NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Kenseth wins Charlotte pole: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light pole for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with speed of 194.252mph for his 2nd pole of 2015, 1st at Charlotte and 15th of his career.
    #22-Logano is on the outside pole followed by #19-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin, #2-Keselowski, #55-Ragan, #4-Harvick, #42-Larson, #78-Truex Jr., #3-Dillon and #14-Stewart.
    All five Hendrick Motorsports [5,24,25,48,88] entries failed to advance to the final round of knockout qualifying.
    Missing the race were: #26-Burton, #32-Bliss, #39-Kvapil, #30-Green and #62-Gaughan.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results round-by-round, qualifying order and more on Jayski.com's Charlotte Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(5-21-2015)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Charlotte:
    #20-Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 56th Annual COCA-COLA 600 with a lap of 27.799 seconds, 194.252 mph.
    This is his 15th pole in 556 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and eighth top-10 start in 2015. Kenseth's first pole of the season came at Bristol.
    This is his first pole in 32 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His previous best start at Charlotte was second in October 2011.
    #22-Joey Logano (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2015 and his third in 13 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    #19-Carl Edwards (third) posted his seventh top-10 start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his sixth in 12 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(5-21-2015)

  • Rookie of the Year Candidates Qualifying Results:
    #26-Jeb Burton, DNQ
    #33-Alex Kennedy, starts 43rd
    #34-Brett Moffitt, starts 40th
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto, starts 42nd

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Notes & Facts - Friday - history:
    · Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in 1959.
    · The track's first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960 - won by Joe Lee Johnson.
    · The track was repaved midseason in 1994.
    · The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1999.
    · It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season.
    · The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season.
    (NASCAR)(5-22-2015)

  • Johnson shocked over warning: #48-Jimmie Johnson, met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and was asked about the warning NASCAR gave the team over the flared skirts.
    Q) WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE WARNING YOUR TEAM RECEIVED FOR THE ISSUE WITH THE SIDE SKIRTS IN THE ALL-STAR RACE?
    Johnson: "The warning...we were very shocked to even hear that there was an issue with the side skirts. I think leaving the racetrack NASCAR was upset and thought there was a lot more intent and something going wrong with the side skirt being pulled out. Then as video became available and they looked through it and watched and saw what was done, it calmed down. We were shocked to hear that there was an issue and actually we had crash damage on the right-side of the car. Then it certainly turned out that way."(Team Chevy)(5-22-2015)

  • Documents: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend used veterans' charity as bank: An ESPN Outside the Lines investigation has found several questionable practices at the Armed Forces Foundation charity under Patricia Driscoll's (CEO) direction in the past decade. Driscoll is the former girlfriend of NASCAR driver #41-Kurt Busch. The couple made headlines last year when Driscoll accused Busch of strangling her and smashing her head into a wall during an argument. Driscoll was recognized as president of the Armed Forces Foundation, a charity aligned with NASCAR and various sports-related entities that aims to help veterans in need. Documents show the Armed Forces Foundation has, in effect, been repeatedly used as a bank to lend money for or pay various personal expenses, including bills for a private company Driscoll owns. The foundation claims it spends 95 cents of every dollar raised on directly supporting service members and their families, but analysis of documents shows the figure is closer to 72 cents. Outside the Lines has learned, on Thursday morning a representative of a former foundation employee contacted the FBI in Washington, alleging that Driscoll broke laws while running the foundation.(see full story at ESPN.com)(5-22-2015)

  • NASCAR racers notice IndyCar's safety team: The quick response of the IndyCar Series safety team in saving James Hinchcliffe from suffering catastrophic blood loss in his accident Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway demonstrated the critical role the series-hired safety team plays in driver care. NASCAR doesn't have its own safety team, instead relying on the tracks to hire the doctors and emergency medical technicians who treat the drivers. While NASCAR requires an emergency response plan, holds an annual safety worker summit as well as weekly meetings at the tracks hosting each event and can dictate staffing requirements to the tracks, NASCAR's traveling medical staff consists primarily of nurses who keep driver files and know their medical histories. Drivers talked with NASCAR after Kyle Busch's accident earlier this year about the week-to-week staffing levels and training. Busch suffered a broken right leg and broken left foot in an accident Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway in one of the most crushing wrecks in recent years.
    "NASCAR is adamant that having true ER folks that every single day fight in the ER room to save people's lives are the best people to have in place here on a weekend for us," six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said Thursday. "In my heart, I feel like there is maybe a hybrid version where, yes, we have those EMTs here, but we also have people that are very sharp and NASCAR-specific, car-specific, know the drivers, know our cockpits. I know that NASCAR briefs them and works with them on all that." With the tracks primarily owned by two companies, it is not unusual for doctors and first responders to work at multiple tracks.
    "Once [NASCAR] explained the process and how the doctors and things were chosen was definitely kind of eye-opening as to how much money and time were spent to make sure they have the right people at every race track -- and really the longevity of the staff," Kevin Harvick said.(full story at ESPN)(5-22-2015)

  • List of Fallen Service Members featured on NASCAR's Windshield Tribute at Coca-Cola 600, images: (click on drivers name for link to see the car or windshield, if/when an image has been made available/found).
    #1-Jamie McMurray: Staff Sergeant Russ Freeland, Air Force
    #2-Brad Keselowski: Corporal Michael J. Anaya, Army
    #3-Austin Dillon: Seal Chief Adam Brown, Navy
    #4-Kevin Harvick: Sergeant Cory R. Mracek, Army
    #5-Kasey Kahne: Sergeant First Class Riley Gene Stephens, Army
    #6-Trevor Bayne: Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, Air Force
    #7-Alex Bowman: First Lieutenant Todd W. Weaver, Army
    #9-Sam Hornish Jr.: Captain Jeremy Fresques, Air Force
    #10-Danica Patrick: Corporal Stephen R. Koch, Army
    #11-Denny Hamlin: First Lieutenant Michael E. Johnson, Marines
    #13-Casey Mears: Sergeant Joshua J. Rimer, Army
    #14-Tony Stewart: Master Sergeant Aaron C. Torian, Marines
    #15-Clint Bowyer: Lieutenant Dale Bowyer, Air Corps
    #16-Greg Biffle: Private First Class Deane S. Van Dyke, Army
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Captain Jim Browning, Air Corps
    #18-Kyle Busch: Gunnery Sergeant Aaron M. Kenefick, Marines
    #19-Carl Edwards: Seaman Lynn A. Thrasher, Navy
    #20-Matt Kenseth: Hospital Corpsman Third Class James R. Layton, Navy
    #21-Ryan Blaney: Cpl. Jonathan Bowling, Marines
    #22-Joey Logano: Corporal Travis L. Patriquin, Army
    #23-J.J. Yeley: Lance Corporal Jose A. Hernandez, Marines
    #24-Jeff Gordon: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stanley L. Harriman, Army
    #25-Chase Elliott: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Stephen Duskin, Army
    #26-Jeb Burton: Sergeant Nickolas A. Mueller, Army
    #27-Paul Menard: Specialist David T. Proctor, Army
    #30-Jeff Green: Chief Petty Officer, Jason Ray Workman, Navy
    #31-Ryan Newman: Sergeant Mark A. Bradley, Marines
    #32-Mike Bliss: Captain Christopher Cash, Army
    #33-Alex Kennedy: Corporal George A. Lutz II, Army
    #34-Brett Moffitt: Sergeant Renald J. Bouthout, Army
    #35-Cole Whitt: Captain John Bartley, Air Force
    #38-David Gilliland: The Unknown Soldier
    #39-Travis Kvapil: Lance Corporal Nathan Elrod, Marines
    #40-Landon Cassill: Gunnery Sergeant Floyd E. Holley, Marines
    #41-Kurt Busch: Petty Officer First Class David M. Tapper, Navy
    #42-Kyle Larson: Staff Sergeant Mark A. Stets Jr., Army
    #43-Aric Almirola: Captain Derek M. Argel, Air Force
    #46-Michael Annett: Corporal Michael E. Thompson, Army
    #47-AJ Allmendinger: Corporal Darrell L. Smith, Army
    #48-Jimmie Johnson: First Lieutenant Robert L. Henderson II, National Guard
    #51-Justin Allgaier: Technical Sergeant Adam K. Ginnett, Air Force
    #55-David Ragan: Sgt. Bryan Brewster, Army
    #62-Brendan Gaughan: Technical Sergeant John Chapman, Air Force
    #78-Martin Truex Jr.: Sgt. Edwin Penn, Army
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto: First Lieutenant Daniel B. Hyde, Army
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller, Army
    #95-Michael McDowell: Corporal Ryan D. Russell, Army
    #98-Josh Wise: First Lieutenant Nainoa K. Noe, Army
    The list from NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(5-19/20-2015)

