NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • UPDATED Entry List for the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #14-Jeff Burton in for Stewart, #32-Yeley, #33-Stremme, #37-Blaney, #66-Moffitt (instead of Nemechek), #95-McDowell.
    #83-Truex is listed, but his status has not been announced.
    Since only 43 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Bristol Entry List

  • New sponsor for Leavine Family Racing debuts at Bristol: Not only is it one of the most anticipated races of the season for NASCAR race fans, but Leavine Family Racing and Michael McDowell, driver of the #95 Thrivent Financial Ford Fusion, are also eager to return to Bristol Motor Speedway for the IRWIN Tools Night Race this Saturday, Aug. 23. McDowell and the #95 team had a very strong run during the spring Bristol race that ended abruptly in an accident. After two rain delay periods, McDowell had climbed his way up to the Top-15 when an on-track accident occurred causing heavy damage to the No. 95 and relegating the team to a 37th place finish. McDowell's #95 Ford Fusion will have a new paint scheme this weekend - a white and red scheme featuring Thrivent Financial, a new sponsor for LFR and the organization's first time in NASCAR. Leavine Family Racing recently created a time-lapsed video that documented the transition to the new paint scheme. A Bristol tradition, drivers get to choose their entrance song for driver introductions during the pre-race ceremony. In honor of the new sponsorship, McDowell has chosen "Thrive" by Casting Crowns. McDowell will have an extended role in the Bristol Motor Speedway ceremonies and will give the invocation prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. As part of its sponsorship with the team, Thrivent Financial is running a #DrivenToThrive sweepstakes and giving away McDowell's Thrivent firesuit and pieces of the #95 race car to fans who enter to win at www.thrivent.com/driventothrive. For each entry, Thrivent will donate $1 to support wounded veterans through the Operation Heal Our Patriots program. Thrivent will donate up to $10,000 as part of this initiative and its mission to live life generously.(LFR), see an image of the car/scheme on the #95 Team Schemes page.(8-21-2014)

  • Red Buck Premium Cigars co-sponsoring #32 at Bristol: Red Buck Premium Cigars will co-sponsor the Go FAS Racing #32 Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series "Irwin Tools Night Race" at the Bristol. "The Irwin Tools Night Race is one of the marquee events on the Sprint Cup Series schedule, Ross Haynes, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Red Buck Premium Cigars, said. "We are excited to be marketing our Red Buck Premium brand under the lights in Bristol. I know Go FAS driver, J.J. Yeley will do his best to dodge all obstacles Bristol has to offer and bring the Red Buck car home with the best possible finish. After the race we look forward to celebrating with J.J. and the crew by enjoying some Red Buck Premium brand cigars." Red Buck Premium cigars are hand rolled with the finest of tobaccos and offered to retailers throughout the United States. Red Buck Premium is a product of Russell Springs, KY-based Tantus Tobacco Sales LLC. The goal is to make the highest quality premium cigars offered at an affordable price.(Go FAS Racing)(8-21-2014)

  • Wurth returns to sponsor Keselowski: This weekend, the #2 Team Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski will feature the red and white Wurth paint scheme. This marks the third race of the season for the Wurth Ford and its first time racing under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway (Team Penske). Wurth is scheduled to be the sponsor at one more race in 2014, no word which race. See images car/scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(8-21-2014)

  • Fans can vote for Newman's Dover scheme - vote thru August 23rd: Quicken Loans has launched a contest for fans to design a paint scheme for the #31 Quicken Loans Chevy to run at Dover on September 28. One lucky winner will win a trip to Dover International Speedway and see their car design in action on the high-banked oval. More info at QLRacing.com. The deadline to submit a paint scheme was August 3rd.(RCR)(7-27-2014)
    UPDATE: Quicken Loans has selected the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, Autism Speaks and Folds of Honor as three charities to benefit from its "Paint Your Way to Dover" online contest. Fans can vote on three paint scheme options for the #31 car of Richard Childress Racing driver Ryan Newman being raced at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 28, as well as select a charity to potentially receive $10,000. Help the Childress Institute raise awareness about the needs of seriously injured children by visiting Quicken Loans "Paint Your Way to Dover" site at QLRacing.com. Voting ends Aug. 23.(8-21-2014)

  • Germain Racing picks up associate sponsors: The Seminole Pride Noble juice brand, which is majority owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc., has signed on to be an associate sponsor of the #13 GEICO Chevy by Casey Mears for Germain Racing in the 2014 "Irwin Tools Race Night" at Bristol Motor Speedway. The race marks the first time the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. has sponsored a car in a NASCAR race. The Seminole Pride Noble juice brand and its website, www.noblejuice.com, will appear on the trunk of the #13 GEICO Chevy.
    Southern Classic will return as an associate sponsor on the #13 GEICO Chevy at Bristol. Southern Classic Auto Wash and Lube Center, has four locations in the Tri-City Tennessee community. Southern Classic proudly features the liquid engineering found in Castrol oil changes and preventive maintenance for your vehicle.(Germain Racing)(8-21-2014)

  • Jimmie Johnson Foundation Cane Creek Sprint Triathlon results: It was a team effort on Tuesday evening as #48-Jimmie Johnson had some company competing in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Cane Creek Sprint Triathlon in speedy style. The course consisted of a 500-yard, open-water swim, a 13-mile bike ride and a 5K run. Johnson's time was 1:06:43 - ninth overall and first in his age group. Crew Chief Chad Knaus had a time of 1:30:49; Engine tuner John Boydston finished in 1:16:22; Shock specialist Mike Ellershaw crossed the finish line in 1:19:07; tire specialist Kyle Collins had a time of 1:20:00 and engineer Dave Elenz brought it home in 1:32:23.(HMS)(8-21-2014)

  • First Campers Have Arrived For Atlanta Race Weekend: The first campers have arrived for the Oral-B USA 500 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, nine days before NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series haulers enter the Speedway for the event. All of the Speedway's exterior campgrounds open Saturday, Aug. 23 for both tent and RV units. Infield and trackside terrace spaces open to guests on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. A limited number of camping spaces in all campgrounds are available for the Labor Day Weekend of NASCAR night racing for visitors with either tent camping or RV units. In addition to coveted spaces in Atlanta Motor Speedway's infield, campground spots outside the track within easy walking distance to Atlanta Motor Speedway's Fan Zone and Grandstands are also available. Tent camping starts at $100 for both unreserved and reserved spaces outside the track. Unreserved RV spaces begin at $60 while a reserved RV space for the Labor Day race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway is $100. The only remaining camping spaces with complete water, power and electrical hook ups are in Trackside Terrace. These spaces, which come with 10 admission tickets for each day of race weekend, provide a prime view of Atlanta Motor Speedway from either the backstretch or overlooking turn one. Complete information on all of Atlanta Motor Speedway's camping options for Labor Day Weekend is available by calling (770) 946-4211. For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Labor Day weekend of night racing, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(8-21-2014)

  • Stewart to skip Bristol: Tony Stewart has decided not to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Veteran driver Jeff Burton, a winner of 21 Sprint Cup races, will pilot the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in place of Stewart for the second straight week. Burton subbed for Stewart last weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Burton has 40 Sprint Cup starts at Bristol, which includes a victory in the 2008 Food City 500. This driver change pertains only to Bristol. Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined.(SHR)(8-20-2014)

