Jimmie Johnson wins at Atlanta: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 4th win at Atlanta and his 71st career win.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd (again) followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., #22-Logano, #20-Kenseth, #78-Truex Jr., #47-Allmendinger, #55-Moffitt (best career finish), #2-Keselowski and #31-Newman.
Harvick has now either won or finished 2nd in five consecutive races and led the most laps of the race with 115.
Pole winner #22-Logano led much of the first part of the race, leading 84 laps, finishing 4th.
There were 28 lead changes among 12 drivers. There were 10 cautions for 54 yellow flag laps with a nine minute red flag with 19 laps to go after a big wreck..
The average speed was 131.078 mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
Race Fast Facts - Atlanta:
#48-Jimmie Johnson won the 56th Annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, his 71st victory in 473 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2015.
This is his fourth victory and 15th top-10 finish in 24 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
#4-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 25 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2015.
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 28 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
#26-Jeb Burton (35th) was the highest finishing rookie.
#22-Joey Logano leads the point standings by 1 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(3-1-2015)
2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Standings:
[after Atlanta, race 2 of 36]
1) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 88
2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 87, -1
3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 86, -2
4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 84, -4
5) #78-Truex Jr., 75, -13
6) #13-Casey Mears, 68, -20
7) #5-Kasey Kahne, 65, -23
8) #47-AJ Allmendinger, 62, -26
9) #43-Aric Almirola, 62, -26
10) #15-Clint Bowyer, 58, -30
11) #38-David Gilliland, 56, -32
12) #9-Sam Hornish Jr., 55, -33
13) #16-Greg Biffle, 54, -34
14) #19-Carl Edwards, 54, -34
15) #18/#34-David Ragan, 53, -35
16) #10-Danica Patrick, 51, -37
(ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc)
See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(3-1-2015)
Atlanta 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 1:33 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:10 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. FOX was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 107
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 59
Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 100
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 59
Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 7
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 3
Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 2
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos 'floating' in corners of the screen): 98
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min. 40 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:33 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:10 PM
Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 277
Minutes of race broadcast: 230
Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 47
Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 3
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 3
Total race brdcst time 230 Total comm. brdcst time 47
Commercials during race broadcast: 'Side-by-Side' ('Thank you!' to all of the participating sponsors!)
2:19 PM - 2:21 PM: Coca-Cola Racing; Sprint.com/halfprice; Toyota/Camry
5:29 PM - 5:30 PM: Coca-Cola Racing; Sprint.com/halfprice #KDLaw; Toyota/Camry; Coca-Cola Racing
See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(3-2-2015)
Cassill First Driver To Sweep Opening Two Last-Place Finishes Since 1949: #40-Landon Cassill picked up the 7th last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway when his #40 Snap Fitness Chevrolet fell out with engine failure after he completed 92 of the race's 325 laps. The finish came in Cassill's 153rd series start. It is Cassill's second-consecutive Cup Series last-place finish. Cassill is just the second driver in Cup Series history to finish last in the first two races of the season. The only other time it happened was in NASCAR's inaugural season in 1949, when Glenn Dunaway followed up his disqualification at Charlotte with a DNF at the Daytona Beach-Roadcourse. This is the first-ever last-place finish for Cassill and the #40 in a Cup Series race at Atlanta.(Lastcar)(3-2-2015)
Hamlin talks about the accident at Atlanta: #11-Denny Hamlin got lose on lap 256 in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, spinning and collecting other drivers in a wreck, including #24-Gordon, #17-Stenhouse Jr and #1-McMurray. Hamlin finished 38th. A comment by Hamlin:
What happened to cause your accident?
Hamlin: "I was right on the 19 (Carl Edwards) entering (turn) one and he checked up and if I didn't move to the right, I was going to spin him out. I was going to run right in the back of him and when I moved to the right of him it put me right on the door of the 4 (Kevin Harvick) and I just sucked around and that was it. I apologize to all those cars involved, but it's tough. I mean, we had a good FedEx Ground Toyota for most the day. Just lost the handle there on the last run and kind of put us in a spot where we hadn't restarted all day and just got sucked around and got a little loose."(Toyota Racing)(3-1-2015)
Gordon and McMurray comment about wreck at Atlanta: #24-Jeff Gordon and #1-Jamie McMurray were victims of a late wreck on lap 256 in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Comments by Jeff Gordon:
Gordon: "I saw the #11 (Denny Hamlin) going sideways. I had him cleared. I stood on the gas and went by him; but I guess he might have clipped the #1 (Jamie McMurray) and it turned the #1 back into me. After that I was just along for the ride. It looks like maybe the #31 (Ryan Newman) came down in trying to avoid the #11 and got into the #1 and then he clipped me in the left rear and sent me down the back straightaway. It wouldn't have been too bad except that I found that one spot where there's no SAFER barrier. I can't believe it. That's amazing to me. Anyway, hopefully soon that will get fixed. It was a pretty big impact. I hate it for this team. We were struggling. We didn't have the 3M Chevrolet that I thought we were going to have, but we weren't giving up on it. We were going to make gains and we finally got ourselves in the top 10 and I think we had a shot of getting into the top five. But obviously it's not the way we want to start our season."
WAS IT THE INTENSITY OF THE RACE YOU THINK THAT CAUSED THAT INCIDENT?
Gordon: "He (Denny Hamlin) was loose before that. He looked like he struggled on the restarts. He would go up the race track. I think he was just real loose in the beginning of a run. Guys, yeah, they are getting aggressive. I don't know if somebody got into the back of him, but they may have. He went around and at that point everybody is just trying to avoid him. You know how on those restarts it gets pretty wild down there in (turns) one and two. The later you get in the race like everywhere it gets more intense and guys start pushing harder and giving a lot less."
IS IT TIME FOR DRIVERS TO DO MORE TO MAKE SURE SAFER BARRIERS ARE ALL OVER EVERY TRACK?
Gordon: "I am very frustrated with the fact there are no SAFER barriers down there. I knew it was a hard hit. I was like 'man I can't believe...' I didn't expect it to be that hard. Then I got out and I looked and I saw 'oh wow big surprise I found the one wall here on the back straightaway that doesn't have a SAFER barrier. I don't think we can say any more after Kyle's (Busch) incident at Daytona. Everybody knows we have to do something and it should have been done a long time ago. All we can do now is hope they do it as fast as they possibly can."
ON WHAT HAPPENED:
Gordon: "I saw the #11 (Denny Hamlin) get loose and come around. He was just trying to save it, and guys were trying to avoid him, and got collected. I went by the No.11 on the outside and cleared him. I thought I was in good shape then I saw the #1 (Jamie McMurray) coming fast. I tried to get by him and he clipped me in the left rear and spun us around and sent us into the wall on the back straightaway. We weren't having a great day, I thought we would be better than that. We were struggling but I'm proud of the way we were fighting through. We had gotten ourselves into the top-10 right there. We might have had a shot at a top-five but we won't know now. It's unfortunate way to start the season. We just have to dig ourselves out of this hole."
Comments by Jamie McMurray:
McMurray: "So, the #11 (Denny Hamlin) just got loose. It's pretty hard to pass. And you run wide-open so long that you take what you can get when you can get it. And the restarts are the best place to pass on the track; especially if you're on the bottom. That's a pretty big advantage here. You're just racing as hard as you can and unfortunately we just had an accident there. Our McDonald's Chevy was really good today. I was really proud of our whole team. The track bar adjuster was really interesting if you got to play with that and there were times you'd get your car back. I don't know that it necessarily created passing, but it saved you at times if the car got a longs way off. So yeah, interesting day."
ON WHAT HAPPENED:
McMurray: "I didn't see the #11 (Denny Hamlin) spin out there. I was trying to pass the #31 (Ryan Newman) on the bottom and I honestly thought I got hit by the #31. I had to watch the replay to see that the #11 had lost it on top and came down. I don't know if he clipped the #31 or if he clipped me. I didn't see any of that coming. That was kind of out of the blue. You just try to get all you can on the restarts and he just got loose."
