Entry List for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Kyle Fowler, #33-Kvapil, #44-Hill, #66-Mike Wallace, #83-TBA, #93-TBA.
Since only 43 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
See the full entry list at my Jayski.com's Martinsville Entry List
Gibson will return to Stewart-Haas UPDATES: Danica Patrick's crew chief is not going anywhere. Tony Gibson tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he has a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing. Gibson came on board as crew chief for Patrick for the last two races during her 10-race partial Sprint Cup schedule in 2012. Since then, he's been the only crew chief she's had in her two full-time seasons in NASCAR's top series. With Gibson, Patrick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the season-opening Daytona 500 in 2013. Together, they have four top-10 finishes together and he has overseen Danica's gradual growth this season. Gibson has three Sprint Cup victories, all atop the pit box for Ryan Newman from 2010-12 during that driver's tenure with Stewart-Haas. He made his crew chief debut in NASCAR's top series at the 1994 season finale for veteran Jimmy Hensley. Gibson has also worked with Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin among others.(NASCAR Illustrated)(10-19-2014)
UPDATE: Tony Gibson is keeping the band together - but that might not include Danica Patrick. For more than a dozen seasons, the veteran crew chief has been supported by the same cast of racers that were assembled at Dale Earnhardt Inc. - and have survived through driver and ownership changes. Gibson has been at Stewart-Haas Racing since the beginning. Although he was originally assigned to Ryan Newman and the #39 team, Gibson was named crew chief for Patrick in her penultimate race of 2012 and has been with her ever since. While there has been distinct improvement in her second full season in the Sprint Cup Series, rumors circulated last month that Patrick might be shopping for a new crew chief. "That's for Stewart-Haas and them to figure out," Gibson said. "I told them when I signed up, I'll do whatever they need me to do - wherever I need to be placed that they think I can do the best job, that's what I'll do. I don't think any of that has been decided as far as I know. I know they'll work on all that stuff and decide who needs to be placed where, for the best, and what makes the most sense for our company. My deal isn't for one particular driver. It's where I can be the most beneficial for the company and that's kind of where we left it."
Still, team owner Gene Haas believes that his teams could benefit from restructuring. Despite both #41-Kurt Busch and #4-Kevin Harvick qualifying for Chase and posting four wins between them, he's not pleased with the results. "Kurt is a unique driver," Haas said. "He has a lot of passion for what he does. That kind of driver requires some special members to make it work and I don't feel we have the right combination. So we're looking at that and make some changes on that team to make it work better. We're really not happy. That team should have done better. Kevin Harvick's team should have done better, too. He's been fast all year long, seven or eight poles, leading a huge amount of laps, but we haven't won as many races as we should. So, I think there's a little bit of evaluation with all the teams, but that's pretty common."(Motorsport)(10-21-2014)
UPDATE 2: Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch will swap teams and crew chiefs beginning with the Nov. 2 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. An official announcement of the change could come as early as Wednesday, sources said. SHR officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. On Saturday, Tony Gibson, who has served as the only crew chief Patrick has had as a fulltime Cup series driver, signed a contract extension with SHR but the organization would not specify what his role was to be in the future. Beginning at Texas, crew chief Daniel Knost and the members of Busch's current #41 team will move over to Patrick's #10. Gibson, along with the members of Patrick's current #10 team, will move to Busch's #41 team.(Charlotte Observer)(10-22-2014)
Kurt Busch to participate in Race of Champions: American NASCAR superstar Kurt Busch has accepted the invitation to participate in the 2014 Race Of Champions, to be held at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14. Busch has been a major force in America's most popular racing series ever since he became the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion in 2004, the first year the 10-race Chase for the title was introduced. He has now amassed 25 top flight wins, including victory at this year's STP 500 at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. In 2014 Busch also became only the fourth driver in motor sport history to attempt a very special double-header. On the same day in May, he raced both in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway and the world-famous Indianapolis 500. His run to 6th place on his debut at the IndyCar classic earned him the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award. That mix of ability will now certainly serve Busch well as he bids for even more glory at his Race Of Champions debut in December. Busch will also have the honour of racing for his home country as he partners this year's Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay for Team USA in the ROC Nations Cup. Busch and Hunter-Reay were team-mates in this year's Indianapolis 500, both piloting cars for Andretti Autosport. Team USA last won the ROC Nations Cup title in 2002 with a NASCAR-heavy team of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Colin Edwards. This year Busch and Hunter-Reay will be part of a ROC line-up featuring stars from all over the world: nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen, Formula 1's Romain Grosjean (the reigning ROC Champion of Champions) and Susie Wolff (Williams development driver), Australian V8 Supercar legend Jamie Whincup and 2014 FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg are already confirmed. The rest of the ROC 2014 field will be announced in the run-up to December's event.(Race of Champions)(10-22-2014)
Logano, Patrick talk about Charlotte wreck: On Oct. 11 at Charlotte, contact from Joey Logano's Ford turned the #10 Chevy of Danica Patrick and ruined her night. Patrick's immediate instinct was to get revenge, but she realized that wrecking Logano at Charlotte would have no impact on his run for the championship since Logano had won on the previous weekend at Kansas and was guaranteed a spot in the Chase's Eliminator Round. Martinsville, site of Sunday's Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500, is another matter. With points reset, and with the remaining eight Chase drivers entering the race on equal footing, revenge could be devastating. That's why Logano has taken measures to ensure Martinsville won't become a payback track. "We've actually talked about it since then, and I feel like we've come to a good conclusion of what happened there," Logano said. "That's in the past. That's in the mirror, and we'll move forward." From Logano's point of view, the hatchet is buried, but the driver of the #22 Team Penske Ford still has to hope that Patrick doesn't decide to bury it in his back.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-22-2014)
