NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Entry List for the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #12-Montoya, #21-Bayne, #29-Matt Crafton (would be 1st career Cup start), #33-Stremme, #37-Bobby Labonte (no owners points/attempts but has a past champions provisional available), #66-Moffitt, #95-McDowell.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #21-Bayne, #12-Montoya, #29-Crafton
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #21-Bayne, #12-Montoya, #29-Crafton
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Indianapolis Entry List

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the Indianapolis Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Bobby Labonte Joins Tommy Baldwin Racing for the Brickyard 400: 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte joins Tommy Baldwin Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 this weekend. Labonte will be piloting the #37 Chey, sponsored by Accell Construction. Accell Construction has been a partner of Tommy Baldwin Racing since 2009 and acts as a primary sponsor on the #7 of Michael Annett for six races throughout the year. "I am excited to have Bobby Labonte come on board this weekend at Indy," team owner Tommy Baldwin said. "Bobby and I are good friends, and I know that his experience both on and off the track will bring a lot of great information to everyone at Tommy Baldwin Racing. I'm looking forward to seeing the impact Bobby will have, and great Brickyard 400."
    "I am thankful for the opportunity given to me by Tommy, getting to run my 21st race at the Brickyard means a lot to me," said Labonte. "Jeff Gordon and I are the only active drivers to run all the races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I am glad to continue that quest with TBR."(TBR), this will be Labonte's 3rd Cup start of 2013. He ran the Daytona 500 in the #52 HScott Motorsports Chevy and at Daytona in July, running the #33 Thunder Coal Chevy for Circle Sport.(7-24-2014)

  • Stewart would like to have Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Eldora: While he's not planning for it, Tony Stewart would love for the addition of more NASCAR Racing at Eldora Speedway. Stewart, along with track general manager Roger Slack, talked about the possibilty during a press conference for the unveiling of the new infield building that will be added for the 2015 season. "I'd love for the Truck Series to not be the only NASCAR that comes here," Stewart said. "If this continues to go as well as we hope it does there's no reason that the other two divisions couldn't come possibly in the future. I think we can make it work. If you can take the trucks and make them work here, the Cup cars and Nationwide cars aren't much of a stretch from that. So it's definitely feasible to do that." The new building, which will begin to be constructed in October, will house the media center that will also double as an infield hospitality suite. The building will also be the site of the infield care center along with a concession stand with double lines. Stewart said the decision to build in the infield building had no bearing on the possibilty of getting a Nationwide of Cup Series race in the future. "This is part of the continued process of us making the commitment of improving the facility to making it bigger and better," he said. "But we are very appreciative and very content if we only run truck races from here on out. We get the privilege to keep hosting Truck races and we are very happy doing that."(Motor Racing Network)(7-24-2014)

  • Earnhardt Jr. visits Indiana Army National Guard: It wasn't the ground-shaking boom of an M119 Howitzer that moved #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Wednesday; it was the line of six Indiana Army National Guard soldiers with raised right hands in that same grassy field. Earnhardt, in Indiana to compete in this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, shared in the re-enlistment ceremony of the half dozen soldiers. IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal, whose motor sports program is also sponsored by the National Guard, also was there. "That was really overwhelming because I'm sure that opportunity will never come again," Earnhardt said with a shaken voice. "I (once) had the privilege of swearing in new recruits and they were scared to death - it was a unique experience - but to have some guys who want to add more years to what they're doing, that says a lot about how much they believe in what they're doing." Earnhardt and Rahal didn't just meet soldiers, they got to engage with them. Both got to fire the Howitzer on Range 43, ignite ditch-creating C4 artillery on Range 44 and shoot an M4 rifle on Range 12. They even rode out in a Blackhawk. The Howitzer has a range of nearly 10 miles, and it had both drivers shaking.(see full story and images at the USA Today)(7-24-2014)

  • Montoya returns to Cup action at Indy: No driver in the field on Sunday can match the diverse history of Juan Pablo Montoya at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his illustrious career, the Bogota, Colombia-born driver has made seven career NASCAR Cup Series starts, five Formula 1 starts, three IndyCar Series starts and one start in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at the famed circuit. He is also the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion. Over the course of his NASCAR career, Montoya has led 203 laps and earned a pair of top-10 finishes at Indianapolis. This weekend's Brickyard 400 will mark the first race for Montoya in the #12 Penske Truck Rental (PTR) colors and his second Cup Series start for Team Penske this season. PTR is an operating unit of Penske Truck Leasing and has approximately 2,000 consumer truck rental locations across the United States and Canada. Penske rents commercial semi-trucks, straight trucks and trailers to businesses that haul freight. Its truck rental fleet has more than 50,000 units.(Team Penske)(7-24-2014)