ON HOW HE WAS RUNNING BEFORE THE INCIDENT:
McMurray: "Atlanta hasn't been very good for me, and it hasn't been very good for our group. So to run as good as we did today I think that is going to be really good for Las Vegas and some of the other tracks with a lot of grip."(Team Chevy)(3-1-2015)
Keselowski to run a special throwback paint scheme: The 2015 season marks the 25th anniversary of Team Penske's relationship with sponsor MillerCoors, and the team plans to celebrate the occasion in a big way. The team will announce a throwback paint scheme for Brad Keselowski's #2 Penske Ford NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford next week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Multiple sources confirmed the team would announce a program in which fans will have the opportunity to vote on the throwback paint scheme. The choices will reportedly be between a classic Miller High Life look and the black-and-gold Miller Genuine Draft paint scheme made famous by Rusty Wallace in the 1990s. While Keselowski would not confirm the throwback paint scheme program, he also did not deny the report. "All your questions will be answered in Vegas," Keselowski told FOXSports.com Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. An official announcement in expected next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(FoxSports)(3-1-2015)
Last time a Daytona 500 winner won the pole for following race?: Jamie McMurray in 2010, who won the Daytona 500 and then won the pole for the following race at Auto Club Speedway finishing 17th.(3-1-2015)
New rules limits crew members on pit road at end of race: A new NASCAR postrace procedure for Sprint Cup teams could limit the possibility of a big postrace brawl breaking out, as one did at Texas Motor Speedway last November. NASCAR officials confirmed Saturday they will stop all cars on pit road following a race because NASCAR must collect the tapered spacer used to limit air flow through the engine. That piece is issued to teams on a weekly basis so that teams cannot alter it. With just a couple of crew members needed to remove the spacer, NASCAR has issued an edict that only two crew members per car will be allowed at each Cup car immediately after the race. That will keep pit road from getting too cluttered, officials say. With only two crew members at each car after a Cup race, that will limit the number of crew members from each team in a contained area. In the past, several crew members would surround the top-5 cars on pit road and the crews would surround the rest when they parked at their haulers postrace.(ESPN)(3-1-2015)
Asbury Automotive Group Honors the Boy Scouts of America: On Sunday March 1st Preston Chandler, an Eagle Scout, will be celebrating his 16th birthday with his family at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Preston will be featured on the rear deck lid of Joey Logano's #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford. If Logano and the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford make it to Victory Lane this weekend in the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500, the Asbury Automotive Group will make a $50,00 donation to the Boy Scouts of America.(AMS)(3-1-2015)
Pennzoil Makes Donation to PVA after Joey Logano's Win in Daytona 500: After Joey Logano jump-started his season by winning the Daytona 500 on 2/22 in the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford; Pennzoil commemorated the milestone victory by donating $22,222 to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). Upon learning about the donation Logano announced he would match the $22,222 contribution to his personal charity. To take the offer to the next level, Pennzoil is incentivizing Logano to bring the #22 to Victory Lane again at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8th. Should he grab the checkered flag again in the #22 Pennzoil Platinum Ford, Pennzoil will add another '2' to the donation figure and donate an additional $222,222 to the PVA.(AMS)(3-1-2015)
Castrol Premium Lube Express featured on #13 at Atlanta: Castrol Premium Lube Express is a featured associate sponsor on the #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS driven by Casey Mears this weekend at Atlanta. Georgia features many Castrol Premium Lube Express (CPLE) locations - find a location list at CastrolAtlanta.com.(Germain Racing)(3-1-2015)
#44 car stolen outside hotel UPDATE4 truck found: A trailer carrying a NASCAR racing team's car was stolen overnight in Morrow, GA, according to the driver of the vehicle hauling the trailer [NJ plates]. The driver says the unmarked white Xtreme Racing trailer had the #44 car inside and was stolen from a hotel sometime overnight. Local authorities have been notified.kfvs12.com.
AND A spokeswoman for Team Xtreme (#44 car) confirms Atlanta car and trailer were stolen from outside the team hotel.(Jeff Gluck/USA Today twitter)
MORE Travis Kvapil's car for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway has apparently been stolen. A spokeswoman for Team Xtreme confirmed a Missouri TV station's report that the #44 car and its hauler disappeared from outside the team's hotel [Drury Inn & Suites] in Morrow, Ga. overnight. KFVS reported the trailer was white and unmarked and said the hauler driver reported it missing. Team Xtreme, owned by John Cohen, qualified for the Daytona 500 last week and finished 32nd with driver Reed Sorenson. But Kvapil is in the car this week with Sorenson driving for another [#29 RAB Racing] team. NASCAR teams tested at Atlanta on Thursday, meaning all the other cars are already secured inside the track (USA Today)
UPDATE: Sgt. Larry Oglesby of the Morrow (Ga.) Police Department told ESPN.com that they are treating the car's disappearance as a stolen vehicle after a report was filed at 5:50am/et at the Drury Inn. Team owner John Cohen, who was not at the track, told ESPN.com by phone that the team will have to withdraw from the race and was still trying to gather information as to what had happened. The first practice for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is scheduled for 1:00pm/et Friday, and teams typically must present a car for inspection an hour or two prior to the start of Sprint Cup practice.(ESPN.com)
UPDATE 2 Statement by Team Xtreme Racing: Team Xtreme Racing can officially confirm that we have withdrawn the #44 entry from the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #44 hauler was sent ahead of the bad weather that hit the Charlotte area on Wednesday night and parked at Atlanta Motor Speedway. With minor work remaining on the #44 Chevrolet, the car was brought separate from the hauler, in an enclosed 26-foot trailer pulled by a pickup, which arrived at the team hotel in Morrow, Georgia on Thursday night at 11:00pm/et. Hotel surveillance video shows the theft occurred at 5:32am/et. According to the police report a silver or grey Jeep Cherokee was spotted leaving the hotel at the time of the theft. "While this is obviously a setback for this weekend, our plans remain to compete in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season," said team owner John Cohen. "We are working closely with the Morrow police in hopes that our truck, trailer and race car are safely returned".(2-27-2015)
UPDATE 3: The Team Xtreme #44 Chevy that had been stolen from a Georgia hotel parking lot was found early Saturday morning. Gwinnett County police found the car in Loganville, Georgia -- northwest of Atlanta, according to Team Xtreme Racing. The team tweeted several photos of the #44 car Saturday, one day after it was stolen from a hotel parking lot near Atlanta Motor Speedway, the site of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Cohen told ESPN.com that the car was located off Lenora Road in Loganville. Only the car was found; police did not recover the other contents of the trailer, which included a spare engine valued at $100,000 and racing equipment valued at $17,500. Cohen was relieved that at least the car, which he said is the most consistently fast in his fleet, was found. "You can't buy that back or time put into it," he said. The recovery of the car will help the low-budget team go forward with its plans to race at Las Vegas next weekend.(ESPN)(2-28-2015)
UPDATE 4: While the truck and trailer that were hauling the race car weren't found at the scene, the truck was spotted a few hours later in Stockbridge, Georgia, not far from the hotel where the theft took place, said Morrow police Detective Sgt. Larry Oglesby, who led the investigation in the south Atlanta suburb. "The truck was on the side of the road," Oglesby said. "A citizen driving by noticed it and said, 'Hey, that looks like the truck on TV.'" He said the handle on the driver side door was busted, as well as the ignition switch. While no arrests had been made, Oglesby said his department had a "person of interest" and was continuing to pursue leads to determine just how many people were involved. He also identified a vehicle used by the thieves, which was spotted on a surveillance video. There was still no sign of the trailer and its other contents, which included a spare engine valued at $100,000 and racing equipment valued at $17,500. "We've got two out of three," Oglesby said. "Now we're looking for the trailer." Since the #44 car wasn't damaged, Cohen said it should be able to run at Las Vegas with Kvapil behind the wheel. The team also plans to send a backup car. Kvapil is also set to run for Team XTREME the following week at Phoenix. (Associated Press)(3-1-2015)
Harvick comments on engine failure in AMS Happy Hour: #4-Kevin Harvick's Jimmy John's Chevy experienced an engine failure during the final practice session, answers a few questions:
ON WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE PRACTICE SESSION:
Harvick: "Mainly the Hendrick engine guys just wanting to know what I felt. This is a very rare occasion. This is the first one I have ever had. The engine shop does a great job. I am just glad that it happened today. Our Jimmy John's/Budweiser team is doing a great job and the car is handling good. If we were going to have something happen, this is a good place to have it happen because you can pass."
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT STARTING IN THE BACK TOMORROW? IT'S GOING TO BE A HECK OF A RACE WITH THE NAMES BACK THERE:
Harvick: "It will just make for a better show."(Team Chevy)(2-28-2015)
Annett to run the #33 at Atlanta: Michael Annett will race in Sunday's Folds of Honor/Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta after all. Pending NASCAR approval, Annett will drive the #33 Pilot Flying J Chevy for Circle Sport Racing according to HScott Motorspors team owner Harry Scott,. Annett, 28, just started his sophomore Sprint Cup Season with HScott Motorsports in the #46 Chevy this season. However Annett was one of 13 cars that were unable to make it through NASCAR technical inspection in time to qualify on Friday. His good friend Brian Scott, who qualified 32nd but is running for the championship in the XFINITY Series, relinquished his ride to Annett. "Many thanks to (team principal) Mike Hillman, Sr. and Brian Scott," Harry Scott added in the text to Motorsport.com. Annett finished 13th last week in the Daytona 500. He is currently 12th in the Sprint Cup point standings.(Motorsport)(2-28-2015)
Jeff Gordon gets a special gift from AMS's president Ed Clark.(Harold Hinson Photo)
Gordon receives gifts from Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Jeff you're going to be receiving quite a few things this year, I'm sure, as people pay tribute to you," track president and general manager Ed Clark said. "Atlanta has a special bond with Jeff Gordon. He started here and some of the most memorable moments in Atlanta Motor Speedway have involved Jeff. He's had five wins and celebrated four championships here. He's a real ambassador for the sport and someone we're all real proud to have been able to work with. You're not going anywhere, so this isn't a goodbye, but we have two things we want to present to you." The first was a framed replica of this year's souvenir program featuring Gordon signed by the entire full-time track staff. The big unveiling, literally, was a maroon and yellow bandolero for Gordon's kids, Ella and Leo. "Leo is going to want to sleep in this," Gordon said on inspection. "I have a feeling this might end up in his bedroom for a year or two before he can drive it. But that's awesome. I was watching practice for XFINITY earlier and I saw the 'Thanks 24' out there in the grass. It put a big smile on my face. You're right, it's a very special place to me." Gordon said he'd never forget his first race - or his first driver's meeting at Atlanta. His first race was Richard Petty's last and the King gave all the drivers a money clip with their starting position on it. Which Gordon still has. "I wasn't that proud of (my starting position) at the moment," Gordon said with a chuckle. "I think we started 21st. But I'll remember that forever."(AMS)(2-28-2015)
Kyle Busch released from hospital: Kyle Busch has been released from a Charlotte, NC, hospital and is home, wife Samantha tweeted, and a Joe Gibbs Racing spokesperson confirmed Friday morning. Busch spent three nights in a Daytona Beach, Fla., hospital after he suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a fractured left foot in last weekend's NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona. Busch slammed into an inside wall not protected by a SAFER barrier. He was transferred to North Carolina on Tuesday. He had surgery on his right leg last Saturday and surgery on his left foot Wednesday.(NBC Sports)(2-28-2015)
Gordon talks about not being able to qualify at AMS: #24-Jeff Gordon, who was going for his third consecutive pole [Homestead, Daytona], did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt.
