Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, FL.(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch and #18 M&M'S Team Win 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship tonight at Homestead-Miami Speedway. While it is Busch's first Sprint Cup championship, it is the fourth for JGR since its inception in 1992. JGR won its first Sprint Cup championship in 2000 with Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart earned championships with JGR in 2002 and 2005. The following are some anecdotes regarding the 2015 Sprint Cup Series champions.
· This is Busch's third driving title in his 17 years of racing. His titles are as follows:
2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
2009 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
2001 Late Model track championship at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
· This is Adam Stevens' first championship as a crew chief in NASCAR. However, Stevens was a part of the 2005 Sprint Cup championship earned by Stewart, as he was the race engineer on JGR's #20 team. Stevens is the first rookie crew chief to win a Sprint Cup title since 1982 when Jeff Hammond won with Darrell Waltrip.
· This is JGR's eighth owner championship. Its titles are as follows:
2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
2012 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
2010 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
2009 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
2008 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
2005 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
2002 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
· This is Joe Gibbs' 15th championship. In addition to the titles listed above, he won three Super Bowls (1982, 1987 and 1991) and four NFC Conference Championships (1982, 1983, 1987 and 1991) as head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins.
· Busch joins Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the only drivers to earn both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and a NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
· Prior to 2015, Busch's previous best point finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was fourth in 2013.
· Busch's championship season includes one pole, five wins, 12 top-fives, 16 top-10s and 736 laps led. Busch missed the first 11 races of the 2015 season after breaking his right leg and left foot during the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race in February at Daytona International Speedway.
(True Speed Communication)(11-22-2015)
Kyle Busch Wins 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: Only nine months removed from suffering a broken right leg and left foot in an accident at Daytona, #18-Kyle Busch won at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The title is the first for Busch and Toyota. To take home NASCAR's greatest prize, Busch needed to finish ahead of the three other Championship 4 drivers - #4-Kevin Harvick, #24-Jeff Gordon and #78-Martin Truex Jr. - in the final race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Homestead. Busch and his brother Kurt Busch (2004 NSCS champion) join Terry and Bobby Labonte as the only brothers to earn NSCS titles.
Missing three months - a span of 11 races - due to his injury, Busch returned to his #18 Toyota at Charlotte in May, showing signs of rust by logging two finishes worse than 35th (36th at Dover; 43rd at Michigan) in his first four points events. He rounded into form his fifth race back by speeding to Victory Lane at Sonoma, catalyzing a dominant run of four wins in his next four starts, including three in a row at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis. Entering the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as one of the favorites to take home the crown, Busch gutted his way through the first two rounds, highlighted by a runner-up showing in the Challenger Round cutoff race at Dover. He hit his stride as the only driver to log top-five finishes in each Eliminator Round race to set up his championship effort at Homestead.
Busch joins Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the fourth driver to earn both a NSCS and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. His title marks the fourth for Joe Gibbs Racing, which also won championships with Bobby Labonte (2000) and Tony Stewart (2002, 2005).
Toyota, which began full-time racing in the NSCS in 2007, has now captured a driver's championship in all three NASCAR national series. Busch also won Toyota its first NSCS race at Atlanta in 2008. Busch is the second consecutive champion to win the title with a victory in the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick accomplished the feat last season.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Championship Fast Facts:
#18-Kyle Busch has won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, becoming the 31st different series champion, and the first to win the title after missing the first 11 races of the season.
Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 claiming the title.
Busch joins Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski as only the fourth driver all-time to boast both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
Busch finished the 2015 season with five wins (Sonoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire-1, Indianapolis and Homestead), 12 top fives, 16 top 10s and one pole.
In 25 starts Busch has led 736 of his 6,752 laps completed (10.9%)
Busch's Season-To-Date Loop Data: Driver Rating (108.2); Average Running Position (8.9).
Owner Champion: Joe Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing
This is Joe Gibbs Racing's fourth series owner championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, previous titles: Bobby Labonte (2000), Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005).
This is Joe Gibbs Racing's eighth NASCAR national series owner championship (four NSCS, four NNS).
Joe Gibbs Racing fielded four cars this season: #18-Kyle Busch (1st in points); #19-Carl Edwards (5th in points), #20-Matt Kenseth (15th in points) and #11-Denny Hamlin (9th in points).
Joe Gibbs Racing has won four of the last 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup championships (2000-2015), putting the team's title-winning percentage during that span at 25%.
Crew Chief Champion: Adam Stevens
Adam Stevens has won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with driver Kyle Busch.
Stevens is the 38th different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief to win a championship.
Stevens has five career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, all with Kyle Busch this season.
Stevens also served as part-time crew chief on the NASCAR XFINITY Series car owner championship winning #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team in 2012 with driver Joey Logano.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-22-2015)
3M to sponsor Elliott in 5 races: On the heels of Jeff Gordon's retirement, 3M has decided to stick with Hendrick Motorsports' #24 Chevy moving forward, but will be reducing the amount of times it is primary sponsor in '16, sources told THE DAILY. The company will now serve as primary sponsor for five races for new driver Chase Elliott next season, down from 11, a source said. The switch is not part of a renewal, but brands often have the opportunity to reassess their sponsorships when a driver retires. 3M Senior Media Manager Lori Anderson confirmed the move. When the brand switched over to HMS in '15 after a nearly decade-long relationship with Roush Fenway Racing, it signed on for the 11 races in '15, '16 and '17. Whether the number will change again in '17 is yet to be determined. Even with the reduction by 3M, inventory for the No. 24 is almost gone, as NAPA Auto Parts will be primary sponsor for 24 races, meaning 29 of the 36 Sprint Cup races are now accounted for, the source said. This comes after 3M recently announced that it was eliminating 1,500 positions - more than 1% of its nearly 90,000-person global workforce - as part of a restructuring effort amid a drop in sales and profits in the most recent fiscal quarter.(Sports Business Daily)(11-26-2015)
2016 plans uncertain for Leavine Family Racing: #95-Leavine Family Racing set out to compete in 20 races this season. They raced in 16 events with an average starting position of 29.3 and an average finish of 30.6 across the season; the average finish of the team an improvement from 2014. The uncertainty of the future of the NASCAR ownership model has been a struggle for Leavine Family Racing as they work to attract personnel and partners leading into the 2016 season. While bigger, established teams have started preparing for Daytona, Leavine Family Racing is in a standstill - awaiting decisions by NASCAR in order to move forward. "Thanksgiving is still going to be pretty thought provoking because we have about eight different scenarios that our team could go in next year," said team owner Bob Leavine. "It's going to be a challenging off-season, we've talked about maybe getting contract labor to work later at night and have another shift at the shop to get the cars done. Committing to your first season as a full-time team is a big deal. You don't go from 20 to 36 races without some planning."
Michael McDowell and the team are looking forward to continuing the growth in 2016 and beyond. "This year has had its challenges - we've had set backs with fires and things like that - but overall I feel that we've persevered," said McDowell. "You know we are a small team, and we've accomplished some of the goals that we wanted to accomplish and we have to accomplish more still yet. It's been a slow process, but we knew it was going to be that way. We are all really looking forward to next year and continuing that growing process."(Leavine Family Racing)(11-26-2015)
Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at Daytona: Holiday shoppers looking to gift their friends and family with a first look at Daytona International Speedway's new motorsports stadium will find a wide selection of "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials at the "World Center of Racing." On Friday, Nov. 27 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 30 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will have the following $55 ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping:
General admission stadium ticket for the 54th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31 with a Rolex 24 event hat and garage access on Sunday, a savings of 21 percent.
