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  • Stewart thinks his back may have been hurt before accident: #14-Tony Stewart said he learned something important after his season debut last weekend at Richmond International Raceway - that he may have been more injured than he initially thought. "I think what I learned after the race (is) I really think that my back was messed up before it was broke," Stewart told Fox Sports TV broadcaster Kenny Wallace before Sunday's race at Talladega, Ala. "I think what the surgeons did was fix that. I feel better than I did last year at this time as far as my back is concerned. (I'm) still having to be a little bit patient. That's why we have to alter the plan for today." Stewart suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra on Jan. 31 while driving a sand rail in the Glamis Sand Dunes of the California desert. He had corrective surgery and sat out the first eight races of the Sprint Cup season. Stewart's doctors cleared him to return to competition just before last weekend's race at Richmond.(Motorsport)(5-2-2016)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. loses steering wheel during second accident: Dale Earnhardt, Jr's day at Talladega ended for good after an accident with Carl Edwards on Lap 110. He finished the race in 43rd. During the accident, the steering wheel came off.
    "Yeah, the steering wheel came off and I was trying to get it back on and the car was headed toward the wall. Well I wasn't going to let it hit the wall so I grabbed the column and steered it with that. Tore my hands all up, but didn't hit the wall. We have to look at something to keep that from happening anymore. We were just out there riding around and something broke on the #19 and he came over and got into us. We just had no luck this weekend."(Chevy Racing PR)(5-2-2016)

  • Kenseth not happy with Logano again: The feud between #20-Matt Kenseth and #22-Joey Logano simmered again Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Fox Sports caught an exchange between the rival drivers outside the track's care center after both were involved in a late accident during the GEICO 500. Kenseth seemed to initiate the interaction after exiting the track hospital and pausing to get the attention of Logano, who was leaning against a barrier waiting for an interview to begin. Logano smiled and shook his head as the brief conversation ended with some finger-pointing by Kenseth, who had blamed Logano for forcing him off the track and putting him in position to be involved in a 12-car wreck that started with contact between Danica Patrick and Michael McDowell. Kenseth's car went airborne in the crash. "The first thing that happened is (Logano) ran me off the racetrack, and that got us way behind," he said. "I thought we were done with that, but maybe we aren't." Told it seemed Kenseth was upset, Logano responded, "OK. He can get in line with the rest of them."(NBC Sports)(5-2-2016)

  • Patrick says Talladega crash was hardest of her career: On yet another race day when cars thought they could fly, among the results was a battered race car finishing third, #34-Chris Buescher going for a wild ride into the sky and #10-Danica Patrick taking a hit she called the hardest in her career. Although cars were airborne, perhaps the most dangerous wreck of the day occurred late in the race when Patrick's car, bumped from behind by #95-Michael McDowell, slid in front of the track, hit Matt Kenseth hard and then sailed at near-full speed into the backstretch inside wall, her Chevrolet erupting into flames. Kenseth also hit the wall very hard while flipping, riding the wall upside-down and rolling back on the track. Patrick was in the infield medical center an unusually long time. She finally emerged, obviously shaken by not only her incident but also the overall crazy atmosphere of the day. A half-hour after the accident, she said her chest hurt when she breathed and that she had bruises from the wreck. She said a chest x-ray showed no serious injuries. "I'm pretty sure I got hit, and the car spun toward the inside wall," Patrick said. "It hit really hard. Everything - the steering wheel - is way out of place. I hit my foot. Hit my arm. There was fire inside the car. It kind of knocked the breath out of me a little bit." Patrick said the fire inside the car caused her to be "probably the most scared" she has been in a race car. "I haven't had fire on the inside before," she said. "It got to the glove a little bit. Honestly, I was thinking about my hair. I have a lot of hair, and I don't want to lose it. That was the worst one (wreck) so far. I have decent bruises on my arm and foot. I hit a wall at 200. And my chest hurts when I breathe."(USA Today)(5-2-2016)

  • Talladega Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 GEICO 500: 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 12:42 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:39 PM (all times are EDT). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 138
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 61
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 119
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 56
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 19
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 11
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 81
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 40 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 12:42 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:39 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 237
    Minutes of race broadcast: 186
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 51
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 9
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1 (One Caution Was Extended Due to Debris; Mentioned but Not Shown)
    Total race brdcst time 186 Total comm. brdcst time 51
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(5-2-2016)