Q) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN AT THE RACE TRACK AND NOT BE ABLE TO QUALIFY?
Gordon: "First time ever. There's a first time for everything, I guess. This is absolutely embarrassing. I just feel so bad for my guys and for 3M. To not even get a chance to go out on the race track is ridiculous. I know the fans deserve an apology. I don't know how many cars there must be back here (the garage) that never even got a chance to go on the track. I know we went through twice. When you have this many.....I've seen five or six or even 10 cars that have issues going through (tech) with certain little things. But this many cars that didn't go; that's not on these teams. And they deserve better than this. I can't believe how disappointing this is. I assume I made the race; I mean, who knows what even happened with the points and what's going on? There are guys that don't have the points that are going home that never even got a chance to even get out there. It's a big letdown for me and for our series, right now, that this happened. There is no way that this should ever happen."
Gordon: "There is something wrong. Or there is something wrong with the system. Or there is something wrong with the amount of time they allot to get through. There is no way this many good cars, talented people that they can't figure out how to get these cars through inspection. These guys are too smart. Yes we are pushing limits, but there is something wrong here. I'm embarrassed; I'm embarrassed for our series right now that this just happened. I'm really upset for my sponsor 3M that just came on for this weekend where we didn't even get a chance to qualify. We are just fortunate - I'm assuming we aren't going home because of points from last year. I know there are a lot of teams out here that aren't going to be that fortunate. I hate it for these guys that work so hard. We were excited about qualifying today. I thought we had a great shot at being up front. This is absolutely ridiculous."(Team Chevy)(2-28-2015)
Kenseth discusses not being able to qualify at AMS: #20-Matt Kenseth did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt, a few comments by Kenseth
What caused the issues with tech inspection?
Kenseth: "Yeah, I don't know. Obviously, they weren't organized enough to get everybody through tech it appears, so I don't know. We've got all the people up there to watch qualifying and they don't really get top watch everybody qualify, so it's kind of confusing and disappointing for sure."
Are you upset to start in the rear of the field?
Kenseth: "It's better than not starting. I feel bad for whoever didn't get through there and didn't make the race. I'm glad they're still on last year's points instead of this year's points or probably we wouldn't have made the race either, so I'm not really sure what the issue was, but when I walked up 10 minutes before qualifying was scheduled to start and it was only 14 cars on pit road, so I have a hard time believing it was the teams."
Do you know why this happened?
Kenseth: "I don't really know. I'm not educated enough on that to give you a good answer. I think you'd have to ask Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) or somebody there. I don't really know. I don't typically go with the car through inspections, so I don't know."(Toyota Racing)(2-28-2015)
Hamlin motorcoach hit by rolling SUV: A driver parking his white SUV adjacent to the driver motorcoach lot mistakenly left his car in gear Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, allowing it to roll backward through a fence and into the side of #11-Denny Hamlin's personal coach. A team spokesman said Hamlin's rolling house sustained superficial damage and that no one was injured.(USA Today)(2-28-2015)
Jeff Gordon pushing forward on Fort Erie track: Representatives from Jeff Gordon say they remain committed towards the development of the $400 million Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie. Pending approvals from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Province of Ontario, officials expect to file this spring for the necessary permits to resume construction for the massive track complex along Bowen Road and just off of the Queen Elizabeth Way. The track, whose centerpiece is a Gordon-designed signature speedway, could see its first race take place by 2017. "Jeff has very precise and intimate ideas on how he wants the CMS oval designed and built," said John Bickford Sr., Jeff Gordon Inc. vice president and general manager. Bickford is Gordon's stepfather. Billed as a motorsport innovation park, Canadian Motor Speedway will have a 3/4 mile banked oval track and a 2-mile graded road course. The grandstand will hold 60,000 race fans plus an enclosed club seat section for another 5,000 fans and 40 luxury suites.(Buffalo Busniess First)
AND For the $400-million Canadian Motor Speedway to keep moving forward changes need to be made at QEW-Bowen Rd. interchange. "That overpass at Bowen Rd., does need to be upgraded," said CMS spokesman Erik Tomas. "But because it's going to be the main access and egress point to the speedway development, meetings are being conducted with the Ministry of Transportation to determine what has to go there, and whether that will be a two or four-lane design." Tomas said the track has spent a large sum of money on traffic studies, and even though there will be about 60,000 people in the stands initially for auto-racing events, it might not be necessarily to have an expensive four-lane interchange. The track might be able to do it with two lanes.(Niagara Falls Review)(2-28-2015)
Thirteen cars don't get to make a qualifying lap due to inspection issues: Former Sprint Cup champions #48-Jimmie Johnson, #24-Jeff Gordon, #14-Tony Stewart and #20-Matt Kenseth were among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As several teams had problems in the tech area, reportedly in the rear camber area, and had to go through inspection a second time, NASCAR delayed the start of qualifying for 15 minutes. But that wasn't enough as the 15-minute first round was completed before 13 cars could get through and then make a qualifying lap.
With 36 spots available on speed and only 34 taking times, everyone who posted a first-round time got into the QuikTrip 500 on Sunday. The remaining nine spots were based on 2014 owner points. #46-Michael Annett, #66-Mike Wallace, #83-Matt DiBenedetto and #29-Reed Sorenson never took a lap and missed the race pending post-qualifying technical inspection.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director Richard Buck said the laser inspection bay was open during the test Thursday and many teams were pushing the tolerances looking for mechanical group as part of the new aerodynamic rules. He said every team had gone through tech at least once 17 minutes before qualifying started and with a television window, there was no consideration of an additional delay beyond 15 minutes. He said 20 teams had to go through at least two times -- about twice the average on a normal race weekend last year. "Their job is to push it to that very limit," Buck said. "Our job is to treat everybody fairly and give everybody an opportunity to come through that inspection room. But their responsibility is to come through there right but to the limit. I think that's what you saw today, was everybody pushing the limits." It was not rare last year for a car or two not to get through inspection, but more than a dozen cars was virtually unheard of since NASCAR went to group qualifying last year. All the cars that didn't get through inspection before the end of the first round still had to go through inspection and be approved.(ESPN in part)(2-27-2015)
Nemechek to Drive #34 CSX 'Play It Safe' Ford at Atlanta: Joe Nemechek, a 23-year Sprint Cup Series veteran and 1992 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, will drive the #34 CSX "Play It Safe" Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be Nemechek's 39th Sprint Cup Series start at Atlanta and his first event with Front Row Motorsports. The Atlanta race marks the debut of the 2015 CSX primary paint scheme on the #34 Ford. The company is using the NASCAR program to once again promote its safety message to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks among the millennial generation of 18- to 34-year-old males, the demographic mostly likely to be involved in a crossing collision and to trespass on tracks. "David (Ragan) has been and still is an outstanding spokesperson for our campaign. Our goal with the 'Play it Safe' program is to save lives by reminding motorists and pedestrians not try to beat a train at a grade crossing or walk along railroad tracks. It's a message so important that everyone can be a part of promoting it," says John Claybrooks, CSX Director of Brand, Digital Media & Marketing Communications. "We look forward to Joe carrying this important message for us as well." Nemechek has three top-five and seven top-10 finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(FRM/Breaking Limits)(2-27-2015)
Refresher on the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Package:
-- Reduction of horsepower to 725 via tapered spacer
-- Roller valve lifters to replace flat valve lifter
-- Lower rear differential gear ratios targeting 9,000 RPM
-- Rear spoiler adjustment to 6 inches high (2014 height: 8 inches)
-- Optional driver adjustable track bar
-- 38-inch wide radiator pan
-- Minimum vehicle weight drops 50 lbs. via ballast reduction (2014 weight: 3,300 w/o driver)
-- Updated qualifying formats for all tracks
If Ragan wins, he can get in the Chase: David Ragan doesn't know how long he'll get to drive the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota, but he'll relish every opportunity he can to compete for one of NASCAR's elite teams. Front Row has loaned Ragan to JGR as the replacement for the injured Kyle Busch, who has had surgery on a compound fracture in his right leg and on a broken left foot suffered in a crash Saturday during the Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
JGR officials have not said how long Busch will be out. While no more surgeries are scheduled, Busch must be able to work pedals with both his feet because he likes to brake with his left foot. He remained hospitalized in a Charlotte area hospital Thursday. Ragan will drive the car for the next "several weeks," and JGR officials will re-evaluate the program at some point to see if they want to give development driver Erik Jones a shot. "As far as the length of time Kyle will be out, I don't think anyone really knows that yet," Ragan said Thursday after a test day at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I know for the next several weeks, I'll be in the 18 car. I don't know that we have really a hard time frame on it just yet. There's a lot of moving parts and pieces and certainly it all goes back to how quickly Kyle can heal up and get back driving for them."
