Brian Vickers named to drive the #14 at Daytona Speedweeks: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Brian Vickers interim driver of its #14 Chevy for all the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events during Speedweeks Feb. 12-21 at Daytona International Speedway. Vickers will begin driving the #14 Mobil 1 Chevy today as he and the team prepare for Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited. On Sunday, Vickers will pilot the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy in qualifying for the Daytona 500 before racing it again on Thursday in the Can-Am Duel and, finally, in the 58th running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 21.
Vickers is a three-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series and was the 2003 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion. His best Sprint Cup finish at Daytona is a second-place result in the 2014 Coke Zero 400. His first career Sprint Cup victory came in 2006 at Talladega Superspeedway, the sister track to Daytona. The 2016 Daytona 500 will mark Vickers' ninth start in the Great American Race. An interim driver for the #14 team in the races following Daytona has not been determined.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(2-12-2016)
Wrestler John Cena Named Honorary Pace Car Driver: WWE Superstar and actor John Cena will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Cena will pace the 40-car field to the green flag in a Toyota Camry. Cena, a 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, has been at the forefront of WWE's programming for more than a decade, and most recently starred on the big screen in the Golden Globe-nominated "Trainwreck" as well as "Sisters" with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. He next will host FOX's upcoming reality competition series American Grit. Cena is also a wish ambassador for Make-A-Wish having granted more than 500 wishes. Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-12-2016)
More info about the Charters: on Thursday NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that at the end of the nine-year charter term, NASCAR will review the 36 charter holders based on performance. The sanctioning body has "built-in clauses with existing charter holders" outlining attendance and performance expectations, and O'Donnell indicated that perfect attendance will likely be a high priority. Asked whether teams still be allowed to field a fifth car in a limited schedule of races for a planned, next-season Rookie of the Year contender, O'Donnell said the sanctioning body expects to announce a policy "very similar to previous years" in the near future.(Godfather Motorsports)(2-12-2016)
FOX offers 100 Hours of NASCAR Daytona Speedweeks Coverage: Headlined by the addition of four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, FOX broadcasts the 58th running of the Daytona 500 -- the Great American Race -- from the newly renovated Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 21, with live coverage beginning at 12:00pm/et with FOX NASCAR Sunday.
Marked by the network's 16th consecutive season covering the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, FOX NASCAR's presentation of Daytona Speedweeks features approximately 100 hours of multi-platform programming, including the Sprint Unlimited, Can-Am Duel at Daytona, and NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season openers. FOX NASCAR returns in 2016 armed with seven championships' worth of analysis and insight from Hall of Famer and three-time champ Darrell Waltrip alongside Gordon, with veteran play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, covering his 41st Daytona 500.
The FOX NASCAR booth trio is bolstered by a deep and experienced on-air team featuring former crew chief and race analyst Larry McReynolds and pit reporters Jamie Little, Chris Neville, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum. Chris Myers hosts FOX NASCAR Sunday and the network's coverage from the famed Hollywood Hotel alongside Michael Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon.
"The Great American Race" is streamed live in both English and Spanish through FOX Sports GO, the critically acclaimed app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on-the-go. All FOX NASCAR programming in 2016 is live streamed on FOX Sports GO. FOX Deportes, the #1 Spanish-language sports network in the U.S., also offers live coverage of the Daytona 500.
FOX Sports' Daytona Speedweeks coverage kicks off Friday, Feb. 12 on FS1 with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice for the Sprint Unlimited (5:00pm/et).
The Sprint Unlimited, the first NASCAR event of the 2016 season, airs live on FOX on Saturday, Feb. 13 (8:00pm/et). Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon call the 75-lap, non-points race with race analyst Larry McReynolds and pit reporters Little, Welch and Yocum. Myers and Michael Waltrip host the network's coverage from the Hollywood Hotel. This year's edition features 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, including all 16 who qualified for the 2015 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, 2015 pole winners, former Sprint Unlimited winners and former Daytona 500 pole winners.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers hit the track the next day, Sunday, Feb. 14, for Daytona 500 Qualifying, live on FOX at 1:00pm/et, setting the prestigious first and second starting positions for the Daytona 500, as well as the starting order for the Can-Am Duel at Daytona.
The complete Daytona 500 starting order is determined following the Can-Am Duel at Daytona, live on FS1 on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7:00pm/et. The pair of qualifying races, historically one of Daytona Speedweeks' most exciting events, are under the lights with Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon on the call with race analysis by McReynolds and pit reporting by Little, Neville and Yocum. Myers and Michael Waltrip host.
FOX Sports kicks off its sophomore year of coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY Series from Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 20 with the season opener at 3:30pm/et. Adam Alexander calls the action alongside Michael Waltrip and 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick with pit reporting by Little, Neville and Yocum. NASCAR Raceday - XFINITY, FS1's XFINITY Series pre-race show, previews the action at 3:00pm/et. Trotta hosts with analysis from McReynolds and Kenny Wallace.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series opens its season on Friday, Feb. 19 (7:30pm/et) on FS1, with complete pre-race coverage beginning with NCWTS Setup at 7:00pm/et. Vince Welch, in his first year as FS1's Truck Series play-by-play announcer, has the call alongside Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip. Hermie Sadler, Yocum and Kaitlyn Vincie cover pit road. Trotta hosts NCWTS Setup live from the Hollywood Hotel with analysis from two-time Series champion Todd Bodine and reporting by Sadler and Vincie.
