Race Coverage of the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 9, 2014.
Television (TV): FOX at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:30 pm/et; green flag approx. 3:16pm/et
Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
Scheduled Race Re-Airs: none scheduled
Final practice: for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over after 64 minutes. The top 5, slowest, and notes:
slowest: #33-Hill 178.968 & #26-Whitt 175.718.
All 43 cars practiced.
Notes: #30-Kligerman blew an engine at the end of the session. He will have to start the race from the rear of the field.
See the speeds, laps run, 10-lap averages on the Las Vegas Practice 3 speeds page.(3-8-2014)
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #22-Logano chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #2-Keselowski took pit stall 15, with an opening front of it.
#15-Bowyer, who starts 3rd took the 31st pit stall, also with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #1-McMurray, who starts 7th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-8-2014)
Logano wins Las Vegas pole: #22-Joey Logano won the pole for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with TRACK RECORD speed of 193.278mph for his 1st pole of 2014, 1st pole at Las Vegas and 8th of his career.
#2-Keselowski is on the outside pole, followed by #15-Bowyer, #3-Dillon, #48-Johnson, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #1-McMurray, #43-Almirola, #55-Vickers, #31-Newman, #99-Edwards, and #78-Truex, Jr. Logano was also fastest during the second session with a speed of 192.905mph
The fastest driver during the first session was #55-Vickers at 192.995mph.
Missing the race were: #35-Koch, #40-Cassill, #77-Blaney, #87-Nemechek, #44-Yeley.
See the full starting lineup, qualifying results & order on the Las Vegas Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(3-7-2014)
Qualifying Fast Facts - Las Vegas:
Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 17th Annual Kobalt 400 with a lap of 27.939 seconds, 193.278 mph.
This is his eighth pole in 186 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2014.
This is his first pole in six races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Brad Keselowski (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2014 and his second in six races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Clint Bowyer (third) posted his third top-10 start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . It is his first in three races this season.
Austin Dillon (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-7-2014)
Las Vegas Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Las Vegas this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams have run at Las Vegas since 2012 . . . this is the only track at which these two tire codes are scheduled to be run in 2014 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Las Vegas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear), see full notes, tire pressures, tire codes, set limits on the Las Vegas Race Info page - Goodyear section.(3-6-2014)
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 in Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the Las Vegas Race Info page - Chassis selection area.
Drivers say qualifying format creates dangers UPDATE: NASCAR's new knockout qualifying format has been universally hailed as more exciting and interesting than the old single-car system. But for the second week in a row, drivers also said it's extremely dangerous. Since the only legal way for teams to cool their cars is to drive slowly around the track, there's a dramatic speed difference between drivers making qualifying runs and those driving as if they're in a construction zone.
"Riding around the bottom - we've got to do it, it's the only way to keep the engine cool - but that has got to be the most dangerous thing I've ever done in racing," #55-Brian Vickers said after Friday's session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "(#36-Reed Sorenson) went by me at 170 mph faster than I was going. Had he slipped or hit me, I'd be done. It would be so bad."
Teams need to cool their engines between attempts at fast laps in order to keep their cars from overheating. Teams are not allowed to cool their cars on pit road in between runs because it would require opening the hood to attach a cooling box. NASCAR does not want teams to make adjustments on pit road during the knockout sessions and since policing every open hood would be difficult, it is not permitted. As a result, the disparity in speed created some dicey situations - several of which occurred again Friday.
#15-Clint Bowyer, who qualified third, said he nearly collided with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. during one run and called for a change due to the "dangerous" difference in speed. "We've got to stop that," he said. "...I about smoked him. That's not the guy you want to hit at a 140 mph deficit. (A collision is) going to hurt me and it might hurt Dale Jr., and that would be bad for business."