General admission stadium and infield access for The Sprint Unlimited/Lucas Oil 200 doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 13 with Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, a savings of 27 percent.
General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night, Feb. 18, a savings of 30 percent.
General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 19, a savings of 27 percent.
General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the PowerShares QQQ 300, the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opener on Saturday, Feb. 20, a savings of 30 percent.
Kids 12 and under are FREE in general admission stadium and Sprint FANZONE for the above Speedweeks events. To take advantage of the "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" ticket specials, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-26-2015)
Busch to have surgery in December: #18-Kyle Busch has looked forward for months to offseason surgery on his left foot to have the plates and screws removed so that his foot can feel normal again. But he's also decided to have a second surgery, one to remove the rod in his right leg. It's not so he can feel good immediately, but it's preventative. If he gets in another high-impact crash, he wouldn't have complications of a possible broken rod in his leg. The 2015 Sprint Cup champion said Tuesday he hopes to have the surgeries on the same day in mid-December, possibly Dec. 14 or Dec. 15. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver should not have any problems being ready for the 2016 season in February. "I'm going to be down for probably, they said, about four weeks with the leg," Busch said in a teleconference Tuesday to talk about winning the championship. "Just having to re-go through the knee and to cut the knee open again in order to pull the rod out, that's going to be the most traumatic part -- and just having that have to heal and go back together and let the muscle get back together, and of course the tendon as well." Busch said he expects to be able to walk on his left foot right away following the surgery. "[I'll have] rehab to make sure that all the joints that have been immobilized for the last nine months, we get them kind of woken back up in a smooth fashion and 'break it in,' let's say," Busch said.(ESPN.com)(11-25-2015)
New manufacturer for Front Row? Brian Scott joining? Front Row Motorsports is entertaining different manufacturing options for 2016. General Manager Jerry Freeze told Motorsport.com he's assessing what the best opportunity would be for the three-car operation. In 11 seasons, FRM has fielded Chevrolets, Dodges and most recently Fords - since 2010. "There's a couple of things we've been looking at really hard but we haven't come to any final decision yet," Freeze said. "We're going to need to because we need to in the next week or two because we're going to need the off-season to obviously ramp up with some of the changes coming down the pike - even if we remain doing what we're doing. There's a lot of changes coming down the road with the Fords, and we need to adapt to that. So it will be a very busy off-season regardless of what we do. We just have to figure out what's best for us."
What drivers will fill the Front Row Motorsports' seats in 2016? "We're not there yet," Freeze said. "Again, it's kind of all tied up with what's going to put us in the best place for competitive reasons - along with the financial part - and just kind of weigh out both the as much of the financial part and as much of the competitive part as you can to have the best package put together." With Furniture Row Racing moving to Toyota next season, Richard Childress Racing could include FRM into its technical alliance. Currently, JTG/Daugherty and Germain Racing remain RCR partners. One option presented to Front Row Motorsports -- that was similar to the deal presented to Richard Petty Motorsports earlier this year - would include Brian Scott as the driver with a built in sponsor. "There are certainly still some things that need to be decided," Freeze added. "We're just trying to stay in the mix. We're just really, really, really trying to make this situation more competitive next year.(Motorsport)(11-25-2015)
NBC official talks about sticking with NASCAR on network TV Sunday: On Monday, [SI's Richard Deitsch] spoke with NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus to get a sense of how the decision-making [to continue NASCAR coverage on NBC] came together. NBC was put in the situation because of a weather delay. The network had hoped the race would re-start at 4:30pm/et but it started around 4:50. Lazarus was on site for the NASCAR race. "We figured we would end in the 7:15-7:30pm/et. range but there were a few more cautions [flags] than we counted on," Lazarus said. "It was a fluid process. From our team there was myself, [NBC Sports executive producer] Sam Flood and [president of programming] John Miller, discussing the pros and cons and the constituencies involved. First, there is the viewers and the fans of both sports. Then there are both leagues, NASACAR and the NFL. Then there is the advertising community. Then there are our broadcast affiliates who sell football inventory and NASCAR inventory. So there is a lot of input you are trying to balance to think through. As it appeared that the race would end in the 7:45pm range, we worked quickly and were on the phone with our advertising sales people, the people who work with our broadcast affiliates to let them know our plans. I also spoke with the NFL and NASCAR officials to let them know.(Sports Illustrated)(11-25-2015)
Gase wins Comcast Community Champion of the Year: During Monday's combined Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series Awards banquet in Hollywood, Florida, Joey Gase took home some well-deserved hardware of his own. Gase was named recipient of the inaugural Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award. "Comcast created the award to honor NASCAR team members for their outstanding charitable endeavors," according to a Comcast media release. "In addition to being named Comcast Community Champion of the Year, Gase received a $60,000 donation in his name to Iowa Donor Network, the Iowa-native's charity of choice." Part of the reason Gase was chosen was his advocacy for organ donation. When he was 18, Gase's mother Mary Jo passed away from a brain aneurysm. Gase donated several of his mother's organs, which led to either saving or improving the lives of 66 people. "I'm so thankful to Comcast for creating the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award and recognizing so many great charities," said Gase. "To be able to promote organ donation at a higher level by winning this award really means a lot to me, the 120,000 people that are on the wait list right now, and all those people who are donors and their loved ones." Gase was one of three finalists for the award. The other two finalists, Martin Truex Jr. and Martha Nemechek, received $30,000 each for their respective charities. "We created the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award to recognize the inspiring work from NASCAR team members like Joey Gase," said Matt Lederer, Executive Director of Sports Marketing at Comcast. "His story truly defines what it means to be a Comcast Community Champion, and we are honored to have him as the recipient of our inaugural award."(NBC Sports)(11-25-2015)
Pilot Flying J sponsoring "Battle at Bristol": Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, announced that they have signed on to be the title sponsor of the Battle at Bristol - an iconic college football game to be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The historic racetrack will host a border battle between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Tennessee Volunteers and is expected to shatter the existing college football attendance record. This sponsorship represents a monumental company initiative for Pilot Flying J. From securing naming rights for the game - Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol - to using this pinnacle event as a catalyst to further engage employees, customers and consumers nationwide via multiple events, this opportunity will look to further position the company as a destination of choice in the travel center industry. Adding to the excitement, ESPN/ABC is confirmed as the broadcast partner of the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, with time and final network to be determined at a later date. This sponsorship will complement Pilot Flying J's current sponsorship of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Annett's #46 car. Following Bristol Motor Speedway's legendary Night Race on August 20, 2016, the venue will be transformed into the world's largest football stadium for the inaugural Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol game. With a projected attendance of 150,000, the event is expected to crush the previous college football attendance record, which currently stands at 115,109.(BMS)(11-25-2015)
Drew Carey to Host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The celebration will continue after the trophy is lifted at Homestead-Miami Speedway as NASCAR presents the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards hosted by actor and comedian Drew Carey. Live from Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 4, fans can tune-in to watch as the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion is honored with red carpet coverage beginning at 8:00pm/et on NBCSN, Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, followed by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards broadcast on NBCSN at 9:00pm/et.
