Confrontation between Harvick and Kurt Busch on pit road: #4-Kevin Harvick confronted Stewart-Haas Racing teammate #41-Kurt Busch on pit road after Sunday's race at Talladega, appearing to lean into Busch's car and initiate physical contact. Harvick apparently was upset that Busch hit the #4 car on the cool-down lap; it's unclear why Busch was angry with Harvick. Busch finished fourth while Harvick was seventh, and both drivers advanced to the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. But NBC Sports Network later showed footage of a confrontation, which occurred while Busch still was sitting in his car.(USA Today, see video at NBCSports)(10-24-2016)
Talladega Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Hellmann's 500: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 2:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:34 PM (all times are EDT).
NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 122
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 58
Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 96
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 26
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 21
Number of times NBCSN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 4
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:34 PM
Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 214
Minutes of race broadcast: 175
Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 39
Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 10
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
Total race brdcst time 175 Total comm. brdcst time 39
See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(10-24-2016)
Brian Scott scores career best finish at Talladega: Before Sunday's race at Talladega, Richard Petty Motorsports had suffered through 31 races without a top-10 finish. Drivers #44-Brian Scott and #43-Aric Almirola changed that. Scott ran a perfectly crafted race and finished second to #22-Joey Logano, and Almirola came home eighth after working his way forward during the final 40 laps of the Hellman's 500. "A good finish always helps," Scott said. "It helps with the team. It helps with the guys at the shop, the morale. Just trying to get any bit of a bright spot in this year has been difficult. I think that this is by far the brightest spot that we've had in a really challenging 2016 for Richard Petty Motorsports. I don't know. ... I guess the results and what this does for us going forward is yet to be determined. But just proud. I mean, the guys have worked hard all year. They've deserved a lot better finishes than we've given them. Just proud to deliver a good, solid top five, to do my job behind the wheel to give us a shot at the win-just have a good day for Richard Petty Motorsports." Scott's previous best finish in his first 48 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts was 12th (two times), most recently at Auto Club Speedway in March.(NASCAR Wire Service), and Scott was the rookie of the race.(10-24-2016)
Dillon fails to advance in Chase due to tiebreaker: Facing an overtime restart with two laps left in the Hellman's 500 on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, crew chief Slugger Labbe reminded driver #3-Austin Dillon of the relevant numbers. Dillon had to finish no more than five positions behind #11-Denny Hamlin to secure a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Round of 8-as long as Hamlin didn't win the race. Dillon had done everything right to that point. He had earned a bonus point by staying out for an extra circuit and leading Lap 117 under the second caution of the afternoon. He gained three spots after a restart on Lap 186 and was 11th when the green flag waved for the final time on Lap 191. On the final two laps, he worked his way forward to ninth before the checkered flag ended the race. Only one problem. Hamlin beat #41-Kurt Busch to the stripe by .006 seconds-approximately two feet-to finish third. The two drivers finished the Round of 12 tied for eighth with 3,078 points, but Hamlin won a tiebreaker for the final Chase spot because his third-place finish on Sunday was better than Dillon's best Round-of-12 finish of sixth last week at Kansas.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-24-2016)
Keselowski comments on engine failure and getting eliminated from Chase: #2-Brad Keselowski was for the lead at Talladega with 44 laps to go when his engine expired. He was in the lead when debris stuck to the grille, forcing him to give up the lead to #21-Ryan Blaney and try to get the debris off the grille and cool the water temp of the engine. The engine blew a lap after he dropped to second. Some commnets from Keselowski:
Q) YOU HAD A DOMINANT CAR. WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END?
Keselowski: "It looks like we lost an engine. I'm pretty confident I lost a rod or something in the lower end. That's just the way it goes."
Q) COULD IT BE FROM GETTING TOO HOT FROM THE DEBRIS?
Keselowski: "I don't know. I'm not an engine guy, but the car was really strong and we definitely kept finding debris. I thought I got it cooled off and only got it slightly over, but I don't know."
Q) DISHEARTENING WITH A CAR THAT DOMINANT?
Keselowski: "Yeah, that's racing."
Q) HOW DEVASTATED ARE YOU?
Keselowski: "We just had a tremendous racing going, but it wasn't meant to be."