#1-Jamie McMurray, who was among the drivers to raise the safety issue at Phoenix, said he texted NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton a few days ago and was told, "Let's give it a couple weeks and just see what plays out." [NASCAR spokesman Kerry] Tharp echoed that sentiment in a statement to USA TODAY Sports on Friday. "We're only two race weekends in with the new qualifying format," he said. "It's something new and it's something that will take time to get used to. We will continue to look at it."(USA Today)(3-8-2014)
UPDATE: NASCAR officials say they don't expect to make any changes to the new qualifying process before NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams arrive in Bristol next week for the Food City 500 race weekend. Several drivers expressed concerns about close calls with slower cars idling around on the apron to cool their engines during Friday's qualifying here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "We're going to sit for a while, field all the questions and see what happens," Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, said Saturday morning. "It's a very small snapshot of qualifying so far." Pemberton said officials had spoken with drivers that voiced concerns about the process. "We're listening," he said. "We told them it's too early to tell (if tweaks are necessary). "Other than the cars running around on the bottom and you had one or two complain that it was a close call ... again, we're listening to them, but we want to take a better snapshot of it."(NASCAR.com)(3-9-2014)
NASCAR involved in new online network: A new online-only network that will focus on some of NASCAR's lower-tier series, as well as similar series in sports car and motorcycle racing, will make its debut this Wednesday, March 12. FANSCHOICE.TV, whose motto is "My Series, My Track, My Choice," is partly owned by NASCAR and will feature live streaming of racing on the K&N Pro Series and Modifieds from across the country, as well as AMA Pro motorcycle racing and various sports car series. Right now, programming on the new website will be free for viewers, supported by advertising and sponsorship dollars. It will only be available online, although one has to wonder if it takes off the way its backers hope, whether it will eventually wind up on TV and be part of a subscription package.(NBC Sports)(3-9-2014)
Final Phoenix TV Ratings: Though the numbers were not bad, last week's NASCAR race from Phoenix was the lowest rated second race of the season in 14 years. Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup "The Profit on CNBC 500" from Phoenix earned a 5.3 final rating and 8.8 million viewers on FOX, down 5% in ratings and 3% in viewership from last year (5.6, 8.8M), and down 5% in both measures from 2012 (5.6, 9.2M). The 5.3 rating is the lowest for the second NASCAR race of the season since 2000, when the Dura-Lube/Kmart 400 from Rockingham had a 3.9 U.S. rating on TNN. The 5.3 is also the lowest rating for the spring Phoenix race since it moved to the second week of the season in 2010. Sunday's race finished only slightly behind the Daytona 500, which earned a record low 5.6 and 9.3 million viewers. Of course, the Daytona 500 had an unusually poor performance due to factors beyond NASCAR's control - a lengthy rain delay and competition from the Olympics. Despite the lower numbers, NASCAR on FOX was easily the top sporting event of the weekend on any network. In a distant second was the final round of the PGA Tour Honda Classic on NBC (2.6, 3.8M). (Sports Media Watch), see complete ratings information and historical data on the 2014 NASCAR Television Ratings page.(3-8-2014)
Goodyear named recipient of 2014 "Driving Business Award": For the past 60 years The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has been a fixture at the track each race weekend, developing and supplying tires for the most demanding drivers in the world to face the grueling conditions of NASCAR. Goodyear's success in the sport has not been limited to its efforts on the track. [Friday] in a ceremony hosted at the NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) meeting in Las Vegas, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar officially presented Goodyear with the "Driving Business Award." The annual award is bestowed to the Official NASCAR Partner that demonstrates extraordinary leadership and results through its participation in the NFFB Council. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the NFFB Council is a business-to-business platform that brings together an exclusive group of more than 50 Official NASCAR Partners to buy and sell products and services. Since its inception in 2004, the quarterly meetings have facilitated more than 1,000 "speed meeting" sessions where Official NASCAR Partners meet and do business with one another. Goodyear has been a proud member of the NFFB Council since 2008, and currently conducts business with nearly half of the companies in the council. As a result, Goodyear has formed a number of key marketing and promotional relationships with Official NASCAR Partners that help drive retail traffic and sales.(NASCAR)(3-8-2013)
Memorial planned for Dick Trickle: Green Bay has Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau and Vince Lombardi; Madison has speedskater Eric Heiden. Rudolph [WI] has racing legend Dick Trickle, and now friends are working to build a memorial in Trickle's former stomping grounds. Trickle, 71, died May 16 in Iron Station, N.C. "Dick deserves it," said longtime friend and fellow racer Tom Reffner, 73, of Rudolph. "He did the best of anybody from our area by far, and I just think it's the right thing to do, and I think it's the right thing to do for Rudolph itself." Family members are supportive of the efforts. Trickle is survived by Delores Iwanski of Waukesha, Chuck Trickle of Las Vegas, Sue Trickle of Minneapolis, and Duaine Trickle of Plover. Memorial plans include a statue of Trickle with ceramic tiles featuring photos of Trickle and his cars. Aluminum frames will have descriptions of the cars, owners, sponsors and the years Trickle drove the car. The project kickoff date is May 18 at the Rudolph Community Park on the west side of highways 13 and 34 in Rudolph. Reffner didn't have any cost estimates; the project still in in the planning stages, and no numbers are set in stone, he said.(Wisconsin Rapids Tribune)(3-8-2014)
Kyle Busch would also like to try the double someday: Someday in the future, #18-Kyle Busch would love to emulate his older brother's attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. He just doesn't think he should do the double until he's got a NASCAR series championship in his trophy case. "I've thought about doing that for years," Kyle Busch said Friday at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "I've always said that I wouldn't do it until I've gotten a Cup championship, which obviously Kurt has (but) I don't have. I've always put it on the back-burner and not really worried about it, but I think it's good. I hope he has fun with it. Hope he don't get too wore out." He understands the challenges faced May 25 by Kurt Busch, who won his series championship in 2004. The double requires about 580 miles of plane travel in between several hours of grueling driving in IndyCar's biggest event and NASCAR's longest race.(Associated Press)(3-8-2014)
Realtree and Bad Boy Buggies to sponsor Dillon: Realtree and Bad Boy Buggies are joining the effort to support Austin Dillon's rookie campaign in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series by announcing primary partnership of the #3 Chevy SS for the March 16 race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The partnership unites Realtree, the world's leading camouflage designer, marketer, and licensor with Bad Boy Buggies, inventor of the dual-motor, fully electric 4WD vehicle, a machine that combines unparalleled off-road ability with quiet, emissions-free operation- the ideal hunting vehicle. Bad Boy Buggies vehicles are designed and manufactured by E-Z-Go, a Textron Inc. company. The race will mark the first time that Bad Boy Buggies enjoys primary placement on a Sprint Cup Series car driven by Dillon. Realtree and Bad Boy Buggies will both serve as major associate sponsors throughout the 2014 season, joining Dow, Cheerios, American Ethanol and the University of Northwestern Ohio as RCR supporters associated with the #3 Sprint Cup Series entry this season.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #3 team paint schemes page.(3-7-2014)
Changes to Indy 500 qualifying will impact Busch: The new qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500 will include three rounds over two days, with the pole-winner emerging from a "Fast Nine Shootout" on what used to be Bump Day. Qualifying for the Indy 500 this year will begin on May 17 when the fastest 33 cars are locked into the field. All entries will be guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify, and the fastest nine drivers will move into the shootout. On Sunday, the previous days' times will be erased and entries 10 through 33 will complete another four-lap qualifying attempt to determine their starting position. The fastest nine drivers from Saturday will then make one four-lap attempt to determine the prestigious pole winner and starting front row.