  • Bristol Notes & Facts - Wednesday - track history:
    Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile.
    First NASCAR Sprint Cup race was July 30, 1961; Jack Smith won the event (with relief from Johnny Allen).
    In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles.
    The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978.
    The first night race was held in the fall of 1978.
    The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992.
    The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May 1996.
    The track was resurfaced between races in 2007, and the turns were ground down in 2012 to eliminate part of the progressive banking.
    All races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps. (NASCAR)(8-20-2014)

  • Lowe's goes back to blue on the #48: After a series of subpar finishes, Jimmie Johnson reached out to Lowe's to ask if the partner could switch up the paint scheme on the #48 Chevy. Lowe's, a 13-year sponsor of Johnson, agreed wholeheartedly. The blue-and-white paint scheme first appeared on Johnson's Chevrolet for the 2012 season and Johnson wrapped up his sixth championship in 2013 in the familiar blue scheme. This car has visited Victory Lane five times since its debut. Johnson chose "Let the Good Times Roll" by The Cars for his introduction song at Bristol Motor Speedway.(HMS/TeamLowes), see images of the 'new' blue scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2014)

  • Grassroots campaign hopes to show support for Tony Stewart: #14-Tony Stewart has taken his share of fan criticism from the electronic media regarding his actions on the evening of August 9, when his sprint car collided with fellow racer Kevin Ward, Jr., 20, who was on foot following an on-track incident. Ward, as you are likely aware, was upset with the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and left his car to confront Stewart, whose car was still under power. Ward was killed. The criticism of Stewart involves to what extent - indeed, if at all - Stewart should share the blame. Stewart's fans have responded, via Twitter, Facebook, email and other electronic outlets, to mount a grassroots campaign supporting Stewart this Saturday night at the NASCAR Irwin Tools 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The suggestion is a simple one: Stand up on lap 14, which is the number of Stewart's NASCAR Chevrolet, as well as the number of his sprint car. The supporters are rallying around the "StandWithSmoke" logo that Stewart's team introduced for his return at the Daytona 500, his first race back since he himself suffered a badly broken leg in a sprint car crash in Iowa in August, 2013. Smoke is, of course, Stewart's nickname. The Bristol movement is "100 percent fan driven" said Mike Arning, who handles communications for Stewart. Stewart did not race at Watkins Glen, or at the next race at Michigan. Arning says no timetable has been set for a decision as to whether Stewart will race at Bristol.(Motorsport)(8-20-2014)

  • Toyota looks to increase power in engines: Toyota Racing Development is continuing to look at ways to produce more horsepower as President David Wilson acknowledged that the Toyotas are behind Hendrick Motorsports in that department. Wilson said the TRD engines are not as far down in horsepower as Joe Gibbs Racing driver #11-Denny Hamlin indicated after the race Sunday at Michigan when Hamlin in frustration said he had 50 less horsepower. "We need to be better," Wilson said Tuesday. "Hands down, the folks over at the Hendrick shop have done a great job this year, and they've got an edge, not just on us but the others as well. We're happy with our reliability. The funny thing about the sports, we finished second, third and fourth at the Brickyard (three weeks ago) no less. The past couple of races have been frustrating for us and for the drivers." JGR and Michael Waltrip Racing, the two primary Toyota teams, use TRD engines in Cup. "We all work (together) on every single part of the race team and the cars," JGR owner Joe Gibbs said about his team's effort with TRD and the lack of horsepower. "For whatever reason, we got off to a bad start this year. ... We're trying to close hard and trying to put ourselves in a good position. We've got some good updates coming in the motor, and so hopefully we get hot at the right time. We've been behind."(Sporting News and FoxSports)(8-20-2014)

  • #78 to run World Vision scheme next two races to aid Zambia with Clean Water: NASCAR fans will have the opportunity to change lives in a village across the globe. World Vision, the largest non-governmental provider of clean water in the developing world, is asking fans to donate $10 to provide clean water for four years to a child in the African country of Zambia. As fans give, World Vision will be closer to its fundraising goal of $15,000, which will provide clean water to everyone in the Zambian village. Fans can donate by texting WATER to 777444. Racing to change lives, Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy will be fully wrapped in World Vision colors at Bristol and Atlanta, including a special "text to give clean water" message. "As a driver, staying hydrated is a top priority, but I'm blessed to never have to think about finding clean water," said Truex. "Giving just $10 to provide clean water is an amazing way to change a child's life." World Vision already delivers clean water to one new person every 30 seconds, but the global need for clean water sadly remains for hundreds of millions of people. Diseases caused by drinking dirty water kill more than 1,600 children under 5 a day - as many as malaria and AIDS combined. On race day at Bristol Motor Speedway, World Vision also will build disaster response hygiene kits with fans and supporters. These kits will be built in conjunction with Speedway Children Charities and distributed locally to children and families affected by disaster, homelessness or poverty. A typical kit includes hygiene items such as shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste and a comb. To learn more about this race to provide clean water and find out more information about the World Vision/Furniture Row Racing partnership, visit worldvision.org/racing.(FRR), see an image of the scheme Truex Jr. will run on the #78 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2014)

  • Gibbs says Stewart has strength, courage to return: Joe Gibbs believes #14-Tony Stewart has the strength to return to racing at some point following the Aug. 9 incident which left sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. dead. Gibbs, who employed Stewart at Joe Gibbs Racing from 1999-2008, said he has not spoken to Stewart since the incident but thinks the driver will be able to come back and race again. Stewart has missed the past two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and also has canceled his non-NASCAR racing appearances until further notice. He has not said whether he will drive this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. "From what I saw with Tony, he's got great courage, he's smart, he loves this sport," Gibbs said Tuesday. "He's totally focused on it." Gibbs said he was told by Stewart's representatives the driver is taking some time for himself right now, so he has been hesitant to reach out. But the driver has been in his prayers, Gibbs said. "We all love Tony, we love what he did for us here," he said. "We know he's a racer's racer and he's big for our sport. I would love to have a chance to speak with him at some point and encourage him."(USA Today)(8-20-2014)

  • Kyle Busch to run the triple at Bristol: Kyle Busch is entered in the three National Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway: #18 DoubleMint Toyota in Sprint Cup; #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the Nationwide Series; and #51 Dollar General Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series.
    Busch said: "I love Bristol, and getting back there running all three divisions is going to be fun again. Being able to get back in the Truck, of course, and then run the Nationwide car and also run the Cup car. We'd love to be able to repeat 2010 - that would be amazing - and do another trifecta. But, since they've ground that place, it's not necessarily been my best track, lately. So, I've got some work to do to figure out how to get better there and make it happen. We're excited to have Doublemint on the car this weekend. It's the company's 100th anniversary this year and it was on my car for the sweep in 2010, so hopefully we can bring them back to victory lane on Saturday night."
    Kyle Busch capped an elusive hat trick at Bristol by winning the August 2010 Sprint Cup event. Then 25 years old, he swept the slate of NASCAR races at the .533-mile oval that weekend, winning the Truck Series race, along with the Nationwide Series race, before wheeling his #18 Toyota to victory and into the history books in the Sprint Cup race. Busch led four times for a race-high 282 laps in the Sprint Cup race. For the weekend, Busch led 514 of a possible 956 circuits.(JGR/TSC)(8-20-2014)