Tire test upcoming at Auto Club Speedway: Several NASCAR teams will be at Auto Club Speedway for the Goodyear Tire Test on Oct. 28-29, 2014. After the tire test at Auto Club Speedway, there are only 3 races left until the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is crowned. Teams scheduled to test are: #6-Trevor Bayne, #42-Kyle Larson, #78-Martin Truex, Jr., and #55-Brian Vickers. The Goodyear Tire Test at Auto Club Speedway is the perfect opportunity to experience NASCAR at Auto Club Speedway before this season concludes. Fans will be able to watch the Goodyear Tire Test from the infield Terrace Suite rooftops, just above Pit Road on Tuesday, Oct. 28 between 9:00am-5:00pm. Ticket holders will be admitted for free (must present Auto Club 400 ticket or proof of purchase) or fans can purchase an Auto Club 400 ticket or make a #10 donation to the Auto Club Speedway Foundation benefiting Lefty's Reading Challenge and local schools.(Auto Club Speedway)(10-22-2014)
Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown winners named: A technician trained to service Hondas helped assemble a Chevy NASCAR engine in record time and also won the 13th annual Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. Elmer Javier, a Master Certified Technician from Hendrick Honda in Charleston, South Carolina, teamed with Van Nguyen of Hendrick Motorsports to assemble the 358ci Chevy R07.2 engine in a winning time of 21 minutes, 48 seconds. Earlier in qualifying the duo assembled their engine in 21:40, which set a new record for the fuel-injected engines. When the competition featured earlier earlier generation race engines that were carbureted, assembly time was around 17 minutes - an indication that NASCAR engines are getting more complicated. The first time fuel-injected engines were used in competition, winning time was 27:46. Taking second in the competition were Dan Ryan of Gwinnett Place Honda in Duluth, Georgia, who teamed with Scott Vester of Hendrick Motorsports to assemble their engine in 22:53. That was quicker than last year's winning time of 24:38. The showdown pairs 12 master technicians from the Hendrick Automotive Group - which encompasses 94 dealerships around the country - with 12 members of the Hendrick Motorsports engine department. Qualifying rounds are held over two days at the Hendrick Motorsports facilities in Concord, North Carolina. Teams with two best qualifying times then go head-to-head in the final. Teams can be penalized for errors, such as loose bolts. Although the competition has been staged for 13 years, it was renamed a few years ago to honor Randy Dorton, the chief engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports who died in a 2004 plane crash. The engines are similar to but not exact replications of the 900-plus-horsepower versions raced in NASCAR competition. They do start with GM blocks, heads and intakes and work with most of the supporting accessories, such as the water pump and fuel system.(Engine Labs)(10-22-2014)
NASCAR, AMP Group USA partner on indoor karting facility: Retail conglomerate and property developer, AMP Group USA, announced a partnership with NASCAR to form I-DRIVE NASCAR, a new indoor high performance kart racing facility set to open in Orlando on December 19. The family-friendly entertainment complex located at 5228 Vanguard Street will feature kart racing, a bowling alley, gaming arcade, dine-in restaurant and corporate meeting space. The I-DRIVE NASCAR logo was unveiled on October 21 at the 65,000-square-foot facility as part of a special event featuring the two Central Florida-based companies and Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer. The new business is part of AMP Group's ongoing efforts to revitalize the north end of International Drive and will create approximately 150 jobs. The I-DRIVE NASCAR facility will feature a half-mile indoor track and environmentally friendly electric karts, powered by Sodikarts and capable of safely reaching speeds up to 45 miles per hour. Individual racing experiences will begin at $22. I-DRIVE NASCAR will have entertainment options for the entire family. AMP Group plans to build the blueprint for I-DRIVE NASCAR in Orlando before expanding to other U.S. markets and internationally to Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.(NASCAR)(10-22-2014)
Michigan recognizes for leading green power use: Michigan International Speedway officials announced that the racetrack is using green power as part of a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Consumers Energy. The track uses nearly five million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, enough green power to meet 100 percent of the organization's electricity use. MIS is the first facility in all of motorsports and one of the first sporting venues in the country to join the EPA's Green Power Partnership and offset its energy use from green power. Michigan International Speedway participates in Consumers Energy's Green Generation Program. This demonstrates a proactive choice to support cleaner renewable energy alternatives. MIS and Consumers Energy are working together to improve the environment through the track and its campground. The two organizations will work together to develop wind, solar and renewable energy at the track as well as identify ways to cut energy usage for the speedway. In addition, MIS and Consumers will plant more than 3,000 trees in Michigan for the two race weekends.(MIS)(10-22-2014)
Talladega TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 19, earned a 2.7 U.S. household rating, averaging 4,328,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. Last year's race earned a 3.1 rating and averaged 4,916,000 viewers. Nearby Birmingham, Ala., led the nation's 56 metered markets with a 10.1 rating, with Greensboro, N.C., second at 9.0 and Greenville, S.C., third at 8.5. Charlotte, N.C., was fourth at 7.2 with Indianapolis fifth at 6.5. Rounding out the top 10 were Norfolk, Va., 5.9; Raleigh-Durham, N.C., 5.8; Orlando, Fla., 5.7; and a tie for ninth between Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn., at 5.5.(ESPN)(10-21-2014)
Newman's car fails post-race inspection UPDATE: #31-Ryan Newman's great Sunday has apparently hit a bit of a snag. Newman picked up a fifth-place finish in the Contender Round elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway to make the Eliminator Round of the Chase with a 27-point cushion over the ninth-place cutoff. But now comes late word from 'Dega that Newman's #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy has failed post-race inspection after being found to be too low on both sides according to NASCAR. The sanctioning body will take the car back to its Research and Development Center in North Carolina, along with those of race winner Brad Keselowski, runner-up Matt Kenseth, and Kasey Kahne. Obviously, the question is whether Newman will be penalized championship points for the infraction on his car - and if so, how many? USA Today writer and NASCAR on NBC contributor Nate Ryan leafed through the NASCAR rulebook to perhaps find an answer.
