.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see images of the cars on the #19 team paint scheme and #20 team paint scheme page.(9-17-2014)
Waltrip survives first round of Dancing with the Stars: Michael Waltrip and his partner Emma Slater made it past the first round of the multi-award-winning series Dancing with the Stars Tuesday night. Waltrip and Slater danced the Cha-Cha on Monday's show. The pair earned a score of 25 from the judges. That paired with votes from fans was enough to advance the duo to the next round which airs Monday, Sept. 22 at 8:00pm/et on ABC. One couple will be eliminated on a live results show, Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 8:00pm/et on ABC.(MWR)(9-17-2014)
Corey LaJoie to make Cup debut at New Hampshire: Corey Lajoie will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Randy Humphrey Racing. LaJoie's debut will come less than a week before his 23rd birthday. It marks the first time in a Cup car for the son of two-time Nationwide champions Randy LaJoie. With 43 cars entered at New Hampshire, Corey LaJoie is guaranteed a starting spot. LaJoie is a development driver for Richard Petty Motorsports but the team has not found sponsorship to run him. LaJoie has run one Nationwide race this season, placing 21st at Kentucky, and twice in the Camping World Truck Series, finishing 15th at Kentucky and 10th at Bristol. LaJoie is unsure of his plans beyond this week. If things go well, he could be in line for rides with Randy Humphrey Racing at Kansas, Charlotte and Texas. He's also looking for possible Nationwide rides at Kansas and Charlotte. "It does seem like some things are opening up," LaJoie said of other rides. "Maybe this RHR deal will grow up to something bigger. If I get a good solid run ... and bring it home in one piece who knows what will happen."(Motor Racing Network)(9-17-2017)
NASCAR, Front Row to honor Wendell Scott at Martinsville: NASCAR, Front Row Motorsports, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Martinsville Speedway announced they will honor 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR premier series event, with a series of tributes during the Martinsville race weekend from Oct. 24-26. Front Row Motorsports will pay homage to Scott, also the first African-American driver to race full-time in NASCAR's premier series, with a full throwback paint scheme on its #34 Ford driven by David Ragan, reminiscent of the blue #34 that he drove to Victory Lane for his first NASCAR premier series victory at Jacksonville Speedway on Dec. 1, 1963. Ragan is one of just three drivers to win in the #34, and the first since Scott. In addition, Kyle Busch Motorsports will change the number of Darrell Wallace Jr.'s truck from 54 to 34 in honor of Scott. A NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate, Wallace became the first African-American to win a NASCAR national series race since Scott's historic 1963 triumph when he captured the checkered flag in last season's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville. Adding to the celebration, Martinsville Speedway and the NHOF will host members of the Scott family during the race weekend and offer special Q&A opportunities for fans on-site.
NASCAR currently awards scholarships in Scott's name through the United Negro College Fund, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. The Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award is awarded to a diverse or female driver in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series who has demonstrated significant contributions on and off the track. In addition, NASCAR has designated the first race weekend in March as a time to remember Wendell Scott's legacy during a week that marks his first career start. Cars in all series run a decal in honor of his accomplishments within the sport. (NASCAR), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(9-17-2014)
Truex, Jr. wins Second Quarter NMPA Spirit Award: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. has been selected as the second quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Spirit Award. Truex Jr. and longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex were honored for their fifth annual Catwalk for a Cause charity event held in May. Money raised through the popular event supports the Martin Truex Jr. Specials Needs Fund at the Levin Children's Hospital, which assists patients and families of children being treated for cancer. Also receiving votes for the second quarter were Sonoma Raceway and Furniture Row Racing. Lynda Petty, wife of seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Richard Petty, was the first-quarter recipient. The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.(NMPA)(9-17-2014)
