July 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

JULY 2012 NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE

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    News from July 31, 2012

  • Almirola to carry Automotive Lift Institute Safety Message at Pocono: The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) will be the primary partner on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola in this weekend's Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. The sponsorship provides a unique platform to share ALI's vehicle service lift safety message with millions of NASCAR fans as the Institute launches the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program. The Automotive Lift Institute #43 Ford wears a stunning paint scheme of orange, white and black. ALI is a trade association dedicated to promoting the safe design, construction, installation, inspection, service and use of vehicle service lifts. It sponsors several national vehicle lift safety standards, offers a third-party Automotive Lift Certification Program and is launching North America's first national Lift Inspector Certification Program.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint scheme page.(7-31-2012)

  • Indianapolis TV Ratings: On the opening weekend of the Olympics, ESPN's live telecast of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 29, earned a 3.8 household coverage rating (3.3 U.S. rating), averaging 5,054,089 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year's Brickyard 400 telecast, which did not air against Olympic competition, earned a 4.6 household coverage rating and tied with the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway as ESPN's highest-rated NASCAR Sprint Cup telecast of the year.(ESPN) See past races and 4-year comparison chart on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(7-31-2012)

  • Goodyear tire test at Kansas Aug. 28-29: Kansas Speedway's track reconfiguration project is nearing completion and Sprint Cup Series teams are coming back to Kansas Speedway on Aug. 28-29 for their first look at the newly reconfigured track as they return for a Goodyear tire test. The test will run from 9:00am - 5:00 pm each day and will be open to the public and free of charge. Fans are asked to enter at Michigan Dr. off of Speedway Blvd. Due to another event setting up at Kansas Speedway, fans will only be able to enter at Gate D (closest to Turn 1) and sit in sections 169 and 171. Parking will be available in lots 5 and 6. Parking lots and gates will open at 8:30 AM. Sprint FanWalk will not be open during the test days. Restroom facilities will be open during the test. Concessions will not be available during the test days, however fans will be permitted to bring in a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and Coca-Cola products. This summer, crews have been adding variable banking to Kansas Speedway, changing the banking from the old 15 degrees to banking that is between 17 and 20 degrees in the turns. The banking on the frontstretch has also changed slightly, decreasing to 10 degrees (formerly 10.4 degrees), while the banking on the backstretch has increased slightly to 5.5 degrees (formerly five degrees). Crews also added an infield road course to Kansas Speedway. Testing dates, track schedule and drivers/teams are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances.(Kansas Speedway)(7-31-2012)

  • EnerSys/ODYSSEY Batteries on the #31 at Pocono & Martinsville: EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, along with their ODYSSEY Battery brand, will be primary sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing #31 Chevy and Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton this weekend at Pocono Raceway and October 28 at Martinsville Speedway. ODYSSEY Battery, a RCR partner since 2009, delivers the extreme power that racing enthusiasts demand and EnerSys guarantees longer service life to save time and money. The five-second cranking power of ODYSSEY batteries is double to triple that of conventional batteries. In addition, the ODYSSEY battery's sealed drycell construction makes it safe, explosion proof, leak proof and it can be mounted in any position. Its rugged construction also offers improved vibration resistance and durability.(Richard Childress Racing), see an image of the car on the #31 team paint schemes page.(7-31-2012)

  • The Entry List for the Pennsylvania 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Notes: John Wes Townley will make his Cup debut in the #32. Tony Raines will drive the #36 for Dave Blaney, Mike Skinner will be in the #98 rather than Michael McDowell. McDowell is running the Nationwide race at Iowa and Blaney will be working with his son Ryan who is driving at Iowa.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (45/14)
    #23-Scott Riggs (43/19)
    #26-Josh Wise (40/20)
    #30-David Stremme (38/20)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/20)
    #37-J.J. Yeley (54/6)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/20)
    #91-Reed Sorenson (58/1)
    #98-Mike Skinner (41/20)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 33,30,26,98,87,23,19,37
    missing the race would be [1]: # 91
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Pocono Entry List.(7-31-2012)

  • Goodyear confirms new tire combination for Michigan: A tire test at Michigan International Speedway saw fast speeds and happy drivers. The daylong tire test allowed teams and Goodyear to check out the new tires the teams will race when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series return in a few weeks. Goodyear has selected a new combination for the two-mile racetrack  a combination of the original tires from the April test and a slightly softer version of the harder tire used during the June race. Though top speeds were not official, some drivers went about 210 mph on Monday, but only averaged about 195 mph, a little slower than during the previous test in April and the June NASCAR event at the track. The last time drivers were at MIS, the tires were very hard, a last-minute change when some drivers experienced blistering on their tires during practice sessions. To avoid bringing back the same tires, Goodyear developed a new combination. "Back in June was our first race on this new pavement. We digested everything we saw over the weekend, in practice as well as what we had in the race," Greg Stucker, director of Racing Tire Sales for Goodyear, said. "We digested that and looked at all the data, poured over all the comments we got from the teams and drivers, made our recommendation for our package coming up in August. That is why we were here today for, just confirming that." Twenty-eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams participated in a daylong tire confirmation at Michigan International Speedway on Monday. Michigan International Speedway became NASCAR's fastest racetrack in June. Marcos Ambrose's speed of 203.241 mph for the Quicken Loans 400 was the 11th-fastest pole-winning speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history and the first time the pole winning speed was faster than 200 mph at a track other than Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. All race tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)
    AND: Danica Patrick, who was testing team owner Tony Stewart's #14 Chevrolet Monday at Michigan International Speedway, crashed in the second turn early in the test session. Patrick was not injured. The car sustained right-front damage. Track observers said the car apparently had engine problems. The practice session was halted for cleanup.(SPEED)(7-30-2012)

  • Facts and Notes at Pocono Raceway: · Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974.
    · The 2.5-mile track was repaved during the fall of 2011.
    · There have been 69 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway.
    · There was one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since.
    · This season will mark the first time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono will be scheduled for 400 miles. Prior to 2012 all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races were 500 miles at Pocono Raceway.
    · Buddy Baker won the first pole.
    · There have been 38 different pole winners, including David Pearson who won the pole there in June 1984 but did not race; 17 drivers have more than one pole there.
    · The pole has been swept just three times: Bill Elliott (1985), Ken Schrader (1993) and Denny Hamlin (2006).
    · Richard Petty won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono.
    · 31 different drivers have won races at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott and Jeff Gordon, each with five victories; 20 drivers have won more than once there.
    · There have been six season sweeps at Pocono, the last by Denny Hamlin in 2006.
    · Bobby Allison (1982, '83) and Tim Richmond (1986, '87) each won three consecutive races at Pocono.
    · 48 of 69 Pocono races have been won from a top-10 start.
    · The June 2005 race was won by Carl Edwards from the 29th starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.
    · 14 of 69 races have been won from the pole, Bill Elliott (1985, 2002) and Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep) are the only drivers to have done it twice. Joey Logano is the most recent driver to win from the pole earlier this season.
    · Rick Hendrick leads all car owners with 12 Pocono victories.
    · Mark Martin leads all drivers in top fives (20) and top 10s (34), but has yet to win at Pocono. His best finish was second, seven times (most recently last June). In June, Martin set the record for most runner-up finishes at a track without winning.
    · Jimmie Johnson (8.7) and Denny Hamlin (9.3) are the only active drivers to average a top 10.(NASCAR)(7-31-2012)

  • Where's Waldo scheme for Ragan at Martinsville: Everyone's favorite globetrotter, Where's Waldo?, has been known to pop-up wherever the action is and he's at it again! To celebrate his 25th anniversary, Classic Media, the driving force behind Where's Waldo? has partnered with Front Row Motorsports and Lionel NASCAR Collectables to have Waldo spotted on David Ragan's #34 Ford Fusion later this season, when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway for the October 28th race weekend. In perhaps one of the most unique paint schemes in NASCAR history, the entire #34 Ford will transform into the iconic Where's Waldo? "On The Beach" scene that will then be rolled out as limited edition die-cast cars. Fans can visit FrontRowMotorsports.com to learn more about the car(FRM / LNC Pit Box), see images of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(7-31-2012)

  • Sad News - Hinky Eanes: Henry "Hinky" Lee Eanes, Jr., 64, of 112 Ridgeway Drive, Danville, VA died Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 5:19 a.m. in Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center after losing a hard fought battle with cancer for the past 6 months.
    Eanes first racing was with the late Layton Bacon and the Kentucky Fried Chicken car driven by the late Jimmy Griffin of Eden, NC. In early 1978 he began working with Junior Johnson's team with Cale Yarborough as the driver. They won three consecutive NASCAR Championships with Cale. In 1981 he went to work for Travis Carter with Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds' Skoal Bandit team with Harry Gant as driver. In 1990 he worked with the team owned by Bill Edwards which had been purchased from Hal Needham. With this team he and Travis Carter worked with Rick Mast as driver. In 1990-1992 he worked with drivers Butch Miller and "Mr. Excitement" Jimmy Spencer. From late 1992 and 1993 Hinky worked with Bill Davis Racing with Bobby Labonte as driver. In 1994 reunited Hinky with Travis Carter and teams sponsored by R. J. Reynolds Camel brand cigarettes with Hut Strickland as driver. Jimmy Spencer later became the driver for the team. In 1999 Darrell Waltrip joined the team with Jimmy Spencer. He worked with Travis Carter's team through the time of Travis's retirement in 2003. When his dear friend Travis retired, Hinky too retired. He did not want to race any more without Travis Carter. He enjoyed so much reliving all their fun experiences at every track they visited throughout the years. He never met a stranger and loved everyone and was loved by all who knew him in the NASCAR community. Hinky did continue to help Travis with his son Matt Carter racing in the Hooter's Pro Cup series through 2007. Hinky served in the United States Air Force from November 1966 to November 1970, serving during the Viet Nam conflict. Service info and full obituary atnorrisfuneral.com.(7-31-2012)

  • Watkins Glen race will be Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen: Watkins Glen International has chosen to honor the region in which it is located by naming the Sunday, August 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen. The historic road course is one aspect of the popular tourist destination that includes a variety of state parks and is New York's largest wine producing region. Located at the southern tip of Seneca Lake, The Glen and the region's history and future are inexplicably interwoven. Selecting the name of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series reflects Watkins Glen International's appreciation for its surroundings. "We value the support of our neighbors annually and felt naming our NASCAR Sprint Cup Series the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen is the best way to display our appreciation," Michael Printup, Watkins Glen International President expressed. "It shows the respect we feel toward our fans, neighbors and fellow tourist attractions."(WGI)(7-31-2012)

  • Harley J. Earl Trophy, American Flag featured on Daytona 500 Ticket: NASCAR fans have spoken and the design of the commemorative ticket for the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 will showcase the Harley J. Earl trophy and the American flag. Between July 12-19 on Daytona International Speedway's Facebook, Twitter and Google + sites, race fans selected their favorite commemorative Daytona 500 ticket among three different choices. The race fans' selection of the commemorative ticket with the Harley J. Earl trophy is a fitting choice for 2013 Daytona 500 as the Harley J. Earl trophy, for the first time, is proudly featured on the race logo.
    Awarded to the champion of the Daytona 500, the Harley J. Earl trophy is named after Harley J. Earl, a famous General Motors designer and friend of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. The trophy, one of the most prized possessions in motorsports, weighs 54 pounds and has a black base with a scaled-down replica of the Firebird One that Earl created in 1954 at the peak of his career with General Motors. Richard Earl, a former Wall Street broker, makes his living selling Harley Earl-designed cars. " 'Motoramic masterpieces' is how I like to refer to them," he said. He maintains the official Harley Earl Web site, carofthecentury.com, and is working on a biography of his grandfather.
    Tickets for NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race  the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24  start at $65 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(7-31-2012)

  • Watkins Glen & NASCAR Donate Trees to City of Elmira: As part of NASCAR Green's largest at-track initiative, the Clean Air Tree Planting Program, Watkins Glen International and NASCAR will donate trees purchased from Stillman's Greenhouse in Montour Falls to be planted throughout the City of Elmira to aid the area's recovery from Thursday's tornado. "The Glen is thrilled that with the NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program we are able to help our neighbors in Elmira," Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup said. NASCAR Green's Clean Air Tree Planting Program will donate 10 trees for each Green Flag that drops during the August 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at The Glen race. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF1 tornado affected the area on the evening of July 26. The program also covers installation and specific planting areas will be designated in the next few weeks as the cleanup continues. Tickets for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at The Glen (August 9-12) are on sale now! Fans may purchase their tickets and camping by contacting the WGI ticket office at 866.461.RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website, www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(7-31-2012

  • Sonoma Recycles Nearly 11,000 Pounds of Materials: The raceway in Sonoma has reaffirmed its position as an industry leader in recycling, collecting nearly 11,000 pounds of materials during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, June 22-24. The raceway partnered with the Conservation Corps North Bay to collect more than five tons of material throughout the race weekend, including aluminum, glass, plastic and mixed material. The raceway has collected more than 272 tons of materials (545,745 pounds) since the inception of its recycling program in 2004. In addition, the raceway partners with NASCAR on the Green Clean Air program, which is designed to help capture the carbon emissions produced by racing. NASCAR will donate a minimum of 50 trees following this year's Toyota/Save Mart 350 event. More info at acceleratingsustainableperformance.com.(Sonoma)(7-31-2012)


    News from July 30, 2012

  • Penske still undecided about future engine program: Roger Penske, who announced in March that his Penske Racing team would move from fielding Dodges to Fords, still has not made a final decision on whether to build his own engines, lease them from Roush Yates Engines or possibly become a partner in Roush Yates Engines. The Penske engine shop is not located at its main car manufacturing facility in North Carolina and could be spun off into a Dodge engine building facility. "We're still trying to finish up the final discussion with Dodge, what they're going to do," Penske said. "We obviously have the option with Roush Yates, which we're looking at also."(Sporting News)(7-30-2012)

  • OEM meet targets for 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Car: Based upon the final aerodynamic test results from July 18, NASCAR has announced that all four of its Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have met the necessary targets for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car. This represents another step forward in the new car process and means manufacturers can begin making parts and pieces for the new models. The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car is the result of more than two years of collaborative efforts between the manufacturers and NASCAR. With goals of enhancing product relevance, featuring race cars that more closely resemble their respective manufacturer models on the showroom floor, and building upon the highly competitive racing the series features, the roll out of the new car is highly anticipated by NASCAR fans.
    The four new models  Chevrolet's SS, Dodge's Charger, Ford's Fusion and Toyota's Camry  will make their race debuts next February at Daytona International Speedway, with the first championship points event being the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24, 2013.
    "We commend the manufacturers and our team at the R&D center on all the hard work they've put into this new car," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "With all the designs and surface areas of the car now approved, manufacturers can now move forward with building the components needed to outfit their cars. The wind tunnel testing we've had with the manufacturers over the past several months has given us the timely and necessary data we needed to come to this confirmation. We believe the new car is going to be a milestone opportunity for our sport, one that our fans will embrace."(NASCAR)(7-30-2012)

  • Kenseth can't talk about 2013 deal yet but: Matt Kenseth will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013, but according to multiple sources, the Sprint Cup points leader can't talk about it until mid- to late-August at the earliest due to a stipulation in his current contract with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush announced last month that the 2003 Sprint Cup champion was leaving after the 2012 season and would be replaced by reigning Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Kenseth confirmed at the time he has a deal for 2013, but declined to discuss details. RFR officials declined to comment on any portion of Kenseth's contract. Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs declined on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to comment on Kenseth's situation. But Gibbs said the goal was to have four teams in 2013, and that every effort was being made to re-sign Joey Logano, whose contract expires after this season, if sponsorship can be found. "We want him to retire at JGR," Gibbs said. "We're trying to figure out how to make all of that work." Sources said Kenseth would take over the Home Depot and likely Dollar General sponsors currently on Logano's #20 Toyota. They left open the possibility of Kenseth running the #20 or another number. Sources said JGR has looked at several options for Logano, from running a full-time Nationwide schedule and part-time Cup schedule to running a full-time Cup schedule with a part-time or full-time Nationwide slate. "We've talked a number of different potentials, but obviously we'd like him to be in Cup full-time," Gibbs said. Logano also has been shopping for other options in 2013. The #22 car at Penske Racing could become one spot with driver AJ Allmendinger indefinitely suspended for violating NASCAR's drug policy. Kenseth isn't talking to anybody, at least not about his future after Roush. "No," he recently said when asked if he could shed light on his 2013 plans. "I hoped to do it a couple of weeks ago. I don' t know when it's gonna happen. You guys will know the same time I do, I guess."(ESPN)(7-30-2012)

  • Commercial breakdown and links related to the 2012 Brickyard 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:03 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:19 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 120
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 64
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 37
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 30 sec. min.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:03 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:19 PM
    Minutes of race broadcast: 196
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 55
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 0
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 141 Total comm. brdcst time 55
    See past races, links and more on the 2012 TV Commercials page.(7-30-2012)

  • Penske to meet with Allmendinger this week: Team owner Roger Penske said he will meet with suspended driver AJ Allmendinger this week to discuss how they move forward as an organization. Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after his second urine sample confirmed the first sample that tested positive for amphetamines earlier this month. The 30-year-old driver has enrolled in NASCAR's Road to Recovery program that typically takes 4-5 months to be eligible for reinstatement, meaning his 2012 season is for all intents and purposes over. Penske said Sunday that he has released Penske Racing employees that have failed the company testing program in the past. He said the difference with Allmendinger is he's an independent contractor who was tested by NASCAR, not the organization, and sponsors are involved. Penske declined to comment on whether there was any possibility Allmendinger would return to the #22 Shell Pennzoil Dodge [Ford next season] in 2013.' "There are so many questions: does he keep the ride or not?'' Penske said before the Brickyard 400. "We don't know when he's going to be back. We have sponsor obligations. There's lots of things happening. At this point, from my perspective, I have a very open mind, but I want to sit down face to face with him to determine what's the best thing for the team, what's the best thing for him. We have a lot invested in him. I want to see him land on his feet. I've got to look at things from the overall standpoint.'' Penske said Sam Hornish Jr., who will be in the car on Sunday at Indianapolis as well as next week at Pocono, likely will remain the driver for most of season moving forward for the sake of continuity with the team and sponsor. Penske said there are a couple of races where Hornish already was scheduled to be in a third Penske Cup car that will factor into plans. He said those races might be used to try out another driver potentially for next season, reminding his phone has rung off the hook from drivers looking for rides. Penske said he has talked to Allmendinger almost every day to "try to keep his spirits up.'(ESPN)(7-30-2012)

  • NAPA & MWR raise $72,000 for Colorado wildfire victims: NAPA Auto Parts NASCAR Sprint Cup team co-owner Michael Waltrip made a special delivery Saturday night in Colorado. Through a week-long initiative, he along with his NAPA Racing driver Martin Truex Jr., helped their sponsor raise more than $72,000 through a NAPA Know How to Care campaign. The proceeds will help victims of the wildfires which swept across Colorado last month. Waltrip, NAPA management and local store owners delivered the check during ceremonies before Saturday night's NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway. An additional check will be presented with the proceeds raised by online, local NAPA store efforts and at-track fundraising. Waltrip drove the #55 NAPA Knows How to Care Toyota in the event to raise awareness for the NAPA Knows How to Care program. Waltrip signed autographs at a NAPA fundraiser for the disaster relief fund on Friday at the NAPA Denver Distribution Center. NAPA provided free hamburgers and hotdogs to the public. All donations made in person at the fundraiser, Colorado National Speedway, making PayPal donations to the American Red Cross at michaelwaltripracing.com or texting "RED CROSS" to the number 90999 contributed to the effort.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(7-30-2012)

  • More than 20 teams expected for July 30 MIS tire test UPDATEs: Michigan International Speedway will be the center of NASCAR on Monday, July 30 when Goodyear holds a one-day tire test for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. It is expected that more than 20 teams will take advantage of the extra time in their preparations for the Pure Michigan 400. "This test will help Goodyear select a tire that is more compatible with the fast Michigan racing surface, and improve an already competitive race weekend from start to finish," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said, "Goodyear invited a majority of teams to Michigan, and we'll work together on all elements to put on the best show possible for our fans." The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstand from 9 am to 5 pm on July 30 for fans to watch the test free of charge. "This is a unique opportunity for fans to see the drivers again test the repaved racing surface," MIS President Roger Curtis said. "We expect to see numerous drivers and teams continue to prepare for the upcoming Pure Michigan 400. The test falls at a perfect time for our fans as they get a chance to see cars on track between our two races." Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances. Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstands through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. The restroom facilities will be open and concession stands will be available. Fans are also allowed to bring in coolers that meet the MIS grandstand gate policies for any race weekend. All race tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(7-16-2012)
    UPDATE: Michigan International Speedway will host 28 teams on Monday, July 30 when Goodyear holds a one-day tire test for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The best drivers in NASCAR will once again descend on the Irish Hills to continue their preparations for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August 19. The star-studded list includes 28 drivers and teams who will take advantage of the added practice time. The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 30 for fans to watch the test free of charge. Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances.(MIS)(7-23/30-2012)
    UPDATE2: Danica Patrick, who was testing team owner Tony Stewart's #14 Chevrolet Monday at Michigan International Speedway, crashed in the second turn early in the test session. Patrick was not injured. The car sustained right-front damage. Track observers said the car apparently had engine problems. The practice session was halted for cleanup.(SPEED) can also see some updates at MIS's Twitter.(7-30-2012)

  • Sponsor woes hold up plans for The Glen: Watkins Glen International is still without a title sponsor for their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event with less than two weeks until race team haulers start rolling in to the facility. Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips had been the presenting sponsor of the track's Cup Series race since 2009 but pulled out of their contract earlier this year. It's a situation that WGI president and West Seneca native, Michael Printup, has now come to accept with his attention turning to making final preparations for the tens of thousands of race fans that will descend on the road racing facility located in the Finger Lakes. Printup was on WGR's Fast Track on Sunday morning and discussed how hard the search to find a replacement was. "You're always chasing and we chased all year with Heluva Good! walking away," Printup said, "we did have somebody really close but we decided not to pull the trigger, we just couldn't activate it enough." The new race name will highlight the part of New York state that "The Glen" calls home. "We're going with the because that's the kilometer count, we're going to hype the tourism in this area and give some branding and naming," Printup said.
    While the lack of a sponsor won't affect any of the on-track action it does put a dent in the budget for WGI and their parent company International Speedway Corporation (ISC). "It's big, an entitlement sponsor for NASCAR is anywhere from $500,000 to 2 million dollars per race," Printup said, "as we got closer we'd never get 2 million but we're pretty comfortable in saying we would have landed somewhere between a half a million and a million dollars." This setback for WGI won't affect future Sprint Cup dates at the facility but it does push back a major capital improvement project that was planned for next year. Printup divulged that the plan was to repave the racing surface before the 2013 Sprint Cup race at WGI but that has now been tabled. "We decided as a management team this week that we're not going to repave next year, we're probably going to put it off to 2014 or 2015 we feel we have enough life in the asphalt," Printup said. ISC has made several upgrades at the facility over the last few years including putting in new grandstands and making several safety improvements to the race course. Now the plan for next year will be to fill the time that was originally blocked out for the repaving project with new racing events.(WGR Sportsradio 550-AM, see a video there)(7-30-2012)

  • Trams at MIS are an Olympic legacy: Thousands of race fans at Michigan International Speedway are annually touched by the Olympic Games  and they probably don't even know it. With Opening Ceremonies held Friday, officially kicked off the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, speedway Guest Services Director Tim Booth proudly reflects on the legacy the Games have had on Michigan International Speedway. Much of the speedway's tram fleet was used during the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. Shortly after those Olympic Games, MIS officials purchased the trams to transport race guests around the 1,400-acre facility. The speedway's full fleet of double-trailer trams, "nomads" and golf cars moves about 70,000 race fans and employees throughout a NASCAR event weekend. It's a big task, considering recent surveys suggest more and more fans are hitching a tram ride. Booth is always examining the wait time at tram stops, comfort of trams, safety of trams and enjoyment of the ride. As a result, the speedway has invested in building two giant tram plazas in Turn 1 and Turn 4 to efficiently queue guests waiting for a tram, developed an electronic system to track tram stop wait times and installed PAs on the trams. Soon, guests on the north side of the property will notice a significantly less wait time in line and on the tram with a new route that has been created through a stretch inside the MISCamping.com Tree Farm Campground. Other guests will notice a shaded Tram Plaza. All race tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(7-30-2012)

  • Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Specials Expiring After Aug. 6; expanding hours: Race fans looking to take advantage of Atlanta Motor Speedway's discounted ticket rates for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 weekend have until Aug. 6 to purchase their seats at ticket special rates. Many of the speedway's ticket specials for the biggest Labor Day party in the USA will go away beginning at 11:59 pm on Monday, Aug. 6 and major discounts will be lost for those who have yet to gain their tickets to the three nights of racing under the lights. This year AMS offers several affordable packages for fans to choose from, more info at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)
    AMS Extending Ticket Office Hours Leading Up to AdvoCare 500 Race Weekend The Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office will extend its hours, including opening on weekends, beginning on July 28 in advance of the track's three nights of NASCAR racing during Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2. With ticket demand growing as the Atlanta race date nears on the NASCAR schedule, the AMS ticket office will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. These extended days of weekend availability will last through race weekend and began on Saturday, July 28. In addition to weekend hours of operation, the ticket office will also increase its weekday business hours beginning on Monday, Aug. 13. The ticket office will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. beginning on that date.(AMS)(7-30-2012)


    News from July 29, 2012

  • Johnson wins at Indianapolis: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of the year, 4th wins at Indianapolis [tying Jeff Gordon for the most Sprint Cup wins at Indy] and 58th career win.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #16-Biffle, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #24-Gordon, #11-Hamlin, #39-Newman, $56-Truex Jr,. #2-Keselowski and #14-Stewart.
    Points leader going into the race, #17-Matt Kenseth finished 35th after being involved in a wreck on lap 133, losing his points lead to #88-Earnhardt Jr., who now leads by 14 points. It is the first time Earnhardt Jr. has led the points since after New Hampshire in September 2004.
    There were only 5 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps. There were 17 lead changes among 9 drivers. The average speed was 137.680mph.
    The estimated attendence was 125,000 down from 138,000 in 2011 and the lowest ever for a Cup race.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Indianapolis Race Results page (pdf) and the official race and points rundown on the Official Race Report.(7-29/30-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Indianapolis:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson won the 19th Annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at The Brickyard Powered by Big Machine Records, his 58th victory in 383 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2012.
    This is his fourth victory and fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    #18-Kyle Busch (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in eight races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2012.
    #16-Greg Biffle (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in ten races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    #33-Stephen Leicht (31st) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the point standings by 14 points over #17-Matt Kenseth. The last time Earnhardt Jr. led the points was 9/19/2004 following the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Johnson joins #24-Jeff Gordon as the only drivers to win this race four times.
    Six drivers have won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway four or more times - Jimmie Johnson (4), Jeff Gordon (4), Al Unser (4), A.J. Foyt (4), Rick Mears (4) and Michael Schumacher (5).(NASCAR Statistics)(7-29-2012)

  • Indy winners have decent chance to win Championship: The winner of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has won the championship in the same year seven times in the 18 years the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has raced there:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson won the 2012 race and is currently 4th in the championship standings.
    2009: Jimmie Johnson
    2008: Jimmie Johnson
    2006: Jimmie Johnson
    2005: Tony Stewart
    2001: Jeff Gordon
    2000: Bobby Labonte
    1999: Dale Jarrett
    1998: Jeff Gordon
    (NASCAR)(7-29-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Indianapolis, race 20 of 36]
    1) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 731
    2) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 717, -14
    3) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 709, -22
    4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 704, -27
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 667, -64
    6) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 653, -78
    7) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 653, -78
    8) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 652, -79
    9) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins], 649, -82
    10) #15-Clint Bowyer [1 wins], 643, -88 (55 pts ahead of 11th)
    Current wild card Chase drivers:
    WC1) #5-Kasey Kahne [2 wins, 13th in points]
    WC2) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win, 11th in points]
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(7-29-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Wild-Card Race:
    [after Indianapolis, race 20 of 36]
    A look at the race for the two wild-card positions for the Chase based on wins and being inside the top 20 in points.
    Driver [wins] standings, behind 10th
    first two would make the chase as wild cards:
    #5-Kasey Kahne [2 wins] 13th -64 points out of 10th
    #18-Kyle Busch [1 win] 11th -55
    eight other drivers currently in the running for the wild cards:
    #39-Ryan Newman [1 win] 14th -70
    #20-Joey Logano [1 win] 17th -99
    #99-Carl Edwards 12th -61
    #24-Jeff Gordon 15th -79
    #27-Paul Menard 16th -79
    #9-Marcos Ambrose 18th -124
    #1-Jamie McMurray 19th -135
    #31-Jeff Burton 20th -138
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    The Chase: The top-10 drivers will make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Positions 11 and 12 in the 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup are Wild Cards, and will go to drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, as long as they are ranked in the top 20 in points. If multiple drivers outside the top 10 tie for wins, the tie-breaker will go to the race winner with the highest points position.
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(7-29-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Pocono:
    #36 remains in 35th and is new 86 points ahead of 36th, the #33 team.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    32) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 293 +110
    33) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 285 +102
    34) #32-Schrader/FAS Lane Racing, 281 +98
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 269 +86 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #33-Leicht/Childress-Falk, 183, -86 from the top 35
    37) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 161, -108
    38) #30-Stremme/Inception, 145, -124
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see the Owners Points Standings (pdf).(7-29-2012)

  • Indianapolis Notes-n-Nuggets:
    " Jimmie Johnson grabbed his 58th career win (eigth all-time) in his 383rd start.
    " It is the fourth time Jimmie Johnson has won the Brickyard race, tying Jeff Gordon for most all-time.
    " Jimmie Johnson notched his third win of 2012 (Darlington and Dover), knotting Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski for the most.
    " The performance by Jimmie Johnsons is 10th top-five (most in CUP) and 15th top-10 of 2012 (tied for the most).
    " Jimmie Johnson led five times for 99 laps, including the final 29.
    " It's the 205th all-time win for Hendrick Motorsports, and their Cup-high sixth of the season.
    " Hendrick Motorsports notched their eighth win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- no other team has more than three.
    " Kyle Busch (second) had his best Brickyard finish in his eighth start -- his first top-five finish since Charlotte in May.
    " Greg Biffle (third) matched his best Brickyard finish with his fifth-straight IMS top-10, the longest current streak.
    " Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fourth) is the new points leader, as he had his ninth top-five finish of 2012 -- he had nine combined from 2009-2011.
    " It was the 21st consecutive time that Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished on the lead lap, tying Jeff Gordon's Cup record.
    " Jeff Gordon (fifth) grabbed his eighth top-10 finish of 2012, including five in the last six races.
    " Tony Stewart (10th) has finished in the top 12 in 12 of his 14 Brickyard starts.
    " Carl Edwards (29th) has only one top 10 in the last eight races; fell to 12th in points.
    " Matt Kenseth (35th) had his worst finish of the season, dropping 14 points out of the lead in second.(Racing Recall/nascar.com)(7-29-2012)

  • NASCAR warns drivers about Indy restarts: In light of Saturday's controversy over restarts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR race director David Hoots stepped to the microphone during Sunday's pre-race Sprint Cup Series drivers meeting and delivered a lecture. "We spend a lot of time talking about this," Hoots said sternly. "We tear up race cars, we ruin people's days because we can't handle those responsibilities. Whether it be you, I, whatever. We're all in it together. So let's do it right and do it the way we know how to do it so we don't have to take the extra steps of getting out there with micrometers and measurements and bring the field down. Usually, when we get involved to that point and you ask us to, you don't like the results! So I'm asking you to accept your responsibilities and do it properly." Hoots said several times each driver had "roles and responsibilities" in starting and restarting the race. Whether it's the pole-sitter conducting a smooth restart or a driver on the second row not pushing the cars in front of him too much, all drivers need to play a part, he said. "If this is not done in this very simple process, there's a chain reaction that occurs," he said. "... You have shared responsibilities on not trying to take advantage of something that's this simple and create such a mess that could ruin a lot of people's days at the start."
    Hoots emphasized the flagman -- not the pole-sitter -- starts the race. The pole-sitter then must lead at the start line, barring "some exceptions." The leader, he said, should not brake-check or "burp" the car or do any kind of false start. On restarts, the rule is different because the flagman isn't the decision-maker. The leader has earned the right to decide when to hit the gas in the restart zone, and the second-place car cannot beat him to the line. But the leader has not earned the right to "screw around with the restart," Hoots said. "You all have a role in this," he said. "You have a role in this every week. Sometimes the role is from the pole, sometimes the role is from 43rd. But you're all responsible."(more at SB Nation)(7-29-2012)