This year's show will also feature a lineup of performances from award-winning musical artists Andy Grammer, Sam Hunt, Rachel Platten, and Sabrina Carpenter.
As the current host of The Price is Right and former host of Who's Line is it Anyway?, Drew Carey will bring a seasoned air of entertainment and comedy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards stage. Best known for his self-portrayal on The Drew Carey Show, which garnered seven Emmy nominations, Carey has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including three People's Choice Awards, an Editor's Choice TV Guide Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
"This has been a tremendous year for NASCAR, and I'm honored to host this headlining event as fans all across the country tune-in to pay homage to the accomplishments of the 2015 champion," said Carey. "I look forward to rounding out the 2015 NASCAR® racing season with a night of epic proportions alongside some of the greatest names in sports and entertainment."
Triple-platinum selling recording artist Andy Grammer will perform at the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. The pop singer best known for hits such as "Keep Your Head Up" and "Back Home" took America by storm in 2015 with his smash single, "Honey, I'm Good" turning it into one of the year's catchiest songs. A deluxe edition of his sophomore album, Magazines Or Novels was released on Nov. 20 featuring Andy's brand new single, "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah.)"
The evening's musical lineup will also feature country star Sam Hunt, who took home the honor of New Artist of the Year at Sunday night's American Music Awards. His critically-acclaimed debut album Montevallo has so far produced three consecutive No. 1 platinum-selling singles with "Leave the Night On," "House Party" and the double-platinum "Take Your Time," plus his current platinum-selling Top 15, "Break Up In A Small Town."
Rachel Platten, one of this year's breakout artists with her double platinum No. 1 hit single, "Fight Song", will also grace the awards stage. Her current chart-climbing single, "Stand By You" will be released on her highly-anticipated forthcoming album, Wildfire.
Rounding out the night's performances will be multi-talented singer / songwriter Sabina Carpenter, who currently stars on the Disney Channel original series Girl Meets World. Carpenter released her debut album, Eyes Wide Open earlier this year, which features "We'll be the Stars" and its namesake single, "Eyes Wide Open."
"The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards marks the pinnacle of our season as we have the opportunity to commend the drivers and teams for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "With Drew Carey at the wheel and a lineup of performances from some of the most celebrated entertainers in the music industry, it will certainly be a finale to remember for everyone joining us in Las Vegas and the NASCAR fans watching at home."
This year's artists will join a star-studded group of actors and musicians who have previously performed at NASCAR's championship celebration, including Lady Antebellum, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley, and Kid Rock. Part of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards is the headlining experience in a series of events that also includes the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Fanfest, NASCAR After The Lap and NASCAR Victory Lap, where fans get a front row seat as the 16 Challengers roar down Las Vegas Boulevard. Visit www.NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek to view the full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week schedule.(NASCAR)(11-24-2015)
Jeff Gordon may not be done driving racecars after all: "I don't think he's through driving," said his [Jeff Gordon's] manager, Zak Brown, whose firm, Just Marketing, Inc., has represented Gordon for years. JMI is the largest motorsports marketing agency in the world, matching sponsors with race teams and series. Four of the last five major Formula One deals were brokered by JMI. Brown (no relation to musician Zac Brown, who JMI's Brown insists "spells 'Zak' all wrong!") and his company only represent one active driver - Gordon - though they also represent former F1 champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. Brown is a former professional racecar driver who only last year stepped away from the cockpit of the United Autosports team he co-owns, which races primarily in Europe and Asia, though he still competes in vintage races. And he suspects that while Jeff Gordon may indeed be done with driving in NASCAR, he isn't done with racing, most likely in sports cars. Gordon has repeatedly proven his expertise in NASCAR road races at tracks like Watkins Glen in New York and Sonoma Raceway in California. "If you look at champions like Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen, who left Formula One, took a breather, then came back to racing, I think that Jeff will take 12 or 24 months, and then when the right opportunity comes along, he'll be back," Brown told Autoblog. Endurance races such as the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona or the Twelve Hours of Sebring could be attractive, "and Jeff has shown a lot of interest in Le Mans. I'd be surprised if we never see him again behind the wheel of a race car."(AutoBlog)(11-24-2015)
Moffitt named NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year: Lost in the shuffle of all that transpired in Sunday night's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, #34-Brett Moffitt was named the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year for 2015. Moffitt competed in 31 of the 36 Sprint Cup Series events this season, driving for Michael Waltrip Racing and Front Row Motorsports throughout the year. Moffett made his first start of the season, eighth of his career, at Atlanta Motor Speedway last March 1, driving the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. In that event, Moffitt started 22nd and finished eighth for a career-best and what turned out to be his highest finish of the season. "Atlanta was definitely the highlight of my year," Moffitt said Sunday at Homestead. "Going into 2015, that was the one race I had on my schedule with Michael Waltrip Racing, and they gave me the opportunity. Michael, the folks at Aaron's and Rob Kauffman (who owned MWR with Michael Waltrip) believed in me enough to fill in for Brian (Vickers) that race, and to go out there and finish eighth place was huge. You know, the time I didn't even know what I was doing behind the wheel of a race car it seemed like."
Moffitt would pilot the #55 MWR Toyota until Richmond in April. Once David Ragan took over driving duties at MWR, Moffitt returned to Front Row Motorsports for the remainder of the 2015 season. "As a rookie, being with Front Row Motorsports was a really good home," he said. "I learned a lot throughout the year, getting to race with 43 of the best drivers in the world is a learning curve, especially I have very limited XFINITY and truck experience, so a lot of these tracks were the first time for me. Just being able to get on the racetrack, being around them, trying to learn from them, it's added up to a lot." With only one scheduled race at the start of the season -- Atlanta with MWR -- Moffitt did not declare himself eligible for the Rookie of the Year award until later in the season, when it became apparent he would run the majority of the season. "Once we reached a point where I knew I was going to do at least seven races and wouldn't be eligible in 2016 to run for Rookie of the Year, at that point we said, why not sign up for it and hope things work out, and they did," he said. "And that's really where Bob and everyone at Front Row Motorsports kind of made this happen, and they stuck their neck out on the line and hired a rookie, and it paid off."