If Ragan can win a race, he would be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup as long as he finishes the regular season in the top 30 in the standings. Ragan is expected to have returned to Front Row well before the Chase starts in September, creating a possible windfall for Front Row Motorsports to have a driver in the Chase.(ESPN)
AND Supposedly the plan is for Ragan to drive the car for nine races before Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Jones would take the wheel of the #18 in the May 9 race at Kansas Speedway. Ragan then would return to the #34.(NBC Sports)(2-27-2015)
Medallion Bank to Sponsor #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford: Medallion Bank announced a strategic partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) to support RPM and the #9 Ford team driven by Sam Hornish Jr. Medallion Bank, a recreational and home improvement lending institution will serve as the primary sponsor of the #9 in select events throughout 2015 beginning this weekend at the Atlanta. Medallion Bank, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is owned by Medallion Financial Corp., a publicly traded specialty finance company and co-owner of RPM. Medallion Bank specializes in recreation loans, home improvement loans, asset based loans and taxi medallion loans. For recreation loans, Medallion Bank offers an alternative financing option to other lenders' credit scoring requirements. Its home improvement loan program gives contractors flexible financing options for homeowners wishing to make improvements.
Medallion Bank has reached an agreement with Camping World to serve as a co-primary sponsor for the race at Las Vegas in March and again at Phoenix in March 15. This is the first of many business collaborations that will benefit Medallion Bank, its dealers and RPM.(RPM), see an image of the Medallion Bank/Camping World scheme on the #9 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2015)
Bliss debuts with Go Green Racing: Going into Atlanta Motor Speedway Mike Bliss will make his first start with #32 Go Green Racing. Said Bliss:"I'm ready to go & excited to get behind the wheel of the Rimrock Design Ford for this weekends race. We are hoping that being there for the test will help us for the race and it gives me a chance to work with the Go Green Racing team." Rimrock Designs joins GGR: "I can't express enough how excited Rimrock Design is to be sponsoring the #32 Ford for this weekends race at Atlanta," said owner Micah Linton. "We are looking forward to getting the Rimrock brand out to the public by partnering with Go Green Racing for this great event. On behalf of myself, and my great staff ,I want to thank Archie St.Hilaire for this tremendous opportunity." Rimrock Design Inc. specializes in providing full service tile & flooring solutions for commercial construction and renovation projects. Our professional strength lies in our strong partnerships with manufacturers and never ending commitment to industry research and knowledge which affords us an unprecedented competitive advantage.(GoGreenRacing)(2-27-2015)
Sad News - Thee Dixon: Thee Carlin Dixon, of Durham, NC, the first African American team owner in NASCAR, passed away on Feb. 20, 2015. He was 76 years old. In 1989, he fielded his first Winston Cup entry, under the banner of Mansion Racing, with Mike Potter driving. In 1990, Dixon attempted two races with Mike Skinner. Carl Long and Dixon made three of an attempted twelve starts in 2001 and one of five in 2002. Dixon didn't field another Cup car after. His best Cup finish was 28th in the 1992 AC Delco 500 at Rockingham with Skinner (Frontstretch). Funeral arrangements at hwdfuneral.com.(2-25-2015)
NASCAR Statement on the Passing of Thee Dixon: "NASCAR extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Thee Dixon, a passionate team owner whose love for racing fueled his unmatched positive spirit. Dixon was one of NASCAR's early African-American team owners, fielding teams in NASCAR's Sportsman Series, Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from the late 1980s through the turn of the century. He was universally admired by all who knew him, a friendly presence on pit road and in garages throughout the series, and his dedication to the sport will forever serve as an example for the NASCAR family."(2-27-2015)
NASCAR changes rule regarding reporting criminal charges: On Wednesday, NASCAR issued a series of technical bulletins to teams, with most of the additions to the rule book focused on aspects of the cars such as the minimum weight of front and rear hubs, approved brake ducts and other miscellaneous items. However, the first item on the bulletin was listed as "Section 2.11 Required Notice." Under the Membership section of the rule book, this new addition states, "Any NASCAR Member charged with any violation of the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR ... prior to the next scheduled Event or within 72 hours of being so charged, whichever is earlier." This amendment to the rule book has been implemented throughout NASCAR's top national touring series, as well as down to the weekly racing series. Tom Bryant, director, racing operations communications for NASCAR, told FOXSports.com Thursday the new language now requires members to report criminal misdemeanors to the sanctioning body, something that was not the case before Wednesday. "We expect our NASCAR members to maintain a certain standard of professional behavior and this is another mechanism to ensure we're doing that," said Bryant. "NASCAR has made it very clear to our entire membership and the broader industry that any actions of abuse will not be tolerated in the industry," NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell said last Friday in Daytona while addressing Kurt Busch's suspension. "I want to make it clear that any inference that there is a culture or a tolerance for this type of behavior is patently false."(FoxSports)(2-26-2015)
Daytona 500 and Daytona Speedweeks TV Ratings: After suffering through a daylong weather delay in 2014, the Daytona 500 began working its way back last weekend, scoring 13.4 million viewers on FOX, a +44% increase over last year's 9.3 million. A total of 23.5 million viewers watched all or part of Sunday's telecast. Additionally, 11 days of Speedweeks programming on FOX Sports 1 enjoyed a 14% increase in average viewership (293,000 vs. 257,000).
NASCAR shoulder programming surrounding the Daytona 500 was strong overall on Sunday, Feb. 22, as NASCAR Raceday averaged 973,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, a 31% increase over last year's 742,000 for a one-hour edition of the show. NASCAR Victory Lane posted 464,000 viewers, up 21% over the last post-Daytona run in 2013 (383,000). The week leading up to the Daytona 500 was the third most-watched in FOX Sports 1 history and the highest since last season's National League Championship Series.
FOX kicked off the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season Saturday, Feb. 14 with the SPRINT Unlimited averaging 5.6 million viewers, a 60% increase over 2014 (3.5 million) when it aired on FOX Sports 1. The race powered FOX to a first-place finish in prime time among broadcast networks across all key male and adult demos including A18-49 and A18-34.
A variety of sports programming led FOX Sports 1 to its eighth most-watched Saturday since launch, averaging 490,000 viewers on Saturday, Feb. 14. Motor sports programming started at 10:30 am/et with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice from Daytona drawing 698,000 viewers, up 27% from the equivalent practice last year (551,000). Saturday afternoon's ARCA Racing Series race from Daytona was the most-watched program of the day on FOX Sports 1 with 919,000 viewers.
Daytona Pole Day Qualifying, airing Sunday, Feb. 15 on FOX, averaged 3.4 million viewers, up 17% from 2014. The first ever "group qualifying" format at Daytona is the highest rated and most watched session since 2009, with Jeff Gordon scoring the pole for his final race at Daytona International Speedway. The four-time champion announced he will be retiring at the end of the 2014 season.
The 2015 Budweiser Duel at Daytona scored 3,018,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, a slight dip from last year's 3,122,000 prime time debut, but strong enough to be No. 1 in ad-supported cable from 7:00-10:30 PM ET in total viewers and Adults 18-49 on Thursday, Feb. 19. Earlier in the day, a slate of Daytona practices (Sprint Cup Final, NCWTS and NCWTS Final) averaged 244,000 viewers, a 16% increase in viewership (vs. 210,000) compared to the same three Thursday practice sessions last year.
On Friday, Feb. 20, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Daytona garnered 1,550,000 viewers, a 3% increase from last year's 1,502,000 viewers. Earlier in the day, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying posted a 15% gain over 2013 (472,000 vs. 409,000).
