NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Entry List for the Pennsylvania 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney*, #30-Wise*, #32-Jeb Burton, #55-Sorenson*, #88-Jeff Gordon, #95-McDowell, #98-Whitt*.
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #55-Sorenson, #98-Whitt
    Since only 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race, 40 is the maximum.
    * Open Team (no Charter)
    See the full entry list on's Pocono Entry List

  • NASCAR announces 2017 race start times: NASCAR, along with FOX Sports and NBC Sports, announced 2017 race start times and network coverage for the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series -- based on the previously released schedule dates. Through collaborative efforts with its broadcast partners, race teams and tracks, NASCAR was able to finalize full 2017 start times for all three national series almost six months earlier than in recent seasons. Seventeen national series events will start closer to primetime, helping to bring NASCAR's photo finishes and close, side-by-side racing to larger audiences. Seventeen NASCAR Cup Series points races will air on broadcast television next year, including the DAYTONA 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on FOX; and the Brickyard 400 and the NASCAR Cup Series championship race, the Ford EcoBoost 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway, on NBC. Since the initial release of the 2017 schedule, NASCAR and its partners have shifted two dates for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Road America will move to Sunday, August 27, on NBC. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park will now take place on Sunday, September 3, airing on FS1 prior to the NASCAR Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN. Looking ahead to the 2018 season, the DAYTONA 500 will move to Sunday, February 18, during Presidents Day weekend. NASCAR and its partners are working collaboratively on the remainder of the 2018 schedule, which will be finalized and released at a later date.(NASCAR), see Cup start times on the 2017 Cup schedule page.(7-27-2016)

  • Target ending IndyCar sponsorship; will continue with Larson in 2017: Target will leave IndyCar at the end of this season after 27 years with Chip Ganassi Racing that included 11 championships and four Indianapolis 500 victories. The exit comes as Target is examining all of its marketing platforms under new chairman Brian Cornell. Target is also the primary sponsor of Kyle Larson in NASCAR's top Sprint Cup Series and will return to his car in 2017. Target's relationship with Ganassi is one of the longest in any racing series, and the retail giant was a key player in helping Ganassi build his organization. Target not only sponsored Ganassi's first car as a team owner, it eventually became a partner as the Ganassi team grew to one of the top two players in open wheel racing. "It was a really difficult decision that we made -- we've been with Chip Ganassi Racing for 27 years and we are ridiculously proud of the success," [senior vice president Scott] Nygaard said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "But the Target brand is about being fresh and new, so we felt like this was the time to make the difficult decision and expand our sports marketing platform." About the NASCAR sponsorship, Nygaard said only that Target is excited for the 2017 season with Larson. Target's contract with Ganassi runs through next year.(Associated Press/

  • Indianapolis Post-race penalties and warnings: NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24th.
    #4-Kevin Harvick was given a P3 penalty for violations of Section 12.1; Section [Lug Nut(s) not properly installed]. Crew chief (Rodney Childers) has been fined $20,000 and suspended from all NASCAR Series Championship Points Events through August 3, 2016 and placed on NASCAR Probation through December 31, 2016.
    The following warnings were issued:
    #5-Kahne (1), #27-Menard (3), #83-Dibenedetto (4), Failed LIS twice during pre-race inspection, written warning
    #41-Busch (2), #43-Almirola (2), Failed template inspection twice, prequalifying inspection, written warning
    ()--Total current warnings
    See the New Hampshire Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report(pdf) for more.
    AND: [SHR engineer] Dax Gerringer will serve as Harvick's interim crew chief at Pocono.(7-20-2016)

  • Pocono Chase Clinch Scenarios: So far, the five drivers who have clinched Chase berths are #2-Brad Keselowski, #18-Kyle Busch, #19-Carl Edwards, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #20-Matt Kenseth. Chase-clinching scenarios for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono:
    #4-Kevin Harvick (1 win, 671 points, +434 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.
    #41-Kurt Busch (1 wins, 627 points, +390 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.
    #22-Joey Logano (1 Win, 606 points, +369 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.
    #78-Martin Truex Jr (1 win, 573 points, +336 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.
    #11-Denny Hamlin (1 win, 542 points, +305 points ahead of 31st): Can clinch with a win.
    All of the above drivers have already clinched a position in the top 30 in the drivers points standings, but need to clear the multiple wins hurdle.(

