NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Entry List for the Citizen Soldier 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney*, #30-Wise*, #32-Jeffrey Earnhardt, #55-Sorenson*, #88-Gordon, #95-Dillon, #98-Timmy Hill*.
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #55-Sorenson, #98-Timmy Hill
    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 Dover Entry List

  • NASCAR considering smaller pit crews next year: There are ongoing discussions between team owners and NASCAR of further reducing the number of pit crew members going over the wall from six to five, has learned. The cost-cutting initiative could go into effect as early as 2017. It would be up to each team's discretion how to choreograph the pit stops. However, under a full fuel stop, the most likely scenario would feature the elimination of one tire carrier. In the evolution of NASCAR pit stops, most team incorporated two tire carriers in the mid-90s. The current proposal to limit crew personnel over the wall is twofold: As a cost-cutting measure for mid-level operations. Second, as a safety initiative to eliminate additional bodies on pit road.(Motorsport(9-27-2016)

  • Earnhardt, Jr says he's improving; will be at Dover: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won't be back in the car this weekend, but he'll return to the track to cheer on his NASCAR teams at Dover International Speedway. Earnhardt, who is out for the season after being sidelined since mid-July with a concussion, said on his Dale Jr. Download podcast Monday that he will be watching the Xfinity and Sprint Cup races from the pit box Saturday and Sunday. "It's going to be different and tough and maybe not a ton of fun," he said. "It's a bit weird to not be in the car but at the track. When you're a driver, you don't know what to do with yourself. I'll try to support the guys and learn a thing or two. Excited to see how Jeff [Gordon] does, he usually runs great at Dover. It's going to be different. We'll see how it goes." During the podcast, the Hendrick Motorsports driver also provided an update on his health, which he said is improving. Earnhardt suffered from vision and balance problems since sustaining a concussion in a June crash at Michigan International Speedway. He said the vision issues mostly had subsided, and his rehabilitation exercises no longer are provoking symptoms that they are designed to cause.(NBC Sports)(9-27-2016)

  • Life With Cancer to be promoted on Ragan's #23 at Dover: BK Racing announced that Inova Health System's Life With Cancer program will be promoted on David Ragan's #23 Life With Cancer Toyota Camry at Dover International Speedway on October 2. Life With Cancer provides those living with cancer and their loved ones with education, information and support - all free of charge no matter where they live or receive treatment. Services include counseling and education; children and teen programs; information and resources; mind-body and wellness programs; and referrals. Life with Cancer is funded primarily by community contributions. "We are very excited to partner with BK Racing at the Citizen Soldier 400," said Sage Bolte, Ph.D., Executive Director of Inova Life with Cancer. "The face of cancer is changing. The rate of cancer diagnoses among young adults is growing, people are living longer, and cancer is evolving from a terminal disease to a chronic disease. Now, more than ever, it is critical to have resources to cope with the impacts of cancer close to home. NASCAR is an excellent platform to raise awareness of Life with Cancer's unique approach to cancer education and support."(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #23 team paint schemes page.(9-27-2016)

  • Spectator drops lawsuit against Daytona and NASCAR: A spectator claiming to be injured by debris from the Austin Dillon wreck in July 2015 at Daytona International Speedway has dropped his lawsuit against the track and NASCAR.The attorney for spectator William Fulton filed the paperwork Thursday to voluntarily dismiss Fulton's lawsuit. The dismissal of the lawsuit would indicate a settlement in the case, although there is no reason for the dismissal specified in the filing in Florida state court in Volusia County, Fla. In the lawsuit, Fulton claimed that he was sitting in Row 6 when the crash happened at the finish of the Coke Zero 400, where Dillon's car got airborne and flew into the catch fence. Fulton claimed that as he shielded his wife, he was hit in the head and shoulder by debris. Beyond stating in the complaint that he has not fully recovered from the injuries, Fulton did not list specific injuries in his complaint nor a specific amount being sought in damages.(

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Dover:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson ..... 118.1
    #20-Matt Kenseth ..... 108.5
    #18-Kyle Busch ..... 104.5
    #42-Kyle Larson ..... 99.3
    #19-Carl Edwards ..... 99.1
    #24-Chase Elliott ..... 96.7
    #88-Jeff Gordon ..... 96.0
    #16-Greg Biffle ..... 94.3
    #78-Martin Truex Jr ..... 92.4
    #4-Kevin Harvick ..... 92.3
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (23 total) among active drivers at Dover International Speedway.
    Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at

