NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Entry List for the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Kvapil, #33-Kennedy, #62-TBA, #98-TBA.
    Since only 43 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com's Pocono Entry List

  • Indianapolis TV Ratings: NBCSN's live telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway led the network to its most-watched telecast ever yesterday, averaging 4.7 million viewers. Viewership peaked from 6:30 - 6:45pm/et as 5.6 million viewers watched Kyle Busch race to his third consecutive Sprint Cup victory, and his fourth win in five events. NBCSN NASCAR Sprint Cup viewership highlights include:
    " With 4.7 million average viewers and a 3.0 national HH rating, Sunday's Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race stands as NBCSN's most-watched and highest-rated telecast ever.
    " Yesterday's Sprint Cup race ranks as the most-watched NASCAR event on cable since last year's season-ending championship race from Homestead (5.2 million on ESPN).
    " The Brickyard event marks consecutive weeks of growth for Sprint Cup racing on NBCSN. With 4.7 million average viewers, the Brickyard 400 is up +27% from New Hampshire (3.7 million) and up +47% from Kentucky (3.2 million).
    " Fans streamed 3.7 million minutes of live NASCAR coverage this past weekend via NBC Sports Live Extra.
    (NBC Sports)
    AND NASCAR scored a season-high overnight on cable for Sunday's Brickyard 400. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Indianapolis earned a 2.9 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday afternoon, down 9% from last year (3.2) and down 15% from 2013 (3.4), both on ESPN. The 2.9 is the highest of the season on cable (nine telecasts), topping the previous mark of 2.5 for Martinsville on Fox Sports 1 in March. Despite the season-high, the Brickyard 400 was the eighth of nine races on cable this season to have a decline in overnights. Kentucky was the lone exception, pulling even with last year in the metered markets. Indianapolis was the top market for Sunday's race with an 11.9 rating, down 21% from last year (15.0) and down 13% from 2013 (13.7). By comparison, the IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 scored a 12.7 in the market on ABC.(Sports Media Watch)(7-27-2015)

  • Danica Patrick close to new deal with Stewart-Haas: For those who have speculated the GoDaddy Girl may be going somewhere else, think again. Stewart-Haas Racing team owner Gene Haas told Motorsport.com on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that he'd like to get Danica Patrick's deal signed "as soon as possible" -- and he expects to do just that. "We expect her to stay with Stewart-Haas Racing," Haas told Motorsport.com. "We have some very good sponsors that are in the process of signing up. But we knew that. We knew going in that there's just a lot of demand for her. Let's face it, she's the only woman on the whole grid so she's going to get a lot of press, and that's what sponsors want to see. We told her we wanted her to come back. She's been very flexible about everything. It all has to happen at the same time. You can't really sign a driver until you have a sponsor. You have to know how much money you're going to get from the sponsor and that kind of translates into the deal you make with the driver. I think it's all going good." With Patrick attracting a variety of sponsors, Haas says the hold-up in an announcement is simply dotting i's and crossing t's. There has been speculation that categories from the mortgage and restaurant industry could be among the liveries gracing the hood of the #10 Chevy next year. "Personally, I think that's all just a balance between - we're probably going to have more than one sponsor and we're going to have to get them all aligned. We have to work GoDaddy. It's just a balancing act. Obviously, we'd like to get it done as quickly as possible. I'm sure that, when all the contracts are signed, it will happen within a few weeks."(Motorsport)(7-27-2015)

