Dover TV Ratings: ESPN's telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover on Saturday, Sept. 27, had a rise in its rating and viewership over the 2013 race. The telecast earned a 1.2 U.S. rating, up from a 1.1 last year, and averaged 1,859,000 viewers, up from 1,641,000 last year.(ESPN)(9-30-2014)
Mike Harmon Racing penalized after Dover: The #74 team that competes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series has been penalized for a rules infraction committed during a Sept. 26 practice at Dover International Speedway. The infraction is a P3 level penalty as outlined in Section 12-4.3 of the rule book and violates sections:
" 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
" 20A-2.3A: Added car weight. Weight not properly attached. Weight fell out during the event.
As a result of this violation, crew chief Gary Ritter has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(9-30-2014)
Crew member suspended: William Coralline, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On Sept. 24, Coralline was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2014 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(9-30-2014)
Australian-owned team announces plans UPDATE: NASCAR is coming to Salisbury (North Carolina), according to the head of an Australian based team that hopes to field a truck in the Camping World Truck Series, and a car in the Nationwide Series. Roo Motorsports is expected to announce that it will set up its racing headquarter in the Speedway Industrial Park just off I-85. The park is now home to a quarter midget race track and other businesses. Robert Van Geons, head of RowanWORKS, the economic development platform for Salisbury and Rowan County told WBTV about the announcement. Roo Racing will be the first Australian owned race team to compete in a NASCAR touring series, according to Van Geons. Scott Saunders is slated to be the driver for the team. Scott is a relatively unknown Australian Motorsports star due to most of his racing career being outside of Australia, according to his web site. Since 1996 at the age of 9, Scott has been racing and has won National and World titles in Karting. Scott holds a US Karting record as one of only a hand full of drivers to win 4 USA IKF Grand National Championships.(WBTV).(9-29-2014)
UPDATE: Roo Motorsports is officially setting up shop in Salisbury at the Speedway Business Park just off I-85. The announcement was made Monday night. In addition, the team announced the Naming Rights sponsor for the 2015 Camping World Truck Series of NASCAR. Sax Suspension is an Australian suspension manufacturer specializing in the development and production of advance suspension components for on road and off road vehicles. Their products have been available in limited supply in the USA, and this partnering arrangement coincides with a hard launch into the US marketplace.Roo Motorsports is the first wholly owned Australian NASCAR team to enter the competition. Founded by team owner, Noel Saunders, Roo Motorsports will compete in the Camping World Truck Series for 2015 and beyond.(WBTV).(9-30-2014)
LaJoie to drive 4 races in #98: Richard Petty Motorsports and Biagi-DenBenste Racing announced they will partner to enter Corey LaJoie in four of the final five NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season. LaJoie will pilot the #98 Medallion Financial Ford owned by Biagi-DenBenste Racing in the events at Kansas Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. LaJoie, who is a development driver for RPM, is a proven talent behind the wheel. He has one win in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Series, five wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and three wins in the ARCA Racing Series. The son of NASCAR champion Randy LaJoie, Corey has five starts in NASCAR's three national series with a Top-10 finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series earlier this year at Bristol. The four events this year in the Nationwide Series will give him his most starts in the Nationwide Series. Biagi-DenBeste Racing has made 11 starts with a best finish of fourth scored by David Ragan. RPM driver Aric Amirola has most recently raced the car at Chicagoland and Dover. LaJoie has one start with the team this season and finished 15th at the Kentucky Speedway in only his second Nationwide Series start.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-30-2014)
David Starr returns to the #44 at Texas: David Starr is back behind the wheel of TriStar Motorsports' #44 Camry this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Serving as the primary sponsor on the #44 Camry will be Starr's longtime partner, Niece Equipment. Niece Equipment has provided clients with reliable products at competitive prices for over 30 years. Their company reputation is built on service, integrity and dependability. They offer the following services: Sales, Rentals, Leases, Financing, Service and Parts. Niece Equipment is located in Austin, TX.(TriStar Motorsports)(9-29-2014)