  • Keselowski wins at Talladega: #2-Brad Keselowski won the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 2nd win of the season, 4th win at Talladega and 19th career win. Keselowski led 46 of the 188 laps, the most of anyone.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #3-Dillon, #1-McMurray, pole sitter #24-Elliott, #14-Ty Dillon (who replaced Tony Stewart on lap 52), #15-Bowyer, #41-Busch, #21-Blaney, and #6-Bayne.
    The "Big One" happened with 28 laps to go. #41-Busch got into the back #48-Johnson, getting him loose and sending him into #27-Menard. Johnson and Menard slid sideways blocking the track and collecting a total of 17 cars. Drivers suffering some damage included: #48-Johnson, #78-Truex, Jr., #95-McDowell, #47-Allmendinger, #31-Newman, #27-Menard, #42-Larson, #1-McMurray, #11-Hamlin, #3-Dillon, #7-Smith, #44-Scott, #21-Blaney, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #35-Gilliland, #10-Patrick, and #16-Biffle.
    An earlier incident saw #34-Buescher flip his car 3 times, but walk away unharmed. He finished 37th.
    Late in the race, #95-McDowell got into the back of #10-Patrick and sent her into #20-Kenseth. Kenseth's car became airborne and landed on the inside SAFER barrier, sliding along it, but came to rest on its wheels. Kenseth finished 23rd.
    A wreck at the end of the race, as the leaders were coming to the finish line, forced the race to end under caution.
    There were 37 lead changes among 17 drivers and 10 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 140.046mph.
    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)
    (5-1-2016)

  • Race Fast Facts - Talladega Superspeedway:
    Brad Keselowski won the 47th Annual GEICO 500 , his 19th victory in 243 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his fourth victory and ninth top-10 finish in 15 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Kyle Busch (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 22 races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2016.
    Austin Dillon (third) posted his first top-10 finish in six races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Chase Elliott (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 9 points over Kyle Busch.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(5-1-2016)

  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Points (not CHASE) Standings:
    [after Talladega, race 10 of 36]
    1) #4-Harvick [1 win], 351
    2) #18-Busch, [2 wins], 342, -9
    3) #19-Edwards [2 wins], 337, -14
    4) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 329, -22
    5) #22-Logano, 316, -35
    6) #41-Busch, 312, -39
    7) #2-Keselowski [2 wins], 300, -51
    8) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 279, -72
    9) #78-Truex Jr., 274, -77
    10) #3-Dillon, 272, -79
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Talladega, race 10 of 36, 16 drivers for the Chase]
    Set by most wins, then by points standing
    1) #18-Busch [2 wins], 2nd in driver points
    2) #19-Edwards [2 wins], 3rd
    3) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 4th
    4) #2-Keselowski [2 wins], 7th
    5) #4-Harvick [1 win], 1st
    6) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 12th
    no wins, in by drivers points standings
    7) #22-Logano, 316
    8) #41-Busch, 312
    9) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 279
    10) #78-Truex, Jr., 274
    11) #3-Dillon, 272
    12) #24-Elliott, 271
    13) #1-McMurray, 261
    14) #47-Allmendinger, 232
    15) #20-Kenseth, 231
    16) #6-Bayne, 228
    (5-1-2016)

  • Dover removes three pit stalls: NASCAR drivers will find longer pit stalls when they compete at Dover International Speedway in two weeks. With NASCAR reducing the size of its Sprint Cup field from 43 to 40 cars, the track removed three stalls and increased the length of its stalls from 32 feet to 34 feet. The track was known for having some of the tightest stalls on the circuit.(ESPN.com)(5-1-2016)

  • Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing announces return of CAMP95: Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing announced the return of CAMP95, a unique summer camp designed to provide high school students with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the different types of careers in NASCAR. The camp, which launched in 2015, will be expanded into a two-day program and provide an in-depth view of jobs in the racing industry with more hands-on activities and speakers. CAMP95 was designed by CSLFR to help students become more knowledgeable about racing-related careers, thereby helping to foster the connection between NASCAR and the next generation. The team hopes the guidance and advice students receive at the two-day program will help them as they reach a time in their lives where they are expected to starting making career decisions. Throughout the camp, students will have the opportunity to explore careers based in the areas of competition, sponsorship, public relations, engineering and more. Members of the race team, including drivers Michael McDowell and Ty Dillon, along with key figures from the NASCAR community will be on-hand to speak with the campers about their career paths in racing and how they got started. After attending CAMP95, campers will be invited to enter an essay contest explaining what they learned from the program for a chance to win an opportunity to shadow the team at an upcoming Sprint Cup race of their choice. Thrivent Financial, a primary sponsor of the #95 Chevrolet SS, will sponsor the winner and chaperone's travel to the race. The 2016 session of CAMP95 will be held on Tuesday, June 28 and Wednesday, June 29 at the team's race shop in Concord, N.C. Students interested in attending can fill out an application.(Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing)(5-1-2015)