  • STP returns to the #43 at Bristol: STP returns to the #43 Ford of Aric Almirola this weekend with the iconic paint scheme made famous by "The King" Richard Petty. In addition, STP will join the #43 in celebrating that the team is #ChaseBound. The team locked into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and will bring STP to The Chase for the first time. Almirola has 10 Sprint Cup Series starts at the half-mile, concrete track and 18 NASCAR starts. He tallied three Top-Fives and seven Top-10s in all 18 starts (RPM), see images of the STP scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2014)

  • #98 Phil Parsons Racing picks up sponsor: Provident Metals has signed a multiple race sponsorship agreement with Phil Parsons Racing making them the primary sponsor for Josh Wise and his #98 car. The agreement will span four races from August through November, finishing off the 2014 sponsorship in Provident's home state of Texas. "The guys from Provident Metals arrived in Daytona to sign the agreement with monster boxes full of Zombucks silver rounds to cover their deposit," said Phil Parsons, owner of Phil Parsons Racing. "That was an exciting exchange and a first for us. We're thrilled to have them as part of our team. The creative team at Provident Metals is hard at work and will debut the first of four exciting paint schemes next month in Bristol, TN. Provident Metals will be prominently featured on the #98 car during the following races: Bristol in August, Richmond in September, Charlotte in October and Texas in November.(Provident Metals)(7-10-2014), see an image of the scheme on the #98 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2014)

  • Some possible 2015 Sprint Cup schedule changes UPDATE2: Jim Noble of ESPN/SiriusXM/PRN tweeted Monday evening, "The Southern 500 at Darlington (SC) Raceway will return to its traditional Labor Day weekend date [Sunday, Sept 6th] when NASCAR announces the 2015 Sprint Cup schedule, perhaps as early as this weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway - which has raced on Labor Day weekend since 2009 - will have its lone Sprint Cup race weekend moved earlier in the season to week #2 - Sunday, March 1, 2015. One other notable change will be the Bristol (TN) spring weekend -- often plagued by weather issues in March, Bristol successfully lobbied for a later date, and will now hold its spring Cup race on Sunday, April 19, 2015."(8-19-2014)
    UPDATE According to a source who works inside the sport, the date of the 2015 NASCAR spring Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be moved to Sunday, April 19. Due to the unpredictable weather in the Bristol area and lackluster attendance, BMS officials have long lobbied NASCAR for a change away from current date of March 16. Lynsey Wilson, communications manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway, did not confirm any schedule alteration when reached late Monday. "Conversations are ongoing and once details are finalized, we will release our 2015 plans," said Wilson, who declined further comment. NASCAR officials are expected to officially announce the full 2015 Sprint Cup schedule soon. That announcement could come this weekend during the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS. The source also said the Southern 500 Darlington race date will shift back to its traditional Labor Day weekend while the Atlanta race will move to the second week of the season on March 1. During an Aug. 5 interview, BMS general manager Jerry Caldwell expressed his desire for a switch in the spring race date. There was no statement from Helton on Monday night and Caldwell did not comment.(Bristol Herald Courier)
    UPDATE2: Two sources well connected with NASCAR confirmed the news Tuesday to the Morning News but did not want to be identified. Darlington Raceway president Chip Wile said Tuesday the track "doesn't respond to rumors."(Morning News)
    and see an very unofficial tentative 2015 Sprint Cup Series Schedule page and the 2015 Sprint Cup Series Schedule News, Rumors and Announcements page.(8-20-2014)

  • Michigan TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 17, earned a 3.2 U.S. household rating, averaging 5,150,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. The rating and viewership were up from last year's race, which earned a 3.0 rating and averaged 4,585,000 viewers. The nation's highest-rated metered market was Greenville, S.C., with a 10.4 rating, followed by Indianapolis at 8.7 and Greensboro, N.C., at 8.6. Charlotte, N.C., was fourth at 7.2 with Birmingham, Ala., and Richmond, Va., tied for fifth at 6.9. Rounding out the top 10 metered markets were Nashville, Tenn., 6.7, Knoxville, Tenn., 6.4, Norfolk, Va., 6.0 and Louisville, Ky., 5.7.
    ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, Aug. 16, earned a 0.9 U.S. household rating, averaging 1,473,000 viewers. The rating was the same as last year's race while viewership rose from last year's 1,287,000.(ESPN)
    See past races for 2014 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2014 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(8-19-2014)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Bristol:
    #42-Kyle Larson 104.5
    #20-Matt Kenseth 102.7
    #18-Kyle Busch 101.7
    #24-Jeff Gordon 100.6
    #2-Brad Keselowski 95.9
    #16-Greg Biffle 93.7
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 91.2
    #41-Kurt Busch 90.7
    #11-Denny Hamlin 90.7
    #4-Kevin Harvick 90.3
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    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)

  • Edwards to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that Carl Edwards will join the organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition, ARRIS Group, Inc. will sponsor Edwards in the #19 Toyota Camry for 17 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with JGR expanding its operations to include a fourth team. "This is one of the biggest days in Joe Gibbs Racing's history," said Joe Gibbs, founder and owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "To be able to bring a driver the caliber of Carl Edwards on board to launch our fourth team is just a thrill. But we also have the opportunity to announce a new partner in ARRIS that will not only sponsor Carl, but also share a vision with Carlos Slim Domit and Escuderia TELMEX to develop Mexican and Latin American drivers in NASCAR. We are excited to have Daniel Suarez as part of that program and look forward to watching his development in the NASCAR Nationwide Series next season."
    A Missouri native, Edwards is currently eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with two wins, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes thus far this season. Over the course of his 11-year career, he has won a total of 23 races with 106 top-five and 182 top-10 finishes. In addition to his 23 Sprint Cup Series wins, he has also compiled 38 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and won the championship in 2007. His highest finish in the Sprint Cup Series season was in 2011 when he was runner-up to Tony Stewart based on a tiebreaker.(Joe Gibbs Racing)
    AND from the NASCAR.com streamed press conference: Arris will debut on the #19 Toyota at Daytona in February. Joe Gibbs said the crew chief will be announced at a later date and mentioned most of the team will come from within Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs also said that sponsorship for most of the other 19 races that ARRIS will not be the primary sponsor have been sold and will be announced at a later date. Rumor is that Subway will move over to JGR with Edwards and that was the only sponsor allowed to leave Roush Fenway Racing with Edwards.(8-19-2014)