  • Kurt Busch facing career crossroads with newfound inspiration: (a nice inspiring story about #51-Kurt Busch)......With practiced briskness, Kurt Busch pulls on a pair of rubber surgical gloves and slips into a disposable hospital smock -- both non-negotiable requirements for a visit to a third-floor room in the Critical Care Unit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. There is anger in the eyes of the wounded soldier lying on the hospital bed, connected to a wall of IV drips and vital-sign monitors. That's not quite accurate. The bed sheets drawn up to the stomach fail to hide a stark reality -- that the soldier propped up at a 30-degree angle is really half a soldier. An improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan, on his third tour of combat duty, removed his legs and everything else up to the lower torso. The remains of his organs are held in by mesh. But the anger is real, and so is the sense of bewilderment, as the 24-year-old soldier named Joseph contemplates a life without walking, without unaided motion, without sex. On July 9, Joseph is not quite six weeks removed from the explosion that blew away the lower half of his body. "It's rare that you see someone who's that angry this early," Patricia Driscoll would say later. Driscoll is Kurt Busch's girlfriend, a powerful counterweight to a mercurial former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion trying to find balance in his life. Driscoll also is president and CEO of the Armed Forces Foundation, and in that capacity, she has moved mountains for Joseph and his family. When labor union red tape threatened to prevent Joseph's father from sharing what might have been the last days of his son's life, Driscoll used a combination of persuasion and clout to bring the father to Walter Reed without fear of losing his job. Busch tries to break the ice with Joseph, who has had little exposure to NASCAR racing. The meeting is halting at first, but during a visit that lasts nearly an hour, the driver and the soldier achieve a rapport. Joseph revisits the day his life changed forever. n you get hit with an IED, it's supposed to knock you unconscious," Joseph said. "That didn't happen to me. I remember everything. I felt everything. . . ." Despite his ordeal, Joseph is surprisingly strong. He exercises his arms using tethers suspended from a bar above his bed. Busch discovers just how strong Joseph is when he challenges the solider to a good-natured bout of arm wrestling. At the end of the visit, Busch signs NASCAR hero cards for Joseph and his family. Joseph promises to tune in to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire, and there is every sense he will keep that promise. As they leave the room, Driscoll slips a check for $3,000 to Joseph's father to help with bills at home while he stays with his son at the hospital.(see much more at NASCAR Wire Service)(7-29-2012)

  • TMone to be primary sponsor the #10 Chevy at TBR: TMone will support both Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) teams this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Iowa and South Dakota based company will be a primary sponsor of the #10 @TMone CRM Hiring Veterans Chevy and associate of the #36 SealWrap Chevy in the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard. TMone, pronounced T-M-one, is a business process outsourcing (BPO) company that is in the business of domestic business services outsourcing. TMone is seeking to hire over 150 Veterans immediately for full time, permanent positions. All of TMone's jobs are filled in the Heartland of America.(TBR), nothing official has been announced but J.J. Yeley is driving the #10 Chevy at Indy. Daivd Reutimann was originally entered, but that changed. Yeley is scheduled to run the #37 Chevy for MaxQ Motorsports in alliance with TBR, supposedly at Pocono next weekend.(7-29-2012)

  • Carl Edwards Stars in New ESPN NASCAR Promotional Spot: #99-Carl Edwards stars in the second spot in ESPN's "Nothing Beats First Place" NASCAR ad campaign that will debut in ESPN's telecast of Sunday's Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indianapolis race kicks off ESPN's telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races of the season, including all 10 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. A spot featuring #48-Jimmie Johnson with a porcupine named "Pricklebear" has been airing for several weeks, and two other spots featuring Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski will air later this season. The humorous ads show the drivers enduring various unhappy moments, but none are worse than losing a race. Edwards' spot focuses on things that frighten him, including a nod to a scene from the popular movie "Home Alone," but losing and not winning scare him more. Wieden + Kennedy is the creative agency for the campaign.(ESPN)(7-29-2012)


    News from July 28, 2012

  • Hamlin wins pole at Indy: #11-Denny Hamlin won the pole for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a speed of 182.763mph for his 2nd pole of 2012 and 11th career pole.
    #99-Edwards will start 2nd followed by #20-Logano, #43-Almirola, #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #18-Busch, #27-Menard, #24-Gordon & #17-Kesneth.
    #98-McDowell's car failed post-qualifying inspection; qualifying time disallowed; nitrogen pressure in rear shock exceeded max limit, so the #19 will make the race and the #98 will not.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #30-Stremme, #95-Speed, #26-Wise, #33-Leicht, #79-Skinner, #23-Riggs & #19-Bliss .
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #91-Sorenson, #87-Nemechek and #98-McDowell (time disallowed).
    See the qualifying order & resylts, starting lineup, pole progression and more on the Indianapolis Qualifying Page.(7-28-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Indianapolis:
    #11- Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 19th Annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at The Brickyard Powered by Big Machine Records with a lap of 49.244 seconds, 182.763 mph.
    This is his 11th pole in 243 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and 11th top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his first pole in seven races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    #99-Carl Edwards (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2012 and his third in eight races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    #20-Joey Logano (third) posted his first top-10 start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his ninth in 20 races this season.
    #26-Josh Wise (36th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-28-2012)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #11-Hamlin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #99-Edwards took pit stall 17, the 1st pitstall with opening just before the start finish line.
    #20-Logano, who starts 3rd took the 9th pit stall, the 1st stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #19-Bliss, who starts 43rd
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-28-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 2:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): ESPN, 2:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none

  • Qualifying Order for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #33-Leicht, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #5-Kahne, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Indianapolis Qualifying Page.(7-28-2012)

  • Happy Hour practice: for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over, after 110 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #16-Biffle 181.499
    #99-Edwards 181.232
    #20-Logano 181.189
    #5-Kahne 180.999
    #17-Kenseth 180.988
    slowest: #32-Schrader 171.435 & #10-Yeley 172.133
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average (if any ran 10 laps in a row) on the Indianapolis Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(7-28-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice in Indy Happy Hour
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #21-Bayne 14th fastest overall
    #95-Speed, 25th
    #98-McDowell, 31st
    #30-Stremme, 32nd
    #26-Wise, 33rd
    #79-Skinner, 34th
    #19-Bliss, 37th
    #33-Leicht, 41st
    if things stay the same, this driver would miss the race
    #87-Nemechek, 42nd
    #91-Sorenson, 43rd
    #23-Riggs, 44th
    (7-28-2012)

  • First Saturday practice: for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #5-Kahne 185.326
    #55-Martin 183.520
    #24-Gordon 183.292
    #48-Johnson 183.235
    #2-Keselowski 182.918
    slowest: #33-Leicht 175.963 & #91-Sorenson 176.301
    incidents: #17-Kenseth & #43-Almirola smacked the wall and scraped the right side of the car.
    Speed airs dame day delay coverage of the practice.
    this practice determined the qualifying order [2:00pm/et on ESPN today].
    Happy Hour practice is scheduled 10:30am/et to 12:20pm/et on ESPN2.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average (if any ran 10 laps in a row) on the Indianapolis Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(7-28-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the ten cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice at Indy
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #21-Bayne 13th fastest overall
    #98-McDowell, 23rd
    #95-Speed, 25th
    #26-Wise, 27th
    #87-Nemechek, 30th
    #79-Skinner, 31st
    #23-Riggs, 34th
    #19-Bliss, 40th
    if things stay the same, this driver would miss the race
    #30-Stremme, 42nd
    #91-Sorenson, 45th
    #33-Leicht, 46th, slowest
    (7-28-2012)

  • Edwards old crew chief could return: #99-Carl Edwards left open the possibility of Bob Osborne returning as his crew chief when his health issues improve. Edwards said he couldn't elaborate on what the health issues are that forced team owner Jack Roush to replace Osborne with Chad Norris during the off week prior to Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But he made it clear the issue was serious enough that Osborne had to step away. "If we don't do any better here and Bob is up to it, we'll probably put Bob back in as soon as he's able,'' Edwards said after Saturday's first practice at IMS. "If this goes well and Bob is doing well in his new role, if that's the best thing for him and Chad is doing great, then we'll move forward doing this. Nothing is in stone right now. It could be a whole different scenario next weekend. We're doing everything we can to be as good as we can right now.'' Edwards said Osborne won't be at the track this weekend as Norris makes his debut for the #99 team that is 11th in points but behind four drivers with at least one win in the race for two wild-card spots. "I cannot reiterate enough, I can't overstate it, Bob is a very, very dedicated guy to our sport,'' Edwards said. "He's going through something that would be tough for anyone. For him to have done what he's done at this level and to have kept it quiet, he's just a tough, tough man.'' Edwards and Roush officials indicated Osborne's issues don't appear to be life threatening.(ESPN)(7-28-2012)

  • FAS Lane Racing gets associate sponsor: FAS Lane Racing announced that All Sports Tailgating has become a Major Associate Sponsor for the team's #32 entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. All Sports Tailgating will make their first appearance on the #32 Ford this weekend in the running of the Crown Royal Curtiss Shaver 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with veteran driver Ken Schrader behind the wheel.(FAS Lane Racing)(7-28-2012)

  • Almirola and Eckrich Hand-Deliver Surprise to Indianapolis Military Member: Imagine answering your front door and finding a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and race car outside. And the driver is bearing gifts. That's exactly what happened to an Indianapolis family when Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich® Ford, rang the doorbell of the Baier home Friday afternoon. Almirola and sponsor Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, made the surprise visit as part of their partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of United States service members and wounded warriors. The driver presented retired U.S. Army serviceman Scott Baier and his family with a gift package that included Eckrich products as well as Eckrich shirts and hats autographed by Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports team owner and racing legend Richard Petty. Almirola also gave the family VIP passes to Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Eckrich has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4.(RPM)(7-28-2012)

  • Indy considering installing lights: Despite attendance struggles at the Brickyard 400 (now known as the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard) over the past five years, there's no talk from NASCAR or Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials about discontinuing the race. IMS officials said the commitment on both sides couldn't be stronger for continuing the race long-term and making it stronger than it currently is. "I don't think either party could be more secure in its relationship with [the] other," said IMS spokesman Doug Boles. "There is no thought internally or within NASCAR that this race shouldn't continue." To bolster sagging attendance, Speedway officials are breaking new ground this year and may be willing to break even more ground in future years. For the first time, the IMS will host Grand Am and NASCAR Nationwide races over the weekend in conjunction with the Sprint Cup headliner on Sunday. More radical changes could be coming. Speedway officials this week told IBJ that they have discussed installing lights at the massive facilitya project that would cost tens of millions of dollarsto allow races at night, particularly NASCAR events. "Those types of discussions are more common now than they were even a year and a half ago," Boles said. "One consideration is it would allow us to get fans out of the heat of the day." Erecting lights would be a major departure for Speedway officials, who previously have shunned the idea. IMS stands as one of the few major race tracks nationally without lights.(Indianapolis Business Journal)(7-28-2012)

  • Pennsylvania 400's Pocono Presidential Pick for $100,000: The 2012 Presidential race is heating up and our very own Pocono Raceway President and CEO, Brandon Igdalsky, is initiating his own campaign with a bold prediction on his pick to win the Pennsylvania 400. Igdalsky is so confident with his pick, he will give $100,000 away to one lucky race fan if Dale Earnhardt, Jr., wins "The Tricky Triangle" 400-miler on Sunday, August 5th. Yes, you heard it right the first time! One lucky fan can walk away $100,000 richer if Dale Jr. wins the Pennsylvania 400! Fans can enter the "Pocono Presidential Pick for $100,000" by visiting any of their Official Pocono Raceway souvenir trailers, stands or tents, located throughout our facility, during the Pennsylvania 400 race weekend. Once there, they will be required to fill out a simple entry blank to become automatically entered. The Pocono Raceway staff will randomly select an individual at the half-way point of the Pennsylvania 400. If the No. 88 Chevrolet, piloted by Dale Jr. takes the checkered flag, they will win $100,000! Additionally, four other winners will be chosen at random, along with the potential $100,000 winner, with each receiving two Terrace Club tickets to a 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of their choice at Pocono Raceway, regardless of the outcome of the 2012 Pennsylvania 400. For more information, including additional rules and regulations, please visit www.poconoraceway.com/100k.(Pocono Raceway)(7-28-2012)

  • NHMS officials release 1,000 additional pre-race pit passes for September: A record number of fans took advantage of New Hampshire Motor Speedway's ultimate pre-race experience at the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on July 15. In September, "The Magic Mile" will set a new record as speedway officials announce that they have made another 1,000 "Pre-Race Pit Passes" available for the SYLVANIA 300, the second race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The pre-race pit pass allows fans to experience pit road from a crew member's perspective before the big race and stand in front of the stage for September's featured concert. Pre-race pit passes are valid until one hour prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. For more details and ticket information on events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway or to purchase tickets to the upcoming SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekend, please stop by the Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call our Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.(NHMS)(7-28-2012)


    News from July 27, 2012

  • Smith's #78 Chevy Pays Tribute to Victims of Aurora Tragedy: Regan Smith's #78 Furniture Row Chevy will pay tribute to the victims of the Aurora, Colo. tragedy during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The movie theater where the shooting took place is approximately seven miles from the Furniture Row Racing shop in Denver. The paint scheme on Smith's car for Sunday's Brickyard 400 will include the following:
    The hood of the car will showcase a ribbon, and inside the ribbon will be a memorial cross and the red and gold logo that appears on the Colorado state flag
    The rear quarter panels will read Aurora, CO and the names of the 12 people who were killed in the tragedy
    The rear bumper (TV panel) will include the following inscription:

    For Those Lost, Those Injured And Countless Acts of Bravery 7/20/12

    The tragedy struck close to the Furniture Row family. Kimber Avra, an employee of the Furniture Row Companies, was at the Aurora movie theater with her friend Micayla Medek. Avra suffered scrapes and bruises, but sadly, Micayla was one of the 12 who was killed in the shooting. "Our hearts go out to the victims and to their families," said Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone. "It really hits close to home for us here in Colorado. The movie theater where the shooting took place is only a few miles from where our team is based in Denver. We mourn the loss of life from this senseless tragedy, and feel we also need to stand up and acknowledge the heroism of those people who put their lives on the line to save others. Our thoughts this weekend will be with all the people who suffered from this horrific act of violence."(Furniture Row Racing), see images of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(7-27-2012)

  • FAS Lane Racing gets a sponsor for Indy: FAS Lane Racing announced that Special Operations for America (SOFA) will sponsor the team's #32 Ford driven by Ken Schrader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of their Public Awareness and Education Drive. The Special Operations for America name and logo will appear on the #32 hood and rear quarter panels along with the web site information and the message: "Join The Battle" in the running of the Crown Royal Curtiss Shaver 400.(Integrity Sports Marketing/FAS Lane Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #32 Team Schemes page.(7-27-2012)

  • The Entry List for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Notes: Yeley will not run the #37 at Indy, but be in the #10, Reutimann will not race.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (44/13)
    #21-Trevor Bayne (37/7)
    #23-Scott Riggs (43/18)
    #26-Josh Wise (40/19)
    #30-David Stremme (38/19)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/19)
    #79-Mike Skinner (52/4)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/19)
    #91-Reed Sorenson (0/0)
    #95-Scott Speed (45/5)
    #98-Michael McDowell (41/19)
    withdraw from the event:
    #49-TBA (39/19)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,33,30,26,98,87,23,19
    missing the race would be [3]: # 95,79,91
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Indy Entry List

  • NASCAR looking at changes to qualifying? UPDATE: NASCAR is kicking around the idea of qualifying the top 38 drivers on time and cutting the number of provisionals down to four plus one for former champions. With sponsors at a premium right now, it could be catastrophic to eliminate provisionals altogether, particularly when a driver missing a race could result in a benefactor pulling its support from the team.(Fox Sports)(7-24-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR's rule guaranteeing the top 35 teams in the Sprint Cup series a spot in each race may be going away in 2013. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said on Thursday that NASCAR is talking to teams about doing away with guaranteed starting spots in the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series with the hope of putting more emphasis on qualifying. "People want to see it go back to where speed gets you in,'' Pemberton said from the infield at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pemberton did not discuss specifics of the new qualifying rules, but sources close to the situation told ESPN.com one plan is to have the top 38 cars get in on speed with one past champions provisional and four provisionals for the top four drivers in points that didn't make it on speed. Under the current system in Cup, the top 35 teams are guaranteed a spot in the field regardless of whether they run a qualifying lap or not. That number is 30 for Nationwide and 25 for Trucks. The system was put in place in 2005 to assure full-time teams with big-name drivers and big sponsors did not miss the race. If the top-35 rule is eliminated, cars inside the top 35 at the end of 2012 won't be guaranteed a spot in the first five races of 2013 as has been the case in the past. Pemberton said that won't totally eliminate owners purchasing numbers for the Daytona 500, where points are used from the previous season, but the need won't be as great.(ESPN)
    This sounds similar to the old provisional system last used during the 2004 season, see how it worked and some notes about it on my 2004 Provisionals page.(7-27-2012)

  • No driver changes planned for EGR: [Earnhardt Ganassi Racing owner Chip] Ganassi has a lot of new people and a lot of new systems he put in place prior to this season, understanding great change was needed. He expects to struggle to some degree as most organizations do during the transition stages. He is hopeful because he sees progress within that few of us can see on the surface. "Are we where we want to be in the points? No," Ganassi says. "Are we where we want to be performance-wise? No. Are we happy with the people we have and direction we're going? Yes." EGR is in better shape than a lot of organizations on things that count. It is solid with sponsor Target for #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, and optimistic McDonald's and Bass Pro Shop will be back with #1-Jamie McMurray. EGR isn't looking to make driver changes, with Montoya already signed and McMurray close to a new deal. "We're in the middle of a process now," Ganassi says. "That process is going very well. While all things are not apparent to the eye on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, back at headquarters in Charlotte as a NASCAR team everybody is very excited about where things are going." Ganassi is asked: Can you expand on those things? "No," he says.(in part from ESPN.com)(7-27-2012)

  • NASCAR will keep drug test details private: NASCAR is sticking to its policy of not disclosing the specific substances that cause positive drug tests. Series President Mike Helton said Thursday that even though the rulebook allows series officials to disclose which drugs a competitor has tested positive for, he does not intend to stray from the long-standing policy of keeping those results private. Helton cited federal privacy laws as one reason the series has not publicly said what caused A.J. Allmendinger's positive test. NASCAR has not provided details of the test and has said only that the two urine samples tested positive for the same substance. Allmendinger was suspended hours before the July 7 race and is now serving an indefinite suspension after his backup "B" sample also tested positive this week. Allmendinger's business manager, Tara Ragan, said the driver tested positive for an amphetamine. Allmendinger has said he did not knowingly ingest a banned substance, and has hired an independent laboratory in an attempt to figure out how he tested positive. But Allmendinger is not fighting the suspension and has instead said he will participate in NASCAR's anti-drug program, which includes an evaluation by a substance abuse professional, along with potential counseling and rehabilitation, so he can be reinstated.(in part from the Associated Press)(7-27-2012)

  • Some testing could return in 2013: Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said NASCAR also is talking to teams about adding testing [not just tire testing] in 2013. The governing body eliminated open testing a few years ago to keep the playing field level at a time when smaller teams couldn't afford to test as often as the big teams. But with the economy turning around and teams testing at non-sanctioned tracks anyway, Pemberton said there's a good chance NASCAR will schedule tests at a few sanctioned tracks.(ESPN)(7-27-2012)

  • Quicken Loans returns as #39 sponsor - Win One for Baby: Quicken Loans, Inc., the nation's largest online retail mortgage lender, will be the primary sponsor of Stewart-Haas Racing's #39 Chevy. Quicken Loans is sponsoring nine races in 2012.When not serving as a primary sponsor, Quicken Loans is an associate sponsor. Additionally, Quicken Loans is an associate sponsor on the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala of Tony Stewart throughout the 2012 Sprint Cup season. Newman became a father for the second time during the off week when wife Krissie gave birth to daughter Ashlyn Olivia on July 16 at 12:20 p.m. Both Stewart-Haas Racing cars will carry a special decal at Indianapolis to honor the birth of the Newmans' new daughter and first daughter Brooklyn's new little sister (SHR), see images of the scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(7-27-2012)

  • #43 to honor military families with sponsor Eckrich: The Petty family has a long history of supporting our nation's heroes. This weekend, with the help of driver Aric Almirola, the team will once again take time to honor America's military families with team partner Eckrich. This summer, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families. The company has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4. It has also partnered with Operation Homefront and Richard Petty Motorsports to honor a military family at the track during its three primary race events, including this weekend at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Honoring the military is not new to Almirola or Petty. The team already has partnerships with the U.S. Air Force and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. For Almirola, who was born on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, it's also in his family blood (RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(7-27-2012)

  • SealWrap returns to sponsor #36 car: SealWrap Repair Tape, based in Indianapolis, will back Dave Blaney on the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy this weekend and at three more events throughout the season. SealWrap Repair Tape is designed for use in automotive repair, plumbing and electrical. It fixes and protects leaks or penetration from environmental elements. It is great for all those minor, do-it-yourself jobs around the house and garage. TMone, pronounced T-M-one, is a business process outsourcing (BPO) company that is in the business of domestic business services outsourcing and will be an associate sponsor on the #36 SealWrap Chevy. TMone is seeking to hire over 150 Veterans immediately for full time, permanent positions in an effort to strengthen support of our nation's veterans and their commitment to our county (TBR)(7-27-2012)

  • ESPN Outside the Lines Examines NASCAR Diversity Efforts: In 2004, NASCAR launched its Drive for Diversity program in an effort to develop minorities and women in the sport. While a few program graduates have enjoyed some success, in its nine years of existence, Drive for Diversity has yet to have any program driver participate in a Sprint Cup race. ESPN's Steve Delsohn examines NASCAR's efforts to diversify, as well as some of the obstacles minority drivers face in trying to break into the upper echelons of auto racing. Outside the Lines is scheduled to air on ESPN, Sunday, July 29th at 9:00am/et.(ESPN)(7-27-2012)

  • Ford EcoBoost will be seen around the world: EcoBoost is taking over the world - at least when it comes to Ford Motor Company's motorsports program in the month of August. Ford's latest engine technology, which provides increased fuel efficiency and decreased emissions without sacrificing power, has been a major hit with consumers worldwide. Beginning with the first weekend in August, motorsports fans will get a heavy dose of Ford EcoBoost highlighted through a unique livery on selected racing vehicles around the world. Ford will use its North American racing programs in NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide, NHRA drag racing and Best in the Desert, while its FIA World Rally Championship and China Touring Car Championship programs will also participate. The livery campaign kicks off on the weekend of Aug. 3-5 with NHRA in Seattle and the World Rally Championship event in Finland. The promotion will continue the following weekend of August 10-12 at Watkins Glen International as champion drivers Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, respectively. Kenseth will be in his #17 Ford EcoBoost Fusion while Stenhouse drives his #6 Ford EcoBoost Mustang. Two other series will round out the Ford EcoBoost blitz August 17-19 in the Las Vegas to Reno off-road race sanctioned by the Best in the Desert Racing Association and at the China Touring Car Championship event at the Ordos International Circuit in China. The Ford EcoBoost livery made its debut on the 2013 NASCAR Fusion that debuted in January and race fans have also seen the livery debut earlier this year in series such at Rally America and Formula Ford Great Britain.(Roush Yates)(7-27-2012)

  • Johnson Dominates Race Telecasts during 1st-half of the NASCAR Season: No driver has been mentioned more often on television, interviewed more frequently, or collected more exposure value for their sponsors than #48-Jimmie Johnson during the first half of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc.  which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 28 seasons  Johnson's sponsors as a group appeared for 13 hours, 10 minutes, 46 seconds (13:10:46) during live and replayed telecasts of the season's first 18 points races. When also factoring in verbal mentions (82) of his sponsors, $45.3 million of in-broadcast exposure value was amassed by the 43 brands monitored in association with Johnson. Despite a fifth-place ranking in driver mentions during the telecasts, Dale Earnhardt Jr. trailed Johnson only slightly in sponsor exposure value at mid-year with a total of $44.9 million.(see full charts and rankings at Joyce Julius & Associates)(7-27-2012)

  • Childress to be featured in PSA: The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma is airing its first public service announcement to raise awareness about the No. 1 killer of children in America - serious injury. The PSA will run on select cable channels in Charter Communications' service areas throughout the U.S. July 23-August 19 and feature RCR team owner Richard Childress. More info at RCRRacing.com.(7-27-2012)

  • NASCAR Foundation Reaches $1 Million Donated To Speediatrics: The NASCAR Foundation presented its annual $150,000 donation on Wednesday to the NASCAR-themed Speediatrics Unit of the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, raising its total contributions to the unit to more than $1 million since the partnership was established in 2006. The mission of The NASCAR Foundation's Speediatrics program is to create a healing environment where children always come first. Through its support of the unit, the foundation continues to help children suffering from illnesses lead healthier and happier lives through state-of-the-art medical care and a strong recovery process, all in an energetic, colorful environment. France led the check presentation during a special ceremony at Halifax Health Medical Center's Speediatrics Unit. Attendees included NASCAR President Mike Helton, NASCAR Vice Chairwoman and Executive Vice President and International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood, The NASCAR Foundation Board of Directors, Halifax Health CEO Jeff Feasel and Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey. The Speediatrics unit is a NASCAR-themed 32-bed pediatric unit, a pediatric emergency department and a five-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) located in Halifax Health Medical Center.(NASCAR Foundation)(7-27-2012)

  • Sunday shuttles available at Indy; parking/traffic info: Roundtrip Race Day bus shuttle service is available for the 19th annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 29 at four convenient locations, including three in downtown Indianapolis and one at Indianapolis International Airport. Tickets are $25 per person for one-way or round-trip service. Tickets can be ordered in advance at www.indysportsparking.com. They also can be purchased on Race Day at each location, with credit card, debit card and cash accepted. More info about the shuttle service at www.indysportsparking.com. For parking and traffic info, go to indianapolismotorspeedway.com.(IMS)(7-27-2012)

  • Fans help troops attend '400:' Thanks to generous fans and the combined efforts of Wish For Our Heroes (W4OH), the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indiana National Guard, 117 Indiana-based soldiers will attend the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com Sunday, July 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans donated $10,000 to the W4OH campaign that is providing reserved seats for military members for the 19th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at IMS. A national, non-profit organization based in Noblesville, Ind., Wish For Our Heroes coordinated the purchase and delivery of the tickets to the participating soldiers. For the first time, Wish For Our Heroes provided fans with the opportunity to help send active United States military or veterans to the Indianapolis 500, the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com or the Red Bull Indianapolis GP in 2012. The "Wish Fund" program is accepting donations to send soldiers to the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race Sunday, Aug. 19 at IMS.
    Wish For Our Heroes provides fans three ways to salute American service members through contributions or donations at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/wish4ourheroes. Fans may also make donations to send soldiers to the Red Bull Indianapolis GP during the pre-race infield concert before the start of the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 29. Ten active-duty soldiers will be in the concert crowd accepting donations. Fans who donate the purchase price of a ticket to the "Wish Fund" can designate the service branch and service status (active, reserves, National Guard, veteran, wounded veteran) of the ticket recipient. "Wish Fund" contributors who donate tickets or the purchase price of a ticket also can receive a picture of the military recipient and learn more about their dedicated service to the country.(IMS)(7-27-2012)

  • Unique aircraft in Indy flyover: Two V-22 Osprey tilt-rotator aircraft used by the U.S. Marine Corps will perform the flyover shortly before the 19th annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 Powered by BigMachineRecords.com NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, July 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The versatile Ospreys land vertically like a helicopter and fly like a plane by tilting wing-mounted rotors that function as propellers. The Osprey is used by the Marines for a variety of purposes, including troop and cargo transport, amphibious assault, special operations and search and rescue missions. The flyover will be the culmination of pre-race ceremonies that pay special recognition to 100 years of U.S. Marine Corps aviation, acknowledging its growth in the early 20th century and distinguished service to the nation through to the present day.(IMS)(7-27-2012)


    News from July 26, 2012

  • Chevrolet Camaro Will Debut in 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series: Chevrolet will have a new entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013: Camaro, the top- selling sports car in America, will make its series debut next February at Daytona International Speedway (Team Chevy), more info and images of the car on Jayski's Nationwide Series site.(7-26-2012)

  • Mayfield comments on Allmendingers suspension: Jeremy Mayfield tried to fight his way back into NASCAR after being suspended for violating the sport's substance abuse policy. But his legal battle ultimately failed and, three years later, Mayfield remains suspended. So when Mayfield heard that suspended driver AJ Allmendinger would enter the sport's Road to Recovery program instead of fighting NASCAR, he understood why. "That's his only move," Mayfield, 43, said in a phone interview Wednesday. "He was in a different place in his career than I was at. I was to the point where I was tired  I wasn't going to sit there and be a puppet no more. He has to be. & He's got to go through the Road to Recovery. For what? The guy is not a drughead, and everybody ought to know that he's not on drugs now."(see full post and many more quotes at the Sporting News)(7-26-2012)

  • Dollar General and partners on the #20 at Indy: Dollar General vendor partners Ragu, Delsym, Huggies, STP, Colgate, Slim Jim, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Today and Always, Glad and Gildan will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing's #No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (JGR), see images of the car on the #20 Team Schemes page.(7-26-2012)

  • NAPA & MWR team up to help wildfire victims: NAPA Auto Parts NASCAR Sprint Cup team co-owner Michael Waltrip will make a special delivery Saturday, July 28 in Colorado. Waltrip and MWR driver Martin Truex Jr. are asking race fans to participate in the NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE campaign to benefit victims of the wildfires which swept across Colorado last month. Fans may participate by making PayPal donations to the American Red Cross at www.michaelwaltripracing.com from now until Sunday, July 29. Waltrip and NAPA management will deliver a check for $25,000 from NAPA AUTO PARTS during ceremonies before Saturday's NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(7-26-2012)

  • Danica Patrick hopes to run 2013 Indy 500: from a Indianapolis Star Q&A with Danica Patrick:
    Q: You've expressed interest in returning to the 500 in 2013. What kind of odds would you give that?
    Patrick: "Fair chance. I'll say 50-50. We're working on it."(more at Indianapolis Star)(7-26-2012)


    Race to Get Zestfully Clean with #17

  • Montoya & Hornish Jr. trying to make history: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #22-Sam Hornish Jr. each have the opportunity to be the first driver in history to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the 400-mile Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Montoya, won the Indy 500 in 2000 and Hornish Jr. accomplished the feat in 2006.(7-26-2012)

  • The Numbers for Indianapolis Motor Speedway (All 18 Sprint Cup Races):
    1 - fewest cautions (8/5/95)
    2 - races won from the pole; three from the front row
    3 - most poles (Jeff Gordon)
    3 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    4 - most wins (Jeff Gordon)
    4 - drivers with more than one win (Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart
    4 - fewest caution laps (8/5/95)
    5 - fewest leaders (8/5/00)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    9 - fewest lead changes (three times, most recent 7/26/09)
    11 - different race winner
    11 - fewest laps led by race winner (Dale Jarrett, 8/3/96)
    13 - most cautions (8/8/04)
    14 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (8/5/00)
    15 - different pole winners
    26 - most lead changes (7/27/08)
    27 - fewest cars running at finish (8/8/04)
    36 - most cars on lead lap at finish 7/27/08)
    41 - most cars running at finish (7/27/08)
    52 - most caution laps (7/27/08)
    150 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track
    124 - most laps led by race winner (Jeff Gordon, 8/8/04)
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    5 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona1, Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington and Sonoma)
    10 - most cautions this season (Daytona1)
    103 - cautions in the first 19 races of 2012; includes 43 for accidents, 31 for debris and 12 for spins
    541 of 5,488 - laps under caution in 2012
    775.871 of 7,374.956 - miles under caution in the first 19 races
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(7-26-2012)

  • France committed to improving NASCAR racing: NASCAR chairman Brian France doesn't buy the argument that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. France said he is committed to ensuring the series has the best racing possible, even if some believe there's nothing wrong with the current product. "We can do better. We can have the packages better, tighter racing," France told The Associated Press in London, where he spoke Wednesday in the Beyond Sport's annual summit. "That's our stated goal and we have to get there. With the new car coming, we want to get this right. And we know it will be hard to keep it right." France currently has senior vice president Steve O'Donnell repurposing the North Carolina research and development center. France's goal is to split the R&D department from the competition department with an eye on improving the rules package before the 2013 cars debut. Fans have complained about stretches of racing this season, particularly a two-month swing that saw lots of strung-out, green-flag racing. NASCAR has made slight aerodynamic changes to the cars twice this season to try to make passing easier, and series leaders want the best possible package on next year's car. France said if there are improvements that can be implemented now, he won't wait for the 2013 car.(see full post at Associated Press)(7-26-2012)

  • Congrats: Steve and Lauren Hoegler welcomed their first child, Mary Elizabeth "Ellie" into the world on July 23rd, weighing in at 7lbs and 3oz. Steve is an engineer for Richard Childress #29-Kevin Harvick and Lauren is the Coordinating Producer for Sprint Vision.(7-26-2012)


    News from July 25, 2012

  • Amphetamines caused Allmendinger's positive test: Suspended Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger tested positive for amphetamines, his business manager confirmed Wednesday. Tara Ragan, the vice president of Walldinger Racing Inc., said Allmendinger was told when initially suspended by NASCAR on July 7 that amphetamines were found in his drug testing sample taken a week earlier. She said the term was so broad that she opted to refer to it as a stimulant. Brand names of medications that contain or metabolize into amphetamines include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Desoxyn, Didrex, ProCentra and Vyvanse. Amphetamines also are used recreationally as a performance enhancer, often referred to on the street as "speed." When overused, they can be psychologically and physically addictive. "With amphetamines, there are a whole slew of things it can be," Ragan told ESPN.com. "When we say we don't know what it is, what we were trying to ascertain is what is it in that grouping? In our head, we don't know. In fact, when the (medical review officer) first called and said he tested positive for amphetamines, the first thing we said was, 'What does that mean?'" Ragan said the hope is Dr. David Black, who runs Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., which tested Allmendinger's "A" and "B" urine samples, will help clarify that Thursday when Allmendinger talks to him to be assigned a health care facility for assessment. Meanwhile, Ragan said there are plans to have Allmendinger tested again by an independent laboratory to see whether amphetamines still show up in his system. "We weren't being evasive," Ragan said. "In my head, no, we didn't know what the drug was. Amphetamines was too general for us when trying to figure out what it is."(more at ESPN.com)(7-25-2012)