  • Darlington to offer Southern food options: Darlington Raceway and its food and beverage provider, Americrown Service Corp., are partnering for the second consecutive year to offer fans signature southern food items from the 1975-1984 era as part of the track's award winning throwback celebration. All the items will be sold at or below five dollars. The food items featured will be Brasington Bites, a Darlington Dog and Southern 500 Egg Roll. The track will also bring back the pimento cheese sandwich, which was popular with fans during the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend.
    Pimento Cheese Sandwich - $3.00 - Made with scratch-made Palmetto-style pimento cheese spread served on fresh white bread
    Brasington Bites - $4.00 - Ground beef, diced onion, smoked gouda and Yancey's Fancy buffalo cheddar cheese rolled, breaded and deep fried
    Southern 500 Egg Roll - $4.00 - Smoked pulled pork, blend of cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses, black eyed peas and collard greens wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried to a golden brown
    Darlington Dog - $5.00 - All beef hot dog topped with BBQ chili, bread & butter pickle relish, Darlington white slaw, bacon bits and fried onions
    All will be featured in concession stands across the track property for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 event weekend, scheduled for Sept. 2-4, 2016.(Darlington Raceway)(5-1-2016)

  • Brian France attends Drivers Council meeting: NASCAR chairman Brian France was busy meeting with drivers Friday, first privately with Tony Stewart and then he attended his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers Council meeting Friday night at Talladega Superspeedway. France was criticized by Stewart in January for not going to the meetings, which typically are attended by other NASCAR top executives. Stewart also was fined $35,000 last week for the tone of comments critical of NASCAR's commitment to safety in reference to its not policing whether lug nuts are tight on wheels. "It was very productive and at least from Brian's perspective, it was well done and he was happy he did it," NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said late Friday night. The meeting with the nine-member drivers council was held in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage and went past the time the garage was closed for the night. As he waited for a gate to be unlocked so he could leave the garage, France was asked if he delivered a message to the drivers. "No, we just had a good discussion," France said about the drivers council meeting. The meeting went on for nearly two more hours after France left for another commitment. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon would not go into specific topics but said the meeting covered items for 2016 and 2017 and there were not discussions about Stewart's fine.(ESPN.com)(4-30-2016)

  • Richmond TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Richmond earned a 2.9 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon, down a tick from 2014, when it aired on a Saturday night (3.0). Overnights also dropped 6% from last year, when the race was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon (3.1). The 2.9 overnight is the lowest ever for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below the previous mark of 3.2 for Bristol one week prior. Regardless of day, it is tied as the second-lowest for a Sprint Cup race on FOX - matching Texas last year and ahead of Texas this year (2.5). Head-to-head, the race edged ABC's competing Spurs/Grizzlies NBA playoff game (2.7) but was no match for Warriors/Rockets later in the day (5.4).(Sports Media Watch)(4-25-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Richmond earned a 3.1 final rating and 4.7 million viewers on FOX last Sunday afternoon, down 6% in ratings and 16% in viewership from 2014, the last time it was run as scheduled on a Saturday night (3.3, 5.6M). Last year's race, which was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, had a 3.3 and 5.2 million. The 3.1 rating is the lowest ever for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below the previous mark of 3.4 for Bristol one week earlier, and the third-lowest regardless of day. The past three races on FOX rank among the network's five lowest rated ever, with Texas dead last, Richmond third, and Bristol fifth at 3.4.(Sports Media Watch) see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(4-30-2016)

  • Ty Dillon still working on Sprint Cup plans: Ty Dillon talked to the media Friday at Talladega Superspeedway;
    HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK GETTING CHOSEN FOR THIS HIGH PROFILE JOB REPLACING TONY HAS HELPED YOUR PROSPECTS OF GETTING A FULL-TIME CUP RIDE? WHERE DOES IT STAND WITH WHAT YOU HAVE LINED UP FOR NEXT SEASON?
    "I think it's helped a lot. I was hoping to maybe be full-time this year in the Sprint Cup series about this time last year. That is where I kind of had my goals set, my eyes set, but the opportunity didn't come along. I can't thank Stewart-Haas and their organization enough for giving me the opportunity to fill in this year with Tony being out. Not only has it helped me with my career and getting better as a race car driver, but it's helped me show people that I can get the job done in other equipment too."
    ANY UPDATE ON NEXT SEASON?
    "I can't tell you that (laughs). No, there are a lot of good things going on. That is about as far as I'll take it."
    MANAGEMENT TOLD ME LAST WEEK THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU IN A CUP CAR FULL-TIME, BUT THEY WOULD ALSO LIKE TO FIND SPONSORSHIP THAT WAS SIMILAR TO WHAT CHASE ELLIOTT HAD. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT AS FAR AS SPONSORSHIP GOES?
    "Right now anything suits my brand. If we can get that kind of sponsorship I'm fine with supporting anything and exposing anything. That is definitely our goal is for RCR is to find a sponsor that we can grow with over the next couple of years similar to what Chase has done. There are other opportunities that could come along to provide me to be able to run full-time in the Sprint Cup Series. I feel like I'm ready to be in the series full-time as a driver mentally and physically. This year I'm focusing on winning the Xfinity Series championship. Hopefully, make my prospect a little bit better and hopefully that opportunity comes along."(Chevy Racing PR)(4-30-2015)