Harvick to "Designate a Driver" at NHMS: Kevin Harvick's #4 Budweiser Chevy SS will feature a special "Designate a Driver" paint scheme this weekend at NHMS in support of Anheuser-Busch's worldwide effort to promote the responsible enjoyment of the company's beers with "Global Be(er) Responsible Day" on Friday, September 19. As part of the program, Anheuser-Busch employees and wholesalers across the United States will go out into the trade to spread Budweiser's message in every bottle - "Designate a driver and enjoy the great times" - to adults. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Global Be(er) Responsible Day., see an image of the car on the #4 team paint schemes page.(9-17-2014)
Clean Harbors sponsoring Gilliland: David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 Clean Harbors Ford, comments on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway: "We're excited to have Clean Harbors on our No. 38 Ford for the first time. They're based nearby in Boston so this will be a home race for them. Their Safety-Kleen Company has provided services to Front Row Motorsports for nine years and they've been a NASCAR service partner for over 20 years, so they're certainly no stranger to our team or to the sport."(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #38 team paint schemes page.(9-17-2014)
Race week returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway with plenty of activities: From a tax-free New Hampshire State Lottery giveaway to a country rock concert to skydiving flag bearers to a stunt comedian to more than 600 laps of racing, the Magic Mile has it all when it comes to on- and off-track entertainment. The weekend features the most diverse and exciting three days of racing on the NASCAR schedule. It includes four major races, featuring three different NASCAR series and the regionally-popular American-Canadian Tour. To compliment all the on-track action, speedway officials have added to the off-track entertainment experience for fans attending the largest sporting event in New England. Here's a sample the "must see" action:
" Million Dollar Giveaway: One lucky fan will walk out of New Hampshire Motor Speedway $1,000,000 richer. A total of 11 finalists were selected from a preliminary drawing held earlier this summer from non-winning NH State Lottery $20 Tax Free Million scratch tickets that were mailed into Lottery Headquarters. The 11 finalists will be on stage prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 21. There will be 11 prize envelopes to choose from, including eight (8) winners of $5,000, two (2) winners of $10,000, and one (1) winner of tax free $1,000,000.
" It's going to be a 'Helluva' show: With favorites like "Sunshine & Whiskey" and "Helluva Life," there's no doubt that country music sensation Frankie Ballard will have the fans in a frenzy for the SYLVANIA 300 - the second race in the Challenger Round of the Chase for Sprint Cup - on Sept. 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Frankie Ballard Band will perform for free on the frontstretch stage at 12:10pm.
" Laugh until it hurts: Stunt comedian "Wacky Chad!" brings his zany antics to the Magic Mile frontstretch. Wearing his trademark orange, Wacky Chad will reach neck-straining heights on his tall unicycle and defy gravity on an air-powered pogo stick. "Wacky Chad!" will also entertain in the Display Lot over the weekend.
" What an entrance!: Team Fastrax Skydiving Team, featuring veterans of the U.S. military, will deliver the American flag prior to the start of the SYLVANIA 300, while a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps, will provide the fan-favorite flyover following the national anthem.
" Zip-a-dee-doo-dah: After a very successful run in July, guests of New Hampshire Motor Speedway will have an opportunity to zip-line on property. The inclined cable, which involves a suspended harness and pulley system, will be available for adventure goers and thrill-seekers behind the F.W. Webb Bath House all weekend long.