Q) ANY WARNING?
Keselowski: "No, it just went right away. That's the way it goes."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
Keselowski: "Something let go. I'm not sure exactly what, but it's unfortunate. We had a really fast Miller Lite Ford and that kind of ended our day. It was a lot of fun to be leading at Talladega. I really like this track. It's been good to us and there are a lot of great fans here today. We were doing the best we could to make a show of it and have some fun and lead some laps and just happy and proud to have a fast car."
Q) WHAT NOW THAT YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES ARE OVER?
Keselowski: "Win more races."
Joey Logano wins at Talladega: #22-Joey Logano won the Hellman's 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway running four extra laps in NASCAR Overtime for his 2nd win of the season, 2nd win at Talladega and 16th career win. Logano led 45 of the 192 laps.
#44-Brian Scott finished 2nd, his career best finish and first ever top-five and top-ten, followed by #11-Hamlin, #41-Busch, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #42-Larson, #4-Harvick, #43-Almirola, #3-Dillon and #47-Allmendinger.
#78-Truex Jr., the pole winner, had an engine expire on lap 41, and finished 40th/last. Truex is the first pole winner to finish last since Denny Hamlin won the pole at Atlanta in September 2010 and finished 43rd/last. The finish also knocked Truex Jr. out of the Chase.
#2-Keselowski led th most laps at 90 but had an engine expire on lap 144, ending his day and knocking him out of the Chase. Eight drivers advance to the Round of 8 of the Chase: #48-Johnson, #22-Logano, #4-Harvick, #41-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #18-Busch, #19-Edwards and #11-Hamlin.
Eliminated from the Chase: #3-Dillon, #78-Truex Jr., #24-Elliott and #2-Keselowski. #3-Dillon and #11-Hamlin were tied for 8th but Hamlin finished 3rd and Dillon 9th. Tie goes to the driver who had the best finish in that round. Hamlin had the 3rd and Dillon had a 6th from Kansas, so Hamlin advances.
There were 31 lead changes among 14 drivers and 6 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps.
Average race speed: 159.905mph
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Chase Reset Points (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
Race Fast Facts - Talladega Superspeedway:
#22-Joey Logano won the 48th Annual Hellmann's 500, his 16th victory in 287 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his second victory and 22nd top-10 finish in 2016.
This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 16 races at Talladega Superspeedway. This is his second consecutive win in the Talladega Chase race.
#44-Brian Scott (second) posted his first top-10 finish in four races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2016.
#11-Denny Hamlin (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 22 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
The following drivers advance tot he Chase's Round of 8 (ordered by seed): Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(10-23-2016)
Finishing positions of the 2016 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers at Talladega:
(by Chase standings before the race)
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson 23rd
2) #4-Kevin Harvick 7th
3) #20-Matt Kenseth 28th
4) #18-Kyle Busch 30th
5) #19-Carl Edwards 29th
6) #41-Kurt Busch 4th
7) #78-Martin Truex Jr. 40th, engine, eliminated
8) #22-Joey Logano WON
9) #3-Austin Dillon 9th, eliminated
10) #11-Denny Hamlin 3rd
11) #2-Brad Keselowski 38th engine, eliminated 12) #24-Chase Elliott 12th, eliminated
Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings - Round of 12:
[after Talladega, race 32 of 36, Chase race 6 of 10]
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson*,[3 wins], 3100 (won Charlotte)
2) #22-Joey Logano*,[2 wins], 3089 (won Talladega)
3) #4-Kevin Harvick*,[4 wins] 3082 (won Kansas)
4) #41-Kurt Busch,[1 win], +21 ahead of 9th
5) #20-Matt Kenseth,[2 wins], +10
6) #18-Kyle Busch,[4 wins], +6
7) #19-Carl Edwards,[2 wins], +4
8) #11-Denny Hamlin,[3 wins], +0 (wins tiebreaker over Dillon)
Eliminated from the Chase:
9) #3-Austin Dillon, -0 pts out of 8th (loses tiebreaker to Hamlin)
10) #78-Martin Truex Jr., [4 wins] -18
11) #24-Chase Elliott, -28
12) #2-Brad Keselowski,[4 wins], -35
(ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc, with in that round of the Chase)
* will advance to the Round of 8 by winning a Round of 12 race
See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Chase Reset Points (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings - Round of 8:
[after Talladega, race 32 of 36, Chase race 6 of 10]
1) #22-Joey Logano[2 wins], 4000
2) #48-Jimmie Johnson[3 wins], 4000
3) #4-Kevin Harvick[4 wins], 4000
4) #20-Matt Kenseth[2 wins], 4000
5) #19-Carl Edwards[2 wins], 4000
6) #11-Denny Hamlin[3 wins], 4000
7) #41-Kurt Busch[1 win], 4000
8) #18-Kyle Busch[4 wins], 4000
Points are reset after each round, for the Round of 8 it goes to 4000, no points for wins
Standings are reset by best finish of previous round.
