June 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

JUNE 2012 NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE

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    News from June 30, 2012

  • Keselowski wins at Kentucky: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 3rd win of the year and 7th career win.
    #5-Kahne finished 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson [polesitter], #17-Kenseth, #56-Truex, Jr., #22-Allmendinger, and #18-Busch.
    There were 4 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps. There were 17 lead changes among 6 drivers. The average speed was 145.607mph.
    The estimated attendence was 105,000, down slightly from 107,000 in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Kentucky Race Results page (pdf) (6-30-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Kentucky, race 17 of 36]
    1) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 633
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 622, -11
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 610, -23
    4) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 608, -25
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 565, -68
    6) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 565, -68
    7) #15-Clint Bowyer [1 wins], 557, -76
    8) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 556, -77
    9) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 545, -88
    10) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins], 537, -96
    Chase wild card drivers:
    WC1) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win, 12th in points], 495, -138
    WC2) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win, 14th in points], 463, -170
    #39-Ryan Newman [1 win, 15th in points], 463, -170
    #20-Joey Logano [1 win, 16th in points], 463, -170
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(6-30-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Daytona:
    #36 remains in 35th but is now 65 points ahead of 36th, the #33 team.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    32) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 246 +90
    34) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 236 +80
    34) #32-Said/FAS Lane Racing, 230 +74
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 221 +65 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #33-Leicht/Childress-Falk, 156, -659 from the top 35
    37) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 117, -104
    38) #49-Yeley/Robinson, 117, -104
    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).(6-30-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Kentucky:
    Brad Keselowski won the 2nd Annual Quaker State 400 , his seventh victory in 106 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2012.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in two races at Kentucky Speedway.
    Kasey Kahne (second) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Kentucky Speedway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2012.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Kentucky Speedway.
    Josh Wise (37th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Matt Kenseth leads the point standings by 11 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications )(6-30-2012)

  • Hamlin working on contract extension UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing could have a new Sprint Cup contract to announce within the next week, and it's not the driver everyone has been talking about. #11-Denny Hamlin is in final negotiations with JGR and sponsor FedEx on an extension of his deal, which runs through the 2013 season. "I think I'm up at the end of next year, but I know where my future is, and that's at Gibbs," Hamlin told USA Today Sports on Wednesday. "FedEx knows who they want driving their car. We typically try to do our deals together as a partnership, because that's what it is between the three of us. As long as FedEx likes me, I know I want to be with Gibbs. We're to all working together to solidify that for years to come. I think it'll be done within a week. Everything but the ink on the paper is pretty much done. Everything is pretty much locked in, and we know where we're going to be for the foreseeable future."(USA Today)(6-28-2012)
    UPDATE: Denny Hamlin tweeted Saturday evening, "IT'S OFFICIAL. I've signed an extension with @JoeGibbsRacing. Happy to know where my future is. Excited for tonight and beyond with my team."(6-30-2012)

  • Andretti is considering forming NASCAR team: UPDATES: One of IndyCar's biggest names could branch out to the Sprint Cup Series as Michael Andretti told SI.com that he is hoping to start a NASCAR team. "We were looking at NASCAR real close last year, too, but it fell apart," Andretti said. "We were looking at it just as hard last year as this year and the year before." If Andretti is able to find the right sponsorship, he could team up with Dodge and base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. A Dodge source told SI.com that Andretti could probably team up with the engine manufacturer for $5 million to $6 million. That's because Dodge is losing its primary team in Sprint Cup at the end of this season as Penske Racing switches to Ford. Because of that, it is looking for a flagship team and Andretti could be a good fit, especially if it were to team up with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. "I'm always looking at all options," Andretti said. "I'd be stupid not to listen to Dodge or any other manufacturers. It doesn't matter that we are a Chevy IndyCar team. It might be nice if it was all under one roof but, in our contract, we're a Chevy IndyCar team."(Sports Illustrated)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE: Sources have confirmed to PitPass.net that Michael Andretti has purchased the engine program from Penske Racing and will field at least one full time Dodge in the Cup series in 2013 and beyond. No word on who the driver is, but with Matt Kenseth leaving Roush at the end of the season, the 2003 Cup series champ did confirm to the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that he will drive for "a new cup team" in 2013 and beyond. One option on the table is for Andretti to base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. Also hearing from this unnamed source that this new deal with Dodge is also with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. (this is why we didn't get the announcement of Petty to Dodge in Michigan a few weeks ago, they were trying to get Kenseth). Hearing that an offical announcement could come as early as next weekend.(PitPass.net)(6-282012)
    UPDATE 2: In response to inquiries about the company's NASCAR motorsports program, Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, offers the following statement: "While we continue to evaluate plans in NASCAR for 2013 and beyond, we have no commitments with any partners at this time. We continue to be pleased with the amount of interest from the media and fans in our motorsports program and will continue to follow our process as established in a timely manner. When decisions are finalized, we will announce them at that time. Currently what is most important is that we have not lost any focus on 2012 and our partnership with Penske Racing. Our commitment to win races and compete for championships with Penske Racing in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series this season remains firm. We will not lose focus on that partnership as we make decisions about our future in NASCAR."(Darnell Communications for Dodge)(6-29-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, issued the following statement: "Contrary to recent published speculation, Penske Racing has not sold its engine company. The team's focus continues to be on successfully completing the 2012 season, competing for championships and victories in the both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Dodge and our other sponsor partners."(Penske Racing)(6-30-2012)

  • Roush would like to have kept Kenseth: NASCAR team owner Jack Roush said Friday he was surprised to learn Matt Kenseth was leaving Roush Fenway Racing, and Roush wished he would have done more things to keep him. RFR announced Tuesday that Kenseth would leave the organization at the end of the season and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the defending Nationwide Series champion, will replace Kenseth in the #17 Ford in Sprint Cup. "I will say I was surprised when I learned [Kenseth] would not be signing with us," Roush said at Kentucky Speedway. "I won't comment on any of the negotiations because we have an agreement not to talk about that." But Roush added that he probably could have done more to re-sign Kenseth, the 2003 Cup champion, had he known Kenseth was serious about leaving. "If I was as diligent on that end as I am about finding out why a fuel pump broke, I might have been able to stop it," Roush said. "From my standpoint, he will be moving to the dark side. But the friendship part for us will survive. I've not lost respect for Matt and I hope he hasn't for me. I've enjoyed the 15 years with Matt and the success he's had as a driver. He is a cornerstone here and his DNA is all over this organization."(ESPN.com)(6-30-2012)

  • Keselowski, Montoya make contact in Friday practices: Tempers flared during Sprint Cup practice on Friday at Kentucky Speedway after there was contact between #2-Brad Keselowski and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. Keselowski went to the NASCAR hauler on his own volition following two run-ins on the track Montoya once the final practice ended. Keselowski said he would leave his discussion with NASCAR "between them and me." With that, Montoya's spotter Jeff Dickerson followed Keselowski into the side door of the Miller Lite transporter. Keselowski believed that Montoya instigated the first one, which happened before the first lap was in run practice, that resulted in the #2 Penske Racing team pulling out a back-up car in opening practice. Then, after assisting the team with setting up the second car, Keselowski sent Montoya a message in Happy Hour that he wouldn't be monkeyed with on the track by tapping the #42's left rear quarter panel between Turns 3 and 4. And that drew the caution flag from NASCAR. After the first practice, SPEED asked Montoya what happened with Keselowski, and driver replied, "I would like to know as well. I came out of the pits. They told me he had a big run. I put my hand out to wave at him. I started turning and running high. I think he thought he'd cleared me and he was probably going to run high and run straight into me. We didn't even do a lap. I wasn't even up to speed.(Fox Sports)(6-30-2012)

  • Logano says no change in his status: #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)

  • Special scheme for Biffle at Kentucky: This weekend's #16 Red Cross Ford Fusion has a brand new nighttime paint scheme as NASCAR heads back to night racing. The #MyTownGives paint scheme pays tribute to small town blood drives. While about 16 percent of people live in small-town U.S.A., small towns are responsible for almost 38 percent of all Red Cross blood drives. At the same time, the Red Cross is honoring small-town blood drives, the Red Cross is facing a crucial blood shortage: Donations are down more than 10 percent across the country resulting in 50,000 fewer pints of blood than expected.(Red Cross PR), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page)(6-30-2012)

  • NASCAR selects developer of digital platform and announce new staff: NASCAR announced that SapientNitro, part of Sapient, has been selected to design and build its new digital platform, including NASCAR.com. The new platform will result in an integrated digital experience for NASCAR's fans through critical channels, including: website, mobile and tablet. Earlier this year, NASCAR announced that it will assume business and editorial control of its interactive, digital and social media rights, including technical operations and infrastructure of NASCAR.com and all other NASCAR digital platforms, starting in January 2013. In addition to its work with NASCAR, SapientNitro, a leading marketing and technology firm, is currently designing digital experiences for a host of other sports and entertainment clients including WWE, Ladbrokes and LeBron James.(NASCAR)(6-30-2012)
    AND: To further bolster its staff in preparation for the launch of the new NASCAR.com digital platform in January of 2013, NASCAR Digital Media announced five additional key hires.
    The new personnel added to NASCAR Digital Media are David Murnick, managing director, ad services; Philippe Dore, senior director, digital services; Tim Clark, director, optimization; David Garlinski, director, mobile products; and Stu Hothem, director, content. In his new role, Murnick will be responsible for managing the advertising business of NASCAR's digital platforms as managing director, ad services. Murnick comes to NASCAR from AdKeeper where he was senior vice president, client services and ad operations.
    Dore comes to NASCAR from the ATP World Tour, where he served as senior director and general manager of digital media for the past seven years. Dore will be responsible for working closely with NASCAR industry constituents including tracks, teams and drivers to help integrate the industry into the NASCAR digital platform.
    Clark will be charged with optimizing the new NASCAR.com for all internal marketing and branding initiatives, external partnerships, licensing opportunities and industry services, including ticket sales.
    Garlinski joins NASCAR from partner ESPN Digital Media, where he most recently served as associate product manager, mobile. He will be managing the mobile product launches for NASCAR, including the 2013 smartphone and tablet apps for iOS and Android devices, and the new optimized mobile web experience for NASCAR.com.
    Hothem transitions to NASCAR Digital Media after serving as NASCAR's Integrated Marketing Communications director, Sport Services.(NASCAR)(6-30-2012)


    News from June 29, 2012

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #18-Kyle Busch took pit stall 14, the first pitstall with an opening in front of it.
    #11-Hamlin, who starts 3rd took the 31st.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #29-Harvick, who starts 4th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-29-2012)

  • Johnson wins pole at Kentucky: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway with a speed of 181.818mph, a new track record, for his 1st pole of 2012 and 26th career pole.
    #18-Busch will start 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #29-Harvick, #39-Newman, #15-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #2-Keselowski, #24-Gordon, and #56-Truex, Jr.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #95-Speed, #87-Nemechek, #26-Wise, #30-Stremme, #98-McDowell, #23-Riggs,#19-Bliss, #33-Leicht.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2):#49-Yeley, #52-Skinner.
    The session was halted for about 20 minutes when high winds moved across the track.
    See qualifying order, qualifying results, starting lineup, pole progression, go-or-go-homers on the Kentucky Qualifying Page.(6-29-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Kentucky:
    Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 2nd Annual Quaker State 400 with a lap of 29.700 seconds, 181.818 mph.
    This is his 26th pole in 380 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and 11th top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his first pole in two races at Kentucky Speedway.
    Kyle Busch (second) posted his ninth top-10 start of 2012 and his second in two races at Kentucky Speedway.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his first top-10 start at Kentucky Speedway. It is his ninth in 17 races this season.
    Josh Wise (30th) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(6-29-2012)

  • Andretti is considering forming NASCAR team: UPDATES: One of IndyCar's biggest names could branch out to the Sprint Cup Series as Michael Andretti told SI.com that he is hoping to start a NASCAR team. "We were looking at NASCAR real close last year, too, but it fell apart," Andretti said. "We were looking at it just as hard last year as this year and the year before." If Andretti is able to find the right sponsorship, he could team up with Dodge and base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. A Dodge source told SI.com that Andretti could probably team up with the engine manufacturer for $5 million to $6 million. That's because Dodge is losing its primary team in Sprint Cup at the end of this season as Penske Racing switches to Ford. Because of that, it is looking for a flagship team and Andretti could be a good fit, especially if it were to team up with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. "I'm always looking at all options," Andretti said. "I'd be stupid not to listen to Dodge or any other manufacturers. It doesn't matter that we are a Chevy IndyCar team. It might be nice if it was all under one roof but, in our contract, we're a Chevy IndyCar team."(Sports Illustrated)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE: Sources have confirmed to PitPass.net that Michael Andretti has purchased the engine program from Penske Racing and will field at least one full time Dodge in the Cup series in 2013 and beyond. No word on who the driver is, but with Matt Kenseth leaving Roush at the end of the season, the 2003 Cup series champ did confirm to the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that he will drive for "a new cup team" in 2013 and beyond. One option on the table is for Andretti to base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. Also hearing from this unnamed source that this new deal with Dodge is also with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. (this is why we didn't get the announcement of Petty to Dodge in Michigan a few weeks ago, they were trying to get Kenseth). Hearing that an offical announcement could come as early as next weekend.(PitPass.net)(6-282012)
    UPDATE 2: In response to inquiries about the company's NASCAR motorsports program, Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, offers the following statement: "While we continue to evaluate plans in NASCAR for 2013 and beyond, we have no commitments with any partners at this time. We continue to be pleased with the amount of interest from the media and fans in our motorsports program and will continue to follow our process as established in a timely manner. When decisions are finalized, we will announce them at that time. Currently what is most important is that we have not lost any focus on 2012 and our partnership with Penske Racing. Our commitment to win races and compete for championships with Penske Racing in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series this season remains firm. We will not lose focus on that partnership as we make decisions about our future in NASCAR."(Darnell Communications for Dodge)(6-29-2012)

  • Final practice for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #24-Gordon 175.097
    #2-Keselowski 174.633
    #16-Biffle 173.958
    #22-Allmendinger 173.572
    #99-Edwards 173.494
    slowest: #52-Skinner 168.708 & #32-Schrader 168.571.
    notes: #52-Skinner spun coming off turn two but didn't hit anything.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the Kentucky Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(6-29-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the ten cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice at Kentucky
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #30-Stremme, 10th
    #98-McDowell, 11th
    #19-Bliss, 13th
    #87-Nemechek, 14th
    #95-Speed, 15th
    #23-Riggs, 16th
    #26-Wise, 22nd
    #33-Leicht, 32nd
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race
    #49-Yeley, 37th
    #52-Skinner, 44th
    (6-29-2012)

  • First Friday practice for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #18-Busch 177.801
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 176.817
    #48-Johnson 176.540
    #15-Bowyer 176.488
    #56-Truex, Jr. 176.327
    slowest: #98-McDowell 170.047 & #32-Schrader 169.422.
    notes: #42-Montoya & #2-Keselowski got together at the beginning of practice, with Keselowski sliding up into the wall after contact. Keselowski will go to a backup car. #9-Ambrose slid through the frontstretch grass but didn't hit anything.
    This practice will set the order for qualifying, which is scheduled for 5:10pm/et and will be shown on SPEED.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the Kentucky Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(6-29-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the ten cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice at Kentucky
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #26-Wise, 26th
    #95-Speed, 28th
    #23-Riggs, 29th
    #87-Nemechek, 31st
    #19-Bliss, 34th
    #49-Yeley, 35th
    #30-Stremme, 38th
    #33-Leicht, 39th
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race
    #52-Skinner, 40th
    #98-McDowell, 44th
    (6-29-2012)

  • TMone joins Tommy Baldwin Racing at Kentucky: TMone, a Business Process Outsourcing firm and leader in driving new jobs in South Dakota and Iowa, is jumping on board with Tommy Baldwin Racing and the #10 Outsourcing in the USA @TMone Chevy driven by David Reutimann in this weekend's Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. TMone's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign will focus on driving jobs in America and highlight the difference between Outsourcing and Offshoring.(TBR)(6-29-2012)

  • No Cup champion has changed teams at end of year: Looking back at the history of the Chase, we've had just five drivers qualify knowing they'd be with a different organization - or not even racing - the following season. None of them were in serious contention for the title, and just one finished inside the top 5:
    Year, Driver, Pending Silly Season Move, Points Finish
    2005: Rusty Wallace (from Penske to retirement) - 8th
    2005: Kurt Busch (from Roush to Penske) - 10th
    2006: Mark Martin (from Roush to part-time schedule with Bobby Ginn) - 9th
    2007: Kyle Busch (from Hendrick to Gibbs) - 5th
    2008: Tony Stewart (from Gibbs to self-owned team) - 9th
    [2012: Matt Kenseth (Roush to Gibbs?) - ?]
    (Frontstretch)(6-29-2012)

  • Kentucky Goodyear Tire Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Kentucky this week will run the same right-side tire code (D-4440), teams in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run a slightly different left-side code (D-4396) than those in the Camping World Truck Series . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Kentucky last season . . . teams in these two series also ran this right-side tire at Dover earlier this month . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kentucky . . . 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 Kentucky Race Info page - Goodyear section.(6-29-2012)

  • 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 Kentucky Speedway on the Kentucky Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Childress to hold second pit crew training combine: Following a successful first event in April, Richard Childress Racing announced the date for the second installment of the RCR Pit Crew Training Combine powered by AdvoCare. The session will be held on Thursday, July 12 from 1-5 p.m. Eastern Time at the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series facility in Welcome, N.C. The event is open to: individuals with an experienced mechanical background, athletes with a serious passion for developing into full-time pit crew team members at the premier level, as well as individuals who participated in the inaugural combine. In addition a variety of rigorous agility and physically demanding workouts, participants' mechanical skills and knowledge will be assessed. This most recent announcement comes on the heels of a successful inaugural event where more than 100 participants put their physical and mental abilities to the test in a rigorous two-day training camp. Qualified competitors who are interested should arrive at the RCR Sprint Cup Series facility dressed and ready to work out, and check in at the front desk for instruction. There are no fees associated with the event and it is open to the public. Registration begins at 1 p.m. ET. For additional information see rcrracing.com.(RCR)(6-29-2012)

  • NASCAR announces changes to communications team: As part of its commitment to building a best-in-class Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) team, NASCAR announced a number of key hires and changes in the areas of competition, stakeholder and content communications.
    Sean Doherty joins NASCAR as its director, digital & content communications from partner Sprint. Doherty now will oversee the IMC content communications division, previously known as sport services, and play a key role in the development and operation of NASCAR's new Fan and Media Engagement Center (FMEC). IMC's current director of sport services, Stu Hothem, has accepted a position as director, content within the newly formed NASCAR Digital Media. Hothem will work with IMC during a transition period as NASCAR Digital Media prepares to launch a new NASCAR.com on January 1, 2013.
    Tracey Judd has been named director, racing operations communications; she will remain within the competition unit of Integrated Marketing Communications overseen by Senior Director, Competition Communications Kerry Tharp.
    IMC Senior Manager, Competition Communications Amanda Ellis, who has served as primary media liaison for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will assume Judd's previous role with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Katey Hawbaker will join NASCAR in late July as manager, competition communications. Hawbaker will serve as the primary media liaison for the truck series, where she currently works for Red Horse Racing and previously at Kevin Harvick Inc.
    Stephanie Ackerman joins NASCAR as manager, stakeholder communications from her previous position as associate manager, brand public relations and communications for H.J. Heinz.
    Ashley Mitchell, a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, joins NASCAR as coordinator, content communications.
    John Farrell, who has worked for NASCAR in licensing and publishing for five years, shifts to IMC content communications.(NASCAR)(6-29-2012)

  • ISC submits plan for redevelopment of Daytona: International Speedway Corp. on Thursday filed a "planned master development" with the city, the first step in a 50-year redevelopment project for Daytona International Speedway. "It's been a great property for 50 years. We want to make it better for the next 50 years," Speedway President Joie Chitwood III told The News-Journal Thursday. The Speedway plan could include a "complete overhaul of the entire frontstretch grandstand" and creation of "a world class motorsports entertainment facility including features such as new seats, suites and guest amenities," according to a press release. Chitwood said the master plan could include "new entry points, improved fan conveyance, a modern exterior, first-class interior areas and a redesigned midway for fans." The planned master development is the second one filed this month by ISC, the Speedway's parent company. The first was for the property north of the Speedway across International Speedway Boulevard. Plans for that property are up in the air but could include a hotel, theater, restaurants, bars and possibly one day a casino, if Florida law were to change. Chitwood said the goal is to tie together the two properties and develop them into a sports and entertainment venue. Chitwood estimates the approval process will take six to eight months. Once the zoning gets an official OK, the track can start detailing changes to the property.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(6-29-2012)

  • Train to perform pre-race concert for Coke Zero 400: Multi-platinum Grammy-winning superstars Train, whose hits include "Hey Soul Sister" and the smash hit "Drive By" from their new album California 37, will be performing an hour-long pre-race concert prior to the 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 7 at Daytona International Speedway. Through a special VIP Ticket Package, fans can get unprecedented access to the 60-minute pre-race concert that will be staged on pit road in the tri-oval area of the "World Center of Racing." With packages starting at $115, the VIP Ticket Package includes:
    -- A reserved grandstand ticket for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola
    -- Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access
    -- Admission to the VIP viewing area in front of the stage for the pre-race concert by Train.
    (DIS) (6-29-2012)


    News from June 28, 2012

  • Hamlin working on contract extension: Joe Gibbs Racing could have a new Sprint Cup contract to announce within the next week, and it's not the driver everyone has been talking about. #11-Denny Hamlin is in final negotiations with JGR and sponsor FedEx on an extension of his deal, which runs through the 2013 season. "I think I'm up at the end of next year, but I know where my future is, and that's at Gibbs," Hamlin told USA Today Sports on Wednesday. "FedEx knows who they want driving their car. We typically try to do our deals together as a partnership, because that's what it is between the three of us. As long as FedEx likes me, I know I want to be with Gibbs. We're to all working together to solidify that for years to come. I think it'll be done within a week. Everything but the ink on the paper is pretty much done. Everything is pretty much locked in, and we know where we're going to be for the foreseeable future."(USA Today)(6-28-2012)

  • Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR ends: Jeremy Mayfield's legal challenge against NASCAR over his 2009 failed drug test finally is over. With a Wednesday deadline to file a request to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal in the case, Mayfield opted not to continue his quest to prove that NASCAR erred in determining that his May 1, 2009 drug test was positive for methamphetamines. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of NASCAR in January 2010 before the case ever went to trial. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in March. The basis of the ruling was that Mayfield could not sue NASCAR because of waivers he signed regarding implementation of NASCAR's substance-abuse policy. The waivers are part of the agreement a driver signs with NASCAR in order to participate. "We're pleased that this case is behind us," NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said. "The courts supported our position that NASCAR can establish reasonable rules and requirements to help us regulate our sport."(Sporting News)(6-28-2012)

  • UPS makes only appearance on the #99: Carl Edwards enters Kentucky 11th in the Sprint Cup Series point standings. Edwards will make his second Sprint Cup Series start at Kentucky Speedway Saturday, but he has seven Nationwide and three Camping World Truck starts there. In his previous 11 starts, Edwards has two wins, four top-five and five top-10 finishes. Kentucky Speedway is about 90 miles from sponsor UPS Worldport, which is the company's worldwide air hub in Louisville, Ky. Worldport is the largest fully automated package handling facility in the world, servicing 130 aircrafts daily and processing more than 1.6 million packages a day.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #99 team paint schemes page.(6-28-2012)

  • Bobby Bowden named grand marshal for Coke Zero 400: Legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 7 at Daytona International Speedway. The Hall of Fame football coach will give the starting command, "Gentlemen start your engines," in the 160-lap, 400-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. Coke Zero invited the coaching icon to take part in the festivities to help launch its upcoming fall football program, which rewards fans online and in person with college football prizes and one-of-a-kind VIP experiences. During his 34-year tenure as the head coach at Florida State University, Bowden coached the Seminoles to more than 300 victories, two National Championships and 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships. Under Bowden's leadership, the Seminoles also finished in the top five in the country in 14 straight seasons and qualified for Bowl Games in 28 consecutive seasons.(DIS)(6-28-2012)


    News from June 27, 2012

  • Kenseth leaving Roush: UPDATES: #17-Matt Kenseth declined to discuss his future with Roush Fenway Racing before Sunday's race at Sonoma, where there was rampant speculation he's been talking to other race teams. Kenseth acts as his own agent, and has been with Roush his entire career. But his #17 Ford has limited sponsorship, and team owner Jack Roush has been paying out of his own pocket to ensure Kenseth runs a full season. "You know I don't talk about my contract," Kenseth said. "I'd like to have something to tell you, but I don't have anything to talk about right now. Until I have something to announce, I don't talk about it."
    Everybody else was talking, though, and Kenseth's name this weekend was linked to both Joe Gibbs Racing, a Toyota team, and Penske Racing, which is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Kenseth is a longtime Ford driver. JGR team president J.D. Gibbs declined to discuss any possible negotiations with Kenseth. JGR not only has room for expansion to a fourth car, but Joey Logano's status as driver of the #20 is currently unresolved. Logano is in the final year of his contract. "I'm not allowed to talk," he said.
    Roger Penske was not at Sunday's race, but senior vice president of Penske Corp., Bud Denker said the team is not talking to Kenseth and is content with AJ Allmendinger in the #22. "Our expectations are that AJ will be in the car and Todd (Gordon) will be the crew chief next year," Denker said. "So we are not talking to Matt, that's confirmed." The Penske move to Ford has led to talk the organization could be a potential home for Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who are both in long-term contracts with Roush but are stymied because of sponsorship woes.(ESPN/Associated Press)(6-24-2012)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will compete for the team full-time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition beginning in 2013, while Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway will part ways at the conclusion of the 2012 season. "Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has more than proved his abilities on the race track," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "We feel that he is not only a key piece of our team's future, but a key piece of the future of the sport. Roush Fenway is an organization with a wonderful past and present, as well as an extremely promising future, and I can't think of a better candidate than Ricky to usher in the next era of success for the team. Of course, I'd like to thank Matt Kenseth for his many years of loyal service," added Roush. "Matt has been an integral part of this organization for well over a decade, and we are extremely appreciative of his accomplishments and contributions to the team, and will always consider him a part of the Roush Fenway family."(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-26-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Ford's Jamie Allison, "All of us at Ford are certainly disappointed to hear that Matt will be leaving, and he will be certainly missed by us and the Ford Racing fans. We are thankful for Matt's winning efforts and championship-caliber success with the Roush and Ford racing programs these past 16 years, both on and off the track. We will focus on this year and look forward to more success on the track in his #17 Ford Fusion this season."(Ford Racing)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark said Roush Fenway's likely 2013 scenario would be for the organization to have three Cup teams with #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle and Stenhouse while Trevor Bayne, who currently runs a part-time Cup schedule for Wood Brothers Racing and select Nationwide races for Roush Fenway, would replace Stenhouse in the team's full-time Nationwide car. Whether current Kenseth crew chief Jimmy Fennig will be Stenhouse's crew chief is still to be determined, Newmark said.(Sporting News)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE 4: Matt Kenseth has a Sprint Cup ride in place for 2013 and beyond, the NASCAR point leader from Cambridge told the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday in his first print media interview since announcing he would leave Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. When that deal is announced is undetermined, Kenseth said. The decision to leave was made in a meeting last week with team owner Jack Roush, Kenseth said. "There's a lot of stuff through the season that's probably led us to this point," Kenseth said. "There isn't really a smoking gun, there really isn't an inside story about a firing or an argument or really any of that. At the end of the day, I had an opportunity to go try something else. The timing all worked out. I think everything happens for a reason. Things just kind of lined up to maybe try something else in 2013 and beyond that I'm kind of excited about.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(6-27-2012)

  • Andretti is considering forming NASCAR team: One of IndyCar's biggest names could branch out to the Sprint Cup Series as Michael Andretti told SI.com that he is hoping to start a NASCAR team. "We were looking at NASCAR real close last year, too, but it fell apart," Andretti said. "We were looking at it just as hard last year as this year and the year before." If Andretti is able to find the right sponsorship, he could team up with Dodge and base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. A Dodge source told SI.com that Andretti could probably team up with the engine manufacturer for $5 million to $6 million. That's because Dodge is losing its primary team in Sprint Cup at the end of this season as Penske Racing switches to Ford. Because of that, it is looking for a flagship team and Andretti could be a good fit, especially if it were to team up with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. "I'm always looking at all options," Andretti said. "I'd be stupid not to listen to Dodge or any other manufacturers. It doesn't matter that we are a Chevy IndyCar team. It might be nice if it was all under one roof but, in our contract, we're a Chevy IndyCar team."(Sports Illustrated)(6-27-2012)

  • ESPN closes Tech Garage: Since 2007, younger NASCAR fans know Tim Brewer & stationed inside the ESPN Tech Garage at both Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races carried by the network. ESPN made a larger commitment of resources to the Nationwide Series telecasts than any network before. That included Brewer's mobile garage and a full infield studio of three on-air personalities. ESPN & has confirmed that Brewer's recent hiatus from the Nationwide Series coverage will be permanent. ESPN returns to Sprint Cup Series coverage in July with the Brickyard 400. The Tech Garage will also not be part of that coverage. This year the final seventeen Cup Series races will be without Brewer on TV. "It has been a great feature of our NASCAR coverage," said a network spokesman. "We will continue to look for places to showcase the garage where appropriate." That means that while ESPN did not sell the Tech Garage, the unit is parked. Unfortunately this also affects more ESPN team members than just Brewer. In addition to the camera crew inside the studio, the Tech Garage also had "runners" who grabbed damaged pieces of cars during the race and brought them back for Brewer to explain.(Daly Planet)(6-27-2012)

  • Sonoma TV Ratings posted: For the third straight week, ratings and viewership increased for NASCAR on TNT. Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota/Save Mart 350 from Sonoma earned a 3.3 U.S. rating and 5.200 million viewers on TNT, up a tick in ratings and virtually even in viewership compared to last year (3.2, 5.188M), and up 22% and 16%, respectively, from 2010 (2.7, 4.479M). The telecast ranks as the third straight Sprint Cup race on TNT to have an increase in ratings and viewership compared to last year. So far this season, NASCAR coverage on TNT has averaged a 3.3 U.S. rating, up 6% from a 3.1 through the comparable point last year.(Sports Media Watch), see past race TV Ratings, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(6-27-2012)

  • Eckrich to make first appearance on #43: For the first of three NASCAR Sprint Cup events this season, the Eckrich colors will adorn the hood and sides of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford this weekend at the mile-and-a-half Kentucky Speedway. But, that will not be the only logo that driver Aric Almirola will race with. In a partnership with Eckrich, the Operation Homefront logo will also be on the car. Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families by donating five cents from the purchase of specially-marked products, up to $200,000, from now through July 4. In addition to the awareness on the car, Almirola and his Petty team will be hosting a military family at the track this weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(6-27-2012)

  • Select military members to be featured on #51: Beginning with this weekend's race at Kentucky, Phoenix Racing will feature select members of our nation's military on the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy as part of a dedication program through the Armed Forces Foundation. Riding with Busch this weekend will be 1st Lt. Ashley White Stumpf, a member of the Army Rangers who was killed Oct. 22, 2011, in Khandahar, Afghanistan, while serving with Special Operations Forces (SOF) as a member of a Cultural Support Team. Stumpf was one of a select group of female soldiers who volunteered to undergo intensive training to work with SOF and establish relationships with Afghan women and children while deployed.(Phoenix Racing)(6-27-2012)

