NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

Sprint Cup Series News, Rumors & Stats RSS

  • Entry List for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Kvapil, #33-Stremme, #37-Bliss, #66-Nemechek, #75-Clay Rogers and #93-Yeley.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #75-Rogers (no owners points)

    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #75-Rogers (0 attempts)
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Richmond Entry List

  • For the group qualifying rules and format, see my Qualifying Rules page

  • Joe Gibbs Racing, new air guns? Denny Hamlin's #11 team was especially strong at Atlanta Motor Speedway, performing 11-second pit stops every time their driver came to pit road. While no one seemed to be able to get by #4-Kevin Harvick on the track, Hamlin's pit crew successfully gave him the lead multiple times throughout the night. The team's fastest stop of the night came at Lap 174, when the pit crew changed four tires and added two cans of fuel in an astonishing 11.0 seconds. Another thing that helped the JGR teams beat the competition on pit road is a reportedly new generation air gun being utilized by the teams as of late. Though few details are known about the new air guns at this point, their advantage was clear Sunday night. After the race, Kenseth would not go into details about the new technology, saying he honestly had no idea, but credited the organization's training skills for the fast stops.(in part from FoxSports) and see an opinion piece about the air guns at Pit Talks: Gibbs dominance on pit road in Atlanta has everyone talking.(9-2-2014)

  • Some clinch scenarios at Richmond: Only #31-Ryan Newman controls his own destiny, no matter who wins at Richmond. If there is a repeat 2014 winner (or a Kenseth victory), Newman is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 41st or better; or 42nd with at least one lap led; or 43rd and the most laps led. If there is a new winner (that is not Kenseth), Newman is guaranteed a Chase spot with a finish of 18th or better; 19th and at least one lap led; or 20th and the most laps led.
    #16-Greg Biffle controls his own destiny if there is a repeat winner. If there is a repeat 2014 winner (or if Kenseth or Newman win), Biffle is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 22nd or better; or 23rd with at least one lap led; or 24th and the most laps led. If there is a new winner (that is not Kenseth or Newman), Biffle needs to out-point Newman by 19 points and stay ahead of #15-Clint Bowyer and #42-Kyle Larson. Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson are the only other two drivers who can clinch a spot in the Chase without a victory.
    The following drivers can only make the Chase with a win at Richmond (and a top-30 spot in the standings): Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, David Gilliland, David Ragan and Cole Whitt.(NASCAR)(9-202104)

  • NASCAR Numbers:
    950: The number of laps led by Tony Stewart in 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond International Raceway. That's far and away the most among drivers who enter the Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 without a victory this season.
    19: The number of winless drivers who have not already clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup but still have a mathematical chance to do so. Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle are the two drivers likely to earn a spot on points. Realistically, the other 17 must win at Richmond to have a shot.
    195: The number of laps led on Sunday night at Atlanta by pole winner Kevin Harvick, whose winning chances were wiped out in a multi-car wreck on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish. Harvick finished 19th after dominating much of the race.
    36.158: In seconds, the average time on pit road for Denny Hamlin, best among NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers in Sunday night's race at Atlanta. Hamlin and teammate Matt Kenseth (second best at 36.505 seconds on average) consistently beat Kevin Harvick out of the pits, forcing Harvick to start in the outside lane where grip was in short supply. Ultimately, that proved to be Harvick's undoing.
    18: The finish Ryan Newman needs to achieve at Richmond in order to clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. If he leads a lap, Newman can lock himself in with a finish of 19th. If he leads the most laps, he can run 20th. Newman's average finish at the .75-mile short track is 11.3.(NASCAR)(9-202104)

  • Friedman Law Firm Joins the #66 at Richmond: The #66 JRR Team announced that the Friedman Law Firm, based in Richmond, VA, has signed on as primary sponsor for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Company founder, Rick Friedman says, "Friedman Law Firm is built on passion and competitiveness. It's part of who we are as a firm. We are thrilled to partner with IVR and Joe Nemechek for the Sprint Cup Series race at RIR. Many of our current and potential clients are enthusiastic and loyal NASCAR fans, and this sponsorship provides us a special opportunity to connect with the massive NASCAR audience here in Virginia."
    Joe Nemechek says, "I am very excited to be representing the Friedman Law Firm at Richmond, it is one of my favorite tracks and I think we can run really well there."
    "I am very happy to have Rick Friedman and The Friedman Law Firm partner with us for the Richmond Race. It is very important that the #66 Team continues to show progress over the last 11 races of the season and Mr. Friedman's support could not come at a better time," says Jay Robinson, Team Manager.(Friedman Law Firm PR), see an image of the car on the #66 Team Schemes page.(9-2-2014)

  • Atlanta 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 7:32 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 11:47 PM (all times are EST). ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 148
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 74
    Number of times ESPN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 34
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 45 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:32 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:47 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 255
    Minutes of race broadcast: 188
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 67
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1 mentioned; not shown
    Total race brdcst time 188 Total comm. brdcst time 67
    See past races, links to full reports & sponsor links go to the 2014 TV Commercials page.(9-2-2014)

  • Last Minute Ticket Options for Richmond: As NASCAR prepares to roll into Richmond September 5 & 6, fans have several last-minute ticket options for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and Friday's Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
    Individual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series grandstand tickets start at $40 (while supplies last), and NASCAR Nationwide Series tickets are $35 (general admission)/$45 (reserved).
    Special Pricing is available for several groups:
    o Kids 12 & younger feel the thrill and excitement of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at $25 off the adult price in EVERY grandstand. Kids are admitted FREE in general admission on Friday.
    o College students can celebrate the start of the school year "under the lights" at America's Premier Short Track for only $19. College students may purchase online in advance or on race day - must present college ID at ticket window. Click here for College Pricing info.
    o Cheez-It and RIR are proud to bring the Military Appreciation offer, which includes a complimentary Pre-Race Pit Pass on Saturday. Cheez-It Military Appreciation Info.
    o Groups of 20 or more receive special pricing and priority seating. Group Sales Info.
    Ticket Packages remain on sale through Wednesday, September 3:
    o Fan Vision Ticket Package ($65) includes a Federated Auto Parts 400 race ticket and a FanVision Controller and headset rental.
    o Racing Electronics Ticket Package ($50) includes a Federated Auto Parts 400 race ticket and a Racing Electronics headset scanner rental.
    Upgrade your race day experience:
    o Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass ($55) gets you in the infield for NASCAR Knockout Pole Qualifying and practice. These are available for guests 16 & older and can be purchased in advance or at the gate.
    o Saturday Pre-Race Ceremony Pass ($50) gets you on the track for driver introductions, preceded by live music with The Silver Bullets. This is your chance to get up close to all 43 drivers, just minutes before they battle on the track.
    Be sure to stick around once the checkered flag has waved Saturday night for the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Race Party on the Track!(more info a RIR.com)(9-2-2014)