  • Jeff Gordon joins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Broadcast booth in 2016: Jeff Gordon joins FOX NASCAR fulltime in 2016 as race analyst for its 16th year of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage, teaming with three-time champion Darrell Waltrip to offer seven championships' worth of expertise. Gordon, currently competing in his 23rd and final fulltime Sprint Cup Series season, served as race analyst for FOX Sports' coverage of three NASCAR XFINITY Series races this year. He has agreed to a multi-year contract that begins this season with in-race reporting from the #24 Chevy during select Cup Series races, and segues to an analyst role that commences with Daytona Speedweeks in February 2016. "NASCAR has provided me so many incredible memories, experiences and opportunities throughout my 23 years as a driver, and I can't wait to start a new chapter in racing with this new relationship with FOX and to be in the booth with Mike (Joy) and Darrell," said Gordon. "I feel so lucky to be a part of a sport that I'm very passionate about, and now I get the opportunity to share that passion to millions of race fans from a whole new perspective."
    Gordon will call all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, practice and qualifying sessions for FOX Sports alongside play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and NASCAR Hall of Famer and analyst Darrell Waltrip. Chris Myers hosts the network's coverage alongside analysts Larry McReynolds and Michael Waltrip.
    "Jeff is not only a champion but an icon of a racing generation," said Eric Shanks, FOX Sports President, COO & Executive Producer. "We are thrilled he has chosen to become a part of the FOX Sports family and pair his experience with Darrell. Each is credited with helping elevate NASCAR to the popularity it attained in his respective era, and alongside Mike Joy, this duo will treat fans to unmatched insights each and every week."
    FOX Sports, which began its FOX NASCAR coverage in 2001, currently is in the first of a 10-year media rights agreement with NASCAR. In 2013, FOX Sports extended its agreement with NASCAR, ensuring the FOX family of networks' broadcast of the first 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each season beginning in 2015, as well as the first 14 NASCAR XFINITY Series races of the season and all NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, through 2024.(FOX)(2-21-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Charlotte
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 111.6
    #18-Kyle Busch 106.7
    #5-Kasey Kahne 100.8
    #20-Matt Kenseth 95.5
    #11-Denny Hamlin 92.8
    #24-Jeff Gordon 91.6
    #19-Carl Edwards 89.6
    #16-Greg Biffle 88.7
    #22-Joey Logano 88.4
    #2-Brad Keselowski 86.5
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at Charlotte 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)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Notes & Facts - Thursday - poles:
    · Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway (World 600) in 1960 with a speed of 133.904 mph.
    · 42 drivers have Coors Light poles at Charlotte, led by David Pearson with 14. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon lead all active drivers in poles at CMS with nine.
    · David Pearson and Ryan Newman are tied for the series most Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light poles with six each; followed by Jeff Gordon with five.
    · 12 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Charlotte. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Charlotte with 11; from the fall of 1973 through 1978.
    · Jeff Gordon won five straight Coca-Cola 600 poles at Charlotte between 1994 and 1998.
    · Four active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (10/10/93), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5/28/00), Ryan Newman (5/27/01) and Aric Almirola (5/27/12).
    · 15 of the 112 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Jimmie Johnson in 2014 (Coca-Cola 600).
    · The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (17) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    · 32 of the 112 (28.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the front row: 15 from the pole and 17 from second-place.
    · 85 of the 112 (75.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Nine of the 112 (8.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Charlotte is 37th, by Jimmie Johnson in the Coca-Cola 600 of 2003.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Charlotte with a 7.630.
    · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway twice; the fall race of 2002 and the fall race of 2008.
    (NASCAR)(5-21-2015)

  • Special scheme at Charlotte for Bowyer: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continues its "home" visit in Charlotte this weekend. The sport's longest race of the year is a Memorial Day tradition at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Another tradition is honoring those who serve and have served. Clint Bowyer's #15 Cherry 5-hour ENERGY Toyota will be outfitted in red, white and blue colors with a special decal for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation again this weekend. A portion of sales from a special cherry 5-hour ENERGY bottle now through July 31 goes to the organization that supports the military's special operations forces and their families through college scholarships, family services, and financial stipends. Bowyer's windshield also honors the service of his paternal grandfather, Dale E. Bowyer. The special windshield decal is a part of NASCAR's 600 Miles of Remembrance, honoring military service members and their families. Dale E. Bowyer is Clint Bowyer's paternal grandfather and was a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. He won the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism while fighting the armed enemy in Germany during World War II.(MWR), see images of the scheme on the #15 Team Schemes page.(5-21-2015)

  • Special Military scheme for the #38 at Charlotte: Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores gives a personal look at how "The Unknown Soldier" was chosen for the windshield name decal on David Gilliland's #38 Ford for the Coke 600. Charles "Wahoo" Sampson's main job each week for the Front Row Motorsports team is to get the Love's #38 driven by David Gilliland to its racetrack destination on time. The car he delivers to the Charlotte Motor Speedway days before the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend will be extra special. And it will have his imprint on the windshield. In honor of those killed in service of the United States, NASCAR is displaying the names of fallen soldiers on race cars, the specifics of which were up to the teams, sponsors and drivers. Front Row looked to their 47-year-old team member, a Marine who has served many tours of duty and who lost a number of brothers during that time. Wahoo picked "The Unknown Soldier," dedicated to all soldiers of all ranks and all branches and dates of service who made the ultimate sacrifice for America. Wahoo said he couldn't identify just one person to remember. Wahoo prefers not to go into detail about his time in combat, only noting that he's immensely grateful to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.(Loves Travel Stops), see images of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(5-21-2015)

  • Hamlin Tries To Become Eighth Driver To Sweep May Charlotte Races: #11-Denny Hamlin led the final 10 laps of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race after beating the field off pit road for the Segment 5 restart to give Joe Gibbs Racing its first victory in the event since entering the NSCS in 1992. Hamlin's triumph was JGR's first on a 1.5-mile track since he won the 2013 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. If Hamlin can parlay his weekend success into a win in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he will become the eighth driver to sweep the Charlotte May races, joining Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).(NASCAR)(5-21-2015)

  • Son delivers Byrnes' NASCAR Hall of Fame vote: As the esteemed NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel gathered Wednesday in Charlotte to deliberate on who will be selected for the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame class, an equally esteemed single ballot arrived to be counted among the votes. Completing that ballot was one of the last things longtime broadcaster Steve Byrnes did before passing away from cancer on April 21. His 12-year-old son Bryson and wife Karen made the surprise special delivery. Then the voting panel, which includes the sport's legends such as NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty, Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett, posed with Bryson in honor of the sixth-grader's father -- a beloved member of the NASCAR family and highly respected member of the media.(NASCAR.com)(5-21-2015)