Despite a consistent year that ended in with the rookie title, Moffitt's 2016 plans are still up in the air. "Right now my slate is empty," he said. "I mean, we're working hard, but it's hard to secure the funding to be able to run in any of the top three series. If anything would come forward, I'd be more than willing to work with any series, whether it was truck, XFINITY or another Cup ride."(FoxSports), see Rookie Standings, History, Stats and more on the 2015 Rookie of the Year page.(11-24-2015)
Roush Fenway Racing restructures: Change is coming to Roush Fenway Racing. After the dissolution of the #1 XFinity Series team following Elliott Sadler's departure, RFR "right-sized" its NXS program on Monday. However, despite the release of a significant number of employees, others will be hired as RFR restructures its organization. Kent Day, who holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and most recently worked at MWR following his tenures at Richard Childress Racing as technical director and Penske Racing as chief engineer. Day will oversee Roush's simulation program. Kurt Romberg has also been recruited by RFR. Romberg was the chief aerodynamicist at Hendrick Motorsports for 15 years. He worked at General Motors and Petty Enterprises prior to joining HMS. Someone with knowledge of the situation told motorsport.com the net loss of personnel would likely be 25 workers.(Motorsport)(11-24-2015)
JTG Daugherty Racing makes crew chief change: Sources say Randall Burnett will oversee the #47 JTG/Daugherty team next season. He replaces crew chief Brian Burns, who will remain with the team. Burnett joined Ganassi Racing in 2005 after he graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in mechanical engineering. The 35-year-old St. Louis native - and former Late Model racer - most recently worked as the team engineer on the #42 Target Chevy under crew chief Chris Heroy. Burnett will join Ernie Cope, who spent the last season as crew chief for Chase Elliott at JR Motorsports. Cope will be JTGD's new competition director starting Dec. 1.(Motorsport)(11-24-2015)
Petty talks about #9 driver plans: A week after indicating that Sam Hornish Jr. is unlikely to retain his seat in the #9 Ford for 2016, team co-owner and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series driving champion Richard Petty provided an update on the search for Hornish's replacement. "Right now we're just sort of in limbo," Petty said at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We're talking to a couple or three different drivers and a couple different sponsor deals, so all of it's got to come together. The way it is today you might want a driver but you can't get anybody to back him up, and then you might can get the sponsor and then that'll get the driver. It's a chess game right now, and we think we're almost there, but we're not there right yet." Among the more prominent drivers yet to nail down plans for 2016 are XFINITY Series veteran and former Cup driver Regan Smith, Michael Waltrip Racing's David Ragan and newly minted 2015 XFINITY Series champion Chris Buescher. Whether any of the above names are candidates for RPM's #9 remains to be seen, but this much is clear: Unless a driver can bring sponsorship, he's probably not going to get much consideration from RPM. That Hornish wasn't able to attract enough funding to keep the #9 team afloat speaks to the overall state of the sponsor climate in NASCAR. "It's the same way with other teams," Petty said. "You go talk to Hendrick, they're out there struggling right now, Roush is struggling, Gibbs is struggling. Every team is struggling to try to fill their particular cars. Some of them has got them filled pretty good, some of them has got them maybe halfway and they're still struggling to get it done. It's just a trend of the times right now, and it's tough on everybody. It doesn't make any difference if you're winning races or not winning races; it's just tough."(FoxSports)(11-24-2015)
Larson Planning Winter Dirt Return: Kyle Larson confirmed that he will contest a schedule similar to the one he ran last winter, beginning with the 75th annual Turkey Night Grand Prix midget race Nov. 26 at Perris Auto Speedway. Larson also plans to race his winged sprint car during the early January Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at Cocopah Speedway in Arizona before turning his attention to the Jan. 12-16 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. "As soon as our season is done I'll go to Perris to do the Turkey Night," Larson confirmed while at Phoenix Int'l Raceway over the weekend. "I'll do the first three nights at Cocopah Speedway and then I'll do the Chili Bowl. So that'll be my open-wheel schedule for the offseason." Larson's focus the last few years has been on his career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, so he hasn't done nearly as much open-wheel racing as he did while climbing the racing ladder. He said in the future he hopes to do more open-wheel racing when his schedule allows, but he said he needs permission from his team owner Chip Ganassi in order to do that. "I'd like to (run more open-wheel races), but I just don't know about that. I'd have to get permission," Larson said.(National Speed Sport News)(11-24-2015)
Atlanta Motor Speedway & Kentucky Speedway repaving in 2016? UPDATE3 denied by both tracks: From an interview with Danny James of the Lane Construction Corporation. James is the Mechanical Supervisor responsible for overseeing the paving of racetracks such as Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway. James is supervising the paving the Dominion Raceway in Spotsylvania, VA. During the interview, James said Lane Construction has been contracted to repave Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway in 2016. The video interview which had been on the Dominion Raceway Facebook page, was removed Wednesday afternoon and the same video on YouTube is now private.(11-18-2015)
UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway posted on their twitter: A repave has been looked into, but at this time, there are not any plans to do so.(11-18-2015)
UPDATE2: Kentucky Speedway may be due for a repave in 2016, but it's still plenty possible the track chooses to wait out another year with its bumpy surface. That's despite what Lane Construction Corporation's Danny James said in a recent interview circulating social media Wednesday. In a video published to Facebook, James said his company has been contracted to repave Kentucky Speedway and the Atlanta Motor Speedway, both owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. "I'm not exactly sure why he's talking about what we're doing," said Mark Simendinger, Kentucky Speedway's general manager. "If I were him, I'd be more focused on Lane Construction Corporation is up to -- not what we're up to." Simendinger said repaving is something track officials have discussed with Lane Construction and other contractors. "Have we made up our mind with what we're going to do? No," Simendinger said. "We're not going to ask (James) to make our media announcements for us. We evaluate it every year. We're evaluating it right now. That shouldn't come as a surprise."(Courier-Journal)(11-18-2015)
UPDATE 3: Atlanta Motor Speedway was last resurfaced in 1997 and today is among the oldest racing surfaces on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. While track officials are constantly monitoring the track's condition, there are, at this time, no plans in place to resurface the track. A favorite among many NASCAR drivers, the aged, abrasive surface produces slick racing conditions and some of the fastest tire fall-off in NASCAR. With very little alteration since its most recent repave 18 years ago, regularly scheduled maintenance programs, including filling cracks with pavement preservation products, is performed on the 1.54-mile asphalt surface between races. Mild Georgia winters and the thorough maintenance program have played a key factor in the track's longevity.(AMS)(11-24-2015)
Speedway Christmas Returns To Charlotte Motor Speedway: Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the spectacular holiday light show will be even bigger and better in its sixth year. With more than three million lights, a huge infield Christmas Village and the unique chance to drive the track, Speedway Christmas has become the area's best new holiday tradition!
Speedway Christmas kicked off Saturday, Nov. 21. The drive-through show is open nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30 (closed Christmas Day). The infield Christmas Village, including movie nights on the speedway's 16,000-square-foot HDTV, photos with Santa, a bustling Bethlehem village, petting zoo and more will be open every Thursday through Sunday night.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is located at 5555 Concord Parkway S, Concord, NC. Take Interstate 85 to exit 49 (Bruton Smith Blvd.) toward Hwy. 29. Visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) for pricing, movie schedules and more information about Speedway Christmas.(CMS)(11-24-2015)
New Technology Enhancements Part of Daytona Rising Project: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is pleased to announce several new technology enhancements as part of the unprecedented $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project that will help fans get and stay connected to the latest motorsports information and news. Just in time for Speedweeks 2016, fans will soon be able to connect to Wi-Fi at DIS with the help of ARRIS Group, a global telecommunications technology leader. In addition, fans will get to experience a new and improved mobile app, as well as interactive engagement stations to help guide them around the new motorsports stadium.
ARRIS will provide Wi-Fi access to some of the most high traffic areas of DIS to offer fans more connectivity than ever before. Through a multi-phased rollout, fans will be able to log in throughout the concourses and neighborhoods in the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Fans in the Midway and Sprint FANZONE will be able to connect to the ARRIS network as well. This installation will be complete in time for Speedweeks 2016 with additional areas of the property gaining Wi-Fi access later in the year.