  • Second Quarter Driver of the Year announced: Indy 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was named winner of the second quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014. The 2012 Verizon IndyCar series champion won the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists Hunter-Reay, 33, won the iconic race in his seventh attempt. The Florida resident also won the Honda Indy Grand Prix in Alabama and was runner-up in the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in the second quarter which ended at the at Pocono IndyCar 500 on July 6th. In the voting Hunter-Reay, who drives the #28 DHL Dallara-Honda for Andretti Autosport, had eight first-place ballots and totaled 102 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Jimmie Johnson, who drives the #48 Lowe's Chevy in NASCAR, garnered six first-place votes and totaled 84 points. Antron Brown who drives the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA was third in the balloting with 45 points. NASCAR's Brad Keselowski, who finished fourth in the voting, also received one first place vote. A total of 20 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting. In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Two panelists didn't vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Hunter-Reay will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented later. President of the Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.(DOTY)(7-24-2014)

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway introduces New Scoring Pylon: When a race goes green at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a lot more fans are going to know it instantly. The third-generation scoring pylon was unveiled Tuesday on the main straightaway and among the many tricks on the full-LED-paneled pylon is the ability to completely flash with green lights. Or yellow. Or with an American flag look for pre-race. And then, in a blink, the 92-foot, 4-inch pylon can look just like the one that was removed last month after 20 years of service, documenting the lap count and running order of 33 cars on the track. "We wanted to generate more information, to give more information to the fans in their seats," said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. "That old pylon was iconic, so we wanted to make sure the size was similar - we're about two feet taller and three inches wider (with the new pylon) - but we wanted the ability to light it like everybody's used to, especially for the Indianapolis 500." For the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400, the pylon can display the top 10 on the track while also circulating through spots 11 through 43. It can also provide enhanced stats information like lap times, miles per hour and time behind the leader.
    Needless to say, that's a far cry from the pylon erected in 1994 that stood sentry over the first 20 Brickyard 400s, two decades of Indianapolis 500s and other events. That pylon, powered by 6,496 30-watt light bulbs, could only display basic race scoring with a space at the top for race logos. The new pylon can fully light up with "Indianapolis Motor Speedway," race logos or other digital artwork. The possibilities are considerable. "I think the fans, even fans that are a little concerned about it, are going to find that we've done a great job of paying real close attention to our tradition but also giving them something that makes their experience here at the Speedway better," Boles said. Looking at the new Panasonic-built model, it's hard to fathom the first IMS pylon that went up in 1959 and was manually operated. More than a half-century later, the pylon now has animation and video capabilities. And the enhancements at IMS won't stop there. Boles added that in the coming year, video boards around the track will be added that have the same digital capabilities.(IMS)(7-23-2014)

  • The King named GoBowling.com 400 Grand Marshal: GoBowling.com announced NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty will serve as the Grand Marshal for the GoBowling.com 400. The GoBowling.com 400 will mark the 40th anniversary of Pocono Raceway's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Purolator 500, won by Petty on August 4, 1974. Additionally, GoBowling.com will host a promotion where one lucky fan could win $43,000 if the #43 GoBowling.com Richard Petty Motorsports entry, driven by Aric Almirola, wins the 400-miler at "The Tricky Triangle" on Sunday, August 3.
    "This race carries special meaning for me as I think back to the thrill of tasting victory at the inaugural race at Pocono back in 1974. I see no better way to celebrate this milestone moment than by celebrating both racing and bowling, another sport that is pure Americana," said Richard Petty in today's GoBowling.com press release. "I am particularly excited to team up again with GoBowling.com and the bowling industry. Bowling isn't only just a lot of fun but it's a great sport that, like racing, brings people together and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and from all walks of life."
    The "Win $43,000 if #43 Wins" promotion will take place during the GoBowling.com 400 race weekend at Pocono Raceway August 1-3. Fans attending the race should look for GoBowling.com branded tents in Fan Fair to register to win. Camping guests will receive information on how to enter this promotion in their RV/Camping Welcome Bags upon their arrival next week. One lucky fan will be chosen, at random, to sit atop the No. 43 pit box during a segment the race. Additionally, if the No. 43 car wins the race, one randomly chosen fan will receive $43,000. Certain terms and restrictions may apply. Tickets to next weekend's events are available by visiting www.poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929).(Pocono Raceway)(7-24-2014)

  • Allgaier gets Brickyard sponsor: HScott Motorsports announced that Collision Cure Body Werks will sponsor the #51 Chevrolet SS driven by Justin Allgaier in this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Collision Cure Body Werks is a family-owned business, with 85 teammates in five different locations across the central Indiana region. A sixth location is opening soon in Fishers, Ind. Owners Rick and Lynn Fields enjoy providing customers with outstanding service and take pride in their highly trained and passionate employees. They are proud to serve as community partners and make it a priority to give back.(HScott Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #51 team paint schemes page.(7-23-2014)

