April 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

APRIL 2013 NASCAR NEWS ARCHIVE

contains NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series and Racetrack news for the month

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    News from April 30, 2013

  • Hamlin plans to start at Talladega: #11-Denny Hamlin plans to start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, but don't look for him to be in the car long. Assuming nothing changes during practice or qualifying, it will be the first race back for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver since suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the final lap of the March 24 event at Auto Club Speedway in California. Hamlin tweeted on Tuesday that he was cleared "just to start,' Hamlin told ESPN.com at Kansas he would drop to the back of the pack at Talladega and ride around until the first caution, then give way to backup driver Brian Vickers.(ESPN)(4-30-2013)

  • Overnight Richmond TV Ratings: For the third straight year, overnight ratings were flat for NASCAR Sprint Cup action from Richmond. Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota Owners 400 from Richmond International Raceway earned a 3.4 overnight rating on FOX, even with last year, 2011, and 2010 (3.4 each year). The 3.4 is tied as the second-lowest overnight ever for NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on FOX. The only race to earn a lower overnight was the 2009 Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix (3.3). Of note, the two lowest rated NASCAR races of the season in the metered markets  the Richmond race and the April 13 NRA 500 from Texas (3.5)  aired on Saturday nights. Despite the relatively low numbers, NASCAR still earned the third-best overnight of the weekend for a sports program on broadcast.(Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Daily), see past races, 5-year comparison chart and more on the 2013 TV Ratings page.(4-30-2013)

  • #4 for Harvick in 2014? Stewart-Haas Racing has applied for the trademark for the (4) Standard Character Mark or the #4. Supposedly to be used by Kevin Harvick when he moves over to Stewart-Hass Racing in 2014. You can see the trademark application / info at uspto.gov (do a search under Stewart-Haas). Other rumored numbers for Harvick at Stewart-Hass Racing: take the #29 with him from Richard Childress Racing with RCR using the #3 for Austin Dillon. Have heard some rumors the #8 could be in play.(4-30-2013)

  • In wake of Boston bombings, NASCAR asks teams to be more vigilant: In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, NASCAR teams have been warned by the sanctioning body to be on the lookout for errant backpacks and other packages in the garage area. NASCAR called a special, crew chiefs-only meeting Saturday morning at Richmond International Raceway, asking race teams to increase their level of vigilance this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and beyond. The warning is not believed to be the result of any specific threat against NASCAR or Talladega Superspeedway, but part of a broader focus on safety at major sporting events across the country. "They asked us to keep our eyes open," said one NASCAR crewman, on the condition of anonymity. "They want us to monitor our garage stalls more closely, to make sure there is nothing there that doesn't belong. I didn't get the impression that there was any specific threat," he said. "It was just a request to stay vigilant."(Godfather Motorsports)(4-30-2013)

  • Tire testing at Indy: been told that there will be NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goodyear tire testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 1. The following drivers are scheduled to test. #2-Brad Keselowski, #14-Tony Stewart, #21-Trevor Bayne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #55-Mark Martin and #78-Kurt Busch.
    AND Part of NASCAR rolls into town today for stock car testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon are among the Sprint Cup Series drivers participating in the Goodyear tire test today and Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski, former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch also will be on the track. The session will be from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm both days with an hour break for lunch sometime around noon. Spectators can watch the test from the Hall of Fame Museum parking lot, the grandstand located inside the track near the museum and a small portion of the Turn 2 spectator mound. The rest of the latter is closed due to renovation and ADA upgrades that will be completed for next week's opening of Indianapolis 500 practice. There is no admission to the museum parking lot (Indianapolis Star).(4-30-2013)

  • Gen-6 car more competitive so far: Through nine races, the on-track action with the Gen-6 is much improved from a year ago, when fans were screaming about how boring NASCAR had become. The races haven't been perfect, but there's been no shortage of story lines and few runaway wins. "I'm telling you, whoever designed this new car, we should kiss `em every weekend. It's creating drama," #15-Clint Bowyer said after Saturday night's race at Richmond. "We haven't seen racing like this in years, since I first started in this sport (in 2004). When you can leave a race track and there's people in tears because they won, and in tears because they got crashed, that's what brings us to the race track, that kind of racing and determination and passion." The idea behind the Gen-6 was to improve the racing on intermediate tracks, where it was unwatchable at times last year. The problems were never more glaring than Memorial Day weekend, when just hours after one of the most exciting Indianapolis 500's in history, NASCAR staged a nearly four-hour snoozefest at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Only nine cars were on the lead lap of the Coca-Cola 600 when Kasey Kahne beat Denny Hamlin to the finish line by a whopping 4.295 seconds. The racing hasn't been so monotonous this year and the statistics back it up after nine races:
    - There have been 1,203 more green flag passes throughout the field.
    - The average margin of victory is .634 seconds, compared to 1.759 seconds last year.
    - There are 49.9 percent of the cars finishing on the lead lap this year, up from 38.2 last year.
    - The percentage of cars running at the finish of the race is up 3 percent to 83.2.
    The next test is Talladega, where everyone is waiting to see how the car performs. The two-car tandem racing of the last several years was widely panned by fans, and NASCAR eliminated it last year with changes to the rules package. But the result was a wreckfest last May in which Stewart shredded the product in post-race and suggested a radical tongue-in-cheek change to the racing, making the track "a figure 8. And/or we can stop at halfway, make a break, and turn around and go backwards the rest of the way. Then with 10 to go, we split the field in half and half go the regular direction and half of them go backwards."(Associated Press)(4-30-2013)

  • Talladega Superspeedway notes & facts:
    • Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 14, 1969 - won by Richard Brickhouse.
    • The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989.
    • Fourth repaving completed on Sept. 19, 2006.
    • There have been 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway, one NSCS event in 1969 and two races per year since 1970.
    • Talladega Superspeedway is tied with Michigan International Speedway for holding the ninth most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying races (87).
    • 429 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega; 294 in more than one.
    • Dave Marcis leads the series in starts at Talladega with 61. Terry Labonte leads all active drivers with 57 starts; followed by Michael Waltrip with 53.
    • Bobby Isaac won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Talladega in 1969 with a speed of 199.466 mph. Isaac won the first three poles at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
    • 36 drivers have Coors Light poles at Talladega, led by Bill Elliott with eight. Joe Nemechek leads all active drivers with four.
    • 10 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Talladega. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Talladega with six (1985-1987).
    • Youngest Talladega pole winner: Jimmie Johnson (4/21/2002 - 26 years, 7 months, 4 days).
    • Oldest Talladega pole winner: Mark Martin (10/23/2012 - 52 years, 9 months, 14 days).
    • 47 different drivers have won at Talladega Superspeedway, led by Dale Earnhardt with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
    • Richard Childress Racing has the most wins at Talladega in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 12; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 11.
    • Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Talladega; led by Chevrolet with 38 victories; followed by Ford with 19.
    • 13 of the 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Talladega have been won from the Coors Light pole. Only two active drivers have been able to accomplish the feat: Bobby Labonte (1998) and Jeff Gordon (2007).
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Talladega was 36th, by Jeff Gordon in the spring of 2000.
    • Youngest Talladega winner: Bobby Hillin Jr. (7/27/1986 - 22 years, 1 month, 22 days).
    • Oldest Talladega winner: Harry Gant (5/6/1991 - 51 years, 3 months, 26 days).
    • Buddy Baker and Tony Stewart are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Talladega with six each.
    • NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes at Talladega with 23. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 15.
    • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 10.182.
    • Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 12.250.
    • There have been six NSCS races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Talladega Superspeedway: spring of 2005 (188/194), fall of 2005 (188/190), spring of 2007 (188/192), fall of 2008 (188/190) spring of 2010 (188/200) and fall of 2012 (188/189).
    • Only two of the 87 races at Talladega Superspeedway have been shortened due to weather conditions: spring of 1987 and fall of 1996.
    • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Talladega Superspeedway three times; most recently spring of 2010.
    • Jamie McMurray (10/6/2002) made his series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.
    • Juan Pablo Montoya (4/26/2009), David Gilliland (10/8/2006) and Travis Kvapil (10/5/2008) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light poles at Talladega.
    • 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski (4/26/2009), Brian Vickers (10/8/2006) and Ken Schrader (7/31/1988) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup wins at Talladega.
    • Nine drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Talladega Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in consecutive wins at Talladega after posting four consecutive wins from the fall of 2001 - 2003.
    • 15 of the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners at Talladega Superspeedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Brad Keselowski is the only active series driver to win at Talladega in his first appearance.
    • Matt Kenseth competed at Talladega Superspeedway 25 times before winning last fall; the longest span of any the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners.
    • Matt Kenseth (25), Terry Labonte (21), Tony Stewart (19), Kevin Harvick (18) and Mark Martin (18) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Talladega.
    • Jeff Burton leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Talladega without visiting Victory Lane at 38.
    • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway was the race on April 17, 2011 won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.002 second - the MOV is tied with the 2003 Darlington race as the closest finishes in the NSCS using electronic scoring.
    • Two female drivers have competed at Talladega in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Janet Guthrie made three Talladega starts: (5/1/1977) - starting 13th and finishing 32nd; (8/7/1977) - starting ninth and finishing 34th; (8/6/1978) - starting 12th and finishing 29th. Patty Moise made one Talladega start: (7/30/1989) - starting 13th and finishing 32nd
    • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Talladega with 839 laps led in 40 starts.(NASCAR)(4-30-2013)

  • Scott, Piquet tangle after race; crew members arrested UPDATES - Penalties: Henrico County Police had two adult males in custody Friday night after a fight in the driver/owner lot of Richmond International Raceway following a Nationwide Series race where Richard Childress Racing and Turner Scott Racing crews and drivers nearly brawled. The police department did not reveal details of who was involved in the altercation but Richard Childress Racing confirmed its involvement and multiple sources said Turner Scott Motorsports personnel and driver Nelson Piquet Jr. were talking to police in the motorhome lot. A statement from Richard Childress Racing Director of Communications Tim Packman confirmed the team's involvement. "We are aware an incident took place outside of the track's infield following Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway involving members of our team and others from another team," the statement said. "We are cooperating with the local authorities in this matter." The incident occurred a little more than an hour after the race.
    Two separate incidents following the Nationwide Series race involved RCR and Turner Scott Motorsports, sparked by an on-track incident between Piquet and RCR driver Brian Scott. Following the race, both crews nearly came to blows and Scott went up to Piquet, who shoved Scott away and then kicked him in the groin. Piquet later apologized for kicking Scott, saying it was in self-defense.(Sporting News)(4-27-2013) UPDATE: Police have released the names of two Richard Childress Racing crew members arrested for alleged assault at Richmond International Raceway late Friday night. Michael A. Scearce, 50, and Thomas F. Costello, 35, were taken into custody after a postrace incident spilled over to the driver/owner motorhome lot. The assault injured one of the two adult male victims, whose names were not released. Scearce and Costello are both members of RCR's #2 team, which fields cars for Brian Scott. Both men were charged with misdemeanors and released early Saturday morning, according to Henrico County police Lt. Linda Toney. A court date for both will be determined at a later time.(USA Today)(4-27-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Richard Childress: "I didn't witness what took place last night outside of the race track. Our team members were walking to their cars and words were exchanged with members from another team, which led to an altercation. I am still learning all the exact details and, because it did happen outside of the track, local authorities became involved. We are working with them to resolve this matter. We are now concentrating on winning the Sprint Cup race tonight."(RCR)(4-27-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Statement from Turner Scott Motorsports: "Turner Scott Motorsports can confirm that an incident occurred near the Driver/Owner parking lot of Richmond International Raceway following the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, April 26th. Several members of another race team confronted a group that included Nelson Piquet Jr., resulting in the arrest of two individuals from the other race team. TSM will have no further comment on the incident as the matter is an active case with the Henrico Police Department."(TSM)(4-27-2013)
    UPDATE 4: Penalties have been levied to two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams as a result of their involvement in separate post-race incidents following last Friday's race at Richmond International Raceway. Thomas Costello and Michael Scearce, both crew members for the #2 team, have each been fined $15,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next four NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship events. They have also been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Both Costello and Scearce were found to be in violation of Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Involved in an altercation with another competitor after the race had concluded). Drivers Nelson Piquet Jr. (#30 car) and Brian Scott (#2 car) have been placed on NASCAR probation until June 26 for violating Section 12-1 and their involvement in an on-track altercation with their two cars after the race had concluded. Crew chiefs Chris Carrier (#30 car) and Phil Gould (#2 car) have likewise been placed on NASCAR probation until June 26 as a result of the on-track incident between their two drivers.(NASCAR)(4-30-2013)

  • Ty Dillon in the #33 at Dega: Saturday's 117-lap affair marks Ty Dillon's first appearance at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Although the Welcome, N.C., native hasn't made any competitive laps in the #33 entry at the 2.66-mile track, he has one start at the facility in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, earning one pole award and a fourth-place finish with 25 laps led. He also has one start in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, where he earned the race win after starting on the pole and leading for 50 laps. WESCO returns to RCR as the primary sponsor of Dillon's #33 Chevy for six events throughout the year; including Dover (June), Bristol (August), Texas (November) and Homestead.(RCR)(4-30-2013)

  • JW Demolition to sponsor White at Talladega: The Nationwide Series returns to restrictor-plate racing this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Jason White, driver of the #24 Toyota, will be racing with JW Demolition onboard his Camry at Talladega. In business since 2000, JW Demolition is a licensed demolition and hazardous materials remediation contractor serving commercial and industrial clients in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic states, and Mid-West. Their experience and safety record in both areas makes us uniquely qualified to take the lead in plant decommissioning and commercial redevelopment.(SR2 Motorsports)(4-30-2013)

  • ESPN may bid for only a portion of Nationwide races: Rights to the Nationwide Series could be in play this summer when NASCAR opens its negotiations with ESPN, according to several sources. ESPN and NASCAR have not begun formal talks about renewing a media rights package that includes the Nationwide Series' entire 33-race season and 17 Sprint Cup races. But ESPN has had internal conversations about bidding only on the Nationwide races that overlap with its Sprint Cup schedule instead of the entire season. The reason has more to do with production expenses than ratings points. From August to November, when it airs both Nationwide and Sprint Cup races, ESPN is able to use the same production crew, production trucks and other resources to cover both Nationwide Series races and Sprint Cup races on the same weekend. It's much costlier for ESPN to produce the Nationwide Series' first 16 races during the first half of the NASCAR season, when Fox and Turner hold the rights to the Sprint Cup races held at the same tracks on those weekends. ESPN has had rights to the Nationwide Series since 2007 and put considerable promotional and programming resources behind it. The secondary circuit aired on Fox and NBC from 2001 to 2006. ESPN declined to comment. Formal renewal talks are scheduled to begin later this summer, and its executives have not spoken to NASCAR about the Nationwide Series. Any move by ESPN to bid only on the second half of the Nationwide Series would allow NASCAR to experiment with new ways of selling its secondary series and offer it great flexibility. The sanctioning body could decide to split the Nationwide package between its Sprint Cup rights holders. That would allow Fox to buy the first half of the season and ESPN, or another broadcaster, to take the second half. Such a move would give both broadcasters the type of cost efficiencies ESPN wants, both in production and advertising sales. Fox has expressed interest in obtaining the rights to the first part of the Nationwide Series but has not had any formal talks with the sanctioning body. NASCAR also could decide to test the market and create a separate package for the entire Nationwide Series that it would sell independently of the Sprint Cup Series.(Sports Business Journal)(4-30-2013)

  • Drivers occupying time off with other series: No "vacation" for four NASCAR Camping World Truck competitors due to take advantage of a scheduling gap to compete in Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Joey Coulter, Ty Dillon, John Wes Townley and Scott Riggs will do Nationwide Series duty at the 2.66-mile track, due to host trucks on Oct. 19. Coulter finished second in the April 20 NCWTS race at Kansas Speedway. He'll drive the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, a four-time winner in 2013 with Kyle Busch behind the wheel. Dillon will be making his first visit to Talladega in a Nationwide Series car and will do battle with his older brother and former NCWTS champion Austin Dillon. He's finished among the top 10 in three of his four Nationwide Series starts including a third at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He won an ARCA race at Talladega in 2011.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-30-2013)

  • Congrats to the Craftons: Matt and Ashley Crafton's daughter, Elladee, who was born on April 26, came days after the Camping World Truck Series points leader won at Kansas Speedway.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-30-2013)

  • Alabama Crimson Tide Championship QB McCarron named Honorary Talladega Pace Car Driver: Talladega Superspeedway is proud to announce that the University of Alabama's quarterback AJ McCarron, who helped guide the Crimson Tide to back-to-back BCS National Championship titles, will serve as the "Honorary Pace Car Driver" for the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, May 5. McCarron, who grew up just a few hours from Talladega Superspeedway in Mobile, AL, will get behind the wheel of a special Ford Mustang GT, the official pace car of Talladega's Aaron's 499 spring spectacular, and will lead the field of 43 cars around the track's incredible 33-degree banking before the start of the race. ""I have enjoyed races at Talladega before and have always had a passion to get up to speed on the track," said the two-time National Champion quarterback. "This is an incredible opportunity, and to be able to do it in front of the most famous drivers in the world, is something I am really looking forward to." McCarron is beloved in the state of Alabama for leading the Crimson Tide to two consecutive BCS National titles. Alabama defeated LSU 21-0 in January of 2012 and repeated with a 42-14 victory over Notre Dame this past January. McCarron has the distinction of being the only quarterback to pull off such a feat (back-to-back titles) since the start of the BCS in 1998. The most competitive racing in NASCAR combined with a mix of southern hospitality returns to Talladega Superspeedway May 3-5 for the Aaron's Dream Weekend. Experience the excitement as the superstars of NASCAR attempt to tackle the high-banks of 'DEGA at 200 mph. Secure your tickets at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(4-30-2013)

  • Chipper Jones to serve as Grand Marshal at Talladega: Former Major League Baseball icon Chipper Jones, believed by many to be a future "first-ballot" Hall of Famer, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, May 5. Jones, who played for the Atlanta Braves throughout his entire 19-year career and was a fan-favorite across the country, will give the most famous command in all of motorsports to the 43-car field: "Drivers Start Your Engines!" Jones spent the last two decades establishing himself as one of the greatest switch-hitters in baseball history, second only to switch-hitters Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray in homeruns (468). The eight-time all-star, who retired following the 2012 season, was named the 1999 National League MVP, and helped the Braves win the World Series title that year. Chipper Jones joins other pre-race dignitaries AJ McCarron (University of Alabama quarterback) and Robin Meade (Country Music Recording Artist & CNN News Anchor), who will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver and National Anthem singer, respectively, prior to the Aaron's 499.(TSS)(4-30-2013)

  • Darlington to host autograph session: Darlington Raceway is offering its fans an opportunity to participate in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session with drivers Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, David Ragan and Dave Blaney. The autograph session will take place on Friday, May 10 from 10-10:45 a.m. in The Sprint Unlimited Experience display, located in the fan display area behind the frontstretch grandstands. A wristband will be issued for the autograph session and can be picked up at the Bojangles' display from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Only 200 wristbands will be handed out for the session so supplies are limited. To receive a wristband at the Bojangles' display, fans must present a ticket to either the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 or Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500. An infield camping admission may also be used to attend the autograph session.(Darlington Raceway)(4-30-2013)


    News from April 29, 2013

  • Kenseth penalty appeal to be heard May 8: On Wednesday, May 8 at 9:00am/et at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel will hear the Joe Gibbs Racing appeal of penalties assessed to the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. On April 23 following the Kansas Speedway race weekend, this team was penalized for infractions discovered during post-race engine inspection at the R&D Center.(NASCAR)(4-29-2013)

  • Entry List for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #55-Waltrip, #81-Sadler, #51-Smith, #19-Bliss, #21-Bayne, #95-Speed. #19-Bliss & #81-Sadler would had to get in by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the team is too far down the owners points list to use a provisional.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Talladega Entry List

  • Edwards To Appear on "LIVE with Kelly and Michael": Roush Fenway NASCAR driver #99-Carl Edwards is scheduled to appear on ABC's "LIVE with Kelly and Michael" on Tuesday, April 30th with hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. This will be Edwards' third time on the show and he will join actor Robert Downey Jr. as a guest on Tuesday's episode. Edwards was a guest on the show in January of 2012 and he co-hosted the show in June 2011 after his win in the Sprint All-Star race. "LIVE with Kelly and Michael" is distributed in national syndication by Disney-ABC Domestic Television and produced by WABC-TV in New York and executive produced by Michael Gelman. The show airs in more than 200 markets across the U.S., check local listings for times in your area.(RFR)(4-29-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 46 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. A few notes:
    Jason White returns to the #00 for SR2;
    Kurt Busch will drive the #1 for Phoenix Racing;
    Stanton Barrett returns to the RWR #15;
    Joey Logano will drive the #22 for Penske Racing;
    David Green will dirive the SR2 #27;
    Ty Dillon returns to the RCR #33;
    Danica Patrick will drive the Turner Scott #34;
    Donnie Neuenberger will be in the #52 for Jimmy Means;
    Jeffrey Earnhardt returns to the Go Green #79;
    Morgan Shepherd will make another attempt in his #98.(4-29-2013)
    UPDATE: Several changes to the entry list: The Motorsports Group has withdrawn the #42, #46 and #47 cars. SR2 has withdrawn the #27, David Green moves from the #27 to the #00, Jason White moves from the #00 to the #24. Blake Koch is out of the #24.(4-29-2013)
    See the complete list on the Talladega entry list page.

  • Patrick returns to Turner Scott for Talladega: Turner Scott Motorsports announced that Danica Patrick will return to pilot their fourth entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Patrick, who is competing full-time as a Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013, will return behind the wheel for her second start of the season in the #34 AccuDoc Solutions/GoDaddy.com Chevy Camaro. Patrick will once again have the veteran crew chief Mike Greci atop the pit box to call the shot in this weekend's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Greci previously served as crew chief for Patrick at the season opener NNS race in Daytona.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(4-29-2013)

  • Recovery slower than anticipated for Annett: When Michael Annett's surgeon first saw the X-ray of the broken sternum the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver had suffered in a crash at Daytona International Speedway, he told his new patient the recovery time would be two to three months. Being a racer hoping for the quickest return possible, Annett heard only the first of those numbers. "I think in his head," Annett admitted Monday, "he was thinking three." Which is why it may now be Memorial Day weekend before the Richard Petty Motorsports driver returns from an injury that has sidetracked his 2013 season. Annett's breastbone was fractured and dislocated in a head-on impact with the wall late in the Nationwide season opener at Daytona, and he had surgery the following week in which screws and a metal plate were used to repair the damage. Annett had originally hoped to be back in his #43 car this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, but that won't be the case. He said a scan last week revealed that the bones and plates at the injury site aren't fusing together as quickly as doctors had hoped, and his surgeon wasn't comfortable with the idea of him withstanding another big hit. Annett said he is scheduled to start physical therapy this week, which will involve weight training exercises like the bench press designed to rebuild strength in his chest. Meanwhile he continues to keep a close eye on his race team, which this past Friday night at Richmond recorded its best result of the season after substitute Reed Sorenson finished 10th. Sorenson, a close friend of Annett's, will stay in the car until the regular driver returns.(NASCAR.com)(4-29-2013)

  • Hackenbracht announces 7 race deal with TriStar: In February, TriStar Motorsports announced that former ARCA Racing Series winner Chad Hackenbracht had inked a deal to drive for the team in a partial NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule. Now, the team has announced plans for Hackenbracht to compete in seven races including Iowa (June 7th), New Hampshire (July 13th), Chicagoland (July 21st), Mid-Ohio (August 17th), Bristol (August 23rd), Charlotte (October 11th) and Phoenix (November 9th). Hackenbracht will share the #44 Toyota with Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender, Hal Martin. Hackenbracht, 21, spent the 2012 season competing full-time in the ARCA Racing Series for his family owned team, CGH Motorsports. Last season, he recorded one win, two pole positions, five top-five and 12 top-10 finishes before closing out the year fifth in the Championship Point Standings. This year, the New Philadelphia, Ohio native will run a partial schedule in preparation for a shot at Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2014. Pro Motor Engines will supply the powerhouse under Hackenbracht's Toyota and Crew Chief Greg Conner will lead the team's efforts.(TriStar Motorsports)(4-29-2013)

  • Teams test Texas, Canada: Red Horse Racing drivers Timothy Peters and German Quiroga, along with Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. documented on their respective Twitter accounts (Red Horse) (Wallace) that they were testing their Toyotas at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday. Additionally, Turner Scott Motorsports driver Nelson Piquet tested a Chevy Silverado at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park road course (TSM). The trucks are scheduled to visit Texas on June 7, and debut in Canada on September 1.(4-29-2013)

  • Canada race dubbed Chevy Silverado 250: The only Canadian stop for the Camping World Truck Series and the first ever NASCAR event to be held at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park will be billed at the Chevy Silverado 250. Just a 20 minute drive from General Motors Canada headquarters, the branding initiative coincides with the launch of the all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado. Formerly known as Mosport, the historic Canadian race track (and one of the world's fastest) annually hosts the American Le Mans Series and is a one time Formula One venue. After recently switching owners the track has undergone a massive renovation in the off season. Upgrades include an expanded pit stall area to accommodate a NASCAR event, on-track upgrades with larger paved runoff areas, a modified front-straight and a massive new complex to house media and VIP events. On hand for the announcement, track co-owner Ron Fellows did not rule himself out from participating in the upcoming race, telling media that he hasn't "eliminated that as an option." Fellows is a long-time racer, and an accomplished on at that, having won the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times. In his NASCAR history Fellows has two wins and three poles in the Camping World Truck Series, as well as four wins and two poles the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The Chevy Silverado 250 will take place the weekend of August 30 to September 1. (AutoGuide.com)(4-29-2013)


    News from April 28, 2013

  • No pole award for Edwards: #17-Matt Kenseth won the pole for last weekend's Sprint Cup event at Kansas Speedway, but he didn't get to reap any of the benefits, after NASCAR penalized his team for using an underweight connecting rod in the engine of the #20 Toyota. The sanctioning body told Kenseth that his pole wouldn't count toward eligibility for the 2014 Sprint Unlimited, the preseason exhibition race at Daytona for 2013 polesitters and previous winners of the race.
    #99-Carl Edwards, who lost the pole to Kenseth by .017 seconds, figured Kenseth's penalty might make him eligible for the 2014 Sprint Unlimited, but NASCAR president Mike Helton had a different point of view. "When I saw the news, I texted Mike Helton right away, and I said, 'All right, cool, we're in the (Unlimited) next year, right? We got the pole,'" Edwards said. "And he sent back, 'LOL!' I didn't think it was that funny, but he thought it was funny. I think (Roush Fenway general manager) Robbie Reiser proceeded to ask him, and then (crew chief) Jimmy Fennig, and he got a good laugh out of it."(NASCAR Wire Service), Kenseth won the pole at Richmond to put him back into the 2014 Sprint Unlimited.(4-28-2013)

  • Toyota recalls three Bowyer engines: A parts review by Toyota after #20-Matt Kenseth's penalty led the manufacturer to pull three engines from Michael Waltrip Racing's inventory as a precautionary move. All three engines recalled were earmarked for #15-Clint Bowyer. One was his engine for Saturday night's race at Richmond; the other two were his primary and backup engines for Talladega. "We took every connecting rod in our inventory and removed anything that was too close for comfort," Toyota Racing Development vice president David Wilson told The Associated Press. The review found that there was at least one connecting rod in each of the three Bowyer engines that left TRD uncomfortable in the wake of Kenseth's issue. The issue began when the manufacturer shipped the connecting rod to TRD even though it was outside the tolerance the manufacturer allows on weight. It came with paperwork that clearly stated its weight, and that was missed by TRD employees. Now the manufacturer is backtracking to double-check everything in inventory while also reviewing its own quality control practices.(Associated Press)(4-28-2013)