"Newman's car will be examined by #nascar. Per the 2014 rulebook, it seems it could be a P3 penalty, which would be a 15-point deduction."
A penalty such as that would not affect Newman's Chase standing. It also bears noting that Newman was among those involved in today's crash at Lap 102 of 188, so that could play into how NASCAR decides this matter, too.(NBC Sports)(10-19-2014)
UPDATE: The #31 car has cleared post-race inspection from Talladega; there are no issues. Race damage caused the rear to be low.(NASCAR)(10-21-2014)
Sorenson picks up Phoenix sponsor: FLASR, the 4-oz. pocketsize, portable spittoon, will join NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Reed Sorenson and his #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing team as the primary sponsor partner for the Cup Series race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, from Nov. 7-9. The race will take place Sunday, Nov. 9. "It means a great deal to us that FLASR will join us for Phoenix," said Sorenson. "This group of guys at TBR have been working hard on the #36 car all season and for someone like FLASR to join us is proof that we're doing what is needed to attract good partners. Now, it's on us to make sure we give the FLASR folks a great race."(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #36 team paint schemes page.(10-21-2014)
12: The number of laps led by Brad Keselowski in Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, a race he had to win to advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Keselowski led laps 187 through 192, and after surrendering the top spot to Ryan Newman on the white-flag lap (193) retook the lead from Newman on the one that counted.
31: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races run this year by Denny Hamlin, who missed the event at Fontana, Calif., in March because of an eye injury. Should Hamlin win the championship this year, he would be the first series champion since Richard Petty in 1971 to win the series title without competing in a full schedule of races.
1: The number of top-five finishes for driver Landon Cassill in 147 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. Cassill ran a superb race in Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega, avoided the pitfalls that beset other drivers and sped across the finish line in fourth place for a career-best result.
7.0: Jeff Gordon's average finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, best among the eight drivers still eligible for the series championship. Denny Hamlin is second at 8.8. Surprisingly, the driver among the eight with the worst average finish at Martinsville is Kevin Harvick at 15.8.
5.2: The average finish at Martinsville for six-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who has won eight times at the historic .526-mile short track. Johnson may have been eliminated from the Chase on Sunday, but it's a virtual certainty he'll be a contender for the victory this weekend at Martinsville-Chase or no Chase.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-21-2014)
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Martinsville:
#48-Jimmie Johnson 124.8
#24-Jeff Gordon 119.0
#11-Denny Hamlin 109.6
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 99.9
#14-Tony Stewart 97.0
#18-Kyle Busch 96.1
#15-Clint Bowyer 94.6
#4-Kevin Harvick 93.2
Jeff Burton 87.4
#31-Ryan Newman 86.9
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at Martinsville 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)
Michigan International Speedway, MEDC Pure Michigan 400 partnership extended: Two of Michigan's best-known brands - Michigan International Speedway and Pure Michigan - are extending their partnership to host the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, August 16, 2015. Since 2011, the Pure Michigan 400 has proved to be an effective way to bring the Pure Michigan message to 75 million NASCAR fans nationwide. Further brand exposure has resulted from working with nationally recognized grand marshals, including Desmond Howard, Kid Rock, Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart and Olympic gold medalists Charlie White and Meryl Davis. Additionally, MEDC has been able to use the event to host business leaders and national site selectors to showcase the quality of life Michigan has to offer. Each year about 385,000 people visit MIS, generating an economic impact of more than $414 million. Nearly 60 percent of the guests on race weekends come from outside Michigan, making MIS the largest welcome center in the state. The partnership joining these two brands, both focused on attracting new visitors to Michigan, continues what is believed to be the first time a state's branding agency has sponsored NASCAR's premier stock car series. The partnership includes title sponsorship of the August 16, 2015 Sprint Cup race with the option to extend the contract for two additional one-year periods.(Michigan International Speedway)(10-21-2014)
Rockingham Speedway avoids receivership UPDATE: Like a real-life Rocky Balboa' Andy Hillenburg refuses to stay down. After spending the last seven years battling to revive the legendary Rockingham Speedway' the former ARCA racing champion has taken his share of lumps. Hillenburg and his partners returned NASCAR racing to The Rock in 2012' when the track hosted an event on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Trucks raced there again in late 2013' but a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event scheduled for November of last year was cancelled' with the sanctioning body saying that the track "failed to meet its obligations." Since then' there has been little in the way of good news from the Richmond County oval. Until [now]. Battered' bloodied' but unbowed' Hillenburg climbed off the canvas yet again ....' confirming that after a hearing in Richmond County Superior Court' a new plan is in place to save the track from financial receivership. Farmers and Merchants Bank of Salisbury' NC' had asked that the track be placed into receivership as a first-step toward seizing control of the facility and putting it up for auction. However' with the assistance of a group of advisors' Hillenburg has assembled a new business plan that he hopes will put the speedway back on solid financial ground. "We went in front of a judge recently and presented our proposal'" said Hillenburg. "We explained that we need 90 days to perform the necessary due diligence' and he issued a Bridge Order to continue the case until today. Now' he has approved our request' and the speedway will remain in our hands." Hillenburg stressed that the deal is not yet complete' saying' "Our request was for the procedings to be delayed' in order to allow us to assemble a new financial plan. We now have until Jan. 1' 2015 to finalize a workable financial plan with our new partners. Our goal is to return racing to The Rock' put the track on solid financial footing and continue to make a positive contribution to our community."(Godfather Motorsports)(10-16-2014)