Before FOX coverage of the Daytona 500 begins on Sunday, Feb. 21, NASCAR Raceday is live on FS1, bringing viewers the latest news amidst the buzz as drivers prepare to start the biggest race of the year. John Roberts hosts from the Charlotte studio and Trotta co-hosts from the FOX Sports set inside the new Daytona Rising stadium. They are joined by analysts McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Wally Dallenbach. NASCAR Raceday also airs immediately preceding the Sprint Unlimited and the CAN-AM DUEL on FS1.
Daytona 500 Media Day is live from Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Feb. 16 (9:00 am-12:00pm/et) on FS1, followed by a special two-hour edition of NASCAR RACE HUB, also from Daytona 500 Media Day (5:00-7:00pm/et). Adam Alexander, John Roberts and Danielle Trotta co-host with analysis from McReynolds and reporting by Alan Cavanna and Little.
In addition, FOX Sports has several NASCAR specials planned during Daytona Speedweeks. On the eve of "The Great American Race," FOX Sports and FOX NASCAR analyst and four-time champion Jeff Gordon celebrate the race and 2016 season with Jeff Gordon'S Daytona 500 Kickoff Celebration on FOX on Saturday, Feb. 20 (9:00pm/et). FS1 also premieres three NASCAR original specials during Speedweeks in a special three-hour programming block on Friday, Feb. 12. Untold Stories: Daytona airs at 7:30pm/et, followed by NASCAR Race Classic: 1993 Daytona 500 (8:30pm/et) and Beyond the Wheel Short Film Series (9:00pm/et). Fans are also invited to share their Daytona 500 experience by uploading videos to social media using #100KCams and #NASCAR for an opportunity to have footage included in the 30-minute special 100,000 Cameras: Daytona 500, which premieres Saturday, Feb. 27 on FS1 immediately following live coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(FoxSports)(2-12-2016)
NASCAR FAST FACTS - 2016 Procedural Changes:
Maximum Field Sizes / Corresponding New Points Systems
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Maximum 40-car field (36 Charter team cars, 4 Open team cars), race winner awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point.
NASCAR XFINITY Series - Maximum 40-car field, race winner awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - Maximum 32-truck field, race winner awarded 32 points, 32nd place awarded one point
New points systems apply to driver, owner, and manufacturer championships. Existing 2015 Bonus points remain in place for 2016.
Qualifying - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona 500 Specific
- Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position
- Four Open teams are eligible for starting positions
o The highest finishing Open team in each Can-Am Duel race earns a starting position
o The final two starting positions are awarded to Open teams based on Coors Light Pole Qualifying if not already a top finisher in a Duel race
- Qualifying sets the front row for the Daytona 500 and the starting lineup for the Can-Am Duel fields, with the number of Charter team and Open team cars split evenly throughout both races
- If qualifying is cancelled due to weather, the top two finishing Open teams from each Can-Am Duel race earn starting positions in the Daytona 500
- If the second Can-Am Duel race is cancelled due to weather, the highest finishing Open team from the first race earns a starting position, with the other three Open teams determined by qualifying
- If both Can-Am Duel races are cancelled due to weather, qualifying determines all four Open teams
- If qualifying and both Can-Am Duel races are cancelled due to weather, the combined practice speeds are used to determine the four Open teams
- If all on-track activity prior to the race is cancelled due to weather, 2015 Owner points will be used to determine the four Open teams
All Other Championship Race events
- Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position and four Open teams are eligible for starting positions.
- Qualifying results will determine the Open team starting positions assuming the event is run as scheduled
- If qualifying is cancelled due to weather, the combined practice speeds determine the four Open teams
- If practice and qualifying are cancelled due to weather, Owner points determine the four Open teams (events 1-3 revert to 2015 Owner points)
(looks like no more past champion provisional)
For all three NASCAR national series, a race may be concluded with overtime, consisting of a new procedure for a green-white-checkered flag finish featuring an "overtime line." The location of the overtime line will vary by track.
After taking the green on the overtime restart, if the leader then passes the overtime line on the first lap under green before a caution comes out (a "clean restart"), it will be considered a valid green-white-checkered attempt. However, if a caution comes out before the leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under green, it will not be considered a valid attempt, and a subsequent attempt will be made. If necessary, multiple subsequent attempts will be made until a valid attempt occurs.