  • Drivers say rules package at Indy not effective: NASCAR might need to go back to the drawing board in its quest to create more competitive stock car racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NASCAR officials debuted a "high-drag" aero package in Sunday's Brickyard 400, featuring a nine-inch spoiler and other measures intended to slow the cars down and punch a big hole in the air, which officials hoped would create drafting and pack racing. But the racing didn't look much different from previous NASCAR races at Indy. With the exception of some wild restarts, the racing was largely single file.
    #4-Kevin Harvick called it a "huge science project that probably didn't really change that much." "I think everybody put in a lot of effort to try to really make everything a lot better, spent a lot of money, but I don't know that we accomplished everything that we were looking to accomplish," Harvick said.
    #2-Brad Keselowski was disappointed the changes weren't more effective. "I think we were all expecting there to be more drafting than there was," Keselowski said. "I don't think the draft was much different than last year and the penalty for being behind someone in the corner was more significant."
    #5-Kasey Kahne saw a "little gain" in terms of being able to close on cars on straightaways. Added #78-Martin Truex Jr.: "I thought it was harder to pass than it's ever been. Similar to last year with the really big spoiler, there was a little bit more of a suck-up on the straightaway. But I didn't feel like it was enough."
    All said, Harvick wondered whether the changes were worth the time and money they cost NASCAR teams. "I know my team did a lot of extra work to come to this race after we had already come here and tested and already spent that money to come here and test for a few days," Harvick said. "And then to come back and have to race something different was a huge undertaking for the teams for a huge science project that probably didn't change that much."
    NASCAR is expected to use a similar package when teams run at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 16.(USA Today)(7-27-2015)

  • Heat a factor with Indy rules package: #18-Kyle Busch continued his hot streak with a win at Indy. Busch and the rest of the field were all full of hot air at the Brickyard. The cars were extremely hot inside the cockpit because the aerodynamic package trapped air inside. Busch was one of many drivers physically drained following Saturday's race, and Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway seemed to have the same consequence. This same rules package is scheduled to be used next month at Michigan. "I got a huge blister on my foot," Logano said. "I think the extended bumper cover on the back of these things doesn't let the airflow underneath the car like it used to without it, and I think it builds the inside temperature up. I've got sweat in my eyes. It's just too hot inside those cars." Teams had their choice to seal openings in the window used for hoses that supply air to the driver. With the window sealed, the car would have the needed downforce for the package used at Indy. The drivers paid for it with a sweaty Sunday. #40-Landon Cassill held his own "science experiment" and weighed himself before and after the race. His pre-race weight was 155.4 pounds. Cassill, who said he consumed 110 ounces of fluids and 1,100 calories, weighed 147.4 pounds after the race. "That's a 10% gross loss of body weight, getting it back to 5% with fluid replacement. I think I'd like to see closer to 3%," he tweeted. He also tweeted: "few more stats from the 110oz of fluids I took in...1,100 Cal, 1,978mg of sodium, 264g Carbs, 572mg Potassium."(Associated Press)(7-27-2015)

  • Ty Dillon still unsure of 2016 plans: As Ty Dillon spent Friday preparing for Saturday's XFINITY race at IMS, the 23-year-old third-generation driver from Lewisville, North Carolina seemed just as uncertain as he did six or seven weeks ago about what exactly he'll be doing next year. "Nothing's really changed yet, no announcements yet, but we're still working and the plan is still to be in Cup full time," Dillon said. Whether that will be with RCR or not, though, remains to be seen, after Childress told FOXSports.com last month at Sonoma Raceway that other teams had expressed interest in his grandson. In the meantime, Dillon is focused on more immediate matters -- specifically, trying to close his points deficit on XFINITY Series championship leader Chris Buescher and second-place Chase Elliott. With the season about to enter its stretch run, Dillon believes it's go time if he wants to make a serious title bid -- even if there seems to be no big rush to nail down plans for 2016.(FoxSports)(7-27-2015)

  • Chase clinch scenarios for Indianapolis UPDATE: Only seven races remain before the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set. Here's what we know:
    #4-Kevin Harvick, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #48-Jimmie Johnson have fulfilled two of the three Chase criteria. All three have the multiple wins that guarantee a spot among the top 16 winners, and have locked up a top 30 spot. All they need to do now is start each of the remaining races in the regular season.
    A few drivers can join them this weekend. If #41-Kurt Busch leaves Indy with a 289 point lead over 31st, he will lock up a top 30 spot. #22-Joey Logano, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #2-Brad Keselowski, #20-Matt Kenseth and #11-Denny Hamlin all need to win, and in some cases get some help to lock up a top 30 spot (leaving Indy with a 289 point lead over 31st).(NASCAR)(7-23-2015)
    UPDATE: Kurt Busch's 8th place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was enough to lock up his position in the top 30 and a spot on the Chase.(7-27-2015)

