November 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

NOVEMBER 2012 NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE

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    News from November 30, 2012

  • 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet tonight: The postseason, black tie event will begin at 5:00am/pt (8:00pm/et) at Wynn Las Vegas, where #2-Brad Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion driver, and team owner Roger Penske will be crowned. The top 10 drivers in the final standings will be honored. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, the culmination of Champion's Week, will feature red carpet arrivals, celebrity guests, music and entertainment. Hosted by "America's Got Talent" judge Howie Mandel, the show will feature performances by Train, Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips and entertainers from The Beatles LOVE. SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide live coverage of the event. Prior to the awards, NASCAR.COM will live stream a Miss Sprint Cup chat with Brad Keselowski. For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, see Jayski's 2012 Cup Awards page or visit NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek.

  • Day Four: 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Keselowski Savors Success: #2-Brad Keselowski was all smiles Friday as he gathered with his Penske Racing family  tuxedo-clad  for the traditional NASCAR Sprint Cup championship photos. After a whirlwind of post-Homestead-Miami Speedway appearances stretching south to north, east to west and culminating with Champion's Week in Las Vegas, the magnitude of what Keselowski, owner Roger Penske, crew chief Paul Wolfe and the entire Penske organization had accomplished. "I've enjoyed every second of my time in Vegas," Keselowski said. "It was tough to really sit back and realize how special this opportunity is. Because of that, now I really want to come back next year and do it all again. The fans have been amazing this week. I can't believe how many came out to celebrate this week with me. It's special how passionate our fans are, and I'm proud to be a part of all of it for them."
    Wolfe especially enjoyed Tuesday's tour of various Las Vegas landmarks such as the Welcome To Las Vegas sign, the set of Beatles LOVE at The Mirage and the House of Blues Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay. To view and download those photos, visit nascarmedia.com. "There was a lot to take in. It seemed like we were non-stop on the go. I tried to take it all in and enjoy it," said the championship crew chief.
    The week's highlights included the champion's media tour, participation by all 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifiers in Wednesday's game-show style "Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" at the Fremont Street Experience and Thursday's annual NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon during which Keselowski received the Goodyear Tires and Sunoco Diamond Performance awards.
    Thursday's traditional Victory Lap during which NASCAR Sprint Cup stock cars performed burnouts on the famed Las Vegas Boulevard and the NASCAR After the Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola wrapped the lead-up to Friday night's 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards hosted by "America's Got Talent" judge Howie Mandel at Wynn Las Vegas. SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide live coverage of the event beginning at 8 pm/et.(NASCAR)(11-30-2012)

  • Childress comments on Harvick leaving after 2013: Team owner Richard Childress said next year in the Sprint Cup Series won't be easy with driver #29-Kevin Harvick moving to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. "Oh, yeah,'' Childress said on Thursday during the unveiling of the 2013 Chevrolet SS that will replace the Impala in the Sprint Cup Series. "People are not going to be buying a lot of 29 souvenirs for sure. It'll make a difficult year. It's there. We've got to live with it and move forward. Again, the timing wasn't great on the leak. But we're going to go race.'' ESPN's Marty Smith, citing sources, wrote three weeks ago that Harvick would leave RCR for SHR after his current contract expires in 2013. Neither Childress nor Harvick had publicly admitted the move will occur until Childress did on Thursday. Childress did not confirm whether sponsors Budweiser and Jimmy Johns would follow Harvick to SHR, but said he was good for sponsorship on the #29 beyond next season.(ESPN)(11-30-2012)

  • Gordon-Bowyer still not speaking to each other: #24-Jeff Gordon and #15-Clint Bowyer haven't spoken since Gordon intentionally wrecked Bowyer at Phoenix on Nov. 11, an incident that triggered a garage-area melee between the drivers' crews and earned Gordon a $100,000 fine from NASCAR. Gordon said Thursday that the season-ending activities this week in Las Vegas have been "awkward" because he and Bowyer haven't socialized. Bowyer is popular among the other drivers and considered the life of the party. "It's been awkward because I've always had a good relationship with him, we've always talked and had fun," Gordon said. "That's obviously not the case. I thought he might have gotten over it at least enough to look at me, but he won't even look at me, and when you are in this type of environment, that's going to be odd." Bowyer, meanwhile, still doesn't want to discuss the incident. He and Gordon spoke in the NASCAR hauler at Phoenix, but haven't talked since. Bowyer would not talk about it with reporters during the season finale at Homestead and on Thursday indicated he's not ready to resolve the issue with Gordon. He three times tried to change the subject, even once attempting to instead talk about nightclubs before finally growing exasperated. "Good God," he said. "Is that my story I have to talk about?"(in part from the Associated Press)(11-30-2012)

  • Johnson calls for track changes: After Chevrolet SS was unveiled on Thursday, #48-Jimmie Johnson said the next step for tweaking the competition lies with racetracks. "We all want great side-by-side racing," Johnson said. "I don't have the answer, and I'm like everyone else wondering what it is, but I do know the teams have worked so hard over the off-season the last four or five years, and we haven't seen the impact we wanted, and we need to look elsewhere. As tracks need to resurface, they need to consider more than just (that) but let's do some redesigns and start looking at the racetracks and taking those opportunities to create more racing."(USA Today)(11-30-2012)

  • Day Three: Gordon 'Deeply Honored' At Myers Brothers Accolade: Shock and genuine surprise. That was Jeff Gordon's emotional reaction to being named the 2012 recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers Award during Thursday's traditional NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Award luncheon at the Encore in Las Vegas. "Oh boy, this is a surprise. I'm having a hard time composing myself," said Gordon, during the Champion's Week event. "Couldn't someone have warned me first?" Named for NASCAR racing pioneers Billy and Bob Myers, the award recognizes individuals and groups which have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. Past recipients are a virtual who's-who of the industry  drivers, owners, track operators, sponsors and members of the media  and include nearly every current member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Gordon's accomplishments are two-fold: his on-track success, which includes four NASCAR Sprint Cup championships and 87 victories; and his charitable activities when not competing.
    "Off the track, he has raised countless funds for charity through his foundation for pediatric cancer research," said Burt Myers, grandson of Billy Myers, upon presenting the award with brother Jason Myers to Gordon. "He has traveled to Rwanda to aid with health care as well as partnering with an organization to put it on the side of his race car as a drive to end hunger." "I am deeply honored, proud of the work that I do on and off the track," said Gordon. "This is fantastic. Thank you."
    NASCAR Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Office Brian France congratulated 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champions Brad Keselowski and Roger Penske and the Miller Lite organization. France also commented on the youth movement in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and first-time events due to take place in both national series in 2013. Also announced at Thursday's luncheon was the NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver Award, given to Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the 10th consecutive year. This now ties him with Bill Elliott as the only other drivers to be presented the award 10 straight years. Elliott, however, remains the all-time leader with 16 overall. Earlier Thursday, Chevrolet unveiled its next generation NASCAR Sprint Cup car  the new SS model  which, while tested extensively with Ford's Fusion and Toyota's Camry, had its configuration obscured in camouflage. The wraps officially came off today at the Wynn's Encore Theater before hundreds of media members and industry and sanctioning body officials.
    Four teams and their drivers displayed their next generation Chevrolets  the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray; #14 Stewart-Haas Racing and Tony Stewart; the #29 Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick and the #48 Hendrick Motorsports and Jimmie Johnson. "We've both been focusing on a number of important initiatives to build a stronger connection with our fans by incorporating relevant technologies that we're using on today's high-performance Chevrolets, while also creating designs that help our fans make the link between what they see on the track, on the streets and in Chevy showrooms," said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, comparing the SS passenger car with its competition-prepared counterpart. "The new SS won't be mistaken for any other car on the track. It bears a striking resemblance to our production car, the 2014 SS and that will be in showrooms here next fall."
    "This thing looks amazing. It looks fantastic," said Gordon. NASCAR President Mike Helton thanked Chevrolet, as well as the sport's other manufacturers, for their collaborative efforts to move NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition forward. "The anticipation going into 2013 is building, it will build over the off season and it'll be, we feel, one of the milestones that we'll look back as we celebrate our history in the future; we'll look back and see 2013 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup car as a very significant milestone for us," said Helton. Thousands of fans lined The Strip  Las Vegas Boulevard  as the top 12 drivers celebrated the conclusion of the 2012 season with the Fourth Annual Victory Lap. Engines rumbled and smoke from burnouts filled the air during the popular event which started and ended at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Additional events Thursday included the NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola, a "tell-all" driver-fan interaction that's quickly become one of the most sought after off-track tickets. Day Three of Champion's Week ended with the presentation of the "Stewie Awards," three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart's sometimes irreverent take on the 2012 season.
    Here is the complete list of Thursday's award winners from the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon:
    Myers Brothers Award: Jeff Gordon
    NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver Award: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    Buddy Shuman Award: Ken Squier
    NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Mars Inc.
    3M Lap Leader Award: Jimmie Johnson
    American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Jimmie Johnson
    Coors Light Pole Award: Jimmie Johnson
    DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Year Award: Matt Puccia, crew chief for Greg Biffle #16
    Freescale Wide Open Award: Matt Kenseth
    Goodyear Tires Award (Champion): Brad Keselowski
    MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Shane Parsnow, Hendrick Motorsports #48 Team
    Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: Michael Waltrip Racing #56 Team
    Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award: Denny Hamlin
    MOOG Steering & Suspension Problem Solver of the Year Award: Steve Addington, crew chief for Tony Stewart #14
    Sunoco Diamond Performance Award (Champion): Brad Keselowski
    Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award: Stephen Leicht
    USG Improving the Finish Award: Tony Stewart
    Champion Sponsor Award: Miller Lite
    Champion Crew Chief: Paul Wolfe.
    (NASCAR)(11-30-2012)

  • More new 2013 car info: The 2013 season will mark the introduction of the 'Gen-6' NASCAR racecar. At the heart of the new car is a desire to see more competitive racing by cars that closely resemble their showroom counterparts. Here are some of the key changes that fans will notice:
    1) Distinct body lines that match street vehicles
    2) The "greenhouse" area is the same on every car
    3) Longer nose and shorter tail to mimic street cars
    4) Carbon fiber hood and decklid
    5) New decals on windshield and roof
    See the full post along with images at joegibbsracing.com.(11-30-2012)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Again a Winner with NASCAR Fans: The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) announced, on behalf of all NASCAR fans who voted, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been crowned the 2012 NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver. The award, given annually since 1956, is Earnhardt Jr.'s 10th consecutive honor and was presented to him today during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon at The Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas, Nev. This now ties him with Bill Elliott as the only other driver to be presented the award 10 consecutive years. Elliott is still the all-time leader with 16 overall. After fans voted from February to September, the top 10 drivers that earned the most votes were reset to zero. Drivers Kyle Busch, Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart were all finalists who fans voted for during the final 10 weeks of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. After more than 934,000 votes were cast this season, Earnhardt Jr. proved once again to be the fans' favorite.
    Completing the voting, in order, were Gordon, Kahne, Stewart, Johnson, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Edwards, Kenseth and Labonte. Earnhardt Jr. has now won the award since 2003, and with Elliott and Richard Petty, are the only drivers to receive it at least five consecutive times. "It was an honor to hear that I won this year and am now tied with Bill (Elliott) for 10 in a row," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I've enjoyed this award because it's a testament to my fans. I appreciate their loyalty and dedication. It was great to get back in Victory Lane this year for my team and for my fans. I'm looking forward to a successful 2013, and am proud to accept this award on behalf of all the fans that voted." Once again the NMPA was proud to support one of NASCAR's oldest and most prestigious awards during Champion Week in Las Vegas. "Each year, NASCAR fans show their passion for their favorite driver in the NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver voting," said Rea White, president of the NMPA. "This award is not only for the driver, but also for the fans as something they can claim as their own at the end of each season. We're proud we can continue this tradition and once again the fans have spoken, selecting a great representative in Dale Earnhardt Jr."(Breaking Limits)(11-30-2012)

  • 2012 Championship "Tire Specialist" award announced: Champion Tire & Wheel has announced the recipient of the 2012 Sprint Cup "Consistently Smooth" award is Penske Racing's, Jim Davis. The award recognizes the skill and effort of the team's tire specialist in overseeing the Miller Lite #2 teams' tire and wheel program. The tire specialist is an important piece in the performance formula for a championship effort as it requires managing a program of over 2,500 tires and wheels throughout the full Sprint Cup season. When the call for a pit stop comes, the efforts to find the right combination of tires, wheels, and air pressure is critical in the overall handling and performance of the race car. The lead crystal trophy will be presented to Davis at the team's shop in Mooresville, NC with Owner -Roger Penske, Tim Cindric - President of Penske Racing Operations, Mike Nelson - VP of Racing Operations, Jeff Swartwout - Team Manager, and Crew Chief - Paul Wolfe. In addition to the Sprint Cup series recipients, Champion Tire and Wheel will also present Roush-Fenway Racing's Curtis Tincher, the Championship tire specialists award for the Ricky Stenhouse driven Nationwide Series team, and Tyler Paxton, the tire specialist for Turner Motorsports and the James Buescher driven Camping World Truck Series Championship effort. (Champion Tire and Wheel PR) (11-30-2012)

  • Recovering Troops Get Dressed in Style for NASCAR Event: Spc. Cleber Ferreira  who suffered back, leg and head injuries when 400 pounds of explosives detonated beneath his Stryker vehicle in Afghanistan in 2010  is part of a group of more than a dozen wounded warriors and their guests visiting Las Vegas with the USO to take part in NASCAR's Champions Week celebration. On Thursday, they were to sit atop a double-decker bus and lead a parade of stock cars down Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as The Strip. Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski will perform a celebratory burnout and race teams will conduct pit stops in front of the Bellagio's famed fountains. On Friday, it'll be time to break out the formalwear for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Wynn, a swanky gala where, between performances from celebrity entertainers, NASCAR will honor the top 10 finishers in the points standings. The wounded warriors  on a break from recovering at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, or Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland  were looking sharp during their trial run Wednesday at Tuxedo Junction and David's Bridal in Las Vegas. Lance Cpl. Nathan Jakubisin, whose right leg was amputated below the knee after an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan in June, initially worried that he might have to wear shorts with his tux because the pants wouldn't fit over the metal fixator holding together his left leg.(USO)(11-30-2012)


    News from November 29, 2012

  • New 2013 schemes: See some new 2013 paint schemes, including the #1 McDonald's, #5 Farmers Insurance, #14 Bass Pro Shops, #29 Budweiser, #42 Target, #48 Lowe's and #88 National Guard & #88 Diet Mountain Dew on the 2013 Paint Schemes links page. And see the new Chevy SS images on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Manufacturers News and Images page.

  • Chevy unveils 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS race car: Chevrolet opened a new chapter in its storied racing history, unveiling its eagerly anticipated 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS race car. Powered by the legendary small block V-8 engine, the rear-wheel drive performance sedan will be Chevrolet's newest entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2013 SpeedWeeks in Daytona. The new NASCAR race car closely resembles the all-new rear wheel drive V-8 Chevrolet SS performance sedan that will debut early next year.
    "As a passionate race fan, the debut of the SS NASCAR race car is a genuinely exciting moment for me," said GM North America President Mark Reuss. "With the SS, Chevrolet is delivering a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR race car that is very closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale, ensuring that our most loyal enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience the same thrill every day on the open road that our race car drivers enjoy on the track on race day. The Chevrolet SS also demonstrates how we are able to leverage our global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience. The specialized development and testing work done for the race car will certainly benefit the entire Chevrolet product lineup." The Chevrolet SS is the next in a long line of famed nameplates that Chevrolet has campaigned in NASCAR. It replaces Impala, which scored 152 wins from 1959-64 and 2007-12.
    "We are looking forward to another exciting year of NASCAR competition and expect that the new SS race car, with some of the most skilled drivers on the circuit behind the wheel, will distinguish itself on the track," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.
    The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden's upcoming VF Commodore. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States.
    Chevrolet has long used the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race.
    The first production vehicle to be offered with an SS optional package was the 1961 Impala  453 were built with the performance upgrades, which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires. The SS designation returned to the Chevrolet lineup in 2010 with the debut of the fifth-generation Camaro.
    Chevrolet has 702 victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, more than any other manufacturer. Fonty Flock earned the manufacturer's first win on March 26, 1955, at Columbia, S.C. Five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson achieved Chevrolet's 700th victory earlier this month at Texas Motor Speedway. Chevrolet was America's best-selling performance car brand in 2011 with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States. The addition of the SS to the lineup is expected to further strengthen Chevrolet's position as a leading performance brand. Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.(Team Chevy PR)
    IMAGES: see images of the Chevy SS that will run in 2013 on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Manufacturers News and Images page.(11-29-2012)

  • Paul Wolfe earns crew chief of the year honors: Coming off of a 2012 season that featured five wins, 13 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes and culminated with a Sprint Cup Series Championship, Paul Wolfe, crew chief for the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, has been named the Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief of the Year.(Charlotte Observer)(11-29-2012)

  • Day Two: Drivers Share Champion's Week Laughs: Whether NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are smarter than fifth graders remains a matter of debate after Wednesday's Las Vegas Motor Speedway-sponsored Fanfest at the Fremont Street Experience. But the event, a highlight on Day Two of Champion's Week in Las Vegas, was proof that the 12 qualifiers for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" enjoy a good laugh  especially at their own expense  and the opportunity to mingle with hundreds of NASCAR fans young and old. Only Martin Truex Jr. was willing, beforehand, to admit to being smarter than the fifth graders from Nellis Air Force Base's Lomie Heard Elementary School. That turned out to be the wrong decision as neither he nor Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Clint Bowyer were able to supply the winning answers to various math questions, the length of the regular term of a U.S. Senator and the name of the line that separates the earth's top and bottom halves.
    Stump the drivers, then, might have been the most descriptive title for the hour's worth of fun, hosted by Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon and former Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year Kevin Burke, who plies his comic trade at Fremont Street Experience's Fitzgeralds Hotel and Casino. "We drive cars for a reason," observed Kevin Harvick after one wrong response, possibly speaking for each of his 11 colleagues. In the end, the winners were Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart, current and former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions. Stewart supplied the correct answer  after giving Burke the opening to comment on the driver's ample midsection. "You've still got your washboard stomach," Burke told the three-time champion. "You're just carrying a load of laundry on it."
    Keselowski joined the fun by lifting the team's fifth grader overhead, trophy-style. Also honored on Wednesday were this year's finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award  Ron Eby, Michael Jackson, Ali McDonough and Lorri Shealy Unumb  at an evening reception at Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the Award winner during this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday, Nov. 30. Fans can cast their vote to determine the 2012 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting NASCAR.COM/award before 11:59 p.m. ET November 29. For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, visit NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek.(NASCAR)(11-29-2012)

  • WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental & Code 3 Associates to sponsor Newman: Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has signed extensions with four of its partners through 2013 that will account for a total of 10 races on the #39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental and Code 3 Associates will all return as primary sponsors of Newman and the #39 team in 2013, joining Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online mortgage lender. Quicken Loans announced in October that it will be the primary sponsor of Newman and the #39 team for 18 races in 2013, up from nine races in 2012.
    · WIX Filters, a member of the Affinia Group family of brands, has been a partner of SHR since the team's inception in 2009, growing from a product supplier to a primary sponsor. In 2013, WIX Filters will be on the #39 Chevrolet for three races  March 24 at Auto Club Speedway, July 14 at New Hampshire and Oct. 20 at Talladega.
    · Award-winning Outback Steakhouse, with more than 750 locations nationwide, will adorn the #39 Chevrolet for three races in 2013  April 27 at Richmond, July 6 at Daytona and Nov. 3 at Texas. And the company's well-received "Bloomin' Monday" promotion will continue in 2013, where after a top-10 finish by Newman, a free Bloomin' Onion at Outback Steakhouse is available to customers on the Monday immediately following the race.
    · Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental care providers in the United States, will serve as a two-race primary sponsor for Newman and the #39 team during the May 18 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte and the Aug. 11 road-course race at Watkins Glen. Watkins Glen will serve as a home race for Aspen Dental, as the company is based in nearby Syracuse, N.Y., and has more than 330 locations in 22 states.
    · Code 3 Associates, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas, will be represented by Newman and the #39 team as a primary sponsor during the Sprint Cup Series' two stops at Kansas Speedway, April 21 and Oct. 6, respectively. The group's logo and slogan, "Riders On The Storm Animal Rescue Team" appear familiar to many in the Kansas market, as Code 3 Associates has been dispatched to numerous Midwestern areas in the aftermath of recent natural disasters.(SHR)(11-29-2012)


    News from November 28, 2012

  • Geoff Bodine has no more plans to race UPDATE: After competing in 575 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races over 27 seasons, Geoff Bodine is calling it a career. Bodine, who hasn't run full-time since 1999, has run part-time since his injury in the then NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Daytona opener in 2000. Although he had a sponsor willing to back him this season if an opportunity arose to run with a team in any of NASCAR's three series, no deal panned out for the veteran. "I hate to use that 'retirement' word, but I'm 99.9 percent sure I'll never drive a racecar again," said the humble Bodine. Bodine, 63, ran select races in 2011 for Tommy Baldwin Racing. In his four starts last year, Bodine finished with a best of 30th at the season finale Homestead-Miami Speedway. At that time, Bodine didn't feel that would be his last start in NASCAR, but he now is saying he will retire from the sport due to a number of factors.(Racing Experts)(10-18-2012)
    MORE After more than 50 years of racing, 27 of those spent in NASCAR's top three divisions, Geoff Bodine said he is ready to move on. He said Wednesday he has other priorities in life  his family, charity work, running his new Honda motorcycle dealership, and building the next generation of bobsleds for the U.S. Olympic team. Bodine is quick to point out he is not retiring. "I'm not using the word retirement because people misinterpret what you are saying," he said. "I don't want that word associated with me. I'm not retiring from life. I'm more active now than ever. I'm just not going to drive a race car anymore. That's all." Bodine began to rethink why he was still trying to race at the Sprint Cup level at the age of 63 after he suffered a lifetime of hard hits to his head, including a concussion from a spectacular Truck Series crash at Daytona International Speedway in 2000 that almost cost him his life. "I don't know the definition of what a concussion is, but all I know is that I've been knocked out several times and have hit my head and jarred it several times really hard," Bodine said. "I even got knocked out in high school football, so my head injuries started a long time ago. I've had all of those multiple concussions and they add up. You never know if the next one is going to put you down." Bodine said he received a wake-up call last month when Dale Earnhardt Jr. sat out two NASCAR Sprint Cup races because of a concussion. "Dale Jr.'s situation kind of pushed me into making this decision," he said. "I commend him for doing it because it takes a lot of courage and integrity to not race for two races. He realized his health was more important." Bodine intended to run as many as 15 races in this year before his sponsor, Luke & Associates, pulled financing before the season.(much more at the Elmiria Star Gazette)(11-28-2012)

  • MOOG Extends NASCAR Sprint Cup Title Streak to 47 Years: After 47 years, 20 different drivers and countless product innovations, one thing hasn't changed for Federal-Mogul's MOOG steering and suspension brand: It remains the technology of choice of NASCAR Sprint Cup champions. The automotive aftermarket's premier brand of steering and suspension parts extended its Cup winning streak to 47 years when Brad Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite Dodge clinched their first title at Homestead. The brand's trademark "Problem Solving" engineering philosophy - which includes the development of innovative designs combined with premium-quality materials - helped MOOG-equipped teams earn 11 of the 12 positions in the season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup.(federalmogul.com)(11-28-2012)

  • Mars to be honored with NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Mars, Incorporated will be honored with the 2012 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards held at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas on Thursday, November 29. Throughout its 23-year partnership, Mars has directly engaged race fans, customers and associates through an integrated marketing strategy that spanned across multiple activations, including: intellectual property, promotions, public relations, B2B, online, broadcast, event marketing and retail. The partnership represents one of the longest standing within the sport. In a recent study, it was revealed that Mars receives an impressive 4-to-1 return on its investment in NASCAR (measured by Mars tracking data). Additionally, its sponsorships create a fifth season of sales for the brand, which is on par with the size of the company's Christmas selling season.(NASCAR)(11-28-2012)

  • Last Chance to Submit Applications for Talladega's Fan Advisory Network: Talladega Superspeedway is currently accepting applications for Fan Advisory Network (FAN) members, but time is running out. The deadline for submissions is Monday, December 3rd. Members will be asked to meet during each event weekend and participate in two teleconferences during the year. The idea is to allow race fans to share thoughts and ideas with the track, while the committee can serve as a focus group for the track when considering facility upgrades and more. FAN committee members will begin their duties in January 2013. All applications must be downloaded, completed, and mailed to Talladega Superspeedway in order to be considered. More info at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS)(11-28-2012)


    News from November 27, 2012

  • Day One: Keselowski Arrives In Las Vegas For Champion's Week: Newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski's whirlwind of activity continues. Different day, different city, different setting. The run-up to Champion's Week took Keselowski to the Big Apple and multiple appearances including "Late Show With David Letterman." On Tuesday he was still talking about meeting the comic host. "He was even funnier in person than on TV," said Keselowski. Little wonder then, embarking on the opening day of Champion's Week festivities in Las Vegas that Keselowski was channeling Willie Nelson, singing the opening lines of "On the Road Again." A road that began in early March in Daytona Beach, Fla. with the Daytona 500 will reach its climax on Friday when Keselowski, team owner Roger Penske and crew chief Paul Wolfe will celebrate their first NASCAR Sprint Cup championships at Wynn Las Vegas. But first things first as Champion's Week steam rolls to the main event  the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET live on SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
    Tuesday was media day for the 28-year-old, first-time champion. "You have questions; I have answers," Keselowski said in greeting a television interviewer. At the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the subject matter turned to tanks. Keselowski, whose foundation serves military personnel and veterans, agreed a tank would make a nice addition to his collection of vehicles. "I don't want to do what everyone else does; I want to be different," he said. "It will look good parked in my driveway behind my gate." Joking aside, Keselowski spoke highly of the next generation stock car he and his NASCAR Sprint Cup rivals will drive in 2013 calling it a "game changer for the sport." He added, "It has way more growth potential than the current model." Keselowski and Wolfe surveyed the Wynn's spacious hall where workers are readying the banquet room and red carpet area. He playfully picked up Clint Bowyer's banner and placed it behind his own  just to be sure everyone knew who finished first. The champion visited a number of Las Vegas' iconic "destinations," including the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, the set of Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage and the House of Blues Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay.
    Keselowski also participated in the opening day of NASCAR 2012 Motorsports Marketing Forum at the Aria, an event that continues on Wednesday. Overall, Keselowski was pleased to be back in Las Vegas  the 32nd-place finish in March's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway all but forgotten. "Vegas is a special place to be," he said. "It is a win-win situation for NASCAR and the fans. We love coming out here. It is a great week to be a race fan in Las Vegas." NASCAR's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifiers take over downtown's legendary Fremont Street Experience on Wednesday for the Fourth Annual Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 12 drivers will walk the red carpet, interact with fans and participate in a game-show format hosted by comic Carrot Top.(NASCAR)(11-27-2012)

  • Decrease in Cautions During 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season: The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season had a significant decrease in the number of cautions compared to the previous three season. There were 216 cautions during the 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Here's a caution breakdown for the last four years.

    Year 2012 2011 2010 2009
    Cautions 216 278 265 305
    Caution Laps 1,129 1,358 1,325 1,447
    Laps Run 10,442 10,550 10,778 10,492
    Miles Run 13,719.676 14,236.738 14,537.508 14,107.391
    Miles Under
    Caution
    1,529.952 1,813.507 1,839.510 1,972.568
    Most Cautions in a Race
    2012  14 (Kansas2)
    2011  18 (Martinsville2)
    2010  15 (Martinsville2)
    2009  17 (Darlington)
    Fewest Cautions in a Race
    2012  1 (Fontana)
    2011  3 (New Hampshire2)
    2010  3 (Richmond2)
    2009  3 (Michigan1, Indianapolis)
    Most Caution Laps in a Race
    2012  87 (Bristol2)
    2011  108 (Martinsville2)
    2010  103 (Bristol2)
    2009  73 (Martinsville1)
    Most Miles Under Caution
    2012  105.000 (Daytona1)
    2011  150.000 (Daytona1)
    2010  100.000 (Daytona1)
    2009  99.718 (Darlington)
    Race Extended Due to Caution
    2012  10
    2011  7
    2010  7
    2009  5
    Races Shortened Due To Weather
    2012  2
    2011  0
    2010  0
    2009  3
    CAUTION BREAKDOWN
    Year 2012 2011 2010 2009
    Cautions 216 278 265 305
    Accident 102 139 140 146
    Spin/Stalled 29 47 46 53
    Debris 58 59 49 70
    Oil/Fluids 17 17 16 14
    Rain 3 9 5 12
    Competition
    Yellow
    7 6 6 9
    Other 0 1 3 1
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(11-27-2012)

  • Strip Seize: NASCAR Takes Over Las Vegas During Champion's Week: To the victor go the spoils. And this week in Las Vegas, we've got two big winners. First, of course, is 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. Keselowski outlasted and outperformed 11 of the best drivers in the world over the 10-race stretch known as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. In doing so, the 28-year-old captured the first NASCAR premier series championship for owner Roger Penske  and set the sport on high alert that a youth movement is upon it. Winner No. 2? The fans.
    For those passionate NASCAR fans who flock to Las Vegas, a full menu of activities awaits. For those who couldn't make the trip, there's good news. Much of it will be either broadcast on television and radio or streamed live on NASCAR.COM. Here's the lineup, which kicks off in earnest tomorrow and culminates with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at the Wynn Las Vegas on Friday at 5pm/pt/8 pm/et live on SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
    Tuesday  Wednesday, Nov. 27-28
    · NASCAR 2012 Motorsports Marketing Forum: The 13th annual NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, presented by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily, is the motorsports industry's most comprehensive business forum. Held at Aria Resort & Casino, the Forum will feature an array of insight and perspective from sports and marketing executives both within and outside the motorsports industry. Keselowski will be in attendance for the champion's "fireside chat." For more information, visit www.motorsportsmarketingforum.com.
    · NASCAR Live: Motor Racing Network's third annual champion's edition of "NASCAR Live" with Eli Gold will be held at Wynn Las Vegas Race and Sports Book Tuesday, Nov. 27, starting at 4pm/pt. Gold will spend the hour with the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, taking calls and answering questions from the live audience.
    Tuesday  Saturday, Nov. 27-Dec. 1
    · NASCAR Pit Stop Tour: The Pit Stop Tour consists of Official Partner show cars featured in iconic locations throughout the Las Vegas strip from 10am-6pm/pt each day. Fans can get up close and personal with the cars at the following locations: Welcome to Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Blvd. (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Car); Coca-Cola Store (Coca-Cola); New York, New York (Chevrolet); Bally's (Ford); and Fashion Show (Toyota).
    Wednesday, Nov. 28
    · Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway: The fourth annual Fanfest event will be held on Fremont Street, and begin at 2pm/pt, with the arrival of the top 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. The event will consist of a red carpet walk by the 12 drivers followed by a special "game show format" on-stage event featuring the drivers and hosted by nationally known comedian Carrot Top. Race fans will have the chance to win two tickets to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards to be held two nights later at Wynn Las Vegas. Highlights from the event can be viewed on NASCAR.COM Wednesday evening.
    · Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Reception: This year's finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will be honored at a reception at Wynn Las Vegas from 6-7pm/pt Following, The NASCAR Foundation will announce the Award winner during this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday, Nov. 30. Fans can cast their vote to determine the 2012 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting NASCAR.COM/award before 11:59 pm/et November 29.
    Thursday, Nov. 29
    · Chevrolet SS Race Car Unveiled at Wynn Las Vegas: A press conference will be held, at 9:30am/pt, at the Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas, to unveil the 2013 Chevrolet SS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car. Media attendance is encouraged; however, this event is not open to the public. The event will be streamed live on NASCAR.COM.
    · NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: The annual awards luncheon and industry gathering will be held from 11am-1:15pm/pt, in the Encore Ballroom at Encore Las Vegas, where several team awards will be presented. Among those awards included are the Champion Sponsor, Champion Crew Chief, Sunoco Rookie of the Year and NMPA Most Popular Driver awards. The event will be streamed live on NASCAR.COM.
    · NASCAR Victory Lap: The green flag on fan-favorite NASCAR Victory Lap will wave at 3:30pm/pt, with pre-lap festivities to begin at 3:00pm/pt, when the top 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will parade down Las Vegas Blvd. in their race cars with engines roaring. NASCAR Victory Lap will start and finish on Las Vegas Blvd., in front of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, and will once again provide fans with a unique experience to feel the excitement of a NASCAR start line, feature an authentic pit stop (performed by members of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program presented by Sprint) and two burn-out sections for drivers  with viewing areas along the route. The event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90 and streamed live on NASCAR.COM.
    · NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola: One of the premier events of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week, NASCAR After the Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola will be held from 5:00-6:30pm/pt, at PH LIVE located in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Fans can purchase tickets at www.NASCARafterthelap.com for $20 each (all proceeds benefit The NASCAR Foundation) to attend the unpredictable, unforgettable driver tell-all event featuring the top 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. The event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90 and live streamed on NASCAR.COM.
    · The Stewie Awards: Following NASCAR After The Lap, 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart and Matt Yocum will host the sixth annual "Stewie Awards," a lighthearted year-in-review, which airs live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.
    Friday, Nov. 30
    · 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The postseason, black tie event will begin at 5am/pt at Wynn Las Vegas, where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion driver and owner will be crowned and the top 10 drivers in the final standings will be honored. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, the culmination of Champion's Week, will feature red carpet arrivals, celebrity guests, music and entertainment. Hosted by "America's Got Talent" judge Howie Mandel, the show will feature performances by Train, Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips and entertainers from The Beatles LOVE. SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide live coverage of the event. Prior to the awards, NASCAR.COM will live stream a Miss Sprint Cup chat with Brad Keselowski.
    For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, visit NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek.(NASCAR)(11-27-2012)

  • Mayfield moves: Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield has moved from his recently foreclosed-on property in Catawba County, N.C., but will get to enjoy the holidays while awaiting his next legal battle. The former Sprint Cup driver, who unsuccessfully challenged in court the results of his 2009 drug test and remains suspended by NASCAR, faces one felony count of methamphetamine possession and 18 felony charges related to stolen goods found on his former property. Those charges are spread across three North Carolina counties. His latest court appearance was Monday in Statesville, N.C., where the case was continued to Feb. 18. He also has upcoming court datesdesignated as administrative hearings where the attorneys report to the judge on the case's statuson Dec. 3 in Newton, N.C., and Jan. 14 in Lenoir, N.C. Following his court appearance Monday, Mayfield confirmed that he and his wife, Shana, have moved to a new location. "We've moved," Mayfield said. "Everything is really good."(Sporting News)(11-27-2012)


    News from November 26, 2012

  • Great Clips to sponsor Kahne in 2013: Great Clips Inc., the world's largest salon brand, has joined Hendrick Motorsports as a primary sponsor of the team's #5 Chevy with driver Kasey Kahne for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2013. Great Clips was Kahne's co-primary sponsor in the Nov. 4 race at Texas Motor Speedway, marking the company's first-ever Sprint Cup sponsorship. In 2013, the Minneapolis-based company will be the #5 team's primary sponsor March 17 at Bristol, July 28 at Indianapolis and Sept. 22 at New Hampshire.(HMS)(11-26-2012)

  • Snowball Derby this weekend...some notes/links: It has been documented that the Snowball Derby is the Daytona 500 of the short track world. That can also be said for those who run the weekly divisions at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. The Snowball Derby is their big stage and each year the Bombers, Sportsmen, Super Stocks and Modifieds entertain the thousands that migrate to the Pine Forest Road half-mile each year after Thanksgiving.
    The 45th Annual Snowball Derby kicks off on Wednesday, November 28th with the Green Flag Party. As the teams unload and begin the tech process, fans from 5pm to 9pm CT can meet the drivers and see the cars that will compete during Snowball Derby weekend. The first on-track activity comes on Thursday, as practice for the Super and Pro Late Models commences. Later that evening, qualifying and feature action for the Five Flags Speedway Bomber and Sportsmen divisions will take place.
    On Friday, November 30th, it's WXBM Pole Night, as the top 30 in Snowball Derby qualifying will be locked into Sunday's 300-lap feature. On Saturday, December 1st, it's the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 time trials, last-chance qualifying race. Finally, the 45th Annual Snowball Derby will then go green on Sunday, December 2nd at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL.
    Drivers: some notable drivers with NASCAR connections include: Kyle Busch, David Ragan, Landon Cassill, Steve Wallace, Cale Gale, Nelson Piquet, Jr., Johanna Long, Ross Kenseth, Chase Elliott [last years winner], John Hunter Nemechek, Erik Darnell, Mike Garvey, Grant Enfinger, Bubba Pollard and Jeff Fultz.
    More info at 5flagsspeedway.com or snowballderby.com.(11-26-2012)


    News from November 25, 2012

  • ISC steps up to help Staten Island storm victims: The multi-pronged campaign to provide relief for the many Staten Islanders devastated by Superstorm Sandy got a sizable boost this week from an unexpected source  the International Speedway Corp (ISC). You'll recall that ISC and Staten Island did not part company on the best of terms, after borough residents and most elected officials soundly reject the company's effort to build a massive, 82,500-seat NASCAR racetrack in Bloomfield. But that's all ancient history now. Florida-based ISC finally gave up on its plan in 2006 and walked away from its goal of having a track on Staten Island. Most Staten Islanders have forgotten the controversy. The company's leaders didn't forget about Staten Island, however. As soon as they learned of the devastation caused here by Hurricane Sandy, they made inquiries about who was helping the victims on Staten Island. And, then the company donated $5,000 to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which has been heavily involved in the relief effort. ISC President John Saunders told the Advance the damage to the borough "was shocking to see. What happened on Staten Island was catastrophic. We felt we had to do something."(Staten Island Live)(11-25-2012)

  • Tony Stewart Hosts 'Stewie Awards' Nov 29th: #14-Tony Stewart will host the sixth annual 'Stewie Awards' show on Thursday, November 29, live from Las Vegas on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The 'Stewies,' which annually features Stewart's entertaining and irreverent take on the best, boldest and funniest moments from the 2012 NASCAR season, will be awarded during a live broadcast hosted by Stewart and Matt Yocum from the Cabo Wabo Cantina at the Miracle Mile Shops on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, November 29 (10:00 pm/et / 7:00 pm/pt). The live broadcast will air nationwide on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90 on Sirius and XM Premier. Those fans who will be in Las Vegas during Champion's Week are invited to attend and watch the broadcast live in person. The 'Stewie Awards' will feature live interviews with several of Stewart's competitors in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, plus other special guests. For the catagories, the nominees. links to vote for them, go to my NASCAR Awards page.(11-25-2012)

  • Son of Newman's crewman killed in ATV accident: info added: A Salisbury family is grieving after their 7-year-old son was killed in an ATV accident outside their home on Thursday. On Friday, family friends said the boy's father, Andy Rueger, is a crew member for NASCAR driver #39-Ryan Newman. They said 7-year-old Bryce Rueger used to ride around the yard all the time on the family's ATV, often with his father. They said he was familiar with the machine and that Rueger stressed safety with his children. Andy Rueger works as the gas man for Newman, and the NASCAR driver said Friday that they're working on setting up a memorial fund.(WWOC)(11-24-2012)
    For services info and to sign a guest book, go to cavin-cook.com and to help the family, go to the Bryce Rueger Memorial Fund page.(11-25-2012)


    News from November 24, 2012

  • Keselowski Earns NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association have selected NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski as the third quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. Keselowski was recognized for work through his Checkered Flag Foundation, which awarded grants to a series of entities, including Blum's Landing, a retreat that provides veterans the opportunity to enjoy serene woods, lakes and rivers surrounding the bed and breakfast while recovering from the stress of combat, Rivers of Recovery and K9s for Veterans, this quarter. Clint Bowyer won the award for the first quarter and Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg won the second quarter award. Also receiving votes were: Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jeff Gordon.(Godfather Motorsports)(11-24-2012)

  • Earnhardt family has new champion: Karsyn Elledge was just 5 months old when the seven-time champion was killed while racing in the 2001 Daytona 500. Recently, Elledge, 12, won her first Mini Outlaw title in Box Stock division at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, N.C.  a one-sixth mile dirt track about one hour north of Charlotte. Two days later, Elledge's accomplishment had yet to set in. As she finished her homework outside of her mother Kelley Earnhardt-Miller's office at JR Motorsports, Elledge had mixed emotions about winning the championship but losing the season finale to 17-year-old Ford Martin.(much more at FoxSports)(11-24-2012)

  • Daytona offers "Cyber Monday" Ticket Specials: Special $49 ticket packages and a unique ticket package with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars highlight Daytona International Speedway's "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials. On Friday, Nov. 23 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 26 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will have specla $49 ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping. Additionally, the Speedway has partnered with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the "Jags and Checkered Flags" ticket package, which is available for $99. More info at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-24-2012)

  • Tix for sale for NCWTS race at Rockingham: Ticket sales are open for the April 14, 2013 running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) 200-mile race at Rockingham Speedway by visiting www.rockinghamspeedway.com or by calling 910.205.8800. Matt Crafton led 40 laps in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham in April. The series returns to The Rock on April 14, 2013. "I can't think of a better stocking stuffer than tickets to the second annual NASCAR truck series race at Rockingham," said speedway president Andy Hillenburg. "Our renewals were very good from last year's race, so the remaining tickets will be in high demand." Ticket renewals ended on November 20. "Every seat we have left is now up for grabs," said Hillenburg. Grandstand seats begin at $20 and go up to $35 depending on the location. Suite or camping packages are also available by calling the speedway. The inaugural NCWTS event at Rockingham drew nearly 30,000 people last April, and Hillenburg promises an event better experience for race fans who fill the Rock for the second event.(Rockingham Speedway)(11-24-2012)


    News from November 23, 2012

  • Johnson favored to win 2013 title: Less than one week after #2-Brad Keselowski clinched the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, Wynn Las Vegas sports book director John Avello posted the first odds on the 2013 championship and made #48-Jimmie Johnson the 7-to-2 favorite. Keselowski may be the defending champion, but he's the listed as only the seventh-favored driver to repeat in 2013 at 11-to-1. Avello cited Penske's transition from Dodges to Fords, as well as NASCAR's new-look car that debuts next season, as the reasons for Keselowski's high odds.(Sporting News)(11-23-2012)

  • Marty Smith article about Shane Hmiel: Admission for Shane Hmiel came by way of a throbbing right hand so painful the weight of a single bed sheet hit like an anvil and reduced him to tears. Even in his sleep. He had been partying hard at a local bar the night before when someone poured a beer down his back. They exchanged glances and half-breathed apologies. Minutes later, the guy did it again, and laughed this time -- and threw a haymaker. Hmiel threw a counter-blow, and it was on. Bouncers gouged Hmiel's eyes and fish-hooked his mouth, tearing his cheek from his gum line as they wrestled him away from the other men. That's all he remembers of the incident. He awoke crying and sped to the ER, certain the hand was broken. Doctors at the hospital X-rayed it, and delivered shocking news: His hand wasn't broken after all. There were teeth lodged in it. A pair, in fact, so deeply gouged into his knuckles they were invisible to the naked eye. And worse yet, infection had set in. If the teeth weren't removed immediately, amputation was a genuine possibility. "That's when I knew I had to get clean," Hmiel says now. "That fight was the stupidest thing you've ever seen. But I'm so thankful it happened. That was the moment that turned my life around." It was July 2007, and Hmiel was a drug addict in complete blind denial. He started smoking marijuana when he was 12, to look older and tougher because "that's what the badasses did."(see full article at ESPN)(11-23-2012)


    News from November 22, 2012

  • 2012 Chase For the Cup TV Ratings: After an uptick last year, NASCAR's Chase For the Cup fell back to record-low levels. The 2012 Chase For the Cup averaged a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.2 million viewers on ESPN and ABC, down 13% in ratings and 12% in viewership from last year (3.1, 4.763M), and flat in ratings and down 7% in viewership from 2010 (2.7, 4.494M). The 2.7 rating is tied with 2010 as the lowest ever for the Chase For the Cup (dates back to 2004). Complete historical viewership for the Chase was not available, but it is likely that this year's edition ranks as the least-viewed ever. Of the nine Chase races that can be compared to last year, eight had a decline in ratings and all nine had declines in viewership. Year-to-year comparisons were not available for the season-opener from Chicago, as last year's version of the race was rained out. Compared to the equivalent 2010 race, however, the Chicago opener was also down. The highest rating of the Chase was a 3.2 for the Talladega and Charlotte races. Talladega ranked as the most-viewed race, with 5.113 million viewers. The Loudon and Dover races were the lowest rated of the season, each earning an all-time Chase record low 2.2. The Loudon was as the least-viewed of the season, with 3.517 million viewers.(Sports Media Watch)(11-22-2012)

  • Multiple Music & Entertainment Acts will rock the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The Wynn Las Vegas will truly be star-studded on Nov. 30, when Train, Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips and performers from The Beatles LOVE take the stage during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards.
    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will be hosted by "America's Got Talent" judge Howie Mandel and will begin at 8:00pm/et with live coverage on SPEED, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The awards are the culmination of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week and will honor the 2012 champion along with the rest of the top 10 drivers in the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.
    The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Brad Keselowski, was crowned on Sunday, Nov. 18 following NASCAR's premier series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Keselowski took home his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in just his third full season in the series, and it is also the first championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for team owner Roger Penske.(NASCAR)(11-22-2012)

  • Keselowski wants to buy a tank: Brad Keselowski revealed Tuesday he intended to fulfill a promise to buy himself a tank if he won the Chase for the Sprint Cup. After hearing a story from NASCAR TV analyst and former driver Wally Dallenbach Jr. about the joys of owning one, Keselowski began researching tanks over the summer. He hasn't decided on a seller yet but wants a model "from World War II to the Korean War, something in that '40s to mid-'50s era." Keselowski, who lives in a house adjacent to Earnhardt's 200-acre homestead outside Mooresville, N.C., has been trying to convince NASCAR's most popular driver to buy his own tank. "I thought, 'Wow, that'd be awesome,' " the Penske Racing driver said. "Obviously living where I do around Dale Jr., I thought it would be cool if we both got a tank and chased each other around in the woods with them. It's kind of our deal. I promised myself if I won (the title), I would buy one whether Dale does or not. It was kind of a little bit of motivation, I'd say. I'm not one to buy trophies for myself, but I think a tank would be pretty cool. I want to put one together and have some fun with it. When I'm done playing with it, I'll just park it in the driveway."(USA Today)(11-22-2012)

  • New look for Charlotte's NASCAR Plaza: The NASCAR Plaza building in uptown Charlotte is getting a new look in time for the new year, according to a press release from ownership group Trinity Capital Advisors. Installation of new, full-color signs atop the building will take place in December, with work wrapping up by year's end. Trinity has a deal in place to sell the building to Orlando, Fla.-based Parkway Properties for $100 million. That transaction is expected to close by the end of the year as well.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-22-2012)

  • Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at CMS on Friday: Need a stocking stuffer for the NASCAR fan on your holiday shopping list? Check out the gigantic Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out Sale on Friday, Nov. 23 from 8:00am-4:00pm. NASCAR enthusiasts and holiday shoppers will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of driving around Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out on Friday, Nov. 23. Shoppers who spend $50 or more on merchandise or race tickets, or donate $25 to Speedway Children's Charities during the annual day-after-Thanksgiving event, will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. Drivers must be 18 or older and no motorcycles will be permitted. During the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out, Charlotte Motor Speedway will offer a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel at reduced prices with many items selling for only $1. A wide variety of hats and t-shirts will be available starting at just $3. In addition, more than a dozen NASCAR souvenir rigs are expected to be on hand, offering driver and team merchandise at drastically reduced prices. More info and deals at charlottemotorspeedway.com. (CMS)(11-22-2012)


    News from November 21, 2012

  • Keselowski's Top 10 on Letterman - Top Ten Signs You're Not Cut Out To Be A Race Car Driver:
    10. You're only in it for the intensely vibrating seat
    9. You've always felt that passing other cars is rude
    8. Terms of your parole won't let you leave Delaware
    7. All this week, you've been stockpiling Twinkies
    6. Friends know you as "Mr. Motion Sickness"
    5. You're existentially opposed to the starting line and finish line being the same line
    4. You know what "existentially" means
    3. You don't like to be rushed
    2. You can't even handle high-speed Internet
    1. More than ten minutes sitting? Crippling ass cramps
    ()(11-21-2012)

  • Burton Has Successful Minor Wrist Surgery: Richard Childress Racing driver #31-Jeff Burton had successful, minor wrist surgery Tuesday afternoon to alleviate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. "After feeling some reoccurring symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, my physician and I decided routine surgery would be best for this situation," said Burton, who was back at home soon after the outpatient procedure. "There is no such thing as an offseason in this sport so I wanted to get it done as soon as possible to be ready for my Caterpillar Visitors Center appearance with Richard (Childress) early next month. Plus, we have many test sessions planned in December with the No. 31 Chevrolet team in preparation for the 2013 season with my new crew chief Luke Lambert. I will be ready to go."(RCR)(11-21-2012)

  • What happened to Johnson at Homestead? #48-Jimmie Johnson was leading Sunday's FordEcoBoost 400 at Homestead when he came in for a pit stop with 54 laps remaining in the race. "We were in position and putting the pressure on the 2 car like we needed to," Johnson said. That all changed in a heartbeat on Lap 213 when Johnson came in for what he hoped would be his final stop on pit road. The race lead -- and Johnson's championship hopes -- were initially dashed when a member of his pit crew failed to secure a lug nut on one of his tires after changing it. As if the subsequent pass-through penalty he had to serve for the missing lug nut wasn't damaging enough, Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure just 13 laps later that doomed his chances for good. He ended up completing just 224 of the race's 267 laps and finishing 36th -- while Keselowski secured his first Cup championship by finishing 15th. "When I returned to the track, I could smell gear oil. And my experience is you never smell your own, you smell someone else's. But clearly I was smelling mine," Johnson said.(NASCAR.com)(11-21-2012)

  • Burton and Childress to unveil 2013 scheme: Jeff Burton and team owner Richard Childress will unveil the 2013 #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS on Wednesday, December 5 at the new Caterpillar Visitors Center located behind Caterpillar world headquarters in downtown Peoria, Ill. "Caterpillar has invited Richard (Childress) and I to tour their new world-class Visitors Center and we are encouraging NASCAR fans to come visit too," said Jeff Burton. "We are bringing the #31 hauler for fans to tour and unveiling the new 2013 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS that I will be driving next season. I think fans are really going to like the look of the new car." Burton and Childress will take part in an autograph session 5 to 7 p.m. Central Time and everyone attending the event will receive a 2013 Sprint Cup Series schedule poster. The Richard Childress Racing #31 team hauler will be on display for fans to tour throughout the day beginning at 10 am.(more info at RCR)(11-21-2012)


    News from November 20, 2012

  • Keselowski to appear on Letterman on Tuesday: 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski is scheduled to present the Top Ten List on the Late Show with David Letterman, Tuesday, Nov. 20 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on CBS. Also visiting the LATE SHOW on Tuesday, Nov. 20 are actress Amy Poehler, actor Josh Hutcherson and musical guests Tegan and Sara.()(11-20-2012)

  • Homestead TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 18, the 2012 NASCAR season finale, earned a 3.5 household coverage rating (3.0 U.S. rating), averaging 3,444,706 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Ratings and viewership were down from last year's record-setting NASCAR season finale. With Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards waging a race-long battle for the championship that Stewart won by a tiebreaker, and the race running well into Sunday night prime time due to a rain delay, last year's event set a record as the most-viewed NASCAR race ever on ESPN with 6.8 million viewers and a 4.6 household coverage rating.(ESPN), see ratings for past 2012 ratings and 4-year comparison chart on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(11-20-2012)

  • Danica Patrick divorcing: #10-Danica Patrick and her husband are divorcing after seven years of marriage. Patrick announced the split with Paul Hospenthal on her Facebook page Tuesday. "I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided amicably end our marriage," she said. "This isn't easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life and that's how we will remain moving forward." Patrick just completed her first full season in NASCAR, running the full Nationwide schedule and 10 Sprint Cup Series races after leaving IndyCar.(Associated Press)(11-20-2012)

  • Keselowski talks championship on NASCAR Race Hub: It was a championship feast on SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub, as newly crowned Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski brought his unique perspectives from the 2012 season, including everything it took to claim the title. He joined host Steve Byrnes for tonight's special edition of the show. A few of the quotes:
    Steve Byrnes: What was the vision you had for Penske Racing?
    Brad Keselowski: To be a Sprint Cup champion. To be a championship team that produced cars and people that shared a common goal of greatness. It sounds really easy, but I can assure you, it's a lot harder than it sounds.
    Byrnes: In just three Cup seasons, you've gone from 25th, to fifth, to first. Has your ascension to the top surpassed even what you dreamed of, in terms of quickness?
    Keselowski: I never dreamed of, at a young age, of being a Sprint Cup champion. I thought I would be doing well just to be a guy who's winning races in the Truck Series. That was as big as my goals were. But obviously, as different opportunities came up, I had the opportunity to drive for James Finch when they raced at Talladega, with Rick Hendrick and so forth; I started to think that big. But it's amazing how those things change. I'm living beyond what I could have ever asked for in life, and I feel very, very fortunate.
    Byrnes: Did you think about winning a championship heading into the season? Keselowski: Oh, absolutely, without a doubt we thought, 'what can we do to be the best team possible?' Now there's no guarantee of any result in sports, that's what makes it so great and compelling to watch and be a part of. But you have to approach it as being a competitor, as though you have the opportunity, and you have to believe in yourself to have that confidence because as the member of a team, a competitive team, if you don't believe in yourself, why should anyone else?
    See full Q&A at SPEED.(11-20-2012)

  • Who was the woman in red on the #2 pitbox? Most of Brad Keselowski's team didn't know the woman in the red coat who appeared on the #2 pit box for the Chase for the Sprint Cup opener. "I think (crew chief) Paul Wolfe knew who she was, but the other people thought she was maybe a sponsor who maybe got the wrong seat," Roger Penske told USA TODAY Sports with a chuckle. "I think they knew at the end of the next week who she was." Everyone knows the identity of the mystery woman now. At the request of her husband, Kathy Penske has become a weekly fixture on Keselowski's pit box since his victory at Chicagoland Speedway. She was there Sunday for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway as Keselowski took a 20-point lead over Jimmie Johnson into the season finale. "She'd been at other races before, but in the Chase this year, she wanted to support the team and support me," Roger Penske said. "(Chicagoland) was the start of it, and once she got in, she hasn't gotten off the box. It's been great. I told her she has to wear that red coat. That's her lucky charm. It's been terrific that she wants to be there."(in part from the USA Today)(11-20-2012)

  • Individual tickets on sale for Texas Motor Speedway events: Individual tickets for Texas Motor Speedway's Texas 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend and Firestone 550 INDYCAR/NASCAR weekend are on sale. The Texas 500 returns April 13 and Texas Motor Speedway is providing fan friendly deals for the first Saturday night NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the 2013 season. The ever-popular "2 for $99" frontstretch ticket package returns while supplies last and fans also can take advantage of the "Backstretch Buster" seats at $20 and $40 per ticket. The Texas 500 will highlight the weekend that also includes the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday evening, April 12. Tickets for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, which includes Sports Day Qualifying Days Powered by The Dallas Morning News for Sprint Cup and Nationwide, start as low as $25. Fans wanting to enjoy all 10 days of exciting racing scheduled for 2013 at Texas Motor Speedway can still purchase season-ticket packages beginning at $270, a savings of up to 25 percent over individual tickets. Season-ticket packages once again include special perks such as passes for the "No Limits" Garage Party presented by WinStar World Casino, discounts on concession stand items and merchandise, discounted pit passes, and more. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office beginning at 9 a.m., calling the ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(11-20-2012)

  • Darlington Raceway's Toy Drive Generates over $3000: With the generosity of its fans and community supporters, Darlington Raceway's Toys for Tots Fundraiser & Toy Drive raised over $3,000 worth of toys and cash donations, guaranteeing many children in the Pee Dee area will have a gift to open on Christmas Day this year. The Toys for Tots Fundraiser & Toy Drive at Darlington Raceway is the largest single-day collection event in the Pee Dee area and has raised more than $12,000 for the local U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program since 2010.(Darlington Raceway)(11-20-2012)

  • Sonoma Raceway Food Drive Nets more than 9,000 Pounds: Sonoma Raceway distributed more than 9,000 pounds of non-perishable food items to Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks on Monday following the raceway's 12th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. In total, the raceway distributed 9,249 pounds of food, bringing the 12-year total to more than 46,700 pounds of non-perishable food items delivered to area food banks.(Sonoma Raceway)(11-20-2012)


    News from November 19, 2012

  • Latest on JGR extension with Busch: Joe Gibbs Racing is hoping to re-sign #18-Kyle Busch before the end of the year. Coach Gibbs said Saturday that his company is working on a long-term deal to secure both the M&M's sponsorship and the driver, whose contract runs through 2013. "We're working really hard on that. We want to do that early so we're not going into the last year," Gibbs said. "M&M's is on board, but their contract is still extended into the future. Hopefully, we get everything clarified in the next two weeks. I'm expecting everything to kind of be in place in the next two weeks. That would be a game plan for us if we could. That would be exciting." Monster Energy is expected to join Busch in the Nationwide Series at JGR. Kyle Busch Motorsports will continue to campaign in trucks and perhaps a NNS entry as well.(FoxSports)(11-19-2012)

  • No poles for first two drivers in points, 1st time ever: For the first time in the history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, both the champion and second in points failed to win a pole during the season. Neither #2-Brad Keselowski nor #15-Clint Bowyer won a pole in 2012. Keselowski is the eighth driver to win the championship without scoring a pole. The last was Matt Kenseth in 2003.(11-19-2012)

  • Homestead Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. This was the last race of the 2012 season Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:03 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:10 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 112
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 63
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 44
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 49
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 28
    Number of times ESPN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 9
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 26
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:03 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:10 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 187
    Minutes of race broadcast: 157
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 30
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 26
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 2
    Total race brdcst time 157 Total comm. brdcst time 30
    See past races, links to past race and more on the 2012 TV Commercials page.(11-19-2012)

  • Walmart offers Special Las Vegas NASCAR Holiday Ticket Packages: Walmart is putting some NASCAR in the holiday season for race fans by offering one of the best ticket packages in the sport at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Walmart Family Track Pack is available for race fans planning to attend the March 10, 2013 Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The special package allows race fans to buy four tickets and receive vouchers for four hot dogs and four soft drinks for $99. The seats are in Section 4 of the 1.5-mile superspeedway. "Walmart is delivering a wonderful holiday gift to families who want to be a part of one of the most highly anticipated events on the NASCAR circuit," LVMS president Chris Powell said. "This is the ultimate offer for people who want to bring the whole family to the largest sporting event in Nevada." The offer will be available beginning Monday [11/19] and will extend through the holiday season. Fans can purchase the tickets by visiting lvms.com/holiday or by calling (800) 644-4444.(LVMS)(11-19-2012)


    News from November 18, 2012




    Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR
    Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, hoist the series trophy in Champions Victory Lane after winning the series championship and finishing in fifteenth place for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2012 in Homestead, Florida.


  • Brad Keselowski Wins 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: #2-Brad Keselowski won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship today at Homestead-Miami Speedway, earning owner Roger Penske's first title in NASCAR's premier series. For owner Penske, the wait that began before Keselowski was born (1984) finally is over. Penske Racing, which entered the NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 1972, ended the longest non-championship streak among current ownership. Penske's best previous finish was second in 1993 with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace. To be the best, Keselowski had to beat the best  #48-Jimmie Johnson. The pair traded the lead of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup five times, the last on Nov. 11 at Phoenix International Raceway where Keselowski finished sixth and Johnson  the victim of an accident  placed 32nd.
    Keselowski's 15th-place finish in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway was all it took to apply the finishing touches to a stellar championship season. Keselowski's championship came in his 125th start, the fewest since Jeff Gordon captured his first of four titles in 1995 in 93 starts.
    At age 28, Keselowski is the eighth-youngest competitor to win a first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. Keselowski previously won the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series title, owner Penske's first in NASCAR. He joins Bobby Labonte as the only drivers to win both a NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. After experiencing mechanical problems in two of the first three regular season races, Keselowski's #2 Penske Racing Dodge won at Bristol Motor Speedway to begin a steady march toward the top 10. Backed by championship crew chief Paul Wolfe, Keselowski won three times during the regular season and entered the Chase seeded fourth. A victory at the Chase-opening Chicagoland Speedway race, followed by another at Dover International Speedway, boosted Keselowski from contender to co-favorite with Johnson. Dodge won its fifth series championship, and first since 1975 with Richard Petty.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(11-18-2012)




    Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
    Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates with a burnout after winning the series championship and finishing in fifteenth place for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2012 in Homestead, Florida


  • Championship Fast Facts:
    Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. His previous best series points finish was fifth, last season.
    Keselowski is the second driver to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series championships (Bobby Labonte). Keselowski won the NASCAR Nationwide title in 2010.
    Keselowski needed 125 starts to win his first championship, the fewest starts since Jeff Gordon in 1995 (93).
    Keselowski posted two wins, three top fives and eight top 10s in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season.
    Keselowski finished the 2012 season with five wins, 13 top fives and 23 top 10s
    Owner Champion
    This is Penske Racing's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
    Owner Roger Penske's previous best points standings finish was second with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace in 1993.
    Penske has been fielding cars in NASCAR in 1972.
    This is Dodges fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, and first since 1975. The other Dodge champions: David Pearson (1966), Bobby Isaac (1970) and Richard Petty (1974-75).
    Penske Racing won its first NASCAR title in 2010, when Keselowski won the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship.
    Crew Chief Champion
    This is Paul Wolfe's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and second NASCAR national series championship (NNS; 2010)
    Wolfe is the first crew chief to win both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series championship
    Wolfe and Keselowski have combined for eight NASCAR Sprint Cup wins  three in 2011 and five in 2012.
    They also won six NASCAR Nationwide races together, all in their championship winning season of 2010.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-18-2012)

  • FINAL 2012 Sprint Cup Driver CHASE Championship Points Standings:
    [after Homestead, race 36 of 36]
    1) #2-Brad Keselowski [5 wins], 2400 - The 2012 CHAMP
    2) #15-Clint Bowyer [3 wins], 2361, -394
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [5 wins], 2360, -40
    4) #5-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 2345, -55
    5) #16-Greg Biffle [2 wins], 2332, -68
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin [5 wins], 2329, -71
    7) #17-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 2324, -76
    8) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 2321, -79
    9) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 2311, -89
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 2303, -97
    11) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 2299, -101
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 2245, -155
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • Gordon wins at Homestead; Keselowski wins the Championship: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his 2nd win of year, 1st win at Homestead and 87th career win.
    Ironically, #15-Bowyer finished 2nd followed by #39-Newman, #18-Busch [led the most laps again], #16-Biffle, #56-Truex Jr., #43-Almirola, #29-Harvick, #78-Busch and #88-Earnhardt Jr.
    #48-Johnson, who came into the race 20 points behind points leader #2-Keselowski, was leading when he made a pit stop on lap 213, but a lugnut was left off the left rear wheel and Johnson had to pit again, falling to 25th down 1 lap. A few laps later Johnson slowed and headed to pit road, then to the garage with a bad rear gear. That allowed points leader #2-Keselowski to coast and make an extra pit stop to be safe, finishing 15th down a lap. With Johnson falling out, #15-Bowyer, who finished 2nd, moved up to finish 2nd in the points championship. Johnson ended up finishing 36th and 3rd in the points. So #2-Brad Keselowski wins his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship and the first ever for team owner Roger Penske. It is the first time since 1975 that a Dodge driver won the championship and could be the last since Dodge is leaving the sport after this season.
    #18-Busch led the most laps, but for the 9th time in a row when leading the most laps, failed to win the race.
    There were only 3 cautions for 17 yellow flag laps. There were 19 lead changes among 8 drivers. The average speed was 142.245mph.
    The estimated attendence was 76,000 up from 73,000 last November.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Homestead Race Results page (pdf).(11-18-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Homestead:
    #24-Jeff Gordon won the 14th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400, his 87th victory in 689 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2012.
    This is his first victory and 11th top-10 finish in 14 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Gordon now has at least one win at every active track except Kentucky Speedway. Gordon has two starts at Kentucky.
    This was Hendrick Motorsports' first victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #15-Clint Bowyer (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in seven races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 23rd top-10 finish in 2012.
    #39-Ryan Newman (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in 11 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-18-2012)

  • Where did the 12 Chase drivers finish at Homestead?
    [by points standings before the race]
    1) #2-Brad Keselowski 15th - WON the CHAMPIONSHIP
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 36th - rear gear
    3) #5-Kasey Kahne 21st, late pit road penalty
    4) #15-Clint Bowyer 2nd
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin 24th
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth 18th
    7) #16-Greg Biffle 5th
    8) #29-Kevin Harvick 8th
    9) #14-Tony Stewart 17th
    10) #56-Martin Truex Jr. 6th
    11) #24-Jeff Gordon WON the race
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10th
    (11-18-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings without Chase:
    (classic system using current points system but NOT the chase system - unoffical)
    [after Homestead, race 36 of 36]
    1) #2-Brad Keselowski(X) [5 wins], 1259
    2) #16-Greg Biffle(X) [2 wins], 1240, -19
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson(X) [5 wins], 1231, -28
    4) #17-Matt Kenseth(X) [3 wins], 1218, -41
    5) #15-Clint Bowyer(X) [3 wins], 1213, -46
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin(X) [4 wins], 1167, -92
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick(X) [1 win], 1162, -97
    8) #56-Martin Truex Jr.(X) [0 wins], 1161, -98
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(X) [1 win], 1144, -115
    10) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 1133, -126
    11) #5-Kasey Kahne(X) [2 wins], 1129, -130
    12) #14-Tony Stewart(X) [3 wins], 1112, -147
    13) #24-Jeff Gordon(X) [2 wins], 1080, -179
    14) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 1051, -208
    15) #99-Carl Edwards [0 wins], 1030, -229
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    (X) = a Chase driver.

  • Gordon regrets actions at Phoenix: #24-Jeff Gordon met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed the incident at Phoenix International Raceway and other topics.
    Q. Yeah, really. Behind closed doors maybe, huh? How do you feel after last weekend, and what have you learned from Rick about dealing with that sort of thing?
    JEFF GORDON: Well, you know, I mean, the one thing that I'll say - it probably won't be the one thing because I have a feeling that we are going there now - is that last week, the thing that I regret and the thing that I messed up on is that I allowed my anger and my emotions to put me in a position to make a bad choice. I felt like that Clint needed to be dealt with, but that wasn't the right way to go about it, certainly not the right time. And what I hate most about it is that other guys were involved with it and it affected their day. I certainly look back on it and wish I had done things different, and all I can do now is look ahead and look forward and try to come in here and do the best that I can to close out the season on a positive note and put this 20th anniversary Dupont Chevrolet into victory lane.
    Q. Jeff, I'm just curious, have you had a chance or have you spoken to Clint or Joey? Has there been any communication between the three of y'all?
    JEFF GORDON: I have not spoken to Clint other than at the track on Sunday after the event in the NASCAR hauler. And with Joey, you know, I'm not one that calls right away. I like things to kind of settle down. I'd really rather do face to face, but he called me and so I called him back, and I can't say it went exactly very well. I reached out to him again to try to get together with him here at the track, and I have not been able to speak with him.(see full transcript at Team Chevy)(11-18-2012)

  • France holds press conference to discuss the future of the sport and more: NASCAR chairman Brian France held a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 17, 2012, some of the plans for 2013 and beyond include:
    " The 2013 car will have more brand identity for manufacturers with the vehicle looking more like those on the showroom floor.
    " NASCAR is addressing changes in the car to improve competition as far as more passing and tighter racing.
    " The driver's last name will be placed on the windshield so fans can better identify their driver in an era when paint schemes change frequently.
    " Sponsor logos will be allowed on the roof for more exposure from television.
    " The average age for drivers in the Truck Series will be dropped from 18 to 16 for road courses and any tracks 1.1 mile or less.
    " A digital cockpit is coming in 2014 that will offer new social media possibilities.
    (ESPN)....see full transcript at the Brian France Press Conference, November 17, 2012 Transcript page.(11-18-2012)

  • Richard Petty: Phone rule made up: Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty says NASCAR was "hypocritical'' in fining point leader Brad Keselowski for carrying a cell phone in his car last weekend at Phoenix. "I think it's hypocritical because he [did] it at Daytona, and then NASCAR had a big meeting with everybody and said, 'Oh! Man! That's great. Everybody go out there and do it just as much as you can.' And then they say, 'Whoo! You ain't supposed to do it in a racecar,' '' NASCAR's all-time win leader said on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I don't think that was in the rulebook. I think they made that one up as they went.''(ESPN)(11-18-2012)

  • Hamlin could join Kyle Busch and Cale Yarborough: If #11-Denny Hamlin, who has a birthday today (Nov 18th), wins the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he would be only the third driver to ever win a Sprint Cup Series race on their birthday. The others are Hall of Fame driver Cale Yarborough wo won twice on his birthday (March 27) at North Wilksboro Speedway in 1977 and Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1983. Kyle Busch became the second driver to win on their birthday, winning on May 2, 2009 at Richmond. FYI: Richard Petty never won a Cup race on his birthday [July 2nd] and neither did Jeff Gordon [August 4th].(11-18-2012)


    News from November 17, 2012

  • Race Coverage of the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 18, 2012.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 3:00 pm/et; NASCAR Countdown Pre-Race show at 1:30 pm/et; green flag approx 3:15pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Monday, November 19 at 1:30am/et; SPEED, Wednesday, November 21 at 12:00pm/et

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #20-Logano chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #9-Ambrose took pit stall 4, the first pitstall with opening in front of it.
    #2-Keselowski, who starts 3rd took the 14th pit stall, the 2nd stall with opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #55-Martin, who starts 9th.
    2nd in points, #48-Johnson took the 33rd stall, 4th with opening behind it.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-17-2012)

  • Keselowski moves up to pole after Logano crashes in practice: Point leader #2-Brad Keselowski will move onto the front row of Sunday's Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway thanks to a wreck during Saturday's first practice. Pole-sitter #20-Joey Logano will go to a backup car and start at the back of the field after being involved in an accident with #11-Denny Hamlin and #16-Greg Biffle. When Logano drops back just prior to the start of the race, the inside line will move up and put Keselowski essentially on the pole position. Keselowski qualified third. NASCAR has the discretion of whether to allow the pole-sitter to pick what lane he would have started. Officials opted not to give Logano, who will be Keselowski's teammate at Penske Racing next year, that choice. Keselowski enters the race with a 20-point lead over five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who will start 10th. Johnson in the outside lane will not move up.
    What happened to cause the wreck? Biffle said he and Hamlin were "running a little hard'' for practice when they got into each other and collected Logano in the process. Logano said there appeared to be confusion among Biffle and Hamlin over whether they were two or three wide. "I was behind the [Biffle], Denny went to the bottom, I went to the top and the 16 was in the middle,'' Logano said. "I wasn't going to stick it three-wide so I stayed back because I figured it was practice, why are we going to do that? Just seemed like Denny was coming up like we were two-wide and the 16 stayed in the middle of the race track like he was three-wide and they ran out of room and I was the innocent bystander once again and drove into it. It's unfortunate."(ESPN)(11-17-2012)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and some notes:
    #18-Busch 168.476
    #56-Treux Jr. 168.182
    #17-Kenseth 168.167
    #2-Keselowski 168.161
    #16-Biffle 167.879 (backup car)
    #48-Johnson (2nd in points) was 18th fastest
    slowest: #32-Schrader 160.800 & #83-Cassill 161.483
    notes: just in to the practice, #98 scraped the wall; midway thru practice #18-Busch, who is fastest in practice, went into the turn 4 wall and scraped the right side of the car. #51-Regan Smith smacked the wall hard and the team is bring out the backup car.
    See speeds, best top-10 average and laps run on the Homestead Happy Hour speeds (pdf). (11-17-2012)

  • Saturday first practice for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and some notes:
    #17-Kenseth 169.279
    #16-Biffle 168.660
    #55-Martin 168.287
    #18-Busch 168.203
    #24-Gordon 168.125
    #2-Keselowski (points leader) is 15th fastest
    #48-Johnson (2nd in points) is 21st fastest
    slowest: #37-Yeley 161.363 & #19-Bliss 161.430
    notes: #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin and #20-Logano wrecked coming off turn 4 and the frontstretch, all three go to backup cars.
    So with #20-Logano, who was on the pole, falling to the rear of the field on Sunday, #2-Brad Keselowski, who official starts 3rd, now moves up to the pole spot for the start of the race.
    There was NO TV coverage for this practice.
    See speeds, best top-10 average and laps run on the Homestead practice 2 speeds page (pdf). (11-17-2012)


       

  • New Look Ready For "Sixth Generation" 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Car: NASCAR unveiled a new look for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, an integral and exciting step in the rollout process of the sixth generation race car. "These changes are an extension of the unprecedented collaboration with the auto manufacturers on the 2013 car, great industry feedback and our focus on increasing fan affinity as part of NASCAR's Industry Action Plan," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, who introduced the new design at Homestead-Miami Speedway today. The sixth-generation car look will debut with the opening of the 2013 Speedweeks, highlighted by the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on February 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Among the updates:
    · The driver's last name featured on the windshield;
    Sponsor decals will not be permitted on the headlights and taillights, two key distinguishing characteristics of the auto manufacturers' brand;
    Car numbers will be moved from the lights to the front and rear bumpers;
    A single sponsor logo will be permitted on the roof under the number;
    Team sponsor decals will be permitted to extend past the front edge of the b-post;
    "Step and repeat" / background patterns will be permitted on the sides of the car;
    Due to the slightly smaller car, the car number will be reduced by 10% and the contingency decals will be reduced to 26 square inches.
    See larger color diagrams for the 2013 Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry on my 2013 car images page. The new Chevrolet will be unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 29, in Las Vegas during NASCAR Champion's Week.(NASCAR)(11-17-2012)

  • 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 Homestead the Homestead Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Homestead Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same tire codes at Homestead this weekend, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series 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 all three of these series have run at Homestead since 2010 . . . other tracks at which teams have run this exact tire set-up in 2011 and 2012 have been Chicagoland (all three series) and Texas (Sprint Cup and Nationwide only) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required run inner liners in all four tire positions at Homestead . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear). See full notes, tire limits, pressures, codes on the Homestead Race Info page - Goodyear section.

  • RPM re-signs Ambrose and Almirola: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) confirmed its current drivers, #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-Aric Almirola, have re-signed for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Ambrose will enter his third season driving for the organization. He will again be behind the wheel of the #9 Ford with partners Stanley and DEWALT. Almirola will begin his second season as the driver of the #43 Ford with primary support from partner Smithfield Foods and its family of brands, Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland and Gwaltney. In addition, long-time Petty sponsor, STP, will also continue as a primary partner of the #43. RPM previously announced its continuing relationship with Ford Racing and the addition of crew chief Drew Blickensderfer. Also confirmed earlier this season, RPM will continue to field the #43 Pilot/Flying J Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with driver Michael Annett.(RPM), see full PR on #9 Team News & Links page or #43 Team News & Links page,(11-17-2012)

  • Hornish Jr. back with Penske in 2013, to run full-time NNS and some Cup: from a SRT Motorsports - Dodge Roger Penske Open Interview - Homestead-Miami Speedway, one question concerned Ryan Blaney and Penske mentioned plans for Sam Hornish Jr. in 2013:
    Q. You mentioned young drivers. What are the plans for Ryan Blaney for next year?
    Roger Penske: "Well, right now I know there's some people asking me some questions when I walked in. We've signed Sam up to drive the #12 car, Alliance car in Nationwide next year. We have a commitment for a number of Cup races on a third car, which Sam will be there to run those races. And Blaney at this point, we're considering him to be -- to drive the truck. Haven't announced it yet. It's not a done deal. But we'd like to see him in the truck, and also we'll provide him some Nationwide rides. We started with him maybe running two or three this year, and I think he'll end up with seven or eight. We think that he's a fine young man, and he's got a lot to learn like they all do, but I think he's certainly coming from a family that's been racing, and he seems to have the talent. There's a lot of good young talent out there today, so we certainly want to support him."(SRT/Dodge/RAM Motorsports PR)(11-17-2012)

  • Logano set for his final race with JGR: This weekend, Joey Logano will climb aboard the #20 Home Depot/Red Beacon Toyota for the final time. When the green flag falls on Sunday, Logano will begin his final race in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride after four years full-time behind the wheel of the famed car. At season's end, Logano will be moving on to Penske Racing while former Sprint Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth will take of the seat of the #20 for 2013. Once again this weekend, the familiar orange Home Depot colors will be replaced with a new red #20 on the track. Redbeacon will join The Home Depot as primary sponsors of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Logano at Homeastead.(JGR)(11-17-2012)

  • Two streaks could end: Two streaks are on the line this weekend in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In March 2002, #78-Kurt Busch won his first NSCS race at Bristol. That victory was the first of 24 and marked the start of a 10-year streak in which he posted at least one win annually. Busch's streak could come to an end in 2012 if he does not cross the finish line first this weekend. In 11 starts at the track, Busch has one victory and four top-five finishes.
    After 11 years of capturing at least one pole every year, #39-Ryan Newman's streak is also in jeopardy this weekend. With 49 career poles, Newman has yet to post a pole in 2012. The last year he didn't have a pole was in 2000, when he ran only one event. Newman has no poles and three top-10 finishes in 10 races at Homestead.(NASCAR), Newman's streak ended as he failed to win the pole at Homestead and didn't win a pole in any 2012 race.(11-17-2012)

  • Tickets in sale for May races at Darlington: Tickets for Darlington Raceway's NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 on May 10-11, 2013, are on sale to the public. Darlington will continue to offer great pricing for all of its events in 2013 with adult tickets to the Bojangles' Southern 500 starting at just $35. The track Too Tough to Tame will also continue its youth and military ticket programs:
    · Youth Tickets  Darlington Raceway will continue to offer tickets for our fans age 12 and under at half-price in all reserved grandstands at each of our NASCAR events in 2013. Youth 12 and under are admitted FREE in Wallace Grandstand for the NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 (wristband required).
    · Military Tickets  Military members with an active duty or retired military ID will pay just half-price for grandstand seating at all Darlington events. During the Bojangles' Southern 500 pre-race ceremonies, military members will be encouraged to stand so that they can be honored and recognized by Darlington Raceway.
    Also on sale are two all-inclusive hospitality options, the Darlington Stripe Zone (Bojangles' Southern 500 race day) and T4 Zone (NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 race day). Each hospitality package will give fans a VIP experience when they visit Darlington. Fans that would like to camp during the Bojangles' Southern 500 weekend can purchase a tent or RV site in one of Darlington's seven campgrounds. Additional admissions for any of the infield camping areas can be purchased for $100 each while youth 12 and under are admitted for free with an adult. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 on May 11 and NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 on Friday, May 10 are on sale. Fans can purchase tickets to both events by visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com or by calling 866-459-7223.(Darlington Raceway)(11-17-2012)


    News from November 16, 2012

  • Logano wins pole at Homestead: #20-Joey Logano won the pole for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 176.056mph for his 2nd pole of 2012 and 5nd career pole.
    #9-Ambrose will start 2nd followed by #2-Keselowski, #99-Edwards, #43-Almirola, #15-Bowyer, #56-Truex Jr., #18-Busch, #55-Martin and #48-Johnson.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #30-Stremme, #98-McDowell, #6-Stenhouse Jr., #19-Bliss, #26-Wise #37-Yeley and #23-Riggs.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (4): #79-Sorenson, #33-Leicht, #91-Leffler and #87-Nemechek.
    See qualifying results & starting lineup below or on the Homestead Qualifying Page.(11-16-2012)

  • Where will the 12 Chase drivers start at Homestead?
    [by points standings before the race]
    1) #2-Brad Keselowski 3rd
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 10th
    3) #5-Kasey Kahne 12th
    4) #15-Clint Bowyer 6th
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin 41st
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth 11th
    7) #16-Greg Biffle 13th
    8) #29-Kevin Harvick 23rd
    9) #14-Tony Stewart 35th
    10) #56-Martin Truex Jr. 7th
    11) #24-Jeff Gordon 15th
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 16th
    (11-16-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Homestead:
    #20- Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 14th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400 with a lap of 30.672 seconds, 176.056 mph.
    This is his fifth pole in 147 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and 16th top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his first pole in four races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #9-Marcos Ambrose (second) posted his 14th top-10 start of 2012 and his second in five races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (third) posted his second top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 11th in 36 races this season.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, second in points, qualified 10th.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-16-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 16, 2012 at 6:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 6:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none

  • Qualifying Order for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #33-Leicht, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #20-Logano, 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 Homestead Qualifying Page.(11-16-2012)

  • Friday practice for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and some notes:
    #20-Logano 173.066
    #56-Truex Jr. 172.911
    #55-Martin 172.855
    #99-Edwards 172.794
    #43-Almirola 172.745
    #2-Keselowski (points leader) was 21st fastest
    #48-Johnson (2nd in points) was 16th fastest
    slowest: #33-Leicht 167.038 & #23-Riggs 167.079
    notes: #79-Sorenson spun off turn 4 early in practice, but no damage reported.
    This practice will determine the order for this afternoon's qualifying [slowest out first, fastest out last], scheduled for 6:10pm/et, televised on SPEED.
    See speeds, best top-10 average and laps run on the Homestead practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-16-2012)

  • Go-or-Go Homers practice at Homestead: how fast/slow were the drivers who are not in the top-35 of owners points and must qualify by speed to make the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where they practiced in Friday practice:
    the eight drivers who would make the race if things stayed the same:
    #21-Bayne, 22nd fastest overall
    #98-McDowell, 30th
    #6-Stenhouse, Jr., 32nd
    #19-Bliss, 35th
    #30-Stremme, 36th
    #26-Wise, 37th
    #37-Yeley, 40th
    #91-Leffler, 42nd
    the four drivers who would miss the race if things stayed the same:
    #87-Nemechek, 43rd
    #79-Sorenson, 44th #23-Riggs, 46th
    #33-Leicht, 47th/last
    (11-16-2012)

  • #83 to have special Whopper scheme: Burger King's beloved Whopper sandwich is celebrating its 55th birthday this year and Landon Cassill is going to honor the occasion with a special paint scheme at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Cassill's #83 BK Racing Toyota will carry retro red and white styling to reflect the period that the Whopper made its debut, complimented by the original Burger King mascot on the quarter panel and deck lid. Across the hood, a logo declares "Celebrating 55 years...of the Whopper Sandwich."
    "This is a really cool looking car," Cassill said. "All the guys at BK Racing and I have had our fair share of Whoppers, so we're really excited to help celebrate the 55th birthday. We've done a bunch of appearances at Burger Kings this season. I know this, there are tons of race fans out there that love Whoppers, that's for sure. I think they're going to really like this paint scheme." The Whopper was introduced to America in 1957 and sold for 37 cents. As part of the celebration for the iconic sandwich, Burger King guests nationwide can now enjoy two, limited-time menu items in commemorative retro-style anniversary packaging: Wisconsin White Cheddar Whopper Sandwich, and Angry Whopper Sandwich (BK Racing), see images of the scheme on the #83 Team Schemes page.(11-16-2012)

  • NASCAR Sponsor Mars, Inc. Thrilled With Partnership: Mars, Inc., the company responsible for manufacturing M&M's, has been a NASCAR sponsor for over 20 years [currently #18-Kyle Busch], which is one of the longest standing partnerships within the sport. It takes a lot of goodwill and success for a brand to stay connected to any one sport for such a vast amount of time. The proof may be found in the raw data, which NASCAR has provided to Forbes.com in an effort to showcase the value of its longtime partner in Mars, Inc. (specifically M&M's). Perhaps the most impressive statistic produced by NASCAR (and measured by Mars, Inc. tracking data) is that Mars, Inc. receives an impressive 4-to-1 return on investment from their sponsorship in NASCAR. Further analysis reveals that M&M's is the 4th most recognized brand in NASCAR with a 72% brand loyalty over competitors and that sponsorships effectively create a 5th season of sales for Mars, Inc., which is on par with the size of Mars North America Christmas selling season.(see full article Forbes)(11-16-2012)

  • TMOne to sponsor the #10 at Homestead: TMone will promote the company's hiring of 200 more positions with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season finale. David Reutimann will pilot the #10 TMone in Iowa City, IA  Spearfish, SD Chevy at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The #10 Chevy will have a custom paint scheme this weekend that includes images of Mount Rushmore, corn, grass, The Old Capital of Iowa and both the Iowa and South Dakota state flags. TMone, pronounced T-M-one, is a business process outsourcing (BPO) company that is in the business of domestic business services outsourcing. TMone is seeking to hire immediately for 200 full-time, permanent positions in Spearfish, S.D., and Iowa City, Iowa. All of TMone's jobs are filled in the Heartland of America. TMone has supported one or more NSCS teams in every event this season and backed TBR in 24 of the 36-race season. Reutimann made 20 starts with TBR this season resulting in a best finish of 11th at Daytona International Speedway in July.(TBR), see images of the scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page.(11-16-2012)

  • Budweiser and Jimmy Johns to follow Harvick to SHR: When #29-Kevin Harvick leaves Richard Childress Racing at the end of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, he will take major sponsors Budweiser and Jimmy Johns along with him. Reports surfaced last week that Harvick will bolt RCR at the conclusion of his current contract to race full-time for Stewart Haas Racing in 2014. Multiple sources speaking on the condition of anonymity say that when the move comes, it will also include the sponsors that backed the #29 team in a combined 26 races this season; 20 for Budweiser and six for Jimmy John's.(Godfather Motorsports)(11-16-2012)

  • Hendrick seeking first Sprint Cup Series win at Homestead: Hendrick Motorsports has yet to win a Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway despite having five-time Champion Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and some of the top drivers in the sport since the first Sprint Cup Series visit to HMS in 1999. Adding further to this challenge is that fellow Hendrick teammates Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. are also winless at Homestead-Miami Speedway. All told Hendrick Motorsports is 0-51 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gordon has claimed one Homestead-Miami victory but it was in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2000. Four-time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon has yet to win on just two tracks&Kentucky and Homestead-Miami Speedway.(HMS)(11-16-2012)

  • FedEx Team Volunteers in New Jersey: Denny Hamlin and some crew members from the #11 team spent Wednesday morning as volunteers alongside FedEx employees at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to help the ongoing relief efforts following Superstorm Sandy. Hamlin helped unload trucks full of food and other supplies donated by FedEx, and helped make a $20,000 contribution to the organization from FedEx. After unloading the trucks, Hamlin and the group organized goods already in the food bank's warehouse, preparing them to be delivered. They then loaded a truck full of Thanksgiving turkeys, and delivered them to a local food shelter in the area. In total, FedEx has pledged more than $1.5 million in donations in affected areas following the storm, and has helped deliver more than three million pounds of supplies to date. Additionally, FedEx will donate $1 for every "Pack & Ship" transaction at FedEx Office from Nov. 26 - Dec. 2, up to another $50,000, for meals and groceries to food banks in New York and New Jersey. The FedEx Express ramp in New York City and the Newark, New Jersey FedEx hub will each get special attention this weekend with their JFK and EWR code letters on the b-posts of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota. The team members at these locations will be recognized for their efforts leading up to and following Superstorm Sandy.(FedEx Racing)(11-16-2012)

  • A Final Thank You and Farewell to the U.S. Army: This weekend will mark the final race for the U.S. Army as sponsor of the #39 Chevy of Ryan Newman. The U.S. Army announced in July that it would not return to Stewart Haas Racing or the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2013 season. The U.S. Army was the first partner announced for Newman's #39 entry when SHR was formed in 2009.(SHR)(11-16-2012)

  • Dale Earnhardt Foundation Awards $2 Million Gift: The Dale Earnhardt Foundation has awarded a $2 million gift to the Girl Scouts, Hornets' Nest Council in support of the development of the Council's 700-acre Oak Springs property, which serves as a retreat for Girl Scouts and their leaders from throughout an eight-county Carolinas region. In recognition of the gift, which is the largest ever granted by the foundation and the largest single gift ever received by the Hornets' Nest Council, the campus at Oak Springs will be named the Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus in honor of the legendary NASCAR driver. The foundation's grant will be used to help fund the ongoing development of the Oak Springs property, including a 25-acre lake under construction. The Girl Scouts retreat, which is located in Iredell County, features heavy forestation, diverse wildlife, broad open areas, natural water sources and rolling terrain. The property includes the former site of a skeet shooting range that was a long-time favorite of Mr. Earnhardt's.(Dale Earnhardt Foundation)(11-16-2012)

  • Biffle and Edwards on "Good Morning America": Tune into ABC's "Good Morning America" this Saturday, November 17th to see Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards attempt to teach some of your favorite anchors how to drive a stock car. Biffle was teamed up with Dan Harris, while Edwards coached Bianna Golodryga. The Roush Fenway teammates took on Joey Logano and Darrell Wallace Jr., from Joe Gibb's Racing to see whose anchor could become the best driver. Biffle and Edwards took their respective anchors for a few laps around Charlotte Motor Speedway to show them the way around the 1.5-mile track. Be sure to watch "Good Morning America" to see which coach turned out the best student.
    "Dan was a pretty brave passenger," said Biffle. "Definitely tune in to see how it all went, the track was a little on the damp side so I couldn't go really fast, but Dan seemed to think it was fast anyway. One of the girls hadn't driven a car in seven years living in New York City, so I think Dan stands a good chance."(RFR)(11-16-2012)

  • Career Sprint Cup Start 500 for Stewart: The Ford EcoBoost 400 will mark #14-Tony Stewart's 500th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 14th Sprint Cup start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, will become one of 32 drivers to hit the 500-start mark. Leading into this milestone race, Stewart has recorded 47 wins, which places him 14th on the all-time series win list. The Columbus, Ind., native has also scored 14 poles, 174 top-fives and 282 top-10s while leading 12,520 laps. Those numbers, along with his three Sprint Cup championships, also make Stewart Hall-of-Fame worthy.
    Q) You'll be making your 500th career Sprint Cup start at Homestead. Does that surprise you, or do you look at it as just another number?
    Stewart: "I'll give you the reality of this deal. I didn't even know it until somebody told me. And I was like, 'Okay, that's cool.' But then it was back to business. It's a milestone, but it's not as big when you compare it to some of the other drivers and see how many starts they have in their career. When you compare it to Richard Petty (1,184 starts) or Ricky Rudd (906 starts) or Mark Martin (853 starts), 500 isn't a lot."(SHR)(11-16-2012)

  • Most wins in a season by a first time champ: Brad Keselowski has five wins this season. If he claims the championship, only Jeff Gordon in 1990 would have more wins during their first title season. Jimmie Johnson also had five wins during his first title year of 2006.
    Most cup wins in season of 1st title, since 1990
    Season Driver Wins
    1995 Jeff Gordon 7
    2006 Jimmie Johnson 5
    2000 Bobby Labonte 4
    1999 Dale Jarrett 4
    2004 Kurt Busch 3
    2002 Tony Stewart 3
    The All-Time record is David Pearson, who won 15 races during his first championship season of 1966
    (ESPN Stats)(11-16-2012)

  • Canadian Tire Motorsport Park added to 2013 Truck Series schedule: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is thrilled to announce that it has been included on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2013 schedule on Labour Day Weekend (September 1). This will mark the first ever Canadian stop for the truck series. This Labour Day weekend race will also mark the first time in 13 years that a Camping World Truck Series race will take place on a road course. The historic significance of the track in Canada, combined with its thrilling 3.957 km road course makes Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the perfect place to make truck series history. "We at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are thrilled to be able to bring the Camping World Truck Series to Canadian motorsport fans," said Myles Brandt, President and General Manager of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. "We're looking forward to creating an unforgettable experience for both fans and drivers alike this Labour Day weekend as we mark yet another milestone in the history of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park." "We're excited to announce the addition of a world-class facility like Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule for 2013," said Steve O'Donnell, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations for NASCAR. "We're looking forward to working with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as we introduce the truck series to our great fans in Canada. Their enthusiastic response to our sport has helped grow its popularity in Canada significantly throughout the years."(Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.com)(11-16-2012)


    News from November 15, 2012

  • Reason why Keselowski was fined for cell phone UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski was fined $25,000 on Monday for tweeting during the red flag at Phoenix International Raceway. The punishment was confusing to fans who vented on Twitter, of course, wondering why Keselowski was punished for Sunday's tweets when he was celebrated by NASCAR for doing the exact same thing in February's season-opening race. Some alleged the Sprint Cup Series points leader was actually being disciplined for his profanity-laced outburst after Sunday's crash- and fight-marred race. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp on Tuesday dismissed the conspiracy theories, and said drivers had been told after the Daytona 500 that electronic devices - including cellphones - could not be carried inside the race cars going forward. "Brad's tweeting at the Daytona 500 was really our first introduction to the magnitude of the social media phenomenon at the race track, especially how we saw it unfold that evening," Tharp said. "We encourage our drivers to participate in social media. We feel we have the most liberal social media policy in all of sports, and the access we provide is the best in all of sports. But we also have rules that pertain to competition that need to be enforced and abided by. Once the 500 took place, and in the days and weeks following the 500, NASCAR communicated to the drivers and teams that while social media was encouraged and we promoted it, the language in the rule book was clear and that drivers couldn't carry onboard their cars electronic devices, like a phone." NASCAR did not issue a technical bulletin to clarify phones could no longer be inside cars, and the clarification to drivers was apparently done quietly. In fact, Keselowski tweeted from Victory Lane at Bristol in March, and from inside his car parked on pit road during a rain delay at Richmond in September. It's possible someone could have handed him his phone both times.(in part from the Associated Press)(11-14-2012)
    UPDATE Don't look for Brad Keselowski to challenge NASCAR's authority and carry a cell phone in his car on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I will say probably not," Keselowski said during Thursday's champion press conference at Homestead. Asked if he thought it was hypocritical to be fined after his Daytona phone usage got NASCAR so much publicity, Keselowski said, "It doesn't matter whether it is, it exists and I have to work around it." Asked if he had been warned by NASCAR prior to Phoenix, Keselowski said, "I'd rather stay out of that line (of questioning)." But when asked what the fine meant to the future of social media in NASCAR, Keselowski said, "It means you can still be involved in social media. NASCAR has drawn the line as what you can do in the car."(ESPN)(11-15-2012)

  • Florida Lottery to sponsor Blaney at Homestead: The Florida Lottery will team up with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) to celebrate the 25th Anniversary MILLIONAIRE RAFFLE at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Florida Lottery Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season finale. The Florida Lottery will have weekly drawings for the 25th Anniversary MILLIONAIRE RAFFLE beginning Monday, November 19, following the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and continuing through Sunday, December 30. The 25th Anniversary MILLIONAIRE RAFFLE will produce more than $10 million in total prizes, including a $2 million Grand Prize. With only one million tickets available, be sure to get yours soon at any authorized Florida Lottery retailer. This weekend will mark the final race of the year for TBR and Blaney. The #36 Chevrolet secured the team's best season finish of 15th in the Daytona 500. At Homestead-Miami Speedway, TBR made four starts at the 1.5-mile track since the team's inception in 2009. Blaney tallied the team's best Homestead-Miami Speedway finish of 28th in last season's event. Blaney made 11 starts since 1999. He compiled three top-10 finishes, including his best finish of sixth. "The last race of the season is always an exciting one," said Tommy Baldwin. "Having the Florida Lottery on the No. 36 this weekend just heightens the excitement for us. The pink car will definitely stand out on the track and is fitting to run in Miami. I can guarantee I'll go out and get a ticket while we're there!"(TBR)(11-15-2012)

  • Keselowski vs. Johnson Homestead Specific Stats:
    1 - Brad Keselowski (#2 Miller Lite Dodge)
    · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.0
    2012 Rundown
    · Five wins, 13 top fives, 23 top 10s
    · Average finish of 9.9
    · Led 21 races for 735 laps
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    · Average finish of 20.3 in four races
    · Average Running Position of 21.3, 21st-best
    · Driver Rating of 68.9, 23rd-best
    2 - Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe's Chevy)
    · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 110.0
    2012 Rundown
    · Five wins, 18 top fives, 24 top 10s; four poles
    · Average finish of 10.5
    · Led 25 races for 1,719 laps
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    · Four top fives, seven top 10s; two poles
    · Average finish of 13.5 in 11 races
    · Average Running Position of 14.2, 11th-best
    · Driver Rating of 95.2, fifth-best
    · 50 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-most
    · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.408 mph, sixth-fastest
    · 1,321 Laps in the Top 15 (70.6%), fifth-most
    · 291 Quality Passes, seventh-most
    (NASCAR)(11-15-2012)

  • C & C Audio, Video and Appliance joins #37 team as primary sponsor: C & C Audio, Video and Appliance will support J.J. Yeley on the #37 C & C Audio, Video and Appliance, Inc. Chevy this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway as the team's primary sponsor. The Louisiana-based company was an associate partner for Dave Blaney and the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy earlier this season at Martinsville Speedway. C & C Audio, Video and Appliance, founded in 1975, is one of the largest home-owned and operated TV and appliance dealers in Louisiana. The company is run based on principles that were established in 1975: Quality Products, Reasonable Prices, and Service Before and After the Sale. "We are thrilled to support J.J. and promote our business to NASCAR's loyal fans," said C & C Audio, Video and Appliance Owner Roger LeBlanc. "J.J. is a good friend, and we are glad that we can help him run the Sprint Cup Series season finale."(TBR)(11-14-2012)

  • Only Four drivers have run all 13 races at HMS: there are only four drivers who have competed in all 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Homestead: #14-Tony Stewart, #24-Jeff Gordon, #31-Jeff Burton and #47-Bobby Labonte.(11-15-2012)

  • "Thanks" to Office Depot: The season finale at Homestead will be a bittersweet moment for #14-Tony Stewart and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing as it marks the last race with Office Depot as the #14 team's primary sponsor. With its headquarters just north of the track in Boca Raton, Fla., Office Depot, a leading global provider of office supplies and services, considers Homestead its home track. In the company's four-year partnership with Stewart, the pairing produced 14 wins, four poles and the 2011 Sprint Cup championship.(SHR)(11-15-2012)

  • #17 & #99 to swap crews for 2013? Stenhouse crew chief? UPDATE 2: hearing that the #17 & #99 pit crews will swap for the 2013 season. Current crew chief of the #17, Jimmy Fennig could move over to the #99 Ford of Carl Edwards or go back to his position in Roush Fenway's R&D Department. Supposedly Scott Graves, who currently is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s crew chief when he drives the #6 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will move over to the #17 Sprint Cup Series ride with Stenhouse when he moves to the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. Edwards could end up with Fenning as his crew chief, or keep Chad Norris. his current crew chief. Also, former Edwards crew chief, Bob Osbourne could return to the #99 pitbox. In September Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush said he didn't expect any crew chief changes for the team in 2013 and that Osbourne's "health is still a question mark.''(11-9-2012)
    UPDATE: veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig will move to the #99 team with driver Carl Edwards. Fennig replaces Chad Norris, who filled in after Bob Osborne stepped down in July due to health concerns. Norris is expected to oversee the #60 Nationwide Series team. Scott Graves, who has been working as Edwards' team engineer, will take the reins for Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s rookie campaign.(FoxSports)(11-14-2012)
    UPDATE 3 Roush Fenway Racing has announced that veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig will lead Carl Edwards and the #99 Roush Fenway Sprint Cup team in its championship run in 2013. In addition, up and coming crew chief Scott Graves will lead the #17 team and defending Nationwide Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. during his rookie campaign next season. "We are excited about this change on both fronts," said team owner Jack Roush. "Pairing two highly successful veterans like Carl and Jimmy should be quite a matchup and it is our expectation based on what Jimmy has been able to accomplish with many high profile drivers, that it will provide the spark to get the #99 program and Carl back into championship form. However, we are particularly excited about teaming up Scott Graves and Ricky. Through his extensive research and development work, Scott has an excellent understanding of the new 2013 body style. In his short time as a crew chief he has demonstrated a cunning knack as a leader on the pit box and he is going to be a great match for Ricky as he makes his move upwards into the Sprint Cup ranks."(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-15-2012)

  • Kid Rock to perform at Ford EcoBoost 400: Multi-platinum selling American rock star Kid Rock will be performing a live set prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship Ford EcoBoost 400 next Sunday (Nov. 18) at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In addition to the pre-race show, Kid Rock will serve as the celebrity pace car driver and, together with the track, offer a ticket package that includes:
    · One premium Grandstand ticket to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship Ford EcoBoost 400
    · One pre-race Pit Pass that includes stageside access for the show
    · A digital download of his new album "Rebel Soul," set to drop the day after the race  Monday, November 19.
    The ticket package is available now via homesteadmiamispeedway.com/kidrock or by calling 305.230 5255.(HMS)(11-15-2012)

  • Trio of Television Stars Headline Ford Championship Weekend: It is an impressive line-up of talent for Ford Championship Weekend, both on and off the track. Pre-race ceremonies at Homestead-Miami Speedway feature a variety of regional and national talent. The 2012 finalist on NBC's "The Voice" Chris Mann will perform the National Anthem on Sunday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400. CEO of The World Famous West Coast Customs Ryan Friedlinghaus will wave the green flag for Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 as the Honorary Starter.
    Johnathan Hillstrand Captain of F/V Time Bandit featured on Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" will utter the most famous words in racing  "Drivers, start your engines," as Grand Marshal for the Ford EcoBoost 400. Kid Rock's performance on Sunday's pre-race stage will begin at 1:00 p.m. Driver introductions for Sunday's championship race will be handled by Bruce Buffer, the "Veteran Voice of the Octagon," for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Ford's Global Car and Crossover Group Marketing Manager Amy Marentic will serve as Grand Marshall for the Ford EcoBoost 300. Rock Ridge Music Recording Artist Chelsea Bain is performing the National Anthem on Saturday (HMS). For a loste of the Sprint Cup Series race dignataries, see my Homestead Race Info page.(11-15-2012)

  • Ford EcoBoost 400 winner to recieve a boat: Homestead-Miami Speedway is again giving away a uniquely South Florida "trophy" to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 race winner. It's a Bay Boat, built by Homestead-based Contender Boats. The high-performance boat features a twin stepped hull design, a first in the industry for inshore boats. Powered with a 250 horsepower Yamaha four stroke engine, the winner will be able to carry their love for speed to the water.
    New for 2012: World-famous artist Guy Harvey has designed a wrap for the boat that features checkered flags, sailfish and marlin. All 43 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 field will have a chance to win the prize boat. "We are excited to be involved with this iconic race again this year, and now to have an industry friend involved with the trophy boat makes it even better," said Contender Boats Director of Marketing Les Stewart Jr. "The winner truly is taking home a piece of south Florida."
    "Our relationship with Contender Boats started in 2011, and now includes another natural in Guy Harvey," said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. "It's fantastic to bring together these two uniquely South Florida entities that have collaborated to design and outfit this one-of-a-kind boat for our race winner."
    In addition to the design for the boat wrap, Guy Harvey and Homestead-Miami Speedway are teaming up for other fan elements:
    · Harvey has designed the cover of the official Ford Championship Weekend program, which will be on sale at the track during race weekend.
    · Harvey has also designed commemorative posters and t-shirts that will be for sale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, both during race weekend and beyond. Proceeds from the sales of the t-shirts will be donated to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and Homestead-Miami Speedway's Driving for a Cause Foundation.
    · NASCAR stock cars that include Guy Harvey Custom Wraps will be on display at Miami Beach's Clevelander and the Bass Pro Shop in Miami's Dolphin Mall.(HMS)(11-14-2012)


    News from November 14, 2012

  • Gordon, DuPont and HMS Celebrate 20th Anniversary: This Thursday marks 20 years to the day when a bright new sponsor took a chance on a rookie driver with a newly formed Hendrick Motorsports team. And the rest, as they say, is history. Jeff Gordon burst on the NASCAR Cup Series scene in a big way at the season-ending race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1992 with global Fortune 500 Company DuPont as a sponsor. The trademark DuPont oval adorned the hood of the famous rainbow-colored No. 24 car designed by renowned motorsports artist Sam Bass to depict the Automotive Finishes paint that DuPont set out to showcase through its sponsorship. Four championships, 86 victories, over 250,000 customers who have been entertained by DuPont through one of the most prolific at-track hospitality programs in the history of the sport, and four DuPont primary paint schemes later, Gordon reflects on the success of the partnership. "DuPont gave a young guy with a dream a shot - and I'll never forget that," said Gordon. "They have been a partner in so many more ways than just sponsoring our team. Over two decades, not only have they supported the business of racing at Hendrick Motorsports and my career, but we have built very strong relationships with all of the DuPont employees. After a few years into the sponsorship, I started to consider myself a DuPont employee - which is an honor. So I just want to thank all of my 'co-workers' for being my most loyal supporters for the last 20 years." DuPont has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials and services since 1802. Many of the company's products help keep drivers safe on the track; from their fire-resistant suits to the SAFER barriers at all raceways to unique, light weight plastic in the HANS device to the DuPont Kevlar in seats and tires of the car. This weekend, the "DuPont 20 Years" celebration will include a special commemorative DuPont paint scheme, a customer event on Saturday night and again in hospitality on race morning. They will celebrate, reflect on the years and all wins at every track on the schedule with the exception of one. Gordon will take to the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday to change that and put an exclamation point on his 20-year career with DuPont.(HMS/Performance PR Plus), see images of the car on the #24 Team Schemes page.(11-14-2012)

  • New look for Dale Jr's car at Homestead: For this weekend's race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will use the canvas of his #88 Chevy to debut the 2013 National Guard paint scheme. Earnhardt helped design the blue-and-white look that will adorn the soon-to-be unveiled 2013 Chevrolet SS. The new Chevrolet model will be revealed on Nov. 29 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas.(HMS), see an image of the car on the #88 Team Schemes page.(11-14-2012)

  • Kurt Busch Scheduled for National Interviews to Promote Kurt Busch The Outlaw: #78 Furniture Row Racing driver Kurt Busch will be in New York City Thursday morning to promote his 60-minute documentary, Kurt Busch The Outlaw. The documentary, produced by Zero Point Zero Production, will air on SPEED Thursday evening (Nov. 15) 8:00pm/et. Busch is scheduled for live interviews Thursday on FOX News Channel Fox & Friends at 6:50am/et and on CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien at 8:15am/et. He is also scheduled to be on the Kilmeade & Friends FOX News Radio program at 9:34am/et. Following the New York City media tour, Busch will head to Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of Sunday's season finale for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(FRR)(11-14-2012)

  • Ragan hopes to return to Front Row Motorsports in 2013: This weekend David Ragan will be completing his first season with Front Row Motorsports (FRM) as the driver of the #34 Ford. Ragan, 26, joined the organization in late January and has piloted the FRM 34 Ford in all events this year. He has collected two top-10 and one top-five finishes this season. His best result came at Talladega in October when he crossed the line in the fourth position. Said Ragan: "As my first season ends with Front Row Motorsports, I want to thank everyone associated with the team and organization. I've got to thank Bob (Jenkins, team owner), Jerry Freeze (General Manager), Jay (Guy, crew chief) and everyone on my crew. I think everyone worked really hard this year. We expected a little bit more, but now we can concentrate on working on what's next. I'd like the opportunity to come back with Front Row Motorsports in 2013. We have had some discussions about that, but don't have anything locked up just yet. I think those are the talks we have over the off-season, but I feel we're all in this together. We know where we can make some improvements. We made some strides forward this year, but we all know that there is still a lot of room to grow. I'd like to be a part of that. I think Front Row Motorsports is really one of the few organizations that have the ability to really make another big leap forward next year. Looking around, everyone can improve, but I think Front Row can really make a big leap with the right pieces. It's really a great team and I've enjoyed myself here. I hope I can return in 2013 and be part of the continued growth."(FRM)(11-14-2012)

  • Dodge going for first driver championship since 1975: Dodge's #2-Brad Keselowski leads the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with a 20-point advantage over Jimmie Johnson. All other Chase drivers have been mathematically eliminated. Dodge is seeking its first Sprint Cup Series championship since 1975 (Richard Petty). Dodge teams have recorded 57 victories since the manufacturer's return to NASCAR's premier series in 2001. Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006). Dodge has seven NASCAR driver's championships  7 (Cup: David Pearson (1966) Bobby Isaac (1970) Richard Petty (1974, '75) Nationwide Brad Keselowski (2010) NCWTS: Bobby Hamilton (2004) Ted Musgrave (2005).(SRT/Dodge/RAM Motorsports PR), NOTE: this week's Homestead race will signal farewell  for now anyway  for the Dodges wheeled by Keselowski. Dodge won its first race in 1953 with Lee Petty, its last driver championship in 1975 with Richard Petty and rejoined the series with manufacturer-supported teams in 2001. Keselowski's five 2012 victories bring Dodge's win total to 217.(NASCAR)(11-14-2012)

  • Bobby Labonte back with JTG Daugherty Racing in 2013: With Thanksgiving Day around the corner, the curtain closes on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series year at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday. It's been a long season, but JTG Daugherty Racing's driver Bobby Labonte is already preparing for a fresh start in February 2013. Next year, the 2000 champion driver will return to the seat of the #47 Toyota Camry that is sponsored by Clorox this weekend. Labonte, who finished 15th in the most recent event at Phoenix International Raceway, aims to finish the season on a high note in Homestead. "We are continuing to make strides," Labonte said. "We've come a long way. We have some momentum on our side going into Homestead and the off season. We hope to close out the year and give Clorox and all of our partners a strong finish."(JTG Daugherty Racing)(11-14-2012)

  • Xxxtreme Motorsport Focused on 2013: After qualifying a solid 34th position for last Sunday's AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the Xxxtreme Motorsport team will not make the trek to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, team owner John Cohen announced. The #44 No Label Ford, driven by David Reutimann, finished p40 on Sunday, exiting the race early with a vibration. Reutimann had a prior arrangement to run the final race of the season with another team, and rather than find a different driver for the Sprint Cup car, Cohen opted to use this time to keep looking forward and preparing for the 2013 season. "We're trying to develop consistency within the program, and that starts with the same driver," Cohen said. Cohen will now focus on locking in a full-time sponsor and driver, a deal on which he said he and the team are swiftly closing.(Xxxtreme Motorsport)(11-14-2012)


    News from November 13, 2012

  • Phoenix TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 11, earned a 3.3 household coverage rating (2.8 U.S. rating), averaging 4,423,473 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was even with last year's race and up from a 2.9 for the race in 2010..(ESPN), see ratings for past 2012 ratings and 4-year comparison chart on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(11-13-2012)

  • The Numbers for Homestead and 2012 Caution Update:
    1 - driver winning race and season championship same year (Tony Stewart, 11/20/12)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (Bobby Labonte, 11/16/03)
    1 - fewest cautions (11/14/99)
    2 - races won from the pole
    5 - fewest caution laps (11/14/99)
    6 - fewest on lead lap at finish (11/12/00)
    6 - fewest leaders (11/17/02)
    7 - number of jet dryers available for use this weekend
    8 - different race winners
    9 - different pole winners
    9 - races won from a top-10 starting position
    12 - fewest lead changes (11/17/02)
    14 - most cautions (11/21/04)
    15 - most leaders (11/20/11)
    26 - most lead changes (11/20/11)
    29 - most on lead lap (11/22/09)
    31 - fewest running at finish (11/21/10)
    42 - most running at finish (11/11/01)
    79 - most caution laps (11/21/04)
    105 - minutes it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall
    214 - most laps led by race winner (Matt Kenseth, 11/18/07)
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    10 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington, Sonoma, Michigan2, Atlanta,Talladega2, Texas2 and Phoenix2)
    14 - most cautions this season (Kansas2)
    213 - number of cautions in the first 35 races of 2012; includes 101 for accidents, 56 for debris and 25 for spins
    1,112 of 10,175 - number of laps under caution in 2012
    1,504.452 of 13,319.176 - miles under caution in the first 34 races
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(11-13-2012)

  • Homestead Notes and Facts:
    · Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex - as the track was originally named - began Aug. 24, 1993. The first race was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Nov. 5, 1995.
    · The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's layout.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999.
    · 2002 was the first season of the Championship Weekend at Homestead, with all three of NASCAR's national series holding their season finale at the same track.
    · Since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975, only four drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip), Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison), Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (made up 15 points on Denny Hamlin) and last season Tony Stewart (made up three* points on Carl Edwards).
    (* - Stewart's comeback was under the one-point-per-position format implemented in 2011.)
    · There have been 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Homestead, one per season since 1999.
    · Four drivers have competed in all 13 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, and Tony Stewart.
    · David Green won the first pole, in 1999 with a speed of 155.759 mph.
    · Tony Stewart won the inaugural race, in 1999 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
    · There have been nine different pole winners. Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson lead all drivers, with two.
    · There have been eight different race winners, led by Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart, with three each.
    · Jack Roush has won seven races, most among owners. Joe Gibbs has the second most wins with four.
    · The race has been won from the pole twice: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002).
    · The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in nine of 13 races.
    · Denny Hamlin won in 2009 from the 38th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
    · Two active drivers have averaged a top-10 finish: Carl Edwards (5.3) and Kevin Harvick (7.9).
    · Kasey Kahne (7.2) is the only driver to average a starting position in the top-10.
    (NASCAR)(11-13-2012)

  • Possible Truck Series race on the dirt at Eldora UPDATE2: NASCAR may be considering adding a dirt race at Eldora Speedway to its Truck Series schedule. Multiple sources within the series said they've been told a dirt track could be added to the schedule in 2013. Sources also said a Richard Childress Racing truck was prepared for a test at Eldora, owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. The test was scheduled to take place Monday or Tuesday, the sources said. Officials at Eldora could not be reached for comment. Stewart has been asking NASCAR to add a race at his half-mile track in Rossburg, Ohio, for several years. It is the site of his annual Prelude to the Dream charity event. NASCAR officials declined to address specifically whether Eldora was under consideration for a truck race, but the series is looking at potential venues it hasn't been to before. "We've made several site visits over the past few months to look at possible future venues for our Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series," spokesman Kerry Tharp said on Tuesday. "We expect the 2013 schedules for both of those series to be finished up and released within the next couple of weeks."(ESPN.com)(10-17-2012) UPDATE: Stewart comments: "The rumor about the Trucks, trust me I would be ecstatic if we could get any NASCAR race at Eldora that would be great. I have talked to NASCAR they have been looking at all kinds of different tracks. It has been brought up in conversation but that is about as far as it has come right now."(Team Chevy Racing PR)(10-19-2012)
    UPDATE2: The NASCAR Truck Series will race next season on the half-mile dirt track at Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio, multiple sources confirmed. An official announcement of the move could come as early as Wednesday. The race would be the first on dirt for any of NASCAR's three national series  Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Trucks - in its "modern era." The track, owned by Cup driver #14-Tony Stewart, does not have energy-absorbing SAFER barriers installed and no permanent medical facility on property. Sources said NASCAR is expected to waive its policy  adapted beginning in 2005  that SAFER barriers be installed at all oval tracks hosting its three national series. Why NASCAR is willing to make an exception in this case is unclear.(Charlotte Observer)(11-13-2012)

  • UFC's Buffer to announced drivers at Homestead: Bruce Buffer, the "Veteran Voice of the Octagon," for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be introducing the participating drivers prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship Ford EcoBoost 400 race on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer made the announcement. Buffer has been the voice for the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 1996, and has called action for other mixed martial arts and sporting events worldwide. Bruce is brother of boxing announcer Michael Buffer, and is recognized internationally for his signature catchphrases. Tickets still remain for the Ford EcoBoost 400, which commences Sunday at 3:00 pm/et. Sunday will mark the 1th consecutive year in which Homestead-Miami has hosted Ford Championship Weekend and the season finale for each of NASCAR's top three national series.(HMS)(11-13-2012)


    News from November 12, 2012

  • NASCAR National Series Clinch Scenarios Set For Homestead: #2-Brad Keselowski leads five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #48-Jimmie Johnson by 20 points going into Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Keselowski clinches his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with a finish of 15th or better; or 16th and at least one lap led; or 17th and the most laps led, even if Johnson wins and leads the most laps. All other drivers have been eliminated from championship consideration.
    Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who leads by 20 points over second-place Elliott Sadler, will clinch the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship with a finish of 16th or better; or 17th or better with at least one lap led; or 18th or better with most laps led at Homestead. In the owners championship battle, the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota guarantees a clinch of the title with a finish of 28th or better; or 29th or better with at least one lap led; or 30th or better with the most laps led. The #18 currently leads the #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford by 33 points.
    James Buescher has an 11-point lead over Timothy Peters heading into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale. Buescher guarantees himself his first championship with a finish of 7th or better with no laps led; or 8th or better with one lap led; or 9th or better with the most laps led. The clinch scenarios for the NCWTS owners championship is the same, with Buescher's points-leading #31 leading Peters' #17 by 11 points.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(11-12-2012)

  • NASCAR Issues Penalties From Sunday's Event at Phoenix: NASCAR announced penalties to three teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing)  altercation with another competitor on the race track during the race  and has been fined $100,000, docked 25 championship driver points and put on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Rick Hendrick, owner of the #24 car, has also been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points. Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the #24 car, also was found to be in violation of Section 9-4A (at all events, crew chief assumes responsibility of his driver, car owner and team members) and has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    Brian Pattie, crew chief of the #15 car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A and has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 car, has been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating Sections 12-1 and 20-6.7A (cars and drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic recording devices, electronically actuated devices, power distribution modules, power conditioners, micro-processors, recording devices, electronic digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the like, even if inoperable or incomplete)  driver had a cell phone in his possession onboard the race car. All of these violations occurred during the Nov. 11 event at PIR.
    Statement From Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition: "Following a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway, we have issued penalties based upon our review. The decisions announced today cover NASCAR's full assessment of penalties for the incidents that occurred. There's no doubt that a unique set of circumstances combined with a championship battle on the line resulted in raw emotions coming into play. We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them."(NASCAR)(11-12-2012)

  • Michael Waltrip Racing Official Statement: "We accept the penalties announced by NASCAR today and look forward to finishing what has been a breakthrough season for Michael Waltrip Racing."(MWR)(11-12-2012)

  • Hendrick Motorsports Statement: Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal sanctions announced today by NASCAR regarding the #24 Sprint Cup Series team and driver Jeff Gordon. "I've always respected Jeff for standing his ground," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We also respect that NASCAR needs to police the sport and send a message when situations like this occur. It's been a great year, and we're going to put our focus on finishing in a positive way this weekend."
    "I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack," Gordon said. "I accept NASCAR's decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead."(HMS)(11-12-2012)

  • The Entry List for the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Ken Schrader is listed in the #32 Ford; David Reutimann is back in the #10.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (46/2)
    #19-Mike Bliss (45/28)
    #21-Trevor Bayne (36/15)
    #23-Scott Riggs (44/30)
    #26-Josh Wise (40/35)
    #30-David Stremme (38/35)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (37/35)
    #37-J.J. Yeley (50/19)
    #79-Reed Sorenson (52/10)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/35)
    #91-Reed Sorenson (51/14)
    #98-Michael McDowell (39/35)
    withdrew from the race:
    #44-TBA (56/1)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,33,30,26,98,87,23,19
    missing the race would be [4]: # 37,91,79,6
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Homestead Entry List

  • MWR Statement: "The goal of Michael Waltrip Racing is to be a championship-level organization both on and off the track. The on-track incident which occurred during Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway was extremely disappointing and brought raw emotions of a long and hard championship battle to the surface. Though we generally cannot control certain actions on the track, the unfortunate reactions off the track Sunday did not live up to the professional standards in which Michael Waltrip Racing expects all of its representatives to live by. We commit to our sponsors, our manufacturer, our fans and NASCAR that we will do so in the future."(MWR)(11-12-2012)

  • Phoenix TV Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:03 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:29 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 111
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 50
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 66
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 42
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 45
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 24
    Number of times ESPN utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 10
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 33
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:03 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:29 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 206
    Minutes of race broadcast: 176
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 30
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 23
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 176 Total comm. brdcst time 30
    See past races, links and more on my 2012 TV Commercials page.(11-12-2012)

  • Gordon and Bowyer comment about their 'incident' at Phoenix: on Lap 310 of the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, there was an incident on track between #24-Jeff Gordon and #15-Clint Bowyer, and then their crews in the pits, a few comments from each driver:
    first #24-Jeff Gordon: Gordon: "Things have gotten escalated over the year and I have just had it. Clint (Bowyer) has run into me numerous times, wrecked me and he got into me on the back straightaway, pretty much ruined our day. I have had it, was fed up with it and got him back."
    Q) IN THE MELEE IN THE GARAGE DID YOU GET HIT?
    Gordon: "No."
    Q) ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT ANY PENALTIES?
    Gordon: "They've got to do what they've got to do. Just like I had to do what I had to do."
    Q) ON INCIDENT:
    Gordon: "Clint (Bowyer) has run into me numerous times, wrecked me. He got into me on the back straightaway, and pretty much ruined our day. I had it. That was it, and got him back."
    Q) WHAT DID YOU TELL THEM IN THE NASCAR HAULER?
    Gordon: "I told them what I just told you."
    Q) ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT WHAT COMES NEXT?
    "They've got to do what they've got to do, and I guess I had to do what I had to do."(Team Chevy)
    next #15-Clint Bowyer:
    Q) What happened between you and Jeff Gordon?
    Bowyer: "I mean the racing -- it's just a shame. The last person in the world you want to get into anything with is Jeff Gordon on the race track. I mean, you're down there racing, the track's extremely slick, we're all on tires -- I didn't even need to pass him. That's the thing. All I was doing is riding around biding my time. The only thing I had to do is keep the 5 car (Kasey Kahne) within reach, so for him to act like that -- I mean, I barely touched him and then I feel him get into turn three and try to turn me and he missed and then next thing I know Brett's (Griffin, spotter) telling me on the radio that he's trying to -- he's waiting on me. It's pretty embarrassing for a four-time champion -- and what I consider one of the best this sport's ever seen -- to act like that is just completely ridiculous."
    Q) What did NASCAR say when you met them after the race?
    Bowyer: "I don't know. There's nothing you can do to fix it now. It's over with. You've got to go on to Homestead (-Miami Speedway). I've got to try to beat the 5 car (Kasey Kahne), but I mean that was my opportunity to try to get myself back in the championship hunt. When you're disrupting a championship run like that, it's too bad. They asked us not to do that in the driver's meeting and there's usually a lot of respect there. Like I said, it's crazy -- I didn't even need to pass him. I was plenty content riding behind him and he slipped up down there, I get under him and here he comes back. I just barely touched him. I literally barely rubbed him and then all the sudden I feel him trying to retaliate and -- I don't know -- missed or something and hit the wall and made himself look like a fool."
    Q) Will you retaliate?
    Bowyer: "We just have to see."
    Q) Did Jeff Gordon say anything to you in the meeting with NASCAR after the race?
    Bowyer: "Not really -- it's pretty soon to be talking to him (Jeff Gordon)."
    Q) Should NASCAR penalize Jeff Gordon?
    Bowyer: "You guys have been covering this sport a long time. Same circumstances happened -- what was it, last year or year before and disrupted a championship and I don't understand how that's any different. Like I said, it's over with and done and have to go to Homestead (-Miami Speedway) and do the best we can."(Toyota Racing)(11-12-2012)

  • Johnson talks about his accident and 32nd place finish at Phoenix:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson was the points leader coming into the race at Phoenix, but finished 32nd due to an accident when a right front tire blew with 77 laps to go. The team made reapirs and Johnson returned to the race 33 laps down.
    Johnson: "We still have to go to Homestead and race and anything can happen down there. But this is not the position we want to be in late in Phoenix. I feel terrible for my team and how hard these guys work; everybody at Hendrick Motorsports and Lowe's and Kobalt Tools and Chevrolet. Across the board there has been a huge effort put in to try to get us a championship and I just hate for our day to turn out as it did today. But, that's racing and we'll go to Homestead and do all we can down there and see how things pan out."
    Q) WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THE RACE CAR AND WHAT WERE YOU TRYING TO DO WITH IT WHEN THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED?
    Johnson: "We were cruising along and I think we would have had a top five day or a top 10 day if things worked out at the end. And I had a slight vibration starting in the right front. I didn't really know where it was coming from but clearly now it was the right front. And as I was coming off of Turn 4, it went down and I went straight in the wall. If I were another 30 or 40 feet around the corner, I probably would just have had a flat and not hit the wall. But, where it let go, I had a direct line to the wall and knocked it down."
    Q) FATE USUALLY SMILES ON YOU, BUT IT DIDN'T SEEM TO THAT TIME
    Johnson: "No, that's the way it goes. Anything can happen in racing. I'm very proud of the year. I'm very proud of the effort my entire Lowe's team has put in. I hate to see it potentially end this way, but again, that's racing. I've been doing this a long time and I've won a few championships and I've lost a lot. Losing isn't any fun; but we'll be back next weekend and next year and do the best job we can."
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE ON THE RACE TRACK?
    Johnson: "We blew a tire coming off Turn 4 and I hit the wall real hard and damaged the race car. I think we would have been in the top five maybe at best; maybe 7th or 8th the way the race was unfolding. It's unfortunate to have the day end like this and potentially end our season and hopes for a championship this way."
    Q) DESCRIBE NOW THE EMOTIONS AND WHAT YOU GUYS HAVE TO DO TO REGROUP TO RALLY BACK WHEN YOU GET TO MIAMI?
    Johnson: "Well, that's what this team is made of. We'll always rally and regroup and do all we can. Unfortunately we lost a lot of control or all control in the championship. We can go down there and win the race and do everything on our behalf and it still won't net us a championship. So, we'll go down and do our part and just see how things unfold. Today was proof that anything can happen in this sport and we'll see how things shake out in Miami."
    Q) ON CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Johnson: "It's way, way out of our control obviously with the problem we had today. We still have to go to Homestead and race. Anything can happen down there, but not the position we want to be in leaving Phoenix. I feel terrible for my team and how hard these guys work. Everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, Lowe's, KOBALT Tools, Chevrolet, across the board this has been a huge effort put into this to try to get us a championship. I just hate for our day to turn out as it did today, but that's racing. We will go to Homestead and do all we can down there and see how things pan out."(See more quotes by Johnson and other drivers at Team Chevy)(11-12-2012)

  • Gibbs feels good about re-signing Kyle Busch: The president of Joe Gibbs Racing is optimistic the organization will sign #18-Kyle Busch to an extension. "I feel good that we'll get it all together,'' J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway in which Busch will start on the pole. "I'm not going to say anything official, but we feel good about it.'' Busch is entering the last year of his contract in 2013. There had been speculation he might go to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Sources told ESPN.com's Marty Smith on Friday that SHR has signed Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick for the 2014 season and would go to four cars with Harvick, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Ryan Newman if he re-signs after next season. Gibbs wouldn't confirm whether an extension with Busch would be signed before next season, but remained adamant he wants to get it done sooner rather than later. Busch was not available for comment.(ESPN)(11-12-2012)

  • Pennzoil helps Paralyzed Veterans of America: on Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, Pennzoil announced the donation of three retro-fitted Dodge vehicles to three paralyzed veterans as part of the brand's Long Love Cars campaign, which celebrates the common themes associated with automotive passion, including music and freedom, as well as sharing the joy with others. The vehicles were presented at a ceremony on Veteran's Day prior to the 500-mile race at Phoenix International Raceway. The three veterans were selected from hundreds and received a vehicle of their choosing, retro-fitted to their specific needs.
    To help injured veterans regain their driving independence, the makers of Pennzoil donated $100,000 to the Paralyzed Veterans of America to support the organization's Mission:ABLE program to retro-fit vehicles for injured veterans through the Long Love Cars Contest. Alongside the Long Love Cars contest, Pennzoil donated a portion of each qualifying Pennzoil motor oil purchase at Dollar General stores to the Paralyzed Veterans, which generated an additional $50,000 donation. The three recipients were: Jason Morgan, Lonn Cunningham and Ronald Courteau Jr. See images and more info at PVA.org and/or Pennzoil's Facebook page.(Pennzoil PR)(11-12-2012)


    News from November 11, 2012

  • Harvick wins at Phoenix: #29-Kevin Harvick won the AdvoCare 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway for his 1st win of year, 1st win in 44 races and 19th career win.
    #11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #5-Kahne, #39-Newman, #2-Keselowski, #16-Biffle, #78-Busch, #27-Menard and #55-Martin (this order could change since there a big wreck at the end of the race).
    The race was pretty mellow until #48-Johnson, the points leader going into the Phoenix race, melted a tire bead from excessive brake heat and lost a front right tire and smacked the turn 4 wall hard on lap 234. Johnson ended up finishing 32nd and lost the points lead to #2-Keselowski, who now has a 20 point lead over Johnson going into the final race at Homestead and if Keselowski finishes 15th or better, there is nothing Johnson can do to overtake him.
    With a few laps to go, #24-Gordon was limping around with a tire going down. Gordon was black flagged by NASCAR to bring the car into the pits, but Gordon waited for #15-Bowyer, who had made contact a few laps earlier to cause the tire cut on the #24. Gordon spun out Bowyer, also collecting #20-Logano and #43-Almirola. #2-Keselowski went by the mess on the bottom of the track. When Gordon got out of his car, some of the crewmen from the #15 and #24 teams got in to a short brawl. THEN Bowyer got out of his car and ran to the #24 hauler to confront Gordon and the team. Calm was restored and both drivers and crew chiefs were called to the NASCAR hauler. There was an almost 15 minute red flag to clean up the track for the green-white-checkered finish.
    #29-Harvick was the leader at that point and his car owner, Richard Childress, protested to NASCAR that Harvick had taken the white flag before the yellow came out for the caution. But replays/video showed that the yellow was out before the Harvick took the white flag at the start/finish line.
    SO...on the green-white-checked run, Harvick came off turn 4 heading to the white flag when #10-Patrick spun around, NASCAR did not throw the yellow flag and let the cars race the final lap. Patrick was able to get the car to the bottom of the front stretch and was limping the car back, but fluid was on the track, both Harvick and the 2nd place car, #11-Hamlin slid a bit coming off turn 4, but recovered and Harvick won the race. A bunch of cars in the top 10 were not so lucky and spun in the fluid with #39-Newman, #78-Busch, #27-Menard and #55-Martin all getting collected in the mess. #2-Keselowski, was hit and had some damage to the side of the car, but was able to drive thru it and finish 6th.
    #18-Busch, the pole sitter, led the most laps but for the 8th time in a row when leading the most laps, failed to win the race.
    There were 8 cautions for 38 yellow flag laps, there was a 14 minute, 58 second red flag late in the race. There were 11 lead changes among 7 drivers. The average speed was 111.182mph.
    The estimated attendence was 87,000, up from 85,000 last November.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Phoenix Race Results page (pdf) and the official race and points rundown on the Official Phoenix Race & Points Report.(11-11/12-2012)

  • Where did the 12 Chase drivers finish at Phoenix?
    [by points standings before the race]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson 32nd - accident
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski 6th
    3) #15-Clint Bowyer 28th - accident
    4) #5-Kasey Kahne 4th
    5) #17-Matt Kenseth 14th
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon 30th - accident
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin 2nd
    8) #14-Tony Stewart 20th
    9) #56-Martin Truex Jr. 42nd - engine
    10) #16-Greg Biffle 7th
    11) #29-Kevin Harvick WON
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 21st
    (11-11-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver CHASE Championship Points Standings:
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36]
    1) #2-Brad Keselowski [5 wins], 2371
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [5 wins], 2351, -20
    Drivers who have been eliminated:
    3) #5-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 2321, -50
    4) #15-Clint Bowyer [3 wins], 2319, -52
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin [5 wins], 2309, -62
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 2297, -74
    7) #16-Greg Biffle [2 wins], 2293, -78
    8) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 2285, -86
    9) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 2284, -87
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 2281, -90
    11) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 2260, -111
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 2211, -160
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings without Chase:
    (classic system using current points system but NOT the chase system)
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36]
    1) #2-Brad Keselowski(X) [5 wins], 1230
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson(X) [5 wins], 1222, -8
    3) #16-Greg Biffle(X) [2 wins], 1201, -29
    4) #17-Matt Kenseth(X) [3 wins], 1191, -39
    5) #15-Clint Bowyer(X) [3 wins], 1171, -59
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin(X) [4 wins], 1147, -83
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick(X) [1 win], 1126, -104
    8) #56-Martin Truex Jr.(X) [0 wins], 1122, -108
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(X) [1 win], 1110, -120
    10) #5-Kasey Kahne(X) [2 wins], 1105, -125
    11) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 1091, -139
    12) #14-Tony Stewart(X) [3 wins], 1085, -145
    13) #24-Jeff Gordon(X) [1 win], 1058, -172
    14) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 1009, -221
    15) #99-Carl Edwards [0 wins], 998, -232
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    (X) = a Chase driver.

  • Race Fast Facts - Phoenix
    #29-Kevin Harvick won the 25th Annual AdvoCare 500, his 19th victory in 429 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2012. He breaks a 44-race winless streak dating to Richmond on Sept. 10, 2011. This is Richard Childress Racing's first win of 2012.
    This is his third victory and 10th top-10 finish in 20 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #11-Denny Hamlin (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 15 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 17th top-10 finish in 2012.
    #18-Kyle Busch (third) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 16 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #33-Stephen Leicht (35th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #2-Brad Keselowski leads the point standings by 20 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-11-2012)

  • Phoenix Notes-n-Nuggets:
    " Kevin Harvick earned his 19th career win in his 429th start.
    " Kevin Harvick's last victory came at Richmond in September of 2011, 44 starts ago.
    " Kevin Harvick won for the third time at Phoenix in his 20th-career start there.
    " Kevin Harvick's three victories at Phoenix tie him for second all-time among drivers.
    " With Kevin Harvick's triumph on Sunday six of the last eight Phoenix races have been won by drivers breaking winless streaks of 44 or more races.
    " Kevin Harvick becomes the 15th different winner of 2012.
    " Kevin Harvick captured his third career Chase victory.
    " Kevin Harvick posted only his second top-10 finish of the Chase, including his first top-five showing.
    " Kevin Harvick has now won in nine of his 12 seasons in NSCS.
    " Kevin Harvick led once for the final 15 laps.
    " Richard Childress Racing earned its 101st career win including its first victory this year.
    " Richard Childress Racing won for the fourth time at Phoenix.
    " Richard Childress Racing's last win was at Talladega in 2011, 38 races ago.
    " Richard Childress Racing captured its ninth all-time Chase victory.
    " Chevrolet won for the 16th time at Phoenix and picked up its 14th victory of 2012.
    " Denny Hamlin (second) notched his seventh top-five finish in 15 races at Phoenix, finished in the top-two in both races there this season.
    " Kyle Busch (third) posted his sixth top-five finish of the 2012 Chase, tied with Johnson for the most; led 237 of 319 laps, the most of all drivers, but has now failed to win the last eight races after leading the most laps.
    " Kasey Kahne (fourth) garnered only his third top-five finish in 17 races at Phoenix.
    " Ryan Newman (fifth) picked up his first top-five finish since finishing fifth at Chicagoland in September.
    " Brad Keselowski (sixth) has finished in the top-11 in every Chase race this season; leads the points by 20 over Johnson and will win the 2012 Championship with a finish of 15th or better at Homestead regardless of where Johnson finishes.
    " Kurt Busch (seventh) has now posted top-10 finishes in consecutive races for the first time this season, finished eighth last week at Texas.
    " Jimmie Johnson (32nd) had his worst finish of 2012 Chase, lost 27 points to Keselowski and is now 20 points out of the lead.(Racing Resources and Services -- Statistics Racing Recall / nascar.com)(11-11-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Homestead:
    #36 remains in 35th and is 90 points ahead of 36th, the #21 team.
    there no chance the top-35 will change the rest of the season.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    34) #32-TBA/FAS Lane Racing, 486 +161
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 415 +90 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 325, -90pts out of the top 35
    37) #33-Whitt/Childress-Falk, 253, -162
    38) #30-Stremme/Inception, 232, -183
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    This will not matter in 2013 as the top-35 rules will cease to exist in 2013.
    For the owner points standings, see the Owners Points Standings (pdf).(11-11-2012)

  • Chevy's Dominick and Wager Honored: Judy Kouba Dominick and Nancy Wager, who represent Chevrolet in NASCAR, IndyCar, sports car racing and other series, today were announced as winners of the 2012 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. The Chapman Award is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth and was named Indy Car racing's "most influential man" of the 1980s. Chapman died in 1996 at age 80. The announcement and presentation were made at Phoenix International Raceway by Michael Knight, chairman of the selection committee, and one of Chapman's closest friends. The award is determined by a vote of media members, most of whom knew Chapman, and is authorized by the Chapman family. PR representatives from all forms of motorsports are eligible for consideration. "Judy and Nancy are truly deserving of this honor because their professionalism is in the example and spirit of Jim Chapman's," said Knight, the longtime journalist/publicist and award rights-holder.(from Michael Knight, Jim Chapman Award committee chairman and awards rights-holder.), see full press release on my Awards News page.(11-11-2012)

  • Patrick won't run Indianapolis 500: Several people familiar with her plans told The Associated Press that Danica Patrick has decided against trying to run in Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next May because it would detract from her NASCAR efforts. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because Patrick has not officially announced her intentions. "There's nothing I can say at this time," Patrick told the AP on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.(Associated Press)(11-11-2012)

  • FAS Lane Racing Features US Chrome and TMone: FAS Lane Racing announced that US Chrome and TMone will serve as Co-Primary Sponsors for this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Additionally, the team will carry major associate sponsorship from long time sponsor Southern Pride Trucking. The three companies will be featured on the #32 Ford driven by Timmy Hill. Also joining FAS Lane Racing this weekend as associate sponsors are Iowa City, IA businesses Blaze Hair Color Salon, Takanami Fusion Restaurant and Pints Pub. The Iowa City area Businesses will all adorn the deck lid of the #32 Ford. (Integrity Sports Marketing / FAS Lane Racing)(11-11-2012)

  • Special "Beyond 200: The Hendrick Motorsports Story": Beyond 200: The Hendrick Motorsports Story, an exclusive SPEED special produced by Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Productions, is scheduled to air Sunday, Nov. 11 at 8:00pm/et on SPEED. The show captures behind-the-scenes anecdotes and emotional revelations along the path to greatness for Hendrick Motorsports. NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, his current drivers  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne  and some of his past drivers  Geoff Bodine, Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader and Darrell Waltrip  gather to reflect on this storied organization's road to a milestone 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.(SPEED)(11-11-2012)

  • Phoenix International Raceway 2nd in line for redevelopment: Phoenix International Raceway, which opened in 1964, is second on International Speedway Corp.'s priority list for a redevelopment project that could include new grandstands, garages plus other fan and competitor improvements. Lesa France Kennedy, chairwoman of ISC, which owns PIR and 11 other tracks, told azcentral sports Friday that the almost 50-year-old Avondale oval is behind only flagship Daytona International Speedway for a capital improvement budget approval. "Phoenix (which has sold out grandstands seats for three of its past four Sprint Cup races) has positioned itself in line for a lot of new amenities," Kennedy said. "I don't have an exact timeline for it. This is really high-up on our list ... you will see changes." Kennedy said ISC's Board of Directors, which will meet in April, recognizes that many other Valley sports entertainment venues are new or being upgraded. "We are aware we have to notch it (PIR) up," she said. "I would say Phoenix would be next in line (to Daytona)," she said. Daytona's own potential facility redevelopment plan recently was approved by the Daytona Beach city commission.(Arizona Republic and see an interview by Lesa Kennedy at the Arizona Republic)(11-11-2012)

  • Construction Begins as Speedway Christmas Returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway: Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the spectacular holiday light show will be even bigger and better in its third year, with a new route, more than three million lights and the unique chance for visitors to drive the track. Construction has begun on the course, which starts at zMAX Dragway and winds through the 2,000-acre speedway property, into the infield of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway and onto the track itself. This year, one of the nation's largest holiday light shows, running nightly from Nov. 19-Dec. 30 Speedway Christmas will begin with a grand opening at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, Nov. 19, with a welcome ceremony at 5:30 p.m. The show runs nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day.(CMS)(11-11-2012)

  • Area Teens Learn About Safe Driving at The Glen: The sound of squealing tires and the smell of burnt rubber were in the air at Watkins Glen International Saturday (Nov 3rd)  all in the name of safe driving. For the sixth-consecutive year, the Tire Rack Street Survival Driving School brought local teens to WGI to learn the proper response to real-life driving situations behind the wheel of their own vehicles. Students from all across Upstate New York, including Corning, Rochester, Poughkeepsie, Ithaca and Vestal, participated in the all-day event. eld nationwide with nearly one hundred schools taking place in 50 locations in 2012, the Tire Rack Street Survival program is open to any person between the ages of 16 and 21. Parents or students looking for more information about this program are encouraged to visit www.streetsurvival.org.(WGI)(11-11-2012)


    News from November 10, 2012

  • Race Coverage of the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, November 11, 2012.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 3:00 pm/et; NASCAR Countdown Pre-Race show at 2:00 pm/et; green flag approx 3:15pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Monday, November 12 at 12:00am/et; SPEED, Wednesday, November 14 at 12:00pm/et

  • Happy Hour practice for the AdvoCare 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #18-Busch 135.252
    #5-Kahne 135.166
    #20-Logano 135.003
    #43-Almirola 134.958
    #24-Gordon 134.912
    #48-Johnson (1st in points) was 11th fastest
    #2-Keselowski (2nd in points) was 9th fastest
    slowest: #32-Hill 130.757 & #44-Reutimann 131.569.
    See speeds, best top-10 average and laps run on the Phoenix Happy Hour practice speeds page (pdf).(11-10-2012)

  • First Saturday practice for the AdvoCare 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #18-Busch 135.552
    #11-Hamlin 134.983
    #56-Truex Jr. 134.907
    #2-Keselowski 134.892
    #20-Logano 134.887
    #48-Johnson (1st in points) was 24th fastest
    slowest: #87-Nemechek 130.157 & #32-Hill 131.627.
    incidents: #31-Burton slapped the turn 3 wall (again) midway thru practice, the team is looking over the car, most damage seems to be of the backend of the car. The team brought out the primary car, which wrecked in Friday practice, as it was damaged less then the backup car.(11-10-2012)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #18-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. took pit stall 16, the first pitstall with an opening in front of it (not counting the 1st stall).
    #11-Hamlin, who starts 3rd took the 25th pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #27-Menard, who starts 7th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-10-2012)

  • Childress not talking about Harvick leaving: Richard Childress was visibly upset as he stood next to grandson Ty Dillon's black truck during Friday's qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway. It had nothing to do with Dillon's chances to win the Camping World Truck Series championship, trailing James Buescher by 15 points with two races remaining. It had everything to do with an ESPN.com report that Sprint Cup driver #29-Kevin Harvick has signed a multi-year deal to begin driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. "I've got a contract for 2013 and this is 2012," the owner of Richard Childress Racing said of his deal with Harvick. "I'm not talking to you about nothing [regarding that]. Too far out." Asked if Harvick had told him he will not drive for RCR beyond 2013, Childress barked, "You need to go talk to them people. Don't talk to me about it. If you want to talk to me about [the truck] championship, I'll talk about it. But don't talk to me about anything else." Harvick's departure will be huge, particularly if he takes primary sponsor Budweiser with him. Remember, RCR lost Chaser Clint Bowyer to Michael Waltrip Racing after last season due to lack of sponsorship and had to shrink from four to three teams. Some will say Harvick leaving only opens the door for Childress' other grandson, Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon, to move to Cup in 2014. But plans already were in place for Dillon to make the move then, either in the fourth car that is vacant or as a replacement for Jeff Burton, whose contract expires after 2013. And by the way, while Dillon will make his Daytona 500 debut in the #33 next year, Childress left open the possibility the #3 Earnhardt drove remains a strong possibility for his grandson. "That's still on the table," Childress said. Sources close to the situation told me Childress was blindsided by the news, which explains his mood. Replacing Harvick has to now be his No. 1 goal in order to remain relevant in the series.(in part from ESPN)(11-10-2012)

  • Rick Hendrick talks business with students: Students filled up Nelson Auditorium Wednesday night when Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, spoke to members of the N.C. State community. Though geared toward students in the University's Poole College of Management, all N.C. State community and business members could attend the event for free as part of the Wells Fargo Executive Series. The series is intended for business leaders at the national and global levels to share with students their approaches to business, as well as the challenges they face in their respective industries, according to PCOM. Hendrick's message was consistent throughout the night  that a successful business entails teamwork, taking care of all people involved in a company, and possessing the willingness to change at any given moment in time. Hendrick said he grew up on a farm unaware of what he wanted to do as an adult, but knowing that it would not be farming. Hendrick said since the age of 8 he raced cars, and learned how to fix farm equipment from his dad.(see full story at CSU Student Media)(11-10-2012)

  • Nine qualifying track records have been set in 2012, including four races in a row during June:
    1) Las Vegas, #5-Kasey Kahne, 190.456mph, March 9, 2012 - was 188.884
    2) Pocono, #20-Joey Logano, 179.598mph, June 9, 2012 - was 172.533
    3) Michigan, #9-Marcos Ambrose, 203.241mph, June 16, 2012 - was 194.232mph
    4) Sonoma, #9-Marco Ambrose, 95.262mph, June 22, 2012 - was 94.325
    5) Kentucky, #48-Jimmie Johnson, 181.818mph, July 29, 2012 - was no qualifying in 2011
    6) Watkins Glen, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 127.020mph, August 11, 2012 - was 126.421
    7) Charlotte, #16-Greg Biffle, 193.708mph, October 11, 2012 - was 193.216
    8) Kansas, #5-Kasey Kahne, 191.360mph, October 19, 2012 - was 180.856 (old layout)
    9) Phoenix, #18-Kyle Busch, 138.788mph, November 9, 2012 - was 137.221
    (11-10-2012)


    News from November 9, 2012

  • Kyle Busch wins pole at Phoenix: #18-Kyle Busch won the pole for the AdvoCare 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway with a new TRACK RECORD speed of 138.788mph for his 2nd pole of 2012 and 10th career pole. Busch has won two races from the pole.
    #56-Truex Jr will start 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #5-Kahne, #43-Almirola, #78-Busch, #27-Menard, #51-Smith, #14-Stewart and #55-Martin.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #98-McDowell, #30-Stremme, #44-Reutimann, #33-Leicht, #19-Bliss, #26-Wise, #91-Leffler and #87-Nemechek.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #37-Yeley.
    See qualifying results & starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying orderon the Phoenix Starting Lineup & Qualifying page.(11-9-2012)

  • Where will the 12 Chase drivers start at Phoenix?
    [by points standings before the race]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson 24th
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski 14th
    3) #15-Clint Bowyer 16th
    4) #5-Kasey Kahne 4th
    5) #17-Matt Kenseth 22nd
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon 11th
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin 3rd
    8) #14-Tony Stewart 9th
    9) #56-Martin Truex Jr. 2nd
    10) #16-Greg Biffle 20th
    11) #29-Kevin Harvick 19th
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 23rd
    (11-9-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Phoenix:
    #18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 25th Annual AdvoCare 500 with a lap of 25.943 seconds, 138.766 mph.
    This is his 10th pole in 292 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. His last pole came in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    This is his second pole and 21st top-10 start in 2012.
    This is his second pole in 16 races at Phoenix International Raceway. His last pole came in April 2006.
    #56-Martin Truex Jr. (second) posted his 17th top-10 start of 2012 and his ninth in 14 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #11-Denny Hamlin (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 21st in 35 races this season.
    #33-Stephen Leicht (35th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-9-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, November 9, 2012 at 6:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 6:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: 11:30pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the AdvoCare 500 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 #36-Blaney, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #18-Busch, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Phoenix Qualifying Page.(11-9-2012)

  • Friday practice for the AdvoCare 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #18-Busch 137.788
    #11-Hamlin 137.242
    #15-Bowyer 137.075
    #5-Kahne 137.012
    #56-Truex Jr. 136.873
    #48-Johnson was 27th fastest
    #2-Keselowski was 21st fastest
    slowest: #36-Blaney 131.839 and #32-Hill 132.548.
    the Phoenix track qualifying record was set in Feb 2011 at 137.279mph by Carl Edwards.
    incidents: #22-Hornish Jr. wrecked just as practice started and the team pulled out a the backup car. #36-Blaney spun around and smacked the wall but drove the car to the garage. #31-Burton crashed about 20 minutes in to the practice, did enough rear damage to go to a backup car. Burton and Hornish Jr, were both able to get out and practice in their backup cars. Late in practice #16-Biffle smacked the wall and did some damage to the right rear of the car, the team started to pull out a backup car but then decided to fix the primary car.
    This practice will determine the order for this afternoon's qualifying [slowest out first, fastest out last], scheduled for 6:10pm/et, televised on SPEED.
    See speeds, best top-10 average and laps run on the Phoenix practice 1 speeds page (pdf). (11-9-2012)

  • Go-or-Go Homers practice at Phoenix: how fast/slow were the drivers who are not in the top-35 of owners points and must qualify by speed to make the AdvoCare 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, where they practiced in Friday practice:
    the eight drivers who would make the race if things stayed the same:
    #19-Bliss, 25th fastest overall
    #98-McDowell, 31st
    #30-Stremme, 32nd
    #37-Yeley, 34th
    #26-Wise, 35th
    #44-Reutimann, 36th
    #91-Leffler, 38th
    #87-Nemechek, 39th
    the one driver who would miss the race if things stayed the same:
    #33-Leicht, 42nd
    (11-9-2012)

  • Stewart comments on Harvick rumor: #14-Tony Stewart, met with members of the media at Phoenix International Raceway and discussed future plans for SHR, the transcript in part:
    Q) DO YOU HAVE A RESPONSE TO THE STORY THAT KEVIN HARVICK WILL JOIN STEWART-HAAS RACING IN 2014?
    Tony Stewart: "Well, it's actually Dale, Jr. (SMILES BROADLY). And Marty Smith (ESPN Television personality and website reporter) is actually going to be in the fourth car. Yes, that's where we are at. (SMILES BROADLY) I will tell you this, when we have something to tell you guys, we'll tell you. I've always said that. You guys can throw darts, but when we have something to tell you that's different than what we've got going on, we'll obviously tell you."(Team Chevy)(11-9-2012)

  • Harvick to leave RCR after 2013 and head to SHR: For each of his 12 seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Kevin Harvick has driven for Richard Childress Racing. That will change in 2014. Multiple NASCAR industry sources confirmed to ESPN.com Friday that Harvick has signed a multiyear agreement to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing beginning with the 2014 season. Harvick will remain at RCR in the #29 Chevy for the 2013 campaign, sources said. "I'm looking forward to finishing out this season on a strong note with RCR and continuing to build our program going into the 2013 season with the ultimate goal of winning a championship," Harvick told ESPN.com Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, when he was asked about his future. "Anything beyond that, once I know what my future plans are set, I'll let you know." Under Stewart-Haas' current plan, sources said, Harvick will drive a fourth SHR Chevrolet, teaming with #14-Tony Stewart, #39-Ryan Newman and #10-Danica Patrick to form a four-car stable. "Stewart-Haas Racing's driver lineup is all set for 2013, but if you're talking about 2014 and if Kevin Harvick is available, that's something the team would have to look at," SHR team spokesman Mike Arning said. "Any team in this garage would do the same. From the moment Stewart-Haas Racing was formed, becoming a four-car team is something it's been striving for. They have the infrastructure to accommodate a fourth team, and if everything aligns properly, it's something they'll do. So, if a driver the caliber of Kevin Harvick is available, it's something they would pursue."(ESPN)(11-9-2012)

  • Austin Dillon to run the Daytona 500: Richard Childress Racing has partnered with General Mills for NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon to make his Daytona 500 debut driving the #33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevy on February 24, 2013, at Daytona International Speedway. The paint scheme for the 55th running of the Great American Race will also mark the NASCAR debut of Buzz, the official SpokesBee of Honey Nut Cheerios. "My family has so many memories of racing in the Daytona 500 so it is really special to me to be able to make my first Daytona 500 start," said Dillon. "With the support of General Mills and America's Favorite Cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios, I hope to continue RCR's winning tradition on restrictor plate tracks with my pal Buzz on the hood of the #33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet."
    "General Mills is thrilled to be partnering with RCR and Austin Dillon for his Daytona 500 debut," said Gregg Dorazio, Manager of Shopper Marketing and Motorsports at General Mills. "Race fans will certainly be buzzing about Austin's appearance in The Great American Race. Austin adds even more excitement and opportunity to our 2013 Cheerios® Racing team and marketing plans."
    The 2013 season will mark the fifth year of partnership between the Welcome, N.C.-based racing organization and General Mills, which is a major associate sponsor throughout the year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on the #31 Cheerios Chevrolet and driver Jeff Burton.
    "Competing in the Daytona 500 is a major step in Austin's career and we couldn't be more proud than to have General Mills expand its program with RCR for a second year on the #33 Chevrolet SS," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "Austin has made a number of Sprint Cup Series starts so he understands the pressures at NASCAR's highest level but his first start in The Great American Race will be a special one."(RCR)(11-9-2012)

  • #17 & #99 to swap crews for 2013? Stenhouse crew chief? hearing that the #17 & #99 pit crews will swap for the 2013 season. Current crew chief of the #17, Jimmy Fennig could move over to the #99 Ford of Carl Edwards or go back to his position in Roush Fenway's R&D Department. Supposedly Scott Graves, who currently is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s crew chief when he drives the #6 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will move over to the #17 Sprint Cup Series ride with Stenhouse when he moves to the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. Edwards could end up with Fenning as his crew chief, or keep Chad Norris. his current crew chief. Also, former Edwards crew chief, Bob Osbourne could return to the #99 pitbox. In September Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush said he didn't expect any crew chief changes for the team in 2013 and that Osbourne's "health is still a question mark.''(11-9-2012)

  • BK Racing switching numbers? Riggs & SHR? hearing that one of the BK Racing cars (#83 & #93) will switch to using the #23 in 2013. Supposedly they asked for the car number as a sponsor request. They did not purchase the current #23 R3 Motorsports team owned by Robert Richardson Sr., but asked NASCAR for the car number and got it. No word which car number will switch, the #83 or the #93. Some rumors have David Reutimann possibly going to one of the BK Racing rides in 2013. No word if current drivers #83-Landon Cassill or #93-Travis Kvapil will return to BK Racing in 2013. Reutimann could also staying at Tommy Baldwin Racing if the team keeps tow cars running or run with the #44 Xxxtreme team that is debuting at Phoenix this weekend. end up Some rumors have BK Racing expanding to three cars in 2013, but been told it will likely be a two-car operation in 2013. Been told that R3 Motorsports is weighing its options for 2013 and if they will run the Sprint Cup Series. As for current #23 driver, Scott Riggs, hearing he has an oppurtunity at Stewart-Haas Racing as a driving coach for Danica Patrick and/or testing cars for Stewart Haas Racing (#10, #14, #39) with a chance of running a 4th SHR Chevy in some races, if a sponsor can be found.(11-9-2012)

  • Danica Patrick to appear in two Go Daddy ads: GoDaddy.com founder Bob Parsons announced Thursday that #10-Danica Patrick will appear in both of the company's Super Bowl advertising spots in the broadcast of the Feb. 3 game in New Orleans. Parsons also said GoDaddy's relationship with Patrick in NASCAR will continue for at least the foreseeable future as she begins her first full season in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. It also was announced that GoDaddy would match up to $1 million in donations to the Semper Fi Fund, which benefits those injured while serving in the armed forces. The Super Bowl announcement ended speculation that Patrick, whose 10 appearances in Super Bowl commercials are more than any celebrity, would see her streak end after the company hired an outside agency -- Deutsch Inc. of New York -- to produce its two 30-second spots. Patrick will carry the Semper Fi Fund logo on the hood of her car in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway (ESPN)(11-9-2012)

  • Tommy Baldwin and Matthew Dillner Race for Sandy at Phoenix: Long Island, N.Y., native, Tommy Baldwin will team with fellow Long Island native and NASCAR.com Cameraman/Analyst Matthew Dillner, Feed the Children and Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) as they Race for Sandy this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Utilizing donations through feedthechildren.org/raceforsandy, Feed the Children will send much needed food and supplies to the Long Island area hit by Hurricane Sandy. Tommy Baldwin Racing and the #36 Accell Construction Chevy will promote the effort in Sunday's AdvoCare 500. Superstorm Sandy created an estimated $50 billion dollars in damage in the United States and has been responsible for 110 deaths. Feed The Children has already designated 30 trucks of relief supplies to send into areas devastated by the storm. Working with a network of partner agencies and sponsors, these shipments have arrived and will continue to arrive in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, North Carolina and other affected states. Items being delivered include ready to eat meals, food boxes, cleaning supplies and other essentials.
    Through their New Jersey distribution center and other distribution centers in Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Elkhart, Indiana, Feed The Children is able to rush desperately needed relief supplies to victims of the storm. In disasters like this one, the recovery effort will continue for months and cash donations allow Feed The Children to keep its fleet of 40 semis on the road to bring help and hope to those rebuilding their lives.
    "Tommy and a good bunch of us in the garage are from Long Island, and we haven't forgotten where we come from," explained NASCAR.com Cameraman/Analyst Matthew Dillner. "While my heart goes out to everyone effected by Sandy's path, Long Island holds a special place in my heart. I have family up there and have friends that have lost their homes. Traveling to the final races, it's tough to step off this high-speed merry-go-round that we are on, but we can do our best to help those in need while we are on it. With the Nor'easter storm on top of devastation from Hurricane Sandy, Long Island is in great need of support of all kinds. With the help of Motor Racing Outreach, Tommy Baldwin Racing and Feed the Children, we can make a difference in a lot of lives."
    "I've been racking my brain trying to find the best way to help my hometown," Tommy Baldwin said. "Matt came to me with this idea to partner with Feed the Children and MRO, and it seemed like the perfect solution. Many residents are without power and supplies or worse some who lost their homes entirely. Through Race for Sandy donations, Feed the Children can provide much needed relief. Long Island is still a big part of my life. I have family and friends who still live in the area and visit often to check in on Baldwin Automotive, also located in Long Island."(TBR)(11-9-2012)

  • Jim Chapman Award to be announced at PIR: The 2012 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations will be announced and presented Sunday at 9:45 a.m. in the Phoenix International Raceway media center. The recipient represents a major corporate participant in NASCAR. Chapman was the legendary PR executive and innovator who, in addition to racing, was Babe Ruth's PR rep, and a pioneer in financial, business and other areas of PR. He died in 1996 at age 80. The award has been presented since 1991 and PR reps from all forms of motorsports are eligible to be nominated and voted-on by the blue-ribbon media committee, most of whom knew Chapman. (from Michael Knight, Jim Chapman Award committee chairman and awards rights-holder.)(11-9-2012)

  • Ken Schrader Racing hosts car show to benefit CCM: If you've ever wanted to see the inside of a race shop, with personal tours by members of the race team, now's your chance. Ken Schrader Racing, Inc. is hosting a car show at the shop from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Specialty cars on display will include a 1940 Ford Coupe, a 1964 Amphicar, 1955 Ford Wrecker that was Schrader's dad's, race cars and trucks from Schrader's NASCAR career, a 1957 VW Baja, 1955 Ford custom-built Cabover and more. Instead of registration fees, participants are asked to bring non-perishable food items for Cooperative Christian Ministry. Spectators are also encouraged to bring food items. In addition to cool cars, there will be music, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle and food for sale.
    "Times are tough for our community and we need to make sure that the pantry at Cooperative Christian Ministry is well-stocked for the holiday season," says Ann Schrader. In addition, the team supports the Bank of North Carolina's "Food Vault" and will add to that as well. "We welcome car lovers from our area and folks who are looking for a Saturday morning family activity to join us at Schrader Racing. We urge everyone to bring non-perishable food for CCM."
    "CCM will open its 10th pantry this year to help serve the continuing need for food to help struggling families," says Ed Hosack, executive director of CCM. When families receive food from one of the CCM pantries, they can use the money saved in other areas of their budget. "Support from businesses like Ken Schrader Racing and our partners at Bank of North Carolina will help many families offset the high heating costs of the winter months."
    Registration deadline on the day of the show is 10:30 a.m. The awards ceremony will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will include awards for best of show, runner-up, best paint, top 10, charity's choice and kid's choice. Trophies are sponsored by the Bank of North Carolina. Ken Schrader Racing is located at 4403 Stough Road, Concord. For more information, contact Susan Russo at KSR, Inc., at 704-788-8315.(Independent Tribune)(11-9-2012)


    News from November 8, 2012

  • Edwards Reaches a Milestone at Phoenix with 300th Cup Start: #99-Carl Edwards will reach a career milestone on Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway making his 300th start (80th driver to do so) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Throughout his 299 starts to date he has achieved 19 wins, 92 top fives, 157 top-10 finishes and 11 poles. "My first start on pavement was at Phoenix in 2001 so it's neat to be starting my 300th Sprint Cup Series start there," Edwards said. "I cannot thank Jack Roush, everyone at Ford and all the people who believed in me enough, and gave me this opportunity to run all these races. I've learned a lot and hopefully the next 300 races include a bunch of wins and championships. That's our mission right now. This is a milestone and a reminder of how far we've come, how much we've learned and how much we've got to look forward to in the future." Edwards' first Cup start came at Michigan on August 22, 2004. He was able to claim his first top-10 finish in his first start, finishing 10th in the No. 99 Ford. "Greg Biffle won the race and all five of Jack Roush's Fords finished in the top 10," Edwards said. "I finished 10th and it was a great day. I can't tell you how neat that was. That race was 400 miles long and it could have been 4,000 miles long and I wouldn't have cared. I was so pumped to be driving one of Jack's Cup cars." Only seven months later he broke into the win column at Atlanta Motor Speedway to mark the first of his 19 Sprint Cup wins. He only led nine laps in that race, but he led the most important one which was the final lap. This weekend at Phoenix Edwards will aim to make it a double-milestone weekend with his 300th start and 20th Sprint Cup win.(RFR)(11-8-2012)

  • Special Veterans Day scheme for Newman: 'Home of the Free Because of the Brave:' Ryan Newman carries that phrase on the TV panel of his #39 Quicken Loans/U.S. Army Chevy this weekend at Phoenix. It's all part of a special paint scheme that pays tribute to our veterans. Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online retail mortgage lender, is committed to helping our veterans reach their home financing needs. Quicken Loans has introduced the Skip-a-Year Mortgage Sweepstakes, which will make mortgage payments for a full year for up to five entrants. More info at www.qlracing.com.(SHR), see image of the car on the #39 Team Schemes page.(11-8-2012)

  • Veterans Day Press Conference at PIR: Penske Racing partner, Pennzoil, is proud to announce the donation of three retro-fitted Dodge vehicles this coming Sunday, November 11th to three paralyzed veterans as part of the brand's Long Love Cars campaign. The vehicles will be presented at a ceremony on Veteran's Day prior to Sunday's AdvoCare 500 race at Phoenix International Raceway in Victory Lane at 10:30 am local time. Roger Penske, Sam Hornish, Brad Keselowski as well as reps from PIR, Pennzoil and the PVA will be a part of the ceremonies. The three veterans were selected from hundreds and received a vehicle of their choosing, retro-fitted to their specific needs. To participate in the Long Love Cars contest, the entrants shared their car story, such as their favorite memory in a car, why they need the vehicle Pennzoil would build for them, and the first place they will travel to reestablish their love of cars if they won one of the three vehicles from Pennzoil. The Long Love Cars contest ran from April 1st to September 7th and was open to any veteran with disabilities, their caregiver or spouse. Six finalists were selected for the contest and the public voted on the Paralyzed Veterans website to determine the final three winners. More than 10,000 votes were cast in the two week finalist period to select the top three.(Tom Roberts PR)(11-8-2012)

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

  • RCR makes promotes Rick Penn: Richard Childress Racing has promoted Rick Penn to the newly created position of Vice President, Business Development. Penn joined RCR in 2009 as Director of Business Development and was promoted to Managing Director of Business Development in 2010. He has overseen the growth of the business development department, from one to four people. His responsibilities include developing long-term partnerships for all of RCR's teams and growing new revenue channels. Penn has been instrumental in establishing new partnerships with Budweiser, Growth Energy, AdvoCare, WESCO and Husky Liners. "Rick has done an outstanding job for RCR since he joined us in 2009," said Ben Schlosser, chief marketing officer for Richard Childress Racing. "He has assembled a terrific team for our business development efforts, implemented solid strategies to attract new partners to RCR and has helped drive B2B activities for many of our current partners. Rick has been instrumental in forging new relationships with companies like AdvoCare, Growth Energy, WESCO, Husky Liners and a few others which we have not yet announced."(RCR)(11-8-2012)

  • Phoenix Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR national touring series in action at Phoenix this weekend will be running the same tire codes, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck Series tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Phoenix this past March, as well as last November . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Phoenix . . . Goodyear held a tire test with the 2013 Sprint Cup cars at Phoenix last month . . . teams and drivers participating in that test were the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy with Jamie McMurray, #2 Penske Racing Ford with Brad Keselowski, #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Denny Hamlin, #14 Stewart Haas Racing Chevy with Tony Stewart, #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevy with Paul Menard, #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy with Regan Smith and #99 Roush Fenway Ford with Carl Edwards (Goodyear), see full notes with tire codes, tire pressures, set limits and more on the Phoenix Race Info page - Goodyear section.(11-8-2012)

  • Veterans Day Salute planned for Phoenix: Phoenix International Raceway and NASCAR fans in attendance at the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will celebrate Veterans Day by paying tribute to the generations of men and women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during the pre-race show beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 11. All drivers from the four series' racing at PIR throughout the weekend have teamed up in support of Veterans Day weekend and will feature a commemorative decal honoring those who have served. The AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pre-race show will feature a Veterans Ceremony honoring past members of each branch of the military.
    The spectacular pre-race show will also include:
    · Newly unveiled patriotic paint scheme on the Official Grand Marshal Car
    · Special tribute video with messages from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers
    · SkyHawks Jumping Team
    · Current military members holding flags on the hillside
    · America the Beautiful
    · National Anthem
    · Fly over by Luke Air Force Base
    · Luke Air Force Base Honor Guard
    (PIR)(11-9-2012)


    News from November 7, 2012

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder Dates: Daytona Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 55th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan. 10-12. The test sessions mark the first time the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, which highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers, will turn laps on Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval. The new-look cars will conduct test sessions between 9am and 5pm each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from 12noon until 1pm.
    Race fans can also rev up their new year at the Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest  the companion event to the January test sessions. Along with watching Daytona Preseason Thunder track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy Fan Fest on Thursday, Jan. 10 from 5:30 pm  9:30 pm.
    The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Tickets for the Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, which include autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase at a later date. For fans who would like to be contacted regarding Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder. Fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Information on tickets for both the Daytona Preseason Thunder and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 will be available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-7-2012)

  • Two test dates added at Charlotte: Preparations for the rollout of the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car continue with a great deal of excitement and NASCAR has secured two additional dates at Charlotte Motor Speedway  Dec. 11-12 and Jan. 17-18  as an option for those teams that want to supplement their new car testing schedule. These tests do not count against a team's 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing allotment. NASCAR announced last month that beginning in 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will be permitted to conduct up to four tests per organization at tracks that host series events. "We've put together an aggressive and extensive testing schedule for the new car and we are pleased with how things are progressing," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition. "We have the opportunity to provide teams with a couple more optional test dates at a mile and half race track as we look to provide the most exciting and competitive racing that we possibly can. The Daytona Preseason Thunder testing will give teams the chance to prepare their cars for Speedweeks and the running of the Daytona 500. The new car has generated a lot of excitement and anticipation and we're looking forward to seeing it in competition next year."(NASCAR)(11-7-2012)

  • Texas TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 4, earned a 2.9 household coverage rating (2.5 U.S. rating), averaging 3,943,274 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year's race earned a 3.4 household coverage rating and 4.726 million viewers. Greensboro, N.C., led the nation with an 8.7 rating, with Charlotte second at 7.2. Greenville, S.C., (6.9), Norfolk (5.8) and Birmingham (5.7) rounded out the top five.(ESPN), see ratings for past 2012 ratings and four-year comparison chart on the 2012 TV Ratings page.(11-7-2012)

  • The numbers for Phoenix and caution update:
    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
    7 - number of cautions during the 2012 spring race
    10 - fewest caution laps (11/7/99)
    15 - most leaders (3/4/12)
    20 - different pole winners
    23 - different race winners
    25 - number of lead changes in spring race
    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.
    262 - most laps led by race winner (Dale Earnhardt, 11/4/90)
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    9 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington, Sonoma, Michigan2, Atlanta,Talladega2 and Texas2)
    14 - most cautions this season (Kansas2)
    205 - number of cautions in the first 34 races of 2012; includes 95 for accidents, 55 for debris and 24 for spins
    1,074 of 9,856 - number of laps under caution in 2012
    1,466.452 of 13,000.176 - miles under caution in the first 34 races.
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(11-7-2012)

  • Farmland returns to sponsor the #43: Sunday's AdvoCare 500 marks the final of four races that the Farmland colors will adorn the #43 Ford Fusion this year. Before strapping into his race car on Friday, driver Aric Almirola will strap into an F-16 fighter jet on Thursday at Luke Air Force Base in nearby Glendale, Ariz. The U.S. Air Force, a #43 team sponsor, is giving Almirola the flight of a lifetime, courtesy of the 56th Fighter Wing. Almirola will go through flight training and be fitted for his own flight suit before climbing aboard the F-16 Fighting Falcon for an authentic training exercise.(RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2012)

  • Martin leads tour of his museum for MWR: On its way to Texas last Thursday the Michael Waltrip Racing team made a stop in Batesville, Ark. to visit Mark Martin's museum at his car dealership. The seven-year-old museum is packed full of photos, uniforms, newspapers clippings, trophies, cars and memorabilia since Martin started driving on Arkansas dirt tracks for his father Julian. "This is an amazing place," said Mike "Nook" McCarville, the #55 shock specialist. "There's so much history of the sport here. To look at these cars and equipment and to see all the pictures shows you how far the sport has come and how much things change." Martin circulated among the 50 team members adding commentary to many of the displays. The museum is also a working modern car dealership. "I've wanted to bring these guys out here all year and stopping in Batesville on their way to Texas was the most convenient time," Martin said. "Arlene and I are proud of what we've built here. There are a lot of people who've helped me along the way. If you worked on any of my teams you'll probably find a picture of yourself somewhere in this building." Scott Miller, MWR's executive vice-president of competition, even found an old photograph of he and Martin racing at Riverside Raceway in the 1982 Sprint Cup race. Miller finished 13th that day. Rodney Childers & Kevin White With Martin"Now that was something I never expected to see here," Miller said. "That's pretty cool. What an honor." The museum on state road 167 in Batesville is open to the public daily. In April, Martin holds a daylong open house for fans where he signs autographs and brings racing celebrities. "It's been a long road and it's been a lot of fun and we really wanted to put all of that on display," said Martin.(MWR)(11-7-2012)

  • New team to debut at Phoenix with Reutimann UPDATE 2: hearing that a new Sprint Cup Series team will debut at Phoenix International Raceway this coming weekend. David Reutimann will run the #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports Ford [not Chevy]. Supposedly Frankie Kerr, formerly of JTG Daughtery Racing is the crew chief. The team is housed at the old TRG Motorsports location in Mooresville, NC.(11-5-2012)
    UPDATE: Xxxtreme Motorsport announced its entry into the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. The car, owned by John Cohen, will have veteran driver David Reutimann at the helm on Sunday. No Label Watches will be sponsoring the #44 Ford Fusion, with Frankie Kerr sitting atop the pit box as the team's crew chief. Cohen said the #44 Ford will be finishing out the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway and running a full season next year. "I'm looking forward to the 2013 season and building a solid program."(Xxxtreme Motorsports)(11-6-2012)
    UPDATE 2: David Reutimann will attempt to qualify for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway for a new, start-up race team. Xxxtreme Motorsport is owned by businessman John Cohen, a New York nightclub entrepreneur who owns M2 Ultra Lounge on West 28th St. in New York City. Cohen reportedly has extensive contacts in the rap music industry, and hopes to use those connections to secure sponsorship for his new race team. Cohen fielded a handful of NASCAR Nationwide Series entries under the Xxxtreme Motorsport banner for drivers Josh Wise and Chase Austin in 2009, with sponsorship from ADP Payroll Services, CAVI Clothing, Extreme Sports Performance and Macy's. Cohen has set his sights on a full schedule of Sprint Cup Series competition in 2013. Former Michael Waltrip Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing crew chief Frankie Kerr is overseeing the operation. He and Reutimann have worked together in the past, with Kerr serving as Reutimann's crew chief at MWR beginning in 2007. "Frankie is steering the ship, getting all the basic parts and pieces together," said Reutimann. "They're trying to run the last two races of the year at Phoenix and Homestead to get their feet underneath them for next season." Xxxtreme Motorsport will field a former Richard Petty Motorsports Ford this weekend at Phoenix, with horsepower from Roush Yates Engines. The team is operating out of the former TRG Motorsports shop, a 40,000 square foot facility in Mooresville, North Carolina. Kerr said the team will likely start and park in each of the next two weeks, focusing instead on gathering data for next season.(Godfather Motorsports)(11-7-2012)

  • New record for the #2 team: by finishing second at Texas on Sunday, Brad Keselowski recorded his 22nd top-10 finish of 2012. This represents a new record for top-10 finishes in a season by a driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge. Rusty Wallace previously scored 21 top 10s in the "Blue Deuce" during the 1993 and 1998 seasons.(Penske Racing)(11-7-2012)

  • Busch interested in Ross Kenseth for CWTS ride UPDATE: Kyle Busch would love to offer Ross Kenseth a Camping World Truck Series ride in 2013. While Busch is quite impressed with Kenseth and has raced against the 19-year-old in various series, the biggest stumbling block for inking a deal could be sponsorship. "I'd like to do something with Ross," Busch said. "It's just a problem trying to get funding. There's no backing for some of the drivers that are here right now. The price is obviously cheaper in the truck series. You can start small and grow big. But it's hard to get interest there." Ross Kenseth, the son of 2003 Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth, is currently studying engineering at Clemson University, but is earning quite the reputation on short tracks. In July, he won the Redbud 300 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. Last month he was victorious in the All American 400 (Fairgrounds Speedway, Nashville) and in the Winchester (Ind.) 400, besting Busch in both events.(Fox Sports)(11-3-2012)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that the team has signed Joey Coulter to compete for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver's championship in 2013. Further details regarding sponsorship and truck number will be announced at a later date.(KBM)(11-7-2012)

  • Arizona Governor Brewer named Honorary Starter for AdvoCare 500: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has been selected as the Honorary Starter for the AdvoCare 500, Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced. As the Honorary Starter, Governor Brewer will wave the green flag to start the AdvoCare 500, as well as greet the drivers during pre-race ceremonies on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.(PIR)(11-7-2012)

  • Adrian College & MIS expand partnership: Following the success of an ongoing partnership to positively impact the environment while benefitting science, technology and math education, Michigan International Speedway and Adrian College have developed plans for a first-of-its kind science center and science-related field trips at NASCAR's fastest racetrack. This unique partnership in sports will see hundreds of school children and college students from the region benefitting from learning about the ecosystem of the Irish Hills area, but also experiencing nature and conservancy that could contribute to their future work as scientists. The partnership called TRACK AND EXPLORE has provided Adrian College biology students with opportunities to research and study animal and plant life on 900 acres of the 1,400-acre, environmentally rich Michigan International Speedway. Adrian College students have already found and photographed biological samples and developed displays for the MIS offices, enlisting Adrian College art majors for illustrations. Now, in preparation for the next phase of the project, Adrian College students have developed a field guide and self-guided tour book for visitors. More info at MISpeedway.com.(MIS)(11-7-2012)


    News from November 6, 2012

  • New team to debut at Phoenix with Reutimann UPDATE: hearing that a new Sprint Cup Series team will debut at Phoenix International Raceway this coming weekend. David Reutimann will run the #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports Ford [not Chevy]. Supposedly Frankie Kerr, formerly of JTG Daughtery Racing is the crew chief. The team is housed at the old TRG Motorsports location in Mooresville, NC.(11-5-2012)
    UPDATE: Xxxtreme Motorsport announced its entry into the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. The car, owned by John Cohen, will have veteran driver David Reutimann at the helm on Sunday. No Label Watches will be sponsoring the #44 Ford Fusion, with Frankie Kerr sitting atop the pit box as the team's crew chief. Cohen said the #44 Ford will be finishing out the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway and running a full season next year. "I'm looking forward to the 2013 season and building a solid program."(Xxxtreme Motorsports)(11-6-2012)

  • Vektor Vodka to sponsor the #47 at Phoneix: Vektor Vodka will be introducing a signature drink available to fans throughout the midway called The Redline, as well as having their logo proudly displayed on the hood of Bobby Labonte's #47 JTG-Daugherty Toyota Camry. Helping to keep PIR's party alive after the checkered flag, PIR: After Dark will feature guest bartender Brad Daugherty and guest appearances by Bobby Labonte. "Teaming up with a powerhouse venue like Phoenix International Raceway is a natural progression for us," said Native Spirits CEO Dr. Mark S. Williams. "This is our hometown, and having Vektor Vodka on the hood of the JTG-Daugherty Racing #47 Toyota with an icon like Bobby Labonte on the wheel at PIR is incredible. This is our first year in what we hope will be a long term relationship with NASCAR, PIR, and the most loyal fans in sports."(PIR)(11-6-2012)

  • Howie Mandel to Host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: When the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards get underway later this month in Las Vegas, superstar comedian, actor, producer, author and judge Howie Mandel will take the stage in another role he is extremely familiar with: show host. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, which begin at 8:00 pm/et on Nov. 30 with live coverage on SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, are the culmination of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week and will honor the 2012 champion along with the rest of the top 10 drivers in the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. Other entertainment-related announcements regarding the awards show will be announced in the coming weeks.(NASCAR)(11-6-2012)

  • NASCAR The Game: Inside Line video game now available: America's number one motorsport video game is back and better than ever as Activision Publishing announced that NASCAR The Game: Inside Line is available now at retail outlets nationwide on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and the Wii system from Nintendo. Created by leading independent game developer Eutechnyx, NASCAR The Game: Inside Line delivers the most authentic, fast-paced racing experience yet, putting players behind the wheel of the world's most powerful stock cars, and comes fuelled with more content than ever before. For the first time ever, using telemetry data from the past two seasons, players will have the chance to relive and rewrite historic NASCAR moments in over a dozen different scenarios. Fans can also purchase the NASCAR The Game Inside Line Pack, which will offer new downloadable content and challenges throughout the 2013 season. For more information on NASCAR The Game: Inside Line, visit NASCARTheGame.com.(Market Watch)(11-6-2012)

  • Dollar General expanding sponsoring of Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE Vickers full ride: As many companies are trending away from full-season sponsorships in the Sprint Cup Series, Dollar General is moving toward a 36-race commitment. CEO Rick Dreiling said the discount retailer will increase its spending on NASCAR for the sixth consecutive year, backing Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth for 17 races starting with next year's Daytona 500. That's up from 12 races this season. "Our goal is to grow into a full-time Cup ride," Dreiling told USA Today Sports. "But it's a little soon to commit if that's going to be next year or two to four years from now. That's all down the road." Dollar General also will sponsor a full-time car fielded by JGR for Brian Vickers in the Nationwide Series next season. Dreiling, who wouldn't disclose figures but called the deal part of an "orderly, methodical growth," said stock-car racing is the company's only national sports sponsorship because of internal marketing research that indicates its customers are 30 times more likely to be NASCAR fans than average consumers. Team owner Joe Gibbs said Home Depot, which has been sponsoring the No. 20 since 1999 but scaled back to 24 races this season, will pick up the other 19 races for Kenseth in 2013. JGR still is seeking more primary sponsorship in Sprint Cup to expand to a fourth car, but it will grow on the Nationwide Series in 2013. Vickers will drive one of three full-time cars next season on the second-tier circuit for JGR, which fielded two full-time Camrys this year.(USA Today)(11-6-2012)
    UPDATE - Brian Vickers to run full NNS season with JGR: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has signed a new expanded partnership agreement with Dollar General for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The new agreement means Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will drive Dollar General's familiar yellow and black #20 car in 17 Sprint Cup Races next season beginning with the Daytona 500 in February. In addition, Dollar General will return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and will compete with a full championship season sponsorship with Brian Vickers at the wheel. Vickers will return to the Nationwide Series on a fulltime basis in 2013, 10 years after he won three Nationwide races and became the youngest driver to win the Series Championship at the age of 20.(JGR)(11-6-2012)

  • NASCAR says no problem with Texas restarts: NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton broke almost a year-long vow not to listen to talk radio on Monday morning. "In three minutes, I was done," Pemberton said with a laugh. That's because fans were outraged that #48-Jimmie Johnson, #2-Brad Keselowski or both jumped a restart, meaning they left early to gain an advantage, and weren't penalized in the closing laps of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. Pemberton said for a driver to be penalized it has to be an obvious violation as it was earlier this year in the Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis with Elliott Sadler. He said that wasn't the case in either situation on Sunday involving the two drivers battling for the championship.
    According to NASCAR rules, the second-place car can't beat the first-place car to the start-finish line on restarts. Johnson, according to television replays, beat Keselowski to the line on the final restart by anywhere from a few inches to a foot. Pemberton said when it's that close NASCAR is reluctant to make a call because you don't know whether the leader manipulated that or not. "When you went to double-file restarts this is what you had,'' he said. "You can't govern the restarts to the transponder, because then you're into regulating someone getting to the line and rolling out of the gas and getting the guy on the outside black-flagged. If anybody thinks those games don't happen, then it's obvious they're not paying attention."ESPN)(11-6-2012)

  • Phoenix International Raceway News and Notes:
    • 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 32 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 at a speed of 123.203 mph (29.220 sec.).
    • 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 23 different race winners, led by Jimmie Johnson, with four - ('07 fall, '08 sweep, '09 fall).
    • 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 17 of 32 events.
    • Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) won his first career pole 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 20 top-10 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 (5.2) is the other.
    • Two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix, Kurt Busch in April of 2005 and Kevin Harvick 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).
    • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with six.
    • 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)(11-6-2012)

  • Kyle Busch Motorsports signs Coulter for 2013: Kyle Busch Motorsports has announced that the team has signed Joey Coulter to compete for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver's championship in 2013. Coulter currently ranks fifth in the 2012 Truck Series driver point standings and is tied for the series lead with three poles. The 22-year-old driver picked up his first career Truck Series win at Pocono Raceway in August and has collected six top-five and 13 top-five finishes in 20 starts this season. Overall in two Truck Series campaigns, the Florida native has recorded one win, three poles, 11 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes across 45 career starts and earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2011. Coulter made his lone NASCAR Nationwide Series start in May, posting a 10th-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "With the addition of Joey Coulter to KBM's Truck Series program for the 2013 season we have accomplished our goal of having a talented young driver competing full-time for a driver's championship," owner Kyle Busch said. "Joey has been running up front, competing for wins this year and we feel like he is ready to have a breakout year. With the personnel we have in place at KBM and the support we receive from Toyota, we're going to do everything possible to make sure that he is in a position to bring home a championship next season."(Kyle Busch Motorsports PR)(11-6-2012)

  • Canadian Motor Speedway for Fort Erie approved: The Canadian Motor Speedway is a go! Fort Erie has received Ontario Municipal Board approval to build the $400-million racetrack and entertainment complex which promises to be a world class facility that will attract visitors from all over North America. Fort Erie mayor Doug Martin is ecstatic. After months of nothing but bad news for the south Niagara town, Martin is thrilled with the OMB's decision. "It's great news for the town! It was something that we were anticipating as to one of the cornerstones of rebuilding of the town of Fort Erie, with the challenges we've had." After have the OLG slots taken away, and the decimation of the horse racing industry in Fort Erie, he anticipates the Speedway will be a catalyst for development in the area which will means more jobs and a stronger local economy. The Canadian Motor Speedway boasts a mile-long paved oval with seating for up to 65,000 people; a 2½-mile paved course for motocross, BMX and snow mobiles; a 74-acre commercial complex that includes restaurants, shops and hotel; a 71-acre parking and camping area; and a 66-acre business park. Martin doesn't wasn't to speculate just yet about NASCAR coming to this side of the border but he hopes the track will be something that is attractive to the racing organization. Work could begin by late Fall, with an anticipated opening in about two years.(610cktb.com)(11-6-2012)

  • PIR grooms track surface for Advocare 500: Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced on Monday the completion of a pre-event track grooming program in advance of the November 11 AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race, the semi-final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. "Last year we made a commitment to NASCAR and the drivers to groom the race surface for three races using the tire rotator machine," said Sperber. "This weekend we completed the last installment of the process and look forward to presenting a championship surface for the AdvoCare 500." PIR hired Colorado-based Bandimere Speedway to have a tire rotator machine burnish additional rubber into PIR's surface, enhancing the racing groove. The process is a continuation of the track's reconditioning effort that also took place prior to the Subway Fresh Fit 500 event weekend at PIR last March. "We have received great feedback from the drivers who have said our process has helped improve the quality of racing at PIR," said Larry Crispe, executive vice president of operations for Bandimere Speedway. "We are proud to again be a part of the preparations for what will be another great race in Phoenix." Last fall, with pre-race input from NASCAR and many of the Series' top drivers, PIR groomed the race surface using a different tire dragging device. That effort was augmented by six professional drivers running more than 3,000 laps on the new surface prior to the November race weekend. The PIR grooming program was widely lauded by the drivers during the 2011 November NASCAR weekend.(PIR)(11-6-2012)

  • Vektor Vodka named official vodka of Phoenix Raceway: Phoenix International Raceway announced that the track will welcome Arizona-based Vektor Vodka to its family of Official Partners. Vektor Vodka will kick off their partnership as PIR's Official Vodka during the AdvoCare 500 weekend with the opening of the Bar Vektor Vodka Lounge in the fan midway and the presenting sponsorship of PIR: After Dark. Vektor Vodka will be introducing a signature drink available to fans throughout the midway called The Redline, as well as having their logo proudly displayed on the hood of Bobby Labonte's #47 JTG-Daugherty Toyota Camry. Helping to keep PIR's party alive after the checkered flag, PIR: After Dark will feature guest bartender Brad Daugherty and guest appearances by Bobby Labonte. Vektor Vodka is distilled and bottled in Samara, Russia's oldest and most distinguished distillery.(PIR)(11-6-2012)


    News from November 5, 2012

  • The Entry List for the AdvoCare 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #19-Mike Bliss (45/27)
    #26-Josh Wise (40/34)
    #30-David Stremme (38/34)
    #33-Stephen Leicht (36/34)
    #37-J.J. Yeley (50/18)
    #44-David Reutimann (0/0)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/34)
    #91-Reed Sorenson (51/13)
    #98-Michael McDowell (39/34)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 33,30,98,26,87,19,37,91
    missing the race would be [1]: # 44
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Phoenix Entry List

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2012 AAA Texas 500: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:03 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 7:02 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 124
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 75
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 50
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 49
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 26
    Number of times utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 9
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 26
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 25 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:03 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 7:02 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 239
    Minutes of race broadcast: 202
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 37
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 27
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 4
    Total race brdcst time 202 Total comm. brdcst time 37
    See past races, other news, links to past races and more on the 2012 TV Commercials page.(11-5-2012)

  • New team to debut at Phoenix? with Reutimann hearing that a new Sprint Cup Series team will debut at Phoenix International Raceway this coming weekend. David Reutimann will run the #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports Chevy. Supposedly Frankie Kerr, formerly of JTG Daughtery Racing is the crew chief. The team is housed at the old TRG Motorsports location in Mooresville, NC.(11-5-2012)

  • Johnson's win is Chevy's 700th: Jimmie Johnson's win of the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in his #48 Lowe's Chevy scored the 700th all-time victory for Chevy in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. This unprecedented win secured an important milestone for Chevy as the most successful manufacturer in NASCAR history. In addition to reaching this 700th win for the brand, Johnson brought the Chevy Impala to Victory Lane for the 151st time in the nameplate's history. Chevrolet's rich heritage in NASCAR competition began when Fonty Flock took the checkered on March 26, 1955 at Columbia Raceway in Columbia, South Carolina in his '55 Chevy. Fifty-seven years later the 'Bowtie Brand' has continued to set the mark.(Chevy PR)
    For race-by-race results for manufacturers points, drivers with the most points, first win list by manufacturer and all time manufacturer win list, see my 2012 Manufacturers Championship Standings & Stats page. (11-5-2012)

  • Phoenix groomis track for Advocare 500: Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced the completion of a pre-event track grooming program in advance of the AdvoCare. "Last year we made a commitment to NASCAR and the drivers to groom the race surface for three races using the tire rotator machine," said Sperber. "This weekend we completed the last installment of the process and look forward to presenting a championship surface for the AdvoCare 500." PIR hired Colorado-based Bandimere Speedway to have a tire rotator machine burnish additional rubber into PIR's surface, enhancing the racing groove. The process is a continuation of the track's reconditioning effort that also took place prior to the Subway Fresh Fit 500 event weekend at PIR last March.(PIR)(11-5-2012)


    News from November 4, 2012

  • Johnson wins at Texas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Texas AAA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for second consecutive win, his 5th of year and 60th career win. He took the lead from Keselowski at the start of a green white checker restart.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson is the first driver to win two races in a row from the pole since #24-Jeff Gordon won consecutive races at Phoenix and Talladega from the pole in April 2007.
    #2-Keselowski held on to finish 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #17-Kenseth, #14-Stewart, #15-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #78-Busch, #29-Harvick, and #20-Logano.
    #48-Johnson led the most laps to maximize his points on the day. He now has a 7 point lead over #2-Keselowski.
    There were 9 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps. There were 20 lead changes among 7 drivers. The average speed was 136.117mph.
    The estimated attendence was 146,000, down from 159,000 in the spring race and down from 151,000 last November.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Texas Race Results page (pdf) (11-4-2012)

  • Where did the 12 Chase drivers finish at Texas?
    [by points standings before the race (start pos)]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, WON (1)
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski, 2 (8)
    3) #15-Clint Bowyer, 6th (4)
    4) #5-Kasey Kahne, 25th (15)
    3) #11-Denny Hamlin, 20th (12)
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 14th (16)
    7) #56-Martin Truex Jr., 13th (5)
    8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4th (10)
    9) #16-Greg Biffle, 10th (2)
    10) #14-Tony Stewart, 5th (21)
    11) #29-Kevin Harvick, 9th (23)
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 7th (19)
    (11-4-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver CHASE Championship Points Standings:
    [after Texas, race 34 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [5 wins], 2339
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski [5 wins], 2332, -7
    3) #15-Clint Bowyer [3 wins], 2303, -36
    4) #5-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 2281, -58
    5) #17-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 2267, -72
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 2267, -72
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin [5 wins], 2266, -73
    8) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 2259, -80
    9) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [0 wins], 2259, -80
    10) #16-Greg Biffle [2 wins], 2256, -83
    Drivers who have been eliminated:
    11) #29-Kevin Harvick [0 wins], 2238, -101
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 2188, -151
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf)

  • Race Fast Facts - Texas
    Jimmie Johnson won the 8th Annual AAA Texas 500, his 60th victory in 397 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fifth victory and 24th top-10 finish in 2012. Johnson has now won two consecutive races, pushing his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup wins record to 22.
    This is his second victory and 14th top-10 finish in 19 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    This is Chevrolet's 700th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.
    Brad Keselowski (second) posted his first top-10 finish in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 22nd top-10 finish in 2012.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 15 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 7 points over Brad Keselowski.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-4-2012)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Phoenix:
    #36 remains in 35th and and drops to 90 points ahead of 36th, the #21 team.
    there virtually no chance the top-35 will change the rest of the season.
    Rank) Car#-Driver/Team, owners pts, +/-
    34) #32-TBA/FAS Lane Racing, 471 +146
    35) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 397 +72 ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros., 325, -72pts out of the top 35
    37) #33-Whitt/Childress-Falk, 244, -153
    38) #30-Stremme/Inception, 222, -175
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see the Owners Points Standings (pdf).(11-4-2012)

  • 2012 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings without Chase:
    (classic system using current points but NOT the chase system)
    [after Texas, race 34 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson(X) [5 wins], 1210
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski(X) [5 wins], 1191, -19
    3) #16-Greg Biffle(X) [2 wins], 1164, -46
    4) #17-Matt Kenseth(X) [3 wins], 1161, -49
    5) #15-Clint Bowyer(X) [3 wins], 1155, -55
    6) #56-Martin Truex Jr.(X) [0 wins], 1121, -89
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin(X) [4 wins], 1104, -106
    8) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(X) [1 win], 1087, -123
    9) #29-Kevin Harvick(X) [0 wins], 1079, -131
    10) #5-Kasey Kahne(X) [2 wins], 1065, -145
    11) #14-Tony Stewart(X) [3 wins], 1060, -150
    12) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 1048, -162
    13) #24-Jeff Gordon(X) [1 win], 1044, -166
    14) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 969, -241
    15) #99-Carl Edwards [0 wins], 965, -245
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    (X) = a Chase driver.

  • Texas Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Jimmie Johnson earned his 60th career win in his 397th race.
    • Jimmie Johnson became the eighth driver in history to reach 60 career wins.
    • It is the 12th time in Jimmie Johnson's career that he has won back-to-back races.
    • It is the seventh time Jimmie Johnson has won back-to-back races in the Chase.
    • Jimmie Johnson garnered his 11th career win from the pole.
    • Second Texas win of Jimmie Johnson's career, previous was during the 2007 Chase.
    • Jimmie Johnson became the seventh different multiple-race winner at Texas.
    • Jimmie Johnson became the second driver to win from the pole at Texas; Kasey Kahne in April 2006 is other.
    • Jimmie Johnson captured his fifth victory of 2012, tied for the most with Brad Keselowski.
    • This marks the seventh season that Jimmie Johnson has reached five wins, won five races in each of his five Championship years (2006-2010).
    • Jimmie Johnson garnered his 17th career win on 1.5-mile tracks, most of all drivers.
    • Jimmie Johnson earned his 22nd Chase win, most of all drivers.
    • This was the 13th Chase race won from the polesitter, eight have been by Johnson.
    • Jimmie Johnson's victory marks the first time a driver won back-to-back races from the pole since Jeff Gordon in 2007.
    • Jimmie Johnson led seven times for 168 laps including the final two of the race.
    • Hendrick Motorsports picked up its 208th career win, including its fourth at Texas.
    • Hendrick Motorsports earned its 11th victory of 2012, most of all organizations.
    • Hendrick Motorsports captured its 28th Chase win, most of all organizations.
    • Chevrolet won for the eighth time at Texas.
    • Chevrolet earned its 14th win of 2012, most of all makes.
    • This marks the 700th career victory for Chevrolet.
    • Brad Keselowski (second) had his best Texas finish in his ninth start, has now had or matched his best track finish 17 times this season; seven points behind leader Jimmie Johnson, his largest points deficit of the Chase.
    • Kyle Busch (third) matched his best Texas finish for the third time in his 15th race; has now posted top-10 finishes in five of the last six races.
    • Matt Kenseth (fourth) posted his track-leading 15th top-10 finish at Texas; ran as low as 27th in the race.
    • Tony Stewart (fifth) garnered only his second top-five finish of the 2012 Chase, ran as low as 25th in the race.
    • Clint Bowyer (sixth) has now finished in the top-10 in eight of the last nine races.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (seventh) has compiled top-10 finishes in five of the last six Texas races; only top-10 finish in his last five starts.
    • Kurt Busch (eighth) picked up only his third top-10 finish of 2012.
    • Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnahrdt Jr. are eliminated from Championship contention.
    (Racing Resources and Services -- Statistics Racing Recall / nascar.com)(11-4-2012)

  • Harvick's car hit by parachuter before race: Now NASCAR teams will need to prepare for parachuters before races now. While sitting on pit road lined up more than two hours before the start of Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick's car was hit while a parachuter attempted to land in the infield. The jumper landed on the infield without incident, but the same can't be said for Harvick's car, which took a direct blow on the driver's side from a sandbag attached to the parachuter to weigh down the Texas flag that he was carrying. The result was a large dent in the top of the 9 in Harvick's #29 right below the driver's side window. Harvick's team pulled his car off the grid and took it back to the garage to fix the damage for approximately 30 minutes after consulting with NASCAR.(Yahoo Sports)(11-4-2012)

  • Bruton Smith comments on many NASCAR issues: Bruton Smith, the eccentric billionaire whose Speedway Motorsports Inc. owns eight NASCAR tracks, held court in the Texas Motor Speedway media center on Saturday and addressed a wide range of subjects. Here are some selected notes from his lengthy media session:
    • Smith said NASCAR needs to work at "making the racing more exciting." He said NASCAR has made some good moves in recent years - notably double-file restarts - but needs to implement additional improvements. Smith's primary suggestion to improve the racing is to slow the cars down and thus make it easier for drivers to make bold moves.
    • Races with too many long green-flag runs are not exciting, Smith said, and he suggested a smaller fuel tank would force drivers to make more pit stops. Fuel-mileage races, he said, are "boring, boring, boring." One solution could be a minimum number of cautions per race to serve as TV timeouts.
    • Drivers are "maybe not as eager" right now and NASCAR needs more racers who have a "mean streak."
    • Despite a decline in TV ratings and attendance, Smith is still supportive of the Chase. He sounded concerned, though, that the playoff drivers get treated with kid gloves.
    • There are no plans to make further adjustments to Bristol's racing surface after a drama-filled night race in August.
    • No consideration has been given to moving an SMI race to give Las Vegas a second date, Smith said. He remains hopeful NASCAR will someday see the value in rewarding Vegas with another race.
    see more at SB Nation.(11-4-2012)

  • Drivers team supporting those affected by Superstorm Sandy: The American Red Cross greatly appreciates the outpouring of support from the racing community. From sharing the "text 'REDCROSS' to 90999 to give $10" message to financial donations to volunteering, your support means a world of difference to those affected by Superstorm Sandy. If you're looking for additional ways to support or you're not in the position to give financially, we wanted to remind fans that giving blood or platelets is an amazing way to show your support and it could help save a life.
    Biffle is supporting the Red Cross by helping them offer the chance to win signed racing prizes for those commit to give blood over the next two weeks. Recruit the most friends and family to give blood and you could be attending the Texas race *next* year. More info at the Red Cross Facebook page.(Red Cross PR)
    AND The Greg Biffle Foundation is receiving multiple requests from animal rescue groups that have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. These organizations are working diligently to rescue homeless and displaced animals, provide emergency vet care, offer pet food and supplies and provide foster homes until families are able to collect their pets. Please make a donation today and help us offer some much needed assistance to these wonderful rescue groups, more info at bifflefoundationdonation.com.(RFR)
    AND Lowe's announced it will donate $1 million to disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. Lowe's will work with its national nonprofit partners to provide both immediate and long-term support to local communities across the Northeast. As part of the $1 million pledge and to help raise awareness for hurricane victims, Lowe's will match the earnings of five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson from Sunday's NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway, with a minimum donation of $250,000 to the American Red Cross. Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports together will donate an additional $48,000 to the Red Cross. In addition to the Red Cross donation, Lowe's will use the remainder of its $1 million commitment to fund local projects in areas of greatest need as identified by its national nonprofit partners. Starting Nov. 1, Lowe's stores throughout the United States and Lowes.com also will accept donations to the Red Cross. The donations will help provide food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.(Lowe's Racing for Relief)(11-4-2012)

  • Sad News - Doug Agee: Hunter Douglas Agee passed away on November 01, 2012 at the age of 84. After honorable service in the United States Marine Corp, Doug had two very successful sales careers, first at Liggett and Myers Tobacco in Maryland, then for 20 years at Goody's Manufacturing Corporation in Winston-Salem, NC. Agee directed Goody's sales and marketing for NASCAR Racing. Full obiturary, services info and online condolences at www.hayworth-miller.com. At Martinsville Speedway, the Doug Agee Award used to be given out, which the Goody's Headache Powders brand created to be given to a person or persons who most embodies the value and spirit of Doug Agee and was presented annually at Martinsville Speedway.(11-4-2012)


    News from November 3, 2012

  • Final practice for the Texas AAA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #2-Keselowski 184.300
    #15-Bowyer 184.193
    #17-Kenseth 184.187
    #48-Johnson 184.055
    #99-Edwards 183.830
    slowest: #91-Sorenson 176.039 & #32-Schrader 175.810.
    See speeds, best top-10 average and laps run on the Texas practice 3 speeds page (pdf).(11-3-2012)

  • First Saturday practice for the Texas AAA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #2-Keselowski 186.929
    #48-Johnson 186.864
    #11-Hamlin 186.066
    #16-Biffle 185.950
    #99-Edwards 185.312
    slowest: #19-Bliss 175.387 & #87-Nemechek 170.816.
    See speeds, best top-10 average and laps run on the Texas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-3-2012)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #16-Biffle took pit stall 14, the next pitstall with an opening in front of it.
    #18-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 35th pit stall, the next with an opening in front.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #21-Bayne, who starts 7th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-3-2012)

  • Busch interested in Ross Kenseth for CWTS ride: Kyle Busch would love to offer Ross Kenseth a Camping World Truck Series ride in 2013. While Busch is quite impressed with Kenseth and has raced against the 19-year-old in various series, the biggest stumbling block for inking a deal could be sponsorship. "I'd like to do something with Ross," Busch said. "It's just a problem trying to get funding. There's no backing for some of the drivers that are here right now. The price is obviously cheaper in the truck series. You can start small and grow big. But it's hard to get interest there." Ross Kenseth, the son of 2003 Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth, is currently studying engineering at Clemson University, but is earning quite the reputation on short tracks. In July, he won the Redbud 300 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. Last month he was victorious in the All American 400 (Fairgrounds Speedway, Nashville) and in the Winchester (Ind.) 400, besting Busch in both events.(Fox Sports)(11-3-2012)

  • Fire destroys garage of Sterling Marlin: A fire has destroyed three race cars and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage at a garage in Middle Tennessee owned by retired NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin. Marlin told The Daily Herald in Columbia that the fire that started Friday morning destroyed his 2,500-square-foot garage in Maury County and three cars that belonged to his son-in-law, Michael House. He said he believed that there was a leak on a propane heater and welding sparks ignited the fire. A shop worker who was inside the garage when the fire stared was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Maury County Fire Chief Mark Gandee said that crews had to work to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings and fuel tanks.(Assocaited Press/USA Today)(11-3-2012)


    News from November 2, 2012

  • Johnson wins pole at Texas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 191.076mph for his 4th pole of 2012 and 29th career pole.
    #16-Biffle will start 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #15-Bowyer, #56-Truex, Jr., #20-Logano, #21-Bayne, #2-Keselowski, #99-Edwards, and #17-Kenseth.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #95-Speed, #19-Bliss, #26-Wise, #91-Sorenson, #98-McDowell, #87-Nemechek, and #37-Yeley.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #33-Leicht, #79-Bires, #30-Stremme.
    See qualifying results & starting lineup on the Texas Qualifying Page.(11-2-2012)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Texas:
    Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 8th Annual AAA Texas 500 with a lap of 28.261 seconds, 191.076 mph.
    This is his 29th pole in 397 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He moves into a tie with Ricky Rudd for 23rd on the all-time series poles list.
    This is his fourth pole and 23rd top-10 start in 2012. It is also his second-consecutive pole.
    This is his first pole in 19 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Greg Biffle (second) posted his 20th top-10 start of 2012 and his 11th in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 20th in 34 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-2-2012)

  • Where will the 12 Chase drivers start at Texas?
    [by points standings before the race]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson 1st
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski 8th
    3) #15-Clint Bowyer 4th
    4) #5-Kasey Kahne 13th
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin 12th
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon 16th
    7) #56-Martin Truex Jr. 5th
    8) #17-Matt Kenseth 10th
    9) #16-Greg Biffle 2nd
    10) #14-Tony Stewart 21st
    11) #29-Kevin Harvick 23rd
    12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 19th
    (11-2-2012)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 2, 2012 at 4:40pm/et.
    Radio via goprn.com
    Television (TV): ESPN2, 4:30pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none

  • Qualifying Order for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #32-Schrader, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #56-Truex, Jr., 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 Texas Qualifying Page.(11-2-2012)

  • Friday practice for the Texas AAA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #56-Truex, Jr. 190.745
    #55-Martin 190.449
    #2-Keselowski 190.121
    #15-Bowyer 189.867
    #14-Stewart 188.805
    slowest: #36-Blaney 182.186 & #32-Schrader 180.138.
    This practice will determine the order for this afternoon's qualifying, scheduled for 4:40pm/et, televised on ESPN2, and covered online at goprn.com.
    See speeds, best top-10 average and laps run on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf). (11-2-2012)

  • Go-or-Go Homers practice at Texas: how fast/slow were the drivers who are not in the top-35 of owners points and must qualify by speed to make the Texas AAA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, where they practiced in Friday practice:
    the eight drivers who would make the race if things stayed the same:
    #21-Bayne, 15th fastest overall
    #37-Yeley, 30th
    #30-Stremme, 33rd
    #98-McDowell, 35th
    #95-Speed, 36th
    #79-Bires, 37th
    #87-Nemechek, 40th
    #91-Sorenson, 41st
    the three drivers who would miss the race if things stayed the same:
    #26-Wise, 42nd
    #19-Bliss, 43rd
    #33-Leicht, 44th
    (11-2-2012)

  • Earnhardt Ganassi switching to Hendrick engines: The "Earnhardt" in Earnhardt-Childress Racing won't use the company's engines beginning in 2013. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will use motors leased from Hendrick Motorsports starting next season, a team representative told reporters at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. The move is surprising considering ECR was formed as a joint engine-building effort between Earnhardt Ganassi and Richard Childress Racing. EGR has struggled over the last two seasons with drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #1-Jamie McMurray, and team owner Chip Ganassi apparently felt a change was necessary in the engine program. RCR team owner Richard Childress said he wasn't surprised by Ganassi's decision to pull out of ECR and said he's been aware of the possibility for quite some time. Childress said his team will have "a couple" new customers next season - though he wouldn't say who - and also has an existing sponsor in Furniture Row Racing. ECR will retain its name because the teams "have a different relationship with the engines," Childress said.(SB Nation)(11-2-2012)

  • Danica still working in 2013 Nationwide, Indy 500 plans: Danica Patrick is still working on her 2013 racing schedule. She knows she will be running a full Sprint Cup schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing, but she's still working on racing in two other series: the Nationwide Series and the IndyCar Series. Patrick, who competed in IndyCar full time before moving to NASCAR full time this season, has driven all of her 55 career Nationwide races for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports. Whether she will drive for JR Motorsports next year is to be determined. The team has hired Regan Smith to run a full schedule next year and is looking for sponsorship for a full-time team for Cole Whitt. It will run a third car in select races for Earnhardt and possibly could run races with Patrick. "I would love to do a dozen or so races next year in the Nationwide Series," Patrick said Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway. "I would like to do some that are really challenging tracks that are good for just getting laps on to help in the Cup car. Patrick also would like to get back in an Indy car next year to run the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. "I love that event," she said of the Indy 500. "I would love to try to do it again. & We've been working hard for months now but we're no further along to say anything right now."(Sporting News)(11-2-2012)

  • Go Green Racing gets associate sponsor for Texas: Re-Load has agreed to be a major associate sponsor this week for the AAA Texas 500. Re-Load.biz will be on Go Green Racing's #79 driven by Kelly Bires.(DBM Marketing)(11-2-2012)

  • Lowe's Racing for Relief matching Johnson's winnings: Lowe's announced it will donate $1 million to disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. Lowe's will work with its national nonprofit partners to provide both immediate and long-term support to local communities across the Northeast. As part of the $1 million pledge and to help raise awareness for hurricane victims, Lowe's will match the earnings of five-time Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson from Sunday's NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway, with a minimum donation of $250,000 to the American Red Cross. Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports together will donate an additional $48,000 to the Red Cross. In addition to the Red Cross donation, Lowe's will use the remainder of its $1 million commitment to fund local projects in areas of greatest need as identified by its national nonprofit partners. Individuals can join forces with Johnson and Lowe's to help provide assistance by donating at their local Lowe's store. Donations also can be made at Lowe's American Red Cross Online Donation Site, or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Since partnering with the Red Cross in 1999, Lowe's and its customers have contributed more than $23 million for disaster relief.(Lowe's PR)(11-2-2012)

  • Some 2013 schemes added: #9 DeWalt & Stanley, #11 FedEx Express, #16 3M, #17 Best Buy & Zest and #99 Fastenal and UPS.

  • Grandstands sold out at Phoenix: Phoenix International Raceway's grandstands are sold out for the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race on November 11. "We're delighted that NASCAR fans have chosen to attend the AdvoCare 500 and have snapped up the available seats for the event," track president Bryan Sperber said. "We recognize that fans have a lot of choices as they decide where to go, we're honored that they have chosen to support Phoenix International Raceway." Race fans wishing to attend NASCAR's final West Coast race of the season - the semi-final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup - may still purchase general admission tickets to PIR's hillside area by calling 866-408-RACE or visiting PhoenixRaceway.com.(PIR)(11-2-2012)

  • Nationwide Series remaining in Canada? UPDATES: The Nationwide Series has perhaps not left Quebec, Canada for good, it could end up in Trois-Rivières, and, starting next year. Discussions were initiated, according to sources, with representatives from NASCAR to maintain a Canadian race on the schedule. The mayor of Trois-Rivières has appointed the chairman of the Grand Prix, Dominic Fugere to conduct these talks. Also, there was some discussion of holding a Nationwide Series race at Mosport next year, but the track does not currently meet the crieteria necessary for a NASCAR race. NASCAR has not disclosed the Nationwide schedule in 2013, which suggests that negotiations are ongoing with various promoters.(Montreal Journal, article in French, translated with Google Translate at edited)(10-24-2012)
    UPDATE: There is a big announcement scheduled for Thursday in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. City officials, along with GP3R CEO Dominic Fugere will announce the addition of the NASCAR Nationwide Series to the city's annual GP3R Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres. The race will be held on the Circuit de Trois-Rivieres, a 1.521 mile street course. It will be the first-ever street course race for the Nationwide Series. Last year, IndyCar's Firestone Indy Lights and NASCAR's Canadian Tire Series were the co-headliners in Trois-Rivieres.(Frontstretch)(11-1-2012)
    UPDATE 2: The Government of Quebec supports the efforts of the leaders of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières in their attempt to attract a NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 2013. The Minister for Tourism, Pascal Bérubé, confirmed the news at a press briefing Thursday. The Director General of GP3R Dominic Fugere will travel to Texas this weekend with a small delegation, including the mayor of Trois-Rivières, in an attempt to convince NASCAR the facility is able to accommodate a NASCAR race. "We are early in the process, but it is one minute to midnight, recalls Fugère. I know all the tracks where the Nationwide happens and I can tell you that we have nothing to envy to those places. In a radius of 160 km, there are 5.3 million people and 22,000 hotel rooms, which is much more than Martinsville, Virginia, a city that receives nevertheless a step in the Nationwide Series."(LaPress.ca)(11-2-2012)


    News from November 1, 2012

  • Dodge hopes to return to NASCAR: The chief of Dodge Motorsports is hopeful that the manufacturer will return to NASCAR in the not too distant future. "Going forward, we're going to take the year off, evaluate the potential," Ralph Gilles told ESPN.com after a panel discussion on the future of motorsports at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show. "We also did a lot of data mining. Part of the issue our management team wanted was, what are we really getting out of NASCAR? We only have two cars out of a huge field. Are we getting our money's worth? Ironically, this year we got beyond our money's worth. How you can replicate that? I don't know. That's what we're looking at right now." The matter of returning to the sport, whether that is in 2014 or another year in the near future, is finding an organization as strong and viable as Penske Racing. The lack of such a team left Dodge with little option but to pull out in 2013. "The Dodge brand is interested," Gilles said of a return. "It would be hard to replace Roger [Penske], because Roger has a long-term deal with Ford. The capacity isn't there to have that right now. It's going to be tough, but we'll have to look at it." Gilles said the move toward more brand identity with the 2013 car could help expedite [Dodge's return].(ESPN)(11-1-2012)

  • Wounded Warrior Project on the #47; Labonte has handshake deal for 2013: Bobby Labonte's #47 Toyota Camry is carrying a special camouflage scheme with a distinct purpose to raise awareness for Wounded Warrior Project. Wounded Warrior Project raises awareness and enlists the public's aid for the needs of injured servicemen and women. It also helps injured service members aid and assist each other and provides unique, direct programs, and services to meet their needs. "It's definitely an organization we want to be a part of and The Clorox Company is letting us place Wounded Warrior Project on our Toyota Camry at Texas," Labonte said. "We want to continue to help raise awareness. It's near and dear to our hearts. Tens of thousands of Wounded Warriors and caregivers receive support each year through Wounded Warrior Project programs. Visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org for more information on how you can help." As Labonte helps spread the word about Wounded Warrior Project, there is word being spread around the garage about him returning to JTG Daugherty Racing's #47 Toyota Camry next season. "There's a hand shake and a fist pump and all that stuff that goes with that," Labonte said. "All in all, that's what we've been planning to do the whole time. At the same time, you make sure they have all their sponsors in place and the shops in place and all the things are lining up with the race team. With Bobby Hutchens coming on board, there is a lot of confirmation of some thoughts that might have not been there a few months ago."(JTG Daughterty Racing)(11-1-2012)

  • Gordon will stay on as #22 crew chief: Todd Gordon, in his first season as a Sprint Cup crew chief, will return to Penske Racing's #22 car in 2013, the team confirmed Wednesday. Gordon will be the crew chief for new Penske driver Joey Logano, who is joining the organization after this season. Logano tweeted Wednesday: "I'm Excited to announce that Todd Gordon will be the crew chief of the Shell/Pennzoil 22 car next year." Gordon replaced Steve Addington as crew chief of the #22 car after a successful season as a Nationwide Series crew chief at Penske.(Sporting News)(11-1-2012)

  • ESPN's Hannah Storm Goes In-Depth with Four of NASCAR's Best: With the 2012 NASCAR season nearing the finish line, four of the sport's biggest stars will open their lives to fans in a one-hour conversation special with ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. SportsCenter Special: NASCAR Face-to-Face with Hannah Storm, will feature NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart. Viewers will get an up-close look at their lives away from the track through a blend of conversation and access as they near the end of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, with Johnson and Keselowski locked in a battle for the 2012 series championship. NASCAR will be the fourth subject in Storm's Face-to-Face series on ESPN, which in previous editions focused on the NBA, the NFL and NFL player Tim Tebow. The program re-airs Thursday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.(ESPN PR)(11-1-2012)

  • NASCAR Plaza office building sold: Parkway Properties has agreed to buy the 20-story NASCAR Plaza office building for approximately $100 million. The Charlotte Business Journal reported earlier this month that the Orlando, Fla.-based real estate investment trust had made an unsolicited offer to buy the 390,000-square-foot uptown building as well as the 525 North Tryon building. Parkway acquired the Hearst Tower from Bank of America earlier this year for $250 million. The NASCAR Plaza building, owned by Trinity Capital Advisors and Rubenstein Partners, is 88 percent leased, with an average in-place rent of $25.61 per square foot. NASCAR has a lease for 139,000 square feet that runs through May 2021, and Chiquita Brands International Inc. signed a lease for about 138,000 square feet this year after deciding to relocate its headquarters from Cincinnati. Parkway says NASCAR Plaza is expected to generate a 2013 estimated cash net operating income yield of approximately 7 percent. The company expects to close on the purchase by the end of the year.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-1-2012)

  • The Numbers for the AAA Texas 500:
    1 - number of wins from the pole (Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Dodge, 4/9/06)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton, 4/15/07)
    2 - fewest cautions (4/14/12)
    4 - fewest leaders (11/8/09)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    6 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (11/8/09)
    10 - fewest caution laps (4/14/12)
    12 - most cautions (three times, most recent 11/4/07)
    13 - fewest lead changes (twice, most recent 11/8/09)
    16 - different race winners
    17 - most leaders (4/2/00)
    17 - wins from a top-10 starting position
    25 - most on lead lap at finish (11/6/05)
    29 - fewest running at finish (three times, most recent 4/19/10)
    33 - most lead changes (11/7/10)
    40 - most cars running at finish (twice, most recent 11/2/08)
    73 - most caution laps (4/6/97)
    120 minutes - amount of time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall.
    278 - most laps led by race winner (11/5/06)
    2012 Caution Update
    1 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    8 - races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington, Sonoma, Michigan2, Atlanta and Talladega2)
    14 - most cautions this season (Kansas2)
    196 - number of cautions in the first 33 races of 2012; includes 91 for accidents, 50 for debris and 24 for spins
    1,025 of 9,521 - number of laps under caution in 2012
    1,392.952 of 12, 497.676 - miles under caution in the first 33 races
    (Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports and Dodge)(11-1-2012)

  • 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 Texas on the Texas Race Info page - Chassis selection area.(11-1-2012)

  • Lost Trailers in concert at Phoenix: Country music duo The Lost Trailers- known for their current hit "American Beauty"- will perform at 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 11 at the Budweiser ROLL-BAR main stage prior to the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. The Lost Trailers rose to stardom in 2008 with their Top-Ten hit "Holler Back". Re-launched in 2011 with founding-member Stoke Nielson and collaborator Jason Wyatt, The Lost Trailers recently released the singles "Underdog" and the current hit "American Beauty". Live entertainment on the Budweiser ROLL-BAR main stage is available to all grandstand ticket holders. Tickets to Budweiser ROLL-BAR Club are available for advance purchase at $99 for Nov. 10 and $149 for Nov. 11.(PIR)(11-1-2012)


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