  • Some TV Notes:
    at 3:00 pm/et, Jeremy Mayfield will appear on ESPN2's NASCAR Now at 3pm/et with reaction about A.J. Allmendingers drug suspension, the yshow is hosted by Shannon Spake and can also be seen on watchespn.com.
    at 6:00 pm/et NASCAR Race Hub offers in-depth, continuing coverage of the fallout from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger's indefinite suspension from NASCAR for violation of the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. Tonight's NASCAR Race Hub features extensive interviews and analysis of the next steps for Allmendinger, Penske Racing and all affected by the news. Scheduled for Wednesday's show, hosted by Danielle Trotta, are:
    " Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing, will discuss what is next for the #22 team
    " Tara Ragan, VP of Walldinger Racing, Inc.
    " David Higdon, Managing Director of NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications, will discuss NASCAR's "Road to Recovery" program
    " SPEED analysts Larry McReynolds, Bob Dillner and Matt Clark break down the news and its implications.(7-25-2012)

  • Allmendinger Indefinitely Suspended From NASCAR Competition: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On July 24, Allmendinger was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR's substance abuse policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. As outlined in the rule book, NASCAR next will provide Allmendinger a letter outlining a process for reinstatement. By agreeing to the letter, he will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery Program.(NASCAR)
    Penske Racing Statement: "In accordance with NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy, Penske Racing was notified today of AJ Allmendinger's positive B sample test. We respect NASCAR's policy and the process they have taken with this matter. Penske Racing is very disappointed with the result of the B sample test and will evaluate its course of action as it pertains to AJ over the coming week. Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the #22 Dodge Charger this weekend at Indianapolis and next weekend at Pocono."(Penske Racing)
    Walldinger Racing Statement: Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville has delivered the results of the "B" sample test for Penske Racing driver AJ Allmendinger, which confirmed the results of the "A" test. Statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc. "This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this. To that end, we have secured the services of an independent lab to conduct thorough testing on every product within AJ's home and motor coach to find what might collaborate with his test, which created results that were within nanograms of accepted standards. We are working closely with NASCAR and Penske Racing to identify the next action steps in this process. We continue to be extremely grateful by the breadth and scope of support for AJ from his fans and partners. We would like to again thank NASCAR, Penske Racing and all our sponsor partners for the open communication, and for helping us at every step in this process. We expect to have further updates in the upcoming days."(Walldinger Racing)(7-24-2012)
    Shell / Pennzoil Statement: "Shell and Pennzoil believe that the process and procedures that NASCAR has in place as part of their substance abuse policy are appropriate and serve to ensure that the sport and its participants are held to the highest standards. We share Penske Racing's disappointment with the result of AJ's (Allmendinger) B sample test and will work closely with them to determine plans moving forward. We hope for the best for AJ during this difficult time."(Shell Motorsports)
    Allmendinger Update: Road to Recovery: "While we await further information from testing to determine the cause, we have notified NASCAR that AJ will participate in the Road to Recovery Program starting immediately. As we have stated earlier, we respect NASCAR's drug testing policies. They are first and foremost in place to protect drivers and AJ being among those. We fully support the program, and and as more details become available, we will share them. We would like to personally thank Mr. Helton and John Bobo for helping worked through this in an expeditious manner." -Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc.
    see earlier and all updates / reports / statements about Allmendinger's / Penske Racing's situation on the #22 team news page.(7-25-2012)

  • Stewart says he will have three teams in 2013: #14-Tony Stewart, driver of the #14-Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy and owners of Steweart-Haas Racing (#14, #10-Patrick & #39-Newman) was the guest on the NASCAR Weekly Teleconference. Below is the transcript in part, dealing with the loss of the U.S. Army on the #39 Chevy of Ryan Newman and plans for 2013:
    : Q. With U.S. Army now leaving a few weeks ago, where does that leave you as far as commitments with new sponsorship for your team next year?
    Stewart: We're working on it, it's definitely still a setback but --
    Q. Is it your hope to have three cars next year? Stewart: Yes, and it has been since we signed Danica.
    Q. On the sponsorship deal, last year at this time it seemed like the environment was changing a little bit and maybe getting a little bit better and if you're still seeing that kind of thing and what it's like out there now in terms of what kinds of things you're having to do to get sponsors now that maybe you were or were not last year at this time.
    Stewart: Well, I still think it's gaining momentum. We have been able to bring in Aspen Dental and Quicken Loans on board and those are two companies that had not been a part of NASCAR racing in the past. I'm pretty proud of that side of it. You know, it was definitely a huge disappointment that we were going to lose the U.S. Army. But it's not something that we have had a lot of at Stewart Haas Racing, we have not lost a lot of partners. And especially a group like U.S. Army, they have been a lot of fun to work with and they been a very dedicated group and have been very involved with what the race team is doing and very such pore at this point. We are going to miss out having them on board next year. But I still think it's coming around. There's a lot of new companies that we are seeing in the sport, and we are seeing that in our organization. So we are not giving up hope and throwing in the towel thinking that we are losing one sponsor; we are going to hopefully be able to try to find somebody else.(Team Chevy)(7-25-2012)

  • Hendrickcars.com returns to the #51 at Indy: HendrickCars.com is partnering with Phoenix Racing for this Sundayˇ¦s Brickyard 400. HendrickCars.com will be the primary sponsor for both the #51 Phoenix Racing Sprint Cup Series entry as well as the #1 Phoenix Racing Nationwide Series car. Kurt Busch will drive both cars. Phoenix Racing, in conjunction with the Armed Forces Foundation, continues its military dedication program this weekend in Indianapolis. Riding with Busch this weekend will be Army Specialist Andy Rubenstein. Rubenstein served in Desert Storm and has received multiple honors, including the Army Service Ribbon and National Defense Service Ribbon. Currently a disabled veteran dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, Rubenstein and his wife will be guests of the #51 Phoenix Racing team this weekend in Indianapolis.(Phoenix Racing), see images of the scheme on the #51 Team Schemes page.(7-25-2012)

  • Skinner to make Indy attempt with Go Green Racing: Bebida Beverage Company, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of liquid relaxation products, will reunite for their second time with #79 Go Green Racing and team owner Archie St Hilaire, for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Behind the wheel will be former Camping World Truck Series Champion Mike Skinner. This will be the second time Koma Unwind will be primary sponsor of the Go Green Racing #79 Ford. Earlier in the year the company backed the effort at Darlington Raceway with driver Scott Speed that started 29th and finished 42nd.(BeBevCo PR)(7-25-2012)

  • NASCAR's Global Influence Grows At Beyond Sport Summit: NASCAR's expanding role among global influencers of sport continues this week as Chairman and CEO Brian France participates in Beyond Sport's annual summit in London. The Summit began on Tuesday, a few days before the start of the 2012 Olympiad. On Wednesday, France will participate in a panel entitled "Mobilizing Millions," in which he will highlight NASCAR's efforts in green, diversity and charitable giving. Joining France will be Dr. Robin Peterson, CEO of the South African Football Association; Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, Emmy Award-winning television personality and health advocate; and Paddy Harverson, official spokesperson for Prince Charles, Duke of Cambridge.
    Moderated by Dr. Michael Lynch, NASCAR's managing director of green innovation, the conversation will look at how sport can be used as a tool to trigger large-scale change. Panelists will analyze how sports organizations, personalities and governing bodies can use the power of sport to improve lives, positively change behavior, or empower people on a global scale. Additionally France will present Beyond Sport's "Sport for the Environment" Award to a recipient who has put forth significant efforts to reduce sports' impact on the environment.
    The Beyond Sport summit is convened to celebrate, promote and drive sport-led social change. The event features networking opportunities, panels and action-led working sessions that include influencers from the worlds of sports, business and government. It will play host to a wide range of global luminaries, including Muhammad Ali, David Beckham and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.(NASCAR)(7-25-2012)

  • Indy Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same combination of left- and right-side tires at Indianapolis this week . . . this is the same tire set-up that Sprint Cup teams ran at IMS last year . . . in fact, this left-side tire code has been run at this track since 2010 . . . these teams also ran this left-side code at Phoenix earlier this season . . . this right-side tire code is unique to Indianapolis . . . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at IMS . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
    Goodyear will donate one dollar for every tire sold at participating Goodyear dealers in the U.S. from July 1 until August 31, up to $250,000, to benefit Support Our Troops. McMurray and Montoya, along with many other NSCS drivers signed a Goodyear tire that will be up for auction to raise funds for Support Our Troops. To bid, donate or learn more about how to support this cause click here. See tire codes, pressures, number of sets for Indy on the Indianapolis Race Info page - Goodyear section.(7-25-2012)

  • Montoya & McMurray to run in Brickyard Grand Prix: Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray will make their second GRAND-AM appearance of the season in the #02 Chevron Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley, joined by two-time Indy car Champion and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner, Scott Dixon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard, fielding two entries in the Brickyard Grand Prix on July 27.(CGRFS)(7-25-2012)

  • Burn Ban at The Brickyard: A significant fire hazard remains in all areas of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway due to persistently dry environmental conditions and the absence of significant rainfall. Due to the aforementioned conditions the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is instituting a burn ban that adheres to the burn ban put in place on June 28th, 2012 by the Town of Speedway. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway burn ban prohibits open burning such as comfort fires or camp fires of any kind. Fireworks and grilling devices that use a source of ignition other than gas are also not permitted. The following ignition sources will not be permitted on Indianapolis Motor Speedway property during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard event from July 25th  July 30th, 2012:
    Comfort fires or camp fires on the ground or in elevated devices
    Charcoal or any non-gas grills of any kind
    Fireworks of any kind
    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway asks all customers camping on or around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway property to be careful concerning the potential threat of ignition to dry areas of grass that could be caused by common sources of heat and fire that are permitted such as: cigarettes, recreational vehicle generator exhaust, vehicle engine heat, fluids from hot vehicle engines and gas grills.
    Gas grills are permitted in camping and tailgating areas during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard event, but are required to be operated at a minimum of 18 inches off the ground, with 36 inches off the ground being the preferred height for the safest usage. The Speedway Fire Department will assist in patrols and education of customers during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard event concerning the Town of Speedway burn ban as well as the burn ban initiated by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to ensure a safe environment for all customers attending the event. In the case a fire occurs please call 911 immediately to contact local authorities.(IMS)(7-25-2012)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Ramps Up 'Made in the USA' Efforts: As the United States Olympic team heads to London for the 2012 Olympic Games and sports fans everywhere begin to swell with American pride, visitors coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway are taking notice of the speedway's new efforts to promote "Made in America" souvenirs. As souvenirs go, T-shirts are the "bread and butter" for Charlotte Motor Speedway, comprising the majority of overall sales. In 2012, the speedway has purchased all of the blank T-shirts used for screen-printing and embroidery from Jensen Apparel. Jensen, which operates a facility in nearby Albemarle, N.C., gets all of the raw materials used in its production processes from domestic suppliers. In addition to Jensen, Charlotte Motor Speedway has partnered with Winston-Salem-based SustainU, a leading provider of domestically-made apparel produced from 100 percent recyclable materials. The track also works with suppliers like WinCraft, a Minnesota-based company that provides a wide variety of American-made souvenirs, from key chains and bumper stickers to jewelry and other novelty items. In the gift shop, located on the second floor of the Smith Tower, fans will find banners and other signage proudly highlighting "American Made" merchandise.(CMS)(7-25-2012)

  • Battle underway to save Nazareth Speedway: All over the United States, you can find historic but shuttered tracks, locales which once hosted all-out assaults of speed and sound but now sit abandoned, often gone to seed. Each of these tracks has its own hardy band of defenders and advocates who hope they can entice racing to return. Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania never hosted a Sprint Cup-level race, but did host lower series races (and IndyCar races) until 2004. Familiar names like Matt Kenseth, Dan Wheldon, Helio Castroneves and Greg Biffle notched Nationwide wins there; Martin Truex Jr. won the last race there in May 2004. The track is owned by ISC, but its role in the Northeast has been usurped by fellow ISC track Watkins Glen. Shoot, even the grandstands from Nazareth Speedway were removed and shipped over to Watkins Glen. For more about the speedway preservation effort, visit their Facebook page.(Yahoo Sports)(7-25-2012)


    News from July 24, 2012

  • Crew Chief Changes #78? UPDATE: Todd Berrier is listed as the crew chief for #78-Regan Smith, Berrier had been #47-Bobby Labonte's crew chief and GM for JTG Daugherty Racing.(7-23-2012)
    UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing announced today that Todd Berrier has been named crew chief for the team's #78 Chevy driven by Regan Smith. Berrier, who replaces Pete Rondeau, will take over the crew chief duties immediately. His first race on the pit box will be Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In making the announcement team general manager Joe Garone said, "Todd will be a great fit with our operation. The skill sets he has acquired during a successful crew chief career will be valuable assets as we move forward with a high level of energy and anticipation."
    "Furniture Row Racing has a reputation in the Sprint Cup garage for its commitment and potential," said the 42-year-old Berrier. "I welcome this opportunity and can't wait to begin my new position at Indianapolis this weekend."(Furniture Row Racing)(7-24-2012)

  • Crew Chief Changes #47? UPDATE and new general manager: David Hyder is listed on NASCAR's entry list as the crew chief for #47-Bobby Labonte while Todd Berrier, woh was the crew chief, is listed as the crew chief for #78-Regan Smith.(7-23-2012)
    UPDATE: Approaching the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race weekend, JTG Daugherty Racing announced today significant changes that include a new general manager and crew chief change for the #47 single-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation. Bobby Hutchens joins the racing organization as general manager. "Bobby Hutchens is someone I have admired for a long time and the individual I've turned to many times for direction over my 18 years as a car owner," said JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter. "In my opinion, he is the best in the business and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber step in to help steer our team in the right direction during this important transition."
    David Hyder will assume the role as interim crew chief for this weekend's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We have our eye on the crew chief that we want for the long term, but couldn't get it all done in time for the next few races," Geschickter said. "We would rather make the right decision for the long term. We are fortunate to have David Hyder working at JTG Daugherty Racing every day as crew chief for the K&N Pro Series East team that we have been preparing each week for Cale Conley. He has a wealth of Sprint Cup experience and we know he will do a great job until we make our decision." Todd Berrier, who joined JTG Daugherty Racing at the end of the 2011 season as crew chief and general manager, recently accepted a position with another team that was announced today. Labonte's team is prepared for the Brickyard this weekend as they display SCOTT Products on the hood of the #47 Toyota.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(7-24-2012)

  • NASCAR looking at changes to qualifying? NASCAR is kicking around the idea of qualifying the top 38 drivers on time and cutting the number of provisionals down to four plus one for former champions. With sponsors at a premium right now, it could be catastrophic to eliminate provisionals altogether, particularly when a driver missing a race could result in a benefactor pulling its support from the team.(Fox Sports)
    This sounds similar to the old provisional system last used during the 2004 season, see how it worked and some notes about it on my 2004 Provisionals page. (7-24-2012)

  • Rain-X sponsoring Burton at the Brickyard: Rain-X, the automotive aftermarket leader in water repellency glass treatments and wiper blades will be primary sponsor of the #31 Chevy for Richard Childress Racing and Jeff Burton in this weekend's Brickyard 400 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the past 40 years, drivers have trusted Rain-X to help them stay one step ahead of Mother Nature on the road. The revolutionary water beading technology in Rain-X® Original Glass Treatment enables raindrops to fly right off the windshield as you drive. In addition to glass treatments, the Rain-X portfolio offers wiper blades, glass cleaners, car washes, waxes, bug & tar removers, and headlight restoration kits.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #31 team paint schemes page.(7-24-2012)

  • Candy apple red returns to the #21 at Indy: Mention the words "candy apple red" to even a casual race fan and the next thing to come to mind is the Wood Brothers #21 Ford, or sometimes the Wood Brothers Mercury. The connection between car and color became so strong over the years, that even long after the team switched to a metal-flake red in 1971, most people still referred to the red color as candy apple. Many people today still refer to the red on the Wood's Ford Fusion as candy apple. The moment Trevor Bayne pulls the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week, the Wood Brothers' car will be sporting the true iconic colors. The car will be in the throwback colors to honor long-time crew chief and engine builder Leonard Wood and his election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Wood's picture appears on the hood of the car along with the Hall of Fame logo.(Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the car on the #21 team paint schemes page.(7-24-2012)

  • Hill leaving Fox Sports: News Corporation announced a restructuring of the senior leadership team that oversees the Company's media and entertainment properties. Peter Rice, who has served as Chairman of Entertainment for Fox Networks Group (FNG) since 2010, has been elevated to Chairman and CEO of FNG. David Hill, who has served as Chairman and CEO of Fox Sports since 1999, has been elevated to Senior Executive Vice President, News Corporation. In this new role Mr. Hill will focus on programming, digital initiatives and other opportunities spanning the breadth of the Company's operating units across Latin America, Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S. Mr. Hill will be based in Los Angeles. David Hill has been Chairman and CEO of Fox Sports since 1999. Previously, Mr. Hill served as Chairman and CEO of Fox Broadcasting Company from 1997 to 1999.(News Corp)(7-24-2012)

  • Austin Dillon will run full Nationwide season in 2013: Richard Childress is in no rush to push grandson #3-Austin Dillon into full-time Sprint Cup competition. "I've seen too many young guys come along and get moved up too quick," Childress said Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, where Dillon finished sixth in the STP 300. "We don't want to do that." So Dillon, battling teammate Elliott Sadler atop this year's points standings, can expect to run another full Nationwide schedule in 2013, at the same time, getting a bit more exposure in Cup. Ideally, Childress said he can expect seven Sprint Cup races. "We're going to run him next year in Nationwide for a full season and we'll run him in a few more Cup races and look at how we progress there," Childress said. "That's always been the plan -- kind of the plan we laid out when they were 13, 15 years old. You get two years in the Truck, two years in [Nationwide]. That's sort of the game plan for his brother [Ty] as well. We'll run him two years in Truck, then move him up. Of course, they've got to prove themselves every week."(NASCAR.com)(7-24-2012)

  • At Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
    • Indianapolis Motor Speedway has existed since 1909, and is the original "Speedway," the first racing facility to incorporate the word into its name.
    • There have been 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the first race in 1994.
    • Four drivers have competed in all 18 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
    • Rick Mast won the first pole in 1994.
    • Jeff Gordon won the 1994 inaugural race.
    • There have been 15 different pole winners.
    • Jeff Gordon leads all pole winners with three.
    • 11 drivers have won, led by Jeff Gordon with four victories.
    • Jimmie Johnson (three), Dale Jarrett and Tony Stewart (two each) are the other multiple winners.
    • Hendrick Motorsports has won seven races, more than any other organization.
    • Nine races have been won from a top-five starting position.
    • The furthest back a race winner has started at Indianapolis was 27th, by Jeff Gordon in 2001.
    • Two drivers have won from the pole: Kevin Harvick in 2003 and Jimmie Johnson in 2008.
    • Dale Jarrett (1996), Jimmie Johnson (2006) and Jamie McMurray (2010) are the only drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season.
    • Tony Stewart (8.0), Jeff Gordon (9.0) and Kevin Harvick (10.0) are the only active drivers to average a top-10 finish.
    • Three of the last five Indianapolis races ending under green had a margin of victory under one second.
    • 14 of the 18 races have been won by a past, reigning or future NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. The only four that were not: Ricky Rudd in 1997, Kevin Harvick in 2003, Jamie McMurray in 2010 and Paul Menard in 2011.
    • The winner of the Indianapolis race has won the championship in the same year seven times in the 18 years the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has raced there:
    2009: Jimmie Johnson
    2008: Jimmie Johnson
    2006: Jimmie Johnson
    2005: Tony Stewart
    2001: Jeff Gordon
    2000: Bobby Labonte
    1999: Dale Jarrett
    1998: Jeff Gordon
    • Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Indianapolis Motor Speedway winner: Jeff Gordon (08/06/1994 - 23 years, 0 months, 2 days).
    • Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Indianapolis Motor Speedway winner: Bill Elliott (08/04/2002 - 46 years, 9 months, 27 days).
    (NASCAR)(7-24-2012)


    News from July 23, 2012

  • Crew Chief Changes? #78 & #47?: David Hyder is listed on NASCAR's entry list as the crew chief for #47-Bobby Labonte while Todd Berrier is listed as the crew chief for #78-Regan Smith. It had been rumored that Crew chief Pete Rondeau was out as Smith's crew chief and remain with Furniture Row Racing in another capacity.(7-23-2012)

  • The Entry List for the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (44/13)
    #21-Trevor Bayne (37/7)
    #23-Scott Riggs (43/18)
    #26-Josh Wise (40/19)
    #30-David Stremme (38/19)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/19)
    #49-TBA (39/19)
    #79-Mike Skinner (52/4)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/19)
    #91-Reed Sorenson (0/0)
    #95-Scott Speed (45/5)
    #98-Michael McDowell (41/19)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,33,30,49,26,98,87,23
    missing the race would be [4]: # 19,95,79,91
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Indy Entry List.(7-23-2012)

  • More than 20 teams expected for July 30 MIS tire test: Michigan International Speedway will be the center of NASCAR on Monday, July 30 when Goodyear holds a one-day tire test for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. It is expected that more than 20 teams will take advantage of the extra time in their preparations for the Pure Michigan 400. "This test will help Goodyear select a tire that is more compatible with the fast Michigan racing surface, and improve an already competitive race weekend from start to finish," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said, "Goodyear invited a majority of teams to Michigan, and we'll work together on all elements to put on the best show possible for our fans." The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstand from 9 am to 5 pm on July 30 for fans to watch the test free of charge. "This is a unique opportunity for fans to see the drivers again test the repaved racing surface," MIS President Roger Curtis said. "We expect to see numerous drivers and teams continue to prepare for the upcoming Pure Michigan 400. The test falls at a perfect time for our fans as they get a chance to see cars on track between our two races." Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances. Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstands through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. The restroom facilities will be open and concession stands will be available. Fans are also allowed to bring in coolers that meet the MIS grandstand gate policies for any race weekend. All race tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(7-16-2012)
    UPDATE: Michigan International Speedway will host 28 teams on Monday, July 30 when Goodyear holds a one-day tire test for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The best drivers in NASCAR will once again descend on the Irish Hills to continue their preparations for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August 19. The star-studded list includes 28 drivers and teams who will take advantage of the added practice time. The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 30 for fans to watch the test free of charge. Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances.(MIS)(7-23-2012)

  • Martinsville president in plane crash, is ok: Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell was on the plane that crashed early Sunday morning at Blue Ridge Regional Airport in Henry County. He is a part-owner of the plane. Campbell was flying back from a race he was involved in. The other passengers on the plane were crew members. A pilot and six passengers were on board the plane when it crashed. No one was hurt.(WDBJ)(7-23-2012)

  • Sprint Cup Racing Coming to ESPN for Second Half of Season: The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of the premier events in NASCAR, will be the launching point for ESPN's live, flag-to-flag telecasts of the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on Sunday, July 29.
    ESPN's multimedia platforms will surround the race telecasts on television, radio, online and on mobile devices. Of the 17 races, 14 will air on ESPN and WatchESPN and three Saturday night events will air on ABC, and ESPN's flagship news and information program SportsCenter will follow the 14 ESPN race telecasts with additional post-race interviews, highlights and information.
    Beginning Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway, the final 10 races will comprise the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's playoffs, culminating Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the crowning of the series champion.
    For the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ESPN will again utilize NASCAR NonStop, a split-screen commercial format that brings more racing action to viewers. The format, which ESPN used for the first time in 2011, shows the advertisement on the left side of the screen and a continuation of racing action on the right side. ESPN's scoring ticker continues to move across the top of the screen, allowing NASCAR fans to follow the running order of the race during the breaks. NASCAR NonStop takes effect at or near the halfway point of the race, with the first half of the race presented in the traditional commercial break format.
    ESPN's NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage team will include four former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, led by analyst Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, who will work with two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree and lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth. Rusty Wallace, the 1989 driving champion, and three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham will be analysts for NASCAR Countdown with host Nicole Briscoe and analyst Brad Daugherty, a NASCAR team owner.
    Pit reporters during ESPN's 17-race NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch while Marty Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer for the remainder of ESPN's NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts beginning with Indianapolis.(ESPN)(7-23-2012)

  • Jimmie Johnson ticket package returns at Michigan: Due to the overwhelming success of a similar ticket package in June, Michigan International Speedway and five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson will again offer a special ticket offer for children. The track has teamed with Johnson for a specially priced $48 ticket offer which includes one adult ticket, one ticket for any child 12 years or younger, a Q&A session with Johnson and a Sunday scanner rental for the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 19. Every child will receive a Lowe's Build and Grow kit, a wooden replica of Johnson's No. 48 Madagascar 3 race car. This package sold out for June due to its popularity, so fans should not wait to purchase.(MIS)(7-23-2012)


    News from July 22, 2012

  • Penske to get Allmendinger's drug test results by Thursday: A.J. Allmendinger's test results on his "B Sample" will be known within 24-48 hours after Tuesday's test, according to Bud Denker, Senior Vice President of Penske Corporation. Denker is in Edmonton for Sunday's IZOD IndyCar Series Edmonton Indy and confirmed that the second test for the suspended NASCAR Sprint Cup driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge will be known prior to next Saturday's first practice session for the Crown Royal at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Denker, who said neither NASCAR nor Allmendinger have notified the team of what substance was found in Allmendinger's initial test, expects to have the results of Allmendinger's B Sample either late Wednesday or on Thursday. Team owner Roger Penske and Team Penske President Tim Cindric have both said if Allmendinger passes the B Sample test he will immediately be reinstated to the #22 Dodge. If Allmendinger's second drug test comes back positive, then he will be suspended indefinitely by NASCAR.(Motorsport.com)(7-22-2012)

  • Congrats: Roy and Sara Gangdal welcomed their second child, Jasmine Gangdal into the world on June 20th, weighing in at 5lbs and 10oz. Roy is the shock specialist for Richard Petty Motorsports #43-Aric Almirola.(7-22-2012)

  • Pocono Raceway Assists the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign: The National Park Foundation's Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign has been chosen as Pocono Raceway's charitable beneficiary of the NASCAR Green Flag Tree Planting program. The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, is excited that the eight green flags dropped during the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 will result in planting eight acres (approximately 5,000) of seedlings at the Flight 93 National Memorial as part of a 150,000-tree planting initiative. The memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania remembers the heroism of the forty men and women on board Flight 93 and offers a place of learning and understanding about the events of September 11, 2001. Tree planting is an essential feature of the memorial's design intended to symbolically create a living memorial and to develop an environmentally sustainable model for the 2,200-acre reclaimed coal mine and national park. The model will transform this area in important ways. Building the memorial will invigorate new life into a field scarred both by the events of September 11 and by years of mining and will change the Flight 93 site into a publicly-accessible national park visited and enjoyed by millions of visitors.(Pocono Raceway)(7-22-2012)


    News from July 21, 2012

  • Andretti says Cup in 2013 'highly unlikely': Michael Andretti says time is running out for his Indianapolis-based racing organization to join NASCAR for next season. The owner of Andretti Autosport said it's now "highly unlikely" that he'll be involved with the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. "We've got a couple of (sponsorship) deals working, but it's getting late," Andretti said following the first practice of the Edmonton Indy. "It's not dead yet, but it's highly unlikely." Andretti bought his IndyCar team in 2003, but the cost of participating in IndyCar is at least one-third of what it takes to be in Sprint Cup.(USA Today/Indianapolis Star)(7-21-2012)

  • Four NASCAR drivers in top 50 sports money earners: For the first time since SI.com began publishing the Fortunate 50 in 2004, Tiger Woods is not No. 1. He's not even No. 2. That honor goes once again to Phil Mickelson. The new No. 1 (for now) is Floyd Mayweather, who was unranked a year ago but scored two huge pay-per-view paydays to earn $85 million without a single endorsement. [SI's] findings consisted solely of salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees. NASCAR has 4 drivers on the list. #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., with a total of $28,164,690 in salary/winnings and endorsements, ranks 8th, #24-Jeff Gordon is 18th, #14-Tony Stewart is 29th, and #48-Jimmie Johnson is 33rd.(Sports Illustrated)(7-21-2012)

  • Ron Howard to drive pace car at Indy: Two-time Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard will drive the Pace Car and lead the field of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series superstars to the green flag at the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 29, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Howard has become an entertainment legend as a director, producer and actor. He has directed worldwide blockbusters including "A Beautiful Mind," "Angels & Demons," "Apollo 13," "Backdraft," "Cinderella Man," "Cocoon," "Parenthood," "Splash," "The Da Vinci Code," "Willow" and many more. Howard will be making his first visit to the historic speedway as a guest of, and to shadow, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and his #24 Drive to End Hunger team.(IMS)(7-21-2012)

  • Homestead-Miami Speedway launches fan advisory board: Fans come first at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With that mantra in mind, the speedway is recruiting race fans and community partners to become members of the track's first-ever fan advisory network, which will be known as HMS FANatics. This group is being organized in order for track operators to garner suggestions and ideas for improving the fan experience at Homestead-Miami Speedway. FANatics members will serve rotating one-year terms that will include both a NASCAR and GRAND-AM event. Members will participate in quarterly meetings and conference calls. Additionally, members will have exclusive access to an online message board and Facebook page.(HMS)(7-21-2012)


    News from July 20, 2012

  • Yeley moving to Tommy Baldwin Racing: UPDATE: J.J. Yeley, who has been driving the #49 for Robinson-Blakeney Racing, tweeted Wednesday morning, "Making some positive changes for the remainder of 2012. Moving over to TBR". No additional details available yet.(7-18-2012)
    UPDATE: Max Q Motorsports (MQM) Owner Larry Gunselman announced that MQM and Tommy Baldwin Racing have formed a technical alliance. J.J. Yeley will be the driver of the MQM #37 entry effective immediately. "Max Q has been trying to put itself in position get back into the 'Cup series and be competitive," explained Gunselman. "Tommy and I got to talking and he explained where he want his program to go. He would like to build his program like the Hendrick, RCR and Roush teams by selling cars and engineering to make their program better, and that is something that I been looking to do to get my program to the next level." TBR competed with two teams this season in the NSCS. The team, formed in 2009, also started a NASCAR Nationwide team this season, running a partial schedule. "The only way we are going to get better is to be able to get our product out there more and have different people working on it," Tommy Baldwin said. "I'm confident that with the group of guys Larry is assembling along with J. J. behind the wheel it will benefit both teams."(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(7-20-2012)

  • Congrats: to Heather and Marc Hendricksen on the birth of their son, Caleb Marc Alexander Hendricksen on July 19, 2012. Marc is a race engineer with Richard Petty Motorsports on the #9 Ford of Marcos Ambrose.(7-20-2012)

  • Todd Bodine becomes first driver with 200 starts in 3 major series: Todd Bodine will make NASCAR history at Chicagoland, becoming the first driver to start at least 200 races in each of the sanctioning body's three national series. By starting the American Ethanol 225, Bodine will have 766 NASCAR national series starts: 241 in NASCAR Sprint Cup, 321 in NASCAR Nationwide and 200 in trucks. He stands 20th on the all--time national starts list. Bodine's truck series resume is full of impressive numbers:
    • 2 championships
    • 22 victories
    • 7 poles
    • 90 top--five finishes
    • 121 top--10 finishes
    (NASCAR)(7-20-2012)

  • HANS introduces new adjustable device: HANS Performance Products, the inventors of the head and neck restraint, announced the HANS Adjustable - a revolutionary new safety device. The HANS Adjustable, which meets the SFI Foundation's Spec. 38.1 for head and neck restraints, enables all drivers to purchase a HANS with full confidence of a comfortable fit no matter what type of car or racing seat they use. Previously, customers ordered a HANS Device in a fixed angle according to the driver's physical size and type of seating position in the car -- such as an upright seat in stock cars or a reclined seat in open-wheel machines. The HANS Adjustable is eligible for use in most U.S. racing series. NASCAR, which conducts its own evaluations, currently has the HANS Adjustable under consideration for approval. After passing all the required strength tests, the new device is under final consideration by the safety committee of the FIA, the international sanctioning body.(Hans PR)(7-20-2012)

