Entry List for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #26-Whitt & #30-Yeley, #35-Reutimann, #33-Stremme, #32-Kvapil, #95-McDowell.
The drivers who must qualify on speed and cannot use a provisional: #35-Reutimann, #77-Blaney.
See the full entry list at my Jayski's Richmond Entry List
Swan Racing Restructures UPDATE Yeley in for Kligerman: Swan Racing announced it has successfully restructured the company by finding solutions for the #26 and #30 teams in an attempt to save the jobs of the crews, the drivers, and to keep those teams competing throughout the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As a result, Anthony Marlowe has merged his ownership of the #26 team into BK Racing, effective immediately. Cole Whitt will remain behind the wheel of the #26. The #30 team has been sold to John Cohen of XxxTreme Motorsports, which will operate the team going forward and intends to compete with veteran driver J.J. Yeley. Stephen "Bones" Lane will serve as crew chief and be joined by several other former Swan Racing crewmembers. Driver Parker Kligerman remains under contract with Swan Racing, which will seek to identify options for him to get back on track. Team owner Brandon Davis issued the following statement:
"I want to first thank our employees, fans, and others in the NASCAR industry for their patience and understanding over the past several days while we work out the future of Swan Racing. As previously stated, the team is restructuring due to a lack of additional funding. However, over the past couple weeks we worked tirelessly to find an alternative to ending operations. Fortunately, we were able to find a home for the #26 team and the #30 team thanks to Anthony Marlowe and Jonathan Cohen respectively. "Anthony and Jonathan are both young and ambitious NASCAR enthusiasts. It is important to keep them in the sport for the long term. I am very relieved to know that the #26 and #30 teams will be in good hands and will continue to compete the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Most importantly, most of the team members have the opportunity to continue their employment in the sport and to support their families. This was critically important to me. Swan Racing is exploring any and all options to keep Parker Kligerman on track throughout the season. We are encouraged by the response we have received from interested parties. Parker continues to be one of the most talented young drivers in NASCAR. He brought this racing team one of its strongest results in his first race with us, and we are certain of his success in the future.(Swan Racing PR)(4-23-2014)
UPDATE: "It went from a lot of fun to a nightmare in a matter of months," [Swan Racing owner] Brandon Davis told NASCAR.com by telephone Wednesday, after his race team farmed off both its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars to other organizations. "I'm not going to point my finger in any one direction. It was just the overall thing, probably adding two cars, etc. ... There were challenges there." Davis, whose Swan Energy oil and gas company has bankrolled the team for most of its brief existence. Davis was willing to dig into his pockets to get the team going last year, when it fielded one car. But he expanded to two entries for 2014 and had hoped to subsist on sponsorship dollars, and the pieces simply didn't come together in time to keep the organization operational. Combine that with the time demands of Davis' growing oil and gas businesses, and it added up to difficulty from the first weeks of the season. Davis added he's retained a few people to help "wind things down" with Swan Racing, and can't foresee the team returning to the track in any capacity in the immediate future. Although Swan lacked sufficient sponsorship dollars, money wasn't the only issue -- expansion to two cars took more of a toll than Davis expected, and the demands of his day job cut into the available time he had to help the race team grow. With two cars now in the stable, everything took double the time, money, and effort. The financial amount contributed to the team by Swan Energy, Davis said, was used up in a matter of weeks. Asked if expanding to two cars proved too much, he did not mince words. "Yes. Most definitely."(NASCAR.com)
AND: Per Xxxtreme Motorsports Twitter, the team will run the #30 Chevy at Richmond, then switch back to the #44 starting at Talladega, and have the owners points / race attempts from the #30 team (4-24-2014).
Richard Petty expected back at Richmond: #43-Aric Almirola talked Thursday about Richard Petty's planned return to the track this weekend following the death of his wife, Lynda:
WHAT WILL IT MEAN TO HAVE RICHARD BACK AT THE TRACK THIS WEEKEND?