  • Edwards to Gibbs press conference TODAY: According to Joe Gibbs Racing, they will hold a press conference Tuesday, August 19 at 10:00am/et and "this unprecedented announcement will have impact across four NASCAR racing series."(Joe Gibbs Racing)
    AND Joe Gibbs Racing will announce Carl Edwards as its fourth Sprint Cup driver for the 2015 season next Tuesday. However, the bigger news appears to involve Daniel Suarez, the 22-year-old darling of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, who will drive for JGR in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Suarez, of Monterrey, Mexico, currently leads the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series where he has nine victories in 52 career starts including four this season. Suarez has made dramatic improvement since joining the tour and has led 1,084 of the 7,790 laps raced. Suarez made his first career Nationwide Series start for JGR at Richmond in the #20 Toyota. Suarez qualified 12th and finished 19th. He completed all but one lap.(Motorsport)(8-15-2014)
    UPDATE: Carl Edwards will be introduced on Tuesday as Joe Gibbs Racing newest driver in the Sprint Cup Series beginning in the 2015 season, multiple sources confirmed Monday night. That much isn't a big surprise. However, JGR will also be welcoming a new sponsor to NASCAR - Arris - which will adorn Edwards' #19 Toyota for roughly half the season. Arris is a communications technology company specializing in the design and engineering of broadband networks. Arris' involvement in NASCAR will go far behind just sponsorship of Edwards. Details will be announced during Tuesday morning's news conference at JGR headquarters in Huntersville, N.C.(Charlotte Observer)
    AND The press conference will be covered live on SiriusXM Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.(8-19-2014)

  • NASCAR Numbers:
    26: The number of races between Jeff Gordon's two most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories at Michigan International Speedway. Gordon took the checkered flag at MIS on June 10, 2001 in his last championship season. On Sunday, he won his third race at the two-mile track.
    20: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races Jeff Gordon has won from the pole position, fifth most on the all-time list. Gordon claimed the Coors Light pole award for Sunday's race at Michigan with a track-record speed of 206.558 mph and went on to take the checkered flag.
    4: The number of consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway in which Joey Logano has both started from inside the top 10 and finished inside the top 10. Logano has two ninths, a third (Sunday) and a win from the pole at MIS since joining Team Penske in 2013.
    3: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories recorded at Bristol Motor Speedway by Matt Kenseth, the defending winner of the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Kenseth would like nothing better than to win for a fourth time at Thunder Valley on Saturday night, given that a victory would lock him into the Chase.
    54: The number of laps led at Bristol Motor Speedway by Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifier AJ Allmendinger, second only to the 152 laps Dinger has led at Dover. The driver of the #47 JTG/Daugherty Chevy followed his victory at Watkins Glen with a strong 13th-place run at Michigan on Sunday.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-19-2014)

  • Sad News - Tom Mitchell: Longtime NASCAR team owner Tom Mitchell passed away yesterday in his hometown of Ozona, Texas at the age of 86. Mitchell owned and operated the Circle Bar Truck Corral in Ozona, and was an avid supporter of motorsports for more than 40 years, owning teams in all three NASCAR National Series, as well as Indy Car. His teams all carried the Circle Bar Racing banner, copying the name of one of his cattle ranches. He is best remembered for owning and sponsoring Rick Crawford's NASCAR All-Pro and Camping World Truck Series teams for many years. He also owned an Indy Car Series team for driver Chet Fillip in the early 1980s. In 1985, he sold all his Indy Car equipment to Al Unser, Jr., who won the series championship the following season. He was a major player in the Texas cattle industry - once owning more than a half-dozen ranches, the smallest measuring approximately 30,000 acres - and made a fortune from the discovery and excavation of natural gas on his ranch land. At one time, he owned the local cable TV company in Ozona, a pair of truck stops off I-10, a motel and RV Park, and many other businesses. He was not the stereotypical NASCAR sponsor/owner, however, with Crawford saying his longtime team owner never saw the inside of his race shop, or watched him race in person. Memorial services for Tom Mitchell have not yet been announced.(Godfather Motorsports)(8-19-2014)

  • Teams test 2015 rules changes at Michigan UPDATE: Nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will remain at Michigan International Speedway one additional day on Monday to test aerodynamic and engine combinations for the 2015 racing season. According to NASCAR officials, the test is designed to validate extensive work done by the sanctioning body's racing development team. Gene Stefanyshyn, vice president Innovation and Racing Development for NASCAR, said two different packages featuring various changes would be tested on the 2-mile track at MIS.
    "We have a prime rules package and also will be doing a low downforce package, because some of the drivers have been very vocal," Stefanyshyn said. "They think (low downforce) is a solution ... so we're going to try one of those." The prime rules package will include the use of dive planes, a 9-inch spoiler, six-percent rear differential gear ratio, three different power levels (engine horsepower) as well as a driver adjustable track bar. Dive planes are small strips on the left and right side of the front bumper areas about halfway between the splitter and hood.
    The engine changes will vary from the current 850 horsepower to 800 and 750 hp. Stefanyshyn said those changes would be made during Monday's test through the use of different sized restrictor plates in order to gauge the effects. If it is determined that less horsepower works best with the aerodynamic changes being considered, how best to accomplish that for next season would still have to be decided.
    The test is slated to get underway at 9:00am/et with six different sessions scheduled throughout the day. Teams are expected to make single-file 15-lap runs in every other session, with double-file runs making up the remaining 15-lap sessions. Drivers scheduled to participate are: #1-Jamie McMurray, #5-Kasey Kahne, #10-Danica Patrick, #27-Paul Menard #2-Brad Keselowski, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #43-Aric Almirola, #11-Denny Hamlin, and either #15-Clint Bowyer or #55-Brian Vickers.(NASCAR.com)(8-14/18-2014)
    UPDATE: Just one day after Jeff Gordon grabbed the checkered flag in the Pure Michigan 400, NASCAR and teams were back testing on the two-mile Michigan International Speedway, gathering crucial data for the development of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules package. Six different configurations were evaluated throughout the test. Throughout today's test, focus was on aerodynamics and power optimization. Ten teams were onsite throughout the day running through all six configurations. More than 160 laps were turned at Michigan by each team. Data will be taken back to the Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina to be analyzed and modeled as NASCAR finalizes its 2015 rules package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(NASCAR)(8-18-2014)

  • Ryan Truex taken to hospital after practice crash UPDATES: NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie #83-Ryan Truex hit the Turn 2 wall hard Saturday morning in the day's opening practice session at Michigan International Speedway. Running eight laps in the early morning session, Truex lost the back end of his #83 Toyota. The car corrected and shot head-on into the outside wall. Per NASCAR's new rule, Truex remained in the car until NASCAR and safety officials arrived on site, and then walked away under his own power. According to a BK Racing official, Truex was complaining of a headache and shoulder pain and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. Truex broke his collarbone in 2013 while riding a motorcycle.(Fox Sports)(8-16-2014)
    UPDATE: Ryan Truex, driver of the #83 Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota Camry was involved in a single-car crash during practice at the Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. Truex was transported to a local hospital where he underwent CT scans of his head, neck, chest and abdomen, which were all negative. Truex was diagnosed with a concussion. He will follow the NASCAR guidelines to return to racing. JJ Yeley will pilot the #83 Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota Camry in tomorrow's Pure Michigan 400.(BK Racing).(8-16-2014)
    UPDATE 2: Ryan Truex, tweeted Sunday, "Hardest hit of my career by far yesterday..Feeling better today. Thanks for the concern,will see the doc this week & hopefully be back soon."(8-18-2014)

  • Michigan Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:02 PM, , stopped for an extended red flag at 4:10 PM (all times are EST). ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 114
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 51
    Number of times ESPN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 29
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:02 PM
    Stopped for extended red flag: 4:10 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 188
    Minutes of race broadcast: 140
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 48
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 140 Total comm. brdcst time 48
    See past races, links to more detailed reports on the 2014 TV Commercials page.(8-18-2014)