  • Office Depot Copy & Print Depot on the #14: Tony Stewart will feature an Office Depot Copy & Print Depot logo along with the phrase "We Do Printing Same Day" on the rear panel of his #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy during this weekend's race at Kentucky. NASCAR fans can rely on the fast service of Office Depot's Copy & Print Depot to help them save time seven days a week - including race day.(Edelman PR), see an image of the car on the #14 team paint schemes page.(6-27-2012)

  • #29 returns to red, white, and blue: The patriotic red, white and blue Budweiser Folds of Honor paint scheme returns to Harvick's #29 Chevy this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. The special paint scheme reflects the "Red, White and Blue Summer" packaging featured on the iconic Budweiser bottles and cans as part of a summer initiative in which the brand will contribute a portion of all sales from May 20 - July 7 to help raise as much as $2.5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country. The Folds of Honor logo will also be featured on the TV panel of the #29 Chevy.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #29 team paint schemes page)(6-27-2012)

  • Sad News - Don Cope: Donald Ray Cope of Spanaway, WA, father of 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope, passed away on June 21, 2012. In November 2008, Don along with his son Derrike, were inducted into the North West Motor Sports Hall of Fame where he was recognized for his knowledge and talent. Through his love of the racing sport and his generosity, Don helped and encouraged many racers with their pursuit in auto racing. Don has become an icon in the Pacific Northwest racing world. Don is survived by his sons Derrike and Darren, daughter Tamara and (Dave) Lastoka, daughter in law Mary, granddaughters Amber, Angela, Ashley, and Taylor, Brother Jerry and (Chris), numerous nieces and nephews and by fans of auto racing throughout the Pacific Northwest. Service info and full obituary at Edwards Memorial.(6-27-2012)

  • Kentucky Speedway ready to comfort, entertain fans: Kentucky Speedway will comfort race fans attending its June 28-30 NASCAR events by stationing multiple cool zones throughout the facility in addition to stocking extra ice and water with dry, above-average temperatures forecast for the remainder of the week. Speedway campgrounds opened Tuesday at noon and the first race team haulers are scheduled to arrive on the Kentucky Speedway infield Wednesday at 11 a.m. Parking lots open at 7 a.m., each race day and fans will be able to enjoy driver appearances along with a wide variety of music, interactive activities, food and shopping in the concourse-level display area as well as the infield Fan Zone throughout the weekend. The Quaker State 400 race day line-up includes country music superstar Chris Young in concert at 5:15 p.m., on the frontstretch stage and high-energy Bud Light artists LoCash Cowboys in concert at 3 p.m., on the Budweiser stage. Multi-talented stage performer and country music artist Laura Bell Bundy, originally of Lexington, Ky., will sing "The Star Spangled Banner."(Kentucky Speedway)(6-27-2012)

  • Laura Bell Bundy to Perform Kentucky National Anthem: Versatile star of stage, screen and country music radio Laura Bell Bundy will honor America when she sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the green flag waves for Kentucky Speedway's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 on Saturday, June 30. The accomplished singer/songwriter and multi-talented stage performer from Lexington, Ky., is preparing to release her second country music collection. Her debut Achin' and Shakin' album demonstrates traditional and modern country influences with popular singles from the upbeat "Giddy On Up" to the romantic "Drop On By."(Kentucky Speedway)(6-27-2012)


    News from June 26, 2012

  • Kenseth declines to discuss future...to Gibbs? Penske? UPDATE - Leaving Roush: #17-Matt Kenseth declined to discuss his future with Roush Fenway Racing before Sunday's race at Sonoma, where there was rampant speculation he's been talking to other race teams. Kenseth acts as his own agent, and has been with Roush his entire career. But his #17 Ford has limited sponsorship, and team owner Jack Roush has been paying out of his own pocket to ensure Kenseth runs a full season. "You know I don't talk about my contract," Kenseth said. "I'd like to have something to tell you, but I don't have anything to talk about right now. Until I have something to announce, I don't talk about it."
    Everybody else was talking, though, and Kenseth's name this weekend was linked to both Joe Gibbs Racing, a Toyota team, and Penske Racing, which is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Kenseth is a longtime Ford driver. JGR team president J.D. Gibbs declined to discuss any possible negotiations with Kenseth. JGR not only has room for expansion to a fourth car, but Joey Logano's status as driver of the #20 is currently unresolved. Logano is in the final year of his contract. "I'm not allowed to talk," he said.
    Roger Penske was not at Sunday's race, but senior vice president of Penske Corp., Bud Denker said the team is not talking to Kenseth and is content with AJ Allmendinger in the #22. "Our expectations are that AJ will be in the car and Todd (Gordon) will be the crew chief next year," Denker said. "So we are not talking to Matt, that's confirmed." The Penske move to Ford has led to talk the organization could be a potential home for Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who are both in long-term contracts with Roush but are stymied because of sponsorship woes.(ESPN/Associated Press)(6-24-2012)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will compete for the team full-time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition beginning in 2013, while Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway will part ways at the conclusion of the 2012 season. "Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has more than proved his abilities on the race track," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "We feel that he is not only a key piece of our team's future, but a key piece of the future of the sport. Roush Fenway is an organization with a wonderful past and present, as well as an extremely promising future, and I can't think of a better candidate than Ricky to usher in the next era of success for the team. Of course, I'd like to thank Matt Kenseth for his many years of loyal service," added Roush. "Matt has been an integral part of this organization for well over a decade, and we are extremely appreciative of his accomplishments and contributions to the team, and will always consider him a part of the Roush Fenway family."(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-26-2012)

  • NASCAR to test new 2013 cars: NASCAR is closing in on approving the 2013 Sprint Cup cars. The sanctioning body could sign off on the new models as early as next week. NASCAR has a two-day wind tunnel test scheduled at AeroDyn in Mooresville, N.C., for July 2 and 3. All four manufacturers will put their body panels over a uniform chassis provided by NASCAR. Each of the manufacturers - Chevy, Ford, Dodge and Toyota - will be expected to hit the established target numbers for drag and downforce with their cars. "Hopefully, when we go there we'll be able to complete the (development) process and then the manufacturers can start building parts and teams can start building cars for 2013," said NASCAR template manager Billy Berkheimer. Pat Suhy, General Motors Racing NASCAR group manager, says the tooling process for the sheet metal will take about six weeks to complete. Teams are already working on the green area of the car or the area over the cockpit. Suhy added that the new cars will all participate in an upcoming Goodyear tire test in August. Going forward, only the new cars will be used during testing.(Fox Sports)(6-26-2012)

  • Special 'white' scheme for Johnson at Kentucky: Continuing this season's series of paint schemes honoring classic Chevrolets, Team Lowe's Racing and Jimmie Johnson will be sporting a white paint scheme with blue racing stripes this weekend. The #48 Lowe's "Ermine White" Chevrolet will run this Saturday in Kentucky for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400. Records indicate that "Ermine White" was used by General Motors on its Chevrolet vehicles from 1960 to 1968. It was available on every model of passenger car Chevrolets (Full-Size, Chevelle, Chevy II, Camaro, Corvette, and Corvair) built during those model years. In addition to Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Pontiac also used this same color (PPG 8259) for various models during certain years in this era, only under different marketing names.(Lowe's Racing), see an image of the car on the #48 Team Schemes page.(6-26-2012)

  • Facts and Stats Kentucky Speedway:
    · In 1998, the track broke ground in Sparta, Kentucky, and opened as a 1.5-mile speedway in 2000.
    · The original owners, Jerry Carroll and four other investors owned the track until 2008, when current owners, Speedway Motorsports Inc. purchased the facility.
    · Since 2000, the track has hosted 11 NASCAR Nationwide Series (2001-2011) and 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races (2000-2011).
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held in 2011.
    · There has been one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway (2011).
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Kentucky was cancelled due to weather. The starting line-up was set per the NASCAR Rule Book.
    · Kyle Busch won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race; he started from the first position.
    · The 2011 event had 20 lead changes among 20 leaders.
    · Of the scheduled 267 laps, Kyle Busch led the most with 125, followed by Brad Keselowski with 79 laps led.
    · 23 cars of the 43-car field finished on the lead lap, with 34 cars running at the finish.
    · The margin of victory for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky was 0.179 seconds.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers in wins at 1.5-mile race tracks (16 wins).(NASCAR)(6-26-2012)

  • NextGen returns for Mears at Kentucky: For the second time this season, Casey Mears will wheel the #13 Valvoline NextGen Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Germain Racing. This time, Mears will put the NextGen colors before Valvoline's hometown crowd at Kentucky Speedway a short drive from Valvoline's global headquarters in Lexington, KY.(Germain Racing), see an image of the car on the #13 Team Schemes page.(6-26-2012)

  • Special scheme for Waltrip at Kentucky UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and sponsor Aaron's, Inc., will honor the 2011-12 Univ. of Kentucky NCAA Men's Basketball Championship during Kentucky Speedway's June 28-30 Quaker State 400 tripleheader weekend by racing a special paint scheme on #55 "Dream Machine" driven by Kentuckian Michael Waltrip and placing the Wildcats' National Championship trophy on display for fans throughout the weekend. Tickets, campsites and daily infield Fan Zone passes for all events can be purchased by logging on to kentuckyspeedway.com/tickets or calling 859-578-2300.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-23-2012)
    UPDATE: When Michael Waltrip climbs in the #55 Toyota at Kentucky Speedway's NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Saturday night, he and his Aaron's Dream Machine will sport University of Kentucky colors to honor his  and probably most of the local fans'  favorite college basketball team. The blue-and-white paint scheme and the Owensboro, Ky. native's driver's uniform will pay tribute to UK's 2012 NCAA National Champion basketball team. "This might be my all-time favorite paint scheme," said Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion and Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame member. "I'm so proud of all the people in Kentucky for not only their world class race track, but we have the best college basketball team in the country again. To race in Kentucky and wear the UK uniform will be a heck of an honor for me." Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart will visit the track Thursday to help Waltrip unveil the special paint scheme. Aaron's said it wanted to do something special for the fans at Kentucky Speedway. "Aaron's is a proud sponsor of the University of Kentucky athletic program, and we're thrilled to have an opportunity to honor the school in this exciting and unconventional way," said Ken Butler, Aaron's chief operating officer. "We know how much this means to the people of Kentucky. We hope to give the University of Kentucky something to smile about on Saturday night with a Wildcat-themed car in Victory Lane."(MWR), see an image of the scheme on the #55 Team Schemes page.(6-26-2012)

  • Dale Jr. vs Stewart & Gordon vs. Kahne in Semifinals of the "Drive for the Cover": Tony Stewart had stiff competition in Round 3 of the Drive for the Cover campaign with Denny Hamlin, but his toughest test comes this week as he faces perennial fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. The first three rounds saw several upsets and unexpected matchups, and Round 4 features four of the biggest names in NASCAR. In Round 3, Earnhardt Jr. defeated his JR Motorsports teammate (and employee) Danica Patrick to face Stewart in the next round. Kasey Kahne squeezed by Mark Martin to face Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, who got by Ryan Newman in Round 3. Below are the head-to-head matchups for the semifinals:
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Tony Stewart
    Jeff Gordon vs. Kasey Kahne
    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 NASCARTheGame.com/Vote.(NASCAR)(6-26-2012)


    News from June 25, 2012

  • The Entry List for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Michael Waltrip is in the #55 this week.
    Ken Schrader returns to the #32 Ford.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (44th in owners points / 11 attempts)
    #23-Scott Riggs (43/15)
    #26-Josh Wise (41/16)
    #30-David Stremme (39/16)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/16)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (38/16)
    #52-Mike Skinner (51/2)
    #74-Stacy Compton (48/11)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/16)
    #95-Scott Speed (45/4)
    #98-Michael McDowell (40/16)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 33,49,30,98,26,87,23,19
    missing the race would be [3]: # 74,95,52
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Kentucky Entry List.(6-25-2012)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 Toyota Save Mart 350: 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 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:00 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:00 PM
    Total number of commercials: 111
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 49
    Total minutes of race broadcast: 180
    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): 0
    Number of laps led in Jeff Gordon's career: 23,000
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 28
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 20 sec.
    Total race brdcst time 124 Total comm. brdcst time 56
    See past races, links and more on the 2012 TV Commercials page.(6-25-2012)

  • Vickers could be auditioning for full ride at MWR: After three starts with Micheal Waltrip Racing, #55-Brian Vickers has posted two top-five finishes. He'll return to the driver's seat at New Hampshire Motor Speedway next month after team owner Michael Waltrip runs the car at Kentucky and Daytona. Could it be an audition for a future seat with Waltrip? "Certainly," Waltrip said. "We structured MWR and built our building and Toyota believes in the fact that we could have four teams one day. Certainly (it) is a possibility to add Brian to our driver lineup with a fourth team or even have him hang around another year, and if Mark ever gets done driving -- which I wouldn't wait around for Mark to quit if I was him. I would put something else in my contract if I was him, because Mark is probably going to do it a while." Waltrip currently fields three full-time teams with #15-Clint Bowyer, #56-Martin Truex Jr. and Martin.(FoxSports)(6-25-2012)

  • Kurt Busch emotional about 3rd place finish at Sonoma: #51-Kurt Busch finished 3rd in the Toyota / Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma. Late in the race, Busch clipped a tire barrier in Turn 11 with his #51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevy, which ultimately allowed #14-Tony Stewart to pass him and capture the runner-up finish. Remarkably, with a broken suspension and real panel bar due to the tire incident, Busch still managed to bring his Chevy home in third place. Some comments by Kurt Busch during the post-race press conference about the race at Sonoma and finishing third.
    KURT BUSCH: It was just a full weekend of road racing. It was a solid day yesterday and even better day today. You know, to have a nice, steady pace, and to have a smooth pit strategy for my Phoenix Racing guys, I thought I could deliver for them. We were in contention. We made it all the way to the final restart, and today with all of those long green flag runs, I thought the race would play into our favor. Our car is a little better on longer runs than Bowyer, but he did a great job. I just kept thinking, "He's a dirt late model racer from the Midwest; there's no way he's going to be able to run the road course." And he did. He did great. That car and our car, I think we separated ourselves from the pack today. Thanks to Kyle and KPM yesterday; to get me back and forth on a nice, private jet that allowed me to rest up and be prepared for today. Yesterday was not quite the day we needed. We needed one more car with the Monster Energy car to get up there with the nix and get that Top 5 finish or even battle with Nelson Piquet, who is a friend of mine. It's amazing to see a Formula 1 guy come in and win right away in a Nationwide car. The Nationwide race was stacked yesterday. And of course, everybody wants to be in Cup, because this is where the best racers race.
    Today we came home third. Chevrolet and Monster Energy and tag his or her, our three big brands with us this year I'm a bit choked up. I just made a little mistake there in turn 11. Those tires have never been bolted down, ever and I clipped a set of tires and it broke the front suspension and the rear panel bar and I couldn't compete for the win after that; so a mistake there. Our guys, but if we pulled it into victory lane with all red car and no sponsor, here in California, I thought it was Team Tiger Blood with Charlie Sheen around (laughter).
    Q. Why are you so emotional about this effort?
    KURT BUSCH: When you show up and you're on a third of the budget and you almost bring it to victory lane, you can't say that one guy does it out here. It takes a full team effort. But I really want to deliver for my guys today, and being that close, and make one mistake, it's a tough game. That's why it's Sprint Cup.
    Q. Considering you won last year and how well you've done this year, it looks like it's got to be the driver.
    KURT BUSCH: It's definitely not the driver. You know, a lot of thanks has to go to Penske Racing and the commitment that they gave to me to help me on road courses and all of the testing we did to arrive at this point; I can't pat myself on the back too much. But there was a car on the front row with my setup from last year, and there was a 48 car out there with my setup. Hendrick Motorsports is a great organization. They give us engines and chassis. This weekend we wanted to help them with a bit of set up notes.
    Q. Two weeks ago you were almost not in the car; what does this mean to run like you did today?
    KURT BUSCH: If I can get my head on straight here and after the race, then I'm able to race every weekend and go for victories.(in part from Team Chevy PR)(6-25-2012)


    News from June 24, 2012

  • Kenseth declines to discuss future...to Gibbs? Penske?: #17-Matt Kenseth declined to discuss his future with Roush Fenway Racing before Sunday's race at Sonoma, where there was rampant speculation he's been talking to other race teams. Kenseth acts as his own agent, and has been with Roush his entire career. But his #17 Ford has limited sponsorship, and team owner Jack Roush has been paying out of his own pocket to ensure Kenseth runs a full season. "You know I don't talk about my contract," Kenseth said. "I'd like to have something to tell you, but I don't have anything to talk about right now. Until I have something to announce, I don't talk about it."
    Everybody else was talking, though, and Kenseth's name this weekend was linked to both Joe Gibbs Racing, a Toyota team, and Penske Racing, which is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Kenseth is a longtime Ford driver. JGR team president J.D. Gibbs declined to discuss any possible negotiations with Kenseth. JGR not only has room for expansion to a fourth car, but Joey Logano's status as driver of the #20 is currently unresolved. Logano is in the final year of his contract. "I'm not allowed to talk," he said.
    Roger Penske was not at Sunday's race, but senior vice president of Penske Corp., Bud Denker said the team is not talking to Kenseth and is content with AJ Allmendinger in the #22. "Our expectations are that AJ will be in the car and Todd (Gordon) will be the crew chief next year," Denker said. "So we are not talking to Matt, that's confirmed." The Penske move to Ford has led to talk the organization could be a potential home for Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who are both in long-term contracts with Roush but are stymied because of sponsorship woes.(ESPN/Associated Press)(6-24-2012)

  • Bowyer wins at Sonoma: #15-Clint Bowyer won the Toyota / Save Mart 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma for his 1st win of the year, 6th career win, 1st win with Michael Waltrip Racing and first road course win.
    #14-Stewart finished 2nd [2nd week in a row] followed by #51-Busch, #55-Vickers, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #16-Biffle, #9-Ambrose [pole sitter], #22-Allmendinger and #20-Logano.
    There were 2 cautions for 7 yellow flag laps. There were 8 lead changes among 5 drivers. The average speed was 83.624mph, a new track record for the race.
    The estimated attendence was 91,000, down slightly 92,000 in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Sonoma Race Results page (pdf) and the official rundown on the Official Race Report. (6-24/25-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Sonoma, race 16 of 36]
    1) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 596
    2) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 585, -11
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 582, -14
    4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 571, -25
    5) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 533, -63
    6) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 532, -64
    7) #15-Clint Bowyer [1 wins], 529, -67
    8) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 523, -73
    9) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 520, -76
    10) #2-Brad Keselowski [2 wins], 490, -106
    Chase wild card drivers:
    WC1) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win, 12th in points], 459, -137
    WC2) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win, 13th in points], 453, -143
    #20-Joey Logano [1 win, 15th in points], 441, -155
    #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win, 17th in points], 421, -175
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(6-24-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Sonoma:
    #36 drops to 35th but is 59 points ahead of 36th, the #33 team.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    32) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 227 +74
    33) #32-Said/FAS Lane Racing, 217 +64
    34) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 215 +62
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 212 +59 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #33-TBA/Childress-Falk, 153, -59 from the top 35
    37) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 117, -95
    38) #49-Yeley/Robinson, 117, -95
    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).(6-24-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Sonoma:
    #15-Clint Bowyer won the 24th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350, his sixth victory in 233 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2012.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in seven races at Sonoma. He is the sixth consecutive first time Sprint Cup road race winner at Sonoma and eighth consecutive different winner of the Toyota/Save Mart 350. This is Michael Waltrip Racing's third victory and first since Chicagoland Speedway in 2010.
    #14-Tony Stewart (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 14 races at Sonoma. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2012.
    #51-Kurt Busch (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 12 races at Sonoma.
    #26-Josh Wise (30th) was the highest finishing rookie.

    #17-Matt Kenseth leads the point standings by 11 points over #16-Greg Biffle.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-24-2012)

  • Sonoma Notes-n-Nuggets:
    " The win was Clint Bowyer's sixth Cup win in his 233rd start.
    " His last win was at Talladega in Oct. 2011.
    " Bowyer's grabbed his first win at Sonoma in his seventh race.
    " His previous best finish at Sonoma was three fourth-places.
    " It was Bowyer's first road course win in his 13th start.
    " Bowyer is the eighth different winner at Sonoma in as many races.
    " He is the 16th driver to win at Sonoma in the 24th race.
    " The #15 driver is the 12th different Cup winner of 2012.
    " Bowyer's first win with MWR and crew chief Brian Pattie.
    " He moved to seventh in Cup points.
    " Bowyer led three times for 71 laps including the final 39.
    " The win was the third Cup victory for MWR, with David Reutimann notching two.
    " It's MWR's first win of 2012 and first at Sonoma.
    " Tony Stewart (second) has finished in the top-three in the last three Cup races.
    " Kurt Busch (third) had his best finish of the season.
    " Brian Vickers (fourth) posted his second top-five finish in three races in 2012.
    " Jimmie Johnson (fifth) has top-five finishes in five of the last six races.
    " Matt Kenseth (13th) leads the points by 11 over Greg Biffle.
    " Dale Earnhardt Jr (23rd) has worst finish of the season, dropping to third in points. (Racing Recall/nascar.com)(6-24-2012)

  • Kenseth declines to discuss future...to Gibbs? Penske?: #17-Matt Kenseth declined to discuss his future with Roush Fenway Racing before Sunday's race at Sonoma, where there was rampant speculation he's been talking to other race teams. Kenseth acts as his own agent, and has been with Roush his entire career. But his #17 Ford has limited sponsorship, and team owner Jack Roush has been paying out of his own pocket to ensure Kenseth runs a full season. "You know I don't talk about my contract," Kenseth said. "I'd like to have something to tell you, but I don't have anything to talk about right now. Until I have something to announce, I don't talk about it."
    Everybody else was talking, though, and Kenseth's name this weekend was linked to both Joe Gibbs Racing, a Toyota team, and Penske Racing, which is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Kenseth is a longtime Ford driver. JGR team president J.D. Gibbs declined to discuss any possible negotiations with Kenseth. JGR not only has room for expansion to a fourth car, but Joey Logano's status as driver of the #20 is currently unresolved. Logano is in the final year of his contract. "I'm not allowed to talk," he said.
    Roger Penske was not at Sunday's race, but senior vice president of Penske Corp., Bud Denker said the team is not talking to Kenseth and is content with AJ Allmendinger in the #22. "Our expectations are that AJ will be in the car and Todd (Gordon) will be the crew chief next year," Denker said. "So we are not talking to Matt, that's confirmed." The Penske move to Ford has led to talk the organization could be a potential home for Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who are both in long-term contracts with Roush but are stymied because of sponsorship woes.(ESPN/Associated Press)(6-24-2012)

  • Montoya & McMurray to run Grand-Am car for Ganassi at Indy: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced a partnership with Chevron to field a second Daytona Prototype (DP) in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series' inaugural race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) July 27. The #02 Chevron Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray will return to action for the team for the first time since January's Rolex 24 At Daytona. The second entry will run alongside the season-long effort (#01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley) driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, who hold the distinction of being the most successful driving duo in series history with 23 race wins (CGRFS/EGR)(6-24-2012)

  • Gilliland wins K&N West Series race at Sonoma: David Gilliland took the lead on lap 44 and never looked back, taking the victory in the Pick-n-Pull Racing to Stop Hunger 200 NASCAR K&N West Series race on Saturday in Sonoma. It was the second-career West Series win for Gilliland on the Sonoma Valley road course, the first coming in 2007. David's father, Butch, has won four times in Sonoma and flew in from Dubai to attend Saturday's race. Butch was also inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Thursday night. "It's been a great week for me," David said. "To have my father fly in from Dubai where he lives now and then to win this race was pretty awesome." Gilliland was followed by Derek Thorn, Greg Pursley, Jim Ingebright and Dylan Kwasniewski. Gilliand is pulling double-duty this weekend as he will jump into his regular ride [#38 Front Row Motorsports Ford] for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. He will start 27th; he placed second in Sonoma in 2008. "I'm really looking forward to tomorrow," he said. "Hopefully you'll see me in this same place."(Sonoma)(6-24-2012)

  • Roush plane crash in 2010 attributed to pilot error: The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that the 2010 plane crash in which team owner [#'s 16,17,99] Jack Roush was injured was caused by pilot error. The NTSB released Friday its determination of probable cause in Roush's July 27, 2010 crash at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. The report confirmed Roush's version of what happened  that he was concerned about a plane taking off on the same runway where he was landing, causing him to ground-loop his airplane. The NTSB stated that after Roush aborted the landing, he should have throttled to full power instead of throttling to about 33 percent of full power. The NTSB report indicated that Roush could have landed the plane safely, but Roush told investigators that he didn't throttle to full power because he was making sure there were no other planes in the area.(Sporting News), see full NTSB report at ntsb.gov.(6-24-2012)

  • Harvick has stand-by for Sonoma UPDATE: in case wife Delana has the baby this weekend, #29-Kevin Harvick and team have a plan in case he has to leave the track, from a Team Chevy transcript:
    Q) DO YOU HAVE A BACK-UP DRIVER THIS WEEK IN CASE YOU WERE TO HAVE TO GO HOME?
    Harvick: "We have some plans."
    Q) (DAVID) MAYHEW IS THAT&?
    Harvick: "Yeah, David (Mayhew) went and practiced the car during the week this week, but he is running another car this week so if we have an issue we will address it when we get to that point with him."
    Q) WILL YOU END UP HAVING ONE EACH WEEK UNTIL THE BREAK OR&?
    Harvick: "We don't plan to right now. It's just a long ways from home right now so we had to make an alternative plan."(Team Chevy)(6-22-2012)
    UPDATE: With his wife, DeLana, due to give birth to their first child in July, driver Kevin Harvick has made contingency plans to put someone else in his car if the need arises. David Mayhew practiced Harvick's #29 at Sonoma but he has his own car [#98 Ford] in Sunday's race. Harvick said the team will deal with the situation if he has to suddenly fly back to North Carolina. He doesn't plan to have a back-up driver at other events. "It's just a long way from home right now so we had to make an alternative plan," Harvick said.(Charlotte Observer)(6-24-2012)


    News from June 23, 2012

  • Race Coverage of the Toyota / Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma is scheduled for Sunday, June 24, 2012.
    Television (TV): TNT at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:00 pm/et; green flag approx 3:18pm/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: on SPEED, Wednesday, June 27 at 12:00pm/et

  • Happy Hour practice for the Toyota / Save Mart 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma is over, after 75 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #24-Gordon 93.225
    #16-Biffle 93.202
    #42-Montoya 93.075
    #48-Johnson 92.995
    #22-Allmendinger 92.992
    Slowest: #33-Leicht 89.881 & #19-Cook 90.062
    No speed listed: #51-Busch [at Road America for NNS race], #98-Mayhew.
    Three drivers ran 10 consecutive laps, with the fastets being #11-Hamlin with a 10-lap average of 91.559mph.
    Happy Hour (final) Practice was not televised live but will air on SPEED tonight at 11:00pm/et.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the Sonoma Happy Hour Practice Speeds (pdf).(6-23-2012)

  • Saturday first practice for the Toyota / Save Mart 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #24-Gordon 94.312
    #9-Ambrose 93.381
    #22-Allmendinger 93.342
    #42-Montoya 93.287
    #2-Keselowski 93.244
    Slowest: #19-Cook 89.100 & #83-Cassill 89.643
    No speed listed: #51-Busch [at Road America for NNS race], #49-Yeley
    This practice was not televised. Happy Hour (final) Practice is scheduled from 1:45-3:00pm/et, will not be televised live but will air on SPEED tonight at 11:00pm/et.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the Sonoma Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(6-23-2012)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma have been made.
    Pole sitter #9-Ambrose chose pit stall 11, the first before start/finish line and first with opening in front of it [not counting pit stall one for the opening].
    Outside pole sitter #24-Gordon took pit stall 22, the 2nd with opening behind it, but before start/finish line.
    #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 23rd pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening behind it after s/f line.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #51-Busch, who starts 7th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-23-2012)

  • Biffle-Said, still feuding? The feud between #16-Greg Biffle and #32-Boris Said apparently hasn't abated. After a collision at Watkins Glen late last season, the two skirmished in the garage area, prompting Said to call Biffle "the most unprofessional scaredy cat I've ever seen. He wouldn't fight me like a man, so if someone texts me his address, I'll go see him and show him what he really needs. He needs a whooping, and I'm going to give it to him." With the two men back in the same race, Biffle said Friday they haven't patched their differences. "We talked on the phone, and it is what it is," he said.(San Francisco Chronicle)(6-23-2012)

  • Another Goodyear Tire test set for MIS: In response to blistering issues that prompted a Saturday switch to a harder left-side tire last weekend at Michigan, Goodyear has scheduled another tire test at the two-mile track for July 30, the Monday after the Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Because the timing -- namely, too tight a schedule to construct a new tire for the Aug. 19 Pure Michigan 400 -- the test will be a confirmation of the tires Goodyear expects to bring to Michigan for that race. "Because there isn't enough time to run a 'normal' tire test and then build a full complement of tires for the race in mid-August, we are planning to do a 'confirmation' test with a large number of teams at Michigan on July 30th," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager for worldwide racing. "We anticipate 15 to 20 cars will participate in the test. We expect the August race set-up will be very close to what we saw last Sunday, so we have a good plan in place for the test." Goodyear is still making the final determination on which tires it will confirm during the test. The rain date is July 31.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-23-2012)

  • Sonoma may be Robby's last Cup race of 2012: Robby Gordon, now 42, and a NASCAR headliner since 1991, as well as one of the world's premier off-road racers, says Sunday's Save Mart 350 will be his last NASCAR race of the year. And he's leaving his stock car future in some doubt, as he focuses on his own brand new racing series. Gordon has been idled since failing to qualify at Bristol in March. This weekend's race will be only his third of the year. He finished 41st at Daytona and 41st at Phoenix. Robby Gordon, curiously says he's not planning on running Watkins Glen, the tour's other road race, and a tour event that he won in 2003. And for a man who wears confidence like a driver's suit, and who exudes positive vibes, no matter what the situation, Robby Gordon here seems a bit up in the air."This could very easily be our last Cup race this year, but if it is, we'll be back at Daytona for 2013," Robby Gordon says. "This is the big series, this is the big game. But at this point in my career, does it make sense to run all 36 events? No. We'll probably run a handful of races each season from here on out, unless something crazy happens and we land a big program. I'd love to do that, and we've got the capability and expertise to do that...but I just don't think that's going to happen." However without a Detroit manufacturer contract of some sort, to work with, it's virtually impossible to play the NASCAR game anymore. Robby Gordon is currently with Dodge....and Dodge executives have said nothing about any 2013 plans, and won't even confirm any commitment to NASCAR next season. Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford have not expressed any interest in adding teams.(MikeMulhern.net)(6-23-2012)

  • Special scheme for Waltrip at Kentucky: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and sponsor Aaron's, Inc., will honor the 2011-12 Univ. of Kentucky NCAA Men's Basketball Championship during Kentucky Speedway's June 28-30 Quaker State 400 tripleheader weekend by racing a special paint scheme on #55 "Dream Machine" driven by Kentuckian Michael Waltrip and placing the Wildcats' National Championship trophy on display for fans throughout the weekend. Tickets, campsites and daily infield Fan Zone passes for all events can be purchased by logging on to kentuckyspeedway.com/tickets or calling 859-578-2300.(Kentucky Speedway), see an image of the scheme on the #55 Team Schemes page.(6-23-2012)