  • 2016 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced: NASCAR announced the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The five-person group - the seventh in NASCAR Hall of Fame history - consists of Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. In addition, NASCAR announced that Harold Brasington won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Next year's Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2016 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton announced the class and Landmark Award winner, respectively, this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Great Hall.
    The Class of 2016 was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, including representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders, a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com and, for the second year, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion (Kevin Harvick). In all, 57 votes were cast, with two additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Jerry Cook and Robert Yates). The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    Voting was as follows: O. Bruton Smith (68%), Terry Labonte (61%), Curtis Turner (60%), Jerry Cook (47%) and Bobby Isaac (44%).
    The next top vote-getters were Red Byron, Benny Parsons and Rick Hendrick. Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Buddy Baker, Alan Kulwicki, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin and Benny Parsons.
    The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Mike Stefanik and Robert Yates.
    Nominees for the Landmark Award included Brasington, H.Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier. It is awarded to competitors or those working in the sport who have acted as a NASCAR ambassador through a professional or non-professional role. Anne B. France won the inaugural award last year.
    Class of 2016 Inductees:
    Jerry Cook made his name in modifieds, winning six NASCAR Modified championships, including four consecutively from 1974-77. All the while, he was vying with another driver from his hometown of Rome, New York, nine-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, for supremacy in NASCAR's open-wheel realm. After retiring from racing in 1982, Cook stayed with the sport and helped shape the series known today as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Cook served as the series' director when it began in 1985 and remains with NASCAR as competition administrator.
    Bobby Isaac's uncanny skill at drawing speed from a race car puts him on a short list of NASCAR legends. His 49 career poles ranks 10th all time. Maybe more impressive: Isaac captured 19 poles in 1969, which still stands as the record for poles in a single season. Isaac began racing in NASCAR's premier series in 1961. He finished runner-up in the series standings in 1968 behind NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson. In 1969, he finished sixth in the standings after posting 17 wins and those 19 poles. In 1970, Isaac won the championship posting 11 victories, 32 top fives and 38 top 10s in 47 starts. Isaac won 37 races in NASCAR's top series, ranking 19th on the all-time list.
    Terry Labonte is a two-nickname NASCAR star. Early in his career he was known as the "Iceman" for his coolness under pressure. But his demeanor belied his determination. Later in his career he became known as the sport's "Iron Man" thanks to 665 consecutive starts in NASCAR's premier series, a record which stood until 2002. Winning two premier series championships, in 1984 and '96, is impressive; the 12-year gap distinguishes Labonte further. No other driver has won his first two championships that far apart and Labonte is one of only six drivers with championships in two decades. Labonte's stellar career is tucked between perfect bookends - his two Southern 500 wins, in 1980 and 2003. His 361 top-10 finishes ranks 10th all time.
    O. Bruton Smith, executive chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., promoted his first stock car race in Midland, North Carolina at the age of 18. Smith's early endeavors included operating the National Stock Car Racing Association - seen as an early competitor to NASCAR - and building Charlotte Motor Speedway. CMS became the foundation of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which currently owns eight NASCAR tracks hosting 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and additional high-profile motorsports activities. Smith took SMI public in 1995, the first motorsports company to be traded at the New York Stock Exchange. He was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame and National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame, both in 2006; and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.
    Curtis Turner, called by some the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing," was among the fastest and most colorful competitors in the early years of NASCAR premier series racing. Turner competed in NASCAR's first "Strictly Stock" race in 1949 in Charlotte and was the only driver to win a NASCAR premier series race in a Nash. He posted his first of 17 career victories in only his fourth start on Sept. 11, 1949, at Langhorne (Pennsylvania) Speedway. Although many of Turner's victories came on short tracks and dirt ovals - much of his career pre-dated NASCAR's superspeedway era - he won the 1956 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and the first American 500 at Rockingham Speedway in 1965. He remains the only series driver to win two consecutive races from the pole leading every lap. He also won 38 of 79 races in which he competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division.
    Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
    Harold Brasington, a South Carolina businessman, believed in Bill France's fledgling NASCAR business, created the sanctioning body's first superspeedway - a one-of-a-kind egg-shaped oval, paved on an old cotton and peanut field. Expecting 10,000 fans to show up at Darlington Raceway's first competition on Labor Day of 1950, 25,000 spectators showed up for the inaugural Southern 500 - NASCAR's first 500-mile race. Darlington's success inspired Brasington to extend his reach north -- to North Carolina. He employed his track building and promoting expertise, helping in the creation of Charlotte Motor Speedway and building North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, NC.(NASCAR)(5-20-2015)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Welcomes CULER Aboard: Tommy Baldwin Racing welcomes CULER aboard the #7 Chevrolet at the Coca-Cola 600. CULER space coolers can drop the air temperature as much as 30 degrees. Made in the USA and featuring multi-patented technology, CULER products provide industry-leading effectiveness and efficiency. The home sized space coolers operate on as much energy as a 40-watt lightbulb. This is CULER's first time sponsoring a car in NASCAR, but their products have been involved within the midway at NASCAR events in the past. "It's great to see CULER want to become further involved in NASCAR," said team owner Tommy Baldwin. "Many race fans are familiar with their product from seeing them at the track and now will be able to associate a name with the innovative cooling technology."
    "CULER is very proud and excited to support Tommy Baldwin Racing and driver Alex Bowman for the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte," said Jeff Badovick, Chief Executive Officer of CULER. "Our CULER associates wish Alex and TBR a solid run and great finish."(TBR), see an image of the scheme on the #7 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2015)

  • Twisted Tea Adds Races with Hornish and #9 Team: After serving as the primary sponsor of the #9 Ford Fusion team for select races beginning in 2014, Twisted Tea Brewing Company has once again increased their partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) by adding two additional races to their 2015 schedule. The Twisted Tea colors will return to the #9 Ford beginning this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 and the following weekend at Dover International Speedway for the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. It was announced earlier this year that the hard iced tea company will serve as the primary sponsor for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July. They also opened the season as the primary sponsor during Hornish's debut with RPM (in the Daytona 500). "We've received a strong response from our drinkers and NASCAR fans regarding our relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports and Sam Hornish Jr.," said Robert Vail, member of the Twisted Tea team. "The Coca-Cola 600 falls on a unique weekend when we take time to honor our nation's military and those that serve. It also happens to be one of the biggest weekends for motorsports and the unofficial kick-off of summer. It will be great to have the Twisted Tea colors back on the No. 9 car this weekend as well as next weekend at Dover."(RPM), see images of the scheme on the #9 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2015)

  • Congrats - Brad Keselowski: #2-Brad Keselowski and his girlfriend, Paige White, welcomed a baby girl into the world on Twitter on Wednesday morning.(NASCAR.com)(5-20-2015)

  • A second team for Furniture Row Racing? #78-Furniture Row Racing is enjoying its most successful start to a season in the 10-year history of the organization. Martin Truex Jr. has piloted the #78 Chevy to 10 top-10 finishes in the first 11 races of the year, and sits second in driver standings. This has come with a single-car operation based in Denver, CO. However, Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone says that may change. "Long-term, we're constantly looking for sponsorships to come on the 78 with Furniture Row and also to start a second team down the road to help support the overall effort," Garone said. A single-car team for the entirety of its existence, Furniture Row Racing has finally started to see success under that setup. However, Garone believes if funding was found, there would be few reservations about expanding to a second car. "Being a single-car for so long and now feeling like we're getting it to work really well, you feel like now is the time to go ahead and look at bringing something else on," Garone said. "You feel like you don't have to go through all the learning processes that you go through building a single-car team; you've kind of gone through that. We look forward to going through that process. Again, it all comes down to raising the money," he said. Another key part of the equation would be finding a driver. Garone said the team is not that far along in the process and needs to focus on finding the funding before searching for drivers. "Generally in that process there are companies that have their eye on a driver and the team has an eye on a driver and you kind of combine that together," he said. "When that bridge is crossed, we'll figure it out then." With Barney Visser owning both the team and the sponsor, the organization has been able to field the #78 without an additional major primary sponsor, but Garone says doing that for a second driver would be a challenge.(FoxSports)(5-20-2015)

    Support the Troops

  • Charlotte Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Charlotte this week . . . all tires will be branded with "Support Our Troops" as part of the Goodyear Gives Back program . . . while these teams have run this left-side tire code at Charlotte since 2012, last weekend at Charlotte was the first time NASCAR teams raced on this right-side code . . . this right-side is a Goodyear multi-zone tread tire, which incorporates two distinct compounds on the same tire -- one for endurance and heat resistance on the inboard two inches of the tread and one for traction on the outboard 10 inches . . . this inboard (Endurance Zone) features the same compound that was run on the same zone at Texas, while this outboard (Traction Zone) features the compound run at Charlotte last year . . . this tire set-up was first tested at Charlotte in December, and was confirmed in a March 10 tire test at the track with drivers #43-Aric Almirola, #5-Kasey Kahne, #78-Martin Truex Jr. and #23-J.J. Yeley . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Goodyear's "Spirit of Innovation" will be in the air over Charlotte Motor Speedway this Saturday and Sunday . . . this airship is based out of Pompano Beach, Fla., and will provide images for Fox Sports' broadcasts of the NASCAR Xfinity and Sprint Cup races.(Goodyear), see tire codes, tire pressures, set limits and more on the Charlotte Race Info page.(5-20-2015)

  • Car owners get access to new NASCAR Media Group data: Sports Business Journal reports that car owners have gained access to some of NASCAR Media Group's data, including an overview of its operations and some top-line financial information. Sports Business Journal, citing multiple sources, said in a story Monday that MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman discussed sharing information related to NASCAR Media Group to a larger group of team principles with Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer, to gain a better understanding of the unit. Kauffman, chairman of the Race Team Alliance, told Sports Business Journal: "There's definitely been an increase in communication. It's in everyone's interest because we're all in the sport together. There's been a better understanding between NASCAR and the teams of, 'Where are the costs? What are the big cost drivers? What are the revenue drivers? Where are there opportunities to save and grow?' And the only way you get that is by having fairly open dialogue. ... We're trying to work together to address an issue."(Sports Business Journal)(5-20-2015)