  • NASCAR Selects Ogilvy & Mather As advertising agency of record: NASCAR concluded a comprehensive agency review that spanned nearly four months, by selecting Ogilvy & Mather as Agency of Record (AOR) to service the sport's evolving advertising and marketing needs. The agency will help NASCAR and the industry to execute a Five-Year Industry Action Plan to engage and excite existing fans, while creating new ones. NASCAR embarked on a review to secure a class-leading, full-service advertising agency in early 2012 in order to expand the sport's marketing efforts and provide an integrated solution to help NASCAR grow its audience in Youth, Gen Y and Hispanic. As AOR, Ogilvy & Mather's responsibilities will also include target segmentation, brand vision/storytelling, media strategy, promotions and support for the growing NASCAR Digital team. NASCAR received 110 inquiries and 75 sets of credentials from a host of agencies of all sizes and expertise. Ogilvy & Mather will complete a comprehensive on-boarding process in 2012, as the agency prepares to help NASCAR launch a new brand platform at the 55th running of the Daytona 500 in February 2013.(NASCAR)(7-20-2012)

  • Homestead qualifying moves to Friday: Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race, the 2012 Ford EcoBoost 400, at Homestead-Miami Speedway has been moved to Friday, November 16. Gatorade Pole Qualifying is now set for 6:10 p.m. Friday during Ford Championship Weekend. It was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Qualifying returns to the more traditional Friday and rounds-out that day's activities. Friday's NASCAR on-track schedule now includes: Nationwide Series practice (10:00 a.m.), Camping World Truck Series final practice (11:00), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Pole qualifying (6:10 p.m.), and the Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 (8:00 p.m.). The change in days also means fans at the track Saturday will be able to watch two separate Sprint Cup practices in the same afternoon - one starting at 1:00 and another at 3:00. In terms of competition, it allows for greater consistency from track to track for Sprint Cup Series teams and provides the opportunity to focus on qualifying separate from race set ups for the cars.(HMS)(7-20-2012)

  • Hauler parade at Indy on July 26: Fans can enjoy the color and excitement of NASCAR and get geared up for the inaugural Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard through the fourth annual Hauler Parade on Thursday, July 26 on Main Street in Speedway, Ind. The event will take place from 5-9 p.m. Admission is free. A parade of more than 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers - the large, colorful trucks carrying stock cars to and from the track during the season - will arrive on Main Street starting at 6 p.m. Haulers will park in two lines on Main Street between 10th and 15th Streets, giving fans an up-close look. Legendary NASCAR team owner Leonard Wood is the grand marshal of the Hauler Parade. Defending "400" winner Paul Menard will join Wood as a special guest in the parade. Menard also will receive his 2011 Brickyard 400 winner's ring on the Hauler Parade Stage on Main Street in Speedway.(IMS)(7-20-2012)


    News from July 19, 2012

  • Military sponsorships will be allowed to continue: NASCAR and bass fishing can count on the military to keep the sponsorship money coming. The House voted Wednesday night to continue spending millions for the military to back sports to attract recruits for the all-volunteer force. On a vote of 216-202, the House rejected an amendment by Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn., that would have trimmed $72.3 million for sports sponsorships from a $608 billion defense bill for fiscal 2013. The measure had targeted the money the National Guard spends to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's most popular driver, as well as IndyCar Series driver JR Hildebrand. It also would have cut money the Army spends on the National Hot Rod Association drag racing, funds the Marine Corps uses for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and money spent on bass fishing. The House spent most of the day and night debating the far-reaching defense legislation that provides money for war, troops and weapons next year. Yet talk of Earnhardt's #88, bass fishing and NASCAR dominated the discussion. Kingston, a Georgian who says he hails from NASCAR and military country, insisted the sponsorship money was ineffective, attracting few recruits,and made no sense as the Army shrinks from a peak of 570,000 to 490,000 and the Marine Corps drops by 20,000, to 182,000. The end of the Iraq war, the drawdown in Afghanistan and the nation's fiscal woes have reshaped the defense budget, which has nearly doubled in the last 10 years.(Associated Press/ESPN)(7-19-2012)

  • Indy race named Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400: When local firefighters saved Troy native Curtiss Shaver's life during a tragic farming accident, Shaver knew he'd found his calling. Though the accident claimed the lower part of his left leg, Shaver persevered and began a lifelong career as a firefighter and certified EMT with the goal of giving back to his community. In a special event [Wednesday] at Troy Fire Station No. 1, a ceremonial Yard of Bricks was revealed to recognize Shaver as winner of Crown Royal's "Your Hero's Name Here" program. The national contest renames the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29th after a deserving American hero. In an effort to bring a little piece of the famed track to Troy, Alabama, Crown Royal orchestrated a special ceremony that resulted in the laying of a replica "Yard of Bricks" in Troy's downtown area. The final engraved brick bearing the race logo was personally laid by Shaver, culminating the ceremony. This race will mark the sixth time Crown Royal has awarded race naming rights to an adult fan. This year, the program focused on all of the unsung heroes who make a difference in their communities, from firefighters and police officers, to first responders and local volunteers. In addition to being a firefighter and certified EMT, Shaver is a husband and father of three. His career in the field began as a volunteer, less than two years after his farming accident. This sense of hard work and dedication were major components of his contest nomination, submitted by fellow Fire Lieutenant Brandy Cox.(IMS)(7-19-2012)

  • Bristol Tickets Still Available: Seats in some of the more popular locations at Bristol Motor Speedway rapidly are becoming hard to come by with the IRWIN Tools Night Race quickly approaching. While the Wallace Tower and The Pit Road Party Zone sections are full, the Allison Grandstand on the front stretch of the World's Fastest Half-Mile, as well as several other popular sections, continue to fill with little more than five weeks remaining before NASCAR returns to the newly revamped .533-mile oval. Seats remain available for all three nights of racing in August. Race week Aug. 22 with a doubleheader, which features the Volunteer 200 Camping World Truck Series race and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified event. On tap Aug. 24 is the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race, followed by the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup event Aug. 25.(BMS)(7-19-2012)


    News from July 18, 2012

  • Yeley moving to Tommy Baldwin Racing: J.J. Yeley, who has been driving the #49 for Robinson-Blakeney Racing, tweeted Wednesday morning, "Making some positive changes for the remainder of 2012. Moving over to TBR". No additional details available yet.(7-18-2012)

  • Johnson wins second quarter driver of the year award: Jimmie Johnson was named the Second Quarter Driver of the Year 2012 by the vote of an elite panel of 21 broadcasters and journalists. The five-time Sprint Cup Champion had two NASCAR points wins (Darlington and Dover) coupled with a non-points win in the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the period running from April 22nd to July 1st. In the voting Johnson, who drives the Lowe's #48 Chevyt for Hendrick Motorsports, had six first-place ballots and totaled 81 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had two victories in the period (Milwaukee and Iowa) driving No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet Dallara DW-12, earned two first-place votes and tallied 71 points. Joey Logano, who raced in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, had a Sprint Cup victory in Pocono and three Nationwide wins finishing third with one first -place vote and 51 points. Ron Capps, of the NHRA, and the World of Outlaws, Sammy Swindell, each had two first-place votes. A total of 20 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting.(DOTY)(7-18-2012)

  • One In Five Fortune 500 Companies Invest In NASCAR: More Fortune 500 companies are involved in NASCAR than in 2008, according to a recent review of brands currently using the sport to drive business. The analysis looked at companies that either sponsor NASCAR teams, tracks, the sanctioning body, or are media partners. The number of current Fortune 500 companies invested in NASCAR (114) remains higher than any other sport. In 2012 alone, more than 24 brands entered the sport, including a handful of Fortune 500 companies. Although being a Fortune 500 company is the gold standard of success for publicly-traded companies in the United States, there are several global corporations currently involved in NASCAR that were not included in the review because they do not meet Fortune's domestic criteria. To be eligible for the Fortune 500, a company must be based in the U.S. and be publicly traded. The companies in consideration actively utilize NASCAR as marketing vehicle through a team, track or NASCAR official sponsorship, licensing agreement and/or a media partnership.(NASCAR)(7-18-2012)

  • YMCA camp lets youngsters suit up and take the wheel at CMS: A group of seven local kids suited up, got strapped in and drove Bandolero cars around one of the tracks at Charlotte Motor Speedway as they participated in a different kind of camp this week. The camp was the second of four sessions this summer that have been put on through a partnership between Cannon Memorial YMCA and Charlotte Motor Speedway. During the week, the youth learned about motorsports by visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame and touring the speedway. Today [Tuesday], they will visit local race shops. On Thursday, they took five laps in the Bandolero cars behind a chase car, and when they returned after lunch, they ran more laps on their own. Before taking the wheel, the youth learned about safety and the cars they were driving.(Independent Tribune)(7-18-2012)

  • Las Vegas race makes $240 million impact on local economy: The 2012 Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas made its largest economic impact on the Las Vegas community in the 15-year history of the event. This year also marked the fourth consecutive year that the economic impact has seen an increase over the previous year. This year's event, held March 9-11, contributed $240,605,600 to the local economy, according to figures released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. That represents a staggering 26.3-percent increase in economic impact over the 2011 event. The LVCVA study found that 71 percent of fans attending the race came from out of town and 13 percent travelled from out of the country. The study also reported that 75 percent of the attendees of this year's race stayed in a local hotel compared with 64 percent in 2011.(LVMS)(7-18-2012)

  • Phoenix Qualifying moved to Friday: Phoenix International Raceway announced that NASCAR has moved Gatorade Pole Qualifying for the semi-final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup to Friday, Nov. 9 at 4:10 p.m. The weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will remain as scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11. "We are pleased that NASCAR has moved Qualifying to Friday," said Sperber. "It will add excitement to an already fantastic day that features the Lucas Oil 150 Camping World Truck Series event." Gates open to the public Friday at 9 a.m. A full day of activity on the track will be highlighted by Gatorade Pole Qualifying and the running of the Lucas Oil 150 Camping World Truck Series race at 6 p.m.(PIR)(7-18-2012)


    News from July 17, 2012

  • Front Row Motorsports surprise paralyzed veteran:: A visit and tour of Front Row Motorsports' NASCAR facilities in Statesville on Monday turned into an emotional, surprise gifting for a military veteran from Charlotte who was paralyzed from the waist down in an April accident. Chuck Wesson, formerly a Sgt. 1st Class of the U.S. Army, lost all feeling and movement in his legs after a hit-and-run driver struck him from behind, breaking his back, on a city street outside of Fort Campbell, an army base located astraddle the Kentucky-Tennessee border where Wesson was stationed. While the 34-year-old Wesson has been rehabbing the past several months, he got hooked up with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonprofit organization that works to foster a sense of community and bring aid to wounded soldiers. He said a WWP representative found him the first day he started rehab, about a week-and-a-half after surgery. Unbeknownst to Wesson, WWP had been working behind the scenes the past month planning something special for him. WWP invited Wesson to Front Row Motorsports, which employs NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racers #34-David Ragan, #38-David Gilliland and #26-Josh Wise, for what Wesson was told would be lunch and a tour of the facility, where around 20 race cars are stored and maintained. But the real surprise was the unveiling of the gift of a hand-cycle, a three-wheeled apparatus operated by the arms, to Wesson. Wesson was led around Front Row Motorsports' shop by Ragan, who connected with WWP last fall. WWP organized a quail hunt for a group of six wounded veterans for which Ragan donated the use of his land and time in southern Georgia.(Statesville Record & Landmark)(7-17-2012)

  • Allmendinger bringing experts to test UPDATE2, B Sample test date: People familiar with AJ Allmendinger's suspension say the NASCAR driver has elected to bring his own experts to witness the testing of his "B" urine sample. Allmendinger was suspended by NASCAR on Saturday for failing a random drug test. He has said he tested positive for a stimulant he did not reveal, and has insisted he never "knowingly" took a banned substance. Under NASCAR's drug policy, an individual can bring in experts for the second test. Two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press that Allmendinger has chosen to bring a toxicologist and an attorney. They spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the process is confidential. Because Allmendinger is bringing his own people, the test of the sample will not occur until next week.(Associated Press)(7-12-2012)
    UPDATE: Tara Ragan, business manager for suspended driver AJ Allmendinger, debunked published reports that Walldinger Racing plans to bring an attorney to the testing of Allmendinger's "B" sample, the next step in the procedure under NASCAR's substance abuse program. As set forth in NASCAR's rule book, Allmendinger may attend the "B" sample test at Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., or send a qualified toxicologist to represent him. Allmendinger was suspended Saturday before that night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona because the "A" sample from a urine test collected June 29 at Kentucky Speedway tested positive for what Ragan termed in a subsequent statement "a stimulant" in an amount that was "slightly above the threshold." Ragan's statement also included the assertion that Allmendinger had never knowingly taken a prohibited substance and indicated he was requesting a test of the "B" sample, which was collected at the same time as the "A" sample. Ragan said she took the passage in Section 19-11 B (2) of the rule book literally: "The NASCAR member may be present (either personally or represented by a qualified toxicologist not associated with Aegis) during the second test at his/her expense . . ." Ragan said Allmendinger has not been informed of a "B" sample test date, next week or otherwise.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-14-2012)
    UPDATE B Sample Test Set for Allmendinger: Statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc. "We now have a confirmed date for the testing of AJ's "B" (split specimen) Sample. The test will take place on Tuesday, July 24 at 8:00am CDT and be conducted at the Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville. Pursuant to the 2012 NASCAR Rulebook and in line with the procedures, we have elected to have a designated independent toxicologist present on AJ's behalf. Along with everyone else, we are looking forward to hearing the results as quickly as possible. AJ and all of us at Walldinger Racing have truly appreciated the outpouring of support from our fans, partners, and colleagues. It has meant a lot to us during this difficult time. We are also grateful to Mr. Penske and his management team for their patience and respect of the process we are going through."(Walldinger Racing), see earlier updatees about Allmendinger's situation on the #22 team news page.(7-17-2012)

  • New crew chief for Edwards: Bob Osborne is transitioning away from his role as crew chief of the #99 Fastenal Sprint Cup team at Roush Fenway Racing, team owner Jack Roush announced today. Roush Fenway veteran Chad Norris will be the crew chief for the #99 effective immediately. Osborne will remain with the organization as a senior member of the organization's management team and steering committee. "I have had the pleasure of working with Carl Edwards for the past nine years and, during that time, my focus has been building a championship-caliber program," Osborne said. "I'm proud of the 18 wins we've had together in Sprint Cup Series competition and our two second-place points finishes. At this time in my life, however, concerns with my health have necessitated that I change my role within the organization. This transition is not an easy one, but I'm thankful to have the full support of Jack, Carl and the entire organization. I also have every confidence in Chad Norris, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to pursue a championship in 2012. I also appreciate the privacy and respect that the community will give me and my family during this difficult time." Osborne was Edwards' first crew chief for his Sprint Cup debut in 2004, and the two have combined for 18 wins and two runner-up finishes in season-ending Sprint Cup Series point standings.
    "I cannot say enough good things about Bob Osborne," added driver Carl Edwards. "I'm so thankful for what he's done for me as a driver, and he is without a doubt one of the smartest guys in the sport. I'm also appreciative of the fact that he'll continue to be a resource for me and our team as we focus on these final races. We're very fortunate to have Chad Norris as part of our organization to take over for the #99. I've known Chad for a long time and he is a fierce competitor. We've got our work cut out for us over the next seven races, and I've got every confidence Chad can lead our team to where we need to be."
    Norris has been with Roush Fenway Racing since 2005, and since 2011 has led Roush Fenway's research and development test program that has seen him serve as crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., in his limited Sprint Cup Series schedule and Trevor Bayne in his limited Nationwide Series schedule. Norris' first role as crew chief at Roush Fenway came in 2005 with the #17 Nationwide Series team. In his eight years with Roush Fenway, Norris has led multiple teams to victory lane, including Bayne's inaugural Nationwide Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in November of 2011.
    "Our commitment to winning a championship with the #99 in 2012 has not waivered," said team owner Jack Roush. "I'm committed to providing the resources to Carl and to his team to do that, and this restructuring of Bob's role and the introduction of Chad Norris as the crew chief for the No. 99 will put us in the best possible position for these final seven races before the 'Chase' begins."(RFR)(7-17-2012)

  • New Hampshire TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on TNT averaged 2.9/7 for the Lexon Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. That's flat with last year's performance and ranked as the top-rated sports event of the weekend. See past races and 4-year comparison chhart on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(7-17-2012)

  • NASCAR, leagues ask Speaker to intervene on bill: NASCAR has joined with other major sports leagues in sending an open letter to the Speaker of the House in an attempt to table an amendment that would restrict branches of the military from using sports sponsorships as a recruitment tool. In a letter sent Monday to Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), NASCAR, the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and the IndyCar Series urged the Speaker show "continued opposition" to the Kingston-McCollum amendment to the $608 billion 2013 Dept. of Defense appropriations bill currently before Congress. Introduced by Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the amendment would bar the military from using funds for sponsorships in professional or semi-pro sports. A vote on the appropriations bill is scheduled for Wednesday, according to the weekly legislative calendar of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).(see full post and links at NASCAR.com)(7-17-2012)

  • Kurt Busch to Andretti ride? hearing that Kurt Busch could be headed to the Andretti Sprint Cup Series Team in 2013 with Dodge as the manufacturer. See past news about Michael Andretti possibly starting a Sprint Cup Series team on my New Teams News page.(7-17-2012)

  • Big Machine Records Partners With Front Row Motorsports: Nashville-based Big Machine Records has reached a partnership agreement with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Front Row Motorsports. The sponsorship program will include a social media promotion and primary sponsorship of David Gilliland's #38 car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gilliland's entry will feature the likes of five Big Machine recording artists: The Band Perry, Justin Moore, The Mavericks, Greg Bates and RaeLynn. Big Machine is also serving as a sponsor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway event; 'Your Hero's Name Here 400' at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com. All five bands and artists that will be featured on the #38 Ford will also participate in the weekend's at-track festivities. As part of the sponsorship program, Front Row Motorsports and Big Machine Records will be partnering to run the Racecars and Country Stars social media promotion, in which fans will be able to enter to win a David Gilliland race-used firesuit and prizes from Big Machine's recording artists. More information on the promotion will be available in the coming weeks. Big Machine Records has already been to victory lane at Indianapolis twice, taking home Indianapolis 500 wins as a sponsor in 2011 with the late Dan Wheldon and again in 2012 with Dario Franchitti.(FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(7-17-2012)

  • Fans can help design Daytona 500 ticket: Race fans can have a voice in the design of the commemorative ticket for the 55th annual Daytona 500, NASCAR's prestigious season-opening race scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 24. Through Daytona International Speedway's Facebook, Twitter and Google + sites -- race fans will be able to select their favorite commemorative ticket among three different choices. Voting began on Thursday, July 12 and will run through Thursday, July 19 at 5 pm/et. Two of the commemorative tickets feature the Harley J. Earl trophy  awarded annually to the Daytona 500 champion  while the third commemorative ticket showcases Matt Kenseth celebrating his second triumph in the "Great American Race" earlier this year. Tickets for the NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race  the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24  start at $65 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(7-17-2012)

  • Students From Around the U.S. head to TMS for Solar Car Challenge: Nineteen high school teams from the United States and one from Puerto Rico will participate in a four-day competition to win the 17th annual Solar Car Challenge starting Monday, July 16. Among the schools are four from North Texas, Ben Barber Career Tech Academy (Mansfield); Byron Nelson High School (Trophy Club); Coppell High School (Coppell) and Liberty Christian High School (Argyle). This will mark the seventh time the Solar Car Challenge has been held at "The Great American Speedway!" More info at texasmotorspoeedway.com.(TMS)(7-17-2012)

  • Bristol Camping and RV Options: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced a new come-as-you-are test program aimed at those needing housing options for the IRWIN Tools Night Race in August. After hearing from BMS guests about lodging costs and gas prices, BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell said this added opportunity gives a choice to fans who love the camping experience, but currently are not in the position to incur the fuel costs of pulling their RV to Bristol. "We obtained a number of RVs that will sleep up to seven," Caldwell said. "Really nice travel trailers parked on a site with full water, power and sewer hookups, these units rent for $1,500, plus tax, for the week. For a full crew of race fans, that's under $230 a person for the entire week or just under $35 a day. That's a tough deal to beat." But that isn't the only choice race fans have for the August races. "We put a call out to RV owners interested in renting their units," Caldwell said. "We plan three levels of pricing, $500, $750 and $1,000 for the week depending on the unit and the owner's requirements. Our friends at Race Lodging are handling the private-unit and full-hookup RV bookings for us." RV owners wanting to rent their units and fans booking the full-hookup RVs may call (423) 764-5454 or go to www.racelodging.com.(BMS)
    AND Additional options are available for campers coming to Bristol Motor Speedway in August as officials continue to find ways to attack the challenges of coming to the IRWIN Tools Night Race events. Speedway officials secured property for approximately 250 additional low-cost camping spaces to help in the financial challenge of traveling. The additional camping options are nearly 150 tent-camping spots for only $50 for the week of the IRWIN Tools Night race and more than 100 non-hook-up RV parking (shower house included) for only $99 for the week. Fans interested in any of these options may call (423) 989-6944.(BMS)(7-17-2012)


    News from July 16, 2012

  • Congrats to the Newmans: from Ryan Newman's site: Krissie and I welcomed Ashlyn Olivia today at 12:20 p.m. Mom and baby are doing well.(7-16-2012)

  • RCR Minority Partner Considering Selling Equity Position: Richard Childress Racing has advised its employees, drivers and key sponsors that Chartwell Investments is considering exiting its minority equity position in RCR. "Since 2003, I have had a minority partner at RCR in Chartwell Investments," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "Like any private equity business, Chartwell has a duty to its investors to return capital and maximize profits in a reasonable timeframe. With my support, they have determined that now is an appropriate time to exit their investment in RCR. Chartwell has been a great partner and I will always be appreciative of our partnership. We will remain good friends. We have informed the key people and sponsors of RCR about Chartwell's decision and assured them this will have no impact on the current affairs at RCR or our continued vision for strong performance on and off the track. We have advised them that if a new investor comes on board as RCR's new partner they will be strategically chosen to help RCR continue to grow. Our family of corporate partners has all been very appreciative of our letting them know and remain committed to moving forward. I love what I do and plan to be involved in NASCAR and in running RCR for many years to come."
    "RCR is one of the elite NASCAR organizations and we are honored to be a part of the RCR family and partners with racing icon Richard Childress for close to ten years," said Michael Shein, Managing Partner of Chartwell Investments. "During this period, RCR has continued to prosper, more than doubling the size of its business. We are equally optimistic about RCR's future performance both on and off the track, remaining confident in NASCAR's long-term potential. We have engaged The Raine Group to explore the potential sale of our interest in RCR in order to monetize our investment." The Raine Group is a global merchant bank focused exclusively on the digital, media & entertainment and sports & lifestyle sectors.(RCR)(7-16-2012)

  • Hamlin quotes about pit stop mis-communication: Toyota Camry driver #11-Denny Hamlin (second) was the top-finishing Toyota driver in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Hamlin led the field five times for a race-high 150 laps (of 301) -- after starting third. Comments from Hamlin after the race:
    How hard were you driving during the closing laps?
    "That's all I had. That's as hard as I can drive and just came up about five car lengths too short. Trust me, if I could have got to him (Kasey Kahne), I would have made it real interesting. I just didn't have enough there at the end and it's all we could do. We made our bed by taking those four tires. Darian (Grubb, crew chief) wanted to take two (tires) -- I told him I just needed tires and that was it. He took it that I needed four tires. It was just a little miscommunication that turned into a second-place finish. You never know what could have happened on that last restart if we were taking two (tires). The 5 (Kahne) still may have been better, you never know. We obviously had a great car there at the end and made it interesting at least for the fans."
    How did the final pit stop impact your car?
    "It made our car faster than it already was today, but you can't overcome over a straightaway that we were back -- I think probably six seconds at one time. We just didn't have enough laps was the bottom line. We just came up short. It's days like these that you can just build on. We're going to be back here in just a few months when it really counts and that's when you want to win -- so we know we have something to race him with."
    Did you think you could win the race after the four tire pit stop?
    "You try to be as optimistic as possible, but you know in your head that was a death sentence basically for us. I honestly didn't think that we would get back to where we did -- Kasey (Kahne) stretched out so far on that lead when we were about 10th. I was thinking, top-five and then I was thinking I could get to the top-three and then we made some good ground up there at the end. Needed four or five more laps -- just needed to get within striking distance because I was going to rough him up."
    Were you frustrated following the miscommunication about tires?
    "They gave me a fast car -- there's days when you're not as good and you finish second and you're overjoyed. Today, you finish second and you're disappointed because you've got a dominant car. They gave me a new package this time around. We dominated all the practices and it showed in the race what we had. It's part of it. I would have loved to get win 200 for #11. That part of it is frustrating that we can't break through and get that. We're getting close."(Toyota Racing)(7-16-2012)

  • More than 20 teams expected for July 30 MIS tire test: Michigan International Speedway will be the center of NASCAR on Monday, July 30 when Goodyear holds a one-day tire test for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. It is expected that more than 20 teams will take advantage of the extra time in their preparations for the Pure Michigan 400. "This test will help Goodyear select a tire that is more compatible with the fast Michigan racing surface, and improve an already competitive race weekend from start to finish," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said, "Goodyear invited a majority of teams to Michigan, and we'll work together on all elements to put on the best show possible for our fans." The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstand from 9 am to 5 pm on July 30 for fans to watch the test free of charge. "This is a unique opportunity for fans to see the drivers again test the repaved racing surface," MIS President Roger Curtis said. "We expect to see numerous drivers and teams continue to prepare for the upcoming Pure Michigan 400. The test falls at a perfect time for our fans as they get a chance to see cars on track between our two races." Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances. Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstands through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. The restroom facilities will be open and concession stands will be available. Fans are also allowed to bring in coolers that meet the MIS grandstand gate policies for any race weekend. All race tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(7-16-2012)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 Lenox Industrial Tools 301: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:00 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 117
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 61
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 0
    Number of times utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 41
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 5 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 180
    Total minutes of race broadcast: 124
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 56
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 0
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 2
    Total race brdcst time 124 Total comm. brdcst time 56
    See past races, links and more on the Television Commercial News page.(7-16-2012)

  • Gate City Joins Kahne in Victory Lane: Last month, New Hampshire Motor Speedway held its "Race to Benefit Education" draft at the Legislative Office Building in Concord, N.H. On Sunday, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne won the LENOX Industrial Tools 301, a race that will now benefit the city of Nashua, N.H., with a $20,000 education grant on behalf of zMax and the speedway. Kahne was one of two drivers chosen by school board president Robert Hallowell to represent Nashua, one of 13 cities taking part in "The Magic Mile's" inaugural event. "What an exciting and creative way to offer education aid to our schools," said Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau. The original premise of the "Race to Benefit Education" was to hold a NASCAR-themed draft that paired 26 drivers with 13 city representatives across the Granite State, awarding $20,000 in education grants to the city that chooses the winning driver of the 20th annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301. The cities represented included Berlin, Claremont, Concord, Dover, Franklin, Keene, Laconia, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, Rochester and Somersworth. Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway, picked cities at random from a ping pong ball spinner, with the first pick going to Lebanon. Nashua picked fifth and chose Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski, who finished fifth in Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301. Several Nashua employees and families from the Gate City attended the race to cheer Kahne to Victory Lane. As part of the "Race to Benefit Education," each city was awarded tickets for locals to come and cheer their choices.(NHMS)(7-16-2012)

  • Sad News - Bill Slater: It was learned Sunday, July 15 that New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member "Wild Bill" Slater has passed-away. A member of the first-class inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Slater drove his first race at Lonsdale R.I. in 1949 and for the next twenty years he won at tracks from Oxford Plains Maine to Trenton New Jersey. He was a four time champion at the Norwood Arena and a two-time Sportsmen champion at Thompson. He won on the dirt at Stafford and on the pavement He was often a top-three finisher in the NASCAR National Sportsman championship run, even though he raced against full time drivers while he held down a weekly job. He won the 400 mile race at Trenton New Jersey four times, and was a two time winner of the Utica-Rome 400 in New York. His biggest career victory was in his win at the Langhorne Penn. Race of Champions the first year it was paved. He drove his last race at Stafford in 1969 and then became involved in the promotional side of racing at Stafford and later Thompson. Arrangements are incomplete at this time. More info at yankeeracer.com.(7-16-2012)


    News from July 15, 2012

  • Kahne wins at New Hampshire: #5-Kasey Kahne won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the year and 14th career win.
    #11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #2-Keselowski, #24-Gordon, $48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #16-Biffle and #39-Newman.
    The pole sitter, #18-Busch led 72 laps early until a bad pit stop and speeding penalty early led to a 16th place finish. #11-Hamlin led the most lap at 150 but a mis-communication on the final pit stop when the crew chief thought Hamlin called for four tires instead of two, mired Hamlin in 13th on the restart and he could get to 2nd but not catch Kahne. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 13th and his points lead is down to 16 over #88-Earnhardt Jr.
    There were only 3 cautions for 15 yellow flag laps. There were 16 lead changes among 8 drivers. The average speed was 116.226mph.
    The estimated attendence was 95,000, the same as in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the New Hampshire Race Results page (pdf) and the official race and points rundown on the Official Race Report.(7-15/16-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - New Hampshire:
    #5-Kasey Kahne won the 20th Annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301, his 14th victory in 307 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2012. His first victory came in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    With the victory, Kahne moves into the No. 1 Wild Card position. He now has more victories than any other driver outside the top 10.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 17 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. His previous best New Hampshire finish was fourth in 2004.
    #11-Denny Hamlin (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 13 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his 10th top-10 finish in 2012. He led the most laps in today's race (150).
    #15-Clint Bowyer (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 13 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-15-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after New Hampshire, race 19 of 36]
    1) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 707
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 691, -16
    3) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 667, -40
    4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 656, -51
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 628, -79
    6) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 622, -85
    5) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 618, -89
    8) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 617, -90
    9) #15-Clint Bowyer [1 wins], 614, -93
    10) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins], 613, -94
    Current wild card Chase drivers:
    WC1) #5-Kasey Kahne [2 wins, 12th in points]
    WC2) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win, 14th in points]
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(7-15-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Wild-Card Race:
    [after New Hampshire, race 19 of 36]
    A look at the race for the two wild-card positions for the Chase based on wins and being inside the top 20 in points.
    Driver [wins] standings, behind 10th
    first two would make the chase as wild cards:
    #5-Kasey Kahne [2 wins] 12th -66 points out of 10th
    #18-Kyle Busch [1 win] 13th -68
    eight other drivers currently in the running for the wild cards:
    #39-Ryan Newman [1 win] 14th -77
    #20-Joey Logano [1 win] 16th -80
    #99-Carl Edwards 11th -46
    #27-Paul Menard 15th -79
    #24-Jeff Gordon 17th -89
    #9-Marcos Ambrose 18th -118
    #31-Jeff Burton 19th -120
    #1-Jamie McMurray 20th -127
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    The Chase: The top-10 drivers will make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Positions 11 and 12 in the 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup are Wild Cards, and will go to drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, as long as they are ranked in the top 20 in points. If multiple drivers outside the top 10 tie for wins, the tie-breaker will go to the race winner with the highest points position.
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(7-15-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Indianapolis:
    #36 remains in 35th and is 78 points ahead of 36th, the #33 team.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    32) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 280 +110
    33) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 273 +103
    34) #32-Labonte/FAS Lane Racing, 267 +97
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 248 +78 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #33-Leicht/Childress-Falk, 170, -78 from the top 35
    37) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 134, -114
    38) #30-Stremme/Inception, 125, -123
    39) #49-Yeley/Robinson, 122, -126
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see the Owners Points Standings (pdf).(7-15-2012)

  • New Hampshire Notes-n-Nuggets:
    " Kasey Kahne notched his 14th victory in his 307th start and becomes the fifth repeat winner of 2012.
    " This is Kasey Kahne's first victory at New Hampshire in his 17th start. He is the 21st driver to win at New Hampshire in the 35th race.
    " Kasey Kahne becomes the 12th different winner in the past 13 New Hampshire races.
    " Hendrick Motorsports earned its 204th Cup Series victory, fifth of 2012 (most) and ninth at New Hampshire (most).
    " Chevrolet earned its ninth victory of 2012 (most of all makes) and 18th at New Hampshire (most of all makes).
    " Denny Hamlin (second) earned his fourth top-two finish at New Hampshire in 13 races. He has five top-two finishes of the season.
    " Clint Bowyer (third) scored his 10th top-10 of 2012 including five of the past seven races. This is his fifth top-10 at NHMS including four in the past six races.
    " Dale Earnhardt Jr (fourth) notched his eighth top-five of 2012. He had just seven in all of 2010 and 2011 combined. This is his seventh top-five at NHMS in 26 races.
    " Brad Keselowski (fifth) earned his ninth top-10 of 2012 including the past three races. This is his third top-10 in six races at NHMS.
    " Jeff Gordon (sixth) scored his seventh top-10 of the season including four in the past five races.
    " Jimmie Johnson (seventh) has finished 12th or better in every race this season except the three restrictor-plate races.
    " This is the third time in 2012 all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished in the top 10.
    " Matt Kenseth (13th) matched his worst finish in the past 14 races.
    " Kyle Busch (16th) has finished outside the top 10 in six of the past seven races.(Racing Recall/nascar.com)(7-15-2012)