  • Hendrick named Charlotte Chamber 2016 Citizen of the Carolinas: The Charlotte Chamber has named local car dealer and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick its 2016 Citizen of the Carolinas. The chamber said that Hendrick was chosen for the honor for his contributions to Charlotte's business community, his influence within NASCAR and his work with local organizations, including Levine Children's Hospital and Together We Feed Charlotte. "Rick embodies the collaborative spirit that sets Charlotte apart from any other major city in the United States," chamber CEO and President Bob Morgan said in a statement. Last year, the chamber gave the award to former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles. Other past honorees include former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan. Hendrick, at age 26, became a Chevrolet dealer in 1976 with his first franchise in Bennettsville, S.C. By 1978, he moved to Charlotte and purchased City Chevrolet, which now serves as the flagship location for Hendrick Automotive Group. The privately-held dealership group employs more than 10,000 people and operates more than 130 retail franchises across 14 states. In a statement, Hendrick said he was humbled to receive the award. "We've been fortunate to call Charlotte home for nearly 40 years," he said. "It's been such a wonderful place for our family, and now our grandchildren are growing up here. I cannot imagine a more giving community or a better city to live and do business." The chamber will present Hendrick with its most prestigious honor at the organization's annual meeting in December.(Charlotte Business Journal)(4-30-2016)

  • Michigan launches Fan Appreciation program: Michigan International Speedway has launched this year's Fan Appreciation program. Through this summer's events at MIS, all guests have the opportunity to win prizes online at www.MISpeedway.com/goldenticket. All guests who purchase a ticket to the any of the track's June 10-12 and Aug. 27-28 events including the FireKeepers Casino 400 or the Pure Michigan 400 may enter online for a chance to win. Guests in their party, even if they're not account holders, can also try. In its ninth year, the Fan Appreciation Program continues to grow and reward fans with prizes and experiences. Prizes range from one fan being selected as the Ultimate Winner for June or August. Other prizes include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cold garage passes for the weekend, Busch Acceleration Club tickets, FanVision rentals, "Michigan Money" food vouchers, NASCAR XFINITY Series garage passes, access to the XFINITY Series drivers' meeting and an invitation to the XFINITY Series open garage session, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series cold garage passes, access to the truck series drivers' meeting and an invitation to the truck Series open garage session, Racing Electronics scanner rentals and more.(MIS)(4-30-2016)

  • Stewart talks about his fine: Tony Stewart met with the media Friday at Talladega Superspeedway:
    WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE WHOLE LUGNUT CONTROVERSY, WHICH HAS BEEN RESOLVED WITH THE RULES CHANGE? WHAT WENT INTO YOUR DECISION TO MAKE THE DONATION TO THE AUTISM SOCIETY?
    Stewart: "I've been trying to figure out how many more $35,000 rules changes I want to make (laughter). I'm glad that something has been done. Scott Miller is a huge asset to NASCAR right now. And from what I understand, he's the one who spearheaded getting something done. You hate to have to pay $35,000 to get somebody's attention to do something, but apparently that's what it took. I've got questions that I'd like to have answers to. I'm still wondering why I'm paying a $35,000 fine for something that got changed three days later. But, it is what it is. I was gone that evening when the announcement came out that I was getting the fine and the Driver Council, we all have a chat that we get in and when I was able to get back on my phone for 90 messages of discussions of what went on with those guys and I realized what they had done at about three in the morning. I didn't want to take their money. I appreciated their support and I think they made a huge statement about what the Driver Council is about and the fact that they didn't believe what I did deserved the fine. And with that, that's why they decided to support us and help split the fine with me. I didn't feel comfortable taking the money. And so what we decided as a group was to put the money together and give it to a great charity. Artie Kemper (founder of Autism Delaware) is a great friend to everybody in NASCAR and is somebody that we all as a group know personally and we thought that would really make a big difference. So that's why we chose that charity. But we did it collectively, as a group; and that's something I'm really proud of with this Driver Council is how the drivers are united about everything that we're doing. This was the first time something had happened where somebody on the Council got a penalty for speaking an opinion and for them to show that kind of support and show that we're all one unit; and that's something that you don't normally see and we haven't seen in this sport. Guys talk amongst each other, but somebody gets in trouble for something where the rest of the drivers, privately, will support it but can't publicly support it. So this was the first time that we've seen public support like that and I think it went a long way."(Chevy Racing PR)(4-29-2016)