  • Top-20 drivers in merchandise sales released: This race weekend at Pocono Raceway marks the first anniversary of the Fanatics Trackside Superstore - the reimagined and improved at-track shopping experience. The Trackside Superstore offers fans a one-stop-shop every race weekend with the largest selection of in-store NASCAR merchandise in the world. Halfway through 2016, photo finishes, side-by-side racing and record passing as the Chase spots are clinched has driven interest in the telecast and engagement on digital and social as well as in driver merchandise sales. NASCAR fans take pride in flying the colors of their favorite drivers and the first-half merchandise sales results are officially tallied. The top three drivers are no surprise with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. leading the rankings, followed by six-time Sprint Cup Series champion #48-Jimmie Johnson and defending champion #18-Kyle Busch. With rising stars like Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, there are currently five drivers in the top-20 list who are 26 years of age or younger. The most popular products available at the Trackside Superstore include apparel, headwear and novelty items. Lionel's 1:64 scale die-casts are up 77 percent year-over-year, one of the largest growth trends across all categories at the Trackside Superstore.(NASCAR) The top 20: #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #48-Johnson, #18-Busch, #24-Elliott, #4-Harvick, #14-Stewart, #10-Patrick, #19-Edwards, #2-Keselowski, #5-Kahne, #22-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #20-Kenseth, #78-Truex, Jr., #41-Busch, #42-Larson, #31-Newman, #3-Dillon, #21-Blaney, #1-McMurray.(NASCAR)(7-27-2016)

  • Hamlin to help with West Virginia flood relief: #11-Denny Hamlin is heading to southern West Virginia to help out after deadly floods ravaged the region. A news release from The Greenbrier resort says that on Thursday evening, Hamlin will hand out toys and school supplies to Greenbrier County students affected by the June 23 floods. He'll be at the White Sulphur Springs train station. Kyle Larson, who competes in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, will accompany Hamlin on Thursday. The floods killed 23 people and devastated homes, businesses and infrastructure. Greenbrier County accounted for 15 of the 23 deaths.(Associated Press)(7-27-2016)

  • vineyard vines joins Germain Racing: vineyard vines has just announced a partnership with NASCAR Germain Racing and driver Casey Mears, for five upcoming races in 2016. vineyard vines is one of the first lifestyle clothing brands to be associated with a NASCAR team, and their whale logo will be prominently displayed on the #13 Germain Racing car and the driver's fire suit. Kicking off with the "Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard" which took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 24, vineyard vines will be partnering with Germain Racing on four other races throughout the season. "The story of the Murray brothers is great. Two guys quit their jobs to sell neckties. It's exciting to promote vineyard vines in what, I believe, is still just the beginning of the growth of their brand. We are thrilled to bring the vineyard vines style into the NASCAR garage," said Bob Germain. vineyard vines will be opening a new retail store in Indianapolis this month and next up in the series of NASCAR races will be in Richmond, VA this September followed by Chicago, Charlotte and Miami.(Vineyard Vines)(7-27-2016)

  • Pocono Goodyear Tire Notes: While NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series teams will run the same right-side tire code at Pocono this week, they will run different left-side codes . . . for Sprint Cup teams, this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires they ran at Pocono in June . . . while Pocono is the only track at which Cup teams will run this left-side tire code (D-4708), they did run this right-side code (D-4710) at Indianapolis last week . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners on all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Pocono Race Info page

  • Jake Owens in concert at Texas: Texas Motor Speedway's "Christmas In July" event just added another major present under the tree for fans attending the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 6, as country music star Jake Owen will perform a free concert during the Loud & Proud Pre-Race Show Fueled By American Ethanol. Since releasing his debut album Startin' with Me in 2006, Owen has risen as one of today's most popular male country singers for his irresistible melodies, smooth vocals, and laid-back attitude. The Florida native is known throughout the music world as an artist who has become a beacon of positive vibes through his uplifting lyrics and melodies, optimism, love of the beach and his youthful spontaneity. While the concert can be enjoyed from the grandstands for free by AAA Texas 500 ticketholders, fans also have an opportunity to watch the concert and pre-race driver introductions stage side by purchasing a Loud and Proud Pre-Race Show Fueled by American Ethanol pass for $79. The pre-race pass and access are free for all Texas Motor Speedway season ticket holders. A ticket to the AAA Texas 500 must accompany all pre-race passes. The free music also will continue for fans following the conclusion of the AAA Texas 500. Jason Boland & The Stragglers will perform at the Portacool Post-Race Show approximately 30 minutes after the finish of the race.(TMS)(7-27-2016)

  • Sad News - Judy Parrott: Judy Kelley Parrott, 75, of Statesville died peacefully in her home on July 22, 2016. Survivors include her husband (former NASCAR Crew Chief) Buddy Parrott; sons, (NASCAR crew chief) Todd Parrott (Billie) of Mooresville and (NASCAR crew chief) Brad Parrott (Mary) of Huntersville; siblings Pat Power and Mike Kelley, and 6 grandchildren, Tyler, Blake, Chandler, Ella, Ayden and Lola. Judy was Vice President of Sports Management Group, which was formed in 1986 to manage the Folgers NASCAR racing program. As the account manager she worked along side of many drivers ranging from Tim Richmond to Mark Martin. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Judy Parrott's name to the following: Motor Racing Outreach or Victory Junction. A memorial service will be held in her honor at Langtree Plantation on Wednesday August 17th at 6:00 pm. Rev, Kenny Crosswhite will officiate.(