The first 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series race under the new television deal on FOX Sports 1 delivered 2,944,000 viewers on Saturday, Feb. 21, an 8% increase over last year's race on ESPN and good for the most-watched sports event on ad-supported cable on the weekend. The race was the 13th most-watched telecast in FOX Sports 1 history.(FOX Sports)(2-26-2015)
Biffle talks about 2015 rules package: Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ortho Ford Fusion, gave his impression on the new rules package for 2015 between sessions of today's test at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "My Ortho Ford Fusion drove pretty good and had a lot of grip. I felt like I needed a little bit more front turn, but as the session went it seemed like we didn't really slow down and everybody else did, which was a good thing. We're hoping we can get a little more speed right out of the gate for this next session and then hold consistent. My car didn't feel hugely different. I could tell it's got less power, but it wasn't like, 'Oh my gosh, this is a whole different car.'"
ANY DIFFERENT HANDLING CHARACTERISTICS WITH A SMALLER SPOILER? "No. It felt pretty normal, so it's not a huge change, which is good for the sport and good for what we've got coming up."(Ford Racing)(2-26-2015)
Larson talks about the new track bar setting: #42-Kyle Larson, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed the opening session of the test and other topics. The transcript in part:
TALK ABOUT YOUR CAR AND TALK ABOUT HOW THINGS WENT FOR YOU IN THE FIRST PART OF THIS TEST:
Larson: "We were all pretty anxious to get out there I think. This is really what I feel like is the start of our season because this is the majority of the size race tracks we run on. I was excited to get out there, first car out. The track had a lot of grip at first, so that is why Jamie (McMurray) and I are both up there I think. It was fast. I felt like the car really didn't drive much different here than how it did with the old rules package. This track is pretty tough to run on anyway. The characteristics between the way the cars handled were about the same. That is good, nice that Chip Ganassi Racing is one-two after this first test. I hope we can carry this speed on throughout the rest of the weekend and rest of the year."
DID YOU TRY THE ADJUSTABLE TRACK BAR AT ALL THAT YOU CAN WORK ON? HOW WAS THAT?
Larson: "Yeah, that last run I did. I had played with it before at other testing that we did at the end of last year. Really so far when I played with it I thought it affected my exit of the corner. Where I was hoping it would kind of free up my center of the corner. It didn't really touch that just got my exit really loose, when I went up with the track bar. I would say I learned that kind of stuff and how far you can go with it. I think that will be a really neat tool that we get to use as driver. Because when I ran midgets and stuff like that we had shock adjusters. In winged sprint cars you have wing valve adjusters. It is nice that they allow us to put a little bit more into the driver's hands."
DO YOU HAVE TO TELL THE CREW CHIEF WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH THAT ADJUSTMENT OR DO YOU JUST DO IT?
Larson: "I think they can see it right now during the test on the screen. Yeah, once we get done with today I will have to remind them how far I'm moving it up or down. We have a little gauge on our screen that tells us how far we are moving it. It is easy to keep track."
WHERE DID YOU GUYS ELECT TO PUT THE SWITCH FOR THE TRACK BAR ADJUSTMENT AND HAS YOUR CREW CHIEF GIVEN YOU ANY INSTRUCTIONS OR ORDERS ON HOW MUCH YOU CAN USE IT?
Larson: "No, he hasn't given me any order on how far or how much I use it. I think that is all up to me right now. Maybe once I start going too far with it he will crack the whip. My gauge is right next to my seat on my left side, down near my leg brace, kind of. It is easy access. I don't know where other drivers have it, but that is where Jamie (McMurray) and I have ours."
IS IT A DIAL?
Larson: "It's just a switch. I push the switch forward to move it up and back to move it down."
IN ADDITION TO WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THE CAR INSIDE YOU ARE ALSO LOOKING AT A LOWER HORSEPOWER. DID THE CAR FEEL ANY DIFFERENT ON THE RACE TRACK BECAUSE OF THE CHANGE IN HORSEPOWER?
Larson: "I really didn't notice anything. I thought it still came up to speed pretty well. Maybe it doesn't carry to the end of the straightaway as hard as what it did before, but we have less downforce too, it still feels fast. Maybe once we get to like a Michigan or a track where we will probably run even more wide open now we will notice more. I really didn't notice much difference between this year versus last year."
GOING BACK TO THE TRACK BAR IS THAT SOMETHING YOU ANTICIPATE ADJUSTING SOME AS YOU GO IN A TIRE RUN OR DURING CAUTION OR TUNING YOURSELF UP FOR A GREEN/WHITE/CHECKERED? HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO USE IT DURING A RACE?
Larson: "Yeah, for sure, when I ran some testing with it at the end of last year I would do a 30 lap run and I would adjust it quite a bit. It just depends on how your car is handling. If your car is really good you might not touch it that much. As far as green/white/checkered and things like that I definitely think that will come into play. Where you either move it up or down or whatever it may be to get the most speed out of your car at the end."
DOES THIS MEAN WE WON'T SEE CREW MEMBERS FOOLING WITH THE TRACK BAR ADJUSTMENT DURING PIT STOPS?
Larson: "Well I think they can still make wedge adjustments and things like that. I think we will do the track bar ourselves. Yeah, I mean fewer mistakes on pit road probably since they will be doing fewer things. It is easier for us just to move a switch than for them to crank some rounds in it."(Team Chevy)(2-26-2015)
Rinnai on board the #35 with Whitt for Atlanta: Cole Whitt, driver of the #35 Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters Ford, comments on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Atlanta is still a pretty new track to me, but I'm looking forward to going there. I expect it to have a lot of speed. But we'll definitely have tire fall-off. It's one of the coolest things about Atlanta. We fall off so much there. There are cars that could be a half second faster than somebody for one lap. But then five laps into a run, they could be a full second slower than you. It's probably the track we go to that has the biggest swing as far as tires. We're happy to have Rinnai on our #35 Ford Fusion for the Atlanta race. Rinnai is the number-one selling brand of tankless water heaters in the U.S. and Canada, and we're proud to showcase them to the NASCAR audience."(Breaking Limits/FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #35 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2015)
Travis Kvapil joins Team Xtreme: After competing in the Daytona 500 for the first time in the organization's history, Team Xtreme heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway with added confidence in their young program. Travis Kvapil climbs into the #44 Phoenix Warehouse Chevrolet this weekend after competing in the Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona. Returning to Team Xtreme for a multi-race deal throughout the 2015 season is Phoenix Warehouse of New Jersey and California. Phoenix Warehouse is a full-service logistics warehouse and distribution company founded in 1976. Their clear objective has been and remains, "Provide comprehensive and superior logistic services to a myriad of industries." Kvapil says: "Atlanta is a fast track - it is also one of the few tracks we go to that we use up the entire track. From the bottom white line to riding up alongside the wall, it gives you options to figure out where your car handles the best. Tire management and pit strategy will be keys to succeeding in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500."(140Buzz / Team Xtreme)(2-26-2015)
New sponsor for JTG Daugherty Racing at AMS: "This week we are Fueled with Flavor," AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Chevy, said "I can't think of a better weekend to unveil our #47 Better Than Bouillon Chevrolet scheme than Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's going to be so cold there and I'll be opening up a jar of Better than Bouillon - which is a Southeastern Mills brand - to make some chicken noodle soup. You can use it for so many different meals. Visit www.betterthanbouillon.com to learn more about all of the ways you can use it. I really like this paint scheme, it looks fast."(JTG Daugherty), see an image of the scheme on the #47 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2015)
Matt DiBenedetto joins BK Racing starting at Atlanta: Matt Dibenedetto joins BK Racing as the driver of the #83 Burger King Toyota, starting at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Matt DiBenedetto, a first generation driver, started his NASCAR career as a development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2009-2010. Competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and Xfinity Series, Dibenedetto made a name for himself in the racing community. After much success, Matt's opportunity got cut short due to a tough economy and lack of sponsorship. Starting in 2011, Dibenedetto has done extensive Sprint Cup testing for various teams and last year competed in the Xfinity Series for The Motorsports Group (TMG) and got some of the teams best finishes in their 9 year history. Dibenedetto will share the #83 ride with last weeks driver, Johnny Sauter, for several races throughout the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. "I am so excited to get an opportunity to drive in the Sprint Cup Series for BK Racing. I truly can not put into words how thankful I am for Ron Devine, Anthony Marlowe, and the whole organization giving me a chance to be a part of their team. I look forward to proving my ability behind the wheel and I hope to grow with the team for years to come."
