NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 1:45pm/et.
    Television (TV): NBCSN, 1:30pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 11:30pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #5-Kahne.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #1-McMurray.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com's Darlington Qualifying Page.(9-5-2015)

  • Bowyer to Stewart-Haas? in 2017? or to HScott Motorsports? UPDATE: the biggest question is Clint Bowyer, 36, who controls his future today as much as he did when he left Richard Childress Racing to join MWR. With no apparent openings at major teams for next season, Bowyer might need a placeholder ride for a year - much like Kasey Kahne when he drove for Red Bull Racing before joining Hendrick's four-car juggernaut. After that, Bowyer would have more options. The garage has been buzzing for a few months about the possibility of Bowyer joining Stewart-Haas Racing, but to replace who? Reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick is locked in. Danica Patrick just signed a multi-year contract extension. And co-owner Tony Stewart said Tuesday that Kurt Busch's extension will be done "soon." That could leave Stewart, who is struggling to be competitive and has his best years behind him at 44. Could Bowyer drive at SHR in 2017? SHR spokesman Mike Arning told USA TODAY Sports the team wasn't commenting "out of respect for the situation involving Michael Waltrip Racing and its personnel." In the meantime, it doesn't sound like hooking up with Ganassi for one year is an option for Bowyer if Kauffman buys into the team, as the owner stated he planned to. Kauffman said he and Bowyer "agreed we would go our separate ways at the end of the season and I wish him well in whatever direction he pursues."(USA Today)
    AND Perhaps the dissolution of MWR was the ticket Bowyer needed to move on. Despite entering the first year of a three-year renewal to drive the No. 15 Toyota, a dissolution of MWR would certainly enable Bowyer to pursue others options. In fact, he and Kaufmann have already agreed to go separate ways. If the rumor mill is right, Bowyer is headed to HScott Motorsports. Richard Petty Motorsports made Bowyer an offer several years ago and is interested in him again. But this is why HMS makes sense: Despite Harry Scott Jr. playing coy at Watkins Glen, following a salmon fishing trip with Bowyer in British Columbia, multiple sources say HScott Motorports could offer Bowyer a ride until a premiere seat opens up. Bowyer has been mentioned as the heir apparent for the #14 Chevy once Tony Stewart retires.
    Initially, the assumption was that Bowyer would join Kauffman in his move to Chip Ganassi Racing. However, the current plan for CGR in 2016 is to run just two teams. Bowyer's statement on Wednesday offered no indication of his future plans, other than it would not include Kauffman or MWR.(Motorsport)(8-20-2015)
    UPDATE: Claire B. Lang reported on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Friday evening that Clint Bowyer would move to HScott Motorsports in 2016 and then on to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017 to replace Tony Stewart.(9-5-2015)

  • Kurt Busch using digital dashboard at Darlington: #41-Kurt Busch has a little bit of the new amid his car decked out with a retro paint scheme this weekend at Darlington Raceway. Busch is experimenting with the digital dashboard that NASCAR will require teams to have in 2016. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver and team, comfortably in the Chase for the Sprint Cup figured Darlington would be the best place to test the digital dash. Their car at Darlington is an older car that they're not planning to use in the Chase, so they won't have to worry about rewiring or reconverting the dashboard. The dashboard weighs a pound, and the team has worked to try to get weight out of other parts of the dashboard to compensate for it, including an entirely new steering column, according to crew chief Tony Gibson. Teams are allowed to customize what information the dash provides and how, as well as the colors and size of the displays. The digital dash is expected to be more accurate than traditional gauges. Busch was the only driver working with the digital dash at Darlington. No teams have used it in the first three races since NASCAR approved its use in early August. Busch tested with the digital dash in June at Darlington. The team thought it best to test the new display before the Chase, deciding they didn't want to fiddle with experimental equipment with the championship on the line, Gibson said. NASCAR hopes that fans eventually will be able to see the exact data each driver has on the digital dash through NASCAR's website or apps. Gibson said if tire pressures are among the data teams can access, it would improve safety as well as help drivers know whether they should pit or if they have debris on the tires that is only making them feel as if a wheel is loose.(NASCAR)(9-5-2015)

  • NASCAR testing restart zone at Darlington: NASCAR is testing a new design of its "restart zone" in this weekend's Xfinity and Sprint Cup series races at Darlington Raceway. Currently the restart zone, which begins at the end of Turn 4 and marks the area where the race leader restarts the race, is marked with double red hash marks and concludes with a single red hash mark. To highlight the area for fans, drivers and NASCAR officials, the area between the hash marks is highlighted with green colors from sponsor American Ethanol and the words "Go Zone." In recent weeks, several drivers have complained about what they perceive is inconsistent calls on restarts from NASCAR. The new design is currently only planned for this weekend's races.(Motorsport)(9-5-2014)

  • Stewart's attorney submits potential witness list in wrongful death suit: Paperwork filed by Tony Stewart's attorney Friday lists a number of possible witnesses who could testify in the wrongful death lawsuit Stewart faces and what information they could provide. The information is a part of request by Stewart's side to transfer the case from U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to the federal court overseeing the Western District of New York. In the filing, Stewart's attorney lists individuals expected to be key witnesses in the case. They are:
    John Abraham, an investigator for Ontario County (N.Y.), who took Stewart's statement shortly after the accident.
    Brad Falkey, a detective with the Ontario County Sheriff's office who interviewed Stewart regarding the incident.
    Kevin Henderson, Ontario County coroner who performed the autopsy on Ward.
    Deputy William Martin of Ontario County Sheriff's office and is stated as being the lead investigator in the criminal investigation of Ward's death.
    Michael Rago of the Ontario County Sheriff's office, the first law enforcement official to speak with Stewart regarding the Aug. 9, 2014 incident.
    The motion also lists eyewitnesses and other non-party witnesses whose testimony may be pertinent in the matter.(NBC Sports)(9-5-2015)

  • Darlington Raceway Pole Notes & Facts - Saturday:
    · Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light Pole Award at Darlington in 1950 in an Oldsmobile with a speed of 82.034 mph.
    · 48 drivers have Coors Light poles at Darlington, led by David Pearson with 12. Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers with four.
    · Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Darlington. Kasey Kahne is the only active driver with consecutive Coors Light poles (2005-2006).
    · David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Darlington with five (1975 - 1977).
    · Eight drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Darlington Raceway: Cotton Owens (1957), Fred Lorenzen (1961), Bill Elliott (1981), Ken Schrader (1987), John Andretti (1995), Kurt Busch (2001), Elliott Sadler (2003) and Clint Bowyer (2007).
    · 20 of the 111 (18.02%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in last season's event.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson has won from the pole four times at Darlington - the series' most.
    · The Coors Light pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second-most wins (17).
    · 37 of the 111 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 20 from first-place and 17 from second-place.
    · 96 of the 111 (86.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Six of the 111 (5.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington is 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 - the inaugural NSCS event.
    · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway five times; most recently was the fall race of 2004.
    (NASCAR)(9-5-2015)