  • 'Springer' opts not to sponsor Busch: Sponsorship between "The Jerry Springer Show" and Phoenix Racing was shot down on Thursday night. "Although the 'Springer' folks told us they are huge NASCAR and Kurt Busch fans, at this time they're going to pass on the sponsorship opportunity," said Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll. "But they wished us good luck." Barkdoll said the popular talk show host was looking for a way to boost ratings and thought NASCAR could be the perfect avenue. Certainly, the colorful Phoenix Racing could have offered the perfect alliance.(FoxSports)(6-23-2012)

  • NASCAR Announces Plans For State-Of-The-Art Fan and Media Engagement Center: During its NASCAR Fuel for Business Council Meeting Friday in San Francisco, NASCAR announced plans for the development of the Fan and Media Engagement Center (FMEC), a resource that will enable the sport to better serve the industry, media and fans through a platform that facilitates near real-time response to traditional, digital and social media. HP Enterprise Services has been selected as an exclusive partner in the development. NASCAR will design the engagement center in collaboration with HP to be a dynamic tool that is specially tailored to meet the evolving needs of NASCAR's unique industry. In addition to listening to and engaging with fans in real-time around NASCAR content, the center will provide 360-degree traditional media monitoring. The FMEC will provide NASCAR the ability to monitor, analyze and better understand the current media landscape more clearly in order to respond more rapidly to national, local and global media. Measurement also will be a key function of the Fan and Media Engagement Center. Those capabilities will expand across qualitative and quantitative measurements and include tonality, volume, proximity and other coverage attributes in regular reports the FMEC will generate.
    NASCAR will work with HP to identify industry-leading third-party partners to deliver data and information into the FMEC. The center will be staffed and managed by the NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications team and collaborate closely with NASCAR Digital Media. Located on the same floor as NASCAR.com in offices at NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, N.C., the FMEC is slated for testing in October, with a full rollout expected by the start of the 2013 NASCAR season. The center will be housed in a 500-square-foot, glass-enclosed area, outfitted with state-of-the-art touch screens, television monitors and multiple seated viewing areas and work stations.(NASCAR)(6-23-2012)

  • Phoenix looking for fall title race sponsor, 2013 dates: IndyCar isn't listed on Phoenix International Raceway's 2013 season-ticket renewal brochure, but the series still might return to the Avondale oval for the first time since 2005. Substantive negotiations between PIR President Bryan Sperber and IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard are expected within the next six weeks. A more immediate priority is to sign a new title sponsor for the upcoming Sprint Cup race. Kobalt Tools didn't renew due to budget cutbacks. Sperber said he's talking with potential replacements. PIR's 2013 brochure lists March 1-3 for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 and Nov. 7-10 for the Sprint Cup Series' championship semifinal. Incentives are offered for season-ticket renewals by July 20.(USA Today)(6-23-2012)


    News from June 22, 2012

  • Ambrose wins pole at Sonoma: #9-Marcos Ambrose won the pole for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma with a speed of 95.262mph for a new track record [in the current layout], his 2nd pole of 2012, 2nd pole in a row and 2nd career pole. #24-Gordon starts 2nd followed by #48-Johnson, #16-Biffle, #56-Truex, Jr., #15-Bowyer, #18-Busch, $51-Busch, #17-Kenseth and #39-Newman. Last weeks race winner, #88-Earnhardt Jr., starts 19th.
    Ambrose is only the third driver to ever win his first career pole then back it up with another pole the following race, joining Casey Mears [2004 Indy & Pocono] and Billy Wade [1964 Old Bridge, NJ & Bridgehampton, NY]. Ambrose became the 4th foreign born driver to win a pole last week at Michigan and is the 2nd foreign born driver to win more then one pole, Juan Pablo Montoya has seven poles.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #95-Speed, #98-Mayhew, #7-Gordon, #87-Nemechek, #19-Cook, #49-Yeley, #26-Wise and #33-Leicht.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #30-Simo.
    Qualifying was not televised live but can se seen on SPEED tonight at 11:00pm/et.
    See qualifying order, qualifying results, starting lineup, pole progression, go-or-go-homers on the Sonoma Qualifying Page.(6-22-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Sonoma:
    #9-Marcos Ambrose won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 24th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 with a lap of 75.203 seconds, 95.262 mph.
    This is his second pole in 135 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and seventh top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his first pole in five races at Sonoma.
    #24-Jeff Gordon (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2012 and his 15th in 20 races at Sonoma.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Sonoma. It is his 10th in 16 races this season.
    #26-Josh Wise (40th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-22-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the is scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 at 6:40pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, NOT LIVE, same day delay at 11:00pm/et
    Radio: LIVE on Performace Racing Network Live Streaming
    Scheduled Qualifying TV Replay: none

  • Qualifying Order for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #33-Leicht, slowest in practice [if the engine change is complete].
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #24-Gordon, 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.
    Drivers will run ONE lap at the road coruse, instead of the normal two laps.
    See the full qualifying order on the Sonoma Qualifying Page.(6-22-2012)

  • Friday practice is being run for the Toyota / Save Mart 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #24-Gordon 94.696
    #56-Truex Jr. 94.471
    #15-Bowyer 94.411
    #20-Logano 94.379
    #18-Busch 94.348
    Slowest: #33-Leicht 89.255 (engine) & #10-Drissi 90.997
    notes: #33-Leicht lost an engine early in the session, if he makes the race [is a go-or-go homer], he will need to fall to the rear of the field on Sunday before the drop of the green flag.
    This pracitce will set the qualifying order for qualifying, which is scheduled for 6:40pm/et, which will NOT be televised LIVE on TV, but will be shown same-day-delay at 11:00pm/et on SPEED. PRN will air live qualifying radio coverage at goprn.com.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 laps average on the Sonoma Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(6-22-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the nine cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice at Sonoma
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #95-Speed 19th fastest overall
    #7-Gordon 34th
    #98-Mayhew 35th
    #49-Yeley 37th
    #26-Wise 38th
    #30-Simo 39th
    #87-Nemechek 40th
    #19-Cook 41st
    if things stay the same, this driver would miss the race
    #33-Leicht 44th/last [lost an engine]
    (6-22-2012)

  • Harvick has stand-by for Sonoma: in case wife Delana has the baby this weekend, #29-Kevin Harvick and team have a plan in case he has to leave the track, from a Team Chevy transcript:
    Q) DO YOU HAVE A BACK-UP DRIVER THIS WEEK IN CASE YOU WERE TO HAVE TO GO HOME?
    Harvick: "We have some plans."
    Q) (DAVID) MAYHEW IS THAT&?
    Harvick: "Yeah, David (Mayhew) went and practiced the car during the week this week, but he is running another car this week so if we have an issue we will address it when we get to that point with him."
    Q) WILL YOU END UP HAVING ONE EACH WEEK UNTIL THE BREAK OR&?
    Harvick: "We don't plan to right now. It's just a long ways from home right now so we had to make an alternative plan."(Team Chevy)(6-22-2012)

  • Robby Gordon returns to run Sonoma: Robby Gordon returns to NASCAR Sprint Cup competition this weekend at Sonoma Raceway in the #7 MAPEI / SPEED Energy Dodge Charger. Gordon has been busy during his break from stock car racing; he has competed in several off-road races and posted wins at The Mint 400, The Parker 425 and The Silver State 300. Also, most recently announced the return of stadium truck racing  Robby Gordon's Stadium SUPER trucks - resurrecting what was once Mickey Thompson's vision. Last time Gordon and his team were on a road course was the NASCAR Nationwide Series in Montreal, where they lead several laps in the #77 MAPEI / SPEED Energy Dodge Charger. They are excited to get back to road course racing and have been busy preparing a car that they hope will have what it takes to win at Sonoma Raceway, a track where Gordon is not a stranger to victory lane. Winner of the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Sonoma, Gordon will be making his 15th start at the 1.99 mile road course. He has also recorded three top 5 and four top 10 finishes. "Even though I have been out of the NASCAR scene for about three months, we have been extremely busy with off-road racing and the introduction of SST. We tested the #7 MAPEI / SPEED Energy car last week in South Carolina and look forward to competing with the regular NSCS group this weekend. Sonoma is a fun race track, and we have had great results there so I am looking forward to putting on a good show for our fans," says Gordon (RGM), see an image of the car Gordon will run at Sonoma on the #7 Team Schemes page.(6-22-2012)

  • Almirola Takes the Medallion Cab Road Racing: The #43 Medallion Financial Ford should look right at home at Sonoma this weekend - weaving right and left as if it were navigating the streets of New York City. Behind the wheel of that taxi-themed Fusion, driver Aric Almirola will make his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at the 1.99-mile road course for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. Richard Petty Motorsports tested at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) last month to help Almirola and the team prepare their #43 Ford for the twists and turns of the Sonoma track. Almirola has only one previous Cup start at Sonoma, finishing 28th on the course in 2008. He brings additional left-and-right-turn experience from his Nationwide Series career, in which he made four road/street-course starts and earned a top finish of eighth (Watkins Glen, 2011).(RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-22-2012)

  • TMone joins FAS Lane Racing at Sonoma: TMone announced that they will join Boris Said, Primary Sponsor Hendrickcars.com and FAS Lane Racing at Sonoma in Northern California this weekend. The U.S. Call Center Business Process Insourcing/Outsourcing firm will have associate placement on the #32 Hendrickcars.com Ford in the running of the Toyota/ Save Mart 350 road race on Sunday. TMone, pronounced T-M-one recently announced it is opening a new state-of-the-art Contact Center in Dakota Dunes, S.D. and an upgrade to their employee's work-life environment in Des Moines, Iowa with a strategic move to a Corporate Campus at the Bell Ave. Business Center.(FAS Lane Racing)(6-22-2012)

  • Cook to run the #19 at Sonoma: Chris Cook will try to qualify the #19 car for Sunday's Sprint Cup race, but if he makes the field his race is likely to be a short one. His team will likely call him into the paddock and retire the car after a few laps as one of the "start and park" cars.(Marin Independent Journal), Mike Bliss was listed in the entry list and is the normal driver.
    AND Cook will be in the main event, driving the #19 Toyota Camry for Humphrey-Smith Motorsports, as a last-minute substitute. Qualifying is Friday at 3:40 p.m. and the race is Sunday at noon. "This is not a track you can take for granted. You've got to be on your game," Cook said of his home track. The 3,400-pound machines are heavy, not sleek, and certainly not built for the challenges of a road course. "They like to go straight. These cars don't turn easily, they don't slow down easily," Cook said.(Larkspur-Corte Madera Patch)(6-22-2012)

  • Free PRN Race Broadcasts Online: Now, you can tune in to the weekend's PRN broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from Sonoma 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 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway represents the fifth 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, June 22 6:30 pm Sonoma Sprint Cup Qualifying Updates heard exclusively on PRN [NOT live on TV]
    Sunday, June 24 2:00 pm WIX Pre-Race Show and Toyota/Save Mart 350 Broadcast
    "The NASCAR world is still buzzing over the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. win at Michigan, so we expect interest to be high for this week's action," said Doug Rice, president of the Performance Racing Network. "It allows us to bring NASCAR fans closer to the racing experience and the stars that they love. This is a great way for PRN to expand our race coverage for race fans. We're proud to be able to offer this new addition to our race lineup."
    The PRN lineup will feature Doug Rice and Mark Garrow anchoring from the booth while a trio of turn announcers will call the action around the 1.99-mile road course. Brad Gillie and Pat Patterson will be stationed in the hills and Rob Albright will be in the always exciting Turn 11. Pit road will be covered by Jim Noble, Steve Richards, Brett McMillan and Wendy Venturini.(PRN)(6-22-2012)


    News from June 21, 2012

  • High Plains Drifter Mentors Smith for Sonoma Road Race: How did Furniture Row Racing driver Regan Smith prepare for the first Sprint Cup road-race of the season? He went to High Plains Raceway with the High Plains Drifter. Translation: High Plains Raceway is a road course east of the team's Denver shop, and the High Plains Drifter is Smith's driving coach Rick Carelli, an Arvada, Colo. native, who acquired the moniker during his successful career as a late-model, modified, stock car and truck series racer. "They even have a corner named after Rick at High Plains Raceway," said Smith, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevy. "It's pretty neat that we have a road-course facility fairly close to our Denver (Colo.) shop, and to have Rick offering his expertise is a bonus." Smith and the Furniture Row Racing team were at High Plains Raceway in Deer Trail, Colo. Tuesday testing for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 road race in Sonoma, Calif. Carelli, an inductee into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, feels both Smith and the team are well prepared for the Sonoma event. "If you don't like road racing chances are you're not going to do well at it," stated Carelli, an original NASCAR Truck Series driver in 1995. "But that's not the case with Regan. He is a good student and welcomes the challenge to improve his road-racing skills. I am looking for a solid weekend out of this Furniture Row Racing team." Of his six road course starts, Smith's best finish was 16th last year at the demanding 10-turn, 1.99-mile Sonoma circuit.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(6-21-2012)

  • Sonoma Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run the same Goodyear tire code on all four tire positions at Sonoma . . . this is the first time Sprint Cup teams have run this code at Sonoma, although they did run it at the circuit's other road course at Watkins Glen in 2011 . . . Cup teams have also run this code on the right-side for the last two races at Martinsville . . . compared to what was run at this track last season, this tire features just a slight compound change . . . as on all NASCAR road courses, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Sonoma. See tire codes. tire pressures and more on the Sonoma Race Info page - Goodyear section.(6-21-2012)

  • Hamlin to Visit Alaska: #11-Denny Hamlin will visit the FedEx Express Hub in Anchorage for a special meet-and-greet with FedEx team members at the facility on Monday, June 25. While there, Hamlin will also meet current Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey and learn the sport of mushing. The afternoon will conclude with a 100-yard dog sled race between the NASCAR star and Seavey. The FedEx Express Hub in Anchorage employs more than 1,350 FedEx Express team members, plus a staff of 150 regulatory professionals. With strategic proximity by air to North America, Europe and Asia, the FedEx Hub in Anchorage connects customers to more than 220 countries and territories on six continents including major distribution and population centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and the emerging markets of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and many other Asian cities.(JGR)(6-20-2012)

  • NASCAR side skirt and sway bar rules change: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams received a technical bulletin today (6/20), outlining the following rule changes effective 6/27:
    · Ground clearance for all side skirts has been increased by ½ inch. Right side skirts must have a minimum clearance of 4.5 inches/maximum clearance of 5 inches. Left side skirts must have a minimum clearance of 5 inches/maximum clearance of 5.5 inches. This is the next step in looking at the aero package for intermediate race tracks.
    · Both the right and left side rear sway bar arm connecting links must be perpendicular to the ground from all viewing angles when car is at ride height. This is an effort to maintain consistency in rear sway bar setups.(NASCAR)(6-20-2012)
    AND Good explanation of the rules change at Building Speed.(6-21-2012)

  • Johnson Wearing Helmet Full of Hope at Sonoma: #48-Jimmie Johnson will wear a special helmet at Sonoma. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation launched the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program in March. Fans and media members nominated their favorite charity to be featured on Johnson's helmet. Each charity also received $10,000 and an ice cream party from Blue Bunny (HMS), more infomation on the charities involved on my NASCAR Charities News & Events page.(6-21-2012)

  • Watkins Glen close to naming title sponsor: Watkins Glen International is very close to landing a title sponsor for its NASCAR Sprint Cup race in August, WGI president Michael Printup said Wednesday. "I'd say there's a 90% chance that we are wrapped up and ready to rock-n-roll, so we're pretty close," Printup said. A contract has not been signed, but Printup hopes he'll be ready to make an announcement sometime in the next two weeks or so. He says he can't give many details until then, but he's looking at a multi-year deal with a consumer goods-focused company. WGI brass had to hustle after a deal with Heluva Good!  which sponsored the Cup race at The Glen from 2009-11  unexpectedly fell apart in February, which Printup compared to being "left at the altar." WGI officials backed away from a few opportunities for one-year deals to seek a longer-term sponsorship, he said. Also, a new partnership between WGI and the Corning Museum of Glass  which Printup referred to as "really cool"  is set to be announced Thursday.(Corning Leader)(6-21-2012)

  • Daytona International Speedway Grandstands Smoke-free: Teens from across Northeast Florida came together to recognize Daytona International Speedway for its bold move to make the speedway's grandstands smoke-free. The teens from 21 surrounding counties are part of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). They also challenged other sporting and entertainment venues in the state to follow the example set by the speedway and protect more Floridians and visitors from secondhand smoke. The SWAT members, along with NASCAR driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, the Volusia County Health Department, and representatives from Daytona International Speedway held a press conference outside of the Gate 7 Grandstand Entrance of the speedway on Tuesday [June 19th]. "I'm proud that leading race organizations like Daytona are protecting our fans from tobacco smoke and are showing young fans that smoking is no longer acceptable," said NASCAR driver and Tobacco Free Florida spokesperson Jeffrey Earnhardt. "Families see drivers and venues like Daytona as legendary and this sends a healthy message to race fans." The grandstands of Florida's prestigious and historic sporting venue will officially be smoke-free starting with the Subway Jalapeño 250 Powered By Coca-Cola on Friday night, July 6.(DIS)(6-21-2012)

  • New Indoor Seating at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Atlanta Motor Speedway is proud to offer race fans the option to enjoy the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 from the comfort of climate-controlled, individual seating with the Elliott Suite, a new option for 2012. The Elliott Suite, located high above turn three and the Elliott Grandstand, offers a full view of the historic 1.54-mile speedway, illuminated for 500 miles of racing as 43 of the world's best racers do battle on the 24-degrees of slick banking for the AdvoCare 500 trophy, as well as positioning for the looming Chase for the Sprint Cup. Fans will also be in prime position to watch the post-race fireworks display that takes place along the speedway's backstretch. This seating option offers fans a climate-controlled setting to view the race without surrendering the race-experience that makes attending a NASCAR event in person so enjoyable. Fans may still bring in their own coolers as if they were sitting in the grandstands, allowing those in the Elliott Suite to partake of their own food and beverage during the event. The Elliott Suite will also feature individual theater-style seating, closed-circuit video of the race broadcast and a 50 percent discount on scanner rentals. These seats will sell for $149 each and are available for the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 2. A limited number of parking spaces near the Elliott Grandstand will also be available for purchase at $75. NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2012. Reserve your AdvoCare 500 tickets now. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(6-21-2012)


    News from June 20, 2012

  • Michigan TV Ratings posted: Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan, which was delayed 90 minutes due to rain, drew a 3.2 U.S. rating and 5.284 million viewers on TNT  up 10% in ratings and 8% in viewership from last year (2.9, 4.890M), and up 10% and 22%, respectively, from 2010 (2.9, 4.333M). This marks the highest rated edition of the race since 2009 (3.3), and the most-viewed since 2006 (7.106M). Both TNT telecasts this season have had increases in ratings compared to last year  no small feat, considering that ten of the thirteen FOX telecasts suffered declines.(TV By the Numbers / Sports Media Watch), see past race TV Ratings, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(6-20-2012)

  • NASCAR side skirt and sway bar rules change: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams received a technical bulletin today (6/20), outlining the following rule changes effective 6/27:
    · Ground clearance for all side skirts has been increased by ½ inch. Right side skirts must have a minimum clearance of 4.5 inches/maximum clearance of 5 inches. Left side skirts must have a minimum clearance of 5 inches/maximum clearance of 5.5 inches. This is the next step in looking at the aero package for intermediate race tracks.
    · Both the right and left side rear sway bar arm connecting links must be perpendicular to the ground from all viewing angles when car is at ride height. This is an effort to maintain consistency in rear sway bar setups.(NASCAR)(6-20-2012)

  • Some Sonoma stats: #24-Jeff Gordon is the only driver to win five NASCAR races in Sonoma (1998  2000, '04, '06). There have been four two-time winners: Ernie Irvan, ('92, '94), Ricky Rudd ('89, '02), Tony Stewart ('01, '05) and Rusty Wallace ('90, '96). The Toyota/Save Mart 350 has seen seven different winners over the past seven years, as well as five consecutive first-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course winners. Dale Earnhardt won his only NASCAR road-course race in Sonoma in 1995. Jeff Gordon holds the record for the most poles with five ('98, '99, '01, '04, '05). Ernie Irvan (1994), Mark Martin (1997) and Jeff Gordon (1998, '99 and 2004) are the only drivers to win a race starting from the pole.(Sonoma)(6-20-2012)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Berlin again: Approximately 6,000 fans turned out to watch Kyle Busch win Tuesday night's ARCA/Super Series Rowdy 251 at Berlin Raceway, marking the third consecutive year that the Las Vegas native has won the race held in his honor. Busch led the race's final 38 laps, driving away from Chase Elliott and Coopersville's Johnny VanDoorn down the stretch. Busch began Tuesday's program by participating in an autograph session with Travis Pastrana that lasted more than an hour. He capped the evening with a cloud of smoke, which he created on the frontstretch after taking the checkered flag.(Michigan Live)(6-20-2012)

  • Clorox colors for Labonte: Bobby Labonte and the JTG Daugherty Racing team will proudly display the The Clorox Company's Clorox logo on the hood of the #47 Toyota Camry for the 110-lap event. The Clorox Company is based in Oakland, Calif., which is a mere hour away from the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. Clorox, which is a global company with leading brands that have become household names, has a longstanding relationship with JTG Daugherty Racing through the NASCAR platform that spans over a decade. "The Clorox Company has stood behind our company through thick and thin," co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "It means a lot to have sponsors who are true business partners. We are both vested in seeing each other succeed."(JTG Daugherty Racing)(6-20-2012)

  • JGR working on engine issues: Joe Gibbs Racing experienced some highs and lows at Pocono Raceway a week ago with #20-Joey Logano winning the race but teammate #18-Kyle Busch suffering engine failure. On Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, it was all lows. Busch suffered another engine failure. #11-Denny Hamlin was involved in a wreck and then had to escape a fire when his car went up in flames. And Logano also crashed. On the day, Busch was 32nd, Hamlin 34th and Logano 35th. "I keep thinking to myself, I'm looking for something easy (to do) and I'm running out of time," said team owner Joe Gibbs, a retired NFL coach. "This certainly isn't it. It was a tough day for us." For Busch, it was his third engine issue in as many weeks. JGR merged its engine department with Toyota Racing Development after last season. All the engines are built at TRD in California and then shipped to JGR, which handles the final tuning and race weekend management. Busch's problems haven't been the same issue each week, but that can be even more exasperating for the team as it tries to fix multiple issues. Gibbs said the team knew what happened to the engines at Dover and Pocono.(Sporting News)(6-20-2012)

  • Breakfast of Champions returns on the #31: The iconic Wheaties franchise returns to Sprint Cup Series action this weekend. This is the third of six races during the 2012 season in that Wheaties will be the primary partner of the #31 Chevy. Wheaties also serves as an associate partner of the #31 for the remainder of the races during the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season (RCR), see images of the scheme on the #31 Team Schemes page.(6-20-2012)

  • Rheem back to sponsor the #29: Rheem will adorn the #29 Chevy of Kevin Harvick for the fifth of 10 scheduled races during the 2012 season this weekend at Sonoma. Watts Water Technologies will serve as Rheem's partner on the RCR entry for Sunday's race. Watts Water Technologies, Inc. is a world leader in the manufacture of innovative products to control the efficiency, safety and quality of water within residential, commercial and institutional applications (RCR), see images of the scheme on the #29 Team Schemes page.(6-20-2012)

  • The #39 scheme to support Children's Tumor Foundation: At Sonoma, Ryan Newman will drive the #39 Quicken Loans/Children's Tumor Foundation Chevy in hopes of raising money through donations to www.fuelthecure.org for the Children's Tumor Foundation. Newman's sponsor, Quicken Loans, has a particularly close tie to the Children's Tumor Foundation as Nick Gilbert, the 15-year-old son of company chairman and founder Dan Gilbert, has NF (Neurofibromatosis) and is the national ambassador for the charity (SHR),, see image of the scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(6-20-2012)

  • The Numbers for the Toyota/Save Mart 350:
    2 - fewest laps led by race winner (twice, most recent 5/7/95)
    2 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position (Juan Pablo Montoya - 2007, Kyle Busch - 2008)
    3 - wins by Dodge in last five races at Sonoma (Juan Pablo Montoya - 2007, Kasey Kahne - 2009, Kurt Busch - 2011)
    3 - fewest cautions (four times, most recent 6/23/02)
    3 - fewest leaders (6/11/89)
    3 - fewest lead changes (6/11/89)
    4 - drivers with more than one pole
    5 - most wins (Jeff Gordon)
    5 - most poles (Jeff Gordon)
    5 - drivers with more than one win
    7 - fewest caution laps (6/7/92)
    8 - wins from the front row; five from the pole
    9 - most cautions (6/10/90)
    9 - most leaders (three times, most recent 6/26/11)
    12 - most lead changes (twice, most recent 6/26/11)
    14 - different pole winners
    15 - different race winners in 23 races
    14 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 5/16/93)
    26 - most caution laps (6/27/99)
    32 - worst starting position for race winner (Juan Pablo Montoya - 6/24/07)
    33 - fewest cars running at finish (5/16/93)
    36 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/21/09)
    42 - most cars running at finish (twice, most recent 6/26/05)
    92 - laps led by race winner (Jeff Gordon - 6/27/04)
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    4 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega and Darlington)
    10 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    88 - cautions in the first 15 races of 2012; includes 36 for accidents, 28 for debris and nine for spins
    472 of 4,648 - laps under caution in 2012
    652.571 of 6,033.118 - miles under caution in the first 15 races
    BONUS: Two California tracks (Sonoma and Auto Club Speedway) continue to host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. There have been 23 events at each track. Riverside Raceway, which was the site of 48 Sprint Cup events between 1958 and 1988, leads the list of 13 other tracks that previously hosted NASCAR's premier series.(Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(6-20-2012)

  • NASCAR Captures Three Prestigious Marketing Awards For Its Assets, Platforms: Last night at the American Business Awards (ABA's) in New York City, NASCAR won two awards for special events that were created by NASCAR for official partners. NASCAR After The Lap (NATL) won an award for Best Consumer Event, while the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council (NFFB) won for Best Association Event or Meeting. At a separate ceremony held on May 16, NATL also won a Brand Innovators Award for Experiential Marketing. The ABAs were created to recognize and raise public recognition of the achievements and contributions of businesses worldwide. The Brand Innovators Award acknowledges leadership and innovation in brand marketing. NASCAR beat out well-known big brands, such as Cadillac and Nickelodeon to win the award.(NASCAR)(6-20-2012)

  • Bay Area Jet Team, Tony La Russa Highlight Festivities at Sonoma: Race fans will be treated to the best air show on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, as well as one of the greatest managers in Major League Baseball history at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 24. The Patriots Jet Team, the nation's only civilian aerobatic jet team, will highlight the festivities for a seventh consecutive year with gloss black Aero L-39 Albatros jets and signature red, white and blue smoke trails. The Patriots, based in Bryon in East Contra Costa County, will utilize six of these jets in the show on Sunday of NASCAR weekend. You can catch their electrifying 25-minute show in the skies above the raceway at 10:50 am/pt. Tony La Russa will serve as Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 and help give the command of, "Drivers Start Your Engines." La Russa will be honored on Friday night of race weekend at the Children's Champions Grand Marshal's Banquet at beautiful Cline Cellars in Sonoma. The gala is a fundraiser for the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. Race fans will also be treated to a performance of the National Anthem by the University of California Marching Band, plus rides on a 70-foot ferris wheel, an expansive vendor midway, Q&A sessions with NASCAR legends Donnie Allison and Marvin Panch and more during race weekend. Tickets are available for the races for $25-$130 single day/$99-$180 weekend; parking is free. Discounts for military. Information at 800-870-RACE (7223) and racesonoma.com/nascar.(Sonoma)(6-20-2012)

  • Kentucky Speedway offers 'Celebrate 88' ticket/tshirt deal for 88 hours: Quaker State is celebrating Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory since 2008 by offering Kentucky Speedway fans an $88 Kentucky Tower Grandstand ticket for the June 30 "Quaker State 400" along with a free Dale Jr., T-shirt for only 88 hours beginning Wednesday, June 20 at 9:00 am. Fans who take advantage of the special offer will save $22 per ticket and will be seated in the "Celebrate 88" section of the Kentucky Tower. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchases by calling (859) 578-2300, logging on to kentuckyspeedway.com or visiting the Kentucky Speedway corporate offices Tickets remain for all events.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-20-2012)

  • Kansas Repave update: The first layer of asphalt, called the drainage layer, and the second layer, or the base layer, are complete. Crews are working on test strips of the third and fourth layers, called the leveling and wearing layers, respectively, this week. Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren took the first full laps on the new surface last week. Updates throughout the project are available on their website at kansasspeedway.com.(Kansas Speedway)(6-20-2012)


    News from June 19, 2012

  • Ragan gets new sponsor for Sonoma: Front Row Motorsports driver David Ragan will be driving the #34 Green1 - High Performance Green Car during Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, CA. The Green1 NASCAR Front Row team sponsorship follows last month's Green1 Indy Car Racing Series sponsorship of Bryan Herta Autosport driver Alex Tagliani and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team standout driver Joseph Newgarden. This is Green1 Environmental Inc.'s first primary sponsorship in NASCAR Sprint Cup series competition. Sunday's race at Sonoma will kick off a season-long partnership with Front Row Motorsports. The organization's three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams use Green1 in their Race Shop in Statesville, NC and will use Green1 trackside at Sonoma Raceway. Green1 is capable of replacing 80% of toxic, hazardous chemicals commonly used in Cup car garages and home race shops. Green1 is a 100% bio-based, non-toxic, non-hazardous, green "cleaning" solution.(FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(6-19-2012)

  • TBR enlists Trans Am Champ Tomy Drissi for Sonoma: Trans Am Champion Tomy Drissi will join Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) at Sonoma. Drissi will make his fourth NASCAR start and first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start when he gets behind the wheel of the #10 Ice Age: Continental Drift Chevy for the 110-lap event. Ice Age: Continental Drift, the fourth installment of the Ice Age series, will be released in theaters July 13 and be available in 3D. Drissi has scored wins in the American Le Mans Series and Trans Am, and has starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series and Pirelli World Challenge. This season, the Trans Am Champion competed in events in both the American Le Mans Series and Pirelli World Challenge. While not in the racecar, Drissi, born in Hollywood, Calif., owns an advertising firm that produces upcoming film displays for cinemas. TBR previously made three starts on road courses in the NSCS. Ron Fellows posted the teams best start of 21st at Watkins Glen in 2010 and best finish of 30th at Watkins Glen in 2011. The team will have two entries in the event with Drissi in the #10 Ice Age: Continental Drift Chevy and Dave Blaney in the #36 Chevy. "We are thrilled to have Tomy in the car," commented team owner Tommy Baldwin. "He is a good road course driver and a fun guy to be around. It's awesome to have Ice Age on the car. My kids and I have really enjoyed the first three movies and are excited to catch the fourth on July 13!"(TBR)(6-19-2012)

  • Harvick testing in Colorado: Kevin Harvick and the #29 RCR team will brush up on their road course skills in a test session on June 19 and 20 at High Plains Raceway in Colorado. The team will utilize chassis No. 278 from the RCR stable, previously used during a test at Virginia International Raceway earlier this year and during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. While out in Colorado for the road-course test, and on behalf of RCR partner Budweiser, the #29 team is scheduled to visit the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs. The facility serves as the flagship training center for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Olympic Training Center programs. The team will have the opportunity to tour the complex, interact with Olympic athletes, visit the sports science center and get a lesson in fencing (RCR)(6-19-2012)