Almirola - "I think he's doing well. I think being back at the race track is gonna be good for our race team and good for him. I think it'll be good medicine. When something like that happens you kind of want to hide a little bit and just get your feelings straight, but he's been by the shop and been in good spirits and I think he's doing very well considering. We're looking forward to getting him back at the race track and getting him back into race mode. I've spent quite a bit of time with him over the last few weeks since Miss Lynda passed, and it's gonna be great to have our leader back at the race track. He's the name and the face of our company and all the guys on the race team, any myself included, look up to him and enjoy having him around at the race track and having him inside the hauler and talking to us after practice and getting his perspective on what he sees with other race cars and with our race cars throughout practice, so I'm excited about having him back at the race track and, like Trent said, I think it's gonna be good medicine for him. He comes to about 95 percent of the races every year, so for him to take the two or three weeks off that he's taken, I know he's itching to get back to the race track. He's been watching the practices and watching qualifying and watching the races and Dale Inman goes home on Sunday night and gives him the full report on what went down that weekend and how things went. He's still heavily involved and he's still been paying attention for sure, he just hasn't been at the race track. He knows everything that's been going on."(Ford Racing PR)(4-24-2014)
AAA Insurance on the #15 at Richmond: AAA Insurance serves as the primary sponsor for #15-Clint Bowyer this weekend at Richmond International Raceway as well as Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26. AAA serves as an associate sponsor on MWR's Toyotas including Brian Vickers' #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota throughout the season. AAA has been serving its members and the community on the road and around the world for more than 100 years. AAA helps more than 50 million people across the U.S. and Canada any time with their Automotive, Travel, and Insurance needs.(Michael Waltrip Racing), see an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(4-24-2014)
Axe Peace on the #42: Kyle Larson will trade in the familiar Bullseye paint scheme this weekend for that of the Axe Peace brand. This will be Larson's second time this year in the Axe Peace car. Although he has not driven the car in a race, he acted out some racing scenes while shooting a commercial for the brand back in January.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #42 team paint schemes page.(4-24-2014)
Toyota's Laukes Named to TRD, USA Board of Directors: Effective immediately, Ed Laukes, vice president, marketing- performance and guest experience at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., has been named to the TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) board of directors. As part of this change, David Wilson, president and general manager of TRD, will now report directly to Laukes. "This change will better align our technical racing programs directly to the marketing department and their various initiatives," said Bob Carter, TMS senior vice president of automotive operations. Prior to his current role, Laukes was most recently responsible for managing advertising for all Toyota cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles, as well as motorsports public relations and marketing operations. He will continue to oversee the company's motorsports activities, including strategy, research, sponsorship, advertising and merchandising activation (Toyota Racing)(4-24-2014)
Safety-Kleen renews Official partnership with NASCAR: NASCAR announced it has reached a multi-year agreement to renew its official partnership with Safety-Kleen, and is among several companies renewing their commitment to NASCAR in 2014. The company will continue as the Official Environmental Services Supplier of NASCAR. The news comes amidst NASCAR's second-annual NASCAR Race to Green initiative, which is galvanizing teams, tracks, drivers, Official NASCAR Partners, and fans around the theme of protecting and preserving the environment. Richardson, Texas based Safety-Kleen is owned by Norwell, Massachusetts based Clean Harbors, Inc. Safety-Kleen, an Official NASCAR Partner since 2004, provides onsite trackside support with its cleaning products and through its oil recycling and re-refining services at more than 200 NASCAR-sanctioned races a year. This ensures all cleaning solvents, oil, fluids and lubricants used in NASCAR racing are recaptured and re-used into useable products. A major contributor to NASCAR's recycling efforts; Safety-Kleen became a founding partner of NASCAR Green at the inception of the platform in 2008. Since entering the sport, Safety-Kleen has collected enough race-used oil to power the Empire State Building for more than an entire year. In 2013, Safety-Kleen collected and re-refined more than 200,000 gallons of NASCAR oil at tracks and team shops.(NASCAR)(4-24-2014)
Milestone starts at Richmond: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Chevy for JTG / Daugherty Racing, will make his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend, at Richmond. His best career finish is second, on April 1, 2012, at Martinsville Speedway - like Richmond, a short track. Marcos Ambrose, who drives the #9 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, will also make his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Saturday night. He has two wins in his career, both at Watkins Glen.(NASCAR)(4-24-2014)
Richmond Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Richmond this week . . . this is the first time NASCAR teams have run on either of these two codes . . . this right-side code (D-4610) is one of Goodyear's multi-zone tread tires, which combines two distinct tread compounds on the same tire . . . the outboard 10 inches of tread surface (traction zone) is the same compound run on the entire right-side tire at Richmond last season . . . the inboard two inches of tread surface (endurance zone) features a slightly tougher, more heat resistant compound . . . compared to what was run at Richmond last year, this new left-side code (D-4608) features a compound change to give the cars more grip . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear tire test at Richmond last October 22-23 . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. (Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Richmond Race Info page - Goodyear Section.(4-24-2014)
Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run at Richmond International Raceway on the Richmond Race Info page - Chassis selection area.