Once a valid attempt is achieved (clean restart), it will become the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. If a caution comes out at any time during the valid green-white-checkered attempt, the field will be frozen and the checkered/yellow or checkered/red displayed to cars at the finish line.(NASCAR)(2-11-2016)
#14 car to run Sprint Unlimited with ineligible driver UPDATE: NASCAR is considering whether to allow Stewart-Haas Racing to enter a replacement of its choosing in the #14 Chevy for Tony Stewart, who is sidelined indefinitely after fracturing his back in an ATV accident last month. An SHR spokesman said the team continues to prepare a car for the Sprint Unlimited even though its plans for an interim driver (supposedly Brian Vickers for Daytona, Ty Dillon after) haven't been finalized. Eligibility for the Sprint Unlimited, a 70-lap exhibition race, is tied to the driver and open to pole winners, Sprint Unlimited winners, Daytona 500 pole winners and Chase drivers. As a former Sprint Unlimited winner, Stewart's Unlimited eligibility has been secure for weeks, and SHR has been preparing for the race with a purpose-built car, which is why NASCAR might allow unusual dispensation to stay in the 24-driver field with a driver who technically wasn't qualified or in line for the spot. One active and eligible driver, David Gilliland, still doesn't have a ride for the exhibition event, but does have a ride for the Daytona 500 in the #35 FRM Ford (NBC Sports)(2-11-2016)
UPDATE: The Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Chevy will be eligible to run in the Sprint Unlimited even without Tony Stewart in the seat, NASCAR Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Thursday. Stewart will miss the Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500 due to severe back injuries sustained in an all-terrain vehicle crash. The three-time series champion had automatically qualified for the Sprint Unlimited field as a previous event winner. Brian Vickers has emerged as SHR's top target to replace Stewart in the seat of the #14 at Daytona. Vickers, 32, competed in only two races last season for Michael Waltrip Racing after missing time due to a recurrence of blood clots. "(Vickers) is medically cleared," O'Donnell said. "Stewart-Haas is still looking at communicating the driver of that vehicle, (but) we have made the decision to allow the 14 car to participate in the (Sprint Unlimited). When we looked at it, it's due to some unforeseen circumstances. A lot of prep work went into that car. There are a lot of implications for the 14 not being in that race. In this instance, we made the decision to allow the 14 to participate."(NASCAR.com)(2-11-2016)
Stewart's replacement to be named on Friday UPDATE4 Vickers & Dillon: We'll have to wait a little longer to find out who will replace Tony Stewart in the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. SHR spokesman Mike Arning said the team did not expect to make an announcement about Stewart's replacement in the #14 before Wednesday. Daytona 500 practice begins Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway, so the team will need to have a driver ready -- and the car modified to fit the new driver -- by then.(Fox Sports)(2-9-2016)
UPDATE: ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass says, [Stewart-Haas Racing's] Brett Frood told me that he would speak Friday at Daytona as far as replacement driver for Tony Stewart.(2-10-2016)
UPDATE2: Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a press conference to announce interim driver of #14 Chevy during Daytona Speedweeks for Friday, February 12th at 11:30am/et. The press conference will be streamed LIVE on NASCAR.com at www.nascar.com/presspass.(SHR)(2-10-2016)
UPDATE3: Brian Vickers is expected to replace injured driver #14-Tony Stewart for the NASCAR season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a Friday news conference to discuss its plans for the #14 Chevrolet. A person familiar with the situation told AP on Wednesday that it will be Vickers. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is awaiting word from NASCAR on whether Vickers is medically cleared to race. Vickers ran only two races last season before suffering a recurrence of blood clots. He can't compete when being treated for the clots because the blood thinners increase his risk of serious internal bleeding if he crashes. Vickers is only expected to run at Daytona, which opens Friday ahead of the Feb. 21 season-opening Daytona 500. SHR is still looking at all of its options for beyond Daytona. Stewart is expected to race at some point this year.(Associated Press), no mention about the Sprint Unlimited.
AND Brian Vickers is expected to replace injured driver Tony Stewart for the NASCAR season opener at Daytona International Speedway, a source with knowledge of the plans told ESPN's Bob Pockrass.