  • Lt. Governors, Military Families To Honor Veterans at Coca-Cola 600: Two lieutenant governors, the head of the USO and the wife of a military hero will serve as race officials for the 2015 Coca-Cola 600, the nation's largest Memorial Day Weekend celebration. Dawn Seif, wife of fallen Marine SSgt. Andrew Seif, will be Grand Marshal; USO CEO & President J.D. Crouch II will be Co-Grand Marshal; West Virginia Senate President Lt. Gov. Bill Cole will serve as Honorary Starter; and North Carolina's Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 56th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24.
    As race officials, Cole and Forest will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of nearly 100,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Co-Grand Marshal, Crouch will introduce Seif as the Grand Marshal. Seif will give the race command, while Cole will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. As Honorary Race Director, Forest will ride in an official pace car.
    Dawn Bredeweg and SSgt. Andrew C. Seif of Holland, Michigan, were married on Sept. 18, 2010. Tragically, SSgt. Seif was one of 11 service members killed in March of this year when their helicopter crashed during a training mission near Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He was a Combat Engineer based out of Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms, California from 2006 until 2009. He then joined Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) based out of Camp Lejeune. During his career, he served one tour of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. SSgt. Seif was a decorated Marine. In July 2012, he faced enemy fire to save a mortally wounded friend in Afghanistan. For his heroism, SSgt. Seif was a recipient of the USO's 2013 Marine of the Year Award and earned the Silver Star.
    Crouch was elected by the USO Board of Governors to become the 23rd President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Service Organizations (USO) in 2014. Crouch has a long history of public service, including numerous military honors and a service as U.S. Ambassador to Romania.
    Cole is a fifth generation West Virginia businessman. In January 2015, he became the first Republican to lead the West Virginia Senate in more than 80 years. He and his wife, Brownie, live in Bluefield, West Virginia and have four children.
    Forest is the first Republican Lieutenant Governor to be elected in North Carolina in more than 20 years, and only the second since 1897. Dan is an architect. He and his wife, Alice, reside in Raleigh with their four children, ages 8 to 20.
    Continuing its tradition as the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in America, the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will pay tribute to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The captivating performance will showcase ground exercises with troops from Fort Bragg, featuring Humvees, Howitzers, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and more. Rope teams from Fort Campbell will descend from Black Hawk helicopters. The high-powered pre-race show will also include a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg firing squad and vintage war bird air parade and sky-diving members of Team Fastrax descending into the infield. There will also be a musical element to the pre-race show with performances including Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top and Lee Greenwood.
    Great seats are still available for the Coca-Cola 600 and all rest of the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, with weekend passes starting at just $99. To purchase tickets and camping day upgrades, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-20-2015)

  • Work begins on safety initiatives at Daytona: As construction continues on the Daytona Rising project, which is designed to provide a different race-day experience for fans, work began Monday to provide a safer race-day experience for the drivers. Daytona International Speedway officials announced work has started on safety initiatives that include additional "soft wall" coverage as well as asphalt in one area formerly covered with grass. The addition of new Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier became a hot topic in the aftermath of Kyle Busch's Feb. 21 wreck, in an XFINITY Series race the day before the Daytona 500, that left him with a broken leg and foot. Daytona's next event is on Fourth of July weekend, the XFINITY Series' Subway Firecracker 250 on July 4 and the Sprint Cup Series' Coke Zero 400 on July 5. The current work is expected to be completed before then. Other than acknowledging the start of the new efforts, the Speedway declined to offer any information beyond what it addressed in a March 11 news release.
    The specifics of the work: The inside retaining wall, inside Turn 1 and beginning with the exit from the infield road course, will be realigned and fitted with the SAFER Barrier. 20,000 square feet of asphalt will be put down to replace the grass in that area of the track - the lack of traction on grass adds to the inability to slow or possibly control a wrecking car. During his deconstruction of his February wreck, Busch spoke of the inability to get tire grip and possibly save his car from its eventual hit into the wall. Installation of SAFER Barrier on the retaining wall at the exit to pit road. Installation of SAFER Barrier between the exit of Turn 4 and the pit entrance, on the section of the inside retaining wall presently uncovered. Additional coverage of the outside wall of the backstretch with SAFER Barrier. After the July 5 Coke Zero 400, the Speedway will continue covering SAFER coverage of existing concrete walls.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(5-20-2015)

  • #48 team may face penalty for all-star race violation UPDATE: NASCAR officials are investigating #48-Jimmie Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports team for a possible rules violation during the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night. A NASCAR official said after the race that a Johnson crewman was being investigated for modifying the side skirt on Johnson's car during the race. NASCAR implemented new rules prior to this season preventing teams from modifying the side skirts during a race. NASCAR also has new video cameras monitoring pit road, making such rules violations easier to detect. Any possible penalties would be announced next week.(Sporting News)(5-17-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR will issue a warning but won't penalize the Hendrick Motorsports team of Jimmie Johnson for pulling out a side skirt body panel Saturday night during the Sprint All-Star Race. At the start of the year, NASCAR announced it wouldn't allow the flaring out of fenders and body panels near the wheel wells, something that occurred with regularity over the last half of the 2014 season. The penalty is that a team must come in under green to fix it or, if the repair is done while under caution, then the driver must do a pass-through penalty (driving down pit road at pit-road speed) under green. Anyone found involved in such modifications, on first offense, gets a warning.(ESPN.com)(5-19-2015)

  • Congrats - Kyle Busch: from Kyle Busch's Facebook: "Samantha Busch and I are happy to announce the birth of our son Brexton Locke Busch. Born 5/18 at 9:45pm weighing 7lbs 10oz and 21 inches long. Mom and baby are doing great!"(5-19-2015)

  • NMPA honors Steve Byrnes with First Quarter Spirit Award: The National Motorsports Press Association has awarded Steve Byrnes the NMPA Spirit Award for the first quarter of 2015. The award, voted on by members of the NMPA, is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Byrnes covered motorsports for 32 years, working for CBS, TNN, WTBS and Fox networks. March's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway was named the "Food City 500 In Support of Steve Bynres & Stand Up To Cancer" to honor Byrnes' battle with head and neck cancer. He passed away two days after the race. Byrnes is survived by his wife Karen and son Bryson. The Spirit Award is given quarterly and then an overall winner is announced after the end of the year. Lynda Petty, wife of seven-time champion Richard Petty, was the 2014 Spirit Award winner. Quarterly winners last year were Lynda Petty, Martin Truex Jr., Junie Donlavey and brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip.(NBC Sports)(5-19-2015)

  • Bayne to run Pocono ARCA race: #6-Trevor Bayne, is set to make his first laps around the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway for Cunningham Motorsports in the #22 AdvoCare Ford in the ARCA Racing Series Pocono 200 on June 6. Bayne has made 69 career NSCS starts since 2010. In addition, Bayne has 151 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts with two wins and 24 top-five finishes; however, he has yet to make a start at Pocono. As a Roush Fenway ARCA Racing Series driver development team, Cunningham Motorsports is an ideal fit for Bayne to gain valuable experience at the triangular track. Bayne will pilot the Paul Andrews-led Ford in his first career ARCA start. Andrews has a strong racing resume, as he was the NSCS championship winning crew chief for Alan Kulwicki in 1992. During the 2015 season, Bayne is concentrating all of his efforts on the NSCS. With limited tests available to the NSCS drivers, the Roush Fenway driver will gain valuable seat time running the ARCA race on Saturday, prior to his NSCS Pocono debut on Sunday. The Pocono ARCA 200 will be televised live on Fox Sports 2.(Cunningham Motorsports)(5-19-2015)

  • Cassill to run Snap Fitness "Snap Serves" scheme at Charlotte: As America's Fitness Brand, Snap Fitness will pay homage to Memorial Day in a special way: by featuring thousands of club owners, personal trainers, and members as the backdrop on Landon Cassill's #40 Hillman Racing entry as it kicks off a company-wide charitable initiative this weekend. Cassill will pilot the #40 Snap Fitness "Snap Serves" Chevy in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, the longest and most grueling race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. "For the first time ever, thousands of people will be riding with Landon as he speeds around the race track," Steele Smiley, Chief Officer responsible for brand strategy, said. "Snap Nation will be supporting him on all sides."
    Snap Fitness is also giving back in a big way this summer. Memorial Day marks the beginning of its "Snap Serves" summer campaign, which honors those who have served in the military and encourages people around the country to start their fitness journey. All summer long, Snap Fitness is offering 30-day trial passes for $8.95, giving individuals 24/7 access to 1,500 locations across the United States. For every 30-day trial pass purchased between Memorial Day and Labor Day, America's Fitness Brand will donate $1 to Folds of Honor, a foundation that provides scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in active duty. "Giving back is an integral part of our brand at every level. Our summer campaign recognizes an incredible group of men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country," Smiley said. "That, coupled with helping people start their fitness journey, makes for an exciting summer for America's Fitness Brand."(Mike Hillman Racing), see image of the scheme on the #40 Team Schemes page.(5-19-2015)

  • Steve Byrnes' son totes $1 million prize around Charlotte track: NASCAR lost one of its favorite sons when FOX analyst Steve Byrnes died last month. So at Saturday's All-Star Race, it was only right to share it with another favorite son. Byrnes' 12-year-old son, Bryson, was invited to partake in some prerace festivities, and he got the sweetest assignment of the night: toting the $1 million prize money around the Charlotte Motor Speedway track with Michael Waltrip. It was a lot of money to entrust to a boy, but Bryson showed remarkable financial restraint as he teased the drivers who wanted to grab the cash.(vidoe at FoxSports)(5-19-2015)