  • Michigan International Speedway continues on track to a greener Michigan: Michigan International Speedway is waving the green flag, making a commitment with the help of Consumers Energy to match 100 percent of its electricity use with renewable energy. Officials from the racetrack and from Consumers Energy on Sunday announced plans to improve Michigan's environment through actions at its largest racetrack -- and largest campground. Those include support for renewable energy, a new initiative to plant trees and a commitment by MIS to reduce energy usage. Michigan International Speedway now becomes the largest customer to enroll 100 percent in Consumers Energy's Green Generation program. Close to 20,000 homes and businesses in Michigan participate in Green Generation, contributing each month to purchase power from renewable sources, all made in Michigan.(MIS)(8-18-2014)

  • Gordon wins at Michigan: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway from the pole for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd win at Michigan, and 91st career win.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #27-Menard, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #15-Boywer, #11-Hamlin, #2-Keselowski, #48-Jonhson, and #16-Biffle.
    #14-Jeff Burton, filling in for Tony Stewart, suffered electrical issues and finished 37th.
    #24-Gordon (3 wins) takes the points lead back, now 3 over #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
    #24-Gordon also again leads the Chase Grid with 3 wins and now 1st in points followed by #88-Earnhardt, Jr. with 3 wins, 2nd in points.
    There were 20 lead changes among 8 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 141.788mph.
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Michigan Race & Points Report (pdf).(8-17-2014)

  • Michigan Chase Clinch Scenarios UPDATE: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #2-Brad Keselowski, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #99-Carl Edwards, #22-Joey Logano and #4-Kevin Harvick have clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, assuming they attempt to qualify for the remaining four races.
    If there is a repeat 2014 winner in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, any driver with one win and a locked-up top 30 spot will clinch a spot in the Chase. Potentials: #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin, #43-Aric Almirola, #41-Kurt Busch and #47-AJ Allmendinger. To clinch a top 30 spot, the clinching driver must be 145 points ahead of 31st place leaving Michigan.
    If there is a new winner, one-win drivers could potentially clinch a spot. But there would still be the potential for 16 different winners, and a winless points leader -- meaning a winner would be bounced from the Chase. So there are no guarantees here.
    Because he is so high in the points, if #20-Matt Kenseth wins, he would clinch a spot, even though it would be his first win. Other high-ranking winless drivers could potentially clinch with a win and help.(NASCAR)(8-15-2014)
    UPDATE: Assuming they attempt to qualify for the remaining 3 races in the regular season, the following drivers have clinched a spot for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup today: #47-AJ Allmendinger, #43-Aric Almirola, #41-Kurt Busch, #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin.(NASCAR)(8-17-2014)

  • added all 43 car images from Michigan in August: #1 McDonald's, #2 Miller Lite / Careersforveterans.org, #3 American Ethanol, #4 Jimmy Johns, #5 Great Clips, #7 Allstate Pererbuilt / Pilot, #9 Black & Decker, #10 Godaddy.com, #11 FedEx Freight, #13 GEICO, #14 Mobil1 / Bass Pro Shop w/Jeff Burton, #15 Five Hour Energy, #16 Roush Performance, #17 Zest, #18 Interstate Batteries Stripes, #20 Dollar General, #21 Motorcraft / Quick Lane, #22 Shell Pennzoil, #23 Dr Pepper, #24 Axalta, #26 Iowa City Capitla Partners, #27 Menards / CertainTeed, #31 WIX Filters, #32 Skuttle Tight, #33 Little Joe's Autos, #34 CSX - Play it Safe, #36 TBR, #37 Accell Construction, #38 Love's Travel Stops, #40 Carsforsale.com, #41 Haas Automation, #42 Target, #43 Eckrich / Operation Homefront, #47 Kingsford Charcoal, #48 Jimme Johnson Foundation, #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, #66 LandCastle Title, #78 Furniture Row, #83 Burger King, #88 National Guard, #98 Phil Parsons Racing and #99 Ford EcoBoost

  • Speeds up at Michigan: The sheer numbers were staggering, watching speeds reach the stratosphere in Friday afternoon's Coors Light Pole qualifying at Michigan. The track record at the 2-mile oval fell four times during time trials, climbing from 204, 205 mph and more until #24-Jeff Gordon finally carried the mantle at a blistering 206.558 mph. After clocking the seventh-fastest pole-winning speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, Gordon knew he had a solid lap but didn't know just how solid until he checked the scoreboard. Of the 43 cars entered in Sunday's Pure Michigan 400, 32 of them qualified at better than 200 mph, one of racing's magic numbers that has long made crew members check the calibration of their stopwatches. The laps are the fastest turned in NASCAR's premier series since the pre-restrictor plate era in the mid-1980s at ultra-fast Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. The blazing speeds simmered somewhat Saturday in the Irish Hills as teams changed from qualifying trim to race setups, but 26 of 43 still topped the 200 mph mark in the brisk early morning session.(NASCAR.com)(8-17-2014)

  • Danica among world's highest-paid female athletes: Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams have been fierce rivals on the court over the past decade since they first squared off in Miami in 2004. Williams won that first meeting before Sharapova prevailed in their next two matches, including the 2004 Wimbledon final. Williams has reeled off 15 straight wins since then and holds a commanding 16-2 edge overall, but that Wimbledon win as a 17-year-old launched Sharapova into stardom as tennis' "It" girl. Williams has won almost double the career prize money and holds a 62-31 edge in career titles, but she can't touch Sharapova when it comes to sponsorships. Sharapova's massive endorsement haul pushes her to the top of [Forbes] list of the world's highest-paid female athletes for the 10th straight year with earnings of $24.4 million between June 2013 and June 2014. She ranks #34 overall among all athletes when it comes to pay and well behind the top earner in sports, Floyd Mayweather, who banked $105 million over the same period.
    #10-Danica Patrick ranks 5th among female athletes with total earnings of $15 million ($7 million from salary/winnings & $8 million from endorsements/licensing). She remains one of the sport's biggest draws and has more than 10 personal endorsement partners, including Coca-Cola, Tissot and Peak. She has appeared in a record 13 Super Bowl commercials for her car sponsor, GoDaddy.(Forbes)(8-17-2014)

  • Bristol offering incentives for ticket renewals: Fans visiting Bristol Motor Speedway will be greeted with amazing incentives to renew their tickets for 2015. If fans renew ANY ticket for 2015 they get the following:
    "Winner's Celebration Access (After the IRWIN Tools Night Race, exclusive event where we toast the winner of the race on the front stretch. Music, gifts and more)
    "A choice of a 31 Piece Driver Set or a Vintage NASCAR Double Album featuring songs sung by Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Cale Yarbourough, Bobby Allison and more (1 gift for every two tickets renewed)
    "A Chance to meet Dale Jr. before the Night Race. 10 Lucky Fans and a guest will be able to meet Dale Jr., get an autographed hat and a picture with Dale Jr. prior to the IRWIN Tools Night Race. The winning fans will also be able to submit a question to Dale Jr. and three will be chosen to be announced to the crowd inside Bristol Motor Speedway. Every ticket renewed is an entry and fans can visit the Guest Relations office inside the O. Bruton Smith Building for Alternate means of entry information.(BMS)(8-17-2014)