AND II: Brian Vickers will drive for Tony Stewart at Daytona International Speedway provided he is cleared by NASCAR, a source close to the situation confirmed to NBC Sports. Stewart is eligible for Saturday's Sprint Unlimited and NASCAR is considering if to allow his team to compete in the non-points race even though Vickers is not eligible for the event. Eligibility for the event is tied to the driver.(NBC Sports)(2-10-2016)
UPDATE 4: Ty Dillon will sub for Tony Stewart in a few races where the #14 SHR Chevy has Bass Pro Shops as its primary sponsor. Richard Childress, Dillon's grandfather and XFINITY Series team owner, has a long-running relationship with Bass Pro Shops. Brian Vickers will race the #14 in the Daytona 500 and possibly additional races (FoxSports)(2-11-2016)
Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Announces Driver Lineup For Daytona: Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing announced that it will field two entries in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The 2016 season is a major one for Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing, as the team recently announced their plans to run all 36 races with a new Richard Childress Racing Alliance and switch in manufacturer to Chevy. Ty Dillon will be behind the wheel of the #95 Cheerios / Kroger Chevy with Todd Parrott serving as crew chief. In addition, NASCAR veteran Michael McDowell will drive the #59 Thrivent Financial / K-LOVE Radio Chevy with Dave Winston as crew chief. McDowell will be running the majority of the 36-race schedule in the #95 Chevrolet for CSLFR, with Ty Dillon competing in a handful of races with the team. McDowell will pilot the #59 Thrivent Financial / K-LOVE Radio Chevy at Daytona and will have to race his way into the starting line-up for the Daytona 500.(CSLFR95)(2-11-2016)
75th Anniversary M&M's scheme at Daytona: This year's Speedweeks at Daytona is where the M&M'S brand, primary sponsor of defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and his #18 M&M'S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), first takes to the track in its season-long celebration of its 75th anniversary. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the M&M'S brand, Busch's colorful #18 M&M's Toyota will bring back the familiar yellow scheme, with a few nods to its rich past, as Kyle Busch and the #18 team open their title defense in 2016.(TrueSpeedCommunications/M&M's Racing), see images of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page (2-11-2016)
TaxSlayer.com debuts for Earnhardt Jr in the Sprint Unlimited: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is slated to drive the red-and-black #88 TaxSlayer.com Chevy in Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. TaxSlayer.com marks the company's first race as a primary sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Earnhardt, and associate brand placement on the #88 Chevy throughout the remainder of the year (HMS), see images of the car on the #88 Team Schemes page (2-11-2016)
Bobby Labonte back with Joe Gibbs Racing for an XFINITY race: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced a partnership with NOS Energy Drink (owned by Monster), as primary sponsor of the team's #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Kyle Busch will drive his first NOS program race at Atlanta and in subsequent races that total 16 XFINITY Series events this season. To kick off the 2016 race schedule at Daytona, Joe Gibbs Racing and NOS Energy Drink announced they are also bringing back another champion for the XFINITY series program start, longtime race winner and past Joe Gibbs Racing veteran racecar driver Bobby Labonte. "We've always sought out the most determined, fearless and committed athletes to represent our company and brands," said Vice President of Sports Marketing, Mitch Covington. He commented further, "With Kyle (Busch) in the seat most of the year and a strong Daytona start with Bobby (Labonte), we have every reason to believe our program will win." Labonte proved to be a strong selection to kick off the NOS Energy Drink program for the first race of the season as he rejoins Joe Gibbs Racing while they celebrate their 25th year of NASCAR racing. "I'm excited about the opportunity to drive for JGR again. I didn't think this would ever happen and when Joe called me about the program, it was a 'no-brainer.' Great race team, great cars, the opportunity is a good one. There would be nothing better than to hang a flag in this building too," said Labonte of the Daytona opportunity in front of him with the #18 JGR XFINITY Series team. A Texas native, Labonte was an early driver of the #18 with JGR and earned them 21 victories and a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in 2000. Labonte is also a NASCAR Champion in the XFINITY Series (1991) and the IROC Series (2001) and has victories recorded in all three of NASCAR's premier racing series. 2016 marks Labonte's 30th consecutive year as a professional racecar driver. The #18 team's goal will again be to capture an Owner's Championship in the XFINITY Series. With Busch and Labonte confirmed and the recent announcement of Matt Tifft as driver of the #18 for races later in the schedule, crew chief Chris Gayle is eager to attack that goal.(JGR)(2-11-2016)
Wood Brothers Racing make statement: "We can't express enough how proud and thankful we are for the overwhelming expression of support for our team. NASCAR has pressed the reset button on the ownership structure and we hope it takes the sport in a positive direction. We have endured challenges throughout our 66 years and will undoubtedly face more in the future, but that's what makes our team unique. We take great pride in our organization's reputation and our loyal fans are nothing short of amazing. The main focus right now is to be the best team we can possibly be. Motorcraft and Ford Performance have put tremendous faith in us and our objective is to make the most of this 2016 season and beyond. We know there are numerous questions and as a result, Eddie, Len and Jon Wood will be addressing any available media at the speedway on Friday, February 12, at 1:00pm/et behind their hauler in the Sprint Cup garage.(WBR Facebook)(2-11-2016)
Wood Brothers Racing add veteran tire changers to pit crew: Rookie Ryan Blaney will have veteran tire changers Shannon Myers and Ryan Langley manning the stops at Daytona. Both changers were at Michael Waltrip Racing last year and come over with loads of experience and talent. Carrier Jesse Mills will be carrying fronts with longtime jackman Chris Conklin in the middle. The back of the car has Josh Chaney carrying tires and gassing will be Andrew Lackey.(Pit Talks)(2-11-2016)