New sponsor for Keseloswki? UPDATE at Richmond: an image of the #2 Team Penske Ford has been found on https://twitter.com/keselowski that show Brad Keselowski will drive a light blue car sponsored by Detroit Genuine Parts in a future race. A few readers also saw the same car in the Team Penske shop and sent images. See images of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2014)
UPDATE: Keselowski #2 Ford sponsor is listed on the Richmond Entry list as Detroit Genuine Parts.(4-22-2014)
UPDATE 2: This weekend's race marks the debut of the #2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion. Driven by Brad Keselowski, the car features a distinctive blue-grey color that will stand out under the lights at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. A key Alliance Truck Parts partner, Detroit Genuine Parts is a premiere brand in the transportation aftermarket that supplies remanufactured parts to commercial on- and off-highway customers around the world.(Team Penske).
Detroit Genuine Parts is also scheduled to be the primary sponsor in the October race at Charlotte.(4-23-2014)
Ryan Truex gets 2 race sponsor: Race fans will once again have to keep a keener eye for the #83 BK Racing Toyota in the next two Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. The black color has been replaced with Mardi Gras colors of purple and gold for New Orleans, LA based VooDoo BBQ & Grill. VooDoo BBQ & Grill served as the primary sponsor of the #83 car at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2013 and has continued as a partner and associate sponsor for 2014 until the opportunity presented itself to have them as a primary sponsor once again. VooDoo BBQ & Grill opened its first location in New Orleans, LA on Mardi Gras Day 2002 and has expanded to reach 57 planned locations in six states.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(4-23-2014)
Kurt Busch to undergo Indy 500 rookie orientation: It's been 14 years since Kurt Busch was last called a rookie. And even though Busch has a Sprint Cup championship trophy at home, he's still a rookie open-wheel driver as far as the Indianapolis 500 is concerned. That's why Busch and four other drivers will take part in the rookie orientation or veteran driver refresher course to be eligible to compete in the May 25th Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track announced Tuesday. Busch will join four other drivers - Mikhail Aleshin, Martin Plowman, Jack Hawksworth and 1995 Indy 500 winner and former CART and F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve - for the three-pronged orientation and driving program on Tuesday, April 29th and Monday, May 5th. Villeneuve will only have to complete the final two phases of the three-phase program to be recertified to race in the 500 because of his prior experience there. The orientation/refresher is designed that all five drivers can potentially complete all three phases in one day. If they are able to do so, the second day would be for practice - or if they need more instruction.(NBC Sports)(4-23-2014)
Ambrose to "Race for a Miracle" at Richmond: This Saturday night, Marcos Ambrose and the No.9 STANLEY Racing have a million reasons to win. If Ambrose earns his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, Richard Petty Motorsports partner STANLEY will donate $1 million to the Children's Miracle Network through the Ace Hardware Foundation to benefit sick and injured children. If Ambrose finishes second or third, a donation of $500,000 and $250,000 will be made respectively. The incentive is part of the annual "Racing for a Miracle" campaign by STANLEY and the Ace Hardware Foundation. Ambrose has a best finish of fifth at the track. Ambrose and the team will head to Richmond early on Thursday to visit the patients at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Ambrose and his #9 RPM pit crew will interact with the children through various games and demonstrate pit stops. The #9 will also have a different look to it this weekend. The car will be unveiled this Friday morning at Richmond International Raceway during a special presentation at the amphitheater.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-23-2014)
Richmond Notes and Facts - Wednesday: drivers
" NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Richmond with 63. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 42 starts.
" Bobby Allison and Richard Petty are tied for the lead in runner-up finishes at Richmond with nine each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
" Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Richmond with 34; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 16.
" Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Richmond with 41. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 26.
" Eight drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Richmond International Raceway. Richard Petty leads the series in consecutive wins at Richmond after posting seven consecutive wins from the fall of 1970 - 1973. Jimmie Johnson (2007 sweep) is the only active driver with consecutive wins at Richmond.
" All of the 13 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Richmond International Raceway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart won at Richmond in their second appearance.
" Joe Nemechek competed at Richmond International Raceway 18 times before winning in 1994; the longest span of any the 13 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
" Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond International Raceway with a 7.222.
" Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Richmond: Kyle Busch (7.2) and Denny Hamlin (8.9).