"BK Racing's third full-time entry is a great platform to allow young talents like Matt DiBenedetto to gain experience," said Ron Devine, "I'm happy to know that we'll be working with someone who has a strong appreciation for the ride, is self made, and has the confidence of his peers." Joining Dibenedetto this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway is Jeb Burton in the #26 Maxim Fantasy Sports App Toyota and JJ Yeley in the #23 Dr Pepper Toyota. Burton looks to make his debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Sunday's Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500.(BK Racing)(2-26-2015)
The End Of The Beginning for Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon goes back to where it all began this weekend for perhaps his final race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the 1992 season finale at AMS, sprouting a storied career highlighted by four championships and 92 wins entering his last full-time campaign. The #24 Hendrick Motorsports driver placed 29th in the Hooters 500 that November afternoon, a finish he has rarely replicated since. Gordon leads all active full-time drivers with five wins in his 41 starts at AMS. He also boasts 16 top fives (39%). 26 top 10s (63.4%) and two poles. Gordon last won at Atlanta in 2011.(NASCAR)(2-26-2015)
NASCAR Productions and SPIKE TV Present 'I Am Dale Earnhardt': NASCAR Productions and SPIKE TV have joined forces to create a captivating and revealing documentary on the life of a legendary American sports hero - Dale Earnhardt. The original film, "I AM DALE EARNHARDT," premieres exclusively on Monday, March 2 at 10:00pm/et/pt on SPIKE TV. With in-depth and insightful interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport, unforgettable highlights from Earnhardt's greatest moments on the track, and rare footage of Earnhardt's life off-the track, the film is an up-close-and-personal look at the man behind the iconic mustache. Among those interviewed for the film include some of the biggest names in NASCAR such as Jimmie Johnson, Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR)(2-26-2015)
RCR Partner Chartwell Seeks Equity Sale: Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, a premier sports enterprise focused primarily on NASCAR race teams, has advised its employees, drivers and key sponsors that RCR's minority partner, Chartwell Investments and RCR have hired Houlihan Lokey to assist in exploring strategic alternatives for the sale of its equity position in the company. Houlihan Lokey is serving as financial advisor to RCR. Questions regarding the process should be directed to Lee Ann Gliha (RCR).(2-26-2015)
Kyle Busch Undergoes Successful Surgery On Left Foot: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), underwent successful surgery this afternoon on his left foot, which was injured in an accident during last Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina. Busch is resting comfortably and will remain hospitalized for observation.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-25-2015)
AC/DC's lead singer buys Mustang from Petty's Garage: AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson has bought his first Mustang GT from Richard Petty's Garage, based in Randleman, NC "This Mustang has just taken my breath away," said Johnson, according to Ford. "It really is one of the best cars I've ever driven. I didn't have an American car, but I do now!" Ford is teaming with Petty's Garage to create a new 627-hp Mustang GT, according to Auto World News. Two versions will reportedly be built this year. The car that Johnson bought comes in at $92,210. Orders for the limited edition Mustang can be placed at any Ford dealership.(MyFox8)(2-26-2015)
Open Test Session Gives Fans a Four-Day Weekend of NASCAR at AMS: NASCAR will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway one day earlier during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend. NASCAR will conduct an open test session for its Sprint Cup Series teams on Feb. 26, giving teams an opportunity to gain valuable track time in advance of the season's first race on an intermediate track with the new rules package. The Speedway welcomes fans to attend the event and watch from the grandstands and enter at Gate 13. Admission is free with a Sunday grandstand ticket or a $10 donation to the Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. For more information on the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend, call 877-9-AMS-TIX or go to atlantamotorspeedway.com/tickets.(AMS), this test session will not be televised.(2-25-2015)
High-Performance Energizer EcoAdvanced AA Battery featured on #42 at Atlanta: As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) for the first race of the season at an intermediate track, and first race with the new rules package, Energizer is set to serve as the primary partner on Kyle Larson's #42 Chevy. Energizer will be highlighting a first. Following several years of development, Energizer recently introduced the EcoAdvanced AA battery, which is a first-of-its-kind battery made with four percent recycled battery material that delivers long-lasting power while creating less impact on the planet. Although this will only be the second time that Larson has raced the Energizer Chevy, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Energizer have enjoyed a strong relationship for nearly 20 years (Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(2-25-2015)
Congrats - Regan Smith: #41 SHR Cup driver / JRR XFINITY driver, Regan Smith announced on Twitter: "Welcome to this world Rhett Lee Smith 5lbs 14oz 18"long May all your dreams become reality :(2-25-2015)
Fox swaps networks for Martinsville and Richmond: FOX Sports announced the Sunday, March 29 (1:00pm/et) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 from Martinsville Speedway will air on FOX Sports 1, in turn moving the Saturday, April 25 (7:00 pm/et) Toyota Owners 400 night race from Richmond International Raceway to the FOX broadcast network. With approval from NASCAR, the swap is being made to avoid a potential conflict with another live event on FOX Sports 1 that leads into the Richmond event. Martinsville now marks the debut of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX Sports 1.(FOX Sports)(2-25-2015)
#10 Team Issued a Written Warning For Rules Infraction at Daytona: The #10 team [Danica Patrick, Stewart Haas Racing] that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been issued a Written Warning for a rules infraction discovered during opening day inspection Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway.
Written Warnings are outlined in Section 184.108.40.206 in the 2015 NASCAR rule book. This warning is for violation of Sections:
12-1 - Actions detrimental to stock car racing
220.127.116.11.2.1.b - Unapproved left-side driver heat shield; the outer exterior exhaust heat shield panel must follow the horizontal surface plane of the left side floorboard forward section to the bottom edge of the left side toe board.(NASCAR)(2-25-2015)
Who will drive the #34? UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports needed a replacement, but... David Reutimann is kicking himself. The former Sprint Cup driver had the opportunity to race for Front Row Motorsports this weekend in the #34 Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, Reutimann, who is traveling in California, told Motorsport.com on Tuesday he had not renewed his NASCAR license for 2015. Reutimann says he hopes to return to racing at some point. Renewing his NASCAR license and getting his physical would be a good place to start.
Bobby Labonte has been mentioned as a fill in for David Ragan this weekend. Sources confirmed that the team has talked to the 2000 NASCAR champ. With 48 entries for the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Labonte's past champion's provisional would come in handy.(Motorsport)(2-24-2015)
UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports tweeted: "Happy to have Joe Nemechek on board this weekend, driving the #34 @CSX #PlayItSafe Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(2-25-2015)
Bowyer latest Cup driver to be guest analyst of FOX: Clint Bowyer is the latest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver confirmed as a race analyst for FOX and FOX Sports 1's coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015. Bowyer is scheduled to offer analysis alongside Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip for the NASCAR XFINITY Series races from Auto Club Speedway in March and Charlotte in May. Bowyer is the fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver announced as part of a rotation in the FOX and FOX Sports 1 booth for FOX Sports' coverage of the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.(FOX)(2-25-2015)
Sad News - Thee Dixon: Thee Carlin Dixon, of Durham, NC, the first African American team owner in NASCAR, passed away on Feb. 20, 2015. He was 76 years old. In 1989, he fielded his first Winston Cup entry, under the banner of Mansion Racing, with Mike Potter driving. In 1990, Dixon attempted two races with Mike Skinner. Carl Long and Dixon made three of an attempted twelve starts in 2001 and one of five in 2002. Dixon didn't field another Cup car after. His best Cup finish was 28th in the 1992 AC Delco 500 at Rockingham with Skinner. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.(Frontstretch / hwdfuneral.com)(2-25-2015)
ISC to review safety at all facilities: Statement from International Speedway Corporation (ISC) President John Saunders:
"Beginning with our two superspeedway motorsports entertainment facilities, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, ISC is developing a significant plan for the installation of additional impact-absorbing technologies including but not limited to SAFER barriers (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction). We will utilize all available tools to ensure the safety of the drivers and our fans. It will remain our top priority. A thorough review of our other ISC facilities will continue with the focus to prioritize each track's most critical areas first. This includes but is not limited to our upcoming races at Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. ISC is working very closely with NASCAR and industry experts to identify areas for additional safety protections. As we finalize our plans, we will communicate them to the drivers and necessary stakeholders ahead of our races at each ISC facility."(ISC)(2-24-2015)
Ragan to sub for Kyle Busch? UPDATE: #34-David Ragan has been contacted by Joe Gibbs Racing about driving the #18 Toyota while Kyle Busch recovers from a compound fracture in his right leg. JGR is considering a plan that would share the ride between Ragan and Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Jones, who is under contract to the team, while Busch recovers from his injury. There is no timetable on the return for Busch, who spent a third consecutive night in a Daytona Beach hospital after being hurt in a Saturday crash during the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona.
Ragan has driven the #34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series the past four seasons. He has two victories in Cup, at Daytona in 2011 for Roush Fenway Racing and at Talladega in 2013 for Front Row. Ragan met with JGR officials Tuesday morning at the team's Huntserville, N.C., headquarters. Team owner Joe Gibbs met Monday morning with Jones, who has four career victories in the truck series, about taking over the No. 18, but there are concerns about how it might impact the 18-year-old's future sponsorship prospects if he struggled in Busch's absence.
Jones races full time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the truck series and is running 10 races in the Xfinity Series for JGR. He is a likely candidate to take over Busch's part-time schedule in the #54 Toyota on the Xfinity circuit. Among the plans being considered would be to put Ragan in the #18 for several races and then allow Jones some time behind the wheel after he has more Xfinity and truck experience.