  • Garage tours available at Chicago: Chicagoland Speedway is now offering even more opportunities for race fans to enjoy the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend. On Saturday, September 19, fans with a Fan Zone Pit Pass, and accompanying grandstand or infield camping admission, will have the exclusive opportunity to experience the NASCAR XFINITY Series garages, providing a unique and educational experience. From 10:15am to 1:15pm, official Chicagoland Speedway tour guides will escort groups for a behind-the-scenes encounter through designated areas within the XFINITY Series garages. Registration for tours will begin at 10:00am on Saturday and will continue until all available passes are filled. Multiple tours will occur simultaneously with each tour accommodating 15 people and lasting for approximately 15 minutes. In addition to the garage experience, Fan Zone Pit Pass Holders have access to view the drivers' red carpet walk, participate in NASCAR personality question-and-answer sessions and spend pre-race in Gatorade Victory Lane. Following the myAFibRisk.com 400 checkered flag on Sunday, September 20, fans 21-years or older can visit the Miller Lite Pit Stop for a "Race Recap with Rusty." This special appearance by NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace will highlight Rusty's valuable insight regarding the world of motorsports, his evaluation of the race and its outcome and how the myAFibRisk.com 400 will impact the rest of the Chase.(Chicagoland Speedway)(9-5-2015)

  • Final practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over after 115 scheduled minutes, the top-five fastest, slowest and notes:
    #2-Keselowski 175.880
    #16-Biffle 175.729
    #41-Busch 175.723
    #27-Menard 175.484
    #3-Dillon 175.453
    slowest: #26-Yeley 168.307 & #33-Bliss 163.468.
    Notes: #18-Busch got into the wall and will go to a backup car. He does not have to start at the rear for the race. NASCAR is not holding technical inspection until tomorrow, because of the low-downforce package testing.
    Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at 1:45pm/et and will be televised on NBCSN.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap consecutive laps run on the Darlington Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(9-4-2015)

  • 1st practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over after 115 scheduled minutes, the top-five fastest, slowest and notes:
    #16-Biffle 176.201
    #41-Busch 175.842
    #14-Stewart 175.710
    #4-Harvick 175.654
    #19-Edwards 175.647
    slowest: #33-Bliss 165.292 & #98-Bell 164.976.
    Notes: #3-Dillon hit the wall coming off turn 2 for the first Darlington stripe of the weekend. The team will repair the car.
    Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 4:30pm/et on NBCSN. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at 1:45pm/et and will be televised on NBCSN.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap consecutive laps run on the Darlington Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(9-4-2015)

  • Wally Rogers out as McDowell's crew chief: Ownership of Leavine Family Racing has made a personnel change and crew chief, Wally Rogers, is no longer with the organization. "We appreciate everything Wally has done for this organization," said team owner Bob Leavine. "I'm committed to growing this race team and improving our on-track performance. Looking ahead to 2016, we are putting the pieces in place to improve the overall performance of this race team." The team will race at Richmond International Raceway as scheduled with Michael McDowell piloting the #95 Ford entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.(Leavine Family Racing)(9-4-2015)

  • Kvapil expects to run more Cup races this season: The racing season started strange for Janesville native Travis Kvapil. Back in March, his NASCAR Sprint Cup car and the trailer that contained it were stolen from a hotel parking lot near the Atlanta Motor Speedway the night before the team was due to qualify. Since then, Kvapil has been running for a few different teams in the Cup Series while running full-time in the Camping World Truck Series. The number of remaining Sprint Cup races that Kvapil will run is still week-to-week. "I would guess I'll run about half (of the Sprint Cup races remaining). I might also be in the #33 (Circle Sport Chevy), but for the most part I'll be driving the truck for the remainder of the truck schedule. Whatever Cup races come up, we'll see," he said. Kvapil's truck series team, MAKE Motorports, is also a newer, smaller team. With only eight races left on the truck series schedule, Kvapil thinks he'll be staying with MAKE Motorsports in the truck series next season. "It's all up in the air right now, but the team is in talks with sponsors, and we have some things looking good," Kvapil said. "It's too early to tell if it will pan out, but I plan on running trucks with them next year. Whatever Cup chances come up, I'll pursue them, but I won't do it for free and I'm not going to freak out if it doesn't happen. I've been around a long time, but I feel like I can still compete and win races at the Cup level," he said.(GazetteXtra)(9-4-2015)

  • Allmendinger to honor Justin Wilson for remainder of season: A.J. Allmendinger tweeted that he will drive the rest of the 2015 Sprint Cup season with the name of Justin Wilson above the door of his #47 Chevy. Wilson was injured in an accident during the IndyCar race at Pocono on August 23 and passed away the next day. Allmendinger and Wilson raced together several times, including five Rolex 24's.(9-4-2015)

  • Final 2015 start for Chase Elliott: Defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott will compete in his fifth and final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season Sunday. The 19-year-old Chevy driver is running a partial NSCS schedule this year as he prepares to take over for Jeff Gordon in the #24 car next year. Elliott's results in his first four NSCS races: Martinsville (38th), Charlotte (18th), Richmond (16th), Indianapolis (18th). Last season, Elliott won the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Darlington in his first-ever appearance at the track.(NASCAR)(9-4-2015)

  • Darlington Raceway Driver Notes & Facts - Friday:
    · 709 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 428 in more than one.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Darlington with 65. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 34 starts; followed by Tony Stewart with 22.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.824.
    · Jeff Gordon (6.8), Ryan Newman (8.6) and Kasey Kahne (9.1) are the only active three drivers with an average starting position in the top 10.
    · 125 different drivers have made NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career debut at Darlington Raceway.
    · 47 different drivers have won at Darlington Raceway, led by David Pearson with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven wins; followed by his HMS teammate Jimmie Johnson with three.
    · Six drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Darlington Raceway: Johnny Mantz (1950), Nelson Stacy (1961), Larry Frank (1962), Terry Labonte (1980), Lake Speed (1988) and Regan Smith (2011).
    · 13 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Darlington; Dale Earnhardt (1989-1990) and Jeff Gordon (1995-1996) are tied for the series-most in consecutive wins at Darlington with three each.
    · All seven active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Darlington Raceway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Among active drivers, Kyle Busch won at Darlington in the fewest previous appearances (three).
    · Matt Kenseth competed at Darlington Raceway 19 times before winning last season; the longest span of any the six active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    · Tony Stewart leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 22.
    · Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Darlington with eight each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with four.
    · Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Darlington with 25. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19; followed by Jimmie Johnson with nine.
    · Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 23; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart with 12 each.
    · Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 6.889.
    · Three active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (6.8), Kyle Larson (8.0) and Jimmie Johnson (8.4).
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Darlington with 1,744 laps led in 34 starts.
    · Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Danica Patrick, Janet Guthrie, Shawna Robinson
    (NASCAR)(9-4-2015)