  • Ten years since Nadeau's injury UPDATE: NASCAR's annual spring visit to Richmond International Raceway marks the 10-year anniversary of Jerry Nadeau's near fatal accident at the track. Nadeau crashed driver's-side first into the outside wall between Turns 1 and 2 during a May 2, 2003, practice at Richmond. He was airlifted to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in critical condition with a moderate to severe head injury, partially collapsed left lung, fractured shoulder blade and left-side rib-cage injuries. It took 20 days for Nadeau to regain full consciousness and begin to speak again, and four more before he was transferred to Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation to begin physical, occupational and speech therapy. Nadeau was in inpatient care until June 6, and in therapy until July 25. When NASCAR returned to Richmond in September that year, Nadeau made an emotional visit to VCU Medical Center to thank the medical staff. He went on to form World Karting Endurance at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and has done some driver coaching, but never raced again in NASCAR.(Associated Press)(4-27-2013)
    UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau still draws an imaginary line down the middle of his body to describe the accident that changed his life 10 years ago this week. On one side of the line his body feels normal, on the other side it's still numb. That's the result of a brain injury sustained in practice for a NASCAR Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. His Chevy spun and hit the Turn 1 wall at 135 times the force of gravity. The line is also a kind of metaphor for a life that is a mixture of frustration and joy, courageous acceptance and occasional regret. Jerry Nadeau does not live in the past. He go-karts often with daughter Natalie, 10, born months before the crash. And he's a proud father in the stands at her gymnastics meets. His marriage to Natalie's mom ended the year after the accident, but he remarried last year to Maryana, a Ukrainian he met online. But if Nadeau doesn't live in his glory days of racing, he remembers them. And though he's accepted that his physical limitations ended his career at 33, it still frustrates him. "Things were going so well and to have it taken away, yeah, I have a lot of bad feelings over that," Nadeau said. "It's amazing how time flies. The toughest part, Nadeau says, is that a brain injury makes you feel like a different person. He adds that he'd rather have broken every bone in his body at once than have his mind altered. Unless things change, he not sure when or if he'll be able work again. But he's not sad. "I still love racing, everything about it, and would still be doing it if I could," Nadeau said. "I had a great life in racing and met a lot of good people. But I'm a different person. I've moved forward and I'm trying to make the best of everything."(Newport News Daily Press)(4-28-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Toyota Owners 400 / Richmond: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 7:30 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 11:05 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 116
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 67
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 106
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 64
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 10
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 8
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 3
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 40
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 50 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:05 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 215
    Minutes of race broadcast: 170
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 45
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 6
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 170 Total comm. brdcst time 45
    See links, other news and past races on the TV Commercials page.(4-28-2013)

  • Reserved Pit Road Camping package created for Cheez-It 355 at The Glen: Watkins Glen International unveiled a new camping area that allows fans to get closer to the action than ever before for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. The Reserved Pit Road Camping is located behind the Pit Terrace Grandstands and is just a few steps away from all the exciting NASCAR action on pit road. Reserved Pit Road Camping features a paved 20' x 40' space with water and electric. Guests will receive a reserved camping spot, four weekend Pit Terrace tickets and four Fan Walk passes for just $1,995. This package is perfect for a family or group of friends who want to make the most of their Cheez-It 355 at The Glen weekend. Fans interested should act fast as space in this area is very limited. A dedicated sales representative has been assigned to handle this exclusive area and is available by calling 607-535-2486 ext. 322. In addition to being the most exclusive campground in the infield, Pit Road Camping is also the last remaining infield camping option. All other infield spaces are sold-out for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. Limited space remains available in GEICO Caveman Unreserved Campgrounds and Family Camping outside the track.(WGI)(4-28-2013)


    News from April 27, 2013

  • Harvick wins at Richmond: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st win of 2013, 3rd win at Richmond and 20th career win. He easily took the lead after starting 7th on green white checker restart, behind several drivers on older tires. #15-Bowyer finished 2nd, followed by #22-Logano, #42-Montoya (who was leading the race until the final caution), #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, #20-Kenseth (who started from the pole and led the most laps on the night), #43-Almirola, #78-Busch, and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
    There were 10 lead changes among 7 drivers and 11 cautions for 75 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 92.141mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Richmond Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Richmond Penalty Report (pdf)

  • Race Fast Facts - Richmond:
    Kevin Harvick won the 59th Annual Toyota Owners 400, his 20th victory in 439 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his third victory and 16th top-10 finish in 25 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    This is his fifth career victory at short tracks in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    Clint Bowyer (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 15 races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2013.
    Joey Logano (third) posted his second top-10 finish in nine races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 43 points over Carl Edwards.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-27-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Richmond, race 9 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 343
    2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 300, -42
    3) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 297, -46
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 297, -46
    5) #15-Clint Bowyer, 290, -53
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski, 284, -598
    7) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 278, -65
    8) #16-Greg Biffle, 272, -71
    9) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 271, -72
    10) #27-Paul Menard, 271, -72
    11) #43-Aric Almirola, 258, -85
    12) #1-Jamie McMurray, 245, -98
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #20-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 13th in points
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 14th
    #56-Martin Truex Jr., 15th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 22nd
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 28th [missed 4 races with injury]
    (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).

  • NASCAR and Gibbs talk about #20 team penalties: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton discussed NASCAR's penalties to the #20 team Friday afternoon:
    PEMBERTON: As everyone knows there are a few things that are understood in the garage area that are big. When you talk about engines, you talk about tires, and you talk about fuel. That's a common thread that's been understood, and it's stood the test of time for the last 65 years. Don't mess with those areas, and the penalties are severe. But when you look in the case of an engine, the only time we really get a chance to look internally at an engine is post-race. Some of our most severe penalties over time have surrounded engine infractions.
    Q. Why was the team penalized rather than the manufacturer?
    PEMBERTON: That's tough too. Because when you look at, in their particular situation, we probably don't know all the details, but we do know they come from an outside vendor for the most part, and I don't know how you would go -- it's very difficult to go to an outside vendor and penalize them whether it's springs or shocks or parts that are bought and bolted on race cars. That's why in today's world we all know and relate to the fact that it stops at the crew chief and stops at the owner and stops at the organization that is here to compete.
    PEMBERTON: It's a part that didn't meet spec. It's not a gray area. There are numbers in the books. If you look at numbers in the books and what's going on in the garage area and across our national series those numbers for a connecting rod have been in the book since around the time we went to a single-engine rule, which is probably 12 years ago. So you take that and the amount of engines and engine components in the garage area, and then every given weekend it's done right the vast majority of the time.(NASCAR)
    AND #20 team owner Joe Gibbs also addressed the media Friday at Richmond:
    Joe Gibbs: I want to say that we value our NASCAR partnership very much. We've been together, working together for 22 years and we value our relationship with them. Certainly, we do not want to be on the wrong side of any rules. That's our goal. I wanted to emphasize that. I want to make a point [that] we have a great partner in TRD (Toyota Racing Development). Over the six years we've been together at different times -- this is a big deal, a lot of things come up -- NASCAR's a big deal for us and a big deal for TRD. It's what we live. Through the process over these six years at different times we've stood behind them as we go through something -- in support and be there with them. At different times, they have been behind us. That's what good partners do. We think we have a great partnership with them and we're going to stand together and work our way through this and again try to handle it the right way. We believe that we are going to be together for a long time. I think everyone at this point has probably heard that in tearing down our motor after last week's win, one of the connecting rods was found to be light. That goes against the rules and we understand that. We know that there's going to be a penalty for that. What we're going to appeal is the severity of the penalties. In looking at that motor and where all the connecting rods were placed and the weight of all the connecting rods, when you have motor experts look at it basically what they would say is there is no advantage to having that one light rod in that motor. That's one thing that is very important to me is the intent here was not to get an unfair advantage in any way. That's very important to me. The other point that I would like to make is since we started out this year there has been 10 TRD motors torn down -- eight of them have been Joe Gibbs Racing motors. Nothing with those other motors has found to be wrong in those motors in anyway. Those motors were found to be legal there. I think basically that's what our appeal is going to be. We want to go forward and go through that process and what we'll be appealing will be the severe nature of the penalties."(Toyota Motorsports)(4-27-2013)

  • Ten years since Nadeau's injury: NASCAR's annual spring visit to Richmond International Raceway marks the 10-year anniversary of Jerry Nadeau's near fatal accident at the track. Nadeau crashed driver's-side first into the outside wall between Turns 1 and 2 during a May 2, 2003, practice at Richmond. He was airlifted to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in critical condition with a moderate to severe head injury, partially collapsed left lung, fractured shoulder blade and left-side rib-cage injuries. It took 20 days for Nadeau to regain full consciousness and begin to speak again, and four more before he was transferred to Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation to begin physical, occupational and speech therapy. Nadeau was in inpatient care until June 6, and in therapy until July 25. When NASCAR returned to Richmond in September that year, Nadeau made an emotional visit to VCU Medical Center to thank the medical staff. He went on to form World Karting Endurance at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and has done some driver coaching, but never raced again in NASCAR.(Associated Press)(4-27-2013)

  • Special scheme for the #11 at Richmond: Brian Vickers will drive a special #11 FedEx Delivery Manager Toyota in Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). FedEx Delivery Manager, which launched earlier this week, provides delivery options for FedEx residential package recipients to fit their schedule. It offers personalized options that allow customers to request how, when and where they want their packages delivered. FedEx Delivery Manager can be used online, through mobile browsers and with the FedEx app.(FedEx Racing), see an image of the car on the #11 Team Schemes page.(4-27-2013)

  • Patrick, Gilliland meet about differences: Before NASCAR Sprint Cup practice began at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, #10-Danica Patrick visited #93-David Gilliland at his transporter to discuss their differences. Patrick wanted to set the record straight with her fellow competitor regarding how she felt he was racing her last week. Over her radio at Kansas Speedway, Patrick said, "He tries to take me out every time." After the race, Gilliland delivered the message through his public relations representative, "shut up and drive."
    "Where our cars seem to run on the racetrack is probably the hardest racing on the racetrack, realistically, you know," Gilliland said. "When you're in the top 10, you can let guys go and get back in. When the leaders are coming and you're fighting to risk going a lap down, back there where we've been racing, at the end of the day it could mean five or six spots. It's hard racing. But we talked this morning and feel like we're on track to race each other the way we feel like we want to be raced. That's just it  a mutual respect thing that hopefully we got figured out. I think we're on the same page. We have to figure out what we have to do to make our lives easier on each other. At the end of the day, you want to lose the least amount of time as you can. But we feel good about it going forward."(Fox Sports) (4-26-2013)

  • Scott, Piquet tangle after race; crew members arrested UPDATES: Henrico County Police had two adult males in custody Friday night after a fight in the driver/owner lot of Richmond International Raceway following a Nationwide Series race where Richard Childress Racing and Turner Scott Racing crews and drivers nearly brawled. The police department did not reveal details of who was involved in the altercation but Richard Childress Racing confirmed its involvement and multiple sources said Turner Scott Motorsports personnel and driver Nelson Piquet Jr. were talking to police in the motorhome lot. A statement from Richard Childress Racing Director of Communications Tim Packman confirmed the team's involvement. "We are aware an incident took place outside of the track's infield following Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway involving members of our team and others from another team," the statement said. "We are cooperating with the local authorities in this matter." The incident occurred a little more than an hour after the race.
    Two separate incidents following the Nationwide Series race involved RCR and Turner Scott Motorsports, sparked by an on-track incident between Piquet and RCR driver Brian Scott. Following the race, both crews nearly came to blows and Scott went up to Piquet, who shoved Scott away and then kicked him in the groin. Piquet later apologized for kicking Scott, saying it was in self-defense.(Sporting News)(4-27-2013) UPDATE: Police have released the names of two Richard Childress Racing crew members arrested for alleged assault at Richmond International Raceway late Friday night. Michael A. Scearce, 50, and Thomas F. Costello, 35, were taken into custody after a postrace incident spilled over to the driver/owner motorhome lot. The assault injured one of the two adult male victims, whose names were not released. Scearce and Costello are both members of RCR's #2 team, which fields cars for Brian Scott. Both men were charged with misdemeanors and released early Saturday morning, according to Henrico County police Lt. Linda Toney. A court date for both will be determined at a later time.(USA Today)(4-27-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Richard Childress: "I didn't witness what took place last night outside of the race track. Our team members were walking to their cars and words were exchanged with members from another team, which led to an altercation. I am still learning all the exact details and, because it did happen outside of the track, local authorities became involved. We are working with them to resolve this matter. We are now concentrating on winning the Sprint Cup race tonight."(RCR)(4-27-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Statement from Turner Scott Motorsports: "Turner Scott Motorsports can confirm that an incident occurred near the Driver/Owner parking lot of Richmond International Raceway following the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, April 26th. Several members of another race team confronted a group that included Nelson Piquet Jr., resulting in the arrest of two individuals from the other race team. TSM will have no further comment on the incident as the matter is an active case with the Henrico Police Department."(TSM)(4-27-2013)

  • Chris Young and Robin Meade to sing National Anthems at Talladega Two well-known national personalities  country music superstar Chris Young and noted news journalist and recording artist Robin Meade  have been selected to sing the National Anthems during Aaron's Dream Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Young will give his rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" prior to the Saturday, May 4, Aaron's 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Meade will provide the fans with her version on Sunday, May 5, moments before the start of the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. In addition, Young will deliver Talladega fans an added bonus with a free Saturday night Infield Concert, held near the historic Talladega Boulevard.(TSS)(4-27-2013)

  • Josh Turner replacing Currington for Charlotte pre-race concert: Country music star and double-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Josh Turner will perform a pre-race concert before the green flag waves on the 29th annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, replacing Billy Currington, who was originally scheduled to perform. Turner will bring his baritone voice and soulful gospel-bluegrass repertoire to the heart of NASCAR country for an energetic 90-minute concert that will have fans on their feet and singing along to some of country music's most recognizable hits. Fans will fill the infield between Turns 1 and 2 to hear their favorite songs from the country crooner before drivers take to the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway for a fast and furious dash for cash with up to $2 million on the line. "Due to Currington's recent indictment, we elected to change our act for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Josh Turner is a native of the Carolinas with six No. 1 hits to his credit, and we know he'll put on a fantastic show for our fans and sponsors on race weekend."(CMS)(4-27-2013)


    News from April 26, 2013

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #20-Kenseth chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #11-Vickers took pit stall 17, the first pitstall with an opening front of it.
    #24-Gordon, who starts 3rd took the 30th pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #51-Allmendinger, who starts 24th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-26-2013)

  • Kesenth wins Richmond pole: #20-Matt Kenseth won the pole for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway with speed of 130.334mph, a new track record, for his 2nd pole of 2013 and 10th of his career. #11-Vickers is on the outside pole, followed by #24-Gordon (was fastest in final practice), #5-Kahne, #15-Bowyer, #42-Montoya, #22-Logano, #18-Busch, #56-Truex, Jr, and #55-Martin. With 43 teams at the track, no one missed the race.
    See the starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying results, qualifying order, qualifying rules on the Richmond Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(4-26-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Richmond:
    Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 59th Annual Toyota Owners 400 with a lap of 20.716 seconds, 130.334 mph.
    This is his 10th pole in 481 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and fifth top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his first pole in 27 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Matt Kenseth's qualifying speed set a track record previously held by Brian Vickers, set in May 2004 (129.983 mph).
    Brian Vickers(i) (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2013 and his sixth in 15 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 31st top-10 start at Richmond International Raceway. It is his sixth in nine races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-26-2013)

  • Final practice for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #24-Gordon 126.963
    #42-Montoya 126.103
    #11-Vickers 125.792
    #27-Menard 125.769
    #1-McMurray 125.675
    slowest: #19-Bliss 120.509 & #52-Keselowski 118.990. no speed: #87-Nemechek.
    Notes: Qualifying is at 5:35pm/et and will be televised on SPEED.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Richmond Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(4-26-2013)

  • Qualifying Order for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #14-Stewart.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #30-Stremme.
    Fastest in first Friday practice, #55-Martin, is scheduled to qualify 30th.
    Fastest in final practice, #24-Gordon will go out 40th.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Richmond Qualifying Page.(4-26-2013)

  • First Friday practice for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #55-Martin 126.755
    #2-Keselowski 126.535
    #18-Busch 126.458
    #20-Kenseth 125.810
    #11-Vickers 125.535
    slowest: #36-Yeley 120.730, #52-Keselowski 118.286.
    Notes: There will be a second practice session this afternoon at 2:45pm/et, followed by qualifying at 5:30pm/et.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Richmond Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-26-2013)

  • Hamlin dicusses decision to set out Richmond; consideration of surgery: Denny Hamlin met with the media Thursday at Richmond:
    What did the doctors see that is keeping you out of this race?
    "They were -- during our call yesterday they were speaking as much Chinese as I could understand. I saw the scan and saw the healing that they were talking about. However, some kind of in-plate is not healing the way that they wanted it and that's what they wanted in order to clear me. Really, that was their determining factor and, obviously, my injury is very, very hard because there is no exact science to the risk. They don't -- no one knows what the risk will be if I race this week or if I race two weeks from now. Bone healing is completely subjective. It takes bone healing a year most times to be 100 percent, so how do you quantify how much more risk is there this week versus two weeks down the road or three weeks down the road or two months down the road, so that's the tough part of it -- everyone is erring on the cautious side because no one ultimately wants to be responsible and have their name on the line of clearing a driver and then he goes out and gets hurt."
    Do you still feel like you can compete in a portion of the Talladega race?
    "They all came to the conclusion they were happy with me starting Talladega and getting out when it's a safe time to get out. Ultimately, we even talked about doing that here at Richmond, but it's unfair to the team for me to get out and then go three or four laps down on pit road and really know that the team's not going to finish any better than 35th -- why would they even show up for that? So, I think it's better for them to at least have a chance to win with one full-time driver and we decided not to do that this weekend and we'll start our process at Talladega and then rescan again and try to go to Darlington."
    Is there a possibility of surgery?
    "We talked briefly about the injury that I deal with every day and that was not the main focus of our conversation, but I think that it is going to be a possibility in the off-season. If I get back to it in a timely fashion in the Cup Series this year then am still able to salvage some kind of season, then obviously it's not going to be an option until the off-season. So, either way, I'd like to get it fixed and get it over with."
    At what point will you consider not returning this season?
    "I think if this goes past Darlington then I don't know what the chances of us making the Chase are even if we were to race this weekend, race next weekend or the one after -- I don't know the chances. There's a lot of good teams that you have to beat to guarantee you're going to win the races. Obviously, if it goes past Darlington our chances are crushed even harder. Eventually you have to have a shut down point of not going out there and racing for nothing at a point. I think a recovery on the kind of surgery that I would like to have is about a month-and-a-half or so -- I could potentially come back maybe for the tail end of the year. It wouldn't be a season-ending -- I don't think anything would be season-ending I guess you could say. Eventually you have to know the point at which you're looking at improbabilities of making the Chase and just being smart about it. If everyone keeps getting these penalties, I'm going to be the points leader soon."Toyota PR)(4-26-2013)

  • VIZIO and Hulu join Chip Ganassi Racing for Memorial Day weekend: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced new sponsorships with VIZIO and Hulu which will see the brands carried on two of racings' biggest stages on Memorial Day Weekend at the Indianapolis 500 and Coca Cola 600. The programs include major associate level branding on both Ryan Briscoe's #8 NTT DATA Honda in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and on Jamie McMurray's #1 McDonald's/Cessna Chevy SS in the Sprint Cup Series for the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26. The sponsors will also see primary branding on CGRT development driver Kyle Larson's #32 Chevy Camaro for the NASCAR Nationwide History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 25, giving VIZIO and Hulu Plus 1,400 miles of great racing during one of the most watched racing weekends of the year.(Ganassi PR)(4-26-2013)

  • Dale Earnhardt Day - April 29th: Dale Earnhardt Inc. and The Dale Earnhardt Foundation are proud to announce the 2013 Dale Earnhardt Day on Monday, April 29th, at the DEI Corporate Headquarters on Hwy. #3, Mooresville, NC. Doors will open at 10am on Monday, and the annual event in celebration of "The Intimidator"s birthday is free and open to the public. The DEI Showroom will be opening its newest exhibit on Dale Day: "Being Dale Earnhardt", which highlights the many facets of the life of the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion. The new displays will allow fans to step inside the world of Dale Earnhardt. The Grand Showroom will also be open to the public, for the newest Dale Earnhardt Inc. vehicle display. The Grand Showroom is occasionally opened to the public, and this special event will give fans a rare opportunity to see these special vehicles up close. Cupcakes will be served in the afternoon&.an annual tradition on Dale's birthday celebration. Dale Earnhardt Day will run from 10am until 6pm, on Monday, April 29th. For more information, check www.daleearnhardtinc.com.(4-26-2013)

  • NASCAR selects Stefanyshyn to lead Innovation and Racing Development: NASCAR announced that Eugene (Gene) Stefanyshyn has been named Vice President, Innovation and Racing Development to drive continual improvements in racing performance. He will be based at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. In this role, Stefanyshyn will lead and shape NASCAR's future approach to Competition by utilizing and developing innovations that advance the racing product and fan experience. Additionally, he will work in close collaboration with other NASCAR departments and industry stakeholders to develop a leading edge culture for NASCAR surrounding engineering and technology. Stefanyshyn has been a leader at General Motors working in various capacities for more than 30 years, most recently serving as the company's Executive Director, Global Product Development Quality, where he managed upwards of 250 employees across four global regions. Through his three-decade tenure at GM, Stefanyshyn has held increasingly senior roles spanning all facets of vehicle design and development, global project management, engineering strategy, finance, manufacturing and quality control.(NASCAR)(4-26-2013)

  • Keselowski wins at Richmond: #22-Brad Keselowski won the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st win of the season and the 21st of his Nationwide career. #33-Kevin Harvick finished second followed by #54-Kyle Busch, #20-Brian Vickers, #7-Regan Smith, #11-Elliott Sadler, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #32-Kyle Larson, #60-Travis Pastrana, and #43-Reed Sorenson. The average speed was 83.768mph. There were 8 cautions for 57 laps and 11 lead changes among 5 leaders. Complete results are on the Richmond race results page (pdf).(4-26-2013)

  • Richmond Race Fast Facts:
    Brad Keselowski(i) won the 26th Annual ToyotaCare 250, his 21st victory in 196 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 13 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    This is the 12th time a driver has driven to victory from the pole position in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.
    Kevin Harvick(i) (second) posted his 19th top-10 finish in 24 races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2013.
    Kyle Busch(i) (third) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 16 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Kyle Larson (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Sam Hornish Jr. leads the point standings by 1 points over Regan Smith.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-26-2013)

  • Driver standings following Richmond:
    1) #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. 259
    2) #7-Regan Smith 258, -1
    3) #2-Brian Scott 236, -23
    4) #31-Justin Allgaier 225, -34
    5) #11-Elliott Sadler 224, -35
    6) #20-Brian Vickers 222, -37
    7) #3-Austin Dillon 222, -37
    8) #77-Parker Kligerman 219, -40
    9) #6-Trevor Bayne 213, -46 -6
    10) #32-Kyle Larson # 204, -55
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-26-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Richmond are posted (pdf).(4-26-2013)

  • Keselowski on pole at Richmond: #22-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole for the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 126.339 mph. #54-Kyle Busch will start second. The rest of the top 10: #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #33-Kevin Harvick, #29-Kenny Wallace, #3-Austin Dillon, #6-Trevor Bayne, #2-Brian Scott, #20-Brian Vickers, and #43-Reed Sorenson. Did Not Qualify: #15-Stanton Barrett, #46-Chase Miller, #47-Jason Bowles, #52-Derek Thorn, #55-Jamie Dick, #89-Morgan Shepherd. The starting lineup is posted on the Richmond starting lineup page (pdf).(4-26-2013)

  • Richmond Qualifying Notes:
    Brad Keselowski(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 26th Annual ToyotaCare 250 with a lap of 21.371 seconds, 126.339 mph.
    This is his 14th pole in 196 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first pole and sixth top-10 start in 2013. This is his second pole in 13 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Keselowski won this event in 2010 after starting fourth. Kyle Busch(i) (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2013 and his ninth in 16 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Sam Hornish Jr. (third) posted his third top-10 start at Richmond International Raceway.
    It is his sixth in seven races this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-26-2013)

  • Busch fastest in happy hour: #18-Kyle Busch was quickest during happy hour for the Toyota Care 250 with a speed of 124.884mph. He was followed by: #29-Kenny Wallace, #11-Elliott Sadler, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #33-Kevin Harvick, #20-Brian Vickers, #7-Regan Smith, #31-Justin Allgaier, #22-Brad Keselowski, and #77-Parker Kligerman. All 46 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Richmond practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-26-2013)

  • Stanton Barrett returns to Nationwide Series: Stanton Barrett's return will mark the 22nd anniversary of competition where he has competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Indy Racing League and ARCA Series. Barrett will be piloting the #15 JewelGirls.org and 4caring.org Ford Mustang in his return with RWR.(RWR)(4-26-2013)

  • NASCAR Express Offers Train to NASCAR in Sonoma: For the first time ever, Northern California NASCAR fans can get on board the NASCAR Express train service to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma Raceway. The raceway has partnered with the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) to offer a first-of-its-kind express train that will transport fans directly from the Sacramento area to the raceway on race day, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The train will depart from Sacramento, with stops in Davis and Suisun City, and traverse some of Northern California's most spectacular scenery before dropping passengers just steps from the raceway's main entrance. The NASCAR Express offers fans a unique option to avoid highway traffic and parking hassles on race-day, and will feature two café cars with on board food and beverage service. The train is also a great option for small and large groups to enjoy the entire NASCAR race-day experience together. It's an easy one-stop shop to purchase your race-day ticket and NASCAR Express pass. The $199 premium package includes: A reserved-seat in the Main Grandstand, Round-trip travel from Sacramento, Davis or Suisun, VIP main-gate entry, On-track access to driver introduction and pre-race ceremonies, and a Special T-shirt.(Sonoma)(4-26-2013)


    News from April 25, 2013

  • Kyle Busch wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown: Kyle Busch has won Denny Hamlin's Short Track Showdown for the third time in six years. Busch, a teammate of Hamlin's with Joe Gibbs Racing, grabbed the lead before the 5-minute pit stops that came after 46 laps, then pulled away when the race went back to green, easily holding off David Ragan on Thursday night. With Hamlin sidelined by a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back and forced to watch the event at his home track, Busch once again made the 75-lap race his to lose in a car that was built by his team, Kyle Busch Motorsports. Ragan was second, and Ben Rhodes finished third. The race benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which is committed to helping children with cystic fibrosis.(Associated Press), other notable finishes: Kyle Larson 10th, Max Papis 21st, Matt Kenseth 22nd, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr, 25th, Trevor Bayne 26th, Tony Stewart 28th, Michael Waltrip 33rd.(4-25-2013)

  • Nationwide Insurance sponsoring Stenhouse, Jr. in Cup: Nationwide Insurance announced a two-year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing's #17 Ford Fusion powered by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series. Nationwide Insurance will be the primary sponsor for three races in 2013, four races in 2014 and will serve as associate sponsor for all other #17 team Sprint Cup races. "We've had a 15-year presence in NASCAR and this is the first time we've sponsored a car in any NASCAR series," said Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer for Nationwide Insurance. "We built a solid relationship with Roush Fenway and two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and Nationwide Insurance member, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and we're eager to carry that momentum forward and enhance our existing integrated NASCAR marketing platform." The #17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion will contend in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on Aug. 24 at Bristol, Sept. 7 at Richmond and Oct. 20 at Talladega. The race dates in 2014 are yet to be determined.(Nationwide PR)(4-25-2013)

  • Kenseth calls penalties unfair: #20-Matt Kenseth talked to the media Thursday morning at Richmond:
    What was your reaction to the penalties NASCAR announced yesterday? Do you think they were severe?
    "I think the penalties are grossly unfair. I think it's borderline shameful. There's no argument the part was wrong. They weighed it and it was wrong. However, there is an argument that there certainly was no performance advantage. If you can find any unbiased, reputable, knowledgeable engine-builder and if they saw the facts, what all the rods weighed. The average weight of all the rods was well above the minimum -- 2.5 (grams) above the minimum at least. There was one in there that was way heavy. There was no performance advantage, there was no intent, it was a mistake. JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) had no control over it. Certainly to crush Joe Gibbs like that -- to say they can't win an owner's championship with the 20 this year is just, I can't wrap my arms around that, it just blows me away. And the same with Jason Ratcliff (crew chief). I don't feel bad for myself at all, but for Jason and Joe, I just couldn't feel any worse. There's no more reputable, honest hard-working guys with good reputations more so than those two -- I feel really bad for them."
    Do you expect a positive response from the appeals process?
    "I don't know. I've never been through it so I honestly don't know. That's the hope, that's why it's setup. You've seen some examples of both. I don't know. That's what the hope is, that's why it's setup. We'll just go through that and see what happens and see whatever the final verdict is -- we'll have to live with that and move on."(Toyota Racing PR)(4-25-2013)