  • Vickers back in #55 at Sonoma: Last weekend Brian Vickers finished sixth in the GTE-Am class in the 80th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans. This weekend he'll drive Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 RK Motors Toyota on the Sonoma road course in the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Sunday marks the third of eight races Vickers plans to run in the #55 in 2012 with Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip driving in the remaining races. Vickers finished fifth at Bristol and 18th at Martinsville in his only two 2012 appearances. He'll also drive in both New Hampshire races as well as Watkins Glen, Bristol and Martinsville in 2012. "I'm really looking to getting back into the #55 Toyota at Sonoma  especially after being away for so long, but it has been great to continue to build a relationship and run with (owner) Rob Kauffman. The #55 team has been running very well with Mark and I hope I can continue that momentum. They were SO close at Pocono. Rodney and the guys gave me a great car at the VIR test. We ran very competitive laps times against some guys that are considered the road race experts. So I am pretty pumped about that. I've had some success at Sonoma too. The last being the pole in 2009 and leading a bunch of laps before getting caught up in an incident. The road racing laps and experience I have gained at Le Mans will hopefully help me in the Cup Series next week. All of that with the fact that it is indeed Sonoma, a great place to relax after a long day at the track  and it hopefully will be a successful weekend." RK Motors Charlotte is the country's leading classic car dealership, selling hundreds of classic and high performance collector cars each year. With more than 80,000 square-feet dedicated to "all things cars," the Charlotte campus holds a state-of-the-art showroom complete with a digital media studio, as well as a full restoration and customization shop. Created in 2010 by Kauffman and Joe Carroll of Best of Show Automotive, RK Motors Charlotte has established itself as the nation's premier restorer, re-seller and provider of classic, muscle and high-performance cars.(MWR)(6-19-2012)

  • Ambrose will race for a miracle at Sonoma: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) driver Marcos Ambrose has his eye on Victory Lane and an extra $1 million in Sonoma. Ambrose and his Stanley team will be "Racing for a Miracle" this weekend at the 1.99-mile road course. Should the driver of the #9 Ford capture his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win, Stanley will donate $1 million to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through the Ace Hardware Foundation to benefit sick and injured children. "The Racing for a Miracle" initiative is a multi-faceted program created by long-time RPM partner Stanley, the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to benefit ill children by raising funds for the hospitals that provide their care. In addition to the possible $1 million donation, Stanley has already pledged $100,000 to the program and has donated over $500,000 since the inception of this partnership. As part of the special week of events, Ambrose, crew chief Todd Parrott and members of the #9 Stanley pit crew will visit the UC Davis Children's Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday, June 21. While at the hospital, Ambrose and crew will spend time with the patients and their family members. In addition, the #9 pit crew will perform pit stop demonstrations, participate in remote control car races, go "tape measure fishing" and other fun, kid-friendly activities. On Friday, Ambrose and representatives from Stanley will present the $100,000 donation to the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in Victory Lane at Sonoma. Following the check presentation, Ambrose, with the assistance of four current and former UC Davis Children's Hospital patients, will unveil a special paint scheme that will run this weekend on the #9 Ford Fusion. These four very special children will also serve as "Honorary Crew Members" of the #9 team throughout the weekend. The special paint scheme will include the names of the four "Honorary Crew Members," as well as one child from each U.S. state and Washington D.C. Each name featured on the car is a current or former Children's Miracle Network Hospitals patientwho has met their unique medical challenge with courage.(RPM)(6-19-2012)

  • Different driver in the #98 at Sonoma: David Mayhew will drive the #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford in the Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma as regular driver Michael McDowell will be at Road America to run the Nationwide race for Joe Gibbs Racing. Mayhew is driving in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series this season and has experience in the Camping World Truck Series, more info about Mayhew at hometracks.nascar.com.(6-19-2012)

  • Michigan TV Ratings: Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan drew a 3.1 overnight rating on TNT Sunday afternoon, up 15% from last year (2.7). The race marked the first time in four years that Dale Earnhardt Jr. won a Sprint Cup race. Despite the increase, the 3.1 is the lowest of the season for any NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and marks a slight drop from a 3.2 for the previous week's Pocono 400. (Sports Media Watch)(6-19-2012)

  • The Entry List for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Boris Said is in the #32 Ford.
    Brian Vickers is in the #55.
    Driver in the #10 is Tomy Drissi.
    #23 & #74 are not entered.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (50/4)
    #19-Mike Bliss (44/10)
    #26-Josh Wise (41/15)
    #30-Brian Simo (39/15)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/15)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (38/15)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/15)
    #95-Scott Speed (48/3)
    #98-David Mayhew (40/15)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 33,30,49,98,26,87,19,7
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 95
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Sonoma Entry List.(6-18/19-2012)

  • Statistical Advance: Analyzing The Toyota/Save Mart 350:
    · The track opened as a 2.52-mile road course and drag strip in 1968.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held in 1989.
    · The first nine races were 300 kilometers and switched to a 350k format in 1998.
    · The track was reconfigured to 1.949 miles in 1998 with the installation of an 890-foot chute between the original Turns 4 and 7.
    · The track was reconfigured to 2.0 miles in 2001 and re-measured at 1.99 miles in 2002.
    · There have been 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma since the first race there in 1989. · Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole. · Ricky Rudd won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race. · 14 different drivers have won poles; only four have won more than one. · Jeff Gordon (five) leads all pole winners. Ricky Rudd has four, including three consecutive (1990-92), Rusty Wallace and Kasey Kahne each have two. · There have been consecutive pole winners three times: Ricky Rudd (1990-92) and Jeff Gordon (1998-99 and 2004-05). · 15 different drivers have won races; five have multiple victories there  led by Jeff Gordon with five. Ernie Irvan, Ricky Rudd, Tony Stewart and Rusty Wallace (all with two) are the other multiple-race winners. · Jeff Gordon is also the only driver with consecutive wins, winning in 1998, 1999 and 2000. · Five of 23 races have been won by the pole winner, including three times by Jeff Gordon. His victory from the pole in 2004 is the most recent. · The lowest starting position by a race winner was 32nd, by Juan Pablo Montoya; it also was his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. · Boris Said posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole. · Jeff Gordon is the all-time leader in road-course victories, with nine. Tony Stewart is second, with seven. (NASCAR)(6-19-2012)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Awarded 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence: TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel website with more than 60 million user-generated reviews, has awarded the NASCAR Hall of Fame a Certificate of Excellence in 2012. Targeted at showcasing hospitality excellence, the accolade is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor and extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. The NASCAR Hall of Fame currently has a 4.5 stars rating on a five-star scale and ranks seventh in Charlotte attractions on TripAdvisor.com.(NHOF)(6-19-2012)

  • Earnhardt Jr. wins, fans get two-for-$88 ticket offer at CMS: By virtue of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win on Sunday, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won a spot in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In honor of the win, the speedway also announced a new Bank of America 500 ticket offer where fans can get two frontstretch tickets to the Oct. 13 race for just $88. More info by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(6-19-2012)

  • Limited Camping Availability Remaining at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Fans looking to be a part of the biggest Labor Day party in the USA at Atlanta Motor Speedway by camping out at the historic 1.54-mile speedway are encouraged to act fast while limited amounts of prime camping spots remain. A small number of High Speed Infield Tent camping spots are still available. This location puts spectators in the infield between turns three and four, a fantastic viewing location as cars negotiate the tricky corners of AMS while gaining momentum for a fast run down the fronstretch. Campers in the East Turn and First Turn campgrounds will also be pleased to learn that due to a high volume of fan requests, these campgrounds have undergone a grass reseeding process, and will be completed with new grass in time for campers to enjoy the entire Labor Day weekend. For those looking for a luxury camping experience for the entire race weekend, Trackside Terrace spots are in limited availability and feature several great benefits. These campsites include 10 race tickets for each of the three nights of racing, 10 pit passes for each of those days, tow passes for extra vehicles, full hook-ups and a view of the entire speedway from your camper. These are also the only remaining campsites with hookups available. More info call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(6-19-2012)


    News from June 18, 2012

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Awarded 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence: TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel website with more than 60 million user-generated reviews, has awarded the NASCAR Hall of Fame a Certificate of Excellence in 2012. Targeted at showcasing hospitality excellence, the accolade is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor and extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. The NASCAR Hall of Fame currently has a 4.5 stars rating on a five-star scale and ranks seventh in Charlotte attractions on TripAdvisor.com.(NHOF)(6-19-2012)

  • FOX Looking to Extend NASCAR Deal: Fox has started serious negotiations with NASCAR about an early extension of its TV rights package, jump-starting a process that wasn't expected to begin until early next year, according to several sources. The early negotiations will allow FOX to avoid bidding for NASCAR rights in the open market, where potential suitor NBC is expected to drive up prices. According to the report, fellow incumbents ESPN and Turner Sports have not yet begun negotiating with NASCAR. FOX acquired NASCAR rights in 1999 and began airing races in 2001.(Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Journal)(6-18-2012)

  • JGR wants to keep Joey Logano: Joe Gibbs doesn't have any plans to let #20-Joey Logano go after this season. Gibbs said before Sunday's rain-delayed Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway that he planned to re-sign the 22-year-old driver, whose contract with Joe Gibbs Racing expires after this season. "Obviously, we've been together for a long time," Gibbs said. "We've got a lot invested. He's our guy and we plan on going forward ... right now in the 20 car."(ESPN)(6-18-2012)

  • DRIVE4COPD renews title sponsorship at Daytona: The COPD Foundation's DRIVE4COPD national public health initiative announced today that it has renewed its title sponsorship for the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway through 2014. "Since 2010, DRIVE4COPD has joined efforts with the NASCAR Nationwide Series race during Budweiser Speedweeks to raise national awareness about COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "DRIVE4COPD has been an outstanding partner. It has increased awareness, and promoted early detection of the disease that kills one out of four Americans. This is a cause we fully support and I look forward to continuing this relationship for years to come."(Daytona International Speedway PR)(6-18-2012)

  • NASCAR Hauler Parade in Sacramento, June 21: More than 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers will rumble through the streets of Sacramento at the 2nd NASCAR Hauler Parade, June 21. The NASCAR haulers, which will be en route to Sonoma for the Toyota Save Mart 350, June 22-24, will make their way over the Tower Bridge and around the State Capitol to greet Northern California NASCAR fans ready for big race in Sonoma. The parade will begin promptly at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 21. More info, route list and map at racesonoma.com.(6-18-2012)

  • Gourmet Food Trucks Join Line Up at Sonoma: The latest food craze is coming to Sonoma, and race fans will have a chance to enjoy the bounty during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event weekend, June 22-24. The raceway, along with on-site caterer Levy Restaurants, will host more than 15 Bay Area gourmet food trucks during race weekend, giving fans a chance to sample a variety of local cuisine while enjoying the races. It will be the largest gathering of food trucks ever hosted at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. The Mobile Gourmet (the-mobile-gourmet.com) has worked with the raceway to gather the best gourmet food trucks in the Bay Area for an outdoor bistro-style atmosphere suited for race fans, foodies and food-truck gurus alike. During race weekend, the food trucks will line the hillside above Turn 9 of the road course, making it the perfect pit stop to sample everything from wood-fired pizza to ice cream to hand-rolled sushi. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in Sonoma, visit racesonoma.com or call (800) 870-RACE (7223).(Sonoma)(6-18-2012)

  • Kroger to sponsor Super Weekend at Indy:
    Kroger will sponsor the Super Weekend at the Brickyard as part of an expanded partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The July 26-29 event will be known as Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard and culminate with the 19th annual Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard. The new pact, which also will benefit the Riley Children's Foundation, also includes the IMS Kids Club being renamed the Kroger Kids Club and Kroger becoming the Official Florist and the Official Box Lunch Provider for IMS. Kroger and IMS each will continue their corporate generosity by collaborating with race driver and passionate Riley supporter John Andretti, vendor partner General Mills, radio broadcaster Dave Wilson and others to increase fundraising efforts for Riley throughout 2012. The Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard will include the IMS debut of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing joining the Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. There will be four races in three days from July 27-29, as action will take place on the IMS oval and road course on the same event weekend for the first time. Tickets are on sale now for the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard on July 26-29 at IMS. All ticket orders can be made at www.imstix.com and through the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday. For more information, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.(IMS)(6-18-2012)


    News from June 17, 2012

  • Earnhardt Jr. wins at Michigan: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 1st win of the year, 19th career win and first win in 143 races [Michigan June 2008].
    #14-Stewart finished 2nd followed by #17-Kenseth, #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #15-Bowyer, #42-Montoya, #9-Ambrose [pole sitter] and #29-Harvick.
    There were 8 cautions for 39 yellow flag laps. There were 27 lead changes among 16 drivers.
    The estimated attendence was 82,000, down from 88,000 in 2011 but MIS has downsized grandstand seating from 108,000 to 84,000 since last season.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Michigan Race Results page (pdf) and the official rundown on the Official Race Report. (6-17/18-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Michigan, race 15 of 36]
    1) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 565
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 561, -4
    3) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 548, -17
    4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 532, -33
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 514, -51
    6) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 504, -61
    7) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 497, -68
    8) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 491, -74
    9) #15-Clint Bowyer [0 wins], 481, -84
    10) #2-Brad Keselowski [2 winss], 458, -107
    Chase wild card drivers:
    11) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win, 12th in points], 432, -133
    12) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win, 13th in points], 427, -138
    #20-Joey Logano [1 win, 15th in points], 407, -158
    #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win, 16th in points], 391, -174
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(6-17-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Sonoma:
    #32 drops to 35th but is 52 points ahead of 36th, the #33 team.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    32) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 214 +64
    33) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 209 +59
    34) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 205 +55
    35) #32-Said/FAS Lane Racing, 202 +52 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #33-TBA/Childress-Falk, 150, -52 from the top 35
    37) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 117, -85
    38) #49-Yeley/Robinson, 106, -96
    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).(6-17-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Michigan International Speedway:
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the 44th Annual Quicken Loans 400, his 19th victory in 450 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and 12th top-10 finish in 2012. Earnhardt Jr. matches his top-10 total of all of last season.
    With the victory, Earnhardt Jr. broke a 143-race winless streak, the sixth-longest stretch between wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup history.
    This is his second victory and ninth top-10 finish in 26 races at Michigan International Speedway. His last career victory also came at Michigan, also on Father's Day.
    #14-Tony Stewart (second) posted his 19th top-10 finish in 27 races at Michigan International Speedway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2012.
    #17-Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 17th top-10 finish in 26 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Matt Kenseth leads the point standings by 4 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-17-2012)

  • Michigan Notes-n-Nuggets:
    " Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his 19th Cup Series race in his 450th start.
    " The win ended a 143-race winless streak that dated back to Michigan in June 2008 (1,462 days between wins). He finished second seven times between victories.
    " This is the second consecutive week a driver broke a winless streak of more than 100 races. Joey Logano broke a 104-race winless streak last week at Pocono.
    " This is Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s second victory at Michigan in his 26th start. and he is the 11th driver to win in 2012.
    " Sunday marks Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s first victory with crew chief Steve Letarte, who ended a 115-race winless streak that dated back to Texas in April 2009 with Jeff Gordon.
    " Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all drivers with 12 top-10 finishes in 2012.
    " Hendrick Motorsports earned its 203rd Cup Series victory; fourth of 2012, all in the last five races; and sixth Cup race at Michigan.
    " Chevrolet earned its seventh win of 2012 and 20th at Michigan.
    " Tony Stewart (second) scored his sixth top-five this season and his fifth consecutive top-10 at Michigan.
    " Matt Kenseth (third) earned his 12th top-10 in 26 races at Michigan and remains the point leader.
    " Greg Biffle (fourth) notched his eighth top-five of 2012 but fell to third in points.
    " Jimmie Johnson (fifth) earned only his fourth top-five at Michigan in 21 starts.
    " Jeff Gordon (sixth) scored just his fourth top-10 this season.
    " Juan Montoya (eighth) matched his best finish this season for just his second top-10 of 2012.
    " Marcos Ambrose (ninth) tied his best finish of 2012.
    " Carl Edwards (11th) finished 11th after starting 42nd due to fuel issues in qualifying.
    " Austin Dillon finished 24th in his first Cup start this season.
    " Joe Nemechek finished 40th in his 600th Cup Series start. (Racing Recall/nascar.com)(6-17-2012)

  • Dodge future plans still up in the air: Dodge fans  and potential racing partners  wondering what direction the manufacturer will take in NASCAR beyond 2013 will have to wait a while longer. Ralph Gilles, vice president for product design at Chrysler, was expected to be in Le Mans this weekend, but high level meetings kept the Dodge executive stateside this weekend. FOXSports.com caught up with Gilles following the drivers meeting at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday to ascertain Dodge's future in NASCAR.
    FOXSports: Will Dodge be in NASCAR in 2013?
    Gilles: That's the one question I can't answer this weekend. It's the question that I get asked the most. Everything is in play right now. We're not ready to make an announcement. We're working internally to figure out the next steps. And I can't talk about it because I don't want to shortchange the process.
    FOXSports.com: Are you still working on the Charger for next year?
    Gilles: Yes. Absolutely. We have to. We kind of have to hedge our bets. We're doing a little bit of the development where a lot of the stuff has been done already  a lot of the aero work is already locked in. We're just kind of standing pat right now.(see full interview at FoxSports)(6-17-2012)

  • Speeds slower but new tires require changes: Speeds from Saturday's practice slowed by five to six miles per hour with the new left-side tires NASCAR mandated for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. NASCAR and Goodyear called for the change that left teams scrambling late Friday when tires began blistering because of excessive heat buildup from high speeds created by the newly-repaved track. Greg Biffle posted Saturday's top lap at 195.647 mph, down from the 199.093 mph he posted in race trim on Friday. In qualifying trim before the tire change, Biffle posted a fast lap of 204.708 mph. NASCAR made the move to avoid blowouts and another catastrophe such as the one at Indianapolis in 2008, when a competition caution was called every 12 laps because tires were blistering and blowing. The consensus after Saturday's practice, despite slower speeds and ill-handling cars, was the switch was necessary even though several top drivers had no issues with blistering on Friday.
    But the swap did pose problems for crew chiefs and engineers scrambling to figure out setups and adjustments for the new tire. Most teams were limited with the number of laps they could put on their engines because they were near the maximum for a weekend. Fourteen drivers ran less than 25 laps. The new tire, a much harder compound, was used at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2006 and 2007 after a repave. As expected, it gave drivers less grip and made the cars harder to handle. The new tires arrived at Michigan shortly after noon on Saturday after being delivered from North Carolina. There wasn't enough time physically to get them here in time for an earlier test, so tires used the past two days during a test and practice were used for qualifying.(see full post and many quotes at ESPN.com)(6-17-2012)

  • #600 for Nemechek: #87-Joe Nemechek will make his 600th NSCS start on Sunday, good for 23rd on the all-time list.(6-17-2012)

  • #51 Team votes to keep Busch:
    When NASCAR team owner James Finch announced he would retain Kurt Busch as driver of his #51 Chevy, he noted that the reason was quite simple: The team's crew members voted to keep Busch. Intrigued as to exactly why they voted that way, [ESPN's Marty Smith] sought those Phoenix Racing crewmen out for answers. What heI got was an eye-opening explanation of the value of elite talent in NASCAR racing, from a group of gritty, no-nonsense racers who aren't apt to care about being cussed or chided -- and are oddly inspired by it. The #51 crew painted a completely different picture of Busch than that which we see during the tirades and the meltdowns and the tantrums. They discussed a guy who is willing to get his hands dirty right alongside them, who rides with them to testing sessions, and who buys them beers at the bar. And who can drive better than anyone else.(see quotes by crew chief, GM and others at ESPN.com)(6-17-2012)

  • Kurt Busch has heated exchange with reporter: #51-Kurt Busch's troubles with the media continued on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. Busch had a brief, heated exchange with ESPN reporter Marty Smith after Saturday's Nationwide Series race at MIS, a week after serving a one-week suspension for making threatening comments to Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass after the Dover Nationwide Series race. Busch, on orders from Sprint Cup team owner James Finch, avoided talking to reporters upon arriving at MIS on Thursday. But when he finished third in the race won by Joey Logano on Saturday, he had to make a mandatory appearance in the media center. As he waited to be interviewed, an MRN Radio pit reporter said on the live broadcast that Busch left the top-five area without interviewing. Busch was told of the comment and replied, "That's what everybody says, don't they." Busch then left the room to cool off. Several reporters, including Smith, with a camera crew, followed. Busch then told Smith to come over with his camera. When Smith got there, Busch said he wasn't doing interviews there, adding, "You ever hear of sarcasm?" That led to a brief exchange during which Busch said, "You don't know how long I've been working on this."(see full post at ESPN.com)(6-17-2012)


    News from June 16, 2012

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #9-Ambrose chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #29-Harvick took pit stall 38, the 2nd pitstall with an opening in front of it.
    #16-Biffle, who starts 3rd took the 23rd pit stall, the 1st stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #17-Kenseth, who starts 6th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart

  • Ambrose wins pole at Michigan with new track record: #9-Marcos Ambrose won the pole for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway with a NEW TRACK RECORD speed of 203.241mph for his 1st pole of 2012 and of his career which puts Ambrose in the 2013 Shootout. #29-Harvick was 2nd fastest followed by #16-Biffle, #5-Kahne, #39-Newman, $17-Kenseth, #21-Bayne, #14-Stewart, #20-Logano and #48-Johnson.
    40 drivers, including one who missed the race [#30-Stremme] ran faster laps then the old track record of 194.232mph. 19 drivers ran over 200mph.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #33-Dillon, #23-Riggs, #98-McDowell, #19-Bliss, #26-Wise, #87-Nemechek and #49-Yeley.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #30-Stremme & #74-Compton
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results, order, pole pregression, go-or-go homers, notes and more on the Michigan Qualifying Page.

  • Extra Saturday practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 75 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and some notes:
    #16-Biffle 195.647 mph [7-8 miles slower then happy hour]
    #48-Johnson 194.295
    #99-Edwards 194.138
    #5-Kahne 194.070
    #1-McMurray 193.159
    pole sitter #9-Ambrose was 11th 192.781 [won pole at 203-241]
    slowest: #19-Bliss 184.247 & #26-Wise 186.355
    no speed listed for #10-Raines and #32-Schrader
    no 200mph speeds with the different left side tires.
    See top speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Michigan 'Extra' Practice Speeds page (pdf).(6-16-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Michigan International Speedway:
    #9-Marcos Ambrose won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 44th Annual Quicken Loans 400 with a lap of 35.426 seconds, 203.241 mph, a new track record.
    This is his first pole in 134 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    Ambrose becomes the fourth driver to win the pole with a lap over 200 mph. The others are Benny Parsons, Cale Yarborough and Bill Elliott.
    Ambrose's speed of 203.241 mph is the 11th-fastest pole-winning speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history.
    This is his sixth top-10 start in 2012.
    #29-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his eighth top-10 start of 2012 and his eighth in 23 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    #16-Greg Biffle (third) posted his ninth top-10 start at Michigan International Speedway. It is his 11th in 15 races this season.
    40 drivers posted a faster lap than the previous Michigan track qualifying record of 194.232 mph, set by Ryan Newman in 2005.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-16-2012)

  • added ALL 45 schemes from Michigan in June, including: #1 McDonald's, #2 Miller Lite, #5 Farmers Insurance, #9 Stanley, #10 TBR, #11 FedEx Office, #13 Valvoline NextGen, #14 Office Depot / NASCAR Unites, #15 5-Hour Energy, #16 3M NASCAR Unites, #17 Ford EcoBoost, #18 Snickers, #19 Toyota, #20 Home Depot, #21 Motorcraft, #22 Shell / Pennzoil, #23 North Texas Pipe, #24 DuPont Performance Alliance, #26 MDS, #27 Mernards / Duracell, #29 Budweiser Folds of Honor, #30 Toyota, #31 Caterpillar / NASCAR Unites, #32 Federated Auto Parts, #33 American Ethanol, #34 Ford, #36 SealWrap, #38 Long John Silver's, #39 U.S. Army, #42 Target, #43 Medallion Financial, #47 Charter, #48 Lowe's, #49 JPO, #51 Phoenix Construction, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, #56 NAPA Auto Parts, #74 Turn One Racing, #78 Furniture Row, #83 Burger King, #87 AM FM Energy, #88 Batman, #93 Burger King, #98 Presbyterian Healthcare, #99 Fastenal

  • Miller on standby for Truex Jr. at MIS UPDATE Congrats: #56-Martin Truex's crew chief Chad Johnston and wife Stacey are awaiting the birth of their first child in the Charlotte area. Last weekend Scott Miller, Michael Waltrip Racing executive vice president of competition, called the shots at Poco#Miller will be on standby again if Johnston isn't in Michigan. Even if he remains in North Carolina, Johnston will remain in touch with the team throughout the weekend via cell phone and computer.(MWR)(6-14-2012)
    UPDATE and congrats: Congratulations to Chad Johnston, crew chief of the #56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and his wife Stacey. Last night, Johnston received an early Father's Day present as his son, Chase Allen Johnston, arrived at 10:32 pm/et. The baby boy weighed in at nine lbs. and 20.75 inches long. He joins big sister Sydnee into the family. Plans are for Johnston to remain in Mooresville, N.C. with his family for the remainder of the weekend. Serving as interim crew chief for driver Martin Truex Jr. and the NAPA Racing team for Sunday's Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway is Scott Miller, Michael Waltrip Racing executive vice president of competition.(MWR)(6-16-2012)

  • Roush to drive pace car in Michigan NNS race: What's next for Jack Roush, NASCAR team owner, successful Northville businessman, passionate pilot and two-time plane-crash survivor? What about pace-car driver? "Well, they're going to let me drive the Ford Mustang pace car for today's Nationwide Series race," Roush said Friday. "At 8:30 (in the morning), I'm going to get my instructions. I don't know if they'll let me drive afterwards. My guess is I'll just be in the pace car for one of the preliminary laps and won't be there when it's time to turn them loose for the green flag." Roush, 70, is a very competent driver -- he raced dragsters as a youngster and plenty of muscle cars over the years. Today, Roush will be at the wheel of one of his Roush-built Stage 3 Mustangs to pace the race. The vehicle was donated by Roush for auction with a portion of the proceeds going to the SAE International Foundation for science and math education.(Detroit Free Press)(6-16-2012)

  • Couple getting married at MIS Victory Lane: Roger Curtis seemingly will do anything to improve the fan experience at Michigan International Speedway, including marrying a couple today at victory lane. Curtis, the speedway's president since 2006, offered up the track's prime real estate when Kim Kent and Brice Swanson of Greenville inquired last year about getting married at the track. Curtis also volunteered to become an ordained minister and will perform the ceremony following the NASCAR Nationwide Alliance Truck Parts 250.(Detroit Free Press)(6-16-2012)

  • Sad News - Randy Stewart: Randal Lee "Randy" Stewart, 61, passed away Thursday, June 14, 2012 at his residence. Randy was born March 17, 1951 in Cabarrus County [NC] to the late Myrl Stewart and Fannie M. Stewart who survives. He worked in the early years for Eugene Coard, Ronald Liles, and Sox and Martin. Later years he worked for Hendrick Motorsports. Service info at whitleysfuneralhome.com.(6-16-2012)


    News from June 15, 2012

  • Goodyear to change left-side recommendation at Michigan: Based on the higher than expected speeds NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams ran in pre-race practice on the newly repaved Michigan International Speedway, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has decided to change its left-side tire recommendation for Sunday's race. In the final Sprint Cup practice on Friday afternoon, #16-Greg Biffle ran an average speed in excess of 204 mph for his fastest lap. For comparison's sake, when Goodyear tested at Michigan in preparation for this race on April 3-4, the fastest average lap speed topped out in the 198-mph range. The higher speeds caused significantly higher left-side tire temperatures, which caused Goodyear to take this step.
    The tire code that teams will now run (D-4020) features a tougher tread compound, a different construction and different mold shape than the tire teams ran in practice. The replacement tire was run at Charlotte Motor Speedway after that track was repaved at the end of the 2005 season. This code was run at both races at Charlotte in both 2006 and 2007. When Goodyear decided to bring a new tire to Charlotte for the 2008 season, a quantity of this code was built as part of the back-up plan that Goodyear has in place for every race track on the circuit. Since this tire proved durable and provided an ample amount of grip for the repaved Charlotte surface, it made it a logical choice to be put in place for just this type of situation for the fresh asphalt at Michigan.
    Goodyear will ship in enough tires for teams to have 10 sets of tires for the race, which is the original NASCAR set limit for this event. Teams will run their original allotment of right-side tires (D-4528) in Sunday's race. Teams will have additional tires available for a NASCAR-scheduled practice following the Nationwide Series race on Saturday.
    "We decided this move was best to provide quality racing here on Sunday," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's Director of Race Tires. "In collecting data and speaking with drivers and crew chiefs throughout the practice days, we had two choices to make. Our first option was to make the team's race sets available to them before practice on Friday and allow them the chance to 'scuff' them, in order to run them through a heat cycle to increase heat resistance. We did that, but after all the practice sessions ended on Friday, we concluded the safer option was to go to our contingency plan and bring in the 4020s.
    "This code has been run before under similar track conditions and we have full confidence that it will give drivers and teams the enough grip to run a great race on Sunday, while doing so in the safest possible manner. Safety is always our No. 1 concern, and by bringing this tire here this weekend, we will accomplish that goal."(Goodyear PR)(6-15-2012)

  • Sprint Cup Series practice added after Saturday's Nationwide race: Goodyear will make a tire change for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. The decision was made Friday evening after teams had tires that were blistering following Friday's practice sessions at the newly-repaved 2.0-mile track. Goodyear will bring a tougher left side tire from Charlotte that the teams will use in Sunday's event. The teams will qualify Saturday as scheduled at 1:10 pm/et with the tires previously allotted by Goodyear. Following the NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the teams will be given a 75-minute practice session with the new left side tires that will start at approximately 6:00pm/et. "With the new repave here at Michigan, coupled with the high temperatures we're seeing this weekend, we feel this change will help us put on the best race possible on Sunday," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition.(NASCAR)(6-15-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 1:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 1:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none

  • Qualifying Order for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #10-Raines, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #55-Martin, 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 Michigan Qualifying Page.(6-15-2012)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 80 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and some notes:
    #16-Biffle 204.708
    #9-Ambrose 203.551
    #29-Harvick 202.954
    #99-Edwards 202.943
    #27-Menard 201.737
    14 drivers were over 200 mph.
    slowest: #10-Raines 191.494 & #32-Schrader 192.318
    #1-McMurray, slapped the wall midway thru practice, but the team is making repairs to the car, mostly right side damage.
    See top speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Michigan Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(6-15-2012)

  • 1st Friday practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 80 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and some notes:
    #55-Martin 201.376
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 200.803
    #21-Bayne 200.700
    #14-Stewart 200.736
    #17-Kenseth 200.574
    slowest: #10-Raines 190.562 and #32-Schrader 190.981
    Ten drivers were over 200mph. 42 of 45 drivers were faster then the track record of 194.232mph.
    This practice sets the order for qualifying with slowest going out first and fastest out last, scheduled for Saturday, June 16th at 1:00pm/et on SPEED.
    Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 3:00pm/et this afternoon and run 80 minutes.
    See top speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Michigan Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(6-15-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: where did the 10 cars outside the top-35 in owners points practice at Michigan
    these drivers would make the race if the things stay the same:
    #21-Bayne 3rd fastest overall
    #33-Dillon 13th
    #98-McDowell 19th
    #19-Bliss 21st
    #23-Riggs 27th
    #49-Yeley 28th
    #26-Wise 29th
    #87-Nemechek 32nd
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race
    #30-Stremme 34th
    #74-Compton 42nd
    (6-15-2012)