  • Tim Duggar in concert prior to Richmond race: Want to get your Saturday night started on the right note? Come see rising country music singer Tim Dugger perform on the pre-race stage prior to the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, September 12th. With songs like "Way Past My Beer Time" and "You Know Who We Are," it's sure to be a good time. Making his first appearance at RIR, the Alabama native is no stranger to the sport. A lifelong NASCAR fan, Dugger has performed at several tracks across the NASCAR circuit ever since a chance meeting with Richard Childress at an Alabama nightclub got his foot in the door. From his debut single "(I Called Her) Tennessee" to his latest hit "Beer on a Boat," Dugger's music has been charming NASCAR and country music fans across the country. The unique twang in his voice reminds fans of country music stars such as George Jones, Merle Haggard, or Waylon Jennings, and fans can hear even more of it with a new EP dropping on iTunes later this month. And remember, fans are invited back out on the track for the Second Annual Post-Race Party presented by Outback. Join host Rutledge Wood for the party on the pavement, and celebrate into the night with the 16 drivers who've raced their way into The Chase.(RIR)(9-4-2015)

  • Texas announces new race weekend sponsors: Texas Motor Speedway announced the addition of Service King Collision Repair Centers and Charlie 1 Horse to its family of sponsors with both signing entitlement deals for the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader weekend scheduled for Nov. 5-8. Service King Collision Repair Centers, the Richardson, Texas-based company that operates 253 locations across 23 states, will serve as the event's qualifying day sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. Service King Qualifying Days will feature Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series qualifying Friday, Nov. 6, and XFINITY Series qualifying Saturday, Nov. 7. Charlie 1 Horse, the Garland, Texas-based manufacturer of the iconic cowboy hat awarded to the winning driver at Texas Motor Speedway, will culminate the race weekend excitement with the Charlie 1 Horse Running Rouge Post-Race Show featuring Roger Creager. The concert, free to all AAA Texas 500 ticketholders, will take place on the frontstretch infield approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the race. Creager, a native of Corpus Christi, has been playing some of Texas country music fans favorite songs since bursting onto the scene in 1998. The Charlie 1 Horse Running Rouge Post-Race Show featuring Roger Creager will be the second of two free concerts for fans attending the AAA Texas 500. Sammy Hagar and The Circle featuring Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson will perform during the Loud and Proud Pre-Race Show fueled by American Ethanol.(TMS)(9-4-2015)

  • Sad News - Dick Guldstrand: Corvette racer and Southern California hot-rod icon Dick Guldstrand passed away Sept. 2 at age 87. Guldstrand was one of the few remaining hot-rodders-turned-racers, whose exploits took him as far away as Le Mans and Indianapolis and as near as his first Guldstrand Motorsport shop in SoCal's Thunder Alley. By the early '60s Guldstrand was running Corvettes at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans. He went to Indianapolis in 1966 for the 500 but failed to qualify. For a while he drove a Grand Sport for Roger Penske. He drove Corvettes to victory all over the West Coast as well as at Daytona and in Trans-Am. He was in the movies, too. A friendship with "Grand Prix" cast members James Garner and Bob Bondurant lead to the creation of Garner's race team "American International Racing," after the movie wrapped. AIR fielded L88 Corvettes and Lola T70s at Daytona and Sebring, with leading sports car drivers of the day Scooter Patrick, Davey Jordan, Lothar Mothschenbacher and Guldstrand. The team also fielded a John Surtees Formula A/F5000 car in late 1969 that was featured in the documentary "The Racing Scene" starring James Garner as himself. When his racing days were over, he switched to tuning Corvettes, with a shop right in the middle of the old Thunder Alley in Culver City, with neighbors like Ed Iskenderian, Stuart Hilborn, and Troutman and Barnes. He moved the shop to Burbank in 2000 (AutoWeek). Guldstrand raced in seven Sprint Cup Series races from 1965-1972, six at Riverside and one at Ontario. His best Cup finish was a 5th at Riverside in 1970.(9-4-2015)

  • MWR begins process of ceasing operations: More than 200 people will lose their jobs in Cornelius as Michael Waltrip Racing Management Co. winds down its operations. According to a letter sent to the N.C. Commerce Department, 217 employees will be laid off in stages between Nov. 1 and April 15. The company said it is liquidating its assets, which is expected to be completed by mid-April. Michael Waltrip Racing is ceasing operations at its facilities at 20310 Chartwell Center Drive and 19340 Liverpool Parkway, both in Cornelius, according to the letter. Companies that employ at least 100 workers are required to file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) to the state's Commerce Department when they plan to lay off between 50-499 employees, if those workers make up at least one-third of their workforce. Charlotte businessman and race team owner Rob Kauffman said in August he was cutting his investment in Michael Waltrip Racing and closing the company amid poor results, both financially and on the racetrack. The organization hasn't won a race in more than two years. Heather Shaw, the company's director of human resources, could not be reached for comment after multiple attempts Wednesday.(Charlotte Observer)(9-3-2015)

  • Success of Darlington aero package could help set 2016 rules package: Don't be fooled by the throwback paint schemes that harken to a bygone era when the Southern 500 was an unbroken tradition at the Lady in Black. This Southern 500 is about NASCAR's future - not its past. With the return of the low downforce aerodynamic package and a more suitable tire from Goodyear, Sunday's Bojangles Southern 500 could offer fans a preview of the 2016 Sprint Cup rules packages. "There's a lot on the line for that race," said NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "We'll sit down with all our OEM partners, the race teams, talk through all the data we saw from all the races that we've run - including the 2015 package - and take a look at what's the best path forward, not necessarily one package for the entire year, but look at what works on specific racetracks and then go quickly to work and announce something here in the short term." Before the first throwback design debuted to celebrate a late summer Southern 500, the focus for Darlington switched to a low downforce aero package. A sampling of the configuration at Kentucky earned rave reviews particularly from the competitors. Still, pundits cautioned not to embrace the package just yet. Some noted that Kentucky's worn out asphalt typically encourages solid racing for an intermediate track. Others pointed to the potential of a Brad Keselowski blowout before miscues thwarted his early dominant performance (where he led half of the first 124 circuits). Yet as O'Donnell said, there is a lot riding on Sunday's race. NASCAR, race teams and Goodyear have worked overtime to develop a competitive product for the race track. However, unlike the hype surrounding the high drag aero configuration entering Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway, the early Darlington buzz has shifted from competition to throwback themes - including cars, hats and t-shirts - which is curious, considering the industry-wide preparation for this event. Goodyear had not one but two tire tests at Darlington prior to this weekend. The genesis for this weekend's tire combination dates back to a Charlotte test with the low downforce last December - and a subsequent test at CMS in March. At the first Darlington test in early June, only the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team played with the low downforce package. Goodyear returned on June 30 for the confirmation test with three Cup champions - Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski - running the low downforce configuration. Along with Goodyear, both teams and the sanctioning body have data from running this package (sans tires developed specifically for the configuration) at Kentucky to transfer this weekend's event.(Motorsport)(9-3-2015)