In addition, a brand new version of the DIS mobile app will launch by the end of January to help fans take full advantage of the amenities and offerings that the new motorsports stadium will provide. The updated app for iOS and Android devices will include several exciting mobile features such as Bluetooth-based indoor and GPS-based outdoor turn-by-turn navigation, location-based proximity engagement, and the ability to drop pins to remember certain locations like your parking spot powered by SPREO Indoor Location Solutions. It will also include an interactive GPS facility map and dynamic experiences with DIS Founding Partners in each of the new injectors/entrances.(DIS)(11-24-2015)
Black Friday Blowout Sale Offers Fans Incredible Deals at CMS: Black Friday 2015 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will provide fans a one-day opportunity to drive in the tire-tracks of NASCAR legends with qualifying purchases of race tickets, pit passes or souvenir merchandise. Shoppers who spend at least $50 or donate $25 to Speedway Children's Charities can drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. During the one-day-only Black Friday Blowout Sale on Nov. 27, bargain-hunters will find souvenir items priced as low as $1. Ticket specials include gift cards, half-price pit passes and free pole night tickets with qualifying purchases. The Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office and all souvenir haulers will open with discounted sale items at 8:00am/et. Track drives for qualifying purchasers will take place between 8:00am and 3:30pm. The Black Friday Blowout Sale concludes at 4:00pm. For more information on the Black Friday Blowout Sale at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans should contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(11-24-2015)
Darlington Raceway Offers Black Friday Deal: Darlington Raceway is offering race fans the opportunity to purchase a special Black Friday ticket package for its Labor Day weekend events on Sept. 2-4, 2016. The package includes a ticket to all three days of racing at the famed South Carolina track. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 4, NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 on Saturday, Sept. 3, and practice day on Friday, Sept. 2, are all included in the package. More info at DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(11-24-2015)
Homestead TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Homestead, the final race in the Chase For the Sprint Cup, had a 4.4 overnight rating on NBC and NBCSN Sunday - up 52% from last year (2.9) and up 63% from 2013 (2.7), both on ESPN. Kyle Busch's win, which clinched the Sprint Cup, scored the highest overnight for NASCAR's season finale since 2005, when the race drew a 4.8 on NBC. The last time the race aired on a broadcast network, 2009, it had a 3.2 overnight on ABC. The last time it aired on NBC, 2006, it had a 4.3. Overall, the 4.4 overnight is the fourth-highest ever for the annual Homestead race, which began in 1999 - trailing only 2005, 2004 (5.6) and 2002 (4.5). It is also the highest for a Sprint Cup race since Atlanta in March (5.1) and the third-highest of the season overall, trailing only Atlanta and the Daytona 500 (7.3). Sunday's race benefited from several factors. Jeff Gordon was participating in his final race and had a chance to win the championship. The race aired on two networks, which usually provides a bump. Most importantly, rain pushed the finish into primetime - preempting the first 50 minutes of NBC's Football Night in America.(Sports Media Watch / NBC Sports PR Twitter.(11-23-2015)
UPDATE: NBC Sports Group presented the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship last night (Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015), featuring the primary broadcast on NBC and spotlight coverage of the four drivers racing for the 2015 title on NBCSN. After the smoke cleared from Kyle Busch's victory burnouts and fans witnessed the final bow of Jeff Gordon's iconic career, fast national data provided by The Nielsen Company shows that the event was the most-watched NASCAR Championship in a decade. The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship on NBC and NBCSN averaged 7.64 million viewers and posted a combined 4.42 national HH rating, marking increases of +46% (vs. 5.22 million) and +41% (vs. 3.14 HH), respectively, over last year's presentation on ESPN. The 7.64 million viewers make last night's event the most-watched NASCAR season finale since NBC presented the championship event in 2005 (9.46 million). Viewing peaked from 7:45P-7:56 p.m. ET with nearly 12.4 million average viewers as Kyle Busch battled Kevin Harvick for the title, ranking as the largest peak audience for NASCAR since the 2015 Daytona 500. Last night's race stands as NASCAR's most-watched Fall race (Sept-Nov) since 2006's Charlotte race on NBC (7.797 million)(NBC)
See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(11-23-2015)
NASCAR defends late-race debris caution in Homestead finale: NASCAR defended its late-race caution Sunday, saying there was a piece of metal on the track, which created led to the final restart. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the piece of metal was spotted by an official on the flagstand and confirmed via camera, causing the final caution and negating #18-Kyle Busch's significant lead. Busch took off on the final restart and cruised to the win and the Sprint Cup championship. O'Donnell explained the situation with debris cautions in general and the final caution in particular. "We've got multiple spotters out there,'' O'Donnell said, noting officials are positioned around the track. "If fans could go back and replay the radio chatter up to the tower during that race, I'm going to say we had upwards of 100 different reports from drivers calling in debris - many of them about to fall a lap down. We've got to vet a lot of that. We're certainly going to rely on our spotters, who call something in. We've got 20 different camera angles we can look at. We can zoom in on anywhere on the track. Rest assured, we know the stakes are very high and in that situation in the final caution our flagman saw metal right below him in the groove. We looked and we confirmed that it was there and made the call. A car ended up hitting it as they were going around so it went down to the yellow portion of the track. I know television showed a water bottle unfortunately but then came back. When there is metal on the track we're going to make the call each and every time.''(NBC Sports)(11-23-2015)
New crew chief for Stewart in 2016? Sources say Mike Bugarewicz will be named in the crew chief role on the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing team for Tony Stewart's final Sprint Cup season. "Buga", who worked as the race engineer on the #4 Budweiser Chevy the last two seasons, replaces Chad Johnston. Bugarewicz was recruited by crew chief Rodney Childers and joined the team in December 2013 - prior to Harvick's 2014 championship run. Bugarewicz earned his Masters and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University and took a job with Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the 2005 season. Johnston has already found a new home at Chip Ganassi Racing (Motorsport)(11-23-2015)
New crew chief for Larson in 2016 UPDATE: Chad Johnston will guide Kyle Larson and the #42 Target Chevy at Chip Ganassi Racing, sources say. Johnston, who replaces Chris Heroy, led Tony Stewart and the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing team for the past two seasons. Prior to SHR, Johnston, 35, guided Martin Truex Jr. at Michael Waltrip Racing. He was displaced when MWR lost the NAPA sponsorship following the 2013 season. The second-generation racer graduated from Indiana State with a degree in mechanical engineering. Johnston started his career in the aerospace industry before his passion for racing carried him to the Camping World Truck Series in 2004. After a short stint at Evernham Motorsports he joined MWR in 2009 and became Pat Tryson's engineer the following season. Johnston was promoted to crew chief for the 2011 June Pocono race. In his first full season with Truex and the No. 56 team qualified for the Chase. The following year, Johnston guided the team back to Victory Lane with the win at Sonoma - Truex's second career victory. Johnston starts his new role on Tuesday (Motorsport)(11-23-2015)
UPDATE: Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (TCGRFS) announced that Chad Johnston has been named crew chief for Kyle Larson and the #42 Target team. Johnston will assume the role effective immediately to begin preparation for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season. Johnston joins TCGRFS from Stewart-Haas Racing, where he has been the crew chief for Tony Stewart and the #14 Chevy since the 2014 season. Johnston also served as crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. and the #56 at Michael Waltrip Racing from 2011 - 2013. Johnston has one career NSCS race win as a crew chief (2013 Sonoma) and helped guide Truex Jr. into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup during the 2012 season. Johnston has also worked in NASCAR as a race engineer at Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, Evernham Motorsports, and JTG Daugherty Racing before serving as a crew chief. The Cayuga, Ind. native graduated from Indiana State University with a major in mechanical engineering, and briefly worked in the aerospace industry before his passion for motorsports brought him to NASCAR and the Camping World Truck Series in 2004. Larson will begin his third full-time season in the NSCS in 2016. The 2014 NSCS Rookie of the Year is coming off of a season that featured two top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. In 75 career NSCS starts he has accumulated one pole award, 10 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.