  • All Chase drivers pass post-race inspection: Only #4-Kevin Harvick emerged victorious Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but his other 15 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff foes salvaged some shred of consolation alongside him. All 16 championship-eligible cars won the race after the race Sunday, clearing without issue through the Laser Inspection Station (LIS) platform after the Bad Boy Off Road 300. Those cleared included the winning Stewart-Haas Racing #4 Chevrolet driven by Harvick, who damaged his car's left-rear fender with a smoky, tire-ripping burnout after his third victory of the season. Only the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota of third-place finisher Kyle Busch went through the inspection bay a second time, and that was due to the car failing to meet the weight limit by a nominal amount. After topping off fluids as permitted in the rules, the #18 also was cleared. Following stern warnings in the pre-race drivers' and crew chiefs' meeting against circumventing the LIS platform, the new post-race check was largely a breeze. All 16 cars received a thumbs up from competition officials in a tidy span of roughly 45 minutes. As is customary, race officials announced that they would take a handful of cars back to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further inspection. Those are: #4-Harvick, #18-Busch, and #2-Keselowski.(

  • Fewest laps led by a race winner in 2016: #4-Kevin Harvick led just 8 laps at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, the fewest laps any race winner has led this season:
    #4-Harvick - New Hampshire - 8 laps led
    #11-Hamlin - Watkins Glen - 10 laps
    #34-Buescher - Pocono - 12 laps
    #14-Stewart - Sonoma - 22 laps
    (ESPN Stats & Info)(9-26-2016)

  • 2016 laps lead: Following Kevin Harvick's win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday, he has led 1,219 laps on the season. With Martin Truex, Jr. leading a race high 141 laps, Truex, Kyle Busch, and Harvick have combined to lead 49% of the total laps run this season.
    1) #78-Martin Truex Jr. - 1,407
    2) #18-Kyle Busch - 1,268
    3) #4-Kevin Harvick - 1,219
    4) #19-Carl Edwards - 773
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth - 595
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski - 451
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin - 406
    8) #22-Joey Logano - 390
    9) #48-Jimmie Johnson - 384
    10) #42-Kyle Larson - 241
    Total laps run - 7,945 (9-26-2016)

  • New Hampshire 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 1:59 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:11 PM (all times are EDT). NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 115
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 98
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 17
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 16
    Number of times NBCSN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:59 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:11 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 192
    Minutes of race broadcast: 146
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 46
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 8
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 146 Total comm. brdcst time 46
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at

  • Harvick wins at New Hampshire: #4-Kevin Harvick won the Bad Boy Off Road 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 2nd win at New Hampshire and 34th career win. Harvick took the lead from Kenseth with 5 laps to go and led a total of just 8 of the 300 laps.
    Harvick joins Martin Truex, Jr in automatically earning a spot in the Chase Round of 12 that begins at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    #20-Kenseth finished 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #41-Busch, pole sitter #19-Edwards, #78-Truex, Jr., #48-Johnson, #5-Kahne, and #42-Larson.
    There were 14 lead changes among 8 drivers and 6 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 109.291mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official New Hampshire Race & Points Report (pdf).(9-25-2016)

  • Where did the 2016 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers finish at New Hampshire?
    [by points standings before the race (start pos)]
    1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 7th (2)
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski, 4th (11)
    3) #18-Kyle Busch, 3rd (12)
    4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 15th (5)
    5) #22-Joey Logano, 11th (15)
    6) #24-Chase Elliott, 13th (10)
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2nd (8)
    8) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 8th (4)
    9) #19-Carl Edwards, 6thth (1)
    10) #41-Kurt Busch, 5th (13)
    11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 19thth (7)
    12) #14-Tony Stewart, 23rd (22)
    13) #3-Austin Dillon, 16th (29)
    14) #4-Kevin Harvick, WON (19)
    15) #42-Kyle Larson, 10th (6)
    16) #34-Chris Buescher, 30th (28)

  • Race Fast Facts - New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
    Kevin Harvick won the 20th Annual Bad Boy Off Road 300, his 34th victory in 566 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and 22nd top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his second victory and 17th top-10 finish in 32 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 19th top-10 finish in 34 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his 13th top-10 finish in 2016.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 24 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Ryan Blaney (12th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Brad Keselowski leads the point standings by 1 points over Martin Truex Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(9-25-2016)