  • Sad News - Dave Sisco: Former NASCAR Cup driver and 1969 Nashville Fairgrounds late model champion Dave Sisco passed away, July 25, 2016, at the age of 79. He was U. S. Army Veteran. His family has asked that those desiring to make memorial contributions to do so to either the Alzheimer's Association, St. Judes or Caris Hospice of Dickson, TN.(full obit and service info at Sisco ran 133 NASCAR Sprint (then Winston) Cup races from 1971 to 1977, with 6 top-fives and 31 top-tens. His best finish was 3rd two times, both in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, the first in 1974, won by Cale Yarborough 2nd was Darrell Waltrip. Sisco finished 3rd again in 1975 to winner Bobby Allison with Richard Petty 2nd.(7-26-2016)

  • Keselowski ok after hard wreck in testing at Watkins Glen: #2-Brad Keselowski escaped uninjured -- "still upright," in his words -- after a scary crash Tuesday during an organizational test for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams at Watkins Glen International. Keselowski had just turned a session-topping 124.572 mph on his 18th lap of the day, best of the 14 drivers participating on the freshly repaved 2.45-mile road course. But just after registering that speed, the rear brakes on his Team Penske No. 2 Ford failed, sending Keselowski's car nose-first into the tire-pack barrier in Turn 1 at the end of the long frontstretch. "Just the pedal went to the floor," Keselowski said. "It means that you've lost brakes on one of the corners. At a track like this, you're already on the edge. You don't have any room or margin for something to fail. That's the way it is." The wreck occurred midway through Tuesday's afternoon session on the first day of a two-day organizational test before the series' Aug. 7 Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. Keselowski was evaluated and released from the infield care center, no worse for wear, but crew chief Paul Wolfe still lamented the circumstances. He tweeted video of the heavy crash and a photo of his bent steering wheel on social media to illustrate the wreck's severity. Team Penske unloaded a reserve #2 Ford -- a car that's been a backup at several events this season -- which it planned to put on the track Wednesday.(

  • Teams testing at Watkins Glen: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will receive extra track time this week at newly repaved Watkins Glen International, site of the final road-course race on this year's schedule. A total of 16 teams are scheduled to converge on the New York circuit for a two-day organizational test Tuesday and Wednesday in advance of the Aug. 7 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. The $12 million offseason repaving project marks the first full resurfacing at the facility since 1989. The new asphalt includes the 2.45-mile layout used in NASCAR competition and the longer 3.4-mile configuration used by other series. Drivers scheduled to participate this week: #47-Allmendinger, #21-Blaney, #15-Bowyer, #34-Buescher, #41-Busch, #18-Busch, #83-DiBenedetto, #3-Dillon, #24-Elliott, #2-Keselowski, #95-McDowell, #1-McMurray, #13-Mears, #44-Scott, #17-Stenhouse Jr., and #78-Truex Jr. The on-track schedule will feature two sessions each day -- 9:00am-12:00pm/et and 1:00-5:00pm/et. NASCAR XFINITY Series teams will get extra practice time on the new surface during an expanded race weekend. The schedule was extended from three days to four this year with the addition of two XFINITY practice sessions on Thursday, Aug. 4.(

  • Indianapolis TV Ratings: With Jeff Gordon coming out of retirement to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's Brickyard 400 scored a double-digit increase over last year. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Indianapolis earned a 3.1 rating and 5.2 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday afternoon, according to Nielsen fast-nationals - up 3% in ratings and 11% in viewership from last year (3.0, 4.7M) and down 9% and about even, respectively, compared to 2014 on ESPN (3.4, 5.2M). Kyle Busch's win, in which Gordon finished 13th, ranks as the highest rated and most-watched program in the history of NBCSN (previously VERSUS and OLN). The previous highs were set by last year's race. It was also the third of the past five Sprint Cup races to post an increase in ratings and viewership. Excluding races that were postponed either this year or last, seven of 17 races this season have posted an increase in ratings and/or viewership.(Sports Media Watch), see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(7-26-2016)

  • E.J. Wade Construction sponsoring DiBenedetto at Pocono: BK Racing announced that E.J. Wade Construction will return as a primary sponsor on Matt DiBenedetto's #83 E.J. Wade Construction Toyota Camry in the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. The race on July 31, 2016 will be E.J. Wade Construction's third 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.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(7-26-2016)

  • Mobil 1 sponsoring 3 SHR cars at Pocono: A live-broadcasted virtual race, a one-of-a-kind time lapse experience and another leg of an endless road trip are all upcoming digital video events to celebrate ExxonMobil's expanded partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing at Pocono. These three pieces of Mobil 1 online content will be released during the days leading up to race weekend, culminating with full primary sponsorships of #4-Kevin Harvick, #10-Danica Patrick and #14-Tony Stewart for the Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Additionally, Mobil 1 will be the presenting sponsor of the race's NBC Sports Network TV broadcast. "The same brand having marquee placement on three cars for one of NASCAR's top teams during the same race is rare, so we are marking the event by bringing more Mobil 1-branded action to race fans before and during the Pocono Sprint Cup race," said Kai Decker, global motorsports manager at ExxonMobil. "Our Mobil 1 Pocono digital content ranges from light-hearted to thrilling and provides behind-the-scenes access we think fans will love."(Mobil 1 PR), see images of the cars on the #4 team paint schemes, #10 team paint schemes, and #14 team paint schemes pages(7-26-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Pocono:
    #24-Chase Elliott 130.9
    #41-Kurt Busch 106.8
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 106.3
    #11-Denny Hamlin 106.0
    #19-Carl Edwards 95.1
    #14-Tony Stewart 94.7
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr 93.9
    #4-Kevin Harvick 92.4
    #31-Ryan Newman 92.3
    #22-Joey Logano 92.2
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (22 total) among active drivers at Pocono Raceway.
    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