TCGRFS Quote Board:
Chip Ganassi, Owner, TCGRFS: "We are very much looking forward to having Chad join the No. 42 team, and excited for the fresh perspective that he brings. We fully expect the combination of Chad and Kyle to be the foundation of the No. 42 team for years to come. Chad is a race-winning crew chief and has helped steer a team into The Chase, two goals we have each season for our teams. I think his background and experience with veteran drivers will help as we look to continue to build on Kyle and the team's success in the Sprint Cup Series."
Chad Johnston, Crew Chief, #42 Target Team: "I am very excited for the opportunity to be joining Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and the opportunity to work with Kyle Larson. The organization has a great reputation in numerous forms of racing, and I'm looking forward to adding to that reputation in NASCAR. Kyle is certainly a unique talent, and I'm eager to get to work with him and the team as we look to build a foundation of success."
Kyle Larson, #42 Target Chevrolet: "I'm excited to get to work with Chad and to start doing what needs to be done to get the team to victory lane next year. As a team, I think we are very close and the addition of Chad should help move our program forward for many years to come. Lastly, I would also like to thank Chris for all he did to help me grow in my first two seasons in the Cup series."(CGR), no word on former crew chief Chris Heroy's plans for 2016.(11-23-2015)
Danica may get a new crew chief in 2016? UPDATE: In her third full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Danica Patrick has shown some improvements from her first two years as driver of the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy. Those improvements might not be enough for crew chief Daniel Knost to keep his job, however. Speaking with FOXSports.com in an exclusive interview on Sunday morning in the Homestead-Miami Speedway garage, Knost -- who worked was crew chief for SHR's Kurt Busch for 33 races being tapped to call the shots for Patrick's team late last year -- was non-committal about what his role will be in 2016. "I'm still working with the company on what all I'm going to be doing," said Knost, who has a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and worked as an engineer for SHR before becoming a crew chief. "I'm working with the company on what my future role is going to be for many years out. We've got a good, solid group. I want to see most of that stay together. Inevitably there is some change in racing on all teams, and quite frankly, when you have a program like what Stewart-Haas has got, a lot of people are interested in what you're doing so it's hard to maintain a really good team for a long time, just because opportunities open up for people."(see full article at FoxSports)(11-23-2015)
UPDATE: Billy Scott is expected to take over as crew chief for Danica Patrick and the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy in 2016. Sources say that Scott will replace Daniel Knost, who started with Kurt Busch and the #41 Haas Automation Chevy in 2014 before moving to the #14 car with four races remaining in the season. Scott honed his skills as a mechanic in the Camping World Truck Series prior earning his engineering degree. Following graduation, he joined Robert Yates Racing in 2005 before joining Michael Waltrip Racing in 2008. After working under Rodney Childers as team engineer on the #55 Toyota, Scott prepared to take over crew chief's role in August 2013. Childers left MWR for Stewart-Haas Racing and Scott apprenticed with interim crew chief and vice president of competition Scott Miller. In 2014, Scott was promoted to crew chief for Brian Vickers. This season, Scott worked with Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Michael Waltrip and Vickers (Motorsport)(11-23-2015)
Kyle Busch wins at Homestead AND the Championship: #18-Kyle Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 1st win at Homestead, 2nd Chase race win (first since 2005) and 34th career win. Busch led 41 of the 267 laps.
With the win, Busch won the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, his first, beating out #4-Kevin Harvick, who finished 2nd.
It is the 4th Sprint Cup Series Championship for Joe Gibbs Racing, the first for sponsor M&M's Mars, first for rookie crew chief Adam Stevens and first driver championship for Toyota.
Kyle and Kurt Busch are the second set of brothers to win the Sprint Cup Series Championship, the first were Terry and Bobby Labonte.
With Busch's win at Homestead, there are only four tracks the Sprint Cup Series runs out that Busch has not won a Sprint Cup Series race at: Kansas, Martinsville, Charlotte and Pocono.
The race was rain delayed for about one and a half hours, with the green flag waving at 4:50pm/et.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd (for the 13th time in 2015 and 44th runner-up finish in his career) followed by #2-Keselowski (led the most laps, 86), #22-Logano, #42-Larson, #24-Gordon, #20-Kenseth, #41-Busch, #48-Johnson and #11-Hamlin (pole winner).
The four drivers in the CHAMPIONSHIP RACE of The Chase finished:
#18-Kyle Busch, won the race
#4-Kevin Harvick, 2nd
#24-Jeff Gordon, 6th
#78-Martin Truex Jr., 12th
There were 18 lead changes among 9 drivers and 7 cautions for 30 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 131.755mph.
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).(11-22-2015)
2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
[after Homestead, race 36 of 36, Chase race 10 of 10]
1) #18-Busch [5 wins], 5043
2) #4-Harvick , 5042
3) #24-Gordon , 5038
4) #78-Truex, Jr., 5032
(note: no bonus points for the four drivers in the championship race)
5) #19-Edwards , 2368, -2675
6) #22-Logano , 2360, -2683
7) #2-Keselowski , 2347, -2696
8) #41-Busch , 2333, 2710
9) #11-Hamlin . 2327, -2716
10) #48-Johnson , 2315, -2728
11) #31-Newman, 2314, -2729
12) #88-Earnhardt Jr. , 2310, -2733
13) #1-McMurray, 2295, -2748
14) #27-Menard, 2262, -2781
15) #20-Kenseth , 2234, -2809
16) #15-Bowyer, 2175, -2868
See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf) See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).