Gibbs, Stewart Haas expected to buy charters; HScott to lease one UPDATE: There are 38 teams committed to full-time racing in 2016. Four weren't awarded charters -- Joe Gibbs Racing's #19-Carl Edwards (team started in 2015), Stewart-Haas Racing's #41-Kurt Busch (2014), HScott Motorsports' #46-Michael Annett (2015) and #21-Wood Brothers Racing's Ryan Blaney (formerly part-time team now going full time). Former Michael Waltrip Racing owner Rob Kauffman, who has two charters from his teams that ceased operations after last year, said he expects to sell his charters to JGR (for Edwards) and SHR (for Busch). Kauffman estimated the value of a charter at the "single-digit millions." The transfer of a charter must be approved by NASCAR, which will charge an administrative fee but not get a percentage of the sale. All NASCAR team owners will be allowed to see the transfer application, which would include the price of the charter sold. Charters can only be sold prior to the start of a season and can be transferred only once every five years.(NBC Sports)
AND According to Motorsports' Lee Spencer, "Been told Jay Robinson (Premium Motorsports) has leased his charter to @Team_HSM #46. Hearing $1.6m for lease of charter.(2-9-2016)
UPDATE: A representative for SHR said Tuesday afternoon that "Stewart-Haas Racing will have four Charters and that process is nearly complete." A Joe Gibbs Racing representative said Tuesday afternoon that it was "just a matter of finalizing the transaction" that would bring a Charter to the #19 entry.(NASCAR.com)
AND: ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass tweeted that an HScott spokesman said: "HSM intends to field two full time cars for the 2016 season and is in the process of finalizing an agreement."(2-10-2016)
UPDATE2: HScott Motorports confirmed Tuesday that it is in the process of leasing second charter from another team to ensure that Michael Annett is in every Sprint Cup points race this season. The charter will return to the other team after this season.(NBC Sports)(2-11-2016)
Chip Ganassi won't rule out Ford NASCAR move: NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi has refused to rule out a future switch from Chevrolet to Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup having strengthened its ties with the manufacturer ahead of the 2016 season. CGR has been synonymous with Chevrolet in NASCAR, but the team is strengthening its ties with Ford after joining forces to spearhead its new Le Mans and World Endurance Championship programme having worked together during the Daytona Prototype sportscar era. It also enjoys success in IndyCar using Honda engines (CORRECTION: the team runs Chevy in IndyCar NOT Honda). Though owner Ganassi maintains he is happy running three programmes with three different partners [CGR actually runs in six different series not three - NASCAR, NASCAR XFINITY (Chevy), IndyCar (Chevy), IMSA & WEC (Ford) and Global Rally Cross (Ford)], he suggests there is potential for more homogeny with Ford in the future, saying 'I would never say never. I would not rule it out all. I'm happy to run Honda (Chevy) in Indycar, Chevy in NASCAR and Ford in Sportscar racing, all the manufacturers we work with are fully aware of my deals with the other manufacturers, I go in with an open book. I think that is what it takes to be in this business today. I would compare it to a car dealer that has multiple name plates or a manufacturing company which work for different manufacturers. I think it's important that they understand that we do not kiss and tell. We try to the best we can for everyone."(Crash.net, article is a little inaccurate)(2-11-2016)
Gilliland to attempt the Daytona 500: Front Row Motorsports will enter a third car for the Daytona 500 with David Gilliland at the wheel of the #35 Ford. No sponsor has been announced. Gilliland will have to race into the field into one of the open four spots not used by the teams with a charter. FRM's #34 and #38 teams have a charter and are locked in to the field. Gilliland will not be competing for FRM in the Sprint Unlimited.(FRM Facebook)(2-10-2016)
added a more 2016 schemes:
#1 McDonald's & CreditOne, #13 GEICO Military, #18 Snickers Crisper, #32 Can-Am, #34 Love's travel Stops, #40 CRC Brakleen, #46 Pilot Flying J, #48 Lowe's Red Vest, #95 K-Love
Hamlin investing in solar farm: SunEnergy1, with an investment by NASCAR racer Denny Hamlin's recently formed Won One Energy, will build a 20-megawatt solar farm in Chesapeake, Va. The project will be the largest solar farm in Virginia. Dominion Virginia Power will buy the power produced by the project under a 20-year contract. One Won, like SunEnergy1, is based in Mooresville. Hamlin registered the company in December. He lives now in nearby Cornelius. He shares a racing connection with SunEnergy1 CEO Kenny Habul. Hamlin drives the #11 FedEx Car for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Kenny Habul, CEO of SunEnergy1, races the #20 car for Gibbs in the Xfinity Series. This year SunEnergy1 is also the principal sponsor for Chase Elliot's #24 car for Hendricks Motorsposts. There principals did not disclose how much Hamlin is investing. Nor has any information been released about the cost of the project. But based on current prices in the Southeast, the 20-hegawatt project is likely to cost between $30 and $40 million. The project will be built on 250 acres off Ballahack Road and U.S. Highway 17.(Charlotte Business Journal)(2-10-2016)
Daytona Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Daytona throughout Speedweeks . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams have run at Daytona since July 2013 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Daytona Race Info page.(2-10-2016)
Sad News - Lennie Pond: Former stock car racing driver Lennie Pond has died of complications of cancer. A Chester, VA resident who grew up in Ettrick, Mr. Pond died at VCU Medical Center in Richmond. He was 75. NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison, in Richmond last week for a tribute to Mr. Pond at an Arena Racing USA event, recalled racing against Pond for decades - both at NASCAR's major races and in smaller events at short tracks such Southside Speedway. "Lennie was a tough competitor," Allison said. "I raced against him lots of times over the years. He was fun and fair to race against. And when the race was over, if you needed help, Lennie would help you out. You knew he was going to be competitive. He worked hard with his part of the deal and came to the track ready to race."