  • Several teams planning tests: On Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 25-26, five teams will test at Chicagoland Speedway, site of the first race in the Chase. Those testing: Stewart-Haas Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 26-27, Hendrick Motorsports will test at Martinsville Speedway, which hosts the seventh race in the Chase - and first in the third round.(NASCAR)(8-16-2014)

  • Richard Childress Racing Celebrates 45 Years: Marking the organization's 45th Anniversary in NASCAR, Richard Childress Racing will celebrate the milestone throughout August and September with creative content and stories from the past 45 years. Fans will be able to follow the discussion and share their favorite RCR memories via social networks using hashtag #RCR45. It was on September 14, 1969 when Richard Childress entered the 44th race of the season at Talladega Superspeedway in the Talladega 500 making his first career Sprint Cup Series start. A race on NASCAR's center stage gave the 23-year-old driver the funding to establish RCR and racing as a full-time career. Childress made 285 starts behind the wheel before stepping aside from the driver's seat and assuming primary ownership role in RCR in 1981. Over the next 45 days, RCR will showcase photographs, personal stories and interviews from those who have been with the organization throughout the years. Starting Sunday August 17, @RCRracing and www.rcrracing.com will feature daily throwbacks showcasing moments that shaped the motorsports organization. The content will also highlight the evolution of the team and technology to today's drivers and those who call the shots each weekend at the track 45 years later. Fans will also be able to read stories from those who have been with the company from its inception, reliving multiple championships, wins and iconic races over the past 45 years.(RCR)(8-16-2014)

  • KHI Management add UFC's #2 female fighter: KHI Management expands its rapidly growing stable of athletes by signing a multi-year agreement to represent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) standout Miesha "Cupcake" Tate, the UFC's second-ranked female fighter. KHI Management, LLC, an athlete-representation company owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick, continues to grow in the world of sports by signing its second fighter in as many years, adding to an impressive roster that already includes #4-ranked UFC fighter Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. Tate, a former Strikeforce Women's bantamweight champion, is based and trains in Las Vegas. Her legendary rivalry with UFC women's bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, is one of the most infamous in UFC history and in today's sports world, credited with bringing women's MMA to the UFC, the sport's premier promotion, and piquing national interest. Tate, 27, made her UFC debut in April 2013, taking on Cat Zingano in The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale, which marked the second women's MMA matchup in the UFC and produced the coach for The Ultimate Fighter 18 reality TV series. In 2013, she was featured in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue. Tate joins a list of athletes and celebrities represented by KHI Management that includes Cerrone, NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, PGA Golfer Jason Gore and country music artists Jake Owen and Matt Stillwell.(KHI Management)(8-16-2014)

  • Acts added to the Pre-Race Pit Party at Atlanta: What do a trapeze artist, motorcycle "Globe of Death," BMX stunt team, lumberjack competition, human cannonball and a sword swallower along with Atlanta's most popular party band have in common? They are all part of the Pre-Race Pit Party for Oral-B USA 500 on Aug. 31. A Pre-Race Pit Pass will provide stage front access to the performance by Yacht Rock Revue and all the front stretch activities which also include the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver introductions. In addition, pre-race pit pass holders will have the chance to view and photograph the 43 car starting field parked along the front stretch. Access for pre-race pit pass holders will begin at 4:00pm/et. A limited number of Sunday only pre-race pit passes are available for $100 while kids 12 and under can get a pre-race pit pass for $50. A weekend pre-race pit pass valid for Friday, Saturday and Sunday is only $125. A grandstand or infield ticket is required for each pre-race pit pass holder. A pre-race pit pass will provide access to the pit area and for no additional cost will also provide stage front access on the track for all the Pre-Race Pit Party activities.(AMS)(8-16-2014)

  • NASCAR issues rule to keep drivers in cars: In its continued efforts to evolve the safety of its sport, NASCAR announced Friday that it will add a rule that addresses on-track incidents as part of its race procedures. The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be an addendum to the NASCAR rule book and will apply to all of its racing series, effective immediately.

    Section 9-16 On-Track Incident Procedure
    During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on-track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:
    Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
    Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
    After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
    At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
    At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle
    All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.

    Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, says the rule is "part of the evolution of NASCAR's rules and regulations."
    "Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports," said Pemberton. "When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority number one at NASCAR."
    As with other behavioral infractions, NASCAR will handle each instance separately when assessing potential penalties.(NASCAR)(8-15-2014)

  • Alliance Truck Parts renews with Penske: Team Penske announced that it has extended its partnership with Alliance Truck Parts (ATP), building on the relationship between the two transportation-based organizations that began in 2010. Under the new multi-year agreement, Alliance Truck Parts will continue to be a primary sponsor of the #2 Team Penske Ford Fusion driven by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. The 2015 season will mark the second consecutive year that ATP, an industry-leading provider of heavy duty truck parts for the commercial transportation industry, will be featured in the Sprint Cup Series. Enhancing its allegiance with Team Penske, Alliance Truck Parts will proudly race with its distinctive bright yellow colors adorning the No. #2 Ford driven by Keselowski during eight races as the primary sponsor throughout the agreement and as an associate sponsor for the balance of the NSCS schedule. Alliance Truck Parts made its debut with Team Penske at the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The partnership expanded in the 2011 Nationwide Series when Alliance Truck Parts was a partial season primary sponsor and the following two seasons the bond with ATP grew to include a full-season Nationwide Series primary sponsorship with Team Penske. Alliance Truck Parts made its debut in the Sprint Cup Series this year and 2015 will mark its second consecutive year as an NSCS sponsor with Team Penske.(Team Penske)(8-15-2014)

  • Atlanta Motor Speedway Media Center Renamed In Memory Of Marcy Scott: Atlanta Motor Speedway has announced that the infield media center has been named in memory of Marcy Scott, the track's late Director of Marketing & Promotion. The building will be known as the Marcy Scott Media Center. Scott was the Director of Marketing & Promotion for Atlanta Motor Speedway from 2005 until she passed away last November following a lengthy and courageous fight with cancer. She was also the fourth quarter recipient of the NMPA's 2013 Spirit Award. "I cannot think of anything more fitting to name in Marcy's honor than the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center," Atlanta Motor Speedway President & GM Ed Clark said. "Marcy's charisma, passion for racing and overall outlook on life continue to improve all of us at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's very appropriate that many of the same people that hold such a high regard for Marcy will be working out of a building named in her honor while they are at Atlanta Motor Speedway race weekend."(AMS)(8-15-2014)

  • Harvick Joins Earnhardt In Martinsville Green Flag Experience: Kevin Harvick, the winner of two NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, has been added to the Green Flag Experience prior to the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26. Harvick will join Diet Mountain Dew Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has three wins this season, Jamie McMurray and David Ragan in the question-and-answer portion of the Green Flag Experience. The Green Flag Experience also gives fans the chance to watch driver introductions from the track, along with a morning full of fun and excitement on the track and under the large tent in The Plaza. In addition to the emceed driver question-and-answer sessions and driver introductions, the Green Flag Experience offers fans the opportunity to walk the frontstretch on race morning, enjoy music, games and prizes along with show cars and simulators, plus doughnuts, Danishes, coffee and juice. The cost of the Green Flag Experience is $30. The $30 charge for the Green Flag Experience does not include a ticket for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500.(Martinsville Speedway)(8-15-2014)