" Dave Blaney leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond without visiting Victory Lane at 26.(NASCAR)(4-23-2014)
Hermie Sadler joins wrestling board: Global Force Wrestling welcomes former NASCAR driver and current Fox Sports NASCAR analyst Hermie Sadler to its Board of Directors. Sadler, who turns 45 later this week, is a lifelong wrestling fan who also has promoted live wrestling events. A 1991 graduate of the University of North Carolina, he was the 1993 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year. Sadler has a diverse portfolio away from the race track, including restaurants, finance companies and franchises. Jeff Jarrett, the CEO of GFW and a 12-time world champion, and his wife, Karen, have continued their travels around the world laying the groundwork for Global Force Wrestling. "Hermie and I have been friends for more than 20 years," Jarrett said. "Yes, he has been a great driver for years, but I have always admired him for his business acumen. He also fits with GFW because he understands the importance of fan interaction as clearly all of NASCAR does."(Global Force Wrestling/Newsday)(4-23-2014)
Hendrick pit coach is leaving for a job outside of racing UPDATES: One of the best pit coaches in NASCAR is leaving racing for work outside of the sport. As of Darlington two weeks ago, Hendrick Motor Sports pit coach Lance Munksgard will no longer be at HMS. Munksgard will be taking a new job in McGregor, Texas at Fourseventy Claim Management. Pit Talks talked with Coach Munksgard, he had this to say. "I was blessed to have been able to live a dream of working with the best mechanics and pit crew members in NASCAR over the years which was an unforgettable experience. I couldn't have asked for a better organization than HMS to finish my NASCAR career. HMS is a truly professional company that starts from Mr. Hendrick down through the management, crew chiefs, and through the pit crews. It was a true pleasure to work with a strong coaching staff and pit crew members at HMS and watch them progress each week. I will truly miss the competition on pit road each week and wish all the guys on pit road the best of luck."(Pit Talks)(4-21-2014)
UPDATE: Greg Morin, who has been pit crew coach for the teams of Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon, and Chris Krieg, the assistant coach to Munksgard, will oversee the pit crews for Earnhardt and Johnson until a full-time replacement is hired.(MRN)(4-22-2014)
UPDATE 2: Greg Morin and Chris Krieg were the 2 assistants for the #48/#88 pit crews will now be sharing duties until a replacement is hired for Munksgard. The #5/#24 pit coaches will remain the same.(4-23-2014)
Ducks scheme for Stewart at Daytona: Tony Stewart will be piloting a stellar display of patriotism on the side panels of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevy at Daytona in July. In an industry-wide initiative titled NASCAR: An American Salute, Stewart and his team will partner with NASCAR to bring honor to our U.S. military, veterans, and their families (Lionel Racing). See an image of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(4-22-2014)
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Richmond:
#11-Denny Hamlin............................ 114.8
#18-Kyle Busch............................... 111.9
#4-Kevin Harvick............................ 110.0
#15-Clint Bowyer.............................. 100.7
#14-Tony Stewart............................... 96.5
#24-Jeff Gordon................................ 96.0
#41-Kurt Busch.................................. 92.2
#31-Ryan Newman............................. 91.6
#99-Carl Edwards.............................. 90.1
#48-Jimmie Johnson.......................... 88.5
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Richmond International Raceway.
Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.(NASCAR)
Take 5 joins Germain Racing as an associate sponsor at Richmond: The #13 GEICO Chevy driven by Casey Mears will feature associate sponsor Take 5, Home of the 5-Minute Oil Change, for the Virginia 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 26th. The sponsorship is a great addition to the company's celebration of "30 Years of the Fastest Oil Change on the Planet." The company slogan, "We Change Your Oil, Not Your Schedule" is a fun concept to throw into the context of the short-track, high-speed action of Richmond International Raceway. Take 5 Oil Change offers convenient drive-thru oil changes featuring liquid engineering in Castrol products. Take 5 oil changes come with a complementary beverage and the overall experience in Take 5's "stay in your car", low pressure, high speed oil change environment. Take 5 Oil Change understands the value of the driver's time and is competitively priced and the company's certified manager and staff are there to serve seven (7) days a week.(Germain Racing)(4-22-2014)
RCR Names Matt Shearer as Director, Business Development: Richard Childress Racing has named Matt Shearer as Director, Business Development for their 15-time championship organization, effective immediately. Shearer joins RCR from Churchill Downs, Inc. where he spent the past five years in their partnership development and sales departments. The graduate of the School of Management from Purdue University also has three years of sales experience in the National Football League working with the Oakland Raiders. He will work under the guidance of Rick Penn, Vice President of Business Development for RCR.
"First and foremost, Matt is a great person and RCR is happy to have him join our team," Penn said. "He has experienced success at every step during his career and demonstrated he can adapt and create long-term, winning partnerships. We look forward to Matt's contributions in bringing new partners into the RCR family." This will be Shearer's first foray into motorsports, making the transition from one kind of horsepower to another."