If tied, then next-best finish.
(ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc, within that round of the Chase)
See reset points for the Round of 8 on the Round of 8 Reset Points Standings page (pdf).(10-23-2016)
Unofficial Top 25 in 2016 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings (not the Chase):
[after Talladega, race 32 of 36]
(using current points system, but not the Chase rules, unofficial)
1) #4-Kevin Harvick(C12), 1027
2) #2-Brad Keselowski(EC), 990, -37
3) #22-Joey Logano(C1), 977, -50
4) #18-Kyle Busch(C8), 956, -71
5) #41-Kurt Busch(C7), 951, -76
6) #11-Denny Hamlin(C6), 945, -82
7) #19-Carl Edwards(C5), 926, -101
8) #78-Martin Truex Jr.(EC), 911, -116
9) #48-Jimmie Johnson(C2), 885, -142
10) #20-Matt Kenseth(C4), 869, -158
11) #3-Austin Dillon(EC), 842, -185
12) #24-Chase Elliott#(EC), 837, -190
13) #5-Kasey Kahne, 803, -224
14) #42-Kyle Larson(EC), 798, -229
15) #31-Ryan Newman, 794, -233
16) #1-Jamie McMurray(EC), 786, -241
17)#47-AJ Allmendinger, 717, -310
18)#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 717, -310
19)#21-Ryan Blaney#, 713, -314
20)#6-Trevor Bayne, 699, -328
21)#10-Danica Patrick, 621, -406
22)#16-Greg Biffle, 591, -436
23)#27-Paul Menard, 591, -436
24)#43-Aric Almirola, 573, -454
25)#14-Tony Stewart(EC), 572, -455
28)#34-Chris Buescher#(EC), 481, -546
(C# = chase driver and current Chase position)
(EC = chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
Truex Jr. talks about the engine failure at Talladega: #78-Martin Truex Jr. saw his championship hopes go up in smoke on Lap 41 of the Hellmann's 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway when his #78 Toyota suffered engine failure. A transcript of an interview after the incident:
Q) What happened that took you out of the race?
Martin Truex Jr.: "Just developed a vibration and started to lose a little bit of power. Originally I thought it could have been a tire because it was shaking worse and worse and worse until it was time to pit. I slowed down to hit pit road and felt the vibration still there and knew it was the engine. Definitely not the way we wanted today to go - it's a tough way to go out, but proud of the effort and proud of all the guys. The engines have been great all year and every once in a while you'll have a failure and it's unfortunate that it was with everything on the line. I don't know, it is what it is and it's racing. It's part of it and we'll move on. We're going to go try to win the last five races or whatever is left and have a good end to our season."
Q) Should the other Toyota teams be concerned for the rest of this race?
Truex Jr.: "I don't think so. I guess you never know, but it seems like we're still running the same engines at plate tracks that we've been running the rest of the year and they've been really good and really reliable. I'm sure it was just a part failure or mechanical issue. Just unfortunate."
Q) How difficult is it to walk away with this as the end to your championship hopes this season?
Truex Jr.: "It will be real hard when we win the next four races."
Q) What did you see when you were under the car in the garage and what happened?
Truex Jr.: "Got a big hole in the oil pan. It was a catastrophic engine failure, but all in all it's just a tough way to go out for us. We really thought we were going to have a good day. We had a fast Toyota and it's just a shame. We didn't really get to see what we had or see if we could make it through the big wrecks. I wish we could have raced all day at least and see how it shakes out. It's part of racing and that's the way it goes some days and unfortunately today wasn't our day."