  • Indianapolis Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording at the Invocation of the race at 3:20 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:48 PM. NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 107
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 58
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 85
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 55
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 22
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 18
    Number of times NBCSN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos 'floating' in corners of the screen): 82
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 15 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:20 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:48 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 208
    Minutes of race broadcast: 167
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 41
    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 167 Total comm. brdcst time 41
    See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(7-27-2015)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Indianapolis: #18-Kyle Busch won the Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the season, 1st win at Indianapolis, and 33rd career win. It his 3rd win in a row and 4th win in the last five races. It is also Toyota's first win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and breaks a 12 race winning streak for Chevy.
    The race ended under a green-white-checkered finish after a late caution when #6-Bayne spun.
    #22-Logano finished 2nd followed by #4-Harvick, #78-Truex, Jr., #11-Hamlin, #15-Bowyer, #20-Kenseth, #41-Busch, #42-Larson, and #2-Keselowski
    Harvick's driver points lead is unchanged, he's 69 points ahead of #22-Logano.
    Pole sitter #19-Edwards ran near the front most of the day, but go loose on a late restart and fell back into traffic. He finished 13th.
    #24-Gordon, making his final Brickyard start, spun out and hit the wall. He had to go to the garage for repairs and finished 42nd.
    Busch is now 32nd in the points standings and just 23 points out of 30th. He must be in the top 30 in points to be eligible for the Chase. He now needs around a 24th place average finish to make the top 30 in the 6 remaining races before the Chase begins.
    There were 16 lead changes among 6 drivers. There were 9 cautions for 36 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 131.656mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(7-26-2015)

  • Race Fast Facts - Indianapolis:
    Kyle Busch won the 22nd Annual Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard, his 33rd victory in 374 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fourth victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2015. It was his third win in a row in 2015.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 11 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    Joey Logano (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in seven races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his 15th top-10 finish in 2015.
    Kevin Harvick (third) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 15 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    Matt DiBenedetto (32nd) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 69 points over Joey Logano.
    This is the first win for Toyota at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The manufacturer now has a win at all active tracks.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(7-26-2015)

  • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Indianapolis, race 20 of 36]
    (by wins, then by points standings)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 675, -102 (4th in driver points)
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 777 (1st)
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [2 wins], 677 -100 (3rd)
    4) #41-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 612, -165 (8th)
    5) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 708, -69 (2nd)
    6) #78-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 668, -109 (5th)
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 638, -139 (6th)
    8) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 615, -162 (7th)
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 591, -186 (10th)
    10) #19-Carl Edwards [1 win], 519, -258 (16th)
    [would be in the Chase via points standings]
    11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 602, -175 (9th in driver points)
    12) #24-Jeff Gordon, 575, -202 (11th)
    13) #31-Ryan Newman, 563, -214 (12th)
    14) #27-Paul Menard, 558, -219 (13th)
    15) #5-Kasey Kahne, 558, -219 (14th)
    16) #15-Clint Bowyer, 538, -239 (15th)
    [has a win but not in the top 30 in drivers points to make Chase]
    32) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 294, 23 pts out of 30th (needs to avg 24th place finish)
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(7-26-2015)

  • Top-10 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers Points Standings:
    [after Indianapolis, race 20 of 36]
    1) #4-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 777
    2) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 708, -69
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [2 wins], 677, -100
    4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 675, -102
    5) #78-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 668, -109
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 638, -139
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 615, -162
    8) #41-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 612, -165
    9) #1-Jamie McMurray, 602, -175
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin, 591, -186
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(7-26-2015)

  • Indianapolis Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto, finished 32nd, 11 rookie points
    #34-Brett Moffitt, finished 34th, 10 rookie points
    #26-Jeb Burton, did not qualify, 1 point
    #33-Alex Kennedy, did not race, not entered
    #66-Tanner Berryhill, did not race, not entered
    See the 2015 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(7-26-2015)