  • Trouble with #66/#87 Ownership? UPDATE: The former managing partner of a large Atlanta real estate firm faces a lawsuit that claims he stole millions of dollars from the firm. The lawsuit, obtained from a source by Channel 2's Mike Petchenik, was filed Monday at Fulton County Superior court, and alleges that Nat Hardwick, a partner in Morris, Hardwick and Schneider, had taken at least $30 million from firm accounts and from escrow accounts belonging to Landcastle Title. The lawsuit alleged that Hardwick took "approximately a $1,000,000 to pay providers of private jet services," and made "$4,000,000 in wire transfers to casinos." The lawsuit also alleges that Hardwick covered up his actions until they were discovered by auditors.
    Ed Garland, an attorney for Hardwick, called the allegations "false," and said "Nat looks forward to clearing his name."
    "Nat became aware of a problem with the accounting earlier this summer and immediately alerted his partners and initiated a review by outside auditors," Garland said in a statement."...Anybody who knows Nat knows that he loves the law firm, its employees, the attorneys and the firm's many loyal clients. He would never knowingly or intentionally take money he was not entitled to or harm the firm or its clients in any way," Garland said. "The law firm was profitable, and Nat believed that all of the money he received was properly distributed to him as his share of the profits of the firm."
    What does this have to do with NASCAR and the #66 / #87 Jay Robinson Racing / / Michael Waltrip Racing team?
    LandCastle Title, Smart Ben and or Morris-Hardwick-Schneider have been on the #66 Toyota and on the #87 Toyota as a sponsor in many races during the 2014 season The last two races Brett Moffitt has driven the #66 Toyota with Royal Teak Collection as the sponsor at Bristol and no sponsor on the car at Atlanta.
    From the PR announced on January 30, 2014: Veteran NASCAR team owners Jay Robinson and Joe Nemechek of NEMCO-JRR have partnered with a group of five business leaders including Atlanta based, Nat Hardwick, managing partner of Morris|Hardwick|Schneider and CEO and Chairman of The Board of LandCastle Title, to form Identity Ventures Racing. Identity Ventures Racing will be led by managing partner, Jay Robinson, crew chief, Scott Eggleston and driver, Joe Nemechek. And it was announced the same day: Michael Waltrip Racing announced a partnership with Jay Robinson Racing enabling the #66 Toyota Camry to race in all 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup events.
    The #66 Toyota has attempted to make all the races in 2014 and the #87 has made 2 of 5 attempted races in 2014.
    No word on how or if this will affect either team.
    See more articles about this at Atlanta Journal Constitution, wsbtv.com, ABA Journal and housingwire.com.(9-2-2014)
    UPDATE: There is no trouble with the ownership of the #66 team which is owned by Michael Waltrip and Jay Robinson. The Nat Hardwick situation will have no effect on the plans of the #87 Team either as Nat Hardwick's shares totaled less than 25% of Identity Ventures Racing. "The only remaining race scheduled for the #87 is Talladega in the Fall and the #87 will certainly be there," said team owner Jay Robinson.(JRR)(9-2-2014)

  • Clay Rogers to attempt Richmond: Beard Motorsports plans to attempt to qualify the #75 Chevy at Richmond, Clay Rogers will be the driver.Hess Racing Products Facebook and on Clay Rogers Twitter: right now the plan is Richmond.
    AND Beard Motorsports will attempt to qualify for their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next week at Richmond International Speedway. Beard Motorsports will field the No. 75 Chevrolet. Clay Rogers, a veteran of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will drive the car and will also be bidding to qualify for his Sprint Cup debut. The team plans on running an in-house sponsor, Beard Oil, a company team owner Mark Beard owns, and will feature Darren Shaw calling shots as crew chief and Jason Reiner as spotter. The single-car operation, based out of Mooresville, North Carolina, was on the official entry list for the July New Hampshire Motor Speedway race, but withdrew their car before the race weekend.(Racing Experts), see an image of the car on the #75 Team Schemes page.(9-2-2014)

  • Sad News - Don Tilley: A motorcycle crash on Friday night claimed the life of former NASCAR driver and owner of Tilley Harley Davidson, Don Tilley, 78, and left his wife, Robinette, in critical condition. News of the accident left people across Iredell County (NC) and the nation and throughout the motorcycle and NASCAR communities shaken. "God speed, @don_tilley. Don taught me how to ride long distance, love Harleys & most importantly how to be a friend," Kyle Petty wrote Saturday on Twitter. The motorcycle driven by the Tilleys, who own Tilley-Harley Davidson in Statesville, crashed near Mile Post 394 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Buncombe County, according to the U.S. Park Rangers office. Robinette Tilley was taken to Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC and was listed in critical condition on Friday evening with a spinal injury.(Statesville News & Landmark)(8-30-2014)
    AND In the 1950s and 1960s, Don won many stock car races in Hickory and used local success to run several races on NASCAR's Grand National Circuit, including two at Daytona. He also worked for Richard Petty before focusing on building motorcycles and opening Tilley Harley-Davidson in Statesville.(Statesville News & Landmark)(8-31-2014)
    MEMORIAL: Hundreds of Harley riders will converge on Statesville Sunday to celebrate the life of Don Tilley, who died as he lived most of his 78 years: Riding a motorcycle with his wife. Tilley was a legend in racing and Harley-Davidson circles, having led all 20 of Kyle Petty's " Charity Ride Across America" treks to raise money for seriously ill children. He died when he lost control of his motorcycle on the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville Friday evening. Robinette Tilley, his wife of 53 years, was riding with him. She remains hospitalized in Asheville with serious injuries, said Vickie Kress, a staffer at Tilley Harley-Davidson in Statesville. Sunday's memorial service will be held in Statesville High School's stadium to accommodate the crowds expected to turn out - many of them riding motorcycles from the Tilley dealerships in Salisbury and Statesville, thundering in with a police escort.(in part from the Charlotte Observer)(9-2-2014)

  • Another sponsor shows support for Stewart: One of #14-Tony Stewart's primary sponsors reaffirmed its commitment Sunday to the NASCAR star, citing "overwhelming" public support as Stewart remains under investigation in a sprint car driver's death. There's been no change in the marketing plan for Rush Truck Centers, the primary sponsor of Stewart's car in five races in NASCAR's premier series this season. W.M. "Rusty" Rush, the CEO, chairman and president of the truck dealership company (which is headquartered in New Braunfels, Texas, just outside San Antonio), said he attended the Atlanta race in a show of respect for the team. "We stand by Tony," Rush told USA TODAY Sports. "That's why I'm here today. It was a terrible accident. It was a tragedy. Obviously like anyone, we're sitting back and waiting for the investigation (to be completed). At the same time, we see nothing right now that would change our relationship with Stewart-Haas." Rush's marketing department has been monitoring feedback through email, its Facebook page and other forms of social media. "It was an accident, and we find that's the way it's been viewed, at least by our customer base," Rush said. "You're going to have a few negative comments, but it's been overwhelmingly in support of our sponsorship, of SHR and of Tony." Rush said he had talked to some on the company's board of directors and his executive staff, but there had been no meetings to re-evaluate its NASCAR sponsorship, which continues through the 2015 season. Rush wouldn't comment on how the sponsorship would be affected if criminal charges were filed against Stewart. "Speculation wouldn't be proper at this time," he said. "Let the investigators take it one step at a time."(USA Today)(9-1-2014)

  • Fennig to step down as crew chief at end of season UPDATE: With all the changes taking place at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2015 season, it appears veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig may be in his final year calling shots on the pit box. Currently serving as crew chief for #99-Carl Edwards -- who will move on to Joe Gibbs Racing next season -- Fennig indicated he would likely take a behind-the-scenes role with the team once the season comes to a conclusion. Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Fennig said he will have to wait and see what team owner Jack Roush has in store for him next year, but added that he will most likely not be atop the pit box after the 2014 season. Saying it would ultimately be his decision when to walk away, Fennig indicated he would most likely work with the research-and-development arm of Roush Fenway Racing. Jack Roush said of Fennig's future: "We don't have a plan yet," Jack Roush said of Fennig's future. "We haven't heard definitively from Jimmy what his plans are, but he may be thinking about retirement. We're just not sure." Trevor Bayne is making his move to a full-time ride in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015 and does not yet have a crew chief in place, so that is a possible spot for Fennig if he decides to continue working in a crew chief role. Edwards said Friday that he did not know what Fennig's plans were at the end of the season.(FoxSports)(8-23-2014)
    UPDATE: ESPN's Allen Bestwick reported during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday evening that Fennig confirmed that this will be his last season as a crew chief and he is talking to Roush Fenway Racing about a job in the shop for 2015.(9-1-2014)