  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Standings:
    [after New Hampshire, race 28 of 36]
    1) #78-Martin Truex Jr.*, [3 wins], 1 win in the Round of 16
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick*, [3 wins], 1 win in the Round of 16
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski, [4 wins], 2087, +35
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, [4 wins], 2085, +33
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, [2 wins], 2078, +26
    6) #22-Joey Logano, [1 win], 2073, +21
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin, [3 wins], 2071, +19
    8) #48-Jimmie Johnson, [2 wins], 2070, +18
    9) #24-Chase Elliott, 2068, +16
    10) #19-Carl Edwards, [2 wins], 2068, +16
    11) #41-Kurt Busch, [1 win], 2067, +15
    12) #42-Kyle Larson, [1 win], 2057, +5
    Bottom 4 drivers will be eliminated from the Chase after Dover:
    13) #1-Jamie McMurray, 2052, 5 points out of 12th
    14) #3-Austin Dillon, 2052, -5
    15) #14-Tony Stewart, [1 win], 2046, -11
    16) #34-Chris Buescher, 2027, -30
    * will advance to the Round of 12 by winning a Round of 16 race
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(9-25-2016)

  • NASCAR warns teams not to push limits in post-race inspection: NASCAR warned Sprint Cup competitors not to "circumvent what happens for postrace inspection" during the drivers meeting Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. NASCAR later confirmed the warning also meant that teams should not be swerving after the race as they do to ensure that their car meets postrace requirements. Steve O'Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer, addressed competitors at the beginning of Sunday's meeting. "We appreciate everybody being here today," O'Donnell said after introducing VIPs. "I know they've come here to see a race. With that in mind, there has been a lot of dialogue in what takes place after the checkered flag with postrace inspection. I want to make clear to everybody here that in NASCAR's judgment any measures that are taken to circumvent what happens for postrace inspection we're going to react. We know that's subjective but ask all of you not to put it in our hands because we will react if we have to. I think everybody knows what that means. NASCAR stated earlier this week that every Chase car eligible for the championship will go through inspection after the race. All 16 cars remain eligible at New Hampshire. When the field is cut to 12 after Dover, then all those cars will go through inspection. Same as when the Chase field is cut to eight teams and then to four.(NBC Sports)(9-25-2016)

  • Jerrod Niemann featured at Talladega's Saturday Night Infield Concert: Nashville country star Jerrod Niemann will perform as the headliner for the traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert, Oct. 22, as part of the much anticipated Chase double elimination weekend. Niemann is set to take the stage at NASCAR's "Party Capital" just hours after the conclusion of the fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race where the field of title contenders will be cut from eight to six, and the night before the Alabama 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event where only eight of 12 drivers will advance in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a Sunday race ticket for the Alabama 500. Niemann is currently on tour, and working on his new album. The recently released first single, titled "A Little More Love," is a duet with friend and label mate Lee Brice. His most recent album, High Noon, featured the Platinum-certified hit "Drink to That All Night," a two-week No. 1 smash. High Noon was a follow-up to his Free the Music album, which included the emotional "Only God Could Love You More" and "Shinin' on Me."(TSS)(9-25-2016)

  • Sad News - Bob Margolis: Robert "Bob" Henry Margolis, 65, of Macungie, PA, passed away Wednesday, September 21, 2016 surrounded by his family in Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest Hospice. Bob was born in Allentown, PA to Joseph Louis and Shirley (Jacoby) Margolis. He fought a battle with cancer for 10 years, having both Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Head & Neck cancer. Bob was married to Becky Overcash. His youngest, Alana Margolis, is currently enrolled at University of Colorado at Denver, pursuing her dream of being a singer/songwriter, following in Bob's footsteps. Bob was a musician for over 50 years, working as a producer and record executive at RCA and Geffen Records with bands like Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, and Whitesnake. Bob also worked in the motor sports industry, starting as a sports journalist and continuing as a media consultant. Bob flourished in every job he had, and had copious amounts of friends in each field of business. Bob's passions were his children, music, motor sports and cooking. If you were to look up the definition of a Renaissance Man, you would see a picture of Bob and all of his accomplishments in life. Arrangements by Robert C. Weir Funeral Home.(9-25-2016)

  • Truex and Harvick ok with each other after Chicago contact: #78-Martin Truex Jr. said he and #4-Kevin Harvick have cleared the air following contact during last week's race at Chicagoland Speedway. At one point in the opener for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Harvick door-slammed Truex and caused a tire rub on the #78 car. But Truex went on to win the race, so it ultimately didn't have an impact. At the time, Truex said he was certain Harvick initiated the contact on purpose and was trying to damage Truex's fast car. But on Friday, Truex said the drivers spoke this week and no longer have any problems. "We're fine; we're good to go," Truex said. "We just talked about what our perspectives were on it and agreed it's over, it's done with, we'll move on and race like we always have. We've raced very hard but always clean. So we agreed it was a racing deal and we'll move forward." Truex said he was angry with Harvick at the time and didn't realize Harvick also was mad. What did Harvick have to be upset about? "I guess he thought I ran into him," Truex said.(USA Today)(9-24-2016)