  • McMurray hopeful of Chase spot...even without win: Points tabulations had entered #1-Jamie McMurray's mid-race calculus by May, as he ran mid-pack in the final 30 laps at Talladega Superspeedway. He could pull out and hope for a push, advance, possibly win what would still stand as his only victory of the season. Or he could ride, amass points, and continue pursuing his first-ever berth in the multiple variations of the Chase for the Sprint Cup that debuted in 2004. "I wanted to pull down, because you want to go win," McMurray told USA TODAY Sports. "And I came on the radio and asked, 'How many cars are on the lead lap?' And they said 32. I was like, I am not willing to give up 12 points for trying to gain five. I didn't like the risk versus the reward." McMurray chose points and still managed to follow the line to an 11th-place finish. Those points help him enter the Brickyard 400 on Sunday ninth in the standings, highest among Sprint Cup non-winners.
    Both McMurray and crew chief Matt McCall operate under the assumption that three-race winner #18-Kyle Busch will climb three more rungs to 30th in driver points and leave just five transfer spots available. That impacts their math. "Honestly, as long as Kyle Busch is 99 percent going to make the top 30, which will put him in the Chase, for the most part, if we don't have someone outside of the top 16 win a race, I wouldn't say we're guaranteed in, but I think we're really comfortably going to be in," McMurray said. "It's if you get one or two guys at a road course somewhere or maybe win a fuel mileage race, if they win outside of that, that's when it gets really tough because you'd have to be in the top 13 or 14 in points."(USA Today)(7-26-2015)

  • Congrats to Ray & Erin Evernham on the birth of their daughter, Cate Susan Evernham, Saturday morning.(7-25-2015)

  • Higher spoiler causing more limited visibility: The larger spoiler teams are using this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is causing visibility issues for some NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. As part of the high-drag aero package intended to enhance passing at a track where passing has been difficult for drivers in previous years, NASCAR has teams running a 9-inch spoiler with a 1-inch wicker bill on it. Part of the spoiler is clear, giving drivers a gap to look through in the rearview mirror, but #22-Joey Logano said he'd like to have had more clear space to look through via his rearview mirror. "It's challenging to see," Logano said Friday. "You have a small gap where the spoiler is clear and you can see out of that, and then obviously the wicker (which is not clear) is on top of that, so it's kind of hard. You only get a certain amount, but I think I can see about five car lengths behind me and any cars that are further back than that I can't see. That isn't the end of the world. If they're five car lengths back, you're probably not too worried about it anyway. When they get close is when you want to see it, but it is nice sometimes because we don't know. We'll see with this whole drafting package down the straightaway when that run is going to start." #11-Denny Hamlin described his vision through the spoiler as "OK." #5-Kasey Kahne said he can "see enough. It's not quite as good as it has been this year, but it's no worse than what it was not long ago, so it's not bad." With the visibility limited, drivers will rely more on spotters this weekend.(NBC Sports)(7-25-2015)

  • #98 team loses tungsten from car; penalty expected: The #98 Ford driven by Timmy Hill had a multitude of issues in Friday's Sprint Cup practice. In the second session, a 35-pound tungsten weight fell off the car. NASCAR typically takes a dim view of ballast that is not secured properly. The sanctioning body confiscated the jettisoned weight and will address the matter in next week's competition meeting. In Happy Hour, Hill's Ford spun off Turn 4 and slammed nose-first into the inside wall, forcing his team to go to a backup car. As a tow truck was removing Hill's car from the track, the back of the car scraped the track, knocking off the rear extension. Hill didn't participate in the opening practice session.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-25-2015)

  • Race Team Alliance joins Rev the Vote for voter registration efforts: Co-chairmen and former U.S. Congressmen Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Connie Mack (R-Fla) announced that Rev the Vote, a nonpartisan Washington D.C.-based organization, has engaged the Race Team Alliance to help promote increased voter registration among racing fans. The Race Team Alliance, formed in 2014, represents 17 top racing organizations who compete in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. Rev the Vote will leverage the assets and enormous national reach of the RTA membership teams to amplify the importance of voter registration and participation in local and national elections. This agreement allows Rev the Vote to utilize the broad reach of the RTA Member teams. The teams will provide social and digital outreach, as well as, at-track experiences, like hauler tours, pit box seating, meet and greets, hospitality and activation.(Race Team Allaince)(7-25-2015)