Q) How would you sum up your team's Chase this year?
Truex Jr.: "It's been a roller coaster that's for sure. I wish we could have done a better job at Kansas and Charlotte and maybe had a free pass coming here. That certainly would have been big knowing the circumstances, but we did the best we could. We have a great team and we've had a great season and we're going to go out and try to win the rest of the races and see what we can do."
Q) How disappointing is this outcome after how strong your Chase has been?
Truex Jr.: "It's definitely disappointing, but what else can you say. We had a team capable of competing for the championship and unfortunately we're not going to be able to show that. I guess there's still a chance of a miracle, but I don't see it happening. Just have to wait and see how it all plays out today. Just disappointed, but all in all proud of my team for the effort. It's been a really good season for us. We've still got four more races we can go out and win and we plan on doing that. We'll hold our heads high, it's been a good year and it's disappointing knowing the possibilities, but all in all you can't do anything about it and that's racing some days."
Q) How is your team handling this situation?
Truex Jr.: "I'm sure they're devastated. They've worked so hard this year to put us in the position to battle for a championship and we felt like we could do it. This year and this sport is tough and we didn't perform at Kansas and Charlotte the way we were capable and we had some issues there and that put us in the hole and if we could have went there and done better and maybe got a win then we wouldn't be talking about this right now. We didn't get the job done, but we've got a great team and we've got four more races to go out there and try to get a win and I know we can win all four of them and that's what we're going to try to do."
Q) What were your thoughts when you realized it was the engine?
Truex Jr.: "Just damn, it just hurts to go out like that. We could have raced all day, got in a big wreck and still not made it - there's no telling, but it sure would have been nice to at least find out and at least play the whole game so to speak and see what would have happened. To barely make it to the first pit stop hurts. It's the way it goes some days. Some things you just can't explain. TRD (Toyota Racing Development) has done a great job with our engines all year long with no failures and our plate tracks engines have been great, no failures. I'm sure it was a part failure or some unforeseen circumstance and that makes it hurt a little bit worse even. All in all, we can't hang our heads and we have a lot to be proud of. This is going to make us stronger."(Toyota Racing)(10-23-2016)
New footbox protection making debut at Talladega: About the only change to NASCAR Sprint Cup cars since their last trip to Talladega Superspeedway is the addition of 20 pounds. The addition of the weight, theoretically, could have a small -- very small -- impact on whether a 3,300-pound stock car gets airborne, one of the concerns of drivers as they left the track in May. The changes aren't made to keep the cars on the ground but to protect the drivers who hit the wall. The weight is part of a new construction of the footbox area, which includes a new design plus foam and is meant to protect a driver's lower extremities. Kyle Busch missed 11 races when he broke his right leg and left foot in an Xfinity Series accident at Daytona in 2015. The new floorboard chassis requirements go into effect in 2017 for restrictor-plate tracks and 2018 for all tracks. Teams have the option to use it at Talladega this weekend. The four Joe Gibbs Racing cars, the Furniture Row Racing car and the Roush Fenway Racing car of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are among the cars with the changes.(in part from ESPN)(10-23-2016)
JGR cars sent back through Talladega qualifying inspection: NASCAR asked three Joe Gibbs Racing teams to make adjustments on their Toyotas just before Coors Light Pole Award qualifying Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway. The cars driven by #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Matt Kenseth were flagged in the minutes before qualifying. As the cars were being rolled out to the track, NASCAR noticed the right rear quarter panels had been manipulated around the deck lid area. NASCAR inspectors pulled the cars out of line, and the teams corrected the issue before going back through tech. However, #19-Carl Edwards' team did lose its pit stall selection for a fourth warning related to inspections. Kenseth's team lost its pit stall selection for the same reason. "The bodies on these cars can be pushed and prodded and these teams are very smart at the areas ... for a bunch of little gains," NASCAR's Senior Vice President for Competition Scott Miller said. "It's nothing huge but it's our job to make sure it's even across the board and that's what we do. A little infraction is an infraction, right? The quarter panels appeared to have been messed with around the deck lid and we brought them back in and rectified it."(NASCAR)(10-23-2016)
NASCAR confiscates parts from Martin Truex Jr.'s car: Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. could face a points penalty after NASCAR confiscated front jack screws from his car during an inspection before qualifying Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR confirmed it confiscated the screws. It typically announces penalties Wednesday after the race weekend and has the option of issuing a points penalty that could be 10 to 25 points, depending on how severe NASCAR views the violation.