  • Wood Brothers forms alliance with Penske; names Ryan Blaney as driver: Wood Brothers Racing announced that it has formed a technical alliance with Team Penske and will race a partial-season schedule in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with up-and-coming driver Ryan Blaney. Blaney, who has raced as a Team Penske development driver since 2012, will compete in at least 12 races for Wood Brothers Racing next season in the iconic #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion as he continues his rapid NASCAR development. Blaney will also practice and qualify the #21 this weekend at the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway while current Wood Brothers driver Trevor Bayne competes in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Bayne will return in time to start the Sprint Cup race at the back of the field. Blaney is scheduled to make his official debut for Wood Brothers Racing in the 2015 Daytona 500. He will race for the team in events at Daytona, Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Indianapolis, among others. In addition to driving the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for the Wood Brothers, Blaney will drive a Team Penske Mustang in the 2015 Nationwide Series.(Wood Brothers Racing)(8-14-2014)

  • Race Team Alliance expands membership UPDATE: Race Team Alliance, Inc. is pleased to announce the expansion of its membership to 18 full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup teams, comprising 37 full-time entries. The RTA, formed in July, is a not-for-profit business league comprised of race teams participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing. "One of the early goals of the Race Team Alliance was to expand our membership, and after only a month in existence, we have accomplished that goal," said Rob Kauffman, the RTA's elected chairman. "We now have virtually all the full-time teams participating. I think the membership as a whole is enthusiastic to get to work on some of the other items on our agenda, in particular some of the cost areas and marketing opportunities we have already identified." The RTA membership includes:
    BK Racing, Circle Sport, Front Row, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Germain Racing, Go Green / FAS Lane, Hendrick Motorsports, HScott Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, JTG Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Phil Parsons Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Team Penske, and Tommy Baldwin Racing.(Race Team Alliance), the new teams are BK Racing, Circle Sport, Front Row, Germain Racing, Go Green / FASLane, JTG Racing, Phil Parsons Racing, & Tommy Baldwin Racing (8-13-2014)
    UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing, which fields the #78 of Martin Truex Jr., is the only notable full-time Sprint Cup team that hasn't joined the RTA, which is comprised of teams from North and South Carolina. FRR is based in Denver and also is unique in being sponsored by its owner, Furniture Row founder Barney Visser. "We spoke to Barney, and he had the information," Kauffman said. "He thought it didn't make sense at this time. It's a free world, and I respect that. I think that's his prerogative, so it's completely fine." Kauffman said the RTA was looking at associate memberships for part-time teams that have expressed interest, such as Wood Brothers Racing.(USA Today)(8-14-2014)

  • 3M Hire Our Heroes Campaign to Honor America's Heroes at Bristol: At the NASCAR Sprint Cup race night race at Bristol, NASCAR star Greg Biffle will be driving a #16 3M Ford Fusion with a strong force behind it - the power of the 3M Hire Our Heroes program. Biffle's #16 3M Hire Our Heroes Ford Fusion will feature a paint scheme created by legendary car designer Chip Foose to honor the veterans recognized through the 3M Hire Our Heroes program in 2014. To date, some 55 military members and their families have received tool grants and scholarships through the program, totaling some $250,000. It is the second year that the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division has led the 3M Hire Our Heroes program and run a special paint scheme with Chip Foose. For the Bristol race, Biffle's hood design reflects the transition of a soldier in camouflage to a collision industry professional. The camouflage is peeling away to showcase the stars and stripes underneath. On the hood, a saluting soldier is flanked by two auto body repairers - a painter and a welder.(3M PR)(8-14-2013)

  • Tyler Walker nearing plea deal: A former NASCAR driver who authorities say evaded police during a 150-mph chase through parts of Nevada, Arizona and Utah last year is nearing a resolution of his case. The Spectrum of St. George reports attorneys for 35-year-old Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker expect a plea deal to be finalized next month on Utah charges. Walker has pleaded not guilty to drug and evading police charges. Court documents show Walker, of Hermosa Beach, California, has reached a plea deal on Arizona charges. Utah Highway Patrol troopers arrested Walker in January 2013 near St. George to end a chase that began in Nevada and crossed into Arizona before reaching Utah. They reported finding methamphetamine, marijuana and vodka in the car. NASCAR suspended Walker in 2007 for violating its substance abuse policy.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(8-14-2014)

  • Texas 500 tickets on sale Friday: The new town of No Limits, Texas, officially will be open for business beginning Friday, Aug. 15, as individual tickets go on sale to the general public for the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader weekend set for Oct. 30-Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. Beginning at 9:00am/ct, individual frontstretch tickets for the AAA Texas 500 - the eighth race of the revamped 10-event Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship format scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 2 - will be available starting as low as $30 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Individual tickets for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 - which also includes Sprint Cup Series qualifying - on Friday, Oct. 31, and the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on Saturday, Nov. 1, also will be on sale with prices beginning at $30. Texas Motor Speedway also has created several ticket packages that cater from the novice to the staunch NASCAR fan.(TMS)(8-14-2014)

  • Harvick's team penalized, #98 team warned after Watkins Glen: The #4 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized due to a rules infraction committed during the Aug. 10 race at Watkins Glen International. The infraction is a P3 level penalty and is outlined in Section 12-4.3 of the 2014 rule book:
    " A. Violation examples could include but are not limited to:
    o 1(c): Unapproved added weight and/or weight affixed improperly (e.g. Unapproved added weight (size and material); unapproved added weight location, but not of a nature rising to a higher numbered penalty.
    The infraction violates the following sections in the rule book:
    " 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
    " 20-2.3: Added car weight
    o A. Any weight added to the car must be bolted inside the body shell in an approved weight container and in a position acceptable to NASCAR officials
    o Added weight must be in block form of not less than five pound blocks (no pellets) and painted white with the car number or team identification permanently legible on it.
    As a result of this violation, crew chief Rodney Childers has been fined $25,000.
    Per Section 12-4.1 of the NASCAR rule book, a Warning has been issued to the #98 team for an infraction occurring on Aug. 8. The infraction was:
    " 20-16.6: Fuel filler cans
    o G. When adding or removing fuel to/from the car in the garage area, the car must be outside the garage structure.
    Multiple warnings issued to the same vehicle number/member within a given time period will result in one or more penalties in accordance to Section 12-4.1 of the rule book.(NASCAR)(8-13-2014)

  • Mars renews with Gibbs, Busch, NASCAR: Mars announced that it has signed new multi-year deals with Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR, further anchoring its presence in the sport. The new agreement with JGR will extend the winning partnership that has brought the #18 M&M'S Toyota to victory lane 20 times since 2008 and continue with the popular M&M'S brand as the primary paint scheme in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The renewed contract with the sanctioning body will designate Mars as the Official Chocolate of NASCAR. Mars will continue to leverage its Official status to ensure its various chocolate brands remain a race day staple for millions of racing fans.(True Speed Communications)(8-13-2014)