It makes life a little more difficult for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, who will attempt to become the first driver in 10 years to run both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Busch will now have to qualify in Indianapolis on Saturday, fly to Charlotte, N.C., for NASCAR's All-Star race that evening, then return to Indianapolis to determine his starting spot in Sunday's qualifying session. Under the old format, had Busch locked himself into the field on Saturday, he would not have necessarily have needed to return to Indianapolis following the All-Star race unless he was in danger of being bumped out.(Associated Press)(3-7-2014)
Teams test intermediate track rules package at Las Vegas: Forty-eight drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series turned laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Thursday to further build upon the 2014 intermediate-track rules package that was formalized late last year. Serving as the first official NASCAR test with the new 2014 rules package in place, the four-hour session allowed teams to prepare for Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway - the series' first visit to a 1.5-mile track in 2014 - and beyond.
Included in the new intermediate track rules package are various physical changes to the car that were determined after much collaboration between NASCAR, the teams and the manufacturers. Based in part on two lengthy test sessions at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October and December, NASCAR implemented chassis and aerodynamic adjustments into the setup specifications to encourage more green-flag passing and side-by-side racing. Changes to the package include statically setting the race car ride height, a square leading edge on the splitter, side skirt and rear fascia adjustments and an eight-inch rear spoiler. A 43-inch by 13-inch radiator pan rounded out changes for 2014.(NASCAR). See the speeds, laps run, and 10-lap averages from the test on the Las Vegas test speeds page.(3-7-2014)
Red Cross and Biffle ask people to give blood: The #16 American Red Cross Ford Fusion sports the first of two #ImProud2Give paint schemes at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this Sunday, March 9. The #16 hood is covered with a larger-than-life Red Cross blood donor sticker, advertising Your Name Here and launching a campaign asking blood donors to make an online appointment at redcrossblood.org. The month-long campaign concludes at Darlington Raceway with one lucky blood donor adding their name to the #16 Red Cross Ford Fusion hood on April 12. Eligible whole blood donors can give blood once every 56 days at Red Cross blood drives and blood donation centers throughout the country. Appointments can be made online at redcrossblood.org.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(3-7-2014)
Go FAS sponsor signs on for Las Vegas: Go FAS Racing announced that Michael Alden was so happy with the response he received for his new book "Ask More Get More" that he decided to sponsor the #32 driven by Travis Kvapil in this week's Kobalt Tools 400. "This was a pleasant last minute surprise for the team, and we all appreciate Michael's support", said team owner Archie St Hilaire.(Go FAS Racing)(3-7-2014)
Sad News - Gary Cross: Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Friday at the Wasko Funeral Home in Campbell for Gary Robert Cross, 76, formerly of Youngstown, who passed away on March 1, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Conover. Mr. Cross was born April 30, 1937, in Youngstown, the son of William P. and Lois E. Leonard Cross. He resided in the Youngstown area until he relocated to Daytona Beach in 1993. Gary was employed by NASCAR for 20 years. He started his employment as a tour guide at Daytona International Speedway. He transferred to the mail room and then worked his way up to Transportation Manager in Daytona Beach, Fla. and Conover. The Cross family has entrusted their loved one to the care of the Wasko Funeral Home, 216 Coitsville Road in Campbell and will receive family and friends from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 6. Visit www.waskofamily.com to view this obituary and send Gary's family condolences.(3-7-2014)
Smoke is the Bandit: Mobil 1, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR, has partnered with Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy SS, to bring back to life one of the great car-and-chase films, Smokey and The Bandit, in a new video series affectionately dubbed Smoke is the Bandit with Mobil 1. Starring Stewart in the title role of "The Bandit" as he humorously encourages friends and colleagues to participate in his vision, the series features NASCAR legends, drivers and TV personalities, including Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Craven, Hermie Sadler, Jeff Hammond and Nicole Briscoe. The video series is available for fans to watch on the Mobil 1 YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/Mobil1 and on the Mobil 1 Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Mobil1. Two new episodes of the series will be released bi-weekly, beginning with the release of Episode 1, "The Challenge," March 6. Along with posting new episodes each week, the Mobil 1 Facebook page will serve as a destination for fans to get behind-the-scenes access to photos from the Smoke is the Bandit with Mobil 1 set and exclusive information about the video shoot with many NASCAR legends and personalities. "Smokey and the Bandit is still my all-time favorite movie," said Stewart. "Bringing this legendary movie back to the screen - with the Bandit's black Trans Am and all - has been an absolute blast and I hope the fans have just as much fun watching the videos."(Weber Shandwick / Mobil 1)(3-6-2014)