  • Allmendinger, RPM to test at Watkins Glen: "We tested at Watkins Glen International last year and it really helped and we are looking forward to testing again on Monday and Tuesday," Allmendinger said. "We tested at Sonoma Raceway and it showed it helped. So, we're doing the same for Watkins Glen. We will run through a plan and have a good baseline. We know the track will not be the same when we go back, but we are looking to find a good balance to make sure when we get there, we have some good ideas to work through practice. It's pretty basic. Testing Watkins Glen is all about getting a good balance and good ideas for the car when we go back in a few weeks."(JTG Daugherty Racing), Richard Petty Motorsports will also be testing at the same time.(7-23-2014)

  • 300th start for Vickers: #55 Aaron's Dream Machine driver Brian Vickers visits one of racing's most historic venues this weekend when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday's 400-mile race. The 30-year-old Vickers will make history no matter how his Michael Waltrip Racing team performs on the famed 2.5-mile oval. Sunday's race marks Vickers' 300th Sprint Cup Series start in a career that began with a 33rd-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11, 2003. Only 11 drivers from the 43-car field in that race still have fulltime rides in 2014. Vickers also has history on his side on Sunday. Five drivers have won in their 300th Sprint Cup start including a driver in each of the last three seasons.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(7-23-2014)

  • Roush Fenway tests at Michigan: Roush Fenway Racing Cup drivers #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #16-Greg Biffle and #99-Carl Edwards spent Monday and Tuesday using one of their NASCAR allotted tests at Michigan International Speedway in preparation for both the August MIS race and this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Ford Racing)(7-23-2014)

  • Mycogen Seeds returns to the #3 at the Brickyard: Dillon's rookie year in the Sprint Cup Series is Dow's first year as a primary sponsor with RCR and the #3 Chevy. Together, both teams embrace the power of safety, science and technology as RCR tests Dow products under the most strenuous conditions. For the second consecutive year, Austin Dillon will be teaming up with agriculture company Mycogen Seeds for the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard. Mycogen Seeds is one of America's fastest-growing seed companies, offering leading genetics for farmers in corn, soybeans, silage corn, sunflowers and canola. A retail seed company of Dow AgroSciences LLC, Mycogen Seeds maintains a robust global research and development program to bring growers high-performance genetics with the latest trait technologies.(Richard Childress Racing), see an image of the car on the #3 team paint schemes page.(7-23-2014)

  • Indianapolis Goodyear Tire Notes: While teams in both NASCAR series in action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will run the same right-side tire code, they will be on distinct left-side codes . . . Sprint Cup teams have run this right-side tire at Indianapolis since 2012 . . . compared to last year, Cup teams will be on a different left-side tire code, though they have run it at both Dover and Kentucky earlier this season . . . another change from last year is an increase in the minimum recommended air pressure in all four tires -- up four psi in the left-side tires and up five psi in the right-side tires . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at The Brickyard on June 16-17 . . . drivers/teams participating in that test were #16-Greg Biffle, #15-Clint Bowyer, #18-Kyle Busch, #22-Joey Logano, #31-Ryan Newman and #14-Tony Stewart. . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams will run inner liners in all four tire positions at Indianapolis . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. (Goodyear)
    See full notes, tire codes, tire pressures and more on the Indianapolis Race Info page - Goodyear section.

  • Montoya selling Miami penthouse: NASCAR, CART, Indy Racing League and Formula One racing sensation Juan Pablo Montoya is selling his posh Brickell six-bedroom, 6.5-bath Miami penthouse-which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay-for $14 million. The extraordinary home, which comes with more cache than an American Express Centurion card, is 6,500-square feet and is perched atop one of Miami's most exclusive addresses. There are resplendent marble floors-the perfect complement to the searing Florida heat-and floor-to-ceiling windows that encompass the whole of the first floor. Every corner of this luxurious home captures views of the crystalline water below-and includes every possible artisan touch. Though it's a penthouse of the utmost in style and museum-like elegance, it's still a comfortable home for even the smallest children: Montoya's two young daughters have their own pink-and-lace retreat tucked neatly away in the home's private recesses.(Realtor)(7-23-2014)

  • Earnhardt, Jr., Logano and Newman to Visit Tricky Triangle Club at Pocono: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Joey Logano and Ryan Newman will make pre-race appearances at Pocono Raceway's Tricky Triangle Club Presented by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions on Sunday, August 3. Additionally, Pocono announced the return of the Red Carpet #SelfieSuite, located inside the Tricky Triangle Club, as an upgrade for new and existing GoBowling.com 400 ticket purchasers. The Tricky Triangle Club Presented by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is a ticket add-on which features access to mentioned driver and special guest appearances, lunch, beverages, a Sunday Pit Tour Pass, four adult beverages tickets (for those ages 21 and older) and more. The special driver appearances will include pre-race question-and-answer sessions, led by Miss Sprint Cup Julianna White. Tickets to the Tricky Triangle Club require a GoBowling.com 400 Sunday ticket. The Red Carpet #SelfieSuite is a VIP seating area, which will be the closest place a fan can sit during the special guest appearances. Pocono Raceway will randomly select individuals, who have purchased an August Tricky Triangle Club Pass, to be upgraded to the Red Carpet #SelfieSuite.(Pocono Raceway)(7-23-2014)