"Richard Childress Racing is one of the most well-known and highly respected organizations in motorsports and I am honored to be part of the team," Shearer said. "NASCAR is a powerful marketing and business development platform and RCR's focus on performance, its roster of blue-chip partners and a strong front office team make this a compelling opportunity. I look forward to getting started in my new role."(RCR)(4-22-2014)
NASCAR Names Two New Hires as part of Growth Segment Marketing Team: NASCAR announced two new hires as part of the company's commitment to implementing strategic growth plans for several critical segments, including youth, millennial and multicultural. Peter Jung joins NASCAR as Senior Director of Growth Segment Marketing, reporting into Managing Director of Brand and Consumer Marketing Kenny Mitchell. Jung, most recently from MasterCard International, served as vice president of global consumer marketing, responsible for youth segment strategies and programs designed to drive a greater preference for the MasterCard brand. In this role, he oversaw the delivery of global consumer insights, innovation and marketing plans that supported youth segment priorities in the U.S. and several international markets.
Nicole Smith will serve as Director of Growth Segment Marketing at NASCAR, reporting directly to Jung. Smith joins NASCAR from her most recent post at the San Diego Padres, where she served as Director of Brand Development. At the Padres, Smith was responsible for leading all marketing and branding activities with a focus on growing sales and attendance among key demographics including youth and multicultural segments. Smith previously worked at Hewlett-Packard where she explored international business models and the impact of digital innovation, and The Walt Disney Company, where she focused on marketing and branding initiatives. Smith holds a B.A. from UCLA and an MBA from the University of Michigan.(NASCAR)(4-22-2014)
Richmond Notes and Facts - Tuesday: history, track:
· Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953 won by Lee Petty.
· The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
· The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
· The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
· The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
· The track was re-measured to .542-mile for 1970.
· The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
· The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
· The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
· There have been 115 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway, one NSCS event from 1953 - 1958 and two races per year since 1959.(NASCAR)(4-22-2014)
Congrats - Clint Boyer: #15-Clint Bowyer is now a married man. Bowyer and his fiancee Lorra tied the knot in the Bahamas over the weekend.(FoxSports)(4-21-2014)
Construction worker injured at Daytona: A construction worker employed working on the new grandstands at Daytona International Speedway had his head compressed between a steel beam and a scissor lift in a jobsite accident on the Daytona Rising project, Daytona Beach fire officials said. The 43-year-old unidentified man was working 94 feet above ground on the third floor level Saturday, said Daytona Beach fire Lt. Larry Stoney. Reports indicate that the worker was controlling and ascending the lift when incident occurred. The worker was rescued by his co-workers before firefighters arrived on scene, Stoney said. Firefighters had to immobilize and carry the worker from the third floor to the awaiting ambulance due to his injuries. The worker was transported in serious but stable condition to Halifax Health Medical Center. The Daytona Rising project is renovating the Speedway's frontstretch grandstands by the 2016 Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-21-2014)
Stremme back in the #33 at RIR with new sponsor: Circle Sport Racing announced that Newtown Building Supplies, Inc. (NBS) will be the primary sponsor of the #33 Chevy driven by David Stremme April 26 in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). This will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sponsorship for Newtown Building Supplies, which markets windows, doors, siding, installation and a range of building materials to commercial builders and residential home owners in Hampton Roads, VA.
D.J. "Jimmy" Rogers, the president and principal owner of Newtown Building Supplies (a member of the Tidewater Builders Association), has turned NBS - not even a year old - into a force among the building community in southeast Virginia. He's excited to partner with Stremme, a veteran racer with nearly 200 starts in the Sprint Cup Series. "NBS is thrilled to sponsor Circle Sport, the #33 car and David Stremme," says Rogers. "We are fierce competitors and know David is too. We believe he has what it takes to make a splash 'under the lights!'"