  • Truex Jr. not happy with Kyle Busch: After starting sixth based on his qualifying effort on Friday for the Oral-B USA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta, #78-Martin Truex Jr. had to contend with handling issues with his #78 Furniture Row/World Vision Chevy during the 335-lap race. "I couldn't drive off the corners," said Truex. "But we hung in there, fighting for every possible position until Kyle (#18-Busch), for whatever reason, ran into the back of me, causing pretty good damage to our car. I passed him clean earlier and then he comes back and hits me from behind. It was totally uncalled for and hard to figure out why he did what he did. We were in the top-17 when that happened and had a chance of picking off a few more positions. Not sure why someone wants to go out and purposely wreck you when you're racing for 17th. Doesn't make any sense." But instead of gaining track position, Truex had to battle a damaged race car in the 10 laps of overtime. "We weren't great tonight, but we were better than 23rd," noted Truex.(FRR)
    AND After the race, Truex, who finished 23rd, parked his car behind Busch's car in the garage. Truex then went to the window of Busch's car and had a discussion with Busch as Busch remained seated in the car. After that discussion ended, Truex had a discussion with Busch's crew chief Dave Rogers that continued as Busch, who finished 16th, exited the car and walked away. "They're hard-nosed competitors, and they don't cut each other much slack,'' Rogers said. "I talked to Kyle about what happened. He said he was expecting Martin to go in on the bottom, and Kyle was banzaing on the top and trying got get the pass. Martin surprised him by going up top, and Kyle said he got to the brake but he got to the brake too late.'' As for what Truex said?
    "He came over and said his peace and asked why Kyle got in the back of him,'' Rogers said. "Martin didn't say or do anything wrong there. He kept it peaceful. He said what was on his mind, and I think that is accepted. It didn't get out of control. Kyle tried to explain what happened and I think they agreed to disagree tonight but they'll probably talk later this week and figure it out.''(Motor Racing Network)(9-1-2014)

  • Kasey Kahne wins at Atlanta: #5-Kasey Kahne won the Oral-B USA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, third at Atlanta and 17th career win. The race had two G-W-C (Green-White-Checker finish). It is Kahne's first win since Pocono last August. The win locks Kahne into the Chase.
    #20-Kenseth finished 2nd and is now locked into the Chase via points. #11-Hamlin finished 3rd followed by #48-Johnson, #99-Edwards, #10-Patrick (best career finish), #31-Newman, #42-Larson, $43-Almirola and #16-Biffle.
    Pole winner #4-Harvick led 195 laps, finishing 19th after being involved in a wreck on the first G-W-C.
    Points leader #24-Gordon (3 wins) finished 17th on the lead lap, after having a tire go down and hitting the wall early in the race while running 2nd. Gordon keeps the points lead, 21 points over #88-Earnhardt Jr. who finished 11th.
    #24-Gordon also leads the Chase Grid with 3 wins and being 1st in points followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr with 3 wins, 2nd in points.
    Only four drivers can get in the Chase via points (with no wins) with one race to go before the Chase: #31-Newman (+42 points ahead of 17th in pts), #16-Biffle (+23), #15-Bowyer (-23 out of 16th) and #42-Larson (-24). There are currently two Chase positions left, either via points or one via points and a 1st time 2014 race winner.
    There were 21 lead changes among 6 drivers. There were 10 cautions for 56 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 131.514mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Atlanta Race & Points Report (pdf).(8-31-2014)

  • Race Fast Facts - Atlanta Motor Speedway:
    #5-Kasey Kahne won the 55th Annual Oral-B USA 500, his 17th victory in 385 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his third victory and ninth top-10 finish in 18 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    #20-Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 26 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his 16th top-10 finish in 2014.
    #11-Denny Hamlin (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 15 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    #42-Kyle Larson (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #24-Jeff Gordon leads the point standings by 21 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    Kenseth and Kahne are locked into the Chase.
    #10-Danica Patrick's sixth-place finish is the highest by a female at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The previous record was held by Janet Guthrie (10th, 03/19/78).(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(8-31-2014)

  • Current 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Grid:
    [after Atlanta, race 25 of 36 if Chase seeding started after this race]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3 wins, 1st in points
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 3 wins, 2nd
    3) #22-Joey Logano, 3 wins, 4th
    4) #2-Brad Keselowski, 3 wins, 5th
    5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3 wins, 6th
    6) #99-Carl Edwards, 2 wins, 7th
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick, 2 wins, 8th
    8) #5-Kasey Kahne, 1 win, 11th
    9) #18-Kyle Busch, 1 win, 17th
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin, 1 win, 19th
    12) #41-Kurt Busch, 1 win, 21st
    13) #43-Aric Almirola, 1 win, 22nd
    14) #47-A.J. Allmendinger, 1 win, 23rd
    14) #20-Matt Kenseth, no wins, 5th in drivers points
    (all above have clinched a spot in the 2014 Chase)
    Others without a win in contention for a Chase spot via points:
    15) #31-Ryan Newman, 9th, +42 points
    16) #16-Greg Biffle, 10th, +23 points
    On the outside looking in:
    17) #15-Clint Bowyer, 12th, -23 points
    18) #42-Kyle Larson, 13th, -24 points
    drivers 19th thru 30th cannot get in the Chase via points only, have to win at Richmond
    See the Chase Grid Outlook page (pdf).(8-31-2014)

  • 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Championship Points Standings:
    [after Atlanta, race 25 of 36]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon(X) [3 wins], 872
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(X) [3 wins], 851, -21
    3) #20-Matt Kenseth(X), 794, -78
    4) #22-Joey Logano(X) [3 wins], 791, -81
    5) #2-Brad Keselowski(X) [3 wins], 782, -90
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson(X) [3 wins], 766, -106
    7) #99-Carl Edwards(X) [2 wins], 755, -117
    8) #4-Kevin Harvick(X) [2 wins], 748, -124
    9) #31-Ryan Newman, 747, -125
    10) #16-Greg Biffle, 728, -144
    Six drivers with at least one win, out of the top 10:
    11) #5-Kasey Kahne(X) [1 win], 708, -164
    17) #18-Kyle Busch(X) [1 win], 657, -215
    19) #11-Denny Hamlin(X) [1 win], 636, -236
    21) #41-Kurt Busch(X) [1 win], 614, -258
    22) #43-Aric Almirola(X) [1 win], 594, -278
    23) #47-A.J. Allmendinger(X) [1 win], 590, -282
    (X) = clinched a Chase spot.
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Atlanta Race & Points Report (pdf).(8-31-2014)

  • Tony Stewart crashes in his return to racing: #14-Tony Stewart was sidelined with a tire failure on lap 173 in the Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stewart declined interview requests, but his crew chief, Chad Johnston spoke:
    Q) WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE THIS WEEK HAVING TONY BACK IN THE CAR?
    Johnston: "It's been real good and we got off to a good start. The car has had speed all weekend long and we qualified well. I went into today with some pretty high hopes of finishing well and possibly coming out of here with a win but it just didn't work out in our favor. We got into a little trouble with the 18 and got into the outside wall, knocked the toe out of it, and a lot of heavy right side damage. We were just trying to fix that and salvage what we could out of the day but then we blew a right front there right before that caution came out. So it's really good to have him back and we are happy to have Johnny Morris here and Rusty Rush and the guys from Code 3 to be here to support him here on kind of his homecoming back. Wish we could have had a better effort and better finish for them but we will move on to Richmond and see if we can't get it done there."
    Q) YOU STARTED OUT WITH A GREAT RACE CAR AND RAN INTO SOME PROBLEM TELL US ABOUT YOUR NIGHT:
    Johnston: "The Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet was pretty fast today. We made some pretty good progress there at the start, starting 12th. Drove up into the top five and thought we had a pretty good chance. We were just kind of biding our time and taking care of our stuff and got into an incident there off of (turn) two and knocked the tow out of it and had some pretty heavy right side damage. We ended up blowing a right-front (tire) because of it. Not the end of the day that we wanted. We thought we had a shot at winning and with two races to go to get into the Chase this was one of the two chances obviously left to get it done and to get into the Chase. We will just have to lick our wounds and go onto Richmond and see if we can't do it there and if so it will be pretty exciting."(Team Chevy)
    Stewart was credited with a 41st place finish.(8-31-2014)