  • Dominion Raceway to sponsor Kvapil at Richmond: The proposed Dominion Raceway facility in Thornburg, VA, Spotsylvania County announced its sponsorship of #93 owned by BK Racing and driven by Travis Kvapil. Dominion Raceway is a newly planned Motorsports facility to be located on Interstate I-95 at Exit 118 in Thornburg, VA. The facility includes a 1/8-mile drag strip, 4/10-mile oval and 2 mile road course. It's believed that the facility may be the only kind in the world that incorporates three different racing formats served by a single multipurpose building. "Dominion Raceway is the culmination of everything we have learned at Old Dominion Speedway," says managing member, Steve Britt. He continues, "It's an extremely forward thinking project, expands the fan experience greatly with modern facilities, interactive video and numerous venues, not all of which are motorsports, all designed for family fun and enjoyment. It's fabulous that Ron Devine and BK Racing were willing to work with us so closely on a Dominion Raceway Car for the Richmond Toyota Owners 400 race."(Dominion Raceway), see an image of the car on the #93 team paint schemes page.(4-25-2013)

  • Ragan's team still searching for sponsors: From an interview with Frontstretch.com:
    #34-David Ragan: "We've got a couple of sponsors for the season. We've got a lot of races sold, but we have a lot of races unsold. CSX Railroad, one of our primary sponsors throughout the year and associate all year long, Peanut Patch Peanuts, obviously Taco Bell and Long John Silver's, but our owner, Bob Jenkins, he really puts a lot of extra personal money into our team to try and keep it going forward and growing. Certainly without his subsidy, we wouldn't be able to do what we do. We do have a lot of good partners, but we need a couple more to fill up the whole season."(Frontstretch)(4-25-2013)

  • Yeley to run special NASCAR Day scheme: Tommy Baldwin Racing's JJ Yeley joins The NASCAR Foundation as the industry celebrates the 10th Annual NASCAR Day on Friday, May 17. Yeley is running a special 'NASCAR Day' paint scheme on his #36 Chevy SS in Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. For the first time, The Foundation will launch a "Ten Days of Giving" tour, beginning May 8, which will include philanthropic activities in Atlanta, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., Winston-Salem, N.C.; Brooklyn, Mich.; Darlington, S.C.; Kansas City, Kan.; New York, N.Y.; and Daytona Beach, Fla.(140Buzz/TBR)(4-25-2013)

  • Outback making first appearance on the #39: For Ryan Newman, Richmond couldn't come soon enough. Needing a breakout performance to quiet skeptics who have written off the SHR teams as contenders in 2013, there's no better place to prove them wrong. With Outback Steakhouse making the first of three 2013 appearances as primary sponsor of Newman's #39 Chevy this weekend at Richmond, memories of last year's spring race at Martinsville Speedway evoke memories of that fateful day. Newman scored his only win of the 2012 season at the other Virginia venue, and did so with the Tampa, Fla.-based steakhouse across the hood of his racecar. Outback Steakhouse has been celebrating Newman's top-10 finishes since last season with a free Bloomin' Onion for its customers on Mondays. Come Saturday night, Newman would like nothing more than to relive last year's April success at Martinsville - by scoring his first "Bloomin'" win of the 2013 season at Richmond.(SHR), see an image of the car on the #39 team paint schemes page.(Stewart Haas)(4-25-2013)

  • Toyota Care on Bowyer's car: #15 Toyota Camry driver Clint Bowyer knows he has momentum on his side as he returns to Richmond International Raceway for this weekend's Toyota Owners 400. Bowyer won last fall at Richmond in the final race before the start of the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Bowyer also has a new paint scheme for his trip to the .75-mile D-shape oval which will carry extra meaning for him this weekend. Bowyer hosted the grand opening of the Clint Bowyer Autoplex Toyota dealership in his hometown of Emporia, Kan. last Thursday. This weekend, Bowyer is sponsored by Toyota Care. Toyota Care is a service program that comes free with the purchase or lease of every new Toyota vehicle. It provides roadside assistance, as well as routine service to give new Toyota owners peace of mind.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(4-25-2013)

  • Kahne sponsored by Quaker State at Richmond: Quaker State will adorn the hood of Kahne's #5 Chevy SS this weekend at Richmond International Raceway and will be the primary sponsor on the car for two more Sprint Cup Series events this year: Kentucky Speedway on June 29 and Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 12. The Quaker State and Hendrick Motorsports relationship began in 1996, and during this partnership, Quaker State has helped deliver a total of nine Sprint Cup championships and 162 race victories.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(4-25-2013)

  • 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 Richmond on the Richmond Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Keselowski fastest in Thursday practice: #22-Brad Keselowski was fastest during Thursday's open practice / test at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 123.672mph. #99-Alex Bowman was second, followed by: #54-Kyle Busch, #7-Regan Smith, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #33-Kevin Harvick, #29-Kenny Wallace, #2-Brian Scott, #3-Austin Dillon, and #31-Justin Allgaier. 43 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Richmond practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-25-2013)

  • Talladega, Daytona to reinforce crossover gates: Two NASCAR tracks will reinforce their crossover gates with extra cables following the February Nationwide Series crash at Daytona International Speedway that injured at least 28 fans. Talladega Superspeedway, which hosts a pair of NASCAR races next weekend, has implemented the changes to all of their gates after an engineering firm hired by Daytona made the recommendations after reviewing data from the Feb. 23 crash. Kyle Larson's car made contact with a gate opening on the last lap, sending an engine, tire and debris flying into the stands and injuring several fans. Daytona track president Joie Chitwood III said the additional cables will be added for redundancy in the system. The track will also put tethers between the gate frame and the posts. That work will be completed in time for the July 5-6 races there. Chitwood said the removal of the gates was not considered, nor was it an option to move seats back further from the fence area. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's senior vice president of operations, said Larson's car is still being evaluated and there will be no immediate changes made in regard to safety. In addition, O'Donnell said no changes are expected with the restrictor plate at Talladega next week  including a smaller plate that would slow the cars down.(USA Today)(4-25-2013)

  • Patrick to tour Talladega Boulevard, judge campsites: The world famous Talladega Boulevard, a strip of land in Talladega's infield known as NASCAR's "Party Capital" for providing fans with the most fun in all of motorsports, just got even better! When the Aaron's Dream Weekend rolls into Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick will walk the Boulevard, mingle with fans, and award a one-of-a-kind "Coke Zero Tailgate Champion" trophy to the best decorated campsite. Plans are for Danica to award the "Coke Zero Tailgate Champion" trophy Saturday afternoon, at some point following the conclusion of the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The most notorious strip of real estate in NASCAR, Talladega Boulevard, is an innovative corridor like no other and has been a mainstay in NASCAR circles since the track was built in 1969. The Mardi Gras-type atmosphere of The Boulevard, complete with strings of beads and shenanigans, is a NASCAR tradition that separates Talladega from other venues. It truly is a sight to behold how tents, RVs, trucks and trailers, with an abundance of ingenuity and creativity, can liven up a large crowd of people.(TSS)(4-25-2013)


    News from April 24, 2013

  • Hamlin still waiting on clearance to race UPDATE - still out at Richmond: #11-Denny Hamlin's latest scan is done. Now he's waiting for doctors to read the results and arrive at a consensus of opinion as to whether he can race this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. "A doctor has seen a scan [Tuesday], but, obviously, there's a large team of doctors who have to have a consensus," Hamlin said Wednesday morning during a visit to the Grooming Lounge in downtown Washington. "Until all of them get the images, we're still waiting on that. They should have them this morning. "Hopefully, by the end of the day, everyone will have consensus and have time to review what's the safe thing to do." Whether he's approved to race at Richmond or not, Hamlin plans to start the race the following week at Talladega and then give way to a relief driver. He'll exit the car at Talladega at the first opportunity after riding in the back. "We do have an agreement, I believe, on starting next week and getting out, so at least we'll get some points starting next week," Hamlin said. "After that, I don't know. It just depends on what the doctors, the results of this (the scan) are and when they want to re-scan and check progression again.
    Hamlin is leaning toward back surgery during the offseason -- or perhaps sooner if his prospects of making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup evaporate -- because the compression fracture exacerbated a problem with bulging disks that existed before the crash. The bulging disks are far more painful to the 32-year-old-driver than the compression fracture was. "(The accident) really screwed 'em up," Hamlin said. "I'm at the point now where, if they don't let me back in the car in a timely fashion, where I'm going to be racing for nothing for the rest of the year, I'd just as soon do it now and get it over with and come back next year strong and ready to go." (NASCAR Wire Service)(4-24-2013)
    UPDATE: Hamlin tweeted Wednesday evening, "Unfortunately I won't be racing this weekend at Richmond. It kills me to not be in the car for my team and sponsors but after long discussions with the doctors we have decided to wait on my return back to racing. Thanks to all of my fans who have sent encouraging messages over the last month. I'll be back in no time."(4-24-2013)

  • TRD Statment on #20 penalties: TRD Statement: "During NASCAR's routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth's race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway, one of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas -- JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD's part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been -- and will continue to be -- to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR."(TRD)(4-24-2013)

  • Kenseth's engine fails post race inspection UPDATE - penalties; team will appeal: The engine in #20-Matt Kenseth's race-winning car from Kansas failed inspection at NASCAR's Research and Development Center. NASCAR officials were discussing Wednesday what penalties to levy against Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing, multiple people familiar with the inspection told the AP on the condition of anonymity because no decision has been made. The engine failed because one of the connecting rods not meeting the minimum weight requirement. Kenseth drove the #20 Toyota to his second win of the season Sunday in Kansas. It is standard procedure for the race winning engine to go back to Concord for a thorough inspection. The JGR engines are supplied by Toyota Racing Development out of Costa Mesa, Calif., but NASCAR would hold the team responsible for any infractions.(Associated Press)(4-24-2013)
    UPDATE: Penalties have been handed down to the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team as a result of rule violations discovered in the post-race engine inspection April 23 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center. The #20 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-5.5.3 (E) (Only magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted; connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, NASCAR has assessed the following penalties:
    • Crew chief Jason Ratcliff has been fined $200,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (a period of time that also includes the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
    • Car owner Joe Gibbs has lost 50 championship car owner points; the first place finish from April 21 at Kansas Speedway will not earn bonus points toward the accumulated aggregate car owner points total after the completion of the first 26 events of the current season and will not be credited towards the eligibility for a car owner Wild Card position; has had the owner's license for the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car suspended until the completion of the next six championship points events, therefore being ineligible to receive championship car owner points during that period of time.
    • Driver Matt Kenseth has lost 50 championship driver points; the Coors Light Pole award from April 19 at Kansas Speedway will not be allowed for eligibility into the 2014 Sprint Unlimited; the first place finish from April 21 at Kansas Speedway will not earn bonus points toward the accumulated aggregate driver points total after the completion of the first 26 events of the current season and will not be credited towards the eligibility for a driver Wild Card position.
    • The loss of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Championship points.
    (NASCAR)(4-24-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing Statement: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is aware of the penalty issued by NASCAR today regarding the engine in our #20 car used in last week's Sprint Cup Series race in Kansas. It is our understanding that one of the eight connecting rods on the engine was ruled too light. We are working with our partners at TRD on this issue. In the meantime we will plan to appeal the penalty.(JGR)(4-24-2013)

  • Blue Deuce turns red at Richmond: This weekend, the #2 Ford will branch out with a different paint scheme. REDD'S Apple Ale, a new product from MillerCoors, will adorn Brad Keselowski's ride for this weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway. Crisp like an apple. Brewed like an ale. REDD's is different to the core  the perfect ale for the curious drinker looking for a fresh, new kind of beer.(Penske Racing), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(4-24-2013)

  • "Goodyear Gives Back" program to return at Charlotte: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced that its fourth-annual "Goodyear Gives Back" military charity campaign will kick off during Charlotte Motor Speedway's May Speedweeks and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. To raise awareness for this year's program, Goodyear will once again transform the appearance of its iconic NASCAR tires, replacing the traditional Goodyear "Eagle" and "Wrangler" sidewalls with a symbolic desert camouflage design reading "Support Our Troops." The tires will be run during all NASCAR events at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, including the Sprint All-Star Race, the Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series races, and the Coca-Cola 600. In the first three years of the program  with the running of Support Our Troops tires at Daytona International Speedway in both 2010 and 2012, and Chicagoland Speedway in 2011  Goodyear and NASCAR fans have generated more than $700,000 in cash and product donations to help military members and their families through the "Support Our Troops" organization. In addition to launching its own charity program, Goodyear will also support the Charlotte Motor Speedway's "Welcome Home Our Troops" program to help bring troops and their families to the Coca-Cola 600.(Goodyear)(4-24-2013)

  • Swan Racing launching Swan Racing TV: In an effort to better connect with its fans on a more personal level, Swan Racing, in conjunction with Wheelhouse Media, is set to launch Swan Racing TV this week leading into the upcoming Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Swan Racing TV will feature the cast and characters of Swan Racing and consist of 32 weeks of high quality, entertaining, fun and informative "reality show style" original content edited down to three to six minutes in length per weekly video. The videos' purposes are to help raise the profile of Swan Racing and keep its fans up to speed on the weekly happenings of the team away from the track back at the shop as well as cast the team members as personable characters so that Swan Racing's fans will feel an immediate connection to them. The first video out of the 32-week series will be rolled out this Thursday, April 25. Follow @SwanRacingTV, @SwanRacingCo, @DavidStremme, & @SwanEnergyInc on Twitter to catch the weekly webisodes.(Swan Racing)(4-24-2013)

  • Brian Keselowski teams up with Go Green Racing for Richmond UPDATE: Archie St Hilaire (Go Green Racing) announced that his team would be making their first attempt of the season Saturday night at the Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond. St Hilaire also confirmed that he was joining forces with Brian Keselowski Motorsports (BKM) and Kelly Owen who have been working together this year in an effort to best utilize their resources with the new Gen 6 car with hopes of expanding their options for running the entire race when they compete. The group has plans for at least 10 more events this season. The team plans to run a mixtures of Toyota or Ford. Brian Keselowski will drive the #52 Toyota at Richmond, his father Bob is listed as the owner and the engine package from Triad. Ben Leslie will be working with the team as the crew chief.(Go Green Racing)(4-23-2013)
    UPDATE: Brian Keselowski will pilot his #52 Brian Keselowski Motorsports Toyota at Richmond International Raceway with high expectations of successfully qualifying to race in the Toyota Owners 400. Brian Keselowski Motorsports has worked hard to get back on track since attempting the Daytona 500 in February 2013. The unfortunate event of not making the "Great American Race" only added a log to Keselowski's fire to come back and be successful on track. BKM welcomes back some of their sponsors that supported them in February to include, major associate sponsor, Highland Wealth Advisors, LLC, a company who works closely with High Net-Worth individuals to help them accomplish their Personal and Financial goals and objectives. Previous sponsors, Twisted Graphix and The Carolina Basset Hound Rescue, will once again be displayed on Keselowski's #52 along with newcomers, Virginia Software Group, Inc. and Infield Jen. Support continues to come from Keselowski's loyal fans who signed up to have their names on his race car.(BKM PR)(4-24-2013)

  • Bell Helicopter sponsoring Harvick: Bell Helicopter will make its only scheduled appearance on the Richard Childress Racing #29 of Kevin Harvick Saturday night at Richmond. Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.(Richard Childress Racing), see an image of the car on the #29 team paint schemes page.(4-24-2013)

  • Airgas/Bulwark on the #31 at Richmond: Jeff Burton will have new sponsors on his #31 Chevy when the Sprint Cup Series hits Richmond this weekend. Bulwark is the North American market leader in durable flame resistant protective garments. Born in the Canadian oilfields 42 years ago, and the choice of industry professionals ever since. They offer the widest assortment of flame resistant shirts, pants, jeans, coveralls and outerwear in the industry. Airgas, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation's leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and related products. Airgas is a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases with 16 air separation plants, a leading producer of carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. suppliers of safety products, and a leading U.S. supplier of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals.(Richard Childress Racing), see an image of the car on the #31 team paint schemes page.(4-24-2013)

  • Depends on the #42: Longtime partner of the Target Chip Ganassi Racing program, Kimberly-Clark, will feature the Depend brand on the #42 Chevy SS at Richmond International Raceway. Juan Pablo Montoya will drive the black Chevy SS with Depend branding under the lights Saturday night. Depend is the market leader in the adult incontinence category in North America.(Earnhardt Ganassi), see an image of the car on the #42 team paint schemes page.(4-23-2013).

  • Richmond Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Richmond this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in both series have run at Richmond the last two seasons . . . Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams also ran this left-side tire code (D-4416) with a different right-side code at Bristol last month . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. Goodyear will also supply tires for the K&N Series race at Richmond on Thursday night . . . teams will run tire codes D-2267 on the left-side and D-2268 on the right-side . . . this tire set-up is also run by these teams at New Hampshire . . . Goodyear will bring 260 tires per side for this event . . . teams are allowed three sets for the event. See tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Richmond Race Info page - Goodyear Tire section.

  • Sad News - Monty Grice: The Earnhardt Ganassi Racing family lost a wonderful friend and teammate...Monty Grice, long time EGR employee, passed away at his home last night surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer. Monty Grice worked professionally on race cars for more than 30 years, but he actually began at an early age working in his Dad's shop building Super-Modifieds, and fabricating racing wheels. His well-known love for dirt racing earned him the nickname of "Dirt" in the fab shop among his fellow co-workers. He is actually quite proud of the name, as it takes him back to his roots of racing. Monty passion for dirt racing led him to starting his own chassis building business, so he started Freedom Dirt Chassis on his own and built many successful race winning cars that were a great source of pride. Monty was especially proud to have been part of Jamie McMurray's wins in the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in 2010. But, as far as dirt racing goes, his favorite racing memory would be the 100th win of his own Freedom Chassis. That win ironically happened to be at the Susan B. Komen race for the cure. Details to follow on service arrangements.(EGR)(4-24-2013)

  • Sauter's fuel cell confiscated UPDATE: Inspectors confiscated the fuel cell from Truck Series points leader Johnny Sauter this weekend at Kansas Speedway and will review it the first part of next week. NASCAR did not say what issue was found with the fuel cell, which was taken Thursday during the opening day inspection. Any potential penalties would also be handed down next week. Sauter won the first two races of the season at Daytona and Martinsville, and finished fourth at Rockingham. He stayed out of trouble in a crash-filled race Saturday at Kansas to finish fifth, maintaining a 12-point lead over Matt Crafton in the series standings.(Associated Press)(4-21-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced penalties and fines to the #98 team that competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as a result of rule infractions at Kansas Speedway. The #98 truck was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4K (if in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, race equipment that has been previously verified or previously approved and/or sealed by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-6 and/or 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired, or changed in any manner); 20B-16 (once a fuel cell or fuel cell components have been certified, modifications of any kind will not be permitted to the fuel cell or fuel cell components); and 20B-16.1B (standard black, safety foam with minimum free-standing height of eight (8) inches, acceptable to NASCAR Officials, and used as provided by an approved fuel cell manufacturer, must be used: Fuel cell safety foam modification.) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, crew chief Joel Shear has been fined $10,000 and suspended from NASCAR competition until the completion of the next four (4) NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. He has been placed on NASCAR probation until December 31. The team has also been docked 25 championship driver (Johnny Sauter) and 25 championship owner (Mike Curb) points. The violations involving the #98 truck occurred in opening day inspection.(NASCAR)(4-24-2013)

  • CMS announces Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Show: Charlotte Motor Speedway is continuing the rich tradition of paying tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces with a Welcome Home Our Troops pre-race spectacular at the May 26 Coca-Cola 600. The program will include a one-of-a-kind air parade with 10 vintage warbirds, a patriotic flyover and a flight by an American bald eagle over the infield during the national anthem.
    Bridging the worlds of military and motorsports, the pre-race flyover will include P-51 Mustangs, owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Jack Roush. The Welcome Home Our Troops Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will also include a performance of "I Will Give My All" by country music artist Jamie Tate and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus, a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler. There will also be a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad.
    Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers from Fort Bragg walk through the grandstands to the infield to participate in pre-race ceremonies.
    In addition, NASCAR drivers and Charlotte-area VIPs will participate in special welcome home and military dedication video messages that will be displayed on the world's largest HDTV, and a gigantic American flag the size of a football field will be unfurled across the frontstretch.
    Medal of Honor recipients Bob Patterson (Vietnam), Gary Littrell (Vietnam) and Walter Joseph Marm (Vietnam) will be recognized on the pre-race stage.(CMS)(4-24-2013)

  • Harvick, Burton, Labonte to speak at Darlington hospitality: Race fans who want to get up close and personal with today's NASCAR stars need to look no further than Darlington Raceway's hospitality areas on May 10-11. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick, along with Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte, who are both Coca-Cola Racing Family members, are scheduled to participate in 15-minute question and answer sessions for race fans in the track's Darlington Stripe Zone Hospitality club, prior to the running of the Bojangles' Southern 500. For $140 per package (plus the cost of a grandstand ticket), fans receive a pre-race cold pit pass (shirt and shoes required), full meal and snacks, unlimited non-alcohol beverage service until the scheduled race start, four beer coupons to guests 21 years of age and older, a Darlington-branded gift, event program and live entertainment. Combine that with scheduled driver appearances by Harvick, Burton and Labonte and it's the perfect package for a race fan.(Darlington Raceway)(4-24-2013)


    News from April 23, 2013

  • Hamlin hopes to return at Richmond UPDATE: Injured #11-Denny Hamlin told ESPN.com on Saturday there is a 50-50 chance he'll return to his Sprint Cup car next weekend at Richmond. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said it's almost 100% he will at least start the May 5 race at Talladega. Hamlin was expected to miss six weeks after suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the last lap of the March 24 race at Auto Club Speedway. That would have put his scheduled return at the May 11 race at Darlington. But Hamlin said if the follow-up scan of the fracture that will take place either late Tuesday or early Wednesday shows bone growth he will be in the car at his home track in Richmond if doctors give him clearance. "If everything works out, and if the scan looks the way I feel we're going to be in good shape for Richmond,'' Hamlin said after the final practice for Sunday's race at Kansas. "I feel there's been growth there. I feel I've gotten stronger. Everything is a lot better. Last week, I would have said probably not. But this week I feel a lot better.'' Hamlin said there won't be another scan for two weeks after this week's. Even if he is not given clearance for Richmond, the plan is to start Talladega to collect driver points and give way to a backup driver after the first caution. Hamlin said there is no consideration for starting and then putting a backup driver in at Richmond because he would lose at least two laps making the exchange at the three-quarter mile track. Hamlin said he's been off pain medicine for a week and a half, so that won't be an issue with getting medical clearance. He is confident after looking at the crash data from Auto Club Speedway that it would be tough to duplicate what led to his injury.(full story at ESPN.com)(4-20-2013)
    UPDATE: Denny Hamlin tweeted Tuesday evening, "No update tonight guys."(4-23-2013)

  • Penske appeal to be heard May 1: Penske Racing's appeal of penalties issued to reigning Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano will be held on May 1. The appeal will be heard by three members selected from the National Stock Car Racing Commission. If the panel stands by NASCAR's ruling, Penske Racing has the option to go to the final appeal stage in which chief appellate officer John Middlebrook makes the ruling after hearing from both sides. NASCAR has referred to the confiscated parts as unapproved because they were altered to move in a way that officials have told teams was off limits. Logano said during a Tuesday during a press event promoting the May 18 All-Star race and May 26 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway the teams are in the preliminary stages for preparing for what will happen if the suspensions stand. "We need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best,'' he said. "We'll bring in some extra people [at Richmond] to have some overlap on our team to prepare if the appeal doesn't go the way we expect it to. We need to always do that.(ESPN)(4-23-2013)

  • Dish Network to make bid for Sprint Nextel UPDATE2: Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider, offered to buy Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could thwart the proposed acquisition of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank Corp. Sprint shares soared 16.2 percent to their highest level since September 2008, leaving them well above the value of the Dish offer on Monday. Dish's surprise bid is the latest development as the U.S. wireless business undergoes a wave of consolidation. Dish was already in the midst of an unsolicited offer for Clearwire Corp, the wireless company majority-owned by Sprint. Dish said it would pay $4.76 per share in cash and about 0.05953 shares in Dish stock for each Sprint share. The offer, which works out to $7 per share, represents a premium of roughly 12 percent to Sprint's close on Friday. Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile services provider, agreed in October to sell 70 percent of its shares to SoftBank for $20 billion. No date has been set yet for a vote on that deal. Sprint declined to comment on the Dish offer.(Reuters)(4-15-2013)
    UPDATE: Sprint said it would evaluate the proposal but declined further comment. Some analysts said the Dish offer could lead to a bidding war with SoftBank. The combined entity would have 63.1 million retail subscribers and $50 billion in annual revenues, Dish said in a regulatory filing. The play for Sprint came together in the last few months as Dish started to think through all of its alternatives to gain even more spectrum, according to a source familiar with the matter. As much as Dish wants a wireless partner, analysts said Sprint also needs a deal to compete more effectively. Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said Sprint management likely prefers the SoftBank offer, given the Japanese company's deeper background in the wireless market.(Money / MSN)(4-16-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Sprint Nextel has formed a committee of independent directors to review a $25.5 billion buyout offer from Dish Network. The committee has retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to act as its financial adviser and will provide an assessment to the full board, the company said Monday. Dish said Monday that it's pleased with the news. Dish Network Corp., the third-largest U.S. pay TV provider, made an unsolicited offer for Sprint Nextel Corp. earlier this month. Dish is attempting to block the sale of 70 percent of Sprint to Softbank Corp. of Japan, a deal which Sprint agreed to in October. Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kan., is the third-largest U.S. cellphone company.(AP/ABC)(4-23-2013

  • Ragan to drive a train; have special scheme at RIR: David Ragan will take a break from the #34 Ford to get behind the controls of one of the most advanced CSX locomotives at 3 pm on Tuesday, April 23, at the Moncrief Rail Yard (Jacksonville, FL). There he will learn more about train operations and to promote the "Play it Safe" campaign, which encourages safety among pedestrians and motorists around railroad tracks. In other events during the day, Ragan will put the CSX primary race car, which is painted with the "Play It Safe" scheme, on display at 11:30am at CSX Headquarters at 500 Water Street. From 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm, he will sign autographs for CSX employees. On April 26, fans attending the Richmond International Speedway Race Weekend will get the opportunity to sign a pledge to exercise caution around railroad tracks on the actual hood of the CSX "Play It Safe" #34 Ford, which will race in the April 27 Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond, VA.
    "We plan to give David a tour of one of our latest locomotives and show him how it operates. The tour will include the perspective from the engineer's seat, and a briefing on how CSX - the largest railroad in the East - delivers freight safely and reliably," says Gary Sease, Corporate Communications Director. Ragan, who is also a spokesman about the dangers of distracted driving, welcomed the opportunity to be part of another safety message. "It can take the average freight train traveling at 55 mph up to a mile to stop," Ragan said. "To put the problem in perspective, every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train."
    "We're proud to partner with the team that has been most associated with driver safety," says Sease. "David is a great spokesperson, and we hope his passion for this issue will translate into increased awareness about safety." As the primary sponsor for the Richmond race, CSX will use the entire car to promote safety. In addition to the hood of signed safety pledges, the #34 Ford will feature the "I brake for trains" bumper sticker, both quarter panels and the hood will display the "Play It Safe" campaign tagline and other messages. Ragan is utilizing social media and encourages his fans to help promote the message with the #PlayItSafe hashtag as it will be seen on his car. In addition to NASCAR, the "Play It Safe" campaign targets college students on campuses intersected by railroad tracks and includes billboards placed strategically near rail crossings, online advertising, social media and other communications that urge caution.(Front Row Motorsports), see a bunch of images of the car on the #34 Team Schemes page.(4-23-2013)

  • Brian Keselowski teams up with Go Green Racing for Richmond: Archie St Hilaire (Go Green Racing) announced today that his team would be making their first attempt of the season next Saturday night at the Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond. St Hilaire also confirmed that he was joining forces with Brian Keselowski Motorsports (BKM) and Kelly Owen who have been working together this year in an effort to best utilize their resources with the new Gen 6 car with hopes of expanding their options for running the entire race when they compete. The group has plans for at least 10 more events this season. The team plans to run a mixtures of Toyota or Ford. Brian Keselowski will drive the #52 Toyota at Richmond, his father Bob is listed as the owner and the engine package from Triad. Ben Leslie will be working with the team as the crew chief.(Go Green Racing)(4-23-2013)