UPDATE: The Rockingham Speedway, formerly the North Carolina Speedway, is going to be sold for the second time in less than a decade because its current owners have run into financial trouble. Back in 2012, Andy Hillenburg did what a lot of people thought was impossible and brought NASCAR racing back to a track that it left. The NASCAR truck series came back in 2013, but didn't get a race date this year. NASCAR also cancelled a minor league event there as well. Now we know the track has hit hard times. Court documents now show Hillenburg and his co-owners owe more than $4 million in loans and taxes, and the bank threatened to foreclose. To avoid that, Hillenburg agreed last week to sell or auction off the track. NBC Charlotte was unable to contact the owners on Monday, but court documents say there has to be a sale or auction in place by the first of the year, and a new owner in place by March 15, 2015. Hillenburg paid a little more than $4 million to buy the track at auction in 2007.(WCNC)(10-21-2014)
Drivers' meeting at Martinsville to be held on pit road: Whether it's before the race or during it, Martinsville Speedway prides itself on getting fans as close to the action as possible and the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 on Oct. 26 will be no exception. In an effort to give fans more access than ever before, the historic half-mile track is moving the drivers' meeting to pit road, just inside turn four. "Our number one goal is to make sure the fans have the best experience possible when they come to a race here," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "They've grown accustomed to feeling a part of the action during the race and now, by getting a view of what goes on in the drivers' meeting, they will feel a part of what goes on before the race as well." Fans who have added the Green Flag Experience to their ticket package will be able to be on the track, while the drivers' meeting takes place. In addition to being on pit road, the drivers' meeting will be broadcast live on SprintVision.(Martinsville Speedway)(10-21-2014)
The Four drivers eliminated from Chase...comments:
DESCRIBE WHAT YOU ARE FEELING AFTER JUST MISSING MOVING ON TO THE NEXT ROUND OF THE CHASE BY THREE POINTS:
"You just try and get the best finish you can. Basically the restart before, they all checked up in front of me so I went high to get momentum and that didn't work. I don't know why that didn't work, but it didn't. Anyways, I'm in 20th and got back to 11th. It was tough if you weren't in the top few spots. Once we were up there early on we could race. We had a great Farmer's Insurance Chevy - led laps and ran in the top-three and back to the lead. Once I was 10th or eighth, it was just really difficult to get back to that point. I think we got back to fifth or sixth, but that was about it."(Chevy Racing)
Busch's crew chief Dave Rogers talked to the media:
How hard did the team work to try to advance to the next round following the accident?
"My hats off to all these guys -- everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and everyone at TRD (Toyota Racing Development). It's a shame, everyone has been working really hard. I felt like we got off to a slow start early in the season and we were advancing through the playoffs pretty well with hard work and good decisions and good teamwork. The team was performing really well and working extremely hard. I thought we were in a decent spot coming into the race and rode around in the back. Kyle (Busch) got checked up for the wreck and had everything saved up, but he got run over from behind. There is no safe place in here. Everyone, every time we come to a speedway everyone will strategize -- we're going to ride in the back, we're going to ride in the front, we're going to do this. The truth is that if you're out there on the race track at Talladega or Daytona, you have a pretty good chance that you're going to get in a wreck and today was our day."
How did Kyle Busch react?
"I can't praise him (Kyle Busch) enough. He's really stepped up to be a great leader of this race team in the Chase. We've had a couple things go against us -- getting the nose knocked off at Loudon, today and Kyle's done a really good job of biting his lip and just backing the race team to let us do our job. Kyle, I can't say enough good about him. I'm really proud of him. It's been a lot of fun working with him and we're not done yet. We can't win the championship, but we can still advance in points and work our way up to fifth. We're going to go to Martinsville working hard and we're going to try to win all these races."(Toyota Racing PR)
TALK ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONS:
"It feels relieving to go down swinging. The last two weeks were really poor. At least we went down swinging. I'll take some pride in that."
YOU'LL GO INTO THE FINALE WITHOUT HAVING A CHANCE OF WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
"The last I can think of is with Carl (Edwards) and Tony (Stewart). I vividly remembered the lunch presser that took place with the champions and how much that ate at me to watch it on TV and not be a part of it. I get the pleasure of going through that again. Today I went down swinging, and I take pride in that. Am I disappointed in our Chase? Absolutely. In the last two weeks, people have tuned on the radio and there have been plenty of articles have been written this week. Frustration was high between Chad (Knaus, crew chief) and I and the fact that we haven't been able to produce like we wanted to. Today we went down swinging. We had a chance and came up short. We have to make the best of '15. We have a chance to finish fifth in points, which would mean the world to me. The worst I've finished is sixth in the points, so it's not time to put our feet up. We need to finish strong and try to be in the top-five."
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THIS RACE TODAY?
"Two restarts from the end, I was trying to make something happen on the restart. I was in a weird position there behind the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski), and if I pushed him to the win, he moves on and I don't. So I tried going to his outside. I looked up and I had no friends in the mirror. If I had known we were going to have a second green-white-checker, I would have stayed in line. That would have shuffled the order around and I wouldn't have been behind him, and maybe we would have had another shot at it. We had a fast, fast Lowe's Chevrolet today. Disappointed we didn't advance, but truthfully the way the last two races went, today was an opportunity for us, and we were kind of playing with house money and just didn't get it done."