Speedway Children's Charities Hosting Fundraising Events at Kentucky: The Kentucky Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) will be busy during Kentucky Speedway's upcoming September race weekend. The non-profit organization is planning three fundraisers for when the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series visit Kentucky on September 19 and 20, respectively. Leading up to the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300, SCC will host Laps for Charity, a Putt-Putt Challenge, and Miss Motor Speedway's "Princess '4' a Day" and "Toy '4' a Boy." Laps for Charity kicks off the charity's fundraising events on Thursday, September 18 at 5:30pm. Fans have the opportunity to drive five laps around Kentucky Speedway in their personal, street-legal vehicles for a $40 donation to SCC. They will also be able to celebrate the occasion with a photo in Victory Lane. At the SCC Putt-Putt Challenge on Friday and Saturday, fans will have three attempts to sink their putt to win four grandstand tickets and four fan zone passes to Kentucky Speedway's Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts on July 11, 2015. In addition, all participants will receive an SCC water bottle. The Putt-Putt Challenge will be located near Gate 15 in the Display Area at Kentucky Speedway. Finally, SCC is teaming up with Miss Motor Speedway to bring "Princess '4' a Day" and "Toy '4' a Boy" back to Kentucky Speedway, also on Friday and Saturday. For a small donation, children will have the opportunity to receive the royal treatment from a Miss Motor Speedway Titleholder. Girls will receive a princess makeover, crown, and jewelry. Boys will receive a toy car or truck.(SCC)(9-17-2014)
Stewart, Ward investigation complete; UPDATE Grand Jury: Statement from Ontario Co. Sheriff's Office. Investigation complete:
"The Ontario County Office of Sheriff has completed its investigation into the death of Kevin A. Ward, Jr., which occurred August 9, 2014, at the Canandaigua, New York, Motorsports Park. The entire thorough investigation, including a forensic video enhancement recently received from the New York State Police Laboratory in Albany, has been submitted to the Office of the Ontario County District for review. The District Attorney's Office, which has been meeting throughout the investigative process with members of the Sheriff's Office, will make a statement late next week advising what action will be taken regarding the investigation.
Philip C. Povero, Sheriff ,Ontario County, New York(9-11-2014)
UPDATE: Official Statement from Ontario Co. NY District Attorney, "Over the past several weeks I have reviewed with members of the Ontario County Sheriff's Department their investigation, as it progressed, in the Tony Stewart matter. Recently that office concluded its work and forwarded the complete case file to me. Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation, I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury, for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter. Accordingly, the evidence developed in the investigation will be presented to an Ontario County grand jury in the near future. As grand jury proceedings in New York State are strictly confidential by law, I am unable to state when the matter will be scheduled, other than to state that I intend to present the matter in the near future. Similarly, because of the confidential nature of these proceedings, I cannot state who will be called as witnesses, or what any witness's expected testimony will be. When the presentation has been completed and a determination has been made, I will advise the public and the media at that time of the results. Michael Tantillo, Ontario County District Attorney
Tony Stewart Statement: "I respect the time and effort spent by both the Ontario County District Attorney and the Sheriff's Office in investigating this tragic accident. I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation."
NASCAR Statement "We are aware of the completed investigation and the announced next steps. First, our thoughts continue to be with all who have been impacted by this tragedy. We will monitor this process and stay in close contact with Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment on this case so we will continue to respect the process and authorities involved."
Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed that Tony Stewart will race this weekend at New Hampshire.(9-16-2014)
Chicago TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the opening race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 14, earned a 2.3 U.S. household rating, averaging 3,711,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. Last year's race was rain-delayed and earned a 1.7 rating, averaging 2,689,000 viewers. Greensboro, N.C., led the nation's metered markets with a 7.9 rating, with Greenville, S.C., second at 7.2 and Birmingham, Ala., third at 6.2. Indianapolis was fourth at 6.0 and Norfolk, Va., fifth at 5.1. Rounding out the top 10 markets were Raleigh-Durham, N.C., 4.9; Charlotte, N.C., 4.7; Knoxville, Tenn., 4.5; Nashville, Tenn., 4.4; and tied for 10th were Tampa-St. Petersburg and Orlando, Fla., 4.3. ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 13, earned a 0.8 U.S. household rating, averaging 1,241,000 viewers. The rating and viewership were down from last year's race, which earned a 0.9 rating and averaged 1,289,185 viewers.(ESPN), See past races for 2014 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2014 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(9-16-2014)
The Motorsports Group moving to Cup in 2015: The Motorsports Group [Nationwide teams #40 & #46 owned by Curtis Key] announced that it will participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting with Daytona in 2015. The #30 Chevy SS is seeking a driver, crew and sponsorship opportunities.(TMG) The team is not afflilated with Brandon Davis or Swan Racing and is not planning to run any races this year. They plan a full season of racing and not a "start and park" effort. They will build their own engines. Plans for Nationwide teams next season have not been determined.(9-16-2014)