  • #16 Ford takes on patriotic theme in MIS: In honor of the "NASCAR Unites  An American Salute" program to support members of the U.S. military and their children, Greg Biffle's 3M Ford will take on a patriotic look this weekend in Michigan. Biffle's #16 3M Ford is trading in its normal red and black colors to showcase a red, white and blue theme for the Michigan race weekend. The red, white and blue is part of a NASCAR initiative that kicked off Memorial weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and runs through Fourth of July weekend at Daytona. The program is aimed to unite the NASCAR industry and fans this summer to celebrate America and support U.S. military members and their families. "We are always proud to show our support for the men and women of our military and I am honored to drive the red, white and blue 3M Ford this weekend in Michigan," said Biffle. "The NASCAR Unites program this summer is a great reminder to all of us to thank the members of the armed forces whether it's in person, with a post card or through a donation. I hope everyone checks out the website and looks for our special paint scheme this weekend."(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2012)

  • NASCAR defends pit road timing system: Roughly a third of the field in last Sunday's Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR was busted for speeding on pit road. Several drivers received multiple penalties. Among them, the offending drivers collected 22 speeding penalties, eight more than the previous record of 14 doled out at Kansas in 2006. NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said NASCAR was satisfied with the way the system worked at Pocono but would take another look before the Sprint Cup Series returns to Pocono in August. "We'll go back and we'll look at the equipment and things," Pemberton said. "All of our inputs were correct. The dimensions (of the pit road segments in which cars are clocked) were correct. We go out of our way to not penalize -- contrary to popular belief. We'll go back and make sure if, for some strange reason, something went wrong, but we haven't seen that. We looked at it all with all our backup systems during the event. We never saw any of that. But we'll go back, just like they (the teams) did, because we want to make sure that everybody's OK."(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-15-2012)

  • New sponsor for #13 Ford at MIS UPDATE2: Casey Mears will run the #13 Valvoline NextGen Ford in the Quicken Loans 400 at at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. The scheme is also scheduled to run at Kentucky on June 20th (Germain Racing Twitter), see an image of the car on the #13 Team Schemes page.(6-13-2012)
    UPDATE: Valvoline has signed on to sponsor Germain Racing and driver Casey Mears in two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. Valvoline will be on board the #13 Ford this weekend when Germain Racing travels to Michigan Int'l Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., for the Quicken Loans 400. Valvoline will also sponsor the team at Kentucky Speedway June 30. "We had a great weekend (at Pocono) and it's also exciting to learn that Valvoline will be on our car for Michigan and Kentucky," said Mears. "We've made a lot of progress this year and things continue to head in the right direction." The team is still searching for sponsorship in a handful of events. GEICO, the primary sponsor of the team, only signed on for about 22 events this year.(National Speed Sport News)(6-13-2012)
    UPDATE2: Germain Racing is proud to race a Valvoline-sponsored entry for the first time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Previously, the team sported the Valvoline colors in NASCAR's other two premier divisions. Sunday, veteran driver Casey Mears will wheel the No. 13 Valvoline NextGen Ford Fusion around the freshly repaved 2.0-mile oval. "The Germain family has had a long-standing relationship with Ashland and the Valvoline products in our automobile dealerships. Valvoline has been a long-time supporter of Germain Racing," explained team owner Bob Germain Jr. "So it's very exciting for us to run the Valvoline NextGen Ford Fusion to help promote the NextGen recycled oil products to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fans." In addition to Michigan, Germain Racing will carry the Valvoline NextGen paint scheme at Ashland's hometown race track, Kentucky Speedway.(Germain Racing)(6-15-2012)

  • Sad News - Jackie Bickle Swartz: Jackie Bickle Swartz  'Ma Bickle' - passed away at her Concord, NC home Thursday [June 14th] evening. Bickle Swartz was the mother of former NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series driver Rich Bickle, Per her directives, no public services will be held.(6-15-2012)

  • The Dark Knight scheme for Dale Jr.: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mountain Dew have teamed up with the summer blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rises" to race a specially-wrapped #88 Batman-themed Chevy at Michigan International Speedway. The winning paint scheme was one of four voted on by DEW Crew members in late May, and features the iconic Batman logo on the hood and the faces of the two leading characters, Batman and Bane, on each side. Earnhardt's June 15, 2008, victory at Michigan International Speedway was his first win in a points-paying event for Hendrick Motorsports and his most recent win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Earnhardt started the race third and led 14 laps on his way to the checkered flag (HMS), see images of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2012)

  • Childress may buy Bowman Gray Stadium: Winston-Salem State University's effort to buy Bowman Gray Stadium from the city was snuffed out Thursday when state lawmakers killed the university's request for permission to borrow $7.5 million to buy the stadium. The legislative move  sponsored by Sen. Don East, R-Surry, and pushed by Winston-Salem entrepreneur Harold Day  opens the door wider to another potential bidder: Richard Childress, the NASCAR icon from Winston-Salem who sold peanuts as a child at Bowman Gray and started his racing career there in the 1950s. Bill Patterson, an executive vice president at Richard Childress Racing, met with Martha Wheelock, an assistant city manager, recently to talk about costs related to the stadium, he said. Bowman Gray has sentimental value for Childress. It's a landmark stock-car racing stadium and more could be done with it, Patterson said, though he declined to provide further information about what else could be done. "We do have an interest in it," he said.(full story at the Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2012)

  • Snickers colors for Busch at MIS: Kyle Busch will run the Snickers Peanut Butter Squared scheme this week in the colors in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway (JGR), see an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2012)

  • Red-White-Blue trim on the #31: The #31 Caterpillar Chevy of Jeff Burton will sport red, white, and blue patriotic trim on spoilers, fins and side skirts to support the NASCAR Unites program in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The patriotic initiative is designed to unite the NASCAR industry and fans this summer to celebrate America and support U.S. military families (RCR), see an image of the scheme on the #31 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2012)

  • Almirola to run Taxi Cab colors at MIS: Don't try to hail the yellow-and-black cab that you'll see flying around Michigan International Speedway (MIS) next weekend. It will probably be going too fast. Aric Almirola will take the #43 Medallion Financial Ford to the newly repaved track for this weekend's Quicken Loans 400, plus a one-day test session on Thursday to feel out the new surface. A tire test in April at the two-mile oval, which was repaved in the off-season, showed speeds topping 210 miles per hour, far exceeding the track qualifying record of 194.232 miles per hour (RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2012)


    News from June 14, 2012

  • Track records shattered in NASCAR practice at MIS UPDATES: The Sprint Cup Series qualifying record at Michigan International Speedway has been broken unofficially by several cars already this morning, at a special NASCAR test to acclimatize drivers to the newly repaved oval. Toyota driver #56-Martin Truex Jr. became the first NASCAR driver in MIS history to turn a 200-mph lap when he hit 200.261 this morning. Chevy's #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was right behind him, at 200.206. Chevy drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (199.440 mph) and #29-Kevin Harvick (199.236 mph) also flirted with the 200-mph threshold. #18-Kyle Busch went 194.789 in his Toyota and #24-Jeff Gordon 194.610 in another Chevrolet. The old track record was 194.232, set by Ryan Newman in a Dodge in 2005.(Detroit Free Press)
    UPDATES as I see or hear them on the speeds: #55-Martin fastest at Michigan with lap of 201.089 mph in testing. Then Harvick (200.999), Truex (200.306) & Dale Jr. (200.206).(Dustin Long Twitter)
    Practice can be followed live on NASCAR.com's Leaderboard
    The top five as of 11:00am/et after 3 hours of testing:
    #55-Martin 201.089
    #29-Harvick 200.999
    #56-Truex Jr. 200.306
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 200.206
    #14-Stewart 199.856
    41 cars have run laps so far with 39 over the old track record.
    The best 10 lap average was run by #18-Kyle Busch at 197.065mph.
    4 cars didn't test: #19-Bliss, #10-Raines, #32-Schrader & #49-Yeley.
    See the speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Michigan Test Session 1 Speeds page (pdf)
    Test Session 2 - afternoon: top five speeds at end of the session:
    #14-Stewart 201.896
    #16-Biffle 201.556
    #51-Busch 201.174
    #29-Harvick 200.697
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 200.658
    7 cars were over 200mph, 43 cars have made runs with ALL being faster then the track record speed.
    2 cars didn't test: #10-Raines and #32-Schrader.
    See the speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Michigan Test Session 2 Speeds page (pdf)
    No restrictor plates planned at MIS: NASCAR officials said they have no plan to add restrictor plates used at Daytona and Talladega to reduce speeds. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton expected speeds to slow on their own as the track rubbers in and the temperature rises. Series director John Darby said NASCAR has a speed at which liftoff is a concern as is the case at Daytona and Talladega, and "we're not there yet."(ESPN)(6-14-2012)

  • Robby Gordon testing for Sonoma: Robby Gordon is testing Thursday at the Carolina Motorsports Park road course in the #7 Dodge Sprint Cup Car in preparation for the race next weekend at Sonoma, CA. Gordon has not attempted to qualify for a Cup race since Auto Club Speedway.(6-14-2012)

  • Miller on standby for Truex Jr. at MIS: #56-Martin Truex's crew chief Chad Johnston and wife Stacey are awaiting the birth of their first child in the Charlotte area. Last weekend Scott Miller, Michael Waltrip Racing executive vice president of competition, called the shots at Poco#Miller will be on standby again if Johnston isn't in Michigan. Even if he remains in North Carolina, Johnston will remain in touch with the team throughout the weekend via cell phone and computer.(MWR)(6-14-2012)

  • Red, White and Blue #29 car returns to the track: The patriotic red, white and blue Budweiser Folds of Honor paint scheme returns to the #29 Chevrolet this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. The special paint scheme reflects the "Red, White and Blue Summer" packaging featured on the iconic Budweiser bottles and cans as part of a summer initiative in which the brand will contribute a portion of all sales from May 20 - July 7 to help raise as much as $2.5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation*, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country. The Folds of Honor logo will also be featured on the TV panel of the #29 Chevrolet. In addition to Sunday's race, Harvick's Budweiser ride will feature the "Red, White and Blue Summer" paint scheme for Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky (June 30), Daytona (July 7), Pocono (Aug. 5) and Watkins Glen (Aug. 12). On Tuesday Harvick traveled to Florida to help promote Daytona International Speedway's July race. The first stop of the day was MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., where the driver of the #29 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet toured a KC-135, a long-range tanker aircraft, took part in a Q&A session with base personnel and participated in a media availability session with local TV and print media.(RCR), see images of the car on the #29 Team Schemes page.(6-14-20102)

  • Happy 237th Birthday, U.S. Army: It was this week 237 years ago that our Nation's leaders established the Continental Army, beginning a rich heritage of successfully defending this great country and her citizens. Today, we celebrate the continued honor, loyalty and bravery of our Soldiers in this noble calling. The Nation's freedom rests in the hands of our Soldiers, families and civilians. Their dedication makes them the strength of our Army. This year, our Army celebrates 237 years of defending freedom and democracy around the world. To all those who serve both at home and abroad, to their families who continue to endure and to the civilians who support them, Happy Birthday. In honor of the U.S. Army's birthday, #39-Ryan Newman will participate in two cake-cutting ceremonies at Michigan. The first will be held immediately following the drivers' meeting outside the media center. The second ceremony will be held on the pre-race stage before driver introductions. This weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Ryan Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will help celebrate the continued honor, loyalty and bravery of our Soldiers in this noble calling as Newman takes the #39 U.S. Army Chevy into the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday.(US Army Racing)(6-14-2012)

  • With Michigan Repave, Newman's Record Will Likely Fall: One repave down, two to go. Pocono Raceway's facelift produced one of the year's most intriguing races. Kansas Speedway's new surface won't be tested in competition until October. This Sunday, Michigan International Speedway takes center stage with its new coat of asphalt. Earlier Goodyear Tire tests produced lap speeds that were fast - over 200 mph - and if duplicated, would make the Detroit-area track the fastest among current lap records. "It's a very fast track but a very comfortable-feeling pace," said two-time Michigan winner Jeff Gordon, who participated in the April test. "The track drives so similar to the way it did before and I believe it's going to have multiple grooves." Ryan Newman set the current MIS record of 194.232 mph on June 18, 2005. The driver of Stewart-Haas Racing's #39 U.S. Army Chevy has been stuck on 49 career poles since last September, when he was the fast qualifier for the second time in 2011 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway [and won the race]. Only eight NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have recorded 50 or more career poles.(NASCAR)(6-14-2012)

  • Allmendinger testing news: AJ Allmendinger and his Todd Gordon-led #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team are scheduled to test at the Milwaukee Mile on July 2-3. "Yes, that will be in our preparation for Loudon," crew chief Gordon said of the July 15 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The "Double-Deuce" team has also tested twice for the June 24 Sonoma road course battle; on May 15th at Road Atlanta and at Virginia International Raceway on May 29.(Tom Roberts PR)(6-14-2012)

  • Michigan Goodyear Tire Notes: Due to the track re-surfacing, Goodyear has brought a new tire combination to Michigan this week . . . teams in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series did run this right-side tire code at Las Vegas earlier this season . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Michigan on April 3-4 . . . teams and drivers participating in that test were #2 Penske Racing Dodge with Brad Keselowski, #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford with Matt Kenseth, #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Kyle Busch, #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet with Jeff Gordon and #42 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet with Juan Pablo Montoya. . . . compared to what was run at Michigan last year, there are both compound and construction changes on both the left- and right-side tires . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners on all four tire positions at Michigan . . . 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 Michigan Race Info - Goodyear section.(6-14-2012)


    News from June 13, 2012

  • Raines in the #10 at Michigan: Tony Raines is getting a second chance to drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Team officials confirmed Tuesday that Raines will be replacing David Reutimann in the #10 Chevy for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Raines climbed into the #36 Chevrolet at Pocono when Kurt Busch's one-race suspension created a NASCAR version of musical chairs. With Reutimann subbing for Busch, Dave Blaney moved to the #10. However, with Busch returning to Phoenix Racing, some changes to the lineup at TBR had to be made. "We had a plan with Reutimann driving for the #51," team spokesman Heather Lumpp said. "We are sticking with our plan, and Reutimann will be back in the #10 at Kentucky." Where that leaves Reutimann -- who has attempted to make every race this season -- is unclear. He's driven three times for [#93 and #73] BK Racing in 2012, but a team spokesman said there are currently no plans to add a third car to the entry list this weekend.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-20102)

  • Fines levied against Parsons and Humphrey: The North Carolina Industrial Commission has levied fines against Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey, owners of HP Racing [was #66], now Phil Parsons Racing [is #98], for failing to provide workers' compensation insurance for most of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Parsons, who also works as a television analyst for SPEED, and Humphrey were also ordered to pay medical bills and wages to an HP Racing employee who suffered a work related injury last summer. The commission determined that Parsons and Humphrey failed to have the proper workers' compensation insurance from February 11, 2011  October 27, 2011. Workers' compensation insurance was obtained by HP Racing just five days before the claim was initially set to be heard before the Deputy Commissioner of the Industrial Commission. The Commission also determined that the HP Racing employee had sustained a compensable injury by accident during the non-insured period. The North Carolina Assistant Attorney General's Office, Fraud Unit was also involved in the claim against HP Racing,
    HP Racing [#66] competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2011, entering driver Michael McDowell in 32 events and earning over $2.4 million in race winnings. The team changed names in 2012, becoming Phil Parsons Racing [#98], a joint effort between Parsons, Whitney Motorsports and new partner Mike Curb, owner of Curb Records. Humphrey formed his own team [#19] for 2012, joining forces with Mark Smith to form Humphrey Smith Racing, fielding cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for driver Mike Bliss. The injured HP Racing employee is still awaiting approval from Parsons and Humphrey for necessary medical treatment, as well as payment of his wages and related medical expenses as ordered by the Industrial Commission. The employee has been unable to work since his accident last summer - and is ineligible for unemployment compensation - due to his injury and physician's orders preventing him from returning to work or seeking employment.(motorsport.com)(6-13-2012)

  • The King helps to promote PVA campaign: NASCAR legend Richard Petty joined Food City officials at a press conference today to promote a campaign that raises money for Paralyzed Veteran's of America. From July 8 to Aug. 18, Food City is making donation slips available at all Food City locations. A similar event last year raised $125,000 for Paralyzed Veteran's of America. "This year we intend to do the same thing and kick it up a notch," Food City President and CEO Steven C. Smith said. The organization assists veterans who were paralyzed and are having a difficult time receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration. It also helps veterans integrate back into society and find a job after the injury.(Bristol Herald Courier)(6-13-2012)

  • Petty to switch to Dodge? UPDATE 2 denied RPM & Dodge: according to AR1.com sources, Richard Petty Motorsports will announce on Friday in Michigan that they will switch to Dodges next year. No word yet on whether Penske, which is switching to Ford, will continue to build the Dodge engines for RPM.(AR1.com)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports says they do NOT have any press conferences planned this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. The team does not have any plans to discuss their manufacturer status this weekend (RPM)(6-12-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Dodge on Tuesday denied that it has concluded a deal for 2013 with NASCAR team Richard Petty Motorsports, even though rumors to the contrary continue to swirl through stock-car racing circles that Petty was ready to make the switch from Ford. "I would be the person to ask," Beth Paretta, SRT Motorsports operations manager, told Autoweek. "We know there is a ton of interest out there to hear what our plans are for 2013. I keep being asked and it's honestly the same answer: We're simply not there yet." Various teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports, have been considered potential Dodge runners, but Paretta insisted that a lot of the rumors are "simply speculation." Richard Petty, meanwhile, reacted with understandable confusion and concern. "I don't know nothing about it," the seven-time NASCAR champion said in a Tuesday afternoon phone call to Autoweek. "I came in from a meeting at the Petty Foundation and got hit over the head with a bunch of people asking me what I was gonna announce on Friday in Michigan. I called Victory Junction and they said they didn't have anything. I called my people at RPM and they said they didn't have anything. I talked to my people here [at Petty Garage] and they said they didn't have anything. I don't know what this is all about or where it started. I know that sometimes one media cat will tell another guy something and it'll go from there, but this one is all news to me."(AutoWeek)(6-13-2012)

  • Logano's future still up in the air despite win: #20-Joey Logano delivered many answers in muscling past #55-Mark Martin to win Sunday's Pocono 400. But there was one significant question that is unanswered as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway. Where will Logano be driving next season? "I haven't been informed on where I stand for next year yet, so it's all up in the air," he said. "Obviously winning a race means a lot, and it helps that out a ton. For sure right now my future is not set with anybody. To get this win means a lot. It's at a perfect time."
    Though he is enjoying his best year in NASCAR's premier series, it might not be guaranteed that Logano returns to Joe Gibbs Racing for a fifth season. Pocono was the second victory in a career that has fallen far short of lofty expectations that accompanied his 2009 debut as the youngest driver in Daytona 500 history. Since he saw Logano race against his son in go-karts a decade ago, Martin had been predicting greatness for Logano and named him as the best candidate to replace him at Roush Fenway Racing when Logano was 15. It hasn't turned out that way in Cup. Logano finished 20th in points as a rookie and became the youngest winner in Cup history (at 19) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a fluky rain-shortened finish. (Logano was leading because he had crashed and was able to stay purposely off-sequence on pit stops).
    Though J.D. Gibbs recently downplayed interest in Kurt Busch, there are other winning drivers who could be available in 2013, such as Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. In a phone interview Monday night, Gibbs told USA TODAY Sports that JGR hoped to settle the future of its #20 Toyota "sooner than later, but at the same time, you can't force things. "We're kind of going through it now," Gibbs said. "(The victory) really helps him, us just in general. (Sponsors) Home Depot and Dollar General get a feel for it. So hopefully we'll be able to get something put to bed here pretty quick. He's been so close before, it's just a long time coming. So hopefully that was a great foundation for our future. When you have those sponsors, you have to perform. Not just on the track, but off the track. Joey is great off the track, and now it's neat to see the on-the-track piece pick up, too."(USA Today)(6-13-2012)

  • Outside groove gone at Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway has witnessed the initial laps on its recently altered surface. On day one of a two-day Goodyear Tire test #14-Tony Stewart, #31-Jeff Burton and #15-Clint Bowyer circled the half-mile concrete oval, and will wrap up the session on Wednesday. While it's impossible to predict how the racing action will be when NASCAR hits Bristol for August race week and the IRWIN Tools Night Race, the trio of drivers offered their comments following a full day of lapping the banks of Bristol. The same drivers will return on Wednesday to complete the Goodyear Tire test. Goodyear has mandated that the test sessions are closed to the public and media.
    #14-Tony Stewart (who is the only driver to try to run the high groove): "Well, you've definitely lost the top groove. Guys who run up there aren't going to be able to do that because it's pretty slick up there. There's going to be less room to race, that's for sure. We've gone from a three-groove track to two grooves and any time you've got less room to get around it can get pretty interesting. I'm one of the guys who likes that high groove so it's really going to change things up for me. It'll change things for everybody though because when you take away room to race on a track this small with 43 cars& yeah, it's going to tighten things up."
    #15-Clint Bowyer: "That outside line  the upper groove  is out of play now. There's going to be a lot closer racing then we've had here in the past. I don't typically run up there but a lot of guys do and I can't see them going up there now. If they do& it's pretty slippery and they'll figure that out in a hurry. The closer we have to race just means something's going to happen. Is it going to make fans happy? Well, narrowing up the track means less room to get around so there's no question there's going to be closer action."
    #31-Jeff Burton: "Goodyear is looking to bring a tire with more grip. I really think they have found some stuff that is really promising. As for the track itself, I really can't imagine running up there in that top groove. I think it is going to force everyone more to the middle and bottom of the track. The drivers aren't going to be happy, but the spectators probably will be because it is going to put more cars in a closer space. By taking away that groove, it is going to change your mind about going up there. I think it is going to be two grooves, unless Goodyear brings a tire with a lot of grip. If that is the case, you'll want to run around the bottom. Making the groove smaller is a good thing, it is going to put the action back to the bottom and middle of the track. What has changed is up near the wall, the bottom is the same. Tony experimented and tried out that top groove, and I know he won't be trying that again. If people liked the older track more than the new, they are going to like this. This takes the top groove out and brings it back toward the old track. Taking the groove out moves the track closer to what it used to be."(see more quotes at bristolmotorspeedway.com)(6-13-2012)

  • Dillon to attempt MIS Cup race: Austin Dillon, the 2011 Camping World Truck Series Driver Champion, will attempt to make the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway in the #33 American Ethanol Chevy fielded by Richard Childress Racing. Long-time RCR employee and veteran crew chief Gil Martin will serve as crew chief of the #33 team this weekend. Martin currently serves as RCR's Director of Team Operations overseeing the organization's Nationwide Series programs.
    Dillon has four starts at MIS, spread among the NASCAR Nationwide Series (finished 19th in 2009), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (finished fifth in 2010 and 22nd in 2011) and ARCA Racing Series (finished second in 2009). The 2011 Camping World Truck Series Driver Champion earned the pole award at the two-mile track in the 2010 edition of the Camping World Truck Series race. In addition to Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race, Dillon is scheduled to compete in RCR's #3 AdvoCare Chevy in the Nationwide Series race at MIS on Saturday afternoon. In his Sprint Cup Series debut at Kansas Speedway last October, Dillon drove the #98 Curb-Agajanian/Reagan Centennial/Camping World/Curb Records Chevy to a 26th-place finish driving for owner Mike Curb, in partnership with Richard Childress Racing. American Ethanol will activate a strategic integrated branding campaign, including an extensive sweepstakes aimed to engage NASCAR fans, from June 8 to August 31, 2012. The "American Ethanol Sweepstakes" will educate consumers about E15, fuel blended with 15 percent American Ethanol (RCR). More info about the contest on the Jayski Racing Contest page and see an image of the car on my #33 Team Scheme page..(6-13-2012)

  • Alan Kulwicki: A Champion's Story: leads you on a journey of hardship, triumph, tragedy, and renewal. Learn about the life and legacy of one of Milwaukee's native sons: Alan Kulwicki. From his humble beginnings in Milwaukee to becoming a champion in Atlanta, Alan's life & legacy represent themes that embody Milwaukee, as well as the people and business that are proud to call her home. Through these core themes the Milwaukee County Historical Society, in partnership with Balance Studios, Inc., present an experience centered on Alan Kulwicki's life that will inspire, inform, and educate. Utilizing traditional and cutting-edge technology, the experience will include the following signature program themes that embodied Alan Kulwicki. More information at kulwickiexperience.com.(6-13-2012)

  • New sponsor for #13 Ford at MIS UPDATE: Casey Mears will run the #13 Valvoline NextGen Ford in the Quicken Loans 400 at at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. The scheme is also scheduled to run at Kentucky on June 20th (Germain Racing Twitter), see an image of the car on the #13 Team Schemes page.(6-13-2012)
    UPDATE: Valvoline has signed on to sponsor Germain Racing and driver Casey Mears in two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. Valvoline will be on board the #13 Ford this weekend when Germain Racing travels to Michigan Int'l Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., for the Quicken Loans 400. Valvoline will also sponsor the team at Kentucky Speedway June 30. "We had a great weekend (at Pocono) and it's also exciting to learn that Valvoline will be on our car for Michigan and Kentucky," said Mears. "We've made a lot of progress this year and things continue to head in the right direction." The team is still searching for sponsorship in a handful of events. GEICO, the primary sponsor of the team, only signed on for about 22 events this year.(National Speed Sport News)(6-13-2012)

  • The Numbers for Michigan International Speedway (Cup):
    0 - fewest cautions (three times, most recent 6/13/99)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (Mark Martin, 6/14/09)
    2 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (five times, most recent 6/15/75)
    5 - fewest leaders (five times, most recent 8/12/84)
    6 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    6 - wins by Dodge at MIS since manufacturer's return to NASCAR in 2001
    7 - fewest lead changes (8/12/84)
    8 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at MIS
    9 - most wins (David Pearson)
    10 - most poles (David Pearson)
    10 - most cautions (8/20/06)
    11 - wins by car owner (Wood Brothers, Jack Roush)
    14 - fewest cars running at finish (6/16/74)
    15 - most leaders (6/20/82)
    19 - drivers with more than one win
    21 - drivers with more than one pole at MIS
    24 - wins from the front row; 16 from the pole
    32 - worst starting position for race winner (Mark Martin, 2009)
    34 - different race winners
    37 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/18/06)
    41 - different pole winners
    41 - most cars running at finish (five times, most recent 6/17/07)
    63 - most caution laps (8/24/75)
    65 - most lead changes (8/16/81)
    66 - races won from a top-10 starting spot
    85 - Sprint Cup Series races at MIS
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.0-mile track
    162 - laps led by race winner (Rusty Wallace, 8/20/89)
    MIS inside the numbers:
    " 5 - Number of cautions in the June event last year.
    " 10 - Different winners in the first 14 Sprint Cup races this season. Only Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart have multiple race wins.
    " 16 - Number of Sprint Cup races (19%) that have been won from the pole at MIS - the most of any starting position at the two-mile speedway.
    " 22,000 - Tons of asphalt used to repave MIS earlier this year.
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    4 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega and Darlington)
    10 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    80 - cautions in the first 14 races of 2012; includes 33 for accidents, 27 for debris and eight for spins
    433 of 4,448 - laps under caution in 2012
    574.571 of 5,633.118 - miles under caution in the first 14 races
    BONUS: In addition to Michigan Int'l Speedway, three other Michigan tracks hosted five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in the 1950s:
    - Grand River Speedrome (Grand Rapids)
    - Michigan State Fairgrounds (Detroit) and
    - Monroe Speedway.(Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(6-13-2012)

  • New 2013 F-150 FX4 to Serve as Pace Truck at MIS: Ford Motor Company will introduce the latest version of the F-150, part of America's best-selling truck lineup, on Sunday when Ford's President of The Americas Mark Fields leads the field to green for Michigan International Speedway's NASCAR Sprint Cup series race in the new 2013 F-150. "Like our hardworking customers, Ford is committed to continuous improvement and getting the job done right with our industry-leading trucks," Fields said. "So many of our truck customers are race fans that it makes perfect sense to show our new 2013 F-150 FX4 model for the first time at the track." Fields will serve as pace car driver for the second straight June race at MIS, after leading the field to the green flag in a 2012 Focus last year.(MIS), see an image of the truck on my 2012 Sprint Cup Series Race Pace Cars page.(6-13-2012)

  • McDonald's Rock and Race Concert at MIS: Big & Rich with special guests Cowboy Troy and Bradley Gaskin will take the stage at Michigan International Speedway during the June race weekend for the McDonald's Rock and Race Concert. The multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated duo will headline the always popular and free post-race concert in Lot 10 on June 16. The concert will begin shortly after the Alliance Truck Parts 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The concert is free for anyone with an Alliance Truck Parts 250 race ticket. The Alliance Truck Parts 250 is at 3:45 p.m. The concert will begin shortly after the checkered flag that evening. Ticket are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(6-13-2012)

  • Kentucky Gov. and Buton Smtih tour improved Kentucky Speedway infrastructure: On Monday, June 11, 2012, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., (SMI) Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith toured expanded infrastructure that will streamline traffic flows for three NASCAR events that make up Kentucky Speedway's June 28-30 "Quaker State 400" weekend as well as future events at the 107,000-seat venue. The State of Kentucky completed projects which expanded Kentucky Highway 35 to seven lanes, widened the I-71 ramp to Ky. Hwy. 35 to three lanes and constructed a pedestrian tunnel that will connect the massive new Ford Parking lot east of Ky. Hwy. 35 to Kentucky Speedway. In addition to acquiring and engineering 170 new acres for the Ford Parking lot, Kentucky Speedway converted 50 new acres of previously unusable land to parking and added gravel aisles to 100 acres of previously all-grass parking. In total, the projects yielded parking for an additional 20,000 vehicles compared to 2011.
    "I commend Bruton Smith and (Kentucky Speedway General Manager) Mark Simendinger and all the other people at Kentucky Speedway for the obvious improvements that have been made to this facility. Equally important has been their resolve to make the Quaker State 400 the showcase event it deserves to be," said Gov. Beshear. "Their investment and their resolve made it easy for us to also invest in roadway improvements to increase traffic capacity in the vicinity of Kentucky Speedway. We obviously have a great number of passionate NASCAR fans in this region. Kentucky Speedway is ideally situated to draw from those fans in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee and even farther, and we look forward to this race being a signature event for many years to come."
    The speedway further contracted Veteran's Security and Patrol, Co., as its new parking management service and partnered with nationally-recognized engineering firm Stantec to create a simulation model which helped shape a new speedway traffic management plan by predicting numerous scenarios managers may encounter on event days. Kentucky Speedway complemented the infrastructure expansions by constructing a new overpass to its infield tunnel road which will allow a bolstered fleet of free guest trams to efficiently travel designated routes to gates and points of interest on race days. "It is important to recognize the leadership Gov. Beshear and Bruton Smith displayed through the past year to make these improvements possible. They continue their shared commitment to making Kentucky Speedway the best motorsports venue in the country," Simendinger said.
    Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Speedway will partner to provide race fans frequent race day traffic updates through a mix of Facebook (Kentucky State Police / Kentucky Speedway) and Twitter (@kystatepolice / @KySpeedway) messages, information radio station 1620 AM which can be heard within a five-mile radius of the speedway as well as Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana media outlets.
    Tickets, campsites and daily infield Fan Zone passes for all events can be purchased by logging on to kentuckyspeedway.com/tickets, calling 859-578-2300 or visiting the Kentucky Speedway corporate offices at 1 Speedway Drive, Sparta, Ky., 41086 just off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and the newly-expanded, seven-lane Kentucky Highway 35.(KYS)(6-13-2012)