  • Sad News - Paul Kuhl: Paul R. Kuhl Sr. of Raritan Township died Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at his home. He was 87. He was probably most known for his involvement in the Flemington Agricultural Fair, serving as both president of it and the related Flemington Fair and Carnival Association. And he served as president and promoter of Flemington Speedway, at the fairgrounds. He was a former director of Racing Promoters Workshop, Daytona Beach, Fla. and was elected to the National Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1991. He served as vice-president of National Old Timers Auto Racing Club. In addition, he was voted Auto Racing Promoter of the Year in the Eastern United States at Daytona Beach in 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1991; was voted Auto Racing Promoter of the Year Nationwide in 1991; and received American Racing Legends Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.(Hunterdon County Democrat)(7-23-2014)

  • Top 10 driver ratings at Indianapolis:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 109.8
    #14-Tony Stewart 104.1
    #24-Jeff Gordon 102.0
    #12-Juan Pablo Montoya 96.7
    #18-Kyle Busch 96.5
    #5-Kasey Kahne 96.4
    #20-Matt Kenseth 95.8
    #16-Greg Biffle 94.6
    #4-Kevin Harvick 90.2
    #11-Denny Hamlin 88.3
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (9 total) among active drivers at Indianapolis 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)

  • Sorenson gets four race sponsor: Tommy Baldwin Racing welcomes Zing Zang Bloody Mary for the first time in the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season. Zing Zang Bloody Mary will sponsor the #36 Chevy of Reed Sorenson in four high-profile races this season: Indianapolis on July 27, Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11, Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 19 and Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26. The #36 of Sorenson will sport a bright green and black paint scheme to align with Zing Zang Bloody Mary's bright, fresh ingredients used in their flavorful mixes. Zing Zang Bloody Mary, their flagship mix, is one of the most popular Bloody Mary Mixes in North America.(TBR/140 Buzz), see an image of the car on the #36 team paint schemes page.(7-22-2014)

  • France says minor changes coming to 2015 schedule: NASCAR Chairman Brian France, who earlier this month said there would be a "robust discussion" about changes to the 2015 Sprint Cup schedule, said Monday that any changes would be minimal. Speaking on SiriusXM's NASCAR channel, France said the schedule will come out in September. "There's not going to be a dramatic change but there may be some things that are a little different," France said. "That's not unusual. You come back to moving dates around and whatever else, we don't do a lot of it, but we do a little of it from time to time and this will be one of those moments." At Daytona a few weeks ago, France said that with the new NASCAR television deal going into effect in 2015 - Fox and Fox Sports 1 will have the first 16 points races with NBC and NBC Sports Network having the final 20 - there is an opportunity to consider possible changes.(Sporting News)(7-22-2014)

  • France comments on Race Team Alliance: NASCAR chairman Brian France says listening to the consensus voice of the newly formed Race Team Alliance would be a "bad idea." France, in his first extensive interview on the RTA since the organization of major team owners was announced two weeks ago, told Sirius/XM's Sirius Speedway show on Monday that NASCAR "didn't think (the RTA) was necessary." The nine most powerful race teams in NASCAR announced July 7 they had formed an alliance with the stated purpose of cutting costs and pooling resources. But France said he had no intentions of dealing with the individual race teams as one organization. "That would probably be the worst thing we could ever do -- to listen to one voice, even if it were a consensus voice," he said. "Every decision we've ever made that's important, the more input, the more people we heard from, the better the result. That will never change in the business model of NASCAR, because good ideas come from all over the place." But it seems NASCAR's most influential team owners don't feel that way, since they banded together to form the RTA and speak as one regarding many issues facing the sport. And while France acknowledged the RTA "may figure out some things we're not aware of" in terms of reducing costs, he repeatedly said NASCAR would be "business as usual." That includes holding firm on the allocation of a mega $8.2 billion TV contract that kicks in next year - 25% of which goes to the race teams (65% goes to the tracks and 10% goes to NASCAR). The RTA is said to want a bigger piece of the pie, but France said the current percentages were "set for historical reasons - because it's the right allocation."(USA Today)(7-22-2014)