  • Pit crew changes at Stewart-Haas: In an effort to improve pit stops, Stewart-Haas Racing has moved around several crew members between its teams. This past weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway saw different faces on different teams. So let's start with the easy stuff: The #4 (Kevin Harvick) and #41 (Kurt Busch) looked to be the same as at Daytona. Both teams have been performing at a top level for years, and we didn't see any changes as of Richmond. Now the fun stuff. The #10 car of Danica Patrick had a different front carrier, rear changer, and rear carrier. The team moved rear carrier Matt Holzbaur to the front and added rear changer Jonathan Sherman and rear carrier Jeremy Howard. Both Sherman and Howard came from the #38 team (Landon Cassill), which is pit supported by SHR. The #14 of Tony Stewart got a new front changer in Ryan Mulder. Mulder was moved from the rear of the #10 to the front of the #14. The #38 team got a new front changer, front carrier, rear changer and rear carrier. Bryan Jacobsen moved from the #14 is now on the front with Jeff Shoaf. Anchoring the rear is now Chris Jackson and Tyler Bullard. From what we can tell, no new pit crew members were hired or fired, just a restructuring of crewmen.(PitTalks)(4-29-2016)

  • Dover adding SAFER barrier: ESPN's Bob Pockrass reports, "Dover International Speedway will replace the guard rails it had on the inside of Turn 3 with approximately 500 feet of SAFER Barrier by the time NASCAR visits for its May 13-15 race weekend. The steel-and-foam barrier is designed to absorb energy in a crash."(ESPN.com)(4-28-2016)

  • Tire test this week at IMS UPDATE: Goodyear will hold a tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday Wednesday. Four drivers are scheduled to take part in the test: #43-Almirola (Ford), #24-Elliott (Chevy), #14-Stewart (Chevy), #19-Edwards (Toyota).(4-25-2016)
    UPDATE: Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers concluded a two-day Goodyear tire test Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For three-time series champion Tony Stewart, it wrapped up what he said would be the final tire test of his career. Stewart joined last weekend's winner Carl Edwards, Aric Almirola and rookie Chase Elliott among drivers involved at the Brickyard, helping Goodyear officials determine the proper tire compound for the Sprint Cup Series' annual visit on July 24. Stewart was fresh from his season debut at Richmond International Raceway. "I'm actually having fun up here," said Stewart, an Indiana native. "This is my last tire test as a driver, so I've been having fun working with the Goodyear guys and it's been kind of fun because three of the main guys here when I started here are at this test, which they don't always get to come to the same test together. It's kind of nice to be working with them one last time."
    Edwards' more immediate focus was to provide feedback to Goodyear engineers after a battery of tests at the historic 2.5-mile track. "There's a lot of stuff to learn here," Edwards said. "This track, it's difficult for a number of reasons, but really for me, just the weather today versus yesterday, it's hard to determine how much of it is the weather. As the track changes, the Goodyear rubber lays down, it changes. The challenge for us is as we make these changes with the car to try to separate the track changes and the temperature changes from the actual changes to the car. So it's a pretty difficult place to test and to figure things out, but that kind of makes it fun."(NASCAR.com)(4-28-2016)

  • Sad News - Bill Wimble: Bill Wimble, 84, who captured NASCAR's National Sportsman Championship in 1960, died Sunday from a brain aneurysm. Wimble, from Lisbon, New York, is best known in this area for his heroism by helping save the life of 1961 Daytona 500 champion Marvin Panch. Panch was trapped in a burning sports car after crashing during a test run at Daytona International Speedway in 1963. Tiny Lund, Wimble and several other men rushed to Panch's aid and pulled him out of the flaming race car. Panch, who was injured in the incident, in turn gave his Daytona 500 ride with Wood Brothers Racing to Lund, who won the race. Wimble captured numerous track championships in the northeast. He made two NASCAR Cup Series starts in Daytona in 1962. He finished 17th in a qualifying race, which counted as a points race, and finished 11th in the Daytona 500. The Living Legends of Auto Racing honored Wimble with its prestigious Pioneer of Racing Award in 2007.(Daytona Beach News-Journal) service information on the Sad News page.(4-28-2016)

  • Sprint Cup Drivers Council To Donate Stewart's Fine To Autism Delaware: The Sprint Cup Drivers Council will donate the $35,000 it raised last week to pay Tony Stewart's fine to Autism Delaware. Artie Kempner, coordinating director, NASCAR on FOX, and his wife, Marcy, founded Autism Delaware in 1998. It has raised more than $5 million and served more than 1,000 children and adults living with autism. "I appreciated the Drivers Council support, but I didn't want them to pay the fine. We decided as a group to donate the money to charity," Stewart said. "Artie is such a good friend to all of us and his foundation does a lot of great work." The Drivers Council was formed in 2015 and meets periodically with NASCAR to discuss various issues from competition to safety. The Drivers Council is comprised of Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Stewart. Hamlin will present the check to Kempner at his Drive for Autism golf tournament May 12 in Wilmington, Delaware.(True Speed Communications)(4-27-2016)