FanVision merges with PrePlay: FanVision, the in-venue technology and content provider used at professional sporting events across the world, announced a merger with PrePlay Inc., a developer of mobile games in sports entertainment. FanVision is operated by RSE Ventures, the firm co-founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross and Dolphins Vice-Chairman Matt Higgins. Among other services, FanVision currently offers live video and real-time statistics on a dedicated handheld device in venues worldwide. FanVision is used at NASCAR races and professional golf events around the world. PrePlay also develops live mobile games that enable fans to predict events in real time. Clients include MLB.com, the NHL, and the US Open Tennis Tournament. The merger will allow FanVision to augment its current product with additional mobile applications to bring its content to additional fans. The new company will operate under the FanVision name, with current PrePlay CEO Andrew Daines serving as CEO. Current partners and fans will see no change or interruption in services from either FanVision or PrePlay.(PR)(9-16-2014)
Chicago Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 2:02 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:10 PM (all times are EST). ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 117
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 53
Number of times ESPN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 9
Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 55
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 33
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 35 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:02 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:10 PM
Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 188
Minutes of race broadcast: 157
Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 31
Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 25
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1 safety truck and driver shown; but not debris
Total race brdcst time 157 Total comm. brdcst time 31
See past races, links to full reports & sponsor links on the 2014 TV Commercials page.(9-16-2014)
Some NASCAR Numbers:
109: The number of green-flag passes made by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin in Sunday's MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, tied for most in the first Chase race. Busch rallied from a lap down to finish eighth after a pit road spin and commitment violation. Hamlin started 24th and finished sixth after a late-race charge.
5: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories recorded this season by Brad Keselowski, the top seed in the Chase. Keselowski won the final regular-season race at Richmond and doubled up on Sunday at Chicagoland. No other driver in the series has more than three victories thus far.
138: The number of laps led by Brad Keselowski in a dominating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. The Magic Mile is host to next Sunday's second race in the Chase, and Keselowski goes there as a favorite to extend his current winning streak to three races.
17: The finishing position of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Even though Stenhouse and girlfriend Danica Patrick collided with 10 laps left, Stenhouse finished ahead of Roush Fenway Racing's Chase drivers, Carl Edwards (20th) and Greg Biffle (23rd).
3: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories at New Hampshire Motor Speedway recorded by Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, tied for most among full-time active drivers. Jeff Burton has a track-record four wins at the Magic Mile.(NASCAR Wire Service)(9-16-2014)
Top 10 Driver Ratings at New Hampshire:
#14-Tony Stewart 110.0
#24-Jeff Gordon 107.7
#11-Denny Hamlin 103.6
#48-Jimmie Johnson 102.1
#42-Kyle Larson 99.1
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 97.3
#15-Clint Bowyer 95.9
#18-Kyle Busch 94.7
#2-Brad Keselowski 93.8
#5Kasey Kahne 92.6
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (19 total) among active drivers at New Hampshire 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)
Tires stolen from Chicago garage: One week it's a fan on the fence, the next week tires are stolen in the garage. Just who is policing the paddock? On Saturday night tires were lifted from the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota and the #83 BK Racing Toyota teams prior to Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. The tires from Brian Vickers car were later discovered dumped in another area in the garage, the team told Motorsport.com. However, the scuff and rim from Ryan Truex's car was never recovered according to team owner Ron Devine. Tires cost roughly $500 each.(Motorsport)(9-15-2014)
Ambrose returning to Australia next year UPDATES: Richard Petty Motorsports announced the #9 team will move forward with a new driver in 2015. Marcos Ambrose, who has been with RPM since 2011, has informed the organization that he will return to his native home of Australia in 2015. This was a personal decision by Ambrose. At this time RPM is currently evaluating several driver opportunities to help drive the #9 team forward and will make a future announcement at the appropriate time. Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, is thankful for Ambrose and his dedication to the team. "Marcos will always be a part of our extended racing family," said Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "He came over to the United States with his family and dedicated his time here to giving it the best he had each week. I couldn't ask anything more from Marcos and his commitment on and off of the track to our race team and our partners. Away from the track, he's a family person first. That's something I respect and we'll miss Marcos, Sonja and their children." Ambrose will depart the team as one of the most successful drivers to ever race under the Petty banner. His NASCAR legacy will be cemented as one of the greatest to ever wheel a stock car on road courses, specifically the course at Watkins Glen International where he has six NASCAR wins.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-13-2014)
UPDATE: Ambrose talked to the media Saturday morning after the announcement:
"First of all I need to thank everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports, it has been a great four years together. It has been incredible to drive for the King and Stanley DeWalt and Ford Racing and everybody. The time is just right for me to stop. I feel like the timing is right for myself and my family to return to Australia and that is what we are going to do.