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF NOT GOING TO THE NEXT ROUND?
"Truthfully, I showed up this weekend thinking I've been playing with house money and I've had a very unique opportunity to advance. In any Chase, after two bad races like we had the last two weeks, you wouldn't have a shot at the championship. So, the frustration was kind of peaking over the last two weeks. This week's been chill. We qualified second and ran up front all day. And it's so hard to win one of these races. You can't come in here and say you're doing to dominate Talladega and win the race. We dominated it. We just didn't lead the lap that counted."(Chevy Racing PR)
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr:
TELL US ABOUT YOUR AFTERNOON AND WHAT ULTIMATELY HAPPENED OUT THERE?
"I still really don't know. I haven't had a chance to look at it. Got with the #16 (Greg Biffle) a little bit. I don't know if I came down on him or what it. I thought I was holding my line, but we were all kind of tight back there."
INCREDIBLE SEASON, BUT NOW HEARTBREAK, DESCRIBE YOUR THOUGHTS NOW:
"The race is over, it's time to go home."
ON THE RACE IN GENERAL
"We worked real hard all day long trying to run up front. I knew we needed to be up front all day long. We got shuffled to the back. I made a move trying to get up front and it didn't work out. So, we lost a lot of track position and never got it back."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON NOT MOVING ON IN THE CHASE?
"Well we will just go try to win some more races before the year is out. That is all we have left."(Chevy Racing PR)(10-20-2014)
Harvick sells vacation home: Even before NASCAR star Kevin Harvick grabbed the checkered flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he already had closed out another impressive accomplishment: More than a week earlier, he and wife DeLana sold their Kiawah Island vacation home for about $1.8 million more than they paid for it four years ago. The oceanfront spread at 99 Surfsong Road fetched $8.2 million in a sale that closed Oct. 2. The buyers are from New Jersey. The Harvicks, who live in North Carolina, bought the home in October 2010 as a getaway, a spokesman told The Post and Courier at that time. They paid slightly more than $6.4 million, or about $2 million less than what it had sold for three years earlier. An online marketing brochure from Kiawah Island Real Estate shows the property had been on the market for $9.5 million recently. The 5,348-square-foot, five-bedroom home was built in 2002 with 14 tons of antique building materials shipped from Europe, including ancient white columns imported from the French Provencal countryside, limestone fireplaces from aging castles and kitchen floor tiles from Italy. It also has a pool, county record show. The property tax bill for this year is $74,236.60.(Charleston Post and Courier)(10-20-2014)
Talladega Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at at 2:02 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:36 PM (all times are EST). ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 134
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 51
Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 88
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 44
Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 46
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 21
Number of times ESPN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 9
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos 'floating' in corners of the screen): 70
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 25 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:02 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:36 PM
Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 214
Minutes of race broadcast: 182
Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 32
Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 20
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
Total race brdcst time 182 Total comm. brdcst time 32
See past races, links to full reports and sponsor links and more on the 2014 TV Commercials page.(10-20-2014)
Sad News - Raymond Beadle: Legendary drag racer and team owner Raymond Beadle passed away Monday following a heart attack, at the age of 70. Beadle gained fame as the owner-driver of the "Blue Max" Funny Cars in which he won three straight NHRA Funny Car championships from 1979-'81. His first title in 1979 ended Don Prudhomme's four-year reign in that class. He also won three IHRA championships. All told, Beadle won 13 NHRA nationalevents and appeared in 28 final rounds. He made the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association's prestigious All-American team in 1980 with Shirley Muldowney and Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Dale Earnhardt, and Cale Yarborough. He and his Blue Max crew chief Dale Emery were among the 11th class of inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and was inducted earlier this year into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Detroit. Retired as a driver since 1987 and as an owner since 1990, Beadle had dabbled in cattle and quarter horses but recently had moved back to Dallas with his wife Roz. After he retired as a driver, Beadle transitioned to the role of full-time car owner successfully, building a championship-winning NASCAR team that won the 1989 Cup title with Rusty Wallace. He also fielded a World of Outlaws sprint car that was driven by Outlaws ace Sammy Swindell. Beadle's cars always carried #27 and he maintained an allegiance to Pontiac for much of his career in motorsports.(FoxSports)(10-20-2014)
Richard Petty Motorsports needs to find new location UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports is in the process of finding a new home for next season after the facility it currently uses in Concord, N.C., has been sold, a team spokesman confirmed. RPM, which fields two fulltime Sprint Cup Series teams [#s 9 & 43], is currently housed on Zephyr Place NW near the Concord Regional Airport. The organization moved to its current location from Statesville, N.C., in 2010. The organization is in the process of looking at several different facilities, team officials confirmed.(Charlotte Observer)(10-18-2014)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced their race operations will move from their current location in Concord, N.C. to Mooresville, N.C. at the end of the 2014 NASCAR race season. RPM's new address will be 112 Byers Creek Road located inside Talbert Pointe in Mooresville. This location was the home for Richard Petty's race teams from 2007 to 2008. The return to the former location is an expansion of space from the current race shop, allowing for growth in the race operation and further opportunities to increase performance capabilities. One immediate performance capability, the new shop will allow for RPM to hang bodies onto the chassis. The team will also have additional space for engineering and simulation. The new site will be the home of RPM's two NASCAR Sprint Cup race teams and Nationwide Series team.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(10-19-2014)
Confusion reigns about Talladega qualifying: NASCAR's new qualifying format put Brian Vickers on the pole at Talladega Superspeedway but left many drivers angry and confused, and three full-time teams failed to make Sunday's race. Kevin Harvick called the format "the dumbest thing I've ever seen in my life," and Kyle Busch said heat races should be used to set the field at superspeedways. Dale Earnhardt Jr. called for a return to single-car qualifying at Daytona and Talladega instead of the group formats, and Jeff Gordon tweeted, "Wow never been so frustrated & confused trying to qualify for a race. Not the way we intended to start the weekend." Drivers admitted when they arrived at Talladega that they didn't understand the qualifying format, and it showed as there were no clear strategies throughout the field. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. [Reed Sorenson] and Justin Allgaier, ... full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers, failed to make the field.