It wasn't clear immediately how Ragan's Ford relationship might be affected, but multiple sources said JGR had received approval from Ford and Roush Fenway Racing to put driver Elliott Sadler in the #18 for the Daytona 500 before electing to run truck series champion Matt Crafton. Requests for comment from Ragan and Front Row Motorsports hadn't been returned Tuesday morning.(NBC Sports)(2-24-2015)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces that David Ragan will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch was released this morning from Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL and transferred to a hospital near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina for further treatment. Busch sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident. No specific timetable has been announced for Busch's return to the race track. It is expected that Ragan will pilot the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota for at least the next several weeks. Ragan's current race team Front Row Motorsports and sponsor CSX accommodated the move by Ragan and Ragan is expected to return to the team later this season. Additional updates on Busch's condition will be provided as necessary. In addition, JGR announces that Erik Jones will pilot the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend in Atlanta. An announcement on who will drive the Monster Energy Camry following Atlanta will be made at a later date.
"We appreciate being able to work with Front Row Motorsports and CSX for David's (Ragan) availability," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are fortunate to be able to have someone of David's caliber behind the wheel while Kyle recovers. Erik is a big part of our future at JGR and we will be increasing his schedule in the XFINITY Series beginning this weekend in Atlanta and seeking the earliest opportunity to provide him Cup experience. We appreciate all the support we have received from the NASCAR community including our fans and we look forward to getting Kyle back in the car as soon as possible."
"Everyone at Mars is thankful that Kyle is doing well and we continue to wish him a speedy recovery," said William Clements, vice president of sponsorship and sports marketing for Mars Incorporated. "While we can't wait until Kyle returns behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota, we are excited to work with David and we're pleased JGR was able to work it out for him to step in during Kyle's absence."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-24-2015)
Sad News - Michael Colabucci Sr.: On Monday, February 23, 2015, Michael Anthony Colabucci Sr., passed from this world. Born to Lawrence and Angela "Tootsie" Colabucci on December 16th, 1962 in Washington, D.C., Mike attended Frederick Douglass High School. He was the beloved husband of Maureen; father of Mike Colabucci, Jr.; and survived by one granddaughter; brother of Brian, Kevin, Patrick, Lauren and Lesley. He also loved his 2 dogs, Toby and Bucci. Michael worked for 3 decades in the automotive business as a salesman, manager, general manager and dealer. He spent the majority of his career with Lustine Chevrolet in Hyattsville, MD and most recently in Waldorf, MD. He loved automobiles and in his younger days raced motorcycles, stock cars and competed in the NACAR Craftsman Truck Series. Family and friends are invited to Mike's Life Celebration on Friday, February 27 from 9:30am until a Mass of Christian Burial is offered at 11:00am at The Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 11704 Duley Station Rd., Upper Marlboro, MD. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions my be made to Little Sisters of the Poor, Jeanne Jugan Residence, 4200 Harwood Rd., N.E., Washington, DC or to Servants of the Lord, 1714 Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.(2-25-2015)
Special scheme on the #55 at Atlanta, Moffitt gets the call: Brett Moffitt will drive Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Aaron's 60th Anniversary Dream Machine Toyota replacing Brian Vickers who'll make his 2015 debut next weekend in Las Vegas after recovering from heart surgery. Michael Waltrip finished 26th at Daytona last weekend driving the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine. Atlanta-based Aaron's will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a special paint scheme on the #55 this weekend. Aaron's joined MWR in 2000 serving as a primary sponsor in Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races. With more than 2,100 stores across the country, Aaron's helps customers own the life they want. Though Moffitt owns a few Sprint Cup starts, he's never had a chance to demonstrate his talent with a full-time team, crew and car that's competing for wins and a championship. Moffitt sees this weekend's race as a chance to show the world he belongs with the sport's young stars. In five years of fulltime NASCAR Pro Series East competition (2009-13), Moffitt won nine of the 61 races he entered. In 2014, Moffitt made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Dover International Speedway, where he started 18th and finished 22nd. He has since competed in six additional Sprint Cup events.(MWR), see images of the car on the #55 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2015)
Fresh From Florida debuts at Atlanta on the #43: In the off-season, Richard Petty Motorsports took on the responsibility to hang their own bodies. This weekend, the #43 Fresh From Florida team will bring a brand new body to their first intermediate race of the season. The team is eager to use this race as a benchmark for their new body program. Aric Almirola and team will have the opportunity to test out the car on Thursday during a test session at Atlanta Motor Speedway before the regular race weekend begins on Friday. This weekend, the Fresh From Florida campaign will makes its 2015 debut on the famed #43. The campaign, led by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products.(RPM), see am image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2015)
Logano on Letterman: See the video clip of #22-Joey Logano, winner of the 2015 Daytona 500, on Late Night with David Letterman from Monday, Feb 23rd at cbs.com.(2-24-2015)
Kyle Busch spends another night in the hospital UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch will spend a third night at Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach, where he is recovering from leg and foot injuries, according to a team spokesman at Joe Gibbs Racing, who said Busch is "resting comfortably."(FoxSports)(2-24-2015)
UPDATE Kyle Busch's wife Samantha tweeted with a pic: Off to NC! Thank u to everyone at Halifax for taking such good care of Kyle! Leaving Daytona.(2-24-2015)
Atlanta Motor Speedway Statement on Protective Barriers: Following discussions yesterday between Atlanta Motor Speedway and NASCAR officials and a subsequent review of the existing SAFER barriers at the facility, AMS will add a number of additions to its existing barrier system. The protective wall at the exit of pit road near Turn 1 will be extended, and a tire barrier will be added along the inside wall of Turn 4 to offer supplementary safety protection. The installations will add a total of 130 linear feet of additional protective barrier prior to this weekend's NASCAR events. Further review regarding future installation of additional SAFER barriers at the facility will take place following Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Atlanta Motor Speedway is dedicated to providing the safest possible facility for its fans and drivers.(AMS)(2-24-2015)
France: Safety, performance are NASCAR hallmarks: On Monday, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France explained the secret to the sport's success in creating a level playing field and expressed the importance of safety. He also told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that Joey Logano leads a group of young drivers coming up in the sport. "Everybody gets an opportunity on equal footing to compete, and that's a very hard task for us because we have 43 teams, three manufacturers and a lot of smart people trying to game any rules package that we put forward," France said. "To get an advantage, that's what they do. That's what they should do. When we're able to boil through all that and make sure that everybody is on equal footing, that's when we win, and if we do that in a safe way, then we really win." France addressed the caution flag that ended the Great American Race with a multi-car wreck on the backstretch at the World Center of Racing. "We obviously err on the side of safety," France said of the yellow flag that ended the race after the field received the white flag on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. "That's of course what we're going to do. In this case, (NASCAR officials) believed that they couldn't clear it off, and it was just too dramatic. "We would have loved to finish it perfectly under green, but that wasn't the case. I don't think it really would have changed anything in this case. Joey (Logano) had broken out and established himself. It would have been very difficult to overcome him under any situation."
France also addressed Kyle Busch's crash in Saturday's XFINITY Series race and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III's pledge to ring the track with SAFER barriers. "Joie Chitwood said it best that, 'hey, look, that's unacceptable,'" France said of not having a SAFER barrier on the frontstretch where Busch crashed. "We're going to own that and move forward. That's how we're wired. That's a cornerstone of what we do. Safety and performance are the hallmarks of NASCAR." He added, "If we don't get safety right, then nothing else really matters."(NASCAR.com)(2-24-2015)
Kentucky Speedway adding SAFER barriers to walls: Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger says track officials have long considered adding more Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barriers to the Sparta, Ky., track's walls. "And then with what happened to Kyle Busch, it ratcheted up the urgency," Simendinger said Monday. Simendinger said Monday that by this July's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend, his track plans to add the so-called soft to its back stretch. "Sometimes you have to see what can possibly happen before you realize that you've got a problem that needs to be corrected," Simendinger said. "Obviously it's an expensive thing to do. It takes time. But it's something we're committed to. I've always said safety is our No. 1 thing, so that's what we're going to do assuming we can get the work done between now and our races," set for July 9-11. Already, SAFER barriers cover Kentucky's entry to corners through exits -- spots consultants deemed most likely to result in contact with race cars. Along the backstretch, the new walls could catch spinning cars off Turn 2. Ultimately, Simendinger says that "as an industry" NASCAR-sanctioned tracks will eventually cover every inch of exposed concrete wall. But it comes at a hefty cost -- approximately $500 per square foot. "It's something we work hand-in-hand with NACAR and their consultants on," he said. "...But there's not that many people that make SAFER barriers, so we've got to make sure we can get it, get it installed and do it properly."(Courier Journal)(2-24-2015)
Talladega adding SAFER barriers after Kyle Busch crash: Two days after Kyle Busch -- one of NASCAR's biggest stars -- broke his leg and foot in a head-on crash into a concrete wall at Daytona International Speedway, the president of the facility's sister track said more SAFER barriers will be installed before it hosts racing in May. "We'll look at our facility and reassess how we can make it better for the competitors as we've done with the catchfences and other things over the past 20 years," Talladega Superspeedway president Grant Lynch told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "I think based upon what happened ... there will be a big focus on Talladega," Lynch said. At 2.66 miles, Talladega -- located about 55 miles east of Birmingham, Ala. -- is the biggest oval track in NASCAR and one of the fastest speedways in the world. Violent, multi-car crashes are practically staples of racing at the facility, which hosts two NASCAR weekends each year. Its 2015 dates are May 1-3 and Oct. 23-25. "I think we've put more (SAFER barriers) up than anybody, but that stands to reason because we're the biggest track with the most inside and outside walls," Lynch said. "We're certainly near the top percentage-wise for our company (International Speedway Corp., which owns 12 venues). Lynch said he didn't know what percentage of Talladega's walls is barrier-protected now. "As we've seen unusual wrecks happen, we've added more as we go," he said. "This is another opportunity to say, 'Let's ratchet it up again and take a good, hard look at the safety factors and see where we need it.' "(USA Today)(2-24-2015)
During the Daytona 500 Champion's Breakfast, DIS President Joie Chitwood III
presents Joey Logano with a steel-and-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch
Logano Gets Champion's Treatment at Daytona 500 Champion's Breakfast: Newly crowned Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano was off-and-running again Monday morning. It started early with the annual Champion's Breakfast in the Bill France Room at Daytona International Speedway, where Logano was presented with the traditional champion's jacket. He also was surprised with a new first-year presentation for Daytona 500 champions: a steel-and-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch. The timepiece will come in handy. Logano has a jam-packed schedule of media activities this week, including appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight and the TODAY show Tuesday, plus a trip to ESPN's studios in Bristol, Conn.