NASCAR occasionally takes parts from cars and evaluates them after the race weekend is over in determining the penalty. Truex crew chief Cole Pearn said in a tweet that it was a mistake and also indicated it was clearly unintentional because, he said, common sense says center of gravity doesn't matter at Talladega. Truex, who has four wins this season, has a 13-point edge on the current cutoff spot in the standings heading into the final race of the Chase quarterfinal round of 12 Sunday at Talladega. Depending on how many points, if any, Truex is penalized, it could affect whether he advances in the Chase if it puts him among the four Chase drivers winless in the round with the fewest points. Motorsport.com first reported the news of the confiscated screws.(ESPN)
UPDATE: NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller, said a points penalty is unlikely for Martin Truex Jr. for the jack bolt confiscated but the typical process is to evaluate after the weekend. He said it was not a competitive advantage and while it could be a safety issue it was not to the degree of where NASCAR would consider it a safety infraction.(ESPN)(10-22-2016)
Biffle ready for a change? UPDATE: After re-signing with RFR in 2014, Biffle hasn't sniffed the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the last two seasons. He thought 2016 might be the year. With a new crew chief in Brian Pattie, a lower-downforce aero package from the sanctioning body and a renewed effort at Roush, things appeared to line up for NASCAR's elder statesman. And now, he's 24th in the standings with just one top-five finish, at Loudon. So when Biffle said his most recent contract might be his last, it's understandable. "Well, if I talk to you Sunday after the race in here, maybe that will be some inspiration," Biffle said in the media center where the winner is interviewed following the race. "I want to be competitive in races and run in the top 10. That's my goal and my focus. If I'm not doing that, then I am probably going to do something different." Biffle has been rumored to be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. Although he owns the building that headquarters HScott Motorsports in North Carolina, Biffle said he has not discussed racing for Harry Scott after Clint Bowyer leaves in November. Biffle has heard the rumors that he'll end up and Front Row Motorsports - a technical partner - but given his loyalty to Roush over his career, that's unlikely to be something he'd consider. Still, it would take something more promising - and competitive - to pique his interest in continuing down the current path.(Motorsport)(10-15-2016)
UPDATE: hearing Biffle will leave Roush Fenway Racing and go to a second team fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing. No word if the team would secure a charter.(10-22-2016)
Go Fas Racing looking at options for 2017: "Let's face it, anybody in the bottom three is exploring all their options right now,'' car owner Archie St. Hilaire said. St. Hilaire's Go Fas Racing team ranks last in the standings among charter teams. He seeks a partnership. He is willing to lease his charter and partner with another chartered team if that will help his team grow. If a chartered team finishes in the bottom three among the 36 chartered teams in the owner standings three consecutive years, NASCAR has the right to remove that charter. Although the first year with this system isn't yet complete, teams aren't waiting to act. St. Hilaire said he hopes to have an idea in the next month what direction he'll go.(NBC Sports)(10-22-2016)
Eagles hook up Truex Jr. with gifts: #78-Martin Truex Jr., from nearby Mayetta, New Jersey, received a customized Philadelphia Eagles jersey and game ball from their 34-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers during his weekly press conference at Talladega Superspeedway this week. Truex, of course, is a diehard Eagles fan. He was supposed to visit the team during practice when the Sprint Cup Series was in Dover, Delaware, but had to cancel due to a scheduled NASCAR testing session.(247Sports)(10-22-2016)
NASCAR Torque series released: Panini America, the official trading card partner of NASCAR, released their 2016 Torque NASCAR Racing cards in hobby shops across the country. Prior to teaming up with Panini in August, NASCAR was without a trading card partner for two years, and they are ready to deliver to anxious fans everything they have been waiting for and more. Panini's Torque card product contains everything from sheet-metal cards (sheet metal taken from the cars) to oversized memorabilia cards (race-worn fire suits, gloves, shoes, etc., and race-used tires). Torque is packed with content both on the autograph and memorabilia sides; it also delivers a compelling array of photography, technology, and tributes to all-time greats, paint schemes, superstar helmets and so much more.(more info at paniniamerica.net.(10-22-2016)