Jeff Burton's first race with MWR UPDATE: #66 Let's Go Places Toyota Camry driver Jeff Burton will make his first start of the 2014 season Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Burton and Michael Waltrip will drive the #66 for Michael Waltrip Racing in a limited number of races in 2014. A newly formed partnership between MWR and Jay Robinson Racing will allow the #66 to compete in all NASCAR Sprint Cup races with Joe Nemechek as the primary driver.(Michael Waltrip Racing), see an image of the car on the #66 team paint schemes page.(3-5-2014)
UPDATE: Jeff Burton will leave the television studio this weekend to make his first start of the season. The 21-time Cup winner left Richard Childress Racing at the end of last season and initially announced a deal as a test driver for Michael Waltrip Racing with only one guaranteed race - Sunday at Las Vegas. He's since been named an analyst for NBC Sports Group's coverage of NASCAR. Although Las Vegas is the only announced race to date, Burton said he feels more races are coming. "There are other ones we feel pretty sure about that we're going to run, but we haven't really talked about it yet so we might change our mind," he said. "We got to run where it make sense to run and not just run because we want to run. It's got to be part of a plan and if it's not, we're making a mistake."(Associated Press)(3-6-2014)
Kurt Busch moving personal foundation to Armed Forces Foundation: Last week, Busch announced that he was merging his personal foundation into the Armed Forces Foundation, where his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, is the executive director. Busch's project within the foundation will focus on PTSD and he will use his Memorial Day double to help raise funds. "That is the battle that is unseen. There are the ones with the invisible wounds from the traumatic brain injury and the PTSD side and those are the ones that you have to open up a little bit, spend more time with and put your arm around them," Busch said Friday. "Patricia does a great job with her foundation to show them the way, to give them the support." Busch heavily participates in the "troops to the track" program to help give military members a raceday experience. "I can help with just putting a smile on their face or diverting their focus for the day to have some fun," Busch said.(Sporting News)(3-6-2014)
Special scheme for Earnhardt, Jr.: #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will sport a Mountain Dew Kickstart paint scheme and firesuit this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to introduce two new flavors - Black Cherry and Limeade. These beverages combine the great taste of Mountain Dew with 5 percent real fruit juice, electrolytes for taste and just the right amount of kick to get you ready for whatever the night will bring.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(3-6-2014)
New sponsor for Patrick at Vegas: For this weekend's Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, #10-Danica Patrick's car will sport the blue and white colors of Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental care providers in the U.S. with more than 430 locations in communities across 27 states, providing millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable dental care. Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental services - including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, dentures, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work. Patrick is driving the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevy SS at both Las Vegas this weekend and on Labor Day weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's part of Patrick shining a spotlight on an often overlooked healthcare issue - oral health. She's teamed up with Aspen Dental to support the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative designed to deliver free dental care to thousands of people in need in communities across the U.S., and oral health education to millions more.(TrueSpeed Communications / Stewart Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #10 team paint schemes page. (3-6-2014)
Axalta paint scheme debuts on the #24: The 2014 #24 Axalta Chevy SS paint scheme will make its first on-track appearance this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Brilliant Flames scheme features a blaze of neon-colored flames on a brilliant black background and was designed by renowned motor sports artist Sam Bass. (Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #24 team paint schemes page.(3-6-2014)
WRL General Contractors on the #95: The WRL General Contractors logo will adorn the hood this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Team owner Bob Leavine is also the owner of WRL General Contractors Ltd., which has been in operation for more than over 35 years. WRL General Contractors Ltd. work includes the construction of commercial, institutional, and industrial projects.(Leaving Family Racing)(3-6-2014)
Crafton to be on standby for Menard: When #27-Paul Menard's Chevy SS race car rolls off the hauler this Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Quaker State paint scheme will make its 2014 debut. For Menard, it will be the 27th time he has lined up for the start of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event with Quaker State colors. Menard will have reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion and good friend Matt Crafton on standby for the weekend, as Menard and his wife await the birth of their first child. For Crafton, being on alert to step in for Menard is almost as nerve-racking as the baby watch is for Menard. "It's tough, because you just don't know when or even if it will happen, but kind of like that backup quarterback, you have to be ready at any time," said Crafton. "Paul and I have been good friends going back to 2001. We've raced together and I actually spotted for him early in his career. For him to have the confidence in me to get the job done if he has to head back home - that's awesome."(Sport Dimensions)(3-5-2014)