Known for its wide selection of building materials and superb customer service with builders, NBS is marking its foray into NASCAR with Circle Sport as a way to reach the Hampton Roads NASCAR community. "NASCAR is the perfect arena for Jimmy to showcase his entrepreneurial spirit and market Newtown Building Supplies to thousands of race fans and potential customers," says Stremme. "Richmond is not only the home track of NBS but also Little Joe's Autos, and I know that team owner Joe Falk has this race circled on his calendar. With the emphasis on this race from within the organization, we're looking forward to putting on a good show in front of the fans and all of our Virginia-based guests."(Circle Sport), see image of the scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page.(4-21-2014)
Darlington TV Rating Hits Low, But Viewership Hits High: In an interesting quirk, last week's NASCAR race from Darlington both matched a record-low and hit a three-year high. Last Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Southern 500 from Darlington earned a 3.6 final rating and 6.0 million viewers on FOX, down 5% in ratings and up 2% in viewership from last year (3.8, 5.9M), and down 5% and up 6%, respectively, from 2012 (3.8, 5.7M). The 3.6 rating is the lowest for NASCAR from Darlington since 2000 (3.5) and tied as the lowest ever for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on FOX. Despite the 14-year low in ratings, viewership was the highest for the Darlington race since 2011 (7.0M). The 2% increase in viewership also marked NASCAR's first increase in either ratings or viewership this season. Of note, Saturday's NASCAR coverage earned more viewers than the third round of The Masters on CBS earlier in the day (5.9M).(Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Daily)(4-21-2014)
Special America Salute Scheme for Harvick: on the July 4th weekend at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR will launch its third annual "NASCAR: An American Salute" industry-wide initiative that honors our U.S military, veterans, and their families. Kevin Harvick will be driving the #4 Chevy in the ultimate patriotic makeover. Debuting at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and painted from bumper to fender in red, white and blue, Harvick's Chevrolet SS will be running the Budweiser "Folds of Honor" Chevy (Lionel Racing). See an image of the scheme on the #4 Team Schemes page.(4-21-2014)
Keselowski recalls how Rick Hendrick left him heartbroken: In a just-released video interview, #2-Brad Keselowski [2012 Sprint Cup Champion] - looking perhaps as somber as we've ever seen him, at times seemingly ready to break into tears - discusses how heartbroken, if not potentially betrayed he felt in 2009 when team owner Rick Hendrick picked Mark Martin to drive the #5 Chevrolet instead of giving Keselowski the opportunity, even though Bad Brad insists Hendrick had previously promised him that ride in 2010. Appearing on the syndicated "In Depth With Graham Bensinger," Keselowski also talks prominently about how Roger Penske approached him back in 2008, inquiring if the young talent would be interested in joining Team Penske. See full article at NBC Sports, with a link to the video interview there)(4-20-2014)
Special scheme to thank teachers for Kahne in three races: At Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, Kasey Kahne will partner with the "Thank A Million Teachers" initiative when he debuts a special Farmers Insurance paint scheme on the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. Kahne will also run the scheme at Kansas in May 10 and Charlotte in May 25.(Lionel Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(4-20-2014)
Jack Roush discusses possible engine changes: With NASCAR officials focusing on engine changes in the Sprint Cup Series for 2015 that will result in a reduction of horsepower, such a move should involve "a restriction on the intake side," according to Sprint Cup Series team co-owner [#16, #17, #99] Jack Roush. Roush, an owner in the series since 1988, isn't suggesting the use of restrictor plates similar to those used at Daytona and Talladega. Instead, he said, a reduction of the throttle bore size "without a plate underneath" would accomplish the objective. "(It is) straightforward and it is easily reversible if you decided that the quality of the racing was hurt by it," Roush said. "If they want to take 100 horsepower off ... reduce horsepower significantly, the least expensive and most palatable way to do that is with a restriction on the intake side." Today's Cup engines, limited to 358 cubic inches, produce approximately 850 horsepower. Speeds have increased, in part due to a new rules package and the continued development of the Generation-6 car, now in its second year. While officials with the three auto manufacturers currently involved at the series' top level, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, have been a part of the discussions, they say it is too early in the process to respond to potential engine changes. "From an owner's standpoint, NASCAR has got to be mindful of ... what it costs," Roush said. "The race teams can only afford to change so many things at a time. With the expanding technology and the engineering costs that everybody has with the pressure for sponsorship and investment in the sport, a dramatic or unnecessary engine change would not be welcome in my world."(see full article at NASCAR.com)(4-20-2014)
Earnhardt Jr. heads to school in Kansas: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be in Topeka May 8th for an appearance at Seaman High School. Seaman athletic director/assistant principal Brad Dietz confirmed the appearance of Earnhardt Jr., who is scheduled to be at the school from approximately 1 to 3 p.m. on the 8th and sandwich visits with two groups of students around an all-school assembly. Earnhardt will be in Kansas for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, May 10th at Kansas Speedway.(Capital-Journal)(4-20-2014)
Sprint Fan Vote continues: It's time again for fans to vote their favorite Sprint Fan Vote-eligible driver into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Voting opened March 16 and closes at 7:00pm/et on Friday, May 16, one day before the green flag. Through the Sprint Fan Vote, fans can cast their ballots an unlimited number of times to help determine the starting lineup for the prestigious race. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a starting spot in the annual event worth a $1 million payday, courtesy of Sprint. For the first time in its history, the Sprint Fan Vote will include a sweepstakes awarding one lucky voter a trip for two to any 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race of his or her choice, among other instant prizes.
NASCAR fans have three options to cast their Sprint Fan Votes:
Download the NASCAR MOBILE application. Votes cast through NASCAR MOBILE will count as double towards a driver's total.