Mike Ford named crew chief for Townley: Athenian Motorsports announced veteran NASCAR crew chief Mike Ford has joined the team as the crew chief for the #25 Zaxby's NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry with driver John Wes Townley. Mike Ford has more than 20 years in NASCAR and has worked as a NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chief since 2000. From 2001-2003 Ford served as crew chief for Bill Elliott at Evernham Motorsports and won four races, including the 2002 Brickyard 400. Ford led Dale Jarrett to a victory in the 2004 Bud Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. In 2006, he joined Joe Gibbs Racing for a six year pairing with Denny Hamlin. As the crew chief of the No. 11 car Ford won 17 races and had championship finishes of 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 12th, never missing a Chase. In 2012, Ford moved to Richard Petty Motorsports to be the crew chief for Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose. In late 2012, he moved to BK Racing as the Director of Competition where he remained until joining Athenian Motorsports. Ford will now lead the #25 Athenian Motorsports team as crew chief for the remainder of 2014 with driver John Wes Townley beginning at Kansas Speedway, October 3, 2014.(Athenian Motorsports)(9-29-2014)
Faison Eyeing NASCAR Xfinity Series for 2015: The 21 year old Delaware native CJ Faison has built a name for himself inside the racing world by competing in everything from Go-karts to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. CJ Faison is now looking to take his career one step further, the NASCAR Nationwide Series. NASCAR's #2 series will have a new partner beginning in 2015 as Comcast's XFINITY brand becomes the entitlement partner for what is currently known as the Nationwide Series. CJ Faison is currently eyeing the NASCAR Xfinity Series full time for 2015. With the end of the 2014 race season coming up, CJ Faison is negotiating with teams for next year. While there are multiple options available, CJ believes he will find his home for next year very soon. CJ Faison has spent the last 4 years racing for multiple teams and acquiring as much track time as possible. As for this past year CJ Faison had decided to continue racing back in Delaware (his home state) while still looking towards a return to NASCAR in 2015.(Faison PR)(9-25-2014)
Theriault looking for 2015 opportunity: It has been an eventful year for Fort Kent race car driver Austin Theriault. But Theriault said in some ways, it hasn't been eventful enough. The 20-year-old landed a three-race series in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports, and it didn't go as well as he had hoped. Theriault finished 15th at Iowa Speedway, 21st at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and, last Saturday night, he wound up 18th at Kentucky Speedway. He also has been in five Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North races and won his first ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway. He will probably conclude his season on Saturday afternoon at the Ripley and Fletcher Ford 150 PASS SLM North race at Oxford Plains Speedway. He has four top-five finishes in his five PASS races but will be looking to post his first win of the season. Then he will hit the road seeking sponsors and a ride for next season. He is taking everything in stride. "I'm going to stay positive. I know things take time. Hopefully, things are happening for the right reasons," he said. "I'm not going to dwell on it too much. You look at what happened, you make mental notes and you move forward." He said he does want to continue racing and would prefer "the bigger [3400-pound] cars with the radial tires." That would mean the Nationwide, Camping World Trucks or ARCA series. But he also knows he has to be a realist and take the best opportunity to get seat time, even if it isn't in one of those divisions.(Bangor Daily News)(9-25-2014)
Yuengling renews sponsorship of RCR, Dillon: Richard Childress Racing and D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America's Oldest Brewery, announced the renewal of their partnership and sponsorship of the NASCAR Nationwide Series #3 Chevy team and driver Ty Dillon for the 2015 season. Yuengling will also sponsor the #33 Chevy SS at Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with Dillon behind the wheel. "We are thrilled to continue our great partnership with Yuengling and showcase their great products to NASCAR fans," said Richard Childress, chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "We have enjoyed working with a family-owned and operated company with such a rich heritage and tight-knit culture. It's something we mirror here at RCR. Yuengling is an iconic American brand and the brewery has produced a quality beer for almost two centuries." The Yuengling beer Light Lager brand has been featured on the #3 Chevy Camaro in 2014, which is the 185-year-old company's first season partnering with a NASCAR team. The Pottsville, Pa.-based brewery has been American Owned and Family Operated since 1829 and sells beer in 16 states.(RCR)(9-24-2014)