  • Ken Ragan named Director of Atlanta Motor Speedway Legends Program: Ken Ragan has been named director of the U.S. Legends racing program at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ragan returns to the Speedway after serving as the Legends director from the program's inception in 1997 through 2001. He replaces Dwight Pilgram, who has retired after four years at the post. The Unadilla, Georgia native competed in 50 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races over an eight-year span from 1983 to 1990. In his career, he also made five starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and earned eight top-10 finishes in 17 ARCA Racing Series races. Ken is the father of current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan.(AMS)(7-25-2015)

  • Pit road speeding penalties up in 2015: As the race for track position intensifies, drivers push the limits on pit road, contributing to an increase in speeding penalties that raises questions about what should be done. While NASCAR seeks different rules to enhance the racing - Sunday's Brickyard 400 features a high-drag package to aid passing - the easiest place to gain spots remains pit road. That reward comes with a risk. Pit road speeding penalties are up 17.1 percent compared to this point last year and up 22 percent from two seasons ago. Six drivers, including former champions Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, were penalized for speeding in last weekend's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. With caution laps up 5.7 percent from last year and 11.4 percent from two years ago, drivers have additional chances to stop for service. Pit road also can be crowded throughout a race with a record 91.2 percent of cars running at the finish - nearly 10 percent higher than two years ago. More cars on pit road means more positions to be gained, more risks to take and more mistakes that can be made. The result is that nine of the season's first 19 Sprint Cup races have had at least five pit road speeding penalties issued with 12 such infractions called at Las Vegas and 11 at Bristol.(NBC Sports)(7-24-2015)

  • Aquafina sponsoring Kahne: Next week at Pocono Raceway, Kasey Kahne's ride will have a "refreshing" new look. The #5 Aquafina Chevy SS will make its debut at "The Tricky Triangle."(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(7-24-2015)

  • Sad News - Gary G. Cavitt: Gary G. Cavitt (father of #14 Jackman Getty Cavitt), 68, of Owensboro died Wednesday, July 22, 2015, at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. Gary was born Jan. 30, 1947, in Owensboro. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran, a member of Settle Memorial United Methodist Church and a retired insurance agent. An Owensboro High School graduate, Cavitt played on the 1964 OHS state baseball championship team. After high school, he graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he also played baseball.(full obituary and services at James H. Davis Funeral Home)(7-24-2015)

  • Military discount available for Darlington NXS race: Darlington Raceway, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation and Sport Clips Haircuts are partnering to raise funds for the VFW's Help A Hero Scholarship Program. Effective immediately thru August 28, the track is offering active duty, retired and veterans a special 50 percent off admission to the NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 race on Sept. 5 at Darlington Raceway. Special tickets are available by visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com/HelpAHero or by calling 866-459-7223. Verification of military service will be vetted through SheerID. In turn, Darlington Raceway will donate $2 for each ticket purchased through the program to the VFW's 'Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship' program. The VFW Foundation and Sport Clips have been entitlement partners of Darlington's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 race since 2012.(Darlington Raceway)(7-24-2015)