  • All-Star Race TV Ratings: The NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race drew a 2.1 overnight rating on Fox Sports 1 Saturday night, up 24% from last year (1.7) and up a tick from 2013 on Speed Channel (2.0). Overnights prior to 2013 were not available. The 2.1 also marks a 40% increase over rain-delayed racing from Kansas on FS1 the previous week (1.5). (Sports Media Watch / ShowBuzz Daily), see past races, 5-year chart, links and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.
    UPDATE: According to Nielsen Media Research, Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race scored 3,840,000 viewers, making it the most-watched All-Star Race since 2011.(FOX)(5-19-2015)

  • Haas center opens in Danville VA: One of NASCAR's biggest names and the state's Chief Executive were in town Friday to cut the ribbon on a local educational venture. The Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining on the campus of the Institute in Danville will be a progressive precision machining training model to meet industry needs for a highly skilled 21st century workforce. Governor Terry McAuliffe says this is exactly the type of partnership we need in Virginia. The Center will provide a third-year of high-end instruction for students who have completed the two-year Machining program at Danville Community College. They'll be able to earn national credentials while working on state-of-the-art equipment. Gene Haas says their million-dollar gift will be money well-spent...for the community and his company. Many of those who train on those machines learn to operate equipment that Haas manufactures. The Center got over $1 million in commitments from leading global technology companies and will partner with the Precision Machine Training Program at Danville Community College, offering graduates a third year of study on state-of-the-art equipment.(wakg.com)(5-19-2015)

  • NASCAR to Honor Fallen Service Members with Windshield Tribute at Coca-Cola 600: When NASCAR drivers start their engines for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans will see familiar names like "Harvick," "Kenseth" and "Almirola" replaced on car windshields with "SGT Mracek," "HM3 Layton" and "CPT Argel" - United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country. All 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will participate in "600 Miles of Remembrance" on Memorial Day Weekend to honor military service members and their families, and commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute, the industry's collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have served and continue to defend our nation today. Fans can follow stories around the seven-week platform and share their personal expressions of thanks to the military using #NASCARSalutes on social media.
    "The NASCAR community rallying to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, has long been part of our sport's heritage," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. "As part of NASCAR: An American Salute, 600 Miles of Remembrance represents a special moment in time as we pay tribute to service members who have sacrificed dearly for our freedom."
    Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars were chosen by the teams, and some have unique connections to the fallen. Private Dean Van Dyke, who was killed in the Vietnam War, was a relative of #16 Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle. Army First Lieutenant Daniel Hyde, killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, served alongside Chris Clayton, tire changer on the #83 BK Racing team. Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance on Sunday, and will be introduced alongside the drivers during driver introductions. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day.
    NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various on- and off-track activities from tracks, teams and partners that show appreciation and support for the troops, and will culminate Independence Day Weekend with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Throughout the campaign, NASCAR will host military families at each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as part of NASCAR Troops to the Track" Presented by Bank of America.
    Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Later in the program, both Chevrolet and Ford will feature patriotic branding on the pace cars for races at Pocono and Michigan, respectively.
    Many NASCAR Official Partners have mobilized to support NASCAR: An American Salute with military-themed activations, including:
    · For the sixth straight year, Goodyear is rallying NASCAR fans to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces through its "Goodyear Gives Back" charitable program benefitting the Support Our Troops organization. To kick off the program, Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This effort coincides with the May 21 launch of Goodyear's charity auction at www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack, which features autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear Blimp.
    · Bank of America is the presenting partner of NASCAR Troops to the Track - a season-long program that honors members of the military and their families for their services, and treats them to a NASCAR race experience. This program is an extension of Bank of America's long-standing commitment to the military, focused on helping veterans and service members' transition to civilian life.
    · NASCAR, Coca-Cola, Mars Chocolate North America and 3M have collaborated to engage shoppers in over 180 military commissaries. On Tuesday, May 19, there will be all-day activation at Fort Bragg Commissary South featuring an appearance by Coca-Cola Racing Family Member Joey Logano, who will be giving away tickets to the Coca-Cola 600. From May 18 to July 8, commissary shoppers can enter the 2015 Champion's Week Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week by texting "NASCARSALUTE" to 313131 or by visiting www.championsweek2015.com.
    · M&M's will introduce a national letter-writing campaign, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, encouraging fans to send messages of thanks and appreciation to military members. The notes will be included in more than 100,000 Operation Gratitude Care Packages which will be assembled and shipped to Troops deployed in harm's way and to New Recruits upon their graduation from Boot Camp.
    · During Daytona International Speedway's Coke Zero 400, all active duty military, veterans and their families can enjoy the Troops Welcome Center Presented by M&M's. The center, which will be located in the midway, will be fully equipped with food and beverages, allowing service members to take a break and meet NASCAR drivers throughout the weekend.
    · In honor of the military, Miss Sprint Cup will wear NASCAR: An American Salute fire suits at the Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero 400.
    This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1:00pm/et. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service men and service women from different branches of the military.
    During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast (5:30 pm/et, FOX), FOX Sports will recognize all service members who have lost their lives in the past year by displaying their names and branch of service on a graphic scroll. This will be FOX's fifth year in a row dedicating the pre-race show to service members that have fallen in the line of duty. To learn more about NASCAR: An American Salute, visit www.NASCAR.com/Salute.
    See images of the United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(5-18-2015)

  • All-Star Race an earlier start next year?: Could the Sprint All-Star Race have a different starting time next season? Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday on SiruisXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" that series officials will consider that matter for next year. Saturday's All-Star race didn't begin until 9:42pm/et. The second segment took the green flag at 10:02 p.m. The third segment began at 10:23 p.m. The fourth segment started at 10:43 p.m., and the mandatory pit stop before the start of the final pit stop took place at 11:03 p.m. The event featured no cautions other than the breaks between each segment. Thus, if there had been debris cautions or accidents or such, the start of each segment could have been pushed back significantly. Here's what O'Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about the start time for the All-Star race: "I think it is something we want to look at. ... I've got kids who like watching sports earlier, and I hear the same thing. I think that is something we'll sit down and address and look at and see if we can't get it off a little earlier.''(NBC Sports)(5-18-2015)

  • Todd Gilliland becomes youngest ARCA winner in history: Todd Gilliland briefly doubted himself Sunday afternoon during the closing laps of the Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway. Any doubts he had were quickly erased, however, when the 15-year-old sailed to the win in the ARCA Racing Series race. In doing so, he became the youngest winner in ARCA Racing Series history - the win coming just two days after his 15th birthday. "Wow, I can't believe this is happening," Gilliland said following the race. "Just, wow." He eclipsed the youngest race winner mark previously held by Kyle Benjamin. Gilliland - the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver #38-David Gilliland - was making his ARCA debut. He took the lead for the first time on lap 197 of the 200 lap race and beat Tom Hessert and Josh Williams to the finish line. Hessert held on for second with Williams trailing in third. A.J. Fike finished fourth and Kyle Weatherman finished fifth. Gilliland was fastest in Saturday's practice session and qualified fifth. He stayed near the front all day Sunday, surviving two red flags, one for a brief rain shower and the other for a late-race accident involving the leaders. Austin Wayne Self finished sixth, Brian Finney a career-best seventh, Bobby Hamilton Jr. eighth, David Levine ninth and Matt Wallace 10th in his ARCA debut.(ARCA Racing)(5-18-2015)

  • PRN's Doug Rice Set to Make History with Double Broadcast: Memorial Day weekend has long been synonymous with motorsports tradition. Two crown-jewel races in their respective series, the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, have enticed many to attempt the 1,100 mile marathon known as the double. John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and Kurt Busch have all done it, but not like this. Doug Rice, president of the Performance Racing Network, is set to become the first broadcaster to complete the double, covering the Indy 500 from pit road at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the IMS Radio Network and co-anchoring the Coca-Cola 600 for the Performance Racing Network from Charlotte Motor Speedway that same evening. With logistical support from Shell Oil Company, Rice will be able to attempt what no other broadcaster in the history of the two major events has done. "We are very happy to help Doug and our friends at PRN make this happen," said Heidi Massey-Bong, Sr. Business Advisor - NASCAR Sponsorship, Shell Oil Company. "This effort with Doug along with other activities taking place over the Memorial Day race weekend are going to help us showcase some exciting news for Shell." Though this will not present the same challenges Andretti and other drivers have faced, Rice knows doing anything for 1,100 miles is going to be a challenge, whether it's wheeling a race car or calling the action. "I've always been in awe of the drivers who were able to survive the impact of the double," said Rice. "And even though this will be different kind of double, it will still be a challenge. I'm betting on energy and adrenaline to keep me going through the day in Indy and during the night for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte."(PRN)(5-18-2015)