Josh Berry driving for JR Motorsports at Homestead: JR Motorsports champion late model driver Josh Berry, who made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut last month, will get his second opportunity behind the wheel of the #5 Chevy at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 15. JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller made the announcement on her Dirty Mo Radio podcast, Fast Lane Family presented by Charlie's Soap, on Wednesday. Ragu will be featured as the primary sponsor on Berry's car. America's leading pasta sauce brand since 1937, Ragu has been a partner with JR Motorsports since 2011. Regan Smith raced the #7 Ragu Chevy to victory at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year, giving JR Motorsports its first win in the season-opening event.(JR Motorsports)(9-17-2014)
Country Bob's Sauces & Seasonings sponsoring Scott at Texas: Country Bob's, an all-purpose sauces and seasonings company, will serve as the primary sponsor for Brian Scott and Richard Childress Racing's #2 Chevy team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1. In a partnership with Kroger, Country Bob's joins RCR for their first venture as a primary sponsor. In a promotion that started on Labor Day, September 1 and runs through the first week of December, fans who purchase Country Bob's sauces and seasonings at one of the nearly 200 Kroger stores in Texas will enjoy great sale prices. In addition to the sale prices on Country Bob's Sauces and Seasonings at Kroger stores, customers can enter a drawing to win the grand prize, two-minute Kroger shopping spree experience with RCR driver Scott. The grand-prize winner will also enjoy a VIP race experience and a Primo Oval 400 XL grill. The contest runs from now through October 6.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(9-17-2014)
The Motorsports Group moving to Cup in 2015: The Motorsports Group [Nationwide teams #40 & #46 owned by Curtis Key] announced that it will participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting with Daytona in 2015. The #30 Chevy SS is seeking a driver, crew and sponsorship opportunities.(TMG) The team is not afflilated with Brandon Davis or Swan Racing and is not planning to run any races this year. They plan a full season of racing and not a "start and park" effort. They will build their own engines. Plans for Nationwide teams next season have not been determined.(9-16-2014)
Preece to drive for Baldwin at Homestead: Ryan Preece of Berlin, Connecticut has made a significant change to his racing schedule for the remainder of the 2014 season. Instead of competing in his second NASCAR Nationwide Series event of the 2014 season at Richmond International Raceway Friday, he has decided to forego the start and exchange it for a start in the Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 at Homestead Speedway in November. The decision made by Preece and his supporters will allow him to chase his second career Stafford Motor Speedway SK Modified division championship, as well as gain NASCAR's approval to compete at super-speedways such as Daytona International Speedway. "If everything runs well and we finish all the laps, have a good run, and everything goes good I'd be approved to run Daytona," Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. "You're done with the approval process at that point. I talked to Tommy (Baldwin) and all my sponsors backing us and they were 100-percent behind me."(Speed 51)(9-4-2014)
NASCAR and Comcast reach 10-Year series entitlement agreement: NASCAR and Comcast announced a historic agreement that will make Comcast's XFINITY brand the title sponsor of what is now known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series through 2024. The 10-year term matches the longest single agreement around title sponsorship of any NASCAR national series in history, and is the longest entitlement sponsorship agreement in this series' history.
Beginning January 1, 2015, the property will be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series. XFINITY will become only the third title sponsor in series history following Anheuser-Busch (26 years) and Nationwide Insurance (seven years). The agreement also makes XFINITY an Official NASCAR Partner in the multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) and broadband ISP categories.
The announcement was made during an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame - where the sport's history is celebrated every day - and was the first series entitlement sponsorship ever announced at the venue.