  • Joe Walsh named grand marshal for "Citizen Soldier 400" at Dover: Legendary musician Joe Walsh will serve as the grand marshal for the "Citizen Soldier 400" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 2. The Grammy Award-winning 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has a career spanning four decades as a successful solo artist and a member of the Eagles, Barnstorm and James Gang. Walsh wrote "No Man's Land," an original song for the film "Citizen Soldier." Joining Walsh as dignitaries for the "Citizen Soldier 400" are: Honorary Pace Car Driver: Retired Maj. Gen Gus Hargett, the chief executive officer of the National Guard Association of the United States; Honorary Starter: Retired Staff Sgt. Colt Floyd of the Oklahoma National Guard. Floyd was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011; Welcoming Remarks: Bert Bedrosian, "Citizen Soldier" producer and partner at Strong Eagle Media. In addition, country music star Easton Corbin will sing the national anthem prior to the race and the traditional military flyover will be conducted by two F-16s from the 149th Fighter Wing of the Texas Air National Guard.(Dover Speedway)(9-24-2016)

  • Stewart honored with granite stone at New Hampshire: Dale Earnhardt has his rock and now Tony Stewart has his granite stone at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. A winner of five races in three different motorsports series at NHMS during his legendary career, Tony Stewart will now forever be honored for his achievements on the 1.058-mile oval. Speedway officials unveiled the 7,400-pound engraved granite block for this weekend's Bad Boy Off Road 300. Fans will be able to the see the granite stone, as it is positioned under the Main Grandstands in a manicured flowerbed next to the suite elevators parallel to the Granite Stripe start/finish line. The granite features Stewart's #14 in the top-left corner with his name underneath. The middle of the engraving is a likeness of Stewart's car the last time he won here in 2011. The bottom-right of the stone features the New Hampshire Motor Speedway logo with the year of each of his wins at NHMS - 1998 (IndyCar), 2000 (Cup Series), 2005 (Cup Series), 2008 (XFINITY Series) and 2011 (Cup Series).(NHMS)(9-24-2016)

  • E.J. Wade Construction returns to back DiBenedetto at Dover: BK Racing has announced that E.J. Wade Construction will return as primary sponsor on Matt DiBenedetto's #83 E.J. Wade Construction Camry at Dover International Speedway. The Citizen Soldier 400 will be E.J. Wade Construction's fifth race as sponsor of DiBenedetto's car. E.J. Wade Construction is a Class A Contractor and a VDOT Prequalified Contractor that has highly trained professionals who have their tradesman licenses in electrical, plumbing, HVAC and gas fitting tradesman licenses. E.J. Wade Construction is a company that believes in quality, reliability, friendliness, and putting the concerns of the client first.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(9-23-2016)

  • Kyle Busch to be honored at the White House: On Wednesday, September 28, President Obama will welcome #18-Kyle Busch and his team members to the White House to honor his 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. This visit will continue the tradition begun by President Obama of honoring athletes and sports teams for their efforts to give back to their communities.(NASCAR)(9-23-2016)

  • Driscoll charged with stealing from charity UPDATE: The former girlfriend of NASCAR driver #41-Kurt Busch has been charged with stealing from a military charity she led. Court documents don't say how much prosecutors believe Patricia Driscoll took from the District of Columbia-based Armed Forces Foundation, whose mission is to support service members, veterans and their families. But a 2014 tax return for the non-profit says that the "foundation has become aware of suspected misappropriations" by Driscoll totaling more than $599,000 for the years 2006 to 2014. It says she misused money for meals, travel, parking tickets, makeup and gifts. Driscoll was indicted on two counts each of wire fraud, mail fraud, and tax evasion, and one count of attempts to interfere with administration of Internal Revenue laws.(Associated Press/
    UPDATE: Patricia Pauline Driscoll, 38, walked into the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, which sits in the shadows of the nation's Capitol, early Wednesday morning to turn herself over to U.S. Marshals after being indicted on two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of tax evasion, one count of interference with the administrations of IRS laws and one count of 1st degree fraud and she was kept in a holding cell until her arraignment at 1:45pm that afternoon. Standing before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey, Driscoll was dressed in a khaki suit with her hair in a bun and sporting dark-rimmed spectacles, she stood mostly silent, except to answer the Judge and converse with her attorney. She acknowledged she understood the charges against her and that she also understood her right to remain silent. Speaking on her behalf, her attorney Barry Pollock, said his client pleads, "not guilty on all counts." Driscoll was released on her own recognizance but must report weekly to the federal Pre-Trial Services Division and surrender her passport. She was also ordered to stay within 50-miles of Washington D.C. unless she get permission from pre-trial services and is forbidden to leave the country without an order form the court. (Kickin the Tires)(9-23-2016)