Latest on Mears 2017 plans: Casey Mears says he and the Germain Racing #13 team are concentrating their efforts only on the remaining five races of 2016 and can't speak about next year. "Not at the moment," Mears said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. "Right now we're just focused on what we talked about at the beginning of the season. Focus on the remainder of this year first and foremost." Rumors have Germain opting to replace Mears next season, possibly with NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ty Dillon. Dillon's Richard Childress Racing organization has a technical alliance with Germain. Geico, the #13 team's primary sponsor, is signed through 2018. In many cases, sponsor and driver contracts run concurrently. "As I know more, we can talk about it," Mears said. "But right now we're just focused on getting through this weekend."(NASCAR.com)(10-21-2016)
Chevy Teams Up With American Cancer Society For Breast Cancer Awareness: Once again, during the month of October, Chevrolet has partnered with the American Cancer Society to help raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. This is Chevrolet's sixth year partnering with the ASC, in which it has raised $6 million over the course of time. Across the United States, Chevrolet and its dealerships are supporting the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program through event sponsorships, team participation, customer engagement and other activities. But, the brand has other ways to raise awareness, too. Through October, Chevy will donate $5 for each Twitter and Instagram social post utilizing the hashtag #IDriveFor, up to $500,000. And in motorsports, the Chevrolet SS sedan pace car will be once again draped in pink. The breast cancer awareness pace car will debut at two NASCAR Sprint Cup Races at Talladega Superspeedway on October 23 and Martinsville Speedway on October 30. Furthermore, Chevrolet will donate $350 for each caution lap taken in the pink Chevy SS pace car at the two events up to $50,000.(GM Authority)(10-21-2016)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. acquires roof from dad's 1982 car: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is continuing to build his collection of meaningful memorabilia during his time off from NASCAR. In a Twitter post on Tuesday, the driver posted a photo of a roof from a dirt car his father drove in 1982 that he's adding to his collection.(USA Today)(10-21-2016)
Sad News - Dwane James Batey: James Dwane Batey, 56, of Charlotte passed away Wednesday October 19, 2016. Dwane was employed by Hendrick Motorsports for sixteen years as a Fabricator in the Chassis Shop. He's always had a passion for cars and racing. Even as a young child he spent hours drawing cars and dreaming about racing during school. Dwane also had a passion for aviation and photography. One of his favorite events to learn about was WWII. He was a longtime volunteer at the NC Aviation Museum where he helped to restore aircraft. A service to celebrate Dwane's life will be held at Forest Lawn West on Sunday October 23, 2016. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. and his service at 2:30 p.m. Reverend Robert Shaw will be officiating. Arrangements under the direction of Forest Lawn West Funeral & Cremation Service, Charlotte, NC. For the full obituary, services info and condolences go to dignitymemorial.com(10-21-2016)
Cheez-It / Kelloggs leaving Roush/Watkins Glen: Cheez-It is not renewing its current deals in NASCAR, as the Kellogg's-owned brand confirmed to THE DAILY this morning that it will let its deals with Roush Fenway Racing, Watkins Glen International and track owner ISC expire after this season. However, the brand stopped short of confirming that it will fully exit the sport. Cheez-It, which signed on in 2015 with RFR's #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle for a handful of races as primary sponsor, also has been the entitlement partner of WGI's annual Sprint Cup Series race since 2013. The company in a statement said, "As part of our ongoing evaluation of company sponsorships and other business activities, the Kellogg Company has decided not to renew its sponsorship of Roush Fenway Racing, Watkins Glen International and the International Speedway Corporation. All of the people within these organizations have been tremendous partners and we have truly enjoyed our association with them, the drivers and the fans." Sources added that Cheez-It had been shopping its deal with other teams in recent months.(Sports Business Daily)(10-20-2016)
Gray Gaulding set to make Cup Series debut at Martinsville: 18 year old NASCAR Next alumnus, Gray Gaulding will take the next step in his career making a debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS.) Gaulding will drive the #30 Feed the Children Chevy for The Motorsports Group (TMG) at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2016. "It's exciting bringing a new partner into the series and to be making my NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at a track like Martinsville (Speedway) where we've had a really good history in the past is honestly unfathomable" said Gaulding. "I'm excited to partner with Feed the Children and use NASCAR as a platform to deliver our message and work to create a world where no child goes to bed hungry. A lot has happened in a short period of time but I've never been as excited to debut this beautiful Feed the Children car next week at Martinsville Speedway."