  • No Kid Hungry featured on #43 RPM Ford at Atlanta: The John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. are teaming up to support Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, a national initiative to end childhood hunger in America. JMFG and Arby's commitment to the cause will be highlighted on the national stage this Labor Day weekend. The two companies will feature the No Kid Hungry logo on the famed #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford driven by Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The partnership combines the passions and efforts of both companies to end childhood hunger. Arby's is the largest restaurant chain to partner with No Kid Hungry and supports the partnership through the Arby's Foundation by: raising awareness; funding long-term programs and sustainable solutions that impact childhood hunger; providing wholesome kids meal options in its restaurants; and creating volunteer opportunities for its employees and franchisees. Since 2011, the Arby's Foundation has raised $11 million for No Kid Hungry, helping to bring an additional 107 million meals to kids who need them.
    From August 18 - September 28, 2014, Arby's is launching its annual in-store fundraiser to support the Arby's Foundation at its participating stores nationwide. The "Give a $1 today, get $2 back" promotion encourages guests at participating Arby's restaurants to donate a dollar towards ending childhood hunger in America in partnership with No Kid Hungry. Guests immediately receive a coupon for two dollars off any future regular-sized combo meal or full-priced sandwich. It will be supported with window clings, counter card signage at registers and table tents. For more information on No Kid Hungry, or to make a donation, please visit your local Arby's restaurant or NoKidHungry.org.(RPM/JMFG)(8-31-2014)

  • Fifth Third Bank renews with #17 Roush Fenway Racing team: Roush Fenway Racing today announced that Fifth Third Bank has renewed its relationship as a primary sponsor of the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Ford with driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a multi-year deal (supposedly thru 2017). "We are really thrilled to have Fifth Third Bank back with us next season" said Stenhouse, who is currently competing in his sophomore season at NASCAR's highest level. "It has been an honor to represent Fifth Third over the past two seasons and I am looking forward to working with them over the years to come. We have them on the car here in Atlanta this weekend and again in Richmond next weekend. Hopefully we can celebrate this announcement with a trip to victory lane and a 'Chase' berth for the #17 team." Fifth Third Bank came onboard with Roush Fenway Racing in 2012 and has served as a primary sponsor on the #17 NSCS entry for the past three seasons.(RFR)(8-31-2014)

  • Gordon to make 750th career start UPDATE: On Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, #24-Jeff Gordon is scheduled to make his 750th career Sprint Cup Series start. Through 24 races in 2014, Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 27 markers ahead of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. This weekend in Atlanta, Panasonic's Toughbook brand will be featured on the car's hood and quarter panels. The #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS debuted at Sonoma Raceway in June when Gordon piloted the car to a second-place finish. Panasonic will be featured as a primary sponsor of the #24 team in two Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events (HMS), see images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(8-28-2014)
    UPDATE: Making 750 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is quite an accomplishment in itself. Doing so without interruption is even more remarkable. #24-Jeff Gordon will make his 750th start at NASCAR's highest level in Sunday night's Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon hasn't missed a race since he took the green flag in Cup competition for the first time, in November 1992 at Atlanta. "It seems like just yesterday that it started right here, over 20 years ago," Gordon said. "I love this track, love racing here, so it's pretty cool to have 750 happening here." If Gordon's streak remains unbroken, he'll surpass Ricky Rudd's series-record 788 consecutive starts in the 28th race of 2015, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-31-2014)

  • #83 Tire Carrier skips race...for baby: BK Racing's pit coach Gary Smith got a call Saturday night from his #83 front tire carrier Anwar Parrish who told him he was not coming to Atlanta on Sunday because his wife went into labor. The #83 car found a replacement for the race in Devon Armstrong, crewman from the #95 Leavine Family Racing team [failed to make the race]. Coach Smith went on to tell Pit Talks that he has two other crewman expecting babies in the next two to three weeks.(PitTalks)(8-31-2014)

  • Bass Pro Shops chief supports Tony Stewart: One of Tony Stewart's closest friends is not just his fishing buddy, he's also founder and president of one of Stewart's primary sponsors on the No. 14 Chevrolet - namely, Johnny Morris, president and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. Morris' roots to Atlanta Motor Speedway run long. It's there that BPS sponsored several races over the years, including presenting one of the most unique trophies to race winners that the sports world has ever seen: typically a stuffed animal like a hulking grizzly bear. Because of those long roots to AMS and his friendship to Stewart, Morris took the unusual step of releasing a statement offering support to his long-time friend.
    Here is Morris' full statement: "Today our thoughts are with our friend and fishing buddy Tony Stewart as he prepares to return to racing after what has been a difficult time in his life," Morris' statement began. "Our hearts go out to him and to the family and friends of Kevin Ward Jr., who died in the tragic sprint car event accident on August 9. I was able to spend time with Tony last week and it made my heart ache to see him so devastated by this incident. Like many other race fans, I love Tony's passion and still on the track and to watch this fierce competitor compete. But the off-track Tony Stewart is the man that I have come to respect. Time and time again, I've witnessed Tony's quiet generosity and compassion as he gives to others. By personally supporting numerous programs like Catch-A-Dream Foundation and Victory Junction, Tony has given many ailing children a chance to experience outdoor sports and have fun opportunities they might not otherwise have. His love of racing goes far beyond his work behind the wheel. It is common for Tony to sign autographs for each and every race fan for hours on end. Behind the scenes, Tony continually steps in to help junior drivers get started in racing because he cares about the sport and its fans. What started as a sponsorship discussion between Tony and I fifteen years ago has turned into a long and special friendship. It's a friendship that has given me the opportunity to get to know one of the most compassionate and kind-hearted individuals I have ever met. On behalf of the Bass Pro Family, and as Tony's friend, we are proud to stand by him as he returns this weekend to the sport he loves so much."(NBC Sports)(8-31-2014)

  • Ty Dillon Set to Make Sprint Cup Series Debut at Atlanta UPDATE2: Ty Dillon will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the #33 Realtree/Rheem Chevrolet SS for Circle Sport Racing. Dillon, who is competing full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season in the #3 Chevrolet Camaro, will have Nick Harrison as his crew chief for Sunday's Oral-B USA 500. "It's going to be a pretty special moment when I make those first laps this weekend, one that I won't forget," said Dillon, the 22-year-old, Welcome, N.C. native. "I've been fortunate enough in my racing career to have great opportunities like this one. I'm looking forward to racing the #33 Realtree/Rheem Chevrolet under the lights on Labor Day weekend." Dillon is no stranger to the 1.5-mile speedway. He won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at AMS in 2012 in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Silverado. He also participated in the Cup Series test there on August 5 and 6. Dillon is currently third in the Nationwide Series driver point standings with 10 races remaining.(RCR)
    UPDATE: Realtree, the world's leading camouflage designer, marketer and licensor, will be on the hood of the #33 Chevy for Sunday night's Oral-B USA 500. Realtree served as a primary sponsor for Dillon's Camping World Truck Series debut in 2011 at Kentucky Speedway. Rheem, a leading provider of heating, cooling and water heating products such as gas furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioners and indoor air quality products, will be featured on the #33 Chevrolet SS this weekend. An American operated company, Rheem was founded in 1925 and is headquartered just a few miles from Atlanta Motor Speedway (Circle-Sport). see an image of the scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page.(8-26-2014)
    UPDATE2: #33-Ty Dillon met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday and discussed making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Atlanta, the transcript in part:
    Q) DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CUP RACES YOU WILL DO THIS YEAR AND KIND OF NEXT YEAR AS FAR AS WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR YOUR PROGRESSION?
    DILLON: "I know we were already planning on hopefully doing some stuff next year. This year is kind of an open book. This whole Atlanta first race didn't come until a couple of weeks ago. I think it's wherever my Grandfather feels like he can throw me in and we will have a great opportunity. It's still open to running a couple of more hopefully this year and definitely planning on doing some next year also. Looking forward to the future opportunities and just trying to make the best out of this weekend."
    Q) CAN YOU ELABORATE A LITTLE BIT - YOU THIS DEAL DIDN'T COME TOGETHER UNTIL THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS. WHICH CAME FIRST? YOUR GRANDFATHER SAYING ATLANTA IS THE PLACE FOR YOU TO BE, OR THE DEAL JUST HAPPENED TO FALL IN PLACE?
    DILLON: "It all came together at different times. At the beginning of the year, my grandfather sat down with me and wanted to look over the schedule. We picked out four or five tracks where I felt like I could make my first Cup start and do well. This was one of the tracks on the list. We didn't really talk about it very much during most of the season, and then things kind of came together. Here recently we got the sponsorship to make things happen. So it all started off with me and him; he had a plan to run me in a Cup race. We sat down and picked a few tracks, and this was one of them. Then within the past couple of weeks, it all came together."(Team Chevy)(8-31-2014)
    UPDATE3: Larry McReynolds said on FoxSports1 Raceday that Ty Dillon will also race at Texas in November.(8-31-2014)