  • Gordon heading back to Rwanda: #24-Jeff Gordon is headed back to Rwanda this week for one of the most important trips of his life. The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation is a major supporter of the first-of-its-kind cancer center in a rural part of the African nation. The grand opening is Wednesday. President Clinton will be there, too, along with Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame. "When they look at the projections in a developing country like East Africa, cancer is on the rise there," said Gordon, whose second trip to Rwanda was in December with his wife and their 4-year-old daughter. "(Cancer) can be very curable and treatable in many cases, (but) it's just not happening. "This is a big step, and I can't wait to get there and be a part of this event."(Indianapolis Star), more ifnormation about Gordon's trip and the cancer center in Rwanda, go to jeffgordonchildrensfoundation.org.(7-15-2012)

  • Penske Supports Allmendinger But Has 'Options': While saying he remains committed to embattled driver AJ Allmendinger, team owner Roger Penske also said Sunday [on SPEED's Raceday] he has "lots of options" if a vacancy appears in his #22 Sprint Cup cars. Penske said Sunday morning that he hopes Allmendinger passes a second NASCAR drug test and that the team can move on. "My goal is if this thing goes in AJ's corner and he can be back in the car and this is a speed bump," Penske said. "I'm more concerned with him as an individual than I am the circumstance. We'll deal with the circumstance in a business way and support him one way or another. This could give us a chance potentially to look at drivers that might be wanting a ride in the 22. With that, we have lots of options." Joey Logano, who is in a contract year at Joe Gibbs Racing, is rumored to be one of the drivers in tentative talks with the Penske operation. Allmendinger was temporarily suspended by NASCAR on the Saturday of the Daytona race weekend after a random drug test produced a positive. The so-called "B" sample from that test will be checked next week. If positive, Allmendinger is likely to be suspended indefinitely. Penske said Sunday that Sam Hornish Jr. probably will continue to fill in for Allmendinger at races that don't conflict with Hornish's Nationwide Series schedule. "But there are some conflicts," Penske said. "We need to continue to run for the championship in Nationwide. We have commitments to sponsors. What we can't do is turn that upside-down. This is a great chance for him (Hornish) to show us what he has. He would obviously be someone we would consider if the 22 seat became open." Penske didn't rule out the possibility of continuing to work with Allmendinger if the second test sample reveals a positive. "I think what you have to do is look at what those circumstances are," he said. "What are the issues? Ultimately, that will be my decision on whether he would come back, and I don't want to make that call right now."(SPEED)(7-15-2012)

  • Penske Racing hasn't heard from Allmendinger or NASCAR: Penske Racing hasn't been in touch with NASCAR about A.J. Allmendinger since his temporary suspension, but many drivers are trying to get in touch with the Sprint Cup team. NASCAR hasn't informed the team of the substance that caused Allmendinger's failed test and many are wondering what the long-term plans are for the Shell car. Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said the phone began ringing not long after Allmendinger was yanked from the #22 Dodge hours before the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr. substituted for Allmendinger at Daytona and this weekend at New Hampshire, but many were inquiring about Penske's long-term plans for the Shell-sponsored car.
    "Without a doubt, starting Saturday afternoon in Daytona, like (team owner) Roger (Penske) said, all of a sudden you're the prettiest girl in town, as far as other drivers are concerned," Cindric said Saturday in victory lane at New Hampshire after Brad Keselowski's Nationwide win. "We've just said, 'We have a solution. We're going to give Sam an opportunity.' Luckily we have the depth. We're going to play this thing week by week."
    Penske also was in attendance for Saturday's race but didn't speak to media after joining in Keselowski's celebration. Team officials said he had to leave quickly after the win because of a prior commitment. Cindric said the Penske brass hadn't met with NASCAR execs this weekend. "The way we see it, it's between NASCAR and A.J. at this point in time," Cindric said. "Obviously he's our driver, but it's not something that we control."
    Cindric said Shell had been "amazingly patient" while awaiting the fate of Allmendinger who seemed to be headed for a contract extension after signing a one-year deal to replace Kurt Busch. "They've stood behind A.J.," Cindric said. "We had those two top-10s and had a lot of momentum. We felt we might be at a turning point then. We thought we would go forward. We had to sit out and take a timeout." Cindric said the team and sponsor had mulled scenarios depending on the results of the "B" sample test. "In our job we have to talk about all kinds of different scenarios," he said. "We haven't made any decisions. We've just tried to role play a bit with all the different outcomes. We also have to see how (Sunday) goes as well. You take it a step at a time because you have two or three things happening in parallel.(in part from the USA Today)(7-15-2012)

  • NASCAR Licensing Launches New 'NASCAR Classics' Line: NASCAR announced the creation of NASCAR Classics, a new brand identity within the licensing division. From the renegades who blazed the trail on country roads and the hard-packed beaches of Daytona, to the asphalt legends of later decades, NASCAR Classics represents the era that NASCAR established itself as the best racing in the world. NASCAR Classics is a brand that embodies the roots and heritage of NASCAR through high-end t-shirts, hats and original die casts. NASCAR Classics apparel is available for purchase at the NASCAR.com Superstore and Americrown haulers during all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends. However, the NASCAR Classics die casts are only available at the NASCAR.com Superstore. NASCAR Classics will expand to other retail locations later in the year.(NASCAR)(7-15-2012)


    News from July 14, 2012

  • Race Coverage of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, July 15, 2012.
    Television (TV): TNT at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:16pm/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: on SPEED, Wednesday, July 17 at 12:00pm/et

  • Happy Hour practice for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #11-Hamlin 131.383
    #18-Busch 131.243
    #2-Keselowski 130.936
    #15-Bowyer 130.897
    #48-Johnson 130.743
    slowest: #32-Schrader 128.160 & #33-Leicht 128.251
    no speed: #49-Yeley
    notes: David Gilliland took some laps in the #26 for Josh Wise,
    #11-Hamlin also had the fastest 10-lap average speed of 130.290mph.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the New Hampshire Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(7-14-2012)

  • Saturday 1st practice for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #11-Hamlin 131.478
    #24-Gordon 131.370
    #56-Truex Jr. 131.193
    #43-Almirola 131.094
    #15-Bowyer 131.004
    slowest:#33-Leicht 127.321 and #32-Schrader 127.684
    no speed: #79-Bires
    There was no TV coverage of this practice, Happy Hour practice is scheduled to start at 11:20am/et and be aired on SPEED.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the New Hampshire Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(7-14-2012)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #18-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #5-Kahne took pit stall 32, the 5th pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    #11-Hamlin, who starts 3rd took the 31st pit stall, the 4th stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 7th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-14-2012)

  • In Light of Recent Comments on Supplements, MHP sponsors Ragan: In light of comments made by one NASCAR driver, New Jersey's, Maximum Human Performance (MHP), has decided to sponsor David Ragan's #34 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry in Sunday's race at New Hampshire. Ragan, will roll of the starting grid 19th in the 8-Hour Alert/MHP Ford. MHP offers a full line of supplements and their X-Fit line of products is used regularly by Front Row's #34 and #38 pit crews.
    MHP CEO, Gerard Dente commented, "This was not one of our regularly scheduled races to be on David Ragan's #34 car, but after the experience we had last weekend at Daytona and the recent press the supplement industry has received in the NASCAR world, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to add a race to our schedule and get the truth out about supplements." He continued, "our MHP X-Fit pit crews are tested regularly and subject to the same drug testing policy the rest of the NASCAR garage is. When used as directed, supplements can be an excellent way to maximize performance, add longevity to an athletic career, and promote a healthy lifestyle overall"
    Steve Downs, MHP's Marketing Director, believes the driver is entitled to his own opinion, commenting, "That is his opinion and everyone is entitled to have an opinion. NASCAR has policies, rules and regulations in place for supplements just like they do for the engines and the designs of the cars. I think the disconnect is that he isn't looking at the evolution of performance nutrition for athletes in the same light he would look at the advancements and changes in car parts and engineering." Downs continued, "Often what you don't know can scare you. I think if he had better understanding and knowledge of supplementation and it's benefits to health and performance he may have a different opinion. A lot of what he said was centered around the ramifications of a driver failing a drug test. FRM drivers and crew members have been using MHP supplements with no issues. NASCAR has a policy in place for the safety and fairness of it's athletes. It's the athlete's responsibility follow these guidelines and to align themselves with a reputable supplement brand so they can achieve peak performance without breaking the rules or risking their health."(Front Row Motorsports)(7-14-2012)

  • Bires to make Sprint Cup debut: Kelly Bires Will Drive The #79 Team Kyle / Bestway Ford at New Hampshire Motor Speedway For the LENOX Industrial Tools 301. Bires locked himself into the race during qualifying Friday and will make his Sprint Cup Series debut. Said Bires: "I am really looking forward to making my NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at NHMS. New Hampshire reminds me a lot like Milwaukee where I grew up. It's a technical track that produces hard racing and the track suites my style. I know how much this race means to Go Green Racing and we are looking forward to putting on a good show for the home fans."(kellybires.com)(7-14-2012)

  • Mohawk Northeast to sponsor #10 TBR Chevy UPDATE: Connecticut-based Mohawk Northeast will adorn the hood of the Tommy Baldwin Racing #10 Chevy. David Reutimann will pilot the #10 Mohawk Northeast Chevy in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Specializing in heavy construction and marine construction, as well as tugboat transportation, Mohawk Northeast, Inc. offers its valued clients cost-effective, efficient solutions founded on engineering expertise. Reutimann scored TBR's best finish this season with his 11th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway last weekend. The #10 team is currently in the 32nd position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Points.(TBR)(7-12-2012)
    UPDATE: New Hampshire-based Relyco will adorn the hood of the #10 Mohawk Northeast Chevy driven by David Reutimann. The printing and payment solution company will support Tommy Baldwin Racing in the company's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) sponsorship. Relyco is a global business printing and payment solutions company with a product line comprised of Laser Check Printing Solutions, Self-Mailer Pressure Seal Solutions, and Innovative Laser & Digital Printing Solutions. As a leading provider of laser and digital applications, Relyco is an innovator in fraud prevention strategies and new forms technologies.(TBR)(7-14-2012)
    AND Outsourcing in the USA Company @TMone chooses Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) to promote the company in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. David Reutimann will pilot the #10 Mohawk Northeast Chevrolet in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 while spreading the message that TMone is now hiring in America. TMone has sponsored one or more cars in all 19 NSCS races this season. The company has teamed up with TBR for seven of those events, including a primary partnership at Kentucky Speedway and co-primary partnership at Daytona International Speedway.(TBR)(7-14-2012)

  • Biffle hits crash cart: Greg Biffle suffered damaged to his #16 Ford Friday afternoon although he was going less than 1 mph and was 50 yards away from the New Hampshire Motor Speedway track. Biffle backed into a generator cart as he left his garage stall for the afternoon practice session. "I'm glad I was backing up slow," Biffle said after the left-rear corner of his bumper was dented. "A lot of times we're in a hurry and you want to try to get out there and go, but I was backing up slow and turning." The cart belonged to #48-Jimmie Johnson's team. "I don't want to blame the guy with the cart, but you hear a car start up, you see it move out of the garage slow and turning, at what point do you keep walking with the generator cart?" Biffle's team made quick repairs. He went on to qualify 11th for Sunday's race.(Florida Times Union)(7-14-2012)

  • Allmendinger bringing experts to test UPDATE denied: People familiar with AJ Allmendinger's suspension say the NASCAR driver has elected to bring his own experts to witness the testing of his "B" urine sample. Allmendinger was suspended by NASCAR on Saturday for failing a random drug test. He has said he tested positive for a stimulant he did not reveal, and has insisted he never "knowingly" took a banned substance. Under NASCAR's drug policy, an individual can bring in experts for the second test. Two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press that Allmendinger has chosen to bring a toxicologist and an attorney. They spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the process is confidential. Because Allmendinger is bringing his own people, the test of the sample will not occur until next week.(Associated Press)(7-12-2012)

    UPDATE: Tara Ragan, business manager for suspended driver AJ Allmendinger, debunked published reports that Walldinger Racing plans to bring an attorney to the testing of Allmendinger's "B" sample, the next step in the procedure under NASCAR's substance abuse program. As set forth in NASCAR's rule book, Allmendinger may attend the "B" sample test at Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., or send a qualified toxicologist to represent him. Allmendinger was suspended Saturday before that night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona because the "A" sample from a urine test collected June 29 at Kentucky Speedway tested positive for what Ragan termed in a subsequent statement "a stimulant" in an amount that was "slightly above the threshold." Ragan's statement also included the assertion that Allmendinger had never knowingly taken a prohibited substance and indicated he was requesting a test of the "B" sample, which was collected at the same time as the "A" sample. Ragan said she took the passage in Section 19-11 B (2) of the rule book literally: "The NASCAR member may be present (either personally or represented by a qualified toxicologist not associated with Aegis) during the second test at his/her expense . . ." Ragan said Allmendinger has not been informed of a "B" sample test date, next week or otherwise.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-14-2012)

  • Sad News - Wallace Pearson: Wallace Edward (Ike) Pearson [father in-law of NASCAR artist Garry Hill] went home to be with the Lord on July 10, 2012. Ike is survived by his wife of 64 years, Cherrie Fish Pearson. He is also survived by his daughter Pamela Hill and her husband Garry from Mooresville, NC. His two grandchildren are Austin Hill and his wife Morgan from Mooresville, North Carolina, and Cameron Hill from Fleming Island, Florida. He is also blessed with many In-Laws, cousins, nieces nephews and a multitude of friends. Service info and full obituary at Florida Times Union (7-14-2012)

  • Pat Summitt named Food City 250 Grand Marshal: Food City will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its sponsorship of the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 24 with a very special guest serving as grand marshal. The legendary Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history who won eight NCAA national championships while coaching at the University of Tennessee, will give the command for drivers to start their engines for the Food City 250, the most popular Nationwide Series race on the NASCAR schedule. This will mark Summitt's first visit to "The World's Fastest Half-Mile." "I have always loved sports and will be honored to be the Grand Marshal for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway," said Summitt. "It will be a thrill to hear the engines fire up and the crowd while I say, 'Drivers, start your engines.'" Summitt, who stepped down as coach of the Lady Vols in April of this year, was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's disease in August of 2011 and is now the Lady Vols' head coach emeritus. She is the only coach in NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with 1,000 wins. She was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in 2009. In 38 years of coaching the Vols (1974-2012) she never had a losing season and finished her career with an amazing 1098-208 record.Most recently, she was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards. Trevor Bayne, a Knoxville resident and NASCAR Sprint Cup/Nationwide Series driver, will pilot a "We Back Pat"-themed Roush Fenway Ford sponsored by YourRaceCar.com in the Food City 250.(BMS)(7-14-2012)


    News from July 13, 2012

  • Kyle Busch wins pole at New Hampshire: #18-Kyle Busch won the pole for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a speed of 133.417mph for his 1st pole of 2012 and 9th career pole. Busch becomes the 14th different pole sitter in 2012 and qualifies for the 2013 Shootout.
    #5-Kahne will start 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #56-Truex, Jr. #15-Bowyer, #39-Newman, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #14-Stewart.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #26-Wise, #87-Nemechek, #98-McDowell, #49-Yeley, #30-Stremme, #23-Riggs, #79-Bires and #33-Leicht.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #19-Bliss.
    See the full qualifying results, starting lineup, pdf links, pole progression, go-or-go homers and more on the New Hampshire Qualifying Page.(7-13-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - New Hampshire:
    #18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 20th Annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301 with a lap of 28.548 seconds, 133.417 mph.
    This is his ninth pole in 276 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and 10th top-10 start in 2012. Busch's last pole was at Watkins Glen, last August.
    This is his first pole in 15 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    #5-Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 15th top-10 start of 2012 and his sixth in 17 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    #11-Denny Hamlin (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his 10th in 19 races this season. (NASCAR Statistics)(7-13-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, July 13, 2012 at 3:40pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 3:30pm/et
    Radio live stream by Performance Racing Network - goprn.com
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: 1:00am/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #19-Bliss, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #18-Busch, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Qualifying Page.(7-13-2012)

  • Friday practice for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #18-Busch 133.385
    #16-Biffle 133.119
    #51-Busch 133.086
    #5-Kahne 132.966
    #27-Meanrd 132.822
    slowest: #19-Bliss 128.928 & #33-Leicht 129.051
    This practice will set the order for qualifying, which is scheduled Friday at 3:40pm/et and will be shown on SPEED and can be heard LIVE on PRN.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the New Hampshire Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(7-13-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the ten cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice at New Hampshire
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #26-Wise, 29th
    #87-Nemechek, 34th
    #98-McDowell, 35th
    #30-Stremme, 38th
    #49-Yeley, 39th
    #79-Bires, 40th
    #23-Riggs, 42nd
    #33-Leicht, 43rd
    if things stay the same, this driver would miss the race
    #19-Bliss, 44th, slowest
    (7-13-2012)

  • Logano's quotes on future: from a Toyota Notes & Quotes Transcript:
    Q) Do you feel more pressure to make the Chase or from the uncertainty of your future?
    Logano: "I think you feel pressure from both ends. You want to be able to focus 100 percent on what you're doing -- right now, trying to make the Chase. During the week, we're trying to figure out what my future is going to be and I'm trying to prepare myself for the weekend and then when we get here, I put all that stuff in the back of my mind and then focus 100 percent on what I have going on this weekend in trying to win a race. I say it all the time -- winning races will make all the other stuff come along a lot quicker. We're getting there slowly but surely."
    Q) Do you feel like you control your destiny more to make the Chase or determine your future? Logano: "I don't know. Obviously, racing itself on one side of it out there on the race track, you can only control so much of your destiny out there, but you can control it quite a bit. If you can control it on the racing side, you can control it on the other side too. As long as I keep doing what we've been doing on the race track with all the top-10s we've got and top-fives and with that win -- being near that Chase spot makes you want it a little bit more. We have to keep working on that."
    Q) Have you made contact with Penske Racing for next season?
    Logano: "Obviously, right now we look at all our options out there in trying to do whatever we can do to have the best opportunity for my future. That's talking to as many people as we can and seeing what's available."(Toyota Notes & Quotes)(7-13-2012)

  • Performance Racing Network back at the track, live qualifying: Now, fans can tune in to the weekend's PRN broadcast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from almost anywhere in the world online or on any iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android or Smartphone. Fans just need to visit www.GoPRN.com and click on the "listen here" live streaming icon. This weekend's broadcast of the F.W. Webb 200 and LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway represents the seventh weekend of races that will be available free via the PRN network. The response has been incredible, with fans tuning in online from all 50 states and 63 countries. In addition, millions of fans listen on more than 400 PRN affiliate stations and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). A complete list of PRN stations with their links can be found on www.GoPRN.com.
    The online and radio station broadcast schedule includes (all times are ET):
    Friday 3:30 pm Qualifying for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race, exclusively on www.GoPRN.com
    Saturday, 3 p.m., F.W. Webb 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series Race
    Sunday, 12noon, LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race
    AND Performance Racing Network will bring back Wendy Venturini to the broadcast booth for the F.W. Webb 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, after tremendous fan feedback on her debut performance as the first-ever female to co-host a NASCAR radio broadcast at Charlotte. This Saturday, PRN will pair Venturini with PRN co-host Mark Garrow in the booth to announce Saturday's F.W. Webb 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Venturini joins the broadcast team of turn announcers Rob Albright and Brad Gillie, pit reporters Steve Richards, Brett McMillan, Jim Noble and Pat Patterson, director Alicia Lingerfeldt and technical director Harrill Hamrick. On Sunday, July 15, host Doug Rice will return to the booth with Mark Garrow for the broadcast of the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.(Performance Racing Network)(7-13-2012)

  • National Guard indicates plans to stay as a sponsor: The National Guard Association of the United States today released the following statement by retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the association president: "There is an effort underway in Congress to prohibit the U.S. military from sponsoring professional motorsports as part of military recruiting. On the surface, this may seem like a good idea in the face of current fiscal challenges. But a closer look reveals that such a ban would provide no real savings and only serve to hinder Defense Department efforts to reach the most qualified potential recruits. Recruiting for our all-volunteer force isn't what it used to be. Only one in every four young people is even eligible to join. And television advertising no longer carries the payoff it once did. Today, you have to know how smart, fit young people think, where they live and play, and go to them. The Army National Guard learned these lessons a few years ago. Traditional recruiting approaches no longer worked and our troop strength was shrinking. So we abandoned convention and focused our limited resources on an innovative marketing mix that linked recruiting messages to popular musicians and motorsports. It was a bold move, but it paid off. Recruiting steadily improved, both in terms of the quantity and quality of the applicants. Today, the Army National Guard has the fittest, most intelligent force in its history. Other military services noticed and have taken similar approaches. The link between military recruiting and motorsports is temporary. The results prove it's a match that works today. It may not in the future when other approaches may provide a better payoff. And that's the point. We applaud lawmakers like Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Rep. Barbara McCollum, D-Minn., for asking tough questions about how and where scarce defense dollars are spent. But we believe military marketing experts should evaluate return on investment and determine without restriction where best to put increasingly scarce recruiting dollars."(National Guard Association of the U.S. / Digital Journal)(7-13=2-2012)

  • TNT's NASCAR Summer Series Culminates at New Hampshire: TNT's six-race NASCAR Summer Series schedule will culminate this weekend with the New Hampshire 301 from Loudon, N.H., on Sunday, July 15, at 1:00pm/et. Adam Alexander will provide play-by-play for the race with analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach and reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville. Larry McReynolds will continue to make frequent contributions during the race from his customized, unique broadcast unit that will house his own studio, as well as his base location where he'll provide analysis using a cut-away display car. Coverage from New Hampshire will begin with the Countdown to Green pre-race show  hosted by Alexander with analysts McReynolds and Petty  at 12noon/et. TNT's coverage from New Hampshire follows the network's telecast of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola (July 7), which included the first-ever simulcast on truTV and generated the highest-rated and most-viewed Daytona 400 since 2008.
    Highlights from this week's race coverage:
    TNT's Countdown to Green pre-race show will include a Ralph Sheheen interview with Rick Hendrick during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Hendrick Motorsports' Heritage Center and a rare look at Hendrick's collectible cars and memorabilia from his life in the sport.
    #15 Clint Bowyer's crew will be miked up for TNT's Inside Trax.
    TNT's Countdown to Green also will include a special guest appearance by Greg Biffle.
    Countdown to Green will conclude its weekly feature segment titled "NASCAR Generations"  with Jimmie Johnson, Ned Jarrett and Bill Elliott, along with TNT analysts Petty and McReynolds.(TNT)(7-13-2012)

  • Menard tests at Nashville: Paul Menard and the #27 Richard Childress Racing team tested at Nashville Superspeedway July 10-11. They utilized chassis No. 328 from the RCR stable, which was used in competition at Kentucky Speedway in June.(RCR)(7-13-2012)

  • Hamlin says back will be fine: #11-Denny Hamlin said Thursday his back is feeling fine and he doesn't expect any issues this weekend at New Hampshire. Hamlin missed practice last week at Daytona and sat out the Nationwide Series race while receiving treatment for back spasms. He said he's had torn and bulging disks for some time, and may someday need surgery on his back. "It's a lot better. I worked on doing some rehab with the back, I've had this episode happen once or twice in the last four years," he said. "It's taken about a week to get over it. Really it was last Monday that set it off. Right at the start of this week the spasms started subsiding. It is feeling a lot better."(Associated Press)(7-13-2012)

  • Associate sponsor for Nemechek: Wildco Petroleum Equipment will be an associate sponsor on Joe Nemechek's #87 Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup entry for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on Sunday July 15, 2012, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Wildco, with offices in Bloomfield, CT and Manchester, NH, is aiming to be the premier petroleum equipment distributor in the northeastern United States. From tanks to canopies to everything in between, Wildco distributes petroleum equipment from A to Z. The company specializes the storage and dispensing of petroleum products in retail, commercial, marina, industrial and government applications. "I am excited to be partnered with Joe Nemechek and the whole NEMCO team," said Charlie Desfosses, president of Wildco Petroleum Equipment.(NEMCO Motorsports)(7-13-2012)

  • NASCAR Foundation Finalizes Single Largest Donation to a Pediatric Oncology Unit: The NASCAR Foundation announced its final installment of $100,000 as part of a record donation to Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida in Gainesville. In partnership with the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the commitment totaled $500,000  the single largest donation that The NASCAR Foundation has been a part of to support a new pediatric oncology unit. Each foundation committed $250,000 toward the 18-bed inpatient unit that serves approximately 14 pediatric patients a day. The unit cares for an estimated 288 patients annually. Among the diseases treated and operations performed in the unit are cancer, bone-marrow transplants, organ transplants, rheumatology/immunology conditions and sickle cell disease. "The V Foundation remains committed to fighting pediatric cancer," said Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation. "We are thrilled to partner with The NASCAR Foundation to beat this disease." The V Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer, has a well-established record of supporting cancer research.(NASCAR)(7-13-2012)

  • #95 team hires VP of Business Development: As Leavine Family Racing (LFR) continues to build its team in key areas, the #95 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team with driver Scott Speed announced that Dan Pikarsky has been named Vice President of Business Development. To further bolster its preparation for sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 season, Pikarsky will supervise Leavine Family Racing's brand and sponsorship programs. Pikarsky joins Leavine Family Racing from Petty's Garage in Level Cross, where as the senior director of business development and partnership, he was instrumental at Petty's Garage and the 2012 Petty's Garage Performance Tour. He was also influential in launching the first 2012 Richard Petty Signature Series Ford Mustang GT with a display at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. At Petty's Garage, he worked with the Richard Petty Motorsports Petty Family Foundation, and Victory Junction. Prior to his time at Petty's Garage, Pikarsky took a leave from the motorsports industry to team up with long-time friend Stephen Pearcy. Pikarsky was tour manager for WBS Entertainment with the rock band RATT where he managed an 85-city national tour. Pikarsky will be based in Leavine Family Racing's Concord office.(LFR)(7-13-2012)

  • Craven to Drive Pace Car at 20th Anniversary Cup Race: The year was 1993. Bill Clinton was president. Tom Hanks won his first Academy Award. And Alan Kulwicki was the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion. It was also the year that the Cup Series debuted at New Hampshire Motor Speedway  July 11, 1993 to be exact. On Sunday, "The Magic Mile" will celebrate the 20th anniversary of that first race with the LENOX Industrial Tools 301, which will be paced by New England's own Ricky Craven. "I watched as the track was being built  competed in its first event and celebrated a few times in victory lane," said Craven. "The 20th anniversary represents a great opportunity for all of us to reflect on the many races, and events. I'm proud to have been a member of several and I'm excited to be coming home." Craven (Newburgh, Maine) will drive the Toyota Camry pace car, leading the field around the 1.086-mile oval before the green flag drops. Craven is currently an ESPN in-studio analyst for the "NASCAR Now" show and a part-time color analyst for the Nationwide Series. Craven retired from full-time racing in the Cup Series in 2004. He finished his Cup career with two wins, 17 top fives and 41 top 10s. He also has six-career poles, including two in New Hampshire. For more details on the 20th anniversary celebration and ticket information on events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, or to purchase tickets to the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 and SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekends, please stop by the Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call the Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.(NHMS)(7-13-2012)

  • Qualifying Moves Back To Friday at Martinsville Speedway: Qualifying for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway will return to Friday this fall. Time trials for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 will be held at 3:40 pm on Friday, October 26. The Sprint Cup cars will have a 90-minute practice session beginning at 12noon on October 26. There will be two Sprint Cup practice sessions on Saturday, October 27, the first at 9:30 am and the final practice at 12noon. For the past two Sprint Cup races at Martinsville, qualifying had been conducted on Saturday. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will continue with its traditional Saturday morning qualifying, scheduled for 10:35 am on Saturday October 27. The trucks will have two practice sessions on Friday, one at 11 am and the final at 2:10 pm. The Kroger 200 will take the green flag at 2 pm on Saturday, October 27 while the TUMS Fast Relief 500 is set for the green at 1:30 pm on Sunday, October 28. To help kick Martinsville Speedway's 65th anniversary celebration into high gear heading into the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on October 28, the track is offering fans an anniversary special. For $65, fans may purchase prime seats for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race and receive a free pre-race track walk on race morning that will get them a close look at pit road as they walk along the front stretch of the historic track. The offer is valid through August 17 or while supplies last. Tickets for both the TUMS Fast Relief 500 and the Kroger 200 are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(7-13-2012)

  • Four Days of NASCAR Action at Atlanta Motor Speedway for Just $78: Fans can join Atlanta Motor Speedway for the biggest Labor Day party in the USA on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 weekend and enjoy four days of events for only $78. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 2 are available for $39 in the Elliott Grandstand. Fans can then upgrade their Sunday ticket and add frontstretch general admission tickets to both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Atlanta 200 on Friday, Aug. 31 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series NRA American Warrior 300 on Saturday, Sept. 1 for another $39. An AdvoCare 500 ticket will grant fans access to a free "Breakfast on Bruton" that will be held on the morning of Monday, Sept. 3. This breakfast is the speedway's way to say thank you to the fans who spent their Labor Day weekend at the 1.54-mile facility.(AMS)(7-13-2012)


    News from July 12, 2012

  • Allmendinger bringing experts to test: People familiar with AJ Allmendinger's suspension say the NASCAR driver has elected to bring his own experts to witness the testing of his "B" urine sample. Allmendinger was suspended by NASCAR on Saturday for failing a random drug test. He has said he tested positive for a stimulant he did not reveal, and has insisted he never "knowingly" took a banned substance. Under NASCAR's drug policy, an individual can bring in experts for the second test. Two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press that Allmendinger has chosen to bring a toxicologist and an attorney. They spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the process is confidential. Because Allmendinger is bringing his own people, the test of the sample will not occur until next week.(Associated Press)(7-12-2012)

  • Tony Stewart Wins 2012 'Best Driver' ESPY Award: #14-Tony Stewart, three-time and reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ, last night took home the 2012 ESPY for "Best Driver" at the 20th annual ESPY Awards on ESPN, beating out four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, F1 champion Sebastian Vettel and NHRA champion Del Worsham. Stewart put together an epic Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in what proved to be one of the most exciting seasons in NASCAR history last year. Stewart won five of the 10 races in the Chase, narrowly edging out Carl Edwards in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to take home the title. "I am thrilled to win the 'Best Driver' award after what turned out to be a great NASCAR season last year. I was fortunate enough to be able to take the checkered flag when it mattered most," said Stewart. "There were some great drivers and great champions in this category, so I cannot thank the NASCAR fans and everyone who voted enough for their unbelievable support." It is the third time Stewart has taken home "Best Driver" honors, winning in 2003 and 2006. Stewart was also nominated in the "Best Championship Performance" category this year.
    "I want to congratulate Tony on winning the ESPY for 'Best Driver' last night," said NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps. "His dramatic run to the championship highlighted his overall performance on the track last season, and we're thrilled the sports world recognized this achievement. Hats off to Tony Stewart and the entire Stewart-Haas Racing organization." Jimmie Johnson, who was a presenter for the "Best Comeback Athlete" award during last night's show, won the "Best Driver" award in each of the four previous seasons. NASCAR Nationwide Series star Danica Patrick also presented the "Best Team" award along with Steve Nash at last night's show to the Miami Heat. She teamed up with Justin Bieber to present the "Best Team" award at last year's ESPYs to the Dallas Mavericks.(NASCAR)(7-12-2012)

  • Changes coming at Furniture Row Racing? Denver, CO-based Furniture Row Racing, disappointed in driver #78-Regan Smith's 26th-place standing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, could potentially make significant personnel changes before or during this weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Team spokesman Dave Ferroni acknowledged the possible changes but declined to specify where they will take place. However, Ferroni said Smith  who is in the final year of his contract  will continue to drive the #78 Chevy. The team is managed by Denver native Joe Garone, who oversees crew chief Pete Rondeau and director of competition Mark McArdle.(Denver Post)(7-12-2012)

  • Jimmie Johnson Kicks Off ESPN Sprint Cup Campaign: ESPN has re-launched its "Nothing Beats First Place" marketing campaign with NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. The campaign promotes ESPN's coverage of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races of the season, beginning with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis on July 29. In the first spot, Johnson demonstrates why there is nothing more painful than losing  not even making lemonade after getting a paper cut or saving a baby porcupine from a thorn bush. Additional spots by creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York will be revealed in the coming weeks. See the commercial at ESPN's Youtube.com.(ESPN)(7-12-2012)

  • The Numbers for New Hampshire Motor Speedway (All Sprint Cup races):
    1 - fewest lead changes (9/17/00)
    1 - fewest leaders (Jeff Burton, 9/17/00)
    2 - fewest cautions (7/13/97)
    2 - fewest laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton, 7/11/99)
    3 - wins by Dodge at NHMS since manufacturer's return to NASCAR in 2001
    4 - drivers that have competed in all 34 races (Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek
    4 - most wins (Jeff Burton)
    5 - wins from the pole; seven from the front row
    6 - most poles (Ryan Newman)
    5 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    7 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (7/11/93)
    7 - drivers with more than one win
    8 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    10 - fewest caution laps (7/13/97)
    17 - most cautions (7/10/94)
    17 - different pole winners
    20 - different race winners
    23 - most lead changes (twice, most recent 7/21/02)
    30 - most cars on lead lap at finish (7/21/02)
    30 - fewest cars running at finish (twice, most recent 9/17/00)
    38 - deepest in the field race winner has started (Jeff Burton, 7/11/99)
    43 most cars running at finish (9/16/07)
    79 - most caution laps (7/10/94)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 1.058-mile track after a significant rainfall
    300 - most laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton, 9/17/00)
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    5 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona1, Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington and Sonoma)
    10 - most cautions this season (Daytona1)
    100 - cautions in the first 18 races of 2012; includes 43 for accidents, 29 for debris and 12 for spins
    526 of 5,187 - laps under caution in 2012
    760.001 of 7,056.498 - miles under caution in the first 18 races
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(7-12-2012)