  • NASCAR Foundation donating $1 Million to NYU Langone Medical Center: The NASCAR Foundation will donate $1 million to NYU Langone Medical Center, as part of a multi-year partnership to benefit hospitalized children. Through this partnership, The NASCAR Foundation will enhance the Child Life Program at the Hassenfeld Children's Hospital of New York at NYU Langone. The partnership will be commemorated at the first-ever NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala taking place at The Marriott Marquis in New York on Sept. 27. This is The NASCAR Foundation's first multi-year partnership with a New York area hospital and marks its commitment to reach more kids nationally. NASCAR's charitable arm has donated $25 million and impacted more than one million children since its inception in 2006. Through this partnership, the Child Life Program will ease the anxiety of children and their families during their hospital stay, which is essential to recovery. The NASCAR Foundation will support an enhanced child and family experience, fund two Child Life specialists, and provide resources, equipment and supplies to complement the wide-range of supportive and therapeutic activities currently offered at Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at no charge to patients. This marks an expansion of The NASCAR Foundation's commitment to supporting children with Child Life programming as part of its signature Speediatrics program, which has provided more than 500,000 children with state-of-the-art medical care.(NASCAR)(9-23-2016)

  • Citizen Soldier Film sponsoring Smith at Dover: "Citizen Soldier," a feature film using real footage that follows an Oklahoma National Guard unit during its deployment to Afghanistan will be the primary sponsor for Regan Smith's #7 Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, October 2. Produced by Strong Eagle Media and distributed by Gravitas Ventures and Broad Green Pictures, "Citizen Soldier" is a modern day "Band of Brothers" and documents the Oklahoma Army National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team's (nicknamed the "Thunderbirds") 2011 deployment. Set in one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan at the height of the surge, it is a heart-pounding, heartfelt grunt's-eye view of the war. The film tells the true story of an exceptional group of young soldiers and their life-changing tour of duty in Afghanistan, offering an excruciatingly personal look into modern warfare, brotherhood and patriotism. For Baldwin, this film hit home due to a relationship with United States Marine Corps Sgt. Derek Stevenin. Through Baldwin's friendship with Derek, Tommy understood the trials he faced with serving five deployments in just eight years. This past Memorial Day, TBR honored Derek and 17 of his fallen brothers on the #7 car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(9-22-2016)

  • Congrats to #31 crew chief Luke Lambert and his wife Jamie on the birth of their daugther, RubyLynn, Thursday morning. She is the couple's third child. Lambert tweeted the news Thursday.(9-22-2016)

  • Why Chase round no longer have names: Two years ago, NASCAR moved toward streamlining its playoffs through a format more traditionally in line with other professional sports. In the third season of the revamped Chase for the Sprint Cup, the branding of the 10-race championship also has moved in a conventional direction with the dispensing of nicknames for its four rounds in favor of traditional labels. Jill Gregory, who was named NASCAR's chief marketing officer last month, said it's about simplicity. "At the end of the day, we need to make the sport accessible and easy to consume, and sports fans, whether motorsports, NASCAR, stick and ball, they're familiar with a certain vernacular, and we wanted to keep it simple," Gregory, the guest on this week's NASCAR on NBC podcast, said in the Wednesday episode. "Sometimes, you can out-clever yourself." When the Chase for the Sprint Cup was reintroduced with elimination rounds and an expanded field in the 2014 season, the first three rounds were known as "Challenger," "Contender" and "Eliminator." After using the branded rounds again last season, they were dropped this year. The number of title contenders in each segment is the determinant for the name (i.e., Round of 16, Round of 12, Round of 8 and Championship 4). "It's very easy to understand Round of 16, Round of 8, so we wanted to make it as easy as possible for fans to engage with it," Gregory said.(NBC Sports)(9-22-2016)