  • NASCAR increases penalties for wheels & ballast falling off: Citing safety, NASCAR announced Wednesday that crew chiefs and other key team members will receive a mandatory four-race suspension for a lost wheel or ballast falling off the car in each of the three national series. NASCAR stated that a minimum four-race suspension would be given to a crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier for a lost wheel due to improper installation. A crew chief, car chief and head engineer will receive a minimum four-race suspension for ballast falling off the car. NASCAR stated in its update to the rule book: "NASCAR has categorized certain serious safety infractions that create a significant risk of injury or damage (e.g. separation of ballast weight or wheel(s) from the vehicle) under the P3 category. NASCAR considers such infractions to be very serious in nature and has therefore included pre-determined minimum Penalties to address the severity of such violations. NASCAR further reserves the right to escalate such safety related Penalties to higher Penalty levels when the infraction is considered to be more egregious in nature or displays a higher degree of negligent behavior." NASCAR has penalized a Sprint Cup and two Xfinity teams this season for weight falling off a car.(NBC Sports)(9-3-2015)

  • Team Penske partners with LASIK Vision Institute: Team Penske and The LASIK Vision Institute announced a new partnership that will see the company serve as the Official Eye Care Provider of Team Penske. The LASIK Vision Institute will have its logo proudly displayed on the Team Penske #2 Ford Fusion in Richmond on Sept. 12 and the company will activate on-site at several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events through the remainder of the 2015 season beginning this weekend at Darlington Raceway. The LASIK Vision Institute plans to utilize its Team Penske relationship off the track as well by incorporating an extensive business-to-business program that will feature a customized corporate plan for other Penske partners. The company will also schedule appearances with 2015 Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano and 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski to help grow and maximize its presence at the racetrack this season. With a growing network of state-of-the-art facilities all across the country, The LASIK Vision Institute is the top national provider of laser vision correction. The LASIK Vision Institute utilizes proven, FDA approved LASIK technology for optimized results, and its highly skilled LASIK surgeons have performed more than one million procedures.(Team Penske)(9-3-2015)

  • Darlington Raceway Notes & History - Thursday:
    · Darlington Raceway was built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-1950.
    · Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt on Sept. 4, 1950 - 75 cars competed in the event - Curtis Turner won the pole at 82.034 mph, and the race was won by Johnny Mantz (Plymouth, 75.250 mph, 6:38:40).
    · The track was re-measured to 1.375 miles in 1953.
    · The track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race in 1970.
    · The track was repaved in 1995.
    · The 2005 race was the first Saturday night race at Darlington.
    · The track was repaved again prior to the 2008 season.
    (NASCAR)(9-3-2015)

  • Dover launches Kids Club website: Dover International Speedway announced the launch of a new microsite, MonsterMileYouthNation.com, dedicated to its kids club Monster Mile Youth Nation, which was introduced earlier this year. Featuring interactive games, infographics and links to detailed information about racing at the Monster Mile, the new site aims to enhance the young fan's experience and educate the next generation on the sport of NASCAR. For a limited time, fans that visit MonsterMileYouthNation.com can also learn about an exclusive race weekend opportunity for the first 100 fans. Hint: Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and David Ragan are involved. Along with games and links, users will find details and updates on special member events, Monster Mile Youth Nation announcements and blog posts on the new site. Content will be updated regularly. Annual membership for Monster Mile Youth Nation costs $20.(Dover International Speedway)(9-3-2015)

  • DAYTONA Rising September Project Update: Construction activities for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project continue to heat up during the summer months. The curtain wall, the outer covering for the new suite tower, is now complete as the construction team prepares for the next phases of development. "We're happy to see these major pieces falling into place," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "The suite tower is one of the key aspects of this project and we look forward to seeing it take shape in the months ahead." During the next several weeks, the construction team will finish the Suite Tower façade, including the exterior metal paneling and glass installation.(DIS)(9-3-2015)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Pays Tribute to "Tiger" Tom Baldwin: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that the #7 Chevy will be a throwback to Baldwin's racing roots and honor the memory of his dad, the late "Tiger" Tom Baldwin. The car design, with driver Alex Bowman behind the wheel, replicates the NASCAR Modified #7NY that Tom raced successfully throughout the Northeast. "I'm grateful to Darlington Raceway and NASCAR for creating the 'throwback' theme," said Tommy Baldwin. "My dad had a great influence on my career, where I started working in his shop and later became his crew chief. That ultimately led to where I am today. Having the opportunity to pay tribute to him and say 'thank you' means a lot to me and my family."(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint scheme page or see all the Bojangles' Southern 500 throwback schemes on the Darlington throwback schemes page.(9-2-2015)

  • Throwback schemes at Darlington: Several race teams have announced their throwback paint schemes for the Bojangles' Southern 500 with more to come. Thus far, 30 cars have been unveiled: #2-Brad Keselowski, #3-Austin Dillon, #4-Kevin Harvick, #5-Kasey Kahne, #6-Trevor Bayne, #7-Alex Bowman, #9-Sam Hornish, Jr., #10-Danica Patrick, #11-Denny Hamlin, #14-Tony Stewart, #15-Clint Bowyer, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #21-Ryan Blaney, #22-Joey Logano, #23-Jeb Burton, #25-Chase Elliott, #27-Paul Menard, #31-Ryan Newman, #32-Josh Wise, #33-Mike Bliss, #40-Landon Cassill, #41-Kurt Busch, #42-Kyle Larson, #43-Aric Almirola, #46-Michael Annett, #48-Jimmie Johnson #51-Justin Allgaier, #55-David Ragan, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(Darlington Raceway), images of the schemes can be seen on Jayski.com's Darlington Throwback paint schemes page.(8-25/9-3-2015)

  • Congrats Reed Sorenson: Congratulations to Reed Sorenson and wife Laura on the birth of their daughter, Ella, on Tuesday. Reed tweeted the news and some photos Wednesday morning.(9-2-2015)

  • Kahne's #5 to honor Hendrick Motorsports history at Darlington: This weekend's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is all about tradition. Kasey Kahne's ride will take that theme to the very start of Hendrick Motorsports. He will drive the #5 HendrickRideAlong.com Chevy SS, which harkens back to the organization's inaugural year -- 1984. The throwback paint scheme is based on the original All-Star Racing car driven by Geoff Bodine in 1984, the year Rick Hendrick founded what is now Hendrick Motorsports. That season, All-Star Racing fielded a one-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series effort with five full-time employees and 5,000 square feet of leased work space. Bodine drove the entire 30-race campaign in the #5 Chevy, winning three times. The team was renamed Hendrick Motorsports in 1985. The #5 Chevy's retro design features key elements from the #5 All-Star Racing Chevrolet, including the iconic red star with four stripes running down the quarter panel. Other highlights include thick red racing stripes running from the headlights to the spoiler with a red border along the. The car number will even revert to the same font style used in 1984.(Hendrick Motorsports), see images of the car on the #5 team paint scheme page or see all the Bojangles' Southern 500 throwback schemes on the Darlington throwback schemes page.(9-2-2015)