  • Sprint All-Star Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at 7:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 11:15 PM (all times are EST). FS1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 130
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 61
    Number of times FS1 utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 25 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:15 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 255
    Minutes of race broadcast: 193
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 62
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 193 Total comm. brdcst time 62
    See past races, links and more at CawsnJaws.com.(5-17-2015)

  • Did Denny Hamlin jump the final restart of All-Star Race? #41-Kurt Busch and #4-Kevin Harvick weren't exactly sore losers Saturday night, but they did accuse winner #11-Denny Hamlin of bending the rules to win the Sprint All-Star Race. Both Busch and Harvick said Hamlin jumped the final restart of the 110-lap race. Hamlin won the final race off pit road, putting him in the lead for the final 10-lap segment. He jumped out to a quick lead on the final restart while Harvick passed Busch for second. Harvick tried to run Hamlin down over the final 10 laps, but Hamlin was able to hold him off for his first all-star victory. Busch and Harvick said Hamlin took off too soon on the final restart.
    "We'll have to go to the tape to see if Denny went too soon," said Busch, who finished third. "His car went two car lengths before (the line), in my mind. I was asleep at the wheel."
    Harvick, who finished second, also said it appeared Hamlin may have restarted too soon. "It just depended on how everything shook out on the restart," Harvick said. "Denny sped up, slowed down and took off way early."
    Hamlin admitted he might have restarted just a bit early, but not enough to matter.(Sporting News)(5-17-2015)

  • Keselowski comments about speeding penalty:From a NSCS Notes and Quotes by Ford Performance regarding #2-Brad Keselowski's speeding penalty on the last pit stop between segment 4 & 5 at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race:
    Q) WOULD YOU HAVE HAD ANYTHING FOR THE 11 IF YOU HADN'T GOT THE SPEEDING PENALTY?
    Keselowski: "Oh no. Whoever gets the clean air with this format and this rules package is gonna drive away. We've seen that for the last three years and with this particular car it's probably even more so. I thought the 41 and the 4 were probably two or three tenths faster than everybody without clean air and it doesn't matter. I knew when I came out of my pit stall and the 11 was pulling out with me that I either beat him to that line or lose the race, and the penalty was I was three-tenths of a mile an hour over the speed limit, but I told my crew chief I'd rather go down swinging than take a strike and wonder what might have been. I swung and missed. The 11 team did a great job. Congrats to Denny. Their pit stops were phenomenal. They easily won him this race, but they've got a lot to be proud of and so does my team. We've just got to keep working to be better."
    Q) EVEN IF YOU COME OUT SECOND YOU DON'T THINK YOU WIN THAT?
    Keselowski: "No. Harvick and Kurt were two or three tenths faster than the 11 car and myself. With this rules package you're not gonna pass in clean air because clean air is worth two or three tenths. I was probably maybe a half-tenth faster than the 11, which wasn't enough to make up the difference with starting second."
    Q) SO YOU'RE LITERALLY THINKING AS YOU'RE GOING YOU HAVE TO BEAT HIM TO THE LINE?
    Keselowski: "I have to beat him to that line or don't win the race. I'll take the penalty and strike out, but that was the race."
    IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS CLEAN AIR PROBLEM ?
    Keselowski: "Always. You've just got to go to work."
    Q) YOU'LL HAVE LONGER RUNS IN THE 600 THAT SHOULD CREATE SOME COMING AND GOING, RIGHT?
    Keselowski: "Yeah, it always does, but that's part of it."(Ford Performance)(5-17-2015)

  • What happened to Danica in the All-Star Race: A mechanical failure left Danica Patrick and the #10 Mobil 1/Aspen Dental Chevy team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with a 20th-place finish in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte. Patrick qualified sixth for the event, but she had to drop to the rear of the field prior to the start of the race because the team changed engines following Friday's Sprint Showdown. In the first All-Star segment, Patrick raced her way up to the 17th position. She reported that the car was over-rotating a bit too much, so crew chief Daniel Knost called for a four-tire stop with packer, wedge and air pressure adjustments when the field hit pit road. Patrick started the second segment from the 19th position and worked her way up to 16th before the caution flag waved at lap 50. The team changed four tires and added fuel between segments, and Patrick lined up in the 14th position when the field took the green flag for the third segment. A left-front wheel hub failure sent Patrick to the garage a few laps into the third segment. The team replaced the hub and Patrick rejoined the field at lap 88. She completed the remainder of the race and was credited with a 20th-place finish. "Overall, I feel positive about tonight," Patrick said. "You obviously never want to have a mechanical failure like we did, but my guys busted their butts to get me back out, and we were able to get a few more laps in to help us prepare for next weekend. You'd never turn down nearly 25 extra laps of practice, and we were able to get back out there and see what the Mobil 1/Aspen Dental Chevrolet would do. I feel like we made some good changes tonight and were able to gain experience and information that should help us for next weekend."(SHR)(5-17-2015)

  • Ty Dillon could move to Cup in 2016: When Austin Dillon wrapped up his 2013 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship run, he'd run two full-time Camping World Truck seasons (winning a title in his second) another two at the XFINITY level and had a ride with the sport's most famous number - 3 - waiting for him in the Sprint Cup Series. Austin's brother, Ty, is well on his way to his own XFINITY Series championship - in his second campaign after two full-time seasons in the Truck Series, no less - as the points leader after the season's first nine races. Only difference is, with Richard Childress Racing's three-car stable occupied by Austin, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard, there's no clear option for Ty to advance to. That doesn't mean Ty and his grandfather and RCR team owner, Richard Childress, aren't coming up with a plan. "We've definitely talked about (my Cup plans for 2016) and I think it's our goal," Ty said Saturday at Iowa Speedway. "It's my goal and my grandfather and I have talked about it a lot, (running) in Cup next year. Still working on things, but that's next year. I think if we win the championship this year, it'll make plans easier to come by."(NASCAR.com)(5-17-2015)

  • Penske wants to run Blaney full time in 2016: Roger Penske wants Ryan Blaney to run a full NASCAR Sprint Cup season in 2016 with the Wood Brothers. Blaney, a Team Penske development driver, has been farmed out to the Wood Brothers for about 18 Cup races this year. Blaney has made four starts so far this season and finished a career-best fourth at Talladega three weeks ago. A lack of available seats has made it difficult for Penske to give Blaney many opportunities, and the Wood Brothers alliance has worked well for both sides. "This is a partnership really with Woods' people and ours," Penske said before Saturday night's All-Star race. "We've got the technology and the ability to build the right pieces for them. It's like a brother-in-law." Penske said he's not interested at this time in expanding his Cup program to three cars, but would like Blaney to run the full schedule in the #21 Ford assuming funding is found for the 21-year-old. "I'd hope there can be an extension - we're going to run him in about 18 races, so if we can get sponsorship for him, that gives him a chance to take a look at extending that through a full season next year. That would be our goal," Penske said.(Associated Press)(5-17-2015)

  • Hendrick enshrined in North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame: Friday night [May 15] in Raleigh, North Carolina, Rick Hendrick was honored as a Hall of Famer. Along with nine other inductees, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group was enshrined in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. "It's such an honor for me to be here tonight," Hendrick said on stage after being introduced by fellow North Carolina Sports Hall of Famer Woody Durham. Joining Hendrick in the Class of 2015 were Jeff Bostic, Joe Bostic, John Clougherty, Freddie Combs, Gene Littles, Jerry McGee, Lenox Rawlings, Charlotte Smith and Andrea Stinson. "Congratulations to all the inductees here tonight," Hendrick said. "I feel kind of humbled, because most of you folks have earned your status on your own. You are great ball players, great referees, and with me, I take a team. I have to rely on a lot of people." He then asked his "teammates" from both Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports to stand and be recognized. Under his leadership, Hendrick Motorsports has grown from five employees to more than 600, while Hendrick Automotive Group has expanded from nine employees to 10,000.(HMS)(5-17-2015)

  • Cassill Hits the Road to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: #40-Landon Cassill announced that he will run 14 miles to the NASCAR Hall of Fame immediately after competing in the Coca-Cola 600 May 24 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway to inspire fans to get active with Snap Fitness and help support a worthy cause. Between his run and NASCAR race during Memorial Day weekend, Cassill will log over 600 miles by car and foot that day with America's Fitness Brand supporting him every step of the way. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to combine my passion for running with encouraging others to embrace a healthy lifestyle while recognizing those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country," Cassill said. "My goal with this post-race run is to motivate the sport's fan base to get up and make fitness a priority this summer." Cassill's run to the NASCAR Hall of Fame will kick off Snap Fitness's "Snap Serves" summer campaign, which honors those who have served in the military and encourages people around the country to start their fitness journey. All summer long, Snap Fitness is offering 30-day trial passes for $8.95, giving individuals 24/7 access to 1,500 locations across the United States. For every 30-day trial pass purchased between Memorial Day and Labor Day, America's Fitness Brand will donate $1 to Folds of Honor, a foundation that provides scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in active duty. Cassill, who regularly competes in triathlons, credits the guidance he's received from his neighborhood Snap Fitness club in helping transform his lifestyle - something everyone can achieve with America's Fitness Brand.(Snap Fitness)(5-17-2015)