Xxxtreme motorsports making 2014 debut: Heading to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, #44-Xxxtreme Motorsport is preparing for their 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut with driver JJ Yeley. Joining Xxxtreme Motorsport for a multi-race deal throughout the 2014 season, Phoenix Warehouse of New Jersey and California is a first-time sponsor to NASCAR. Phoenix Warehouse is a full-service logistics warehouse and distribution company founded in 1976. Their clear objective has been and remains, "Provide comprehensive and superior logistic services to a myriad of industries."(Xxxtreme Motorsports / 140 Buzz), see an image of the car on the #44 team paint schemes page.(3-5-2014)
Timmy Hill to be back in car at Las Vegas UPDATES: 2013 Rookie of the Year candidate Timmy Hill said at Daytona he's secured a Cup ride that will run beginning in a week and a half at Las Vegas. The 20-year-old wouldn't say which team, only that it wasn't a part of the #32 operation he drove for last year. New ownership, with Archie St. Hilaire partnering with Frank Stoddard, caused them to turn away from Hill's youth at GO FAS Racing and to veteran Travis Kvapil beginning at Phoenix this weekend. The reason? With the back of the field more competitive this year, in the form of 44-47 teams getting to the track each weekend, they felt an experienced driver would leave them in better position to stay up in owner points for those all-important provisional qualifying spots.(Frontstretch)(2-26-2014)
UPDATE: #33 Circle Sport team owner Joe Falk Tweeted that Timmy Hill, who drove the #32 Ford in 19 2013 races, will drive the #33 Circle Sport Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend.(2-26-2014)
Bedgood: How many races are you planning on running this year with [Circle Sport]?
Hill: I don't have an exact number for you. I know Brian Scott is going to drive a few more, and they'll probably have someone else driving road courses. I know we're going to Vegas and Bristol. I know Brian Scott is driving California. So, I don't have an exact number for you but it's going to be quite a few, though.
Bedgood: Is the official schedule dependent upon sponsorship?
Hill: Yes, exactly.
Bedgood: So how was the decision made to begin the season at Vegas?
Hill: They're running the #33 car all season. Brian Scott was scheduled to run the 500 and Phoenix, but he wanted to focus on his Nationwide season and they didn't have a driver from Vegas on. Like I said, I spoke with them over the offseason, I got a lot of experience in the Sprint Cup car last year and I was the best candidate for Las Vegas.(Frontstretch)(3-5-2014)
Truex, Jr. to make 300th start: #78-Martin Truex Jr. will make his 300th career Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Truex, a two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion (2004 & 2005), started his first Cup race on Oct. 31, 2004 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He became a full-time Cup driver in 2006. Truex's career starts to date include 117 with Dale Earnhardt Inc., 36 with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, 144 with Michael Waltrip Racing and two with Furniture Row Racing. His statistical totals include: two wins, 31 top-fives, 90 top-10s, seven poles and 1,889 laps led.(Furniture Row Racing)(3-5-2014)
JTG Daugherty signs associate sponsor: JTG Daugherty Racing has some of the greatest household brand names in their stable sponsoring AJ Allmendinger's #47 Chevy. Now they welcome associate sponsor Southeastern Mills' branded products in efforts to promote Shore Lunch Premium Soup Mixes and Southeastern Mills Gravy Mixes at select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events this season. Southeastern Mills is a fourth generation, professionally managed food company headquartered in Rome, Georgia. Southeastern Mills serves the world's largest grocers, restaurants and food manufacturers across North America.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(3-5-2014)
Kurt Busch to run Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport: It has been over a decade since it was last completed, but this May NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch will endeavor to become only the fourth driver in history to contest the "Double" - competing in IndyCar's historic Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's 600-mile race in the same day. Busch will make his first career Indianapolis 500 qualifying attempt behind the wheel of an Andretti Autosport Indy car. His entry will complete a stable of five for Michael Andretti's championship winning IndyCar team. It is not the first pairing of Busch and Andretti Autosport, however, as in 2013 Busch completed a test day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the team and in the process passed the mandated Rookie Orientation program effectively setting the possibility of the "Double" into motion.
What lies in front of Busch is a grueling challenge, not only on the race day itself - scheduled for Sunday, May 25th when Busch will race 1,100 miles in two races, in two cities, in two totally different cars, but in practicing and qualifying his Andretti Autosport Indy car in addition to competing in three NASCAR race weekends around Indianapolis 500 activities. The 35-year old American will start the two week Indy 500 stretch in Indianapolis May 11th, fresh from the NASCAR race in Kansas. After spending the week testing the Honda-powered Indy car, Busch will log some serious air miles traveling between Indianapolis and Charlotte so he can qualify for the 500-mile race and practice and qualify for the NASCAR All-Star race and that Series' 600-mile race. In total Busch will likely make more than ten trips between the cities - the most important and time sensitive being race day. Race day will place Busch in Indianapolis in the morning for the 12:00pm/et start time of the Indianapolis 500 before he makes the trip to Charlotte for the 6:00pm/et green flag.