  • Biffle talks about Roush Fenway Racing problems in 2014: #16-Greg Biffle spoke about a few issues with members of the media on Friday at AMS:
    Q) WHAT HAS BEEN WRONG WITH ROUSH FENWAY THIS YEAR?
    Biffle: "I wasn't specifically calling our team out, I was more specifically calling our organization as a whole, Roush Fenway. We let go of our guy who was the head of engineering a while back. We don't want to point fingers in our organization, but we plain and simply didn't keep up with the Joneses. We got behind in simulation. We are still behind in simulation. We're trying to roll out a new model that is gonna carry us on into the future and make us as equal as some of these other teams are. And quite honestly the worst we ran, the harder we worked, the more we tested, the more meetings we had, the worse we ran because we were pushing down a wrong road on aerodynamics and our theory and balance and everything else. You can clearly see that it's plain and simple we were headed kind of in the wrong direction and since we've kind of righted that ship, we've really woke up so to speak and saw what we were doing wrong. We don't know everything yet, but we saw a lot of what we were doing wrong. Michigan is a perfect example. I had a 28th-place car at Michigan in the first race and that's one of my best race tracks with four wins, and that was so devastating for us. We finished 20th, but literally had a 28th-place car and we go back there we had a 10th-place car -- a solid 10th-place car, maybe a little better than that. So that's a huge swing. We can't celebrate yet because we weren't leading the race and leading laps, but that's a huge celebration within the organization that we kind of turned the corner and are going in the right direction. That's all I care about is getting the trajectory going better not worse, then we'll win races and we'll lead laps. But it's just gonna take a little bit of time."
    Q) HAS PENSKE'S SUCCESS ADDED TO THE FRUSTRTION?
    Biffle: "It's done both. It's added to the frustration, but at the same time it's given us the confidence that these cars are capable of that. And Penske has helped us a ton. Penske has allowed us to compare our cars to their cars some, which has shed some light in some areas that maybe we needed to work, and they're only gonna share so many things with us through our alliance with Ford, and we appreciate the help we've gotten from them. We're looking at their cars more than the competition trying to figure out how to make cars the same because we have the same type of car. We'll get there. Unfortunately, this season has felt frustrating for us. Now Carl is a helluva a driver and he's put himself in position and won some races, but he'll admit too that we're not certainly where we need to be - competitive enough -- but we're getting there."(in part from Ford Racing)(8-31-2014)

  • Capt. Herb Emory Remembered: There is an empty seat in the back corner of the media center this weekend, an area that is usually filled with booming laughter and lively stories, replaced instead with a single ballcap laid there in memoriam of Capt. Herb Emory. That voice went silent in April when Emory died from a sudden, massive heart attack while assisting victims of a car accident in front of his home. For anyone who has ever lived in Atlanta, Capt. Herb was the voice of drive-time traffic, instructing commuters on backups and delays throughout the city. For race fans everywhere, he was one of the sport's biggest proponents, hosting a weekly racing show on WSB-AM for nearly 20 years. This weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway officials and NASCAR drivers will be honoring the memory of the great man who gave so much to the sport. Atlanta Motor Speedway has painted a special "Capt. Herb" logo in the corner of the frontstretch ballfield and will honor his vast community service efforts during a pre-race presentation to his widow, Karen Emory.(AMS Pit Notes)(8-31-2014)

  • Sad News - David Garvin: David Garvin, a Bowling Green entrepreneur who founded Camping World and formerly owned Beech Bend Park and Raceway, died Saturday morning in an accidental fall at his home. Stephen Harmon, spokesman for the Warren County Sheriff's Office, said Garvin was working on the roof at his house when he slipped after getting too close to the edge. Deputies responded at 9:53 a.m. to 449 Old Richardsville Road regarding a person who had fallen from a rooftop. Garvin, 71, was pronounced dead at the scene. No suspicious circumstances existed surrounding the fall, and the death is considered accidental, Harmon said. Garvin founded the business that would become Camping World in 1966 at age 23, starting a small store and mail-order business that sold camping products and supplies.(Bowling Green Daily News)(8-31-2014)

  • Helton says Stewart is eligible for the Chase: during a Friday press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR Preseident Mike Helton said that #14-Tony Stewart will be eligible to run the Chase if he earns a spot in it the next 2 races (Atlanta or Richmond) even though he missed three races.(8-29-2014)
    AND some of the Q&A from the press conference on Friday, August 29 with NASCAR's Mike Helton:
    Helton's opening statement in part: "Back to the Chase part for just a second. I'll remind everybody back earlier this year when we announced the format for the '14 Chase, that announcement included some responsibility about the routine participation in the season in order to be eligible in the Chase. Along with that importance of routine participation also came the asterisk, so to speak, about except in rare instances. This has been a very unique set of circumstances to Tony and to our sport. As the league, it's our responsibility to try to make decisions that are correct and right. Sometimes we evaluate circumstances that are given us and then make those decisions as correctly as we can. After evaluating the circumstances around this occurrence, we've come to the conclusion that Tony would be eligible to participate in the Chase if he were to earn a spot in it."
    . Q. Mike, when you talk about outside experts, to clarify, in your process of evaluation, did you get psychological or psychiatric reports as part of your evaluation of Tony's eligibility to return?
    MIKE HELTON: We received the ones that we felt were relevant under the circumstances.
    See the full transcript HERE.(8-30-2014)

  • Hamlin has no issue with Harvick after Bristol: #11-Denny Hamlin clearly showed his displeasure with #4-Kevin Harvick Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Racing for the lead early in the race, Harvick came off Turn 4 and clipped the left rear of Hamlin's car, sending it nose-first into the inside wall. Hamlin's car then shot up the track and into the path of Dale Earnhardt Jr., ending both drivers' night. After the incident, Hamlin threw his HANS device at Harvick's car under caution, saying afterward that was as mad as he could remember. Despite the HANS throwing incident, Hamlin told FOX Sports 1 on Friday he has no issues with Harvick, who reached out to apologize shortly after Saturday night's race. "I think it was like eight minutes after the checkered flag he reached out to me," Hamlin told Bob Dillner. "Like I said in my interview (at Bristol), Kevin's a great driver. He knows what he's doing. He just made a little mistake. We all do it at one point or another. I've got no problems at all."(FoxSports)(8-30-2014)

  • Eckrich and Richard Petty Surprise Navy Petty Officer and Family: With help from Eckrich, an American icon recognized an American hero today in Atlanta. NASCAR Hall of Famer "The King" Richard Petty surprised Navy Counselor 2nd Class (AW) Peter Theodoracopoulos and his family with the opportunity to be honorary crew members of his No. 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup race team this weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Petty gave the Theodoracopoulos family authentic Eckrich crew shirts and even asked Peter to practice his skills changing a tire. Although Theodoracopoulos may not actually change the tires during the race, he will have the opportunity to help the pit crew as they prepare the car for Sunday's race. Along with waving the green flag to start the final round of Sprint Cup qualifying Friday night, Theodoracopoulos will get a ride in the pace car around one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR and then spend the afternoon with the team before watching the race from the pits of the No. 43 team. Petty also presented the family with a gift card for one-year of FREE groceries at Kroger, on behalf of Eckrich. The surprise and weekend crew member experience is courtesy of Eckrich, sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports and supporter of Operation Homefront, through its "Operation Inspiration" campaign, which supports and honors military families. Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has given back to military families all summer with the help of Richard Petty and Richard Petty Motorsports.(RPM)(8-30-2014)