"I didn't sleep much [last night], that's for sure," Logano said. "I didn't go to sleep, really. My mind just kept thinking about the whole race, how it all played out. I just kept reliving the moment over and over again. It's amazing ... the Daytona 500. It's something that's very special. And now, I'm excited about the [media] adventure that's ahead of me."
At Monday morning's breakfast, Logano, crew chief Todd Gordon and car owner Roger Penske spoke with media prior to another tradition being renewed: installing the Daytona 500 winning car - in this instance the yellow-and-red #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford - inside the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building. The car will be part of the Speedway tours program and will be returned to the team at the 2016 Daytona 500, a tradition that began in 1996.
During the Champion's Breakfast, DIS President Joie Chitwood III presented champion's jackets to Logano, Gordon and Penske; the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy to Penske; and the Cannonball Baker trophy to Gordon. Chitwood and Logano also unveiled the logo for next year's 58th annual Daytona 500.(DIS)(2-23-2015)
SHR says #41 will race at Atlanta UPDATE: A spokesperson for Stewart-Haas Racing says that the #41 Chevy will compete this weekend at Atlanta but no driver has been confirmed. Regan Smith drove the car to a 16th-place finish in Sunday's Daytona 500 in place of Kurt Busch. NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch on Friday after a Delaware Family Court Commissioner concluded that "it is more likely than not'' that Busch committed an act of domestic abuse against ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll in September. The commissioner made the pronouncement after granting a protective order for Driscoll. Busch lost two appeals to NASCAR on Saturday to get back in the car. A NASCAR spokesperson said the sanctioning body would send guidelines to Busch on what he must do to be reinstated. The #41 car's primary sponsor for most races is Haas Automation, which is owned by car owner Gene Haas. That led to some questions of it Haas would continue to run the car after Daytona.(NBC Sports)(2-23-2015)
UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Regan Smith interim driver of its #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend Feb. 26-March 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Smith will begin driving the #41 car during the open test session on Thursday. The race on Sunday will be Smith's seventh Sprint Cup start at Atlanta. His most recent Sprint Cup start at the 1.54-mile oval was on Sept. 2, 2012 when he finished 14th. Atlanta will be Smith's second race in the #41 car. He drove the Haas Automation Chevrolet to a 16th-place finish last Sunday in the Daytona 500. Smith already had some history with Stewart-Haas Racing prior to Daytona. He subbed for Tony Stewart in the team's #14 car last August at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. An interim driver for the #41 team at next weekend's Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and subsequent races has not been determined.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(2-23-2015)(
Erik Jones meets with Joe Gibbs about subbing for injured Busch in #18 ride: Erik Jones has emerged as the leading candidate to replace injured Kyle Busch in the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones, who drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series and is under contract with JGR, met Monday morning with team owner Joe Gibbs to discuss taking over the ride. Busch is out indefinitely after suffering a compound fracture in his right leg in an Xfinity Series crash Saturday at Daytona. JGR could make an announcement on an interim driver as early as Monday afternoon. Jones, 18, is scheduled to run a full truck season for KBM and a 10-race Xfinity schedule for JGR. There are no major scheduling conflicts that would preclude him from driving in NASCAR's premier series until the Martinsville Speedway weekend in late March. The team is expected to receive approval from NASCAR to put Jones in a Sprint Cup car. He wasn't approved for the Daytona 500 as NASCAR typically doesn't allow drivers to make their Cup debut in a restrictor-plate race at Daytona or Talladega without having raced at a lower-tier event at those tracks.(NBC Sports)(2-23-2015)
NASCAR cites 'competitor safety' in throwing the final caution: NASCAR officials say they felt the backstretch crash Sunday on the final lap of the Daytona 500 had enough hard hits with the wall that they had to throw the caution as leader and eventual winner Joey Logano entered Turn 3. It resulted in a somewhat anticlimactic finish with the race ending on a judgment call under yellow-flag conditions without a scramble to the finish line. But it was a finish that NASCAR said was necessary for safety reasons. NASCAR rules dictate that once the leader has taken the white flag, it will not restart the race if the caution comes out. Drivers keep their position as long as they maintain a reasonable speed to the finish line. "We make every effort to finish a race under the green flag," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "However, when cars get disrupted and hit the wall as they did on that last lap, we are going to react in the best interest of competitor safety."(ESPN.com)(2-23-2015)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, NV
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, March 7, 2015, 2:30 pm/et
FoxSports1 (FS1) 2:30pm/et
Born in MARCH
2 David Reutimann, Robert "Bootie" Barker, Cully Barraclough, Harold Holly, Erin Blaney, Lisa Price, Blake Mallory, Charles Comstock, Dr. Seuss
3 Bruton Smith, Dave Rodman, Chad Trickle, Tiny Lund, Donald Epling, Bill Snyder, Bobby Lord
4 Buck Baker, Rick Mast, Gary Cogswell, Pat Tryson, Chris Passantino
5 Cale Gale, Sutherlin Marlin
6 Jenny Umscheid, Bruce Martin
7 Janet Guthrie, Katelyn Benson
8 Buddy Barnes, Mark Green, Tommy Norton, Frank Parrish, Ronnie Thomas, Mark Smith, Kirk Shelmerdine, Wendy Calkins
9 Jeanne Barnes, Kevin Graves, Fred Bickford, Wilma Blevins, Danny Sullivan
10 Matt Kenseth, Mike Wallace, Roy McCauley, Ginny McClure, Kelly Denton, Randy Biggs, Louis Ossinsky Sr
11 Kathy Cindric, Albert Garwood, Derek Daly, Troy Ruttman
12 Casey Mears, John Andretti, Red Byron, Terri Brooks, Lorrie Earp
13 Jeff Spraker
14 Lee Petty, Artie Kempner, Aric Almirola, Bill Rexford, Albert Einstein, Kristen Yeley, Harold E. Holly Jr., David Poole
15 Andy Graves, Matthew Holzbaur
16 Jay Guarneri, Kevin Cywinski, Troy Andrews, Katrina Spencer, Wes Adams
17 Tom 'Tiger' Pistone, Gloria Lewis, Dee Eolin, Doug Rice
18 Mark Donohue, Ryan Truex, Alex Garcia, Jack Smith, Derrick Gilchrist
19 Brian Burns, Wyatt Dallenbach, Chris Graves, Tom Umscheid
20 Jeff Thousand, Mike Messick Jr.
21 Larry McClure, Fonty Flock, Jeff Krogh, Bob Hayden, Joe Menzer, Mike Moore
22 Marianne Fairlie, Billy Hagan, Pam Miller, Todd Trickle, Ronald Hayden, Eric Bilyeu, Mike Bodick, Jerry Wittig, Randy Heffner, Darrel Haskins, Tim Harrison
23 Andrew Fairlie, Erin Crocker, Mike McCarthy, Wes Adams, chaplain Tim Griffin, Johnny Beauchamp
24 Brenda Young, Jimmy Makar, Jim Makar, Pam Hill, Austin Petty, Scott Pruett
25 Peg Adamczyk, Danica Patrick, Dave Moody, Donnie Disharoon, Justin Marks, John Ray, Doyle Ford, Bobby Calkins, Aaron Eaton
26 Nathaniel O'Hare, Nina Feeney, Austin Green, Doug Williams, Natalee Jarrett, Dan Ford, Blaise Alexander
27 Cale Yarborough, Maurice Petty, Andy Hall, Keith Wilson, Jeff Fuller, Bob Kelly, Rodney Combs, Gary DeHart
28 Shelby Pressley, Chris Meyers, Peter Jellen
29 Kim Wood Hall, Jamie DiPietro, Carole Houchins, Olivia Andretti
30 Pam Bickford
31 Angus Young, Richard Jackson, Scott Houston, Dana White, Rocky Ryan