  • Guy Fieri named Grand Marshal at Pocono: Chef, restaurateur, New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award-winning television host Guy Fieri will serve as Grand Marshal of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pennsylvania 400, Sunday July 31 at Pocono Raceway. Fieri owns Guy Fieri's Mount Pocono Kitchen in the Mount Airy Casino Resort in nearby Mount Pocono, as well as Guy Fieri's Chophouse in Atlantic City, amongst others. He is also the star of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," and "Guy's Grocery Games" on Food Network., Fieri will provide the "Star Your Engines" command prior to the start of the Pennsylvania 400.(Pocono Raceway)(7-26-2016)

  • Earnhardt, Jr gives update on his status: Dale Earnhardt Jr., on his weekly The Dale Jr. Download, said "I miss the people more than the driving" while sitting out with concussion-type symptoms such as balance issues and nausea. He said he has been working on the physical and mental exercises for 2-2.5 hours a day. "This process is going to take a little bit longer. ... With my history, I don't need to get cute (in returning)," said Earnhardt, who indicated he will see doctors soon to make a determination about Watkins Glen next week. He said it must have been a challenge for Jeff Gordon because of the changes to the cars since Gordon last drove them. On Kyle Busch's win: "You have to hand it to Gibbs. Good Lord, their stuff is so fast."(

  • Stockman replaces Alexander as Menard's crew chief: Richard Childress Racing has made a change in crew chiefs for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series programs, effective immediately. Danny Stockman, a two-time champion in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series, will assume crew chief responsibilities for the #27 Menards Chevrolet SS team, with driver Paul Menard. Stockman's first race with the team will be at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, July 31. During Stockman's seven-year tenure with RCR, he has captured two championships and nine wins between the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. The Yucaipa, Calif., native joins the #27 program already familiar with Menard, having worked with the veteran driver for the past two years in the XFINITY Series. Together, they produced a race win at Road America in 2015. Menard, who earned a spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase in 2015, is currently 23rd in the championship point standings. RCR's current NASCAR XFINITY Series Director, Gil Martin, will serve as interim crew chief for the #2 Rheem/Menards program. Martin, a 16-year veteran of RCR, is among a select group of crew chiefs that have won races in NASCAR's Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series.(Richard Childress Racing)(7-25-2016)

  • NASCAR would like to see better attendance, racing at IMS: NASCAR's Steve O'Donnell said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that series officials would like to "see more fans in the stands" at Indianapolis Motor Speedway but stated that "we've got to put on the racing people want to see." Kyle Busch dominated Sunday's Brickyard 400, leading 149 of 170 laps. That came a day after he won the Xfinity race there, leading all 20 laps in his heat and 62 of the 63 laps in the main event. While attendance figures are not announced, The Indianapolis Star reported that Sunday's crowd "might not have topped 50,000" at a track that has more than 250,000 permanent seats. On the crowd, O'Donnell said: "Certainly we would like to see more fans in the stands. It's been a struggle over the last couple of years for sure. We put a little bit on that ourselves when we had the tire issue (in 2008 where tire issues prevented any green flag stretch longer than 13 laps).
    "It's a challenging race track for us from a racing perspective. That's no secret. So, we've got to balance the ability to race at that speedway but also put on a good race and balance that with the attendance. That's an ongoing thing. We're in discussions with Doug Boles (track president) and Mark Miles (CEO of Hulman & Company), and I know from their perspective as well, they certainly want to see folks in the stands, as do we. It's an important market for us, but by the same token we've got to put on the racing that people want to see. It's a balance, but we've got to make sure when we go there it's the best of all worlds and this year was a challenge, and we want to see that turn and reverse."
    O'Donnell said that more can be done with the racing at Indianapolis: "Maybe the cars were a little bit closer together from a 1-40 standpoint, but obviously the ability to pass was a challenge, especially at the front. We'll go back and look at what levers we can pull. We're still evaluating 2017 (rules package), continuing on the lower (aero) trend and working with Goodyear on the tire. It's just a real challenge in terms of the groove in the corners at Indy. It's something we've got to continue to look at and see if we can, if at all, open up the ability to draft more and increase those passing zones."(NBC Sports)(7-25-2016)