  • Richmond post-race penalties and warnings; #17 crew chief suspended: Following the Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, the team of #17-Stenhouse, Jr. team was given P3 penalty for violation of Section 20.13.I-1.d. [related to the steering system]. Stenhouse, Jr's crew chief, Nick Sandler, has been fined $20,000, suspended from one race, and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. The violation was found on opening day inspection.
    In addition, the #48-Johnson and #14-Stewart teams were given written warnings. The #48 team failed template inspection twice The #14 team failed laser inspection twice. Both violations were found in pre-race inspection.
    See the Richmond Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(4-27-2016)

  • Robb Rogers hired as Pit Crew Coach at Richard Petty Motorsports: Richard Petty Motorsports secured 36-year-veteran coach Robb Rogers to lead the pit crews for both Sprint Cup Series teams and the XFINITY Series team. Rogers brings a varied resume with experience training emerging athletes to first round picks, Olympians to soccer moms, walk on free agents to perennial All-Pro athletes. His diverse experience will bring a new perspective to pit crew coaching for Richard Petty Motorsports. Rogers will coach 18 athletes who's focus is to train throughout the week to perform solid pit stops in 11 seconds or less on race day. A pivotal aspect of the race, both the Sprint Cup #43 and #44 teams rely on their crews to keep and ideally enhance their position each pit stop during the race. "We are thrilled to add Robb (Rogers) to our team," said Sammy Johns, Vice President of Operations. "We feel like Robb will bring a different approach with his very diverse background. We have a very robust and seasoned pit crew that I feel can benefit from a coach with a strong background in strength and conditioning and coaching in other fields." A professional coach since 1980, Rogers is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), USA Weightlifting and is a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC) as certified by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. Rogers has been a national/international lecturer since 1985, teaching and consulting with coaches around the world from the United States to China, Australia and Europe.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-27-2016)

  • Lixar Becomes a Preferred Technology Partner of NASCAR: NASCAR and Lixar, a technology company driven by mobile and data science innovation, announced a multi-year deal, designating the company as a preferred technology partner of NASCAR. Lixar specializes in mobile solutions for enterprise airline, automotive and travel clients and will work with NASCAR to enhance the guest experience at national series events, specifically related to garage access. NASCAR's Garage Access Program is a three-year initiative to enhance guests' experience while visiting the garage. The initial steps of the project debuted during 2016 Daytona Speedweeks when NASCAR's in-house credentialing and registration operations merged to form The Guest Fulfillment Center. Working with Lixar, NASCAR plans to integrate state-of-the-art technology that will make the credential process easier and faster. With the rapid evolution of mobile technology, Lixar specializes in connected product platforms and mobile-to-everything software solutions. Through personalized architecture, design, development, implementation, and support, Lixar will evolve the credential system and help push forward NASCAR's renewed focus on improving the event experience.(NASCAR)(4-27-2016)

  • Panthers player Greg Olsen named All-Star pace car driver: While many in the professional football world are focused on the NFL Draft, Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen will lead a different kind of draft when he drives the Toyota Camry pace car prior to the unforgettable, action-packed May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Since arriving in Charlotte I have developed a great admiration for NASCAR and their athletes," Olsen said. "Their concept of teamwork and commitment to excellence is second to none and I have a great deal of respect for the drivers and their teams. I am honored to be included in such an event and I am looking forward to driving the pace car to kick off the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race." Olsen, one of the NFL's premier pass catchers, is no stranger to NASCAR. For the past two years, the Charlotte, North Carolina, resident has participated in fundraising efforts with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. to support The Dale Jr. Foundation and The Greg Olsen Foundation's HEARTest Yard campaign. Olsen has also attended race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the past, but never in a dignitary role. Last season, the veteran tight end earned his second Pro Bowl nod after recording a career-high 1,104 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Olsen's efforts helped the Panthers finish with a franchise-best 15-1 record in a (Charlotte Motor Speedway)(4-27-2016)

  • Bayne's Darlington Throwback scheme released: Roush Fenway Racing and Trevor Bayne unveiled the paint scheme the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion will run this September at Darlington Raceway for the second season of the track's The Tradition Continues throwback celebration. The #6 AdvoCare Ford will carry the same red, white and blue design as Mark Martin's #6 Ford did during the 1996 and 1997 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons. "It's an honor any time you are mentioned alongside Mark Martin," said Bayne. "He obviously contributed a lot to Roush Fenway and this organization, so to carry a paint scheme that he ran for the second year in a row is really cool. Our team has been working really hard and running well this season, so I'm hopeful that we can make Mark proud." Last season Bayne paid homage to another successful Martin paint scheme, sporting the colors Martin donned in 1998, on his way to seven wins.
    "It's going to be really cool to see that car on the track again at Darlington," said Martin. "It's always been one of my favorite paint schemes and we had a lot of good times taking that car to victory lane and leading a lot of laps during that time. I look at it as a tribute to all the guys that put the hard work in on those cars and gave us the opportunity to go out and compete each week."(Roush Fenway Racing). See an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(4-26-2016)