  • Chicago TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Chicagoland earned a 1.5 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday afternoon, down 15% from last year (1.8) and down 32% from 2014 on ESPN (2.7). Overnights even dropped from 2013, when the race was delayed multiple times and moved from ESPN to ESPN2 (1.6). Excluding rainouts, the 1.5 overnight is tied as the lowest of the season for a Sprint Cup race, matching Richmond the previous week. Only one race all of last season had as low an overnight, coverage from Kansas that did not finish until after 1 AM ET due to rain.(Sports Media Watch), see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(9-20-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Chicagoland, the first race in the Chase For the Cup, posted a 1.6 final rating and 2.7 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday afternoon - down 16% in ratings and 17% in viewership from last year (1.9, 3.2M) and down 30% and 27%, respectively, from 2014 on ESPN (2.3, 3.7M). Excluding rainouts, the race ranks as the lowest rated and least-watched Chase For the Cup telecast ever (118 races dating back to 2004). Sunday's race also delivered the lowest rating and viewership ever for the Sprint Cup at Chicagoland (dates back to 2001). In addition to those low marks, the 1.6 rating is tied as the lowest for any Sprint Cup race in at least eight years.(Sports Media Watch)(9-22-2016)

  • The Band Perry performing prior to Homestead race: Hot off the release of their new single "Comeback Kid," Grammy Award-winning superstar sibling trio - The Band Perry - will make a special live performance prior to this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race. The Band Perry will be featured in Homestead-Miami Speedway's pre-race show, which airs on Countdown to Green on NBC that Sunday. The Band Perry, which consists of siblings Kimberly Perry, Neil Perry and Reid Perry, are an unstoppable presence in music. The trio has released two studio albums, The Band Perry (2010) and Pioneer (2013). Their first album went certified platinum and included the sextuple-platinum chart-topper, "If I Die Young," the platinum-selling "You Lie" and "All Your Life (a #1 single). Their second album Pioneer was certified gold and also featured two No. 1 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. They are currently putting the finishing touches on their third studio album.(Homestead-Miami Speedway)(9-22-2016)

  • No penalties for Truex, Johnson; NASCAR to increase tolerances in post-race inspection: NASCAR has decided to increase the tolerances for postrace measurements, eliminating all lower-tier penalties and only issuing a penalty if it reaches the point where suspensions would be issued and a win would not be allowed to count toward advancement in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The decision is retroactive to the race last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, meaning that race winner Martin Truex Jr. and 12th-place finisher Jimmie Johnson will not be penalized for being outside the rear alignment tolerances by a minimal amount. Without a penalty, Johnson remains eighth in points. With the 10-point penalty he would have received, Johnson would have fallen into a tie for 12th in the standings. NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell said the decision was made so that all penalties are equitable. Under the previous structure, Truex virtually would have no penalty because he won the race to automatically qualify for the next round of the Chase while Johnson would have had a major 10-point penalty that could have put his ability to advance to the next round in jeopardy. "We recognized if we were to apply those penalties as we listed them out for the event, those penalties would not have the same impact on the competitors based on the Chase format and the increased emphasis on win bonuses [to advance]," O'Donnell said. "If you look back as to why we created the deterrent system we put in place to insure that we had a level playing field for all 40 cars that were competing in the event and in this case, if we applied those penalties, the postrace penalty would not really treat each competitor fairly." O'Donnell said he feels the industry believes the Truex and Johnson infractions were minor in nature. All of the cars passed inspection prerace, and teams design the cars to bend and adjust at race speed and loads in the turns. O'Donnell also announced that every Chase car would go through the postrace measurement inspection station. Previously, it was the top-five and select others. If a car does fail postrace measurements at the standard NASCAR set last week as its most egregious violation, it would be a 35-point penalty, a three-race suspension for the crew chief and a $65,000 fine for the crew chief. If the car had won, the driver would not be allowed to use the win to advance to the next round of the Chase. A win is worth 44 or 45 points, depending on whether a driver leads the most laps.(

  • Chicago penalties/warnings announced: NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on September 18, 2016.
    #43-Almirola failed post-race inspection and was issued a P3 penalty for violation of Sections 12-1; - Lug nut(s) not properly installed. Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer has been fined $10,000.
    #16-Biffle failed post-race inspection and was issued a P3 penalty for violation of Sections 12-1; - Lug nut(s) not properly installed. Crew chief Brian Pattie has been fined $10,000.
    #14-Stewart (1) Warning Failed template inspection three times, pre-race inspection and was issued a written warning and loss of 15 minutes practice time.
    #10-Patrick (3), #41-Busch (3) - Failed LIS twice, pre-race inspection and were issued written warnings.
    Chicagoland #2-Keselowski 2 (1), #24-Elliott (4), #48-Johnson (1), #88-Bowman (3) - Failed template inspection twice in pre-race inspection and were issued written warnings.
    () -- total current warnings.
    See the Chicago Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(9-21-2016)