WHAT WENT INTO THIS DECISION? "There has been a lot of conjecture through the years but I just want to get my kids home to enjoy the Australian lifestyle as well so they can make a good choice when they grow up. This is really a racing choice for me and I feel like the time is right for me to stop in the US and personally I think it is a great time to move back home to Australia with my family."
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR NASCAR CAREER? "It has been fantastic. I never thought I would achieve what I have at the Sprint Cup level. I have survived here for years and I have had some wins but not enough and I feel like I was up against it early on from my background. I came from a country that doesn't have any asphalt oval racing at all and so I feel like I have achieved a lot and am really satisfied."
ANY COMMENT ON YOUR FUTURE PLANS? IT IS RUMORED YOU MIGHT BE JOINING A PENSKE OWNED TEAM. "Today is not the day to talk about anything about my racing future. I feel like personally this is the right choice for myself and my family to call it a day here in the US and move on to our next chapter."
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF COMING BACK TO DRIVE ROAD RACES? "I haven't really thought about that. This decision was made some time ago and RPM felt like today was a good day to announce it but I had spoken to RPM about this before the summer."(Ford Racing)(9-13-2014)
UPDATE 2: Following the announcement that Ambrose would return to Australia next season and speculation that he would drive Australian Super-V8 cars for Team Penske, Tim Cindric of Penske tweeted, "We plan to have a teleconference on Monday at 9pm EST to give an update and address the media. No further comments. Focused on the Chase now." The late teleconference time is 10:00am Tuesday morning in Sydney, Australia.(9-14-2014)
UPDATE 3: Team Penske announced that it will form a partnership with one of the most successful motorsport teams in Australia to compete in the popular V8 Supercars Championship, beginning in 2015. Working with Dick Johnson Racing (DJR), the longest-established motor racing team in Australia, Team Penske plans to race next season in the ultra-competitive touring car series that features events contested at Australia's top motorsport venues. DJR Team Penske will compete with Ford Falcons in the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship with a true hero of Australian motorsports behind the wheel. Marcos Ambrose will return to the Series where he drew international acclaim to race the iconic #17 Ford for DJR Team Penske. Ambrose is a two-time V8 Supercars champion; winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004. He transitioned to a winning career in NASCAR where he has earned seven wins and eight pole positions while competing in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series over the past nine seasons.(Team Penske)(9-13-2014)
Ragan a favorite to replace Ambrose? With Ambrose's departure, David Ragan has emerged as one of the top candidates for the #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. While the driver of the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford is content where he is, at his age he would entertain offers to improve his position. "If Richard Petty had interest in me driving the car, I would certainly talk to them some," Ragan told Motorsport.com on Saturday. "As a 28-year-old, I want to be around the sport for a long time and feel like I have a lot of good years in front of me. I'm very grateful for the opportunity that Bob Jenkins and Front Row Motorsports have given me. I've had a lot of fun and won a race. But you never know what the future might hold. About this time every year, you look at your options in other series or with other teams and other sponsors to go and race and I'd love to have the opportunity to talk to them for a little bit. But I'm sure there are a lot of drivers in that same situation." Ragan is already established as a Ford racer - and a Ford car dealer as well. He also has a past history with the current crew chief of the #9 Ford, Drew Blickensderfer from his time with Roush Fenway Racing, where Ragan won his first Cup race and two poles in his final season with the team. Sponsorship remains a question for the #9 Ford for next season. Stanley/DeWalt is expected to join Joe Gibbs Racing next year with a split plan of support between Carl Edwards on the #19 (Stanley) and Matt Kenseth (DeWalt) on the #20 Toyota.(Motorsport)(9-14-2014)