"We are pleased to sponsor Gray Gaulding, the youngest NASCAR driver in the Martinsville field and one of the most promising and fierce competitors among the many legendary NASCAR drivers who have made NASCAR one of the most exciting sports in America," said the Hon. J.C. Watts, Jr., president and CEO of Feed the Children. "He's not only bold in his approach, he's also blazing new trails, and we at Feed the Children strive to do the same. Gray knows firsthand the value of family, especially the NASCAR family who has joined us in our work as we have brought disaster relief to those whose lives and livelihoods have been severely affected by Hurricane Matthew and all the subsequent flooding."
"We're grateful to be partnering with Feed the Children in their mission to provide hope and resources for those without life's essentials" said Stephen Lynn, chief executive officer for GGR Enterprises. Along with their debut at Martinsville Speedway, Gaulding and the #30 Feed the Children team will also make starts at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami in November. Help take action and donate to end hunger by texting FEED30 to 41444.(GGR Enterprises)
Josh Wise has driven the #30 all season until the team skipped Talladega this week. The team is an open team, Gaulding will have to qualify for the races on speed.(10-20-2016)
Earnhardt Jr. joins the Cup broadcast booth for next two races: NBC Sports announced that Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of Hendrick Motorsports' #88 Chevy, will join the NBC Sports broadcast booth for portions of two upcoming Sprint Cup broadcasts. Earnhardt, who has not raced since July as he recovers from a concussion, will lend his expertise as an analyst during NBCSN's coverage this Sunday from Talladega Superspeedway, as well as the following Sunday from Martinsville Speedway. Inside the NBCSN broadcast booth, Earnhardt will reunite with his former crew chief Steve Letarte, and work alongside race announcer Rick Allen and fellow analyst Jeff Burton. Sunday marks Earnhardt's first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup broadcasting assignment. "I'm excited to see these races from a different vantage point and hopefully offer some insight to the viewers," said Earnhardt. "I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to broadcast the XFINITY race at Michigan earlier this year, so I expect getting to spend time in the booth with the NBC team to be just as fun."(NBC Sports)(10-20-2016)
Baldwin meets with employees, 'exploring all my opportunities' for team's future UPDATE3: Unsure about his organization's future, #7 team owner Tommy Baldwin met with his employees Monday "so I can give them the options if they needed to go find a job.'' Baldwin said Tuesday that "I'm exploring all my opportunities right now. I'm trying to figure everything out.'' He hopes to have his plans solidified by some point in December. Among the options, there is one thing Baldwin said he won't do. "I would never shut down,'' said Baldwin, whose team debuted in the Cup series in 2009. "Don't use that word. The options are keep going or sell. That's the only two options we have.'' Baldwin admits he's given his employees a similar message "in six out of the eight years" of the team and always made it to the next season. "The technology has just increased,'' Baldwin said. "Everyone has just become smarter. The race teams, with Michael Waltrip Racing shutting down (after the 2015 season) and some other things, it put a lot good people, dispersed a lot of good people to different teams. Everyone had to spend a lot more money to keep up with the Gibbs and Hendrick programs. It's funny to me how everyone thinks our racing is not good. This is the most competitive that NASCAR has ever been.'' Baldwin admits it has been a struggle at times for the team and driver Regan Smith. Baldwin has one of the 36 charters granted to Sprint Cup teams at the beginning of this season. That adds value to his organization, ensuring that his team - or whoever purchases the charter, if that happens - would be in every Cup points race. Baldwin's car is 32nd in the car owner point standings, ahead of five other teams that have charters (another team below Baldwin's leased its charter for this season). Smith is 33rd in the driver standings. He finished a season-best third at Pocono in August. His only other top-10 finish this year has been an eighth-place result in the Daytona 500.(NBC Sports)
UPDATE: hearing that Baldwin has sold the #7 TBR charter to the #95 Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing team. Not sure if that means the team will have two charters and run two teams or if Circle Sport gets one of the charters and runs the #33 team again. Supposedly Casey Mears will be the driver of the #95. Rumors have floated around the Ty Dillon would take over the #13 Germain Racing Chevy ride with increased support from Richard Childress Racing. No word if Baldwin would stay on as a part-owner or crew chief, move on to another team or keep running the #7 TBR team as an open team.