NASCAR cut the field in half for the first round of qualifying, when 23 cars had five minutes to make their qualifying lap. Nobody wanted to be the first driver on the track, and many sat on pit road waiting for traffic to pull out. The first drivers were beat by the clock as they tried to time it to make their fast lap at the end of the five minutes, but their times were not counted because many of them failed to cross the start/finish line in the allowable time.
"I thought being the last car in line would be beneficial for us. We had Jeff Gordon leading the pack there I thought we would have a good shot at putting a good lap in, but my spotter was telling me, 'Hey, you have 30-seconds to get across the start-finish line' as we were entering Turn 3," Stenhouse said. "(Gordon) kept slowing the pack down and we didn't get a good lap and never got across the start-finish line in time. My spotter was giving me the information I needed and I wish (Gordon's) would have been doing the same."
The bottom of the field consisted of championship contenders Denny Hamlin, Harvick, Joey Logano and Busch and many other NASCAR heavyweights. Tony Stewart will start 37th and is followed by Hamlin, Harvick, Logano, Busch, Kyle Larson and Gordon. Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth will drop to the back of the field because Keselowski changed his alternator and Kenseth changed his engine.(Associated Press)(10-19-2014)
Go FAS Racing forced to change #32 paint scheme: Retiring Sprint Cup driver Terry Labonte isn't into sentimental talk of his last race, and when he saw a tribute paint scheme with various colors to commemorate some of his past rides, he said it was cool but also quick to crack a joke. "If I had known they were going to do a paint job, I would have told them after (this was my last race)," Labonte said Friday with a laugh at Talladega Superspeedway. The Go FAS Racing team had hoped to surprise Labonte with the scheme Friday but then opted to tell him earlier in the week - because Labonte isn't a big fan of surprises. Among the tributes was a driver side that has red-and-yellow colors of his Kellogg's paint scheme (his 1996 championship), and a passenger side that is light blue to commemorate his Piedmont Airlines ride (his 1984 championship). Labonte apparently wasn't the only one surprised. NASCAR has a fairly long-standing rule that the cars must have the same colors on both the driver side and passenger side of the car. The rule is designed for safety reasons so drivers, spotters and NASCAR officials don't get confused. Various sponsors, wanting to promote two different products on a race car, have been denied permission to split the car side-to-side. Front and back can be different colors but side-to-side is a no-no and must be the same color.(Sporting News)(10-19-2014)
Kentucky Speedway Accepting Fan Council Applications: Kentucky Speedway is accepting applications for 10 openings on its 2015 Fan Council from passionate race enthusiasts willing to share ideas that fuel our future success. Council members are asked to commit to a two-year council term and are called upon to provide valuable perspective Kentucky Speedway will use to enhance the entertainment experience for guests. Members also have opportunities to serve as ambassadors during special events. An application can be download on the Kentucky Speedway website. Applications sent by U.S. Mail must be postmarked by Nov. 1. New members will be contacted when selected.(Kentucky Speedway)(10-19-2014)
Congrats to Kyle & Samantha Busch: #18-Kyle Busch and wife Samantha announced on Twitter Saturday that Samantha is pregnant and expecting the couple's first child in May 2015.(10-18-2014)
Terry Labonte returns to the #32 for 890th career start UPDATE: Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Terry Labonte will be competing in the GEICO 500 with C&J Energy Services and the #32 Go FAS Racing team in Talladega. His start at the Talladega Superspeedway will be the 890th of his 37-year long run and 61st at the famed superspeedway. As a tribute to a legend of the sport, C&J Energy Services and the #32 team created a special paint scheme for Labonte, honoring his remarkable career in stock car racing's most elite series. Throughout Labonte's storied career, beginning in 1978, he has finished in the top ten on 361 occasions; 22 of those finishes ended with a trip to victory lane. Labonte's very first start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was at the Darlington Raceway with Duck Industries. At the young age of 21, Labonte finished fourth in the #92 car owned by Billy Hagan. A few short years later, in 1984, Labonte went on to win the first of his two championships in the #44 Piedmont car, also owned by Hagan. Following the '84 championship, Labonte encountered many ups and downs in NASCAR. The sport became more and more competitive with multi-car teams growing and sponsorship needs increasingly demanding. In 1994, Labonte signed with Hendrick Motorsports. This was an incredible turning point in his career, culminating in 1996, when Labonte went on to win his second championship in the #5 Kelloggs Chevy. With 12 years between his two championships, the second title was a significant triumph that helped define his career. Many of today's NASCAR fans and industry leaders still remember and cherish the second championship.