Chuck Liddell to drive pace car at Phoenix: Former UFC World Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell will lead the field to the green flag behind the wheel of the Official Toyota Pace Car at the start of the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov 9. Liddell's appearance was the result of a partnership between PIR and Niner Sports & Entertainment. As the official pace car driver for the semifinal race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the 44-year old mixed martial artist will take an honorary lap around the one-mile oval. Regarded as one of the greatest light heavyweights in the history of professional mixed martial arts, Liddell quickly gained recognition as an elite fighter, rising to become the light-heavyweight champion of the world, and inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009. Now as a husband, father, and superstar, Liddell is able to inspire others through his recent autobiography titled "Iceman: My Fighting Life," published in 2008, as well as traveling all over the world for public speaking engagements and promotional events. In addition to his duties behind the wheel, Liddell will make a promotional appearance at PIR prior to the race on Sunday, Nov 9. Tickets for the Quicken Loans Race of Heroes 500 on Nov. 9 start at just $25. For tickets and information, visit PhoenixRaceway.com or call 866-408-RACE (7223).(PIR)(9-14-2014)
Darian Grubb returns to the track: Darian Gubbb, crew chief for #11-Denny Hamlin, returned to the track Friday at Chicagoland Speedway after serving a 6 week suspension handed down by NASCAR following the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He met with the media at Chicago and discussed the penalty and plans for next year:
Do you know what happened in Indy that took you away from the race track for six races?
"The same parts that have been in there, it was actually new parts that week on our car. It was a nut plate that is used as an aircraft fastener and it didn't have enough torque on it and backed off and came loose. It's something that we've taken out of the cars and have never seen again and never seen before. It's a 27 cent part that came loose, wasn't torqued correctly."
Was it intentional or a gray area?
"No, not a gray area, not anything intentional. There's not any real performance gain there. Everybody in the garage uses those same covers and they came loose the week they shouldn't have."
Did anything become clearer over the last six weeks? [In regards to plans for next year]:
"No, we're still working on a lot of things and concentrating on winning a championship for Joe Gibbs Racing in the FedEx Toyota right now."(Toyota PR)(9-13-2014)
Colt Ford to perform free concert at Dover: Race fans will have the opportunity to see a free concert from country music star Colt Ford on the Victory Plaza stage at 10:30am the morning of the Sept. 28 "AAA 400" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway, which is event No. 3 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the first "knockout race" of the new playoff format. Ford will bring his unique blend of country music and hip-hop to the Dover race weekend in support of his most recent album, "Thanks for Listening," released through his self-owned Average Joes Entertainment label. The album features collaborations with Keith Urban, "Duck Dynasty's" Boss Hog and Willie Robertson, Jerrod Niemann and others. Ford compares his unique style to the spoken-word songs of country greats like Tex Williams, Roger Miller, Johnny Cash and C.W. McCall, and is able to seamlessly blend the world of country music and hip-hop, noting the similarity in that both are focused on storytelling and real-life experiences. For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(Dover Speedway)(9-13-2014)