Mr. Pond's brother, Wright Pond, said on Saturday that support had poured in from fans and racers around the country during his brother's illenss. "He is loved more than he knows," Wright Pond said. Mr. Pond won scores of races, starting in the 1950s, on dirt tracks and asphalt tracks in NASCAR's Modified and Late Model Sportsman classes. He was a five-time Virginia champion of the Late Model Sportsman class. At NASCAR's Cup level he was the 1973 Rookie of the Year. He scored his lone Cup victory in August 1978 in the Talladega 500 at the 2.66-mile Alabama International Motor speedway (Talladega Superspeedway). At the time, his average speed of 174.7 mph was the record for a 500-mile race in any racing series. Mr. Pond's last Cup Series race was in 1989. He had 234 career Cup starts with 88 top-10 finishes. After retiring from racing, Mr. Pond got into automotive sales. Until his illness, he was a member of the staff at Heritage Chevrolet in Chester.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(2-10-2016)
NASCAR Implements Team Owner Charter Agreement for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: During a historic event held today in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners to announce a landmark long-term agreement that provides teams with increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to produce best-in-class racing.
In effect as the 2016 NASCAR season prepares to kick off this weekend, the new Charter system addresses three key areas - participation, governance and economics - to promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model. The agreement grants NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charters to 36 teams, establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and provides Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations.
"Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR," France said. "The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors. The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members."
The system affords Charter teams that remain in good standing more predictable revenue over the nine years of the agreement. Along with improved financial certainty, the new framework is designed to increase the long-term market value of teams and provide the ability to plan farther ahead with existing, new and prospective partners.
Similar to the five-year sanctioning agreements that NASCAR begins with tracks in 2016, team owner Charter agreements allow for longer planning cycles around competition, innovation, digital marketing, governance and research and development.
"The new Charter program strengthens each of our businesses individually and the team model as a whole, which is good for NASCAR, our fans, drivers, sponsors and the thousands of people who we employ," said Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing. "This will give us more stability and predictability, and it will allow us to take a more progressive, long-term approach to issues.
"NASCAR and the teams share a desire to preserve, promote and grow the sport and ultimately produce great racing for our fans and partners. These common goals served as the foundation for discussions and helped bring us to this unprecedented agreement. This is a great step forward for the entire sport made possible by Brian France setting a new course for the NASCAR industry and the owners coming together on shared issues. Everyone involved then compromised a bit to be able to come up with something that worked for all."
Each Charter team owner has a guaranteed entry into the field of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race. To maintain the historical openness of NASCAR racing, the balance of the field will be open for team owners who do not hold Charters. These Open team owners will compete for the remaining starting spots and positions in the race, as each event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' starting lineup shifts in 2016 to a 40-car field.
"The new team owner agreements will offer a more appealing environment for both current and prospective team owners at the NASCAR premier series level," France said. "I've always stressed that if we can do things to improve the business of our stakeholders, we will pursue it. I'm very proud of what we've accomplished today with this agreement."(NASCAR)
see a list of Chartered teams on the NASCAR 2016 News & Rules page
read the full announcement press conference transcript on the NASCAR Charter Announcement transcript page.(2-9-2015)
Sorenson to drive for Hillman at Daytona: With today's formal announcement of the implementation of a NASCAR charter system for the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season, Hillman Racing will field the #40 CRC BRAKLEEN Chevrolet SS with driver Reed Sorenson as an open competitor in the 58th annual Daytona 500. "While we are absolutely disappointed with our exclusion from the new charter system, we have sponsors, partners and friends that have stood behind us, and for that I am truly grateful," said team owner Mike Hillman. "I've poured my heart and soul - literally my blood, sweat and tears - into building a competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup team over the past three years, and to be told one week prior to the sport's biggest event of a complete overhaul of the framework of the Series is disheartening. For the time being, I will instead focus on the positives and that we have a great partner like CRC Industries that will allow me to continue to realize my lifelong dream of fielding a car in the Daytona 500." The team has secured the driving services of 30-year-old Sorenson, who last season memorably raced his way into the Daytona 500 by earning a transfer spot in the 150-mile qualifying races, and has tapped race-winning crew chief Pat Tryson to lead the #40 CRC Brakleen team. Sorenson, who celebrated his 30th birthday last Friday, will attempt to race his way into the Daytona 500 starting field for the seventh time in his career and has recorded a fifth- and ninth-place finish in NASCAR's biggest race.(Hillman Racing), see an image of the car on the #40 team paint schemes page.(2-9-2016)
NASCAR issues updates to Rule Book: NASCAR issued a bulletin to teams with updates to the 2016 Sprint Cup Rule Book. Most are clarifications or updates as opposed to anything new. Among the items listed:
- Teams may change the radiator during Speedweeks at Daytona. The radiator may be changed after completion of the 150-mile qualifying races and must be completed before the final practice for the Daytona 500.
- Teams must use the same rear end differential assembly at all events except: All road course events, events at Martinsville Speedway, the Daytona 500, the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint All-Star Race.
- NASCAR listed how many sets of tires teams are permitted for races. Teams will be allowed one fewer set of tires than last year at seven venues, representing 11 races.