Go to NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote
Visit The Sprint Experience, located in the midway at all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
Last year, then-rookie #10-Danica Patrick, garnered nearly half-a-million votes to win the Sprint Fan Vote. Eligible for the vote again this year, Patrick will be vying for votes against the likes of #47-AJ Allmendinger, #15-Clint Bowyer, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and rookies, #3-Austin Dillon and #42-Kyle Larson.
The winner of the 2014 Sprint Fan Vote will be announced in Victory Lane after the conclusion of the Sprint Showdown on Friday, May 16. In addition to accumulating the most votes, a Sprint Fan Vote-eligible driver must also finish the Sprint Showdown qualifying race with a car in "raceable" condition (as determined by NASCAR Competition) to earn a spot in the race field.
To date, 30 drivers are eligible for the 2014 Sprint Fan Vote. Eligibility for participation is restricted to those drivers who have been approved by NASCAR for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Amongst those eligibility requirements, drivers must have attempted to qualify for the 2014 Daytona 500 and race in the Sprint Showdown. Should any eligible Sprint Fan Vote candidate win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race during the 2014 season, and therefore automatically earn a spot into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the driver's name will be removed from the Sprint Fan Vote ballot and their existing votes will be voided.
Frontstretch tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race are available for purchase and affordably priced at two for $99 (plus taxes and fees). Fans can obtain tickets by calling 1-800-455-FANS or buying online at CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com.
Tune in to the Sprint Showdown at 7:00pm/et on Friday, May 16 on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Then catch NASCAR's biggest stars in Sprint All-Star Race Qualifying at 7:00pm/et on Saturday, May 17 on FOX Sports 1, and the Sprint All-Star Race immediately following at 9:00pm/et on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The 30 drivers (as of March 15) eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote include: #51-Justin Allgaier, #47-A.J. Allmendinger, #43-Aric Almirola, #9-Marcos Ambrose, #7-Michael Annett, #21-Trevor Bayne, #77-Dave Blaney, #23-Alex Bowman, #15-Clint Bowyer, #40-Landon Cassill, #3-Austin Dillon, #38-David Gilliland, #30-Parker Kligerman, #42-Kyle Larson, #52-Bobby Labonte, #32-Terry Labonte, #35-Eric McClure, #95-Michael McDowell, #13-Casey Mears, #27-Paul Menard, #66/#87-Joe Nemechek, #10-Danica Patrick, #33-Brian Scott, #93-Morgan Shepherd, #36-Reed Sorenson, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #83-Ryan Truex, #66-Michael Waltrip, #26-Cole Whitt, #98-Josh Wise. (CMS)(4-19-2014)
#42 scheme to honor Target at Charlotte: Kyle Larson will be running the #42 Target Silver Chevy at Charlotte in May, a paint scheme designed to celebrate the 25-year partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing. "What I'm truly proud of is the partnership we have is built on innovative and maybe even more collaboration," said Ganassi. "Our organization and Target have had an open dialogue from day one. The program looks today nothing like it did 25 years ago - but then we don't look anything like we did 25 years ago. It continues to evolve and that's why it's worked for so long."(Lionel Racing), more about CGR and Taret at chipganassiracing.com, see an image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(4-19-2014)
Tim Dugger to perform during Aaron's Dream Weekend at Talladega: Everyone knows NASCAR and country music go hand-in-hand, and no one personifies this combination more than singer-songwriter Tim Dugger, who will be performing as part of the free Saturday Night Infield Concert at Talladega Superspeedway during the Aaron's Dream Weekend. The singer behind NASCAR anthem "You Know Who We Are" will be rocking the infamous Talladega infield on May 3, opening for country star Randy Houser. The Saturday Night Concert has become a tradition at Talladega Superspeedway with top music acts playing on a stage next to the rowdy and infamous Talladega Blvd. Fans with tickets to Sunday's Aaron's 499 receive free access to the concert. Headlining clubs along the NASCAR circuit for years, Dugger has amassed a loyal following of race fans, drivers, and crew chiefs. Songs of his like "Sunday Drive" and "You Know Who We Are" speak directly to the sport of NASCAR and the energy and excitement found on the track and in the stands each week. Houser will be hitting the stage after Dugger and giving race fans a taste of his powerhouse vocals, playing hit songs "Runnin' Out of Moonlight" and "Goodnight Kiss."(TSS)(4-24-2014)