  • NBC releases details of Darlington coverage: Retro paint schemes are only part of the throwback celebration with the Southern 500's return to Labor Day weekend for the first time since 2003. NBC, which will broadcast Saturday's Xfinity race and Sunday night's Sprint Cup race from Darlington Raceway, also will add to the nostalgia. Among the nods to years past in Sunday's broadcast:
    " Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett and Dale Jarrett will call the race at some point, taking over briefly for NBC's crew of Rick Allen, Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte.
    " Features during the Countdown to Green show include Squier's essay on Darlington Raceway, Kyle Petty talking with Bill Elliott and Chase Elliott on the 30th anniversary of Bill Elliott's Southern 500 win that also earned him the Winston Million bonus, and Jeff Burton going around the track in the NBC Sports Toyota Camry On Track Car while Petty is on track as well in the Wood Brothers' #21 car from 1971.
    " Booth and studio talent will appear in 1970s-era clothing.
    " Also featured throughout the weekend will be retro highlights, graphics and music.
    "To bring it back on Labor Day, I think this is perhaps one of the best moves that NASCAR had made in a decade," Squier said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday about the Southern 500's return to this date.(NBC Sports)(9-2-2015)

  • Beds for Kids featured on the #26 at Darlington: BK Racing has partnered with NASCAR artist Sam Bass and Beds for Kids, a local Charlotte non-profit for the upcoming race weekend at Darlington Raceway. Beds for Kids is furnishing futures one family at a time. Founded in 2011, Beds for Kids is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to provide a bed and other essential furniture to every child and family in need. Careful research has been done and strategic partnerships have been established in order to create the best business practices to effectively develop new levels of self-sustainability for the clients Beds for Kids serves. Since 2011, Beds for Kids has directly impacted 3,933 individuals, delivered 3,179 beds and 24,686 total bed and furniture units to children and families in need. Beds for Kids continues to serve hundreds of families each year in an effective, long lasting and dignifying way. Sam Bass, an established figure in the NASCAR industry, is well known for his fine art paintings and illustrations. Sam has worked with several notable organizations including The NASCAR Foundation, Speedway Children's Charities and The Jeff Gordon Foundation over the years. Being the First Officially Licensed Artist of NASCAR, it's an honor to have Sam join both Bed for Kids and BK Racing.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #26 team paint schemes page.(9-2-2015)

  • MOOG decals on cars at Darlington will be throwbacks: Millions of racing fans following the Bojangles' Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina will see some motorsports history on the front fender of each car on the track. Federal-Mogul Motorparts' original MOOG Steering and Suspension brand's racing decal - first displayed by Cup competitors in 1966 - will be used by teams as part of a celebration of the return of the Southern 500 to Labor Day Weekend. MOOG, in its 50th year of Cup competition, is the official steering and suspension part supplier for NASCAR. The company said David Pearson, who in 1966 won the first of his three NASCAR championships and began the MOOG brand's 49-year streak of Cup titles, was among the first drivers to display the blue-and-yellow "MOOG High Performance Chassis Parts" decal. Mr. Pearson won 14 of 49 events that season running with MOOG parts. Aftermarket brands sold and distributed by Federal-Mogul Motorparts include ANCO wiper blades; Champion spark plugs, wipers and filters; AE, Fel-Pro, FP Diesel, Goetze, Glyco, Nüral, Payen and Sealed Power engine products; MOOG steering and suspension parts; and Ferodo, Jurid and Wagner brake products.(Tire Business)(9-2-2015)

  • Dave Moody to join NASCAR Race Hub each Monday: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio host Dave Moody, one of NASCAR's most popular and opinionated on-air personalities, will join NASCAR RACE HUB, the most-watched daily NASCAR show on television, every Monday beginning Monday, Sept. 7. Moody will host his live listener call-in show, SiriusXM Speedway, from the FOX Sports 1 studios in Charlotte, N.C., each Monday through the conclusion of the 2015 NASCAR season. While in-studio, Moody will join NASCAR RACE HUB live for a segment titled "The Pulse with Dave Moody" that will be simulcast on FOX Sports 1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. This segment offers NASCAR RACE HUB viewers the opportunity to hear both Moody and SiriusXM Speedway listeners as they discuss the previous weekend's race. The concept is the product of a relationship that began after Moody, also lead turn announcer for Motor Racing Network's NASCAR race coverage, sat down with NASCAR RACE HUB co-host Danielle Trotta on July 16 following her visit to his studio during a live show broadcast. FOX Sports 1 took viewers behind-the-scenes of Moody's program, offering a first-hand look at what goes into a live listener-participation radio show.(Fox Sports)(9-2-2015)


    The 'throwback' look for the Goodyear tire at Darlington in September.
    Image from Goodyear Racing's Twitter

  • Darlington Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run completely different tire set-ups at Darlington this weekend . . . in Sprint Cup, this set-up features the left-side tire code (D-4650) run at Indianapolis and the right-side tire code (D-4646) run at Kentucky earlier this summer . . . compared to what was run at Darlington last year - and in response to NASCAR's lower downforce package - this left-side features construction and mold shape changes, while this right-side features a compound change for more grip . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Darlington on June 30, after the new rules package was announced . . . drivers participating in that test were Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Darlington Race Info page.(9-2-2015)

  • Charlotte making changes to grass area on frontstretch: Charlotte Motor Speedway is working with turf specialists and track engineers to create a transition border between the pavement and the grass along the frontstretch as track officials prepare for October's Bank of America 500. Crews have graded down the grass and soil edging to create a 6-foot border that is the same level as the asphalt near the start/finish line. The six-foot transition border will include a new sand/soil mix with newly planted rye grass. Crews are installing 140 tons of the new sand/soil mixture. By the time the October 8-10 race weekend rolls around, the grass will be smoother and lower than the regular infield grass where the traditional grass-painting is located. The project is designed to create a smoother, safer surface for drivers, and cause less potential damage on the splitter and front end of the cars.(Fox Sports)(9-2-2015)

  • Laps for Charity returns to Kentucky Speedway: The Kentucky Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities will host its Fourth Annual Laps for Charity from 9:00am-12:00pm on Saturday, September 19 at Kentucky Speedway. Weather permitting, this fundraiser will be held one week prior to the track's September race weekend, which includes the ARCA Racing Series Crosley 150 and NASCAR XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300. This family-friendly event allows fans the opportunity to drive five laps around the track in their street-legal personal vehicles and have their photo taken in Victory Lane. The cost for this opportunity is $40 per vehicle. Drivers may purchase additional rides of five laps for $30 apiece. Each five-lap ride is an entry for the driver to win the door prize, a 1:24 Dale Earnhardt Jr. diecast. All funds raised from this event are put directly back into the tri-state community through SCC's annual grant distribution program, where funding is provided to non-profit children's organizations who care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need.(Kentucky Speedway)(9-2-2015)