  • France explains why Stewart was fined: Tony Stewart said Sunday that he wasn't sure why he was fined $35,000 last week by NASCAR after comments he made about officials not requiring teams to tighten all five lug nuts on each wheel. NASCAR Chairman Brian France told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday that Stewart's fine was based on what he said and how he said it. "Tony has been very aware of how we approach from a criticism standpoint of the sport and the product of the racing itself and safety is paramount," France told host Dave Moody. "Tony is very aware of how we look at that."
    France explained on "SiriusXM Speedway" how Stewart crossed the line. "I think we have to make judgment calls and how we look at the tone of what someone says, how they're saying it," France said. "They have ample opportunities, particularly with safety, to deal with us directly on that. But to insinuate that we're taking the sport down a road that doesn't care about safety or we're trying to hurt people, those kind of comments, that goes to the integrity of the sport and we'll have to deal with that. We go way beyond what any other league would allow in terms of how far people can go in voicing their view. There's just a little line out there that is a bright line and everybody is aware of. Every once in a while we'll have a driver or somebody else that gets over that line and we'll just have to deal with it. It's not a big thing. We deal with it. They understand it and we move on. That's how it goes."(NBC Sports)(4-26-2016)

  • Chicago race will be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400: Nickelodeon announced that it is the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 18, dubbed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Danica Patrick has signed on to drive a special car for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, which will feature a weekend of action, activities and fun for the entire family with the iconic Heroes in a Half Shell. NASCAR star Danica Patrick, a Roscoe, Illinois native, helped kick off the partnership in true Turtles style. She unveiled her #10 April O'Neil/Nature's Bakery Chevrolet SS at an event at Wrigley Square in Millennium Park with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then took her car for a spin down Michigan Ave. She will join a number of other drivers with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles paint schemes for the Sept. 18 race. This Sept. 15-18 marks the sixth consecutive year that Chicagoland Speedway will kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Nickelodeon partnership will include sponsorship of the 2017 kick off race, as well. Patrick's unique car was designed by Chicago artist Hebru Brantley, who will also design the race trophy, additional Turtles-branded paint schemes and other visual elements. Brantley breaks down the walls of cultural boundaries through his art and inspired by his 1980s Chicago upbringing, Brantley's work touches on tough subjects in a way that may be easily digestible to the viewer, by telling his stories through youthful characters and their adventures. Brantley's work can be described as pop infused contemporary art inspired by Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, KAWS and Keith Haring.(Chicagoland Speedway), see an image of Patrick's car on the #10 team paint schemes page.(4-26-2016)

  • NASCAR will require teams to tighten all lugnuts UPDATE: NASCAR sent a memo to teams on Monday updating the NASCAR rulebook that all 5 lug nuts are now required to be installed:
    .a All tires, wheels, and all five lugnuts must be installed in a safe and secure manner at all times during the event.
    .b NASCAR reserves the right at any time to require any Competitor to report to pit road to inspect for any noncompliance.
    .c Any loss of a wheel(s) beyond the exit of pit road may result in a penalty...
    Violation of the section, resulting in the loss of a wheel, could result in a mandatory minimum four race suspension of the crew chief and tire changer and tire carrier.(4-25-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR's updated rule states that if any missing lug nuts are found on a wheel before the race it must be corrected immediately and is listed as an unapproved adjustment, forcing the competitor to start at the rear. Any tire intended for race use without all five lug nuts glued to the wheel must be fixed immediately. If the issue is found after a Sprint Cup race, the crew chief will be suspended for one race, placed on probation and fined $20,000 on the first offense. Multiple events will result in escalated penalties. The penalty in the Xfinity Series is a one-race suspension for the crew chief, probation and a $10,000 fine. In the Camping World Truck Series, the penalty is a one-race suspension, probation and a $5,000 fine.(NBC Sports)
    AND: "Our job is whenever there's a safety improvement to make or a policy to enhance things, we will just do that," NASCAR CEO Brian France said Monday during an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "It's as simple as that. There's not a controversial thing. Our whole system is based on safe and competitive racing. If we can make an adjustment to make things safer, we just simply will." (Associated Press)(4-26-2016)