  • NASCAR Technical Institute Celebrates Ten-Year Anniversary: One decade ago this month, NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech)  a branch of Universal Technical Institute  became the first exclusive educational partner of NASCAR. The 146,000-square-foot training facility located in Mooresville, N.C. opened in July 2002 as the first technical school of its kind to combine automotive training and a NASCAR-approved technologies curriculum into one program. On Wednesday, NASCAR Tech is celebrating ten years of operation and has helped change the vernacular from auto mechanic to automotive technician. With state-of-the-industry classrooms designed to effectively train students for the workforce, NASCAR Tech has become the leader for automotive technical education, graduating thousands in its ten-year existence. In celebration of its ten-year anniversary, NASCAR Tech will spotlight graduates who have excelled in their industry. Since its opening, thousands of NASCAR Tech graduates have gone on to careers in the automotive repair and motorsports industry. Many have benefited from the school's specialized programs, providing students with valuable, hands-on training in the heart of NASCAR country. To keep up with NASCAR Tech news, follow the campus on Facebook at facebook.com/NASCARtech.(NASCAR)(7-12-2012)

  • New sponsor for JTG Daugherty Racing at NHMS: JTG Daugherty Racing announced that Luke & Associates, Inc. will sponsor Bobby Labonte and the #47 Toyota Camry for the first time during the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "It's good to have our friends at Luke & Associates on board at New Hampshire Motor Speedway," Labonte said. "We are proud to be a part of JTG Daugherty Racing," said Jim Barfield, CEO for Luke & Associates. "The ability to further support our troops by signifying them on the hood is exciting for us as a company and fans." In May, Labonte participated in a Goodyear tire test at Loudon.(JTG Daugherty Racing). See images of the scheme on the #47 Team Schemes page.(7-12-2012)

  • Kurt Busch riding with a Hero: #51 Phoenix Racing, in conjunction with the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF), continues its military dedication program this weekend in New Hampshire. Riding with Kurt Busch this weekend will be the memory of Army SSG Joseph J. Altmann. While serving the United States in Operation Enduring Freedom, Altmann was killed in action on Christmas Day 2011, when insurgents attacked his unit in Kunar Province, a mountainous region in northeastern Afghanistan.(Phoenix Racing)(7-12-2012)

  • U.S. Army ROTC Colors for Newman at New Hampshire: This weekend, Ryan Newman will carry the Army ROTC logo on the hood of his #39 Stewart Haas Racing Chevy. The Army Reserve Officer Training Corps - ROTC - provides young Americans with unparalleled educational and leadership opportunities. The Army provides more scholarships than any other institution in the Nation. With ROTC, tuition is paid for and, upon graduation at the end of four years, participants are commissioned as an Army officer.(SHR), see an image of the car on my #39 Team Schemes page.(7-12-2012)

  • Mohawk Northeast to sponsor #10 TBR Chevy: Connecticut-based Mohawk Northeast will adorn the hood of the Tommy Baldwin Racing #10 Chevy. David Reutimann will pilot the #10 Mohawk Northeast Chevy in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Specializing in heavy construction and marine construction, as well as tugboat transportation, Mohawk Northeast, Inc. offers its valued clients cost-effective, efficient solutions founded on engineering expertise. Reutimann scored TBR's best finish this season with his 11th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway last weekend. The #10 team is currently in the 32nd position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Points.(TBR)(7-12-2012)

  • Danica takes Couric for a ride around Indy: Danica Patrick turned laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a race car Tuesday, July 10 for the first time in more than a year, but this time she had a special passenger. Patrick drove around the famous 2.5-mile oval in a two-seater version of her #7 GoDaddy.com/NASCAR Unites "An American Salute" Chevy, with iconic television personality Katie Couric in the passenger seat. She also gave Couric a tour of IMS. The laps also served as a fun warm-up for Patrick's official return to the Brickyard when she makes her IMS stock-car debut in the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday, July 28 during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard. "It feels really good to be at the track," Patrick said. "I enjoyed the laps that I made out there. I really, really enjoyed coming out of Turn 4 and coming down the front straightaway and seeing everything again." Patrick last raced at IMS in the 2011 Indianapolis 500, in which she finished 10th. It was one of her six top-10 results in seven starts in the Indy 500. Tickets are on sale now for the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard on July 26-29 at IMS.(IMS)(7-12-2012)

  • National Anthem singers at NHMS: After taking part in the 3rd annual Speedway Star competition this past April, a pair of New England singers were chosen to sing the national anthem for the Whelen Modified Tour and Sprint Cup Series races this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Twelve-year-old Emma Joanis of Windham, N.H., was deemed the overall winner by a list of judges that included NHMS executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens, former NASCAR pit reporter Dick Berggren, WMUR/ABC 9 news anchor Jennifer Vaughn and RCA Records director of northeast promotion Dan Nelson. Joanis will sing "The Star Spangled Banner" during Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301, while Jillian Marie Cardarelli (Haverhill, Mass.) will sing the national anthem during the Town Fair Tire 100.(NHMS)(7-12-2012)


    News from July 11, 2012

  • Kenseth remains mum on team switch: For nearly two weeks, #17-Matt Kenseth has been hounded by one question. And moments after guiding his Harley-Davidson into Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday afternoon, the NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader heard it again. Now that his profitable 14-year partnership with car owner Jack Roush is over, just what team will Kenseth drive for next season? Once again, Kenseth deftly danced around the answer. "We've been together forever with Roush," Kenseth said. "Three or four years ago we made a commitment to race together through 2012. That never got extended through 2013, so we will just race as hard as we can until the end of this season." The hottest rumor involves Kenseth landing at Joe Gibbs Racing. Meanwhile, defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will replace Kenseth in the familiar #17 Ford next season. Kenseth was in Bristol Tuesday as part of the NASCAR Winner's Circle program to promote the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS on Aug. 25. Along with NASCAR television personality Kyle Petty, Kenseth rode his motorcycle from Smokies Park in Sevierville to BMS with members of Rolling Thunder, a group made up mostly of military veterans. Rolling Thunder's purpose is to bring awareness to those military members who were prisoners of war or are missing in action. The 40-year-old Kenseth refused to offer any hints as to his future place of employment. He added that he hasn't discussed the issue with fellow competitors. "I really haven't talked to anyone about it, except for the parties involved," Kenseth said. "After Roush put the release out that I wasn't going to be back in 2013 and I got through last weekend, it was almost a relief in a way because the last two or three months have been somewhat stressful. I wasn't sure what I was going to do and what was going to happen. With all that being out there now, I can just concentrate on the season." #24-Jeff Gordon, who has been affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports since 1993, is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver who has a longer partnership than Kenseth and Roush.(Bristol Herald Courier)
    BUT am hearing the Kenseth will be in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Home Depot and Dollar Genreal as the primary co-sponsors. Current driver Joey Logano could end up in a 4th JGR Toyota or could head elsewhere, such as the #22 Penske Racing Ford if A.J. Allmendinger doesn't return to that ride in 2013.(7-11-2012)

  • Different scheme for Montoya at New Hampshire; 200th start for Montoya: The #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chery of Juan Pablo Montonya will sport a new paint scheme this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Degree will be the primary sponsor, showcasing their new MOTIONSENSE Technology. This new technology is triggered by body movement and releases extra protection throughout the day. Montoya will make his 200th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at NHMS (EGR). See an image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(7-11-2012)

  • Statement regarding Allmendinger's sample: a statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc., Charlotte, NC: "In an effort to help our colleagues in the media report on this in a timely and accurate manner, we wanted to provide some additional details regarding AJ's sample "A" test results. AJ tested positive for a stimulant. He has no idea why the first test was positive, and he has never knowingly taken any prohibited substance. AJ is collecting his medicines and supplements for testing to determine whether an over the counter product caused his positive test. AJ and all of us at Walldinger Racing respect NASCAR's testing program, and he has requested that his "B" sample be tested as part of the process of getting to the bottom of this. We will have the opportunity to review all of the scientific data surrounding the test following the "B" sample test, but our understanding is that AJ's test was slightly above the threshold. As of this morning, we have not been given notice of when the testing of the "B" sample will take place. Thanks again for all of the support of our fans, team, and sponsors as we continue working through the process."(Walldinger Racing)(7-11-2012)

  • W.B. Mason scheme for Biffle at NHMS: W.B. Mason and Post-It will be featured on the #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Greg Biffle to support 3M Pre-Game Player's Club Event and Boston Red Sox game contest on July 16th. Biffle is also scheduled to throw out the first pitch at Boston's Fenway Park on July 16th (RFR), see an image of the scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(7-11-2012)

  • Eight Races Remaining, 'Wild Card' Battle A Toss-Up: Deadlock broken. #20-Joey Logano's fourth-place finish at Daytona, for now, has lifted the Pocono winner into the No. 2 "Wild Card" qualifying berth for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup". For now, anyway. Logano, #39-Ryan Newman and #5-Kasey Kahne entered the Coke Zero 400 with an identical number of points with Kahne holding the tiebreaker. Post-race it's Logano by one point over Newman, three points over Kahne. Kyle Busch continues to claim the No. 1 "Wild Card" with a 12th-place points ranking. There's no guarantee any of the four will be "Wild Card" winners with eight races remaining before the Chase field is set. There's also no certainty that a single win will earn a "Wild Card." Looking ahead, Logano, Newman and Busch have New Hampshire victories. Newman, a three-time winner, is defending last year's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 title. Then there's #24-Jeff Gordon. He has no wins but can be considered a serious "lurker." Gordon has three Loudon wins and is a four-time winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the July 29 Brickyard 400 follows New Hampshire. Back-to-back wins definitely would stir up the stew. Defending Brickyard 400 winner #27-Paul Menard, with four top-10 finishes, also must be part of the discussion. He is 13th, nine points behind Busch.(NASCAR)(7-11-2012)

  • NASCAR not revealing drug that drivers are suspended for: NASCAR does not reveal the drug that a suspended driver tested positive for due to privacy concerns, NASCAR officials say. NASCAR chairman Brian France outlined NASCAR's stance in 2009 when it suspended Jeremy Mayfield after he tested positive for methamphetamines. A NASCAR spokesman said Tuesday that NASCAR still stands by that policy. Mayfield's positive test for methamphetamine was revealed when he filed a lawsuit against NASCAR over his suspension. He recently dropped his lawsuit after losing an appeal. On Saturday, NASCAR suspended driver #22-AJ Allmendinger after he tested positive for a banned substance during a random drug test at Kentucky Speedway on June 29. NASCAR has not disclosed the drug Allmendinger tested positive for. Though NASCAR's substance-abuse policy does not prohibit it from disclosing the source of a positive test, France said in 2009 that NASCAR doesn't reveal the substance due to privacy concerns.(Sporting News)(7-11-2012)

  • Vickers returns to the #55 at NHMS, new sponsor: Brian Vickers makes his fourth 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup start Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He'll drive Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 MyClassicGarage Toyota on the one mile oval. Vickers owns two top-five finishes in just three starts this season. MyClassicGarage is the ultimate online tool for the classic, muscle, and high performance car collector (MWR), see image of the scheme on my #55 Team Schemes page.(7-11-2012)

  • Army to leave NASCAR as sponsor after 2012 season: The U.S. Army has decided not to renew its sponsorship with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2013 as a primary sponsor of the #39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman due to a reallocation of its marketing budget that will not include a presence in NASCAR. SHR is actively pursuing a strong brand to partner with the team and its roster of sponsors that also includes Office Depot, Mobil 1, Quicken Loans, GoDaddy.com, Haas Automation, Chevrolet, WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental, Tornados, Coca-Cola, Oreo, Ritz, Bass Pro Shops and Code 3 Associates.
    Brett Frood, Executive Vice President, Stewart-Haas Racing: "The U.S. Army has been a great partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since the team's inception. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, with the U.S. Army introducing training regimens that improved our pit crews while instilling the mental, physical and emotional strength of the U.S. Army Soldier in all of us. We remain very proud of our representation of the U.S. Army and its brave Soldiers who are 100 percent committed to our country. We will continue to activate on behalf of the U.S. Army for the rest of 2012, while also growing our other dynamic partnerships at Stewart-Haas Racing for the future."
    John Myers, Director, Marketing Support Element, Army Marketing and Research Group: "The U.S. Army has worked with Stewart-Haas Racing in a mutually beneficial and highly successful relationship for the past four seasons, and they've performed superbly as our partner on and off the track. The same can be said of other members of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series family we have sponsored during the past 10 seasons. The sport, our drivers and the passionate NASCAR fans embraced the Army's participation and created a tremendous opportunity for Americans to learn more about the profession of the Army Strong Soldier."(SHR)(7-10-2012)
    U.S. Rep. McCollum Comments: U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum has won her two-year fight to get the Army to "stop wasting taxpayer dollars" on sponsoring a NASCAR racing team. The Army announced Tuesday that it would stop sponsoring the Stewart-Haas Racing team. The sponsorships were supposed to be a recruiting tool, but McCollum had argued it's an ineffective one. See McCollum's press release on the issue at the Pioneer Press and another at USA Today.
    Army to return to NHRA Army officials are in the process of signing a contract extension with Don Schumacher Racing through 2013 to continue the long-running sponsorship of the Top Fuel dragster for seven-time NHRA champion Tony Schumacher. "That's our intent," said John Myers, director of marketing support for the Army Marketing and Research Group. "The NHRA is a valuable part of our motorsports outreach portfolio. We are working on an agreement through 2013. The NHRA gives us a great return on our investment."(ESPN)
    AND U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) plans to meet today with National Guard officials "to discuss their backing" of the Hendrick Motorsports #88 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr.(in part from Sports Business Daily)(7-11-2012)

  • NHMS Goodyear Tire Notes and Support the Troops: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at New Hampshire this weekend . . . these are two brand new tire codes for NASCAR teams . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at New Hampshire on May 8-9 . . . teams and drivers participating in that test were the #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with Paul Menard, #47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Toyota with Bobby Labonte, #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet with Regan Smith, #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford with Carl Edwards . . . compared to what was run at New Hampshire last year, this left-side tire code features a compound change, while this right-side tire code features a compound change and a construction change to bring into line with what is run at other speedways . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at New Hampshire. See tire codes, pressures, sets and nore on the New Hampshire Race Info page - Goodyear section. Goodyear will donate one dollar for every tire sold at participating Goodyear dealers in the U.S. from July 1 until August 31, up to $250,000, to benefit Support Our Troops. McMurray and Montoya, along with many other NSCS drivers signed a Goodyear tire that will be up for auction to raise funds for Support Our Troops. To bid, donate or learn more about how to support this cause go to goodyear.com/givesback/.(7-11-2012)

  • EGR, McMurray support "Raise Our Flag" at Olympics: #1-Jamie McMurray and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will help support the United States Olympic Committee and their "Raise Our Flag" campaign by donating a stitch in America's flag for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "Raise Our Flag" is an official United States Olympic fundraising program with donations providing housing, training and equipment for the most elite athletes in America. More information at raiseourflag.teamusa.org.(EGR)(7-11-2012)

  • Johnson and Kahne compete in Triathlon: #48-Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports Racing teammate #5-Kasey Kahne were dueling at Daytona Saturday night, and then competing in their first Triathlon on Sunday morning. Along with the over 300 people signed up for the race, the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series played host to the two NASCAR stars and several of their crew members who were working on very little rest.(full story and images at abcnews4.com.(7-11-2012)

  • Sold! President Obama's NASCAR Tickets Bought at Auction for $300: President Barack Obama might not be able to be a part of the biggest sporting event in New England on Sunday, but the tickets that were left for him certainly won't be wasted. Francine Slesinski won a two-week long auction that ended with the Chesterfield, Mass., native as the highest bidder on four tickets to Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The tickets are emblazoned with Obama's name and White House address, and were sold for $300 to Slesinski, who has attended every NASCAR race at the speedway for the last 10 years. Slesinski plans to camp at the track beginning on Thursday and will use the tickets with her husband and family. "I planned on getting tickets anyway," said Slesinski, "but when I saw those up for auction I had to get them." With all proceeds benefiting the Speedway Children's Charities, New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens started the bidding at $100 back on June 27. The (4) tickets are located in Section H, Row 44 of the Main Grandstand, some of the best seats in the house. Each ticket has a face value of $110.(NHMS)(7-11-2012)

  • U.S. Military Personnel to Assist NHMS Officials, Volunteers During NASCAR Weekend: New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced the inclusion of three United States military branches. The U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army will each be represented by local units, volunteering their time to assist with everything from security to ushering during the upcoming LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR weekend July 12-15. "We are privileged to have representatives from our local armed forces join us here at 'The Magic Mile,' " says Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "The sacrifices our American troops make on a daily basis are why we're able to celebrate our independence with our friends and family."
    The Navy will be represented by the N.O.S.C (Navy Operational Support Center) of Manchester. They will aid NHMS Security on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of race weekend by working security detail and running traffic control. The Navy will set up a tent on the speedway base, where 25 naval volunteers will stay night and day over the course of the three days. "This is a tremendous opportunity for us to lend a hand to the speedway and show our colors," said John Camp, command chief of the N.O.S.C. of Manchester. "We are happy to lend our support and make sure this event goes as smoothly as possible."
    A total of 24 members of the Hanscom Air Force Base out of Bedford, Mass., will come to the speedway on Sunday, July 15. Squadron volunteers will help usher folks to their seats before the green flag drops on the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup race. Tech Sargent Wayne Briggs said there are already plans for Hanscom AFB to assist with September's SYLVANIA 300, too. The Army will have soldiers from Nashua, N.H., assist with Speedway Children's Charities volunteers on Sunday, July 15. Army personnel will work with the SCC's "Red Bucket Brigade," to collect donations from race fans during the LENOX Industrial Tools 301. "We'll do anything to help the kids," says U.S. Army Recruiter Laura Spencer. To see these military personnel in person, purchase tickets to the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 and SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekends by stopping by our Ticket Office, visiting the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or calling our Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.(NHMS)(7-11-2012)


    News from July 10, 2012

  • #14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Penalized For Infractions at Daytona: NASCAR has issued a penalty as a result of rules infractions committed during last weekend's events at Daytona International Speedway. The #14 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book); and 20-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car). The violation occurred during post-qualifying inspection July 6. As a result, crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Car chief Jeff Meendering has been placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Driver Tony Stewart and owner Margaret Haas have been penalized with the loss of six championship driver and six championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)
    STATEMENT The following is a statement from Greg Zipadelli, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, regarding today's penalty levied by NASCAR against the team's #14 Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Tony Stewart for a post-qualifying rules infraction July 6 at Daytona International Speedway: "While we respect and accept NASCAR's decision, we want to be clear that there was no malicious intent. In a rush to replace a cracked rear windshield that happened during tech inspection prior to qualifying, we jostled a cooling hose that was behind the seat. We understand NASCAR's position and will abide by its decision."(7-10-2012)

  • Different look for Kenseth at New Hampshire: This weekend at Loudon NH at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth will pilot the #17 NESN National Ford Fusion where he has an average starting position of 20.7 and an average finishing position of 14.0 (RFR). The New England Sports Network (NESN) is owned by the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins and delivered to over 4 million homes throughout the six-state New England region and nationally as NESN National. The definitive source for New England sports programming, NESN has consistently been one of the top rated regional sports network in the country and was the first regional sports network in the country to originate every game and studio show in high definition.(7-10-2012)

  • Hornish would like to drive the #22 if......: Sam Hornish Jr. has let Penske Racing officials know he is interested in driving the #22 Sprint Cup car full time if AJ Allmendinger's suspension becomes lengthy. Allmendinger was "temporarily suspended" by NASCAR prior to Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway because he failed a drug test. He has requested a test of the "B" sample of the test he took the previous week at Kentucky. If that test comes back negative, Allmendinger will be re-instated. If that test supports the "A" test, which typically is the case, then Allmendinger would have to go through NASCAR's Road to Recovery program that likely would keep him out at least through the rest of this season. Hornish was a last-minute replacement for Allmendinger at Daytona, finishing 33rd after a blown tire midway through the race all but ended his night. He was tabbed on Monday to drive this weekend at New Hampshire. "This is definitely not the way that I would like to do it," Hornish said of getting back in a Cup car. "But at the end of the day, I feel like with the way things have been in racing lately, I feel like you take what you can get at this point and time." Hornish said he texted team owner Roger Penske on Sunday morning to let him know he was available if Allmendinger's suspension lingered the rest of this season and into 2013. He was adamant it was not out of disrespect to Allmendinger, whose contract ends after this season. There has been speculation that Nationwide sponsors, led by Alliance Truck Parts, might follow Hornish into Cup next year. But there are no guarantees like there would be with #22 sponsored by Shell Pennzoil, which sponsored Hornish during his IndyCar championship runs in 2001 and 2002. He said Penske won't make a decision on the rest of the 22 schedule until the "B" sample results are in -- likely by the end of this week -- noting there will be plenty of time because Cup has as week off after this weekend (ESPN).
    AND other drivers supposedly under consideration for the #22 ride in 2013 if Allmendinger doesn't return to the ride include Trevor Bayne, currently driving part time in the NNS for Roush Fenway Racing and in Sprint Cup Series part time for #21 Wood Brothers Racing and Joey Logano, who is likely out of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride after this season with Matt Kenseth supposedly taking over the #20 Toyota with Home Depot and Dollar General remaining as the sponsors for the #20 JGR team.(7-10-2012)

  • Army to leave NASCAR as sponsor after 2012 season: The U.S. Army has decided not to renew its sponsorship with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2013 as a primary sponsor of the #39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman due to a reallocation of its marketing budget that will not include a presence in NASCAR. SHR is actively pursuing a strong brand to partner with the team and its roster of sponsors that also includes Office Depot, Mobil 1, Quicken Loans, GoDaddy.com, Haas Automation, Chevrolet, WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental, Tornados, Coca-Cola, Oreo, Ritz, Bass Pro Shops and Code 3 Associates.
    Brett Frood, Executive Vice President, Stewart-Haas Racing: "The U.S. Army has been a great partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since the team's inception. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, with the U.S. Army introducing training regimens that improved our pit crews while instilling the mental, physical and emotional strength of the U.S. Army Soldier in all of us. We remain very proud of our representation of the U.S. Army and its brave Soldiers who are 100 percent committed to our country. We will continue to activate on behalf of the U.S. Army for the rest of 2012, while also growing our other dynamic partnerships at Stewart-Haas Racing for the future."
    John Myers, Director, Marketing Support Element, Army Marketing and Research Group: "The U.S. Army has worked with Stewart-Haas Racing in a mutually beneficial and highly successful relationship for the past four seasons, and they've performed superbly as our partner on and off the track. The same can be said of other members of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series family we have sponsored during the past 10 seasons. The sport, our drivers and the passionate NASCAR fans embraced the Army's participation and created a tremendous opportunity for Americans to learn more about the profession of the Army Strong Soldier."(SHR)(7-10-2012)

  • Patrick adds Kansas to her 2012 Cup schedule: Danica Patrick will compete in the Oct. 21 Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the newly-paved Kansas Speedway. Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevy for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will benefit from an extra day of practice, scheduled for the Thursday before the race weekend due to the 1.5-mile oval being resurfaced since the Sprint Cup Series' last visit to Kansas in April. "With the testing rules the way they are, we can't test with her at tracks where NASCAR's top three series compete," said Greg Zipadelli, SHR competition director and race strategist for Patrick. "That extra day of testing will be huge for her. With the amount of 1.5-mile ovals on the schedule, it made sense to have her compete at Kansas to better prepare her for 2013." The addition of Kansas Speedway completes Patrick's 10-race Sprint Cup schedule for 2012 "I've always liked racing at Kansas Speedway," Patrick said. "I think the extra day of testing will be very beneficial, not only to prepare for the race weekend, but to learn for the rest of 2012 and looking ahead to 2013 with Stewart-Haas Racing. The more track time I can get, the better, so I'm happy to be driving the GoDaddy.com Chevy at Kansas."(Stewart Haas Racing)(7-10-2012)

  • Allmendinger requests testing of "B" sample STATEMENT: Suspended Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger on Monday took the first step in trying to get his failed drug test reversed. The Penske Racing driver, suspended prior to Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway for failing a drug test taken the previous weekend at Kentucky, issued a written request to have his "B" sample tested in hopes that it will give a different result than the initial "A" sample that came back positive for a banned substance. Allmendinger had 72 hours from Saturday to ask for his "B" sample to be tested. It will take approximately five days for NASCAR to get results from the second test from the lab, Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., that conducted the original test. If the "B" sample comes back positive, Allmendinger faces indefinite suspension until he completes NASCAR's recovery program, which includes counseling, therapy and more testing. Team officials and NASCAR have declined to comment on the substance found in Allmendinger's initial "A" sample test. They are waiting on results of the "B" sample to confirm results.(ESPN.com)
    Statement from AJ Allmendinger, Charlotte, NC (July 10, 2012): "I have informed NASCAR that I have requested that the "B" sample be tested, following the steps according to NASCAR's 2012 rule book regarding this situation. I fully respect NASCAR's drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the #22 Penske Racing Dodge. I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug."(Walldinger Racing)
    AND Multiple sources say a second drug screening test has been conducted on the urine sample collected last week from NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger. Penske Racing owner Roger Penske told Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio's The Morning Drive today that he believes Allmendinger exercised his right to request a test of the second, or "B" sample by Aegis Laboratories, NASCAR's substance abuse testing agent. Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity confirm that the test was conducted late yesterday at Aegis' Atlanta headquarters, with Allmendinger, his attorney and a toxicologist of his choosing in attendance to monitor the proceedings. Results are expected to be available within the next 24-48 hours, and Penske said he and his team are "standing behind (Allmendinger) until we understand the results. I can't say today what that is going to be." He said he has not spoken with his driver since he was temporarily suspension broke Saturday, but will await results of the second urinalysis before making any decisions about his driver's future. "We have a one-year contract with him (and) we'll have to assess the situation," he said. "We'll look at the details& and make our move accordingly. At this point, it would be way premature for me to speculate what we might do."(Godfather Motorsports), see earlier updatees about Allmendinger's situation on the #22 team news page.(7-10-2012)

  • It's a girl for Darian and Yolanda Grubb: Darian Grubb, crew chief for #11-Denny Hamlin, and his wife Yolanda welcomed a baby girl Monday morning. Gabriella joins big brother Gavin.(7-10-2012)

  • At New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
    • Groundbreaking for New Hampshire International Speedway, as New Hampshire Motor Speedway was originally named, was Aug. 13, 1989.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was on July 11, 1993.
    • Renamed New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008.
    • There have been 34 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; one per year from 1993 through 1996 and two per year since.
    • Four drivers have competed in all 34 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek.
    • Mark Martin won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole.
    • Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
    • There have been 17 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman (six).
    • 20 different drivers have won, led by Jeff Burton (four).
    • Jimmie Johnson (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) are the only drivers that have posted season sweeps. Those are also the only back-to-back winners.
    • Hendrick Motorsports has won eight races, more than any other organization.
    • The deepest in the field that a New Hampshire race winner started was 38th, by Jeff Burton in 1999.
    • There have been five winners who started from the pole. The last race winner to win from the pole was Ryan Newman last season.
    • Jeff Burton led all 300 laps raced in the 2000 fall race.
    • Five drivers got their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at New Hampshire: Joe Nemechek (1999), Robby Gordon (2001), Ryan Newman (2002), Clint Bowyer (2007) and Joey Logano (2009).
    • Two drivers got their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole at New Hampshire: Patrick Carpentier (2008) and Brad Keselowski (2010).
    • Denny Hamlin (9.0) is the only active driver with an average finish at NHMS in the top 10.
    • Jeff Gordon has led the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series laps all-time at New Hampshire at 1,304.
    • Last fall's event (9/25/11) at NHMS tied the records for most all-time leaders (15), and fewest laps led by the winner (2).
    • Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire Motor Speedway winner: Joey Logano (06/28/2009 - 19 years, 1 month, 4 days).
    • Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire Motor Speedway winner: Mark Martin (09/20/2009 - 50 years, 8 months, 11 days).(NASCAR)(7-10-2012)

  • "Race Day with Juan" at Homestead: South Florida resident and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, along with his wife Connie, are again giving South Florida race fans reason to smile. Homestead-Miami Speedway, for a fourth consecutive year, is partnering with the Montoyas to create "Race Day with Juan"-an exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity prior to the Nov. 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The "Race Day with Juan" package for $142 - and valued at more than $200 if priced individually - will benefit the Formula Smiles Foundation. It includes: Ticket to Sprint Cup Series Championship-finale Ford EcoBoost 400 (Frontstretch West, rows 33-48); Private pre-race Q&A session with Montoya in the infield Driver's Meeting Room; Pre-Race Pit Pass access to front-stretch for photos, autographs and access to driver introductions; #42 Target Chevy commemorative hat; $42 donation to the Formula Smiles Foundation headed by the Montoyas. To purchase "Race Day with Juan" -- or to upgrade to this package if tickets already have been purchased-please call the Homestead-Miami Speedway Ticket Sales Department at 305.230.5255. For more information please visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com/Montoya.(HMS)(7-10-2012)


    News from July 9, 2012

  • The Entry List for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (44/12)
    #23-Scott Riggs (43/17)
    #26-Josh Wise (40/18)
    #30-David Stremme (39/18)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/18)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (38/18)
    #79-Kelly Bires (53/3)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/18)
    #98-Michael McDowell (41/18)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 33,30,49,98,26,87,23,19
    missing the race would be [1]: # 79
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's New Hampshire Entry List.(7-9-2012)

  • Daytona TV Ratings posted: TNT's signature Wide Open coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola, combined with the first-ever simulcast on truTV, generated a 3.8 U.S. household rating and 6,184,000 total viewers to become the highest-rated and most-viewed Daytona 400 since 2008 (3.8 U.S. HH rating and 6,390,000 total viewers), based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. Saturday's prime-time coverage (7:30-10:32 p.m. ET) is up 12% compared with last year's 3.4 U.S. HH rating and three percent over the average of 6,029,000 total viewers in 2011.(Turner Sports), see past race TV Ratings, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(7-9-2012)

  • Allmendinger suspended for failing drug test: UPDATES: NASCAR announced 90 minutes before the race that #22-A.J. Allmendinger has failed a random drug test and has been "temporarily" suspended. He was randomly selected and tested following the Kentucky race and his "A" sample tested positive. He has the right to request that NASCAR test his "B" sample. Should he refuse to have the "B" sample tested, or if that test is positive, the suspension will become indefinite. Sam Hornish will replace him in the #22 at Daytona.(7-7-2012)
    Official Announcement: Driver AJ Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from NASCAR competition based upon notification of a positive "A" test NASCAR received from the Medical Review Officer as stated in Section 19-11B (6,7) of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy. Pursuant to the rule book, Allmendinger has the opportunity to request within the next 72 hours that his "B" sample be tested. NASCAR will follow its policies and procedures set forth in the rule book in dealing with this matter.(NASCAR)(7-7-2012)
    Penske Statement: "NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that AJ Allmendinger was administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested positive. NASCAR has a strict drug testing program that Penske Racing fully supports. Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps. Sam Hornish will drive the No. 22 car in (Saturday's) Coke Zero 400."(Penske Racing)(7-7-2012)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske called A.J. Allmendinger's failed drug test "a disappointment" but said the NASCAR team will wait for a second test to be performed this week. Penske said Sunday before the Honda Indy Toronto race that Allmendinger's "B" sample would be tested Monday or Tuesday. "You know it's a disappointment at this particular time, but we're going to wait and see what the second test results are before we make any comment or decisions," Penske said. "I don't think it's fair to him. I think as you look at sports, things happen like this," he said. "It's unfortunate, but I don't really want to make a statement pro or con right now. I'm counting on another test being proper for him within 72 hours, and at that point we'll make a decision." Penske said his team, Penske Racing, was informed that Allmendinger's "A" sample had tested positive about 4 p.m. Saturday, less than four hours before the Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Allmendinger has 72 hours from early Saturday afternoon for the "B" sample to be tested, meaning he has to make the request by early Tuesday afternoon. After the request is made, it could take up to five days to confirm the results of the "A" sample.(USA Today/Indianapolis Star)(7-8-2012)
    UPDATE 2: A.J. Allmendinger was silent Sunday, a day after NASCAR suspended him for failing a random drug test. Penske Racing, which gave Allmendinger the biggest break of his career this season, is withholding judgment until NASCAR's system has been completed. Where that leaves the 30-year-old driver remains to be seen. There is no second test coming for Allmendinger, who was randomly summoned June 29 in Kentucky to provide a urine sample to NASCAR. Per NASCAR guidelines, the specimen was split in two for an "A'' and a "B'' samples. NASCAR announced 90 minutes before Saturday night's race at Daytona that Allmendinger's "A'' sample had failed the test. NASCAR didn't reveal what Allmendinger tested positive for, and Allmendinger hasn't commented publicly since the announcement. According to Allmendinger's Twitter feed, he was making appearances on behalf of sponsor Shell/Pennzoil less than two hours before the suspension was announced at 6 p.m. But NASCAR clarified the timelines Sunday, and said its medical review officer first alerted Allmendinger of his positive test approximately six hours earlier. NASCAR was informed by the MRO about 2:30 p.m., and met with Allmendinger and a senior Penske official shortly after. The team owner indicated Sunday that Hornish is available to drive Allmendinger's car, but that the organization had yet to think beyond Daytona. "We haven't made any (decisions). He was obviously our first choice for yesterday," Penske said. "I was out of the country and came in last night and obviously got word on the way over what had happened. The big thing was to get Sam in the car so we could get in the race, which obviously was tight.(Associated Press)
    AND: If A.J. Allmendinger's suspension by NASCAR becomes indefinite, Sam Hornish Jr. wants to continue his role as replacement. "If that's the case, then I want to be back in the Cup Series," Hornish told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview Sunday. "I'm fully on board with it. I can't think of any reason I wouldn't want to drive that car. I'll do whatever it takes to get back there." Of getting promoted on a longer-term basis in the #22 Dodge, Hornish said, "Obviously, we have a contractual commitment to the Nationwide Series, and some of their races aren't at the same site as Cup races, so that will be an issue." Hornish declined to comment about Allmendinger's situation, except to say he hadn't spoken to the driver and was shocked by Saturday's announcement.(USA Today)
    For more details on NASCAR's drug testing policy, see Jayski's Drug Policy page and in-depth articles at USA Today and Sporting News.(7-9-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Tara Ragan, Allmendinger's business manager, said she couldn't comment much on the situation but did say Allmendinger is a health conscious person and that they are working with the race team to go through the process. "It was shocking to us," she said. "We're all a little bit shell-shocked and getting our heads around what happened. We are working closely with the folks from Penske to work through the procedure with NASCAR." Ragan said she could not comment on whether he will ask for the B sample to be tested.(Sporting News)(7-9-2012)