  • Cole Whitt Makes Pit Stop at Rinnai Headquarters: Cole Whitt made a pit stop at Rinnai headquarters in Peachtree City today to celebrate the tankless water heater brand's sponsorship of his car with the company's employees. Whitt held a short Q&A, signed autographs and posed for fan pictures for Rinnai employees. Whitt is in Georgia to compete in NASCAR's Atlanta Oral-B USA 500 on Sunday, August 31, where he is scheduled to race the Rinnai-sponsored car at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Earlier this summer, Rinnai, the number-one selling brand of tankless water heaters in North America, began a partnership with BK Racing and Cole Whitt, who will race the #26 Rinnai car in select races during the 2014 racing season. "Hosting Cole at our headquarters was an honor and a great way to celebrate our new partnership with Cole and BK Racing," said Susan Mittelbrun, Rinnai's Vice President of Marketing. "Our employees were thrilled to meet Cole, and we all look forward to cheering for him and the #26 Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters Toyota Camry team throughout the 2014 racing season."(BK Racing)(8-30-2014)

  • Chevrolet Racing Supports "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" Program with Pink Chevy SS Pace Cars: Chevrolet is proud to once again support the American Cancer Society (ACS) "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" (MSABC) campaign with a special pink Chevrolet SS pace car program and breast cancer survivor activities at upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Atlanta, Talladega and Martinsville. The goal is to help raise awareness and to increase the more than $3 million that has already been contributed by Chevrolet since 2011. "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" pink Chevrolet SS pace cars will highlight the program at all three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series venues. For every lap a pink Chevrolet SS pace car leads under caution during those three Sprint Cup races, Chevrolet will donate $250 to the American Cancer Society. On each of the three race weekends, Chevrolet will also sponsor at-track survivor events, including special driver appearances, Chevrolet SS pace car rides and more. Now in its fourth year, the 2014 Chevrolet Racing campaign will kick-off at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) during the weekend of August 29-31. Recently, the infield media center at AMS was named in memory of Marcy Scott, the track's late director of marketing and promotion, who lost her personal fight against breast cancer in November 2013. She was a strong proponent and advocate for Chevrolet's MSABC program, and a recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Spirit Award. The building is now known as the "Marcy Scott Media Center." The specially themed pink Making Strides Chevrolet SS will pace the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia on Sunday August 31, 2014. As part of Chevrolet's continuing contributions to the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" initiative, the Chevy SS will serve as the pace car for upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in Hampton, Talladega and Martinsville. Chevrolet will donate $250 for every lap a pink Chevrolet SS pace car leads under caution during these three Sprint Cup races.(Team Chevy), see an image of the pink pace car on the 2014 Pace Car page.(8-30-2014)

  • Tony Stewart expresses sorrow TRANSCRIPT: #14-Tony Stewart says the death of Kevin Ward Jr. will "affect my life forever" as he returned to the track for the first time since his car struck and killed the fellow driver during a sprint-car race in New York. "This is been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with, both professionally and personally. This is something that will definitely affect my life forever," said Stewart, who has missed the past three Sprint Cup races after Ward's death on Aug. 9. "This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one has to experience in their life. That being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward's family and friends are experiencing is something that I can't possibly imagine." Stewart read his prepared statement at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he will get back behind the wheel in NASCAR's highest series Sunday for the first time since Ward's death. Stewart, who didn't take any questions, has missed the past three Sprint Cup races and has been in seclusion since the incident. He says he took time out of respect for Ward's family -- and so he could cope with the tragedy. He said "being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time." Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Brett Frood said it was "100 percent" Stewart's decision to race. "For Tony, it's all about the healing process, and that's why he's in the car," Frood said. Stewart named each member of Ward's family and said that "everyday I'm thinking about them." Frood said Stewart sent the family flowers and a card for the funeral, but has respected the family's privacy and time to grieve. "He's very emotional. It's been a difficult two weeks," Frood said. "But Tony is ready to be in the race car. He wouldn't be here if he wasn't. It will be important for Tony to spend time with the (Ward) family, and I believe that will happen at an appropriate time."(see full article at ESPN.com)(8-29-2014)
    TRANSCRIPT: #14-Tony Stewart and Brett Frood, Executive Vice President of Stewart-Haas Racing, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, August 29, 2014. The Full Transcript:
    THE MODERATOR: Good morning. I'm director of communication for Stewart-Haas Racing. Up here is Tony Stewart, driver/owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, and Brett Frood, executive vice president of Stewart-Haas Racing. Tony has prepared some remarks. We'll let him read those.
    TONY STEWART: "Thanks. This has been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with both professionally and personally. This is something that will definitely affect my life forever. This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience in their life. With that being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward's family and friends are experiencing is something that I can't possibly imagine. I want Kevin's father, Kevin Sr., and his mother Pam, and his sisters Christi, Kayla, Katelyn, to know that every day I'm thinking about them and praying for them. The racing community is a large family, as you guys know. Everyone's saddened with this tragedy. I want to thank all my friends and family for their support through this tough emotional time, and the support from the NASCAR community, my partners, all of our employees, it's been overwhelming. I've taken the last couple weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family, and also to cope with the accident in my own way. It's given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted. I miss my team, my teammates. I miss being back in the racecar. I think being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time. I also understand that all of you have many questions and want a lot of answers, however I need to respect the ongoing investigation process and cannot answer and address the questions at this time. Emotionally I'm not sure if I could answer them anyway. We're here to race this weekend, and I appreciate your respect. There will be a day when I can sit here and answer the questions. Thank you." THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Tony. Again, Brett Frood, executive vice president of Stewart-Haas Racing, will be available to take a handful of questions.
    Q. Brett, NASCAR issued a statement yesterday that Tony had received all necessary clearances to race. What was the process of going through clearances? What approvals did he need?
    BRETT FROOD: Well, as you all know, when a driver's out of the car, there is that process. I'm not going to get into the medical side of it, but I will say we've been in close contact with them throughout the process, have gotten from them what he needed to get back in the car right now.
    Q. The investigation as we understand is still open. Was there any thought to not having Tony race until it was closed? Why now?
    BRETT FROOD: Well, I think for Tony, it's all about this healing process. That's part of why he's in the car. Besides his mom, his dad, his sister, his niece and nephew, his family is here, it's at this racetrack. It's part of the healing process of being with his family that he's been with since 1999, knowing that these people are going to help him get through this. I think that's one side of it. The other side of it is he's a racer. We have 270 employees. I think him putting a helmet on will help him cope with this situation.
    Q. Brett, respecting the process, the investigation, knowing there's things you can't comment on, are you able to say whether you know whether Tony has a clear picture in his own mind of what happened that second or two that night?
    BRETT FROOD: I am not going to comment on the incident itself. It was a tragic accident. Right now the focus is to be on Tony and the car this weekend and how he's going to get through this.
    Q. The fact that Tony is racing this weekend, should we read anything into that about what you know about the investigation and where it's at in the process?
    BRETT FROOD: No. I mean, we've really been respecting the process, as Tony said, and the investigation. Him being in the racecar right now is about him getting through what has been a very emotional two weeks, what his next step is in coping with this. There's been a great deal of empathy and sympathy for that family and what they're going through. For Tony, it's just been extremely emotional. This is what is going to help him.
    Q. Can you talk about where Tony is at emotionally right now to step into the car? Was it 100% his choice not to race the last couple of weeks, without the involvement of the sanctioning body that we will hear from next?
    BRETT FROOD: I'll address the latter first. Yes, the decision to be in the car is 100% Tony's.
    Q. Please define his emotional stage at this point. A very fragile Tony Stewart at this point.
    BRETT FROOD: You just saw Tony. It's been a difficult two weeks. But Tony is ready to be in the racecar. He wouldn't be here if he wasn't.
    Q. Brett, you've worked for Tony for a long time. You've seen him in ways we have not. How would you characterize his preparation for this and what you think he'll experience as he gets back in the car?
    BRETT FROOD: I think it's going to be very overwhelming being in that garage today. He's going to feel an awful lot of support. As I just mentioned, this is his family. It's the crew members, it's the officials, it's the drivers. It's his family that he's been with since 1999. This is going to be part of that process for him. I believe it's going to be an overwhelming process, this weekend. That being said, Tony Stewart is a racecar driver. He's been a racecar driver for the past 35 years. When he puts that helmet on in practice, I'm quite convinced he'll be ready to race the car, he'll be able to separate the two.
    Q. Brett, this obviously is a tremendous tragedy. Obviously in the sport of racing, these guys learn to deal with that part of the sport. Why do you think this has hit Tony so hard?
    BRETT FROOD: Because he was involved in an accident and a young man died. I can't imagine what he's going through. I can't imagine what the kid's parents are going through. It's something, as Tony said, that he hopes no one in this room or certainly anywhere will ever have to go through. He was involved in a tragic accident.
    Q. I noticed Tony mentioned Kevin Ward's family members by name. Has he reached out to them personally at all?
    BRETT FROOD: Tony has sent the family flowers and a card around the services. Besides that he's been very respectful of them and their time to grieve. I do know that it will be very important, it's important for Tony, to spend time with the family. I do believe that will happen in the appropriate time.
    Q. Obviously it's an emotional time. Internally how do you deal with it as an organization, the prep work? Let's face it, it's not an ordinary weekend that all of you are dealing with.
    BRETT FROOD: We've got 270 employees back in Kannapolis working hard. Tony has three other team members. These are folks that are at Stewart-Haas because they believe in the leadership, they believe in the ownership, believe in the folks that we have surrounding them, and we believe in them. So for them, I think their focus has been undeterred over the last several weeks. They're obviously really excited to have Tony back in the car, that leader, the guy they believe in. So I think the focus will be there this weekend from those guys. We should be good.
    THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for your time. We certainly appreciate it.(Team Chevy / FastScripts by ASAP Sports)(8-29-2014)