Last Race for Michael Waltrip Racing: Sunday's 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway marks Michael Waltrip Racing's final weekend of full-time competition. Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, began the team in the mid-1990s at his house in Sherrill's Ford, N.C., competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. In 2007, MWR began fielding full-time Sprint Cup entries as the flagship team for Toyota Racing Development, USA. MWR is the only original Toyota team still in competition. MWR owns seven Sprint Cup victories and four Chase berths. Going into Homestead, MWR cars have made 780 starts, earned seven poles and posted 73 top-five finishes. MWR victories by driver: Clint Bowyer, 3, David Reutimann, 2, Martin Truex and Brian Vickers with one each. In the XFINITY Series, MWR won four times with Waltrip behind the wheel and once with David Reutimann. MWR also fielded entries in eight truck series races. Sunday also marks the end of a partnership with 5-hour ENERGY and MWR. The company has been a proud partner of the team and Bowyer since the driver joined the organization in 2012. Bowyer earned three wins, 27 top-five and 69 top-10 finishes with 5-hour ENERGY on board his Toyota. PEAK and AAA Mid-Atlantic also enjoyed a multi-year relationship with MWR and Bowyer. Peak also supports Bowyer's dirt late model teams. Maxwell House joined with the organization earlier this year and sponsored Bowyer in four Sprint Cup races (MWR)(11-22-2015)
Ortho will not sponsor Biffle or a team in 2016 UPDATE: Scotts Miracle-Gro has confirmed that its Ortho pest-control brand will not return next season as the primary sponsor of Roush Fenway Racing's #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle, and the brand will instead sit out the year as a NASCAR team sponsor. Scotts Dir of Marketing Promotions & Communications Chris Strunk in a statement said, "We evaluate our sponsorship portfolio on an annual basis and have decided not to renew our partnership agreement with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush Fenway and Greg Biffle have been terrific partners, and we wish them the best. We are extremely appreciative of their participation and support of the Ortho brand." RFR declined comment. The brand this season sponsored about half of Biffle's 36 Sprint Cup Series races, but will not be on the car for the Sunday's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Bleacher Report will be on the car). Ortho was one of the main brands to step in and fill the void when 3M left after a nearly 10-year relationship with Biffle, switching to Jeff Gordon's #24. Prior to deploying its Ortho brand to the #16, the Ohio-based Scotts had sponsored other RFR cars from 2005-2011.(Sports Business Daily)(11-20-2015)
UPDATE: The Ortho brand of Scotts Miracle-Gro will not return as primary sponsor of Greg Biffle's #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in 2016, the organization and team confirmed Friday. "We have enjoyed a long-standing and greatly productive working relationship with Ortho and the Scotts' brand," RFR President Steve Newmark said in a statement. "Over the course of the last decade they -- at different times -- have been able to successfully activate various marketing platforms through our partnership. They had great success activating around Greg and the No. 16 team and I think all of us enjoyed the 'What's Buggin' Biffle' promotion. However, their marketing strategy for '16 will take them in a different direction. We would of course welcome working with them again in the future and look forward to that possibility."(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2015)
Chris Buescher..no plans races with Front Row in 2016 UPDATE: Chris Buescher holds an 18-point lead in the NASCAR XFINITY point standings going into the Ford EcoBoost 300. Buescher held a Q&A session in the Homestead, one question asked was:
Q) YOU RAN SOME CUP RACES WITH FRONT ROW [Racing #34 Ford] EARLIER THIS YEAR. ANY PLANS TO DO THAT NEXT SEASON?
Buescher: "We don't have anything planned for next year. I did get to run, I think it was six races what it ended up being, and I had a blast doing it. It was an awesome bunch of guys over there, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot as well. I realized real quickly how busy double-duty could get for a weekend in running back and forth between the garages. That made me give a lot more respect to the guys that do it every weekend and are constantly running because when you get out of the car, I remember Fontana was the first one. You get out of the car and there's five minutes between XFINITY practice and a Cup practice and the garages seemed like they were a mile away there. It was a busy weekend. I was wore out by the end of it, but there's no plans to do it next year, but what I got out of it this year was invaluable."(Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes)(11-21-2015)
UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing owner, Jack Roush and XFINITY Series Champ Chris Buescher, answered questions at Homestead during the XFINITY Driver's Championship Press Conference, a few were about Sprint Cup Series plans:
Q) SPEAKING OF THE RIGHT OF PASSAGE, WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR CHRIS NEXT YEAR?
Jack Roush: "We are still not sure what his arrangement will be next year. He will be involved in a Cup car to some extent but whether it is a part time program or full program we are still in the midst of finalizing the conditions of that. We have a number of possibilities but we aren't ready to announce that today."
Q) JACK SAID HE'S NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT YOU'LL DO NEXT YEAR. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED TO LEARN BEFORE BEING A FULL-TIME CUP DRIVER?
Chris Buescher: "I think if you look and realize that Cup drivers come down to the XFINITY level every race there's always something to be learned. They know that and that's why they do it. To me, that's part of just seat time. You've got to learn everything you can every race. There's always something different about a race track. There are similarities between the two race cars now. Like Jack was talking about with the rules as close as they are now, there are things we can bounce back and forth. There's always something to learn. Every time you get in a race car you figure out something. I've been clear. I'm not in a rush. If it comes around, that's the first I've heard of it by the way, so it's kind of like the radio interview where Jack said something four months ago and I found out from my dad. If that's what it brings, then I'll do my best to prepare for it and be ready and if not, we'll go try and double up on these XFINITY championships. Right now, we're living in the moment. It's a big weight off our shoulders. We get to calm down a little bit and get to celebrate and enjoy the banquet - do some off-shore fishing while we're out here in Florida - and we'll go back and gear up for 2016."(Ford Racing)(11-22-2015)
Hamlin to have knee surgery Nov. 30th: #11-Denny Hamlin is scheduled to have surgery Nov. 30 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Hamlin injured his knee playing basketball in September and opted to wait until after the season to have surgery. He plans to attend NASCAR's season-ending awards ceremony in Las Vegas a few days later. Dr. Patrick Connor, the team physician of the NFL's Carolina Panthers, will perform the operation in Charlotte.(Associated Press)(11-21-2015)
Wood Brothers returning to full-time racing in 2016: #21-Wood Brothers Racing announced that it will run a full, 36-race schedule in 2016 with Ryan Blaney continuing as the team's driver contending for a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with Motorcraft/Quick Lane and Ford Performance returning as anchor sponsors. "We are beyond excited to make this announcement about going back to full time competition," said Eddie Wood, team co-owner, at a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. "It has been something we've worked toward since 2009 when we started running limited schedules. I have to thank Ford's Dave Pericak and Raj Nair, Edsel Ford, our technical alliance partners Team Penske and Roush Yates Engines, as well as everyone at Motorcraft, for working with us to make this day possible. It'll be fun to see just how good Ryan Blaney, Jeremy Bullins and our team can be over a full season. Lastly, it'll be great not to have to worry about rain anymore on qualifying day."
Due to their limited schedule and the current point system, inclement weather prevented Wood Brothers Racing from qualifying for three races in which they were slated to run this season. "We are proud to have played a role in helping get the Wood Brothers back on the track full time for 2016," said Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "These guys have been Ford's most-loyal team for 65 years and they deserve the chance to show how they can perform when they are at every race. They've earned a full-time slot by running strong all year, even under adversity. We plan on being part of this when they capture their 100th Cup victory."
"This is a day everyone has looked forward to," said Edsel B. Ford II, board member, Ford Motor Company. "The Wood Brothers represent everything that is great about this sport - tradition, family, loyalty, competition. When we asked them to regroup and consider going part-time in 2009, it was always with an eye on getting back to this day. And we are thrilled it is finally here." Thus far in 2015, the Wood Brothers' iconic #21's best finishes were fourth in the spring Talladega race, 12th at the Brickyard, 14th in the fall Charlotte race and seventh in the most-recent Kansas race. Even in the four races when the team had engine problems, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion was running toward the front of the field when the trouble arose.