  • Hornish will remain in the #22 at New Hampshire: Penske Racing Statement: "Penske Racing is continuing to work with NASCAR to follow its process and procedures related to the positive drug test that AJ Allmendinger was notified of this past weekend. While this process continues, Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the #22 car in this week's Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway."(Penske Racing)(7-9-2012)

  • Hornish will remain in the #22 at New Hampshire: Penske Racing Statement: "Penske Racing is continuing to work with NASCAR to follow its process and procedures related to the positive drug test that AJ Allmendinger was notified of this past weekend. While this process continues, Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the #22 car in this week's Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway."(Penske Racing)(7-9-2012)

  • Sad News - Lynda Havens: Calling hours and a memorial service celebrating the life of longtime motorsports public relations representative and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Staff member Lynda Havens are scheduled for Tuesday evening, July 10 at Brickyard Crossing Pavilion at IMS. Havens, a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, died suddenly at home July 3. She was 60. Havens worked in professional motorsports public relations for race teams, sanctioning bodies and racetracks for more than 30 years, primarily in open-wheel and sports-car racing. Butler University graduate Havens was a member of the IMS Media Staff during events at the Speedway for more than 20 years. She was instrumental in creating the Indianapolis 500 News Bureau, which distributed daily driver updates and features to global media throughout the Month of May, in 1998. She continued to work as the lead editor of the News Bureau through this May. Havens also volunteered at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska in a variety of roles, including news reporting, Internet chat room moderation and sled-dog handling at the starting line in Anchorage. She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Gary; brother, Eric Sharpnack; sister, Dianne Stephenson; stepfather, Robert Johnson; and several nieces and nephews. More info at flannerbuchanan.com.(IMS)(7-9-2012)

  • Bad Boy Buggies sponsoring pre-race concert at Atlanta: Bad Boy Buggies has teamed up with Atlanta Motor Speedway to sponsor the speedway's pre-race concert. Now known as the Fast Cars & Guitars Pre-Race Concert featuring Montgomery Gentry, presented by Bad Boy Buggies is slated for Sunday, Sept. 2, prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500. The event will feature Grammy-nominated and Grand Ole Opry members Montgomery Gentry as they perform a concert on the speedway's frontstretch as part of the pre-race festivities. A limited number of stagefront passes are now available for $49. Stagefront passes will give fans the opportunity to enjoy the pre-race concert and Sprint Cup driver introductions from the same track that the stars of NASCAR's top series will battle on later that night.(AMS)(7-9-2012)


    News from July 8, 2012

  • It's a boy for Kevin and Delana Harvick: Kevin and DeLana Harvick welcomed son Keelan Paul Harvick (pronounced Keylan) Sunday, July 8th, 2012. Keelan weighed in at 6.8 lbs. and 19.5 inches. Throughout the pregnancy, the Harvicks had jokingly referred to their son as "Baby Otis" on Twitter and in public. "Waiting on Keelan was the longest nine months of my entire life," Kevin Harvick said. "But time literally stood still when I held our baby for the first time. I've accomplished a lot in my life that I'm proud of, but those moments don't hold a candle to becoming a father and seeing that little face looking up at you. DeLana and I are just amazed by how special and rewarding this is." Mother and baby are doing well.(Harvick PR)(7-8-2012)

  • Allmendinger suspended for failing drug test: UPDATE: NASCAR announced 90 minutes before the race that #22-A.J. Allmendinger has failed a random drug test and has been "temporarily" suspended. He was randomly selected and tested following the Kentucky race and his "A" sample tested positive. He has the right to request that NASCAR test his "B" sample. Should he refuse to have the "B" sample tested, or if that test is positive, the suspension will become indefinite. Sam Hornish will replace him in the #22 at Daytona.(7-7-2012)
    Official Announcement: Driver AJ Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from NASCAR competition based upon notification of a positive "A" test NASCAR received from the Medical Review Officer as stated in Section 19-11B (6,7) of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy. Pursuant to the rule book, Allmendinger has the opportunity to request within the next 72 hours that his "B" sample be tested. NASCAR will follow its policies and procedures set forth in the rule book in dealing with this matter.(NASCAR)(7-7-2012)
    Penske Statement: "NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that AJ Allmendinger was administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested positive. NASCAR has a strict drug testing program that Penske Racing fully supports. Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps. Sam Hornish will drive the No. 22 car in (Saturday's) Coke Zero 400."(Penske Racing)(7-7-2012)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske called A.J. Allmendinger's failed drug test "a disappointment" but said the NASCAR team will wait for a second test to be performed this week. Penske said Sunday before the Honda Indy Toronto race that Allmendinger's "B" sample would be tested Monday or Tuesday. "You know it's a disappointment at this particular time, but we're going to wait and see what the second test results are before we make any comment or decisions," Penske said. "I don't think it's fair to him. I think as you look at sports, things happen like this," he said. "It's unfortunate, but I don't really want to make a statement pro or con right now. I'm counting on another test being proper for him within 72 hours, and at that point we'll make a decision." Penske said his team, Penske Racing, was informed that Allmendinger's "A" sample had tested positive about 4 p.m. Saturday, less than four hours before the Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Allmendinger has 72 hours from early Saturday afternoon for the "B" sample to be tested, meaning he has to make the request by early Tuesday afternoon. After the request is made, it could take up to five days to confirm the results of the "A" sample.(USA Today/Indianapolis Star)(7-8-2012)

  • Bill Elliott unsure of when, or if, he will race again: Bill Elliott [made] his 828th career Sprint Cup start Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, and whether he runs his 829th race is still to be determined. The 56-year-old Elliott wouldn't call the Coke Zero 400 as his last race but he doesn't have anything else planned at the moment. "Right now, I don't have anything planned," Elliott said Friday after qualifying before laughing when people suggested this would be his last Cup event. "It's the last race for a little while anyway. The way I go this day and time, it could be my last race. I'm always open (to driving). I enjoy the people and having a good time."(Sporting News)(7-8-2012)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 Coke Zero 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 7:29 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:25 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:29 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:25 PM
    Total number of commercials: 52
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 28
    Total minutes of race broadcast: 176
    Minutes of race broadcast: 163
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 13
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 25
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 42
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 35 sec.
    Total race brdcst time 163 Total comm. brdcst time 13
    See past races, links and more on the 2012 TV Commercials page.(7-8-2012)

  • Fans can drive Talladega during Fan Appreciation Day: Race fans, start your engines! On August 18, anyone who purchased a ticket for the 2012 Aaron's 499 or the upcoming October 7th Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway has the opportunity to drive their vehicle on the world famous 2.66 mile racetrack. NASCAR's Most Competitive Track, with its high 33-degree banking, has always been a sight to behold from the grandstands or the infield, but viewing the track while driving on the same asphalt as racing legends is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. To receive a voucher to drive 'DEGA fans should log on to www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/FanDay or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. This opportunity is a part of Talladega Superspeedway's 2012 Fan Appreciation Day, and is a way for the track and all of its employees to say 'thank you' to the fans that make the commitment to attend races each and every year.(TSS)(7-8-2012)


    News from July 7, 2012

  • Bill Elliott unsure of when, or if, he will race again: Bill Elliott [made] his 828th career Sprint Cup start Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, and whether he runs his 829th race is still to be determined. The 56-year-old Elliott wouldn't call the Coke Zero 400 as his last race but he doesn't have anything else planned at the moment. "Right now, I don't have anything planned," Elliott said Friday after qualifying before laughing when people suggested this would be his last Cup event. "It's the last race for a little while anyway. The way I go this day and time, it could be my last race. I'm always open (to driving). I enjoy the people and having a good time."(Sporting News)(7-8-2012)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 Coke Zero 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 7:29 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:25 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:29 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:25 PM
    Total number of commercials: 52
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 28
    Total minutes of race broadcast: 176
    Minutes of race broadcast: 163
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 13
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 25
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 42
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 35 sec.
    Total race brdcst time 163 Total comm. brdcst time 13
    See past races, links and more on the 2012 TV Commercials page.(7-8-2012)

  • Stewart wins at Daytona: #14-Tony Stewart won the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 3rd win of the year and 47th career win.
    #31-Burton finished 2nd followed by #17-Kenseth (the pole sitter), #20-Logano, #39-Newman, #99-Edwards, #5-Kahne, #2-Keselowski, #55-Waltrip, and #47-Labonte.
    There were 6 cautions for 23 yellow flag laps. There were 12 lead changes among 9 drivers. The average speed was 157.653mph.
    The estimated attendence was 115,000, the same as in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Daytona Race Results page (pdf) (7-7-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Daytona, race 18 of 36]
    1) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 676
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 651, -25
    3) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 632, -44
    4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 618, -58
    5) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 592, -84
    6) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 586, -90
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 584, -92
    8) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 584, -92
    9) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins], 573, -103
    10) #15-Clint Bowyer [1 wins], 572, -104
    Chase wild card drivers:
    WC1) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win, 12th in points], 516, -160
    WC2) #20-Joey Logano [1 win, 14th in points], 503, -173
    #39-Ryan Newman [1 win, 15th in points], 502, -174
    #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win, 16th in points], 500, -176
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(7-7-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at New Hampshire:
    #36 remains in 35th but is now 85 points ahead of 36th, the #33 team.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    32) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 269 +111
    33) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 258 +100
    34) #32-Labonte/FAS Lane Racing, 254 +96
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 243 +85 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #33-Leicht/Childress-Falk, 158, -85 from the top 35
    37) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 134, -109
    38) #49-Yeley/Robinson, 121, -122
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see the Owners Points Standings (pdf).(7-7-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Daytona:
    Tony Stewart won the 54th Annual Coke Zero 400 , his 47th victory in 482 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    With the victory, Stewart moves into sole possession of 14th on the all-time list. He had previously been tied with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Buck Baker.
    This is his third victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2012. Stewart and Brad Keselowski are now tied for the series lead in wins.
    This is his fourth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 28 races at Daytona International Speedway. All his NSCS points wins came in the Coke Zero 400.
    It his his 18th victory all-time at Daytona International Speedway, second-most all-time to Dale Earnhardt.
    Jeff Burton (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 38 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his best finish in 2012.
    Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 26 races at Daytona International Speedway.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications )(7-7-2012)

  • Daytona Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Tony Stewart picked up his 47th career win in his 482nd race.
    • His 47 Cup wins are now 14th all time.
    • The man they call "Smoke" grabbed his fourth Daytona win, all in the July race.
    • Stewart has won four of the last eight Coke Zero 400s.
    • He won from the 42nd start position, which is the lowest for a winner at Daytona.
    • The No. 14 initially qualified second, but the time was disallowed for an illegal modification.
    • Stewart's third Cup win of 2012 ties Brad Keselowski for most in the series.
    • His winning pass was the fifth last-lap pass at Daytona in the last 12 races.
    • It's the 17th win for Stewart-Hass Racing, the fourth of 2012 and their second at Daytona.
    • Jeff Burton's second-place finish was his best of the season.
    • Matt Kenseth (third) led the most laps (89), and has three consecutive top-threes at Daytona.
    • Joey Logano (fourth) had his third top-10 finish at Daytona, all in the last three races.
    • Ryan Newman (fifth) posted his best finish at Daytona since winning the 500 (in 2008).
    • Sam Hornish Jr. piloted the No. 22 car after AJ Allmendinger was suspended for a failed drug test.
    (Racing Recall/nascar.com)(7-7-2012)

  • Allmendinger suspended for failing drug test: NASCAR announced 90 minutes before the race that #22-A.J. Allmendinger has failed a random drug test and has been "temporarily" suspended. He was randomly selected and tested following the Kentucky race and his "A" sample tested positive. He has the right to request that NASCAR test his "B" sample. Should he refuse to have the "B" sample tested, or if that test is positive, the suspension will become indefinite. Sam Hornish will replace him in the #22 at Daytona.(7-7-2012)
    Official Announcement: Driver AJ Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from NASCAR competition based upon notification of a positive "A" test NASCAR received from the Medical Review Officer as stated in Section 19-11B (6,7) of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy. Pursuant to the rule book, Allmendinger has the opportunity to request within the next 72 hours that his "B" sample be tested. NASCAR will follow its policies and procedures set forth in the rule book in dealing with this matter.(NASCAR)(7-7-2012)
    Penske Statement: "NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that AJ Allmendinger was administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested positive. NASCAR has a strict drug testing program that Penske Racing fully supports. Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps. Sam Hornish will drive the No. 22 car in (Saturday's) Coke Zero 400."(Penske Racing)(7-7-2012)

  • Dillon to stand by for Harvick at Daytona: UPDATES: Austin Dillon will stand by as a possible relief driver for Kevin Harvick in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400. Harvick and his wife, DeLana Harvick, are expecting their first child, and there's a possibility the baby may be born Saturday, which also is DeLana Harvick's birthday. "Happy birthday @DeLanaHarvick could be an interesting one," Harvick posted on his Twitter account just before noon ET on Saturday. Dillon flew home to North Carolina after finishing fourth in Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race, intending to race Late Models before heading for a Nationwide event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, according to sources close to the situation. But Dillon was returning to Daytona on Saturday in case his services were needed. Harvick said in his Thursday media availability at Daytona that he didn't have a back-up arranged, but apparently that changed as the weekend progressed.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-7-2012)
    UPDATE: Delana Harvick tweeted Saturday afternoon, "Back in [North Carolina for] precautionary reasons, but all is well w/ *#babyotis, & I! plan is 4 @KevinHarvick to race tonight, w/ @austindillon3 on standby ".(7-7-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR will not allow Austion Dillon to fill in for Harvick if needed. He tweeted, "Well scratch the back up driver I'm not eligible because I'm a Rookie oh well that stinks I've already ran two cup races". The reason given was that a rookie needs to have practiced the car prior to the race and he has not run a Cup car at Daytona. Richard Childress Racing has received approval for Kenny Wallace to serve as the standby driver.(7-7-2012)

  • Bliss in for McDowell at Daytona: UPDATE: Due to the death of his father-in-law, #98-Michael McDowell will not race at Daytona this weekend. Mike Bliss will drive the Phil Parsons Racing Ford in his place.(7-3-2012)
    UPDATE: McDowell tweeted Saturday morning, "headed to [Daytona] to drive the #98 tonight. Thanks Bliss for locking her in.".(7-7-2012)

  • added most schemes from Daytona in July, including: #1 Bass Pro / NRA Museum, #2 Miller Lite, #5 HendrickCars.com, #10 CarportEmpire.com, #11 FedEx Office, #13 GEICO, #14 Mobil 1, #15 5-Hour Energy, #16 3M, #17 Zest, #18 Interstate Batteries, #20 Dollar General, #21 Motorcraft, #22 Shell / Pennzoil, #23 North Texas Pipe, #24 Pepsi Max, #26 MDS, #27 Quaker State, #30 Stock Car Steel, #31 Wheaties, #32 C&J Energy Services, #34 8-Hour Alert, #36 Golden Corral, #38 Glory Foods, #39 Aspen Dental, #42 Target, #43 U.S. Air Force, #47 Kingsford, #48 Lowe's, #50 Wal-Mart, #51 Phoenix Construction, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, #56 NAPA Batteries, #78 Furniture Row, #83 Burger King, #87 AM FM Energy, #88 National Guard, #98 Phil Parsons Racing, #99 Subway (7-7-2012)

  • Dodge buying Penske's engine program? For those worried about Dodge perhaps folding its tent at the end of 2012, without any teams yet on its 2013 NASCAR roster, the good news is that Chrysler officials, according to company sources, have just ordered a full inventory of Penske's NASCAR engine operation (80-men strong), with firm indications the company will buy Penske's Dodge operation and go into the NASCAR 'customer engine' business itself, just as Toyota does with its Los Angeles-based TRD NASCAR engine building program. Such a move by Chrysler would open the door for someone like Michael Andretti to venture into NASCAR with a new Sprint Cup team (even though Penske himself has warned Andretti that running a NASCAR team requires five times as many people and three times as much money to operate as an Indy-car team). One Dodge question is whether the Richard Petty two-car team, currently fielding Fords, with factory support, would stick with Ford or move to Dodge.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-7-2012)

  • Nemechek selling estate by auction: #87-Joe Nemechek has taken home trophies at dozens of NASCAR events over the past three decades, but selling his multi-million dollar Mooresville estate before the real estate market crashed was one race he couldn't win. Nemechek, the 1992 Busch series champion and owner of NEMCO Motorsports, is auctioning the 139-acre equestrian estate, Finncastle, after years of depressed real estate conditions made a traditional sale difficult. The five-week auction period began last week, said Sarena Irwin, project manager for Concierge Auctions. The entire property has been on the market since 2009. It was originally listed at $10.995 million, then reduced to $8.4 million. Nemechek decided to hold an auction because of the certainty of the property selling. "It's definitely time to move on to the next chapter of my life - the next project," he said, adding that this was his largest - and last - real estate project. Nemechek and his wife, Andrea, bought part of the estate, including a 8,900-square-foot home, from retired NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan about six years ago. The live auction will be Aug. 2 at the Mooresville estate, located off N.C. 152. The property will go to the highest bidder. There is a $100,000 fee to participate in the auction, but it is refundable.(Charlotte Observer)(7-7-2012)

  • International Motorsports Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2013: The International Motorsports Hall of Fame announces its inductees for 2013: Dale Inman, Rusty Wallace, Rick Hendrick and Don Schumacher.
    Dale Inman
    Dale Inman retired in 1998 as a NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup crew chief. He is best known for being the crew chief of Richard Petty for three decades. Together they won 193 races, 129 poles and seven championships in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1979. Inman was also crew chief for Terry Labonte when they won the 1984 championship.
    Rusty Wallace
    Rusty Wallace retired from NASCAR at the end of 2005 with a stellar resume. Wallace won the 1979 United States Auto Club Stock Car Rookie of the Year award, the American Speed Association championship in 1983 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 1989.
    Rick Hendrick
    Rick Hendrick is current owner of the NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports, founder of the Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Marrow Program. Throughout his career as a team owner, Hendrick has won 14 NASCAR Championships including ten Sprint Cup Series, one Nationwide Series and three Camping World Truck Series.
    Don Schumacher
    Don Schumacher owns nine NHRA drag racing championships and 179 event titles. As a pioneering Plymouth Funny Car driver from 1968 to 1974, he won five NHRA titles, nine IHRA titles and the prestigious 1970 U.S. Nationals. Don's son, Tony, began racing NHRA sportsman cars in the early 1990s. In 1998, Don Schumacher Racing was assembled with Tony as one of seven drivers. The team currently competes in the NHRA Top Fuel class and has won seven championships. In 2007, Don was inducted into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame.(International Motorsports Hall of Fame)(7-7-2012)

  • Michigan Cup qualifying moves to Friday: Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway has been moved to Friday, August 17. Gatorade Pole Day is set for Aug. 17, a switch from previously published Saturday, Aug. 18. In addition to NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at 4:10 p.m., the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Sprint Cup Series will practice that day. Tickets for Gatorade Pole Day on Friday, August 17 are $10. Kids 12 and under are free. Gatorade Pole Day tickets and tickets for the VFW 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are on sale at http://www.MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(7-7-2012)


    News from July 6, 2012

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #17-Kenseth chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #39-Newman took pit stall 21, the next pitstall with an opening in front it.
    #5-Kahne, who starts 3rd took the 20th pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #29-Harvick, who starts 11th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-6-2012)

  • Kenseth wins pole at Daytona: UPDATE: #17-Matt Kenseth won the pole for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 192.386mph for his 1st pole of 2012 and 8th career pole.
    #14-Stewart will start 2nd followed by #39-Newman, #5-Kahne, #16-Biffle, #24-Gordon, #50-Elliott, #13-Mears, #22-Allmendinger, and #2-Keselowski
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #50-Elliott, #21-Bayne, #98-Bliss, #30-Stremme, #26-Wise, #87-Nemechek, #33-Leicht, #49-Yeley.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1):#23-Richardson, Jr.
    See qualifying order, qualifying results, starting lineup, pole progression, go-or-go-homers on the Daytona Qualifying Page.(7-6-2012)
    UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart's time was disallowed because of an open cooling hose into the cockpit. He will now start 42nd.(7-6-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Daytona:
    Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 54th Annual Coke Zero 400 with a lap of 46.781 seconds, 192.386 mph.
    This is his eighth pole in 454 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and seventh top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his first pole in 26 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Tony Stewart (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2012 and his 19th in 28 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Ryan Newman (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Daytona International Speedway. It is his 11th in 18 races this season.
    Josh Wise (32nd) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(7-6-2012)

  • France addresses media at Daytona: NASCAR CEO Brian France met the media Friday at Daytona International Speedway to assess the sport as the season hits the halfway mark. Among the topics France addressed during his session were the current state of competition, the technical direction of the sport, upcoming television negotiations and the potential of shorter Sprint Cup races in the future.
    While NASCAR continues to develop the new 2013 Sprint Cup car there are other technical initiatives on the drawing board that France believes will help better connect the sport to manufacturers as well as fans. One particular project has almost a space age feel to it but is one France is excited about developing. "We're working on a glass dashboard that is in the early stages, which is not inconsistent because the car manufacturers and some already there are coming with their own version of glass cockpits in passenger cars," he said. "So we'll be very careful how we get there, but we'll be looking at such things as that and many other things."
    The current NASCAR television contract expires at the end of the 2014 season and negotiations are ongoing with current network partners FOX, TNT and ABC/ESPN with potential newcomer NBC reportedly also in the mix. While some believe the sport may be in line for a drop in rights fees in the next round of negotiations, France is upbeat about the future NASCAR television picture.
    France also addressed the growing concern from some fans about the commercial load in telecasts and the potential to miss race action due to sponsorship breaks. While he understands the frustration, France is also comfortable with how the networks currently handle the situation.
    But France was firm in saying NASCAR has no intention of creating mandatory caution periods for TV timeouts as was floated last week by Speedway Motorsports Inc.'s Bruton Smith.
    While there are no significant changes expected for the 2013 Sprint Cup schedule, there is a possibility of more events being shortened in an effort to enhance competition and create better racing.(CBS Sports), read the full transcript of the press conference.(7-6-2012)

  • Bruton Smith would like mandatory cautions: UPDATE: Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said NASCAR needs to implement mandatory cautions, or race stoppages, to bring more excitement to the races. "Call it what you want, but you've got to have caution flags," Smith said Saturday before the Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. "That creates excitement. You can't just sit there with nothing happening. It ruins the event. It's damaging to our sport." Cautions flags and caution laps are down this year in NASCAR. Many races this season have produced long green-flag runs without a lot of passing up front. Smith said NASCAR needs to deliberately create more double-file restarts. NASCAR made a rule change in 2009 that moved all the lead-lap cars to the front of the field, double-file, on all restarts after a caution flag. Those restarts often cause bumping late in races, and sometimes additional accidents. Smith said he wouldn't mind seeing a pseudo halftime at each race to cause an additional restart. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday: "We are constantly looking at ways to improve the racing. And we have mandatory cautions when we think it's needed at an event." But those mandatory cautions usually are for safety reasons so teams can check their tires and officials can check track conditions.(ESPN.com)(7-1-2012)
    UPDATE: A call for mandatory caution periods has refueled an ongoing debate in NASCAR: How much manipulation is too much?
    "I'd rather have that than some mysterious debris caution," four-time champion #24-Jeff Gordon said. "The integrity of racing is about letting the race play out, and sometimes that's the most exciting finish, sometimes it's not. Trying to get in the middle of that can be challenging. If you're going to do it, it's got to be something planned in advance, and you take a break. I'm not totally against it."
    "Auto racing is auto racing," #99-Carl Edwards said. "That's what it is. It's not going to be a Game 7 moment in every race. That's what makes some races great. If you start affecting the competition like that, it's analogous to stopping a basketball game if the score gets too far apart and putting the score back at even. That, to me, is not what auto racing is about. NASCAR said it had no plans to implement mandatory breaks, but pre-determined caution periods are not new to the sport. NASCAR occasionally calls "competition yellows" if officials deem a stoppage necessary to evaluate the cars, tires, track or other circumstances. "Our product on the track is exciting, and sports is a true reality show in how it unfolds as an event," NASCAR President Mike Helton said Thursday. "You have to be careful when you think about artificially creating the outcome of that."
    "I would not be against it if the races continue to run green the whole way with one or two cautions," #16-Greg Biffle said. "I think Over time that could lose the fans' interest sitting in the stands and watching on TV. That's not what we want."(USA Today)(7-6-2012)

  • Hamlin missed Thursday practices because of sore back: UPDATE: #11-Denny Hamlin will skip Sprint Cup practice Thursday because of a sore back. His JGR teammate, Joey Logano, will take Hamlin's car out Thursday, splitting time during the 4 p.m.-5:20 p.m. and 6:35 p.m.-8 p.m. ET sessions, which are the only practices scheduled for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday. Drivers typically don't practice during both of the entire sessions because they want to make sure their engines are fresh and so they don't wreck their primary cars. JGR officials said Wednesday that they didn't expect to have a standby driver for Hamlin, who is fifth in the Cup standings and must start the race Saturday in order to earn the points for the event. Hamlin already has decided not to run the Nationwide Series race Friday.(Sporting News)(7-5-2012)
    UPDATE: Denny Hamlin spoke to the media Thursday about his back:
    What is wrong with your back?
    "There are a few things. There are some torn disks and there's some bulging disks. There's a lot of different things that's just happened over time, and it's just gotten progressively worse. I noticed -- Kentucky is not the smoothest of race tracks that we've gone to, and with our aggressive setups nowadays , evidentially took its toll on us and the next day it got real tight by the end of the day, and then I sat down for dinner and couldn't get up. I've had a history of back spasms now for probably four years and it just flared up again. This is about as bad as it was at its worse in 2008 or so. I'm just now starting to get mobile again and being able to get around. We don't want to set any of that back by sitting down any longer than I have to."
    How long does it take to rehab and strengthen your back?
    "It's all going to be based off of my feel really. I think that I really feel like, by say Monday or Tuesday , that I'll feel exactly the way I was before last week. I've always had back pain. Unfortunately I inherited it from my dad. It's one of the bad qualities I did get from him. It's just one of those things that anytime I play an activity, it doesn't matter what it is, even if I go for a run, I've always had back problems afterwards -- stiffness and things like that."
    Did your doctor tell you if you'd eventually need surgery for your back? "Years down the road, he said. What we're trying to cover up is basically just stuff that can be helped with just training and things like that. I'm just going to do more physical therapy to specifically work on that because I really haven't in my training regimen that much here lately -- worked on back issues so now we're going to shift that focus to that."(Toyota Motorsports)(7-6-2012)

  • Dillon willing to run #3 in Sprint Cup: Austin Dillon said Thursday he'd be honored to drive the late Dale Earnhardt's iconic #3 in the Sprint Cup Series. Dillon is the grandson of Richard Childress, who owns the rights to the number and uses it for Dillon in the Nationwide Series. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has also used the number before in the Nationwide Series, but the #3 has not been in a Cup race since Earnhardt's 2001 death. "I'd be excited to run it," Dillon said at Daytona International Speedway. "I still would love the approval of my grandfather and the guys. Seeing more fans each and every week come up to him is the best way to do it - the more people coming to him wanting to see it." Dillon picked up his first career Nationwide victory last week at Kentucky, and Childress said after the win he'd be open to moving the number up with his grandson. But he'd want the number to have a different style from how Earnhardt had it designed, and he'll only ever let an Earnhardt or a Dillon use the number. Ty Dillon currently uses the number in the Truck Series.(ESPN.com/Associated Press)(7-6-2012)

  • ISC hopes NBC Sports Network bids on NASCAR TV rights: Officials from the France-family controlled track-operating company International Speedway Corp. hope that the recent rebranding of Versus to the NBC Sports Network will drive up television rights fees by adding a potential additional bidder in the negotiating room. The current eight-year, $4.48 billion NASCAR television contract with FOX, TNT and ESPN/ABC runs through 2014, and negotiations have begun for 2015 and beyond. NASCAR chairman Brian France said in January that he hoped that all three of the current partners extend their deals. But with recent changes at NBC Sports Group, which is run by former Turner Sports president Mark Lazarus, there is a belief that it could be a bidder. Versus owner Comcast took over NBC Universal in 2011 and this year rebranded the network to the NBC Sports Network. NBC had televised NASCAR races from 2001-2006 as part of the first NASCAR-bargained television rights deals.(Sporting News)(7-6-2012)

  • Penske engineer and wife looking to adopt child from Ethiopia: When Aron Oakley met his future wife, Robyn, he quickly discovered her huge heart. The Penske Racing aerodynamics engineer also realized she had plenty of love to go around. Not long after the couple met in 2004, Robyn shared her desire to adopt a child from Africa. Two years later, the couple married. While their family has grown with three little girls, ages 1 to 4, the dream of adopting a child in need never waned. In May, the Oakleys ramped up the process. The couple narrowed their search to an Ethiopian boy "to balance our house full of girls," Robyn said, and enlisted the services of West Sands Adoptions. For the initial expense to expedite the adoption, the NASCAR community has stepped up to help the Oakleys with "Our Journey to Bring You Home Silent Auction Fundraiser" to be held July 14. For those near Lake Norman, NC, the auction will be conducted at Eez Fusion from 2-5 p.m. ET, but race fans also can participate by phone. Details are at ourjourneytobringyouhome.org. Some of the items include a signed firesuit worn by Tony Stewart during his quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title last year, signed sheet metal and tires from Ryan Newman, Richard Petty Experience ride-alongs, wind-tunnel time at AeroDyn A2 Wind Tunnel and race tickets to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Oakleys are hoping to raise the $35,000 it will take to complete the adoption, which includes a home study, the dossier and travel.(Fox Sports)(7-6-2012)

  • Cup qualifying moves back to Friday at Atlanta: For many years, Friday qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was a staple at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This year, evening qualifying makes a return to AMS with AdvoCare 500 pole qualifying taking place on Friday, Aug. 31. A Friday tradition in the sport for many years, fans will have the opportunity to take in qualifying, plus a whole day of on-track action that will start at 10:00 a.m. with for two back-to-back NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practices, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying and the 200-mile NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 1, the final practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series will start at 9:00 a.m., followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying, the final "happy hour" practice session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Series NRA American Warrior 300 at 7:00 p.m.(AMS)(7-6-2012)


    News from July 5, 2012

  • Final practice for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #1-McMurray 197.837
    #55-Waltrip 197.733
    #51-Busch 197.459
    #93-Kvapil 197.425
    #43-Almirola 197.416
    slowest: #49-Yeley 186.027 & #23-Richardson, Jr. 185.927.
    notes: Only 24 drivers got on track during the session. Teams didn't want to take any chance of hurting the cars.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the Daytona Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf). (7-5-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the ten cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice at Daytona
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #21-Bayne, 13th
    #50-Elliott [past champion], 14th
    #87-Nemechek, 18th
    #30-Stremme, 19th
    #26-Wise, 20th
    #33-Leicht, 22nd
    #49-Yeley, 23rd
    #23-Richardson, Jr., 24th
    if things stay the same, this driver would miss the race
    #98-Bliss, did not practice
    (7-5-2012)

  • Qualifying Order for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedwa is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #23-Richardson, Jr., slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #43-Almirola, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Daytona Qualifying Page.(7-5-2012)