  • Atlanta celebrating Petty's last race with special ticket offer: Atlanta Motor Speedway will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Hooters 500 Cup Series race, known as one of the greatest NASCAR races of all time, in which racing legend and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty made his final career start, with a special ticket offer and exclusive race-day experience for the first 500 fans who take advantage. With the purchase of a $69 Upper Petty Grandstand ticket for Sunday's race, fans can add a $10 upgrade which includes a replica ticket from the 1992 Hooters 500, a commemorative Richard Petty hero card, access to an exclusive Q&A session with Richard Petty on race day and a chance to win one of 43 replica 1992 Hooters 500 tickets signed by "The King" himself. One dollar from each upgrade purchase will go towards the Petty Family Foundation and Victory Junction. The package is also available as an upgrade for any fan who has previously purchased a Sunday ticket valued at $69 or more and member of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Insiders Club, regardless of seat location.(Atlanta Motor Speedway)(9-21-2016)

  • Great Clips renews sponsorship with Hendrick: Great Clips Inc. will continue its sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports and the #5 Chevrolet SS team of driver Kasey Kahne in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a contract extension through 2018. The two-year agreement covers the 2017 and 2018 seasons and secures primary sponsorship of the #5 Chevrolet SS for 10 events annually. Great Clips, which joined Hendrick Motorsports as a partner in 2012, also will be a major associate sponsor of the No. 5 team each year. The world's largest salon brand, Great Clips became a first-time Sprint Cup primary sponsor with three races in 2013. The program grew to 10 primary races annually in 2014. Since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, Kahne, 36, has earned three Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berths and five race wins with the #5 team. The Enumclaw, Washington, native has 17 career victories, 27 pole positions and 165 top-10 finishes in NASCAR's top division.(Hendrick Motorsports)(9-20-2016)

  • Why are cars swerving after the races are over? Don't stop watching NASCAR's drivers after the checkered flag falls - there are some strange goings on occurring after that. On Sunday following the Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, multiple drivers - not only the winner - made serpentine moves on the backstretch on the cool down lap that would have been more natural through the esses of a road course - not a straightaway on a 1.5-mile oval. On Sunday at Chicagoland, crew chief Cole Pearn reminded Martin Truex Jr. repeatedly before his burnouts: "Remember to swerve." So what did that mean exactly? The bottom line is that competitors are spinning and swerving to make sure the rear toe returns to legal parameters before the cars are measure on the laser inspection station post-race. NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Office Steve O'Donnell finally addressed the issue on Monday. When O'Donnell was a guest on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, he said NASCAR is looking into the practice. "That's why we put the rules in place that we did prior to the Chase," O'Donnell said. "We don't want to have to react to this. We want to see the best racing possible. We want the cars to come in and race straight up. Unfortunately, it's part of racing, too, is to push the limits. So we have to find that balance. What we want to be talking about is the racing on the track - not post-race, not what occurs on the cool down laps. We've got a job to do to with the team owners to talk about exactly the questions I'm being asked today - which is very fair - but that's where we're headed." On Sept. 7, NASCAR made a change to the rules making welded track bar mounts mandatory - rather than a moveable mount that had the potential to increase side force on the car by promoting right rear yaw. Some team managers contend the rule did not go far enough to discourage the practice.(Motorsport)(9-20-2016)

  • Truex took less money to stay with Furniture Row: It's been the best season of Martin Truex Jr.'s career, as his victory in Sunday's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway was his third win of 2016. Without question, Truex knows that his move to Furniture Row Racing in 2014 was a great decision. And team owner Barney Visser said Sunday evening that Truex was such a team player that he actually took less money to stay with Furniture Row. "He drove for a little bit less this year than I think a lot of the drivers in his class have, and he did it because he wanted to be here," said Visser, the founder and owner of the Denver-based team. "I can't thank him enough for all that." Truex confirmed that he had taken less money to stay with Furniture Row, which Visser has largely funded on his own since starting the team in 2005. "Barney has put a lot into his race team over the years, obviously," said Truex. "Seeing Furniture Row on that race car each and every year, that's Barney's race car and Barney is the one funding it. He had to change some things in the way he was running his race team." And that led to a discussion between the driver and the owner. "He (Visser) asked me if I would kind of not take the hit, but be the one that took a little bit of a hit for the team to make sure we could keep the competition up and make sure we could continue to get the things we needed to be competitive and win races and hopefully go after a championship," said Truex.(Fox Sports)(9-20-2016)