    News from June 12, 2012

  • Statement From Phoenix Racing regarding Kurt Busch and the #51 Chevy: Below is a statement from James Finch, owner of Phoenix Racing, regarding Kurt Busch and the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. "We have met with Kurt. At the end of the day, we are racers so we're going racing together with Kurt and the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. We know adjustments have to be made but how we fix that is between Kurt and myself. We're going to go to the track, work hard, race hard and work on trying to attract a sponsor  and we're going to do that together."(Phoenix Racing)(6-12-2012)

  • TV Ratings posted for Pocono: the TV Ratings for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday posted an overnight rating of 3/2/8 for TNT, up from last years Pocono 500 rating of 3.0/7. See past race TV Ratings, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(6-12-2012)

  • Testing set at Michigan for Thursday: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series one-day test session at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled for Thursday, June 14th [Flag Day], this test provides the first opportunity for all teams to run on Michigan's new racing surface in preparation for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400. The teams / drivers are scheduled to be on track from 8-11 am/et and again from 1-4 pm/et. Speeds / Lap Times will be posted if provided.
    The Turn 3 grandstand will be open free of charge that day for guests to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup and ARCA Racing Series drivers practice on the newly paved, ultra-fast racetrack. Gate 33 will be open for guests from 1 to 5 p.m., perfect for campers on site that weekend. This will push the infield load-in back a little. We'll start load-in shortly after testing concludes. Parking for guests not already at the track will be in Lot 14 at MIS Camping.com Graves Family Campground, across US 12. A courtesy tram will bring fans to and from the Turn 3 stand.(MIS)(6-12-2012)

  • Long John Silver's colors return to the #38: This weekend, the Long John Silver's colors and 'We Speak Fish' tagline will once again return to the #38 Ford of David Gilliland. Gilliland will carry the familiar Front Row Motorsports colors for this weekend's Quicken Loans 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Gilliland comes into Michigan after having his best result on a non-plate race last weekend at Pocono. His 23rd-place finish not only gave him his fourth top-25 finish this season, but also positive momentum and team confidence. Gilliland has 11 career starts at the two-mile, Michigan oval, with a career best finish of 17th.(FRM), see images of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(6-12-2012)

  • Goodyear tire test at Bristol Tues & Wed: Three drivers will get the first look at the revamped Bristol Motor Speedway as part of a Goodyear tire test scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The grinding of the upper groove was completed on the 0.533-mile concrete oval last week. The changes are designed to diminish the upper lane and create only two racing grooves. #14-Tony Stewart, #31-Jeff Burton and #15-Clint Bowyer are scheduled to test Tuesday and Wednesday but rain is in the forecast for Tuesday. The test is closed to the public and media.(Sporting News)(6-12-2012)

  • Twitter's first TV commercial features NASCAR: Twitter Inc aired its first TV ads to tout its advertising potential on Sunday during a NASCAR broadcast on Time Warner Inc's TNT cable network. The ads, produced as part of a partnership between Twitter and NASCAR, come as the six-year old micro-blogging service seeks to establish itself as a serious social media business, despite heightened doubts about the sector in the wake of Facebook Inc's bumpy IPO. Twitter is hoping to attract major brands to its service by cultivating the widespread use of hashtags - the keywords in a tweet preceded by the symbol (#) that denote a tweet's topic - and promoting hashtag pages as destinations where consumers can find information or supplemental content about products. Using NASCAR to demonstrate how hashtag pages could work, Twitter aired six different 15-second spots during Sunday's Pocono 400 race that introduced the "#NASCAR" hashtag and directed viewers to the URL "twitter.com/#NASCAR." On the NASCAR's hashtag page, NASCAR fans could view content posted by drivers, their families and racing teams that supplemented the cable broadcast. One commercial showed driver Brad Keselowski taking a photo from inside his race car with the tagline: "See what he sees" while another showed the view from the helmet cam of a pit technician. Twitter spokesman Gabriel Stricker said NASCAR did not pay for its curated hashtag page, but added that Twitter did not plan any more similar partnerships.(Reuters)(6-12-2012)

  • At Michigan International Speedway:
    • Michigan International Speedway sits on more than 1,400 acres in the "Irish Hills" of Southeastern Michigan. Ground-breaking took place on Sept. 28, 1967.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan was held June 15, 1969.
    • The track was known as Michigan Speedway during the time Roger Penske was the primary owner (1996-99).
    • The 2-mile speedway underwent a repave this season.
    • There have been 85 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway since the first race there in 1969. Other than 1973, which had just one race, there have been two races each season since 1969.
    • The first race was 500 miles in length; the second was scheduled for 600. The track was re-measured to 2.04 miles for the last race in 1970 and both races in 1971 - with the race distance being 402 miles. All other races have been scheduled for 400 miles.
    • Donnie Allison won the first pole.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was won by Cale Yarborough.
    • There have been 41 different pole winners, led by David Pearson with 10. Mark Martin has five poles.
    • 34 different drivers have won races, led by David Pearson (nine); 19 drivers have more than one victory at Michigan.
    • The race winner has started from the pole 16 times, the most productive starting position. Brian Vickers (August, 2009) was the last driver to win from the pole.
    • 66 of 85 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 46 from the first four spots.
    • The deepest in the field a race winner has started was 32nd, by Mark Martin in the June race of 2009.
    • The Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway Racing both have 11 wins, more than any other team.
    • Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth are the only drivers to average a top-10 finish. Edwards, who has two Michigan wins, has an average finish of 8.2. Coincidentally, Edwards' first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start came at Michigan. Kenseth, who also has two victories, has an average finish of 9.5.
    • Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Michigan International Speedway winner: Kurt Busch (06/15/2003 - 24 years, 10 months, 11 days).
    • Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Michigan International Speedway winner: Harry Gant (08/16/1992 - 52 years, 7 months, 6 days).(NASCAR)(6-12-2012)

  • Michigan to host "Rookie Pit Stop" for guests: A NASCAR race is more than a sporting event. It's a vacation, an experience, a way of life. Some fans, especially first-timers, may need a little help to make the most of the thrill and understand the sport. So for fans visiting Michigan International Speedway for the first time during the June 15-17 Quicken Loans 400 weekend, having a fellow race fan give friendly advice when you arrive could be extremely beneficial. That's exactly what the track's new "MIS Rookie Pit Stop" program is designed to do. Throughout the race weekend, first-time race fans are asked to stop by the MIS Rookie Pit Stop and ask a member of the speedway's Fan Advisory Board (FAB) and some motorsports insiders for tips and advice on how to understand the speedway and the sport of NASCAR. The Rookie Pit Stop is located near the main Gate 24 ticket office in the New Holland Fan Plaza.(MIS)(6-12-2012)


    News from June 11, 2012

  • Ford makes changes to 2013 Sprint Cup car: After unveiling the 2013 NASCAR Fusion at Charlotte Motor Speedway in January and highlighting the first version of its new car in a team paint scheme on Memorial Day weekend, Ford Racing is using the upcoming race weekend in Michigan to unveil updates to the design of the Cup car which shows even more brand identity through enhanced design cues, including new grille work and hood lines. Gone is the stickered front grille from the January reveal and in its place are actual grille bars which will adorn the 2013 Cup Fusion, in addition to several other key tweaks to the front end of the car. "We had an opportunity to add more personality and detail to the race car," said Garen Nicoghosian, Ford design manager in charge of the NASCAR project. We took advantage of this opportunity and sculpted a more aggressive front end and we added grille bars that are identical in design to the production car. We also added more detail to the fog light housings, and created a more detailed headlight area as well. In addition, we also sculpted a more aggressive hood, and were able to achieve a closer look to the production car. Our race car is even closer in design to the production car now, and we are very pleased with the results."(Ford Racing), see an image of the updated car on the Ford news page.(6-11-2012)

  • The Entry List for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Ken Schrader returns to drive the #32 Ford. Austin Dillon will drive teh #33.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (46/9)
    #21-Trevor Bayne (37/5)(2011 race winner)
    #23-Scott Riggs (43/14)
    #26-Josh Wise (41/14)
    #30-David Stremme (38/14)
    #33-Austin Dillon (36/14)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (39/14)
    #74-Stacy Compton (47/10)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/14)
    #98-Michael McDowell (40/14)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,33,30,49,98,26,87,23
    missing the race would be [2]: # 74, 19
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Michigan Entry List.(6-11-2012)

  • NASCAR confident in pit road timing system: When it came to pit road, all Sunday's Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR lacked was a fleet of cop cars with flashing lights and sirens. All told, NASCAR handed out 22 pit road speeding penalties, with most offenders clocked too fast at the exit from pit road. That easily eclipsed the Sprint Cup Series record of 14 speeding penalties at Kansas in 2006. #48-Jimmie Johnson was convinced there was something wrong with the final segment (or timing loop) on pit road. Nothing wrong, says NASCAR, just different. NASCAR measures pit road speed from the yellow line at the entrance to pit road to the yellow line at the exit. The full distance is divided into segments, and drivers must average the speed limit (plus a tolerance of 4.99 mph) through each segment.
    The 2.5-mile race track was repaved this year, and pit road was lengthened. The number of segments grew from 10 to 11, and the length of the final segment increased from 56 to 83 feet. NASCAR provides specific information on the pit road configuration to any team that wants it. The changes from one year to the next, however, seems to have confounded more than one driver/crew chief combination, but NASCAR stood by the accuracy of its measurements.
    "Our position is like it's always been -- yellow line to yellow line," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. "This track's gone under a lot of reconfiguration since last year. It's all brand-new pit road, all brand-new loops. Positions have been changed since last year. Sections are smaller than they were last year throughout pit road -- and actually, the last section's a little bit bigger. But the bottom line is, every week when we go into a race track, there's maps that are printed back here for the crew chiefs to come get. Some choose to get 'em, some choose to measure their own lines, and some go off of last year's measurements."(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-11-2012)

  • Southwest Airlines Vacations offering Atlanta NASCAR Vacation Special: Atlanta Motor Speedway and Southwest Airlines Vacations are teaming up to offer fans a super discount on one-stop shopping for flight, hotel and AdvoCare 500 tickets to the biggest Labor Day party in the USA. In all-inclusive shopping, customers can book their flight, reserve a hotel and purchase AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets and save $75 per reservation on three or more nights to any Southwest Airlines Vacations property in Atlanta. This discount is available when using promotion code ATLRACE75. Purchasing through Southwest Airlines Vacations saves on the gate price. Race tickets available for purchase include Upper Champion grandstand seats for Saturday's Nationwide Series race on Sept. 1 and Sunday's AdvoCare 500 on Sept. 2, a Sunday Pit Pass and one Champion parking pass for the weekend. These ticket packages are in limited availability, so fans are encouraged to book now. To purchase, visit http://www.southwestvacations.com/Deals/Deal.aspx?deal=565(AMS)(6-11-2012)

  • Danica Patrick to appear at Chicagoloand Checkered Flag Fan Zone: Roscoe, Ill. native and one of NASCAR's most popular drivers, Danica Patrick, will kick-off her first of two NASCAR weekends of racing at Chicagoland Speedway as she takes to the track on Sunday, July 22, for the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series Race. Before she takes the green flag, Patrick will be appearing in the Checkered Flag Fan Zone for a question-and-answer session with fans. Patrick, who will run in three races at Chicagoland Speedway in 2012, will join reigning 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Riverton, Ill. Native and last year's STP 300 Champion, Justin Allgaier, in the Checkered Flag Fan Zone over the course of the weekend. Patrick, Allgaier and Stenhouse Jr. will give fans an opportunity to get inside news from NASCAR's up-and-coming stars while also having access to food and beverages in a race fan's ideal social atmosphere. The Checkered Flag Fan Zone is located just outside of the track's main entrance and provides race fans with a unique, inside look at a few of their favorite drivers along with a hospitality opportunity.(Chicagoland Speedway)(6-11-2012)


    News from June 10, 2012

  • Logano wins at Pocono: #20-Joey Logano won the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 1st win of the year and his 2nd career win.
    #55-Martin finished 2nd followed by #14-Stewart, #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #15-Bowyer, #17-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #27-Menard, and #1-McMurray
    There were 7 cautions for 35 yellow flag laps. The race speed average was 131.004mph. There were 21 lead changes among 10 drivers.
    The estimated attendence was 100,000, up from 90,000 in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Pocono Race Results page (pdf).(6-10-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Pocono, race 14 of 36]
    1) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 523, -1
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 513, -10
    3) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 507, -16
    4) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 504, -19
    5) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 493, -30
    6) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 470, -53
    7) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 465, -58
    8) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 448, -759
    9) #15-Clint Bowyer [0 wins], 443, -80
    10) #2-Brad Keselowski [2 winss], 426, -97
    Chase wild card drivers:
    11) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win, 12th in points], 420, -103
    12) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win, 14th in points], 398, -125
    #20-Joey Logano [1 win, 15th in points], 398, -125
    #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win, 16th in points], 380, -143
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(6-10-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Michigan:
    #36 remains in 35th but is now 55 points ahead of 36th, the #33 team.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    32) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 201, +71
    33) #32-Sorenson/FAS Lane Racing, 189, +59
    34) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 188 +58
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 185, +55 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #33-Leicht/Childress, 130, -55 from the top 35
    37) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 116, -69
    38) #30-Stremme/Inception, 103, -82
    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).(6-10-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Dover International Speedway:
    #20-Joey Logano won the 31st Annual Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR, his second victory in 125 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2012.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in seven races at Pocono Raceway. He became the youngest race winner at Pocono. He also set a career-high with 48 laps led.
    Mark Martin (second) posted his 34th top-10 finish in 51 races at Pocono Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2012.
    Tony Stewart (third) posted his 19th top-10 finish in 27 races at Pocono Raceway.
    Matt Kenseth leads the point standings by 10 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-10-2012)

  • Pocono Notes-n-Nuggets:
    " The Pocono victory was Joey Logano's second Cup win in his 125th start.
    " His last win was at New Hampshire in June 2009 (104 stats between).
    " Logano grabbed his first Pocono win in his seventh start.
    " He is the 31st driver to win at Pocono in the 69th race at the track.
    " Logano's 104 race winless streak is the longest ever broken at Pocono.
    " He is the 10th different Cup winner in 2012.
    " Logano ended a 30 race winless streak for the pole winner -- the longest streak in Cup history.
    " The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is the youngest winner at Pocono (22 years, seven days).
    " His crew chief Jason Ratcliff notched his first Cup win.
    " Joe Gibbs ties Penske Racing with nine Pocono wins, second behind Hendrick's 12.
    " Gibbs picked up 97th Cup win.
    " It's the fourth win for Toyota in 2012, and third overall at Pocono.
    " Mark Martin (second) got his seventh second place finish at Pocono in his 51st start.
    " Tony Stewart (third) grabbed his fifth top-five finish of 2012.
    " Denny Hamlin (fifth) has his seventh top-five finish of the season.
    " Matt Kenseth (seventh) nabbed his 10th top-10 finish of the season, giving him the points lead by 10.
    " Dale Earnhardt Jr. (eighth) earned his Cup-best 11th top-10 finish of 2012, taking over second in points.
    " Greg Biffle (24th) has worst finish this season, dropping to third in the standings.
    " The 22 speeding penalties in the race are the most in documented infraction history (since 2006).(Racing Recall/nascar.com)(6-10-2012)

  • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Pocono: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: no driver a lap down
    Caution 2: #22-Allmendinger, 31st
    Caution 3: #10-Blaney, 25th
    Caution 4: none, #22-Allmendinger caused the caution
    Caution 5: #10-Blaney (2), 25th
    Caution 6: #51-Reutimann, 21st
    Caution 7: #2-Keselowski, 18th
    (6-10-2012)

  • Gordon going for 400th top-10: At Charlotte (2 races ago), #24-Jeff Gordon collected his 399th career top-10 finish. Only four other drivers have more: Richard Petty (712), Bobby Allison (446), Mark Martin (442) and Dale Earnhardt (428). Gordon is looking for his 400th top 10 in the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway this Sunday.(HMS)(6-10-2012)

  • No race wins for pole winners yet in 2012: after 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012, no driver that has won the pole has win the same race. #56-Martin Truex Jr. has the best finish of a 2012 pole sitter with a 6th place finish at Texas. The worst finish by a 2012 pole sitter is #5-Kasey Kahne, who finished 38th at Martinsville. The pole winner for Pocono is #. The last driver to win a race from the pole is #39-Ryan Newman, who won from the pole at New Hampshire in July 2011, 30 races ago. The record was 29, from 1989 thru 1990. More info and stats on pole on the 2013 Shootout / 2012 Pole winners page and the All-Time pole winners and records page.(6-10-2012)

  • Final Dover TV Ratings posted: The season finale of NASCAR on FOX suffered a double-digit drop in ratings. Last Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup FedEx 400 from Dover drew a 3.7 final rating on FOX, down 16% from last year (4.4), but even with 2010 (3.7). The 3.7 rating is tied as the lowest for the FedEx 400 since the 2004 race on FX (3.4). The 16% decline for last week's race is the second-largest of the season for NASCAR on FOX, behind only the 17% decline for the rain-affected Auto Club 400 from Fontana. The race only had a 5% decline in the overnights. For the season, ten of thirteen NASCAR telecasts on FOX suffered declines in ratings compared to last year. Seven of those ten telecasts were down by less than ten percent - including four telecasts that were off by just a tenth of a ratings point. Only two races were up from last year - the Food City 500 from Bristol (+2%) and the STP 400 from Kansas (+10%). The latter race moved from June to April (Sports Media Watch). See past race TV Ratings, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(6-10-2012)

  • Teams will have to pit more often at Pocono: Higher speeds at Pocono will increase fuel consumption in Sunday's race and shorten the pit intervals for most teams. So don't be surprised to see the first stop come much earlier than usual (probably well before the 30-lap mark), given that crew chiefs will be inclined to play it safe. "The track is fast, incredibly fast, approaching 12 miles per hour faster than it was last year," said Howard Comstock of SRT Motorsports Engineering, which supports the Penske Racing Dodge teams of Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger. "That's a big deal, and it makes a big difference. . . .We all know that this is a very important place for fuel economy. You can't risk running out on the backstretch on a flat track, or you'll never get back to the pits. So the speed is great, but how bad does that hurt fuel economy? We're in the throttle so long around the track now that it's using fuel to get the kind of speeds that we're seeing." Accordingly, crew chiefs and race engineers will have to be particularly vigilant in keeping track of fuel mileage. There will also be intense pressure on the fuelers to make sure the cell is filled.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-10-2012)

  • Jerry Springer could sponsor Kurt Busch? OK, it's only in the proposal stages, but a NASCAR team might soon sport a car bearing a likeness of salacious TV talk-show host Jerry Springer. And fittingly, given recent events, the team involved is Phoenix Racing's #51, which typically is driven by NASCAR bad boy Kurt Busch. Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll on Saturday showed FOXSports.com mock-ups of the #51 Chevy sponsored by "The Jerry Springer Show." Before Darlington Raceway weekend, Springer representatives asked Phoenix Racing to submit a proposal for a possible sponsorship, and the team delivered an image of the green and white car bearing Springer's likeness and the show's logo on the hood. The Springer request came after Busch drove the #51 with a "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" paint scheme the previous week in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.(Fox Sports)(6-10-2012)

  • Pocono honoring Mattioli: Pocono Raceway founder Dr. Joseph Mattioli passed away in January, but his memory will be honored during the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend. Dr. Rose Mattioli, Mattioli's widow, and Nick Igdalsky, his grandson, announced Thursday a series of tributes that will take place. "The main push this weekend is Sam Bass was kind enough to do a tribute piece for Doc, which will be the program cover for this event," said Igdalsky, who was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer when Mattioli unexpectedly announced his retirement last August. The race program will also include a seven-page photo spread to Mattioli, an Old Forge native who died Jan. 26 at age 86. Other tributes this weekend include:
    All ARCA and Sprint Cup cars will carry a decal with "Doc" - Mattioli's nickname - inside an outline of the 2.5-mile track.
    Many Pocono staff members will also wear pins of a similar design.
    There is a sign saying "Welcome to Doc's Place" as fans enter the infield via the tunnel.
    Large boulders at the entrance to the paddock area were repainted like the decal.
    A larger version of the decal will be emblazoned on the grass near the start of pit road.
    There will also be a moment of silence, Taps and a 21-gun salute prior to Sunday's Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR. Mattioli was a Navy medic in the Pacific during World War II.(Times Leader)(6-10-2012)

  • Hotels partner with Bristol for lower-cost options: Twenty-four properties stretching from East Tennessee to Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina comprise the first group participating in the Bristol Motor Speedway Fan-Friendly Lodging Partnership Program for the IRWIN Tools Night Race in August. A continued effort to help guests of BMS with the overall cost of a trip to Bristol, the Fan-Friendly Program includes properties that require reduced or no minimum-night stays at lower costs than previous years. Prices for rooms at participating properties start at $35 and visitors are urged to check distance and research the property to determine which one best fits their needs.(BMS)(6-10-2012)


    News from June 9, 2012

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #20-Logano chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #99-Edwards took pit stall 31, the first pitstall behind the start finish line.
    #27-Menard, who starts 3rd took the 25th pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #55-Martin, who starts 6th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-9-2012)

  • Logano wins pole at Pocono: #20-Joey Logano won the pole for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway with a speed of 179.598mph, a new track record, for his 1st pole of 2012 and 4th career pole. #99-Edwards was 2nd fastest followed by #27-Menard, #18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #55-Martin, #78-Smith, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #9-Ambrose and #5-Kahne. The top 36 drivers broke the old track record.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #19-Bliss, #98-McDowell, #49-Yeley, #87-Nemechek, #26-Wise, #23-Riggs, #74-Compton, #33-Leicht.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #30-Stremme.
    #74-Stacy Compton will run his first Sprint Cup race since he ran the July 2003 race at Daytona in the #4 Kodak Pontiac for Morgan-McClure, finishing 33rd.
    See qualifying results & starting lineup on the Pocono Qualifying / Starting Lineup page (pdf)(6-9-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Pocono Raceway:
    #20-Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 31st Annual Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR with a lap of 50.112 seconds, 179.598 mph.
    This is his fourth pole in 125 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and seventh top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his second pole in seven races at Pocono Raceway. The first came in the last event at the track, Aug. 7, 2011.
    #99-Carl Edwards (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2012 and his fifth in 15 races at Pocono Raceway.
    #27-Paul Menard (third) posted his third top-10 start - and best career start - at Pocono Raceway. It is his second in 14 races this season.
    #26-Josh Wise (35th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-9-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 11:10am/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 11:00am/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: 8:30pm/et

  • Could Penske buy into Roush-Yates? While drivers and crews ponder the 'new' track and strategies, one of the hottest stories in the sport is being played out behind closed doors: The Roger Penske-Jack Roush dealing for 2013 is still being kept well hidden by both sides. Penske, after 10 years with Dodge, is switching to Fords at the end of the season, and what Penske will do for engines has been a big question in the NASCAR garage. Neither man has said much about how their talks have gone. Roush has said he's willing to sell engines to Penske. But then Penske has his own engine operation, 80-men strong. The sense has been that Penske and Roush will likely be more competitors in 2013 than tight Ford teammates. And following that, it would seem unlikely that Penske would be willing to or interested in buying engines from such a powerful competitor. Now, however there is increasing speculation in the stock car garage about the Penske-Roush situation, and it goes like this:
    -- Penske would indeed buy his Ford engines in 2013 from Roush-Yates;
    -- that would allow Penske to sell his own in-house/in-Charlotte stock car engine operation to Dodge, to allow Dodge to attract a top operation to run its cars next season;
    -- the kicker could be that Penske might want to buy a major share of the entire Roush-Yates engine operation.(MikeMulhern.net)(6-9-2012)

  • Herr Foods, Hero Energy Shot sponsor Sorenson in Pocono: Herr Foods and Hero Energy Shot have teamed with FAS Lane Racing to sponsor the #32 Ford piloted by Reed Sorenson in this weekend's Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. Both companies are local to Pennsylvania and are partnering with FAS Lane Racing to increase awareness about their efforts to help the 32 million Americans that put on a uniform every day to serve and protect this country. Hero Energy Shot, based in Paoli, Pa., and Herr's of Nottingham, Pa. are proud to team together this weekend. Herr's distributes their snack food products to over 35,000 locations and has been carrying Hero Energy Shot for the last six months building distribution and sales. Proceeds from every sale of Hero Energy Shot go to non-profit organizations that support our military, firefighters, police and first responders.(FAS Lane/Breaking Limits)(6-9-2012)

  • Danica's merchandise hauler involved in accident: This hasn't been a very good NASCAR season for #10-Danica Patrick, and now even one of the trailers carrying her branded merchandise has found some trouble. Patrick's souvenir hauler was rear-ended by another truck on Thursday while en route from Eldora Speedway in Ohio to Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. According to a picture circulating Twitter, the cab of the other truck went all the way into the rear end of Patrick's hauler (the driver's condition is unknown). Merchandise company Motorsports Authentics is the owner and operator of the hauler, not JR Motorsports or Stewart-Haas Racing. A request for comment from a Motorsports Authentics executive was not immediately returned. Josh Williams, who spots for Scott Speed in the Sprint Cup Series, tweeted that his cousin works on Patrick's souvenir rig and was uninjured.(SB Nation)(6-9-2012)

  • NASCAR to salute NOSC sailors at Pocono: NASCAR will honor Lehigh Valley sailors representing the U.S. Navy Operational Support Center on Sunday at Pocono Raceway through an initiative called "Troops to the Track," which invites active duty, wounded warriors, veterans and military families to races throughout the year for NASCAR-style VIP experiences. The program is part of the "NASCAR Unites -- An American Salute" patriotic initiative involving the NASCAR community and fans during a six-week summer period between Memorial Day and Independence Day weekend to support U.S. military families. This weekend, NASCAR will host 20 sailors and their families for a daylong interactive at-track experience, including a meet-and-greet with Sprint Cup Series drivers, special invitation and recognition at the drivers' pre-race meeting, private tour of the Cup Series garage, pit-road access to witness the driver introductions/national anthem, and special seating in the grandstands. NOSC Lehigh Valley maintains the highest rate of readiness in order to provide mission-capable units and individuals to the Navy and Marine Corps team throughout the full range of operations through peace and war. The sailors represent a wide range of military service from seven to 20 years and many whom have served in the Arabian Gulf, Japan, Kuwait, Africa, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan.(NASCAR)(6-9-2012)

  • Michigan names race officials: Two of [Michigan's] biggest sports superstars will be grand marshal and honorary starter for the Father's Day Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Starting goaltender for the 11-time Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings Jimmy Howard will remove his mask and serve as grand marshal for the Quicken Loans 400, giving the command to start engines. Dominic Raiola, the center and team captain for the NFL's Detroit Lions, will be honorary starter, waving the green flag. When it comes to his play between the pipes, Howard is regarded as one of the best goalies in the NHL. He has played in 192 regular season games for the Red Wings with 188 starts, posting a 110-54-19 record. He played in his first NHL All-Star Game earlier this year. Raiola has played in 172 career, regular season NFL games with 156 starts during his NFL career. A model of consistency, he has missed just four games since entering into the starting lineup in 2002. The seven-year captain is considered the leader of the lockerroom and held in high regard by his peers and the media. (MIS)(6-9-2012)

  • Atlanta and Richard Petty Driving Experience offering Father's Day Deal: Family members looking to get Dad a high-octane experience for Father's Day this year have lucked out with a special offer from Atlanta Motor Speedway and Richard Petty Driving Experience that he won't forget anytime soon. Through June 18, when one driving experience is purchased, customers will receive a second driving experience of equal or lesser value at a half-price rate. RPDE will also offer three-lap high-speed ride-alongs for only $59, normally a $109 value. Richard Petty Driving Experience offers race fans real-life NASCAR racing thrills, putting customers as close to being in the race as they will ever get. Programs include eight to 50-lap driving experiences where participants have the chance to climb behind the wheel and experience the feel of a 600-horsepower stock car. Reservations for the Father's Day driving experience promotion can be made by calling 1 (800) 237-3889. Father's Day ride-along gift cards are also available by visiting www.drivepetty.com.(AMS)(6-9-20120)


    News from June 8, 2012

  • Happy Hour practice for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over after 80 minutes, the top-5:
    #20-Logano 179.501
    #99-Edwards 179.361
    #24-Gordon 179.108
    #27-Menard 178.798
    #18-Busch 178.540
    slowest: #32-Sorenson 171.246 & #36-Raines 169.856.
    notes: The session started about 10 minutes late after light rain showers fell at the track.
    See fastest speeds, best ten-lap averages, laps run and more on the Pocono Happy Hour Practice Speeds (pdf), no average speeds all laps and NOT changing back to the old way, just posting the pdf's.(6-8-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers rank in final practice for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. These drivers are not in the top-35 of team owners points and must qualify by speed for the race, eight will make the race and one will miss the race.
    If things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #98-Michael McDowell, 15th
    #30-David Stremme, 18th
    #19-Mike Bliss, 26th
    #49-J.J. Yeley, 27th
    #26-Josh Wise#, 29th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 30th
    #23-Scott Riggs, 35th
    #74-Stacy Compton, 39th
    If things stay the same, this driver would miss the race:
    #33-Stephen Leicht#, 40th
    (6-8-2012)

  • Qualifying Order for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #32-Sorenson, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #55-Martin, 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 Pocono Qualifying Page.(6-8-2012)

  • First Friday practice for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-5, slowest and any notes:
    #55-Martin 179.379
    #1-McMurray 178.937
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 178.809
    #48-Johnson 178.678
    #22-Allmendinger 178.204
    slowest: #36-Raines 170.648 & #32-Sorenson 170.467.
    notes: 40 drivers broke the old track record of 172.533.
    See fastest speeds, best ten-lap averages, laps run and more on the Pocono Practice 1 Speeds (pdf), no average speeds all laps and NOT changing back to the old way, just posting the pdf's.(6-8-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers rank in practice for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. These drivers are not in the top-35 of team owners points and must qualify by speed for the race, eight will make the race and one will miss the race.
    If things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #98-Michael McDowell, 25th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 28th
    #49-J.J. Yeley, 29th
    #19-Mike Bliss, 30th
    #26-Josh Wise#, 31st
    #74-Stacy Compton, 36th
    #33-Stephen Leicht#, 37tht
    #30-David Stremme, 38th
    If things stay the same, this driver would miss the race:
    #23-Scott Riggs, 42nd
    (6-8-2012)

  • NASCAR won't need restrictor plates at Pocono: Lap times are wicked fast at Pocono Raceway since the 2.5-mile track was repaved last year. However, Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, doesn't anticipate the need for restrictor plates this weekend. On Thursday, drivers flirted with a total lap speed of 180 mph and cars topped 212 mph entering Turn 1 at Pocono Raceway during the second day of testing. "No, absolutely not," Pemberton said of the prospect of implementing restrictor plates. "We're well within reason here. Average speed is going pretty good, so we're happy. There's a lot of grip here, so there's no reason for that." #11-Denny Hamlin and Pemberton expect the track qualifying record of 172.533 mph set by Kasey Kahne in 2004 to be obliterated Saturday. Pemberton predicted the time will be at least two seconds faster. Kahne led all drivers in Thursday's test session with a top lap of 179.490 mph. And Hamlin, one of the first drivers to experiment with tandem drafting at restrictor-plate track Talladega Superspeedway, anticipates some form of drafting down the straightaway at Pocono. He also believes the corners will be treacherous. However, the latest wrinkle - the distance of Sunday's race was changed from 500 miles to 400 - could have the greatest effect of all.(Fox Sports)(6-8-2012)