"This is every driver's dream come true," Blaney said, "Getting a chance to run for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I'm really looking forward to running a full schedule with this historic Wood Brothers team and hopefully get them their 99th and 100th wins sooner rather than later." Motorcraft's partnership with Wood Brothers Racing began in 2001 and quickly bore fruit by winning the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel. The Motorcraft-Wood Brothers pairing had its greatest triumph in 2011 when rookie driver Trevor Bayne captured the Daytona 500. "We are thrilled to have been able to work with Ford Performance to make the Wood Brothers' a full-time race team for the 2016 NASCAR season," said Mary Lou Quesnell, director of marketing for Ford Customer Service Division. "Wood Brothers Racing has been an excellent representative of our brands for 15 years and we look forward to seeing the famous #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion on the track week after week." In addition to Motorcraft and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers, the team will look to add additional sponsors to the roster during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.(Wood Brothers Racing)(11-20-2015)
AND According to NASCAR officials, Blaney will be eligible to run for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 on a one-time exemption, even though he has 17 Sprint Cup starts to his credit, 15 this season. Blaney was not a candidate for the rookie award this year.(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-20-2015)
M&M's Renews with Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE2: On the cusp of his first potential NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship which would cap an amazing comeback season, #18-Kyle Busch and his team at Joe Gibbs Racing have even more reason to celebrate. Mars, Inc. finalized a multi-year contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) that will continue the winning alliance for the next several seasons. The new agreement with JGR cements one of the longest-standing and most successful partnerships not only in NASCAR, but in all of sports. Kyle Busch has piloted the #18 Toyota and dozens of Mars, Inc.'s iconic brands including M&M'S Brand, Snickers Brand, Skittles Brand, Double Mint Brand and Pedigree Brand to victory lane 29 times since 2008, as well as 15 poles and 142 top ten finishes. "In order to get to victory lane, you have to have the best team on and off the track," said William Clements, Vice President, Sponsorships, Mars. "Our partnership with JGR and Kyle has routinely delivered for us at the track, as well as in-store and with millions of fans. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to build upon this amazing partnership."
"When working with a partner, collaboration, teamwork and a burning desire to win inspires us as a team, and Mars is the epitome of those qualities," added Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Their brands have been a big part of our sport and team for a long time and we're honored to carry them on the #18 for the foreseeable future."
"Representing Mars, Inc's family of brands on the #18 since 2008 has been an honor, and knowing they are committed to JGR for the next several seasons is awesome," said Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota. "Their support for me, my family and everyone at JGR has been incredible and this energizes me to work even harder for them and the team."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR), Mars had been sighed thru 2017, nmo word how long this deal is for.(11-17-2015)
UPDATE Joe Gibbs Racing has locked in primary sponsor Mars for the next several years as driver Kyle Busch looks to win his first Sprint Cup championship this weekend. Mars, mostly through its M&M's brand, has sponsored Busch at JGR since 2008 and the extension will continue the JGR-Mars relationship at least through 2018. Specific terms were not announced, but Mars is expected to continue as primary sponsor for 32 of the 38 yearly events[36 points races, Sprint Unlimited, All-Star race]. Busch is signed with the team through at least 2017.(ESPN)(11-17-2015)
UPDATE2: Kyle Busch will remain at Joe Gibbs Racing for the foreseeable future, as Busch confirmed he has signed a contract extension that correlates with the one the team announced Tuesday with sponsor Mars. Busch wouldn't give the exact length of what he called a multiple-year extension, but it is expected to run through at least 2019, considering he was already signed with JGR through the next couple of years. Busch also said he has a deal with Toyota that runs concurrently and includes support of his Kyle Busch Motorsports entries in the Camping World Truck Series.(ESPN)(11-20-2015)
Annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week Festivities: As The Championship 4 get ready to race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway, preparations are underway in Las Vegas for annual postseason celebrations honoring the eventual 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Running Dec. 1-4, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week will once again bring together the "who's who" of the racing industry, celebrities and fans for a robust schedule of events featuring the DAYTONA Rising / NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, the annual NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, and the star-studded NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. Wynn Las Vegas, the premier resort destination in Las Vegas, will serve as headquarters for NASCAR during the week.
This year's events will bring fans closer to their favorite drivers than ever before, featuring special guests and giveaways at The LINQ Promenade, an open-air fan hub offering retail and restaurant options along with the world's tallest observation wheel, the High Roller. Fans will also get the chance to watch all 16 Chase drivers take their race cars to the streets for NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco, an annual parade down Las Vegas Boulevard featuring burnouts and pre-event festivities.
New to the event this year, NBCSN's Rutledge Wood and television personality Courtney Hansen will host the fan-favorite driver tell-all, NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Sprint. In addition, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will debut a revamped Red Carpet walk offering select fans a chance to see many of their favorite drivers before they enter the Awards. Fans can stop by The LINQ Promenade to check out the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week schedule and learn more about how to secure access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Red Carpet. NBCSN will broadcast this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, with coverage beginning at 9:00pm/et. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the awards show live at 8:00pm/et.
For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas and the rundown of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week activities, see Jayski.com's 2015 NASCAR Awards Ceremonies page.(11-19-2015)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Born in NOVEMBER:
26 Chip Bolin, Dale Jarrett, Katie Pearson
27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael, Shane Church
28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy, Mason Mingus
29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer, Ryan Ellis, Tanner Berryhill
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover
Born in DECEMBER:
1 Stanton Barrett Jr, Kenny Francis, David Evans, Danny Gill, Larry Gunselman
2 Erik Darnell, Kelly Kellis, Victoria Trickle
3 Bobby Allison, Cody Cook
4 Dean Johnson, Evelyn Andrews, Doug Keller
5 J.D. McDuffie, Jim Paschal, Jim Hurtubise
6 Stacey Witzke, Christian Elder
7 Geoff Smith, Dylan Lupton, Paul Moore, Richmond Gage
8 Susan Adamczyk (sister), Garry Hill, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kerry Earnhardt, Jason Ratcliff, Nadine Lubejko, John Cohen, Zachary Jarrett
9 Tomy Drissi, Coy Gibbs, Brad Teague, Steve Richards
10 Mike Barrientos, Makayla Ann McSwain, Jerry Honeycut
11 Frankie Adamczyk, Mariah Belber, Eric McClure, Chris Horn, Tony Eury Sr.
12 Ed Watkins, Rick Pennington, Emerson Fittipaldi
13 Army National Guard, Jim Vandiver, Jarrett Andretti, David Stover, Mark Nickels, Michael Mumford
14 NASCAR (meeting at Streamline Hotel), Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Darrin Dykes, Steve Hmiel, Bob Tracey, Harry McMullen
15 Jeff Beck, Eli Gold, Lance McGrew
16 A.J. Allmendinger
17 Mike Beam, Dustin Long, Matt Martin, Montgomery Lee Petty, Bobby East
18 Ted Musgrave, Vic Irvan, Tom Polansky
19 Patty Moise, Paul Tracy, Sheldon Schrader, John Monsham
20 Erin Marco, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, Kinsley Parsons
21 Daniel Knost, Travis Kittleson, Michael McDowell
22 David Pearson
23 Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye
24 Fr. Steven Janoski, David Ragan, Krista Marie Allison, Mike Gooch
25 Jesus Christ, Charles Comstock, Randy Earnhardt, Jimmy Buffett, Starr Elliott, Butch Lamoreux, Curtis W. Key, Noel Schafer
26 Ben Kennedy, Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick
27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh
28 Jack Ingram, Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns
29 Waddell Wilson, Boston Reid, Mike Bagley, Owen Kearns Jr., Jessica Stroupe
30 Fred Lorenzen, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier
31 Ryan Blaney, Riley Craven, Benny Ertel, Joe Hicks, Dorthy Schrader, Beth Simons-Dykes, John Wes Townley