  • Stewart, Gordon take final lap together at Indianapolis: The two Indiana favorites didn't win the Brickyard 400 -- far from it. But Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon gave the fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the highlight of the race minutes after the checkered flag dropped on the Kyle Busch victory Sunday afternoon. Stewart and Gordon took a ceremonial lap driving side-by-side in what is expected to be their final race in the state that has celebrated their racing prowess. After they parked on pit road, Gordon went over to Stewart and gave him a hug.
    "For us to share that moment together, I mean that's probably our last lap around here in a professional race, and I'll cherish that moment," Stewart said. "It's something that doesn't happen very often. It was pretty cool. ... We're never going to get that chance to do that again."
    "Tony and I have gone through a lot over the years, but he and I have become really good friends," Gordon said. "I was with him when he got hurt this year. ... I learned a lot about Tony Stewart. He's driven. He's tough. To see him in that pain I saw him in and come back and win Sonoma [last month] and be out here driving like this with a chance at a championship when this whole thing is over, that's impressive."(

  • Kenseth and Johnson Clinch Chase spots: #20-Matt Kenseth and #48-Jimmie Johnson clinched a spot in the top 30 in driver standings at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday. The magic number was 271, as a driver needed to be 271 points ahead of 31st-place following the race. After Kenseth's 2nd place finish, he is 308 points ahead of 31st, while Johnson's 3rd place finish puts him 315 points ahead. #2-Brad Keselowski, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards had already clinched a spot.(7-25-2016)

  • Gordon enjoys return to racing; restarts provided challenge: Gordon was driving the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in a substitute role for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has suffered concussion-like symptoms in recent weeks and was advised by doctors not to race until he recovers. The unexpected opportunity was also a stern reminder for Gordon of the level of competition he left behind last November when he transitioned to the FOX Sports television booth. Though he lost ground repeatedly on restarts, however, Gordon finished a respectable 13th on Sunday.
    "Wow-the challenges to be out there against the best, especially on those restarts," said Gordon, who also will sub for Earnhardt next Sunday at Pocono. "I got my butt kicked on those restarts. It was embarrassing. While I will fill in for Dale Jr., and I hope he's doing good, I needed a fill-in on restarts. It was pretty bad. Other than that, I thought it went really well. I really liked working with (crew chief) Greg (Ives) and this whole #88 team. ... We just couldn't get the track position. It was pretty tough to pass. And I didn't want to see those cautions there at the end. But, I'm going to need some practice on restarts for Pocono anyway."(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-25-2016)

  • Indianapolis Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Combat Wounded Coalition 400: 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 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:47 PM (all times are EDT). NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 106
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 47
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 90
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 43
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 16
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 12
    Number of times NBCSN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 131
    Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 21
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 20 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:47 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 227
    Minutes of race broadcast: 183
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 39
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 9
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 183 Total comm. brdcst time 39
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at

  • Hendrick Motorsports looking for 1000th top-5 UPDATE: Cars fielded by Hendrick Motorsports have recorded 999 top-five finishes since the team was founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984. The owner's first Sprint Cup top-five also was his first win -- with driver Geoff Bodine on April 29, 1984, at Martinsville Speedway. This season, the organization has recorded 19 top-fives among its four drivers. Hendrick Motorsports posted a team record 57 top-five finishes in 2007.(Hendrick Motorsports)(7-21-2016)
    UPDATE: #48-Jimmie Johnson's 3rd place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday was Hendrick's 1000th top-5.(7-25-2016)

  • Tony George is again Chairman of the Board at IMS: The most intriguing story coming out of Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday for people who follow racing was the public confirmation that Tony George was quietly named chairman of the board of the speedway, in addition to its parent company, Hulman & Co., some four months ago. Sure, there was Indy's 160-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race -- actually, make that 170, thanks to a series of overtime crashes -- which to the surprise of no one was dominated by Kyle Busch and the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. That made George's ascension to the chairman's seat of his family's companies the biggest story of the day, marking a comeback that rivals any we've ever seen on the executive side of the sport. The news broke in unorthodox fashion. George was voted into the chairman roles during Hulman & Co.'s annual meeting in March, but there was no public confirmation of the change until he was introduced as the IMS chairman over the Speedway's public address system when he stepped out to give the command to start engines for Sunday's race. Talk about a private company that really keeps things private. Now 56, George was named president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1989 when he was just 29 years old, kicking off a turbulent 20-year run. During his tenure, George brought NASCAR to Indianapolis with the first Brickyard 400 in 1994, and he also built a road course in the IMS infield that hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix from 2000-07. But George is more famous (or infamous) for creating the Indy Racing League and using the Indianapolis 500 as a bargaining chip in the quest to take control of Indy car racing from CART. The 13-year civil war between the two Indy car series from 1996-2008 caused huge damage to the sport, which it still continues to recover from. After Indy car racing was unified as the IndyCar Series under Hulman &. Co leadership, George resigned as the league's CEO in 2009, and he relinquished his board roles in 2011. He was reinstated to the IMS and Hulman & Co. boards in 2013; with his 82-year-old mother Mari Hulman-George in failing health, his recent ascension to the chairman role doesn't come as a surprise. Just family business. Still, the fact that Hulman & Co. chose not to publicize the move indicates they understand the perception of putting George back in charge still carries some public relations baggage with longtime Indy car fans -- even though as the board chairman, he will have little or no influence on the company's day-to-day operations.(