UPDATE2: FS1's NASCAR Racehub show confirmed Wednesday with multiple sources that Tommy Baldwain Racing has signed paperwork to transfer ownership charter to Leavine Family Racing (#95 Chevy). It was also reported that LFR leased their charter for 2016, supposedly from Circle Sport, which ran the #33 Chevy for years under the ownership of Joe Falk. Baldwin could play an advisory role with the team. TBR declined to comment. (10-19-2016)
UPDATE3: Leavine Family Racing is in the process of buying a charter for next season as its relationship with Circle Sport owner Joe Falk (who has a charter) will end after 2016, Leavine VP Jeremy Lange said Wednesday. Lange wouldn't confirm from which team it is buying a charter. The team plans to operate one Cup car (the #95) next year with a Richard Childress Racing alliance. Michael McDowell has been the Leavine primary driver since 2014 and has built a good relationship with the team but does not have a deal signed yet to drive for the team next season.(ESPN)(10-20-2016)
Earnhardt Jr. says he will race the #88 in 2017: Dale Earnhardt Jr. reiterated on Wednesday that he continues to have every intention of returning to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to drive the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in 2017, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 next February. Earnhardt, who has been sidelined since early July because of a concussion and will not return for the remainder of this season, spoke at a promotional event (Jeansboro Day) Wednesday at the corporate headquarters of Wrangler.(FoxSports)(10-19-2016)
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, October 29, 2016, 12:00pm/et
TV: NBCSN 12:00pm/et
Born in OCTOBER
24 Dave Blaney, Jim France, Brian Vickers, Tracy Leslie, Jeff Price, Bill O'Dea, Andrew Turner, Patrick Lawler
25 Mike Hofmann, House, Ward Burton, Jon Wood, Ryan Preece, Taylor Lane Stricklin, Maggie Martin, Eric Maycroft
26 Jimmy Pardue
27 Anne B. France, Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance
28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman
29 Teresa Earnhardt, Chris Buescher, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Coleman Dollarhide, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy Adamczyk
30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.
31 Rodger Brane, Mike Casto, Kip Childress
Born in NOVEMBER:
1 Jay Adamczyk, Joshua Marco, Doug Ingerson, Eric Vance, Larry Flynt
2 Larry Pearson
3 Derrike Cope, Tony Gibson, Bryan Mullett, Steve O'Donnell, Greg Sacks
4 Jason Bowles, Charley Pressley, Destinee Zastrow, Boone Stutz
5 Elton Sawyer Jr., Doug George
6 Bryan Reffner, Clay Rogers. Rodney Orr
7 Judy Allison, Matthew Bodine, Gilbert "Pops" Gentle, Andy Houston, Dick May, Cody Ware
8 Jason Burdett, Ed Berrier, Jim Inglebright, Teri MacDonald, John Bisci, Donny Lia, Ingrid Vandebosch, Joey Elliott
9 Rick Carelli, Nancy Sterling, Bill Kimm, John Holman, Ed Otto
10 U.S. Marines , Britt Goodrich
11 Mike Hembree, Barry Bodine, Chris Horn, Rob Morgan, Loni Richardson
12 Ryan Buscaglio, Tom Ehret, Wally Dallenbach Sr., Larry Hedrick, Gene Haas
13 Drew Blickensderfer, Karen Friddell, Katie Wallace, Tim Kuhn, Jeff Hallowell
15 Gene Haas, H.B. Bailey, Steve Lane, Sean Cotten