Most Popular Driver Voting: The voting for the 2014 Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver Award started July 5, 2014. To vote, visit www.mostpopulardriver.com and follow the online instructions for entering. Voting began on July 5, 2014 and ends at 8:00pm/et on November 17, 2014. Voting is limited to a) one (1) vote per person per email address per day; b) up to two (2) additional votes per person per email address per day for those who share their votes through social media sites Facebook and/or Twitter. Driver eligibility for the Most Popular Driver award is limited to those candidates that have declared for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and have entered all points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events contested between Jan. 1, 2014 and July 5, 2014.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, September 20, 2014, 11:30am/et
Born in SEPTEMBER
20 Juan Pablo Montoya, Carl Long, Lance Norick, Cory Kruseman
21 Richard Childress, Randy Pemberton, Angelique Chengelis, Curtis Markham, Larry Carter
22 Leonard Wood, Colin Braun, Anne M. Edwards, Steve Christman, Marc Reno, Chuck Efaw
23 Regan Smith, Jeff Buice, Gene Black, Oda Green, Ben Leslie
24 Glenn Allen Jr., Allen Bestwick
25 Jack Donohue, Jimmy Florian, Scott Punch, Dan Koozer
26 Bill France Sr., Joe Nemechek, Rob Moroso, Wayne Cloth, Tina Dillon, Marty Robbins
27 Terry Satchell, James Houk
28 Ron Fellows, Anthony Seibert
29 Stanley Smith, Chase Montgomery, Margaret Carol Waltrip
30 Frank Kerr, Bruce Kirkendall, Jeffrey Baker
Born in OCTOBER
1 Neil Goldberg, Fred Graves, Steve Barkdoll, John Krebs, Neil Castles, Mel Larson, Clarence DeZalia
2 John Roberts, Paul Goldsmith, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen
3 Max Papis, Chase Austin, Carolyn Carrier, Bray Pemberton, Sidney Wolfe, Joe Piette Jr., Bobby Santos
4 Sarah Burton, Heather Hammond, Rich Burgess, Liz Clarke
5 J.J. Yeley, Earl Barban, Brian Johnson, Austin Fox, Dave Rezendes, Rick Beebe, Courtney George, J.T. Putney
6 Mike McLaughlin, Dick McCabe, Phillip McGilton, Michael Marks
7 Pierre Bourque, Hank Parker Jr., Tina Yocono
8 Bill Elliott, Johnny Southall, Margaret Hallin, Joe Stella
9 Darian Grubb, Ray Kilgore, Billy Wease, Freda Styers
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr, Coleman Pressley, Connie Larimore, Bill Feeney
11 Jimmy Hensley, David Starr
12 Morgan Shepherd, Ned Jarrett, Tim Sullivan, Lonnie Clouse, Ernie Gahan, Kitty 'Mom' Allison,
13 John Kernan, Michael Ehert, Tim Sauter, David Ifft
14 Jason Jarrett
15 Chris Economaki, Red Farmer, Eddie Gossage, Chad McCumbee, Aaron Johnston, Roland Wlodyka, Gober Sosebee
16 Mark Petty, Mae Beaty, Tim Packman
17 Chocolate Myers, Doug Randolph, Tommy Kendall, Jarrod Breeze
18 Edward Adamczyk Sr, Jerry Bonkowski, Bart Creasman, Billy Myers
19 Tom Wilsey, Mark Dyer, Lisa Price, Brad Daugherty, Leslie Britton, Brian Rose, Greg Cindric
20 John Kosner. Fred Wanke, Todd Gordon, Wally McCarty, Clifford Allison
21 Bob Jeffrey, Pete Wright, David Gebhardt
22 Ed Dybalski, George Gillett Jr., Milan Garrett, Rick Benjamin, John Graham, Adam Davis
23 Humpy Wheeler, Larry Hartle
24 Dave Blaney, Jim France, Brian Vickers, Tracy Leslie, Jeff Price, Bill O'Dea, Andrew Turner, Patrick Lawler
25 Mike Hoffman, Ward Burton, Jon Wood, Taylor Lane Stricklin, Maggie Martin
26 Jimmy Pardue
27 Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance
28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman
29 Teresa Earnhardt, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy 'the dog' Adamczyk
30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.
31 Mike Casto, Kip Childress