  • NASCAR may use more timing zones at IMS: NASCAR [employed] additional timing zones on pit road for [Saturday's] NASCAR Xfinity race and if all [went] well, those timing zones will be used in Sunday's Brickyard 400, NASCAR confirmed to NBC Sports. There were 12 timing zones along pit road - up from six previously at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There [was] be a timing zone about every 3.5 pit stalls on average. Those are being added to limit drivers accelerating toward their pit stall and passing cars. That became a bigger issue after NASCAR penalized Martin Truex Jr. for passing Kevin Harvick on pit road during the Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway earlier this month. NASCAR experimented with the additional timing lines last weekend at New Hampshire and had no issues.(NBC Sports)(7-24-2016)

  • NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest returns: NASCAR and Chevrolet announced the launch of the second annual NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest during a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Through this initiative, NASCAR and Chevrolet continue their longstanding commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education and promoting opportunities for college students pursuing technology related careers. The contest challenges students to identify a technology or innovation within NASCAR and explain how STEM professionals came to its design in 90-second videos submitted on Four winners will receive a total of $20,000 in scholarships and a VIP experience at Texas Motor Speedway during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on November 6, 2016. In what has quickly become an important component of NASCAR's diversity and inclusion platform, the scholarship program helps both organizations attract young, diverse talent to the world of motorsports. Video submissions will be judged on technical accuracy, creativity and production quality. Winners will be awarded a scholarship and an exclusive, behind-the-scenes race experience in Texas, including a tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pace car rides and meet-and-greets with Team Chevy drivers and Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager, Alba Colon.(NASCAR)(7-24-2016)

  • Stewart willing to sub next year if needed: #14-Tony Stewart met with the media Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was asked the process Stewart-Haas Racing would use to find a replacement driver in the future, if needed:
    Stewart: "We never thought of that actually. It is something that I thought about since the talk came about Jeff getting back in the car. We don't have a feeder system. We don't have an Xfinity team. We don't have anybody that's in our system to bring up if that is the case. We will talk about it at some point, but I am definitely open to that scenario if it were to happen down the road and we needed somebody, I would be open to doing what Jeff is doing this weekend."(Chevy Racing)(7-23-2016)

  • SunnyD renews sponsorship with Roush Fenway, Stenhouse: You will find no "purple stuff" in the #17 team's cooler at Roush Fenway Racing, as the team has announced a multi-year extension with SunnyD as a primary partner on the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford with driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The iconic brand has served as the primary partner for Stenhouse in multiple races this season, including this weekend at the famed Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We are very excited to have SunnyD extend its partnership on the #17," said Stenhouse. "It's a great brand and we have had a lot of fun this year promoting their product. In addition to the extension, SunnyD will serve as the primary for Stenhouse in the October Sprint Cup race at Charlotte and in the NASCAR XFINITY Race in Phoenix later this season. This season, Roush Fenway and SunnyD have teamed together in several unique social programs and promotions. Stenhouse and teammate Chris Buescher, along with FOX personalities Kaitlyn Vincie and Andrew Doud, recreated the classic "Purple Stuff" SunnyD commercial.(Roush Fenway)(7-22-2016)

  • Earnhardt Jr. sensing improvement: #88- Dale Earnhardt Jr. indicated Friday he is feeling a little better as he battles balance issues and nausea believed to be from concussions. Earnhardt, who has been working with doctors for the past 10 days, will miss his second consecutive race this weekend. "Today is the 1st day in many that I sensed improvement," Earnhardt tweeted Friday morning. "Seen small gains during my physical therapy as well. Light at the end of the tunnel." Earnhardt was replaced by one his Xfinity Series drivers, Alex Bowman, last week at New Hampshire and will be replaced by four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon this weekend at Indianapolis and next week at Pocono. There is no timetable for Earnhardt's return.(
    AND: Hendrick Motorsports held a press conference Friday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick. A few notes:
    • Gordon says he has done everything he can do to prepare for the race this weekend. Heat will a concern, but he feels ready.
    • Hendrick says Earnhardt, Jr. is "getting antsy" but he is going to follow doctor's orders.
    • Gordon say he "didn't have to think twice" about filling in for the team.
    • Gordon has not made a commitment for any races beyond Pocono. They will wait and see Earnhardt, Jr's status.
    • Gordon was asked to fill in for Tony Stewart at Daytona, but could not do it because of his commitment to Fox.
    • The biggest issue for Gordon will be to remember to pull into the #88 pit on Sunday and not into the #24 out of habit.
    • Gordon had planned to drive the pace car on Sunday before the opportunity to drive came up.

  • Stewart inducted into USAC Hall of Fame: Tony Stewart nodded, smiled and complied with dozens fans asking for pictures and autographs Thursday night, but eventually he cut them off and told them he needed to pay attention to the stage in front of him. After all, Stewart was waiting to hear his name called. When his time finally came, the fans returned the love as Stewart, along with 11 other drivers, was inducted USAC Hall of Fame prior to the 100-lap Silver Crown Rick Vogler Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway. Stewart, a Columbus, Ind., native, was the first driver to win all three USAC national championships in a single season, in 1995, and is one six USAC "Triple Crown" champions." He is also a member National Midget Hall of Fame. "This is the culmination of everything you do," Stewart said after the ceremony. "This is not what you think of while your career is going on, but toward the end of your career - and it's not the end of my career yet; I plan on going and racing a little bit - this is the stuff that reminds you of all the hard work and the fun you had along the way." Stewart has "no idea" where he will be next year but does not plan on leaving racing behind, saying he could race sprint cars just about anywhere in 2017.(Indianapolis Star)(7-22-2016)

  • Childress close to finalizing 2017 plans: Car owner Richard Childress anticipates he'll know his 2017 driver lineup within three weeks. While Childress told NBC Sports on Thursday that "we've still got a couple of months before we make any real decisions," he did say that "we'll kind of know in the next two or three weeks. We'll have a direction." The main question for the three-car organization is #31-Ryan Newman's status. He's in the final year of his contract, and Childress' grandson, Ty Dillon, appears set to move to Sprint Cup next season. The team also includes #27-Paul Menard, who is 23rd in the points. Childress said Menard's is expected to return to the team as sponsor next year. The final member of the team is #3-Austin Dillon, who is 13th in points and seeking to make the playoffs for the first time.
    Ty Dillon has driven eight Sprint Cup races this season. He drove three races for Tony Stewart early in the season and has run five races for Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing. "I think he'll be in a Cup car next year," Childress said of Ty Dillon. "I'm pretty sure he'll be in a Cup car. We're working on some different programs. Hell, he may be with us, who knows? We're just working on a lot of different things. Right now it's just a lot of things are hanging. We're trying to put together what's going to be the best for everybody, not just for RCR, but for the drivers and the sponsors, we're trying to put together good programs."(NBC Sports)(7-22-2016)

  • FORTUNE 100 companies increase in NASCAR: The list of blue-chip brands involved in NASCAR continues to grow. According to a recent internal analysis, the number of FORTUNE 100 companies investing in NASCAR has increased five percent year-over-year. Also, the number of FORTUNE 500 companies investing in the sport has either grown or sustained year-over-year since 2012. Overall, more than one-in-four FORTUNE 500 companies integrate NASCAR into their marketing strategies. A charter agreement with race teams, five-year track sanctioning deals, and a bevy of new or renewed long-term partnerships have contributed to NASCAR's business growth over the last several years. FORTUNE 500 companies Auto-Owners Insurance, Stanley DeWalt, Fastenal, O'Reilly Auto Parts and Axalta have all renewed with or entered the sport this season, highlighting the momentum across the industry. Repucom's SponsorLink survey shows NASCAR surpasses all other sports properties in fan sponsor consideration. Seven out of 10 NASCAR fans are loyal to a sponsor's brand when it supports the sport, and three out of four NASCAR fans would consider a sponsor's brand. While being a FORTUNE 500 company is the gold standard of success for publicly-traded companies in the United States, there are several global corporations involved in NASCAR that weren't included in the analysis because they do not meet FORTUNE's criteria. A number of blue-chip brands significantly involved in the sport did not qualify, including: Mars, MillerCoors, Shell and Toyota.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-22-2016)

  • Sad News - Nancy Hammond: Nancy Tadlock Hammond, 85, of Charlotte died July 21. She was born on August 30, 1930 in Mecklenburg County to the late Marion Rube and Lura Tadlock. She was preceded in death by her husband Jacque Hammond. Survivors include her sons, Jeffrey Lee Hammond (Sharon) of Cleveland and Rodney Craig Hammond (Debra) of Cleveland; and grandchildren, Colt, Heather, Jacob and Jake. Visitation will be 5-7 PM Sunday, July 24 at James Funeral Home. The funeral service will be at 11:00 Monday at Oak Grove U.M.C. with Rev. Bob Roten officiating. Burial will follow at Sharon Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to the Serenity House, 110 Centre Church Rd., Mooresville, NC 28117. James Funeral Home of Huntersville is serving the family.(7-22-2016)

  • Bands added to Michigan's Keloorah lineup: The lineup for Keloorah in August just got bigger. A Thousand Horses and Drake White and The Big Fire have been added to an already jammed packed festival schedule on August 26-27. The two acts join country music favorites Chase Rice, Chase Bryant, Kip Moore and Tim Dugger at Keloorah during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Keloorah is a unique concept. It's a two-day music festival that takes place on Friday and Saturday during the August 26-28 NASCAR weekend at MIS. The talent lineup combined with unparalleled activities at the festival such as go karts, an arcade and paint and foam deejay party elevates the post-race fun. The lineup for Keloorah is impressive and will give NASCAR fans and music festival fans an experience to remember. Keloorah ticket packages that include a NASCAR ticket for the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 28 start at $60. NASCAR fans who already have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ticket for Aug. 28 can add a two-day Keloorah festival ticket for $30. Once inside Keloorah gates, all activities at the festival are FREE. Other activities include paint ball, cornhole tournaments hosted by and a paint and foam deejay party between acts.(MIS)(7-21-2016)

  • Gordon's return could impact Hall of Fame admission: Jeff Gordon's return to Sprint Cup racing could impact his NASCAR Hall of Fame eligibility. He was on track to be nominated, after the required two years of retirement for a driver under 55, in 2018 for the 2019 class. NASCAR will have to determine if this two-race (at least) substitute role in place of Dale Earnhardt Jr. will push him into first being eligible to be nominated in 2019 for the 2020 class.(

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added a 2nd COLLECTION of new links
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to the Article Links page, including.......