  • Latest Statement from Ontario, NY Sheriff Phillip Povero: The investigation into the death of Kevin A. Ward Jr., which occurred August 9, 2014, at the Canandaigua, New York Motorsports Park will continue for at least another two weeks. The Ontario County Office of Sheriff has reviewed this investigation, as it has been developed to date, with members of the District Attorney's Office. The Office of Sheriff will continue to apprise the District Attorney of information as it is developed. When the investigation is completed, the news media will be advised as to what action will be taken. The Ontario County Office of Sheriff thanks all media outlets for their patience and understanding as we continue to thoroughly investigate this tragic crash.
    Philip C. Povero, Sheriff, Ontario County, New York.(ESPN's Marty Smith Facebook)(8-29-2014)

  • Nationwide to sponsor the #88 at RIR: When Dale Earnhardt Jr. races Sept. 6 at Richmond International Raceway, Nationwide will be on his side as the company makes an early debut as a primary sponsor of the #88 Chevy team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Nationwide, which in May announced it will join Hendrick Motorsports next season as a primary sponsor, will preview Earnhardt's 2015 paint scheme during the race weekend in Richmond, Virginia, where he has three career Sprint Cup victories. Fans also will get a sneak peek at the new design next week via social media. Earnhardt worked with Nationwide on the design of the car, which will race next season and is scheduled to make its only 2014 appearance at Richmond. A first look at the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS will be given to fans Sept. 3 at 1:00 pm/et via the new @Nationwide88 Twitter account that will provide updates related to Earnhardt and his Hendrick Motorsports team. "I've worked with Nationwide for years, but never as a primary sponsor," said Earnhardt, whose family has been insured by Nationwide for more than 35 years and who has been featured in its national advertising since 2009. "Having them on board with Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 88 team is a big opportunity, and I really appreciate them inviting me to help design the car. I'm excited for the fans to see it and look forward to kicking off the relationship at one of my favorite racetracks."(HMS)(8-29-2014)

  • Auto-Owners Insurance Joins HScott Motorsports for two races UPDATE: HScott Motorsports announced that Auto-Owners Insurance will sponsor the #51 Chevy driven by Justin Allgaier in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta and Martinsville. The two-race sponsorship marks the first time Auto-Owners has been involved in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Auto-Owners Insurance, a Fortune 500 company, is the 15th-largest insurer in the country, based on written premiums. Headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, Auto-Owners Insurance employs more than 4,200 associates. The company is comprised of five property and casualty companies and a life company, and writes business in 26 states through 6,200 local independent agencies. "Having Auto-Owners Insurance on the car at Atlanta and Martinsville is a big deal to me and the entire team," said Justin Allgaier. "It's great to have such a large company, and one with a lot of history, on my car in the coming weeks. I can't thank Jeff and his entire company enough for their support."(HScott Motorsports)(8-22-2014)
    UPDATE: This weekend, Justin Allgaier's #51 HScott Motorsports Chevy will sport the blue and white colors of Auto-Owners Insurance. AMS is the first of two races that Auto-Owners will adorn the car this season. Auto-Owners will also be on the #51 at Martinsville. Auto-Owners Insurance, a Fortune 500 company, is the 15th-largest property and casualty insurer in the country, based on written premiums. Headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, Auto-Owners Insurance employs more than 4,200 associates. The company is comprised of five property and casualty companies and a life company, and writes business in 26 states through 6,200 local independent agencies (HScott Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #51 Team Schemes page.(8-29-2014)

  • Wendy Venturini to Become First Female to Co-Anchor NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Radio Broadcast: The Performance Racing Network (PRN) announced that Wendy Venturini will make her co-anchor debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) booth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 21. To prepare for her NSCS radio debut Venturini has gained valuable co-anchor experience by working alongside PRN's president and co-anchor Doug Rice as well as co-anchor Mark Garrow in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) booth since 2012. Venturini's debut in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway booth will mark the first time a female has co-anchored a NSCS radio broadcast. Venturini who grew up around racing following her father as he competed in the NSCS and the ARCA Re/Max Series, started her broadcasting career hosting Race City Review, a local flavor racing show, on the Adelphia Cable Network in 2001. Since then she has gone on to expand her broadcasting career by pit road reporting for all of NASCAR's three major series, serving as an analyst since 2004 for SPEED and FOX Sports 1's NASCAR Live, NASCAR Race Day, NASCAR Victory Lane and practice and qualifying session as well as becoming the first woman to call an entire race on a national level during the July 2007 NSCS race at Infineon Raceway for DirecTV.(PRN)(8-29-2014)

  • Joey Gase to attempt Chicago race: Go FAS Racing announced that 21 year old, Iowa Native, Joey Gase will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut September 14th at Chicagoland Speedway in the #32 Ford. Gase has also been running the entire Nationwide Series schedule with #52 Jimmy Means Racing under the Donate Life colors to help raise awareness for the need of organ, eye, and tissue donation and to honor donors and their families. Gase is currently top 20 in Nationwide Series driver points. In August of 2011 Go FAS (Go Green) Racing also gave Gase his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Iowa Speedway where he finished 20th. "I am very excited and thankful that Archie and the entire team are giving me this opportunity," said Gase. "My Nationwide Series career started with Go FAS in 2011 which led to a great 20th place finish. Hopefully I can get another good finish with the team on the 14th in my first ever cup start." Joey and the team currently have a couple associate sponsors for the race but are still looking for a primary sponsor. "The team is working hard on finding a primary sponsor or two large associate sponsors for this race so we can give Joey a good shot and have a strong run," said team owner Archie St. Hilaire.(Joey Gase Racing Facebook)(8-28-2014)

  • NASCAR's TV money split won't change for 2015: NASCAR won't change the formula for how it distributes television money from its current split among tracks, teams and the sanctioning body when its new television deal kicks in next year, a deal that likely will be worth nearly 4% more in 2015 than in 2014. In a news release to announce the impact of the schedule changes and the new 10-year television deal that goes into effect next season, track operator International Speedway Corp. said the split will remain at 65% to the tracks, 25% to the teams through the purse and 10% to NASCAR.
    ISC, a publicly traded company whose majority of voting stock is controlled by the NASCAR-owning France family, is obligated to tell investors some details about the deal because it is the biggest revenue stream for ISC. For 2015, ISC said it will take in 3.8% more than in 2014 from the NASCAR television package with the amount increasing 3-5% each year at an average of 3.9% per year. The new package reportedly is worth $8.2 billion over 10 years, up 46% from the eight-year, $4.5-billion deal that ends after this season.
    Purses will go up unless NASCAR requires less from the track for the purse. For its 21 Cup events (19 points races, Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 qualifying races), ISC said it will take in $316 million next year, including what it will then pay out as part of the purse. Using the NASCAR formula, it appears ISC will have $228 million in revenues in 2015 from the television deal.(in part from Sporting News)(8-28-2014)