The paint scheme created by C&J Energy and FAS Lane Racing for Labonte at this year's GEICO 500 will include a replication of Labonte's first Sprint Cup car, his first championship car and his second championship car. Fans and members of the NASCAR community will recognize the combination of paint schemes from the cars that have defined Labonte and his extraordinary career: the Duck Industries car, the Piedmont Airlines car and lastly, the yellow, red and green Kellogg car. Since 2005, Labonte has run a limited schedule with various teams including Hendrick Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, Petty Enterprises and most recently the FAS Lane team. Outside of racing, Labonte is known for being an avid hunter and fisherman.(Go Green Racing), see an image of the car on the #32 team paint schemes page.(10-15-2014)
UPDATE: Terry Labonte, two-time NASCAR premier series champion, will attempt his last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Talladega Superspeedway in the GEICO 500. "I told (owner Frank Stoddard) at the beginning of the year this was going to be my last season, which I told him that last year, too, so this is about the third time I've run my last race," Labonte said. "But I told him at the beginning of the year this would be my last season...It's been fun. It's been exciting. I still love the sport. I wish I was 10 years younger."(NASCAR.com)(10-18-2014)
Kenseth and Hamlin don't regret actions at Charlotte:
Are you disappointed or regret your actions from last weekend?
Kenseth: "None of it -- you never want to get into confrontations, at least I don't. I like to avoid them. I'm definitely not built for fighting and it's not really in my genes -- not something I ever really want to do, but I guess everybody has their breaking point. Last week was bad enough to run bad all night and to be frustrated and then get two tires and get towards the front and Brad (Keselowski) clearly saw me roll outside of him and he hung a right on purpose and ran me right into the wall and ruined my night and possibly took us out of Chase contention. So, I was mad enough about that and then to come down afterwards and have your stuff off and your net down and come and pull those high school stunts playing car wars after the race was just absolutely unacceptable. That definitely put me over the edge. I don't regret my actions. I'm not proud of them or happy about them or any of that, but I don't regret them. I don't know that I would do anything different if the same thing went down again."
Were you expecting a fine from NASCAR?
Kenseth: "I was not. You never know, but I think that in the past if you go in there and first of all it was not a planned action and I didn't go in there with fists flying or anything else like that. I just really wanted to get to him (Brad Keselowski) I guess, I'm not sure what I wanted to do when I got there, but I wasn't really expecting one. It was obvious I didn't really have a plan right?"
Do you regret any of the actions from Saturday night at Charlotte?
Hamlin: "I really didn't do anything. Honestly, I gave him (Brad Keselowski) a brake check down the backstretch, but besides that I didn't do anything. My team guys wouldn't let me do anything -- that was kind of a bummer. The only thing I was trying to do in the garage and even on pit road was just box him in so I could get to him before his team guys got there. I didn't ram into him on pit road or anything like that, if you watch I just kept trying to box him in to where he couldn't go anywhere and I talked to Brad and told him that. I don't regret anything and I really didn't feel like I did anything wrong. Obviously, from the penalties NASCAR didn't feel like I did either."
Did you hit Brad Keselowski in the garage?
Hamlin: "No, I boxed him (Brad Keselowski) in and he was in a position where he knew he was boxed in and he wanted to get out very quickly so that's when he got into our right front and spun the tires."(Toyota Racing)(10-18-2014)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway kicks off Champion's Week with fanfest: Las Vegas Motor Speedway will put the 'fan' in fanfest when it kicks off NASCAR Champion's Week on Wednesday' Dec. 3' at the Fremont Street Experience with a free event featuring all 16 Chase drivers' including the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Beginning at 2:00pm' the drivers will walk a red carpet through the crowd en route to the Third Street Stage. The highlight of the fanfest' which is hosted by Las Vegas Motor Speedway' will be a Win' Lose or Draw-type game show involving all 16 Chase drivers. Fans will be chosen through local media outlets and LVMS social media to join the drivers on stage during the show' which will be hosted by two-time Daytona 500 winner and Dancing With The Stars contestant Michael Waltrip and ESPN pit reporter Jamie Little. The fanfest will mark the first public appearance in Las Vegas by the 16 drivers who qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The week will culminate with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony on Friday' Dec. 5' at Wynn Las Vegas.(LVMS)(10-18-2014)
Richard Petty named Grand Marshal at Martinsville: They say the best relationships are formed over time, and two of the longest in NASCAR are the ones Richard Petty has formed with Goody's and Martinsville Speedway. The three will come together Oct. 26 as Petty has been named Grand Marshal of the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. Petty, whose 15 career Martinsville wins stand alone as the most all-time at the historic half-mile track, will say the most famous words in motorsports when he gives the command to start the engines. "Having Richard Petty serve as the Grand Marshal of the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at a historic track like Martinsville is a testament to his legendary career in NASCAR and his long-time partnership with the Goody's brand," said Joseph Juliano, Brand Director, Goody's. "It is a true honor to be associated with the King of Speed, and we are extremely fortunate to have a living legend like Richard Petty on the Goody's team."(Martinsville Speedway)(10-17-2014)
Mixed Martial Arts star Miesha Tate to wave green flag at Martinsville: Close quarters' full-contact action is something mixed martial arts star Miesha Tate does every time she steps into the octagon. Martinsville Speedway is also no stranger to close quarters' full-contact action. The two will come together when the Sprint Cup Series returns to the iconic half-mile track on Oct. 26. UFC's number two ranked women's bantamweight fighter was named the honorary starter and will drop the green flag to start the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500.(Martinsville Speedway)(10-17-2014)
