March 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

MARCH 2012 NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE

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April 2012 News Archive

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    News from March 31, 2012

  • Kahne wins pole at Martinsville: #5-Kasey Kahne won the pole for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 97.128mph for his 2nd pole of 2012 and 24th career pole. #29-Harvick was 2nd fastest followed by #11-Hamlin, #15-Bowyer, #39-Newman, #55-Vickers, #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, and #20-Logano. #37-Raines' time, which was fast enough to make the race, was disallowed after the team failed post-qualifying tech.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #98-McDowell, #26-Wise, #83-Cassil, #23-Riggs, #74-Sorenson, #87-Nemechek, #30-Stremme, and #49-Yeley.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #52-Speed, #19-Bliss, #37-Raines.
    See qualifying results, pole pregression, starting lineup on my Qualifying Results / Starting Lineup or the starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf). (3-31-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Martinsville Speedway:
    Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 63rd Annual Goody's Fast Relief 500 with a lap of 19.496 seconds, 97.128 mph.
    This is his 24th pole in 294 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and fifth top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his first pole in 17 races at Martinsville Speedway. His previous best start at Martinsville was second in 2005.
    Kevin Harvick (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2012 and his 11th in 22 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his second in six races this season.
    Josh Wise (30th) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(3-31-2012)

  • Kahne gets new spotter: Kasey Kahne will have a new voice on his radio this weekend as Shannon McGlamery takes over spotting duties for the #5 Hendrick Motorsports driver. Kole Kahne, Kasey's cousin, has been the driver's longtime spotter. But after Kahne was involved in an accident two weeks ago at Bristol, his spotter came under question. A source familiar with the situation said Kahne wanted to try something new. McGlamery has served as a spotter for Jeff Gordon and as a mechanic at Hendrick.(Fox Sports)(3-30-2012)
    UPDATE: Kahne discussed his spotter change Friday at Martinsville.
    IS SHANNON (MCGLAMERY) SPOTTING FOR YOU ALL WEEKEND? IT LOOKED LIKE THAT WOULD BE A REACTION TO WHAT HAPPENED AT BRISTOL. IS IT? ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE A CHANGE?
    "No, I would say it is something I wanted to do, something different. I was a little unpleased after California. We are just looking at something for a couple of week. We are going to see after Texas. We are going to sit down and decide if that is the direction I want to go or if I feel comfortable with Kole (Kahne) doing it again or what. I'm going to wait. I'm going to do two weeks with someone else and then decide after Texas what I want to do."
    SO WHO ARE GOING TO USE THE TWO WEEKS?
    "I'm using Shannon (McGlamery) for the next two weeks then I'm going to decide what I am going to do from there. It's just a couple of week deal."(Chevy PR)(3-31-2012)

  • Stewart leads in sponsor exposure through four races: Through television coverage of the this season's first four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races, defending champion #14-Tony Stewart leads in securing on-screen time for his sponsors, while #99-Carl Edwards collected the most verbal mentions for his supporting brands and #1-Jamie McMurray bested all drivers with $18.3 million of exposure value. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc.- which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 28 seasons - McMurray's appearance on the Fox set during the Sunday rain-delay portion of last month's Daytona 500 led to quality exposure for several of his brands during some of the most valuable broadcast time of the season.
    Stewart ranked number-one in camera time, as 29 of his sponsors enjoyed a combined two hours, 42 minutes, 42 seconds of clear and in-focus exposure time during live and replayed coverage of the first four races. #2-Brad Keselowski (2:28:34), #48-Jimmie Johnson (2:27:53), #17-Matt Kenseth (2:18:54) and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2:08:23) rounded out the top five in accumulated TV time. Meanwhile, #99-Carl Edwards, who led all drivers in sponsor mentions last season-either by him, or by announcers referencing his team-is off to another fast start with a Series-high 37 verbal brand mentions.
    In terms of delivering television exposure to the Series' participating automobile manufacturers, McMurray was the top exposure producer, posting $2.5 million on behalf of Chevrolet. #11-Denny Hamlin and Kenseth garnered $2.3 million for Toyota and Ford, respectively, while Keselowski gathered $1.5 million on behalf of the Dodge nameplate.(Joyce Julius)(3-31-2012)

  • Sad News - Mary Elizabeth Staley: Mary Elizabeth Staley, age 95, of Brown Ridge Road, North Wilkesboro, widow of NASCAR pioneer Enoch R. Staley, died Friday, March 30, 2012 at her home. Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 1, 2012 at Fishing Creek Baptist Church with Rev. Darrell Poole officiating. Burial will be in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. Mrs. Staley was born February 16, 1917 in Wilkes County to Walter S. and Geneva Brooks Pennell. Before retiring, she was the ticket office manager at the North Wilkesboro Speedway. Mrs. Staley was a member of Fishing Creek Baptist Church. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Fishing Creek Baptist Church Organ Fund, 925 Old Hwy 60, Wilkesboro, NC 28697. On line condolences may be made at www.reinssturdivant.com.(3-31-2012)

  • Petty to serve as Martinsville grand marshal: Life-time Goody's Headache Powder spokesman Richard Petty will serve as the Goody's Fast Relief 500 grand marshal on Sunday. Goody's asked Petty to fill in for award-winning actor Gary Sinise, who was involved in an automobile accident Friday and will not be able to attend Sunday's premier event. Tickets to the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway are on sale. For more information, call 877.722.3849 or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Goody's)(3-31-2012)

  • Sinise's Saturday concert cancelled: Saturday night's Lt. Dan Band Concert at Martinsville High School has been postponed after Gary Sinise was involved as a passenger in an automobile accident Friday. Sinise was not seriously injured, but will be unable to perform at Saturday night's concert, a fundraiser for triple-amputee Cpl. J.B. Kerns. The award-winning actor, who starred as Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump, founded and plays in the Lt. Dan Band. He was also scheduled to be the Grand Marshall at Sunday's Speedway event, which he will also be unable to attend. John Hodge, spokesman for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation which is promoting the event, said the concert will be rescheduled in Martinsville, and that an announcement on the date is forthcoming. "We are asking ticket holders to wait for the new date to be announced and if they can't make that show, we will refund their money," said Hodges.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-31-2012)

  • Breakfast with the Bagman ticket option at Dover: Dover International Speedway has created a special, all-inclusive "Breakfast with the Bagman" package, featuring Delaware's own Mike Bagley, for the Sunday, June 3 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The $99 option includes a ticket to the race in sections 202-204, an all-you-can-eat hot breakfast buffet, a souvenir program, and a question-and-answer session with Bagley. And you never know who else may pop in to say hello, too! Bagley is an on-air turn announcer with the Motor Racing Network (MRN), and also serves as host of The Morning Drive on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The breakfast and question-and-answer session will be held in the Rollins Center ballroom in the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Doors open at 7 a.m., breakfast will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m., and Bagley will arrive at 8 a.m. Ticket holders that already have purchased tickets to the June 3 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race may add the package to their ticket for only $29. The deadline to purchase the package is May 18, 2012.(Dover)(3-31-2012)


    News from March 30, 2012

  • Happy Hour practice for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over after 90 schedule minutes, the top five fastest, slowest, notes:
    #24-Gordon 97.028
    #51-Busch 95.937
    #2-Keselowski 95.728
    #39-Newman 95.550
    #30-Stremme 95.463
    slowest: #32-Schrader 93.079 & #93-Kvapil 92.906
    See fastest speeds, best ten-lap averages, laps run and more on the Martinsville Happy Hour Practice Speeds (pdf), no average speeds all laps and NOT changing back to the old way, just posting the pdf's.(3-30-2012)

  • Go-or-Go Homers practice for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
    the final practice rank for the go-or-go homers (drivers not in the top 35 of 2011 owners points)
    These drivers would make the race if things stay the same:
    #30-David Stremme, 5th
    #83-Landon Cassill, 6th
    #26-Josh Wise#, 7th
    #23-Scott Riggs, 9th
    #74-Reed Sorenson, 11th
    #98-Michael McDowell, 13th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 15th
    #52-Scott Speed, 22nd
    These drivers would miss the race if things stay the same:
    #49-J.J. Yeley, 31st
    #19-Mike Bliss, 36th
    #37-Tony Raines, 41st
    (3-30-2012)

  • Joe Falk to take over #33 team: Hermie Sadler will race in Sunday's "Goody's Fast Relief 500" at Martinsville Speedway, driving a #33 Chevrolet fielded - officially - by Richard Childress Racing. The Virginia native has confirmed, however, that the #33 team will soon belong to former Sprint Cup Series owner Joe Falk, who will make his return to the sport in two weeks at Texas Motor Speedway. "I had been talking to Richard about driving the #33 at some point this year," said Sadler on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius XM Speedway. "And in the last week to 10 days, Richard made a deal with Joe Falk& to purchase the team and its (owner) points. Joe is a big NASCAR fan who has done pretty well in the car business. A lot of people know him, he's been around the sport forever." Sadler called this week's entry "a collaborative effort" between RCR and Falk, as part of a transition that will see Falk assume ownership of the car at Texas Motor Speedway on April 14. "This is technically an RCR effort this week," he said. "It's an older Richard Childress car with a Childress engine under the hood. Richard entered the car this weekend because of (NASCAR rules concerning) entry blanks and when they have to be submitted. After they filed the entry, conversations began between him and Joe about making the transition official in time for Texas." Falk was listed as co-owner of the Hillman Racing #40 Toyota that Michael Waltrip attempted to qualify for this year's Daytona 500, and sources say the #33 entry may be housed at the Hillman Racing shop in Mooresville, NC.(Godfather Motorsports)(3-30-2012)

  • Qualifying Order for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #3-Sadler, slowest in practice.
    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.
    See the full qualifying order on the Martinsville Qualifying Page.(3-30-2012)

  • Kahne gets new spotter: Kasey Kahne will have a new voice on his radio this weekend as Shannon McGlamery takes over spotting duties for the #5 Hendrick Motorsports driver. Kole Kahne, Kasey's cousin, has been the driver's longtime spotter. But after Kahne was involved in an accident two weeks ago at Bristol, his spotter came under question. A source familiar with the situation said Kahne wanted to try something new. McGlamery has served as a spotter for Jeff Gordon and as a mechanic at Hendrick.(Fox Sports)(3-30-2012)

  • Go-or-Go Homers practice for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
    the practice rank for the go-or-go homers (drivers not in the top 35 of 2011 owners points)
    These drivers would make the race if things stay the same:
    #98-Michael McDowell, 24th fastest overall
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 28th
    #23-Scott Riggs, 29th
    #74-Reed Sorenson, 33rd
    #26-Josh Wise#, 34th
    #30-David Stremme, 35th
    #49-J.J. Yeley, 39th
    #52-Scott Speed, 41st
    These drivers would miss the race if things stay the same:
    #19-Mike Bliss, 43rd
    #83-Landon Cassill, 44th
    #37-Tony Raines, 45th
    (3-30-2012)

  • Friday practice for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes. The top five fastest, slowest, notes:
    #24-Gordon 97.048
    #18-Busch 96.959
    #11-Hamlin 96.835
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr 96.686
    #39-Newman 96.376
    slowest: #37-Raines 93.506 & #33-Sadler 92.299. No speed: #52-Speed
    notes: This practice sets the qualifying order, scheduled for 11:40am/et Saturday on SPEED.
    See fastest speeds. laps run and more on the Martinsville Practice 1 Speeds (pdf).(3-30-2012)

  • Hamilton Means to make debut at Martinsville: UPDATE: from the Hamilton Means Facebook page: "Jimmy [Means] and the crew are putting the finishing touches on today then heading over to dyno the car and if all goes well we are off to the track for a late entry into the Goody's Fast Relief 500 [at Martinsville Speedway]. Super excited to have Scott Speed driving for us and no doubt he can get it done!! Sorry for the late updates but once we have this first race behind us the others will go a little smoother. Ok I know I know I am using a different commercial but what company does that tag line belong to. 'A little hint', they were Jimmy's [Means] sponsor [Alka Seltzer] when he drove in Cup." The team will run the #52 Crusader Staffing Toyota with Scott Speed driving the car. The car will be a post entry which means it will be a late entry and will not accrue any drivers or owners points. See an rendering of what the car is expected to look like on the #52 Team Schemes page.(3-28-2012)
    UPDATE: After overcoming numerous obstacles and setbacks, Hamilton Means Racing is poised to make its series debut at the Goody's Fast Relief 500 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway with driver Scott Speed behind the wheel. The team will run the #52 Crusader Staffing Toyota. After months of preparation HMR has everything in place and is ready to get their car on the track. The team will run Toyotas purchased from Michael Waltrip Racing and is leasing engines from Mark Smith at Pro Motor Engines (PME). The #52 will be a late entry for this weekend's event so it will not accrue any driver or owner points. Co-owner Dell Hamilton's company Crusader Staffing will be the primary sponsor while the team seeks new partnerships and sponsors.(Everest Marketing Group)(3-30-2012)

  • Vickers will drive #55 at road course races: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that it has added two more events to Brian Vickers' 2012 Sprint Cup schedule in the #55 Toyota Camry. Vickers, who led 125 laps and finished fifth in his debut with MWR at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago, will pilot the #55 at Infineon Raceway on June 24 and Watkins Glen International on Aug. 12. "Brian did such an amazing job at Bristol that we wanted to reward him with more races," said co-owner Michael Waltrip who will drive the #55 in four races. "It has as much to do with how he interacted with (crew chief) Rodney Childers and the crew as what he did on the race track. They really enjoyed his input and his professional approach, and he was a great teammate to Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer. Those guys were really impressed with how he engaged with them and managed his race car. Brian is a great young driver who is hungry to show what he can do. In my mind, he earned these extra races with his approach and attitude, and I'm so happy we were able to offer them. Brian's contribution to the team has continued the momentum Rodney and Mark Martin created pushing the #55 up to eighth in owner points."(MWR)(3-30-2012)

  • Hornish Jr. scheduled to make two Cup starts: Sam Hornish Jr. is scheduled to make two Sprint Cup Series starts for Penske Racing at Kansas in April and Talladega in October. SKF will be the sponsor. See an image of the scheme on the #12 Team Schemes page.(3-30-2012)

  • New engines for Penske: There will be new power in the Penske Dodges when they hit the track for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Both the #2 Miller Lite Charger (Brad Keselowski) and the #22 Shell Pennzoil Charger (A.J. Allmendinger) will be running with SRT Motorsports newly updated R6P8 racing engine. "We are excited to launch our new "closed deck" engine block with Penske Racing Engines for the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville this weekend," said Dave Bailey, SRT Motorsports Engineering. "We are very pleased with the performance and durability of our previous 'open deck' block, but are introducing design changes to help improve head gasket life and future capability for power increases. The post machining and processing time at Penske's engine shop will be significantly reduced. We will also take advantage of weight improvements that come along with the base block material changing to "compacted graphite iron" similar to the other manufacturers. We worked closely with NASCAR to ensure the changes are compliant and have competitive parity."(Allpar.com)(3-30-2012)

  • Penske, Shell partner with Common Ground Alliance: The #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge will feature the 811 logo during the month of April, on National 811 Day, and during the final race of the season. Shell has teamed up with the Common Ground Alliance for the fourth consecutive season to raise awareness for 811, the national "Call Before You Dig" hotline. Like last year, the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge will carry the 811 logo during National Safe Digging Month in April. Due to the program's success in previous seasons, the partnership will expand this year, with new Shell-Pennzoil driver AJ Allmendinger featuring the logo on his car during the Watkins Glen race, as part of National 811 Day on August 11. The logo will also run on the car during the final race of the season in Homestead, FL. Every digging project requires a call to 811 - even small projects like planting trees or shrubs. The quick and easy call will connect you with a local One Call Center operator who will record information about your dig location and notify the underground facility operators so they can mark the approximate location of underground utilities and pipelines. Once the lines are marked, you can begin to dig, but always dig with care.(Shell PR)(3-30-2012)

  • Career start #400 for Harvick: #29-Kevin Harvick will mark a milestone in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career this weekend as he makes his 400th start in Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. Since his first NSCS start on Feb. 25, 2001, at Rockingham Speedway, Harvick has earned 18 wins, 88 top-five finishes, 177 top-10 finishes and five pole awards.(RCR)(3-30-2012)

  • HendrickCars.com on #5: Hendrickcars.com, which returns as a primary partner with the #5-Kasey Kahne Chevy this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, will open its first physical retail location on Monday, April 2, in Charlotte, N.C. The dealership, located at 9029 South Boulevard, brings the online inventory of Hendrickcars.com to the offline shopper in a retail facility. Hendrickcars.com offers 20,000 new and used vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Hendrickcars.com also features classic cars, available for purchase, from Rick Hendrick's personal collection. A second Hendrickcars.com physical location will open later this month in Hickory, N.C.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(3-30-2012)

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

  • Postponed Daytona 500 Champion's Event Rescheduled for April 11, 2012: 2012 Daytona 500 Champion Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing team owner Jack Roush will return to the "World Center of Racing" for a special fan forum and lunch event to celebrate their victory in the 54th "Great American Race." Doors open at 10:45 a.m. Fans can have their photos taken with the #17 Best Buy Ford, which is currently on display in the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours building. Lunch will be available for guests as well. The fan forum Q&A session will begin at 11:30 a.m., during which time Kenseth and Roush will discuss what it's like to win their second Daytona 500 and hoist the Harley J. Earl trophy in Gatorade Victory Lane. In addition to the lunch and Q&A, guests will get a tour of Daytona International Speedway. Tickets to the Champion's Breakfast originally scheduled for February 27, 2012, will be honored for the Champion's Lunch on April 11. Tickets are also available for $40 by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(3-30-2012)

  • Pizza Ranch to Sponsor Iowa Victory Lane Through 2013: Pizza Ranch, the popular Midwest pizza and chicken buffet restaurant, has renewed its sponsorship of Pizza Ranch Victory Lane and will continue to deliver a winning pizza to every driver who visits it at Iowa Speedway through the 2013 season. "We are extremely proud of the fact that we have helped create a tradition at Iowa Speedway," said Cody Pierce, vice president of marketing for Pizza Ranch. "Everyone knows there will be pizza after the race. From fans and teams to drivers and series officials, everyone enjoys this delivery after the race." Pizza Ranch Victory Lane lets a fan get right in the celebration with the winning team, which is located in the middle of the Casey's General Store Fan Walk. Fan walk tickets are free for season ticket holders, and it also allows some of the best access to your favorite drivers in all of motorsports.(Iowa Speedway)(3-30-2012)


    News from March 29, 2012

  • Final Auto Club 400 TV Ratings: Hampered by rain, airing directly against the NCAA Tournament on CBS and a Tiger Woods fueled PGA event on NBC, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX posted a 3.8/9 (6.2 million viewers) on Sunday for the Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Speedway. That's down -17% from last year's 4.6/10 (8.1 million), and ranks as the lowest-rated race this season on FOX. Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.8/12 (9.7 million viewers), off -6% from last year's 6.2/14 (10.8 million viewers). See fast TV Ratings, previous 2012 races and 4 year comparison chart at the 2012 TV Ratings page.(3-29-2012)

  • Hermie Sadler in the #33 at Martinsville: UPDATE: During SPEED's NASCAR Live on Saturday, John Roberts and Hermie Sadler mentioned that Sadler would run the #33 Richard Childress Racing Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway next weekend, April 1.(3-24-2012)
    UPDATE: Hermie Sadler has landed a one-race deal to drive Richard Childress Racing's #33 Chevy this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, a team spokesman confirmed Wednesday. Hermie Sadler has brought sponsorship from Anderson's Maple Syrup and Am Fm-Energy to RCR for this weekend's Goody's Fast Relief 500. The car is 35th in the owner standings and has a guaranteed spot in the field at Martinsville. Gil Martin, a former crew chief for Kevin Harvick who directs the RCR Nationwide program, has served as crew chief of the #33 car the first five weeks but a crew chief for this weekend is still to be determined.(Scene Daily)(3-29-2012)

  • Accell Construction sponsoring Reutimann in 3 races: Accell Construction made a three-race commitment with Tommy Baldwin Racing adding to the Oklahoma-based company's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program. David Reutimann will pilot the # 10 Accell Construction Chevy at Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. Accell Construction, an Oklahoma-based company, sponsored the # 10 Chevy at Phoenix International Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. Continuing to see an increase in interest of the company, Accell Construction decided to extend their relationship with the NSCS team. The 20-year-old company also sponsored the TBR #36 Chevy for six primary events, as well as associate races, last season. Accell Construction, a full-service site civil contractor for the pipeline terminal and bulk storage industries, specializes in tank farm construction, tank foundations and other related site civil construction.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(3-29-2012)

  • RK Motors sponsoring Vickers at Martinsville: Brian Vickers makes his second 2012 Sprint Cup start Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. He'll drive Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 RK Motors Toyota on the Virginia half-mile track. The 28-year-old Thomasville, N.C. native finished fifth in his first race of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway. RK Motors Charlotte is the country's leading retailer of investment-grade classic and collector cars, selling hundreds of vehicles each year. RK Motors Charlotte's 80,000 sq./ft. facility features a 200-vehicle, state-of-the-art showroom complete with digital media studio, full restoration / customization shop and a full service area.(MWR)(3-29-2012)

  • Bush's Bean on the #47 at Martinsville: Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races are in the books and approaching Martinsville Speedway Bobby Labonte will have a fifth different primary sponsor on his #47 Toyota Camry hood with BUSH'S Beans. Kroger kicked off the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Kingsford Charcoal followed suit at Phoenix International Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At Bristol Motor Speedway, Clorox was front and center and Charter graced Labonte's machine for the first time at Auto Club Speedway. Now, it's BUSH'S Beans turn for the next two events before Reese Towpower takes the helm at Kansas Speedway while SCOTT Brand and BUBBA burger are in line.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(3-29-2012)

  • MyLowe's on the #48 at Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson will drive the #48 MyLowe's Chevyt this weekend at Martinsville. The paint scheme debuted last year at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. MyLowe's is an integrated online tool at Lowes.com that helps keep track of everything in your home. Users will never have to remember paint colors, warranty information or room dimensions again. When using the MyLowe's card, purchases will automatically upload to the user's MyLowe's site and can be customized from there.(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-29-2012)

  • The Numbers for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500, Caution Recap:
    1 - fewest cautions (three times, most recent 4/25/71)
    1 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (27 times, most recent 4/27/86)
    1 - fewest lead changes (three times, most recent 4/9/61)
    2 - fewest leaders (11 times, most recent 9/26/76)
    3 - fewest caution laps (4/25/71)
    4 - fewest laps led by race winner (John Andretti, 4/18/99)
    4 - fewest running at the finish (5/6/51); 35 cars started the 200-lap race on .500-mile dirt track
    4 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    11 - cautions in last year's spring race
    14 - most leaders (10/15/01)
    15 - most wins by driver (Richard Petty)
    19 - races won from the pole
    21 - most cautions for a race (10/21/07)
    26 - most cars on the lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 10/22/06)
    29 - cautions for two races last year: 11 for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 and 18 for TUMS Fast Relief 500
    42 - most running at finish (two times, most recent 4/1/07)
    46 - different race winners
    56 - different pole winners
    90 - minutes, amount of time it takes to dry the .526-mile track after a significant rainfall.
    126 - Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway since 1949
    127 - most caution laps (10/21/07)
    493 - most laps led by race winner (Fred Lorenzen, 9/27/64)
    2012 Caution Update
    31 - cautions in the first five Sprint Cup races; 45 after five races last year
    16 of 31 - cautions have been for accidents; 25 of 45 for accidents last year
    166 of 1,410 laps completed have been under caution; 211 of 1,487 in 2011
    227.617 of 1,742.000 miles completed have been under caution; 307.881 of 1,899.000 in 2011
    BONUS: Nine Virginia tracks have hosted 274 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (does not include convertible events) through the years dating back to the early 1950s. Two tracks remain on the schedule - Martinsville (126) and Richmond (111). Of the seven tracks that are no longer on the Sprint Cup calendar, Boston Speedway hosted 10 events, Langley Field Speedway nine and Old Dominion Speedway seven. The other four tracks had a total of 11 races.(Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports & Dodge)(3-29-2012)

  • Martinsville Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series will run the same tire codes at Martinsville this weekend, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in both of these series ran at Martinsville last October . . . this right-side tire code (D-4468) is the same one Sprint Cup teams ran on all four tire positions at Watkins Glen in 2011 and will run at Infineon and Watkins Glen in 2012 . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Martinsville. See full notes with tire pressures, codes and more on the Martinsville Race Info page - Goodyear section.(3-29-2012)

  • Jesse Jones Becomes Official Martinsville Partner: Sixty-five years after the first Jesse Jones wiener was served at Martinsville Speedway it has become an official partner with the historic Virginia track. Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell announced that the track and Jesse Jones, LLC had partnered to bring official status to the wiener just in time for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 weekend. "We have obviously been partners for many years, ever since my grandfather H. Clay Earles made the first Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog", but this makes it official," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "Our hot dog is the most iconic concession item in all of racing, and the key reason for that is the Jesse Jones wiener. We have our special, secret way of dressing it, but the dog is at the heart of it all." If stretched end-to-end, the hot dogs sold during this weekend's events at Martinsville Speedway would wrap around the half-mile track more than nine times.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-29-2012)


    News from March 28, 2012

  • Bruton Smith say changes will be made at Bristol: After more than a week of studying requested fan input, Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, announced he has ordered the go-ahead to make changes to the track surface at Bristol Motor Speedway. "The race fans have spoken," Smith said. "We had input that included a wide range of opinions. But the majority we heard from said they wanted to see changes made. As a result, I have ordered the equipment and work will begin within the next two weeks to allow time to have everything ready for August." Smith said an announcement regarding the scope of the work will be made soon. "The question we wanted to answer as quickly as possible was 'Is something going to be done?' Smith said. "The answer to that is 'yes.' We will have the details in two weeks as to what that 'something' is.(BMS)(3-28-2012)

  • Testing at Pocono: hearing that there will be two testing sessions at Pocono Raceway, which is being repaved before the Sprint Cup race in June. The confirmed Goodyear tire tests is scheduled for April 24th and 25th, 2012 with #1-McMurray (Chevy), #5-Kahne (Chevy), #2-Logano (Toyota), #43-Almirola and #22-Allmendinger. And supposedly teams will be able to test at Pocono on June 6th and 7th, the days before practices at the track on June 8th. The Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for June 10th.(in part Goodyear PR)(3-28-2012)

  • Tire testing at Michigan: Goodyear Tire Testing is scheduled at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday April 3rd and Wednesday April 4, 2012. Drivers scheduled to test: #2-Brad Keselowski (Dodge), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (Chevy) and #24-Jeff Gordon (Chevy). The Turn 1 grandstand seats will be open for fans free of charge on April 3-4.(MIS/Goodyear)(3-28-2012)

  • Tire testing at Dover: Goodyear is scheduled to test Dover International Speedway's concrete surface on April 17-18 with #9-Ambrose (Ford), #22-Allmendinger (Dodge), #29-Harvick (Chevy), #36-Blaney (Chevy), #39-Newman (Chevy), #51-Busch (Chevy) and #56-Truex Jr.(Toyota).(Goodyear PR)(3-28-2012)

  • Tire testing at New Hampshire: Goodyear is scheduled to test New Hampshire Motor Speedway for May 8-9, 2012. Scheduled drivers to test are: #27-Menard (Chevy), #47-Labonte (Toyota), #78-Smith (Chevy), #88-Earnhardt Jr. (Chevy) and #99-Edwards (Ford).(Goodyear PR)(3-29-2012)

  • Hamilton Means to make debut at Martinsville: from the Hamilton Means Facebook page: "Jimmy [Means] and the crew are putting the finishing touches on today then heading over to dyno the car and if all goes well we are off to the track for a late entry into the Goody's Fast Relief 500 [at Martinsville Speedway]. Super excited to have Scott Speed driving for us and no doubt he can get it done!! Sorry for the late updates but once we have this first race behind us the others will go a little smoother. Ok I know I know I am using a different commercial but what company does that tag line belong to. 'A little hint', they were Jimmy's [Means] sponsor [Alka Seltzer] when he drove in Cup." The team will run the #52 Crusader Staffing Toyota with Scott Speed driving the car. The car will be a post entry which means it will be a late entry and will not accrue any drivers or owners points. See an rendering of what the car is expected to look like on the #52 Team Schemes page.(3-28-2012)

  • Barney Hall returns to broadcast booth at Martinsville: As NASCAR returns to Martinsville Speedway this week, fans who tune in or log on to MotorRacingNetwork.com will hear a familiar voice describing the action. Barney Hall will be back behind the Motor Racing Network microphone as the March racing schedule comes to a close. The Hall of Fame broadcaster was under the weather last month and sidelined for Speedweeks at Daytona, missing the season-opening Daytona 500 for just the third time in the race's 54-year history. He returns to the booth this weekend, rejoining Joe Moore to anchor the network's coverage of Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series competition from the Martinsville half-mile.(Motor Racing Network)(3-28-2012)

  • Ollie's Bargain Outlet continues sponsorship of Blaney: Ollie's Bargain Outlet will add a fourth race of primary sponsorship of Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 Chevy to the schedule. Dave Blaney will get behind the wheel of the # 36 Ollie's Bargain Outlet Chevrolet for 500 laps at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Ollie's Bargain Outlet, one of America's largest retailers of closeouts, salvage and surplus merchandise, joined TBR for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 and returned to the #36 Ollie's Bargain Outlet Chevy in Phoenix and Vegas. Due to customer support and good exposure during the three events, the Pennsylvania-based company expanded their program with TBR to include the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(3-28-2012)

  • Kahne says knees are better: While #5-Kasey Kahne hasn't had much to smile about this season, he can smile about two things: His left knee and his right knee. Kahne had arthroscopic surgery for a partial medial meniscus removal in his left knee about seven weeks ago in Charlotte. In April 2011, Kahne had the procedure done on his right meniscus. He also had surgery on both knees in December 2010 to repair a condition known as "plica syndrome," the result of a buildup of tissue in the knees. "They're really good," Kahne said Tuesday during an appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I started running last week. I'm kind of slow-paced for what I'm used to. My right knee is perfect. It feels great. It's the best it's felt in two years and my left knee is not there yet, but it's on its way."(Scene Daily)(3-28-2012)

  • Belkin sponsoring McMurray at Martinsville: The #1 Chevy will sport a new look this weekend at Martinsville Speedway with Belkin as the primary sponsor. McMurray will don green and white as Belkin makes its debut as a primary sponsor with EGR. Belkin, a recognized global leader in connectivity solutions, offers an extensive range of innovations designed to give computer and consumer electronics users seamless integration in their homes, cars and on the go.(Earnhardt-Ganassi), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(3-28-2012)

  • Special scheme for Harvick at Martinsville: UPDATE: hearing that #29-Kevin Harvick will run a white and black Budweiser Prohibition scheme on the #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevy at Martinsville Speedway this weekend, see an image on the #29 Team Schemes page.(3-26-2012)
    UPDATE: Anheuser-Busch and its family of wholesalers across the United States annually celebrate the repeal of Prohibition on April 7 - the day the Cullen-Harrison Act took effect in 1933, legalizing the sale of 3.2 percent alcohol by volume beer in the District of Columbia and the 20 states in which state laws did not prohibit its sale. Kevin Harvick and the #29 Budweiser is Back team will join in the celebration of this milestone in American brewing history by running a special paint scheme for this weekend's Goody's Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The "Budweiser is Back" black and white paint scheme pays homage to the post-Prohibition days of the early 20th century with the newspaper headline from 1933 announcing "Prohibition Ends at Last!" on the hood. The TV panel features the words of August A. Busch Jr. who proclaimed "Happy days are here again!" during a special radio broadcast on KMOX CBS Radio. In addition to the paint scheme, Harvick will don a special white firesuit for Sunday's race at Martinsville. Instead of wearing standard baseball hats, Harvick and the #29 team will sport newsboy caps that were common in the early 20th century.(Elevation Group)(3-28-2012)

  • Atlanta introducing new ticket specials for 2012: For spectators looking to enjoy a great racing event experience at a favorable cost, Atlanta Motor Speedway is rolling out new ticket specials for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Two frontstretch Lower Petty or Lower Winners grandstand tickets will be offered for $99 while they last for the AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 2. Fans will have a view of pit road and will see the high-speed racing action up close as the cars race down the frontstretch. Danica Patrick will make her Atlanta Motor Speedway debut this Labor Day weekend, and her fans can watch her race in both of her starts with the "Danica Deal." In this package, customers will receive a ticket in the Lower Earnhardt Grandstand for Sunday's AdvoCare 500 and a general admission ticket for Saturday's Nationwide Series race. Included will be a limited-edition Danica Patrick hero card to commemorate her first start at the historic 1.54-mile speedway. Both of these specials are only available while they last for a limited time, so fans are encouraged to lock in their seats today for the biggest Labor Day party in the USA.(AMS)(3-28-2012)


    News from March 27, 2012

  • Sprint All-Star Race Format Places Premium On Winning Segments Prior To 10-Lap Shootout: The 28th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will provide some additional incentive for drivers to win one of the four segments heading into the final 10-lap shootout, as the emphasis on winning and pit road strategy have never been more prevalent in this special night of NASCAR star-studded competition. Through the annual Sprint Fan Vote, under way now, fans can again cast ballots for their favorite eligible driver. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a spot in the field. The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race set for Saturday, May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (SPEED, 7 p.m.), will consist of four 20-lap segments, concluding with a 10-lap sprint and a $1 million payout to the race winner. This year's format will place a higher premium for drivers who win one of the four segments, however, as the winners of the first four segments will move to the front of the field and line up 1-4 prior to the field coming to pit road for the final mandatory pit stop. When the drivers come down pit road, crew chiefs will have to decide on their best pit strategy, as multiple scenarios will unfold. The team that makes the best call, combined with the optimum performance on pit road, is likely to be in the driver's seat for the final 10 laps of competition. Wherever the drivers are positioned as they come off pit road after that pit stop is where they will line up to start the final 10-lap segment. The eligibility standards for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race remain the same: race winners from either the 2011 or 2012 season through May 12 or any past champions of the all-star event or NASCAR Sprint Cup Series over the previous 10 years are eligible for the race. In addition, the top-two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, a 40-lap preliminary race scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, all advance into the all-star race lineup.
    Fans can vote by using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile Android application on their Sprint phone, or by texting "VOTE" to 229466 on any wireless carrier (standard text messaging and data rates apply). Voting is also open at NASCAR.com/AllStar or by visiting the Sprint Experience, located in the midway at all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Voting will continue until 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 19.
    The eighth annual NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge returns to kick off the all-star week's competition, Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m. at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The event's finishing order determines pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The #11 FedEx Toyota team is the defending Pit Crew Challenge champion. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling the Charlotte Bobcats ticket office at 800-745-3000.
    Drivers currently eligible for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (as of March 27) include: Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Regan Smith and Tony Stewart.(NASCAR)(3-28-2012)

  • STP on the #43 at Kansas: STP signed their first deal with Richard Petty in 1972, forever changing the motorsports sponsorship landscape. This year they are proud to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with "The King." As part of the celebration, STP will be back on the #43 Ford Fusion for the second consecutive year during the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. The #43 STP Ford Fusion will feature the iconic Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red colors and will be piloted by new Richard Petty Motorsports driver, Aric Almirola. "I've been an STP man since '72 and it's hard to believe that it has been 40 years since I started working with STP," said Petty. "They have remained a big part of my career and it's been great having them back at the track. I look forward to seeing Aric in the driver's seat at the STP 400 as we celebrate 40 years with STP."(STP), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(3-27-2012)

  • #17 to honor wounded U.S. Marine at Martinsville: In an effort to salute those who have given so much to protect our freedoms, Roush Fenway Racing and driver of the #17 Ford, Matt Kenseth, will be running a special paint scheme at Martinsville Speedway for the Goody's Fast Relief 500. Kenseth's car will be the #17 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation/Gary Sinise Foundation Ford and will feature a salute to United States Marine Corps Corporal Josh "J.B." Kerns. Kerns was a combat engineer with the U.S. Marine Corps and was on a mine sweep on April 7, 2011 in Afghanistan during his third tour of duty. An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated nearby and Kerns lost both of his legs along with his right arm due to the blast. Almost a year later after that fateful day, Matt Kenseth will race the #17 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers/Gary Sinise Foundation Ford at Martinsville as a tribute to Kerns for the sacrifices he made for this country. As part of their Building for America's Bravest program, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation announced that they will build a "smart home" for Kerns in his hometown of Ararat, Virginia which is located nearby to Martinsville Speedway. As part of the fundraising efforts associated with this program, Lionel NASCAR Collectables will create a die-cast of the #17 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation/Gary Sinise Foundation Ford and a large portion of those proceeds will go to building Kerns' new smart home.(Roush Fenway Racing), and more info about a fundraiser on Saturday, see my Racing Charities page.(3-27-2012)

  • All-Star Race announcement on Tuesday: The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 19. On Tuesday, March 27th there is a scheduled announcement for an exciting fan promotion and other new details of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.(CMS)(3-27-2012)

  • added some schemes, including #29 Budweiser Prohibition, #39 Aspen Dental, #18 Red-White-Blue M&M's and #32 Green Smoke, #29 Jimmy John's, #47 Charter and #17 Ford Eco Blast

  • Martinsville Speedway History and Notes:
    · Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States.
    · The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was Sept. 25, 1949.
    · The track was paved in 1955.
    · The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.
    · Concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976.
    · There have been 126 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.
    · Curtis Turner won the pole for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville in 1949.
    · Red Byron won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
    · 56 drivers have won poles, led by Darrell Waltrip with eight. Jeff Gordon, with seven poles, can tie that mark this weekend.
    · Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip share the consecutive pole record, each with three.
    · 46 different drivers have won, led by Richard Petty's 15.
    · Jeff Gordon leads active drivers with seven wins. Jimmie Johnson has six and Denny Hamlin has four.
    · 19 races have been won from the pole, the last by Denny Hamlin in October 2010.
    · Petty Enterprises has won 19 races, more than any other organization. Hendrick Motorsports, with 18 wins, can tie that mark this weekend.
    · Kurt Busch won the 2002 fall race from the 36th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
    · Three active drivers average a top-10: Jimmie Johnson (5.4), Denny Hamlin (6.4) and Jeff Gordon (6.8).
    (NASCAR)(3-27-2012)

  • Chiquita inks deal for NASCAR Plaza space: Chiquita Brands International has signed a lease for more than 130,000 square feeet in the NASCAR Plaza building uptown, real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announced Monday. The banana giant announced last year it was moving its corporate headquarters from downtown Cincinnati to uptown. Chiquita will occupy six floors in NASCAR Plaza by September.(Charlotte Observer)(3-27-2012)

  • NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing In Motion Set For 2012 Launch: NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion kicks-off the 2012 season by welcoming 18 partner schools from across the U.S. This innovative case study competition gives college students the opportunity to work through real-world business challenges and scenarios provided by NASCAR and its various industry stakeholders, such as Official Partners, teams and tracks. Since 2009 college students across the nation have spent a semester immersed in the NASCAR brand through NASCAR Kinetics. This grassroots program began with four schools and has grown to become NASCAR's largest college initiative with 18 schools this semester. For more information on NASCAR Kinetics, please refer to the new website: www.NASCARKinetics.com.(3-27-2012)

  • Sad News - Marie Foster: Marie Ann Foster, 72, of Mooresville, passed away on Monday, March 26, 2012 at Davis Regional Medical Center. She was born on February 2, 1940 in Akron, Ohio, to the late Jess and Elmira Miller Coffe. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, who enjoyed time with her grandkids. She is survived by her husband, Bill Foster; daughters, Lindy Hornaday and husband, Ron Hornaday Jr., Alicia Dyer and husband, Dennis, Missy Foster; sister, Elmira Coffe; brothers, Jess Coffe, Bobby Chesebrough; grandchildren, Ronnie, Jeremy, Candice, Travis, Chris, J.D., Jesse, Amanda; and great grandchildren, Lacey, Viktoria, Slater, Lily, Maddie, Scarlett, and Violet. The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 29 from 2:00-4:00 PM at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home located at 494 E. Plaza Drive, Mooresville, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Salvation Army, 2318 Julia Ave, Charlotte, NC 28202.(3-27-2012)

  • Rodney Atkins to Perform at Talladega Superspeedway: Talladega Superspeedway announced that country superstar Rodney Atkins will perform a Saturday night infield concert on May 5 during the 2012 Aaron's Dream Weekend. All fans with either an Aaron's 499 race ticket or infield admission can catch the Platinum-selling singer/songwriter's performance. To gain entry to the Saturday night concert, fans must present a ticket for the Sunday race or have an infield admission. The stage will be located near the intersection of Talladega and Eastaboga Boulevards in the infield. The concert will begin at 7:30pm and include an opening act to be announced soon. The most competitive racing in NASCAR combined with a mix of southern hospitality returns to Talladega Superspeedway May 4-6, 2012 for the Aaron's Dream Weekend. For tickets and information visit talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(Talladega Superspeedway)(3-27-2012)

  • Darlington offers new Too Tough to Tailgate Zone: Tailgating is a big part of the culture that race fans enjoy each and every time they visit Darlington Raceway. To accommodate the ever-growing demand for tailgating prior to the track's events, the raceway is offering a new area outside turn two, the Too Tough to Tailgate Zone, specific for fans who are tailgating prior to the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Saturday, May 12. For $50 per spot, fans will receive a 20x20 space in the Tailgate Zone, big enough to accommodate one passenger vehicle, a pop-up tent, tables, chairs and a grill. There are no limitations to how many guests can tailgate at the space. Admission to the Bojangles' Southern 500 is not included in the price. Tickets to the race must be purchased when you order your tailgating spot in order to obtain admission. Additionally, the Darlington Raceway ticket office hours are changing to accommodate race fans that might not be able to purchase their tickets during normal business hours. From now until the race weekend, the ticket office will be open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets to the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 and Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 can still be purchased anytime at DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(3-27-2012)

  • Stantec helping the Kentucky Speedway prepare for crowds: A nationally-recognized transportation planning team from Stantec in Kentucky is helping the Kentucky Speedway prepare for crowds at the June 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series "Quaker State 400" at the 107,000-capacity venue. The 2011 "Quaker State 400," the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the speedway, drew national attention when an overwhelming race-day crowd resulted in a gridlocked roadway system and parking shortages. In response, Kentucky Speedway acted aggressively to address and resolve the problems identified last year. Kentucky Speedway has partnered with Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to implement multi-million dollar infrastructure and program improvements.
    More info on the Stantec's microscopic traffic simulation at kentuckyspeedway.com. Tickets, campsites and daily infield Fan Zone passes for the Quaker State 400 tripleheader weekend can be purchased at kentuckyspeedway.com, by calling 859-578-2300 or visiting the Kentucky Speedway corporate offices.(Kentucky Speedway)(3-27-2012)


    News from March 26, 2012

  • The Entry List for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (46th in owners pts/1 race attempt)
    #23-Scott Riggs (44/5)
    #26-Josh Wise (39/5)
    #30-David Stremme (37/5)
    #37-Timmy Hill (48/5)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (40/5)
    #74-Reed Sorenson (47/2)
    #83-Landon Cassill (36/5)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (43/5)
    #98-Michael McDowell (41/5)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 83,30,26,49,98,87,23,37
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 74,19
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Martinsville Entry List.(3-26-2012)

  • Appeals court refuses to reinstate Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR: A federal appeals court in Virginia has refused to revive former racecar driver Jeremy Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR over his suspension for failing a random drug test. Mayfield has argued that a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications led to the positive test at Richmond International Raceway. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Monday that U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen in Charlotte, N.C., did not abuse his discretion in dismissing Mayfield's complaint. After his 2009 suspension, Mayfield sued NASCAR; its owner, Brian Zachary France; and a drug testing company for defamation, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract and negligence. Mullen tossed out the lawsuit because Mayfield had twice, as a driver and an owner, signed documents waiving his right to sue. Mayfield has argued that a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications led to the positive test at Richmond International Raceway.(The Republic/Associated Press)
    NASCAR Statement: Statement from Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing Operations: "NASCAR is pleased that today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court's original decision in May 2010 in Jeremy Mayfield v. NASCAR. This case was never about anything more than NASCAR's ability to keep the sport clean and our competitors safe."(NASCAR)(3-26-2012)

  • Auto Club TV Ratings posted: Opposite heavy competition from the NCAA Tournament on CBS and PGA Golf on NBC, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX averaged a 3.4/7 Sunday for the Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Speedway which was cut short by rain. That's down -17% from last year?s 4.1/9 for the same race which ran in its entirety. Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 4.9/10 in the meters, off -9% from last year?s average of a 5.4/12. See race-by-race Ratings on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(3-26-2012)

  • Special scheme for Harvick at Martinsville: hearing that #29-Kvein Harvick will run a white and black Budweiser Prohibition scheme on the #20 Richard Childress Racing Chevy at Martinsville Speedway this weekend, see an image on the #29 Team Schemes page.(3-26-2012)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 Auto Club 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 2:54 PM, and stopped at the rain delay at 4:53 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 82
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 53
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 30
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 10 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:54 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:53 PM
    Total minutes of race broadcast: 119
    Minutes of race broadcast: 86
    Minutes of commercials: 33
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Number of Stooges to give the call to start the engines: 3
    Total race brdcst time 86 Total comm. brdcst time 33
    For driver focus, past races and other info see the 2012 TV Commercials page.(3-26-2012)

  • #48 team gets lucky: #48-Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorpsorts team were fortunate Sunday -- despite pitting under the caution for rain -- when the stoppage of the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, race left him 10th in the running order, instead of in the garage repairing a broken oil line. As the cars circled the track in the rain, Johnson's car began smoking. The driver of the #48 Chevy didn't know whether the cause was a broken oil line fitting or an oil cooler problem, but he was happy his team didn't have to make the diagnosis during the course of the race. "It was just a wild chain of events, because when I came to pit road and took four tires, I wanted it to dry up real quick," Johnson said before NASCAR called the race. "Now I'm sitting here praying for rain. So, as I'm sending the signals to the man upstairs, he's really confused about what I'm asking for the last three or four minutes."(NASCAR Wire Services)(3-26-2012)

  • Jimmie Johnson Foundation launches Helmet of Hope: Jimmie Johnson kicked off the 2012 Helmet of Hope campaign today at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., by announcing Blue Bunny Ice Cream as the title sponsor of the program. The Helmet of Hope program allows fans, consumers and media members across the country to nominate their favorite charity to receive a $10,000 grant and special recognition on Johnson's race helmet. This year's Helmet of Hope campaign will run for six consecutive Sprint Cup race weekends beginning at Martinsville in April and culminating at Darlington in May. More infi and to nominate, see more info and links on the Racing Charities page.(3-26-2012)

  • Virginia Tech Regimental Band To Play National Anthem at Martinsville: The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Regimental Marching Band will perform the National Anthem prior to Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, keeping alive the track's custom of traditional performances of the Anthem. The regimental band, better known as The Highty-Tighties, was formed in 1893 and is the oldest collegiate band in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They are a field band, and provide military music for all cadet activities. The band performs in many parades around the country each year, most recently the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City two weeks ago. On Saturday, prior to the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, a brass ensemble from Martinsville High School will perform the National Anthem.
    FLYOVER: The flyover before the start of Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 will be provided by a pair of F-18 Tomcatters. They will be out of the Naval Air Station in Oceana, Virginia Beach, VA.
    LT. DAN BAND CONCERT: Gary Sinise, of Forrest Gump and CSI: NY fame, along with his Lt. Dan Band, will be performing a concert at Martinsville High School on Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds from the show will go toward the construction of a smart house for Marine Cpl. J.B. Kerns, a local soldier who lost both legs and an arm in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. Fittingly, Kerns is the Honorary Starter for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 while Sinise is the Grand Marshal. Tickets can be purchased at www.piedmontarts.org.
    Good seats remain for both Saturday's Kroger 250 and Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. To purchase tickets, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-26-2012)


    News from March 25, 2012

  • Stewart wins at Auto Club: #14-Tony Stewart won the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway for his 2nd win of the year, his 2nd at ACS and 46th win of his career. The race was called early after 129 of 200 scheduled laps due to rain. #18-Busch led the most laps with 18.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., #29-Harvick, #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #39-Newman, #56-Truex Jr., #51-Busch and #48-Johnson. The pole sitter, #11-Hamlin, led 2 laps and finished 12th after pitting just before the rain came. #48-Johnson's car was smoking from a hole in the oil cooler just before the rain fell and finished 10th.
    There were 1 cautions for 5 yellow flag laps. There were 9 lead changes among 5 drivers. The estimated attendence was 90,000, up from 88,000 in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Auto Club Race Results page (pdf).(3-25-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Auto Club, race 5 of 36]
    1) #16-Greg Biffle [0 wins], 195
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 188, -7
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 178, -17
    4) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 177, -18
    5) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 175, -20
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 173, -22
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 171, -24
    8) #15-Clint Bowyer [0 wins], 157, -38
    9) #48-Jimmie Johnson [0 wins], 156, -39
    10) #39-Ryan Newman [0 wins], 155, -40
    Wildcards:
    11) #27-Paul Menard [0 wins], 148, -47 (11th in pts)
    12) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 139, -56 (16th in pts, 1 win)
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings page (pdf).
    and Owners Points on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(3-25-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Auto Club Speedway:
    #14-Tony Stewart won the 16th Annual Auto Club 400, his 46th victory in 469 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ties Buck Baker for 14th on the all-time Sprint Cup Series win list.
    This is his second victory and second top-10 finish in 2012.
    This is his second victory and 12th top-10 finish in 21 races at Auto Club Speedway. His previous win came on Oct. 10, 2010.
    #18-Kyle Busch (second) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 15 races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2012.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 20 races at Auto Club Speedway.
    #26-Josh Wise (37th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #16-Greg Biffle leads the point standings by 7 points over #29-Kevin Harvick.
    This is the first Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway to be shortened by weather.
    The last NSCS race to be stopped short of its scheduled distance was in 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (winner Joey Logano).(NASCAR Statistics)(3-25-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Martinsville:
    #10 moved back into the top 35, falling out was the #83 team by 5 points over the #33 & #10 and has to race into Martinsville.
    After Auto Club Speedway, 2012 owners points will be used to set the top-35 in owners points each week.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    29) #13-Mears/Germain, 81, +19
    30) #93-Kvapil/BK Racing, 80, +18,
    31) #32-Schrader/FAS Lane Racing, 80, +18
    32) #38-Gilliland/Front Row, 80, +18
    33) #34-Ragan/Front Row, 79, +17
    34) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 67, +5
    35) #33-Guaghan/Childress, 67, +5 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 62, -5 from the top 35
    37) #30-Stremme/Inception, 44, -23
    38) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 44, -23
    39) #26-Wise/Front Row, 43, -24
    40) #49-Yeley/Robinson, 42, -25
    41) #98-McDowell/Parsons, 40, -27
    42) #87-Nemechek/NEMCO, 27, -40
    After the race at Auto Club Speedway, the 5th race of the season, 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 page (pdf).(3-25-2012)

  • Race Coverage of the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 25, 2012.
    Television (TV): FOX at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:30 pm/et; green flag approx 3:16pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: on SPEED, Wednesday, March 28 at 12:00pm/et

  • RAIN could be an issue on Sunday, March 25, 2012, for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway.
    As of 4:00pm/et, cloud cover has blanketed the area and looking at the radar, the rain is probably goning to hit within an hour.
    The Weather.com forcast: Through 6pm: Rain showers developing around 2pm. The rain will become steadier later. Mostly cloudy with temperatures slowly falling to near 56F. Winds SSW at 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
    The National Weather Service forecast: Patchy fog in the morning. Chance of rain in the morning...then rain in the afternoon. Highs 55 to 63. Areas of winds south 15 to 25 mph. Gusts to 35 mph in the afternoon.
    More weather links on my Auto Club Race Info page - Weather section.

  • Gordon a finalist for Shav Glick Award: #24-Jeff Gordon is one of four finalists for the Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award. The annual award, voted on by a panel of veteran motorsports writers, is presented to a person who has made significant contributions to motorsports from the state. Other finalists are drag racer "TV Tommy" Ivo; Indianapolis 500 roadster builder A.J. Watson and sports car racer Tony Adamowicz. The award, named in honor of the longtime Los Angeles Times motorsports writer and columnist Shav Glick, will be announced prior to today's race.(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(3-25-2012)

  • Penske may continue to build Dodge engines after 2012: Penske Racing will run Fords in NASCAR's premier series next season, but the team owner said Saturday his Sprint Cup team still could be building Dodge engines. Penske hasn't decided whether to use motors from Roush Yates, which currently supplies all of Ford's teams in Cup. But Penske said his 70-person engine staff would be unaffected if he elects to align with the motors used by Roush Fenway Racing. "We have a lot of people calling us wanting to run Dodges," Penske said as his Izod IndyCar Series teams prepared to qualify for the season opener on the streets of St. Pete. "We're going to keep our engine shop open obviously. We have a big investment there. We're certainly not going to shut the door. There's a lot of speculation, but I can assure you that engine shop will continue to operate in some mode one way or the other. Because we've got chassis dynos and things that we wouldn't have the success today without what those guys have done. If Dodge is interested, if we would go to a separate source (for engines), then our shop could be available to do Dodge work for sure." Penske said he hasn't met with Roush yet, but his team has scheduled several meetings with Ford officials.(see full article and more quotes at the USA Today)(3-25-2012)

  • Tires -- not reinventing speedway -- might be Bristol's answer: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had some advice for Bruton Smith: talk to the drivers before firming up plans to reinvent Bristol Motor Speedway. It might be a good idea for Smith to talk to Goodyear, too, given that changing the tires at Bristol might be a far less expensive alternative to changing the racetrack. Track owner Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., said he was embarrassed by the turnout for last Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the .533-mile track. Consensus was that the grandstands, which can seat 160,000 fans, were roughly half-full. Possible solutions could a include to a return to the one-groove racetrack that disappeared with a 2007 reconfiguration that added graduated banking and opened the outside lane. Side-by-side green-flag racing replaced the typical Bristol bump-and-run, which inevitably led to a rash of caution flags. Tires with more grip and faster degradation might change the complexion of racing at Bristol, if cars with new tires become significantly faster than those on old rubber. "I think if we show up at Bristol with a tire that lays rubber down and is really soft, and it wears out& we need to get it back to where tires mean something," said Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. "Nobody really ever comes in and takes four tires and blows the field anymore." The bottom line is that, if tires degrade rapidly, you'll have cars running radically different speeds on the racetrack, and the mixture of speed and strategy should improve the action.(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-25-2012)

  • Could the Commodore be the new Chevy model in 2013? The blogosphere has gone into overdrive with speculation that Holden's Commodore may race in the 2013 US-based NASCAR racing series [Holden is one of only seven fully-integrated global General Motors operations that designs, builds and sells vehicles for Australia and the world.]. Rumours are flying on social media sites and web forums following a news release from Chevrolet in the US that it would drop its Impala mid-size sedan in favour of a new car "based on a new nameplate to the brand's lineup". General Motors enthusiast blog GM Inside News says it has received new information suggesting the Commodore is returning to the US, both as a racer and as a production model. "The latest information we've gotten suggests Chevrolet will bring the Commodore back to North America as a high-performance Chevrolet sedan," the site claims. "The car will be very low volume and likely V8 only." Holden spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale was quick to pour water on the rumours, telling Drive that the reports are purely speculative. "It's been speculated widely that the Commodore will return to the US," she says. "It's all based on a Chevrolet announcement, but we have nothing to confirm at this stage."(Sydney Morning Herald)(3-25-2012)


    News from March 24, 2012

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #11-Hamlin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #18-Busch took pit stall 12A(13), the first pitstall in front of the start finish line.
    #55-Martin, who starts 3rd took the 12th pit stall, the 1st stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #39-Newman, who starts 6th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-24-2012)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest, notes:
    #11-Hamlin 182.034 mph
    #24-Gordon 181.360
    #15-Bowyer 181.214
    #1-McMurray 181.132
    #18-Busch 181.050
    slowest: #23-Riggs 173.837 & #19-Bliss 174.250
    no speed listed: #30-Stremme
    See fastest speeds, best ten-lap averages. laps run and more on the Auto Club Happy Hour Practice Speeds (pdf), no average speeds all laps and NOT changing back to the old way, just posting the pdf's.(3-24-2012)

  • Saturday's first practice for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest, notes:
    #11-Hamlin 186.018 mph
    #17-Kenseth 185.209
    #39-Newman 184.928
    #14-Stewart 184.554
    #29-Havick 184.270
    slowest: #23-Riggs 174.999 & #32-Schrader 176.199
    See fastest speeds, best ten-lap averages. laps run and more on the Auto Club Practice 2 Speeds (pdf), no average speeds all laps and NOT changing back to the old way, just posting the pdf's.(3-24-2012)

  • Robby Gordon scaling back: #7-Robby Gordon said he likely will not race at Martinsville Speedway next week after failing to qualify for the previous three Cup races. Gordon said he planned to race at Martinsville if he qualified Friday in California, but even if he had made the races at California and Martinsville, it was unlikely he would go to the next Cup race at Texas. Gordon said he will concentrate on marketing his Speed Energy drink as well as competing in off-road and monster truck events. He said the next Cup race for his team could be in June at the road course in Sonoma, CA. Gordon eventually hopes that sales of his energy drink can support a Cup racing program.(SceneDaily)(3-24-2012)

  • Hermie Sadler in the #33 at Martinsville: During SPEED's NASCAR Live on Saturday, John Roberts and Hermie Sadler mentioned that Sadler would run the #33 Richard Childress Racing Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway next weekend, April 1.(3-24-2012)

  • Spring Break at the NASCAR HOF: Visitors can break out with spring fever and family fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during the second annual Spring Break from the Ordinary, Saturday, March 24  Monday, April 9. With new special events and activities, Spring Break From the Ordinary offers students and their parents "Grade A" entertainment with scavenger hunts, racing simulator competitions, pit crew challenges, crafts, video game competitions plus more than 50 hands-on exhibits at the 150,000 square-foot entertainment facility. In a class by itself, Spring Break From the Ordinary features daily physical challenges and games for students (K-12). Each day during Spring Break From the Ordinary guests have a chance to compete in a number of high-octane activities and contests for prizes including NASCAR memorabilia, K'NEX building sets, Spin Master toy cars, NASCAR Hall of Fame Memberships and more. More info on the event and tickets at NASCARHall.com.(3-24-2012)

  • Hamlin wins pole at Auto Club: #11-Denny Hamlin won the pole for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway with a speed of 186.403mph for his 1st pole of 2012 which put him in the 2013 Shootout, 10th career pole, and 2nd pole at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin is the fifth different pole sitter in the first five races of the season.
    #18-Busch was 2nd fastest followed by #55-Martin, #5-Kahne, #16-Biffle, #39-Newman, #29-Harvick, #20-Logano, #14-Stewart and #48-Johnson.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #30-Stremme, #26-Wise, #98-McDowell, #36-Blaney, #23-Riggs, #49-Yeley, #19-Bliss and #74-Sorenson.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #7-Gordon, #87-Nemechek & #37-Hill.
    See qualifying results, pole pregression, starting lineup on my Qualifying Results / Starting Lineup or the starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf).(3-23-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Auto Club Speedway:
    #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 16th Annual Auto Club 400 with a lap of 38.626 seconds, 186.403 mph.
    This is his 10th pole in 228 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2012. He qualifies for next year's Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.
    This is his second pole in 12 races at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin's previous Sprint Cup pole here came on Oct. 11, 2009.
    #18-Kyle Busch (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2012 and his eighth in 15 races at Auto Club Speedway.
    #55-Mark Martin (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his second in four races this season.
    #26-Josh Wise (30th) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(3-23-2012)

  • Gordon-Earnhardt Jr. are OK with each other after Bristol incident: from a Team Chevy Driver(s) Press Conference Transcript, in part. Both #24-Jeff Gordon and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. were asked about the incident between them at Bristol Motor Speedway last week when the #88 got into the #24 which cut down a tire and crashed late in the race:
    Q) DID YOU TALK OR TEXT WITH JEFF (GORDON) AT ALL ABOUT LAST WEEK (BRISTOL RACE)?
    Earnhardt Jr,: "We talked and I feel pretty good about how that went. We should have no problem going forward. It was an unfortunate situation, especially for him. I'm sure it stings a little bit for him and the team. We will just see."
    Q) WHEN SOMETHING AS 'FREAKY' AS THAT HAPPENS, DO YOU LOOK BACK AT THE REPLAYS AND SEE WHAT IN THE WORLD DID THAT? BECAUSE YOU SAID THE CONTACT WAS NOT THAT MUCH.
    Earnhardt Jr,: "It was just a freak situation and you kind of got to remember that, you know, and not really beat yourself up too much about it. Jeff (Gordon) has a good reputation in this sport. I've got a lot of respect and enjoy being his teammate. I've learned a lot from him even before we were teammates, just racing him over the years. He has been here a long time and I think we will be able to race each other without any problems. I think he respects me and I respect him. We will be able to move forward without any problems."
    Q) HAVE YOU SPOKEN WITH DALE EARNHARDT JR. FOLLOWING BRISTOL AND WHAT WAS THE CONVERSATION?:
    Gordon: "You know, he reached out to me. It was just a strange situation that happened where we were racing hard, racing for position after a restart and he definitely got into me, but you could do that 100 times and go on about your business, but in this particular case the tailpipe just lined up perfectly on the left rear. Really to me that is the much bigger issue than the contact between me and Junior. I don't understand why the tailpipes are even capable of getting to the left rear tire. If that happens at a big, fast speedway then that's a much bigger incident than what that was. I'd like to see that addressed. We talked and I've got respect for Dale and I know he has that for me as well. We enjoy being teammates and we I think learned a little bit from that situation about when the time to race hard is and when it isn't."
    Q) DO YOU LOOK BACK ON LAST WEEK AND WONDER WHY THAT HAD TO HAPPEN WITH YOUR TEAMMATE?:
    Gordon: "Yeah, I mean when you're at Bristol, especially on the restarts when there's a big difference in the handling of cars at the beginning of a restart. Some guys' cars take off good, some are better five laps into a run, some are better 25 laps into a run and my car was one of those cars that was better the longer that we went. Junior's was pretty good on the short runs right then. To me, that's when a lot of us would get side-by-side and I think that you're always questioning why one person is racing you at that point as hard as they are. Sometimes you're racing hard to protect the position because you think your car is going to come in and other times you're racing hard because you know your car is really good right then and you want to get the position. That's all it was. It didn't have anything to do with teammates. We were just racing hard for position. I think it got a little bit more attention because it was teammates and for us, looking back on it and it makes our Tuesday meetings a little more interesting. I think if that's for the win or for the position at the end of the race then hey, we get it. I think we both agreed that it wasn't probably the best thing to do as teammates that early into a restart with 200 laps to go."(Team Chevy)(3-24-2012)

  • Honorary Starter named for Auto Club 400: Kristy Swanson, best known for her role as Buffy in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer and currently appearing in USA Network's American detective comedy-drama television series Psych, will serve as Honorary Starter for the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 25. As Honorary Starter, Swanson will wave the green flag to get the Auto Club 400 underway. In addition to her acting skills, Swanson showed off her driving skills on Friday at Auto Club Speedway in the first-annual DRIVE4COPD Pro-Am Celebrity Racing Challenge to benefit the millions of Americans living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Swanson was the only female on the winning team which included Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, X Games medalist Todd Potter, actor Bill Fichtner and NFL and reality star Hank Baskett. To purchase tickets to the Auto Club Speedway race weekend call 800-944-RACE (7223), log on to autoclubspeedway.com or visit the Auto Club Speedway Ticket Office.(Auto Club Speedway)(3-24-2012)

  • Great Seats, Great Packages Remain at Martinsville: The Goody's Fast Relief 500 is just a few days away, but it's not too late to make sure you are on top of all the action at Martinsville Speedway on April 1. Tickets for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 remain available at low prices. Martinsville Speedway also has great family prices. Other great Martinsville ticket packages include: Jimmie Johnson Package, Kasey Kahne Package, Martinsville Speedway Fan Zone and Pre-Race Track Pass. More info on all tickets and ticket packages can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-24-2012)

  • Infineon Raceway Breaks Guinness World Records Record: More than 70 cars convened at Infineon Raceway on Tuesday to break the Guinness World Records Record for Most Cars Performing Donuts Simultaneously. Seventy-five cars performed simultaneous donuts for more than 15 seconds, breaking the previous world record of 57 cars, which was set in Queensland, Australia, in 2010. Evidence of the claim was documented and will be sent to Guinness World Records for final verification. The cars were piloted by drifters from across Northern California who participate in the raceway's weekly Sonoma Drift powered by NOS program. The program, which is in its second consecutive year, provides drifters a safe, legal and controlled environment in which to hone their skills.(Infineon Raceway)(3-24-2012)


    News from March 23, 2012

  • Hamlin wins pole at Auto Club: #11-Denny Hamlin won the pole for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway with a speed of 186.403mph for his 1st pole of 2012, 10th career pole, and 2nd pole at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin is the fifth different pole sitter in the first five races of the season.
    #18-Busch was 2nd fastest followed by #55-Martin, #5-Kahne, #16-Biffle, #39-Newman, #29-Harvick, #20-Logano, #14-Stewart and #48-Johnson.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #30-Stremme, #26-Wise, #98-McDowell, #36-Blaney, #23-Riggs, #49-Yeley, #19-Bliss and #74-Sorenson.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #7-Gordon, #87-Nemechek & #37-Hill.
    See qualifying results, pole pregression, starting lineup on my Qualifying Results / Starting Lineup or the starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf).(3-23-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Auto Club Speedway:
    #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 16th Annual Auto Club 400 with a lap of 38.626 seconds, 186.403 mph.
    This is his 10th pole in 228 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2012. He qualifies for next year's Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.
    This is his second pole in 12 races at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin's previous Sprint Cup pole here came on Oct. 11, 2009.
    #18-Kyle Busch (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2012 and his eighth in 15 races at Auto Club Speedway.
    #55-Mark Martin (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his second in four races this season.
    #26-Josh Wise (30th) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(3-23-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 7:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: 10:30pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed, so 3 will go home.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #37-Hill, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #15-Bowyer, 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 Auto Club Qualifying Page.(3-23-2012)

  • Friday practice for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over. After scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest, notes:
    #15-Bowyer 185.109
    #55-Martin 184.322
    #5-Kahne 183.946
    #2-Keselowski 183.290
    #11-Hamlin 183.187
    slowest: #7-Gordon & #37-Hill
    This practice sets qualifying order, scheduled for 7:10pm/et on SPEED. #37-Hill goes out first and #15-Bowyer goes our 46th/last.
    See fastest speeds. laps run and more on the Auto Club Practice 1 Speeds (pdf), no average speeds am NOT changing back to the old way, just posting the pdf's.(3-23-2012)

  • Go-or-Go Homers practice for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway.
    the practice rank for the go-or-go homers (drivers not in the top 35 of 2011 owners points)
    These drivers would make the race if things stay the same:
    #30-David Stremme, 28th fastest overall
    #26-Josh Wise#, 31st
    #49-J.J. Yeley, 32nd
    #98-Michael McDowell, 35th
    #36-Dave Blaney, 39th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 40th
    #23-Scott Riggs, 41st
    #74-Reed Sorenson, 42nd
    These drivers would miss the race if things stay the same:
    #19-Mike Bliss, 44th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 45th
    #37-Timmy Hill#, 46th/last
    (3-23-2012)

  • NASCAR President defends appeals process: NASCAR president Mike Helton said he believes in the sport's rules inspectors and the overall appeals process, despite the decision Tuesday that overturned most of the penalties imposed on Jimmie Johnson's #48 Chevy from a body-alignment issue at Daytona last month. "We think the decision made this week supports the inspection process with the elements of the penalty that were upheld," Helton said Friday at Auto Club Speedway. "It indicates they did their job correctly." NASCAR originally penalized the #48 team 25 points and suspended both crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six races, along with fining Knaus $100,000. Before the car went on the track at Daytona, inspectors said the C-posts (on each side of the rear window) were not within the tolerances of the rule book, but the car was not measured on the templates. Both Knaus and Malec were allowed to continue working races while the penalty was appealed by Hendrick Motorsports. A three-man appeals panel held up the penalties two weeks ago, but most of the penalties were rescinded Tuesday by chief appellate officer John Middlebrook, a former GM executive who has the final say in the appeals process. The points and the suspensions were eliminated by Middlebrook, but the fine was upheld. Helton said the fact that the fine was upheld proves that NASCAR inspectors discovered a violation. "Elements of the penalty were upheld based on parts of the car that did not conform to the rules," Helton said. "The debate was how we reacted to it. That's as much a bureaucratic decision as it is a competition decision." Middlebrook has not spoken publicly about his reasons for greatly reducing the penalty. The surprising decision by Middlebrook has caused some people to wonder if changes are needed in the inspection or appeals process, but Helton said NASCAR has no plans to do so.(ESPN)(3-23-2012)

  • Harvick to be inducted into ACS's Walk of Fame: As the 2011 Auto Club 400 race winner, Harvick will be inducted into the Auto Club Speedway Walk of Fame on Saturday, Mar. 24 at 11:30 am/pet. The Bakersfield, Calif., native will receive a bronze plaque from track president Gillian Zucker, which will be placed in a cemented area along with his footprint, handprint and signature. The induction will be held in the Auto Club Speedway FanZone, located outside gate 12 and is open to the public (RCR).(3-23-2012)

  • Kahne makes Quaker State debut at ACS: Kasey Kahne will drive the #5 Quaker State Chevy for the first time this season during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Quaker State has partnered with Hendrick Motorsports for 17 years and played a role in nine Sprint Cup Series championships and 151 race victories with the organization. The #5 also will carry the Quaker State colors at Charlotte in May, Kentucky in June and Richmond in September (HMS)(3-22-2012)

  • Allstate joins EGR: Allstate will be the co-primary sponsor on the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The Allstate Corporation is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer.(EGR)(3-22-2012)

  • Wood Brothers donate winning car to museum: Eddie Wood and Len Wood of the famed Wood Brothers Racing team, donated Trevor Bayne's 2011 Daytona 500 winning Ford Fusion to The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mich., on Thursday. The car, exactly as it was after Bayne won at Daytona International Speedway and still covered in celebratory confetti, Gatorade and Coca-Cola will be housed in the museum's Driving America exhibit, next to Henry Ford's 1901 Sweepstakes and Jimmy Clark's 1965 Indianapolis 500 winning Lotus-Ford. The Wood Brothers and Trevor Bayne will attempt to win at Michigan International Speedway this summer during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on June 17 and the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 19. Visit MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010 for tickets.(see an image at mispeedway.com)(3-23-2012)

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

  • Rusty Wallace returns to the track: Retired NASCAR driver and ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace, is scheduled to compete in the June 12th Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race honors the late Lettow, a former standout ASA crew chief who mentored many young drivers. The event will benefit the MACC Fund, dedicated to childhood cancer and blood disorder research (RWR). More info on the Drivers Appearances page.(3-23-2012)

  • CMS to build six mini-suites overlooking pit road: Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials will announce today the construction of six mini-suites overlooking pit road at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 15-person outdoor suites, built about 11 feet above the NASCAR pit crew boxes, will be at the center of pit road, on the track's "50-yard line," according to CMS Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Dan Farrell. The suites with roof cover are tied to three-year deals at a cost of $45,000 annually. In return, suite holders will receive 15 tickets to eight NASCAR events every year. Catering provided by track concessionaire Levy Restaurants is a separate fee. To date, SMI has sold four of the six suites, including three to JR Motorsports, UPS and 3M. SMI has a contract pending for a fourth pit road suite and track officials are confident the remaining two units will be sold by May 19, the date of the Sprint All-Star Race, Farrell said. As part of the pit road suite package, suite holders get exclusive access to the new Winners Circle Lounge behind the structure. The lounge, formerly the Sunoco Gas Station, will have a bar, a meeting room, televisions and restrooms.(SceneDaily / Sports Business Daily)(3-23-2012)

  • Special Drive to End Hunger Ticket at Darlington Raceway: Race fans who are interested in supporting #24-Jeff Gordon in AARP's and AARP Foundation's Drive to End Hunger campaign and in turn receive a special opportunity to participate in a 15-minute question and answer session with the popular driver, Darlington Raceway has just the ticket. Darlington Raceway is offering a special AARP Drive to End Hunger ticket package for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Bojangles' Southern 500 race on Saturday, May 12. For a special price of $124, each package will include a ticket to the Bojangles' Southern 500, hospitality in the Drive to End Hunger tent, which includes food and beverage, and the opportunity to participate in the 15-minute Q&A session with Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. Packages can be purchased by visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com/drivetoendhunger or by calling 866-459-7223. Darlington and Americrown will donate to local food banks on behalf of Drive to End Hunger. AARP Foundation will work with Harvest Hope to receive the donations, which are expected to include bread, produce and other food items.(Darlington Raceway)(3-23-2012)

  • Nu-Way Industries back in control of Irwindale Speedway : The first hurdle for racing to return to Irwindale Speedway has been cleared. Track owner Nu-Way Industries, Inc. has regained control of the track, considered by many the best short track in America, after a decision in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Jason Rund, the Chapter 7 trustee for Irwindale Speedway, LLC, ended the 33-year lease late last week. That frees Nu-Way to determine what it will do with the property, which includes state-of-the-art half- and third-mile gradually banked ovals and an eighth-mile drag strip. The lease was to expire on July 9, 2029. L.A. Racing, which operates a racing school on the property and is not affiliated with Irwindale Speedway, LLC, has continued running its classes and programs since track general manager Bob DeFazio filed bankruptcy papers on Feb. 13. "We're just trying to feel our way through," Nu-Way's Jay Garrett said. "We weren't able to do too much because the property was tied up with the bankruptcy. We can go ahead now." Garrett said that the pair have received hundreds of phone calls from parties interested in buying the property or entering into a new lease. "(Racing) will take a little longer to get re-geared back up," Garrett said. "But there are a couple of leading candidates. We'll have to see what it has to take to put it together."(more info at the Pasadena Star News)(3-23-2012)


    News from March 22, 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 Auto Club Speedway on the Auto Club Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Edwards trains with SWAT team: #99-Carl Edwards, along with Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage, took part in a special training session with Sgt. Todd Plowman and members of Fort Worth's SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) team at the Fort Worth Police & Fire Training Center. Edwards experienced the high-risk job of serving as a member of the Fort Worth SWAT team. During the crash course, Edwards observed as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage fired a 40mm Grenade Launcher, Benelli M4 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun and Colt M4 Commando 5.56mm carbine with suppressor. Edwards opted for some of the other training exercises that included rappelling down the side of a six-story building and facing "live" situations in a hostile environment simulator and having to defuse the situation with armed force. He also appropriately arrived to the event in the Fort Worth SWAT team's Bearcat tactics vehicle and later took it for a spin.( images and more at the TMS site)(3-22-2012)

  • Jimmy John's returns to the #29: The black, red and white colors of Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches will adorn the #29 Chevy as the primary sponsor of Kevin Harvick and the team for the first of six races in 2012 this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.(RCR)(3-22-2012)

  • The Numbers for the Auto Club 400, Caution Recap:
    2  races won from the front row at Auto Club Speedway; one from the pole (2008, Jimmie Johnson)
    4  number of drivers that have competed in all 22 races at ACS (Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek)
    4  fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race (twice, most recently 3/27/11)
    8  number of jet dryers available for track drying during race weekend
    9  most wins by a car owner in previous 22 races (Rick Hendrick)
    11  races won from a starting spot outside the top 10
    12  most cautions (2/24/08)
    14  different winners in previous 22 races
    15  different pole winners
    16  fewest caution laps (3/27/11)
    18  fewest lead changes (three times, most recent 3/27/11)
    33  most lead changes (2/24/08)
    51  most caution laps (9/5/04)
    120  minutes, the amount of time it takes to dry the 2.0-mile track after a significant rainfall
    188.245  mph, track qualifying record (Kyle Busch, 1/25/05)
    1995  year track construction began on site of the former Kaiser Steel Mill; completed in 1996
    1997  year first Sprint Cup race held at the track (6/22/97)
    2008  year facility changed name from California Speedway to Auto Club Speedway
    2012 Caution Recap
    30  cautions in the first four Sprint Cup races; 41 after four races last year
    16 of 30  cautions have been for accidents; 24 of 41 for accidents last year
    161 of 1,281 laps completed have been under caution; 195 of 1,287 in 2011
    217.617 of 1,484.000 miles completed have been under caution; 275.881 of 1,499.000 in 2011
    BONUS: Although only two tracks currently host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, 15 California tracks have hosted a total of 131 Sprint Cup races over the years. Riverside International Raceway had the most  48  with the last event in 1988. Only Riverside, Ontario Motor Speedway (nine) and the two tracks currently on the Sprint Cup schedule  Auto Club Speedway (22) and Infineon Raceway (23)  have hosted more than six Cup races.(Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports & Dodge)(3-22-2012)

  • SiriusXM to Broadcast Races Online and on SiriusXM App: Sirius XM Radio and NASCAR announced an agreement to simulcast the programming on the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel in its entirety  which includes live broadcasts of every national series race, plus daily NASCAR talk  online for SiriusXM subscribers nationwide. Starting with this weekend's races in Fontana, CA (March 24-25), subscribers who have SiriusXM Internet Radio access can listen to live broadcasts of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on the SiriusXM NASCAR radio channel through their computers at siriusxm.com and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphone and wireless devices. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90, is available to Sirius subscribers, XM Premier (formerly known as "The Best of Sirius") and SiriusXM Premier subscribers. SiriusXM and NASCAR recently agreed to a five-year extension of their satellite broadcasting agreement. SiriusXM will continue to broadcast every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race live nationwide through 2016. Listeners also get daily NASCAR talk and expert analysis 365 days a year on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.(SiriusXM)(3-22-2012)

  • Auto Club Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Auto Club Speedway this weekend . . . while these teams ran this right-side tire code at this track in 2011, this is a brand new left-side code . . . compared to what was run at Fontana last year, this left-side features mold shape and construction changes, which will give the cars more grip . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Fontana last October 18 . . . participating in that test were #16-Greg Biffle, Landon Cassill in the #48 HMS Chevy, Sam Hornish in the #22 Penske Racing Dodge and David Reutimann in the #00 MWR Toyota . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Fontana . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. See full notes with tire pressures, codes and more on the Auto Club Race Info page - Goodyear section.(3-22-2012)

  • Townley placed on probation: NASCAR announced today that it has placed John Wes Townley, driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, on probation until Dec. 31, 2012. Townley violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. The violation occurred Feb. 7. In addition to the steps already underway by his team RAB Racing, Townley will be evaluated by a certified substance abuse professional at NASCAR's discretion and will be subject to random alcohol and drug testing.(NASCAR)(3-22-2012)

  • Kyle Busch makes appearance at school: Earlier Wednesday Toyota NASCAR driver Kyle Busch visited Williams Elementary School to speak about NASCAR, his racing career and Toyota Racing's Sponsafier program, as well as participate in a question and answer session with students, as part of the Sponsafier 4 contest grand prize package awarded to David Bulow and his son AJ. The special appearance came at the request of AJ, an avid Kyle Busch supporter, who opted to share part of his grand prize experience-time with his favorite driver-with his fellow Williams Elementary schoolmates.(Toyota)(3-22-2012)

  • Montoya Appears on Cover of ESPN Deportes La Revista: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Juan Pablo Montoya graces the cover of the ESPN Deportes La Revista (the Spanish version of ESPN the Magazine) this month. This is the second time the international driver has been featured in the prestigious magazine; he first appeared on the February 2007 issue just before his first full season in NASCAR. ESPN Deportes La Revista is the most culturally relevant sports magazine for the U.S. Hispanic reader. The monthly publication is the only Spanish-language sports magazine in the U.S. and is currently available at newsstands.(EGR)(3-22-2012)

  • Kurt Busch to head to DC after race: Once the checkered flag waves at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, #51-Kurt Busch will travel straight to Washington, D.C., where he will attend the Eighth Annual Armed Forces Foundation Congressional Gala on Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Building. The annual event recognizes the nation's military service members and their civilian supporters.(Phoenix Racing)(3-22-2012)

  • Fuel in a Bottle Power Shots Power Up with Allmendinger: #22-AJ Allmendinger has been named as Brand Ambassador for a new brand of Energy and Protein power shots, Fuel in a Bottle. In addition to benefiting from the energy and protein boost that Fuel in a Bottle power shots provide, Allmendinger will be part of the brand's marketing efforts through advertising and point of purchase placements.(BYB Brands/Allmendinger PR)(3-22-2012)

  • Gargoyles signs Brad Keselowski: Gargoyles Performance Eyewear announced that #2-Brad Keselowski is joining its growing team of professional athletes and brand ambassadors. Keselowski, a contender for the 2012 Sprint Cup championship, will appear in Gargoyles advertising campaigns, in addition to working closely with the brand to advance its array of high-performance sunglasses.(Gargoyles PR)(3-22-2012)

  • Daytona starts repairs on burned track section: Daytona International Speedway is scheduled to begin repairs Thursday (March 22nd) on the infamous Turn 3 track scar that was caused by a frightening crash, fuel spill and blaze during the Feb. 27 Daytona 500. Speedway spokesman Lenny Santiago said preliminary work -- collecting measurements and survey data -- began Wednesday afternoon. Santiago said once the engineers were satisfied with the data, the repaving process would begin. Fuel-soaked pavement, measuring 10 feet wide by about 50 feet long, is scheduled to be milled 2 inches deep, he said. Lane Construction -- which repaved the entire 2.5-mile tri-oval in 2010, a job that cost $20 million -- is working with engineers from ISC Design and Development. When asked about the cost of today's repaving, Speedway president Joie Chitwood III said, "This is going to cost us some money. It will be a significant cost to fix that area." The new blacktop has four layers of asphalt and is 7 inches deep. Santiago said the Speedway is still assessing the damage and does not have a timeline for the repairs. The area was contaminated with jet fuel after #42-Juan Pablo Montoya struck a jet dryer in his car during a caution period. Neither Montoya nor the jet dryer driver was injured. Bill Braniff, a senior engineer for Daytona's parent company International Speedway Inc., is scheduled to brief the media on the repair this morning.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-22-2012)


    News from March 21, 2012

  • Charter to Sponsor JTG Daugherty Racing: Charter Communications, Inc., a leading broadband communications company and the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, joins JTG Daugherty Racing's sponsor lineup during the team's fourth season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. "The Charter deal is a game changer for us," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "We always strive to provide our sponsors with great value. This new partnership, with the fourth-largest cable provider in the country, gives us the opportunity to create sponsor activation elements that we could have never provided before." Charter's first primary race with JTG Daugherty Racing and Bobby Labonte unfolds this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Charter is also scheduled to be front and center on the #47 Toyota Camry at Michigan International Speedway June 17.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(3-21-2012)

  • Accell Construction Returns to the #10 TBR Chevy: Oklahoma-based Accell Construction will return to the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) #10 Chevy this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. David Reutimann will drive the #10 Accell Construction Chevy in the Auto Club 400 Sunday, March 25th. Accell Construction adorned the hood of the #10 Chevy at Phoenix and Las Vegas this season. The 20-year-old company also partnered with TBR during the 2011 season. Continuing to see an increase in interest of the company, Accell Construction decided to extend their relationship with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see images of the scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page.(3-21-2012)

  • Bruton Smith considering changes to Bristol Motor Speedway links to input and email to comment, more info

  • Special scheme for Johnson at ACS: Jimmie Johnson will pilot a special #48 Loweˇ¦s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation paint scheme at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. This is the sixth consecutive year that Loweˇ¦s has provided the Jimmie Johnson Foundation with a special paint scheme to promote the foundation and its initiatives. (The foundation paint scheme was also featured on Johnsonˇ¦s Nationwide car at Fontana in 2006.) In conjunction with the special paint scheme, the foundation will launch the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program on Friday at Auto Club Speedway. Fans and media members will have the opportunity to nominate their favorite charity to be featured on Johnsonˇ¦s helmet at Infineon Raceway in June, and to receive $10,000 and an ice cream party from Blue Bunny (Lowe's Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(3-21-2012)

  • Johnson on the tube Thursday: #48-Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to be a guest on The Talk Thursday. The show airs at 2:00pm/et on CBS and to be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday, March 22, at 12midnight/et on ABC.(3-21-2012)

  • Some interesing notes: After four races to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season: there have been four different race winners in the first four races, four different pole sitters [and none have won] and a different manufacurer win in each of the first four races.
    AND: The last time we had different car models win the first four races of the season came in 1986, when Geoffrey Bodine won in a Chevy, then Kyle Petty in a Ford, Terry Labonte in an Oldsmobile and Morgan Shepherd in a Buick PLUS a fifth model won the fifth race, Rusty Wallace in a Pontiac.(ESPN)(3-21-2012)

  • Bruton Smith considering changes to Bristol Motor Speedway UPDATE: Bristol Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith is considering about $1 million worth of changes to return his Tennessee track to the way it was before a 2007 reconfiguration. "We are going to take a very hard look at it this week," Smith told The Associated Press on Monday. "We have everything in our computers that shows us what the track used to be and what it is now, and we started working on that last night. I'll have an answer for you next week on if we'll alter the track." But Smith insisted it was the rain, not fan apathy over the current style of racing at Bristol, that contributed to Sunday's poor crowd. "We certainly thought it was going to be better, but the rain got us," Smith said. Bristol once was one of the toughest tickets in all of professional sports, but attendance has waned the past several years and its spring race has particularly suffered. The speedway says it seats 160,000, and although the grandstands appeared half empty Sunday, NASCAR's listed attendance was 102,000. Smith said 8,120 sold tickets went unused. But he remained adamant the attendance decline has nothing to do with the new racing at Bristol. At the same time, though, Smith said he began talking to his Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials on Sunday evening about changes to the track. Smith said SMI will study fan comments this week. "I want to be sure that the fans like what they see," he said. "If the fans like three abreast through the turns, we do nothing. If they don't, then we'll alter the track. The fans vote is the most important thing." If changes are made, they'll be done in time for NASCAR's Aug. 25 return to Bristol.(more at the Associated Press / Bristol Herald Courier ans SHARE your input HERE)(3-20-2012)
    UPDATE: Speedway Motorsports, Inc., CEO Bruton Smith said yesterday that he is moving ahead with plans to return Bristol Motor Speedway to its previous configuration. Speaking on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's The Late Shift with Buddy Baker and Jim Noble, Smith said feedback from fans has been overwhelmingly in favor of changing the legendary speedway's layout. "I'd say it's about 75% from the race fans that they'd like to see us put it back the way it was five years ago," he said. Smith said he has already consulted with engineers about making the necessary changes. "It will absolutely still be concrete," he said, "but we will (redo) the profiling. We have on paper exactly the way the track was before we came in and redid it. We're going to have all the elevations, the ingress and egress as it was before we completely redid it. We will here again offer race fans (the track) the way it was. It's not a major change that we did," insisted Smith. "We took up all the old concrete that was breaking up and causing a lot of problems. We completely redid the speedway, and fans got the idea that it's not the same. I guess it's not the same, since they told us that, and the race fan is always right. When the race fans speak, you listen. And that's what we're doing now." The SMI owner said the changes will be made before the Aug. 25 Sprint Cup Series night race. "You have a good contractor, your plans, your blueprints and a million dollars, and you just go ahead and do it. I've got engineers working on this as we speak. I have not taken this up with NASCAR yet, but that's what we will do," Smith said. "Once we're ready, we'll do it. There will be a press announcement of exactly what we're doing. I want it to be exactly correct -- the way these fans perceive it -- and I want to see 165,000 fans scrambling for tickets the way they have in the past."(Godfather Motorsports)(3-21-2012)


    News from March 20, 2012

  • Hendrick Motorsports to make final appeal on Tuesday UPDATE penalties reduced: Hendrick Motorsports will make its final appeal Tuesday over penalties issued for what NASCAR says were illegal C-posts on the car of five-time Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson at Daytona. A three-member appeals board already has rejected one appeal by team owner Rick Hendrick, who now takes his case to NASCAR's chief appellate officer, John Middlebrook, for a hearing Tuesday. Hendrick officials and NASCAR officials will meet with Middlebrook at the same team  a different format than the first appeal hearing, when both sides presented their cases separately.(SceneDaily)
    UPDATE: NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING CHIEF APPELLATE OFFICER STATEMENT:
    On March 20, 2012, the Chief Appellate Officer heard and considered the appeal of the penalties resulting from the #48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. This stemmed from an opening day inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012.
    The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book "Actions detrimental to stock car racing;" Section 12-4(J): "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event;" and Section 20-2.1(E): "If in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted: Unapproved car body modifications."
    The results of the appeal hearing were as follows:
    - Rescinding the loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points (for Jeff Gordon).
    - Rescinding the loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points (for Jimmie Johnson).
    - Rescinding the six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events suspension for the Crew Chief (Chad Knaus) and Car Chief (Ron Malec), however both will remain on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.
    - $100,000 fine remains in place for the Crew Chief (Chad Knaus).
    John Middlebrook  Chief Appellate Officer.(NASCAR)(3-20-2012)

  • Bruton Smith considering changes to Bristol Motor Speedway links to input and email to comment

  • Gilliland to run different colors at Auto Club: This week David Gilliland returns to his hometown track in the #38 1-800LoanMart Ford at Auto Club Speedway, running the green-and-black colors of the Encino, Calif.-based lender and new Front Row Motorsports partner. "With the #38 car allowing our company to give back to local race fans of Southern California, it is a pleasure to endorse a native Californian, David Gilliland, to race with us," said Colby Estes, Director of Marketing for 1-800LoanMart. "With the launch of the new sponsorship, 1-800LoanMart has an opportunity to help thousands of sport fans with their financial needs. The time is right to provide a financial solution that makes us more responsible in future lending. The new sponsorship with Front Row Motorsports will go a long way towards strengthening the company's values and ultimately providing a foundation for a better economy."(FRM) see an image of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(3-20-2012)

  • Ragan visits hospital: Sprint Cup driver #34-David Ragan stopped by the Shriners Children's Hospital in Greenville, SC on Monday to speak with some of the patients and their families. Ragan has been a supporter of the hospital for several years. He named the hospital as his charity of choice in 2008. He has helped raise $150,000 for the facility through his personal donations and help from other charity campaigns. "There's so many things going through their heads as a young guy or girl, having a surgery or being at the hospital," Ragan said. "So, sometimes it's good to get their mind off of reality."(FOX Carolina)(3-20-2012)

  • Penske Racing extends partnership with Auto Club: Penske Racing and the Automobile Club of Southern California, the nation's largest member of the AAA federation of motor clubs, announced that the organizations will extend their current partnership through the 2016 racing season. The multi-year extension of this sponsorship agreement means the Automobile Club of Southern California and its affiliated clubs will continue to sponsor Penske Racing teams competing in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series. The Auto Club will sponsor the #22 Dodge Charger driven by AJ Allmendinger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. The sponsorship includes AAA serving as the primary sponsor for the #22 car at the March 25 Auto Club 400 held at Auto Club Speedway as well as the April 22 race in Kansas. AAA will also be a co-primary sponsor for Allmendinger and the #22 Dodge May 6 at the Talladega Cup Series race and July 15 at the race at New Hampshire. In addition, the Auto Club will continue as a major associate sponsor on the #22 machine for the balance of the season. The Automobile Club of Southern California is the largest member of the AAA federation of motor clubs. For more information visit www.AAA.com (Penske Racing), see images of scheme on the #22 Team Schemes page.(3-20-2012)

  • Ford EcoBoost to sponsor Kenseth: #17-Matt Kenseth, will sport the primary colors promoting Ford EcoBoost at Auto Club Speedway this upcoming weekend. This is the first time that the #17 entry for Roush Fenway Racing will carry the Ford EcoBoost paint scheme and comes at a track where Kenseth has achieved success at in the past; including three Sprint Cup victories. Ford EcoBoost earned its first NASCAR [Nationwide] victory as a primary sponsor at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Roush Fenway Racing's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #6 Ford [Stenhouse also ran the EcoBoost scheme in the Daytona 500 on the #6 Ford]. Ford EcoBoost technology uses turbo-charging and direct gasoline injection to boost engine output, thus reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency by as much as 20%. Ford will offer fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines in 11 vehicles in 2012, up from seven in 2011, tripling the production capacity of EcoBoost-equipped Ford vehicles. Expanded availability in high-volume nameplates helps make fuel economy more affordable for hundreds of thousands of drivers.(Roush Fenway Racing)(3-20-2012)

  • Top-35 in owners points for the 2012 season is starting to shape up. After the fifth race of the 2012 season, at Auto Club Speedway, NASCAR will use the current owners points standings to set the top 35 in owners points. Teams in the top 35 owners are guananteed a starting spot in the race. After the 4th race, at Bristol, here are the standings after Bristol with one race to go:
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    26) #22-Allmendinger/Penske, 72, +22
    27) #51-Kurt Busch/Phoenix Racing, 70, +20
    28) #32-Schrader/FAS Lane Racing, 70, +20
    29) #34-Ragan/Front Row, 66, +16
    30) #33-Guaghan/Childress, 66, +16
    31) #38-Gilliland/Front Row, 66, +16
    32) #93-Kvapil/BK Racing, 65, +15,
    33) #13-Mears/Germain, 60, +10
    34) #5-Kahne/Hendrick, 57, +7
    35) #83-Cassill/BK Racing, 54, +4
    these teams are currently outside the top 35 in owners points:
    36) #10-Reutimann-Patrick/Baldwin, 50
    38) #30-Stremme/Inception, 44
    39) #26-Wise/Front Row, 36,
    40) #98-McDowell/Parsons, 34
    41) #49-Yeley/Robinson, 33,
    42) #87-Nemechek/NEMCO, 27
    After the race at Auto Club Speedway, the 5th race of the season, teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(3-20-2012)

  • Edwards to train with SWAT team: #99-Carl Edwards, known for his strength and conditioning, will receive a different kind of workout with the Fort Worth SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team on Wednesday, March 21st. Edwards will be put to the test in a 45-minute training session where he will undergo the same training methods of the Fort Worth SWAT team, which include riding in a Bearcat tactics vehicle; rappelling down an eight-story building; situation exercises in a shooting simulator; live range shooting with a variety of firearms including a sniper rifle; and participating with the team in a "live" tactical scenario. Following the session, Edwards is scheduled to meet with the media to discuss his experience, along with his season and return trip to Texas Motor Speedway for the April 14th Samsung Mobile 500.(TMS)(3-20-2012)

  • Facts & Notes Auto Club Speedway:
    · Groundbreaking for California Speedway, as Auto Club Speedway was originally known, took place in November 1995.
    · The first race at Auto Club Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West race won by Ken Schrader on June 21, 1997.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 22, 1997 and won by Jeff Gordon.
    · September 2004 was the first night race at Auto Club Speedway and that also was the first year both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series ran two races in a season there.
    · The track name was changed to Auto Club Speedway in February 2008.
    · There have been 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway since the track opened in 1997.
    · Four drivers have competed in all 22 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek.
    · Joe Nemechek won the pole for the inaugural race in 1997.
    · There have been 15 different pole winners, led by Kurt Busch (three). Jamie McMurray and Jeff Gordon each have two poles.
    · Fifteen different drivers have posted victories. Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers with five wins. Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth each have won three races.
    · Hendrick Motorsports has won nine races, more than any other team.
    · Eleven of the 22 races were won from starting positions outside the top 10; only one has been won from the pole (Jimmie Johnson in 2008). The most prolific two starting positions are third and 24th, with three victories each.
    · Matt Kenseth won the 2006 spring race from the 31st starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.
    · Three active drivers have averaged a top-10 finish: Jimmie Johnson (5.1), Carl Edwards (9.0) and Matt Kenseth (9.9).
    · Jimmie Johnson (9.0) is the only active driver to have an average starting position in the top 10 at Auto Club Speedway.
    · Kyle Busch won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole (2/05) and first race (9/05) at Auto Club Speedway.
    · Jimmie Johnson won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at ASC on April 28, 2002.(NASCAR)(3-20-2012)

  • Bruton Smith considering changes to Bristol Motor Speedway: Bristol Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith is considering about $1 million worth of changes to return his Tennessee track to the way it was before a 2007 reconfiguration. "We are going to take a very hard look at it this week," Smith told The Associated Press on Monday. "We have everything in our computers that shows us what the track used to be and what it is now, and we started working on that last night. I'll have an answer for you next week on if we'll alter the track." But Smith insisted it was the rain, not fan apathy over the current style of racing at Bristol, that contributed to Sunday's poor crowd. "We certainly thought it was going to be better, but the rain got us," Smith said. Bristol once was one of the toughest tickets in all of professional sports, but attendance has waned the past several years and its spring race has particularly suffered. The speedway says it seats 160,000, and although the grandstands appeared half empty Sunday, NASCAR's listed attendance was 102,000. Smith said 8,120 sold tickets went unused. But he remained adamant the attendance decline has nothing to do with the new racing at Bristol. At the same time, though, Smith said he began talking to his Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials on Sunday evening about changes to the track. Smith said SMI will study fan comments this week. "I want to be sure that the fans like what they see," he said. "If the fans like three abreast through the turns, we do nothing. If they don't, then we'll alter the track. The fans vote is the most important thing." If changes are made, they'll be done in time for NASCAR's Aug. 25 return to Bristol.(more at the Associated Press / Bristol Herald Courier ans SHARE your input HERE)(3-20-2012)

  • Judge dismisses CMS's lawsuit: After more than four years of wrangling and deal-making, a Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Cabarrus County by Bruton Smith, owner of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin dismissed the lawsuit over development incentives Smith says he is owed. Speedway representatives have 30 days to file an appeal and say they are considering whether to do so. The dismissal March 9 comes more than five years after speedway owner Bruton Smith threatened to move Charlotte Motor Speedway out of the area. That threat came after Concord's City Council declined to approve Smith's plans for a drag strip across U.S. 29 from the main track, citing neighbors' concerns about noise. Smith's threat prompted city, county, tourism and other leaders to try many ways of courting Smith to keep him from moving the speedway. City and county leaders went on to forge an $80 million incentives package and offer it to Smith in late 2007. As part of that deal, Smith would build the $60 million drag strip and make $200 million worth of improvements around the track. Part of the disagreement centers on how much of the $80 million the city agreed to provide out of its own budget. Smith filed the suit in Cabarrus County Superior Court in September 2009, seeking $4 million in compensation from the city and county for roadwork and other improvements around the speedway and zMax Dragway. The suit was dropped in hopes that the parties might come to an out-of-court agreement, but it was re-filed May 27, 2011. Jared Gardner, an attorney with James, McElroy & Diehl in Charlotte, which is representing Smith, said appealing the dismissal is among the options attorneys, Smith and the speedway are considering.(more at Charlotte Observer)(3-20-2012)

  • Veterans get free tickets for Vietnam homecoming at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Only about 4,000 free tickets remain for the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 31. "We'll always have tickets for the veterans," said Ginny McCabe, a spokeswoman for the USO-NC. Entertainment will include the Charlie Daniels Band and George Clinton. The celebration will honor the more than 216,000 North Carolina residents who served in Vietnam. About 1,600 died in the war. The USO of North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway are sponsoring it. Veterans service organizations will be available at the speedway to assist veterans, who should bring their discharge paperwork. The ticket limit is two per person. Even after the allotment has been filled, veterans can reserve tickets by calling 800-455-FANS (3267) and showing their DD214 card or other military ID when picking up the tickets at the will-call window on the day of the celebration.(Fayetteville Observer)(3-20-2012)


    News from March 19, 2012

  • The Entry List for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon(44 in 2012 owners pts/3 attempts)
    #19-Mike Bliss (0/0)
    #23-Scott Riggs (45/4)
    #26-Josh Wise (39/4)
    #30-David Stremme (38/4)
    #36-Dave Blaney (25/4)
    #37-Timmy Hill (46/4)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (41/4)
    #74-Stacy Compton (47/1)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (43/4)
    #98-Michael McDowell (40/4)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 36,30,26,98,49,87,23,37
    missing the race would be [3]: # 7,74,19
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Auto Club Entry List.(3-19-2012)

  • Bristol overnight TV Ratings:NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX posted a 4.0/10 overnight/fast rating/share Sunday afternoon for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, up +3% over last year's 3.9/9 for the same race despite airing opposite the NCAA TOURNAMENT. Yesterday's increase marks the first time this season that a NASCAR event on FOX has posted a year-to-year increase. Through four races, NASCAR on FOX is averaging a 5.3/11 in the meters, now off -7% from last year's 5.7/12. See past 2012 races and 4 year comparison chart on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(3-19-2012)

  • NASCAR says Kenseth legally beat Keselowski to line on Bristol restart: Generally, there are two cardinal rules when it comes to NASCAR's double-file restarts: don't change lanes before you cross the start/finish line and if you're in second, don't beat the leader to the start/finish line. With 154 laps to go in Sunday's Food City 500, #17-Matt Kenseth restarted second. The leader, #2-Brad Keselowski, was next to him on the inside line. It was the first time the leader had taken the inside line all day. Kenseth clearly beat Keselowski to the start/finish line as you can see in the video above, and the two entered turn one side-by-side before Kenseth prevailed and cleared Keselowski a few laps later. Kenseth never conceded the position to Keselowski, nor was he black-flagged by NASCAR. Why? Because according to NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp, race officials deemed that Keselowski hadn't mashed the gas in the designated restart zone before the start/finish line, allowing the second-place driver -- Kenseth -- the right of way to accelerate on his own.(Yahoo Sports)(3-19-2012)

  • Dale Jr. takes responsibilty for wreck with Jeff Gordon: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks about his incident with teammate #24-Jeff Gordon at Birstol Motor Speedway, from a Chevy Racing post race transcipt in part:
    Q: YOU SAID ON YOUR RADIO THAT YOU FELT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED WITH JEFF GORDON BLOWING A TIRE. HE SAID IT WAS ONE OF THOSE RACING THINGS:
    Earmhardt Jr.: "I absolutely feel responsible. I got into his door a little bit. We were racing and having a good time, to be honest with you. I put the pipes up against the left rear tire of his car, and knocked the side wall out of it. I hate...I feel bad about that. I'm going to have to do some damage control this week. I know Jeff understands what was going on out there, but his boys work real hard on their car, and they had a good run going. They had a potential win, or good finish going too; and they deserve it. I hate what happened to Jeff (Gordon). We were racing really hard. It was fun. If there is a track where you can lean on each other a little bit then this ought to be the place. We just barely rubbed down the back straight-a-way."
    Q: I HEARD YOU SAY (ON THE RADIO) 'I DIDN'T GET INTO HIM MUCH':
    Earmhardt Jr.:"Well you showed it on TV. I'm sure some people might have thought that was a hard hit. That to me was good hard racing. The (tail) pipes on my car cut the left-rear tire down. I feel terrible about that happening to my teammate. Those guys work really hard and they were running good and happy with their car I'm sure. But, there are four of us out there we are bound to race each other and run into each other every once in a while. Otherwise I'm just frustrated about the finish, but we did run good. We run better than we run here last year. We run really good pretty much everywhere except for Phoenix. Things are looking up for our team."
    Q: HOW MUCH REPAIR WORK ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE TO DO WITH JEFF GORDON?
    Earmhardt Jr.: "I'll just have to sit down and talk to him and see where he's at. I've got to own up to my responsibility in the situation, which I will, and go from there."
    After running near the front of the field the majority of the race, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., had to settle for the 15th finishing position when a late-race pit road speeding penalty put him deep in the running order.(Chevy Racing)(3-19-2012)


    News from March 18, 2012

  • Keselowski wins at Bristol: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the year, his 2nd win in a row at Bristol and 5th win of his career. Keselowski led the most laps with 215. It is the 10th win at Bristol for Penske Racing, all in the #2 car (7 by Rusty Wallace, 1 by Kurt Busch, 2 by Keselowski).
    #17-Kenseth finished 2nd followed by #56-Truex Jr., #15-Bowyer, #55-Vickers [in his first start of the season, also led 125 laps], #31-Burton, #1-McMurray, #42-Montoya, #48-Johnson and #27-Menard. The pole sitter, #16-Billfe, led 41 laps and finished 13th.
    Drivers caught up in wrecks included #5-Kahne, #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, #9-Ambrose and #24-Gordon, finished deep in the final results.
    THere have been four different race winners in the first four races, four different pole sitters [and none have won] and a different manufacurer win in each of the first four races.
    There were 5 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps. There were 13 lead changes among 7 drivers. The estimated attendence was only 102,000, down from 120,000 in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Bristol Race Results page (pdf).(3-18-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Bristol, race 4 of 36]
    1) #16-Greg Biffle [0 wins], 157
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 148, -9
    3) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 145, -12
    4) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 139, -18
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 137, -20
    6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 137, -20
    7) #14-Tony Stewart [1 win], 130, -27
    8) #15-Clint Bowyer [0 wins], 126, -31
    9) #20-Joey Logano [0 wins], 126, -31
    10) #27-Paul Menard [0 wins], 123, -34
    11) #31-Jeff Burton [0 wins], 120, -37
    12) #39-Ryan Newman [0 wins], 118, -39
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings page (pdf).
    and Owners Points on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(3-18-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Bristol:
    #2-Brad Keselowski won the 52nd Annual Food City 500, his fifth victory in 93 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2012.
    This is his second consecutive victory and second top-10 finish in five races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Keselowski led a race-high 232 laps, a career high. His previous single-race high was 89 in his win at Bristol on Aug. 27, 2011.
    Four different manufacturers (Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, Dodge) won the first four races.
    #17-Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 17th top-10 finish in 25 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2012.
    #56-Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his second top-10 finish in 13 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-18-2012)

  • Bristol Notes-n-Nuggets:
    " Brad Keselowski claimed his fifth career Cup Series victory in his 93rd start.
    " Brad Keselowski's win finished the third set of back-to-back Bristol victories in six of the past seven races -- Kyle Busch won both in 2009, then 8/2010 and 3/11, and Keselowski won 8/11 and 3/12).
    " This was the second top-five of the season for Brad Keselowski. He was fifth at Phoenix.
    " Brad Keselowski led four times for 231 laps, including the final 111.
    " It was the 72nd Cup victory for Penske Racing, which became the fourth team to win in four races in 2012.
    " Matt Kenseth (second) posted his sixth consecutive top-10 finish at Bristol and is one of two drivers to lead in all four races in 2012.
    " Martin Truex Jr. (third) scored his second top-10 finish of 2012. In 13 Bristol starts, Truex has just two top-10s; both have come in the past two races.
    " Clint Bowyer (fourth) posted his best finish of 2012 and his second top-10 of the year (sixth at Las Vegas).
    " Brian Vickers (fifth) earned his first career Bristol top-10 (15 starts) in his first race of 2012.
    " Michael Waltrip Racing had three cars in the top five: Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers.
    " Teammates Jamie McMurray (seventh) and Juan Montoya (eighth) scored their best finishes of the season.
    " Jimmie Johnson (ninth) had his third consecutive top-10 finish since ending up 42nd at Daytona.
    " Paul Menard (10th) posted his third top-10 in four races in 2012.
    " Kevin Harvick (11th) was involved in the first caution but pitted eight times to repair the damage and rallied back to nearly enter the top 10.(Racing Recall/nascar.com)(3-18-2012)

  • NASCAR says Kenseth legally beat Keselowski to line on Bristol restart: Generally, there are two cardinal rules when it comes to NASCAR's double-file restarts: don't change lanes before you cross the start/finish line and if you're in second, don't beat the leader to the start/finish line. With 154 laps to go in Sunday's Food City 500, #17-Matt Kenseth restarted second. The leader, #2-Brad Keselowski, was next to him on the inside line. It was the first time the leader had taken the inside line all day. Kenseth clearly beat Keselowski to the start/finish line as you can see in the video above, and the two entered turn one side-by-side before Kenseth prevailed and cleared Keselowski a few laps later. Kenseth never conceded the position to Keselowski, nor was he black-flagged by NASCAR. Why? Because according to NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp, race officials deemed that Keselowski hadn't mashed the gas in the designated restart zone before the start/finish line, allowing the second-place driver -- Kenseth -- the right of way to accelerate on his own.(Yahoo Sports)(3-19-2012)

  • Dale Jr. takes responsibilty for wreck with Jeff Gordon: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks about his incident with teammate #24-Jeff Gordon at Birstol Motor Speedway, from a Chevy Racing post race transcipt in part:
    Q: YOU SAID ON YOUR RADIO THAT YOU FELT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED WITH JEFF GORDON BLOWING A TIRE. HE SAID IT WAS ONE OF THOSE RACING THINGS:
    Earmhardt Jr.: "I absolutely feel responsible. I got into his door a little bit. We were racing and having a good time, to be honest with you. I put the pipes up against the left rear tire of his car, and knocked the side wall out of it. I hate...I feel bad about that. I'm going to have to do some damage control this week. I know Jeff understands what was going on out there, but his boys work real hard on their car, and they had a good run going. They had a potential win, or good finish going too; and they deserve it. I hate what happened to Jeff (Gordon). We were racing really hard. It was fun. If there is a track where you can lean on each other a little bit then this ought to be the place. We just barely rubbed down the back straight-a-way."
    Q: I HEARD YOU SAY (ON THE RADIO) 'I DIDN'T GET INTO HIM MUCH':
    Earmhardt Jr.:"Well you showed it on TV. I'm sure some people might have thought that was a hard hit. That to me was good hard racing. The (tail) pipes on my car cut the left-rear tire down. I feel terrible about that happening to my teammate. Those guys work really hard and they were running good and happy with their car I'm sure. But, there are four of us out there we are bound to race each other and run into each other every once in a while. Otherwise I'm just frustrated about the finish, but we did run good. We run better than we run here last year. We run really good pretty much everywhere except for Phoenix. Things are looking up for our team."
    Q: HOW MUCH REPAIR WORK ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE TO DO WITH JEFF GORDON?
    Earmhardt Jr.: "I'll just have to sit down and talk to him and see where he's at. I've got to own up to my responsibility in the situation, which I will, and go from there."
    After running near the front of the field the majority of the race, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., had to settle for the 15th finishing position when a late-race pit road speeding penalty put him deep in the running order.(Chevy Racing)(3-19-2012)

  • Irwin Tools Bristol night race pre-sale tickets now available: Fans at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend may purchase IRWIN Tools Night Race tickets during an exclusive pre-sale event. Guests with tickets to today's Ford Fan Friday, Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300/Widow Wax 125 or Sunday's Food City 500 can purchase 2012 IRWIN Tools Night Race tickets before they go on sale to the general public March 18 at 2 pm/et. The pre-sale tickets are available at any ticket booth or via telephone at 423-BRISTOL (274-4785). An August race weekend package, which includes the IRWIN Tools Night Race, as well as the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race, is available for $99. IRWIN Tools Night Race Tickets start at $75, Food City 250 pricing begins at $45 and the Camping World Truck Series race tickets are $30. Season tickets are still available through this weekend for the best savings of 25% off.(BMS)(3-18-2012)

  • Reserved Camping for The Glen is Sold Out but: Fans of Watkins Glen International find that camping at the premier road course is an indescribable experience and as a result it is always in demand. For the past few years the popularity of spending NASCAR Weekend at The Glen on track has been evident as the GEICO Caveman reserved campground routinely sells out early in the year. As of Tuesday, fans seeking a GEICO Caveman reserved camping spot need to expand their search to other locations, as it is SOLD OUT. Family Camping, located just outside the East Tunnel, remains an excellent option. Fans who elect to camp there will experience stricter enforcement of the standard quiet hours (11 p.m.  6 a.m.) and increased patrols by WGI staff and security. With close to 2,000 acres of land, The Glen offers a variety of camping options throughout race weekends, including the GEICO Caveman Unreserved Campground located along The Boot through Gate 7 and along the backstretch in Gate 1. Space is still available in both Gate 1 and Gate 7 areas. Tickets and camping for the 2012 race season at Watkins Glen International are on sale now! Fans may purchase their tickets and camping by contacting the WGI ticket office at 866.461.RACE(7223) or by logging on to the official website, www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(3-18-2012)

  • Richmond names fan advisory board: Last season, Richmond International Raceway assembled its inaugural Fan Advisory Board, compiled of 21 guests who expressed an interest in representing the best fans in all of motorsports. After earning their rookie stripe in the 2011 season, the Fan Advisory Board is back in 2012 for its first full season to assist Richmond International Raceway officials by providing input, advice and feedback on a wide range of topics. With conference calls and meetings throughout the year, the Fan Advisory Board serves as a sounding board for RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. But the communication goes both ways, as the fans are the eyes and ears, relaying information to further enhance Richmond International Raceway's operations. Fan Advisory Board members will be active throughout race weekends at RIR, talking with fellow fans and taking notes about their experience to relay back to track officials. Each member accepted their role because they have a passion for Richmond International Raceway  a place they call home twice a year on NASCAR weekends. The Fan Advisory Board members are: Joshua Grim, John Moon, Robert Rightmyer, Larry Curtis, Maryellen Davison, Lee Allan, Jeff Crowder, Lee-An Felkins, Gerry Allen, Amy Sylvia, Robert Ellis, Kevin Van Asdalan, Kamele Schwab, Frank Decker, Kendall Humphries, Brian Johnson, Joy Metzger, Steven Wilson and Vishal Aswani. Members will serve at least two full seasons, with new applications accepted next year for those whose term is complete. For tickets and information, click here or call 866-455-7223.(RIR)(3-18-2012)


    News from March 17, 2012

  • Race Coverage of the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 18, 2012.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 12:30 pm/et; green flag approx 1:13pm/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: on SPEED, Wednesday, March 21 at 12:00pm/et

  • Bristol Pit Rules: Bristol Motor Speedway operates under a plan where one-pit road will be used during pit stops under caution. Currently, Bristol remains the only track in the Sprint Cup Series that utilizes two pit roads with 22 pit stalls on the frontstrect and 21 on the backstretch. Teams that pit on the backstretch used to be at a competitive disadvantage. Since the spring 2002 race at Bristol, teams will enter pit road in Turn 2 (the current backstretch pit entrance) drive around down the backstretch and around Turns 3 and 4 and exit in Turn 1. Under green-flag conditions teams will enter and exit pit road under the current two-pit-road scheme.

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #16-Biffle chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #22-Allmendinger took pit stall 23, the first pitstall on the backstretch pit road.
    #39-Newman, who starts 3rd took the 22nd pit stall, the last stall on frontstretch pit road.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #24-Gordon, who starts 4th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-17-2012)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #39-Newman 121.883
    #18-Busch 121.836
    #2-Keselowski 121.682
    #10-Reutimann 121.682
    #5-Kahne 121.628
    slowest: #74-Sorenson 117.021 & #23-Riggs 118.657
    notes: #93-Kvapil scapred the wall late in practice, no major damage.
    See fastest speeds. laps run, 10-lap average speeds on the Bristol Happy Hour Practice Speeds (pdf) page.(3-17-2012)

  • Saturday first practice for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is being run, after 41 of 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #22-Allmendinger 122.638
    #18-Busch 122.576
    #39-Newman 122.443
    #16-Biffle 122.380
    #56-Truex Jr. 122.341
    slowest: #49-Yeley 119.447 & #23-Riggs 119.648
    no speed; #74-Sorenson
    notes: #48-Johsnon spun and #27-Menard got into the left rear of the #48, casuing slight damage to the #48.
    See fastest speeds. laps run, 10-lap average speeds on the Bristol Practice 2 Speeds (pdf) page.(3-17-2012)

  • added some schemes from Bristol #9 Mac Tools, #10 Tradebank, #11 FedEx Ground, #13 Geico, #18 DoubleMint, #23 North Texas Pipe, #24 Drive to End Hunger / Chase Services, #31 BB&T, #33 South Point Hotel / Casino, #34 Front Row Motorsports, #37 Poynt, #38 Taco Bell, #39 Quicken Loans, #43 Charter Commincations, #36 SealWrap / Widow Wax, #49 JPO Absorbents, #55 Aaron's, #74 Turn One Racing, #78 Furniture Row, #87 AM & FM Energy, #98 Let It Start with Me and #99 Cheez-It

  • What happened to Robby Gordon Friday at Bristol: #7-Robby Gordon failed to make the 500 field after his engine failed to fire for practice. That would normally not be a major story here; however the situation surrounding Gordon's problems made it one. "Robby was out there on the line ready for practice, and then the car just wouldn't fire," crewman Randy Rodriguez said. "Four McLaren engineers came running over there to help, and they spent 1-1/2 hours with it, but couldn't figure it out. So we have to go home. No practice, you can't qualify." NASCAR officials, asked about the situation, referred reporters to McLaren engineers, who could not be found. Dodge execs, likewise, could not be found for comment. Gordon, one of only three NASCAR drivers this year running Dodges (along with Penske men #22-AJ Allmendinger and #2-Brad Keselowski), says he has called Dodge boss Ralph Gilles since Penske announced two weeks ago that he would be moving to Ford. But Gordon says Gilles has not yet returned his inquiries. Gordon had engine problems at Daytona and tried to get an engine from Penske, the only other team owner building Dodge engines. But Gordon said Penske's price (which he wouldn't specify) was too high. Dodge itself apparently doesn't build NASCAR engines or have any other engine building source.(MikeMulhern.net)(3-17-2012)

  • #48 team next appeal on Tuesday: #48 Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec go before NASCAR's chief appellate officer Tuesday, trying to reverse their six-race suspensions. Knaus was also fined $100,000 and Johnson was docked 25 points because NASCAR found illegal modifications on the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in the opening inspection for the Daytona 500. A three-member appeals panel upheld the penalties this week. The hearing before John Middlebrook next week is the final step in the appeals process. Middlebrook has heard three appeals since being named NASCAR's final arbitrator in 2010, and although he did not overturn any of the rulings, he reduced a portion of the penalties in all three cases.(Associated Press)(3-17-2012)

  • NASCAR still a few weeks away from releasing EFI data: Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway that officials remain a few weeks from releasing EFI data and determining exactly what data will be released. But Darby was skeptical that the information, regardless of what is released, will help one driver improve on restarts. "It's not about what a guy is doing with his throttle on a restart," Darby said. "It's more about how the fuel maps and the original run tables that were set up for the race. The purpose of it is to help educate the entire garage on what's good for fuel strategies and what's not. It's not about pinpointing every time someone stepped on the brake. Or when somebody had their foot to the floor. They can get that off the TV telemetry now." Darby said the data collection should be completed in a few weeks, giving teams a sample of a restrictor plate race, two short tracks and a couple of mile-and-a-half tracks. "Once we get the tables like we want them, we'd be able to send every race,'' Darby said. "Typically, we download everything sitting on pit road after the race."
    Darby acknowledged there have been minor issues with EFI through the first three races, but nothing to set off alarms. He said Brad Keselowski's issue at Las Vegas was a failed fuel pump. "We've got out of the habit of blanketing fuel injection, because it's almost as bad as saying did he have a problem with his race car," Darby said. "He had a fuel pump fail. Well, we had fuel pumps today and fuel pumps with carburetors. I'm a little defensive probably because everything wants to fall in the lap of fuel injection, where 99 percent of the problems that we've had up to this point in the year have nothing to do with fuel injection."(ESPN)(3-17-2012)

  • Danica to run in Stewart's Prelude: Danica Patrick has committed to drive in team owner Tony Stewart's Prelude to the Dream Late Model charity race at Eldora Speedway. Patrick said the June 6 event will be only her second time driving on dirt. The other was in a go-kart on a track outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway when she was about 14 years old. "I'm going into it with more of an attitude of having fun, enjoying myself and raising some money for kids and just kind of take it all in," Patrick said on Friday between Nationwide Series practices at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I realize I have zero experience and I have a lot of other things I need to put my focus in." Stewart hosts the annual event with superstars from NASCAR, NHRA and other forms of motorsports to raise money to help needy children.(ESPN), see more about the event, driver lineup, links and history on my Prelude to the Dream Charities page.(3-17-2012)

  • Hamilton Means pushes back debut to Martinsville UPDATE: Hamilton Means Racing plans to make its first appearance of the year on April 1st in the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. HMR has hired veteran Johnny Sauter to pilot the #52 Crusaders Staffing Toyota. From a team spokesman: "Johnny has had success in all three levels of NASCAR with over 350 combined starts which include multiple wins in the Truck and Nationwide series along with top fives in Sprint Cup. Now that we have overcome the normal obstacles that present themselves to a small team during start up along with the development of the EFI program, we are ready to make our start in the series. With Johnny's natural talent and driving experience at the upcoming tracks we hope that everything has come together to result in success at these early races which will attract new sponsorship to help fund the future of Hamilton Means Racing. The effort by the team to overcome the challenges has made it that much more exciting to see our plans come to fruition." Hamilton Means Racing will run Toyotas purchased from Michael Waltrip Racing and plans to lease engines from Pro Motor Engineering. Crusaders Staffing, founded by HMR co-owner Dell Hamilton, will be the primary sponsor for the #52 team while the team reaches out to new partnerships.(HMR)(3-16-2012)
    UPDATE: been told that Johnny Sauter has NOT agreed to the deal for Martinsville's Spriint Cup race with the #52 HMR team and that he will not be running any other series that weekend besides the Truck Series race.(3-17-2012)


    News from March 16, 2012

  • Biffle wins pole at Bristol: #16-Greg Biffle won the pole for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 125.215mph for his 1st pole of 2012 and 10th career pole. Biffle has never won from the pole. #22-Allmendinger was 2nd fastest followed by #39-Newman, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #78-Smith, #43-Almirola, #99-Edwards, #20-Logano and #5-Kahne
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #30-Stremme, #36-Blaney, #26-Wise, #74-Sorenson, #98-McDowell, #49-Yeley, #87-Nemechek and #23-Riggs
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2):#37-Hill & #7-Gordon (withdrew)
    See qualifying results & starting lineup on the Qualifying Results page (pdf) and/or Starting Lineup page (pdf).(3-16-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Bristol:
    #16-Greg Biffle won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 52nd Annual Food City 500 with a lap of 15.324 seconds, 125.215 mph.
    This is his 10th pole in 334 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2012. Biffle is now locked into next year's Shootout at Daytona field.
    This is his first pole in 19 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. His previous best start at Bristol was second, three times (most recently March of 2011).
    #22-AJ Allmendinger (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2012 and his third in ten races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    #39-Ryan Newman (third) posted his 14th top-10 start at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his second in four races this season. (NASCAR Statistics)(3-16-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 16, 2012 at 3:40pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 3:30pm/et
    Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 8:00pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #7-Gordon, who failed to run practice due to engine issues.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #99-Edwards, 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 mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Bristol Qualifying Page.(3-16-2012)

  • Friday practice for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #99-Edwards 123.921
    #22-Allmendinger 123.881
    #9-Ambrose 123.865
    #20-Logano 123.826
    #39-Newman & #24-Gordon 123.730
    slowest: #23-Riggs 119.618 & #32-Schrader 120.566
    no speed; #7-Gordon could not get the engine started.
    This practice will set the order of qualifying, which is scheduled fror 3:40pm/et and be televised on SPEED.
    See fastest speeds. laps run, 10-lap average speeds on the Bristol Practice 1 Speeds (pdf) page.(3-16-2012)

  • Go-or-Go Homers practice for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Where did the drivers who do not have a guaranteed starting spot in the race, where in the practice rank were the drivers:
    These drivers would make the race if things stay the same:
    #36-Dave Blaney, 32nd
    #30-David Stremme, 34th
    #74-Reed Sorenson, 35th
    #26-Josh Wise#, 36th
    #98-Michael McDowell, 37th
    #49-J.J. Yeley, 39th
    #37-Timmy Hill#, 41st
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 42nd
    These drivers would miss the race if things stay the same:
    #23-Scott Riggs, 44th
    #7-Robby Gordon, no speed, couldn't get the engine started
    (3-16-2012)

  • Kurt Busch signs up with Monster Energy: #51-Kurt Busch has entered into a personal services agreement with Monster Energy Company to become the newest Monster Energy Team Athlete, effective immediately. This news follows the announcement in January that Busch would partner with his brother Kyle in the NASCAR Nationwide Series to drive the #54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry for Kyle Busch Motorsports in select races and compete for the Nationwide Series owner championship. Through this new partnership, Monster Energy will be part of Busch's Sprint Cup activities in addition to his Nationwide Series activities. Monster Energy branding will be included on Busch's racing helmet, firesuit and trackside apparel.(True Speed Communication)(3-16-2012)

  • Nine race sponsor for #49 team: JPO Absorbents, formerly known as Green Stuff Sales & Supply, is sponsoring the Robinson Blakeney Racing Team for their first of nine races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Bristol Motor Spewedway with JJ Yeley as the driver for the #49 Robinson-Blakeney Racing Toyota. JPO Absorbents is owned by James P. O'Brien. Its corporate offices are located in Fairfield, Connecticut and its National Distribution Center is in Kansas City, Missouri.JPO Absorbents is the national distributors of Green Stuff Absorbent and HTP Absorbent. The Company will continue its theme of "Saving the Environment One Cleanup at a Time" throughout the 2012 NASCAR Season.(Robinson-Blakeney Racing PR via Catchfence), per a JPO Absorbents PR, the first race was supposed to be at Texas in April and for eight other races.(3-16-2012)

  • BB&T returns to sponsor RCR car, this time the #31: The #31 BB&T Chevy paint scheme will debut this weekend when competitors hit the track for Sprint Cup Series practice on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. The full-service financial institution will serve as primary sponsor for six races on the #31 Chevy including a special co-branded scheme with Caterpillar in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, retaining its status as official bank of RCR. BB&T's primary race sponsorship occurs within the corporation's branch footprint, which covers 12 states and Washington D.C.(RCR), see images of the scheme on the #31 Team Schemes page.(3-16-2012)

  • 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 in the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on the Bristol Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Cheez-It colors for Edwards: The #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Carl Edwards will have Cheez-It as the primary sponsor this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway (RFR). The scheme is scheduled to run one more unknown race in 2012. See image of the scheme on the #99 Team Schemes page.(3-16-2012)

  • Almirola to sport different sponsor at Bristol: The colors of Charter Communications will debut as the primary sponsor on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford that Aric Almirola will drive this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Charter, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, is a yearlong associate sponsor for the organization.(RPM)(3-16-2012)

  • 811 scheme for Biffle at Bristol: The #16 3M Ford of Greg Biffle will have an 811 paint scheme this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. 811 is the national number to "Call Before You Dig." This is the third consecutive year Biffle has supported 811.(RFR)(3-16-2012)

  • Hamilton Means pushes back debut to Martinsville: Hamilton Means Racing plans to make its first appearance of the year on April 1st in the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. HMR has hired veteran Johnny Sauter to pilot the #52 Crusaders Staffing Toyota. From a team spokesman: "Johnny has had success in all three levels of NASCAR with over 350 combined starts which include multiple wins in the Truck and Nationwide series along with top fives in Sprint Cup. Now that we have overcome the normal obstacles that present themselves to a small team during start up along with the development of the EFI program, we are ready to make our start in the series. With Johnny's natural talent and driving experience at the upcoming tracks we hope that everything has come together to result in success at these early races which will attract new sponsorship to help fund the future of Hamilton Means Racing. The effort by the team to overcome the challenges has made it that much more exciting to see our plans come to fruition." Hamilton Means Racing will run Toyotas purchased from Michael Waltrip Racing and plans to lease engines from Pro Motor Engineering. Crusaders Staffing, founded by HMR co-owner Dell Hamilton, will be the primary sponsor for the #52 team while the team reaches out to new partnerships.(HMR)(3-16-2012)

  • Daytona to repave area related to jet dryer crash & fire: The following statement can be attributed to Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III: "We're looking forward to a successful Daytona 200 on Saturday. Since the jet dryer incident occurred on Feb. 27 [in the Daytona 500], we have washed and cleaned the affected area of the racetrack in Turn 3 multiple times, and applied street bond. We have worked closely with AMA Pro Racing officials and we're both very confident it will not present any issues during the Daytona 200. Once we complete our motorcycle events, we are going to conduct long-term repairs to that area of the asphalt, which will include removing and repaving the affected areas. Lane Construction, the team who worked on the track repave in 2010, will handle the repave project. Once this work is complete, we expect to have no further issues related to the jet dryer crash and we'll be ready to go for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in July."(DIS)(3-16-2012)

  • BMS App Debuts this weekend: Race fans visiting Bristol Motor Speedway for this weekend's racing activities have a new informational tool to help them keep track of all the excitement at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile." The Bristol Motor Speedway app provides fans access to race and event schedules, GPS-enabled property maps and several other features to help them get even more from their experience at BMS. Guests can use GPS maps to find their current position, as well as various locations around the BMS property. Restrooms, ATMs, first aid stations and entrance gates are just a few of the amenities featured on the maps. One of the apps most popular features, fans can set GPS coordinates to make finding their seat or locating their car or campsite a breeze. Adding to the app's interactivity, guests can create their own customized schedule, called "My Schedule," which will alert them when a special event is set to take place. Additionally, fans can add driver appearances and other activities to their individual schedule. For more info or to download the App, go to bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS)(3-16-2012)

  • Watkins Glen asks for fans input in naming new grandstands: The grandstands have changed at Watkins Glen International and now is the time for the names to change as well. With the replacement of the remaining grandstands ongoing, The Glen has decided to rename five existing grandstands prior to the start of the 2012 season. Fan submissions will be accepted through Saturday, March 31 for suggestions on new names for the Green, Silver, Red, White and Blue, Turn 10 and Turn 11 stands.
    The Glen staff, appreciating fans' extensive knowledge, knows its fans will provide outstanding suggestions. Fans are encouraged to pass along their ideas through email or regular mail prior to the March 31 deadline. From a comprehensive list including names submitted by fans, The Glen will select the new names and release them to the public leading up to Opening Weekend (April 21-22). To submit ideas or for tickets to the races, go to TheGlen.com.(WGI)(3-16-2012)

  • Auto Club 500 National Anthem singer announced: JoJo, the youngest artist to ever reach #1 at the Top 40 Radio Format and the youngest solo artist to have a #1 song on Billboard Charts (both at age 13), will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 25. The now 21-year-olds newest album, her third, Jumping Trains, is scheduled for release this year. Named after one of her favorite songs on the upcoming Interscope Records project, says JoJo, "moving from Boston to L.A., transitioning from being a girl to being a young woman, living on my own, taking a different direction sonically, and just really finding myself and just jumping into a new chapter of life." For more information or to purchase tickets call 800-944-RACE (7223), log on to www.autoclubspeedway.com or visit the Auto Club Speedway ticket office.(ACS)(3-16-2012)


    News from March 15, 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 in the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on the Bristol Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Bristol Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Bristol this weekend . . . while these teams have run this left-side tire code at Bristol since August 2010, this is a brand new right-side code . . . compared to what was run at Bristol last August, this right-side features the same compound with a construction change . . . this tire combination came out of a Goodyear test at Bristol on September 27-28, 2011 . . . participating in that test were Marcos Ambrose in the #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Jamie McMurray in the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Casey Mears in the #13 Germain Racing car and Regan Smith in the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy . . . unlike on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, on which teams generally do not run inner liners in their tires, teams are required to run liners in their right-side tires only at Bristol . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. See tire codes, pressures and more on the Bristol Race Info page - Goodyear section.(3-15-2012)

  • TMone to be primary sponsor #32 at Bristol: FAS Lane Racing announced that TMone has increased their sponsorship involvement with the team's #32 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and will serve as Primary Sponsor for this weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The leading Inside Sales Company, headquartered in Iowa City, IA will feature their "We Drive Sales" program on the #32 TMone Ford piloted by NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader in the running of the Food City 500 this Sunday. It will also feature the State outlines of South Dakota and Iowa, which represent the locations of the customer contact centers TMone uses to support its Fortune 500 clients. "We are very proud to have our name on a car driven by Ken Schrader; how can you not like that guy?" said John Burchert, TMone's COO. "We Drive Sales along with our Twitter handle @TMone covers the car head to toe, top to bottom. It's a very sharp car."(FAS Lane Racing / Integrity Sports Marketing), see an image of the scheme on the #32 Team Schemes page.(3-15-2012)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Partners with Tradebank: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) entered into a partnership with privately held, international trade exchange company Tradebank. As part of the partnership, Tradebank will be the primary sponsor on the #10 Tradebank Chevy and David Reutimann in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Tradebank will partner with TBR to build exposure for the businesses within the Tradebank Network as well as seek more companies for their network. TBR will also work with Tradebank, the Consumers' Choice Award winner in the "Barter and Trade Exchange" category for the past 10 years, on opportunities to build a trade program within NASCAR. Tradebank is a privately held international trade exchange founded in 1987. Tradebank provides opportunities for business owners to barter their products and services to attract incremental business and improve cash flow.(TBR)(3-15-2012)

  • Mac Tools partners with RPM / Ambrose: Mac Tools announced an expanded partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Marcos Ambrose to run four races in a Mac Tools-branded #9 Ford Fusion. The Mac Tools #9 will race in Bristol on March 18, Kentucky on June 30, Richmond on Sept. 8 and Texas on Nov. 4. "I'm really looking forward to having Mac Tools as the primary sponsor on my #9 Ford this weekend in Bristol, and partnering with them for three other races this season," said Marcos Ambrose." Mac Tools has been an iconic brand in NASCAR for many years and I am honored to have them on my car in select races throughout the year."
    "Mac Tools is excited about this opportunity with Richard Petty Motorsports and Marcos Ambrose. We will use these four races as a platform to drive our brand, our new products and to engage with Mac Tools Distributors, technicians and fans. It also serves as a platform to increase awareness for the opportunity to own a Mac Tools Franchise," said Brett Shaw, president of Mac Tools. "All of our distributors' and employees take great pride in this opportunity and look forward to the #9 Mac Tools Ford Fusion in victory lane." Mac Tools has been a part of Stanley Black & Decker since 1980.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(3-15-2012)

  • Updated Entry List for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Brian Vickers is in the #55 Toyota at Bristol.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon(44th in 2012 owners pts/3 attempts)
    #23-Scott Riggs (46/3)
    #26-Josh Wise (38/3)
    #30-David Stremme (37/3)
    #36-Dave Blaney (20/3)
    #37-Timmy Hill (45/3)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (43/3)
    #74-Reed Sorenson (none/0)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/3)
    #98-Michael McDowell (42/3)
    withdrawn:
    #40-Tony Raines (48/1)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 36,30,26,87,98,49,7,23
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 37,74
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Bristol Entry List.(3-12/15-2012)

  • The Number for Bristol Motor Speedway:
    0 - fewest cautions for a race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7/11/71)
    0 - fewest lead changes for a race (3/25/73)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (7/26/64 - Fred Lorenzen)
    1 - fewest on lead lap at finish (22 times, most recent 8/22/81)
    4 - number of jet dryers available for track drying during race weekend
    4 - number of races won from outside a top-25 starting spot
    7 - number of consecutive wins by Darrell Waltrip at BMS (1981 - 1984)
    7 - fewest cars running at finish (3/20/66)
    10 - number of cautions in spring race last year
    16 - most wins by a car owner (Junior Johnson)
    16 - most leaders (4/9/89)
    20 - most cautions for a race at BMS (three times, most recent 8/23/03)
    34 - races won from the front row (22 from the pole)
    39 - different winners at BMS in 102 Sprint Cup races
    40 - most lead changes (4/14/91)
    42 - number of cars that started the first race at Bristol in 1961
    42 - most cars running at finish (3/16/08)
    60 - minutes, the minimum amount of time it takes to dry the .533-mile track after a significant rainfall
    500 - most laps led by race winner (Cale Yarborough, 3/25/73)
    157,574 - number of fans that established the Guinness World Record for the world's largest audience wave at BMS (August 23, 2008)
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona)
    7 - fewest cautions this season (Phoenix)
    10 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    25 - number of cautions in the first three races of 2012; includes 11 for accidents, seven for spins and four for debris.
    112 of 781 - number of laps under caution in 2012
    191.500 of 1,217.500 - miles under caution in the first three races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge and SRT Motorsports)(3-15-2012)

  • Lally looking to run some NASCAR road races: 2011 NASCAR Sprint CUp Series rookie of the year talked about possible NASCAR rides this year, in a recent Frontstretch interview: "I have a few nibbles here and there. I would love to find a good Cup team to do Watkins Glen with and a good Nationwide team to do the three road courses with. I think I can bring a lot to teams on the road courses and have a very good shot to run up front. I would love to get more oval races in as well for sure and will work towards that, but my focus right now is trying to get in touch with teams for Montreal, Road America and Watkins Glen."(Frontstretch)(3-15-2012)

  • RCR to Honor Team Member Frankie Allen: Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams will carry a special decal this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway in honor of Frankie Allen, a valued employee and three-year veteran of the RCR team, who passed away earlier this week. Allen worked as the shock specialist on the #2 Camping World Truck Series entry with drivers Kevin Harvick, Brendan Gaughan and Tim George Jr. The Rock Hill, S.C., native served as the car chief for George Jr's #31 ARCA Racing Series team for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. In addition to running memorial decals on RCR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series cars this weekend, the three RCR Truck Series teams will carry the decal honoring Allen for the Kroger 250 race at Martinsville Speedway on March 31. "Frankie put in a lot of hard work and effort at RCR and truly became a friend to me and others at the shop," said Mike Dillon, Vice President of Competition for RCR. "One of his favorite sayings was 'hurry up' so it seemed appropriate to have that phrase on the decals the cars will carry. He will definitely be missed at the shop and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this tough time." Allen is survived by his wife Renee. Funeral arrangements are pending.(RCR)(3-15-2012)

  • NASCAR Drive For Diversity Opens Season at Bristol: NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing will open its K&N Pro Series East season at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 17, building off a 2011 season highlighted by unprecedented on-track success. Four Rev Racing drivers [Jorge Arteaga, Ryan Gifford, Kyle Larson and Bryan Ortiz] will participate in the season opener of NASCAR's top developmental series during the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Bristol. The team is coming off the most successful season in the history of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity, which is entering its ninth season as one of NASCAR's leading on-track initiatives. Rev Racing collected six wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and had three drivers finish in the top 10 in series points.(NASCAR)(3-15-2012)

  • Bojangles to Sponsor Southern 500: Officials for Darlington Raceway and Bojangles announced a five-year deal Thursday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C for Bojangles to sponsor the Southern 500. The agreement means Bojangles will be offered at concession stands at the Darlington Raceway. Bojangles' menu is also available at four other tracks owned by International Speedway Corp. -- Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Motor Speedway, Martinsville Raceway and Richmond International Raceway. Darlington president Chris Browning says the agreement brings together two longtime Southern brands. The race had been sponsored by Showtime the past two years. The Bojangles' Southern 500 takes place Saturday, May 12. The Nationwide Series will race at Darlington on Friday, May 11.(wltx.com)(3-15-2012)


    News from March 14, 2012

  • TBR and Blaney get 8-race sponsorship: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) signed a deal with SealWrap and Widow Wax for eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the 2012 season. Blaney will debut the #36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Welch & Wilson Motorsports, the parent company of SealWrap, will partner with Dave and Ryan Blaney, as well as TBR, throughout the season. SealWrap will be the primary partner for Ryan Blaney's six NNS starts, including his NNS debut at Richmond International Raceway next month. SealWrap partnered with DB Racing and Ryan Blaney last season in select NKNPS races. Jeff Welch and Curt Wilson, owners of Welch & Wilson Motorsports, have once again searched out of the box to bring together Widow Wax and SealWrap in a joint venture to help promote their brands. "We are excited about the opportunities TBR have given us to present our products on such a grand stage as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Welch. The #36 team is currently 20th in NSCS Owner Points and working to stay in the top-35 to be locked into the race at Martinsville April 1st. Dave Blaney's best finish this year is a 15th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway. The #36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevy Schedule: Bristol in March; Richmond in April; Darlington in May; Kentucky in June; Indy in July, Bristol in August and Chicago and New Hampshire in Sept.(TBR)(3-14-2012)

  • Food City 500 winner qualified for Chase four years in row: Not every Food City 500 winner makes the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but a victory in Bristol Motor Speedway's spring race certainly improves a driver's chances. Each winner since 2007  #31-Jeff Burton, #18-Kyle Busch and #48-Jimmie Johnson  has qualified for the postseason. Two Food City 500 winners during the Chase era have gone on to become champions: Johnson in 2010 and Kurt Busch in 2004. Jeff Gordon is the last competitor to win Bristol's spring race and the championship in back-to-back seasons. The four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup titleholder accomplished that feat in 1997-98. Gordon and the Busch brothers are Bristol's active win leaders with five apiece. None is likely to challenge Bristol's all-time resident of Victory Circle, Darrell Waltrip, who won 12 times, including seven in a row between 1981-84 behind the wheel of NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson's Chevrolets. Defending Food City 500 winner Kyle Busch has won the race three times, including 2007 in the debut of the NASCAR Sprint Cup's new car.(NASCAR)(3-14-2012)

  • Stewart visits the Small Miracles Therapeutic Riding Center: #14-Tony Stewart displayed a different side of his personality Tuesday afternoon, decompressing for over two hours at the Small Miracles Therapeutic Riding Center in the rolling hills of Northeast Tennessee. Stewart not only chatted with a group of wide-eyed special needs children, he helped lead their horses around the barn. He also posed for family photos, signed autographs and shared personal stories. "This place is really close to my heart because I have a cousin who has a similar situation," Stewart said. "To see how programs like this help children, it's much bigger than what we're doing with racing." Stewart became so enamored with the young riders that he had to be pulled away at the last second to conduct a scheduled satellite interview with ESPN. "To see how these kids connect with their horses and ponies is pretty cool," Stewart said. "We over complicate our lives a lot of times. It's neat to be able to detach from all that and make life simpler for a couple hours."(Bristol Herlad Courier and see images of the event here)(3-14-2012)

  • Carl Edwards To Serve as Honorary Starter for NNS race at Bristol: Carl Edwards is used to seeing the green flag fly from behind the wheel of his Roush Fenway Ford Fusion or Mustang, but this weekend he'll get a truly different perspective as he serves as Honorary Starter for Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. As part of its multi-year sponsorship agreement with BMS that runs through 2014, the Region Area Ford Dealers have continually looked for ways to activate and improve the race weekend experience for fans. Ford Fan Friday, where race fans can attend Q&A sessions and get autographs from their favorite drivers, has become a highly-anticipated event. The inclusion of Edwards in this special role continues that philosophy. "It's an honor. I've sat in the grandstands to watch races at Bristol and I've been fortunate to race and win there as well, but this will be something totally different and I'm really excited about it," said Edwards, who won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol in 2007. "I think Ford has a revolutionary and smart technology with EcoBoost that delivers both performance and fuel economy, which is something fans care about." In addition to Edwards' participation, Ford Group Vice-President of Global Marketing, Sales & Service Jim Farley will serve as the race's Grand Marshal. Farley has been a driving force behind the use of racing as a marketing tool for Ford EcoBoost.(BMS)(3-14-2012)


    News from March 13, 2012

  • Chevy to replace Impala in 2013 with another Chevy brand: Chevrolet is developing a new car with a new name for its 2013 NASCAR entry, replacing the Impala used by Team Chevy, and plans to eventually market and sell the new model to consumers. The dealership and racing versions of the car will be unveiled this year, after the New York auto show in April, spokesman Monte Doran said. The new car will use a nameplate not currently in Chevy's lineup. Neither the car nor its name will be a derivative of an existing one, such as the new Malibu or the upcoming redesigned Impala, Doran said. General Motors wouldn't reveal details. "We are keeping the wraps on the new car for now and will continue to prepare for next season by testing camouflaged vehicles," Jim Campbell, vice president of Chevrolet performance vehicles and motorsports, said in a statement. "We know that Chevrolet fans are eager to see the new race car, and we hope that the prospect of being able to own one just like it will make the wait a little more bearable."
    The new car may be a version of the Chevy Caprice currently imported from Australia for U.S. police forces. Inside GM, a plan to develop a Chevy performance sedan like the Caprice for consumers was on-and-off in recent years because of concerns that it wasn't a high-profit vehicle, people familiar with the situation said. Australia's Holden brand currently offers consumers a variation on the U.S. Caprice. Along with developing the new performance sedan, GM is redesigning the current Impala, which will be built at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant and is expected to hit showrooms by spring 2013. The automaker is also rolling out a redesigned Malibu.(Detroit Free Press, more at MotorTrend and a past post at AutoWeek)(3-13-2013)

  • National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Statement - Penalty Upheld: On March 13, 2012, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book "Actions detrimental to stock car racing;" Section 12-4(J): "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event;" and Section 20-2.1(E): "If in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted: Unapproved car body modifications."
    This stemmed from an opening day inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012.
    The original penalties assessed prior to the deferral were:
    - Car Owner (Jeffrey M. Gordon)  Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points;
    - Car Driver (Jimmie K. Johnson)  Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points;
    - Crew Chief (Chad A. Knaus) - $100,000.00 fine. Suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Suspended from NASCAR until April 18, 2012. Placed on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.
    - Car Chief (Ron P. Malec) - Suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Suspended from NASCAR until April 18, 2012. Placed on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.
    Upon hearing the testimony, carefully reviewing the facts and historically comparative penalties, the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel (John Capels, Leo Mehl, Dale Pinilis and Ed Bennett: Appellate Administrator and non-voting member) was to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.(NASCAR)
    Hendrick Statement..appeal continues Hendrick Motorsports will request a hearing before the National Stock Car Racing chief appellate officer to continue its appeal of NASCAR sanctions related to the #48 Sprint Cup Series team. "The panel was generous with its time today, and we appreciated the opportunity to talk through our concerns," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We feel strongly about this issue and will continue to pursue it at the next level." Adjustments to #48 team personnel are not planned while the appeal is ongoing.(HMS)(3-13-2012)

  • Knaus appeal to be heard TODAY: UPDATE: Team owner Rick Hendrick and #48 crew chief Chad Knaus will get to explain next Tuesday why they think NASCAR erred in penalizing Hendrick Motorsports for the C-posts on the Daytona 500 car of Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR confirmed that the appeal will be heard Tuesday morning at its Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. A three-member panel will determine whether NASCAR officials were justified in suspending Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six weeks as well as penalizing five-time Cup champion Johnson 25 points and fining Knaus $100,000. Both Hendrick and Knaus have said they believe templates should have been put on the car before it was confiscated Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. While teams often aren't successful on appeal, Hendrick has won one appeal of a suspension of Knaus in 2005. Knaus has been suspended three other times in his career.(Sporting News)(2-8-2012)
    UPDATE: This is the scene of the National Stock Car Racing Commission. There are 45 members, but they rotate through for hearings. Two members and the chairman, who doesn't vote, hear each case. They will be listening to the Hendrick Motorsports appeal of the hefty penalty given to Jimmie Johnson's team for violations discovered last month during initial inspection for the Daytona 500. Team owner Rick Hendrick doesn't believe the six-race suspensions that NASCAR handed to crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec -- as well as the 25-point penalty given to Johnson -- are fair. He'll argue that the governing body confiscated the C-posts deemed illegal before they went through tech. He'll argue that the same car with the same C-posts -- pillars that come down from the roof to the rear quarter panel -- passed NASCAR's inspection 16 times previously. Odds are, he'll lose.
    Not necessarily because he doesn't have a good case, but because the commission seldom overturns decisions. When Richard Childress Racing appealed Clint Bowyer's 150-point penalty in the fall of 2010, the commission had upheld 88 of 132 decisions between the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series, reduced 42 and increased two. Most of the reductions were in the lower series. The last time a Cup penalty was reduced was in 2008 with Robby Gordon's team. The last time a Sprint Cup penalty was completely overturned came in 2005, when insufficient evidence was found that Michael Waltrip made an inappropriate gesture during a television broadcast.(ESPN)(3-13-2012)

  • Las Vegas TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX posted a 4.6/10 overnight/fast rating/share Sunday for the Kobalt Toolts 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Though yesterday's race was off -13% from last year's 5.3/11, it still managed to rank as the highest-rated event of the weekend even with the increased level of competition from the NBA on ABC, PGA GOLF on NBC and NCAA Basketball's Championship Weekend which last year's race did not air against. Through three telecasts, NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on FOX is averaging a 5.8/11, off -8% from last year's 6.3/13. See last weeks final ratings, and more from 2012 and TV Camparison chart on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(3-13-2012)

  • Chase Joins AARP and Jeff Gordon in NASCAR Sponsorship: Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE: JPM], today renewed its commitment to eliminating older adult hunger in America, working with AARP and AARP Foundation on Drive to End Hunger; and a series of pass through sponsorships of four-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon and the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. This year, Chase will sponsor the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy for five 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races throughout the country. Beginning mid-March, the AARP Visa Card from Chase logo will appear on the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy in support of Drive to End Hunger at the following races:
    * Bristol Motor Speedway (March 18);
    * Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 27);
    * Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 29);
    * Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 8); and
    * Dover International Speedway (Sept. 30).
    In addition to the five-race sponsorship, Chase will again donate $0.03 for each purchase made with the AARP Visa Card from Chase, as well as $1 for each new account opened  up to $2 million in 2012  to AARP Foundation for Drive to End Hunger. Through this same approach in 2011, Chase contributed nearly $2 million, equivalent to an estimated 750,000 meals for older Americans in need, to AARP Foundation for Drive to End Hunger. Chase also sponsored Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet in two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond, Va., and Dover, Del., in 2011. Since AARP and AARP Foundation launched Drive to End Hunger in 2011, the initiative has donated more than 5.8 million meals and driven corporate and individual donor commitments with an expected value of $15.6 million.(AARP)(3-13-2012)

  • DW added to SPEED performer of the year panel: Three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip, recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has agreed to become a voting member of the SPEED Performer of the Year panel, giving the distinguished group six Hall of Fame racers, including Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Sir Stirling Moss, Don Prudhomme and Scott Russell. The winner of the annual award is presented the Mario Andretti Trophy on a special episode of SPEED Center in February. "Joining Mario and the other distinguished members of the voting panel is an honor," Waltrip said. "I look forward to helping select the next SPEED Performer of the Year. Choosing a winner from all disciplines of motor sports makes that person the best of the best. Let's go racing boys!" The SPEED Performer of the Year award, now in its seventh season, is presented annually to the racer who puts a premium on winning races, shines on motor sports' biggest stages and does it all with a measure of sportsmanship and class. The SPEED Performer of the Year panel includes racing legends named above, as well as "Wind Tunnel" host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Bob Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey, SPEED.com writers Robin Miller and Tom Jensen, versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder and a select group of SPEED motor sports producers. The trophy, a true work of art created by bronze sculptor Elie Hazak, stands 38 inches tall and weighs 95 pounds. It features eight cars, including six of the most important in Mario's rise to superstardom, as well as an array of artistic symbolism that captures the essence of the trophy's namesake.(SPEED)(3-13-2012)

  • 2012 Daytona 500 Brand Exposure: Total media value for NASCAR sponsors receiving brand exposure in the rain-delayed 2012 Daytona 500 increased by over 50% vs. when compared to last year's live racing broadcast, according to Repucom International. Race winning primary sponsor Best Buy received just over $1.8 million in adjusted media value during the broadcast but crossed the finish line 13th in exposure value across all brands analyzed in the event. A number of factors contributed to the overall increase in exposure time and value, most notably a longer broadcast duration with the red flag. Average household viewership of the event decreased slightly while the cost of media saw a slight uptick vs. last year. Repucom International tracks every brand within every race of 12 motorsports series globally including all three NASCAR series, IndyCar, Grand-Am and NHRA in the United States.(Repucom)(3-13-2012)

  • NASCAR's Brooks Leaving in May: Paul Brooks, senior vice president of NASCAR and president of NASCAR Media Group, is leaving the company on May 4, 2012, to focus on a variety of personal and outside business interests. Brooks, who has been with NASCAR for 19 years, will continue as a senior advisor to the company in key areas, including broadcasting, media strategy and innovation. Among his most important contributions at NASCAR, Brooks was on the initial team that developed NASCAR's long-term consolidated television and new media agreements with FOX, FX, NBC, Turner and NASCAR TV on SPEED, and later, agreements with ABC/ESPN. Brooks also is credited with leading NASCAR's efforts to become the first professional sports league to launch a 24-hour satellite radio channel with NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite and later transitioning to Sirius Satellite Radio. In one of the largest sponsor partnerships in sports, Brooks was a key member of the negotiating team that brought Sprint-Nextel into the sport as title sponsor to what was then the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Brooks, 47, and his wife, Kelly, have a daughter, Olivia, and a son, Kasey, and they will continue to live in Charlotte, N.C.(NASCAR)(3-13-2012)

  • At Bristol Motor Speedway:
    • Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile.
    • First NASCAR Sprint Cup race was July 30, 1961.
    • In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles.
    • The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978.
    • The first night race was held in the fall of 1978.
    • The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992.
    • The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May 1996.
    • The track was resurfaced between races in 2007.
    • There have been 102 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the first race there in 1961, two races each season.
    • All races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps.
    • Fred Lorenzen won the first pole.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was won by Jack Smith (with relief from Johnny Allen).
    • There have been 44 different pole winners, led by Cale Yarborough and Mark Martin (nine). Martin swept both poles at Bristol in 2009.
    • 39 different drivers have won, led by Darrell Waltrip (12).
    • Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon each have five wins, most among active drivers.
    • The race winner has started from the pole 22 times, the most productive starting position. The last driver to win from the pole was Carl Edwards, in the night race of 2008.
    • 81 of 102 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 52 from the first four spots.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 38th, by Elliott Sadler in 2001.
    • The last six Bristol races had a margin of victory under one second.
    • Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bristol Motor Speedway winner: Kyle Busch (03/25/2007 - 21 years, 10 months, 23 days)
    • Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bristol Motor Speedway winner: Dale Earnhardt (08/28/1999 - 48 years, 3 months, 30 days)
    (NASCAR)(3-13-2012)

  • Auto Club Speedway to have hauler parade: Everyone loves a parade - especially a NASCAR Hauler parade. To help get the Auto Club 400 Weekend underway, March 23-25, the spectacle of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hauler Parade will make its way to Auto Club Speedway from Citizens Business Bank Arena (4000 E. Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario) through Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 22. Along the parade route, NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray (#1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy) will make an appearance at the NASCAR Hauler Festival at Bass Pro Shops (7777 Victoria Gardens Ln, Rancho Cucamonga) from 6-7p.m. Stretching nearly an entire mile from the first hauler to the last, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hauler Parade will make its way to Auto Club Speedway around 7 p.m. For more information about the Hauler Parade and to purchase tickets to the Auto Club 400, call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.(ACS)(3-13-2012)

  • FedEx and Autism Speaks return to Sprint Cup race at Dover: FedEx Corp., Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway announced that FedEx will return as the title sponsor for the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway, the June 3, 2012 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks." This is the second straight year FedEx has been the title sponsor for the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway. It's also the sixth straight year that the Monster Mile will partner with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, helping to raise funds and awareness for the cause throughout race weekend. Also returning this year will be the Autism Speaks puzzle piece decals for drivers to display on their cars during the June 1-3, 2012 NASCAR race weekend. In 2011, approximately 65 drivers across all three national touring series participated to help generate awareness for Autism Speaks.(Dover)(3-13-2012)


    News from March 12, 2012

  • The Entry List for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon(44th in 2012 owners pts/3 attempts)
    #23-Scott Riggs (46/3)
    #26-Josh Wise (38/3)
    #30-David Stremme (37/3)
    #36-Dave Blaney (20/3)
    #37-Timmy Hill (45/3)
    #40-Tony Raines (48/1)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (43/3)
    #74-Stacy Compton (none/0)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/3)
    #98-Michael McDowell (42/3)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 36,30,26,87,98,49,7,37
    missing the race would be [3]: #'s 23,40,74
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Bristol Entry List.(3-12-2012)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 Kobalt Tools 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's races. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:14 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 120
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 110
    Number of NASCAR on Fox 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 10
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 66
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 42
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min. 25 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:14 PM
    Total minutes: 194
    Minutes of race broadcast: 151
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 43
    Minutes of NASCAR on Fox 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 5
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 2
    Total race brdcst time 151 Total comm. brdcst time 43
    see drivers focused and more on my 2012 TV Commercials page.(3-5-2012)

  • Dodge says teams are interested: Dodge Motorsports president Ralph Gilles said Dodge is moving forward and hopes to remain in NASCAR despite losing Penske Racing as its signature team. Gilles spoke Sunday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the unveiling of the 2013 Dodge Charger Sprint Cup car. Two weeks ago, Roger Penske announced his two-car Dodge team (Dodge's only major team) was switching to Ford in 2013. Gilles said he already has heard from several NASCAR teams who are interested in switching to Dodge next year. "With the way our phone is ringing, I'm not too concerned," Gilles said. "It's been a pretty positive thing. With every storm there's a sunny day later." But Gilles would not say for certain Dodge would remain in NASCAR in 2013. "Based on the momentum we've developed, we don't feel it's going that way," Gilles said about the possibility of leaving. "We would love to stay if we can, but we have to figure it out. We're actually investing in NASCAR more than ever. Some of this timing (of Penske's announcement) was unfortunate. Some things Roger didn't realize we were doing are coming to pass."(ESPN)(3-12-2012)

  • Penske teams suffer fuel injection problems: Secret or not, #2-Brad Keselowski and the rest of his team have learned their lesson from last year's comments about the electronic fuel injection system and want no more fines from NASCAR. So the outspoken driver bit his proverbial tongue on Twitter Sunday afternoon after leaving Las Vegas Motor Speedway very disappointed with his 32nd-place finish. For the second consecutive week, Keselowski had some fuel pickup issues, and this time it hurt him much worse than it did in a fifth-place run at Phoenix. After Landon Cassill blew his engine on Lap 246, Keselowski couldn't get going on the restart and was well off the pace as cars passed him on both sides. After the race, Keselowski said there was still fuel in the gas tank, meaning it was an issue with the fuel system. Keselowski, however, wasn't the only Penske driver affected. AJ Allmendinger in the #22 had his troubles much earlier, but they continued throughout en route to a 37th-place finish. According to the team's Twitter feed, the fuel pressure issue first showed up on Lap 149. The team spent several laps in the garage about 40 laps later, first trying to replace one part, and then later swapping out the whole electronic fuel injection system.(NASCAR.com)(3-12-2012)

  • FedEx and Autism Speaks return to Sprint Cup race at Dover: FedEx Corp., Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway announced that FedEx will return as the title sponsor for the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway, the June 3, 2012 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks." This is the second straight year FedEx has been the title sponsor for the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway. It's also the sixth straight year that the Monster Mile will partner with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, helping to raise funds and awareness for the cause throughout race weekend. Also returning this year will be the Autism Speaks puzzle piece decals for drivers to display on their cars during the June 1-3, 2012 NASCAR race weekend. In 2011, approximately 65 drivers across all three national touring series participated to help generate awareness for Autism Speaks.(Dover)(3-13-2012)

  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound to perform National Anthem Prior to AdvoCare 500 For the third consecutive year, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway to perform the National Anthem prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 night race on Sunday, Sept. 2. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (EHSS) is a Grammy-nominated and award-winning gospel quartet that combines modern musical concepts with the timeless quality of vocal groups to break the traditional mold of gospel quartets. The quartet was formed by Ernie Haase, the tenor singer of the famed Cathedral Quartet.(AMS)(3-12-2012)


    News from March 11, 2012

  • Stewart wins at Las Vegas: #14-Tony Stewart won the Kobalt Tools Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the year, his first win in Las Vegas, and 45th win of his career. #48-Johnson finished 2nd followed by #16-Biffle, #39-Newman, #99-Edwards, #15-Bowyer, #27-Menard, #1-McMurray, #21-Bayne, and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
    There were 8 cautions for 33 laps. There were 16 lead changes among 11 drivers. The estimated attendence was 150,000, down from 152,000 in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won and more on the Las Vegas Race Results page (pdf) .(3-11-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Chase Points Standings:
    [after Las Vegas, race 2 of 36]
    1) #16-Greg Biffle [0 wins], 125
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 115, -10
    3) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 113, -12
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 107, -18
    5) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 102, -23
    6) #99-Carl Edwards [0 wins], 102, -23
    7) #14-Tony Stewart [1 win], 100, -25
    8) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 98, -27
    9) #20-Joey Logano [0 wins], 98, -27
    10) #55-Mark Martin [0 wins], 97, 28
    11) #27-Paul Menard [0 wins], 89, -36
    12) #18-Kyle Busch [0 wins], 87, 38
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings page (pdf).
    and Owners Points on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(3-11-2012)

  • Dodge to unveil 2013 Sprint Cup Dodge Charger: UPDATE: The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Dodge Charger is a good-looking car, with a body that brings back the brand identity to fans of the brand. But beauty isn't skin deep -- a lot of work has gone into developing the Charger race car for next season's planned on-track debut at the Daytona 500. David Bailey, senior manager for SRT Motorsports Engineering, was in it from the beginning. "In late 2010, NASCAR called the meeting with all the manufacturers," Bailey said, and all four were unanimous in their desire to race a car that looked a lot more like their road-going counterparts. NASCAR agreed. "They wanted a production car look. Each manufacturer had the opportunity to present individually to NASCAR. Dodge showed "Basically a production Charger sitting on top of a Cup car chassis," Bailey said. "And it just jumped out." SRT Motorsports at-track engineer Howard Comstock stressed that Dodge had no interest in a purely cosmetic treatment that fans could see through. "We didn't want to do it with just decals," he said. "We wanted a real identity, real features on the car that you see on the street car. After the design process started -- and approximately 2,000 e-mails, and 600 drawings later -- we've got a car that everyone knows is a Dodge Charger."
    Dodge will unveil its 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dodge Charger at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The unveiling will take place in Victory Lane Sunday morning. Ralph Gilles (President and CEO -- SRT Brand and Motorsports) and Mike Helton (NASCAR President) will take part in the reveal.(Dodge PR)
    Penske Motorsport assisted in the development of the new Charger, but with their recent announcement that they are moving to Ford next year, they will not participant in the event. The only other Sprint Cup Dodge Team, #7-Robby Gordon, did not make the race.(3-11-2012)
    UPDATE: See an image of the car on the Dodge Manufacturer news page.(3-11-2012)

  • "Pawn Stars" to Serve as Grand Marshals for Nationwide race at Charlotte: Stars from HISTORY's hit television series "Pawn Stars" are making plans to travel east to visit the heart of motorsports country for the May 26 HISTORY 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Las Vegas-based reality show cast of Richard Harrison (aka Old Man), Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison and Chumlee will add to the Coca-Cola 600 weekend excitement by serving as grand marshals of the HISTORY 300. As part of a promotion with Coca-Cola, two lucky fans will be selected to watch the HISTORY 300 with the TV stars. "Pawn Stars" follows three generations of the Harrison family, who own and operate Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. The series debuted in 2009 and became the network's highest rated show and the No. 2 reality show on TV, trailing only "Jersey Shore." Following the show's success, HISTORY picked up two spinoff series, "American Restoration" and "Cajun Pawn Stars."(CMS)(3-11-2012)

  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd to perform concert at Kansas: Described as genre defining blues-infused rock and roll, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band will perform a pre-race concert at Kansas Speedway prior to the April 22 STP 400. Guitar World gives high praise to the five time Grammy-nominated Shepherd, ranking him third on their list of top blues guitarists behind the legendary B.B. King and Eric Clapton. One of Shepherd's biggest hits "Blue on Black," was #1 on the rock charts for 17 consecutive weeks. He has had six albums reach the # 1 spot on Billboard's Blues chart, including 2011's "How I Go". The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is currently on tour promoting, "How I Go," and between touring dates, the Band is also back in the recording studio working on their next album, which they hope to release in early 2013.(Kansas Speedway)(3-11-2012)


    News from March 10, 2012


  • EGR will pay tribute to former Target Racing member Dan Wheldon at Vegas: The #1 McDonald's and #42 Clorox Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevys will display a decal in memory of the two-time Indianapolis 500 Winner and 2005 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion. In a joint venture between NASCAR and its teams, the decal was created to pay tribute to Wheldon. The logo depicts Richard the Lionheart, a 12th century king of England - Wheldon's home country. He once wrote, "When I first started racing, a lot of the guys said that I raced with a lot of heart, occasionally not my head, but always with a lot of heart, like the way that Richard the Lionheart fought in battle." He wore a small mural of the 12th-century warrior king on his racing helmet. Wheldon drove for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series for three seasons (2006-2008) and won six races.(EGR)(3-7/10-2012)

  • Final practice Practice for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #20-Logano 182.970
    #55-Martin 182.698
    #29-Harvick 182.698
    #9-Ambrose 182.618
    #56-Truex, Jr. 182.618
    Slowest: #98-McDowell 175.867 & #26-Wise 174.582
    Notes:
    #48-Johnson hit the wall off turn 2 during his first lap on track. He will have to go to a backup car. #9-Ambrose spun off turn 4 but stayed off the wall and ran into the grass.
    See speeds on the Las Vegas Practice 3 Speeds (pdf). (3-10-2012)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #5-Kahne chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #18-Busch took pit stall 15, the next staall with an opening in front of it..
    #29-Harvick, who starts 3rd took the 31st pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 6th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-10-2012)

  • First Saturday Practice for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 184.957
    #5-Kahne 184.754
    #22-Almendinger 184.666
    #48-Johnson 184.489
    #18-Busch 184.187
    Slowest: #49-Yeley 176.783 & #98-McDowell 176.361
    Notes:
    #18-Busch slid into the wall coming off turn 4. The team will go to a backup car.
    See speeds on the Las Vegas Practice 2 Speeds (pdf). (3-10-2012)

  • TMone returns to Fas Lane Racing: FAS Lane Racing announced that TMone is continuing their associate sponsorship of the team's #32 Ford entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The leading Inside Sales Company will be an associate sponsor on the #32 Federated Auto Parts Ford driven by NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(3-10-2012)

  • Earnhardt Jr. has Montoya's Daytona 500 Car: A (mangled) piece of racing history has landed in the woods surrounding Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s property in Cleveland, N.C. Thanks to a familiar connection, NASCAR's most popular driver recently acquired the destroyed Juan Pablo Montoya's #42 Chevy that famously slammed into a jet dryer under caution during the Feb. 27 Daytona 500. Collecting crashed race cars is a hobby of Earnhardt's, and the latest addition is the only one that's caused a fiery on-track explosion and a two-hour delay in NASCAR's biggest race. And when Earnhardt found it through Chris Heroy, a former Hendrick Motorsports engineer who is the first-year crew chief for Montoya, he jumped on getting it imprecisely added to his car graveyard, adjacent to his backyard replica Western town known as Whisky River.(USA Today)(3-10-2012)

  • Office Depot wins NASCAR "Driving Business Award": Office Depot, Inc., a leading global provider of office supplies and services that helps customers save time, is the recipient of the 2011 NASCAR Driving Business Award, presented annually to the Official Partner that demonstrates extraordinary leadership and results through their participation in the NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) Council. The NFFB Council is a program that brings together an exclusive group of more than 50 Official NASCAR Partners to get more out of their sponsorship, specifically getting partners together four times a year to buy and sell products and services. This environment offers the unique opportunity for many Fortune 500 companies to bypass the time and layers of corporate coordination that may exist and construct customized deals to help address specific business needs. Through the NFFB Council, Office Depot secured new business accounts with Chevrolet, Ford, the National Corn Growers Association, Getty Images, and NASCAR RV Resorts, to name a few, helping the company drive business year after year. During the past seven seasons, Office Depot also used its status as an Official NASCAR Partner to activate its highly acclaimed "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot" promotion. In 2010 and 2011, Office Depot teamed up with fellow NFFB Council member and business partner, 3M Corporation, on the promotion.(NASCAR)(3-10-2012)

  • Childress joins Growth Energy Board of Directors: On the opening day of its 2012 Executive Leadership Conference, Growth Energy announced that Richard Childress, President and Chief Executive Officer of Richard Childress Racing, has agreed to join the organization as a member of its Board of Directors. Growth Energy represents 75 U.S. ethanol producers and 63 associated companies. Through grassroots support, media relations and advocacy efforts, Growth Energy promotes reducing harmful emissions, creating American jobs and strengthening national security through increased use of ethanol. In 2011, Growth Energy, partnering with the National Corn Growers Association and others, agreed to a marketing partnership with NASCAR under the American Ethanol brand. In the 2011 racing season, NASCAR used Sunoco Green E15 racing fuel in all of its vehicles, proving in more than 1.5 million miles of racing, qualifying and practice laps that E15 (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline) is a safe and effective fuel blend for today's automobiles. American Ethanol has an agreement with RCR Racing to use Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevy, as a spokesman for the industry.(RCR)(3-10-2012)

  • Childress looking for first Vegas win: Richard Childress Racing has earned a Sprint Cup Series victory at 19 of the 23 tracks on the 2012 schedule. The only tracks on the current schedule where RCR hasn't earned Sprint Cup Series wins are Homestead-Miami Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. Additionally, RCR has Sprint Cup Series wins at 22 tracks overall, including North Wilkesboro (N.C.), Riverside (Calif.) and Rockingham (N.C.), which are no longer on the schedule.(RCR)(3-10-2012)

  • All-American Rejects to perform at Auto Club Speedway Auto Club Speedway announced that rock sensation The All-American Rejects will perform on the DiscoverIE FanZone Entertainment Stage prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 race on Sunday, March 25 at 10:15 a.m. Tickets to the Auto Club 400, which include The All-American Rejects live pre-race performance, start as low as $35. Their newest album, Kids in the Street is scheduled for release March 26. The All-American Rejects first single, "Beekeeper's Daughter" along with the rest of the tracks on Kids In The Street, was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Greg Wells, who is known for his work with Adele, Katy Perry, and OneRepublic, among many others. The All-American Rejects are scheduled to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday, March 27. After their spring tour, The All-American Rejects join Blink-182 on the road and make a return visit to Bamboozle Saturday, May 19.(ACS)(3-10-2012)

  • Charlotte adds Global Rallycross to Coke 600 weekend: Charlotte Motor Speedway has added even more excitement to the 10 greatest days in racing with the addition of a Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) event during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend. GRC combines the energy of motorsport with the attitude of action sport, and showcases well-known X Games stars like Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and Tanner Foust driving 600-horsepower compact cars through a series of tight turns and over high-action jumps. Drivers advance through a series of timed heats to a final winner-take-all race. The event at Charlotte Motor Speedway is part of a new relationship between Global Rallycross Championship and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. that will bring rallycross events to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and IZOD IndyCar race weekends at select venues throughout the 2012 season. This year's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will follow the NASCAR Nationwide Series HISTORY 300 on Saturday, May 26. All HISTORY 300 ticketholders will be granted admission to the GRC event. The competitor pit area will be open before and after the race to give fans an up-close look at the high-performance rallycross cars.(CMS)(3-10-2012)


    News from March 9, 2012

  • Kahne wins pole at Las Vegas: #5-Kasey Kahne won the pole for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with new track record speed of 190.456mph for his 1st pole of 2012, 23rd career pole, and 3rd pole at Las Vegas. #18-Busch was 2nd fastest followed by #29-Harvick, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #15-Bowyer, #48-Johnson, #14-Stewart, #20-Logano, #16-Biffle, and #56-Truex, Jr.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #26-Wise, #49-Yeley, #36-Blaney, #98-McDowell, #87-Nemechek, #37-Hill, and #30-Stremme.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2):#23-Riggs & #7-Gordon#49-Yeley.
    See qualifying results & starting lineup on Las Vegas Qualifying Page or the Starting Lineup page (pdf). (3-9-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Las Vegas:
    Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 15th Annual Kobalt Tools 400 with a lap of 28.353 seconds, 190.456 mph.
    This is his 23rd pole in 291 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. His last pole came in September 2011 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2012. This is Kahne's first pole as a driver for Hendrick Motorsports.
    This is his third pole in nine races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .
    Kyle Busch (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2012 and his seventh in nine races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .
    Kevin Harvick (third) posted his second top-10 start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . It is his second in three races this season.
    Josh Wise (33rd) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(3-9-2012)

  • Qualifying Order for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #7-Gordon, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #48-Johnson, 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 Las Vegas Qualifying Page.(3-9-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: 1st practice rank for the Kobalt Tooks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
    these drivers would make the race:
    #21-Bayne, 21th
    #98-McDowell, 35th
    #36-Blaney, 36th
    #87-Nemechek, 37th
    #49-Yeley, 40th
    #26-Wise, 41st
    #30-Stremme, 42nd
    #37-Hill, 43rd
    these drivers would miss the race:
    #23-Riggs, 44th
    #7-Gordon, 45th
    (3-9-2012)

  • Friday Practice for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 188.140
    #15- Bowyer 188.134
    #14-Stewart 188.127
    #9-Ambrose 187.813
    #16-Biffle 187.656
    Slowest: #23-Riggs 181.818 & #7-Gordon 181.739.
    Notes: #42-Montoya slipped up into the wall off turn 2 and made hard contact on his first lap. The team will go to a backup. #93-Travis Kvapil had trouble with a power steering line that caused the car to smoke, but the team repaired it.
    See speeds on the Las Vegas Practice 1 Speeds (pdf).(3-9-2012)

  • Final Phoenix TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX posted a 5.6/12 (9.2 million viewers) on Sunday, March 4th for the Subway Fit Fresh 500(k) from Phoenix. Though it's off -5% from last year's 5.9/12 (10.3 million viewers), Sunday's race managed to rank as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend. Through the first two races of the season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing is averaging a 7.0/13 (11.9 million viewers), off -7% from last year's 7.5/16 (13.4 million) see all 2012 TV Ratings on my 2012 TV Ratings page.(3-9-2012)

  • Schrader and Federated Auto Parts Debut with FAS Lane Racing: Coming off a second solid race to the beginning of the season, FAS Lane Racing announced the 2012 debut of Ken Schrader with sponsorship from Federated Auto Parts. FAS Lane Racing heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Schrader will pilot the #32 Federated Auto Parts Ford in the running of the Kobalt Tools 400. "Having Federated Auto Parts as a part of our program this season is a great honor," stated FAS Lane Racing team owner Frank Stoddard. "Schrader ran some races with us last year and to have him back in our #32 Federated Auto Parts Ford this year provides our program with some additional stability. Ken did a great job for us last year and we look to continue on with our strong start to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Ken and Federated have come on board for nine races this year and that is a great addition to the efforts of this young team."(Integrity Sports Marketing), see an image of the car on the #32 team paint schemes page.(3-9-2012)

  • Lowe's Racing for Relief at Las Vegas: In response to the deadly outbreak of tornadoes across the central and southern United States, Lowe's announced it will expand its relief efforts by teaming with #48-Jimmie Johnson on Sunday at the Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas. As part of Lowe's Racing for Relief program, Lowe's will match the race earnings of Team 48 on Sunday, with a minimum donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross. Together, Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports also will donate $48,000 toward the cause. The donation will support American Red Cross Disaster Relief and provide food, shelter, emotional support and other relief to thousands affected by tornadoes that devastated communities in a dozen states. Lowe's introduced Racing for Relief in 2000. To date, the program has helped disaster relief efforts for hurricanes, tornadoes and floods by raising more than $340,000. Together with customers, Lowe's has contributed more than $22 million to the Red Cross since 1999. To join Lowe's in its disaster relief efforts, make a donation to the American Red Cross at Lowes.comRedCross.org, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).(Lowes PR)(3-9-2012)

  • 400 starts for Blaney: This weekend's start will mark Dave Blaney's 400th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start. The 1995 World of Outlaws Champion has raced in over 1,700 races in NASCAR and sprint car racing throughout his career.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(3-9-2012)

  • McDonalds makes first appearance on #1: McMurray and the #1 Team will carry McDonald's colors at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first of 13 races this season. The #1 car will also feature the McDonald's paint scheme at Bristol, Kansas, Richmond, Michigan, Infineon, Kentucky, Watkins Glen, Chicagoland, Dover, Charlotte, Martinsville and Texas.(EGR), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(3-9-2012)

  • Clorox on the #42: The #42 car of Juan Pablo Montoya will sport the red, white and blue colors of Clorox this weekend for the Kolbalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Clorox is a leading manufacturer and marketer of some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and other cleaning products.(EGR)(3-9-2012)

  • The numbers for the Kobalt Tools 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
    0 - number of Sprint Cup races won from a starting spot outside the top 25
    0 - number of times Sprint Cup qualifying has been cancelled at LVMS
    1 - number of wins from the pole in the previous 14 races (3/1/09 - Kyle Busch)
    2 - fewest number of cautions for a race (twice, most recently 3/5/00)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    7 - number of cautions for last year's race (seven for 35 laps)
    10 - fewest cars on the lead lap (twice - most recently 3/7/99)
    13 - fewest lead changes in the previous 14 races (3/5/00)
    14 - most cautions for a race at the 1.5-mile track (3/1/09)
    17 - number of cautions in first two Sprint Cup races of 2012; 24 after two races in 2011
    21 - number of lead changes in last year's race
    28 - most lead changes in previous 14 races (3/11/07)
    30 - most cars on the lead lap at finish (3/12/06)
    42 - most cars running at the finish (3/5/00)
    66 - most caution laps for a Sprint Cup race at LVMS (3/1/09)
    120 - minutes, the amount of time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(3-9-2012)

  • Oakley Renews Partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Oakley, one of the leading sports brands in the world, has renewed its partnership as the official eyewear supplier for the organization. Oakley, who has been a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing for 15 years, will continue to supply the pit crews for all of its NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, as well as its Motocross operations, and team executives, including team owner Joe Gibbs.(JGR)(3-9-2012)

  • 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 in the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the Las Vegas Race page - Chassis selection area.(3-9-2012)

  • Tennessee Air National Guard to sing National Anthem at Bristol: Members of the Tennessee Air National Guard's 119th Command and Control Squadron from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville, Tenn. will sing the national anthem Sunday, March 18 prior to the start of the Food City 500. The McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base Quartet consists of native Tennesseans First Lieutenant Stephanie McKeen, Second Lieutenant Sarah Miller, Senior Airman Amanda Winkler and Technical Sergeant Jeannine Brown. The foursome has been handpicked to perform for numerous local, state and federal celebrations and events, including the National Guard 375th Anniversary Celebration and numerous senior leaders military events. Monroeville will perform the anthem Saturday, March 17, prior to the Ford EcoBoost 300/Widow Wax 125. The six-man group, all of whom hail from Northeast Tennessee, boasts a crossover sound between progressive bluegrass and acoustic country. Group members are Daniel Salyer, Eli Johnson, Travis Houck, Zane Petty, Matthew Munsey and Matt Flake.(BMS)(3-9-2012)


    News from March 8, 2012

  • Vickers to drive #55 in 6 races: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Brian Vickers will drive the team's #55 Toyota Camry in six NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012 beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18. Vickers will also race the #55 at the August Bristol event as well as each of the two races at Martinsville Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway this season. "I am thrilled to get back behind the wheel of not just a race car, but a very fast race car," said Vickers who earned Toyota Racing Development its first Chase for the Sprint Cup entry in 2009. Vickers, 28, owns two victories and 11 poles. Until this season, the Thomasville, N.C. native competed full time in the Sprint Cup Series for eight years. In 2011, he scored three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Michael Waltrip drove the #55 in the Budweiser Shootout and will run in four more races in 2012. Mark Martin will drive the #55 in 24 races plus the All Star Race in Charlotte. MWR will name a driver for two road course events later.(MWR), Elliott Sadler was initially announced as the driver. See see earlier updates on the #55 team page.(3-8-2012)

  • Knaus appeal to be heard Tuesday: Team owner Rick Hendrick and #48 crew chief Chad Knaus will get to explain next Tuesday why they think NASCAR erred in penalizing Hendrick Motorsports for the C-posts on the Daytona 500 car of Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR confirmed that the appeal will be heard Tuesday morning at its Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. A three-member panel will determine whether NASCAR officials were justified in suspending Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six weeks as well as penalizing five-time Cup champion Johnson 25 points and fining Knaus $100,000. Both Hendrick and Knaus have said they believe templates should have been put on the car before it was confiscated Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. While teams often aren't successful on appeal, Hendrick has won one appeal of a suspension of Knaus in 2005. Knaus has been suspended three other times in his career.(Sporting News)(2-8-2012)

  • 1-800LoanMart sponsoring Wise for 5 races: 1-800LoanMart will join Front Row Motorsports for five races this season as primary sponsor of the #26 Ford driven by Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Josh Wise. The lender will make its first appearance on Wise's Ford Fusion this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 400 on the fast oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The new partner will also appear as primary sponsor of the #26 for races at Auto Club Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. 1-800LoanMart will also be an associate sponsor on Front Row Motorsports' #38 Ford, driven by David Gilliland, for those same five race weekends. The Encino, Calif.-based lender, which launched in 2001, specializes in car title loans, serving customers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Illinois, and Missouri. Similar to Jenkins' race team, the company started small, growing from 40 employees in 2008 to more than 200 today.(Front Row/Breaking Limits)(3-8-2012)

  • Ollie's Bargain Outlet returning to Tommy Baldwin Racing at Vegas: Ollie's Bargain Outlet will extend their partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing to support the Sprint Cup Series team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Ollie's Bargain Outlet Chevy as he attempts to clinch a spot in the Kobalt Tools 400. Ollie's Bargain Outlet, one of America's largest retailers of closeouts, salvage and surplus merchandise, joined TBR for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 and returned to the #36 Ollie's Bargain Outlet Chevy for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Due to customer support and good exposure in Daytona and Phoenix, the Pennsylvania-based company expanded their program with TBR to include the Kobalt Tools 400 at LVMS.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(3-8-2012)

  • Turn One Racing making Cup debut at Bristol: As often occurs in NASCAR's yearly Silly Season, the shutdown of race teams makes quality equipment available for a fraction of the cost. And with this comes the inception of new race teams. Turn One Racing has been around for several years in the Camping World Truck Series, but announced ambitious plans to attempt the full 2012 Sprint Cup schedule. In early-February, the team pushed its debut back from the highly competitive Daytona 500 to Phoenix. The Turn One team was absent at Phoenix and is not listed for the Kobalt Tools 400 this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Turn One Racing operations manager Jamie Buzze tells News/Talk WSB that the team missed Phoenix and will skip Las Vegas, because they had issues getting motors together. She says the team will attempt its season-debut at Bristol next week.(WSB Radio)(3-8-2012)

  • Hamilton Means Racing status unknown: Hamilton Means Racing announced its formation just after the end of the 2011 season, but skipped Daytona and Phoenix and is not entered at Las Vegas. Despite multiple questions by fans of its Facebook page, the team still has not announced a start to the season or a driver. The team is still active, however, as its website is still up and running and the team even published a possible new logo. Jimmy Means Racing still runs the #52 in the Nationwide Series, but its Daytona driver, Peachtree City's Reed Sorenson, told News/Talk WSB that he is not considering running the HMR Cup car. HMR did not respond to an inquiry made about its schedule by WSB in time for this article.(WSB Radio)(3-8-2012)

  • Sinica Motorsports Cup plans still not known: Sinica Motorsports attempted the Homestead-Miami Speedway's Cup race in November, missing the show with Grant Enfinger in the #93. At the time, the team said it planned to run the full 2012 schedule, but has not made an attempt so far. Enfinger parted ways with the team and SM ceded its #93 to the even-newer BK Racing team. The team still has not announced when it will debut and there is no Sprint Cup information on its site, though their website does list that they own the #84 Sprint Cup Chevy. The team is running in the ARCA Series with driver Brian Keselowski, the elder brother to Brad, who has raced off and on in recent years for his own race team.(WSB Radio)(3-8-2012)

  • Best Buy races for Edwards: #99-Carl Edwards will be sponsored by Best Buy in two races for the 2012 season, at Michigan in August and Martinsville in October. See image of the scheme on the #99 Team Schemes page.(3-8-2012)

  • Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp on the #43: The famed #43 Ford will race with the colors and messaging of the Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp. The Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp is the ultimate stock car experience for racing enthusiasts ,and this year's 12 participants names will be on the hood of the #43 this weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(3-8-2012)

  • Ryan Newman Foundation Helps Reunite Soldier with Dog: The Ryan Newman Foundation is helping fly a dog home to be with his Soldier owner who lives 3,000 miles away. The assistance was prompted by an email regarding a dog saved by US soldiers in Afghanistan and the request for help with his transport home. The Ryan Newman Foundation immediately agreed to assist other animal groups and get the lonely boy from New York to his owner in Washington State. Trigger, a 70 pound stray saved by US soldiers in Afghanistan, began his new life as an all-American dog in February after arriving at JFK Airport. Trigger's new leash on life came courtesy of Guardians of Rescue, the group which provided the funds to bring him from Kabul to their rescue based in Port Jefferson, Long Island in New York. Trigger's final homecoming is scheduled for March 9th. Much more info and video's at ryannewmanfoundation.org.(3-8-2012)

  • Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Las Vegas this weekend . . . this is the first time NASCAR teams will be running either of these two codes . . . this tire combination came out of a Goodyear test at Las Vegas on November 7 & 9, 2011 . . . participating in that test were A.J. Allmendinger and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Sam Hornish in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge, Joey Logano in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Paul Menard in the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and Juan Pablo Montoya in the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet . . .compared to what was run at Las Vegas last year, this tire set-up features a slight construction change on both sides, while this right-side tire features a new tread compound to give the cars more grip . . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Las Vegas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. See more notes, pressures, codes on my Las Vegas Race Info Page.(3-8-2012)

  • Smith, Menard escape injuries in Colorado road accident: UPDATE: NASCAR drivers #78-Regan Smith and #27-Paul Menard, along with Smith's wife Megan and a friend of the Smiths, escaped injuries in a Colorado road accident today (Wednesday, approximately 8:45 a.m. MT). The foursome was on the way to a nearby ski slope. Smith lost control of his Silverado truck after hitting a patch of ice near his mountain home in Evergreen, outside of Denver. The truck slid off the road and crashed into a collection of trees. Smith and Menard will compete in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Funiture Row Racing/RCR)(3-7-2012)
    UPDATE: Reagan Smith tweeted Wednesday evening, "Thank you to everybody for the well wishes, everybody is doing fine, shaken up but healthy. Had somebody looking out for us this morning".(3-8-2012)

  • Truex Jr. to trade rides for a bit today: UPDATE: On Wednesday, March 7, at Noon, two of the hottest drivers in two of America's most popular forms of motorsports will give each other a ride to remember on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. First up, NHRA's most recent winner, Top Fuel driver Antron Brown, will give NASCAR's #56-Martin Truex Jr. a ride down zMAX Dragway in a two-seat dragster provided by Roy Hill's Drag Racing School. After Truex rides shotgun down the Bellagio of drag strips, he'll return the favor to Brown by taking him for some hot laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway in a two-seat stock car provided by the Richard Petty Driving Experience.(CMS)(3-7-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR's Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing and NHRA's Antron Brown, driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing, met Wednesday at zMAX Dragway and Charlotte Motor Speedway to experience a little of each other's motorsport. The two New Jersey natives started at zMAX Dragway, the only four-lane all-concrete drag strip in the country and the host of the upcoming NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 13-15. Brown, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader, took the wheel and Truex strapped in behind him in a two-seat dragster provided by Roy Hill's Drag Racing School. "The first time, I wasn't really ready for it. It all happened kind of fast, so I didn't get to look around or see anything," Truex said of his ride with Brown. "The second time I made sure I kept my head around and it was a lot cooler. You really feel that pressure and you're really accelerating, but at the same time it almost feels like it takes a long time to get down there. It's almost like your mind puts it in slow motion because you're scared& It's crazy." After assaulting the Bellagio of drag strips, the duo moved across the street to try out Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex took the wheel of a two-seat stock car provided by the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the two logged some laps on the famous 1.5-mile superspeedway.(CMS)(3-8-2012)

  • Homestead-Miami, Daytona, Phoenix featured in "Smoke Your Tires" Game: Picturesque Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of the first tracks featured in a new downloadable application, Smoke Your Tires. Coinciding with the start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season, International Speedway Corporation has lent the marks to its 12 tracks to a new iTunes app, Smoke Your Tire. Homestead-Miami Speedway is among the first featured in the app, along with other iconic ISC facilities Daytona International Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. This application for the iPhone is available now in the iTunes store with an Android version forthcoming. The app allows players to customize a stock car to feel as if they are smoking tires on the actual 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway track in never-before-seen-on-apps 360 degree spins, the difficulty of which increases by graduating levels. The first two levels, with backdrops at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, respectively, are free with multi-level tiers added with each new event of the stock car racing season hosted at an ISC track. Each level will be a unique experience with new challenges and varying degrees of difficulty.(HMS)(3-8-2012)


    News from March 7, 2012

  • Smith, Menard escape injuries in Colorado road accident: NASCAR drivers #78-Regan Smith and #27-Paul Menard, along with Smith's wife Megan and a friend of the Smiths, escaped injuries in a Colorado road accident today (Wednesday, approximately 8:45 a.m. MT). The foursome was on the way to a nearby ski slope. Smith lost control of his Silverado truck after hitting a patch of ice near his mountain home in Evergreen, outside of Denver. The truck slid off the road and crashed into a collection of trees. Smith and Menard will compete in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Funiture Row Racing/RCR)(3-7-2012)

  • Truex Jr. to trade rides for a bit today: On Wednesday, March 7, at Noon, two of the hottest drivers in two of America's most popular forms of motorsports will give each other a ride to remember on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. First up, NHRA's most recent winner, Top Fuel driver Antron Brown, will give NASCAR's #56-Martin Truex Jr. a ride down zMAX Dragway in a two-seat dragster provided by Roy Hill's Drag Racing School. After Truex rides shotgun down the Bellagio of drag strips, he'll return the favor to Brown by taking him for some hot laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway in a two-seat stock car provided by the Richard Petty Driving Experience.(CMS)(3-7-2012)

  • Stewart would like to run Indy Grand Am race: Sprint Cup champion #14-Tony Stewart might try to add another racing series to his already full calendar this summer. Stewart, who was at Texas Motor Speedway Tuesday as part of the track's media days, said he didn't think he would run in the Nationwide Series at Indianapolis this July. The Sprint Cup weekend at Indy also features a July 27 race in the Grand-Am Road Racing Series. That is something that might suit Stewart. "If I do anything, I'd like to run the Grand Am race to be honest," Stewart said. "We might be able to try and put something together for that hopefully." Stewart said he didn't want to deny a Nationwide spot to a driver who was trying to live out a dream of running at the storied venue.(Fox Sports)(3-7-2012)

  • Robby Gordon hoping for more Dodge support: #7-Robby Gordon obviously could use more sponsorship in any form, so if the Penske Racing move from Dodge to Ford in 2013 helps him, he's all for the additional support. As a driver and team owner, Gordon has run Dodges the last four years in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. He gets his motors from Joey Arrington's Race Engines Plus. Gordon believes he has an advantage over other teams possibly looking for Dodge support because his team builds all his own cars. He doesn't have an alliance where he gets cars and engines from another organization. Gordon, who has successfully qualified for the first two races of the season after finishing outside the top 35 in 2011, plans to field a car in every race this year, but whether he will be the driver and how much of each race is run, due to finances, is still to be determined. His only funding comes from some Menard's sponsorship, from Dodge and whatever profits he can bring from his Speed Energy drink. "If I had a [full] factory program in place, I'd show up and drive all the races," Gordon said. "Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to fund this thing. With Speed Energy, that's been about the only way I can build a business that actually can turn some profit [for sponsorship].(Scene Daily)(3-7-2012)

  • Accell Construction returns to the #10: Accell Construction will return to the #10 Accell Construction Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. David Reutimann will pilot the Tommy Baldwin Racing entry in the Kobalt Tools 400 Sunday, March 11th. Accell Construction, an Oklahoma-based company, sponsored the #10 Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend. Following the event, Accell Construction saw a spike in their bids for business. Seeing the return so quickly, the full-service civil contacting company decided to come back on board the #10 this weekend in Vegas. The 20-year-old company also sponsored the TBR #36 Chevy for six primary events, as well as associate races, last season.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(3-7-2012)

  • Earnhardt-Ganassi running decal in memory of Wheldon: EGR will pay tribute to former Target Racing member Dan Wheldon this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The #1 McDonald's and #42 Clorox Chevys will display a decal in memory of the two-time Indianapolis 500 Winner and 2005 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion. In a joint venture between NASCAR and its teams, the decal was created to pay tribute to Wheldon. The logo depicts Richard the Lionheart, a 12th century king of England - Wheldon's home country. He once wrote, "When I first started racing, a lot of the guys said that I raced with a lot of heart, occasionally not my head, but always with a lot of heart, like the way that Richard the Lionheart fought in battle." He wore a small mural of the 12th-century warrior king on his racing helmet. Wheldon drove for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series for three seasons (2006-2008) and won six races.(EGR)(3-7-2012)

  • DuPont celebrates 20 years of sponsorship with Gordon: It may have been risky to take a chance on a 21-year-old-kid in 1992, but the gamble was worth it. This year marks the 20th season Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports and DuPont have partnered on the now iconic #24 Chevy, and this Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be the debut of the DuPont "20 Years" paint scheme designed by Sam Bass. The success of the partnership has been visible on the track. Gordon will attempt to drive the #24 car into Victory Lane for the 86th time on Sunday, and crew chief Alan Gustafson will be an integral part of that if it occurs.(Performance PR Plus), see an image of the car on the #24 team paint schemes page.(3-7-2012)

  • At Las Vegas Motor Speedway...
    • The first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held on March 1, 1998, won by Mark Martin.
    • In 2006, the track was reconfigured to include progressive banking.
    • There have been 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
    • Four drivers have participated in all 14 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
    • Dale Jarrett won the inaugural pole.
    • 10 drivers have poles at LVMS, led by Dale Jarrett, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Bobby Labonte (two each).
    • Eight different drivers have won, led by Jimmie Johnson (four). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth (two each).
    • Only six of the 14 races have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch became the first driver to win from the pole, in 2009.
    • Four of the 14 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004.
    • There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Las Vegas: 2006 (270/267).
    • Kyle Busch made his first start and Kasey Kahne won his first pole at Las Vegas, in the same event (2004). Aric Almirola also made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
    • Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway winner: Kyle Busch (03/01/2009 - 23 years, 9 months, 27 days)
    • Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway winner: Sterling Marlin (03/03/2002 - 44 years, 7 months, 32 days)
    (NASCAR)(3-7-2012)

  • Infineon dropping naming-rights deal with Sonoma: For the second time in recent years, a Speedway Motorsports Inc. facility has lost its naming-rights sponsorship. On Tuesday, it was reported that Infineon Technologies is pulling its name from the Sonoma, Calif., road course when its contract expires in May. The track was known as Sears Point Raceway until June 2002, then Infineon Raceway until this week. The 10-year deal was reportedly worth $34.4 million to SMI. Vice president for marketing and communications John Cardinale told the Sports Business Daily that the speedway has several companies interested in assuming the naming rights. "There are three or four companies we're talking to," he said. "I wouldn't say they're ready to sign, but they're certainly interested. After the 2009 NASCAR season, Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse Inc. chose not to renew its naming rights at what was known before--as it is now--as Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track had been called Lowe's Motor Speedway since the 1998 season. With Lowe's and Infineon pulling their naming rights, the only NASCAR track that still has a commercial sponsor is Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.(Autoweek)(3-7-2012)

  • Sinise Named Grand Marshal, Kerns Honorary Starter at Martinsville: Goody's announced that award-winning actor Gary Sinise will serve as the grand marshal; while local hero and wounded veteran Marine Cpl. Josh "J.B." Kerns will wave the green flag to start the 500-lap event on April 1. Sinise, currently starring on CBS' "CSI:NY," launched the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, a non-profit organization that honors defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. For more information, go to www.GarySiniseFoundation.org. Kerns, a long-time fan of racing, will serve as the Goody's Fast Relief 500 honorary starter. He was injured in Afghanistan in April 2011 when an IED exploded, costing him both legs and his right arm. Since that explosion, Kerns has endured tremendous pain, having undergone extensive surgeries and strenuous daily physical and occupational therapy in Bethesda, Md.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-7-2012)

  • Foreigner to kick off Texas race week with concert: Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen announced Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway's annual Media Day that the band will perform a special acoustic concert Monday, April, 9, to benefit Speedway Children's Charities-Texas and officially kick off the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR race week. The Foreigner Acoustique - Classics Unplugged private benefit concert, featuring Hansen and Foreigner veterans Tom Gimbel and Jeff Pilson, will be held at the new Flying Saucer venue - formerly 8.0's - in Fort Worth's Sundance Square beginning at 7 p.m. CT. The trio will perform the unique acoustic versions of several of Foreigner's greatest hits at the outdoor venue including "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Double Vision," "Hot Blooded," "Waiting For A Girl Like You," and "Feels Like The First Time," among others. During a break in the set, a limited live auction will be held that will include a handful of unique items, including a live serenade by Hansen with a Foreigner hit song to the winning bidder on stage and a framed autographed platinum Foreigner single. General admission tickets are available for $60 and special VIP tickets are $150, with all proceeds benefitting Speedway Children's Charities-Texas.(TMS)(3-7-2012)


    News from March 6, 2012

  • Kahne close to picking up new sponsor: Hendrick Motorsports is close to finalizing a nine-race primary sponsorship with Trina Solar, a Chinese solar panel manufacturer, for its #5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevy. The deal will see Trina appear on Kasey Kahne's car at nine races this season. Financial terms of the agreement weren't available. Trina Solar executives could not be reached before deadline. Hendrick Motorsports was unavailable for comment.(Sporting News / Sports Business Journal)(3-6-2012)

  • Phoenix TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX posted a solid 5.0/10 Sunday for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix. Though off -6% from last year's 5.3/11, yesterday's 5.0/10 ranked as the second highest-rated event of the weekend in the metered markets. It is estimated that once the national ratings are released, the Subway Fresh Fit 500 will be the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend. The race rating grew throughout the telecast peaking at a 5.8/11 from 6-6:15pm, but last year's race ran later and faced less competition in the closing laps which allowed last year's race to peak at a 6.4/12 in the final quarter hour. Through the first two races of the season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing is averaging a 6.4/11, down -6% from last year's 6.8/15. See the 2012 season TV Ratings so far, just overnights as not much info out there yet, on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(3-6-2012)

  • Sadler to drive 5 races for MWR: UPDATES: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Elliott Sadler will drive the team's #55 Toyota in five Sprint Cup races in 2012 beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18. Sadler will also drive the #55 in the August Bristol event, both Martinsville races and the July 15 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Waltrip explained how Sadler came to drive the No. 55. "Elliott has the experience and attitude we were looking for," said the two-time Daytona 500 champion. "We'll pair him with Crew Chief Rodney Childers who builds really fast cars. We believe Elliott will do a great job." Waltrip drove the #55 in the Budweiser Shootout and will run in four more races in 2012. Mark Martin will drive the #55 in 24 races plus the All Star Race in Charlotte. MWR will name a driver for two road course events at a later date.(MWR)(3-3-2012)
    UPDATE: no driver has yet been named for the race at New Hampshire in September, that driver will be named later.(3-4-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Elliott Sadler's plans to substitute for Mark Martin behind the wheel of the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series may have been a bit premature. Sadler, who won the Nationwide Series race Saturday for Richard Childress Racing, was hoping to pilot the Aaron's Toyota for five races that Martin has elected to skip, starting with the race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18. But multiple sources told FOXSports.com the deal blew up Saturday night, shortly after it was announced via a press release. While talks had been in the works for a couple of months, the manufacturer conflict for Sadler, who drives Chevys full time for RCR in the Nationwide Series, appears to have squashed the arrangement. With most rosters set for 2012, don't be surprised to see former Toyota driver Brian Vickers run the five races in place of Martin.(Fox Sports)(3-4-2012)
    UPDATE 3: On Saturday, Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Elliott Sadler would drive the #55 MWR NASCAR Sprint Cup car for five races this season. But Monday afternoon, Sadler told SPEED.com that the deal was off. Richard Childress, Sadler's car owner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and a longtime Chevy loyalist, told Sadler after his victory in the Bashas's Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway that he didn't want Sadler in Waltrip's Toyota. "I was going to drive the 55 car for five races for MWR, but actually, after the race on Saturday, after Victory Lane, Richard and I went to his bus," Sadler told SPEED.com. "And I think Richard, along with some of the executives that he has, have just decided that it's probably not in our best interest to do that right now."(SPEED)(3-5-2012)
    UPDATE 4: Sadler said nothing in the meeting was discussed about RCR being a Chevy team and MWR being a Toyota team. "It was more about focus on what we are doing (in Nationwide)," said Sadler, who has a 10-point lead in the series after two races.(ESPN)(3-6-2012)

  • Stewart's team working to determine EFI issue: Crew chief Steve Addington said it was incumbent on his team to find the cause of Sunday's fuel-injection malfunction that fouled #14-Tony Stewart's bid for a top-10 finish at Phoenix International Raceway. And with NASCAR teams getting accustomed to an electronic fuel-injection system after 63 years of using carburetors, the problems aren't likely to be exclusive to the three-time Sprint Cup champion. Stewart, regarded as a master of fuel conservation, was attempting to save gas Sunday when a caution came out on lap 247 of 312. Running 13th and hoping to make it to the finish without another pit stop, Stewart went to one of his old gas-saving tricks - shutting off his engine. The problem: It wouldn't come back on. "Turned it back on, and it never re-fired," Stewart said. "I honestly don't know why. It's not really my department." By the time Addington's crew diagnosed the problem (a tripped breaker switch), Stewart returned to the track two laps down, on his way to a 22nd-place finish. Immediately after the race, Addington huddled with engine specialists at Hendrick Motorsports, which provides engines for Stewart-Haas Racing. "We'll keep working with them to try to figure out what happened," Addington said. "We've got to dig into it and find out what happened, when it happened and what caused it."(USA Today)(3-6-2012)

  • Second person charged in Mayfield case: A second person has been formally charged in a theft ring involving former NASCAR Driver Jeremy Mayfield. The Hudson Police Department served an indictment on Rusty Alex Canipe of Catawba County on four counts of felony larceny, according to a news release from the Hudson Police Department. The charges are a result of an investigation into the theft of several trailers and pieces of furniture that were stolen on February 26, 2011 from the former Anderson Truck Lines. Canipe surrendered himself at the Caldwell County Magistrate's Office. His bond was set at $100,000. Mayfield was indicted on several counts of larceny on March first.(WBTV)(3-6-2012)

  • Sportvision extends partnership with NASCAR: Sportvision, Inc., partner of NASCAR since 2000 and the leading innovator of digital sports content, broadcast enhancements and tracking data, announced that it has extended its partnership with Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group as the exclusive tracking partner for NASCAR-sanctioned events through the 2018 racing season. Sportvision's RACEf/x technology, the most advanced tracking technology created for televised sports, is now utilized in all three NASCAR national series after expanding to the Truck Series in 2012. Like Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series cars, the trucks are equipped with Vector II tracking devices. These devices are the latest generation of Sportvision RACEf/x technology and the first to utilize both Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) satellite navigation systems. The technology debuted in the Sprint Cup Series at the 2001 Daytona 500 and was introduced to the Nationwide Series in 2007. This patented, state-of-the-art technology tracks the cars at speeds reaching 200 MPH to create a complete "digital record" of a NASCAR race in real-time. With the addition, SPEED will now highlight a full slate of broadcast graphics during Truck Series broadcasts and the technology will continue to be an integral component utilized by other NASCAR broadcast partners through 2018.(NASCAR)(3-6-2012)

  • Sad News - Steve Bown: Divers recovered the body late this morning of Steve Bown from the underwater wreckage of his four-seater Cessna 350 plane, which crashed Friday afternoon into High Rock Lake in North Carolina. Karyn Martin also died in the Friday crash. Her body was recovered from the lake about an hour after the plane went down. Bown was president of Performance Springs Inc. of New Hudson, Mich. The company, which produces valve springs for engines, has strong ties to the racing industry, including NASCAR. The Cessna Columbia 350 took off from the Davidson County airport about 1:15 p.m. Friday, heading for Florida, and was only in the air briefly before crashing. Reports said the plane's landing gear was still down. The couple apparently had flown from Commerce Township, Mich., the day before and spent the night in Davidson County so Bown could conduct business. A recent Popular Mechanics article credited Performance Springs with producing the steel spring that revolutioned NASCAR by providing engines with increased power. The spring's job is to keep an engine valve closed. Performance Springs was founded in 1996, and Bown was lead engineer besides being the company president. The firm also provided springs for racing teams in IRL and NHRA Pro Stock.(Salisbury Post)(3-6-2012)

  • Darlington Raceway launches mobile web site: With nearly 95 percent of its race fans utilizing a cell phone for personal use, Darlington Raceway has launched its mobile web site, designed to keep fans updated with year-round news and race information for its upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Southern 500 race weekend on May 11-12. The mobile web site can be viewed by visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com from your Sprint Smartphone or other mobile devices including the iPhone and Blackberry. The new mobile web site gives fans access to the latest Darlington Raceway news and also provides the most recent race weekend information, including schedules, race day traffic and ticket information. Fans who are traveling to Darlington on race day can utilize the directions feature, which will map their route to the track with GPS navigation. The site also features a history section for fans to learn about the over 60 years of historical significance the track has played in NASCAR and to the state of South Carolina. Entry lists and starting lineups for the Southern 500 and Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 will also be posted on the mobile web site the week of the race.(Darlington Raceway)(3-6-2012)


    News from March 5, 2012

  • Sadler to drive 5 races for MWR: UPDATES - Vickers? Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Elliott Sadler will drive the team's #55 Toyota in five Sprint Cup races in 2012 beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18. Sadler will also drive the #55 in the August Bristol event, both Martinsville races and the July 15 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Waltrip explained how Sadler came to drive the No. 55. "Elliott has the experience and attitude we were looking for," said the two-time Daytona 500 champion. "We'll pair him with Crew Chief Rodney Childers who builds really fast cars. We believe Elliott will do a great job." Waltrip drove the #55 in the Budweiser Shootout and will run in four more races in 2012. Mark Martin will drive the #55 in 24 races plus the All Star Race in Charlotte. MWR will name a driver for two road course events at a later date.(MWR)(3-3-2012)
    UPDATE: no driver has yet been named for the race at New Hampshire in September, that driver will be named later.(3-4-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Elliott Sadler's plans to substitute for Mark Martin behind the wheel of the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series may have been a bit premature. Sadler, who won the Nationwide Series race Saturday for Richard Childress Racing, was hoping to pilot the Aaron's Toyota for five races that Martin has elected to skip, starting with the race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18. But multiple sources told FOXSports.com the deal blew up Saturday night, shortly after it was announced via a press release. While talks had been in the works for a couple of months, the manufacturer conflict for Sadler, who drives Chevys full time for RCR in the Nationwide Series, appears to have squashed the arrangement. With most rosters set for 2012, don't be surprised to see former Toyota driver Brian Vickers run the five races in place of Martin.(Fox Sports)(3-4-2012)
    UPDATE 3: On Saturday, Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Elliott Sadler would drive the #55 MWR NASCAR Sprint Cup car for five races this season. But Monday afternoon, Sadler told SPEED.com that the deal was off. Richard Childress, Sadler's car owner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and a longtime Chevy loyalist, told Sadler after his victory in the Bashas's Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway that he didn't want Sadler in Waltrip's Toyota. "I was going to drive the 55 car for five races for MWR, but actually, after the race on Saturday, after Victory Lane, Richard and I went to his bus," Sadler told SPEED.com. "And I think Richard, along with some of the executives that he has, have just decided that it's probably not in our best interest to do that right now."(SPEED)(3-5-2012)

  • The Entry List for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon(44th 2012 owners pts/1 attempts)
    #21-Trevor Bayne (43/1)
    #23-Scott Riggs (45/2)
    #26-Josh Wise (30/2)
    #30-David Stremme (35/2)
    #36-Dave Blaney (16/15)
    #37-Timmy Hill (47/1)
    #49-J.J. Yeley (48/2)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (38/2)
    #98-Michael McDowell (41/2)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 36,26,30,87,98,7,23,37
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 49,21
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Las Vegas Entry List.(3-5-2012)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 Subway Fresh Fit 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's races. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:08 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 107
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 98
    Number of NASCAR on Fox 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 9
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 67
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 47
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min. 45 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:08 PM
    Total minutes: 188
    Minutes of race broadcast: 144
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 44
    Minutes of NASCAR on Fox 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 4
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 144 Total comm. brdcst time 44
    see drivers focused and more on my 2012 TV Commercials page.(3-5-2012)

  • Win 198 for #11 ties the #43: #11-Denny Hamlin's win in the Subway Fit Fresh 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway was car #11's 198th win in the Sprint Cup Series. Now tied for all-time in Sprint Cup Series history for a car number. #43, which also has 198 wins in 2319 Sprint Cup races is tied with with the #11, 3rd is the #3 at 97 wins. The las twin by the #43 was John Andretti in 1999. See my Wins by Car Number page for all the car number wins, the history of the #43 and more.(3-5-2012)

  • NASCAR to use extra pace car behind jet dryers: NASCAR officials announced a change to have an extra pace car with flashing lights behind the last jet-dryer truck on the track in all races in all three series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Trucks Series. The change, which was explained to the Sprint Cup teams during the drivers' meeting Sunday morning at Phoenix International Raceway, comes after Juan Pablo Montoya's car spun into a jet-dryer truck during a caution period in the Daytona 500 Monday night. The drivers of the jet-dryer trucks also will wear helmets and fire suits during each race, but that is a change agreed upon by officials at race tracks that play host to NASCAR events, not a rule instituted by NASCAR.(ESPN)(3-5-2012)

  • Hill, Wise running for Rookie of the Year: Josh Wise and Timmy Hill are not sure exactly how many races they'll compete in during the 2012 Sprint Cup season, but they plan to be racing each other for Sprint Cup's top rookie honors. Both Wise and Hill have registered for the rookie program and took their first Cup laps of the season this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Wise, who drove in 31 Nationwide races for three teams including JR Motorsports last year and has four career starts in the Cup Series, is driving the #26 car for Front Row Motorsports, which Tony Raines qualified in for the Daytona 500. #37-Hill, the 2011 Nationwide rookie of the year, is looking to make his Cup debut after failing to qualify Saturday at Phoenix. He is driving a car fielded by Rick Ware Racing and Max Q Motorsports in a deal that came together the last few weeks. Both Wise and Hill are not certain how many races they'll compete in this season. Wise and Front Row need sponsorship for that car to run the full events. Hill hopes to be in the car every race but knows that if he misses some, the team might put someone else in the car to try to get it in the top 35.(Scene Daily)(3-5-2012)

  • Tide runs commercial featuring Daytona track clean up: A new Tide TV commercial ... seeks to capitalize on the detergent's brand unexpected product placement during Fox's telecast of the Daytona 500. The Procter & Gamble laundry detergent is not a NASCAR or Daytona sponsor. But Tide got millions worth of free exposure when Fox viewers saw safety workers using Tide to clean the track after a fiery crash at Daytona International Speedway covered Turn 3 with 200 gallons of burning jet fuel. Tide was smart enough to capitalize on the free product placement immediately. A new spot ran during Fox's telecast of the The Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sunday. The ad shows footage of Daytona workers using Tide to clean up the track. "You keep inventing stains. We'll keep inventing ways to get them out," says the commercial.(USA Today), commercial can be seen at the link.(3-5-2012)

  • Las Vegas expecting good traffic flow for fans: Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials are expecting another year of smooth vehicle flow for the upcoming NASCAR Weekend. One major point of emphasis to further improve the outbound progression will be the prevention of illegal parking along Hollywood Boulevard. Cars parked on the sides of Hollywood in areas designated with No Parking signs will be towed to lots throughout the Las Vegas area. While commuting by car should be trouble-free, the speedway still encourages fans to use mass transit to attend the races. For the fourth consecutive year, Coach America will service the event. In 2009, Coach America replaced CAT as the preferred transit organization for the events at LVMS. Race fans may contact Coach America at www.nascar.coachamerica.com or (702) 948-7360. For those wishing to take a private charter to the races, LVMS recommends Key Tours. Key Tours has been providing service to the speedway for several years, and we vouch for the quality of its service. Key Tours can be contacted at www.keytourslv.com or (800) 261-2691. To reserve seats on either the Coach America or Key Tours buses, please go to www.LVMS.com and click on the "Getting to the Races" link in the NASCAR Weekend Quick Links box. The speedway will continue to crack down on the fraudulent use of handicapped placards. Speedway security will be checking the validity of handicapped passes on each vehicle. General parking is free at LVMS.(LVMS)(3-5-2012)

  • Charlotte starts first time fan program: Starting with the April 13-15 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway and continuing through the May 19 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and May 27 Coca-Cola 600, first time fans will receive a special welcome kit designed to ensure they have the best experience possible at their first Charlotte Motor Speedway event. First time fans will also receive direct communication with tips from racing insiders, speedway staff and other race fans to help them make the most of their race-day experience. First time fans will receive an invitation to a Racing 101 seminar on the event day that provides additional information and the opportunity to ask questions directly of speedway staff. In addition, first time fans will have access to a special concierge who is able to answer questions and provide additional guidance for the fan with limited NASCAR or NHRA experience. Every first time fan welcome package includes a lanyard, hard card, decal, DVD, Fan Guide to Fun, special values, area information and more. New fans are automatically enrolled in the program when they purchase tickets.(CMS)(2-5-2012)


    News from March 4, 2012

  • Sadler to drive 5 races for MWR: UPDATES - Vickers? Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Elliott Sadler will drive the team's #55 Toyota in five Sprint Cup races in 2012 beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18. Sadler will also drive the #55 in the August Bristol event, both Martinsville races and the July 15 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Waltrip explained how Sadler came to drive the No. 55. "Elliott has the experience and attitude we were looking for," said the two-time Daytona 500 champion. "We'll pair him with Crew Chief Rodney Childers who builds really fast cars. We believe Elliott will do a great job." Waltrip drove the #55 in the Budweiser Shootout and will run in four more races in 2012. Mark Martin will drive the #55 in 24 races plus the All Star Race in Charlotte. MWR will name a driver for two road course events at a later date.(MWR)(3-3-2012)
    UPDATE: no driver has yet been named for the race at New Hampshire in September, that driver will be named later.(3-4-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Elliott Sadler's plans to substitute for Mark Martin behind the wheel of the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series may have been a bit premature. Sadler, who won the Nationwide Series race Saturday for Richard Childress Racing, was hoping to pilot the Aaron's Toyota for five races that Martin has elected to skip, starting with the race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18. But multiple sources told FOXSports.com the deal blew up Saturday night, shortly after it was announced via a press release. While talks had been in the works for a couple of months, the manufacturer conflict for Sadler, who drives Chevys full time for RCR in the Nationwide Series, appears to have squashed the arrangement. With most rosters set for 2012, don't be surprised to see former Toyota driver Brian Vickers run the five races in place of Martin.(Fox Sports)(3-4-2012)

  • Hamlin wins at Phoenix: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway for his 1st win of the year and 18th of his career. He also gets his first win with new crew chief Darian Grubb. #29-Harvick made a late charge for the lead but ran low on fuel. He held on to finish 2nd followed by #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #56-Truex, Jr., #24-Gordon, #55-Martin, and #20-Logano. #14-Stewart shut his car off during a late caution and was unable to get it refired. He lost 2 laps and finished 22nd.
    There was 7 cautions for 16 laps. There were 25 lead changes among 15 drivers. The estimated attendence was 76,000, up from 75,000 in 2011.
    See race results, awards, money won and more on the Phoenix Race Results page (pdf) and also on the Official Daytona Race Report (pdf).(3-4-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Chase Points Standings:
    [after Phoenix, race 2 of 36]
    1) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 89
    2) #16-Greg Biffle [0 wins], 83, -6
    3) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 81, -8
    4) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 79, -10
    5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 72, -17
    6) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 71, -18
    7) #55-Mark Martin [0 wins], 71, -18
    8) #20-Joey Logano [0 wins], 70, -19
    9) #18-Kyle Busch [0 wins], 66, -23
    10) #99-Carl Edwards [0 wins], 63, -26
    11) #47-Bobby Labonte [0 wins], 58, -31
    12) #2-Brad Keselowski [0 wins], 52 -37
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings page (pdf).
    and Owners Points on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(3-4-2012)

  • Links to results, practices, qualifying PDF's:
    Official Phoenix Race Report (pdf)
    Phoenix Race Results page (pdf)
    Drivers Points Standings page (pdf)
    Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
    Phoenix 500 Starting Lineup
    Phoenix Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf)
    Phoenix Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)

  • Race Fast Facts - Phoenix:
    Denny Hamlin won the 8th Annual SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500, his 18th victory in 225 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2012. He breaks a 22-race winless streak. Hamlin's last win came June 19, 2011 at Michigan International Speedway.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 14 races at Phoenix International Raceway. He is the seventh consecutive different winner here.
    Kevin Harvick (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 19 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2012.
    Greg Biffle (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 17 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Josh Wise (38th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Denny Hamlin leads the point standings by 6 points over Greg Biffle.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-4-2012)