XFINITY is Comcast's residential service brand and is the nation's largest video and high-speed Internet provider. The company has increased Internet speeds for existing customers 13 times in 12 years and recently introduced XFINITY on the X1 Entertainment Operating System. The company also offers XFINITY On Demand, the most robust video on demand platform in the world. Comcast serves business and residential customers in 39 states and Washington, D.C.
"We're proud to welcome XFINITY to the NASCAR community as title sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the next decade," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman & CEO. "NASCAR and XFINITY are each leader brands with much in common. Both are focused on innovation and have products built for speed. Together, we will work to take this series to new heights and elevate one of the most unique and powerful partnerships in all of sports."
What will soon be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the property where names are made and is like nothing else in major pro sports. It features the most talented young drivers regularly competing side-by-side against NASCAR's biggest and brightest stars.
"Technology lives at the heart of NASCAR, just as it does for XFINITY," said Dave Watson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Comcast Cable. "NASCAR provides an exciting environment in which to showcase our video and Internet products and we look forward to further enhancing the fan experience at home, at the track and on the go for years to come."
The series also has a large, highly engaged and technology-connected television audience. It races in some of the nation's largest markets - from Chicago to Los Angeles to Miami - and at the sport's biggest and most iconic tracks - from Daytona International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, to Talladega Superspeedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
According to NASCAR Fan Engagement Tracker 2013 (commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna), NASCAR fans spend an average of four-and-a-half hours each week watching NASCAR on television and an additional two-and-a-half-hours each week following the sport on digital platforms.
XFINITY is among the premier sponsors in sports today and a robust sponsorship activation program is part of the new agreement with NASCAR, with aggressive planning already underway.
Comcast's involvement with NASCAR is expanding rapidly. In addition to the NASCAR XFINITY Series announced today, Comcast's NBC Sports unit will begin broadcasting NASCAR race events in July 2015.
After a successful seven-year run as series entitlement sponsor, Nationwide Insurance pivoted its marketing programs to become a NASCAR team sponsor next season. Nationwide also is the official auto, home, life and business insurance partner of NASCAR.(NASCAR)(9-3-2014)
2015 NASCAR Series Schedules released: NASCAR announced its national series schedules for the 2015 season, featuring date enhancements to races at some of its most storied tracks along with a pair of long-term broadcast partners that will provide the exciting action to the sport's fans."The 2015 NASCAR national series schedules promise to provide our fans with the compelling competition and storylines they so richly deserve," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These enhancements to our race dates, particularly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be of benefit to our fans and other stakeholders in our industry. From the start of the season at Speedweeks at Daytona culminated by our championship finales at Homestead-Miami, we're looking forward to the great racing that will be delivered through our outstanding television network broadcast partners FOX, FOX Sports 1, NBC and NBCSN."
Key date changes featuring Darlington Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, some of NASCAR's most tradition-laden tracks, highlight the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. Following the 57th running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 22 on FOX, Atlanta Motor Speedway will host the season's second race weekend (March 1), while Darlington returns to its traditional Labor Day weekend date (Sept. 6). The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Atlanta for the first time since 2012 as part of a unique doubleheader on Feb. 28 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Additionally, Daytona's always-anticipated July race weekend takes on a different look as the Sunday, July 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race marks the return of broadcast partner NBC.
A big "west-coast swing" during the schedule's early stages spotlights markets where NASCAR's fan base is growing and sponsor opportunities are on the rise. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series run on three consecutive weekends, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7-8, Phoenix International Raceway on March 14-15 and Auto Club Speedway on March 21-22.
Bristol's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spring date moves deeper into the calendar from mid-March to April 19. Dates for the spring races at Phoenix and Texas Motor Speedway (April 11) step back one week from their 2014 schedule slots.