  • Chitwood named Chief Operating Officer of ISC; Wile moves from Darlington to Daytona: International Speedway Corporation announced that Joie Chitwood III, Executive Vice President, ISC and President of Daytona International Speedway, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of ISC. Concurrently, the Company announced that Chip Wile, President of Darlington Raceway, has been promoted to President of Daytona International Speedway. "Joie has played a tremendous role in the success of our flagship racetrack at Daytona International Speedway since 2010," stated ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy. "Most recently, his leadership of the DAYTONA Rising project, while simultaneously operating the facility, has demonstrated his operational acumen." Chitwood moves into the newly-formed role of COO following oversight of the Company's largest development to-date - the $400 million transformation of Daytona International Speedway into the world's first motorsports stadium, along with the 2010 repave of the Speedway. In his new position, Chitwood will oversee ISC enterprise facility operations, along with strengthening key industry initiatives.
    Wile, promoter of one of NASCAR's most successful events of the 2015 season - the Bojangles' Southern 500, will transition from leadership of Darlington Raceway to President of Daytona International Speedway. In just two years as President of Darlington Raceway, Wile transformed the facility's identity and impact on and off the track. He spearheaded a five-year strategy to reinvent Darlington Raceway with an inaugural Throwback Campaign during NASCAR's return to Darlington on Labor Day weekend, in addition to re-engaging the local community hosting nearly 15 annual events. In his new role, Wile will oversee promotion and operation of the new motorsports stadium beginning with its first major event, the Country 500 over Memorial Day weekend, followed by the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.(ISC)(4-25-2016)

  • Stewart says he will continue to speak his mind UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart talked to Fox Sports during pre-race coverage at Richmond Sunday:
    Q: Moving forward, will you hold back on any of those opinions?
    STEWART: "No. I understand what NASCAR is trying to do, but I'm always going to speak my mind. I don't know what the key word or key phrase was that got me fined. But when it comes to safety, I'm not going to hold back. That's $35,000 well-invested if it makes it safer for these guys. I think they're (NASCAR) doing something different today with rules on trying to keep everybody ... making sure we get enough lug nuts on the cars. You just don't want to be in a position where, with 20 laps to go and you're leading the race and you haven't won a race and you need that to get in the Chase, to have to make a decision as a driver whether to come in or whether to ride down and hope it stays. That's not a good position for us to be in. I think some of the people at NASCAR took it the wrong way. They've done an awesome job with safety and this is one thing we still need to look at. It wasn't saying they're not doing their job. I just felt like this is one thing they dropped the ball on. So, they're doing a good job. They're looking at it. They're going to address it and make it right, and down the road, we won't have to worry about this again, hopefully."(Fox Sports)(4-24-2016)
    UPDATE: ESPN's Marty Smith says: [I] asked Tony Stewart what it said to him that his peers backed him up so staunchly this week: "It told me I was right. I won't back down on safety." Smoke also told me he hears, in the aftermath of his safety rant, that NASCAR is working now to fix/alter/change the rule.(ESPN.com)(4-25-2016)

  • Vickers still possible for an Indy 500 ride UPDATE - No: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt says NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and the late Justin Wilson's brother, Stefan, are still possibilities for the team's third car in the Indy 500. The team owner, whose other candidates include - but are not confined to - trusty veteran Oriol Servia and Verizon IndyCar Series sophomore Gabby Chaves, said: "The same four or five guys have been circling the sandbox for the last 45 days. One week one of them will be all fired up and there'll be LOIs [letters of intent] exchanged...and then nothing happens and it's left hanging. We seem to be spending a lot of time on it at the moment, which I hoped not to be doing by now, but that's the nature of the business. So let me put it this way: as of this morning, the door's still open to all!" Schmidt, whose team took pole at the 2011 Indy 500 with Alex Tagliani, confirmed that rookies Vickers and Wilson remain in the running for the third SPM seat on Memorial Day Weekend. Schmidt said no clear favorite had emerged among his potential third drivers for the 100th Indy 500.(Motorsport)(4-14-2016)
    UPDATE: Veteran IndyCar Series driver Oriol Servia was confirmed Saturday to the #77 Honda of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for next month's Indianapolis 500. The team co-owned by Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson fields full-season cars for James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin. Schmidt also considered Gabby Chaves, Katherine Legge and Jay Howard. At one point NASCAR driver Brian Vickers was considered for the SPM ride, but he has been focused on serving as the temporary Sprint Cup Series replacement for Tony Stewart, who is returning this weekend from a late-January back injury.(Indianpolis Star)(4-24-2016)

  • Get Well: Longtime NASCAR spotter and entrepreneur Mike Calinoff was hospitalized Saturday morning. Calinoff was attending the IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL to promote his PopularOpenWheel.com website and woke with severe abdominal pains and immediately flew to Charlotte to receive medical care. Calinoff is scheduled to undergo gallbladder surgery Sunday morning and be released from the hospital on Monday. Calinoff is expected to make a complete recovery (140 BUZZ)(4-24-2016)


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