  • Richmond Stats and Facts:
    · Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953 won by Lee Petty.
    · The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
    · The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
    · The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
    · The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
    · The track was re-measured to .542-mile in 1970.
    · The track was rebuilt as a three-quarter-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
    · The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
    · The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
    · There have been 113 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway, one NSCS event from 1953-1958 and two races per year since 1959.
    · 467 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond; 304 in more than one.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Richmond with 63. Terry Labonte leads all active drivers with 55 starts; followed by Mark Martin with 54.
    · Buck Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Richmond in 1953 with a speed of 48.465 mph.
    · 51 drivers have Coors Light poles at Richmond, led by Richard Petty and Bobby Allison with eight each. Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin lead all active drivers with five each.
    · Seven drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Richmond. Bobby Allison holds the record for most consecutive poles at Richmond with five (1972 - 1974).
    · 47 different drivers have won at Richmond International Raceway, led by Richard Petty with 13. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with four.
    · Petty Enterprises has the most wins at Richmond in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 15; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 10 and Joe Gibbs Racing with nine.
    · Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Richmond with 35 victories; followed by Ford with 28 wins.
    · 22 of the 113 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from the Coors Light pole. Only three active drivers have been able to accomplish the feat: Kasey Kahne (2005), Jimmie Johnson (2007) and Kyle Busch (2010).
    · The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing the most winners than any other starting position at Richmond (22).
    · 35 of the 113 (30.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond have been won from the front row: 22 from the pole and 13 from second-place.
    · 90 of the 113 (79.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · 11 of the 113 (9.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Richmond International Raceway was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the spring of 2008.
    · Bobby Allison and Richard Petty are tied for thelead in runner-up finishes at Richmond with nine each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
    · Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Richmond with 34. Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 18; followed by Jeff Gordon with 16.
    · Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Richmond with 44. Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 30; followed by Terry Labonte with 28.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Richmond International Raceway with a 7.925.
    · Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond International Raceway with a 5.438.
    · Three active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Richmond: Kyle Busch (5.4), Denny Hamlin (8.0) and Clint Bowyer (9.5).
    · There has been one NSCS race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Richmond International Raceway: spring of 2008 (400/410).
    · Only four of the 113 races at Richmond International Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions: spring of 1962, spring of 1977, spring of 1982 and spring of 2003.
    · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway six times; most recently fall of 2008.
    · Kevin Harvick has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond without posting a DNF (24).
    · Bobby Labonte (9/11/1993) and Brian Vickers (5/15/2004) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Richmond.
    · Tony Stewart (9/11/1999) and Kasey Kahne (5/14/2005) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup wins at Richmond.
    · Eight drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Richmond International Raceway. Richard Petty leads the series in consecutive wins at Richmond after posting seven consecutive wins from the fall of 1970  1973. Terry Labonte (1994-1995) and Jimmie Johnson (2007 sweep) are the only two active drivers with consecutive wins at Richmond.
    · All of the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners at Richmond International Raceway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart won at Richmond in their second appearance.
    · Terry Labonte competed at Richmond International Raceway 32 times before winning in 1994; the longest span of any of the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    · Terry Labonte (32), Joe Nemechek (18), Kevin Harvick (11) and Jimmie Johnson (10) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Richmond International Raceway.
    · Bobby Labonte leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Richmond without visiting Victory Lane at 40.
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway was the Sept. 12, 1998 race won by Jeff Burton with an MOV of 0.051 of a second.
    · Janet Guthrie is the only female driver to have competed at Richmond in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series(twice)  (2/27/1977) starting 13th and finishing 12th; 9/11/1977 - starting 14th and finishing 12th.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Richmond with 1,415 laps led in 40 starts.(NASCAR)(4-23-2013)

  • Thorn to attempt Nationwide debut: Derek Thorn will celebrate his 27th birthday by doing something he's never done before: drive a Nationwide Series car. Thorn, who turns 27 on Thursday, will be behind the wheel of the the #52 Camaro owned by Jimmy Means as practice gets under way at Richmond International Raceway (a track he's never driven on) for Friday night's Toyota Care 250 at the three-quarter mile track. Thorn, who moved to Bakersfield in 2009, is one of the top drivers on the West Coast. He won six Spears SRL Southwest Tour races and the championship last season and won two races and finished third in points on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West circuit. He is 2-for-2 in SRL races this season and finished fourth in his lone K&N West start. This will be Thorn's biggest challenge yet for a variety of reasons, including the limitations of Means' low budget team. "It's kind of a Hail Mary," Thorn said of his chances. "But Jimmy's been around a long time and they do a damn good job for what they've got. The car they're taking to Richmond is a good one. A lot of it is up to me. I haven't tested or ran these cars before and I've never been on Goodyear (radial tires) before. It will be up to me getting up to speed right away so I can give them good feedback."(Bakersfield Californian)(4-23-2013)

  • e-Swisher expands sponsorship of Sorenson: e-Swisher has reached an agreement to extend their partnership with The Motorsports Group to be primary sponsor of the #40 Chevy Camaro driven by Reed Sorenson in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, beginning with the Memorial Day weekend event at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25. e-Swisher previously partnered with TMG and Sorenson at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.(TMG PR)(4-23-2013)

  • Kenny Wallace making 2013 debut at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway will see a familiar face Friday night for the Toyota Care 250, the return of Kenny Wallace in the #29 RAB Racing Toyota Care Camry. "The Action Track" is one of Wallace's favorite tracks on the circuit and marks his first start of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide season. He has found victory lane three times, including 18 top 10 finishes and 432 laps lead, with an astonishing 0 DNF's spanning 24 years racing at Richmond. "I'am just so excited to be returning to the NASCAR Nationwide series this weekend at a race track that I love in Richmond International Raceway, with a sponsor that has been with me for years in Toyota and Toyota Care, and with an amazing race team in RAB Racing. Richmond will be the first of many races with RAB Racing this season, and its great to run for Robby Benton again, who will actually be my crew chief this weekend. I truly can't wait to get out on the track Thursday and start practicing and get back to stock car racing, we've had such a great year going so far with my JEGS dirt team, but there's no feeling like short track racing under the lights at Richmond International Raceway."(RAB Racing), see an image of the car on the #29 team paint schemes page.(4-23-2013)

  • Tire testing planned for Eldora: 311 Speedway announced on their Facebook page that they will be hosting a Goodyear tire test with Camping World Truck Series teams on Wednesday, April 24. 311 is a half-mile dirt track. Goodyear and the participating teams will return to dirt when the Truck Series takes to the half-mile Eldora Speedway in July. 311 Speedway did not say which teams, or how many, are testing. The session is open to the public.(4-23-2013)

  • Talladega Fans can access tickets using smartphones: It just got even easier for fans to purchase tickets to NASCAR's most exciting and unpredictable venue - Talladega Superspeedway. It's now literally at a consumer's fingertips. To directly gain access to Aaron's Dream Weekend, May 3-5 - which is less than two weeks away - fans can now use their smartphones. The new mobile-friendly fan experience, created by Moovweb, gives users quick and easy access to purchase event tickets as well as other opportunities such as the Talladega Experience  NASCAR's ultimate hospitality venue  and much more. Simply log onto talladegasuperspeedway.com on the mobile device and select the "Buy Tickets" link.(TSS)(4-23-2013)

  • "Drive the Track Day" on Saturday, April 27 at Atlanta: Fans looking to gain access not normally afforded to the casual customer can do so when they take their own vehicle on the famed high banks of the 1.54-mile speedway, as well as enjoy a full Legends racing program, on Saturday, April 27 as part of the speedway's "Drive the Track Day." Beginning at 10:00 am, those that have purchased a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 1 will be able to take a few hot laps around the speedway. Tickets will be available for purchase at the AMS Ticket Office, and those that have already purchased their AdvoCare 500 ticket can stop by the Ticket Office to pick up their pass to ride the track. A $30 donation to the Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children's Charities will also grant access to the on-track portion of the day. To learn more about Atlanta Motor Speedway's "Drive the Track Day," and for more information on AdvoCare 500 tickets, starting at just $39, visit atlantamotorspeedway.com or call the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211.(AMS)(4-23-2103)

  • Darlington Raceway's "Race Into Reading" Program: Elementary students in the Darlington County School District (DCSD) read more than 9,200 books in five weeks, as part of Darlington Raceway's "Race Into Reading" Program. Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School in Society Hill won the competition, averaging 12 books per student. St. John's Elementary School came in second, averaging 4.7 books per student and West Hartsville Elementary came in third, averaging 3.9 books per student. Designed as a way to celebrate "March is Reading Month" and to get children excited about reading, the "Race Into Reading" program challenged first through fifth graders across the county to read as many books as possible. The students from the top three reading schools received a visit from NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman, driver of the #77 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and the Nationwide Series showcar today as part of their reward for reading the most books. The program kicked off on March 1 with all Darlington County School District elementary students receiving a Darlington Raceway bookmark, reading reminder bracelet, and a youth admission ticket to Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday, May 10.(Darlington Raceway)(4-23-2013)


    News from April 22, 2013

  • Entry List for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #11-Vickers is still listed as the driver, Denny Hamlin could return to the #11 if cleared by the doctor; #51-Allmendinger, #19-Bliss, #32-Hill, #98-McDowell, #33-Cassill and #52-Brian Keselowski. Since there are 43 drivers entered for 43 starting spots, no driver will miss the race.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Richmond Entry List

  • New NASCAR Sprint Cup Road-Course Qualifying Procedure Announced: NASCAR announced that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will implement the group-based road course qualifying procedure used in NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Touring Series competition during its road-course events at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Under the new procedure, cars will qualify in groups instead of the traditional single-car qualifying runs held on oval race tracks. "The change will add an exciting element to road-course qualifying," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "Fans will be treated to new strategy and increased competition with several cars on track at once."
    The new qualifying rules for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at road courses are as follows:
    · Cars attempting to qualify will be divided into groups. The number of groups, and amount of cars in each, will depend on the number of cars that practice for the event.
    · Group assignments will be based on final practice times.
    · Each qualifying group will be on-track for a set period of time, determined by the Series Director.
    · A car's best lap time during the group session will be the qualifying lap time of record.
    · A group's time begins when the first car receives the green flag at the start/finish line.
    "This is going to be a terrific new format for our NASCAR weekend," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. "It will intensify the action, with multiple cars on the track at the same time. It's a very positive development for our fans."
    "The new format of qualifying at Watkins Glen International enhances the fan experience which is our top priority," said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen. "Qualifying on Saturday for our Cheez-ItTM 355 at The Glen is even more of a not-to-be missed aspect of a weekend of high-quality racing."
    The new format will debut with the Toyota Save-Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23 and will return at Watkins Glen for the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen on August 11.(NASCAR)(4-22-2013)

  • Overnight Kansas TV Ratings: On a very busy sports weekend, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX led the network to a 3.9/9 Sunday afternoon for the STP 400 from Kansas City, KS. That's up +5% over last year's 3.7/9 for the same race. While yesterday's race ranked as the second highest-rated event of the weekend behind ABC's Lakers-Spurs NBA Playoff game (4.6/10) among the metered markets, the STP 400 on FOX may very well surpass the NBA telecast once the national ratings are released on Thursday. Through eight races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.0/11 among the metered markets, up +11% over last year's 4.5/9, see past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(4-22-2013)

  • Dodge heading back to NASCAR soon? UPDATE 2: Ray Alexander, on hand for the LX-centric Spring Festival 8, reported that Ralph Gilles told him that NASCAR funding has been approved, and that Chrysler is talking to teams. While no details can be provided, because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, this is the first time a Chrysler official has confirmed that the company is working on a NASCAR re-entry. Last month, Mr. Gilles told Allpar in New York, in answer to a question about NASCAR, "Oh my God, I can't talk about that right now. No comment on that." Chrysler's return to NASCAR presumably remains contingent on being able to sign up competitive drivers and support crew (e.g. car and engine builders).(allpar.com)(4-22-2013)
    UPDATE: allpar.com has added an update to this post: While it appears that Ralph Gilles did speak with Ray on this topic, there was a misunderstanding as to the context. Mr. Gilles appears to have been referring to why Dodge pulled out of NASCAR, and was essentially saying that it was not a funding issue  the funding had been approved, but there were other issues. At this time we are awaiting clarification from Chrysler, but it appears that Chrysler had the money earmarked for another NASCAR run but lost key personnel such as engine builders and top-tier teams.(4-22-2013)
    UPDATE2 - NASCAR funding story off target: Yesterday [Sunday], Allpar broke the news that Ralph Gilles had confirmed Chrysler's funding of NASCAR racing again. Unfortunately, while Mr. Gilles did say that funding for NASCAR had been approved, he was referring to the reasons why Dodge left NASCAR shortly before winning the championship last year, in essence saying that the budget was there for another season, but there were other reasons for leaving. In short, Mr. Gilles was quoted with the correct words but in the wrong context.
    A Chrysler spokesman wrote, "Chrysler Group's decision to leave NASCAR competition at the end of the 2012 season was based solely on not being able to develop the correct structure to fit our overall business and competitive objectives." At the time Chrysler withdrew, Mr. Gilles said that Penske had offered a "one-stop shop" for engines, drivers, and sponsors that could not be replaced in a way that would allow SRT to race at the level that was desired, in the time available. Mr. Gilles was contacted by the spokesman, and confirmed that he did not say that funding had been approved for a new run, but was saying that funding had been approved for the current season, when other factors caused the company to withdraw.(allpar.com)(4-22-2013)

  • Kurt Busch to test V8 Supercar at COTA: Sprint Cup Series driver #78-Kurt Busch will add another form of professional motorsports to his driving resume. The former NASCAR champion, who has driven an Indy car, sports car and an NHRA Pro Stocker, will take part in a car swap Tuesday (April 23) with the Australian V8 Supercars Series during a media event at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. While Busch will be testing a Holden Commodore V8 Supercar, his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS will also be at the track with an offer to the Australian V8 drivers in attendance -- James Courtney and Fabian Coulthard -- to pilot the Sprint Cup car around the 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit. "I'm flattered to be invited by Circuit of The Americas and the Australian V8 Supercars Series to participate in this unique event," Busch said. "Getting a chance to drive a V8 Supercar was high on my wish list, and the chance to do it at Circuit of The Americas makes this a dream opportunity." The V8 Supercars Series, Australia's premier motorsports category, is scheduled to compete May 17-19 at the Circuit of The Americas, which will also host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix later in the year.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(4-22-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 STP 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:19 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 122
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 60
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 112
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 10
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 8
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 3
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 43
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 35 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:19 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 199
    Minutes of race broadcast: 149
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 50
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 6
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 149 Total comm. brdcst time 50
    See links, other news and past races on the TV Commercials page.(4-22-2013)

  • Three races wins in a row from the pole, last time?: It's been a while since races have been won from the pole three consecutive times, which is what has happened this season after #20-Matt Kenseth's victory Sunday at Kansas Speedway [Johnson won from the pole at Martinsville and Kyle Busch won last week at Texas from the pole]. The last time it happened was 1985 when Bill Elliott (Michigan), Dale Earnhardt Sr. (Bristol) and Elliott (Darlington) did it.(Charlotte Observer). In the modern era [1972-current] it also happened during the 1980, 1975, 1973 and 1972(5 races) season.
    Four races in a row? the last time Sprint Cup Series races have been won from the FOUR three consecutive times? in 1981 when Darrell Waltrip won four races in a row, all from the pole: Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Charlotte and Rockingham, late in the 1981 season. In 1972 it happened in five consecutive races.(4-22-2013)

  • Racing and motorsports industry legends to be inducted into Motorsports Hall of Fame of America: Racing and motorsports industry legends Jack Chrisman, Harvey Firestone, Masten Gregory, Brad Lackey, Bud Moore, Robert E. Petersen and Alex Zanardi will be this year's Silver Anniversary inductees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the organization's 25th Annual Induction Ceremony that will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. "There is no better way to celebrate our 25th anniversary than with an induction class that showcases a true variety of American motorsports with an international flair," said Ron Watson, President of the Motorsports Hall of Fame. "This year's Silver Anniversary group features a champion rider and drivers, a title-winning team owner, a legendary publisher and an industrial giant whose name still graces racing tires today." The Silver Anniversary celebration will also see chassis constructor and technology innovator Bob Riley receive the Hall's Bob Russo Motorsports Heritage Award for his numerous contributions to racing. The eight honorees combined account for countless race wins and numerous North American and World Championships in IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, AMA, motocross and sports car racing and victories in such legendary races as the Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Tickets for the induction ceremony can be purchased by calling 1-248-349-RACE (7223) or by visiting the Hall of Fame's website www.mshf.com.(MSHF.com)(4-22-2013)

  • Farmland donates $20k to Harvesters: Farmland Foods presented $20,000 to Harvesters-The Community Food Network on Friday as part of an expanding effort by the company to raise awareness of hunger issues around the country. The donation is a first step toward Farmland's yearlong goal of raising $100,000 for Harvesters. The announcement follows more than $60,000 in donations in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Fontana, Calif., earlier this year as part of Farmland's partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports to promote hunger awareness in race communities. In addition to the $20,000, 43 cases of Farmland Oven Perfect were donated in honor of the #43 Ford made famous by Richard Petty. Oven Perfect is new, fresh pork tenderloin that is already marinated, seasoned and ready to cook right in the package. This easy-to-prepare meal will help to ensure families, children and seniors in the Kansas City area have access to much-needed protein. Richard Petty, legendary racecar driver and team owner, and Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Ford, have helped present the checks with Farmland in each of the four communities.(RPM/Farmland Foods)(4-22-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 46 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday's Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway. A few notes:
    Michael McDowell returns to the #00;
    Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the #5 for JR Motorsports;
    Scott Lagassee returns with his #8 team;
    Ryan Reed will make his NNS debut in the Roush #16;
    Tanner Berryhill will make his 2013 debut in the #17;
    Kenny Wallace will drive the #29 for Robby Benton;
    Derek Thorn will be in the #52 for Jimmy Means;
    Morgan Shepherd returns with his #89 team.(4-22-2013)
    See the complete list on the Richmond entry list page.

  • Ryan Reed to make Nationwide debut at Richmond: Ryan Reed will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Roush Fenway Racing in the #16 Drive to Stop Diabetes Ford Mustang Friday, April 26, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway. Reed, age 19, has proven that life has no limits as a race car driver with diabetes. The Bakersfield, California native has been racing since the age of four and was diagnosed two years ago at age 17 with type 1 diabetes and was told he would never drive again. Reed recently announced his collaboration with the American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop Diabetes campaign as well as becoming the newest driver in Roush Fenway Racing stable of development drivers. Reed will take to the ¾-mile Richmond International Raceway to launch the Drive to Stop Diabetes awareness campaign where he will use his motorsports platform to be an advocate to educate people on and off the race track. Reed's blood glucose levels will be carefully monitored by his Roush Fenway Racing team. In the rare event that Reed experiences a high in his blood glucose levels; his Drive to Stop Diabetes driver's suit has a bulls-eye target spot that will show a crewman where to give him an injection of insulin during the race. Reed isn't too worried though, as he has never had a problem before. Reed will compete in a number of NASCAR Nationwide Series races for Roush Fenway Racing in 2013 and the #16 Ford Mustang will adorn the American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop Diabetes paint scheme. Dexcom and Playseat participate as associate partners on the #16 Drive to Stop Diabetes Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang at Richmond International Raceway.(Reed PR)(4-22-2013)

  • Lofton cuts schedule: Justin Lofton will take four months off from the Truck Series. Robby Gordon has reinvigorated Stadium Truck Racing, developing the Speed Energy Stadium Super Truck Series. Lofton had committed to a few of the races, but after participating in the first race of the season in Arizona and taking part in the exhibition race in Long Beach over the weekend, Lofton has decided he wants to pursue the $500,000 championship prize in the Stadium Truck Series. He will resume competing in the Camping World Truck Series once the Speed Energy season is over. (KXO Radio)
    AND: Eddie Sharp Racing confirmed that Lofton has reduced his schedule, adding that the #6 will continue to run full-time. Initially, Lofton was going to run upwards of 10 races on tracks larger than one mile for ESR. After Lofton ran Daytona, the 6 has since been filled by Devin Jones, Tyler Young, and Danny Efland. (4-22-2013)

  • Cushioned seat rentals at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway and IMG Seating are teaming up to offer padded seat rentals for the April 26-27 NASCAR weekend at RIR. Seat rentals are $8 per event and available for both the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Friday, April 26, ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The seats feature three-inch padded cushion and back support and will be attached to your seat and waiting for you before you enter the grandstand gates on race day.* To reserve your seat, you can add on during your purchasing process; or, if you already have tickets, click here to add your cushioned seat rental for Saturday. Click here to add your cushioned seat rental for Friday, or call 866-455-7223. This service is not available for guests who sit in the Commonwealth Tower Grandstand, as these seats already have seat backs. Guests who have general admission seating for the Friday, April 26 race must pick up their cushioned seats at any customer service location on-site with a photo ID.(RIR)(4-22-2013)

  • Off-site parking and shuttle offered at Richmond: Fans attending the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 27, will once again be able to take advantage of the "Park and Ride" shuttle program from downtown Richmond at the Richmond Coliseum parking lot and The Showplace parking lot on Mechanicsville Turnpike. The shuttle service, which is only available on Saturday, April 27, allows fans to park their vehicles at either location and use the free shuttle service to the main gate of America's Premier Short Track.
    The Richmond Coliseum parking area at North 7th Street in downtown Richmond opens and begins offering free shuttle rides to fans at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. The shuttle runs continuously back and forth throughout the afternoon and evening, with pick-up/drop-off at the track's main entrance. The shuttle is free, but a $6 parking fee applies at the Coliseum lot. The Richmond Coliseum parking area is conveniently located less than five minutes from the intersections of I-95 and I-64. To see a detailed map of the Richmond Coliseum area visit: rir.com.
    Fans can also park their cars and RVs at The Showplace and take a free shuttle ride to Richmond International Raceway. The Showplace is conveniently located less than three miles from Richmond International Raceway at 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike and is just ¼-mile off of I-64 at exit 192. The cost for parking at The Showplace on Saturday, April 27 is $10 per car and $25 per RV. The complimentary shuttle to and from the track begins at Noon and operates continuously with pick-up and drop-off points at The Showplace and the main entrance to Richmond International Raceway at Richmond-Henrico Turnpike. To see a detailed map of The Showplace area visit: http://www.rir.com/About-The-Track/Seating-Chart-and-Maps/Shuttle-Map.aspx. Fans can also contact The Showplace at 804-225-8877 with any questions.
    Tickets are on sale now for the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, more info at rir.com.(RIR)(4-22-2013)

  • House OKs IMS bill, despite dispute over funding source: A bill to help pay for $100 million in improvements at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway passed the House on Mondaybut only on its second try, as some lawmakers expressed frustration about a funding source for the project. That fundingmoney now dedicated to the horse racing industry for purses and breeding programsis actually part of another bill. But several lawmakers viewed the pair as a package, despite insistence by the Speedway bill's sponsor, Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, that lawmakers should consider the proposals separately. SB 91 also creates a new $1 tax on the tickets for major events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and captures new sales and income tax revenues generated there. Those revenue streams would be used to help pay off the bonds.(more at the Indianapolis Business Journal)(4-22-2013)


    News from April 21, 2013

  • Kenseth wins at Kansas: #20-Matt Kenseth won the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway for his 2nd win of 2013, 2nd win at Kansas and 26th career win. Kenseth also led the most laps with 163. Kenseth won from the pole, making Kansas the third Sprint Cup Series race in a row the winner started on the pole, the first time since 1985 that has happened.
    #5-Kahne finished 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson, #56-Truex Jr., #15-Bowyer, #2-Keselowski [was a lap down and lost some sheet metal on the rear of the car], #1-McMurray, #43-Almirola, #55-Martin and #27-Menard. #18-Busch, who started 5th in a backup car, spun twice, the 2nd time hitting the wall and hitting #22-Logano and finished 38th, Busch was going for his 5th top-five in a row.
    There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 40 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 133.611mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Kansas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Kansas Penalty Report (pdf)
    See the Official Race and Points report on the Kansas Official Race and Points Report page (pdf)

  • Race Fast Facts - Kansas:
    #20-Matt Kenseth won the 3rd Annual STP 400, his 26th victory in 480 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his second victory and ninth top-10 finish in 15 races at Kansas Speedway.
    #5-Kasey Kahne (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 12 races at Kansas Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2013.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 14 races at Kansas Speedway.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (11th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 37 points over Kasey Kahne.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-21-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Kansas, race 8 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 311
    2) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 274, -37
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski, 273, -38
    4) #16-Greg Biffle, 264, -47
    5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 263, -48
    6) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 262, -49
    7) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 257, -54
    8) #20-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 252, -59
    9) #15-Clint Bowyer, 247, -64
    10) #27-Paul Menard, 240, -71
    11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 227, -84
    12) #29-Kevin Harvick, 224, -87
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #56-Martin Truex Jr., 14th in points
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 15th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 21st
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 26th [missed 3 races with injury]
    (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).


  • HMS cars to carry special decal: All four Hendrick Motorsports cars: #5-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson & #88-Earnhardt Jr., will carry the above special decal at Kansas Speedway honoring those effected by the Boston Maraton Bombings this past Monday.(HMS Facebook)(4-21-2013)

  • Penske: team was working in the gray area: Roger Penske maintained Saturday his team was working in a gray area of the rule book when NASCAR confiscated parts from the cars of defending Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski and teammate #22-Joey Logano. "I certainly don't think it's cheating," Penske told The Associated Press on Saturday at the IndyCar race in Long Beach. "You are looking at the rules and you are working in a gray area. We all work in the gray areas. We're trying to be as competitive as we can be, we've got very creative minds and it takes a lot of creative minds to be competitive. There are many different areas we are all working on. We just looked at a particular rule that maybe NASCAR has a different view of. Now we'll get a chance to have an unbiased panel look at it."(full story at the Associated Press)(4-21-2013)

  • Gonzalez Jr. to run two races for Tommy Baldwin: Victor Gonzalez, Jr. will become the first Caribbean driver in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on June 23, 2013 in Sonoma, California. Under a freshly signed contract with Tommy Baldwin Racing, Gonzalez Jr. will pilot the #36 Chevy in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, as well as at the Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins-Glen, NY on August 11, 2013. "I am excited to bring new Hispanic fans to the Sprint Cup series at Sonoma," Gonzalez, Jr. said. "I cannot wait to show NASCAR fans around the world what Tommy Baldwin Racing and I can do together." A Puerto Rican native who now races for his resident country, the Dominican Republic, Gonzalez Jr., made history in 2009 when he was the first Caribbean driver to compete in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event, finishing 14th in his debut in the 2009 running of the NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada. Gonzalez Jr. returned to the Nationwide Series for four races in 2010, making his oval track debut at Phoenix International Raceway. In 2012, Gonzalez raced in the Nationwide Series at Road America and at Watkins Glen International.(140 Buzz andPR Web)(4-21-2013)

  • Waltrip to run Alabama tribute scheme at Dega: For the fourth consecutive year, Aaron's, Inc. and Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) will honor a college football national champion from the state of Alabama during the May NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega. Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will pilot the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine that carries a special crimson-and-white paint scheme in honor of back-to-back BCS champion University of Alabama during the May 5th race. Aaron's also honored Auburn University at Talladega with a special paint scheme for its 2010 championship season as well as Alabama's 2009 and 2011 championship seasons. The Michael Waltrip Racing team is going all out with the Alabama theme with plans for the crew to sport #55 Alabama jerseys on qualifying day. Waltrip's racing helmet will be a replica of the University's football helmets. The #55's paint scheme will feature a logo proclaiming the University of Alabama's back-to-back wins, as well as a memorial decal to legendary Athletic Director Mal Moore, who passed away in March. The car will make its first public appearance on Saturday during the University of Alabama A-Day spring scrimmage.(Aaron's), see images of the scheme on the #55 Team Schemes page.(4-21-2013)

  • Johnson to be honored: #48-Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to be honored by the Florida Senate and House of Representatives Tuesday at the state capitol in Tallahassee. Florida Gov. Rick Scott also will participate in the ceremony. Johnson is a five-time Sprint Cup champion and a two-time winner of the Daytona 500.(SPEED)(4-21-2013)

  • Sauter's fuel cell confiscated: Inspectors confiscated the fuel cell from Truck Series points leader Johnny Sauter this weekend at Kansas Speedway and will review it the first part of next week. NASCAR did not say what issue was found with the fuel cell, which was taken Thursday during the opening day inspection. Any potential penalties would also be handed down next week. Sauter won the first two races of the season at Daytona and Martinsville, and finished fourth at Rockingham. He stayed out of trouble in a crash-filled race Saturday at Kansas to finish fifth, maintaining a 12-point lead over Matt Crafton in the series standings. (Associated Press)(4-21-2013)


    News from April 20, 2013

  • Race Coverage of the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, April 21, 2013.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 12:30 pm/et; green flag approx 1:16pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, April 24 at 12:00pm/et

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #20-Kenseth chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #99-Edwards took pit stall 43, the final pitstall.
    #17-Stenhouse Jr., who starts 3rd took the 8th pit stall, the 1st stall with an opening in front of it (after the 1st stall).
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #99-Edwards, who starts 2nd.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-20-2013)

  • Happy Hour (final) practice for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #20-Kenseth 188.712
    #43-Almirola 188.554
    #42-Montoya 188.541
    #78-Busch 188.508
    #5-Kahne 188.495
    slowest: #35-Wise 183.530 & #98-McDowell 184.137.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, 10-lap averages and more on the Kansas Happy Hour Speeds page (pdf).(4-20-2013)

  • Saturday first practice for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #42-Montoya 190.671
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 190.127
    #43-Almirola 190.067
    #16-Biffle 190.040
    #99-Edwards 189.887
    The fastest 10-lap average was #1-McMurray at 187.162.
    slowest: #98-McDowell 183.561 & #33-Cassill 183.905
    Notes: Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 12:30pm/et.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, 10-lap averages and more on the Kansas Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(4-20-2013)

  • Hamlin hopes to return at Richmond: Injured #11-Denny Hamlin told ESPN.com on Saturday there is a 50-50 chance he'll return to his Sprint Cup car next weekend at Richmond. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said it's almost 100% he will at least start the May 5 race at Talladega. Hamlin was expected to miss six weeks after suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the last lap of the March 24 race at Auto Club Speedway. That would have put his scheduled return at the May 11 race at Darlington. But Hamlin said if the follow-up scan of the fracture that will take place either late Tuesday or early Wednesday shows bone growth he will be in the car at his home track in Richmond if doctors give him clearance. "If everything works out, and if the scan looks the way I feel we're going to be in good shape for Richmond,'' Hamlin said after the final practice for Sunday's race at Kansas. "I feel there's been growth there. I feel I've gotten stronger. Everything is a lot better. Last week, I would have said probably not. But this week I feel a lot better.'' Hamlin said there won't be another scan for two weeks after this week's. Even if he is not given clearance for Richmond, the plan is to start Talladega to collect driver points and give way to a backup driver after the first caution. Hamlin said there is no consideration for starting and then putting a backup driver in at Richmond because he would lose at least two laps making the exchange at the three-quarter mile track. Hamlin said he's been off pain medicine for a week and a half, so that won't be an issue with getting medical clearance. He is confident after looking at the crash data from Auto Club Speedway that it would be tough to duplicate what led to his injury.(full story at ESPN.com)(4-20-2013)

  • Keselowski says parts were approved: #2-Brad Keselowski says the parts that NASCAR confiscated from his car and Penske Racing teammate #22-Joey Logano's last week at Texas Motor Speedway were approved. NASCAR says the parts from the rear end housing were not approved. That will be at issue when the National Stock Car Racing Commission hears Penske Racing's appeal to the fines, suspensions and point deductions issued on Tuesday. "Obviously, we're in an agree-to-disagree stage between Penske Racing and NASCAR," Keselowski said on Friday at Kansas Speedway. "And, thankfully, there's a third group to settle those disagreements." Keselowski and Logano were docked 25 points each. Their crew chiefs, car chiefs and lead engineers -- as well as Keselowski team manager Travis Geisler -- were suspended for six point races and the All-Star race. Those suspensions won't begin until after the appeal, and then only if they are upheld. No date has been given. But Keselowski believes Penske Racing has a case just as Hendrick Motorsports had one last year when it appealed penalties against Jimmie Johnson's team for an illegal C-post. Most of those penalties were reversed on the second and final level of appeal. "Yeah, there's definitely some similarities," Keselowski said. "I'm not going to say it's an identical situation, but there definitely are some similarities." The difference, according to NASCAR, is it was emphatic no changes could be made to the rear-end housings late last season. That, according to many in the garage, was re-emphasized repeatedly during the offseason.(ESPN)(4-20-2013)

  • Clorox partners with #47 & #42 teams for 100th Anniversary: The Clorox Company announced today they are partnering with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and JTG Daugherty Racing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of their iconic brand for the weekend in Talladega, Ala. from May 3-5, 2013. The #42 Chevy of Juan Pablo Montoya will bear the 100th Anniversary paint scheme while the #47 Toyota of Bobby Labonte will sport a brown retro look, reminiscent of one of Clorox's first bottles of bleach.
    Bobby Labonte, Driver, #47 Clorox Toyota Camry: "The Clorox Company has been a partner of JTG Daugherty Racing for over a decade and that's pretty special to Tad and Jodi (Geschickter), Brad (Daugherty) and the entire racing organization. The Clorox Company first sponsored a NASCAR Nationwide Series entered by JTG Daugherty Racing with driver Robert Pressley. Today, JTG Daugherty Racing is proud to celebrate Clorox's centennial. It's neat we are celebrating their milestone as I reach a milestone of my own when I make my 700th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start Talladega weekend."
    Juan Pablo Montoya, Driver, #42 Clorox Chevrolet SS: "It is always great to partner with great brands especially when there is as much excitement as there is this year with Clorox about their 100th Anniversary. I can't wait to get that car onto the track."
    Tim Smith, Vice President, The Clorox Company: "The Clorox Company is honored to be a part of the NASCAR community, and we are thrilled to mark our 100th anniversary with two Clorox-themed cars on the Talladega track. With both cars in the race, we can celebrate our centennial and pay tribute to our rich heritage."(JTG Daugherty), see images of the car on the #42 Team Schemes page and #47 Team Schemes page.(4-20-2013)

  • Swan Racing to Honor Victims of Boston Marathon: #30-Swan Racing will honor the victims of the Boston Marathon with a special "Prayers for Boston" paint scheme in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. "The tragedy at the Boston Marathon is shared by all Americans," said Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis. "Swan Racing and the NASCAR community offer its support to the Boston community, the victims and all those affected by the senseless act of terror." Davis' wife Tara, a Boston native, said, "Boston is a strong, united community and will not be intimidated. I am pleased that we are able to use our race team to support my hometown with a 'Prayers for Boston' message."
    Driver of the #30 "Prayers for Boston" Toyota, David Stremme, said, "The NASCAR community rallies together in times of need. Hopefully, we can help add a little comfort with our message of 'Prayers for Boston' on the car." Earlier this year Swan Racing honored the victims of the Newtown tragedy with a special paint scheme and by changing the car number from 30 to 26 in honor of the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School.(Swan Racing), see an image of the car on the #30 Team Schemes page.(4-20-2013)

  • Gase, Go Green Racing team up for Richmond: After driving a partial schedule the last two seasons for Go Green Racing, the team is excited to announce the return of Iowa native, Joey Gase. The 20-year-old will pilot the #79 Donate Life Virginia Ford Mustang in next Friday night's Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26.(Go Green Racing PR)(4-20-2013)

  • Potential changes to front of trucks in the works: NASCAR has had preliminary discussions with its three manufacturers to discuss the possibility of a makeover for the vehicles in the Camping World Truck Series. Truck Series director Chad Little confirmed that a meeting was held earlier this month at the NASCAR Research and Development Center to debate modifications would be made but nothing is "concrete." Little added that the manufacturers, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, presented a plan that would involve an update to the front end. Potential changes include a shorter nose, narrower front end and alterations to the bumpers, headlights and grilles. The timing makes sense since there will be redesigned Silverados, F150s and Tundras in the showrooms later this season.(FOX Sports) (4-20-2013)

  • Crafton wins at Kansas: #88-Matt Crafton won the SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway on Saturday for this third career win. #18-Joey Coulter finished second followed by #29-Ryan Blaney, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #98-Johnny Sauter, #31-James Buescher, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #3-Ty Dillon, #9-Ron Hornaday, Jr., and #17-Timothy Peters. There were 11 cautions for 52 laps and 18 lead changes among 10 leaders. Complete results are on the Kansas race results page (pdf).(4-20-2013)

  • Kansas Race Fast Facts:
    Matt Crafton won the 13th Annual SFP 250, his third victory in 298 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 13 races at Kansas Speedway.
    Joey Coulter (second) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Kansas Speedway.
    It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
    Ryan Blaney (third) posted his first top-10 finish in his first start at Kansas Speedway.
    Ryan Blaney (third) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Johnny Sauter leads the point standings by 12 points over Matt Crafton.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-20-2013)

  • Truck Series Driver standings following Kansas:
    1) #98-Johnny Sauter, 174
    2) #88-Matt Crafton, 162, -12
    3) #4-Jeb Burton, 149, -25
    4) #29-Ryan Blaney, 141, -33
    5) #3-Ty Dillon, 135, -39
    6) #31-James Buescher, 133, -41
    7) #62-Brendan Gaughan , 128, -46
    8) #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., 127, -47
    9) #18-Joey Coulter, 125, -49
    10) #60-Dakoda Armstrong, 121, -53
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-20-2013)

  • Truck Series Owner Standings following Kansas are posted (pdf).(4-20-2012)

  • Buescher on the pole for the SFP 250: #31- James Buescher won the pole for Saturday's race at Kansas Speedway with a new track record, a speed of 178.306 mph. #32-Miguel Paludo will start on the outside of row one in the second position. #4-Jeb Burton, #98-Johnny Sauter, #3-Ty Dillon, #88-Matt Crafton, #51-Kyle Busch, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #8-Max Gresham, #13-Todd Bodine. #21-Spencer Gallagher lost an engine during his lap. With 36 entries, all 36 trucks made the field. See complete results on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(4-20-2013)
    UPDATE: The #9-Ron Hornaday and #39-Ryan Sieg will drop to the rear at the start for unapproved adjustments following impound.(4-20-2013)


    News from April 19, 2013

  • Kenseth wins Kansas pole: #20-Matt Kenseth won the pole for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway with track record speed of 191.864mph for his 1st pole of 2013 and 9th of his career. #99-Edwards (was fastest in practice) is on the outside pole, followed by #17-Stenhouse Jr., #12-Hornish Jr., #18-Busch, #43-Almirola, #56-Truex Jr., #55-Martin, #39-Newman and #15-Bowyer. #24-Gordon slid on his first lap and backed into the trun two wall and will have to go to a backup car and will start 43rd, using a provisional.
    Two drivers will make their first Sprint Cup Series start of 2013:
    #12-Sam Hornish Jr. ran 191.401mph and will start 4th.
    #81-Elliott Sader ran 187.996mph and will start 24th, his first Cup start since the 2012 Daytona 500. Missing the race was: #87-Nemechek.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results, pole progression, qualifying order and more on the Kansas Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(4-19-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Kansas:
    #20-Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 3rd Annual STP 400 with a lap of 28.145 seconds, 191.864 mph.
    This is his ninth pole in 480 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his second pole in 15 races at Kansas Speedway.
    #99-Carl Edwards (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2013 and his fourth in 12 races at Kansas Speedway.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (third) posted his first top-10 start at Kansas Speedway. It is his second in eight races this season.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (third) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(4-19-2013)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is scheduled for Friday, April 19, 2013 at 4:40pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 4:30pm/et
    Radio: MRN - motorracingnetwork.com, 4:30pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying TV Re-Air: 8:30pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #33-Cassill.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #42-Montoya.
    Fastest in Friday practice, #99-Edwards, is scheduled to qualify 41st.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Kansas Qualifying Page.(4-19-2013)

  • Friday practice for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over run, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #99-Edwards 192.055 [faster then track record]
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 191.857 [faster then track record]
    #12-Hornish Jr. 191.557 [faster then track record]
    #56-Truex Jr. 191.476 [faster then track record]
    #43-Almirola 191.293
    slowest: #47-Labonte 183.200 & #35-Wise 183.842
    Notes: the track record is 191.360mph, set last October by #5-Kahne. #18-Busch slapped the wall off turn two about 10 minutes into the start of practice, pancaked the right side of the car and did some damage to the car, the team will go to a backup car. The team will NOT have to go to the rear of the field before the start of the race as long as the car is presented for qualifying with the race engine. #20-Kenseth slapped the wall but the team will supposedly fix the damage. With 25 minutes left in practice, #18-Busch got the backup car on the track to shake it down.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Kansas Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-19-2013)

  • Johnson says Hendrick Motorsports didn't 'rat out' Penske Racing: #48-Jimmie Johnson met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed many things, including the Penske Pentalties, the transcript in part:
    Q) DID YOU GUYS TURN IN PENSKE LAST WEEK? I'M ASSUMING YOU HAVE HEARD BRAD'S (KESELOWSKI) COMMENTS AS FAR AS, THEY FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN TARGETED AND UNDER THE MICROSCOPE THE LAST WEEK OR SO. YOU AND CHAD (KNAUS) OBVIOUSLY KNOW HOW THAT FEELS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU DO HAVE SUCCESS HOW MUCH CLOSER NASCAR DOES SCRUTINIZE EVERYTHING THAT YOU GUYS DO:
    Johnson: "When you have success on your side the magnifying glass the viewpoint for everybody, NASCAR, other teams, it gets a lot more intense. The best officiating in the garage area has always been your neighbor. That has just been part of NASCAR for years and years. That is why NASCAR has the procedures in place that they do in the garage area and why even in F1 today they are not allowed to cover their stuff anymore. It's just part of it. With all that being said, no, the Hendrick group and the #48 team did not rat out the Penske cars. There are two decisions teams are faced with in the garage area. Everybody has people watching. We have been very impressed with the #2 cars staff and their ability to have somebody just stand and watch other teams."
    "So this environment does take place in the garage area. Yeah, there are eyes open, but when a team sees something they have two options. One, they go home and try to adapt it to their car and understand it and see if they can make it work or they go in the truck and say something. We don't say something. We are a company built on performance. We are a company that tries to understand the rulebook as close as we can to the law. Sure, we have had our issues with it, but that is racing it has been that way since day one of racing. We go in there and we try to be as smart as we can and conform to the rules and put the best race car on the track. With all that being said, no, sure there was a lot of activity around the Penske cars during the test day, just like all the other cars and everybody is watching, everybody is looking, but in no way shape or form did anybody from the #48 car walk into that truck and say anything."
    Q) WAS THERE ANY PART OF YOU THAT THOUGHT THE PENSKE PENALTY WAS SOMEWHAT JUST IN THE SENSE THAT BRAD KESELOWSKI WAS COMPLAINING OR AT LEAST TALKING ABOUT YOUR REAR END SUSPENSION LAST YEAR?
    Johnson: "I've said this before. Brad is a huge talent. But as we all know, Brad will say things. And when you're in the sport long enough, you learn when you need to be careful. And no team is immune to the issues. I don't want the crew chief's job. Those guys live on the ragged edge and they have to. If not, they're going to run 20th every week. So, I think over time, I've learned and have also clearly experienced some issues where man, you just do your thing and there's no need to spout off what other people are up to. I think there have been a few lessons that Brad has learned along the way this year as to when to say something. With all that being said, it doesn't take away from the fact that with the penalties and with what Penske is going through right now, doesn't take away the fact that they are champions and they did an awesome job last year. And I still think Brad is an awesome driver and that team has awesome equipment and we're going to deal with them week-in and week-out. Again, I've lived through it and good teams survive. Good teams and drivers will always survive. But it's going to put a lot of stress in their world the next six, eight, or ten weeks, depending on how long the appeals last and all that. And we'll all see how they respond to it. But once they get some normalcy back in their lives at-track, they're going to be right there at the front of the pack each week like we've seen so far."(Team Chevy)(4-19-2013)

  • Brother of HMS Machinist killed in Cambridge: Hendrick Motorsports Statement: The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports are with Andrew Collier and his family. Andrew, a machinist in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department, tragically lost his brother, Officer Sean Collier, last night in Cambridge, Mass. We ask that the family's privacy be considered during this difficult time. Andrew, 25, joined Hendrick Motorsports in September 2008.(HMS)(4-19-2013)

  • Final Texas TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing posted a 3.8/7 with 6.3 million viewers on Saturday night for the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. While that was down -5% from last year's 4.0/7 (6.8 million) for the same race, Saturday night's telecast powered FOX to a first place finish in primetime(8-11p) among all broadcast and cable networks on average audience (6.2 million). Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.4/12 with 8.9 million viewers. That's up +2% over last year's 5.3/11 (8.8 million viewers) and currently ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched sport in season. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(4-19-2013)

  • Farmers Insurance celebrates 85th Anniversary: In celebration of Farmers' 85th anniversary, #5-Kasey Kahne will race in a special Farmers Insurance 85th Anniversary paint scheme during the April 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Kansas Speedway  a car that will bring to life the memory of Farmers first insured vehicle, a 1925 Cadillac Phaeton, insured in 1928.(HMS)(4-18-2013)
    Images of the scheme were unveiled Thursday, see images of the car on the #5 Team Schemes page.(4-19-2013)

  • KCI Kansas City partners with #33 team at Kansas: Circle Sport, LLC announced that KCI Kansas City will sponsor the team's #33 Chevy driven by Landon Cassill in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Cassill, making his seventh start of the season for Circle Sport, will pilot the #33 KCI Kansas City Chevrolet SS in the STP 400 on Sunday afternoon. Serving major markets throughout the Midwest, KCI Kansas City offers a wide range of remarketing services including reconditioning, inspections, transportation, salvage auctions, equipment auctions, and Internet auctions. Known as the "The Midwest's Premier Dealer Auto Auction," KCI Kansas City remarkets vehicles for wholesale consignors including dealers, manufacturers, rental car companies, banks, finance and leasing institutions. KCI Kansas City offers dealers 700  900 vehicles each week and as many as 2000 at special event sales, like the Midwest's Biggest Auto Auction Event  Guitars and Cars. Cassill, who posted an 18th-place finish in the most recent race at Kansas, made an appearance at KCI's NASCAR Days promotional sale on Thursday, April 18th in advance of the weekend's race at Kansas Speedway. The two-day celebration culminates with Thursday's main-event sale, which brings 1,000 cars and trucks into KCI's auction lanes. During the two-day sale, buyers and sellers will also vie for a chance to win the grand prize post-sale drawing for VIP passes for two to the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday. This ultimate prize package includes hotel and ground transportation, HOT passes for two and an infield RV/BBQ experience at the STP 400.(Circle Sport), see images of the car on the #33 Team Schemes page.(4-19-2013)

  • Dibenedetto to debut with Vision in Darlington: Vision Racing has changed engine builders over the winter months from Arrington Engines to PME engines. In addition to engine build changes, Vision Racing recently secured its new 21,000 square foot shop, in Mooresville, NC, in order to build a program capable of handling it's team objectives of racing on a weekly basis starting with the Richmond race in April. "We have added the #37 car in addition to the #17 that Tanner Berryhill has driven. We will have the capability of running different drivers along with their sponsoring companies in the #37, should that opportunity come about," said team owner Adrian Berryhill. Vision Racing is excited about announcing the newly formed partnership with Keller Williams Realty in addition to promoting the National book tour of Gary Keller and Jay Papasan's best selling book, The One Thing. Vision Racing will debut the #37 at Darlington with signed driver Matt Dibenedetto. (Vision Racing PR)(4-19-2013)

  • Efland in the 6 in Kansas UPDATE: Danny Efland will make his 2013 Camping World Truck Series season debut on Saturday, April 20 in the SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway. He will pilot the Eddie Sharp Racing #6 Chevy Silverado. Sponsorship will be announced by the team. Danny has 58 Nationwide races to his credit but only two Truck starts. He finished 21st in the 2012 Nationwide points while starting only18 races.(Danny Efland Racing PR)(04-17- 2013)
    UPDATE: Danny Efland will make his 2013 Camping World Truck Series debut behind the wheel of the #6 NeuroMama.com Chevy Silverado in the SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway. Joining Efland in his return to the Camping World Truck Series is new sponsor Neuromama.com. Neuromama.com is the world's only "neural technology-enabled search engine" that becomes smarter and more accurate with every keyword and key phrase search it answers. Efland, from Irmo, SC will be making his third career start in the Camping World Truck Series, his first since 2009. (Danny Efland Racing PR)(4-19-2013)

  • Buescher fastest in final practice: #31-James Buescher was fastest during final practice at Kansas Speedway with a speed of 178.737 mph. #4-Jeb Burton was second, followed by #32-Miguel Paludo, #19-Joey Logano, #98-Johnny Sauter, #18-Joey Coulter, #3-Ty Dillon, #8-Max Gresham, #51-Kyle Busch, and #62-Brendan Gaughan. 36 drivers practiced during the session. The teams of #98-Johnny Sauter and #51-Kyle Busch changed engines. #14-Brennan Newberry and #21-Spencer Gallagher both had separate incidents during the session. See complete results on the Kansas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-19-2013)

  • Buescher fastest in first practice: #31-James Buescher was fastest during opening practice at Kansas Speedway with a speed of 178.873 mph. #4-Jeb Burton was second, followed by: #62-Brendan Gaughan, #8-Max Gresham, #98-Johnny Sauter, #32-Miguel Paludo, #3-Ty Dillon, #18-Joey Coulter, #88-Matt Crafton, #9-Ron Hornaday, Jr. 34 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Kansas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-19-2013)

  • Kansas Speedway, Kansas Army National Guard Partnership: Officials with Kansas Speedway and the Kansas Army National Guard announced the continuation of their partnership, which will include a swear in ceremony for newly enlisted soldiers to the Kansas Army National Guard. "I'm honored to be able to continue the great partnership we have with the Kansas Army National Guard," said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. "These men and women, along with their families, have made a huge commitment to protect and defend our country and I'm glad that we can recognize them during our event weekends."
    "Our partnership with Kansas Speedway connects many of our troops to a sport they really enjoy while also providing us a venue to show the public what the Kansas National Guard is all about through equipment displays and demonstrations," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas adjutant general. "We appreciate the generosity and support from Kansas Speedway and the enthusiasm and support the race fans show to our Guardsmen in attendance." The Kansas Army National Guard will also continue to partner with Kansas Speedway for the Kansas Army National Guard Pre-Race at all of Kansas Speedway's events in 2013. Kansas Speedway season tickets and individual race tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com or calling 866.460.RACE (7223). Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring in one 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages. Hy-Vee, the official grocery and tailgate pit stop of Kansas Speedway, has everything you need for your race day cooler.(Kansas Speedway)(4-19-2013)

  • Darrell Waltrip Named Grand Marshal of Toyota/Save Mart 350: Legendary driver Darrell Waltrip, a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has been named Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Sonoma Raceway, June 21-23. The event marks the series' 25th annual event in Sonoma. Waltrip will be honored on Friday, June 21, of race weekend at the Children's Champions Grand Marshal's Banquet at beautiful Cline Cellars in Sonoma. The gala is a fundraiser for the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. He will also take part in pre-race activities on Sunday, June 23, and participate in the official command of, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines." Waltrip, who currently serves as the lead analyst for NASCAR on FOX, is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion with 84 Cup Series victories, tying him for third with Bobby Allison on all-time list. He is the winner of the 1989 Daytona 500 and the only five-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600 (1978, '79, '85, '88 and '89) at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I am honored to have my name associated with Sonoma Raceway," said Waltrip, who was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005. "I've always loved road racing both as an active driver and as a broadcaster. Sonoma is such an historic race track that when we got to go there with stock cars 25 years ago, it was magical. It's a great race track in the beautiful Northern California wine country."
    "Darrell is not only one of the greatest drivers in the history of our sport, but also one of the most popular personalities. He'll be a terrific addition as we celebrate the 25th running of NASCAR in Sonoma," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. "He's been a welcome guest in America's living rooms during the NASCAR broadcasts and we will be honored to have him as our guest and Grand Marshal in June." Great ticket options are still available for the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in Sonoma, including the Silver Celebration Special, which includes a $25 savings and limited-edition die-cast car. Visit www.racesonoma.com/nascar or call 800-870-RACE for details.(Sonoma)(4-19-2013)


    News from April 18, 2013


  • Roush Fenway Racing Shows Boston Support with "B-Strong": In the aftermath of the tragic events that occurred during Monday's Boston Marathon, Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) will show its support for the city of Boston with a "B-Strong" tribute this weekend at Kansas Speedway. All three Roush Fenway Ford Fusions will carry "B-Strong" decals during this weekend's NASCAR event and RFR team owner Jack Roush has pledged to donate $100 for every lap the team leads during Sunday's Sprint Cup race.
    "When events occur such as what happened earlier this week in Boston, it is our nature to be overwhelmed with a variety of emotions," said Roush. "To have to withstand an act of such senselessness and cowardice against innocent people is disheartening to us all. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, as well as the entire city of Boston. "As Americans we can all be proud of the way the city of Boston  and the entire nation - has banded together in the wake of this tragedy. We are proud of our Boston connections and feel privileged to be able to play a very small part in supporting the 'B-Strong' effort."
    Roush Fenway is half owned by Boston's Fenway Sports Group; the same company that owns and operates the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park as well as a majority stake in the region's premier sports network, NESN. In support of its sister team, RFR will carry the "B-Strong" decal that the Red Sox organization has used as a rallying point for Bostonians since the events that tragically took the lives of three people, while wounding well over 100 others. "The deplorable acts committed in connection with the Boston Marathon have impacted the entire nation," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "And it is inspiring to watch the resiliency and unyielding determination of the entire city of Boston in the wake of this tragedy. Their resolve helps to remind us what makes our country so great. We obviously work very closely with the Fenway Sports Management group on a regular basis, and for this to happen right there in their back yard really grabs your attention and drives it home. We are humbled as an organization to be able to support the "B-Strong" effort."
    In addition, Roush Fenway will distribute "B-Strong" decals at the race track this weekend that pays tribute to the '617' Boston area code, the "B-Strong" program and provides information on how to support the "The One Fund Boston", an initiative formed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help the people most affected by the tragic events. For more information about "The One Fund Boston" and how you can help those most affected visit: www.onefundboston.org.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-18-2013)


  • MWR teams to honor Boston Marathon victims: The events of this week's attack on the Boston Marathon hit especially close to Michael Waltrip Racing founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. As the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver or car owner to have run the Boston Marathon, Waltrip will honor the victims of the marathon tragedy by running special door numbers on his three NASCAR Sprint Cup entries this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
    The door numbers on the #15, 55 and 56 MWR Toyota Camrys will replicate the 2013 Boston Marathon runner "bib" numbers, which are pinned on each of the nearly 30,000 runners. Waltrip posted a time of 4 hours, 33 minutes in the 2000 event.
    "The news coming out of Boston this week was very personal to me," said Waltrip. "When I ran the Boston Marathon in 2000, I remember thinking about what a privilege it was to be able to participate and all the hard work it took to be there. When you can see those international flags flying in Copley Square, you know you are about to complete your journey. I know the joy those runners were feeling at that moment when their worlds changed. It was a great moment of pride when they pinned the Boston Marathon bib on me, so I thought it would be great to pin bib numbers on our race cars this week in Kansas. I want to thank our sponsors, NAPA AUTO PARTS, 5-Hour ENERGY and Aaron's, as well as NASCAR, for giving us permission to show our support. We just want the victims of the attack, the brave men and women who helped after the explosions and the city of Boston to know that we are thinking of them and we will support them anyway we can."(MWR)(4-18-2013)

  • NASCAR related TV specials tonight: There will be a couple of opportunities for fans to catch a little NASCAR outside of the weekend competition when the sport appears on the Game Show Network and USA Network tonight, Thursday, April 18.
    First, at 9:00pm/et on "American Bible Challenge" on the GSN, #21-Trevor Bayne will appear from the Roush Fenway Racing museum to present the category "Biblical Bumper Stickers" on the faith-based game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy.
    Immediately following at 10:00pm/et on USA Network, former NFL MVP Kurt Warner will get up close and personal with Richard Childress Racing (see story here) and NASCAR in an all-new episode of "The Moment." Kyle Shields, a once young, aspiring race car driver, had given up on his dream when Warner, who hosts the all-new show, surprises him with a special offer: a second opportunity at becoming a NASCAR driver. After studying with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Brendan Gaughan of Richard Childress Racing, Kyle must rise to the challenge and demonstrate he still has the necessary skills to land a seat with RCR.(NASCAR)(4-18-2013)