  • Truex Jr.'s Darlington Car to Promote National Ovarian Cancer Awareness: With September designated as National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Martin Truex Jr.'s Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevy will showcase a teal appearance for Sunday night's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The teal look, which is the official ribbon color for ovarian cancer awareness, will be displayed on the hood, roof, quarter panels and rear bumper (TV panel) of Truex's #78 race car. Truex's steering wheel and gloves will also have a teal appearance. Thanks to the spirited volunteer work of Truex's girlfriend Sherry Pollex, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than a year ago, a number of Sprint Cup Series drivers will also be involved in the fundraising effort to help raise awareness, advocacy and research for ovarian cancer during the Darlington race weekend. Danica Patrick will have a teal-accented steering wheel in her #10 GoDaddy Chevy. She will also wear the teal-accented race gloves as will #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #31-Ryan Newman and #5-Kasey Kahne. With support from the NASCAR Foundation, Truex's and Patrick's teal-inspired steering wheels and the teal gloves worn by Truex, Patrick, Kahne and Newman will be autographed and auctioned off at nascarfoundation.org/go-teal. Earnhardt's gloves will be auctioned off as part of his Driven To Give campaign to benefit Teal Diva, an ovarian cancer awareness charity out of Charlotte. He will be wearing the teal gloves at all the September Sprint Cup races. NASCAR has also approved the teal ribbon to be placed on the Sprint Cup Series race cars.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the car on the #78 team paint schemes page.(9-1-2015)

  • Darlington officials say response to throwback schemes "incredible": The idea was to start slow and build on this year's initial effort. But based on the reaction from teams, drivers, sponsors and others in the industry, Darlington Raceway officials might want to raise their goals going forward. This week's Bojangles' Southern 500 NASCAR weekend is the kickoff of a five-year plan to celebrate the history and heritage of the legendary race track. As part of the celebration, race teams will feature throwback paint schemes on their cars. Concessions will include items that haven't been on the menu in decades -- fried green tomatoes, sausage perlo and pimento cheese sandwiches. The annual Southern 500 parade, idled since the early '90s, returns. Even ticket prices (for renewal customers) were given the throwback treatment -- $18 seats in the Colvin Grandstands, which is located on the original frontstretch of the 1.336-mile track. But it's the paint schemes that have everyone buzzing. More than 30 of the 43 entries lining up are expected to carry the special one-race look. "Our goal," Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile told NASCAR.com, "was eight to 10. This is a five-year platform; this isn't a one-year deal. We felt like if we could get eight or 10 teams on board to really showcase what we're trying to accomplish, we felt like in 2016 we could get more, in 2017 we would get more and so on. But the response that we've gotten from everyone in the industry has been incredible." The era the track is celebrating this year runs from 1970 through '74, Wile said, but "for the teams we just wanted them to celebrate something in the past. It could be from five years ago or it could be something from 50 years ago. The pre-race concert will feature Grand Funk Railroad, which earned its first No. 1 single on the Billboard chart in '73. Country music's Tanya Tucker will sing the national anthem. "Two very iconic early '70s artists that are going to be a part of our weekend and really tie it all together," Wile said.(NASCAR.com), images of all the schemes can be seen on Jayski.com's Darlington Throwback paint schemes page.(9-1-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Darlington:
    #24-Jeff Gordon .......... 112.7
    #11-Denny Hamlin .......... 107.1
    #48-Jimmie Johnson .......... 106.8
    #18-Kyle Busch .......... 106.1
    #16-Greg Biffle .......... 105.7
    #5-Kasey Kahne .......... 97.9
    #31-Ryan Newman .......... 95.8
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr .......... 94.3
    #20-Matt Kenseth .......... 93.2
    #4-Kevin Harvick .......... 93.1
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (10 total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway. Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(9-1-2015)

  • 'Real Racing 3' app gets NASCAR addition: Electronic Arts' wildly popular Real Racing 3 app has been downloaded more than 180 million times on phones and tablets worldwide. The game, so established that it's included in the "Essentials" section of the App Store, is a worldwide hit featuring a variety of different forms of racing. But users have never been able to experience NASCAR as part of Real Racing 3 - until now. On Monday, EA unveiled a NASCAR-themed update to the app, which has a variety of star drivers' stock cars for users to unlock over a six-week period. The update centers around the Sept. 12 Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway, which serves as NASCAR's final regular season race. The game, a free download, starts with players putting themselves in the seat of an up-and-coming driver trying to break into the Sprint Cup Series. After graduating from the NASCAR Academy (a tutorial), players must complete a series of levels before gaining access to the Richmond race, where they can compete in a full 43-car field. Though the NASCAR update will live for only a short time, any cars unlocked by users in the six-week period can be used for the rest of the game. That's big exposure for NASCAR, which will suddenly be spotlighted for players from Europe to Asia and everywhere in between. In addition, it should provide the sport a boost in its ongoing efforts to connect with the millennial audience.(USA Today)(9-1-2015)

  • When the Smoke Clears at Richmond, the Party Begins: From Top Gear, to NBC and now to the RIR stage; entertaining and engaging NASCAR reporter Rutledge Wood will join Richmond International Raceway on September 12th as host of the Second Annual Post-Race Party, presented by Outback Steakhouse. After the "Last Race to Make The Chase" sets the field for the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, fans are invited down on the track to celebrate with the 16 elite drivers who's championship dreams are still alive. Be there as Wood brings the sports stars out one by one to the party on the pavement. With new presenting sponsor, Outback Steakhouse, on board, RIR plans to ignite the night with all of the things that create the best party in NASCAR. It's hype. It's loud. It's NASCAR America meets Miami nightclub. It's the first time fans will see all 16 drivers who get onto the Chase Grid. And it's going to be bigger than last year. Who will race their way into one of those final spots in the Chase, and who will be left on the outside looking in? Be there to make your allegiance known as they cross the Post-Race Party stage following the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday September 12.(RIR)(9-1-2015)

  • Cassill and Wise racing...in Ironman World Championship UPDATE: A weekend off is just another chance for Landon Cassill and Josh Wise to race. While fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors relax on a beach, some other exotic locale or at home this weekend, Cassill and Wise will compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria. There will be little time for sightseeing, even though this is Cassill's first trip to Europe. The race, held Sunday and shown on NBCSN later this year, is half the distance of a full Ironman triathlon with a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. Cassill attempted to qualify for the world championship in June at Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, but his time of 4 hours, 47 minutes - hindered by cramping during the run - was not good enough to do so. Wise and Cassill's dad each qualified for Austria at that event. That led to Cassill competing in a half Ironman the day of the Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in July. He drove in the Xfinity race the night before, flew to Muncie, Ind., got a couple of hours of sleep, competed in the event and then drove in the Cup race that night, finishing 28th. His time of 4:36.44 at Muncie - a personal best - placed him high enough to qualify for the world championships, which is expected to have about 2,700 athletes from more than 70 countries. Cassill says that if he can finish in 4:30, he believes he could place in the top 75. Another goal is to be in the top 20 after the swim because he says that has been his strong point. He's hoping to run the half marathon in about 90-95 minutes.(NBC Sports)(8-28-2015)
    UPDATE: Casill and Wise completed the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria within 6 minutes of one another.
    The results for Landon Cassill: 103rd in the male 25-29 division, 867th overall, total time 5:06:04 (27:50 swim, 2:37:47bike, 1:51:32 run)
    The results for Josh Wise: 180th in the male 30-34 division, 1016th overall, total time 5:12:04 (30:38 swim, 2:39:54 bike, 1:52:26 run)
    Wise posted a photo to Instagram and said, "Was somehow smiling at this point. I somehow saved one of my worst performances for the Worlds! That climb over the alps was nasty! I knew I was in trouble when I crested the top of the mountain and my quads went into full cramp! Made for a LONG 13 mile run...Congrats to my buddy [Landon Cassill] as well. We have come a long way in this".(8-31-2015)