  • Penske to be inducted in Automotive Hall of Fame: From buying, restoring and selling old cars as a teenager, Birmingham's Roger Penske has come far along the road of success. Over the past 50 years, Penske has built a motor sports and business empire around the globe, with powerful Indy Car and NASCAR teams representing his motor sports interests while his auto-related, transportation and heavy-duty machinery companies continue to expand worldwide. Thursday night in Detroit, Penske, 78, founder and chairman of Penske Corp., will be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, located in Dearborn, for his contributions to the global automotive industry. He will be inducted in a ceremony at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center with pioneer test driver and early automobile manufacturer Elwood Haynes (Haynes-Apperson Automobile Co., 1898-1925), former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and Ratan N. Tata, who returned Jaguar and Range Rover to eminent status and profitability in the United Kingdom. Penske entered a team in the 1969 Indianapolis 500 and won the race with Mark Donohue in 1972. Over the years, the cream of the crop raced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the man known in racing and business circles as "The Captain." Since his first victory at Indy, Penske has captured 15 more, with Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya providing Roger his latest Borg-Warner Trophy in May. In NASCAR, Penske drivers have been at the top since the early '70s, with the likes of Bobby Allison, Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano winning races at the top level for him. In 2012, Rochester Hills' Keselowski gave Penske his first Sprint Cup championship.(Detroit Free Press)(7-23-2015)

  • MWR to Chevy? Ragan to return? What about Vickers? What in the world will Toyota Racing's Sprint Cup program look like next year? One persistent, hot rumor features a manufacturer swap of sorts, with Rob Kauffman, currently the principal owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, taking his racing interests and partnering with a Chevy team. Furniture Row Racing is currently eyeing the Toyota camp with an ardor that has progressed well beyond flirtation.
    Two potential partnerships mentioned for Kauffman are Chip Ganassi Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Ganassi absorbed Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Martin Truex Jr. into the fold back in 2009. RCR expressed interest in acquiring a minority partner after Chartwell Investments expressed a desire to sell its stake in the company in 2012. Kauffman did not offer a definitive reply when asked about a possible realignment.
    Furniture Row's Barney Visser has been more forthcoming. The Denver, Colorado-based team owner hopes to make a manufacturer decision in the next few weeks to accommodate a possible restructuring with Toyota for next year.
    Although FRR currently receives no financial support from Chevrolet, the team's move could open the door for Kauffman to enter into a technical alliance with RCR, with whom the #78 currently shares data. However, sources told Motorsport.com that Ganassi appears to be the frontrunner for Kauffman's capital at this time.
    Michael Waltrip Racing's driver lineup likely hinges on Aaron's continued support with the #55 team. Both Kauffman and Clint Bowyer, who is in the first year of a three-year contract, are high on driver David Ragan. Aaron's has been a sponsor of Michael Waltrip's since 2000 but has yet to renew with MWR. A decision on the company's involvement could come in the next six to eight weeks.
    Last week Brian Vickers expressed interest in returning to racing. Given the unpredictability of Vickers situation, Kauffman isn't sure whether they could accommodate the driver. "...The most important thing right now is his health. I haven't really had a conversation with him regarding coming back to racing and the like. It's a big medical issue that I haven't been involved with up until now.," Kauffman said. "He loves racing, so I'm sure he does (want to return), but I think it would be a challenge to try and figure something out--but I would never say never."(Motorsport)(7-23-2015)

  • Parmalee and Kongos headline Keloorah at Michigan: NASCAR race fans and music festival fans both will have reasons to celebrate in August at Michigan International Speedway. Keloorah, a music festival experience, will take place on Friday and Saturday of the August Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at MIS. Seven music acts, spanning country and alternative rock, along with EDM deejays will perform at Keloorah. Keloorah kicks off on Aug. 14 with alternative rock. The sounds of the Kongos, Big Data and Saints of Valory will entertain the crowd into the night. Country music takes the stage on Aug. 15 with Parmalee, Logan Mize, Dylan Scott and Tim Dugger. But that's not all. Besides the live shows, deejays will headline the Budweiser Stage and will host foam and paint parties. Also, there are go-karts, video game arcade, an outdoor sports bar, tailgate games, - all within the NASCAR event weekend and on MIS property. Keloorah is behind Turn 3, central to many of MIS' MISCamping.com campgrounds. But shuttles will run from campgrounds to the party. A Sunday admission ticket or infield or APEX wristband that allows access to the Pure Michigan 400 will gain access to Keloorah on Friday and Saturday.(Michigan Speedway)(7-22-2015)