- NASCAR listed the tire codes for the first 12 Cup events this season. There will be new left- and right-side tire codes for races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Auto Club Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Kansas Speedway and Dover International Speedway.
- NASCAR listed the pit road speed limit for each track.
Tungaloy America joins Penske: Team Penske and Tungaloy America today announced a strategic alliance between the two organizations. As part of the new partnership, Tungaloy America will serve as a preferred supplier, as well as a technical partner, to Team Penske for both its NASCAR and INDYCAR racing programs. Tungaloy America will provide expertise to Team Penske in order to enhance efficiency and accelerate machining within the team's manufacturing processes. The technical alliance between the two entities will allow Tungaloy America to feature and showcase Team Penske NASCAR and INDYCAR components for case studies, demonstrations and trade shows in the future.(Team Penske)(2-9-2016)
Las Vegas to provide gluten-free food items: NASCAR fans flocking to Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 4-6 for the 2016 NASCAR Weekend are in for a treat. The superspeedway, through its partnership with Levy Restaurants, is providing a number of unique food items and menus designed for those looking for healthier options or avoiding gluten to thrill the most sophisticated of palates. During the three-day motorsports extravaganza, fans looking to avoid gluten will find paninis, tacos, beef brisket and specialty items like the Smokey Bacon Bloody Mary and Southwestern Street Corn. Items without gluten have been available at LVMS for years and will be provided at nearly a dozen locations at the 1.5-mile superspeedway, including concourse concession stands, the Neon Garage, LVMS suites and concourse-level seating. Dozens of items made without gluten - from rice bowls, cobb salads and blackened Mahi tacos, to hot dogs, vegetable baskets and chicken fajitas - are part of the diverse menu Levy Restaurants has put together for LVMS visitors this year. In addition, Levy and Melissa's Produce will continue to serve fresh and healthy selections in the Neon Garage, including fruit, blended fruit smoothies, salads and more. The partnership between Levy and Melissa's Produce began in 2012 and gives fans fresh options to enjoy during their time at LVMS.(LVMS)(2-9-2016)
BK Racing to run fourth team at Daytona with Richardson: BK Racing is welcoming Stalk It as a partner for the upcoming Daytona 500 with driver Robert Richardson Jr. Veteran NASCAR Crew Chief, Mike Ford, will lead the effort. Stalk It is an innovative eco-driven longboard company that uses CornBoard in the construction of its custom, hand-crafted longboards. Utilizing innovative CornBoard material allows Stalk It to reduce dependency on wood products while creating boards that are high-performance with low-ECO impact. All Stalk It boards are hand-made in the USA. "I feel very blessed with the opportunity to be back in the driver's seat for Daytona," said Richardson Jr. "I can't thank Lane and Stalk It enough for coming on board. I'm looking forward to working with Mike (Ford) and the entire BK organization."(140 Buzz/BK Racing) He will drive the #26.(2-8-2016)
Furniture Row ready for new season; still looking at 2nd team in 2017: Much is new for 2016 at Furniture Row Racing, which will have a new manufacturer, a new means of engine and chassis delivery and a new pit crew. But one thing hasn't changed for the Denver-based team that enjoyed a breakthrough 2015 that culminated with reaching the championship round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Among the new elements the team will be adapting to this year:
-Its engines will be shipped via airfreight from Toyota Racing Development headquarters in Costa Mesa, California, instead of trucked in from Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, North Carolina (actually cutting the transport time in half to Furniture Row Racing's shop in Denver, Colorado).
-The pit crew will be supplied by Joe Gibbs Racing, which has become a technical partner of Furniture Row as Toyota's flagship team.
-TRD has relocated two of its technicians to Denver for embedding with the team.
As part of its new alliance with JGR, Furniture Row Racing will be using the same chassis as Gibbs but start with an older model before switching a few races into the season - which has Visser slightly concerned. "That throws everything off," team owner Barney Visser said. "So it's going to be kind of a rocky start. I'm expecting a rocky start, but hopefully by May or June, we'll be rolling again."
With Bass Pro Shops as a primary sponsor on Truex's #78 for several races this season, the team has corporate sponsorship independent of Visser's furniture business for the first time. Team owner Barney Visser hints that prospects are solid for expanding to a second car next season. "There's some things going on that I can't really talk about right now, but we're excited about the possibility of a second car that Toyota may bring to us," he said. "We'll see."(NBC Sports)(2-8-2016)
Lowe's Red Vest scheme will return to the #48: Team Lowes Racing tweeted Sunday that #48-Jimmie Johnson will drive a Lowe's Red Vest scheme at the Brickyard in July. See an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(2-8-2016)
Bristol "tops off" support towers for Colossus: The fourth and final structural tower that will support Colossus, the world's largest outdoor, center-hung 4-sided screen, was "topped off" Thursday with the raising of an American flag. In addition, the scoring pylon in the infield has been removed. The next phase of the colossal undertaking is to install the cables that support Colossus TV as well as the state-of-the-art, 540,000-watt audio system powering 380 3-way loudspeakers and 48 stadium subwoofers - enough to make any rock star squirm with envy. The team at Bristol Motor Speedway has put together two timelapses that give a view of the removal of the scoring pylon and the building of one of the four towers.