  • Brandon McReynolds Wins K&N Race at Iowa: Brandon McReynolds earned his first NASCAR victory in the Casey's General Store 150, the first of two annual combination races between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West. He joins a list that includes defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones as drivers who have won their first NASCAR race in the K&N Pro Series on their way up to the national series at Iowa. McReynolds, driving the #16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing, became the second West driver in 12 races to win the combination race at Iowa. He led twice for 22 laps, including the final eight. It was the 34th career series start for the Mooresville, North Carolina, driver. McReynolds, the son of NASCAR on FOX announcer Larry McReynolds, is an alum of the NASCAR Next program.(Popular Speed)(5-17-2015)

  • AMS files request for new NASCAR race date: After losing its Labor Day race date and being moved to the second race of the season, Ed Clark, president of Atlanta Motor Speedway, confirmed he has filed a formal request as part of NASCAR's schedule realignment process to move its race date to a different spot on the schedule. "Ideally, I'd like to be later and we've talked about that," Clark told Kickin' the Tires. "But I am not somebody who advocates somebody who has a good date giving up their date just to help me. It needs to be good for whatever you do. In an ideal world, I would love to see them go to the West Coast and come back to us. The way it works, they (NASCAR) send all the tracks a letter saying, 'if you desire to change your date, we need to have a formal request back" so, I did that. I didn't ask for a specific date. I just asked NASCAR to look at it. Marcus (Smith, general manager) and Bruton (Smith, CEO) pretty much handle all of that but they knew I was doing it." Clark said from a selfish standpoint he wants his track's race in a better place on the schedule. Once that happens, he said he hopes they can stick with that date to build momentum but there is no way he would want any track operator to lose a date they like. "I've always said that if I could handpick my dates, I would run the last week of April and the last week of September," Clark said. "They are beautiful weather conditions there. But we are roughly 120 miles from Talladega and you can't get those two events close together. If it was all done in a vacuum, I would never in a million years advocate taking somebody's date that they are happy with just to help us. If there was a win-win situation then, yeah, it would make sense." In the days following the Atlanta race weekend [March 1st], there was speculation and jokes the track was in a downward spiral. Speculation by some was it might lose its lone Sprint Cup Series date because of poor attendance - that caused Clark to bristle. He said Atlanta coming off the schedule has not been discussed. "Anything is a possibility but there has been no talk of it," Clark said. "And I can't see NASCAR pulling out of a traditional market, you know, that was one of the markets that built NASCAR and has so many sponsors headquartered there. There's a bunch."(Kickin' the Tires)(5-17-2015)

  • Kyle Busch Happy to Return, Waits on Baby Busch: #18-Kyle Busch was happy to return to the seat of his race car on Friday as practice was held for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. It didn't take long for Busch to get back to form, but he was just as intently preparing for the birth of wife Samatha's first child. "I was optimistic about coming back and getting in some laps here at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Busch. "Our car was fast. It was good to see all my guys, and just kind of get things to fall back in. You know, just trying to get a feel for the seat since I hadn't been behind the wheel in a while. As far as I was concerned, everything went according to plan. We made some adjustments to get in that mock qualifying run. We were able to put a fast time up, but I'm not sure everybody else made that kind of effort. I was definitely excited to see that seat."
    Busch noted the biggest adjustment was getting acclimated back to the car. "I think the biggest thing was just getting back the feel of the race car," said Busch. "These race cars have been changing quite honestly. Just trying to get a feel for what all was going on there and what I had to drive. The seat was an adjustment for me. I'm not used to the carbon seat at all; I have never run one. We had to tinker with it a little bit there and tinker with it now to just try and make it a little bit better for me for the long haul, especially for next week."
    Charlotte was also a goal for Busch to return to competition. "There were some nervous days in Daytona where I was counting the weeks," said Busch. "And I was like, 'I could probably come back at Talladega,' and that would definitely be pushing it. And then I thought that wouldn't be very smart of me to come back at Talladega. And then Kansas was the next one. And I thought, you know what, I don't know if I want that one either, so Charlotte looks really good. And so far it seems to be a good choice coming back here. I think it was always kind of a goal, just depended on how hard we pushed getting ready for it."
    Busch also is excited about soon becoming a father. "Samantha and I got up together like we always do and had breakfast." said Busch, "I told her she better keep her legs crossed and do whatever she had to do today and tomorrow, so we could keep baby Busch inside for 48 more hours. Besides that, it was a nice moment as I was getting ready and what we had is all over with all the trials and tribulations, and learning how to walk again, it was all over. We could now get back to our normal routine."(CMS Pit Notes)(5-16-2015)

  • France defends NASCAR decision about waiver for Kyle Busch: NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France defended NASCAR's decision to waive the 26-race rule on Wednesday and allow Kyle Busch to be eligible for the Chase. Although the sanctioning body granted the waiver, it doesn't mean the Joe Gibbs racer will automatically qualify for the playoff. That's where France says the challenge lies. "The real beauty in the way the championship is now decided, you have a little bit of flexibility to crown your champion," France said. "As opposed to the old days, when it was an accumulation of all the points. Now, you're resetting it any way. You still have to get into the Chase with a win. Once you get there, that's when the real work begins - those final 10 races and to survive that. I think the flexibility the format adds we're still rewarding the best driver in a given year is helpful for us and allows us when things like Kyle Busch happens or something else that are out of a driver's control we at least have a tool left in our tool kit so we can put them back in." Although France acknowledged that Busch's absence for nearly one-third of the Sprint Cup season played into NASCAR's decision-making process, with the new Chase format, the main emphasis is qualifying for and performing in the playoffs.
    "What we determined in this case is you still have to finish strong in the remaining events leading up to the Chase, you have to win a race and you have to perform in the final 10 when it matters the most any way," France added. "There is plenty of merit if Kyle, in this case, is able to accomplish all that, then he will be a fine champion."(Motorsport / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)(5-16-2015)

  • Fans, Hornish and SHOP.COM Send 10 Campers to Victory Junction: Sam Hornish Jr. and the #9 SHOP.COM/Victory Junction Ford team put in a great effort during Friday night's Sprint Showdown with a 14th-place finish in the first 20-lap segment and a fourth-place finish in the second 20-lap segment. Hornish was one of the fastest cars in the second segment. Although Hornish and the #9 SHOP.COM/Victory Junction Ford team did not find Victory Lane, they still leave Charlotte Motor Speedway as winners. Earlier this month, Richard Petty Motorsports partner SHOP.COM announced a campaign surrounding the Sprint Fan Vote and Hornish. For every Sprint Fan Vote that Hornish received, SHOP.COM donated $5 to Victory Junction and $10 for every shared vote on Facebook and Twitter up to $25,000. Through the support of SHOP.COM and the NASCAR community, Hornish received enough fan votes to reach the $25,000 goal to send 10 campers to Victory Junction.(RPM)(5-16-2015)

  • Dick Trickle Memorial emerging: The beginnings of the Dick Trickle Memorial at the Rudolph Community Park (Wisconsin) are slowly beginning to emerge from the grassy field, thanks to the hard work of those dedicated to preserving the racing legend's memory. Trickle, a central Wisconsin resident and stock car racer, died by suicide May 16, 2013, in Iron Station, NC at the age of 71. His former central Wisconsin racing buddies choose to focus on Trickle's life and contributions to the racing community. Less than a year after Trickle's death, friends joined together to build a memorial in Trickle's boyhood home of Rudolph. This weekend not only marks the second anniversary of Trickle's death, but also the second annual Dick Trickle Memorial Celebration at the Rudolph Community Park, the site where the building of the memorial is underway. Sunday's event also kicks off a summer of 12 race event appearances by committee members to raise awareness and funds for the memorial. More information at icktricklememorialproject.com.(Wisconsin Rapids Tribune)(5-16-2015)