  • How much does it cost to operate a race team each week? Less than 24 hours after [Stewart-Haas Racing's haulers] returned from Sonoma, they are on their way to the Saturday race in Sparta, Ky. It's all part of the weekly routine at Stewart-Haas Racing, or any other NASCAR team, for that matter. Most people know that NASCAR is a traveling circus, a weekly carnival built on rubber and exhaust. But outside of motorsports, few can appreciate everything that goes into creating that big top each week. During a season, the sport travels 38 weekends across 23 markets, and that doesn't include test sessions. Teams truck race cars and parts, fly dozens of people and set up temporary homes at all of them. The NASCAR schedule makes the logistics and costs of operating a race team unique in professional sports. While stick-and-ball teams have front-office staff, players and administrators, NASCAR teams have pilots, flight attendants, long-haul truckers, engineers, mechanics, even chefs. Outside of racing, few - if any - face such a challenge of coordinating freight trucking and airline travel across so many weeks. Doing so is an enormous undertaking that takes months of planning. The Kentucky race weekend highlighted just how demanding it can be. Over the course of three days in June, Stewart-Haas Racing trucked eight race cars and flew more than 100 people to Kentucky for the Quaker State 400. It rented 27 vehicles and reserved 44 hotel rooms. It spent more than $1.5 million, and its four entries finished seventh, 11th, 12th and 21st to collect a combined purse of $428,401. (That doesn't include driver salaries or additional personnel costs.) As teams prepare to head to Indianapolis for NASCAR's annual Brickyard race, last month's Kentucky race provided a glimpse at what goes into a typical race weekend, how it comes together and how much it costs. See much more on race team logistics and expenses at Sports Business Journal.(7-22-2014)

  • Stewart says he still deals with pain: #14-Tony Stewart met with the media Monday on NASCAR's weekly teleconference and was asked about the status of his leg:
    Q. During Speedweeks I think you said your leg was about 65% healed and you were still dealing with some pain. Where are you from the physical standpoint? Are you still dealing with some limitations or pain issues?
    TONY STEWART: I still deal with pain every day, but that's something that's not even going to probably go away by the end of the year. The reality of it is there might be a point where it will never totally go away, but it doesn't keep me from doing what I love to do. Like I said, I don't feel pain in the race car. I haven't from Daytona on through even this past weekend. So I know that's probably around 3% of my week that I spend in the race car, but as long as that 3% is comfortable and I can enjoy doing what I'm doing, I can deal with the pain the other 97% of the week.
    Q. So like the 97%, is that just the everyday stuff of just kind of getting up and getting everything going type of thing. Just doing normal activities and still feel that little bit of a pinch?
    TONY STEWART: Yeah, anybody that's had broken bones, and Dustin [Long of MRN] can probably chime in and tell you as much as anybody, your body will tell you when it's had enough and when it needs a break and when it needs a rest. It's that way when you're healthy too. If you've been on your feet all day, your body will tell you when it's tired. Unfortunately, when you've had the amount of injuries like we've had, your body will still do the same thing. It will still tell you when you're doing something it doesn't like. It will tell you when it's had enough. So we try to do everything we can to be as comfortable as we can during the day. But like I said, the scenario could have been so much worse that I don't feel bad about it. The pain that I have is just part of it. I know the scenario could have been a lot worse and the result could have been a lot worse, so I'm pretty comfortable dealing with the pain each day the way it is.(Chevy PR)(7-22-2014)

  • Atlanta extends ticket office hours: To better serve customers purchasing event tickets and camping spaces for the Aug. 29-31 NASCAR race weekend, the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office has extended ticket office hours through Sunday, Aug. 31. The ticket office will be open on weekends; Saturday from 9:00-5:00 and Sunday from 1:00-5:00. Beginning on Monday, August 11th, the ticket office will remain open an additional three hours each weeknight. Monday through Friday, the ticket office will be open from 9:00am-8:00pm. An extremely limited number of infield camping spaces are available for the Labor Day Weekend of NASCAR racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. RV Campers can reserve space in the Flock Brothers Corral for $300. Tent campers can reserve a site in the High Speed Corral for $200 per space. Infield campgrounds will open on Thursday of race week, Aug. 28 at 2:00pm. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211.(AMS)(7-22-2014)

  • Earnhardt Jr. to appear at Watkins Glen Turn 1 Tavern: #88 National Guard driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to address audience questions at Watkins Glen International during Cheez-It 355 at The Glen, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, August 7-10. This exclusive Q&A session is scheduled take place in the Turn 1 Tavern on August 10. Next to the towering Seneca Grandstand, the Turn 1 Tavern is a covered hospitality area located trackside, just outside the circuit's first turn. Fans who purchase a Turn 1 Tavern hospitality admission ticket will have the opportunity to participate in this highly sought after Q&A session with the #88 National Guard driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. In addition to this rare and wildly popular Q&A session, fans with Turn 1 Tavern admissions will enjoy food and beverages at a discounted rate all weekend long, along with a complimentary buffet lunch on both Saturday and Sunday. Turn 1 Tavern hospitality admission provides fans with covered trackside viewing Friday through Sunday and may be purchased at www.TheGlen.com for just $75. Facility gate admission is not included with the purchase of Turn 1 Tavern hospitality.(WGI)(7-22-2014)

  • Hamlin, Stenhouse, Waltrip compete on golf tournament: #11-Denny Hamlin, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and #66-Michael Waltrip competed in the 2014 American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe over the weekend. Stenhouse was initially the favorite of the group, listed at 50-1 odds by Harrah's/Harveys Lake Tahoe Race & Sports Book to win. Hamlin and Waltrip were both listed at 200-1. The American Century Championship was celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year with a special salute to America's Armed Forces. As part of that initiative, Col. Chad Pfeifer, three-time winner of President George W. Bush's Warrior Open and the 2011 National Amputee Tournament champion, joined the field. Pfeifer lost his leg in an IED explosion while on patrol in Iraq in 2007.
    At the conclusion of the tournament, Hamlin was 55th, Stenhouse was tied for 56th, and Waltrip finished tied for 71st. The tournament was won by former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien. See more about the tournament on the NASCAR Related Charities Events and News page.(7-21-2014)

  • Three generations of Gillilands to race each other at Irwindale UPDATE: Former NASCAR K&N West Series champion Butch Gilliland will dust off his old racing uniform to take on his son and grandson -- current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland and up-and-coming late model driver Todd Gilliland -- in a Super Late Model Series race at Irwindale Speedway on July 19. The 75-lap feature event will be the first time the three generations of Gillilands will compete against each other on track. Fifty-six-year-old Butch won the 1997 championship in the West Series with son David serving as his crew chief. Butch also competed in 10 Sprint Cup Series and 12 Camping World Truck Series races. He has not raced professionally since 2002. Thirty-eight-year-old David is currently the driver of the #38 Ford for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series. Irwindale is one of the West Coast tracks where the California native developed his racing skills and also where he earned his first asphalt win. His infant son Todd, just three weeks old, was in Victory Lane for the celebration. Now 14, Todd is in his first full season of stock-car racing, which has already included his first late-model pole and win at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C., in May.(Breaking Limits)(7-8-2014)
    UPDATE: Todd Gilliland has learned virtually everything he knows about racing from his father, Sprint Cup driver David Gilliland, and grandfather and dominating former west coast racer Butch Gilliland. Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway in suburban Los Angeles, 14-year-old Todd showed dad and granddad a thing or two, finishing third in the Super Late Models main event.Jason Patison, of Corona, California, wound up winning the race, followed by Jack Madrid of Dove Canyon, California, and then the youngest Gilliland, from Sherrill's Ford, North Carolina. Butch, meanwhile, who hasn't raced competitively since 2002, proved that racing is like riding a bike: once you get behind the wheel, you never forget, finishing a strong fifth. That left David Gilliland, who was hoping to join his son and father in the top-five, only to have those dreams wrecked - literally and figuratively - when he and Ryan Partridge collided on Lap 30.(NBC Sports)(7-21-2014)

  • No NASCAR in top 50 watched sporting events this year: At the unofficial halfway point of the sports calendar, here is a look at the most-watched sporting events of the year so far. Click here to jump straight to the list. The first half of 2014 was a bit atypical thanks to the Winter Olympics and World Cup. Those two events accounted for exactly half of the 50 most-watched sports telecasts this year - eighteen for the Olympics and seven for the World Cup - and 11 of the top 12 non-NFL events. The Opening Ceremony of the Olympics (31.7M) and the Germany/Argentina World Cup final (26.5M) rank as the two most-watched non-NFL sporting events of the year. There have been other oddities. Horse racing placed higher on this year's list than the NBA Finals, as The Belmont Stakes drew 20.4 million viewers (#26) and Spurs/Heat topped out at 18.0 million (#33). NASCAR and golf both plummeted out of the top 50 as the Daytona 500 (9.3M) and The Masters (11.0M) suffered sizable declines. The NFL Draft - not even an actual sporting event - managed to crack the list with 12.4 million viewers on ESPN and NFL Network. Even in an atypical year, the NFL was still dominant. NFL games took up the top eight spots on the list, led by the Seahawks/Broncos Super Bowl - the most-watched program in U.S. television history. Every NFL game played in 2014 had more viewers than the most-watched World Cup match. See the full list at Sports Media Watch.(7-21-2014)

  • Hauler parade kicks off events at Indianapolis: The third annual Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard will begin with the fun and excitement of the sixth annual Hauler Parade on Thursday, July 24 on Main Street in Speedway, Ind. The event will take place from 5:00-8:00pm. Admission is free. A parade of more than 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will arrive on Main Street starting at 6:00pm. Haulers will then park on Main Street between 10th and 15th Streets, giving fans an up-close look. Legendary NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett will be the grand marshal of the Hauler Parade. Another featured guest will be retired Green Beret John Wayne Walding of Little Elm, Texas, the hero who received naming rights to the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com NASCAR Sprint cup race Sunday, July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Walding will be incorporated into a series of VIP activities throughout the race weekend that also will honor America's unsung heroes. Also appearing at the Hauler Parade on Main Street in Speedway will be Miss Coors Light and Miss Sprint Cup. Fans also can watch the haulers parade north on Main Street and east on 16th Street at 7:55pm, as they depart the Hauler Parade single-file and enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(IMS)(7-20-2014)

  • Stewart wins sprint car race Friday UPDATE: Tony Stewart was back in a sprint car on Friday night, the same series he raced in when he broke two bones in his right leg. It was unknown if this is Stewart's first sprint car race this season because he didn't announce when he'd compete. Stewart is available because the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is off this weekend. Stewart's runs were posted on Facebook and Twitter. Dirt track star Dustin Daggett tweeted a photo of Stewart's No. 14 car at Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Michigan. Daggett also tweeted, "Raced hard in heat against Tony Stewart! But we got him, now for the Feature!" Daggett says he was leading the feature race late, but went off track and Stewart claimed the win. Stewart tweeted, "If you haven't heard already, I ran my sprint car tonight and won! Felt great to run it again. Was a 2nd place car but had a little luck." Stewart crashed last year at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, where he flipped his 360 winged sprint car while leading with five laps remaining in the 30-lap feature. He missed the final 15 Cup races last year after breaking his leg in two places.(Associated Press/ESPN)(7-19-2014)
    UPDATE: Just one night after winning his first sprint car race in nearly a year, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart was back racing again, finishing third behind Randy Hannagan and Dustin Daggett in the SOD/N.R.A. Engine Pro Challenge at Crystal Motor Speedway in Michigan.(Fox Sports)(7-20-2014)

  • Harvick is most mentioned driver in first half of season: According to data compiled by Joyce Julius, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon have accounted for the most driver mentions during NASCAR telecasts though Daytona this month:
    Driver.....Interviews.....Interview Time.....Mentions
    #4-Kevin Harvick.....20.....0:17:30.....2,533
    #48-Jimmie Johnson.....32.....0:21:53.....2,326
    #24-Jeff Gordon.....21.....0:21:09.....2,181
    #2-Brad Keselowski.....24.....0:18:21.....2,056
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr......29.....0:26:21.....1,950
    #22-Joey Logano.....17.....0:14:29.....1,626
    #20-Matt Kenseth.....17.....0:14:19.....1,556
    #18-Kyle Busch.....20.....0:14:46.....1,401
    #11-Denny Hamlin.....13.....0:14:41.....1,063
    #99-Carl Edwards.....24.....0:17:20.....964
    Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Daytona (Race #18).(Joyce Julius)(7-20-2014)

  • Turner Sports could disappear in potential media mergers: The latest machinations of the corporate media giants could result in the end of one of sports broadcasting's great brands. According to multiple reports, 21st Century Fox is pushing to acquire rival giant Time Warner. Even after an initial $80 billion bid was rebuffed, Fox and its leader Rupert Murdoch are said to be "determined and unlikely to walk away anytime soon". Much of the talk surrounding a potential Fox acquisition of Time Warner has focused on sports and with good reason. Through Turner Sports, Time Warner has one of the most impressive sets of sports rights on cable television. Adding Turner Sports' haul to the existing Fox Sports line-up - the rest of the MLB playoffs, the NFL, NASCAR and college football - would turn the latter into the dominant player in TV sports. ESPN would still be the leader in many ways, but FOX and Fox Sports 1 would have a virtually unmatched portfolio. Such a move would be a boon to 21st Century Fox and a major loss for sports television. Turner Sports has been one of the most successful alternatives to ESPN and is generally well-regarded. Despite being unaffiliated with any of the Big Four broadcast networks, Turner Sports has managed for decades to acquire some of the biggest blue-chip properties in sports (even the NFL in the 1990s). A potential merger would wipe out both a competitor for Fox and an alternative for viewers, making the sports TV business a little less risky for the remaining giants. Fox would not be the only one happy to see Turner Sports go - ESPN would be happy to no longer see comparisons between its NBA studio show and Inside the NBA, and all the networks would presumably be glad to have one less rival driving up rights fees. Now, the threat exists of the big five turning into the big four. CBS and NBC would still be formidable, but the industry would primarily turn into a battle of Goliaths between ESPN and FOX.(Sports Media Watch)(7-20-2014)

  • 20 years at the Brickyard: It'll be here before you know it, and it'll be a big one ... one of the biggest on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule - the Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard. At one of the world's most iconic sporting venues - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 43 drivers will vie for the honor of participating in one of the sport's most unique celebrations. That, of course, is kissing the Yard of Bricks. A few notes whet the Indy appetite before going full throttle next week.
    * It's the 20th anniversary of the inaugural Brickyard 400, won by Jeff Gordon, who's still the youngest winner ever there at 23 years, 2 days.
    * It's the place of championships - 15 of the 20 winners are either past, reigning or future series champions. That includes NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Dale Jarrett and 2015 inductee Bill Elliott.
    * Eight times, the winner of the Brickyard race went on to win that year's championship. Those wins are split among five champions - Jimmie Johnson (three times), Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and Dale Jarrett.
    * Chevy has won the last 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at The Brickyard. The victory stranglehold falls short of the record, however. Chevy does hold the all-time record of 13 consecutive wins, at Talladega Superspeedway, from 1999-2005.
    * Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are tied for the all-time Brickyard wins lead, with four each.(NASCAR)(7-19-2014)

  • Earnhardt, Jr., Danica among most popular sports figures: The battle for number one continues with a change on top. As many have asked the LeBron James versus Michael Jordan question, we may not know how they would compare on the basketball court, but this year, James overthrows Jordan and is America's favorite sports star. Last year, the reverse was true and Michael Jordon was number one while LeBron James was number two. As he makes his farewell tour around baseball fields this summer, New York Yankee Derek Jeter moves up three spots and is in the third position this year. Rounding out the top five is quarterback Peyton Manning, remaining at number four this year, and in a tie for the fifth spot on the list is another basketball star, Kobe Bryant, moving up from number seven, and NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, Jr., moving up from number ten last year.
    She may have had some health issues while playing at Wimbledon, but for the fifth year in a row, Serena Williams is the Favorite Female Sport Star. Race car driver Danica Patrick remains at number two, while Venus Williams remains number three. Another tennis star, Maria Sharapova, is at number four again this year, while soccer legend Mia Hamm remains at number five. These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,241 adults surveyed online between June 11 and 16, 2014.(Harris Interactive)(7-19-2014)

  • Pratt to drive pace car at Indy: Actor Chris Pratt - star of the soon-to-be-released movie "Guardians of the Galaxy" - will serve as honorary pace car driver in a 2014 red and silver Chevy SS pace car for the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It's a dream come true to drive the pace car for the John Wayne Walding 400," said Pratt, who has also appeared in 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Moneyball.' "I am really excited to be part of NASCAR for the day." Chevrolet has a long history of pacing races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and has served as the pace car for every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at the famed track (1994-present).(Chevy PR)(7-19-2014)

  • Sad News - Dr. John Melvin: Most NASCAR fans might not know the name Dr. John Melvin, but in the NASCAR community his work was paramount in the field of driver safety. A former University of Michigan professor and senior research engineer with General Motors, Dr. Melvin became a paid safety consultant for NASCAR, serving as the Technical Consultant to NASCAR for Racecar Safety. In this role, Dr. Melvin worked on safety innovations such as the head-and-neck restraints, seat construction, seat belts and SAFER barriers. Dr. Melvin was also the first to develop a black box for racecars in 1991 as part of the GM Racing Safety Program. "NASCAR and the entire motorsports industry lost a giant on Thursday with the passing of Dr. John Melvin. Dr. Melvin was a pioneer in the field of driver safety, particularly in the area of driver restraint systems," NASCAR president Mike Helton said in a statement. "His many contributions as a safety consultant to NASCAR for more than 13 years forever changed the sport. We lost a colleague, and a friend. NASCAR extends its condolences to Dr. Melvin's family and friends. He will be greatly missed by the entire racing community."(FoxSports)(7-18-2014)

  • Moffitt gets Indy sponsor: Jay Robinson Racing announced that CHARACTER COUNTS!, a character-building initiative of the Josephson Institute, will be the primary partner of the #66 Toyota driven by Brett Moffitt in next week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will mark the character development program's first partnership in motorsports. CHARACTER COUNTS! is an community-based and educational program that reaches more than seven million kids nationwide each year. Founded in 1992, the non-profit organization is utilized in schools across America to teach ethics and values by using the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Sunday will mark Moffitt's third career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Jay Robinson Racing)(7-18-2014)

  • Some first half NASCAR stats: Hopefully, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers take a breather this weekend. But some simply can't get enough. Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson both will run in Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. David Gilliland will race against his father (Butch) and son (Todd) in a Super Late Model Series race at Irwindale Speedway in California. They love the thrill of racing. And there has been plenty of drama and excitement over the first 19 races. So as the series prepares for 17 consecutive weekends of racing to end the season, [NASCAR dove] into some of the statistics as we hit the final open weekend of the season. Here are some highlights:
    - 11 different race winners.
    - 12 different Coors Light Pole winners; 13 track qualifying records have been broken.
    - Average of 11.1 leaders per race through 19 races, compared to 8.8 at this point last year.
    - Average of 24.1 lead changes per race, compared to 16.6 at this point last year last year.
    - Average margin of victory is .717 seconds, the lowest through 19 races since the inception of electronic timing and scoring in 1993.
    - Through race No. 19, there have been 76,570 green flag passes, the most at this point of the season since the inception of passing stats in 2005. There have been 771 green flag passes for the lead, the second highest figure through 19 races since 2005.(NASCAR)(7-18-2014)

  • 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: Crown Royal/Brickyard 400

Countdown to Race Time: 7/27/2014 ~1:19pm/et

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