NOTE: the 20-25 links that seemed the most interesting to me are posted in the basic order they are shown on the Article / Column / Blog Links page with approx 10 days worth of links

Born on Dates / Birthday's

Born in JULY

28 Lamar Crabtree, Charlie Griffin, Tina Inman Hussey, Patrick Long, Earl Moss, Mary Quay, Reggie Ruggiero

29 Bernie Bisciotti, Harry Goularte, J.T. Hayes, Pete Orr

30 Robert Grey Allison, Ben Arnold, Neil Bonnet, Henry Ford, Ricky Sanders, Ward Towers

31 Mike Alexander, Bill Cintia, Bill Deakin, Flossie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Billy Rafter, Buck Simmons, Louise Smith, Bob Tomlinson

Born in AUGUST

1 Bobby Issac, Bob Keselowski, Ronnie Hornaday III, Alison Poling McCabe

2 Brian France

3 Tracy Adamczyk-Dowd (sister), Brad Baker, Terri Parsons

4 Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Bob Calkins, Amy Hair, Bob Hubner, Allen Styers

5 Josh Browne, Alan Gustafson, Kenny Irwin Jr., Chad Knaus, Paul Lamach, Pattie Petty, Rich Woodland

6 Jeb Burton, Gail Connor, Tom Hubert, Kendall McReynolds, Rick Ware, "Amish" John Stewart

7 Pete White, Steve Loyd, Kyle Drum

8 Gail Norton, Parker Kligerman, Tommy Ellis, Jack Sprague, Don Leo

9 Tom Higgins, Cindy Shepherd, Lloyd Dane, Leo Gordon

10 Doug Hewitt, Donnie Neuenberger, Murray Timm, Chris Heroy, Ryan Moore

11 Lennie Pond, H. Clay Earles, Glenn Jarrett, Lonnie Rush Jr., Frankie Schneider, John Dodson, Zachary Gay

12 Dick Bown, Richard Everett Craven, Michelle Durkin, Tony Furr Jr., Scott Gaylord, Jordan Irvan, Parnelli Jones, George Lubejko, Ryan Reed, Carolyn Rudd Wax

13 John Feeney, John Baden, Patrick Carpentier, Hideo Fukuyama, Jim Roper, Bill Wilsey

14 Rusty Wallace, Lee Spencer

15 Andy Petree, Carl Edwards, Newt Moore, Robin Pemberton, Mark Kennerly

16 Ronald Allison, Donald Allison, Diane Hawkins, Lenny Batycki

17 Rex White, Jerry Horton, Danny Marshburn, Matt Fernandez, Cathy Simmons

18 Drew Markle, Matt McLaughlin, Steve Wallace, Rachel Wood, Steve Lowery, Andrea Sospenzo, Andy Pilgrim

19 Dale Inman, David Hyder, Alex and Dillon Makar, Ray Elder

20 Bobby Auten, Kenny Martin, Jerry Punch, Dennis Punch, Ronald Puryear

21 Patti Bisciotti, William Vance, Winston Kelley, Paul Menard, Mark McCarter, Burney Lamar, Doug Shaak, Keven Wood

22 Collin Houston, Tommy Mullis, Elmo Langley

23 Steve Park, Kenny Wallace, Scott Miller, Ashlie Garone, Robert Larkins, Ralph Sheheen, Shane Sieg, Mike Janssen

24 David Bonnett, Lee McCall

25 T.J. Bell, Casey Atwood, David Smith, Shane Hall, Kelly Bires, Sarah Catlin Waltrip,

26, Ray Evernham, James Hylton, Landon Rudd, Greg Engle, Ken Duan, Adam Gravitt, Daniel Rankin

27 Chris Brook, T. Wayne Robertson, Gloria Broadwater, Richard Broome, Billy Hodges, Chuck Rider, Mike Hillman, Claire B. Lang

28 Patty Eversole, Kelley Earnhardt, Randy LaJoie, Thomas Hatcher, Brandon Miller, Hoss Berry,

29 Wendell Scott, Jim Brady, Geneva Key, Tim Peters, Ken Stout, Paul Vanderlaan

30 Mike Helton, Sue Fiala, Mark Allen, Gordon Gibbs, John Erickson

31 Sara Eolin, Patti Jarrett Makar, Mike Nelson, Jerry Baxter Jr., Erin Beam, Wayne Orme, Mike Morneau, Angus Adamczyk

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