  • Team Penske and Snap-On Extend Partnership: Team Penske announced that it has extended its long-time partnership with Snap-on Incorporated. The multi-year extension between the two organizations adds to Team Penske's longest active sponsorship as it celebrates a 33-year bond with Snap-on in 2014. Under the terms of the renewed relationship, Snap-on will continue to be featured as an associate sponsor of all Team Penske cars competing in NASCAR and INDYCAR. Snap-on will also serve as a primary sponsor of a Team Penske car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with the specific races to be announced at a later time.(Team Penske)(8-28-2014)

  • NASCAR Announces 2015 National Series Schedules: NASCAR announced today its national series schedules for the 2015 season, featuring date enhancements to races at some of its most storied tracks along with a pair of long-term broadcast partners that will provide the exciting action to the sport's fans. "The 2015 NASCAR national series schedules promise to provide our fans with the compelling competition and storylines they so richly deserve," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These enhancements to our race dates, particularly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be of benefit to our fans and other stakeholders in our industry. From the start of the season at Speedweeks at Daytona culminated by our championship finales at Homestead-Miami, we're looking forward to the great racing that will be delivered through our outstanding television network broadcast partners FOX, FOX Sports 1, NBC and NBCSN."
    Key date changes featuring Darlington Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, some of NASCAR's most tradition-laden tracks, highlight the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. Following the 57th running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 22 on FOX, Atlanta Motor Speedway will host the season's second race weekend (March 1), while Darlington returns to its traditional Labor Day weekend date (Sept. 6). The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Atlanta for the first time since 2012 as part of a unique doubleheader on Feb. 28 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Additionally, Daytona's always-anticipated July race weekend takes on a different look as the Sunday, July 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race marks the return of broadcast partner NBC.
    A big "west-coast swing" during the schedule's early stages spotlights markets where NASCAR's fan base is growing and sponsor opportunities are on the rise. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series run on three consecutive weekends, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7-8, Phoenix International Raceway on March 14-15 and Auto Club Speedway on March 21-22. Bristol's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spring date moves deeper into the calendar from mid-March to April 19. Dates for the spring races at Phoenix and Texas Motor Speedway (April 11) step back one week from their 2014 schedule slots.
    From the season-opening weekend at Daytona through June's events, FOX and FOX Sports 1 will combine to serve as the broadcast home of all races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Starting in July at Daytona through the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, including each series' championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NBC and NBCSN will carry the second-half action for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. The entire 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule will be broadcast exclusively on FOX and FOX Sports 1.
    On radio, programming surrounding the 2015 NASCAR season along with the exciting national series race calls can be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN). The Indianapolis Motor Speedway's radio network will carry the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series events at IMS.
    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will feature 36 events including two standout non-points races - the Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 14 at Daytona and the 31st annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16. Soon to have a new entitlement partner, the NASCAR Nationwide Series once again contests 33 races, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series increases to 23 events next season with the addition of the Atlanta date.
    When running concurrently during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series companion weekends, the date changes are also reflected on the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedules. There are nine companion weekends on the 2015 schedule that feature all three national series along with 18 combination weekends between the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series and seven dual events where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series run together.
    There are six "stand-alones" on next year's NASCAR Nationwide Series calendar, starting May 17 at Iowa Speedway. Included among those are two road-course races, at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 15 and Road America on Aug. 29. The later Road America date takes the place of the former Atlanta date. There are seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stand-alone races and two Wednesday appearances - on the dirt at Eldora Speedway on July 22 and at Bristol on Aug. 19. Iowa hosts the trucks three weeks earlier in 2015, on June 19. And the series again runs internationally on Aug. 30 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.(NASCAR)
    See the schedules:
    2015 Sprint Cup Series Schedule page
    2015 NASCAR "Nationwide" Series Schedule
    2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule.(8-26-2014)

  • Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying Children's Book Debuts: Today (August 26, 2014) on National Youth Literacy Day, Matt Kenseth debuted Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying, his first children's book aimed at educating and empowering children to make good choices if faced with bullying situations. Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 Champion and the NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, released the book with his wife Katie at Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters. Published by Bendon, Inc., Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying is available today for purchase exclusively at more than 11,300 Dollar General stores nationwide and online at www.dollargeneral.com. It is also the first installment of a four-part series of educational children's books that Matt and Katie Kenseth championed. The series is designed for family reading for children ages 4 through 8 to become more self-confident and empowered to make good choices. According to www.stopbullying.gov, more than 70 percent of students say they have seen bullying in their schools and less than 30% of students who are bullied notify an adult. Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying is a 22-page, 10 x 10-inch, soft-cover book, retailing for $3 at more than 11,300 Dollar General stores nationwide and online at www.dollargeneral.com. Written by Gina Gold, illustrated by Adam Devaney and produced by Judy O Productions, Inc., Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying was created by Matt and Katie Kenseth and is published by Bendon, Inc. (JGR). More info avout the book, see the NASCAR Book / Video News page.(8-26-2014)

  • Stenhouse Reveals 2015 Fastenal Fusion at Fastenal Headquarters: #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. traveled to Fastenal headquarters in Winona, Minnesota last week to unveil the 2015 #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion in front of the 'Blue Team'. "It was great to unveil our 2015 Fastenal paint scheme at Fastenal's headquarters in front of their employees," Stenhouse said. "I got to meet a lot of individuals and their excitement has me looking forward to the 2015 season. On our tour, they showed me a wall that was designated for win banners so our #17 team will have to work on that for them." In Indianapolis, Roush Fenway Racing announced that long-time partner Fastenal will serve as the anchor partner on the #17 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a multi-year agreement beginning next season. Fastenal first joined with Roush Fenway in 2010 and has served as a primary partner for multiple Roush Fenway teams and drivers in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and NSCS.(RFR), see images of the scheme on the 2015 #17 Team Schemes page.(8-23-2014)

  • Roush Fenway Racing announces a 2015 sponsor for Biffle: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Ortho and its complete line of home, lawn and garden pest control products will serve as the anchor partner on the #16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) entry driven by two-time NASCAR Champion Greg Biffle in a multi-year deal. "I am thrilled to have Ortho on board," said Biffle, who is looking to become the first driver to win championships in all three of NASCAR's major series. "I spend a great deal of time outside and do a lot of work on my home myself, and I understand how important their products can be. They have a great history and it will be an honor to have a brand of their stature and reputation on our #16 Ford Fusion moving forward." Ortho makes its debut on the #16 car next week at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and will appear on the car for two more races this season before becoming the anchor partner in 2015.
    "Roush Fenway Racing, Greg Biffle and the #16 Ford are a natural partner for Ortho," said Mike Sutterer, Vice President of Ortho and Regional Marketing. "Like Ortho, Greg and Roush Fenway Racing have a long history of success, including being number one. We feel Greg and his crew will enable us to engage with fans and highlight our great brand. Needless to say, our entire team is excited to see the new car on the starting grid and in victory lane."
    Ortho's parent company, Scotts Miracle-Gro teamed with Roush Fenway from 2005 until 2011, teaming for 12 wins and 14 poles across all three of NASCAR's major series. Mark Martin drove the Scotts Ford F-150 to six victories in the NASCAR Truck Series, while Carl Edwards captured the 2007 NNS Championship carrying Scotts colors.(Roush Fenway Racing), during the press conference, it was mentioned that Ortho would be on about half of the 2015 races. See images of the scheme on the 2015 #16 Team Schemes page.(8-22-2014).

  • 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.(7-5-2014)


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Next Race: Federated Auto Parts 400

Countdown to Race Time: 9/6/2014 ~7:46pm/et

Richmond International Raceway
Richmond, VA

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