Robert Griffin III to drive pace car at Richmond: It started with a tweet from Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Robert Griffin III, followed by some chiming in from Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier and RIR. What began as a Twitter conversation about a month ago has resulted in Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III driving the Official Pace Car to start this Saturday's TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Griffin will join thousands of fans who align with the Redskins and NASCAR, just a short trip south of Washington, DC. Prior to Griffin leading the field of 43 NASCAR drivers to the Green Flag, he'll go through Pace Car training, spend some time with his pal Dale Earnhardt Jr., and get together with legendary Washington Redskins Coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs for a garage tour.(RIR)(4-23-2014)
Jordy Nelson to drive pace car at Kansas: Catching passes in the NFL, including one for a touchdown in the 2010 Super Bowl, is nothing new for Kansas native Jordy Nelson. But on May 10, Nelson, who is a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, will add a new title to his resume - pace car driver. He will drive the Toyota Highlander V pace car to start the Kansas 400, Kansas Speedway's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race, as part of Toyota's official partnership with Kansas Speedway. Nelson, is one of the most prolific football players in K-State history. He went from being a walk-on safety as a freshman to earning consensus All-America honors, including being named to nine first-team All-America squads, in 2007 as a senior and being named a Biletnikoff Award finalist. The Biletnikoff Award is given annually to the top receiver in the nation.(Kansas Speedway)(4-23-2014)
RIR debuts Turn 3 Terrace: Richmond International Raceway will introduce the Turn 3 Terrace featuring the Outback Bloomin' Zone, another amenity open to all fans, during the April 25-26 NASCAR race weekend. The Turn 3 Terrace, not surprisingly located outside of Turn 3, is open before AND during the TOYOTA OWNERS 400, from 2:00 p.m. until the checkered flag flies. Fans are invited to take the Richmond stroll around the track and take a break to enjoy:
· Outback Bloomin' Zone featuring:
o Q&A with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (3:45 p.m.)
o Harvick's No. 4 Outback showcar for photo ops
o Fill up on tasty food that you've come to expect from Outback Steakhouse
o Free prizes
· RIR Memory Lane - take a walk through time and learn about many historical and monumental moments throughout RIR's legacy that spans more than 60 years
· Decades Trackside Bar - a full-service bar and outdoor seating that will be a hot spot before the Green Flag flies and during NASCAR action on America's Premier Short Track
Don't forget - the Turn 3 Terrace featuring the Outback Bloomin' Zone is open to all ticket holders before and during the April 26, TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Go to rir.com or or call 866-455-7223 for tickets.(RIR)(4-22-2014)
Richmond International Raceway
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, April 25, 2014, 1:00pm/et
Born in APRIL
24 Hermie Sadler, Harrill Hamrick, Stephanie Hillin, Amanda Lorenzen
25 Alex Bowman, Jason Lee, Alkie Cunningham
26 Martha Oliver, Jimmy Kitchens, Charles Moles
27 Shelly Bose, Jason Haynes, Austin Dillon, Jason Sheets
28 Tyler Hmiel, Jeff Neuendorf, Zach Case
29 Dale Earnhardt, Larry Frank, Angie Skinner, Chad Little, Jerry Schweitz, Alexandria Fennig
30 Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, Andy Hillenburg, Joe Millikan, Amelia Joy Smith, Chris Browning, Ashton Glover, Frank Kimmel
Born in MAY
1 Randy Dorton, Johnny Sauter, Jimmy Parrott
2 Ed "Uncle Bud" Adamczyk, Kyle Busch
3 Greg Ely
4 Randy Tolsma, Bobby Burrell, Jennifer Eolin, Amanda Ebersole
5 Larry Pollard, Bob Welborn
6 Mike Borkowski, Tammy Jo Kirk, Jeff Hancock, Dean Mozingo, Gina Henson
7 Dave Steele, Danny O'Quinn Jr.
8 Bobby Labonte, Nathan Buttke, Don Hume, Jay Stewart, Judy Childress
9 Tim Fedewa, Scott Page
10 Amelia Andretti, Andy Rueger
11 Glenn Bobo, Tim Flock, NASCAR Hall of Fame
12 Jabe Thomas, Debra Adamczyk
13 Rich Bickle, Scott Eggleston, Bob Kennedy, Jim Spencer, Linda McReynolds, Kirk Almquist, Maggie Feeney Rossi
14 Steve Letarte, Bill Brooks, Dave Munari, Danielle Del Corio, Scott Lynch
15 Shane Hmiel, John Hubner
16 Josh Walker
17 Mike Shiplett, Craig Ferguson, Kevin Pennell
18 Mike Motil
19 Jody Ridley, Dario Franchitti, Danny Culler
20 Tony Stewart, Dave Despain, Steve Portenga, Eric Norris, AJ Heister