  • NHRA trounces NASCAR for 19-5 softball win: A squad of highly competitive and terrifically talented NHRA drivers trounced a team of NASCAR stars 19-5 in Wednesday night's softball game in Kannapolis, N.C., in front of a boisterous crowd at CMC NorthEast Stadium, the home of the Kannapolis Intimidators of the South Atlantic League. Elliot Sadler was the top player on the NASCAR side, flashing big-time leather in the field and ripping a number of line drives. The NASCAR team also included Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Kerry Earnhardt, Johanna Long, Hermie Sadler, Michael Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip, and others. The lone earned run scored by the stock car contingent was actually hit by a Wounded Warrior veteran, Mattias Ferraro, a double-amputee playing on two prosthetic legs. His blast drew one of the biggest ovations on the night, from fans and players alike. In a mid-game Home Run Derby exhibition, Bob Vandergriff and Elliott Sadler tied, with three long balls apiece. The game benefited Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and The Armed Forces Foundation. (see full story at NHRA.com)(4-18-2013)

  • Tire test at Daytona UPDATE 2: Goodyear will conduct a tire test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 16 & 17. Drivers scheduled to participate include: #1-Jamie McMurray, #5-Kasey Kahne/Regan Smith (Hendrick Motorsports), #10-Danica Patrick, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., a driver from Joe Gibbs Racing, #21-Trevor Bayne, #33-Austin Dillon, and #99-Carl Edwards.(DIS)(4-10-2013)
    UPDATE Testing continues at Daytona: Goodyear will continue a two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tire test at Daytona International Speedway at 9:00am/et Wednesday as a prep for the July 6 Coke Zero 400. The test is open to the public. Goodyear began testing Tuesday, which was closed to the public and media and scheduled to end at 10:00pm/et. Spectators will be allowed into the Oldfield Grandstand on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Race fans may access the viewing area through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building. There is no charge to watch testing.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-17-2013)
    UPDATE2 Nine Teams Take Part in Two-Day Goodyear Tire Test: Nine teams shook down tires for Goodyear on Tuesday and Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway ahead of the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6. Drivers that participated in both single-car runs and drafting sessions in the tire test were: #1-McMurray, #5-Kahne/Smith, #10-Patrick, #16-Biffle, #17-Stenhouse Jr., Michael McDowell (JGR), #21-Bayne, #33-Dillon and #99-Edwards. Drivers turned laps under the lights on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. while Wednesday's session was during the daytime. Tickets for all the events that are part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(4-18-2013)

  • Farmers Insurance celebrates 85th Anniversary: In celebration of Farmers' 85th anniversary, #5-Kasey Kahne will race in a special Farmers Insurance 85th Anniversary paint scheme during the April 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Kansas Speedway  a car that will bring to life the memory of Farmers first insured vehicle, a 1925 Cadillac Phaeton, insured in 1928.(HMS)(4-18-2013)

  • Hornish Jr. to make 2013 Cup debut at Kansas: #12-Sam Hornish Jr. has 129 NSCS starts with five of those coming at Kansas, but this will mark his first start in the Gen 6 Ford Fusion. Crew chief Greg Erwin likes Kansas Speedway and he has two NSCS victories at the venue (2007 & 2010). This weekend is the first of two NSCS events that Hornish and the #12 SKF Ford are scheduled to compete in this year (fall Talladega race) Due to members of the #12 NNS Penske pit crew having other NSCS roles this weekend, the pit crew of the #22 NNS Penske Ford will pit the #12 SKF Ford with the lone exception being Fueler Kellen Mills, who is a team regular.(Penske Racing)(4-18-2013)

  • Sadler to run Sprint Cup race in 2013 UPDATE2: Elliot Sadler is scheduled to run at least one un-named NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2013, running the #81 Alert Energy Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. This new energy product, was recently introduced by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. The scheme is purple, orange-and-yellow.(lionelnascarcollectables.com.(3-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Wrigley's new Alert Energy Caffeine Gum will make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing and driver Elliott Sadler on April 21 at Kansas Speedway. Sadler will pilot the #81 Alert Energy Camry there and at Talladega Superspeedway (May 5 and Oct. 20) for a total of three races during the 2013 race season. The #81 Alert Energy Camry joins an all-star lineup of Mars, Inc. and Wrigley sponsors at Joe Gibbs Racing including Doublemint gum, M&M'S and SNICKERS throughout the 2013 season. "I'm really looking forward to representing Alert Energy in the Sprint Cup Series," said Elliott Sadler, driver of the #81 Camry. "I've been lucky to have a long history with Mars, Inc. and am very excited about working with them again in launching this new product." Alert will be available nationwide starting in April.(JGR)(4-5-2013)
    UPDATE - Sadler returns to the Sprint Cup Series at Kansas: Sunday's STP 400 marks the first of three races in which Elliott Sadler will pilot the #81 Alert Energy Toyota Camry, with the two races at Talladega Superspeedway in May and October rounding out the schedule. Alert Energy Caffeine Gum is a new energy product available for adults 25 to 49 that lets people control the amount of caffeine they want "on-the-go." The product launches nationwide later this month. When Sadler takes to the track for this weekend's STP 400, it will be the first time he has raced a Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series, making him one of only a handful of drivers to have competed in NASCAR's top series in a Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Toyota. Sadler's three-race schedule with Alert Energy marks the second time in his career he has raced for a brand that's a subsidiary of Mars, Inc. Sadler was sponsored byM&M's, as well as other Mars' brands, when he drove for former car owner Robert Yates in the Sprint Cup Series from 2003 to August 2006.(JGR), see images of the scheme on the #81 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2013)

  • Code 3 Associates Joins SHR at Kansas: #39-Ryan Newman will run the Code 3 Associates scheme at Kansas Speedway. Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas. The sponsorship was made possible by a benefactor with interests in animal-related causes. Formed in 1985, Colorado-based Code 3 Associates is a national response team that, at the request of local government officials, provides animal rescue and recovery in times of disaster. The organization has evolved from one unpaid volunteer to at roughly 75 professional responders around the country, which include animal welfare, law enforcement, fire, EMS and veterinary specialists from the United States and Canada.(SHR), see an image of the car on the #39 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2013)

  • Proposed Victory Junction Midwest camp officially at standstill: The planned Victory Junction Midwest camp for chronically ill children in Wyandotte County (KS) is on hold. Former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, who along with his wife, Pattie, founded the original camp in North Carolina, said the economy has not rebounded sufficiently to pursue donations to build and operate a second camp, which is free of charge for children and their families. "We decided at our last board meeting in North Carolina to suspend the operations in Kansas City," Petty said. "We have just beat our head against the wall with the economy right now. We don't see in the near future we're going to be able to raise $30, $40, $50 million, whatever it costs. Obviously, the price keeps going up on it. We're going to step back. We have not abandoned the idea by any stretch, but instead of just keep dragging it on, we're going to suspend, regroup and focus on when will be the right time and look at it again." The project has had its fits and starts since the Pettys announced plans in 2007 to build a $35 million camp in the Kansas City area. They founded the original camp in 2004 on 72 acres in Randleman, N.C., donated by Kyle Petty's father, Hall of Famer Richard Petty, in tribute to their son, Adam, who was killed in a practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2000. NASCAR drivers such as Michael Waltrip, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart made sizable donations to build facilities, and when the camp became so popular it couldn't handle the demand, the Pettys selected the Kansas City area for a second camp, especially to serve children from the Midwest and West. After an enthusiastic response from the Kansas City-area business and civic community, the economic downturn caused donors to cut back on their original pledges. Also, the original site for the camp turned out to have environmental issues after ground was broken, forcing a search for a second site. "It's really disappointing," said Petty, who had hoped he would get more backing from Kansas City sports interests as well as from NASCAR drivers. "We made the announcement about the time the bottom fell out of Sprint Cup racing. If you go back and look at it, that was 2007, 2008 when we were riding a peak high in this sport & the most fans, the most dollars, the most TV ratings, most everything." The Victory Junction Camp in North Carolina is also experiencing about a 25% dip in donations and has had to reduce the number of campers from 120 to 100 for the past few summers.(Kansas City Star)(4-18-2013)

  • Niece Companies joins Starr for Kansas: Backing David Starr's Toyota this weekend will be the Niece Companies of Austin, Texas and Fort Scott, Kansas. Niece Equipment and Niece Products of Kansas manufacture, rent and sell water trucks and fuel/lube trucks to the construction and mining industries. Niece employs over 100 people at its two facilities and not only services local, regional and nationally but is a major exporter to Africa, Australia and South America. Many Niece products are used for dust control in large mines, pits and quarries. (SS Greenlight Racing PR)(4-18-2013)


    News from April 17, 2013

  • Penske Racing to appeal penalties: "Penske Racing received communication today from NASCAR regarding penalties they have issued against the #2 and #22 teams. Penske Racing will appeal utilizing the appropriate NASCAR process. We have no further comment at this time."(Penske Racing Facebook)(4-17-2013)

  • Statement by MWR regarding penalty: The following statement is in response to Wednesday's penalty issued by NASCAR to Michael Waltrip Racing. "Michael Waltrip Racing is sensitive to working within the guidelines of NASCAR policy. This infraction clearly occurred as a result of a malfunction caused by race conditions. Therefore, we will not appeal. We thank NASCAR for providing a fair and equitable platform for all of its competitors and respect its decisions."(MWR)(4-17-2013)

  • NASCAR Penalties announced for three teams: Penalties have been handed down to three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams following last Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. The #56 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (the car failed to meet the minimum front car heights during post-race inspection) of the 2013 rule book.
    As a result of this violation, crew chief Chad Johnston has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 5. The team has also been docked six championship driver (Martin Truex Jr.) and six championship owner (Michael Waltrip) points.
    The #2 and #22 cars have also been penalized. Both cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J and 20-12 (all suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted, in a completed form/assembly, to the office of the NASCAR Competition Administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond normal rotation or suspension travel.)
    As a result of this violation and as it pertains to the #2 car the following penalties have been assessed:
    · Crew chief Paul Wolfe has been fined $100,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
    · Car chief Jerry Kelley, team engineer Brian Wilson and team manager Travis Geisler (serves as team manager for both the #2 and #22 cars) have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
    · The loss of 25 championship driver (Brad Keselowski) and 25 championship owner (Roger Penske) points.
    As it pertains to the #22 car the following penalties have been assessed:
    · Crew chief Todd Gordon has been fined $100,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
    · Car chief Raymond Fox and team engineer Samuel Stanley have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
    · The loss of 25 championship driver (Joey Logano) and 25 championship owner (Walt Czarnecki) points.(NASCAR)(4-17-2013)

  • RCR Teams to Honor Memory of ECR Engines Co-Worker: Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series teams will carry decals honoring the memory of an ECR Engines co-worker this week at Kansas Speedway. Joey Padgett, a valve train specialist at ECR Engines, passed away April 15 after suffering a heart attack. He was 57. Padgett had an extensive engine building career in NASCAR. He plied his craft with various companies including Ernie Elliott, Inc., Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and Penske Racing before moving to ECR Engines in September 2012. He was also the owner/operator of Checkered Flag Fuels in Concord, N.C., where he was a lifelong resident. Memorials may be made to Cabarrus Pets Society, P.O. Box 5042, Concord, N.C. 28027. Online condolences may be left at wilkinsonfuneralhome.com. Wilkinson Funeral Home is serving the family.(RCR)(4-17-2013)


    (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson of Getty Images)
    U.S. President Barack Obama (R) stands with Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski (2nd-L)
    as Owner Roger Penske (L) and Crew Chief Paul Wolfe stand nearby during an event at the White House,
    April 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.
    President Obama hosted the event to honor Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.


  • Tire test at Daytona UPDATE: Goodyear will conduct a tire test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 16 & 17. Drivers scheduled to participate include: #1-Jamie McMurray, #5-Kasey Kahne/Regan Smith (Hendrick Motorsports), #10-Danica Patrick, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., a driver from Joe Gibbs Racing, #21-Trevor Bayne, #33-Austin Dillon, and #99-Carl Edwards.(DIS)(4-10-2013)
    UPDATE Testing continues at Daytona: Goodyear will continue a two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tire test at Daytona International Speedway at 9:00am/et Wednesday as a prep for the July 6 Coke Zero 400. The test is open to the public. Goodyear began testing Tuesday, which was closed to the public and media and scheduled to end at 10:00pm/et. Spectators will be allowed into the Oldfield Grandstand on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Race fans may access the viewing area through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building. There is no charge to watch testing.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-17-2013)

  • STP colors returns to #43; The King to be grand marshal: Aric Almirola and the #43 STP Ford team will be sporting classic Petty Blue and STP colors in the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Team owner Richard Petty, a long-time partner of STP, will be the Grand Marshall for the STP 400. He will give his drivers Almirola and Marcos Ambrose, as well as the rest of the Sprint Cup Series field, the command to start their engines on Sunday. Farmland Foods will present a cash and protein donation to Harvesters-The Community Food Network at the Kansas Speedway as part of an expanding effort by the company to raise awareness of hunger issues around the country. The announcement follows more than $60,000 in donations in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Auto Club, earlier this year as part of Farmland's partnership with Harvesters to promote hunger awareness in race communities.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(4-17-2013)

  • Kansas Goodyear Tires Notes: While teams in both NASCAR series in action at Kansas this weekend will run the same Goodyear tire code on the right-side, they will run different left-side codes . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams ran at Kansas after it was repaved for last October . . . it is also the same tire set-up that Cup teams ran at Michigan last August . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kansas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. See tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Kansas Race Info page - Goodyear Tire section

  • American Ethanol colors at Kansas for Burton: Jeff Burton's #31 RCR Chevy team will sport the black and green colors of American Ethanol this weekend at Kansas Speedway. American Ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy from the bounty of America's farmers, helps create new green jobs and a renewed sense of pride for the American worker, while helping to achieve greater energy security for our country.(RCR), Austin Dillon is also scheduled to carry American Ethanol colors at Michigan in June on the #33 Chevy.(4-17-2013)

  • Bad Boy Buggies to sponsor Harvick at Kansas: #29-Kevin Harvick will carry the Bad Boy Buggies colors in the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Bad Boy Buggies is a leader in off-road utility vehicles for hunting and outdoor lifestyles. Bad Boy Buggies pioneered the category of electrically powered 4x4 vehicles, ideal for hunting and outdoor recreation due to their silent, odorless operation and environmentally friendly, emissions-free drivetrains. In 2010, the Bad Boy Buggies brand and product line were acquired by E-Z-GO, a business unit of Textron Inc.(RCR)(4-17-2013)

  • Bowyer's Autoplex opens Thursday: Thursday's [April 18th] grand opening of the Clint Bowyer Autoplex in his hometown of Emporia, Kan. will be a special day for the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver in many ways. Bowyer walks into the Autoplex as the owner of the dealership where he worked as a paint-less dent repair specialist and detailer. He'll be joined by three-time Sprint Cup champion Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Mark Martin, two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip plus several hundred race fans for the celebration. More info on the appearance schedule on my Driver Appearance page.(4-17-2013)

  • Hornaday penalized for Rockingham incident: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday Jr. has been penalized by NASCAR following his involvement in an on-track incident last Sunday at Rockingham Speedway. Hornaday Jr., driver of the #9 truck, was found to have violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing. Altercation with another competitor on the race track during a caution period) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, Hornaday Jr. has been fined $25,000, docked 25 championship driver points and placed on NASCAR probation until June 12.(NASCAR)(4-17-2013)
    UPDATE: NTS Motorsports received notification of NASCAR's penalties assessed for the incident involving Ron Hornaday Jr., occurring at Rockingham Speedway. NTS supports NASCAR's rulings and penalties, will not appeal and has no further comments.(NTS Motorsports PR)(4-17-2013)

  • Hy-Vee on board with Newberry: This week Hy-Vee jumped on board as primary sponsor for the #14 Chevy Silverado. They recently became the Official Grocer and Tailgate Pit Stop of Kansas Speedway and will be an associate sponsor for select races on the #14 truck. Hy-Vee operates 235 full-service supermarkets in eight Midwestern states, which makes them among the top 20 supermarket chains in the United States.(NTS Motorsports PR)(4-17-2013)

  • Kennedy to make Truck debut at Bristol in August: Ben Kennedy, who recently got his first win in the K&N Pro Series East tour on Saturday at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL, is scheduled to make his national touring series debut in a Turner Motorsports truck at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 21 [in the Camping World Truck Series]. Kennedy is son of International Speedway Corporation president Lesa France and the late Bruce Kennedy and great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. Kennedy is in his junior year at University of Florida where he's studying sports management.(in part from FoxSports)
    AND Kennedy will also drive for the team at Iowa and Homestead-Miami later in the season, hoping for the opportunity to move to the Camping World Truck Series full-time in 2014.(NASCAR.com)(4-17-2013)


    News from April 16, 2013

  • Kansas officials: Expect longer waits: Fans attending NASCAR events at Kansas Speedway this weekend should expect slightly longer waits for security checks as a part of heightened security due to Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon. "We've had several meetings with our local contact with the Kansas police department which interphases with Homeland Security and the FBI," track president Pat Warren said on Tuesday. "We don't discuss publicly the things we do because we don't want somebody who might do something bad to know what our plans, policies and procedures are. What I would say is that we treat every event seriously, and we treat the safety and security of our fans seriously. Probably it's a good idea for people to plan on a little more time getting through the gates, having their backpacks checked, their coolers checked, those kind of things." Warren said track security policies and procedures are the same now that were put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. In regards to a fan dying of a self-inflicted gunshot during last weekend's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, Warren said it always has been track policy based on state and local law not to allow weapons at events. "Certainly we're paying attention to what happened at Boston and we're not ignoring that," he said. "The policies and procedures we have in place we feel are sufficient. Certainly people are going to be paying more attention."(ESPN)(4-16-2013)

  • HBO's Real Sports profiles NASCAR Female Pit Crew Member - tonight: Now in its 19th season, Real Sports with Bryant Gumble, presents more enterprising features and reporting when its 193rd edition, available in HDTV, debuts Tuesday, April 16 (10:00-11:00 pm/et-pt), exclusively on HBO. One segment that may interest NASCAR fans: Christmas Time. Christmas Abbott is the first female to be part of a NASCAR pit crew and is poised to make history as the first woman on a Sprint Cup crew. At first glance, the petite 31-year-old doesn't seem like the type to do the laborious jobs required in the crew. Her strength and speed, however, make her a perfect fit for the pressure-filled job. At the height of the Iraq war, she visited the country with her mother, a contractor, and began a new workout regimen called CrossFit. A few years later, back in the States, she became a bona fide CrossFit star. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, Jon Frankel goes one-on-one with the Virginia native to learn more about her fast-rising star in NASCAR.(HBO)(4-16-2013)

  • NASCAR takes parts from both Penske cars UPDATES: Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski, teammate #22-Joey Logano and their Penske Racing teams face potential penalties as NASCAR confiscated rear-end housing parts and pieces from their cars during prerace inspection Saturday at Texas Motor Speedways. The teams frantically worked to replace the pieces an hour prior to the scheduled start of the NRA 500. "We're taking (rear-end) housing and some other things. & It's a group of pieces that surrounds the rear suspension area," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "It's just something that is not in the spirit of the rules." Pemberton said the sanctioning body would not eject the crew chiefs from the speedways and the drivers would keep their starting positions for the race Saturday night. Any penalties could be announced as early as Monday, although NASCAR typically waits until Tuesday to announce penalties. Possible penalties typically could include points penalties, fines and crew suspensions. (Sporting News)(4-13-2013)
    UPDATE: Keselowski was able to keep his 16th-place starting spot. But both teams might be in for penalties due to parts that Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, told reporters were "not in the spirit of the rule." "In pre-race inspection they felt like there was something that was a questionable item that they wanted replaced," said Travis Geisler, Penske's director of competition. "We replaced all the parts in question. They have them all. We're working through the process here as it goes to get through inspection. Unfortunately a little tighter timeline here than we'd like to be on, but I certainly understand their position and don't disagree with where they are." The Penske vehicles were the last two vehicles in the garage area, and Keselowski's car successfully cleared the laser inspection platform as driver introductions wound down. Crewmen continued to scramble under the rear of the #22 car, which needed three passes to get though the laser platform, and passed the final stages of inspection just as the command to start engines was given. "That's what these guys do for a living, so it's not really a crisis," Geisler said of the 11th-hour changeover. "We do those kinds of things during practice at times. Everybody's set up for it. It's obviously not expected at this point in the day, but that's racing. You have to expect the unexpected, and that's the way it goes." Having gotten the cars on track in time for the start of the race, the Penske team now faces the prospect of penalties from NASCAR. "We always have a good, open dialogue with them. They'll keep us in the loop about how they feel about what's going on there," Geisler said. "I'm sure well all discuss that in the upcoming days."(NASCAR.com)(4-14-2013)
    UPDATE 2: If garage gossip is to be believed, somebody dropped a dime on NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski and his Penske Racing team at Texas Motor Speedway. The story blowing like wildfire Monday through NASCAR goes like this: Keselowski was parked at Texas next to Jimmie Johnson, while teammate Joey Logano was further down the garage parked next to Jeff Gordon. The assigned spots gave Hendrick Motorsports crews crystal clear views of the Penske cars all weekend As the story goes, there may have been eavesdropping on team chatter over the scanner during practice runs. Did someone from Hendrick ask NASCAR to take a closer look at the Penske cars? On race day, NASCAR inspectors were indeed sniffing around looking for an infraction. What they found in the rear-end housings on the #2 and #22 Fords were confiscated - Logano barely made the start of the race - though NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton curiously avoided a very important word in explaining the problem with the Penske cars. Pemberton never said the cars were illegal.
    When the dust settles, crew chiefs Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon will likely be sidelined for several weeks while Keselowski and Logano are stripped of critical points in the standings. Remember, it will be for something that hasn't been deemed illegal, at least not yet. It's more likely this is a case of something in development that the Penske crew was trying and NASCAR decided was too close to the edge. And there's the rub in all of this. NASCAR gets to decide when a team has crept too close to a non-existent line in the rule book.
    Should the Penske organization get hit with stiff penalties this week, then NASCAR needs to answer the what, why and how to help everyone understand exactly what is and isn't "in the spirit of the rule."(Associated Press)(4-16-2013)

  • Dish Network to make bid for Sprint Nextel UPDATE: Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider, offered to buy Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could thwart the proposed acquisition of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank Corp. Sprint shares soared 16.2 percent to their highest level since September 2008, leaving them well above the value of the Dish offer on Monday. Dish's surprise bid is the latest development as the U.S. wireless business undergoes a wave of consolidation. Dish was already in the midst of an unsolicited offer for Clearwire Corp, the wireless company majority-owned by Sprint. Dish said it would pay $4.76 per share in cash and about 0.05953 shares in Dish stock for each Sprint share. The offer, which works out to $7 per share, represents a premium of roughly 12 percent to Sprint's close on Friday. Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile services provider, agreed in October to sell 70 percent of its shares to SoftBank for $20 billion. No date has been set yet for a vote on that deal. Sprint declined to comment on the Dish offer.(Reuters)(4-15-2013)
    UPDATE: Sprint said it would evaluate the proposal but declined further comment. Some analysts said the Dish offer could lead to a bidding war with SoftBank. The combined entity would have 63.1 million retail subscribers and $50 billion in annual revenues, Dish said in a regulatory filing. The play for Sprint came together in the last few months as Dish started to think through all of its alternatives to gain even more spectrum, according to a source familiar with the matter. As much as Dish wants a wireless partner, analysts said Sprint also needs a deal to compete more effectively. Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said Sprint management likely prefers the SoftBank offer, given the Japanese company's deeper background in the wireless market.(MSN)(4-16-2013)

  • Kansas Speedway News & Notes:
    • Groundbreaking was held on May 25, 1999.
    • The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first events being an ARCA race and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on the same day  June 2.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on Sept. 30, 2001  won by Jeff Gordon.
    • During the 2012 season, between the April and October events the 1.5-mile track underwent a repave adding variable banking in the corners.
    • There have been 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway, one NSCS event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011.
    • 108 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas; 79 in more than one.
    • Nine drivers have made all 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway  Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.
    • Jason Leffler won the inaugural Coors Light Pole Award at Kansas Speedway in 2001 with a speed of 176.499 mph.
    • 10 drivers have Coors Light poles at Kansas, led by Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with three each.
    • Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to win consecutive Coors Light poles at Kansas Speedway (2007 and 2008).
    • Youngest Kansas pole winner: Jason Leffler (09/30/2001  26 years, 0 months, 14 days).
    • Oldest Kansas pole winner: Mark Martin (10/04/2009  50 years, 8 months, 25 days).
    • 10 different drivers have won at Kansas Speedway, led by Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson with two each.
    • Roush Fenway Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are tied for the most wins at Kansas in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with four each; followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing with two each.
    • Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Kansas with seven victories; followed by Ford with four wins.
    • Two of the 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the pole; Joe Nemechek (2004) and Jimmie Johnson (2008).
    • Three starting positions have produced multiple wins at Kansas Speedway: the pole, fifth and 19th each have two wins.
    • Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the front row: two from the pole and one from second-place.
    • Eight of the 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Two of the 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kansas Speedway was 25th, by Brad Keselowski in the spring of 2011.
    • Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman are tied for the lead in runner-up finishes at Kansas Speedway with two each.
    • Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Kansas Speedway with eight; followed by Greg Biffle with seven.
    • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-10 finishes at Kansas Speedway with 11; followed by Jeff Gordon (10).
    • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Kansas Speedway with a 10.615.
    • Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup average finish better than 10.0 at Kansas: Jimmie Johnson (8.0) and Brad Keselowski (9.8).
    • There has been one NSCS race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Kansas Speedway: fall of 2011 (267 scheduled laps/272 actual laps).
    • Only one of the 14 races at Kansas Speedway has been shortened due to weather conditions: fall of 2007 (267 scheduled laps/210 actual laps).
    • Qualifying has never been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway.
    • Jason Leffler (09/30/2001) is the only driver to post his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Kansas Speedway.
    • 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Austin Dillon (10/09/2011) and Denny Hamlin (10/09/2005) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Kansas Speedway.
    • Jeff Gordon is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to have posted consecutive wins at Kansas Speedway (2001 and 2002  the first two NSCS events at Kansas).
    • Nine of the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Kansas Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Gordon won at Kansas in his first appearance.
    • Matt Kenseth competed at Kansas Speedway 13 times before winning last fall; the longest span of any of the 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Kansas.
    • Matt Kenseth is the only driver to have made 10 or more attempts before his first win at Kansas Speedway.
    • Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch and Bobby Labonte lead the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Kansas Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 14.
    • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway was the (10/10/2004) race won by Joe Nemechek with a MOV of 0.081 second.
    • Danica Patrick is the only female driver to have competed at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (10/21/2012)  starting 40th and finishing 32nd.
    • Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Kansas Speedway with 547 laps led in 13 starts.(NASCAR)(4-16-2013)

  • Hornish testing at Mid-Ohio UPDATE: Sam Hornish, Jr., driver of the #12 Alliance Truck Parts / WURTH Ford Mustang for Penske Racing is testing at Mid-Ohio Monday, April 15. The test is open to fans for free from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fans looking to attend the test are asked to enter at Gate 3. The Infield and The Keyhole will be open. The tower, pits, paddock and garage area are closed to fans. Fans are welcome to take photos and videos of the cars on track as well as bring food and/or drinks as concession stands will be closed.(Mid-Ohio PR)(4-15-2013
    UPDATE: Hornish was the only driver at the track Monday for the two-day test. His team and NASACAR officials were in Lexington to collect data for tires and gear ratios that will be shared with everyone in the Nationwide Series. Although Hornish joked he wasn't going to share anything with his competitors, he was picked due to his extensive knowledge of the track and his Buckeye roots, being a native of Defiance who used to come to the track as a kid to watch the races in the 1980s and early 1990s. Hornish also had video camera on board to tape his laps around the track so other drivers could watch and get a feel for the nuances of the 2.25-mile, 13-turn road course. Besides getting information to share with all the teams, NASCAR was using the two days to decide on things like the start/finish line, qualifying procedures and how the garage area (paddock) and the pits would be arranged. Auton said one thing they know for sure is the start, the finish and all restarts will take place in front of the Goodyear Tower. IndyCar and other series start their races on the backstraight. (Mansfield News Journal)(4-16-2013)

  • Sad News - Clyde Ellis: Kansas Ciy Racing Legend Clyde Ellis passed away April 13, 2013. Ellis was one of the most influential figures in the local [Kansasi] racing world. He was a lifetime member of C.A.R.B., Central Auto Racing Boosters. In 2008, he was Grand Marshal of the Snake Saturday parade. NASCAR sanctioned Lakeside Speedway annually holds the Clyde Ellis Late Model Showdown. More info and service info on my Sad News page.(4-16-2013)