  • NASCAR sued for discrimination; will counter sue for defamation: A Georgia man has filed a $500 million race discrimination lawsuit against NASCAR and its race teams, claiming his attempts to make NASCAR more racially diverse were rebuffed by the sanctioning body. Terrance Cox III, who operated Diversity Motorsports Racing and who founded a group to protest what it views as injustices of NASCAR by sponsors and team owners toward the minority community, filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in New York. Cox claims that NASCAR, racetrack operator International Speedway Corp. and its race teams have not made any efforts to have corporate sponsors support an African-American team. In a statement, NASCAR defended its Drive for Diversity program -- which has been in place since 2004 -- and said it will fight the lawsuit. "NASCAR embraces all individuals interested and involved in our sport, whether as partners, fans, competitors or employees, and there is no merit to this lawsuit," the statement said. "NASCAR has a long-standing history of investing in diversity efforts including the NASCAR Drive for Diversity, NASCAR Diversity Internship and NASCAR Diversity Pit Crew Development programs. ... We stand behind our actions, and will not let a publicity-seeking legal action deter us from our mission. NASCAR not only will defend our organization against these meritless allegations, but we will be asserting our own claims against Mr. Cox for his defamatory actions."(

  • Truex, Johnson fail post-race inspection UPDATES: The race-winning car of #78-Martin Truex Jr. and the 12th-place car of #48-Jimmie Johnson failed postrace measurements. They were at the lowest levels so Truex will be able to use the win to advance to the second round of the Chase.(
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced that the cars' rear-alignment measurement failures were at minimal levels, meaning that Truex will be able to use his victory Sunday to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR reviews any extenuating circumstances and will announce any penalties this week, likely Wednesday. Johnson faces a potential 10-point penalty, which could drop him from eighth in the standings to a three-way tie for 12th with Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick. The Chase field of 16 gets cut to 12 after two more races, with the winners automatically advancing and the four worst drivers in points eliminated. Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus also faces a potential $15,000 fine. Truex could face a 15-point penalty, with crew chief Cole Pearn being fined $22,500 because this is their second such violation in two weeks, which increases the penalties by 50 percent.(
    AND: Kickin' the Tires was in the garage when the Truex's car went through post-race inspection and spoke with Pearn about the forthcoming penalty. "The right rear was way safe, we were conservative, you know, just trying not to cause any trouble but I don't know, the left rear was the one showing in for whatever reason, showing too much," Pearn said. "Yeah, it's a bummer. It's like .01 (degrees) over - barely nothing but it's still over. It's sure stressful passing that thing right now, I know that. We got nailed in the left rear, I mean, the left rear is all crinkled in and it's the one showing in but that doesn't matter, that's the rules. If it's over it's over. It's a bummer, it will be a P2 or whatever, especially since we got one last week, so it's not really a good deal." A NASCAR official was seen looking at and taking photos of Truex's tires in the garage as the car was going through inspection and it was obvious one of them had worn so much that the cords were showing. Pearn said he believed that was caused by Truex getting hit by another car during the race, which may have played a factor in the car being out of spec.(Kickin The Tires)
    AND: #16-Greg Biffle and #43-Aric Almirola's cars were missing a single lug nut on each car. Almirola's missing lug nut was because of a broken right front stud. Their crew chiefs face a potential fine of $10,000. Crew chiefs are only suspended now if there are more than 3 lug nuts missing.(9-19-2016)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Furniture Row Racing: "The right rear of our car was well within the tolerance margin, which showed that we were trying to be conservative. However, the left rear wheel alignment was off by approximately ten- thousandths of an inch, which in high probability was due to damage in that area as a result of being hit by the No. 4 car. We believe the laser inspection numbers were correct and accept NASCAR's decision that was made following Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway."(Furniture Row Racing)(9-19-2016)

  • Menard "pretty close" to announcing new deal with RCR UPDATE: Paul Menard is in his sixth season campaigning in the #27 Menard's Chevy. His sole Cup win with the organization came in the 2011 Brickyard 400. When asked about the status of his contract with RCR after finishing second in Saturday's Zippo 200 at the Glen, he said that they are "pretty close" to an extension. "We'll get to that in the next few weeks and make sure we let you guys know," he added.(Motorsport)(8-7-2016)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske has sponsorship locked down for three of his IndyCar teams next season, with Menards signing on for 10 races with Simon Pagenaud to drive the bright yellow colors of the home improvement store. The announcement Saturday returns John Menard to a high-profile role in IndyCar after a long absence. The billionaire was a team owner and sponsor in the series but walked away after the 2004 season to back his son, Paul, in NASCAR. Menard made a slow return to Indy this year as a sponsor for Pagenaud in the 100th Indianapolis 500, and that deal grew to cover five races. Menard says he and Paul Menard are signed with Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR through 2017, so moving his son to Penske's organization is not currently being discussed.(Associated Press/

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