  • NASCAR will address throwing of water bottles: A NASCAR executive said Monday that officials will address the issue of throwing water bottles out of the car with drivers after a water bottle was spotted on the apron during a debris caution in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Another water bottle was spotted on the apron during a caution for Paul Menard later in the race. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" that it's not uncommon for drivers to discard water bottles during a race. "Coming off pit road sometimes you see it down on the apron where some water bottles are discarded," he said. "I think in this case, we candidly weren't really sure and knew it was potentially one of the drivers' ones that are a little bit different with the material they're made out of. If someone is purposely trying to manipulate a caution, that's not something that is going to be tolerated, and we'll have to look into that further as we go and we'll address that with the teams also."(NBCSports)(7-21-2015)

  • New Hampshire TV Ratings: After holding even the previous week, overnight ratings for NASCAR fell by double-digits over the weekend. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from New Hampshire drew a 2.3 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday afternoon, down 12% from last year (2.6) and down 23% from 2013 (3.0), both on TNT. The 2.3 is tied for third out of the eight races on cable this year, matching Dover and Pocono but trailing Sonoma (2.4) and Martinsville (2.5). Overnights have now dropped for seven of the eight races on cable, with the previous week's race from Kentucky the lone exception (even). Despite the decline, the race ranked second for the weekend among all sporting events. Only Sunday's British Open coverage on ESPN drew a higher overnight (2.6).(Sports Media Watch), see race-by-race ratings, 5-year comparsion chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(7-21-2015)

  • Pocono race to be the Windows 10 400: Pocono Raceway and Microsoft announced the renaming of the annual August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at "The Tricky Triangle" as the Windows 10 400. The Windows 10 400 race weekend will take place from July 31st to August 2nd, just two days after the launch of Windows 10. For the first time ever, Microsoft's popular operating system will be offered as a free upgrade* to customers with qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices. Microsoft, an Official Technology Partner of NASCAR, will have device displays and interactive experiences in the Fan Fair and Paddock areas at Pocono Raceway during the Windows 10 400 race weekend. Race fans and members of the NASCAR industry will be able to relax and enjoy Windows 10 devices at these locations. Additionally, everyone is invited to interact on their social media channels using the official race hashtag, #Windows10_400. Additionally, Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., the defending winner of the August NSCS race at Pocono Raceway, will drive the #88 Microsoft Chevy SS during the Windows 10 400 race weekend.(Pocono Raceway)(7-21-2015)

  • Toyota talking to additional teams: David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told NASCAR Talk on Sunday that the manufacturer does not have any deals with additional teams for next season but is "talking to a couple of teams." #78-Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser has expressed interest in switching manufacturers after this season. "We'd definitely be open to (adding Furniture Row)," Wilson said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "I'd said consistently, particularly with this new Chase format, we could use a couple more quality cars. It's not about numbers. We've got to have quality. We could expand as early as next year if the circumstances present themselves." Wilson said Toyota likely would need to decide by mid-September if it wanted to add a team for next season but added the manufacturer also was considering deals that would begin in 2017. "Because (every team) is structured differently, some of it is looking out at 2017," he said. "The challenge (is) we have this stable of young drivers, and we need to make sure we can keep Toyotas underneath them. It's not good enough to look at just one year out. You need to look at three to five years out and try to position yourself as best you can."(NBC Sports)(7-20-2015)

  • Johnson working on contract extension: Just weeks before NASCAR's "silly season" of accelerated contract negotiation and frenzied driver movement speculation, six-time Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson remains without an extension to remain at Hendrick Motorsports. But that sounds like just a formality. Before the 5-hour Energy 301 on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson told USA TODAY Sports that while there was "nothing new" in completing negotiations, he doesn't foresee a move from the team with which he has raced his entire 15-year Sprint Cup career. "(Team owner) Rick (Hendrick) likes to get things signed up and done well in advance, so there definitely have been conversations," Johnson said. "We're kind of going down the road to get that all buttoned up and put together. But I'm home. I'm not going anywhere."(USA Today)(7-20-2015)


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Next Race: Windows 10 400

Countdown to Race Time: 8/2/2015 ~1:48pm/et

Pocono Raceway
Pocono, PA

NBCSN, 1:30pm/et
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