  • Turner Scott drivers testing at Darlington: Race fans have the opportunity to visit Darlington Raceway on April 16-17 to watch a two-day test session featuring NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers Kyle Larson and Nelson Piquet Jr., drivers of the #32 and #30 Chevys for Turner Scott Motorsports. The test, which will be held from 9:00am - 5:00pm both days, is free and open to the public. Darlington Raceway will open a section of the Colvin Grandstand on the backstretch of the track for fans to watch the test. (Darlington Raceway)(4-16-2013)

  • Kansas City Chiefs players named race officials for STP 400: While they may not be rookies on the field, Kansas City Chiefs Jeff Allen and Don Stephenson may still need a yellow stripe as they attend the STP 400 on April 21 as honorary race officials. "Growing up in Kansas City, everyone always was either at Arrowhead or the race track and now I get to experience the best of both" said Stephenson, a starting left tackle for the Chiefs. "I can't wait to meet some of the drivers and help out as one of the Honorary Officials for the race!" Both players were drafted in the 2012 draft, with Allen being selected in the second round and Stephenson being selected in the third round. Allen was also named to the NFL's All-Rookie team in 2012.(Kansas Speedway)(4-16-2013)

  • Liberty Tire Recycling joins Wallace for Kansas, two other races: This weekend at Kansas Speedway for the fourth stop of the season for the Camping World Truck Series, the #54 Toyota Tundra team will welcome aboard Liberty Tire Recycling as the primary sponsor for Darrell Wallace, Jr. Liberty Tire recycles more than 140 million tires annually to produce crumb rubber and industrial feedstock for molded products; as tire-derived fuel for industrial kilns, mills and power plants; and as rubber mulch for landscaping and playgrounds. With Liberty Tire Recycling on the hood, decklid, and TV panel, the #54 Toyota Tundra will feature GroundSmart Rubber Mulch, a product of Liberty Tire Recycling, on the quarter panels during the SFP 250. In addition to Kansas, Liberty Tire Recycling will serve as the primary sponsor for two additional races later this season with Wallace and the #54 Toyota team.(Kyle Busch Motorsports PR)(4-16-2013)

  • Gaughan goes to school: On Monday, April 15, Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 Chevy, took on a new role as interim college professor at Elon University in Elon, N.C. The two-time championship driver participated in a lecture focused on all things NASCAR. Gaughan shared his insights and experiences from his years of being involved in the racing industry. (Richard Childress Racing PR)(4-16-2013)


    News from April 15, 2013

  • Overnight Texas TV Ratings: Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup NRA 500 from Texas Motor Speedway earned a 3.5 overnight rating on FOX, down a tick from last year (3.6), and down 5% from 2011 (3.7). Excluding rainouts, the 3.5 overnight is the lowest ever for the spring Texas race (dates back to 1997). As recently as 2007, when the race was still run on a Sunday afternoon, coverage earned a 5.4 overnight. The 3.5 also ranks as the lowest overnight of the season for any NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The previous low was a 4.0 for the Martinsville race one week earlier. Overall, the NRA 500 ranks as one of the lowest rated NASCAR telecasts ever on FOX in the metered markets; the all-time NASCAR on FOX record-low is a 3.3 overnight. The race still ranked as the top non-golf sporting event of the weekend on broadcast television.(Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Daily), see past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(4-15-2013)

  • Entry List for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #19-Bliss, #32-Hill, #44-Riggs, #51-Smith. #12-Hornish, Jr. and #81-Sadler would have to get in by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the teams do not have any owners points and cannot use a provisional.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Kansas Entry List

  • Keselowski lashes out at NASCAR UPDATE - no fine: #2-Brad Keselowski lashed out at NASCAR officials after Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway because of NASCAR inspectors forcing his team to change the rear-end housing in the #2 Ford before the race. Both cars for Penske Racing, including teammate #22-Joey Logano, had to make the change moments before the race. Logano barely made it out in time for the green flag. Logano started in the back, but finished fifth. Keselowski finished ninth. "I have one good thing to say," Keselowski said. "That's my team and effort they put in today in fighting back with the absolute bull that's been the last seven days in this garage area. The things I've seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in, and I'm not happy about it. I don't have anything positive to say and I probably should just leave it at that."
    But he didn't. Knowing major penalties are likely for his team, the defending Sprint Cup champion made his feelings clear. "There's so much stuff going on ... you have no f------ idea what's going on,'' he said. "And that's not your fault and that's not a slam on you. I could tell you there's nobody, no team in this garage with the integrity of the 2 team. And the way we've been treated over the last seven days is absolutely shameful. I feel like we've been targeted over the last seven days more than I've ever seen a team targeted. But my guys kept their heads on straight and they showcased why they are a winning team and championship team. We're not going to take it. We're not going to be treated this way."(see more at ESPN.com)(4-14-2013)
    UPDATE: Interviewed Monday morning on Fox Business, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Keselowski would not be fined for his comments Saturday night. France said he disagrees with everything Keselowski said, but understands that he was blowing off steam. France also defended NASCAR's fine of Denny Hamlin earlier in the year.(4-15-2013)

  • Dish Network to make bid for Sprint Nextel: Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider, offered to buy Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could thwart the proposed acquisition of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank Corp. Sprint shares soared 16.2 percent to their highest level since September 2008, leaving them well above the value of the Dish offer on Monday. Dish's surprise bid is the latest development as the U.S. wireless business undergoes a wave of consolidation. Dish was already in the midst of an unsolicited offer for Clearwire Corp, the wireless company majority-owned by Sprint. Dish said it would pay $4.76 per share in cash and about 0.05953 shares in Dish stock for each Sprint share. The offer, which works out to $7 per share, represents a premium of roughly 12 percent to Sprint's close on Friday. Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile services provider, agreed in October to sell 70 percent of its shares to SoftBank for $20 billion. No date has been set yet for a vote on that deal. Sprint declined to comment on the Dish offer.(Reuters)(4-15-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 NRA 500: 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 7:30 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 11:17 PM (all times are EDT). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 106
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 61
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 98
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 58
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 8
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 5
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 2
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 39
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:17 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 227
    Minutes of race broadcast: 180
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 47
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 4
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 3
    Total race brdcst time 180 Total comm. brdcst time 47
    Commercials during race broadcast: 'Side-by-Side' ('Thank you!' to all of the participating sponsors!)
    7:57 PM  7:59 PM
    Sprint.com/drive 'No Texting & Driving' (Dale Earnhardt Jr.); Toyota #LetsGoPlaces; Coca-Cola Racing Family (Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin); GoodYear (various drivers)
    10:59 PM  11:01 PM
    Sprint.com/drive 'No Texting & Driving' (Dale Earnhardt Jr.); Toyota Tundra?Endeavour; Pepsi Max  Test Drive (Jeff Gordon); Subway (Carl Edwards)
    See full rundown and past races at CawsnJaws.com.(4-15-2013)

  • Penske penalties will set precedent for Gen-6 cars: It might not have been all that tough a decision for NASCAR to confiscate rear-end housing and pieces from the Penske Racing cars Saturday afternoon. If the parts are illegal, they're illegal and must be removed. Now comes the hard part. The penalties. NASCAR has not taken a rear-end housing in Cup in nearly five years, with Kyle Busch having rear-end housing taken postrace in 2008 but then having it determined legal. With NASCAR having made several rules this year to reduce the amount of chicanery being done to the rear-ends the car, it is likely they're not going to treat Penske teams with kid gloves. The only question is how many points and if a suspension is involved. Because it is a new car, NASCAR doesn't really have precedent for what the penalties are. Whatever they do sets the bar for future "Gen-6" car penalties.
    This will be an interesting week no doubt. Keselowski and team owner Roger Penske will be alongside NASCAR brass in meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday. So expect no penalties to be announced that day. Maybe Monday. More likely Wednesday.(Sporting News)(4-15-2013)

  • Chip Ganassi selling to John Menard? UPDATE: One of the hottest stories in the garage Thursday was intense speculation that veteran team owner Chip Ganassi may be considering selling his two-team NASCAR operation to John Menard. Menard, who owns the Midwestern home improvement chain Menards, is a long-time racer, and he is currently sponsoring his son Paul's NASCAR team, part of the Richard Childress organization. Ganassi and Childress are both Chevy men. Childress supplied Ganassi's two teams (with #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya) with engines until this season, when Ganassi switched to Hendrick motors. Of the sport's top eight team owners, Ganassi this season ranks seventh in finishes. Of particular disappointment is Montoya, who is averaging a 27th place finish; Montoya's last top-10 was at Michigan last June, and his last tour win was at Watkins Glen in the summer of 2010. McMurray's seventh at Martinsville last weekend was his best finish in over a year.(MikeMulhern.net)(4-12-2013)
    UPDATE: Don't put too much stock in John Menard to buy Ganassi team rumors. Ganassi likes competing in various series and his NASCAR teams are showing a little improvement in recent weeks. That's not to say that Paul Menard couldn't end up taking his sponsorship to Ganassi, but he could pick other stronger operations to bring his money.(Sporting News)(4-15-2013)

  • Hornish testing at Mid-Ohio: Sam Hornish, Jr., driver of the #12 Alliance Truck Parts / WURTH Ford Mustang for Penske Racing is testing at Mid-Ohio Monday, April 15. The test is open to fans for free from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fans looking to attend the test are asked to enter at Gate 3. The Infield and The Keyhole will be open. The tower, pits, paddock and garage area are closed to fans. Fans are welcome to take photos and videos of the cars on track as well as bring food and/or drinks as concession stands will be closed.(Mid-Ohio PR)(4-15-2013)

  • New website to assist Michigan Speedway guests: Whether you are a first-time visitor to Michigan International Speedway or a long-time guest, NASCAR's fastest track has a new website to help educate guests about MIS and NASCAR. The track has launched www.myMISpeedway.com to aid guests before they attend NASCAR events at the track. With a growing number of fans at MIS being first-timers or guests who are returning after an absence, one of our track's missions has become to educate fans to help them make the most of their experience while at the track. myMISpeedway.com features videos that describe everything at MIS from how to use the trams to how to use FanVision. What is the Rookie Pit Stop at MIS? How does a guest navigate the New Holland Fan Plaza? Watch a series of short videos as Curtis and other speedway employees walk guests through everything needed to know to being a NASCAR fan. Like anything, the website will evolve as content and competition change. The speedway's staff will always be on the lookout for new content and fun ways to make the website helpful, educational and worthwhile.(MIS)(4-15-2013)


    News from April 14, 2013

  • Truex, Jr's car too low UPDATE: NASCAR determined that second place finisher #56-Martin Truex, Jr's car was "too low in the front" in postrace inspection. NASCAR will examine it further and address any possible penalties early in the week.(4-14-2013)
    UPDATE: Martin Truex Jr. faces a possible six-point penalty for the front of his car being too low following his second-place finish in the NRA 500 Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. Crew chief Chad Johnston said the shocks on Truex's car would not rebound after the race. "We tried to pull the shaft out of the body, and it's just (stuck)," he said. "There's something going on, whether it's debris (inside) or parts and pieces of the shock." NASCAR will announce any penalties in the next few days. Being too low in tech cost Kyle Busch six points in 2011 and a $25,000 fine for his crew chief.(Sporting News)(4-14-2013)

  • Keselowski lashes out at NASCAR: #2-Brad Keselowski lashed out at NASCAR officials after Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway because of NASCAR inspectors forcing his team to change the rear-end housing in the #2 Ford before the race. Both cars for Penske Racing, including teammate #22-Joey Logano, had to make the change moments before the race. Logano barely made it out in time for the green flag. Logano started in the back, but finished fifth. Keselowski finished ninth. "I have one good thing to say," Keselowski said. "That's my team and effort they put in today in fighting back with the absolute bull that's been the last seven days in this garage area. The things I've seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in, and I'm not happy about it. I don't have anything positive to say and I probably should just leave it at that."
    But he didn't. Knowing major penalties are likely for his team, the defending Sprint Cup champion made his feelings clear. "There's so much stuff going on ... you have no f------ idea what's going on,'' he said. "And that's not your fault and that's not a slam on you. I could tell you there's nobody, no team in this garage with the integrity of the 2 team. And the way we've been treated over the last seven days is absolutely shameful. I feel like we've been targeted over the last seven days more than I've ever seen a team targeted. But my guys kept their heads on straight and they showcased why they are a winning team and championship team. We're not going to take it. We're not going to be treated this way."(see more at ESPN.com)(4-14-2013)

  • NASCAR takes parts from both Penske cars UPDATES: Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski, teammate #22-Joey Logano and their Penske Racing teams face potential penalties as NASCAR confiscated rear-end housing parts and pieces from their cars during prerace inspection Saturday at Texas Motor Speedways. The teams frantically worked to replace the pieces an hour prior to the scheduled start of the NRA 500. "We're taking (rear-end) housing and some other things. & It's a group of pieces that surrounds the rear suspension area," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "It's just something that is not in the spirit of the rules." Pemberton said the sanctioning body would not eject the crew chiefs from the speedways and the drivers would keep their starting positions for the race Saturday night. Any penalties could be announced as early as Monday, although NASCAR typically waits until Tuesday to announce penalties. Possible penalties typically could include points penalties, fines and crew suspensions. (Sporting News)(4-13-2013)
    UPDATE: Keselowski was able to keep his 16th-place starting spot. But both teams might be in for penalties due to parts that Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, told reporters were "not in the spirit of the rule." "In pre-race inspection they felt like there was something that was a questionable item that they wanted replaced," said Travis Geisler, Penske's director of competition. "We replaced all the parts in question. They have them all. We're working through the process here as it goes to get through inspection. Unfortunately a little tighter timeline here than we'd like to be on, but I certainly understand their position and don't disagree with where they are." The Penske vehicles were the last two vehicles in the garage area, and Keselowski's car successfully cleared the laser inspection platform as driver introductions wound down. Crewmen continued to scramble under the rear of the #22 car, which needed three passes to get though the laser platform, and passed the final stages of inspection just as the command to start engines was given. "That's what these guys do for a living, so it's not really a crisis," Geisler said of the 11th-hour changeover. "We do those kinds of things during practice at times. Everybody's set up for it. It's obviously not expected at this point in the day, but that's racing. You have to expect the unexpected, and that's the way it goes." Having gotten the cars on track in time for the start of the race, the Penske team now faces the prospect of penalties from NASCAR. "We always have a good, open dialogue with them. They'll keep us in the loop about how they feel about what's going on there," Geisler said. "I'm sure well all discuss that in the upcoming days."(NASCAR.com)(4-14-2013)

  • Labonte sick, Bliss on standby UPDATE: JTG Daugherty Racing tweeted, "#47-Bobby Labonte has a stomach virus. He plans to race the #47 BUSH'S Toyota. Mike Bliss will be on standby according to Bobby Hutchens."(4-13-2013)
    UPDATE: Bobby Labonte stayed on a short list of NASCAR drivers who have started every Sprint Cup race in Texas - barely. Labonte, who grew up in South Texas, was battling a stomach virus and planned to start Saturday night before giving way to a backup driver. He made it through 40 laps, but planned replacement Mike Bliss was still on the track in his own car. Labonte took his #47 Toyota to the garage and went to the infield care center while his team waited for a backup. Eventually, Labonte's crew had to scramble to fit the seat for Michael McDowell after he parked his ride. The crew had already worked on fitting the car for Bliss. By making the start, Labonte joined Jeff Burton, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon as the only drivers to start all 25 Cup races in Texas. (Associated Press)(4-14-2013)


    News from April 13, 2013

  • Kyle Busch wins at Texas: #18-Kyle Busch won the NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of 2013, 1st win at Texas and 26th career win. He took the lead on the final pitstop and pulled away over the final 16 laps to take the win by .508 seconds. #56-Truex, Jr. finished 2nd followed by #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #22-Logano, #48-Johnson, #43-Almirola, #11-Vickers, #2-Keselowski, and #39-Newman.
    There were 18 lead changes among 7 drivers and 7 cautions for 36 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 144.751mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Texas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Texas Penalty Report (pdf)

  • Race Fast Facts - Texas:
    Kyle Busch won the 17th Annual NRA 500, his 26th victory in 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    Busch now moves into a tie for 23rd on the all-time series wins list with NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Fred Lorenzen.
    This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2013. Busch's first win of 2013 was at Auto Club Speedway.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 16 races at Texas Motor Speedway. His previous best finish at Texas was third, three different times.
    Martin Truex Jr. (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 16 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2013.
    Carl Edwards (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-13-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Texas, race 7 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 269
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski, 260, -9
    3) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 251, -18
    4) #16-Greg Biffle, 239, -30
    5) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 234, -35
    6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 234, -35
    7) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 232, -37
    8) #15-Clint Bowyer, 208, -61
    9) #22-Joey Logano, 207, -62
    10) #27-Paul Menard, 206, -63
    11) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 204, -65
    12) #29-Kevin Harvick, 192, -77
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 15th in points
    #56-Martin Truex Jr., 16th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 22nd
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 25th
    (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).

  • NASCAR takes parts from both Penske cars: Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski, teammate #22-Joey Logano and their Penske Racing teams face potential penalties as NASCAR confiscated rear-end housing parts and pieces from their cars during prerace inspection Saturday at Texas Motor Speedways. The teams frantically worked to replace the pieces an hour prior to the scheduled start of the NRA 500. "We're taking (rear-end) housing and some other things. & It's a group of pieces that surrounds the rear suspension area," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "It's just something that is not in the spirit of the rules." Pemberton said the sanctioning body would not eject the crew chiefs from the speedways and the drivers would keep their starting positions for the race Saturday night. Any penalties could be announced as early as Monday, although NASCAR typically waits until Tuesday to announce penalties. Possible penalties typically could include points penalties, fines and crew suspensions. (Sporting News)(4-13-2013)

  • Scott Speed to drive Grand Rallycross car in Brazil: Global Rallycross has announced the implementation of the Star Car, a competitive twist for Global Rallycross. To debut the Star Car at the X Games in Foz do Iguacu, Global Rallycross brought Scott Speed on board to take the wheel. "The Star Car idea was sparked initially as means to create an element of surprise and suspense to both fans and drivers for each of the nine Global Rallycross events this season," said Colin Dyne, Global Rallycross CEO. "But as the idea has become a reality for Global Rallycross, it is an exceptional element that allows for talented drivers like Scott Speed to get a taste of what Global Rallycross really has to offer." In each race of the 2013 season, Global Rallycross will select the Star Car driver who will compete against the regular field of Global Rallycross drivers. With that in mind, every Star Car driver is selected specifically, each bringing a different quality to the series. For Speed, Global Rallycross selected him to debut the Star Car in Brazil because of his personality, driving ability and his overall fit for Global Rallycross. The Star Car will make its debut at Global X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, on April 21.(Grand Rallycross)(4-13-2013)

  • Mears says additional funding is helping team's performance: From an interview with Frontstretch:
    Q: You finally have enough sponsorship this year to run the full schedule?
    Mears: Yes. What happened was GEICO was very influential in making it happen. They stepped up to a level where Bob Germain was able to go ahead and make the full season. So we are doing the full season, but we're not quite fully-funded. It's a little tight in some areas, but we'll be able to run.
    Q: That must be a weight off your shoulders, not having to pull in early.
    Mears: That's a huge weight off. Last year, we'd have two or three good runs and then have to start and park. We didn't really realize how tough that was to rebound from and how frustrating. The start and parks just killed us last year, just deflated the team and it was really hard to rebound from. The guys would get frustrated - it was like, "wait a minute, we're working hard yet, what for? We're going to have to park." So, I think mentally, that was a tough process to get through. Having that weight lifted off our shoulders and knowing we're going to go run all the races definitely set a new tone in the shop.
    Q: As a competitor, how hard was it for you to hear that call on the radio to pull it in?
    Mears: The first time I had to do that was probably one of the hardest things I ever did. I mean, I grasped the concept. I understood that as a whole, it was better for our team and for our program, but the first time I ever did that, I just thought, "What am I doing? What are we doing here?" It was definitely difficult and to have that weight lifted definitely allows us to focus on the things we need to focus on.(Frontstretch)(4-12-2013)

  • Johnson will have a sub for baby-watch: From a Chevy PR:
    YOU HAD BIG NEWS THIS WEEK (ANNOUNCED HE AND WIFE CHANDRA ARE EXPECTING THEIR SECOND CHILD IN SEPTEMBER) CONGRATULATIONS. IS IT TOO EARLY ALREADY TO START THINKING ABOUT HOW YOU WILL HANDLE IT SINCE THE BABY IS DUE AS THE CHASE BEGINS? DO YOU HAVE A BACK-UP DRIVER? HAVE YOU GONE THROUGH ALL THOSE PARTICULARS YET?
    "We haven't yet. We know that we need to, but we still have some time. We are not sure who will be available come that time. I was joking with Aric Almirola last weekend that if he wanted to be my back-up driver again he clearly has a full-time gig and can't do it. We will just have to see, but we will definitely have a plan like always we will be buttoned up. Our doctor has told me that a father has never missed a birth. That gives me a lot of confidence that I will be able to do my weekend job and then be around during the week to meet number two."(Chevy)(4-13-2013)

  • Kentucky announces fan initiatvies: Kentucky Speedway is introducing fan-first initiatives that reward long-time season ticket customers, welcome first-time visitors and focus on family entertainment. Season ticket customers that have supported the speedway for 10 years or longer will receive reserved parking for each June and September race day, 20 $1.00 discount coupons that can be used for race-day food and non-alcoholic drink purchases as well as a coupon good for a 20 percent discount off a merchandise purchase from the Kentucky Speedway Gift Shop. Customers also will receive 10-year recognition premiums such as a full-size Kentucky Speedway flag, lanyard and window decal. Five- to nine-year season ticket customers also will be rewarded with reserved parking for each race day along with unique premiums such as a five-year hat, lanyard and window decal. First-time fans will be able to attend educational presentations on Quaker State 400 race day and visit a dedicated page on the speedway's Web site. First-time fans also will receive special communications in the months preceding the Quaker State 400 tripleheader weekend.(Kentucky Speedway)(4-13-2013)

  • Earnhardt Jr. to appear at Chicagoland's Fan Zone: National Guard driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., winner of NASCAR's NMPA Most Popular Driver Award for a record-tying 10 consecutive years, will join fans to kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this September. Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to appear in Chicagoland Speedway's Checkered Flag Fan Zone for a question-and-answer session with fans on Sunday, Sept. 15, prior to the GEICO 400. Located just outside the main entrance, the Checkered Flag Fan Zone provides race fans with a unique hospitality opportunity to enhance their race day experience. In addition to behind the scenes driver access and a full buffet meal in a climate-controlled tent with unlimited soda, water and three beer tickets, (must be 21 years of age or older) fans will also have access to music, entertainment and prizes.(Chicagoland Speedway)(4-13-2013)


    News from April 12, 2013

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #18-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #78-Busch took pit stall 14, the first pitstall in front of it.
    #43-Almirola, who starts 3rd took the 35th pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 7th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-12-2013)

  • Kyle Busch wins Texas pole: #18-Kyle Busch won the pole for the NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with speed of196.299mph, a new track record, for his 2nd pole of 2013 and 12th of his career. #78-Busch will start 2nd, followed by #43-Almirola, #9-Ambrose, #56-Truex, Jr., #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, and #42-Montoya.
    Missing the race were: #95-Speed & #44-Riggs.
    See the starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying results, qualifying order, qualifying rules on the Texas Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(4-12-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Texas:
    Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 17th Annual NRA 500 with a track-record lap of 27.509 seconds, 196.299 mph.
    This is his 12th pole in 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and fifth top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his first pole in 16 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Kurt Busch (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2013 and his seventh in 21 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    This is the second time the Busch brothers have started 1-2. The first was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2009.
    Aric Almirola (third) posted his first top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his first in seven races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-12-2013)

  • Final practice for the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #9-Ambrose 191.354
    #18-Busch 190.988
    #43-Almirola 190.503
    #78-Busch 190.476
    #56-Truex, Jr. 190.255
    slowest: #47-Labonte 181.555 & #87-Nemechek 179.892.
    #29-Harvick blew an engine and will have to start at the rear of the field Saturday night.
    notes: Qualifying is at 6:40pm/et this evening and will be broadcast on SPEED. There is no on-track activity tomorrow, other than the race.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the NRA 500 Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(4-12-2013)

  • Justin Original Workboots sponsoring Cassill: Justin Original Workboots, a leading workboot manufacturer, joins Landon Cassill and the Circle Sport Racing team as a primary sponsor for the NRA 500 this Saturday, April 13, under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway. The #33 Chevy will display the nation's colors with the Justin Workboots paint scheme, a fitting representation of the boot brand's commitment to donating up to $15,000 to Camp Patriot, a non-profit organization that honors and supports disabled American veterans. Together, JOW and Landon Cassill are calling on the NASCAR community to show their support, too. During Saturday's race, JOW will donate up to $10,000 to Camp Patriot based on Cassill's performance. That's a potential donation of $15,000 to support American heroes who've fought for our country and our freedom, in addition to the more than $50,000 JOW has donated to Camp Patriot since 2010.(Circle Sport Racing), see an image of the car on the #33 team paint schemes page.(4-12-2013)

  • Qualifying Order for the NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #11-Vickers.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #93-Kvapil.
    Fastest in final Friday practice, #9-Ambrose, is scheduled to qualify 38th.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Texas Qualifying Page.(4-11-2013)

  • Friday's first practice for the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #56-Truex, Jr. 192.143
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 192.123
    #48-Johnson 191.510
    #1-McMurray 191.347
    #29-Harvick 190.853
    slowest: #32-Hill 181.714 & #44-Riggs 181.488.
    notes: there will be two practice sessions today, followed by qualifying at 6:40pm/et
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the NRA 500 Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-12-2013)

  • Chip Ganassi selling to John Menard? One of the hottest stories in the garage Thursday was intense speculation that veteran team owner Chip Ganassi may be considering selling his two-team NASCAR operation to John Menard. Menard, who owns the Midwestern home improvement chain Menards, is a long-time racer, and he is currently sponsoring his son Paul's NASCAR team, part of the Richard Childress organization. Ganassi and Childress are both Chevy men. Childress supplied Ganassi's two teams (with #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya) with engines until this season, when Ganassi switched to Hendrick motors. Of the sport's top eight team owners, Ganassi this season ranks seventh in finishes. Of particular disappointment is Montoya, who is averaging a 27th place finish; Montoya's last top-10 was at Michigan last June, and his last tour win was at Watkins Glen in the summer of 2010. McMurray's seventh at Martinsville last weekend was his best finish in over a year.(MikeMulhern.net)(4-12-2013)

  • NASCAR not planning any changes to Gen-6 cars: Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, was asked if NASCAR is planning any rules changes for the new Gen-6 cars;
    PEMBERTON: I don't think so. I think we're in a fairly good spot. The teams -- one of the things we've learned over the years is if you keep moving the targets, people have a tendency to -- it's harder for them to keep chasing that. We feel like the playing field is fairly level. It looks like everybody has an equal opportunity to compete, and we don't feel like that the teams are -- they're done developing their own packages for this car. And as long as the input is -- it's still pretty rock solid as far as being positive, they've got plenty to work with, we feel like there's no reason to move the target on them right now.(NASCAR)(4-12-2013)

  • Keselowski going to the White House: #2-Brad Keselowski will visit The White House and meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday for the annual NASCAR celebration with the Sprint Cup champion. Keselowski, car owner Roger Penske and other members of the #2 team will visit with the president. Keselowski, whose foundation focuses on events for wounded veterans, will also meet with wounded warriors. While NASCAR in the past has brought all of its Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers to Washington, it opted to just bring the champion this year. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said the decision was made to bring NASCAR in line with other sports, which bring their championship team and not multiple teams to the White House.(Sporting News)(4-12-2013)

  • NASCAR will evaluate future race sponsorships: With the NRA 500 drawing attention just for the name of the race, NASCAR will take a closer look at race sponsorships in the future, the sanctioning body said in a statement Thursday. Tracks negotiate their own naming rights deals, and Texas Motor Speedway announced last month that the National Rifle Association would sponsor its Sprint Cup Series race, scheduled for Saturday night. The sanctioning agreement tracks have with NASCAR states that "NASCAR reserves the right to approve or disapprove any advertising, sponsorship or similar agreement in connection with the event." NASCAR approved the sponsorship, and Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said Thursday there has been no public outcry over the sponsorship. But NASCAR spokesman David Higdon released a statement that indicated the timing of a sponsorship and the perception of NASCAR will be used to determine whether to approve race sponsorships in the future. "The NRA's sponsorship of the event at Texas Motor Speedway fit within existing parameters that NASCAR affords tracks in securing partnerships," the NASCAR statement said. "However, this situation has made it clear that we need to take a closer look at our approval process moving forward, as current circumstances need to be factored in when making decisions."(Sporting News)(4-12-2013)