While the "Double" will be a new experience for Busch, it will actually be Andretti Autosport's second time participating in the feat. Robby Gordon (who along with John Andretti and Tony Stewart are the three previous drivers to contest the "Double") competed in both races in 2003, filling in at Indianapolis for an injured Dario Franchitti who at the time drove for Andretti Autosport. Busch, an advocate for and representative of The Armed Forces Foundation, will be dedicating his Memorial Day mission to those who continue to inspire him each day - the men and women serving around the world in the United States Military. Fans can show their support by texting AFF to 50555 to pledge $10 to the cause. Fans will have the opportunity to follow Busch through his action-packed month of May on AndrettiTV.com, with details coming soon. For more information visit AndrettiAutosport.com or KurtBuschDouble.com.(Andretti Autosport)(3-4-2014)
Phoenix TV Ratings down: After a record-low at Daytona, overnight ratings did not bounce back for the second race of the season. Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup "The Profit on CNBC 500? from Phoenix earned a 4.8 overnight rating on FOX, down 9% from a 5.3 last year, and down 4% from a 5.0 in 2011. The 4.8 is the lowest overnight for the second Sprint Cup race of the season since FOX began airing coverage in 2001. The 4.8 is also the lowest overnight for the spring Phoenix race since it moved to its current date in 2010. Despite the lower numbers, Sunday's race was easily the top sporting event of the weekend on broadcast.(Sports Media / via Sports Business Daily)(3-4-2014)
Kyle Petty Charity Ride announces course: The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America announced the course for its 20th Anniversary Ride. From Saturday, May 3 through Saturday, May 10, 2014, more than 175 riders will embark on the cross-country motorcycle trek, which begins in Carlsbad, Calif. and travel more than 2,800 miles before reaching Daytona Beach, Fla. Founded by former NASCAR driver and racing analyst Kyle Petty, the Ride raises funds and awareness for Victory Junction, a Camp created to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life threatening illnesses. "What began as just a few friends having a good time riding track to track has turned into what we have today, which is an incredible event that provides thousands of life changing experiences for children," said Petty. "This is the first year we've traveled straight from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, and I'm looking forward to experiencing it with friends, while meeting our fans and generous supporters along the way." This year NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven time champion Richard Petty, NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, former NASCAR driver and Bo-Dyn Olympic bobsled founder Geoff Bodine, NASCAR legends Harry Gant and Donnie Allison, former NFL great Herschel Walker, Fox News contributor and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives Col. Allen West, and co-host of History Channel's Top Gear America and NASCAR personality Rutledge Wood plan to participate in all or part of the 20th Anniversary Ride. In the past 10 years, more than 7,730 children with health issues that would typically prevent them from attending Camp have attended Victory Junction at no cost to their families, thanks to the Kyle Petty Charity Ride. Since its inception by the Petty family in 2004 in honor of their late son Adam, the Camp has served as the Ride's primary beneficiary.(Kyle Petty Charity Ride), See more information and the complete route on the Racing Charities - Victory Junction news page.(3-4-2014)
Richard Petty receives North Carolina Winner's Circle Award: Governor Pat McCrory and the NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development announced the recipients of the Winner's Circle awards, given annually since 2004 to people who have made significant and continuing contributions to the growth and success of North Carolina's tourism industry. The 2014 honorees include: Richard Petty, charter member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Horace Holden, Aurelia Kennedy and Payson Kennedy, founders of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and Ron Kimble, Charlotte Deputy City Manager. Gov. McCrory participated in the Winner's Circle awards luncheon in Charlotte Monday as part of the three-day Governor's Conference on Tourism. The state's largest gathering of the tourism industry brings together nearly 500 leaders from resorts, attractions, destination marketing organizations, hotels/motels, real estate rental companies, restaurants and retail outlets each year to learn about the latest trends and issues facing the travel industry.(Breaking Limits)(3-4-2014)
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Las Vegas:
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr................88.2
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races(9 total) among drivers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, 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)(3-4-2014)
Las Vegas Notes & Facts:
• The construction to build the superspeedway known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) began in 1995. Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired the property in 1998.
• The first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held on March 1, 1998, won by Mark Martin.
• In 2006, the track was reconfigured to include progressive banking.
• There have been 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
• 128 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas; 97 in more than one.
• Four drivers have participated in all 16 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
• Dale Jarrett won the inaugural pole with a speed of 168.224 mph (32.773 secs.).
• 10 drivers have poles at LVMS, led by Kasey Kahne, who posted his third last season (2004, 2007 and 2012).
• Kyle Busch is the only driver to win consecutive poles at LVMS from (2008-'09).
• Nine different drivers have won at LVMS, led by Jimmie Johnson (four). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth (three), Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards (each have two).
• Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Las Vegas with seven, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five.
• Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch became the first and only Only two LVMS races have been won from the front row: Kyle Busch, 2009 (pole); and Carl Edwards, 2008 (second-place).
• Three of the 16 races (18.7%) have been won from a top-five starting position at Las Vegas.
• Seven of the 16 (43.7%) races have been won from a top-10 starting position at Las Vegas.
• Four of the 16 races (25%) at Las Vegas have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
• The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart lead the series in runner-up finishes at Las Vegas with two each.
• Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart lead the series in top-five finishes at Las Vegas with six each.
• Mark Martin has 10 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. His average finish is 13.4.
• Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finish at LVMS with a 9.5; Carl Edwards (9.6) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10.
• There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Las Vegas: 2006 (270/267).
• Kyle Busch made his first start and Kasey Kahne won his first pole at Las Vegas, in the same event (2004).
• Aric Almirola made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2007.
• Three drivers have won consecutive races at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton (1999, 2000); Matt Kenseth (2003, 2004) and Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the three to win three consecutive races (2005, 2006 and 2007).
• Eight of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Las Vegas participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Mark Martin (1998; inaugural event) is the only driver to win at Las Vegas in his first appearance.
• Tony Stewart competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway 13 times before winning (2012); the longest span of any of the nine winners. Stewart is the only driver to have made 10 or more attempts before his first win at LVMS.
• Bobby Labonte leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas without visiting Victory Lane with 16.
• Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Las Vegas was the March 12, 2006 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.045 second.
• No driver has won the first three races of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The five drivers that have won the first two events of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season are: Matt Kenseth (2009), Jeff Gordon (1997), David Pearson (1976), Bob Welborn (1959) and Marvin Panch (1957).
• Three reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions have gone on to win at Las Vegas the following season: Matt Kenseth (2004), Jimmie Johnson is the only one to do it multiple times (2007, 2010) and Tony Stewart (2012).
• Three drivers have won at Las Vegas and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jeff Gordon (2001), Matt Kenseth (2003) and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2007 and 2010).(NASCAR)(3-4-2014)
Third-Annual Dover vs. Pocono Softball Game April 30: Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway take their yearly rivalry on to the field for the for the Third Annual Celebrity Softball Game, featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray. The game will be played on Wednesday, April 30 at the home of the York Revolution in York, Pa. Kahne, driver of the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy SS, will captain Team Pocono, while McMuray, who pilots the #1 Ganassi Racing Chevy SS, will lead Team Dover. The softball series is currently tied at one game a piece, with Team Pocono coming from behind to win the inaugural game in 2012 and Team Dover evening the score with a walk-off victory last year. Access to the celebrity softball game is free with a ticket to that night's baseball game. Tickets for the York Revolution game start at just $8, and all children ages 12 and younger that wear their NASCAR gear receive free admission. For tickets, call 717-801-4478 or visit www.YorkRevolution.com. In addition to Kahne and McMurray, the rosters from each team will be made up of members of national and local motorsports media, as well as other local media personalities, and a few other special guests.(Pocono Raceway)(3-9-2014)
Daytona Rising March Update: In addition to hosting successful events during Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 and the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Daytona International Speedway continued momentum related to the DAYTONA Rising project. The Speedway is now gearing up for DAYTONA 200 Week (March 7-15). Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in February:
• Steel installation and steel detailing in east and west ends of the project
• Stair installation in east and west ends of the project
• Footing installation near Injector 1 on the west end of the project; Poured wall for Injector 2
• Poured concrete onto decks near west end of project and continued masonry work on the east end near Injector 4, which is also known as the Toyota Injector.
Other recent project milestones:
• Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. became the first Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising. Beginning in 2015, the 11-year agreement will provide Toyota with naming rights for one of five fan injector entrances, a presence in the new "World Center of Racing" zone as well as other sponsorship rights.
• Kingspan Insulated Panels, a market leader in sustainable building product technology based in DeLand Florida, will become the first partner in the "We Built Daytona" platform for DAYTONA Rising. Following construction, the three-year marketing agreement will allow Kingspan to feature its building panel products in-use at the new Speedway, providing them with a real-time showroom.(DIS)(3-8-2014)
Press-Enterprise to sponsor pole day at Auto Club Speedway: The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif. has partnered with Auto Club Speedway as the title sponsor of NASCAR's Pole Day on March 21. NASCAR's new "knockout" elimination qualifying will set the pole sitter for the Auto Club 400 scheduled to run Sunday, March 23. In addition to title sponsor of NASCAR's Pole Day, The Press-Enterprise becomes the "Official News Media Partner", "Official News Media Partner of Auto Club Dragway" and "Official Printing Partner of Lefty's Kids Club." The newspaper will handle all of the printing of all Kids Club and Reading Challenge materials and will also distribute papers to all of the hospitality facilities as well as to all infield RV guests during race weekend.(ACS)(3-8-2014)
Vons to provide infield service during Auto Club 400 weekend: Southern California supermarket Vons, will be on site during NASCAR's Auto Club 400 Weekend to provide an array of grocery needs to infield guests. And if that news isn't good enough, Vons will be on site during NASCAR Weekends for the next three years. Parent company Safeway, one of the largest supermarket companies in the U.S., will be the official grocery partner of Auto Club Speedway. Vons currently boasts 275 stores that serve millions of Southern Californians. The 5,000-square foot store will open its doors on Thursday, March 20 and will be open every day throughout race weekend. The store will also be open on Monday, March 24 for campers to pick up any last-minute items before they return home. Race fans will be able to find all of their camping and cooking needs in the store, from charcoal to food and groceries, as well as ice, beer, snacks and other campground favorites. The store will also serve as the unofficial social hub of the campground as race fans start each day with coffee, donuts, breakfast burritos and the morning paper.(ACS)(3-7-2014)
Bristol Motor Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 12:00pm/et
Born in MARCH
9 Jeanne Barnes, Kevin Graves, Fred Bickford, Wilma Blevins, Danny Sullivan
10 Matt Kenseth, Mike Wallace, Roy McCauley, Ginny McClure, Kelly Denton, Randy Biggs, Louis Ossinsky Sr
11 Kathy Cindric, Albert Garwood, Derek Daly, Troy Ruttman
12 Lynne Garrow, Casey Mears, John Andretti, Red Byron, Terri Brooks, Lorrie Earp
13 Jeff Spraker
14 Artie Kempner, Aric Almirola, Albert Einstein, Kristen Yeley, Tina Gordon, Harold E. Holly Jr., David Poole, Lee Petty, Bill Rexford
15 Andy Graves
16 Jay Guarneri, Kevin Cywinski, Troy Andrews, Katrina Spencer, Wes Adams
17 Tom 'Tiger' Pistone, Gloria Lewis, Dee Eolin, Doug Rice
18 Mark Donohue, Ryan Truex, Alex Garcia, Jack Smith, Derrick Gilchrist
19 Brian Burns, Wyatt Dallenbach, Chris Graves, Tom Umscheid
20 Jeff Thousand, Mike Messick Jr.
21 Larry McClure, Fonty Flock, Jeff Krogh, Bob Hayden, Joe Menzer, Mike Moore
22 Marianne Fairlie, Billy Hagan, Pam Miller, Todd Trickle, Ronald Hayden, Eric Bilyeu, Mike Bodick, Jerry Wittig, Randy Heffner, Darrel Haskins, Tim Harrison
23 Andrew Fairlie, Erin Crocker, Mike McCarthy, Wes Adams, chaplain Tim Griffin, Johnny Beauchamp
24 Jimmy Makar, Brenda Young, Jim Makar, Austin Petty, Scott Pruett
25 Peg Adamczyk, Danica Patrick, Dave Moody, Donnie Disharoon, Justin Marks, John Ray, Doyle Ford, Bobby Calkins, Aaron Eaton, Tortuga Twins
26 Nathaniel O'Hare, Nina Feeney, Austin Green, Doug Williams, Natalee Jarrett, Dan Ford, Blaise Alexander
27 Cale Yarborough, Andy Hall, Maurice Petty, Keith Wilson, Jeff Fuller, Bob Kelly, Rodney Combs, Gary DeHart
28 Shelby Pressley, Chris Meyers, Peter Jellen
29 Kim Wood Hall, Jamie DiPietro, Carole Houchins, Olivia Andretti
30 Pam Bickford
31 Angus Young, Richard Jackson, Scott Houston, Dana White, Rocky Ryan
Born in APRIL
1 David Gilliland, Ruben Garcia, Kim Irvan
2 Sam Johns, Dan Pardus, Ricky Hendrick
3 The Garrow's, Speedy Thompson, Shorty Rollins, Jeff Wernham
4 Bill France Jr., Justin Diercks, Robert Richardson, Scott Brzozowski
5 Mike Bliss, Buffy Waltrip, Brandy Wallace, Eric Kerley
6 Ken Bouchard, Jeffrey Overcash, Chris Carrier, Ramo Stott, Herb Thomas, George Elliott
7 MRO's Billy Mauldin, Loy Allen Jr., Chandler Parrott, Brittany Elliott, Russell Crowe, Bill Carpenter
8 Matt Yocum, Bill Fleischman, Monte Dutton, Butch Mock, Junie Donlavey, Eddie Wood, Robert Pressley, Mark Green, Kathy Ehret, Connie Champion
9 Suzanne Belber, Ed Schafer, Jacques Villeneuve, Jamie Little, Chuck White, Hunter Nicole Dodson, Richard Brown
10 John Dowd, Steve Bisciotti, Kasey Kahne, Robby Pearson, Neil Castles Jr., D.K. Ulrich, Tom Dignan Sr
11 Karsyn Jarrett, Bass Master, Al Keller
12 Mike Calinoff, Tim McCreadie, Lori Lucus, Richard Hutcherson Jr., Bob Strait, Duane Cross, Curtis Turner
13 Dr. Joe Mattioli, Dalton Buice, Dan Gurney, Mike Ford, Jessica Punch
14 Tony Raines, Steve Byrnes
15 Bobby Hutchens, Marty Smith, Kevin Conway, Jason Rudd, Brian Holshouser