(Bristol Motor Speedway)(2-8-2016)
Kenseth's spotter not healed enough to be at Daytona UPDATE: #20-Matt Kenseth will be without spotter Chris "Crazy" Osborne for next weekend's Sprint Unlimited and likely the Daytona 500. Osborne told NBC Sports that he continues to recover from injuries suffered in a Dec. 17 auto accident and will not spot for Kenseth in the Feb. 13 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. Osborne's next doctor's visit is Feb. 16. The doctor will determine then if Osborne will be able to spot for Kenseth in the Daytona 500. "My gut feeling is I won't make Daytona," said Osborne, entering his fourth season spotting for Kenseth. "I want to be there as bad as anyone. It kind of knocked the wind out of my sails when they said I absolutely would not be going to the Unlimited." Osborne, who also spots for Daniel Suarez in the Xfinity Series, is hopeful to be back spotting next month when NASCAR makes its West Coast swing. The team has not announced who will fill in for Osborne until he returns. Osborne was injured while driving home with his wife Melissa and son Austin. A car, traveling an estimated 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the police report, approached from the opposite direction. The car went off the road and then cut across the median, slamming into Osborne's car.(NBC Sports)(2-6-2016)
UPDATE: The story was updated Saturday: "The team stated Saturday that Lorin Ranier, a long-time spotter who was most recently with Jamie McMurray, will spot for Kenseth in the Sprint Unlimited."(2-7-2016)
Pit crew changes for Patrick: Danica Patrick and the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS team will have a new look on its pit crew for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Nate House will take over for Tony Cardamone at jackman with Cardamone moving from jackman to gasman. House filled in for Cardamone for several races in 2015 while Cardamone recovered from a back injury. Continuing on the team from last year are front changer Eric Maycroft, front carrier Jeff Shoaf, rear carrier Matt Holzbaur and rear changer Ryan Mulder, who was on the team for nearly half of last season.(PitTalks/NASCAR.com)(2-7-2016)
Fox teaming with SI to cross promote Daytona 500, Swimsuit Issue: Fox Sports and SI announced they are joining forces to cross promote the Feb. 21 Daytona 500 and '16 SI swimsuit issue, which comes out Feb. 15. A major facet of the deal will come the night before the race, when new Fox analyst Jeff Gordon will co-host a 200-person VIP party. The event will air on Fox at 9:00pm/et and see models Erin Heatherton and Hannah Ferguson in attendance. The telecast will offer features on Daytona's renovation, plus the upcoming NASCAR season. Meanwhile, on its digital and social channels and during the party, Fox will give coverage to two other events around the issue leading up to its release -- the two-day Swim City fan festival in N.Y. and the two-day Swim Beach festival in Miami.(Sports Business Journal)(2-7-2016)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 20, 2016, 12:15 pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 12:15pm/et
Born in FEBRUARY
12 Timothy Barile, Mike W. Davis, Brad Keselowski, Abraham Lincoln
13 Bill Schmitt, Donnie Wingo
14 Sam Ard, Emily Beam, Donnie Brown, Nina Feeney, Banjo Matthews, Cheryl Monteleone
15 Rick Gay, Bud Koehler, Tayler Malsam, Wyatt Sadler, Bill Shallock, Carl Simmons, Jimmy Spencer
16 Danny Lawrence, Don Wade, Patti Wallace
17 Natalie Kate Nadeau, Jim Long, Edith Kenseth, Lori Neisser
18 Wayne Anderson
19 Trevor Bayne, Jeff Purvis, Bobby Kennedy, Landon Smith, John Paul Jr.
20 Roger Penske, Gary Myers, Bobby Unser
21 NASCAR founded, J.D. Gibbs, Jim Reed
22 Marshall Teague, Larry Foyt, Chuck Bown, Grace Kenseth, Logan Styers, Karla Lampe, Scott Robinette
23 Bobby Moody, Dean Combs, Mike Marriner, Dawn Purvis, George Alsobrook
24 Michael Ritch, Jason Schuler, Aaron Daniel, Gilbert King, J.C. Hall
25 Davey Allison, Timmy Hill, Jaklyn Woodland, Derick Jennings, Butch Gilliland, Jonathan Toney
26 Bob Eolin, Brad Coleman, Terry Cook, Kertus Davis, Carl Haas, Colton Meyer
27 Ty Dillon, Todd Bodine, Dennis Setzer, Kevin Sharpe, Mike Warnecker
28 Mario Andretti, Teddy McClure, Jeff Almond, Billy Wade
29 Ralph Earnhardt, Noreen Hofmann, Scott Cluka, Chuck Romeo
Born in MARCH
1 Jim Horton, Dave Marcis, Travis Kvapil, Tim Steele, Nate Ryan, Bob Pockrass, Stu Hothem, Mike Morrison
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, Linda Petty, 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, Dave Rogers, Terri Brooks, Lorrie Earp, Tara Spil
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, Shayne Pipala