From the season-opening weekend at Daytona through June's events, FOX and FOX Sports 1 will combine to serve as the broadcast home of all races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Starting in July at Daytona through the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, including each series' championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NBC and NBCSN will carry the second-half action for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. The entire 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule will be broadcast exclusively on FOX and FOX Sports 1. On radio, programming surrounding the 2015 NASCAR season along with the exciting national series race calls can be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN). The Indianapolis Motor Speedway's radio network will carry the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series events at IMS.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will feature 36 events including two standout non-points races - the Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 14 at Daytona and the 31st annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16. Soon to have a new entitlement partner, the NASCAR Nationwide Series once again contests 33 races, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series increases to 23 events next season with the addition of the Atlanta date.
When running concurrently during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series companion weekends, the date changes are also reflected on the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedules. There are nine companion weekends on the 2015 schedule that feature all three national series along with 18 combination weekends between the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series and seven dual events where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series run together.
There are six "stand-alones" on next year's NASCAR Nationwide Series calendar, starting May 17 at Iowa Speedway. Included among those are two road-course races, at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 15 and Road America on Aug. 29. The later Road America date takes the place of the former Atlanta date. There are seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stand-alone races and two Wednesday appearances - on the dirt at Eldora Speedway on July 22 and at Bristol on Aug. 19. Iowa hosts the trucks three weeks earlier in 2015, on June 19. And the series again runs internationally on Aug. 30 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.(NASCAR), see the schedule on the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule page.(8-26-2014)
Gibbs to hold press conference Tuesday UPDATE: According to Joe Gibbs Racing, they will hold a press conference Tuesday, August 19 at 10:00am/et and "this unprecedented announcement will have impact across four NASCAR racing series."(Joe Gibbs Racing)
AND Joe Gibbs Racing will announce Carl Edwards as its fourth Sprint Cup driver for the 2015 season next Tuesday. However, the bigger news appears to involve Daniel Suarez, the 22-year-old darling of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, who will drive for JGR in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Suarez, of Monterrey, Mexico, currently leads the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series where he has nine victories in 52 career starts including four this season. Suarez has made dramatic improvement since joining the tour and has led 1,084 of the 7,790 laps raced. Suarez made his first career Nationwide Series start for JGR at Richmond in the #20 Toyota. Suarez qualified 12th and finished 19th. He completed all but one lap.(Motorsport)(8-14-2014)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that drivers Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez will join the organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series respectively. In addition, ARRIS Group, Inc. will sponsor Edwards in the #19 Toyota Camry for 17 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with JGR expanding its operations to include a fourth team. ARRIS also will support Suarez in a multi-year program, starting with the 2015 NASCAR Nationwide Series, as well as a partial schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. JGR also announces that it has launched a diversity initiative with Escuderia TELMEX with support from ARRIS to provide developmental opportunities to deserving Mexican and Latin American candidates in the NASCAR Toyota Series in Mexico and other racing series under the JGR umbrella.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 2015 Xfinity Series paint schemes page.(8-19-2014)
Cope to become Elliott's crew chief next season UPDATE: Hearing that JR Motorsports will name Ernie Cope as crew chief for #9-Chase Elliott next season. Elliott's current crew chief, Greg Ives, has been named Dale Earnhardt, Jr's crew chief for 2015.(8-18-2014)
UPDATE: JR Motorsports announced that it will pull from within to fill its impending crew chief vacancy, as Ernie Cope will transition from the #5 team to Chase Elliott's #9 NAPA Aupt Parts team at the conclusion of this season. Cope will take over for Greg Ives. Last month it was announced that Ives would be Steve Letarte's successor on the #88 Hendrick Motorsports team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ives and Cope will finish out the year in their respective roles. Ives and Elliott currently lead the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings by 10 points over teammate Regan Smith with 11 races to go. A crew chief for the #5 team in 2015 is not yet determined. Earnhardt Miller said the company will conduct a thorough search and take as much time as necessary to find the best candidate.(JR Motorsports)(8-18-2014)