  • Harvicks' sell home: NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick and his wife, DeLana Harvick, have sold their 12,000-square-foot Oak Ridge estate for $2.3 million. The mansion, located at 8419 Haw River Road, was sold to Andrew and Becky A. Coney. The Coneys are officers with Powerscreen Mid-Atlantic Inc., a Kernersville supplier of mobile crushing, screening and washing equipment. Tyler Redhead and McAlister in Greensboro represented the sellers. The listing price was originally $3.5 million. The home was listed as having "soaring ceilings on all levels" as well as "European-inspired balconies" and "multiple outdoor living spaces" on 20 acres. The property also includes gardens and a salt-water pool with cabana.(Triad Business Journal)(8-31-2015)

  • Chase clinch scenarios at Darlington: Drivers have just two races left to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup - Darlington and Richmond. As of now, 11 drivers are qualified for NASCAR's playoffs with wins as long as they start the next two races and remain in the top 30 in points: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #18-Kyle Busch, #20-Matt Kenseth, #4-Kevin Harvick, #22-Joey Logano, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #41-Kurt Busch, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #2-Brad Keselowski, #11-Denny Hamlin and #19-Carl Edwards.
    The five remaining drivers on the Chase Grid have to either visit Victory Lane or stay high enough in the points standings where they don't get bumped by a new winner outside the top 16. These drivers are #1-Jamie McMurray (76 points above the cutoff line), #43-Ryan Newman (+63), #27-Paul Menard (+54), #24-Jeff Gordon (+52) and #15-Clint Bowyer (+35).
    The winless drivers who have won at Darlington in the past and have yet to earn Chase berths this season are Gordon and Greg Biffle.
    The winless drivers who have won at Richmond in the past and have yet to earn Chase berths this season are Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.
    For the first time, a winless CAN clinch a spot in the Chase. If a repeat driver wins at Darlington, a winless driver would need to have a 45 point lead on the fifth-highest of the winless drivers (or 44 points, depending on tie-breakers). If there is a new winner, a winless driver would need to lead the fourth-highest winless driver by 45 points (or 44, depending on tie-breakers).(NASCAR)(8-31-2015)

  • Sad News - Richard Brown: Richard Daniel Brown, 75, of Claremont, NC passed away on Thursday, August 27, 2015 from renal disease at Catawba Valley Medical Center. Born April 9, 1940 in Catawba County to the late George McFarland Brown and Maude Ruth Baker Brown. Richard was a 1958 graduate of Bunker Hill High School and a graduate from Nashville Auto Diesel College in 1959. He was a member of St. Marks ELCA in Claremont for 45 years, served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and Berlin Crisis, and retired from NCDOT where he worked as a crew leader for many years. Richard was also a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver [raced in 50 Cup races 1971-1976 with one top-five and three top-tens, with a best finish of 5th at Martinsville in 1972].(service info and full obituary at Bennett Funeral Service website)(8-30-2015)

  • Wise has ride for RIR & NHMS: Josh Wise is scheduled to run the #30 Chevy of The Motorsports Group (TMG) at Richmond and New Hampshire in September (TMG30 Twitter). The team has attempted 10 races in 2015, qualifying for two: at Atlanta with Ron Hornaday and at Richmond with Jeff Green. The team made an attempt at Bristol with Travis Kvapil as the driver, but failed to qualify for the race.(8-30-2015)

  • Stewart responds to wrongful death suit UPDATE: Tony Stewart claims he did not see Kevin Ward Jr. until just prior to his sprint car striking the 20-year-old driver and that Ward actually tried to make contact with Stewart's car in the accident that resulted in Ward's death. Stewart's local attorney, Brian Gwitt, filed the Stewart response Friday to the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Ward's parents. The response, filed in U.S. District Court in Utica, N.Y., states that Stewart didn't even know who it was on the track at the time, and that Ward was responsible for his own death because he not only walked out on to an active race track but also because he was under the influence of marijuana at the time. The three-time Sprint Cup champion has never talked publicly about what happened that night, other than to say it was "100 percent an accident."
    "Stewart did not see Ward, Jr. or anyone else walking on foot on the track until just prior to contact, and did not know the identity of the person walking on the track until afterwards," the Stewart response states. "Stewart was not aware that Ward, Jr. had crashed because the crash was behind him, and was not aware that anyone was walking on the track. "Stewart did not know Ward, Jr., and had never had a pervious track incident with him. Ward, Jr. approached Stewart's car and attempted to make contact with it. As a result of Ward. Jr.'s actions, Ward, Jr. was killed." Stewart, in his answer to the complaint, denies the allegations that his actions resulted in Ward's death. He claims that the Ward's father, who owned the car, also had a responsibility to make sure his driver did not use drugs prior to the event. Stewart also said that the Wards gave up their right to sue other participants in the race as part of the waiver signed to compete in the event. No trial date has been set. A scheduling conference is set for Oct. 8.ESPN.com)(8-29-2015)
    UPDATE: A lawyer for a racecar driver who was killed when he was run over by Tony Stewart's car says legal claims by the NASCAR star in response to a lawsuit are "appalling." Attorney Mark Lanier said Saturday in an email that Kevin Ward Jr. was killed last year as he walked on a dirt track in upstate New York even though Stewart is one of the world's best drivers. The lawyer noted five other cars drove around Ward during a yellow caution flag before Stewart "revved his engine and ran him over." He called Stewart's legal papers in response to the lawsuit "appalling." Lanier said Saturday that Stewart did not take a drug or blood test following the tragedy.(Associated Press)(8-30-2015)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. waiting on 2016 schedule to set wedding date: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has said he and Amy Reimann plan to wed next summer after getting engaged June 17 in Germany. With NASCAR racing nearly every weekend, there will be few options for them to choose a summer wedding. Earnhardt will be in a friend's wedding this weekend - the final off weekend of the Sprint Cup season - and is looking forward to his wedding. "I'm probably going to be doing it this time next year," Earnhardt said. "Once we get that damn schedule. I've been asking (NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike) Helton since New Hampshire what's going on." NASCAR's officials have suggested that the 2016 schedule should be released in early September.(NBC Sports)(8-30-2015)

  • Congrats to Chad Knaus....married: The big day has finally arrived for Chad Knaus and his fiancee, former Miss Sprint Cup Brooke Werner, as the two are tying the knot during the rare off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series. Knaus, the six-time champion crew chief for Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports, has been in a relationship with Werner since last summer. Werner, a former Miss Vermont USA, stepped down from her role as Miss Sprint Cup in March 2014 during her second year on the job.(Fox Sport)(8-29-2015)