  • Latest on Tony Stewart:
    Accident investigation expected to take at least 2 more weeks: The Ontario County Sheriff issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
    "The investigation into the death of Kevin Ward, Jr., of Lewis County, N.Y., is ongoing and is expected to continue for at least another two weeks or more. Investigators continue to seek witnesses, gather evidence, and develop the racetrack crash reconstruction. However, it would be inappropriate to discuss details or findings of the investigation with the media at this time. I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation as the Ontario County Office of Sheriff continues this investigation and for having patience as we conduct a thorough review of all of the relevant facts involving this tragic accident. When the investigation is completed, we will meet with members of the Ontario County District Attorney's Office and discuss with them all aspects of the investigation into the crash that occurred on August 9, 2014 at the Canandaigua Speedway. At that time, more information relating to any determinations that have been made may be released. In closing, on behalf of the Ontario County Office of Sheriff, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Kevin Ward, Jr."
    AND Stewart could still face legal consequences: [Stewart] could be charged with second-degree manslaughter under New York law if prosecutors believe he "recklessly caused the death of another person," with negligent homicide another possibility, according to criminal law professor Corey Rayburn Yung of the Kansas University School of Law. Athletes in competition often do things that would get the average person arrested - think two boxers in the ring, or a baserunner sliding into second with his spikes high. But sometimes an act is so far outside the bounds of accepted sporting behavior that it becomes a crime, as former major leaguer Jose Offerman learned when he was charged with felony assault for rushing the mound - swinging a bat - after he was hit by a pitch in a minor league game. So Stewart would not expect to be charged for the car-on-car bump that sent Ward spinning into the wall. But if, for example, he were to tell police that he saw Ward on the track and tried to shower him with dirt or otherwise send him a message, a first-degree manslaughter charge could be a possibility, Yung said. Even if he is cleared by prosecutors, though, Stewart could face a civil suit. Although the standard of proof is lower than in a criminal case, the civil court would also consider Ward's state of mind at the time of the accident and whether he was also negligent in venturing into racing traffic on a dark track in a dark suit. But Stewart would also have to weigh the damage to his image and career - with his own team, tracks and millions in endorsements - making a quick settlement likely.(Associated Press)
    AND Other driver says Stewart could not avoid Ward: "From what I saw, Tony did everything in his power to turn down away from Kevin to avoid him," said sprint car driver Cory Sparks. Sparks was just a few cars behind Stewart during Saturday's race. He said videos that have been posted online do not give an accurate picture of what happened. "People say that they heard the engine rev up and he gassed it. In a sprint car, the only way to steer is you steer with the rear wheels as much as you do the steering wheel. In my opinion, what he did was he gassed it to turn down away from him," said Sparks.(Time Warner News)
    AND Ward's father speaks: Kevin Ward Sr. spoke ... on Monday. "A situation happened and everybody has their own opinions," Ward Sr. said. "Some are way off, some without a clue and some are very hurtful. A 20-year-old talented driver was killed and that's what we need to focus on ... We've had a lot of messages sent. We are so thankful. If everybody could just pray for us, we'll get through it."(Syracuse.com)
    For earlier updates on the accident, see the #14 team news page.(8-13-2014)

  • 3M partnering with Hendrick to sponsor Gordon UPDATE: 3M will join 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning with the 2015 NASCAR season when it will become a primary sponsor of driver Jeff Gordon and his #24 Chevy SS team. The new relationship will feature 3M as a primary sponsor in 11 Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. The agreement covers the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NASCAR seasons. All five of 3M's business units, which comprise more than $31 billion in annual sales, will use the sponsorship in consumer promotions, product launches and business-to-business opportunities. With more than 65 of its products used in the construction and maintenance of Sprint Cup Series race cars, 3M for decades has played a key role in the success of NASCAR teams. The company manufactures more than 80,000 different products and has been an official NASCAR partner across several categories since 1995.(Hendrick Motorsports)(8-12-2014)
    UPDATE: The 3M decision now leaves Roush Fenway looking for sponsorship for Biffle, who recently signed a multiyear extension to remain with the team. "We're thankful for the 10-year relationship we've enjoyed with 3M that included some of Roush Fenway's most memorable victories," Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark said in a statement. "We have some exciting '15 partnership announcements for the No. 16 coming up in the next few weeks and look forward to sharing those soon."(Sporting News)
    AND Greg Biffle tweeted Tuesday evening, "I am excited to announce our new sponsor in a few weeks!!! Wish we could do it now but you know how contracts are !!!".(8-13-2014)

  • "Ultimate Viewing Experience Ticket Package" at Talladega How do race fans get one of the best views in all of NASCAR, complete with a device that allows them to get immediate race updates from the palm of their hand, at an unbelievable price? The simple answer - Talladega Superspeedway's "Ultimate Viewing Experience Ticket Package." The package, which includes a 2-Day Tri-Oval Tower ticket (high atop the frontstretch grandstands) for both the Saturday, October 18, fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and the Sunday, Oct. 19 GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series event, is complete with a FanVision device for only $170.00, a $50 package savings. FanVision allows fans to get an up close and personal feel with world-class live video streaming - video and audio of live race broadcasts, instant replays, scanners to listen directly to driver-team communications, review real-time stats, in-car views with eight different cameras and access to other live-action features.(TSS)(8-13-2014)

  • Skuttle Tight sponsoring Go FAS Racing at Michigan: Willmar, Minnesota-based Skuttle Tight, America's premiere manufacturer of insulated attic-entry systems that replace older attic hatches and access panels that can cause drafts, will partner with Go FAS Racing in the Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 this Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. The Pure Michigan 400 will be Skuttle Tight's first experience marketing their products in NASCAR.(Go FAS/Green Racing)(8-12-2014)

  • Kurt Busch interested in Indy 500 again next year: Kurt Busch created a memory that he has said will last forever when he competed in the Indianapolis 500 this past May, finishing sixth in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. On Sunday at Watkins Glen, Busch reaffirmed his desire to give it a second shot. The Outlaw finished third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen, establishing momentum for his second-consecutive Chase berth. While focused on the remainder of the season and his attempt to win a second Sprint Cup championship, Busch made no secret of his desire to return to Indianapolis next May. "It's a bit too early," Busch said of how close he is to announcing his Indianapolis return. "Right now, our focus is the Chase and trying to keep others from punching their ticket to get in. We don't have much news." Team owner Michael Andretti has repeatedly said that he wants Busch back next season if the logistics can pan out. He believes that a second consecutive year of running in the 500-mile Race would establish Busch as one of the favorites. For his part, Busch is definitely interested. "I'd like to do it," he said. "We'll see how it pans out."(Popular Speed)(8-12-2014)

  • Most Popular Driver Voting starts: The voting for the 2014 Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver Award has started. To vote, visit www.mostpopulardriver.com and follow the online instructions for entering. Voting began at on July 5, 2014 and ends at 8:00pm/et on November 17, 2014. Voting is limited to a) one (1) vote per person per email address per day; b) up to two (2) additional votes per person per email address per day for those who share their votes through social media sites Facebook and/or Twitter. Driver eligibility for the Most Popular Driver award is limited to those candidates that have declared for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and have entered all points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events contested between Jan. 1, 2014 and July 5, 2014.(7-5-2014)


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Next Race: IRWIN Tools Night Race

Countdown to Race Time: 8/23/2014 ~7:43pm/et

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