  • Hamlin will miss Thursday practices because of sore back: #11-Denny Hamlin will skip Sprint Cup practice Thursday because of a sore back. His JGR teammate, Joey Logano, will take Hamlin's car out Thursday, splitting time during the 4 p.m.-5:20 p.m. and 6:35 p.m.-8 p.m. ET sessions, which are the only practices scheduled for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday. Drivers typically don't practice during both of the entire sessions because they want to make sure their engines are fresh and so they don't wreck their primary cars. JGR officials said Wednesday that they didn't expect to have a standby driver for Hamlin, who is fifth in the Cup standings and must start the race Saturday in order to earn the points for the event. Hamlin already has decided not to run the Nationwide Series race Friday.(Sporting News)(7-5-2012)

  • First Thursday practice for the Coca Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over after 80 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #43-Almirola 201.961
    #9-Ambrose 201.374
    #20-Logano 201.122
    #39-Newman 201.068
    #16-Biffle 200.933
    slowest: #83-Cassill 187.809 & #23-Richardson 185.770.
    notes: Due to a sore back, #11-Hamlin will not practice today. Kyle Busch got in the car for a few laps just to shake it down. #23-Richardson, Jr. bought out the caution with engine problems.
    This practice will set the order for qualifying, which is scheduled Friday at 4:10pm/et and will be shown on SPEED.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the Daytona Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf). (7-5-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the ten cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice at Daytona
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #21-Bayne, 32nd
    #50-Elliott [past champion], 35th
    #98-Bliss, 36th
    #26-Wise, 37th
    #87-Nemechek, 39th
    #30-Stremme, 40th
    #49-Yeley, 41st
    #33-Leicht, 42nd
    if things stay the same, this driver would miss the race
    #23-Richardson, Jr., 44th, slowest
    (7-5-2012)

  • Patriotic paint scheme returns for Earnhardt, Jr: In honor of National Guard Soldiers and Independence Day, the #88 Chevy will carry a patriotic paint scheme this weekend at Daytona International Speedway as part of the NASCAR Unites- An American Salute program. For a six-week period (May 27 through July 7), the NASCAR industry will lend its support and raise awareness for the needs of military members in very important ways. As the nation's oldest Armed Forces component, the National Guard and its Citizen Soldiers play a vital role in protecting the freedoms Americans hold dear.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(7-5-2012)

  • HendrickCars.com returns to the #5: Hendrickcars.com returns as a primary partner with the #5 Chevy this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Hendrickcars.com offers 20,000 new and used vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Hendrickcars.com also features classic cars, available for purchase, from Rick Hendrick's personal collection.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(7-5-2012)

  • Gilliland picks up Atlanta sponsor: House-Autry Mills is the latest company to join the sponsorship portfolio of Front Row Motorsports. House-Autry has been 'the choice of Southern cooks since 1812' and is celebrating its 200th anniversary through a sponsorship program with Front Row Motorsports. The maker of breaders, mixes and sauces will appear as the primary sponsor of David Gilliland's #38 Ford in the Labor Day weekend event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This will mark the company's first foray into NASCAR. "We're very happy to be a part of Front Row Motorsports," said House-Autry President, Craig Hagood. "I'm confident that David Gilliland will be a great ambassador for our brand. He is not only a talented racecar driver, but a great, all-around guy. When we were looking for a team and a driver to pair up with, we looked for a driver that had a strong family connection. David grew up in a racing family, served as a crew chief to his father, won a NASCAR Nationwide Series race with what was primarily a family-run team, and is now very involved in the racing career of his son Todd."(Front Row Motorsports)(7-5-2012)

  • CarportEmpire.com sponsoring Reutimann: UPDATE: CarportEmpire.com, a division of Keen's Portable Buildings, will join Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) and the #10 Chevy. David Reutimann will pilot the #10 CarportEmpire.com Chevy in the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday. CarportEmpire.com is one of the largest distributors of quality carports, carport garages, steel buildings and RV carports in the United States. The Florida based company offers installation in all 48 continental states as well as financing on each of their models.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(7-4-2012)
    UPDATE: TMone will return to Tommy Baldwin Racing and the #10 Chevy this weekend at Daytona International Speedway to promote American Call Centers. TMone is a business process outsourcing (BPO) company that is in the business of augmenting and supplementing other companies human capital needs. All of TMone's jobs are filled in the Heartland of America. With more than nine years of growth, Inc. Magazine listed TMone as one of the Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies for the last five years.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(7-5-2012)

  • The Numbers for the Coke Zero 400:
    0 - fewest cautions (seven times, most recent 2/18/62)
    1 - fewest on lead lap at finish (eight times, most recent 2/15/76)
    1 - fewest leaders (four times, most recent 2/22/63)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (four times, most recent 7/2/94)
    4 - drivers sweeping both races (Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough, LeeRoy Yarborough, and Bobby Allison
    8 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    10 - most wins (Richard Petty)
    10 - number of jet dryers available for track drying
    11 - fewest cars running at finish (7/4/63)
    12 - most poles (Cale Yarborough)
    15 - wins by car owner (Wood Brothers)
    16 - most cautions (2/20/11)
    20 - drivers with more than one pole
    25 - most leaders (7/2/11)
    26 - drivers with more than one win
    34 - most cars on lead lap at finish (7/1/06)
    39 - worst starting position for race winner (Matt Kenseth, 2/15/09)
    41 - most cars running at finish (two times, most recent 7/2/94)
    44 - wins from the front row; 25 from the pole
    56 - different race winners
    54 - different pole winners
    60 - most caution laps (twice, most recent 2/20/11)
    74 - most lead changes (2/20/11)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track
    184 - most laps led by race winner (Richard Petty 2/23/64)
    Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    5 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington and Sonoma)
    10 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    94 - cautions in the first 17 races of 2012; includes 38 for accidents, 29 for debris and 11 for spins
    503 of 5,027 - laps under caution in 2012
    702.501 of 6,656.498 - miles under caution in the first 17 races
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(7-5-2012)

  • Daytona Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Daytona this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in these two series have run at the last three races at Daytona, dating back to February 2011 . . . Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams have also run this same tire set-up at Talladega in 2011 and 2012 . . . this left-side tire code (D-4138) has been run at Talladega since 2009 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear), See tire codes. tire pressures and more on the Daytona Race Info page - Goodyear section.

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post these] and what chassis were selected by the team to run at Daytona International Speedway on the Daytona Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • American Ethanol 200 pre-race adds to fan experience: For the first time ever in Iowa Speedway's history, drivers will not be walking across the stage as they are introduced during pre-race ceremonies for the American Ethanol 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, July 14. Instead, all drivers will be making in a very special event entrance. Also for the first time ever, there will be a 'mini airshow' during the pre-race festivities for the fans in attendance. The Vanguard Squadron, from Sioux Falls, SD, and whose planes fly on 100% ethanol fuel, will scream across the sky for several minutes as they dazzle the fans in the stands with a show powered by American Ethanol. According to Fritz, this pre-race will be one of the highlights of the 2012 fan experience. "Driver introductions are always a fun time as the fans and drivers start to get pumped up for the race," Fritz noted. "Add an airshow overhead and a special driver entrance, paired with the NASCAR Trucks' first appearance at Iowa Speedway for 2012, and you have a recipe for one great night!"(Iowa Speedway PR)(7-5-2012)

  • Gordon, Harvick visiting fan hospitality at Michigan: Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick headline the group of NASCAR drivers making an appearance in the Budweiser Acceleration Club during the August NASCAR weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Budweiser Acceleration is one of the fan hospitality areas at MIS, and always a good time. Hospitality package can be purchased individually or for groups. Guests can take part in Acceleration on Saturday or Sunday or double the excitement by attending both days of the event. Admission is $69 for adults and $29 for kids 12 and under, plus a grandstand admission ticket for Saturday. On Sunday it is $179 for adults and $79 for kids for kids 12 and under, plus a grandstand admission ticket. Special guest appearances will be added throughout the weekend. They will be announced as they are confirmed.(MIS)(7-5-2012)


    News from July 4, 2012

  • NASCAR partners to help with 'NASCAR Unites - An American Salute' in support of military: In what is one of the most patriotic weekends of the year, NASCAR will celebrate the culmination of 'NASCAR Unites - An American Salute,' during Independence Day weekend festivities for the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The race will serve as a rallying point for many NASCAR Official Partners and Licensees to express their gratitude for active American servicemen and women, veterans and their families. Several activities are planned to help honor and recognize these heroes and the sacrifices they have made through their service to our country.
    Headlining the activities will be Goodyear, which will launch its "Goodyear Gives Back" program benefiting Support Our Troops. Goodyear is running special "Support Our Troops" tires in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this weekend to honor our Armed Forces. With the help of the entire NASCAR family via volunteer service, auction items, and items for care packages, Goodyear has contributed nearly $400,000 in charitable support since 2010 to help military members and their families through the Support Our Troops organization. Fans can learn more and get involved in the "Goodyear Gives Back" program by visiting www.goodyear.com/givesback.
    As part of this year's program, 5,000 care packages will be shipped to U.S. troops serving overseas. The packages will be assembled by approximately 100 volunteers on July 5th at DIS. UPS employees will be among the volunteers assembling the care packages, which will be transported to UPS's sorting facility in Atlanta for additional processing. From there, UPS will coordinate the delivery of the cargo to troops stationed at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.
    The NASCAR Foundation is also partnering with Goodyear to host a nine-week auction featuring items such as autographed Support Our Troops race-used Goodyear tires, fan VIP experiences, and assorted racing memorabilia.
    In addition, it's the fourth-straight year that Daytona International Speedway will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s. All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special salute over various activities during the weekend. The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are Michael Fitzmaurice, Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army; Jack Jacobs, Captain, U.S. Army; Robert Patterson, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; James Taylor, Captain, U.S. Army.(NASCAR)(7-4-2012)

  • Rules similar as teams return to Daytona: Sprint Cup drivers will return to Daytona International Speedway confident they will have a similar type of race in the heat of July as they did back when the season opened in February. Almost all the rules that were in place for the Daytona 500 are back in place for Saturday night's race in order to limit the time spent in a two-car tandem draft. Restrictor plates for the Coke Zero 400 will have holes 29/32nds of an inch in diameter and cars' front grille opening will be limited to 50 square inches. The small grille opening, as well as a preset pressure release valve that will force the radiator to spew water when it gets too hot, will prevent drivers from using the two-car draft over worries that they will cook their engine. The valve is set to go off at 32psi for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night. That's up from 25psi used in the Daytona 500 and 28psi used for the race at Talladega. That will allow drivers another 15-20 degrees in radiator fluid temperature. That won't mean much more time drivers can run in a two-car draft but will give them more time to get in clean air if temps rise while racing in tight quarters.(Sporting News)(7-4-2012)

  • Glory Foods joins #38 team: Once again, Front Row Motorsports will introduce another brand into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Glory Foods, a southern-style food company owned by team partner McCall Farms, will serve as Gilliland's primary sponsor of his #38 Ford during this weekend's Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Superspeedway. Gilliland's Ford will be easy to spot with a purple-based scheme that race will under the lights this Saturday night.(Front Row Motorsports)(7-4-2012)

  • CarportEmpire.com sponsoring Reutimann: CarportEmpire.com, a division of Keen's Portable Buildings, will join Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) and the #10 Chevy. David Reutimann will pilot the #10 CarportEmpire.com Chevy in the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday. CarportEmpire.com is one of the largest distributors of quality carports, carport garages, steel buildings and RV carports in the United States. The Florida based company offers installation in all 48 continental states as well as financing on each of their models.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(7-4-2012)

  • Air Force returns to the #43: The U.S. Air Force returns to the #43 Ford of Aric Almirola as the nation celebrates the Fourth of July holiday week at the "Birthplace of Speed." The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its second trip of the season to Daytona Beach, Fla., for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at the super-fast Daytona International Speedway. The U.S. Air Force scheme is not only an appropriate salute to the military for Independence Day, it also brings good luck. The last time the team ran the Air Force scheme (May in Charlotte) Almirola won the pole.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(7-4-2012)

  • Special scheme for Truex at Daytona: The #56 will sport a special black and white paint scheme to promote NAPA's "Get Back and Give Back" program that raises money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), an independent not-for-profit serving United States military personnel wounded or injured in service and their families. Throughout the busy travel month of July, NAPA customers will receive up to a $25 mail-in rebate for every battery, alternator, and starter they purchase, which they can donate all or a portion of their rebate to the IFHF. Additionally, NAPA will donate $1 to the IFHF for each redeemed rebate and $2 for each battery installed at a participating NAPA AutoCare Center or repair center. Truex and his sponsor hope to raise $500,000 for this important cause. NAPA stores across the country are hosting a "Black Out" through July 7. Employees have traded their usual blue and yellow uniforms for black NAPA t-shirts with the IFHF's logo along with the phrase, "We Believe In Heroes." The NAPA Racing team will wear the t-shirts on Friday during NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Daytona.(MWR)(7-4-2012)

  • TNT Wide Open coverage from Daytona: TNT's signature Wide Open television format will return for the sixth consecutive year during the network's exclusive coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at 7:30 pm/et Saturday. In addition to the TNT telecast, the Coke Zero 400 -- traditionally the network's highest-rated race from the NASCAR Summer Series -- will also be simulcast for the first time on truTV. Wide Open coverage debuted during the summer race at Daytona in 2007, providing continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks. It offers more than 20 percent unobstructed race action than the standard telecast by using a letterbox widescreen format to allow for a continuous scroll of race information. National sponsors featured in this year's telecast include: AndroGel, Coke Zero, Dodge Ram, Geico, Goodyear, Sprint, Toyota, Twitter and Viagra.(TNT PR)(7-4-2012)

  • Colonel Greg Gadson named Grand Marshal for Subway Jalapeno 250: Highly decorated U.S. Army Colonel Greg Gadson will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Gadson, who lost both of his legs when he was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device, will give the starting command, "Drivers start your engines," in the 120-lap, 250-mile race. He'll also be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in the driver introductions and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag. Gadson has served in every major conflict of the past two decades including Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Kuwait), Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq). Through his service, Gadson has been awarded the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart among nearly two dozen medals and honors. Gadson, has continued to serve on active in various command and staff positions.(DIS)(7-4-2012)

  • Paty Cantú to sing National Anthem for Daytona Nationwide race: Houston, TX-native and Latin crossover singer-songwriter Paty Cantú will sing the National Anthem for the 11th annual Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Cantú rose to fame as one of the founding members of the successful Mexican pop duo LU. In 2008, she began to pursue a solo career and released her debut album Me Quedo Sola in 2009 and No Eres Tú in 2010. Cantú, who is a Subway Artista Fresco of the Year, is currently working on her third solo album that will be released in the fall of 2012.(DIS)(7-4-2012)


    News from July 3, 2012

  • Truex, Jr. close to extending contract: #56-Martin Truex Jr. and Napa are close to a contract extension with Michael Waltrip Racing, team owner Michael Waltrip told SBNation.com on Tuesday via phone. Both Truex and Napa had deals that were set to expire at the end of this season, and Truex was under pressure to perform heading into the year. But with MWR's continued improvement and Truex's strong showing - he already has as many top-five finishes this year than in the previous two seasons combined - it seems all parties wanted to stay together. Waltrip said Tuesday a new deal with the driver and sponsor was "imminent." "We're right on the edge of putting it all together," he said. "We're just working through some details." The team owner said everything might wait to be completed until after the July 4th holiday week, but added, "We'll have a deal done with Napa and Martin here before much longer."(SB Nation)(7-3-2012)

  • Colorado fires on Smith's mind: To see improving performances spoiled by an overload of bad luck has been discouraging for Regan Smith in recent Sprint Cup races. But at the same time the Furniture Row Racing driver just needs to look outside of his mountain home near Denver to get a crueler perspective of tough luck. Before leaving for Kentucky last week, Smith said he could see and smell the smoke from the raging fires that have engulfed Colorado, where more than 300 homes have gone up in flames and more than 100,000 acres torched. "I love this area and it tears your insides apart seeing the destruction that has taken place," said Smith, who moved to Colorado last year to be near the team's Denver race shop. "Our recent issues are minimal compared to the fire-stricken families. I want Colorado residents to know that our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected and that Furniture Row Racing is very proud to represent the great state of Colorado on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. I also want to give a team shout out to the brave firefighters and safety personnel who risk their lives daily in their continuing efforts to control and extinguish the fires." Though Smith's home has not been affected, the devastation of the Colorado fires will no doubt be on his mind in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.(Furniture Row Racing)(7-3-2012)

  • Overnight TV ratings for Kentucky: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on TNT did a 2.6/5 on Saturday night for the Quagder State 400, down -4% from last year's 2.7/5 when the race ran on Saturday night, 7/9/11. This brings TNT's positive start for the Sprint Cup season to a halt as the previous three races were either flat or up over 2011. For four telecasts , NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing is averaging a 3.0/7 in the overnights on TNT, up +3% over last year's 2.9/7. See past race TV Ratings, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(7-3-2012)

  • Bliss in for McDowell at Daytona: Due to the death of his father-in-law, #98-Michael McDowell will not race at Daytona this weekend. Mike Bliss will drive the Phil Parsons Racing Ford in his place.(7-3-2012)

  • Turner Motorsports making Cup debut at Daytona with Elliott: This weekend will mark a major milestone for Turner Motorsports, which fields three teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and three teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team will make its debut in the Sprint Cup Series with veteran and legend, Bill Elliott. Elliott, who has accumulated 44 series wins over the course of his career, will drive the #50 Walmart Chevy in conjunction with the company's 50th birthday celebration. This will mark Elliott's 828th career NSCS start.(Turner Motorsports)(#50 teams paint schemes page.(7-3-2012)

  • McMurray will feature NRA Museum at Daytona: Bass Pro Shops NASCAR teams will feature paint schemes over the Independence Day weekend to highlight the new NRA Museum that is set to open at the main Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield, MO early in 2013. Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona while Austin Dillon will pilot the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The over 10,000 square foot NRA Museum will be inside Missouri's No. 1 tourist attraction, the over 400,000 square foot Bass Pro Shops store and will be home to the finest sporting arms collection in the world. This spectacular showcase will offer the unique opportunity to view some of America's most significant firearm treasures as well as learn many historic facts about the NRA.(Bass Pro), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(7-2-2012)

  • Kahne vs. Earnhardt, Jr. in finals for "Drive for the Cover": This is it. A month of voting by the most passionate fans in all of sports has whittled down the field to two mammoth combatants: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #5-Kasey Kahne. Two more weeks of voting between this pair of NASCAR stars will decide the victor of the Drive for the Cover campaign - and the ultimate prize of gracing the NASCAR The Game: Inside Line cover. The first four rounds saw several upsets and unexpected matchups, and last week's semifinals were no different. Kasey Kahne pulled ahead of Jeff Gordon early and never looked back. Kahne's reward for the upset will be a head-to-head matchup with nine-time Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose journey to the finals has been far from smooth. Earnhardt Jr. defeated Danica Patrick in Round 3 to face reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart in the semifinals. In a matchup that was closer than many expected, Earnhardt Jr. escaped the semifinals with a tight victory over Stewart. NASCAR fans can vote in the bracketed tournament that is hosted entirely on NASCAR The Game's Facebook page, which can be easily accessed at www.nascarthegame.com/vote.(NASCAR)(7-3-2012)

  • NASCAR makes new hires in communications: As NASCAR continues to build its Integrated Marketing Communications team in key areas, the sanctioning body announced Sabrina Macias has been named director, brand and consumer marketing communications; Chris Tropeano will join as senior manager, business communications; and Jon Schwartz, previously NASCAR's director of business communications, has been promoted to senior director, business and brand communications, with day-to-day oversight responsibility for several key business units. Macias joins NASCAR from Edelman Worldwide, where as a vice president overseeing 23 staffers in offices across the country. Tropeano joins NASCAR after serving as associate director, communications at Sports Illustrated.(NASCAR)(7-3-2012)

  • NASCAR at Daytona International Speedway:
    • Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
    • Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
    • Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under lights ever since.
    • For only the second time in its history, Daytona International Speedway was repaved in 2010. The project began on Monday, July 5, 2010.
    • There have been 130 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 54 have been 500 miles, 49 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were points races.
    • Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona.
    • Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.
    • Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959.
    • Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
    • 54 drivers have posted poles; 20 have more than one.
    • Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles.
    • Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with five poles; followed by Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Ken Schrader with three.
    • 56 drivers have won a race; 26 have won more than once.
    • Richard Petty leads all drivers in victories with 10.
    • Jeff Gordon has six victories, more than any other active driver.
    • The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner.
    • 17 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole, most recently 2010's Coke Zero 400, won by polesitter Kevin Harvick.
    • A driver has swept both races at Daytona only four times, most recently by Bobby Allison in 1982.
    • The last 11 Daytona races that finished under green have had a margin of victory under a half second - this event last season ended under caution.
    • Last season's July race set the track record for the most leaders with 25 and the February event set the record for the most lead changes with 74.
    • Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona International Speedway winner: Trevor Bayne (02/20/2011 - 20 years, 0 months, 1 day).
    • Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona International Speedway winner: Bobby Allison (02/14/1988 - 50 years, 2 months, 11 days).
    • There have been 169 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Florida.(NASCAR)(7-3-2012)

  • More than $140,000 raised for youth groups during Sonoma race weekend Charitable events combined to raise more than $140,000 for Sonoma County youth groups during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at the raceway in Sonoma, June 22-24. Most of the proceeds will benefit the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of the raceway, which has distributed more than $4.1 million to qualified youth groups in Sonoma County since 2001. The Children's Champions Grand Marshal's Banquet generated $100,000, while the 10th annual eBay Motors Charity Auction, which was hosted in the Wine Country Winner's Circle on NASCAR Sunday, raised more than $30,000. More than $14,000 was also generated through various donations throughout the weekend, including $5,000 garnered from Great Clips haircuts for charity and a $5,000 donation on behalf of the Transporter Drivers of Motorsports Association (TDMA), who participated in the 2nd annual NASCAR Hauler Parade in Sacramento on June 21. The top-selling item at the eBay Motors Charity Auction was a signed helmet by several NASCAR drivers, which netted $4,500. Other top selling items included a Jeff Gordon Ride of a Lifetime experience ($3,200) and a Kevin Harvick-signed Budweiser helmet and case ($1,700).(Sonoma PR)(7-3-2012)


    News from July 2, 2012

  • The Entry List for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Michael Waltrip is in the #55 this week.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #21-Trevor Bayne (2011 race winner)(37/6)
    #23-Scott Riggs (43/16)
    #26-Josh Wise (41/17)
    #30-David Stremme (39/17)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/17)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (39/17)
    #50-Bill Elliott (0/0)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/17)
    #98-Michael McDowell (40/17)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,50, 33,30,49,98,26,87
    missing the race would be [1]: # 23
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Daytona Entry List.(7-2-2012)

  • MHP's 8-HOUR ALERT sponsoring Ragan at Daytona and Talladega: With the launch of its new 8-HOUR ALERT sustained energy tablet, MHP has muscled in on the growing energy supplement marketplace in a big way. MHP introduced this revolutionary product to the public for the first time at the FedEx 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on June 2nd when it sponsored David Ragan's 8-HOUR ALERT #34 car. Ragan will next race his MHP 8-HOUR ALERT car at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, where he is the defending champion. He is also set to drive the #34 8-HOUR ALERT racecar in the October 7th Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talledega Superspeedway, where Ragan posted a top-10 finish earlier this season.(MHP PR)(7-2-2012)

  • Kenseth wins Slinger Nationals; Kyle Busch second: Matt Kenseth has won a NASCAR championship. He's won two Daytona 500s. And now he's won a record six titles in the 33-year history of the Miller Lite Slinger Nationals. While that's not quite the same, it's not a bad accomplishment, either, for the old-school short-track racer from Cambridge. "It's always fun to win, that's for sure," Kenseth said Sunday in Slinger Speedway's victory lane. "It's always fun when you can beat Kyle. It's hard to beat him." That's Kyle Busch, always a threat in NASCAR and the 2011 Nationals champ. Kenseth beat him on a restart with 24 laps to go - after a caution flag he didn't want - and pulled away by nearly a second at the checkered flag. Busch didn't look happy when he climbed from his car and did not talk to reporters. Ross Kenseth, Matt's son and the pole-sitter, rallied and benefited from attrition to finish third, another second behind. Michael Bilderback and Rich Bickle filled out the top five.(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)(7-2-2012)

  • Geoff Bodine opens Honda dealership in Florida: The sports world is filled with tales of what happens to athletes once the spotlight dims. More often than not, they are about personal problems or financial difficulties instead of successes and accomplishments. Consider Geoff Bodine the "not." Bodine, a popular NASCAR driver with a Daytona 500 win to his credit, can now add another accomplishment: Brevard County [Florida] businessman. Not that Bodine is fully retired from the racing circuit. He's cut back on the time he can devote to the sport even as he finds a team that wants a 63-year-old aging Baby Boomer to be its driver. Secondly, Bodine is a busy guy. Not only is he still involved in NASCAR and other racing events, but the New York native also makes bobsleds for the U.S. Olympic team under the banner of the "Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project." Now, there is Geoff Bodine's Honda Powersports of Melbourne, a venture with partner and longtime friend A.J. Hiers, a local automobile dealer. The Honda dealership, the largest of its type in Central Florida, sells everything from generators to motorcycles to personal watercraft. Sales have gone surprisingly well since its opening several months ago, especially considering the shaky economy, Hiers said.(Florida Today)(7-2-2012)


    News from July 1, 2012

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 Quaker State 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 7:29 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:32 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:29 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:32 PM
    Total number of commercials: 129
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 62
    Total minutes of race broadcast: 183
    Minutes of race broadcast: 125
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 58
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 0
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 50
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min. 10 sec.
    Total race brdcst time 125 Total comm. brdcst time 58
    See past races, sponsor links and more at CawsnJaws.com.(7-1-2012)

  • Logano says no change in his status: UPDATE: #20-Joey Logano didn't know anything more about his 2013 plans Friday than he did Tuesday morning before Roush Fenway Racing announced that Matt Kenseth was leaving its organization. Kenseth is expected to join Joe Gibbs Racing, either in a fourth car or as a replacement for Logano, who does not have a contract for next year. "I've heard nothing new," Logano said following qualifying at Kentucky Speedway. "We're still up in the air on a lot of things." Team president J.D. Gibbs said Wednesday that he would like Logano to remain at JGR long term but the sides don't have a deal done for 2013. Gibbs declined to discuss whether Kenseth was joining the organization. "We want (Logano) to be here forever," Gibbs said Wednesday. "That's kind of what we're working on. Until you have stuff laid out (and can say), 'Here's the plan,' it's not really worth talking about."(Sporting News)(6-30-2012)
    UPDATE: Amid news of a contract extension for Denny Hamlin and speculation swirling around Matt Kenseth's possible arrival at Joe Gibbs Racing next year, team owner Joe Gibbs said Saturday at Kentucky Speedway that his top priority was re-signing Joey Logano. "We're working real hard right now on extending him and his relationship with us," Gibbs said Friday after the drivers' meeting for Saturday night's Quaker State 400. "We've had a great relationship -- signed him when he was 15. We've got a lot invested in Joey. I think right now he's stepping up, and we want him to be with us." Asked whether sponsor Home Depot would continue to be part of the equation, Gibbs told the NASCAR Wire Service, "I think part of what we've got going on with us right now -- there's a lot going on. So the things I talked about . . . Joey, we want to get that done. Everything else is kind of up in the air for us right now."(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-1-2012)

  • Bruton Smith would like mandatory cautions: Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said NASCAR needs to implement mandatory cautions, or race stoppages, to bring more excitement to the races. "Call it what you want, but you've got to have caution flags," Smith said Saturday before the Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. "That creates excitement. You can't just sit there with nothing happening. It ruins the event. It's damaging to our sport." Cautions flags and caution laps are down this year in NASCAR. Many races this season have produced long green-flag runs without a lot of passing up front. Smith said NASCAR needs to deliberately create more double-file restarts. NASCAR made a rule change in 2009 that moved all the lead-lap cars to the front of the field, double-file, on all restarts after a caution flag. Those restarts often cause bumping late in races, and sometimes additional accidents. Smith said he wouldn't mind seeing a pseudo halftime at each race to cause an additional restart. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday: "We are constantly looking at ways to improve the racing. And we have mandatory cautions when we think it's needed at an event." But those mandatory cautions usually are for safety reasons so teams can check their tires and officials can check track conditions.(ESPN.com)(7-1-2012)

  • Fireworks extravaganza to follow Coke Zero 400: Fireworks By Santore is adding a new twist to the largest fireworks show in the Southeast, which takes place immediately following the conclusion of the 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 7. During the 15-minute show that will illuminate the sky above Daytona International Speedway, Fireworks By Santore will use specially developed shells to produce the letters "U S A" high above the speedway. The show will be shot from 16 different locations spread across the infield along the Superstretch. The finale will last for approximately one minute, 30 seconds and will have over 2,000 individual pieces.(DIS)(7-1-2012)


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Next Race: Crown Royal/Brickyard 400

Countdown to Race Time: 7/27/2014 ~1:19pm/et

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Speedway, IN

ESPN, 1:00pm/et
SiriusXM Radio Channel 90

Qualifying:
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 2:10pm/et
ESPN2, 2:00pm/et

Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, July 27, 2014, 9:00am/et
ESPN2 9:00am/et



Paint Schemes

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added a MOB of new links
on JULY 22, 2014
to the Article Links page, including.......



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21 Klaus Graf, Gerry Kulwicki, Dave Skog

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25 Ernie Elliott, Bill 'the Hat Man' Brodrick, Kelly Punch, Shelby Howard, Jerry Hill, Tommy Britt, Frank Bonsignore

26 Buddy Arrington, Raymond Fox III, Rick Crawford, Randy MacDonald, Bill Baird, Jordan Garone, Rick Pigeon

27 Adriana Wells, Jeremy Flowers

28 Tina Inman Hussey, Mary Quay

29 Bernie Bisciotti

30 Henry Ford, Robert Grey Allison, Ricky Sanders, Neil Bonnet

31 Kyle Larson, Bob Tomlinson, Louise Smith, Mike Alexander, Jerry Cook, Flossie Johnson

Born in AUGUST

1 Bob Keselowski, Ronnie Hornaday III, Alison Poling McCabe, Bobby Issac

2 Brian France

3 Tracy Adamczyk-Dowd (sister), Brad Baker, Terri Parsons

4 Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Bob Calkins, Amy Hair, Bob Hubner, Allen Styers

5 Pattie Petty, Paul Lamach, Alan Gustafson, Chad Knaus, Rich Woodland, Josh Browne, Kenny Irwin Jr

6 Jeb Burton, Gail Connor, Tom Hubert, Kendall McReynolds, Rick Ware, "Amish" John Stewart

7 Steve Loyd, Kyle Drum

8 Gail Norton, Parker Kligerman, Tommy Ellis, Jack Sprague, Don Leo

9 Tom Higgins, Cindy Shepherd, Lloyd Dane, Leo Gordon

10 Doug Hewitt, Donnie Neuenberger, Murray Timm, Chris Heroy, Ryan Moore

11 Glenn Jarrett, John Dodson, Lennie Pond, Lonnie Rush, Zachary Gay, H. Clay Earles

12 George Lubejko, Michelle Durkin, Carolyn Rudd Wax, Dick Bown, Tony Furr Jr., Richard Everett Craven, Parnelli Jones, Jordan Irvan, Scott Gaylord

13 John Feeney, John Baden, Bill Wilsey, Patrick Carpentier, Hideo Fukuyama, Jim Roper

14 Rusty Wallace, Lee Spencer

15 Andy Petree, Carl Edwards, Newt Moore, Robin Pemberton, Mark Kennerly

16 Ronald and Donald Allison, Diane Hawkins, Lenny Batycki

17 Danny Marshburn, Jerry Horton, Rex White, Matt Fernandez, Cathy Simmons

18 Drew Markle, Matt McLaughlin, Steve Wallace, Rachel Wood, Steve Lowery, Andrea Sospenzo, Andy Pilgrim

19 Dale Inman, David Hyder, Alex and Dillon Makar, Ray Elder

20 Bobby Auten, Kenny Martin, Jerry Punch, Dennis Punch, Ronald Puryear

21 Patti Bisciotti, William Vance, Winston Kelley, Paul Menard, Mark McCarter, Burney Lamar, Doug Shaak, Keven Wood

22 Collin Houston, Tommy Mullis, Elmo Langley

23 Steve Park, Kenny Wallace, Scott Miller, Ashlie Garone, Robert Larkins, Ralph Sheheen, Shane Sieg

24 David Bonnett, Lee McCall

25 Casey Atwood, David Smith, Shane Hall, Kelly Bires, Sarah Catlin Waltrip, T.J. Bell

26 Jayski.com, Ray Evernham, James Hylton, Landon Rudd, Greg Engle, Ken Duan, Adam Gravitt, Daniel Rankin

27 Chris Brook, Richard Broome, Billy Hodges, Chuck Rider, Mike Hillman, Gloria Broadwater, Claire B. Lang

28 Patty Eversole, Kelley Earnhardt, Randy LaJoie, Thomas Hatcher, Brandon Miller, Hoss Berry,

29 Timothy Peters, Jim Brady, Paul Vanderlaan, Ken Stout, Wendell Scott, Geneva Key

30 Mike Helton, Sue Fiala, Mark Allen, Gordon Gibbs, John Erickson

31 Sara Eolin, Patti Jarrett Makar, Mike Nelson, Jerry Baxter Jr., Erin Beam, Wayne Orme, Mike Morneau

NASCAR Related Contests

Scheduled NASCAR Related TV Listings