  • Saturday's XFINITY race could be the last for Boris Said: Saturday's race at Road America marks the finale of a five-race NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule for veteran road racer Boris Said this year in Joe Gibbs Racing's #54 Toyota. On Friday, Said hinted that the event could signify another finale on a much broader scale. "Man, this is like the best Christmas present I ever got in my life," Said said after Friday's final practice at the 4.048-mile track. "I've been racing for over 30 years. I'm going to be 53 in a couple weeks. In the last three or four years, I've been racing cars that don't have a prayer to win, underfunded teams. It's still fun, but not fun not being competitive. So, to get an opportunity to drive for Monster and Joe Gibbs and Toyota in equipment like this, it was a dream come true. To finally run in the top five at Watkins Glen, it kind of shows, hey maybe it's not my age, it was just the equipment. It's just been one of the most fun years I've ever had doing these five races with these guys. Now that it's last one, it might be the last NASCAR car race I ever run, I don't know. But it sure is a cool way to go out." If Saturday proves to be Said's swan song, his record will show one XFINITY victory, one Camping World Truck Series win and two Sprint Cup pole positions in a career that dates back to 1995 in NASCAR national series competition.(NASCAR.com)(8-29-2015)

  • Congrats to Matt DiBenedetto: who was married to girlfiend Taylor Carswell on Friday. DiBenedetto tweeted, "Today is the day that I get to marry my best friend Taylor! I'm lucky to get such a beautiful, sweet woman for the rest of my life!". DiBenedetto drives the #83 for BK Racing.(8-29-2015).

  • Drivers to appear at youth autograph session at Talladega: Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, AJ Allmendinger and Ryan Blaney are scheduled to appear for a Talladega Superspeedway special youth autograph session during the Alabama 500/fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola race weekend upcoming Oct. 23-25. On Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10:45am/ct in the track's Hospitality Village, located behind the Birmingham Tower outside the frontstretch, the first 100 kids (12-and-under) to arrive will have the chance to get an autograph from each driver (limit one per child and time permitting). Participants will be allowed to start lining up for the youth autograph session at 10:00am/ct. Talladega Superspeedway has great ticket offers for kids 12 & under for both Saturday and Sunday, which will showcase the final race of the Contender Round in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup in which the list of 12 eligible drivers to the title will be reduced to eight at the checkered flag. Those kids' deals include $50 off the regular price throughout the lower grandstands and towers while they can sit free in the fourth turn Gadsden grandstand while supplies last.(TSS)(8-29-2015)

  • Bayne, Advocare go back to 1998 with Mark Martin Throwback at Darlington: AdvoCare and Roush Fenway Racing driver Trevor Bayne have gone back in time to 1998 for their paint scheme on the #6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion in preparation for the "Southern 500" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington. The scheme, which was featured on the #6 Ford during one of the most successful runs in NASCAR history, harkens back to the 1998 and 1999 seasons when it was driven by former Roush Fenway driver Mark Martin. During that timeframe, Martin recorded nine wins, 41 top-five finishes, 52 top-10 finishes and had an overall average finish of ninth in the combined 77 races run in the two NSCS seasons. During that two-year span Martin led an astonishing 2,430 laps. Bayne and the #6 team will run the scheme as a part of Darlington's "Tradition Returns" program, which will feature several NASCAR throwback schemes from various teams throughout the Labor Day weekend. "It's a huge honor to run this paint scheme in Darlington," said Bayne. "This scheme was so successful in the late 90's with Mark (Martin) driving it and it's really cool to see it back on the track and on #6 Roush Fenway Ford again." The #6 was Roush Fenway's first NASCAR entry and served as the flagship team for the organization during its first 20 years. During that span Martin drove the #6 Ford to 35 wins and forever forced the number's historical significance in NASCAR history.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(8-28-2015)

  • Stewart-Haas extends partnership with Atlas Copco North America: Stewart-Haas Racing has extended its partnership with Parsippany, New Jersey-based Atlas Copco North America. Atlas Copco has served as SHR's official compressed air supplier since the team's inception in 2009 and has grown to become a technical partner of the organization. Last season, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, provided new compressed air equipment and installed its SMARTLINK monitoring technology into SHR's new, state-of-the-art race shop expansion located adjacent to the team's existing headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina. SMARTLINK provides 24/7 remote monitoring of the team's compressed air system to ensure continuous uptime and peak performance.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(8-28-2015)

  • NASCAR Chase Fest returns to Chicago: Chicago will once again host the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with one of the biggest NASCAR themed parties of the season, NASCAR Chase Fest sponsored by Toyota. The free outdoor fan fest will feature all 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Challengers and culminate with a live concert by Grammy-nominated band, 3 Doors Down. NASCAR Chase Fest will take place on Weed Street between Fremont and Kingsbury streets from 2:00-9:00pm/ct on September 17. NASCAR Chase Fest will feature appearances and autograph sessions from all 16 drivers competing in the Challenger Round, as well as a number of recognizable NASCAR personalities. Fans in attendance will be treated to food from renowned Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, beverages from Coors Light (with proper ID), attractions such as the Toyota Ferris Wheel and NASCAR on NBC Sports Bumper Cars, activations from event sponsor Sprint including an appearance by Miss Sprint Cup and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Trophy, and another live musical performance by a Chicago favorite, country cover band the Suburban Cowboys. Additionally on-site, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) personalities Krista Voda, Kyle Petty, Marty Snider and Rutledge Wood will interview all 16 Challengers for the network's live broadcast of NASCAR America.(NASCAR)(8-28-2015)

  • Almirola's Darlington scheme a throwback to Petty in 1972 A throwback conversation wouldn't be complete without the iconic #43 STP Ford and neither would the throwback The Tradition Returns weekend at Darlington Raceway. Joining in on the retro paint schemes, Aric Almirola will pilot the 1972 "Petty Blue" and Day-Glo Red #43 STP paint scheme, originally driven by "The King" Richard Petty. STP will also have special guests at the track during its return to Labor Day weekend. Members of the 1972 crew will join STP and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team for the Bojangles Southern 500. 1972 marked the first year for STP and Petty's longstanding relationship and the first year the No. 43 sported Day-Glo Red on the quarter panels. It's only fitting that the company throwback to their first year in NASCAR racing with "The King" during The Tradition Returns weekend. In a storied history, Petty raced with the STP logo on the hood of his #43 race car for 21 years before he retired as a driver and scored 60 of his 200 wins during that time. Along with crew chief Dale Inman, crew members Richie Barsz, fabricator, Tex Powell, mechanic and Jackman, Les Barsz, mechanic and transporter driver, Billy Biscoe, mechanic and gas man, Jimmy "Zoomer" Kovalchik, fabricator and tire carrier, and Barry Dodson, painter, will return to the track where they finished third in the 1972 Southern 500.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(8-27-2015)


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Next Race: Bojangles' Southern 500

Countdown to Race Time: 9/6/2015 ~7:20pm/et

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