2015 team sponsorships coming together: Some top NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have sold their primary sponsorships for all of next season, but space remains on the cars of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and #15-Clint Bowyer four months before the 2015 season begins. Among the teams that have sold all their primary sponsorship for next year are #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Joey Logano, #4-Kevin Harvick, #20-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch and #11-Denny Hamlin. "It's certainly not easy finding a sponsor, but there was an abundant amount of interest in our sport and in our team," said Dave Alpern, chief marketing officer at Joe Gibbs Racing, which expands to four cars next season. Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, says that the three-car organization has fewer primary sponsorship openings then it did at this time a year ago. Ben Schlosser, chief marketing officer at Richard Childress Racing, says that his three-car organization also is ahead in selling sponsorships, noting some companies were willing to start negotiations earlier. "I think the climate is getting better," Newmark said. "It's not where we need to be, but I think the whole sport is doing a better job of marketing." Newmark credits more collaboration with NASCAR compared to when he arrived at Roush four years ago. Newmark also said that the team has made many changes to better serve sponsors. See more team-by team info at Motor Racing Network and check out the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team / Driver Chart.(10-16-2014)
Ragan expects to return to Front Row: Richard Petty Motorsports recently signed Sam Hornish Jr. to drive the team's #9 car next season but there was a lot of talk during the weeks leading up to the announcement that David Ragan was the favorite to replace the departing Marcos Ambrose. Ragan says that wasn't the case and despite his sincere desire to join RPM' they never had anything more than preliminary conversations. "I had my contract coming up at the end of the year and we haven't talked a whole lot about the 2015 season'" Ragan told Popular Speed on Wednesday. "My goal was to get myself in a real good competitive situation and I didn't have a contract and I showed them some interest' but that's it." Ragan added that Richard Petty and his co-owners had a game-plan for what they wanted to do with the #9 moving forward and those plans simply didn't include him. With his casual interest in Petty aside' Ragan expressed pride and satisfaction in his relationship with Front Row Motorsports and believes that they will come to an agreement prior to the start of the 2015 season. The team owners' including Bob Jenkins' are working to finalize their sponsorship agreements first and the driver lineup will come next. "I haven't finalized anything with the team yet but we're working on it'" Ragan said. "We've got to get the sponsors lined up. The owners have to get their budgets sorted and the drivers are usually the last things to come together. Hopefully' over the next few weeks' we'll get that sorted. I would definitely love to be back."(Popular Speed)(10-16-2014)
Most Popular Driver Voting: The voting for the 2014 Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver Award started July 5, 2014. To vote, visit www.mostpopulardriver.com and follow the online instructions for entering. Voting began on July 5, 2014 and ends at 8:00pm/et on November 17, 2014. Voting is limited to a) one (1) vote per person per email address per day; b) up to two (2) additional votes per person per email address per day for those who share their votes through social media sites Facebook and/or Twitter. Driver eligibility for the Most Popular Driver award is limited to those candidates that have declared for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and have entered all points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events contested between Jan. 1, 2014 and July 5, 2014.
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:00pm/et
Born in OCTOBER
22 Ed Dybalski, George Gillett Jr., Milan Garrett, Rick Benjamin, John Graham, Adam Davis
23 Humpy Wheeler, Larry Hartle
24 Dave Blaney, Jim France, Brian Vickers, Tracy Leslie, Jeff Price, Bill O'Dea, Andrew Turner, Patrick Lawler
25 Mike Hoffman, Ward Burton, Jon Wood, Taylor Lane Stricklin, Maggie Martin
26 Jimmy Pardue
27 Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance
28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman
29 Teresa Earnhardt, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy 'the dog' Adamczyk
30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.
31 Mike Casto, Kip Childress
Born in NOVEMBER:
1 Jay Adamczyk, Joshua Marco, Doug Ingerson, Eric Vance, Larry Flynt
2 Larry Pearson
3 Derrike Cope, Tony Gibson, Greg Sacks, Bryan Mullett
4 Charley Pressley, Destinee Zastrow
5 Elton Sawyer Jr., Doug George
6 Bryan Reffner, Clay Rogers. Rodney Orr
7 Judy Allison, Gilbert "Pops" Gentle, Andy Houston, Dick May, Matthew Bodine, Lindsay Czarniak
8 Jason Burdett, Ed Berrier, Jim Inglebright, Teri MacDonald, John Bisci, Donny Lia, Ingrid Vandebosch
9 Rick Carelli, Nancy Sterling, Bill Kimm, John Holman, Ed Otto
10 U.S. Marines , Britt Goodrich
11 Mike Hembree, Barry Bodine, Chris Horn, Rob Morgan, Loni Richardson
12 Ryan Buscaglio, Tom Ehret, Wally Dallenbach Sr., Larry Hedrick
13 Drew Blickensderfer, Karen Friddell, Katie Wallace, Tim Kuhn, Jeff Hallowell
15 Gene Haas, H.B. Bailey, Steve Lane
16 Terry Labonte, Bill Amick
17 Brad Bennett
18 Eddie Adamczyk, Gary Bettenhausen, Denny Hamlin, Ray Osian, Mickey Mouse
19 Tommy Morgan, Gary "Turtle" Clem
20 Sam Bass, Lisa Finley, Mike Cluka, Steve Prescott, Andy Belmont, Mark Wilkinson, Darren Jones, Chris Hall
21 Sheri Umscheid, Travis Carter, Terry Elledge, Victor Breininger, Banjo Grimm, Alexis Leras
22 Laurie Weil, Luke Kosner, Jake Elder, Rick Viers, Ryan McGlynn, Jamie Skinner, Scott Moyer
23 Ron Bouchard, Chris Spencer, Conrad Burr, Tony Roper
24 Buddy Parrott, James Ince, Nathan Haseleu
25 Skip Eyler, Joe Gibbs, Mike Joy, Carl Gansert
26 Dale Jarrett, Chip Bolin, Katie Pearson
27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael
28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy
29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover