NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Entry List for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted, 41 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney*, #30-Gray Gaulding*, #32-Jeffrey Earnhardt, #55-Sorenson*, #83-Dylan Lupton, #93-DiBenedetto*, #95-McDowell, #98-Whitt*.
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney*, #30-Gaulding*, #55-Sorenson*, #93-DiBenedetto*, #98-Whitt*
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts, then owners pts): #93-DiBenedetto*.
    * Open Team (no Charter)
    See the full entry list on's Martinsville Entry List

  • NASCAR would consider moving up race start times because of weather: On Tuesday night, Major League Baseball announced it was moving the start time of Wednesday's World Series Game 2 an hour earlier based on rain in the forecast. Fox adjusted its TV schedule to accommodate the change. So when bad weather is predicted, why can't NASCAR do the same for its events? Well, it can -- under the right circumstances. "Every situation is unique, but we would consider altering a scheduled race start time due to weather, especially if we thought it would benefit fans," said Steve Herbst, NASCAR senior vice president, broadcasting and production, in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. "There are a multitude of variables that would factor into such a decision that would include tracks, broadcast partners and all of our stakeholders. That said, we would be open to having those discussions on a case-by-case basis and have had initial conversations of how that could work in 2017." Traditionally, NASCAR has been reluctant to move up the green flag time by more than 10 or 15 minutes - using the listed TV time as a barrier (when the race broadcast begins). NBC and Fox both declined to comment to USA TODAY Sports for this story, instead referring comment to NASCAR -- but it's clear there's some flexibility if the sport's officials, the network and the venue all agree. That was what happened for Wednesday night's World Series game, and it could potentially be the case at some point in NASCAR.(USA Today)(10-27-2016)

  • Gordon's final race...again: Sunday will mark four-time champion Jeff Gordon's final scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Gordon will be driving the blue-and-silver #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS this weekend. His career began on Nov. 15, 1992, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Richard Petty's final start. From 1992 through 2015, Gordon made 797 consecutive starts and racked up 93 wins, 325 top-five and 475 top-10 finishes in addition to his four championships. This weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway will be his eighth race filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016. On Nov. 1, 2015, Gordon led the final 22 laps at Martinsville Speedway en route to his ninth win at the Virginia short track and his 93rd career Cup victory. The defending race winner leads all active Cup drivers in wins (nine, third on the all-time list), poles (seven, second on the all-time list), top-five finishes (29), and laps led (3,779, second on the all-time list). He is tied with Richard Petty for the most top-10 Cup finishes of all time with 37, and holds the all-time record for lead-lap finishes (38) and for the least DNFs, having been running at the finish in every single one of his 46 races at the half-mile paperclip.(Hendrick Motorsports)
    AND: If Gordon leads 64 laps on Sunday, he will become only the sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver all-time to lead 25,000 or more laps, joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Petty, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson.(NASCAR)(10-27-2016)

  • Speedway Motorsports earnings benefit from Battle at Bristol: SMI this morning announced a mixed bag for its Q3 earnings report, as admissions revenue for core events was down but profit from non-core events was up sharply on the back of the Battle at Bristol college football game. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, total revenue was $170.7M, up 16% from last year's $144.41M, thanks to the Tennessee-Virginia Tech football game on Sept. 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway. SMI reported in [Wednesday's] earnings that it profited between $5-6M from the game. SMI President & CEO Marcus Smith followed up in the earnings call by saying that SMI is ""pleased with the results of the game" and is "certainly working to that goal"" of adding more major, non-core events of this nature as a result. Q3 admissions revenue from core events, which included eight races, was down about 6%, from $31.6M in Q3 last year to $29.7M this year. SMI noted that it has continued to be plagued by poor weather at some of its events this season, including Bristol's Sprint Cup race during Q3, which was postponed a day. As expected, broadcast revenue rose by $2M or 3.1%, as part of the track's take from NASCAR's media-rights deals. (Sports Business Daily)(10-27-2016)

  • Talladega TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Talladega, the sixth race in the Chase For the Cup, earned a 2.2 final rating and 3.6 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday afternoon - down 15% in ratings and 16% in viewership from last year (2.6, 4.2M) and down 27% and 28%, respectively, from 2014 on ESPN (3.0, 4.8M). Joey Logano's win ranks as the lowest rated edition of the race since at least 2000 and the least-watched since at least 2001, falling below the previous marks set last year. Even with the lower numbers, Talladega delivered the highest rating and viewership of this year's Chase For the Cup, edging the previous marks of 2.1 and 3.4 million. It ranks as the highest rated and most-watched race since Darlington on NBC Labor Day weekend (2.8, 4.6M).(Sports Media Watch), see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(10-27-2016)

  • Stewart-Haas Racing signs deal with Nike: Stewart-Haas Racing has signed a six-figure value-in-kind deal with Nike to outfit the team starting next season, when SHR switches manufacturers from Chevy to Ford. SHR did not previously have a sole apparel manufacturer and instead had different brands worn by team members. However, because of the switch to Ford, SHR will have to get all new apparel since Chevy's logo is on its current gear, and the team decided the time was right to go out and find one official partner. Nike will outfit the organization with various forms of apparel, and in return gets the exposure from the gear being worn publicly, plus signage on SHR's pit practice facility and weight room.
    Meanwhile, [SHR VP/Sales & Marketing Mike Verlander] said that as part of the switchover from Chevy to Ford, SHR will also slightly tweak its logo. The new logo is not ready to be released, but Verlander said it will be a small change. SHR currently has a light blue logo, so switching to a darker shade to align with Ford's darker-blue logo is a possibility.(Sports Business Daily)(10-27-2016)

  • Martinsville Track Notes & History:
    Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States.
    The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.
    The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was Sept. 25, 1949.
    The track was paved in 1955.
    The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.
    Concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976.

  • Tricia Helfer to give command to fire engines at Martinsville: A star on the FOX hit drama "Lucifer" and long-time NASCAR fan Tricia Helfer will say the most famous words in racing, "Drivers, Start Your Engines," before the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Best known as the face of the series, and for her Leo award-winning lead performance as the humanoid, Cylon 'Number Six' in the critically acclaimed Syfy series, "Battlestar Galactica," Helfer has since gone on to book leading roles on a wide variety of networks. Before acting, Helfer launched her modeling career at age 17, and erupted into an international superstar after winning the Ford Models' Supermodel of the World Contest in 1992.(Martinsville Speedway)(10-27-2016)

  • Talladega warnings announced: NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on October 23, 2016.
    #5-Kahne (0; penalty served in Talladega) & #78-Truex, Jr. (0; penalty served in Talladega) Failed LIS twice in pre-race inspection and were given written warnings.
    #32-Labonte (0; penalty served in Talladega) & #47-Allmendinger (1) Failed template inspection twice in pre-race inspection and were given written warnings.
    () -- total current warnings.
    See the Talladega Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(10-269-2016)

  • Mike Wallace testifies in assault trial UPDATE: Former NASCAR driver Mike Wallace still suffers from black floaters in his right eye and still has problems with depth perception from injuries suffered in an alleged assault June 17 following a Rascal Flatts concert. Wallace testified about his injuries Tuesday during the first day of trial for three men charged with misdemeanors assaulting him, his daughter and son-in-law. The men -- Paul Lucas, 29, Nathan Lucas, 24, and Randolph Mangum, 23 -- pleaded not guilty during the arraignment prior to the start of the trial. The 57-year-old Wallace also suffered a broken tooth that he still needs to have replaced as well as lacerations in his mouth. His daughter in law Lindsey Wallace Van Wingerden suffered a broken wrist and black eye. Under cross examination, the focus was on Wallace's actions that night. He said he had four drinks - two at dinner and two during the concert. He said he wasn't inebriated. He had taken anti-anxiety medication earlier in the day, medication that his prescription indicated he was not supposed to mix with alcohol. In other testimony, the arresting police officer indicated that he was told the men charged in the fight acted in self-defense. The police investigation report includes three additional victims, including people with the last name Lucas and Mangum. The trial will continue Wednesday morning.(
    UPDATE: A mistrial was declared in the trial of three men charged in a alleged assault of former NASCAR driver Mike Wallace, his daughter and son-in-law. Two potential witnesses were in the courtroom for part of the first day of trial Tuesday -- violating the sequestration order in the case -- and North Carolina District Court Judge Ronald Chapman determined their testimony could be influenced by what they saw. No new trial date was set.(

  • NASCAR will limit Cup drivers in lower series: In an announcement that will put an even brighter spotlight on the next generation of stars and bolster the identity of all three of its national series, NASCAR announced on Wednesday driver participation guidelines for the 2017 season. The new guidelines limit the number of events a premier series driver can race in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Starting next season, premier series drivers with more than five years of full-time experience will be eligible to compete in a maximum of 10 races in the XFINITY Series and seven races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
    Additionally, drivers with more than five years of full-time premier series experience will be ineligible to compete in the final eight races in each series, as well as the Dash 4 Cash races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The final eight races are comprised of the regular season finale and the entirety of the Chase in each series. Drivers earning premier series points in 2017 also are not eligible to compete in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    "The updated guidelines will elevate the stature of our future stars, while also providing them the opportunity to compete against the best in professional motorsports," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "These updated guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort involving the entire industry, and will ultimately better showcase the emerging stars of NASCAR."
    Drivers with more than five years of full-time experience in the premier series still can run for an XFINITY Series or Camping World Truck Series championship, provided they have declared for championship points in the respective series.
    Wednesday's announcement signals the next step in NASCAR's driver participation guideline evolution. Prior to the 2016 season, NASCAR announced that members of the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field would be ineligible to compete in the 2016 Championship Race in both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In 2011, NASCAR implemented a rule requiring drivers to select one of the three national series in which to collect championship points.(NASCAR)(10-26-2017)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports partners with American Red Cross at Martinsville: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that the American Red Cross, one of the nation's premier humanitarian organizations, will be featured as the primary partner on the #44 Ford Fusion driven by Brian Scott this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. With a history of giving back to the community, Richard Petty Motorsports and Scott will support giving back to the victims of Hurricane Matthew with a paint scheme donning a phone number to text and donate money to relief efforts. More than two weeks after Hurricane Matthew struck Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and parts of Virginia, the American Red Cross has served more than 1.3 million meals and snacks, and provided 99,000 overnight shelter stays to people in need, prompting the charity to issue a call for the public's help. The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Fans can help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999, which will be featured on the #44 Ford Fusion this weekend, to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see images of the car on the #44 team paint schemes page.(10-26-2016)

  • Martinsville Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series will run the same tire set-up at Martinsville this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires these teams have run at this track since October 2014 . . . this left-side tire code has been run at this track since April 2013 . . . Martinsville is the only track at which NASCAR teams have run either of these two tire codes this season . . . Goodyear held a tire test at Martinsville on October 4-5, looking ahead to 2017 . . . drivers participating in that test were Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Martin Truex Jr. . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Martinsville.(Goodyear), see full notes, tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Martinsville Race Info page

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Martinsville:
    #88-Jeff Gordon............................... 119.5
    #48-Jimmie Johnson........................ 117.8
    #11-Denny Hamlin........................... 108.1
    #18-Kyle Busch................................. 98.8
    #14-Tony Stewart.............................. 96.0
    #4-Kevin Harvick.............................. 95.4
    #15-Clint Bowyer............................... 90.2
    #2-Brad Keselowski......................... 89.7
    #22-Joey Logano............................... 89.1
    #20-Matt Kenseth.............................. 87.1
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (23 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

  • Texas offering VIP experience to Antarctica resident Texas Motor Speedway has become an international destination over the past five years with NASCAR and Verizon IndyCar Series race fans visiting the world-renowned motorsports venue from 41 countries and territories. They have arrived from literally all ends of the earth, with six of the world's seven continents represented including North America, South America, Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe. Not surprising, the lone one missing is Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole that is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. But that isn't going to deter Texas Motor Speedway for striving for perfection by having a fan representing every continent attend a race in this five-year span during its 20th anniversary season of racing. It may appear to be an implausible idea to identify a race fan from Antarctica, but let's not forget that the National Science Foundation's United States Antarctic Program (USAP) is stationed there and those employees return to their U.S. homes after their tenures. There also have been military deployments over the years. Texas Motor Speedway is searching for any individual that can prove they were a temporary resident of Antarctica and their reward will be a free VIP package to the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader weekend Nov. 4-6. The speedway will provide that individual along with a guest a pair of suite tickets for the race weekend, pre-race passes to the concert by country artist Jake Owen, access to the Sprint Cup drivers' meeting and garage passes along with a Texas Motor Speedway "No Limits" merchandise package.(TMS)(10-26-2016)

  • Biffle ready for a change? UPDATES: After re-signing with RFR in 2014, Biffle hasn't sniffed the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the last two seasons. He thought 2016 might be the year. With a new crew chief in Brian Pattie, a lower-downforce aero package from the sanctioning body and a renewed effort at Roush, things appeared to line up for NASCAR's elder statesman. And now, he's 24th in the standings with just one top-five finish, at Loudon. So when Biffle said his most recent contract might be his last, it's understandable. "Well, if I talk to you Sunday after the race in here, maybe that will be some inspiration," Biffle said in the media center where the winner is interviewed following the race. "I want to be competitive in races and run in the top 10. That's my goal and my focus. If I'm not doing that, then I am probably going to do something different." Biffle has been rumored to be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. Although he owns the building that headquarters HScott Motorsports in North Carolina, Biffle said he has not discussed racing for Harry Scott after Clint Bowyer leaves in November. Biffle has heard the rumors that he'll end up and Front Row Motorsports - a technical partner - but given his loyalty to Roush over his career, that's unlikely to be something he'd consider. Still, it would take something more promising - and competitive - to pique his interest in continuing down the current path.(Motorsport)(10-15-2016)
    UPDATE: hearing Biffle will leave Roush Fenway Racing and go to a second team fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing. No word if the team would secure a charter.(10-22-2016)
    UPDATE 2: When reached out to JTGD team owner Tad Geschickter via text on Monday, he replied, "We are weighing the pros and cons of starting a second team as we speak." Geschickter expects to stay the course with RCR after their contract expires at the end of the year. Although the Wood Brothers have shared a shop with JTGD since the end of the 2005 season, the #21 team is transitioning to a new home in Mooresville. The additional space would provide ample room for JTGD to expand to a second car.(Motorsport)(10-25-2016)

  • Five Non-Chase Storylines Heading into the Goody's Fast Relief 500: This weekend NASCAR returns to Martinsville Speedway for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 weekend. With the a lot of focus being on the Chase for the Sprint Cup, here are five non-chase related storylines:
    1. Jeff Gordon - The defending race winner finds himself back in the Martinsville lineup, subbing for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gordon, a nine-time Martinsville winner, could very well be making his last start in NASCAR's top series and has the chance to go out on top.
    2. Ford - A Ford has not won at Martinsville since Kurt Busch won driving for Roush-Fenway Racing in 2002. Recently, Brad Keselowski has finished second and Joey Logano was in a position to win last fall, before an incident with Matt Kenseth late in the race ended his day. Could this be the year that Ford returns to Victory Lane at Martinsville?
    3. Non-Chasers Winning - The focus will be on the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and which driver will be the first to clinch a spot in the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway. However, two years ago, after being eliminated from championship contention, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won, keeping a Chase driver from locking up a spot. Can it happen again? A.J. Allmendinger, Jamie McMurray, Keselowski and Gordon have finished second in the last four Martinsville races and all four are out of championship contention.
    4. Jimmie Johnson - The six-time champion is an eight-time Martinsville winner, the most among full-time, active drivers. However, the driver of the No. 48 hasn't won at Martinsville since April, 2013 and averaged a 22nd place finish in his last four Martinsville starts.
    5. Joey Logano - The driver of the No. 22 will look to make Martinsville Speedway history on Virginia Lottery Pole Day, by becoming the first driver to win four consecutive Sprint Cup Series poles in the track's 69 year history.(Martinsville Speedway)(10-25-2016)

  • Halloween M&M's scheme for Busch at Martinsville: Halloween is here and, as has been typical for Kyle Busch the #18 M&M'S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), the colorful candy maker will go racing with a special Halloween scheme Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway to celebrate Halloween the following day. The spooky-looking M&M'S scheme will race Sunday at a place that used to challenge Busch earlier in his career and early on in his now almost nine-year tenure with JGR. In fact, Busch finished outside the top-10 in three out of his first four races with JGR in 2008 and 2009. By contrast, Busch has scored four top-five finishes in his last seven starts there, with his worst finish being 15th.
    Q) Your racecar is sporting the special M&M's Halloween paint scheme this week. What was your favorite Halloween costume that you wore as a kid?
    Kyle Busch: "Actually, one year I went as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I think that was my favorite costume as a kid. I was Michelangelo and I even had the fake nunchuk. One year, I was a football player and, one year, I even dressed up as Jeff Gordon since he was my favorite racecar driver when I was a kid."(JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page (10-25-2016)

  • State Water Heaters returns to sponsor Kurt Busch: The #41 Chevy of Kurt Busch wears the colors of State Water Heaters at Martinsville Speedway. State Water Heaters, based in Ashland, Tennessee, is a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential water heaters, and has seven water heater manufacturing plants and hundreds of distribution centers across the United States to ensure efficient service to the company's national customer base of homeowners, wholesalers, contractors and members of the engineering community (SHR), see an image of the car on the #41 Team Schemes page (10-25-2016)

  • E.J. Wade Construction Returns to Sponsor two BK Racing cars :BK Racing announced that E.J. Wade Construction will return at Martinsville Speedway as primary sponsor on the #83 Toyota driven by Dylan Lupton and the #93 Toyota driven by Matt DiBenedetto. The Goody's Fast Relief 500 will be Dylan Lupton's third race with BK Racing. "We're proud to have E.J. Wade Construction back on two cars at Martinsville Speedway this weekend," said Doug Fritz, CMO of BK Racing. "E.J. Wade Construction has strong ties with the Virginia community and we love being able to partner with local companies." Headquartered in Mechanicsville, Virginia, E.J. Wade Construction is a Class A Contractor and a VDOT Prequalified Contractor. They have highly trained professionals with tradesman licenses in electrical, plumbing, HVAC and gas fitting. "We are excited to expand our relationship with Ron Devine, Doug Fritz and everyone at BK Racing by adding another E.J. Wade sponsored race to the schedule," said Jeff Wade President of E.J. Wade Construction. "All of us here at E.J. Wade Construction can't wait to watch Matt and Dylan race at Martinsville."(BK Racing)(10-25-2016)

  • Lap Leaders after 32 races:
    Driver, Laps Led
    1) #78-Martin Truex Jr, 1,590
    2) #18-Kyle Busch, 1,371
    3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 1,305
    4) #19-Carl Edwards, 834
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 715
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 626
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski, 540
    8) #11-Denny Hamlin, 467
    9) #22-Joey Logano, 440
    10) #24-Chase Elliott, 350
    39 drivers have led at least one lap

  • Kyle Busch gives teens NASCAR experience of a lifetime: #18-Kyle Busch gave two NASCAR fans the homecoming experience of a lifetime, but the fun didn't stop there. In addition to sending the couple a race car to drive to the dance in style, Busch invited the two out to Talladega to watch him compete in the NSCS Hellmann's 500 on Sunday. Holman Head and his long time friend, Taylor Johnson, got to experience NASCAR like they never had before. "Holman said it was the best day of his life," said Johnson. "And it truly was great!" When they arrived, the couple had the opportunity to ride around the track in a pace car, got a tour from Busch's crew chief, learned what the crew does on race day and took home many goodies.(

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway & Red Cross to collect donations for NC Flood Victims: Charlotte Motor Speedway and SMI Properties will host a week-long donation drive to collect bottled water and trash bags for victims of the recent flooding in eastern North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew. Crews will collect bottled water and heavy-duty trash bags, to be distributed in partnership with the American Red Cross to communities in need. Monetary donations will also be accepted. From Monday, Oct. 24, through Saturday, Oct. 29, 12:00pm - 6:00pm/et. A collection site will be set up at the main entrance of Charlotte Motor Speedway throughout the week. Fans in town for the Bad Boy Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals can also leave donations at the main entrance to The Dirt Track at Charlotte.(CMS)(10-25-2016)

  • Chuck Norris to introduce Chase drivers at Texas: International film and television star Chuck Norris, known universally for his ageless machoism, will introduce the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers still vying for the series championship when they arrive Sunday, Nov. 6, for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Norris will introduce the eight drivers still in contention for the championship - Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch - that will include a special twist during pre-race activities leading up to the AAA Texas 500. Texas Motor Speedway also will begin a week-long contest that will run through Monday, Oct. 31, where fans can submit their own meme for any of the Round of 8 Chase drivers. The contest info will be available on all of the speedway's social media platforms with a link to the meme album on its Facebook page for submissions. If a fan's submission is selected, it will be featured on Big Hoss during the driver introductions and then printed, signed by Norris and mailed to the individual. Tickets for the AAA Texas 500 begin as low as $49 and are available by visiting or by calling the speedway ticket office at 817.215.8500.(TMS)(10-25-2016)

  • NASCAR: JGR strategy didn't violate 100% rule: NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell, appearing on "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday, said he did not expect the sanctioning body to take action against Joe Gibbs Racing for its strategy of dropping three cars to the back of the pack during Sunday's Chase elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway. O'Donnell said employing that strategy did not constitute a violation of NASCAR's 100% rule. "I would say that they do not fall into that," O'Donnell said when asked about the 100% rule. "The spirit of that rule is really to prevent somebody from intentionally allowing another teammate to do something that would not be really within the spirit of the rules of the race. In this case, we look at the strategy decision that the team made, and they executed it. ... In this case, that wouldn't be something that we look at that violated that rule."(NASCAR). The 100% rule: "NASCAR requires its competitors to race at 100 percent of their ability with the goal of achieving their best possible finishing position in an event" (ESPN)
    AND #20-Kenseth finished 28th, #20-Edwards 29th and #18-Busch 30th at Talladega, good enough to advance to the semifinal round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers never made much of a move, dropping to the rear of the field before the green flag ever fell and staying there throughout the day.(ESPN)(10-24-2016)

  • Confrontation between Harvick and Kurt Busch on pit road: #4-Kevin Harvick confronted Stewart-Haas Racing teammate #41-Kurt Busch on pit road after Sunday's race at Talladega, appearing to lean into Busch's car and initiate physical contact. Harvick apparently was upset that Busch hit the #4 car on the cool-down lap; it's unclear why Busch was angry with Harvick. Busch finished fourth while Harvick was seventh, and both drivers advanced to the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. But NBC Sports Network later showed footage of a confrontation, which occurred while Busch still was sitting in his car.(USA Today, see video at NBCSports)(10-24-2016)

  • Talladega Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Hellmann's 500: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 2:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:34 PM (all times are EDT). NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 122
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 58
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 96
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 26
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 21
    Number of times NBCSN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:34 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 214
    Minutes of race broadcast: 175
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 39
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 10
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 175 Total comm. brdcst time 39
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at

  • Brian Scott scores career best finish at Talladega: Before Sunday's race at Talladega, Richard Petty Motorsports had suffered through 31 races without a top-10 finish. Drivers #44-Brian Scott and #43-Aric Almirola changed that. Scott ran a perfectly crafted race and finished second to #22-Joey Logano, and Almirola came home eighth after working his way forward during the final 40 laps of the Hellman's 500. "A good finish always helps," Scott said. "It helps with the team. It helps with the guys at the shop, the morale. Just trying to get any bit of a bright spot in this year has been difficult. I think that this is by far the brightest spot that we've had in a really challenging 2016 for Richard Petty Motorsports. I don't know. ... I guess the results and what this does for us going forward is yet to be determined. But just proud. I mean, the guys have worked hard all year. They've deserved a lot better finishes than we've given them. Just proud to deliver a good, solid top five, to do my job behind the wheel to give us a shot at the win-just have a good day for Richard Petty Motorsports." Scott's previous best finish in his first 48 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts was 12th (two times), most recently at Auto Club Speedway in March.(NASCAR Wire Service), and Scott was the rookie of the race.(10-24-2016)

  • Dillon fails to advance in Chase due to tiebreaker: Facing an overtime restart with two laps left in the Hellman's 500 on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, crew chief Slugger Labbe reminded driver #3-Austin Dillon of the relevant numbers. Dillon had to finish no more than five positions behind #11-Denny Hamlin to secure a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Round of 8-as long as Hamlin didn't win the race. Dillon had done everything right to that point. He had earned a bonus point by staying out for an extra circuit and leading Lap 117 under the second caution of the afternoon. He gained three spots after a restart on Lap 186 and was 11th when the green flag waved for the final time on Lap 191. On the final two laps, he worked his way forward to ninth before the checkered flag ended the race. Only one problem. Hamlin beat #41-Kurt Busch to the stripe by .006 seconds-approximately two feet-to finish third. The two drivers finished the Round of 12 tied for eighth with 3,078 points, but Hamlin won a tiebreaker for the final Chase spot because his third-place finish on Sunday was better than Dillon's best Round-of-12 finish of sixth last week at Kansas.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-24-2016)

  • Keselowski comments on engine failure and getting eliminated from Chase: #2-Brad Keselowski was for the lead at Talladega with 44 laps to go when his engine expired. He was in the lead when debris stuck to the grille, forcing him to give up the lead to #21-Ryan Blaney and try to get the debris off the grille and cool the water temp of the engine. The engine blew a lap after he dropped to second. Some comments from Keselowski:
    Keselowski: "It looks like we lost an engine. I'm pretty confident I lost a rod or something in the lower end. That's just the way it goes."
    Keselowski: "I don't know. I'm not an engine guy, but the car was really strong and we definitely kept finding debris. I thought I got it cooled off and only got it slightly over, but I don't know."
    Keselowski: "Yeah, that's racing."
    Keselowski: "We just had a tremendous racing going, but it wasn't meant to be."
    Keselowski: "No, it just went right away. That's the way it goes."
    Keselowski: "Something let go. I'm not sure exactly what, but it's unfortunate. We had a really fast Miller Lite Ford and that kind of ended our day. It was a lot of fun to be leading at Talladega. I really like this track. It's been good to us and there are a lot of great fans here today. We were doing the best we could to make a show of it and have some fun and lead some laps and just happy and proud to have a fast car."
    Keselowski: "Win more races."
    (Ford Performance)(10-24-2016)

  • Truex Jr. talks about the engine failure at Talladega: #78-Martin Truex Jr. saw his championship hopes go up in smoke on Lap 41 of the Hellmann's 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway when his #78 Toyota suffered engine failure. A transcript of an interview after the incident:
    Q) What happened that took you out of the race?
    Martin Truex Jr.: "Just developed a vibration and started to lose a little bit of power. Originally I thought it could have been a tire because it was shaking worse and worse and worse until it was time to pit. I slowed down to hit pit road and felt the vibration still there and knew it was the engine. Definitely not the way we wanted today to go - it's a tough way to go out, but proud of the effort and proud of all the guys. The engines have been great all year and every once in a while you'll have a failure and it's unfortunate that it was with everything on the line. I don't know, it is what it is and it's racing. It's part of it and we'll move on. We're going to go try to win the last five races or whatever is left and have a good end to our season."
    Q) Should the other Toyota teams be concerned for the rest of this race?
    Truex Jr.: "I don't think so. I guess you never know, but it seems like we're still running the same engines at plate tracks that we've been running the rest of the year and they've been really good and really reliable. I'm sure it was just a part failure or mechanical issue. Just unfortunate."
    Q) How difficult is it to walk away with this as the end to your championship hopes this season?
    Truex Jr.: "It will be real hard when we win the next four races."
    Q) What did you see when you were under the car in the garage and what happened?
    Truex Jr.: "Got a big hole in the oil pan. It was a catastrophic engine failure, but all in all it's just a tough way to go out for us. We really thought we were going to have a good day. We had a fast Toyota and it's just a shame. We didn't really get to see what we had or see if we could make it through the big wrecks. I wish we could have raced all day at least and see how it shakes out. It's part of racing and that's the way it goes some days and unfortunately today wasn't our day."
    Q) How would you sum up your team's Chase this year?
    Truex Jr.: "It's been a roller coaster that's for sure. I wish we could have done a better job at Kansas and Charlotte and maybe had a free pass coming here. That certainly would have been big knowing the circumstances, but we did the best we could. We have a great team and we've had a great season and we're going to go out and try to win the rest of the races and see what we can do."
    Q) How disappointing is this outcome after how strong your Chase has been?
    Truex Jr.: "It's definitely disappointing, but what else can you say. We had a team capable of competing for the championship and unfortunately we're not going to be able to show that. I guess there's still a chance of a miracle, but I don't see it happening. Just have to wait and see how it all plays out today. Just disappointed, but all in all proud of my team for the effort. It's been a really good season for us. We've still got four more races we can go out and win and we plan on doing that. We'll hold our heads high, it's been a good year and it's disappointing knowing the possibilities, but all in all you can't do anything about it and that's racing some days."
    Q) How is your team handling this situation?
    Truex Jr.: "I'm sure they're devastated. They've worked so hard this year to put us in the position to battle for a championship and we felt like we could do it. This year and this sport is tough and we didn't perform at Kansas and Charlotte the way we were capable and we had some issues there and that put us in the hole and if we could have went there and done better and maybe got a win then we wouldn't be talking about this right now. We didn't get the job done, but we've got a great team and we've got four more races to go out there and try to get a win and I know we can win all four of them and that's what we're going to try to do."
    Q) What were your thoughts when you realized it was the engine?
    Truex Jr.: "Just damn, it just hurts to go out like that. We could have raced all day, got in a big wreck and still not made it - there's no telling, but it sure would have been nice to at least find out and at least play the whole game so to speak and see what would have happened. To barely make it to the first pit stop hurts. It's the way it goes some days. Some things you just can't explain. TRD (Toyota Racing Development) has done a great job with our engines all year long with no failures and our plate tracks engines have been great, no failures. I'm sure it was a part failure or some unforeseen circumstance and that makes it hurt a little bit worse even. All in all, we can't hang our heads and we have a lot to be proud of. This is going to make us stronger."(Toyota Racing)(10-23-2016)

  • Go Fas Racing looking at options for 2017: "Let's face it, anybody in the bottom three is exploring all their options right now,'' car owner Archie St. Hilaire said. St. Hilaire's Go Fas Racing team ranks last in the standings among charter teams. He seeks a partnership. He is willing to lease his charter and partner with another chartered team if that will help his team grow. If a chartered team finishes in the bottom three among the 36 chartered teams in the owner standings three consecutive years, NASCAR has the right to remove that charter. Although the first year with this system isn't yet complete, teams aren't waiting to act. St. Hilaire said he hopes to have an idea in the next month what direction he'll go.(NBC Sports)(10-22-2016)

  • Eagles hook up Truex Jr. with gifts: #78-Martin Truex Jr., from nearby Mayetta, New Jersey, received a customized Philadelphia Eagles jersey and game ball from their 34-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers during his weekly press conference at Talladega Superspeedway this week. Truex, of course, is a diehard Eagles fan. He was supposed to visit the team during practice when the Sprint Cup Series was in Dover, Delaware, but had to cancel due to a scheduled NASCAR testing session.(247Sports)(10-22-2016)

  • NASCAR Torque series released: Panini America, the official trading card partner of NASCAR, released their 2016 Torque NASCAR Racing cards in hobby shops across the country. Prior to teaming up with Panini in August, NASCAR was without a trading card partner for two years, and they are ready to deliver to anxious fans everything they have been waiting for and more. Panini's Torque card product contains everything from sheet-metal cards (sheet metal taken from the cars) to oversized memorabilia cards (race-worn fire suits, gloves, shoes, etc., and race-used tires). Torque is packed with content both on the autograph and memorabilia sides; it also delivers a compelling array of photography, technology, and tributes to all-time greats, paint schemes, superstar helmets and so much more.(more info at

  • Latest on Mears 2017 plans: Casey Mears says he and the Germain Racing #13 team are concentrating their efforts only on the remaining five races of 2016 and can't speak about next year. "Not at the moment," Mears said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. "Right now we're just focused on what we talked about at the beginning of the season. Focus on the remainder of this year first and foremost." Rumors have Germain opting to replace Mears next season, possibly with NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ty Dillon. Dillon's Richard Childress Racing organization has a technical alliance with Germain. Geico, the #13 team's primary sponsor, is signed through 2018. In many cases, sponsor and driver contracts run concurrently. "As I know more, we can talk about it," Mears said. "But right now we're just focused on getting through this weekend."(

  • Chevy Teams Up With American Cancer Society For Breast Cancer Awareness: Once again, during the month of October, Chevrolet has partnered with the American Cancer Society to help raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. This is Chevrolet's sixth year partnering with the ASC, in which it has raised $6 million over the course of time. Across the United States, Chevrolet and its dealerships are supporting the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program through event sponsorships, team participation, customer engagement and other activities. But, the brand has other ways to raise awareness, too. Through October, Chevy will donate $5 for each Twitter and Instagram social post utilizing the hashtag #IDriveFor, up to $500,000. And in motorsports, the Chevrolet SS sedan pace car will be once again draped in pink. The breast cancer awareness pace car will debut at two NASCAR Sprint Cup Races at Talladega Superspeedway on October 23 and Martinsville Speedway on October 30. Furthermore, Chevrolet will donate $350 for each caution lap taken in the pink Chevy SS pace car at the two events up to $50,000.(GM Authority)(10-21-2016)