  • Sponsorship All-Stars in NASCAR: With a quarter of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in the books and ahead of this weekend's Sprint All-Star Race, certain drivers and brands are emerging as sponsorship all-stars. The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #4-Kevin Harvick is leading the way. Not only has he led the most laps, but Harvick tops all drivers in providing his team's sponsors the most time-on-screen during 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race broadcasts. With nearly 7 ˝ hours of television time in the first quarter of the season, Harvick's sponsors combined to receive 10% more exposure time than the next closest competitor. Harvick's primary car sponsor, Jimmy John's, has acquired the most media value among primary car sponsors through the first quarter of the season, followed by Lowe's, Shell-Pennzoil, Nationwide, Haas Automation, Target, FedEx, Dollar General, Furniture Row and Miller Lite. Repucom Executive Vice President Peter Laatz said, "Performance is one of the more prominent indicators for car sponsor exposure in NASCAR as evidenced by the brands you see with the highest media value to date. Eight of the top 10 cars have made at least one trip to victory lane."
    Furniture Row is a newcomer to the top 10 primary car sponsor list tracked by Repucom. Due to outstanding performance this season by Martin Truex, Jr. and the No. 78 team, Furniture Row has received more media value to date than it did in the entire 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Truex is the only driver besides Harvick to have 10 top-10 finishes this season. The top overall brands in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during live-race broadcasts are Sprint, Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford and Nationwide. Nationwide moved from a NASCAR series entitlement sponsor to become the primary car sponsor of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in 2015. Nationwide has also received extensive brand exposure through broadcast sponsorship segments and on-air graphics during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.(Repucom)(5-16-2015)

  • NASCAR requires pit crews wear fire-retardant gear: NASCAR will mandate all pit crew members who service the car on pit road to wear fire-retardant head socks, underwear, socks and gloves beginning in June. NASCAR sent an email to the teams this week detailing the new rules, a NASCAR spokesman confirmed. Previously, only the fuel man had to wear a fire-retardant head sock, which protects much of the face and neck. Now all the over-the-wall crewmen will have to wear the head socks as well as fire-retardant underwear, gloves and socks.(ESPN)(5-15-2015)

  • Gene Haas isn't ruling out Danica Patrick for F1 team: NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas has no desire to fuel speculation but neither will he rule out entirely the possibility of Danica Patrick racing for his new Formula One team next year. "If the right sponsor came along, then anything is possible," the California-based businessman told Reuters when asked whether the world's best-known female racer might make a sensational switch from ovals. Even as he spoke, on a visit to the grand prix paddock in Spain last weekend, his F1 team principal Guenther Steiner grimaced. "Don't put anything in that Danica is coming to F1," laughed the Austrian, mindful of all the stories written since Haas Formula One confirmed they would be making their grand prix debut in 2016. "We've been down that path last year," agreed Haas, who nonetheless left no doubt that his Stewart-Haas NASCAR driver would be given serious consideration if the deal was right and she wanted to do it. Formula One has not had a woman driver start a race in nearly 40 years and Patrick, who nearly tested for Honda in 2008, has been through the rumor mill many times already. "We don't want to sit there and say no to anything but the probabilities... obviously when she's in NASCAR, it's very difficult to participate in F1," said Haas of the 33-year-old who in 2013 became the first woman to take pole position for the season-opening Daytona 500. Patrick's long-term backer, internet domain name service GoDaddy Inc, announced last month they were leaving NASCAR at the end of the year and that has left her future in doubt although Haas sounded positive on that score. "Danica Patrick is highly marketable and if anything we're very lucky that GoDaddy is giving us enough time to find a sponsor that she'll fit with, because she can sell anything," he said. "She has as much attention at the race track as any of the drivers so she's a very valuable person." Haas F1 will be the first American-based team in Formula One since 1986 and will compete with Ferrari engines in a close tie-up with the Italian team.(Reuters)(5-15-2015)

  • Panthers Davis to be honorary pacecar driver for Coca-Cola 600: Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis' whirlwind year will take another turn - several left turns, actually - next weekend when the NFL's reigning Man of the Year drives the pace car at NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's the latest experience in an offseason that's played out like a fantasy camp for Davis, who won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in January for his years of charitable work with children. Davis confirmed Wednesday he'll be behind the wheel of the pace car during Charlotte's Sprint race May 24. "I'm going to go as fast as they allow me to go," Davis said in a phone interview. Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the Man of the Year Award, was scheduled to make the announcement Thursday morning. Davis will be certified Tuesday at the 1.5-mile oval. The process will include a short class, followed by a couple of laps around the track with a NASCAR official. Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose primary sponsor is Nationwide, will take Davis for a ride in Earnhardt's #88 Chevrolet. Davis can get some tips from Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who drove the pace car last year for NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte. "Luke is my brother. We bounce everything off of each other," Davis said. "He was extremely excited to be pace car driver last year and I'm equally excited to be the one doing it this year."(Charlotte Observer)(5-14-2015)

  • Patriotic scheme for Johnson at Charlotte: Lowe's, in conjunction with NASCAR.com and NASCAR Illustrated, digitally unveiled the #48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevy scheme Jimmie Johnson will pilot in the next two races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, starting with Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. Lowe's has a long history of supporting the military. Currently, Lowe's has more than 14,000 veterans, active military and Guard/Reserve employees. Those range from store employees to managers and customer support center employees in the North Carolina offices.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(5-14-2015)


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Next Race: Coca-Cola 600

Countdown to Race Time: 5/24/2015 ~6:16pm/et

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NOTE: the 20-25 links that seemed the most interesting to me are posted in the basic order they are shown on the Article / Column / Blog Links page with approx 10 days worth of links

Born on Dates / Birthday's

Born in MAY

22 Jay Guy, Joey Knuckles, Janice Almirola

23 Kerry Tharp, Harvey Walters, Wally Dallenbach Jr

24 Joey Logano, Ricky Craven, Chip Ganassi, Lesa France Kennedy, Amy Rice, Brent Sherman, Colt Hammond, Tommy Chong, Jack Smith

25 Bud Moore, Paul Andrews, A.J. Foyt IV, Spenny Clendenen, Ross Kenseth, Kevin Hulstein, Smokey Yunick

26 Stacy Compton, Adam Gravitt, Kenny Trout

27 April Horner, Jeremy Mayfield, Dick Berggren, Van Colley, John Bickford, Carol Einarsson

28 Ray Fox, Butch Stevens, Marvin Panch, Dan E. Donnely, Ron Lemasters Jr., David Joy, Michael Klein

29 Joe Weatherly, Ken Schrader, Bobby Hamilton, Al Unser, Jimmy Means, Todd Berrier, John F. Kennedy, Germán Quiroga, Steve Allen, Kaye Jenkins, Jessica Taylor

30 Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Reagan Page, Gale Wilson

31 Jerry 'Dad' Adamczyk, Jack Baldwin, Gayle Barnwell, Pat Calkins, Charlie Lewis, Krista Voda, Faith Anne Yeley

Born in JUNE

1 Ryan Pemberton, Jim Sauter, Lance Hooper, Anita Witzke, Brennan Pattie, Darel Dieringer

2 Kyle Petty, Sandy Jones, Scott Brewer

3 Jamie McMurray, Troy Selberg, Barney Oldfield, Mark Smith, Dave Collins, Mark Graves

4 Terry and Jerry Windell, Michael Dokken, Barry Dodson, Brienne Davis, Carl Kiekhaefer

5 Bobby Hillin, Butch Miller, Gary Nelson, Bob Osborne, Ronnie Hoover, Raymond Parks, Jason White

6 Max Jones, Justin Allgaier, Scott Radel, Steve Wilson

7 Tim Richmond, Robbie Loomis, Rodney Childers, Joe Ewert, Brian Sockwell, Jason Small, Tom Czerwinski

8 Frank Mundy, Kristen Labonte, Tabitha Burton, Tom Schacht, Carlos Contreras, Lloyd Moore, Joey Coulter

9 David Hobbs, Billy Bigley, Mackena Bell

10 Chad Walter, Avery Manion

11 Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Parrott, Layne Riggs, Taylor Elizabeth Schaffer, Patti Wheeler

12 Sue Raines, Joe Pittman, Sandy Kahne, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brandon Benesch

13 Mark Marco, Harry Melling, R.D. Smith, Bryan Silas, Cory DeMarco

14 U.S. Army [1775], Richard 'Slugger' Labbe, Doug Richert, Angela Styers, Dustin Stanley, Brett Thompson

15 Bobby Leslie, Willie Allen, Cami Parsons, Stefan Parsons, Bryan Clauson, Tabitha Stricklin

16 Pete Pistone, Ernie Cope, Shannon Myers, Kathyrn Huber

17 Kevin Hamlin, Rick Allen, Mike Jarrett

18 Jody Eastridge, Mimi Sabates

19 1st NASCAR race, David Stremme, Joe Lewis, Charlie Glotzbach, Steve Post, Kyle Pearce

20 Ron Hornaday Jr, Jerry Cook, Ritchie Petty, Cecil Gordon, Terry Ford, Paul Dallanbach, Mike Geato, Ella Sofia Gordon, Joe Cline

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