  • Truex, Jr's crew chief will miss Pocono: #56-Martin Truex Jr. crew chief Chad Johnston flew to Pocono Raceway last year a little nervous as he headed to his first weekend as a Sprint Cup crew chief. He's much more nervous flying to Pocono this week. He planned to fly to the track Thursday night, having missed the two-day test session at Pocono to be with his wife, who is expecting to give birth to a baby boy in the next few days. She is due Saturday, and Johnston plans to fly back home to North Carolina after qualifying Saturday. Michael Waltrip Racing competition director Scott Miller will call the race Sunday. Those plans, Johnston said Thursday morning, are all tentative as he tries to do the right thing for both work and home. "Family comes first, but your race team is a pretty important part," Johnston said. "You don't want to sacrifice the finish or the performance on something that is personal."(Sporting News)(6-8-2012)

  • #NASCAR goes live at Twitter: Twitter 'flipped the switch' and went live for the first time with its NASCAR hashtag product in preparation for Sunday's Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR. The first of its kind with any sports league or organization, this new product will create an enhanced live event experience on Twitter at Twitter.com/#NASCAR. Twitter.com/#NASCAR showcases the best Tweets and photos from NASCAR insiders in an effort to bring the behind-the-scenes story to life for fans during NASCAR race weekends. The page includes Tweets from drivers, pit crew members, families, media, NASCAR representatives and other industry constituencies like race tracks and sponsors. Fans also have an opportunity to see their Tweets featured. Using a combination of sophisticated algorithmic signals and Twitter's editorial curation, Twitter.com/#NASCAR features the highest quality, most engaging content about the race and NASCAR. Behind-the-scenes photos, exclusive content and innovative and original Tweets will likely have the best chance of being featured on this new live event page.(NASCAR)(6-8-2012)

  • 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 Pocono Raceway on the Pocono Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Daytona to honor Medal of Honor Recipients: During the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway, along with the thousands of race fans in attendance, will pay tribute to four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. 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. 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
    All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 6 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 7. During Saturday's 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies.(DIS)(6-8-2012)


    News from June 7, 2012

  • Testing concludes at Pocono: Speed - and plenty of it - was the buzz word at Pocono Raceway during the second of two days of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at the newly-paved 2.5-mile triangular-shaped track as teams prepare for Sunday's Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR. Kasey Kahne put down the overall fastest lap of the test at 179.490 mph during today's afternoon session. A.J. Allmendinger set the pace in the morning session at 177.190 mph - well ahead of the 175.380 mph fast lap Mark Martin recorded on Wednesday. A total of 41 cars tested today; yesterday 36 cars were on track. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said the test was a success from NASCAR's perspective. "It's been really smooth," Pemberton said. "All in all it's been really positive in the garage area. [The track is] definitely faster but with the amount of grip that's here, you'll see the grooves widen out. With the 400 mile race and the outstanding job Goodyear did with these tires, I think we're in for an exceptional weekend."(NASCAR)(6-7-2012)

  • Thursday afternoon Pocono test: 41 teams tested during Thursday afternoon's session at Pocono Raceway. The top 5:
    #5-Kahne 179.490
    #1-McMurray 179.401
    #55-Martin 179.390
    #24-Gordon 179.272
    #27-Menard 179.005 See complete results and 10 lap averages on the Pocono Test 3 Speeds (pdf).(6-7-2012)

  • Thursday morning Pocono test: 42 cup teams took to the track during Thursday morning's test session on the repaved Pocono Raceway. The top 5:
    #22-Allmendinger 177.190
    #42-Montoya 176.602
    #55-Martin 176.595
    #15-Bowyer 176.550
    #11-Hamlin 176.218
    The test will conclude this afternoon with a 1:00-3:30pm/et session.
    See complete results and 10 lap averages on the Pocono Test 2 Speeds (pdf).(6-7-2012)

  • Sad News - Cotton Owens: Former driver and car owner Cotton Owens passed away age 88 only weeks after being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Owens will officially enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame when the enshrinement ceremonies happen on Friday, February 8, 2013. Owens will be joined by Rusty Wallace, Leonard Wood, Buck Baker and Herb Thomas in this 4th class. Owens was more than successful behind the wheel, winning nine times in NASCAR's premier series competition, including the 1957 Daytona Beach road course which marked Pontiac's first NASCAR victory. He nearly won the 1959 championship, finishing second to NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Lee Petty. Concurrently Owens raced NASCAR modified stock cars and won the 1953-54 championships. ut as an owner, Owens stood out as one of the greats of NASCAR's early eras. His eye for talent was unmatched. He hired Johnson in 1962, the same season in which he began a future championship relationship with another NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, David Pearson.(CBS Sports)(6-7-2012)
    UPDATE:
    STATEMENT FROM THE OWENS FAMILY:
    "The family would like to express gratitude for the thoughts and prayers of precious friends and fans. While Cotton was a racing legend with an incredible racing "family," we mourn the irreplaceable great granddad, granddad, father, uncle, brother-in-law and friend we have all lost. The family respectfully requests privacy at this difficult time."
    STATEMENT FROM BRIAN FRANCE, NASCAR CHAIRMAN AND CEO:
    "NASCAR has lost one of its true pioneers, with the passing of Cotton Owens. On behalf of the France Family and everyone at NASCAR, I offer heartfelt condolences to Cotton's family and friends. This is a sad day for the NASCAR industry, but we are all consoled by the fact that Cotton was voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame before his death. Today we have lost a portion of our past. But people like Cotton Owens are the reason our sport thrives today -- and can look forward to a promising future."
    STATEMENT FROM WINSTON KELLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NASCAR HALL OF FAME
    "We lost one of NASCAR's greats today. Our hearts go out to Cotton's family, and we hope they find strength in the memories of his remarkable life and career. That career was topped off just a few weeks ago with his selection for the Class of 2013. In speaking to his grandson, Brandon Davis, he reiterated how much being an Inductee meant to Cotton and how much it lifted his spirit. I vividly remember when I first started following NASCAR in the early to mid-'60s watching his white and red No. 6 Dodge run up front with David Pearson and later Buddy Baker. I was just a child, but I still remember his car being a contender all the time. It was one of the ones to beat. In more recent years I remember how supportive he was of our initiatives. NASCAR recognized his career by inviting him to be an original member of our Voting Panel. You could always count on Cotton to be here for Voting Day and other hall events. He will be missed."
    STATEMENT FROM BUZ MCKIM, HISTORIAN NASCAR HALL OF FAME:
    "Cotton Owens was one of the first heroes of NASCAR. He was exciting to watch, as he thrilled early-day fans with his patented broadsliding on dirt tracks. Not only a gifted driver, he was a fine mechanic and was a championship car owner. He also mentored many drivers, among them David Pearson. Another chapter of history closes today as the racing world has lost a great friend and pioneer, Everett "Cotton" Owens."(NASCAR)(6-7-2012)

  • Kyle Busch wins Prelude to the Dream: After knocking on the door to victory lane countless times in his five previous runs in the Prelude To The Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Kyle Busch finally broke through Wednesday night to score his first win in the all-star dirt Late Model race benefiting Feed The Children. "This is cool," said Busch, who outlasted strong challenges from Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer before finishing 2.283 seconds over runner-up Tony Stewart. "This is what it's all about when you go dirt racing. It's a lot of fun." Busch started the 40-lap feature event in second place and dueled with Kahne and Bowyer, who together led the first 24 laps (Kahne 1-12; Bowyer 13-21; Kahne 22-24) before Busch took over the lead on lap 25 when Kahne crashed into Bobby Labonte. Busch then checked out, beating three-time Prelude winner Stewart to nab his first career victory at Eldora. Finishing third was Austin Dillon in just his second Prelude start. Four-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz finished fourth in his dirt Late Model debut. Stewart's NASCAR teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing, Ryan Newman, finished fifth. Aric Almirola, Cruz Pedregon, Dave Blaney, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier completed the top-10, all of whom will get a tractor-trailer filled with food from Feed The Children delivered to their hometown or city of choice.(True Speed Communications) see complete results on the Predule to the Dream page.(6-7-2012)

  • Armed Forces Foundation on the #31: Jeff Burton and the #31 RCR team are proud to carry the colors of The Armed Forces Foundation this weekend at Pocono Raceway. The AFF offers vital assistance to active-duty and retired personnel, National Guard, Reserve Components and military families. As soon as a wounded warrior arrives at the hospital, the Armed Forces Foundation steps in to assist the family in traveling to his or her side and provides lodging for them to stay with their loved one. The foundation also provides financial assistance, therapeutic recreational and outreach programs, outdoor hunting programs, military family events, a national education initiative surrounding Veterans Day and Christmas toy drives. The AFF follows their motto "serving those who serve," as a blueprint to provide a well-rounded program of assistance and support for the entire military family unit.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #31 team paint scheme page)(6-7-2012)

  • The Numbers for the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway: 1 - fewest cautions (7/30/78)
    2 - fewest on lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 6/6/82)
    3 - fewest caution laps (7/30/78)
    4 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    4 - fewest leaders (twice, most recent 6/9/85)
    4 - fewest laps led by race winner (Bobby Labonte, 7/29/01)
    5 - most wins (Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott)
    5 - most poles (Bill Elliott, Ken Schrader)
    10 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at Pocono Raceway
    10 - fewest lead changes (7/26/98)
    12 - wins by car owner (Rick Hendrick)
    13 - most cautions (twice, most recent 7/24/05)
    16 - drivers with more than one pole at "The Tricky Triangle"
    16 - most leaders (three times, most recent 6/13/04)
    18 - fewest cars running at finish (7/25/82)
    20 - drivers with more than one win
    22 - wins from the front row; 13 from the pole
    29 - worst starting position for race winner (Carl Edwards, 6/12/05)
    30 - different race winners
    36 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/10/07)
    38 - different pole winners
    42 - most cars running at finish (6/10/07)
    56 - most lead changes (7/30/79)
    57 - most caution laps (6/13/04)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track
    175 - most laps led by race winner (Kurt Busch, 8/5/07)
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    4 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega and Darlington)
    10 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    73 - cautions in the first 13 races of 2012; includes 29 for accidents, 24 for debris and eight for spins
    398 of 4,288 - laps under caution in 2012
    504.571 of 5,233.118 - miles under caution in the first 13 races
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(6-7-2012)

  • Fans can win tickets to autograph session at Atlanta: As part of the AdvoCare 500 weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway is providing fans the opportunity to gain access to an autograph session with four premier NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 1. Fans purchasing tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 by July 8 will be entered to be selected to attend the autograph session with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard. The autograph session will be held at the speedway on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 11:00 a.m. By random draw, 100 accounts will be selected during the week of July 9. Those selected will be allowed to bring one guest to the autograph session. Those that have already purchased AdvoCare 500 tickets are automatically eligible for selection.(AMS)(6-7-2012)


    News from June 6, 2012

  • High speeds highlight Wednesday test: A new surface was on full display today at Pocono Raceway, where 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars were on track during a test session in preparation for Sunday's Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR. Today's test was the first full-field opportunity for the series at Pocono; seven drivers took part in a Goodyear tire test in April.
    "We're in for a really good race come Sunday," said John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director. "Goodyear's done an excellent job at matching the tire to the new surface. Basically all the way up and down through the garage we've heard zero complaints which is a good feeling. It will only continue to get better throughout the weekend, because more of the racing surface gets rubbered in, grooves get wider and offer the ability to the competitors to turn into some multiple lane racing, especially through corners where it counts come Sunday. So we're pleased."
    Additionally, for the first time in the track's history, the race is scheduled for 400 miles, down from 500. That also will be the case for the second race at Pocono in August.
    "They did a great job; (the) track was really nice and smooth (with) good grip," said four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon, a five-time winner at Pocono. "We have had some repaves where it is a handful and pretty slick. That was not the case at all today."
    "You never know what to expect when a race track gets paved," said Jeff Burton. "This pavement is unbelievably just nice, smooth. The quality of racing is going to be improved a great deal. [But] it's still Pocono. It still has the same characteristics and the personality of Pocono, but just has more grip"
    Mark Martin was the fastest in today's session with a speed of 175.380 mph, which bettered the top practice speed from last August's race at Pocono - 170.026 mph by Ryan Newman. In all, 33 drivers eclipsed Newman's 2011 number. Paul Menard put down 61 laps, most among all drivers. A brief rain shower shortened the originally-scheduled four-hour session by 35 minutes.(NASCAR)(6-6-2012)

  • Wednesday afternoon Pocono test: 36 cup teams took to the track during Wednesday afternoon's test session on the repaved Pocono Raceway. The top 5:
    #55-Martin, 175.380
    #22-Allmendinger, 175.029
    #48-Johnson, 174.808
    #29-Harvick 174.686
    #5-Kahne, 174.578
    #16-Biffle, 174,162
    The current pole record speed at Pocono is 172.533
    The test will continue Thursday from 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00-3:30pm/et.
    See complete results and 10 lap averages on the Pocono Test 1 Speeds (pdf).(6-6-2012)

  • Pocono Goodyear Tire Notes: Due to the track re-surfacing, Goodyear has brought a new tire combination to Pocono this week . . . these teams did run this right-side tire code (D-4520) at Phoenix earlier this season . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Pocono on April 24-25 . . . drivers and teams participating in that test were A.J. Allmendinger in the #22 Penske Racing Dodge, Aric Almirola in the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Kasey Kahne in the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, Joey Logano in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and Jamie McMurray in the #1 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevy . . . . compared to what was run at Pocono last year, there are both compound and construction changes on both the left- and right-side tires . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners on all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear), see full notes, tire codes, number of sets, codes and more on the Pocono Race Info page - Goodyear section.

  • Biffle appearing on American Restoration: TONIGHT: #16-Greg Biffle will reach a new level of stardom this week when he makes an appearance one of his favorite shows which airs on one of his favorite channels. Biffle had been a fan of "American Restorations" on HISTORY since it began four seasons ago. He got a chance to meet the show's host, Rick Dale and his wife in Las Vegas earlier this year and they immediately shared a vision to do an episode together. "I can't tell you how excited I am about meeting Rick and getting to be on 'American Restorations'," said Biffle. "I can't give too much away but I can tell you that the restoration Rick and his crew did for me is unbelievable. I hope everyone watches the show this Wednesday to see what they were able to do with something that has meant a lot to me for a long time." After a few months of planning, several miles of travel and a lot of hard work by Rick and his crew, the episode will air this Wednesday, June 6th on HISTORY at 10:00 p.m. ET.(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-5-2012)
    UPDATE: From the History Channel show guide: "Rick puts the pedal to the metal when NASCAR driver Greg Biffle asks him to restore his 1970s Montesa motorcycle. Can Rick steer this speed demon dirt bike to the finish line or will this muddy motorbike wipe out before the checkered flag?"(6-6-2012)

  • Pocono test gets underway: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will begin a two-day test session at Pocono Raceway on Wedesday afternoon. The test provides the first opportunity for all teams to run on Pocono's new racing surface in preparation for Sunday's Pocono 400. On Wednesday, teams will be on track from 12:00-4:00pm/et, and Thursday from 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00-3:30pm/et.(NASCAR) Unknown if any offical speeds will be released. They will be posted if so.(6-6-2012)

  • TNT starts NASCAR coverage at Pocono: Turner Sports is geared up for its 30th year of NASCAR coverage with TNT's six-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series set to begin Sunday, June 10, at noon ET from Pocono Raceway. TNT's NASCAR coverage will once again feature analysis by Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach with play-by-play commentator Adam Alexander expanding his role this season. Alexander will add pre-race hosting responsibilities this year, joined by analysts Petty and Larry McReynolds. TNT's reporters will include: Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville.
    TNT's coverage also will include several production enhancements this year including a weekly "NASCAR Generations" segment during the Countdown to Green pre-race show, a new on-set touch screen application, and broader social media integration. Additionally, McReynolds will roll out a customized, unique broadcast unit that will house his very own studio, as well as his base location to provide analysis using a cut-away display car.
    TNT's "NASCAR Generations" is a segment which will air during the one-hour Countdown to Green each week featuring a panel discussion hosted by Alexander with five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, legendary NASCAR champions Ned Jarrett and Bill Elliott, as well as TNT NASCAR analysts McReynolds and Petty.(TNT Sports)(6-6-2012)

  • Banana Boat on McMurray's Chevy at Pocono: Banana Boat joins as a primary sponsor on McMurray's #1 this weekend and will be represented with a special orange, blue and white paint scheme at Pocono Raceway. Banana Boat offers a new line of Sport Performance CoolZone continuous spray sunscreen.(Earnhardt-Ganassi), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(6-6-2012)

  • NASCAR appoints leadership for Broadcasting and Productions: NASCAR announced a number of strategic moves designed to further strengthen its broadcasting and production units. Steve Herbst, who has overseen NASCAR's broadcasting and global media rights since May 2011, has been selected to lead what was formerly known as NASCAR Media Group Productions as vice president, broadcasting and production. This unit is being rebranded as NASCAR Productions and will join NASCAR Broadcasting, NASCAR Digital Media and NASCAR Entertainment in being more closely aligned with the company's other fan engagement and development departments.
    Steve Stum has been promoted to vice president of operations and technical production, Tally Hair has been named managing director of production and programming and Seth Bacon has been elevated to senior director of broadcasting. NASCAR Vice President of Digital Media Marc Jenkins will continue to lead NASCAR Digital Media. Zane Stoddard, managing director in NASCAR's Los Angeles office, will continue to lead NASCAR Entertainment. Jay Abraham, who has held various leadership roles at NMG, is no longer with NASCAR.
    In addition to the realignment of these business units and the leadership appointments, NASCAR also announced a streamlined business focus for NASCAR Productions. Going forward, NASCAR Productions will focus solely on delivering content and executing projects that support NASCAR's broader mission of serving current NASCAR fans and growing new audiences.(NASCAR)(6-6-2012)

  • Georgia Boot becomes associate sponsor of Bowyer: Georgia Boot, "America's Hardest Working Boot," announced a partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing and driver Clint Bowyer to become an associate sponsor on the #15 Toyota for 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. Georgia Boot will appear on the lower rear quarter panel of Bowyer's #15 car beginning at this weekend's race at Pocono Raceway through the Aug. 19 race at Michigan International Speedway. The company's emblem will be also appearing on the sleeve of Bowyer's fire suits. Georgia Boot is a full-season sponsor of Clint Bowyer Racing's #15 Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series and its driver Jonathan Davenport.(MWR)(6-6-2012)

  • Danica to be playable character in Sega Racing Game: SEGA of America Inc. announced that Danica Patrick will be appearing alongside Sonic the Hedgehog in "Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed", the new racing game where players speed across land, air and water in fully transforming vehicles. Known for her talents behind the wheel, Danica will be a playable character with customized vehicles in "Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed". Gamers will get the chance to test their racing abilities as Danica against an All-Star cast of SEGA characters including Sonic, Knuckles, AiAi and others. To further enhance this partnership, Danica will be racing in a custom #7 Sonic the Hedgehog Chevy, fielded by JR Motorsports, during the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Texas Motor Speedway. The race, part of NASCAR's Nationwide Series, marks Sonic the Hedgehog's NASCAR debut.(Sega)(6-6-2012)

  • Sad News - Tommy Earnhardt: RCR to run decals: Tommy Lee "Sy" Earnhardt, 63, of Concord, passed away on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at home. The family will receive friends at Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord on Tuesday, June 5, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The funeral service, officiated by the Rev. Richard Payne, will follow in the Hartsell Funeral Home chapel at 7 p.m. Burial will be Oakwood Cemetery on Wednesday, June 6, at 10 a.m. Tommy Lee "Sy" Earnhardt was born on Oct. 22, 1948, in Cabarrus County, to the late Martin Luther Earnhardt and Vernice Blackwelder Earnhardt. He was employed as an engine assembler for (ECR) Earnhardt Childress Racing and owner of Firehouse Racing Engines. His love was engines and he sometimes assembled them in motel rooms for well known drivers. "Sy" was also employed with Benfield Racing, Mike Curb Racing, Stavola Bros/Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Panther Racing/Derrick Close and Vasenook, among others before being employed at ECR. He is survived by a sister, Marsha E. Johnson; nephew, R. Martin Moss; step-son, Ryan Earnhardt; and his companion and high school sweetheart, Linda B. Preston. Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord is serving the Earnhardt family.(6-5-2012)
    DECALS: All six Richard Childress Racing entries in this weekend's NASCAR races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway will carry decals honoring the memory of long-time RCR/ECR Engines employee Tommy Lee "Sy" Earnhardt. Earnhardt, 63, passed away June 2, 2012 at his home in North Carolina after a long illness. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord, c/o Tommy L. Earnhardt, P.O. Box 367, Concord, NC 28026; Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28081; or the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, P.O. Box 571021, Winston-Salem, NC 27199.(RCR)(6-6-2012)

  • Budweiser Party Porch comes to Turn Four at Michigan: Michigan International Speedway has brought all the amenities of a tailgate to Turn Four. Now, fans can party before, during and after the race, all while overlooking the high-speed action of NASCAR's soon-to-be fastest racetrack. The new Budweiser Party Porch at Michigan International Speedway is a respite area and hang-out at the track, all overlooking Turn Four. The new patio includes concession and merchandise stands, as well as a full bar. Plus, there will be umbrella-covered picnic tables for fans to sit and relax during the day. The Budweiser Party Porch is open all day and practically all night. The Turn Four Patio is for guests of all ages before and during the race. Guests may bring coolers the meet speedway requirements in to enjoy the area. After the race, the Budweiser Party Porch is a cool hang-out for the speedway's camping guests 21 and older. The age restrictions will be enforced about one hour after the race. Coolers are not permitted in the area during this time. Live music is scheduled from 8-11 p.m. every night, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Budweiser Party Porch will close at midnight.(MIS)(6-6-2012)


    News from June 5, 2012

  • Diversity Program lawsuit settled: A discrimination lawsuit filed by a former candidate for NASCAR's Drive For Diversity program was settled Tuesday afternoon. Michael Rodriguez, a former two-time Pennsylvania karting champion and youngest Super Late Model winner at Mountain (St. John's, Pa.) Speedway, claimed in his lawsuit that he lost his opportunity to participate for appearing "too Caucasian," and that's why NASCAR rejected him at age 15 and 16 from trying out for the Drive For Diversity program in 2005 and 2006. Rodriguez filed the suit against NASCAR and Access Communications, the company NASCAR hired from 2004-2008 to administer its diversity program to increase minorities' participation in the sport, in U.S. District Court in January 2010, and the trial began Monday in Charlotte. But after a day of jury selection, opening statements and testimony by Rodriguez's father, the sides said Tuesday morning they had come to an agreement. NASCAR was dismissed outright as a defendant to the suit, while Access and Rodriguez worked out a settlement. The Rodriguez family declined to speak about the details of the settlement. Now 22 and not having driven in four years because of a lack of funding, Rodriguez said the settlement will allow him to compete in some ARCA races.(Sporting News)(6-5-2012)

  • Mod Space sponsoring Gilliland: It's always nice to stay close to home. That is exactly what Front Row Motorsports sponsor, Berwyn, Pa.-based ModSpace, will be doing this weekend. The company will be on the hood and sides of the #38 Ford driven by David Gilliland this weekend at the Pocono Raceway. Gilliland welcomes the company back on the car after a 26th-place finish the last time ModSpace was on the car two weeks ago at Charlotte. The team ran strong all night in one of NASCAR's toughest races.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), see an image of the car on the #38 team paint schemes page.(6-5-2012)

  • Transportation Impact on the #43 at Ponoco Coming off their second top-10 finish of the season, Aric Almirola and the #43 team of Richard Petty Motorsports will take new sponsor Transportation Impact to Pocono Raceway for an extended weekend that will include a two-day open test. Sunday's Pocono 400 will mark the NASCAR debut for Transportation Impact, an Emerald Isle, N.C.-based parcel spend management company.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(6-5-2012)

  • NASCAR will look at Kurt Busch's actions after Dover Nationwide race: UPDATE - Suspended from Pocono; will meet with Finch next week: #51-Kurt Busch wouldn't speak with USA TODAY Sports at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, the morning after a video of him berating a reporter went viral. "Why would I want to speak with anyone today?" Busch said as he and girlfriend Patricia Driscoll exited a short chapel service at the track, about 90 minutes before the scheduled start of the FedEx 400. "No comment." Shortly thereafter, he spent about five minutes meeting with NASCAR President Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton in the Sprint Cup hauler. NASCAR confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that the meeting was called to speak with Busch about his Saturday tirade. Upon exiting, Busch continued to decline comment, and NASCAR wouldn't offer further details about the meeting but was considering discipline. NASCAR typically doles out punishment on Tuesdays after a race. At issue was Busch's tirade that was caught on Speed TV cameras with Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass. Busch had been asked about his in-race actions with Justin Allgaier (the two bumped early in the race but there was no retaliation) because of Busch's recent placement on probation. Busch responded, "It (the probation) refrains me from beating the (expletive) out of your right now, because you ask me stupid questions. But since I'm on probation, I suppose that that's improper to say as well." Busch was placed on probation and fined $50,000 following the May 12 Cup race at Darlington Raceway after he did a burnout in rival Ryan Newman's pit box and then had a confrontation with Newman crewmembers after the race.(USA Today)(6-3-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has suspended driver Kurt Busch until June 13 of this year and extended his NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for his actions following the NASCAR Nationwide Series race June 2 at Dover International Speedway. Kurt Busch violated Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; violation of probation; verbal abuse to a media member) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. Kurt Busch had previously been placed on NASCAR probation May 15 for his actions during the May 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway. That probation was originally scheduled to end July 25 but has now been extended through the end of this year.(NASCAR)(6-4-2012)
    Statement from Busch: "I accept NASCAR's decision. I put them in a box, they had to take action and it's my fault for putting them in this position. I apologize for the comments I made to Bob Pockrass."(True Speed Communications)(6-4-2012)
    UPDATE 2: [#51 car owner James] Finch told ESPN.com he would meet with Busch over the next couple of days to discuss whether they would keep the handshake agreement they made before the season. He didn't sound like a man convinced the arrangement could or would work. "If he's going to kill himself, I'm not going to be in the airplane with him," Finch said by phone. "If that's what he's planning on doing, I am going to get out." Finch made it clear after Busch was released by Penske Racing following a profanity-laced tirade against ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November that if Busch embarrassed him like he did Roger Penske "he would have gotten his ass beat on pit road. He needs to simmer down a while," Finch told ESPN.com in December. "There are a lot of people that don't like Kurt. He's never done anything to me personally. He just needs to look in the mirror and see what the problem is." Now Busch has done something to Finch personally, even though the incident came while Busch was driving a Kyle Busch Motorsports Nationwide car for his little brother. Finch made it clear there are several qualified drivers to take over Phoenix Racing's #51 Chevy.(ESPN)(6-4-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch said he will meet with Kurt Busch next Tuesday to discuss the embattled driver's future with the team. "We're going to meet the next week and have a come-to-Jesus meeting," Finch said Tuesday morning in an interview with SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio. At the time [Busch was hired by Finch], Finch said of the deal, "He (Busch) can't quit and I can't fire him." But that may be changing. "(Kurt) needs to either get his mind right or he's going to be working somewhere else," Finch told SIRIUS/XM. "... Quit wrecking cars. Be nice to people. That's not hard to do."(SPEED)(6-5-2012)

  • Reutiman in the #51 at Pocono; Blaney to the #10: In an effort to help a fellow small team, Tommy Baldwin and James Finch worked out a deal for David Reutimann to drive the #51 Chevy for Phoenix Racing following Kurt Busch's suspension for this weekend's race at Pocono Raceway. Dave Blaney will pilot the #10 Chevrolet, and Tony Raines will return to the #36 Chevy for the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR. "I understand the position James was put in this week," explained Tommy Baldwin. "As an owner of a small team, I wanted to help him out. We talked and thought that this lineup would be best for both of our teams."(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(6-5-2012)

  • BUBBA burger making first appearance on the #47: This week JTG Daugherty Racing and three-time Pocono Raceway winner Bobby Labonte reveal the fiercely designed scheme of the #47 BUBBA burger Toyota for the first time at the newly repaved track in the Pocono 400. In January, BUBBA burger announced a two-race primary sponsorship with JTG Daugherty Racing during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono this week and also during the Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. on September 16. Additionally, BUBBA burger has had presence on Labonte's machine as an associate sponsor throughout the season at select events tying into the team's retail theme 'Racing Season is Grilling Season' along with Kingsford Charcoal, BUSH'S Beans and SCOTT Products.(JTG Daugherty Racing), see an image of the car on the #47 team paint schemes page.(6-5-2011)

  • Biffle appearing on American Restoration: #16-Greg Biffle will reach a new level of stardom this week when he makes an appearance one of his favorite shows which airs on one of his favorite channels. Biffle had been a fan of "American Restorations" on HISTORY since it began four seasons ago. He got a chance to meet the show's host, Rick Dale and his wife in Las Vegas earlier this year and they immediately shared a vision to do an episode together. "I can't tell you how excited I am about meeting Rick and getting to be on 'American Restorations'," said Biffle. "I can't give too much away but I can tell you that the restoration Rick and his crew did for me is unbelievable. I hope everyone watches the show this Wednesday to see what they were able to do with something that has meant a lot to me for a long time." After a few months of planning, several miles of travel and a lot of hard work by Rick and his crew, the episode will air this Wednesday, June 6th on HISTORY at 10:00 p.m. ET.(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-5-2012)

  • Overnight Dover TV Ratings posted: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on Fox concluded its 2012 campaign with a 3.6/9 on Sunday afternoon for the Fedex 400 from Dover, off -5% from last year's 3.8/9 for the comparable race from Kansas. NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX finishes up with a 4.2/9 metered market rating for the season, off -5% from last year's average of a 4.4/10. NASCAR on Fox was down -8% in the metered markets for the first five races of the season, then flat for the eight races thereafter. See past race TV Ratings, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(6-5-2012)

  • 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.
    • There have been 68 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; 16 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.
    • 30 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.
    • 47 of 68 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.
    • 13 of 68 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. Tony Stewart is the most recent driver to win from the pole in 2009.
    • Rick Hendrick leads all car owners with 12 Pocono victories.
    • Mark Martin leads all drivers in top fives (19) and top 10s (33), but has yet to win at Pocono. His best finish was second, six times (most recently in August 2004). Martin is tied with Bobby Allison for most runner-up finishes at a track without winning. Allison also had six at Martinsville.
    • Jimmie Johnson (9.0) and Denny Hamlin (9.7) are the only active drivers to average a top 10.
    • Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono Raceway winner: Jeff Gordon (06/16/1996 - 24 years, 10 months, 12 days).
    • Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono Raceway winner: Harry Gant (06/17/1990 - 50 years, 5 months, 7 days).
    (NASCAR)(6-5-2012)

  • Sad News - Don Ling Sr.: Donald C. Ling, 70, of Brick, died on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Brick, NJ. Ling was one of the premier race car owners at Wall Stadium in Wall Township and on the Northeast pavement racing circuit, with #X-6 and #66 Modifieds, during the 1970s and 80s. He was a benevolent sponsor of many drivers and teams, not only at Wall but at nearby New Egypt Speedway. Don Sr. became one of the prime influences on the NASCAR North careers of Martin Truex Sr. and Jr., and has also encouraged the NASCAR national career of Martin Jr.'s brother, Ryan Truex. Among the drivers/teams whose cars have run with the Ling Trucking sponsor banner are those of Dick Barney, Jimmy Blewett, Pete Brittain and Billy Pauch Sr. Ling also was a car owner in the [now] Nationwide Series from 1988-1998, his cars ran 32 races.(Asbury Park Press), service info and more of the obituary at legacy.com.(6-5-2012)