  • Cheez-It / Kelloggs leaving Roush/Watkins Glen: Cheez-It is not renewing its current deals in NASCAR, as the Kellogg's-owned brand confirmed to THE DAILY this morning that it will let its deals with Roush Fenway Racing, Watkins Glen International and track owner ISC expire after this season. However, the brand stopped short of confirming that it will fully exit the sport. Cheez-It, which signed on in 2015 with RFR's #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle for a handful of races as primary sponsor, also has been the entitlement partner of WGI's annual Sprint Cup Series race since 2013. The company in a statement said, "As part of our ongoing evaluation of company sponsorships and other business activities, the Kellogg Company has decided not to renew its sponsorship of Roush Fenway Racing, Watkins Glen International and the International Speedway Corporation. All of the people within these organizations have been tremendous partners and we have truly enjoyed our association with them, the drivers and the fans." Sources added that Cheez-It had been shopping its deal with other teams in recent months.(Sports Business Daily)(10-20-2016)

  • Gray Gaulding set to make Cup Series debut at Martinsville: 18 year old NASCAR Next alumnus, Gray Gaulding will take the next step in his career making a debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS.) Gaulding will drive the #30 Feed the Children Chevy for The Motorsports Group (TMG) at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2016. "It's exciting bringing a new partner into the series and to be making my NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at a track like Martinsville (Speedway) where we've had a really good history in the past is honestly unfathomable" said Gaulding. "I'm excited to partner with Feed the Children and use NASCAR as a platform to deliver our message and work to create a world where no child goes to bed hungry. A lot has happened in a short period of time but I've never been as excited to debut this beautiful Feed the Children car next week at Martinsville Speedway."
    "We are pleased to sponsor Gray Gaulding, the youngest NASCAR driver in the Martinsville field and one of the most promising and fierce competitors among the many legendary NASCAR drivers who have made NASCAR one of the most exciting sports in America," said the Hon. J.C. Watts, Jr., president and CEO of Feed the Children. "He's not only bold in his approach, he's also blazing new trails, and we at Feed the Children strive to do the same. Gray knows firsthand the value of family, especially the NASCAR family who has joined us in our work as we have brought disaster relief to those whose lives and livelihoods have been severely affected by Hurricane Matthew and all the subsequent flooding."
    "We're grateful to be partnering with Feed the Children in their mission to provide hope and resources for those without life's essentials" said Stephen Lynn, chief executive officer for GGR Enterprises. Along with their debut at Martinsville Speedway, Gaulding and the #30 Feed the Children team will also make starts at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami in November. Help take action and donate to end hunger by texting FEED30 to 41444.(GGR Enterprises)
    Josh Wise has driven the #30 all season until the team skipped Talladega this week. The team is an open team, Gaulding will have to qualify for the races on speed.(10-20-2016)

  • Earnhardt Jr. joins the Cup broadcast booth for next two races: NBC Sports announced that Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of Hendrick Motorsports' #88 Chevy, will join the NBC Sports broadcast booth for portions of two upcoming Sprint Cup broadcasts. Earnhardt, who has not raced since July as he recovers from a concussion, will lend his expertise as an analyst during NBCSN's coverage this Sunday from Talladega Superspeedway, as well as the following Sunday from Martinsville Speedway. Inside the NBCSN broadcast booth, Earnhardt will reunite with his former crew chief Steve Letarte, and work alongside race announcer Rick Allen and fellow analyst Jeff Burton. Sunday marks Earnhardt's first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup broadcasting assignment. "I'm excited to see these races from a different vantage point and hopefully offer some insight to the viewers," said Earnhardt. "I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to broadcast the XFINITY race at Michigan earlier this year, so I expect getting to spend time in the booth with the NBC team to be just as fun."(NBC Sports)(10-20-2016)

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

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27 Anne B. France, Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance

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29 Teresa Earnhardt, Chris Buescher, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Coleman Dollarhide, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy Adamczyk

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5 Elton Sawyer Jr., Doug George

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7 Judy Allison, Matthew Bodine, Gilbert "Pops" Gentle, Andy Houston, Dick May, Cody Ware

8 Jason Burdett, Ed Berrier, Jim Inglebright, Teri MacDonald, John Bisci, Donny Lia, Ingrid Vandebosch, Joey Elliott

9 Rick Carelli, Nancy Sterling, Bill Kimm, John Holman, Ed Otto

10 U.S. Marines [1775], Britt Goodrich

11 Mike Hembree, Barry Bodine, Chris Horn, Rob Morgan, Loni Richardson

12 Ryan Buscaglio, Tom Ehret, Wally Dallenbach Sr., Larry Hedrick, Gene Haas

13 Drew Blickensderfer, Karen Friddell, Katie Wallace, Tim Kuhn, Jeff Hallowell

14 none

15 Gene Haas, H.B. Bailey, Steve Lane, Sean Cotten

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