  • Phoenix Notes-n-Nuggets:
    " Denny Hamlin earned his 18th career victory in his 225th start.
    " This is Denny Hamlin's first career victory at Phoenix in his 14th start. He finished third four times before winning.
    " Denny Hamlin is the 23rd different driver to win at Phoenix in 32 races at the track.
    " Joe Gibbs Racing earned its 94th Cup victory and second win at Phoenix. All three JGR cars finished in the top 10.
    " Toyota earned its second win at Phoenix -- both coming on the track's new configuration.
    " Kevin Harvick (second) scored his second top-10 finish in 2012. He finished seventh at Daytona.
    " Greg Biffle (third) earned his second third-place finish in two races in 2012.
    " Jimmie Johnson (fourth) has finished in the top five in 11 of the past 12 races at Phoenix. He has never finished worse than 15th in his 18 races.
    " Brad Keselowski (fifth) earned his best finish and first top-10 in six races at Phoenix.
    " Kyle Busch (sixth) scored his first top-10 finish in his past six Cup starts.
    " Martin Truex Jr. (seventh) has finished 12th or better in six of his past seven Cup starts.
    " There were a record 15 different leaders in this race, breaking the old track record of 13.
    " This is the 198th victory for the No. 11, tying the No. 43 for the most in NASCAR history.
    (Racing Recall/nascar.com)(3-4-2012)

  • 3M Commercial Graphics Helps NASCAR Fans: 3M Commercial Graphics will showcase its 3M Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080 for thousands of car enthusiasts at select 2012 NASCAR races. Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080 and other 3M car wrap films will be given even wider exposure at the race taking place in Phoenix, Ariz., on Sunday, March 4. At this event, the 3M-sponsored #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle will be wrapped in a printed snakeskin design with a matte finish and Scotchprint Wrap Film 1080-CF12 (black carbon fiber). The design will prominently feature 3Mwraps.com. At seven events over the course of the 2012 NASCAR season, 3M Commercial Graphics will set up a demonstration area outside of the track where visitors can watch a car being customized with car wrap films from 3M.(RFR), see images of the car on the #16 Team Schemes page.(3-4-2012)

  • Truck teams will test tires at Rockingham: In advance of NASCAR's return to Rockingham Speedway on Sunday, April 15 for the Good Sam Club Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 Presented by Cheerwine, Goodyear will host a tire test for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on March 6-7. Drivers participating will be James Buescher (Turner Motorsports), Jason Leffler (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing). The grandstands will be open to fans free of charge both days.(NASCAR)(3-4-2012)


    News from March 3, 2012

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Subway Fit Fresh 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #55-Martin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #14-Stewart took pit stall 16, the next pitstall with an opening in front of it..
    #78-Smith, who starts 3rd took the 24th pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #29-Kenseth, who starts 8th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-3-2012)

  • Martin wins pole at Phoenix: #55-Mark Martin won the pole for the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway with a lap of 136.814mph for his 1st pole of 2012 and 52nd career pole. The oldest pole sitter is Harry Gant, who won the pole at Bristol in August 1994 at the age of 54 years, 7 months, 17 days. Martin turned 53 in January. #14-Stewart was 2nd fastest followed by #78-Smith, #48-Johnson, #42-MOntoya, #39-Newman, #16-Biffle, #29-Harvick, #20-Logano, and #5-Kahne.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #36-Blaney, #23-Riggs, #26-Wise, 49-Yeley, #98-McDowell, #87-Nemechek, #7-Gordon, and #30-Stremme.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #37-Hill.
    See qualifying results & starting lineup on the Phoenix qualifying page or on the Starting Lineup page (pdf) (pdf). (3-3-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Phoenix:
    Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 8th Annual SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 with a lap of 26.313 seconds, 136.815 mph.
    This is his 52nd pole in 832 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his second pole in 31 races at Phoenix International Raceway. He won the the pole on April 18, 2009 leading 157 laps.
    Tony Stewart (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2012 and his 10th in 21 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Regan Smith (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his second in two races this season.
    Josh Wise (33rd) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(3-2-2012)

  • Sadler to drive 5 races for MWR: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Elliott Sadler will drive the team's #55 Toyota in five Sprint Cup races in 2012 beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18. Sadler will also drive the #55 in the August Bristol event, both Martinsville races and the July 15 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Waltrip explained how Sadler came to drive the No. 55. "Elliott has the experience and attitude we were looking for," said the two-time Daytona 500 champion. "We'll pair him with Crew Chief Rodney Childers who builds really fast cars. We believe Elliott will do a great job." Waltrip drove the #55 in the Budweiser Shootout and will run in four more races in 2012. Mark Martin will drive the #55 in 24 races plus the All Star Race in Charlotte. MWR will name a driver for two road course events at a later date.(MWR)3-3-2012)

  • Montoya broke truck arm before Daytona crash: From Friday's media availability at Phoenix:
    CAN YOU EXPLAIN TECHNICALLY WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED TO THE CAR? WHAT BROKE ON THE CAR?
    Crew Cheif Chris Heroy: "Yeah, it was the truck arm that failed."
    WAS IT JUST ONE? CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THAT'S HOOKED-UP TO AND WHAT ALL THAT DOES?
    Heroy: "It's hooked-up to the housing. One failed and then the other, because of the one failing. The housing came out, basically."
    DID YOU HAVE ANY INDICATION? YOU SAID YOU FELT A VIBRATION. COULD IT HAVE BEEN THE FIRST ONE GOING BEFORE THE SECOND ONE WENT AND YOU LOST CONTROL OF THE CAR?
    Montoya: "No, I'll be honest with you. In my opinion I think it was close to failing and it hadn't failed yet because the guys went underneath the car and they checked everything and they moved and pulled everything and everything was in place. It was just the loading of the car. It was just too high."
    DID THIS GIVE YOU EVEN MORE FAITH IN THE (SAFETY) OF THE CARS?
    Montoya: "People, like when the COT came out, people complained about it and it wasn't this and it wasn't that and the view and the size and the this. I'll guarantee you if we would have been in the older cars I wouldn't have been okay. So I'm pretty happy we are in these cars. It's pretty amazing what NASCAR does."
    DID FIRE SHOOT THROUGH THE CAR AND THROUGH THE COCKPIT?
    Montoya: "Yeah, there was a little flames for a second. It wasn't much. It didn't even get hot. It's like I saw the flames everywhere and I'm like, I'd better get out of this fast. That was it."
    IS YOUR FOOT BRUISED?
    Montoya: "Yeah it's just the top of my feet where it hit; it actually broke the boot (protective heat shield that goes on driver's shoe) and everything."
    (Chevy PR)(3-3-2012)

  • Keselowski explains having phone in car: #2-Brad Keselowski has no intention of ever using his phone while his tires are rolling. But just having it in the car could lead some young fans to think it's OK to text or tweet while they are driving, already a growing problem on the highways across America. No one wants that, including Keselowski. He told a long story Friday about why he has his cell phone in the race car, which had nothing to do with social media. Originally, it was all about calling his mom. He crashed in a 2007 Nationwide Series race at Fontana and was airlifted by helicopter to a Los Angeles hospital. He didn't have his cell phone and couldn't contact his mother, Kay, for hours. "That's why I keep the phone with me now," he said. "I had the team put a little pocket for it in the car. It has a practical purpose." The Daytona oddity was just a bonus -- a 160,000 Twitter bonus. "The phone wasn't there for a red flag at Daytona and a jet-dryer explosion," Keselowski said. "I don't have that much foresight. You can't plan moments like that. They just happen."(ESPN)(3-3-2012)

  • Scott being honored: As part of an ongoing annual effort to recognize trailblazers in the sport, Wendell Scott, the first African American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, will be recognized this weekend, which coincides with his first start - March 4, 1961, in Spartanburg, S.C. NASCAR created an original decal, which will be placed as a B-post decal on NASCAR K&N Pro-Series West, NASCAR Nationwide cars and NASCAR Sprint Cup cars throughout the Phoenix race weekend.(NASCAR)(3-3-2012)

  • TMone returns to FAS Lane Racing: After another successful run in the annual Daytona 500, FAS Lane Racing announced that TMone will be an Associate Sponsor on the #32 Southern Pride Trucking/US Chrome Ford for this week's running of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. FAS Lane Racing and their #32 Ford finished 18th in Daytona with former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte behind the wheel. The team turns to another champion racer this week as former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Mike Bliss will steer the Roush Yates Engines powered Ford around the one-mile oval at PIR.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(3-3-2012)

  • Kellie Pickler performing at Bristol: Country music sensation Kellie Pickler will perform in the Pepsi pre-race concert at Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the Food City 500 March 18. The 25-year-old Pickler shot to stardom after finishing sixth on the fifth season of American Idol in 2005. Among the hits from her first two albums, Small Town Girl and the self-titled Kellie Pickler, are "Red High Heels", "I Wonder", "Don't You Know You're Beautiful", "Best Days Of Your Life", "Things That Never Cross A Man's Mind", and "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You". The first 500 fans who purchase a Track Tour for the Food City 500 also will receive on-track access to Pickler's concert, which will take place on the backstretch. They also will be able to stay on the track for driver introductions. Track Tours are $35 for IBelong members and $65 for non-members. Fans with Pit Road Party Zone access or iBelong Garage Experience passes also can attend Picker's concert.(BMS)(3-3-2012)


    News from March 2, 2012

  • Go-or-go homers: Final practice rank for the Subway Fresh Fit Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
    these drivers would make the race:
    #30-Stremme 17th fastest
    #36-Blaney 24th
    #23-Riggs 29th
    #7-Gordon 32nd
    #49-Yeley 34th
    #26-Wise 37th
    #37-Hill 41st
    #87-Nemechek 42nd
    this driver would miss the race:
    #98-McDowell - no speed.(3-2-2012)

  • Final Practice for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #56-Truex, Jr. 139.481
    #15-Bowyer 139.227
    #42-Montoya 139.002
    #51-Busch 138.841
    #24-Gordon 138.244
    Slowest: #87-Nemechek 134.584 & #38-Gilliland 134.529. No speed: #98-McDowell
    Notes: #17-Kenseth slid into the wall off turn 2 just a couple minutes into the session. The team will go to a backup. #87-Nemechek also scraped the wall midway through. #38-Gilliland hit the wall in turn 4 late in the session.
    See speeds on the Phoenix Practice 2 Speeds (pdf).(3-2-2012)

  • Qualifying Order for the Subway Fit Fresh 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #37-Hill, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #14-Stewart, 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 Phoenix Qualifying Page.(3-2-2012)

  • Go-or-go homers: 1st practice rank for the Subway Fresh Fit Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
    these drivers would make the race:
    #36-Blaney 20th fastest
    #23-Riggs 25th
    #30-Stremme 35th
    #49-Yeley 37th
    #87-Nemechek 38th
    #7-Gordon 40th
    #26-Wise 41st
    #98-McDowell 43rd
    this driver would miss the race:
    #37-Hill 44th.(3-2-2012)

  • First Practice for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #14-Stewart 138.680
    #55-Martin 138.611
    #16-Biffle 138.568
    #39-Newman 138.493
    #5-Kahne 138.408
    Slowest: #98-McDowell 133.869 & #37-Hill 133.496
    Several accidents during the session: #33-Gaughan slid up the track coming off turn two and hit the outside wall. The team will go to a backup car. #98-McDowell blew a tire late and hit the wall. He will also have to go to backup car. #56-Truex, Jr scraped the wall but didn't suffer much damage. #39-Newman will also go to a back up car after hitting the outside wall.
    See speeds on the Phoenix Practice 1 Speeds (pdf).(3-2-2012)

  • Allez Cuisine to sponsor Almirola at Phoenix: Chairman of Iron Chef of America, Mark Dacascos, is likely to exclaim, "Allez Cuisine!" when he cheers on the #43 Ford Fusion during the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Dacascos, who made the phrase popular in his starring role on the Iron Chef TV series, will serve as Honorary Race Official during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 4. Allez (ah-LAY) Cuisine is the brand name for The Chairman's Choice line of heat and serve marinated meats and seafood owned by Dacascos. The phrase, "Allez Cuisine," is used by Dacascos to waive the green flag on the Iron Chef's cooking competition.(PIR)(3-2-2012)

  • Santorum campaign returns to Front Row at Phoenix: The Rick Santorum for President campaign will return to a Front Row Motorsports Ford for a second consecutive week at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, this time on the #38 Ford of driver David Gilliland. The Republican candidate will continue to appeal to racing fans after a successful campaign aboard the team's #26 Ford for the Daytona 500. The candidate's campaign messaging will be on the hood and quarter panels of Gilliland's Ford Fusion during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' second race of the 2012 season, the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the one-mile oval in Avondale, Ariz.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(3-2-2012)

  • Knaus talks about penalty:
    WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THE PENALTY? "Obviously, I'm deeply saddened of course. We didn't expect this. It's not the way that we wanted to start off the season. It is good to have the support of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports (HMS). We will go after this thing, hopefully get it resolved and beaten and go back to business. Right now we are focused on getting through Phoenix and trying to win this championship this year."
    WHEN YOU SAID YOU DIDN'T EXPECT IT, DID YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T EXPECT THE SUSPENSION OR YOU JUST DIDN'T EXPECT TO BE IN THIS POSITION A FEW WEEKS AGO? "Really didn't expect any of it, to be quite honest with you. We do everything we can to build the best race cars we possibly can to bring to the race track. That is what we do. Unfortunately, they didn't like something and we have to address that. It definitely was not foreseen."
    HOW DID NASCAR DETERMINE IT WAS ILLEGAL? "It was all visual. The templates were never actually put on the car. It was a visual inspection at that point. We never even got the opportunity to actually present that under templates. It is unfortunate, there is a bit of subjectiveness to it and that is why we are going through the appeal."
    WITH A PENALTY THIS HEFTY, DON'T YOU THINK A TEAM AND OR AN INDIVIDUAL SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT FOR THE THING TO BE MEASURED? "That will definitely come up during the appeal. We will just have to talk about it at that point. NASCAR does a good job; they have a good set-up structure and a good set of standards that are in black and white, some areas that are not."
    THIS CAR HAD BEEN THROUGH INSPECTION BEFORE WITH THE SAME PIECE: "Multiple times."(Chevy PR)(3-2-2012)

  • Where does Dodge go in 2013? A new manufacturer in Cup? Dodge will unveil its 2013 Sprint Cup car on March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, the bigger question now is who will be driving Dodges next year? Robby Gordon Motorsports would be the lone team at this point after Penske Racing announced Thursday that it was moving to manufacturer Ford in 2013. But Dodge has also reached out to other teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports, according to owner Andy Murstein. "We received calls from several manufacturers today asking if they could meet with us," Murstein said. "It seems that while sponsorship is down, car manufacturer support is strong. That is probably due to the fact that the car companies are all doing significantly better these days than a few years ago. Thus Petty has been approached by several manufacturers recently. What's interesting is that while there are the usual suspects there is one new manufacturer that is trying to break into the sport. RPM's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Petty ran Dodges from 1972 to 1978. Petty Enterprises aligned with Dodge again when the manufacturer returned to NASCAR competition in 2001 through most of the 2009 season, then under the RPM banner. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta said the company had not yet been approached by Dodge.(Fox Sports)
    AND: Richard Petty Motorsports said: "We welcome Penske Racing to the Ford Racing Family in 2013. Additional teams mean more information for everyone and that's a very good thing from a competition standpoint. We have a partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and we are happy to be a part of the Ford Racing program. As we always do, we will evaluate all of our options and make decisions based on what is ultimately best for our race team."(RPM)(3-2-2012)

  • Jet dryer operators to wear firesuits, helmets: Jet dryer operators will wear firesuits and helmets this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway as part of a safety move following Juan Pablo Montoya's fiery crash in the Daytona 500. Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said his track will take action as well. Jet dryer operators, whose job entails blowing debris from the track following wrecks as well as drying the racing surface, do not wear firesuits because they typically are not around fires. "My guys will [wear them] because, if nothing else, I like them and they're good guys," Gossage said. "I want firesuits and helmets for those guys. I want at least four-point [seat-belt] harnesses. I want to look at roll bars. I want to look at the right kind of fire extinguishers in the truck.(Scene Daily)(3-2-2012)

  • Accell Construction to sponsor Reutimann: Accell Construction, a 2011 Tommy Baldwin Racing sponsor, will return to the team in support of David Reutimann's TBR debut. Reutimann will pilot the #10 Accell Construction Chevy for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sunday, March 3. During the 2011 season, Accell Construction, an Oklahoma-based company, sponsored the #36 Chevy for six primary events, as well as associate races. Accell Construction, a full-service site civil contractor for the petroleum terminal and bulk storage industries, specializes in tank farm construction, tank foundations and other related site civil construction. The 20-year old company operates civil construction projects in numerous states across the U.S. Sunday will mark Reutimann's first start for TBR.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(3-2-2012)

  • Rheem scheme for the #29 team: Rheem will adorn the #29 Chevy for the first of 10 races, beginning this weekend. Rheem is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. In its 86th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #29 team paint schemes page.(3-2-2012)

  • Wheaties makes first appearance on #31: The iconic Wheaties franchise returns to the Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. This is the first of six races in which Wheaties will proudly be the primary sponsor of the #31 Chevy. Wheaties is also serving as an associate sponsor of the #31 for all races during the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #31 team paint schemes page.(3-2-2012)

  • The Numbers for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Phoenix International Raceway:
    1 - fewest lead changes (11/4/90)
    2 - fewest leaders (11/4/90)
    2 - fewest caution (11/7/99)
    3 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (10/30/94)
    4 - number of wins from the pole (most recent, Carl Edwards 11/14/10)
    4 - fewest laps led by race winner (Ryan Newman, 4/10/10)
    4 - most wins (Jimmie Johnson)
    4 - most poles (Ryan Newman)
    5 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at PIR
    7 - number of years PIR has hosted two Sprint Cup events
    8 - number of cautions during the 2011 spring race (2/27/11)
    10 - fewest caution laps (11/7/99)
    12 - number of leaders in 2011 spring race (2/27/11)
    13 - most leaders (four times, most recent 4/10/10)
    27 - fewest running at finish (11/5/89)
    28 - most lead changes (2/27/11)
    29 - most on lead lap at finish (11/2/03)
    41 - most cars running at finish (three times, most recent 4/21/07)
    66 - most caution laps (11/2/03)
    90 minutes - amount of time it takes to dry the track after a significant rainfall.
    94 pounds - approximate weight of full fuel can
    262 - most laps led by race winner (Dale Earnhardt, 11/4/90)
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(3-2-2012)

  • Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Phoenix this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at Phoenix last November . . . after the track was repaved last summer, Goodyear held a tire test on Phoenix's new track surface with Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart on August 29-30, 2011 . . . this tire set-up came out of that test and was confirmed at a NASCAR open test in early October . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Phoenix. See more notes, pressures, codes on my Phoenix Race Info Page.(3-2-2012)

  • 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 in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on the Phoenix Race page - Chassis selection area.(3-2-2012)

  • PIR Traffic: Phoenix International Raceway is encouraging fans to prepare for race day traffic by arriving early and enjoying the full NASCAR experience during the Subway Fresh Fit 500 event weekend, March 2-4. PIR will open its 2012 NASCAR season with three races, including Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at 1 pm. See fan guidelines, traffic plans and notes, Park 'N Ride info, parking, directions and links to maps at phoenixracing.com.(3-2-2012)

  • Jared, Subway & PIR to provide lunch & race tickets for National Guard: on Friday, Subway famous fan Jared Fogle will provide lunch and race tickets to several hundred members of the Arizona National Guard in honor of the 2012 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Jared and Subway team with PIR to pay homage to true American heroes and invite them to enjoy the exciting action during one of the Phoenix area's top annual sporting event weekends.(PIR)(3-2-2012)

  • Candlebox to perform at PIR: Legendary rock band Candlebox will energize the crowd at Phoenix International Raceway with a live concert this Sunday, March 4, to celebrate the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 event weekend. The concert begins at 11 a.m. at Budweiser ROLL-BAR, PIR's showcase venue for live music and entertainment. Known for their blend of hard rock and a contemporary sound, Candlebox is scheduled to release their fifth album, Love Stories and other Musings, on April 3 and will begin a six-week U.S. tour two days later. Single-day tickets to Budweiser ROLL-BAR are available for $99 on Saturday, March 3 and for $149 on Sunday, March 4. A Budweiser ROLL-BAR Club Pass and a Pre-Race Pit Pass for Sunday, March 4 is available for $179 and a weekend Budweiser ROLL-BAR pass (Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4) including a Pre-Race Pit-Pass is $249. Additional purchase of a grandstand ticket is still required for track admission.(PIR)(3-2-2012)


    News from March 1, 2012

  • Mayfield turns himself into magistrate: Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield surrendered himself to a magistrate in Caldwell County Thursday afternoon. Mayfield said he is innocent of the four charges of felony larceny he was indicted on. He was released on a $100,000 unsecured bond. Mayfield is alleged to have stolen thousands of dollar worth of equipment from racing shops and other businesses across the area. Several firearms were also found at his home that were stolen. Two weeks ago, Mayfield went before a magistrate in Catawba County following an indictment on three charges of possession of stolen goods and one count of obtaining property by false pretenses. In that case he was released on a $25,000 bond. (WBTV)(3-2-2012)

  • Penske switching to Ford in 2013: UPDATES: Penske Racing will in 2013 switch from Dodge to Ford in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, automotive-industry sources have informed Autoweek. An official announcement is expected midday Thursday. Penske fields Dodge Chargers for #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-A. J. Allmendinger. When Penske returned [too NASCAR] in 1991 he fielded Pontiacs through the 1994 season. He switched to Fords for the next eight seasons, 1995 through 2002, before forming his alliance with Dodge which reached nine years last season. All told, he's fielded 1,503 Cup entries, won 96 poles and 71 races. His cars have finished in the top-five 333 times and in the top-10 573 times. Penske Racing has never won a Cup championship but has been top-10 in final points 19 times. But Penske Racing has been in a mini slump of late. It has won at least one race every year since 1991 but has only 18 wins in 768 starts dating to 2004. The year before, Newman won eight races, more than half his NASCAR career total of 15. The Dodge years, beginning in 2003, are somewhat deceiving. Newman, in his second full year with Penske Racing, won eight races for Dodge in 2003, by far the brand's best NASCAR showing since its glory days with Richard Petty in the 1970s. Wallace won once in his next-to-last season of 2004, and Newman gave Dodge only three wins in his last four years with Penske. Kurt Busch won 10 times for Dodge in his six seasons with Penske Racing, and Keselowski has won three times.(AutoWeek)(3-1-2012)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing is coming back to Ford. After a 10-year hiatus, Penske Racing returns its two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup operation to Ford Racing beginning with the 2013 Daytona 500, and if its latest term is anything like the most recent one, Ford fans will have plenty to cheer about. Penske Racing, recognized as one of racing's all-time great teams, most recently spent nine seasons with Ford from 1994-2002, posting 27 wins and 33 poles among three drivers. In addition, its teams finished in the Top 10 48.6 percent of the time (228-of-469 starts). The organization first raced with Ford in 1976 and 1977, before coming back in 1994. In total, through 524 NASCAR starts (509 Cup Series and 15 Nationwide Series) with Ford, Penske Racing teams earned 28 victories (27 Cup Series and one Nationwide Series) and 42 pole positions (36 Cup Series and six Nationwide Series). "This is an historic day for our racing program, and we are thrilled to see another member of the extended Ford family coming back," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Working together with Penske Racing gives Ford another championship-level program, and we are excited to take our racing program to all-new levels." Added Roger Penske: "We look forward to joining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013. We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport."(Ford Racing)(3-1-2012)
    Dodge Statement: In response to today's announcement by Penske Racing, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO  SRT Brand and Motorsports, offered the following statement: "Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Penske Racing for 10 years. It's a partnership that has produced results for both parties on and off the track. Roger (Penske) has made a business decision to accept an offer with another manufacturer. We wish Roger and Penske Racing much success in the future. "We are committed to work with Penske Racing to compete at the highest level, win races and contend for championships this season. Our motorsports involvement isn't limited to NASCAR. We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward. As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports."(Dodge PR)(3-1-2012)

  • Brendan Gaughan returns to Sprint Cup this weekend: The Fresh Fit 500 will mark Brendan Gaughan's 38th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his first since the 2010 Daytona 500. The Las Vegas native raced full-time in NASCAR's top series during the 2004 season, posting one top-five and four top -10 finishes. Phoenix marks the first of four Sprint Cup Series starts with RCR for 2012, Gaughan will also race the #33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speeedway and Auto Club Speedway events during the month of March. South Point Hotel & Casino will serve as Gaughan's primary sponsor for the #33 Chevy at Phoenix.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #33 team paint schemes page.(3-1-2012)

  • Kobalt scheme for Johnson: #48-Jimmie Johnson debuts the new Kobalt Tools paint scheme at Phoenix. This is the first time the scheme has run this year. The #48 Chevy featured the black-and-white-striped combination on Johnson's car at Phoenix last November. Lowe's elected to make it the primary scheme for this year's Kobalt Tools races.(Hendrick PR), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(3-1-2012)

  • At Phoenix International Raceway:
    • Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.
    • Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.
    • The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch.
    • The track underwent its first repave last year. The construction began in March and concluded in September of 2011.
    • The following changes were made during the construction period (March - Sept., 2011): Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet; Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls; Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet; Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet; Implemented variable banking to ensure the immediate use of two racing grooves, including 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2; 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg; and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4
    • There have been 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.
    • Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988.
    • There have been 19 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four.
    • Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), while Gordon won the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, and Edwards won the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.
    • There have been 22 different race winners, led by Jimmie Johnson, with four.
    • The race has been won from the pole four times: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007), Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008), Mark Martin (spring 2009) and Carl Edwards (fall 2010).
    • The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in 16 of 31 events.
    • Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) and AJ Allmendinger (April, 2010) won their first career poles at Phoenix International Raceway.
    • Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
    • Matt Kenseth won the 2002 race from the 28th-place starting position, the furthest back an active race winner has started.
    • Mark Martin has 12 top-five finishes, more than any other driver. Martin (9.0 average finish) is one of two active drivers who average a top-10 finish. Jimmie Johnson (5.3) is the other.
    • Jeff Gordon has the lowest average start amongst active drivers with a 10.4; followed by AJ Allmendinger (10.5) and Carl Edwards (10.8).
    • Two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix. Kurt Busch did it with his win in April of 2005, and Kevin Harvick did it in November of 2006.
    • Five drivers have won consecutive races at Phoenix: Davey Allison (1991,1992); Jeff Burton (2000, 2001); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2004); Kevin Harvick (swept 2006); Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the five to win three consecutive races (fall 2007, swept 2008).
    • Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix International Raceway winner: Kyle Busch (11/13/2005 - 20 years, 6 months, 11 days)
    • Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix International Raceway winner: Mark Martin (04/18/2009 - 50 years, 3 months, 9 days)
    • Of the seven drivers with multiple wins at Phoenix International Raceway, Mark Martin is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Ford (1993) and Chevrolet (2009).(NASCAR)(3-1-2012)

  • Tim Allen to serve as Las Vegas grand marshal: Popular television star Tim Allen will serve as grand marshal for the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 11. Allen, who currently stars in the "Last Man Standing" sitcom on ABC-TV on Tuesday nights, will give the command to start engines for the annual race."I love the track, the crowds, the cars - I'm thrilled to be the grand marshal for this NASCAR race in Vegas. To have all those engines roar to life at my command? That's a powerful thing. Hell yes, I'm excited! It's going to be a great day," Allen said. The 58-year-old Allen boasts a lengthy and successful career in television and motion pictures. He was the star of the hit 1991-1999 sitcom, "Home Improvement" and "The Santa Clause" movie series, to name just two. The Kobalt Tools 400 is scheduled to start at 12noon/pt on Sunday, March 11. LVMS has added an exciting new feature to this year's NASCAR Weekend: fan access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers' meeting on Sunday morning. Weather permitting, the pre-race drivers' meeting will be held in the Neon Garage, adjacent to the main stage and fans holding a weekend or Sunday Neon Garage pass are invited to attend.
    The race weekend kicks off Wednesday, March 7 with IMCA Modified and West Coast Late Model racing at the recently-resurfaced half-mile Dirt Track. The World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Series will take center stage at the Dirt Track on Thursday, March 8 and will be joined by the 360 Sprint Car Series. Tickets for the NASCAR Weekend are on sale at www.lvms.com or by calling (800) 644-4444. Neon Garage passes, Lucky 7 preferred parking and driver introduction passes also are available.(LVMS)(3-1-2012)


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Next Race: Federated Auto Parts 400

Countdown to Race Time: 9/6/2014 ~7:46pm/et

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added a 2nd HEAP of new links
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to the Article Links page, including.......



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NASCAR Hall of Fame

Born on Dates / Birthday's

Born in SEPTEMBER

2 Matt Borland, Gene Nead, Corrie Stott, Brian Keselowski, Alli Owens, Bob Margolis

3 Brandon Lee, Pat Frossard, Jerry Pitts, Marc Mitchell, Russell Baxter

4 Chad Blount, Bob Jenkins, Mike Mulhern, Ken Butler, Bobby Wawak

5 Jack Daniel, Scott Robinson

6 Jeff Green, Kenny Bernstein, Linda Smokested

7 ESPN, Andy Santerre, Donnie Allison

8 Jim Hunter, Frank Warren, Blake Bjorklund, David Ray Boggs, Larry Dickson, A J Cox, Buddy Shuman, Don Coble, Pam Coble

9 Felix Sabates, Jerry Nadeau, Jeff Hammond, Wayne Hamby, Phil Barkdoll, Joseph Fenning, Kyle Grissom

10 Bobby Hillis, Tommy Gale, Ralph Moody, John Kenny

11 Bill Whittington, Gary Graves, Joy Fair, Joe Lee Johnson, Bob Harris, Ellen Fuscellaro, Butch Zervakis

12 Myrna 'Mom' Adamczyk, Ricky Rudd, Jason Statham, Ken Ragan, Ron Keselowski, Ford Martin, Todd Cable, John Sacco

13 Mike Garvey, Mark Garrow, Carey Wimbish, Frank Kerr

14 Tony Furr, Dominic Dobson

15 Jimmy Fennig, Wayne Harron, Jim Smith, J.C. Stout, Paulie Harraka

16 Jason Leffler, Doug Taylor, Stan Boyd, Darin Brassfield, Gary Balough

17 Jimmie Johnson, Lee Roy Yarbrough, Stirling Moss, Tony Romit, Norman Koshimizu, Gil Martin, Will Lind, Jessica Leigh Waltrip, Tommy Wallace

18 U.S. Air Force [1947], Boris Said III, Damon Lusk, Tom Powers, Tab Boyd, Johnny Mantz

19 Skyler Rae Smith, Keith Barnwell

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21 Richard Childress, Randy Pemberton, Angelique Chengelis, Curtis Markham, Larry Carter

22 Leonard Wood, Colin Braun, Anne M. Edwards, Steve Christman, Marc Reno, Chuck Efaw

23 Regan Smith, Jeff Buice, Gene Black, Oda Green, Ben Leslie

24 Glenn Allen Jr., Allen Bestwick

25 Jack Donohue, Jimmy Florian, Scott Punch, Dan Koozer

26 Bill France Sr., Joe Nemechek, Rob Moroso, Wayne Cloth, Tina Dillon, Marty Robbins

27 Terry Satchell, James Houk

28 Ron Fellows, Anthony Seibert

29 Stanley Smith, Chase Montgomery, Margaret Carol Waltrip

30 Frank Kerr, Bruce Kirkendall, Jeffrey Baker

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