  • Sad News - Tommy Earnhardt: Tommy Lee "Sy" Earnhardt, 63, of Concord, passed away on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at home. The family will receive friends at Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord on Tuesday, June 5, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The funeral service, officiated by the Rev. Richard Payne, will follow in the Hartsell Funeral Home chapel at 7 p.m. Burial will be Oakwood Cemetery on Wednesday, June 6, at 10 a.m. Tommy Lee "Sy" Earnhardt was born on Oct. 22, 1948, in Cabarrus County, to the late Martin Luther Earnhardt and Vernice Blackwelder Earnhardt. He was employed as an engine assembler for (ECR) Earnhardt Childress Racing and owner of Firehouse Racing Engines. His love was engines and he sometimes assembled them in motel rooms for well known drivers. "Sy" was also employed with Benfield Racing, Mike Curb Racing, Stavola Bros/Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Panther Racing/Derrick Close and Vasenook, among others before being employed at ECR. He is survived by a sister, Marsha E. Johnson; nephew, R. Martin Moss; step-son, Ryan Earnhardt; and his companion and high school sweetheart, Linda B. Preston. Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord is serving the Earnhardt family.(6-5-2012)

  • American Ethanol to sponsor Chicagoland truck race: Chicagoland Speedway today announced Growth Energy and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board have partnered to become the event title sponsor of its 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The American Ethanol 225 on Saturday, July 21, represents the return of summer night racing to Chicagoland Speedway. Representing a wide array of ethanol supporters, from farmers to bio-engineering firms, American Ethanol was established by Growth Energy in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association and others. Ethanol represents the most commercially-viable alternative to 100% petroleum-based fuel that America currently holds, and corn ethanol reduces emissions by 59 percent.(Chicagoland Speedway PR)(6-5-2012)


    News from June 4, 2012

  • NASCAR will look at Kurt Busch's actions after Dover Nationwide race: UPDATE - Suspended from Pocono: #51-Kurt Busch wouldn't speak with USA TODAY Sports at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, the morning after a video of him berating a reporter went viral. "Why would I want to speak with anyone today?" Busch said as he and girlfriend Patricia Driscoll exited a short chapel service at the track, about 90 minutes before the scheduled start of the FedEx 400. "No comment." Shortly thereafter, he spent about five minutes meeting with NASCAR President Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton in the Sprint Cup hauler. NASCAR confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that the meeting was called to speak with Busch about his Saturday tirade. Upon exiting, Busch continued to decline comment, and NASCAR wouldn't offer further details about the meeting but was considering discipline. NASCAR typically doles out punishment on Tuesdays after a race. At issue was Busch's tirade that was caught on Speed TV cameras with Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass. Busch had been asked about his in-race actions with Justin Allgaier (the two bumped early in the race but there was no retaliation) because of Busch's recent placement on probation. Busch responded, "It (the probation) refrains me from beating the (expletive) out of your right now, because you ask me stupid questions. But since I'm on probation, I suppose that that's improper to say as well." Busch was placed on probation and fined $50,000 following the May 12 Cup race at Darlington Raceway after he did a burnout in rival Ryan Newman's pit box and then had a confrontation with Newman crewmembers after the race.(USA Today)(6-3-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has suspended driver Kurt Busch until June 13 of this year and extended his NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for his actions following the NASCAR Nationwide Series race June 2 at Dover International Speedway. Kurt Busch violated Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; violation of probation; verbal abuse to a media member) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. Kurt Busch had previously been placed on NASCAR probation May 15 for his actions during the May 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway. That probation was originally scheduled to end July 25 but has now been extended through the end of this year.(NASCAR)(6-4-2012)
    Statement from Busch: "I accept NASCAR's decision. I put them in a box, they had to take action and it's my fault for putting them in this position. I apologize for the comments I made to Bob Pockrass."(True Speed Communications)(6-4-2012)
    UPDATE 2: [#51 car owner James] Finch told ESPN.com he would meet with Busch over the next couple of days to discuss whether they would keep the handshake agreement they made before the season. He didn't sound like a man convinced the arrangement could or would work. "If he's going to kill himself, I'm not going to be in the airplane with him," Finch said by phone. "If that's what he's planning on doing, I am going to get out." Finch made it clear after Busch was released by Penske Racing following a profanity-laced tirade against ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November that if Busch embarrassed him like he did Roger Penske "he would have gotten his ass beat on pit road. He needs to simmer down a while," Finch told ESPN.com in December. "There are a lot of people that don't like Kurt. He's never done anything to me personally. He just needs to look in the mirror and see what the problem is." Now Busch has done something to Finch personally, even though the incident came while Busch was driving a Kyle Busch Motorsports Nationwide car for his little brother. Finch made it clear there are several qualified drivers to take over Phoenix Racing's #51 Chevy.(ESPN)(6-4-2012)

  • HendrickCars.com sponsoring FAS Lane at road courses: Hendrickcars.com will be the primary sponsor on the #32 cars owned by FAS Lane Racing and driven by Boris Said in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road course races at Sonoma, Calif., and Watkins Glen, N.Y. Said has competed in 12 Sprint Cup races at Sonoma, earning one pole and five top-10 finishes. He's made 11 Cup starts at Watkins Glen with one top-five finish and two top-10s. A native of Carlsbad, Calif., Said is also a member of Hendrick Automotive Group as a business partner in the company's BMW of Murrieta dealership in California. As part of the sponsorship package, Hendrickcars.com will also be a major associate on FAS Lane Racing's #32 entries in select races this season with veteran driver and four-time Sprint Cup race winner Ken Schrader.(Hendrick Automotive Group)(6-4-2012)

  • The Entry List for the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (46/8)
    #23-Scott Riggs (43/13)
    #26-Josh Wise (41/13)
    #30-David Stremme (38/13)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/13)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (39/13)
    #74-Stacy Compton (47/9)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/13)
    #98-Michael McDowell (40/13)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 33,30,49,98,26,87,23,74
    missing the race would be [1]: #19
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Pocono Entry List.(6-4-2012)

  • Pocono Race named Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR: Pocono Raceway announced a relationship with Twitter. The June 10, Pocono 400 will be renamed the Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR. The renaming of the first of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events annually held at "The Tricky Triangle," comes two weeks after @NASCAR and @Twitter announced a unique digital partnership with the creation of twitter.com/#NASCAR, launching this week at Pocono Raceway. The twitter.com/#NASCAR event page will feature Tweets that bring fans closer to everything that unfolds during the Pocono 400. Pocono Raceway will launch several Twitter-based initiatives throughout the Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR race weekend. One such program will be a "Tweet Your Seat" contest, occurring during pre-race activities on Sunday, June 10, where one randomly-selected fan will become the Honorary Starter and wave the green flag to start the race. Additionally, "The Tricky Triangle" will be hosting a Fan Fair Scavenger Tweet Hunt, with a Tweet Up to follow, on Sunday, June 10, starting at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Tweet Hunt, open to the first 50 teams of two to arrive at the Flag Pole, located outside Fan Fair and behind the Grandstands, will be solely Twitter-based, meaning all participants must have a mobile device connected to their Twitter accounts. More information will be explained throughout the race weekend via the Raceway's Twitter handle and website.(Pocono Raceway)(6-4-2012)

  • Appeals court rules for Brian France in recording case: A [Florida] state appeals court Friday ruled in favor of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in a lawsuit alleging that his ex-wife illegally recorded telephone calls between them. The Daytona Beach-based 5th District Court of Appeal overturned a circuit judge's decision to dismiss the case. The case centers on a Florida law that bars the recording of calls without the consent of both parties. But the circuit judge dismissed the case because France's ex-wife, Megan, recorded the calls while she was in North Carolina, which does not have a similar law barring secret recordings. A three-judge panel of the appeals court said it was "troubled by the ramifications of holding that a non-resident defendant subjects himself or herself to Florida's jurisdiction solely by surreptitiously recording a telephone call with an individual in Florida." But it said it was siding with Brian France based on a 2003 Florida Supreme Court decision.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(6-4-2012)

  • Earnhardt, Jr to appear at Bristol Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club: When it comes to popularity, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bristol Motor Speedway have plenty in common as both are number one in the hearts of race fans. Put Earnhardt Jr. and the World's Fastest Half-Mile together and it's a can't-miss combination that makes for an unforgettable experience as the driver of the Diet Mountain Dew-sponsored #88 goes after the coveted IRWIN Tools Night Race trophy Aug. 25. Adding to the excitement for Earnhardt Jr. fans is the opportunity to be the audience when the former BMS winner is scheduled to make an appearance in the hospitality area at the Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club that afternoon. The Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club features an exclusive member's-only gift pack, a Saturday track tour, door prizes, entertainment, a souvenir program, and NASCAR celebrity appearances. The Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club is available for the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Limited tickets are available at a cost of $180 for adults and $135 for children 12 and under. To purchase Diet Mountain Dew Half-Mile Club individual hospitality, please call Amy Denton at (423) 989-6930.(BMS)(6-4-2012)


    News from June 3, 2012

  • Johnson wins at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 2nd win of the year, 7th at Dover, and his 57th career win.
    #29-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #17-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #15-Bowyer, #43-Almirola, #56-Truex, Jr, #20-Logano, #5-Kahne, #9-Ambrose
    Pole sitter, #55-Martin finished 14th.
    There were 7 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps and a red flag for track cleanup following the first caution. The race speed average was 122.835mph. There were 17 lead changes among 7 drivers.
    The estimated attendence was 85,000, up from 82,000 in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Dover Race Results page (pdf).(6-3-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Dover, race 13 of 36]
    1) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 486
    2) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 485, -1
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 476, -10
    4) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 464, -22
    5) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 453, -33
    6) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 441, -45
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 440, -46
    8) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 407, -79
    9) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 406, -80
    10) #15-Clint Bowyer [0 wins], 405, -81
    Chase wild card drivers:
    11) #2-Brad Keselowski [2 wins, 11th in points], 400, -86
    12) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win, 13th in points], 366, -120
    #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win, 14th in points], 365, -121
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).(6-3-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Pocono:
    #36 remains in 35th but is now 54 points ahead of 36th, the #33 team.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    33) #32-Sorenson/FAS Lane Racing, 186, +67
    34) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 182, +63
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 173, +54 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #33-Leicht/Childress, 119, -54 from the top 35
    37) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 116, -57
    38) #30-Stremme/Inception, 103, -70
    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).(6-3-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Dover International Speedway:
    Jimmie Johnson won the 43rd Annual FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks, his 57th victory in 376 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2012.
    This is his seventh victory and 15th top-10 finish in 21 races at Dover International Speedway. With Johnson's seventh win he ties NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for most NSCS wins all-time at Dover.
    Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 23 races at Dover International Speedway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2012.
    Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 18th top-10 finish in 27 races at Dover International Speedway.
    Stephen Leicht (35th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Greg Biffle leads the point standings by 1 points over Matt Kenseth.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-3-2012)

  • NASCAR will look at Kurt Busch's actions after Dover Nationwide race: #51-Kurt Busch wouldn't speak with USA TODAY Sports at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, the morning after a video of him berating a reporter went viral. "Why would I want to speak with anyone today?" Busch said as he and girlfriend Patricia Driscoll exited a short chapel service at the track, about 90 minutes before the scheduled start of the FedEx 400. "No comment." Shortly thereafter, he spent about five minutes meeting with NASCAR President Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton in the Sprint Cup hauler. NASCAR confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that the meeting was called to speak with Busch about his Saturday tirade. Upon exiting, Busch continued to decline comment, and NASCAR wouldn't offer further details about the meeting but was considering discipline. NASCAR typically doles out punishment on Tuesdays after a race. At issue was Busch's tirade that was caught on Speed TV cameras with Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass. Busch had been asked about his in-race actions with Justin Allgaier (the two bumped early in the race but there was no retaliation) because of Busch's recent placement on probation. Busch responded, "It (the probation) refrains me from beating the (expletive) out of your right now, because you ask me stupid questions. But since I'm on probation, I suppose that that's improper to say as well." Busch was placed on probation and fined $50,000 following the May 12 Cup race at Darlington Raceway after he did a burnout in rival Ryan Newman's pit box and then had a confrontation with Newman crewmembers after the race.(USA Today)(6-3-2012)

  • Dick Berggren celebrates 70th birthday, to retire after Dover: UPDATE: Next week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover marks the end of an era for NASCAR's longest-serving TV pit reporter, who celebrates his 70th birthday during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. After 12 years on NASCAR on FOX, Berggren will give his final pit report for the network at Dover in the same informative and passionate manner he has since first establishing himself in the role 31 years ago. Ironically, Berggren made his NASCAR broadcasting debut at Dover in 1981 alongside Mike Joy, his NASCAR on FOX and SPEED colleague, the only NASCAR broadcaster on-air longer than Berggren. "After the FOX portion of the year ends, I've always traveled to local tracks where I still enjoy sitting in the stands with a hot dog in one hand and a beer in the other, watching the local heroes," Berggren said. "I can't get enough of local-level racing so I'll do more of that now." The Speedway Illustrated founder says that in addition to contributing stories and columns to the publication, he very well may continue to pop up on pit road at NASCAR races periodically. But he also has set in motion lofty goals and projects to which he can dedicate his newfound extra time. The Massachusetts resident has founded a corporation with the intent of building an auto racing museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He already has acquired an agreement with the speedway, tax-exempt status from the IRS and the support of a powerful Board of Directors. "Life will be different without FOX," Berggren expressed. "I'm very proud of having been part of the NASCAR on FOX broadcasts from the beginning. I'm dreading the 2013 Daytona 500 because I won't be there on pit road as part of that team. That will be hard, but nothing is forever and I understand that. I'm looking forward to walking into the museum on the day it opens. That's a whole new challenge and one I fully expect to conquer. But it's time to move on. I'm ready. However, it would be nice to pick up a few TV things here and there. I'd really like that."(quotes and more at SPEED.com)(5-25-20102)
    UPDATE: The checkered flag will wave not only for the winner of the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup race Sunday afternoon, it will also signal the end of Dick Berggren's 32 years as a TV pit reporter. Berggren, 70, worked his first NASCAR telecast in 1981 - also at Dover - and has spent more than 40 years writing and reporting on motorsports, including the last 12 with the Fox television network as its lead pit reporter. "I've done this for a very long time and it's hard to step away from it," Berggren said. "I'm just completely, completely overwhelmed by the response of competitors and fans and they've said such nice things to me." Berggren was humbled by the outpouring of appreciation while conducting interviews with drivers during the Sprint Cup practice sessions on Friday. Several race cars even featured decals saluting "Bergie for 32 years!" Drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards thanked Berggren on-air for his contributions to motorsports on Friday."Dick Berggren, he's had an incredible career, and he's put a lot of his heart and soul into the sport," Earnhardt said. "He's well respected and will be missed not just personally, but because of his skill and ability. They just don't seem to make announcers and radio personalities like that anymore." Away from the track, Berggren was a psychology professor at Emmanuel College in Boston for nine years and also founded Speedway Illustrated magazine. Berggren said he'll especially miss being a pit reporter during Speedweeks at Daytona in February. "Now I'll have time to go skiing in the winter. It's going to be a very big change for me. I'm probably going to drive my wife [Kathy] nuts, but the dog will like it."(Delaware News-Journal)(6-3-2012)

  • TMone joins Reutimann at Dover: TMone will join David Reutimann and Tommy Baldwin Racing at Dover International Speedway. The U.S. Call Center Insourcing firm will have associate placement on the #10 TBR Chevy in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks. The partnership coincides with the announcement that TMone, pronounced T-M-one,is opening a new state-of-the-art Contact Center in Dakota Dunes, S.D. and an upgrade to their employee's work-life environment in Des Moines, Iowa with a strategic move to a Corporate Campus. TMone previously partnered with TBR in Daytona, Texas and Talladega this season.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(6-3-2012)

  • Armstrong named as Director of Communications at Iowa: Craig Armstrong, who has been the general manager and promoter of I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Missouri for the past 14 months, will now be spear-heading the communications efforts at the 7/8 mile Iowa Speedway. Doug Fritz, CEO of Iowa Speedway, said Armstrong has always been successful in the motorsports industry and looks forward to him joining the Iowa Speedway team. Armstrong, who was with Iowa Speedway from 2006-2010, also expressed his enthusiasm about coming back to the Newton area. "I couldn't be happier to be returning to my' home track', and to my own home in Newton," Armstrong said. "Iowa Speedway is widely recognized as one of the top motorsports entertainment facilities in North America, and I'm excited for this tremendous opportunity."(Iowa Speedway)(6-3-2012)


    News from June 2, 2012

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #55-Martin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #48-Johnson took pit stall 10, the first pitstall with an opening in front of it.
    #39-Newman, who starts 3rd took the 17th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #17-Kenseth, who starts 5th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-2-2012)

  • Martin wins pole at Dover: #55-Mark Martin won the pole for the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 158.297mph for his 3rd pole of 2012 and 54th career pole. #48-Johnson was 2nd fastest followed by #39-Newman, #15-Bowyer, #17-Kenseth, #29-Karvick, #16-Biffle, #18-Busch, #51-Busch, and #11-Hamlin.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #79-Speed, #30-Stremme, #98-McDowell, #49-Yeley, #87-Nemechek, #19-Bliss, #33-Leicht, #23-Riggs.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2):#26-Wise, #74-Whitt.
    See qualifying results & starting lineup on the Dover Qualifying / Starting Lineup page (pdf).(6-2-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Dover International Speedway:
    Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 43rd Annual FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks with a lap of 22.742 seconds, 158.297 mph.
    This is his 54th pole in 840 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third pole and seventh top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his fifth pole in 52 races at Dover International Speedway.
    Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his eighth top-10 start of 2012 and his 15th in 21 races at Dover International Speedway.
    Ryan Newman (third) posted his 13th top-10 start at Dover International Speedway. It is his seventh in 13 races this season.
    Stephen Leicht (37th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-2-2012)

  • NASCAR considers loosening testing ban: With a new Sprint Cup car coming in 2013 and an effort afoot to improve the product on the track, NASCAR is looking to add additional tests to next year's schedule. The current testing ban was announced at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2008 for the following season as part of the sanctioning body's effort at cost containment. Since then, testing has picked up as Goodyear rolls out new tire combinations for existing tracks or after tracks were repaved. However, NASCAR is now considering lightening the ban - if it's amenable to teams. Adding five to seven test dates was one of several topics that have been broached with team "business types," according to vice president of competition Robin Pemberton. "We told them there's a bunch of things we're looking at for next year exactly the way we look at everything at this time of the year, whether it's the testing policies and things like that," Pemberton said. "If they felt like they could talk to their principal parties  if it came up or any ideas that they would be open to or not open to  so we can prepare for 2013." Pemberton says the testing policy is one of the "most reviewed" programs in NASCAR. It's of concern because of a desire to "help maintain a competitive balance in the garage area" without watching the teams go broke in the process.(Fox Sports)(6-2-2012)

  • Tony Stewart hosting SiriusXM Special from Eldora: Sirius XM Radio announced that #14-Tony Stewart will host a special edition of Tony Stewart Live from Eldora Speedway, Stewart's dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio, this Tuesday, June 5 (7:00 - 9:00 pm ET). The broadcast will be available to listeners nationwide on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90 on Sirius and XM Premier. The show airs the night before Stewart's annual "Prelude to the Dream," the all-star dirt Late Model race that will be run at the half-mile dirt oval and will feature some of racing's best drivers including NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Ray Evernham, Tony Stewart, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Tony Kanaan and others. On the program, Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum will offer a preview of the Prelude, take calls from race fans across the country, and discuss the current NASCAR season. Scheduled guests on the program include Clint Bowyer, who won the 2011 Prelude, and Steve Letarte, crew chief for #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(SiriusXM)(6-2-2012)

  • Prelude To The Dream Pay-Per-View ordering now available: If you can't make the drive to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, on Wednesday, June 6 to see the eighth annual Prelude To The Dream in person, don't worry. Race fans across the nation now have their first opportunity to order the charity all-star race on pay-per-view. HBO Pay-Per-View will present the event LIVE in high-definition to the entire nation. Net proceeds from the telecast will support Feed The Children, a U.S.-based charity that domestically has helped more than 365,000 families since 2009 through its Americans Feeding Americans Caravan. The 2012 edition of the Prelude To The Dream includes hot laps, qualifying, heat races and a 40-lap feature with double-file "shootout style" restarts. For the top-10 finishers in the Prelude To The Dream, Feed The Children will send a food truck to each driver's hometown or city of their choice. The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 8 pm/et with an immediate replay following. All that is necessary to order the event is a digital cable box or satellite service. You do not need HBO to order. The suggested retail price is $24.95. Ordering information and up-to-the minute racing information is available at either www.PreludeToTheDream.org or www.HBO.com.(True Speed Communication)(6-2-2012)

  • Tony Stewart hosting SiriusXM Special from Eldora: Sirius XM Radio announced that #14-Tony Stewart will host a special edition of Tony Stewart Live from Eldora Speedway, Stewart's dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio, this Tuesday, June 5 (7:00 - 9:00 pm ET). The broadcast will be available to listeners nationwide on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90 on Sirius and XM Premier. The show airs the night before Stewart's annual "Prelude to the Dream," the all-star dirt Late Model race that will be run at the half-mile dirt oval and will feature some of racing's best drivers including NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Ray Evernham, Tony Stewart, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Tony Kanaan and others. On the program, Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum will offer a preview of the Prelude, take calls from race fans across the country, and discuss the current NASCAR season. Scheduled guests on the program include Clint Bowyer, who won the 2011 Prelude, and Steve Letarte, crew chief for #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(SiriusXM)(6-2-2012)

  • Prelude To The Dream Pay-Per-View ordering now available: If you can't make the drive to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, on Wednesday, June 6 to see the eighth annual Prelude To The Dream in person, don't worry. Race fans across the nation now have their first opportunity to order the charity all-star race on pay-per-view. HBO Pay-Per-View will present the event LIVE in high-definition to the entire nation. Net proceeds from the telecast will support Feed The Children, a U.S.-based charity that domestically has helped more than 365,000 families since 2009 through its Americans Feeding Americans Caravan. The 2012 edition of the Prelude To The Dream includes hot laps, qualifying, heat races and a 40-lap feature with double-file "shootout style" restarts. For the top-10 finishers in the Prelude To The Dream, Feed The Children will send a food truck to each driver's hometown or city of their choice. The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 8 pm/et with an immediate replay following. All that is necessary to order the event is a digital cable box or satellite service. You do not need HBO to order. The suggested retail price is $24.95. Ordering information and up-to-the minute racing information is available at either www.PreludeToTheDream.org or www.HBO.com.(True Speed Communication)(6-2-2012)

  • Fan-friendly events added to Pocono 400 schedule: Pocono Raceway announced new, fan-driven additions to the June 8-10 Pocono 400 race weekend schedule. These events include a NASCAR Driver Autograph Session with Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Regan Smith and Kurt Busch, and Question and Answer Sessions with drivers Carl Edwards and Martin Truex, Jr. The NASCAR Driver Autograph Session is open to the first 200 fans, due to time constraints, and will take place inside Pocono Raceway's Club Pocono (a.k.a. $100 Club), located in the Paddock Area on Saturday, June 9, from 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. The NASCAR Driver Question and Answers Sessions with Edwards and Truex Jr., which also require a Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass, will take place on the Thunderstage, located between Club Pocono (a.k.a. $100 Club) and the Cafeteria in our Paddock area. Additionally, live bands will play during pre-race times on Saturday and Sunday at our Thunderstage. Infield patrons will have access to the SPEED Stage, the truTV Lizard Lick Towing Concert Series Stage, and our newly-created Barley Creek Wiffle Ball Field.(Pocono Raceway)(6-2-2012)


    News from June 1, 2012

  • Happy Hour practice for the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top-5:
    #43-Almirola 157.205
    #24-Gordon 156.958
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 155.966
    #48-Johnson 155.952
    #79-Speed 154.772 slowest: #36-Blaney 150.200 & #34-Ragan 150.106
    See fastest speeds, best ten-lap averages, laps run and more on the Dover Happy Hour Practice Speeds (pdf), no average speeds all laps and NOT changing back to the old way, just posting the pdf's.(6-1-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers rank in final practice for the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway. These drivers are not in the top-35 of team owners points and must qualify by speed for the race, eight will make the race and three will miss the race.
    If things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #79-Scott Speed, 5th fastest overall
    #98-Michael McDowell, 7th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 9th
    #49-J.J. Yeley, 10th
    #30-David Stremme, 13th
    #26-Josh Wise#, 14th
    #19-Mike Bliss, 21st
    #23-Scott Riggs, 23rd
    If things stay the same, these four drivers would miss the race:
    #74-Cole Whitt, 28th
    #33-Stephen Leicht#, 38th
    (6-1-2012)

  • Final Coca Cola 600 TV Ratings posted: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX posted a 4.4/9 (7.4 million viewers) Sunday night for the Coca-Coal 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway. That's down -2% from last year's Coca-Cola 600 which did a 4.5/9 (8.1 million), Sunday's performance was strong enough to once again outrate the Indianapolis 500 on ABC (4.3/12  6.9 million viewers) for the fifth straight year. Heading into the final week of the season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 4.9/10 (8.1 million viewers), off -4% from last year's 5.1/11 (8.8 million viewers). See past race TV Ratings, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(6-1-2012)

  • Qualifying Order for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #32-Sorenson, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #55-Martin, 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 Dover Qualifying Page.(6-1-2012)

  • First Friday practice for the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-5, slowest and any notes:
    #55-Martin 159.200
    #11-Hamlin 158.926
    #56-Truex, Jr. 158.527
    #18-Busch 158.444
    #16-Biffle 158.367
    slowest: #32-Sorenson 151.745 & #32-Skinner 146.562.
    notes: Practice started about 5 minutes late after a brief rain shower hit the track. #52-Skinner spun off coming off turn 2 on his first lap and hit the inside wall. The team does not have a backup car so they have withdrawn. This practice will set the order for qualifying Saturday at 12:10pm/et on SPEED. See fastest speeds, best ten-lap averages, laps run and more on the Dover Practice 1 Speeds (pdf), no average speeds all laps and NOT changing back to the old way, just posting the pdf's.(6-1-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers rank in practice for the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway. These drivers are not in the top-35 of team owners points and must qualify by speed for the race, eight will make the race and three will miss the race.
    If things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #79-Scott Speed, 25th fastest overall
    #98-Michael McDowell, 27th
    #26-Josh Wise#, 29th
    #30-David Stremme, 30th
    #23-Scott Riggs, 34th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 36th
    #49-J.J. Yeley, 37th
    #74-Cole Whitt, 40th
    If things stay the same, these four drivers would miss the race:
    #33-Stephen Leicht#, 41st
    #19-Mike Bliss, 44th
    #52-Mike Skinner, 46th/slowest
    (6-1-2012)

  • The Numbers for the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway:
    0 - fewest cautions (6/6/71)
    1 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (11 times, most recent 9/15/91)
    3 - fewest leaders (five times, most recent 5/16/82)
    3 - fewest lead changes (10/17/71)
    4 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    6 - fewest laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton, 9/24/06)
    6 - most poles (David Pearson)
    7 - most wins (Bobby Allison and Richard Petty)
    13 - fewest cars running at finish (5/17/81)
    13 - most leaders (three times, most recent 9/24/00)
    13 - wins from the pole in 84 races
    16 - most cautions (9/19/93)
    18 - races won from a starting position outside the top 10
    21 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/4/06)
    29 - most lead changes (twice, most recent 5/18/86)
    31 - fewest cars to start a Sprint Cup race (5/20/79, 500-mile race)
    33 - different race winners
    35 - different pole winners
    40 - most running at finish (9/21/08)
    51 - wins from a top-five starting position
    90 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the one-mile, all-concrete track after a significant rainfall
    103 - most caution laps (9/19/93)
    491 - most laps led by race winner (Richard Petty, Dodge, 9/15/74)
    2012 Caution Update:
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    4 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega and Darlington)
    10 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    66 - cautions in the first 12 races of 2012; includes 27 for accidents, 21 for debris and eight for spins
    366 of 3,888 - laps under caution in 2012
    472.571 of 4,833.118 - miles under caution in the first 12 races
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(6-1-2012)

  • FedEx 400 Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same tire codes at Dover this week, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the first time these tire codes will be run at Dover, though teams in all three series ran this right-side code (D-4440) at Kentucky in 2011 . . . compared to what was run at Dover last year, this left-side (D-4556) features a construction change to give teams more grip while bringing into line with what is run at other speedways . . . this right-side features a compound change to help control the track rubbering process . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Dover on April 17-18 . . . teams/drivers participating in that test were the #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford with Marcos Ambrose, #22 Penske Racing Dodge with A.J. Allmendinger, #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with Kevin Harvick, #39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet with Ryan Newman, #51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet with Kurt Busch and #56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota with Martin Truex Jr. . . . Dover is unique among NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, in that inner liners are required on all four tire positions . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. (Goodyear), see full notes, tire codes, number of sets, codes and more on the Dover 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 Dover International Speedway on the Dover Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • RIDE DAY on June 4th at the Monster Mile: The racing action doesn't need to stop after the "FedEx 400, benefiting Autism Speaks" at Dover International Speedway this coming weekend. Monster Racing will be hosting its 17th Annual RIDE DAY on June 4th at the Monster Mile! Fans and Thrill Seekers can experience what it's like to tame the fastest one mile track in NASCAR, as a passenger in one of Monster Racings authentic stock cars. Feel the g-force as you take the green flag for 4 Hot Laps, around the 24 degree banked, 1 mile concrete oval! Check in for the Monster Racing Ride Day will be at Gate 12 (Walkover Bridge) June 4th at 8 am (race schedule permitting). Riders must be at least 14 years of age with parental consent. Tickets to Ride are just $99.00 per person. Classes are forming now for the 2012 Season to DRIVE or RIDE! Call 1-800-GO-TO-WIN or visit www.monsterracing.com.(Monster Racing Excitement)(6-1-2012)

  • Vanilla Ice serving as pace car driver at Pocono: Vanilla Ice will be the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the June 10, 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Vanilla Ice, whose 1991 hit "Ice Ice Baby" was the first rap single to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, will soon be seen in the upcoming Sony Pictures release, That's My Boy, in theaters June 15. Before assuming his driving duties in the 2012 Camaro SS 'Official Pace Car', Vanilla Ice will make an appearance at The Tricky Triangle Club, tour the team haulers and attend the driver's meeting prior to the race. He will also do a pre-race parade lap in his Mustang 5.0 (that he drove in the movie) with race fans, who can bid on the ride now through Thursday, June 7 as part of the online auction component of the inaugural Pocono Celebrity Charity Poker Showdown.(Pocono Raceway)(6-1-2012)


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Next Race: Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500

Countdown to Race Time: 10/26/2014 ~1:43pm/et

Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, VA

ESPN, 1:30pm/et
Motor Racing Network
SiriusXM Radio Channel 90

Qualifying:
Friday, October 24, 2014, 4:40pm/et
FoxSports1 4:30pm/et
Live Radio online at motorracingnetwork.com

Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:00pm/et
FoxSports1 12:00pm/et



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Article / Column / Blog Links

added a 2nd PLETHORA of new links
on OCTOBER 22, 2014
to the Article Links page, including.......



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