  • Bowman on pole at Texas: #99-Alex Bowman won the Coors Light Pole for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 183.418mph. It is his first career pole. #54-Kyle Busch will start second. The rest of the top 10: #3-Austin Dillon, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #22-Brad Keselowski, #7-Regan Smith, #33-Kevin Harvick, #77-Parker Kligerman, #18-Matt Kenseth, and #11-Elliott Sadler. Did Not Qualify: #47-Scott Riggs, #52-Joey Gase, #46-Chase Miller, #27-Jason White, #00-Michael McDowell. The starting lineup is posted on the Texas Motor starting lineup page (pdf).(4-12-2013)

  • Texas Motor Qualifying Notes:
    Alex Bowman won the Coors 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 17th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 with a lap of 29.441 seconds, 183.418 mph.Alex Bowman won the Coors 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 17th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 with a lap of 29.441 seconds, 183.418 mph.
    This is his first pole in ten NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his third top-10 start in 2013.
    Bowman is the third Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate to win the pole at Texas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch (2004) and David Ragan (2007) also did it.
    Kyle Busch (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2013 and his 13th in 15 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Austin Dillon (third) posted his third top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fifth in six races this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-12-2013)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Texas: #54-Kyle Busch won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, for his 4th win of the season, his 6th at Texas and the 55th of his career. He put on another dominating performance, leading 91 laps and winning by more than 2 seconds. #22-Brad Keselowski finished second followed by #3-Austin Dillon, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #33-Kevin Harvick, #18-Matt Kenseth, #7-Regan Smith, #5-Kasey Kahne, #20-Brian Vickers, and #31-Justin Allgaier. #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., the points leader, was involved in an accident and finished 34th. He now has just a 2 point lead over #7-Regan Smith. There were 8 cautions for 42 laps and 22 lead changes among 11 leaders. Complete results are on the Texas Motor Speedway race results page (pdf).(4-12-2013)

  • Texas Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch won the 17th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, his all-time series leading 55th victory in 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. He now has 110 NASCAR national series victories.
    This is his fourth victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2013. Busch is the first driver to win four of the first six races in NASCAR Nationwide Series history.
    This is his sixth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 15 races at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch now owns sole possession of first on the all-time Texas series wins list.
    Brad Keselowski (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 13 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2013.
    Austin Dillon (third) posted his third top-10 finish in three races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    The 22 lead changes among 11 leaders were both track records at Texas.
    Sam Hornish Jr. leads the point standings by 2 points over Regan Smith.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-12-2013)

  • Driver standings following Texas:
    1) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 221
    2) #7-Regan Smith 219 -2
    3) #3-Austin Dillon 213 -8
    4) #31-Justin Allgaier 212 -9
    5) #2-Brian Scott 212 -9
    6) #77-Parker Kligerman 186 -35
    7) #11-Elliott Sadler 185 -36
    8) #99-Alex Bowman # 183 -38
    9) #20-Brian Vickers 182 -39
    10) #6-Trevor Bayne 181 -40
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-12-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Texas are posted (pdf).(4-12-2013)

  • Bayne may have substitute crew chief at Texas UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing will have team engineer Seth Barbour standing by for crew chief Mike Kelley with the team's #6 NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Kelley, who won the Nationwide Series championship twice with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., currently oversees the effort with driver Trevor Bayne. Although Kelley traveled with the team to Texas, he was under the weather on Friday. Barbour was recruited as the crew chief for the #16 Roush Ford during its limited runs in the NNS. Chris Buescher is scheduled to race that car at Texas. Mike Tam will step up for Barbour as crew chief with RFR general manager and veteran crew chief Robbie Reiser chipping in.(Fox Sports)(4-12-2013)
    UPDATE: Seth Barbour will fill in atop the #6 Cargill pit box for Roush Fenway and Trevor Bayne in tonight's 300-mile Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Barbour, who normally serves as the #6 team's head engineer, was slated to crew chief the #16 Roush Fenway NNS entry with rookie Chris Buescher in tonight's race. #6 team crew chief Mike Kelley left the track earlier in the day after not feeling well and is being treated at a local area hospital with flu-like symptoms. Former Sprint Cup championship crew chief and current Roush Fenway vice president of competition Robbie Reiser will now serve as crew chief for Buescher and the #16 team in tonight's race.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-12-2013)

  • Smith fastest in happy hour: #7-Regan Smith was quickest during happy hour for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 with a speed of 185.427mph. He was followed by:#99-Alex Bowman, #77-Parker Kligerman, #32-Kyle Larson, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #6-Trevor Bayne, #11-Elliott Sadler, #30-Nelson Piquet, Jr., #31-Justin Allgaier, and #19-Mike Bliss.All 45 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Texas Motor practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-12-2013)

  • HOOVEY the Movie to sponsor McDowell at Texas: Michael McDowell is proud to have a new Dallas-based sponsor onboard his car this week at Texas Motor Speedway. EchoLight Studios' movie HOOVEY serves as primary sponsor on McDowell's #00 Toyota Camry fielded by SR2 Motorsports in Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300.HOOVEY is the title of a movie inspired by the true story of Eric "Hoovey" Elliott', who when faced with a possible terminal illness, beats the odds to fulfill his dream of playing college basketball. His family pulls together in faith and love to prove that anything is possible. Directing the film is award-winning filmmaker Sean McNamara who directed Soul Surfer, the true life story of Bethany Hamilton. The movie is based on the book, "Rebounding From Death's Door", written by Jeff Elliott. Spearheading the movie is Dallas based EchoLight Studios, a producer and distributor of high-quality movies for families of faith. The film will hit theaters in 2014. Information about the film can be found at its website www.hooveythemovie.com and on www.facebook.com/HooveyTheMovie.(SR2 Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #00 team paint schemes page.(4-12-2013)

  • Daytona Beach Half Marathon Returns To Speedweeks: The Daytona Beach Half Marathon returns to the Budweiser Speedweeks lineup in 2014. Scheduled for Sunday, February 16, the sixth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, hosted by Volusia County, Daytona International Speedway and the Central Florida Sports Commission will take place one week before the 56th annual "The Great American Race"  the Daytona 500. Registration will open on Wednesday, April 17, with the advanced entry fee for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon set at $85 per person. The half marathon will start at 6:30am/et, just hours after The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona finishes up under the lights on Saturday night, and lead into DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger on Sunday afternoon. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon's route, named one of the seven most scenic half marathons in America by Active.com, features one of the most unique courses in the running world. With the legendary pavement and historic grandstands of Daytona International Speedway serving as the backdrop, runners will start on pit road and run the first two miles on the track. The course then winds through the streets of Daytona Beach, finally reaching "The World's Most Famous Beach" at approximately the 7.1 mile mark. Runners will then run on the beach for approximately two-tenths of a mile, getting an unobstructed view of the ocean as the sun rises on the beautiful horizon. Returning to the roads of Daytona Beach, runners then head back to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane.(DIS)(4-12-2013)

  • Tate Stevens performing National Anthem at Kansas: Season Two X Factor winner Tate Stevens is returning home to sing the national anthem prior to the April 21, 2013 STP 400. Stevens, who hails from Belton, MO, is making his first appearance at Kansas Speedway prior to two concerts in Kansas City on April 21 and April 22, and the release of his debut album on April 23, 2013. Stevens' first hometown concert in Kansas City, scheduled for the evening of April 21, sold out in 30 minutes, leading him to add a second concert on April 22. He will also make several appearances in conjunction with the release of his self titled album before joining country music star Alan Jackson on several tour dates this year.(Kansas Speedway) (4-12-2013)


    News from April 11, 2013

  • Thursday's second test session at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #16-Biffle 192.864
    #78-Busch 192.369
    #18-Busch 191.639
    #29-Harvick 191.625
    #24-Gordon 191.442
    slowest: #98-McDowell 181.947 & #32-Hill 181.038. 43 drivers were on track.
    notes: there is no TV or online coverage of today's sessions.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the NRA 500 Test 2 Speeds page (pdf).(4-11-2013)

  • Thursday's first test session at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #78-Busch 191.225
    #16-Biffle 191.049
    #48-Johnson 190.255
    #55-Martin 189.860
    #9-Ambrose 189.773
    slowest: #35-Wise 182.531 & #32-Hill 181.886. 41 drivers were on track during the test.
    notes: there is no TV or online coverage of today's sessions.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the NRA 500 Test 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-11-2013)

  • Nemechek gets Texas sponsor: Advanced Technology International (ATI), the leading manufacturer in gun stocks and firearm accessories, announced that it will be Joe Nemechek's primary sponsor under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway this Saturday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup NRA 500. Nemechek's #87 NEMCO-JRR Racing Toyota will be wrapped in a black and red ATI paint scheme that features unique design elements taken from ATI's trademark branding. With the NRA as the new title sponsor of the 500 mile Texas race, as well as the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits being held in nearby Houston, the fit seemed natural for ATI.(NEMCO-JRR), see an image of the car on the #87 team paint schemes page.(4-11-2013)

  • 300 Cup starts for Kyle Busch: At just 27 years of age, it's difficult to believe Kyle Busch is considered by many to be a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran. But as the Sprint Cup competitors head to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth this Saturday night for the NRA 500, the driver of the # 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing is showing veteran-like numbers to prove it, especially since the Texas start will be his 300th in NASCAR's top series. Along with his number of starts, the number in the career wins column also serves to belie Busch's age. His 25th Sprint Cup win three weekends ago at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.  ties him with JGR teammate Matt Kenseth, along with Jim Paschal and Joe Weatherly, for 24th in all-time Sprint Cup victories. Also with the Fontana win, Busch became just the third driver to score 25 victories in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series (25 Sprint Cup, 54 Nationwide). Mark Martin (40 Sprint Cup, 49 Nationwide) and Kenseth (25 Sprint Cup, 26 Nationwide) are the only other drivers to do so. In Busch's 299 previous starts, he's also has notched an impressive 97 top-five finishes and 144 top-10s. Not too shabby for just 300 career starts.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-11-2013)

  • Bell Helicopters sponsoring McMurray: Bell Helicopter will be featured as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy SS this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Founded in 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation, Bell Helicopter sets the pace for the industry and expands the scope of vertical lift. An industry leader with unmatched name recognition, Bell Helicopter was the first to obtain certification for a commercial helicopter. Over its rich history, Bell Helicopter has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to customers around the world. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Bell Helicopter has additional plants in Amarillo, Texas and Mirabel, Canada, with key logistics supply and service centers in Europe, Canada, and Singapore as well as in the United States.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(4-11-2013)

  • Kenseth to sub for Hamlin at Short Track Showdown: #11-Denny Hamlin has a substitute driver for his April 25 Short Track Showdown charity race at Richmond: his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate #20-Matt Kenseth. Kenseth will drive a Late Model in Hamlin's place for the annual event that pits NASCAR drivers against some top local short-track talent. "Obviously, it kills me to not be able to race in the Short Track Showdown," Hamlin said. "I grew up racing these cars against some of the best in the area, and it's always fun to come back and do it again, but my injury won't allow that this year."(USA Today), for more info, see Jayski's NASCAR Charities page.(4-11-2013)

  • Liberty Tire Recycling Joins NASCAR Green: As part of NASCAR Race to Green, a month-long, industry-wide effort to reduce the sport's carbon footprint, NASCAR and Liberty Tire Recycling announced a new partnership that designates the tire recycling services provider as the Official Tire Recycler of NASCAR Green. NASCAR has the largest recycling program in sports, including a comprehensive effort that accounts for approximately 120,000 Goodyear tires recycled across NASCAR's top three national series each year. Liberty Tire Recycling will join other Official NASCAR Green partners, which comprise a comprehensive recycling program, including Coca-Cola, MillerCoors, Creative Recycling, Goodyear, Safety-Kleen, and Sprint. In conjunction with the NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program Delivered by UPS, an initiative that will neutralize the carbon emissions of all of the racing in NASCAR's three national series, Liberty Tire Recycling will provide GroundSmart Mulch that will enhance the landscaping of trees that are donated to areas of need throughout the country. The rubber mulch lasts longer than its wood mulch counterpart and prevents soil from washing away. Additionally, Liberty Tire Recycling products, such as rubberized asphalt will be used to repave racetracks and parking lots at NASCAR Home Track racetracks across the country.(NASCAR)(4-11-2013)

  • Texas Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series run the same tire codes at Texas this weekend . . . these teams have run this left-side tire code (D-4392) at Texas in both 2011 and 2012 . . . this right side tire code is new to teams in these two series, though it has been run by teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Texas for the past two seasons . . . compared to what Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams have run at this track recently, this right-side tire has a tougher compound for better wear . . . Goodyear held a test with the Gen-6 car at Texas on October 9-10, 2012 . . . teams and drivers participating in that test were No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford with Greg Biffle, No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Kyle Busch, No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with Paul Menard and No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet with Juan Pablo Montoya . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Texas Race Info page - Goodyear section.(4-5-2013)

  • 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.

  • Smith fastest in first practice: #7-Regan Smith was fastest during opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 181.056mph. #3-Austin Dillon was second, followed by: #54-Kyle Busch, #33-Kevin Harvick, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #20-Brian Vickers, #18-Matt Kenseth, #99-Alex Bowman, #6-Trevor Bayne, and #5-Kasey Kahne. 43 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Texas Motor practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-12-2013)

  • Jeffrey Earnhardt to drive for JR Motorsports at Richmond UPDATE: JR Motorsports announced via the latest JRM 360 episode, that Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the #5 Chevy at Richmond International Raceway on April 26.(4-4-2013)
    UPDATE: JR Motorsports announced a one-race sponsorship agreement with CorvetteParts.net for Jeffrey Earnhardt's #5 Chevy in the April 26 race at Richmond International Raceway. CorvetteParts.net is a subset of Keen Parts Inc., a leading supplier of Corvette restoration parts. JR Motorsports announced on April 4 that Jeffrey Earnhardt, the 23-year-old nephew of team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., would fill the seat of the No. 5 Chevrolet at Richmond. JR Motorsports announced an associate partnership with Keen Parts Inc. earlier this year. Owned by Tom and Teresa Keen and based out of Cleves, Ohio, Keen Parts specializes in Corvette restoration parts ranging from vintage 1953 models to customized accessories for today's Corvettes. The company's current inventory boasts more than 18,000 parts and accessories.(JR Motorsports)(4-11-2013)

  • Bandit Chippers to Race with Kligerman, Camp Horsin' Around: Bandit Industries will return to Texas Motor Speedway with Parker Kligerman in the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Friday for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, sharing sponsorship of the Kyle Busch Motorsports #77 Toyota with Camp Horsin' Arounda camp for children with health issues located in rural Kentucky. Bandit Industries is a leading global manufacturer for wood chippers and other wood processing equipment. Bandit has been a regular sponsor in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. The O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 on April 12 will be Bandit's third NASCAR Nationwide Series race of 2013.(Bandit Chippers)(4-11-2013)

  • Talladega Superspeedway Jeff Gordon Day - Thursday only: There is nothing more exciting than attending a NASCAR race at the sport's Most Competitive Track  Talladega Superspeedway. Now, fans have even more reason to purchase tickets to the Aaron's 499 in May  to help the most promising pediatric cancer research and programs that will improve patients' quality of life as part of the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. This Thursday, April 11  One Day Only  for every frontstretch grandstand ticket sold to the Aaron's 499, $24 will be donated to the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. Talladega Superspeedway's "Jeff Gordon Day"  Thursday, April 11 - has arrived. Beginning Thursday, April 11, from 9 am until 5 p.m. EDT, fans can secure tickets at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 877-Go2-DEGA. A $24 donation will be made to the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation for tickets purchased in the following grandstands: Gadsden; Lincoln; Anniston and Anniston Tower; O.V. Hill North and South; O.V. Hill Tower, Tri-Oval and Tower Extension; Birmingham and Birmingham Tower; Moss-Thornton and Moss-Thornton Tower; and Talladega and Talladega Tower. The $24 donation is for the Sunday, May 5, 2013, Aaron's 499 event only.(TSS)(4-11-2013)

  • Shawn Michaels to drive pace car at Texas: After a career of driving opponents to the mat in professional wrestling rings with his signature "Sweet Chin Music" finishing move, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels will now grab the wheel of the "No Limits" Wild Asphalt Circus Chevrolet Camaro Official Pace Car and lead the 43-car field to the green flag for Saturday evening's NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Considered one of the most gifted sports entertainers of all time prior to retiring in 2010, Michaels now gets the rare opportunity as a celebrity to pace the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the start of the NRA 500 in the Official Pace Car. NASCAR has granted Texas Motor Speedway special permission to allow Michaels to drive the car pending a mandatory on-track orientation prior to race. Michaels is just the third celebrity in the history of Texas Motor Speedway to earn the honor, following movie star Vince Vaughn (2007 Dickies 500) and former Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson (2010 AAA Texas 500). Former Dallas Stars great Mike Modano also was bestowed the honor, but had his moment washed out for the April race in 2010 when the Samsung Mobile 500 was postponed until Monday due to rain.(TMS)(4-11-2013)

  • Darlington Raceway could keep tax money if seats are widened: A bill that could allow Darlington Raceway to watch out for both its fans' bottoms and the track's bottom line is headed to the South Carolina Senate. The Senate Finance Committee passed a proposal Tuesday that would allow the track to keep its 5 percent tax on tickets even if the speedway's capacity falls below 60,000  in the event bigger seats are one day needed to accommodate fans. Darlington Raceway currently seats 62,000. But track president Chris Browning says the speedway is considering widening its 18-inch wide seats as an amenity for the crowds. "One of the things a lot of stadiums are doing is widening seats to make fans more comfortable," he explained. But he said reducing seating capacity because of bigger seats has tax implications. The bill before lawmakers would delete the reference to the track's 60,000 fans while allowing it to keep the tax proceeds as a NASCAR sanctioned motor speedway that plays host to at least one race a year of the preeminent NASCAR racing series.(Associated Press/Augusta Chronicle)(4-11-2013)


    News from April 10, 2013

  • 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominees Announced: Larger than life figures who built NASCAR lap by lap and bolt by bolt from the post-World War II era into the 21st century comprise the 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014. NASCAR announced those 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's fifth induction class, and included among the diverse group are five newcomers whose achievements are cornerstones of the sport's origins and continue to fuel its growth in contemporary times. Of the 25 nominees, 20 return from last year's group. Five are first-timers with varying backgrounds in the sport: second generation NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion Dale Jarrett; Maurice Petty, for more than three decades the chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises; five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion Larry Phillips; race track builder and owner Bruton Smith; and 1960 NASCAR premier series champion Rex White. From that list, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM. Voting Day for the 2014 class will be May 22. Fans can attend the announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The NASCAR Hall of Fame's 2014 inductees will be determined by a 54-member Voting Panel, which includes the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners and crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel's final ballot. Following are the 25 nominees, listed alphabetically:
    Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949
    Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
    Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion
    Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Dale Jarrett, 1999 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner
    Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises
    Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion
    Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
    Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500
    T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company senior VP
    Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
    O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
    Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    (NASCAR)(4-10-2013)

  • Dillon in the #51 at Texas UPDATE: Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon will drive the #51 Chevy for Phoenix Racing Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. The car will be sponsored by Bruce Lowrie Chevy and Realtree. See an image of the car on the #51 team paint schemes page.(4-9-2013)
    UPDATE: Austin Dillon will partner with James Finch's Phoenix Racing Team at Texas Motor Speedway to drive the #51 Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet/Realtree Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion last raced the #51 Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, where he finished 21st and helped keep the team in the top 10 in the owner's point standings. Realtree and Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet will serve as co-primary sponsors on the entry. Associate sponsors include Cain industries, "Red Barn Steaks, BBQ and Sports" and TAG Heuer Avant Garde Eyewear.(Dillon PR)(4-10-2013)

  • SPEED's Race Hub and SiriusXM to announce NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominees: NASCAR Race Hub, the popular Monday through Thursday news, feature, interview and information show on FOX Sports' SPEED, is teaming with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday to announce the 25 nominees with 2014 eligibility for election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The show starts at 6:00pm/et, with a portion of this broadcast being simulcast by both NASCAR Race Hub and SiriusXM Speedway, which is originating its live daily show from the FOX Sports' SPEED studios in Charlotte starting at 3:00pm/et. SPEED co-hosts Steve Byrnes, Danielle Trotta, along with NASCAR analysts Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds will be joined by SiriusXM Speedway's Dave 'The Godfather' Moody and Angie Skinner in announcing this year's 25 nominees. A 21-member panel selects up to 25 people to be eligible for the NASCAR Hall of Fame nominating pool. These notables go up for a vote by an induction process that entails 55 total ballots.(SPEED)(4-10-2013)

  • Tire test at Daytona: Goodyear will conduct a tire test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 16 & 17. Drivers scheduled to participate include: #1-Jamie McMurray, #5-Kasey Kahne/Regan Smith (Hendrick Motorsports), #10-Danica Patrick, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., a driver from Joe Gibbs Racing, #21-Trevor Bayne, #33-Austin Dillon, and #99-Carl Edwards. The track will be closed to fans.(DIS)(4-10-2013)

  • Pit Crew Challenge cancelled: NASCAR will not conduct its All-Star Pit Crew Challenge this year as it was unable to land sponsorship for the event. The event, a staple of NASCAR's all-star week since 2005, featured pit crews competing in an arena setting where they would jack cars, change tires and push cars across the arena floor. The results of the pit crew challenge had been used to determine the order that teams selected pit stalls for the all-star race. NASCAR will use qualifying resultsjust as it does for all regular-season eventsto determine pit-stall selection order for the all-star race, which is scheduled for May 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Craftsman and then Sprint had sponsored the pit crew challenge throughout the years, but Sprint reallocated its money to sponsor the season-opening exhibition Sprint Unlimited race at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR officials have said since January that they were looking for a sponsor to continue the event.(Sporting News)(4-10-2013)

  • Love's Travel Stops on the #34 at Texas: The red and yellow colors of Love's Travel Stops will be back on a Front Row Motorsports Ford this week - this time under the lights at the always-fast Texas Motor Speedway with David Ragan and the #34 team. Saturday night's event will be a "home game" for team partner Love's, which is based in nearby Oklahoma City, Okla. The company is family-owned and operated with more than 290 locations in 39 states and is currently ranked #9 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. This week's race is the second of three in which a Front Row car will carry the Love's colors.(Front Row Motorsports)(4-10-2013)

  • Eckrich making first appearance of the year with Almirola: Aric Almirola and the Richard Petty Motorsports team will travel to the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway this weekend with familiar logos. Returning for its first of six primary events, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, will once again be featured on the hood and sides of the famed # 43. The car will continue to showcase the Petty Blue base that Smithfield Foods returned back to the #43 earlier this season. In addition, Eckrich, through its continued partnership with Operation Homefront, will once again showcase the nonprofit colors on the car to support military families in need.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(4-10-2013)

  • Jeremy Clements gets Texas sponsor: ETS OilField Services L.P. and US Petroleum Consultants LLC will be on board the #51 Chevy of Jeremy Clements for this weekend's NNS race at Texas Motor Speedway. Both sponsors are on board for multiple races this season. ETS Oilfield Services, L.P., was formed in 1996 to perform Pressure Testing services in Texas. Crane services were added in 2005. In 2008 Mulching and Land Clearing equipment was purchased and added to the list of services offered. The Company then expanded again into Completion Fluids and Water Transfer services in 2010. ETS currently has operations in Texas, Wyoming, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.(Clements PR)(4-10-2013)

  • Burton and Labonte to appear at Talladega Experience: The list of appearances for the famous Talladega Experience continues to grow, and this week's additions continue to be the biggest  and most respected  names in NASCAR. Bobby Labonte, who will be making history with his 700th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, along with Jeff Burton, known as the "Mayor of the NASCAR Garage," are scheduled to appear in the Talladega Experience on Sunday, May 5, the morning of the Aaron's 499. They will join an already star-studded lineup which consists of Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Talladega Experience offers fan hospitality unrivaled by any other sporting event. In addition to driver appearances, guests of the Talladega Experience are treated to unlimited catering and beverages, up-close and personal access to driver question and answer sessions, pre-race pit road tours, track access during driver introductions, VIP parking, event souvenirs, and more. The Talladega Experience is designed for the FAN, with the ultimate goal of providing each guest with a world-class experience and memories to last a lifetime. The package, which must be accompanied by a Frontstretch Grandstand or Tower ticket, is $145.(TSS)(4-10-2013)


    News from April 9, 2013

  • Dillon in the #51 at Texas: Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon will drive the #51 Chevy for Phoenix Racing Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. The car will be sponsored by Bruce Lowrie Chevy and Realtree. See an image of the car on the #51 team paint schemes page.(4-9-2013)

  • Congrats: to Jimmie and Chandra Johnson. Jimmie tweeted Tuesday morning, "We are so happy to share news that we're having another baby in September. Genevieve is so excited to be a big sister!".(4-9-2013)

  • #95 team picks up primary sponsor for Texas: Scott Speed and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) aim to be on target during Saturday night's NRA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. The #95 TrackingPoint Ford will carry Austin, Texas based TrackingPoint as the primary sponsor for the team's homecoming. TrackingPoint is an applied technology company that created the first Precision Guided Firearm, a revolutionary new long-range shooting system that puts jet fighter "lock and launch" technology in a rifle, enabling users to hit moving targets at extended ranges. Team owners Bob and Sharon and the Leavine family are from Tyler, Texas, so TrackingPoint joins familiar territory, joining other Texas native sponsors like Tommy Williams Drywall (TWD) and B&D Electrical. The team also will provide exposure for "Besties with Testies" to commemorate National Testicular Cancer month, as well as TeaZa Herbal Energy Pouch.(Leavine Family Racing)(4-9-2013)

  • EZCORP sponsoring Gilliland: Specialty consumer finance company EZCORP announced its move into one of the nation's premier racing circuits. EZCORP will join the "Wild Asphalt Circus" at Texas Motor Speedway, partnering with David Gilliland and the Front Row Motorsports #38 Ford for the April 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. "We're extremely excited about our partnership in the NASCAR event at Texas Motor Speedway," said EZCORP Chief Marketing Officer Dan Surdell. "We've been looking at racing as a marketing tool for some time and this is a perfect opportunity to showcase our brand among a very loyal racing fan base. Austin-based EZCORP is a leading provider of instant cash solutions, operating more than 1,350 pawn, buy/sell and personal financial services stores in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The publicly traded company provides pawn loans, consumer loans and fee-based credit services to customers seeking loans.(Front Row Motorsports)(4-9-2013)

  • Overnight Martinsville TV Ratings: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on FOX averaged a 4.0/9 for the race from Martinsville on Sunday afternoon. The race was up +3% over last year's 3.9/9 and ranked as the highest-rated event of the day. Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.4/12 among the metered markets. That's up +13% over last year's 4.8/10. Have not seen any final TV Ratings for the Auto Club 400. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(4-9-2013)

  • Truce for Bo-Dyn, bobsled federation: Pending litigation between the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. has been dropped. An out-of-court agreement has been signed by both sides, according to Phil Kurze, vice president of Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering, who also serves as president of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. Kurze said all previous agreements between the two organizations are void and that the USBSF is authorized to make any modifications on the bobsleds in their possession. However, Bo-Dyn still owns the intellectual property in those bobsleds, he said. The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, created by former NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine, has provided bobsleds to the U.S. team for two decades and also refurbished them. But the two sides split in 2011 in a disagreement over intellectual property. Bo-Dyn sleds have won six Olympic medals, two of them gold.(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-9-2013)

  • Carl Edwards in ESPN booth for 3 Nationwide races: After a two-race initiation last year, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards will return to the ESPN broadcast booth as an analyst for the next three races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Edwards will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick and analyst Andy Petree in the booth to call the 300-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night, April 12, at 8:00pm/et on ESPN2. The race will be the first after a two week break in the schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Edwards also will call races at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night, April 26 (7:00pm/et on ESPNEWS) and at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, May 4 (2:30pm/et on ESPN). In each case, Edwards will compete in the next day's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the same track. "We're delighted to have Carl back with us," said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports, production. "He brings great insight as a current driver to his analysis as well as a warm personality. He fits in well with our team and we welcome the opportunity to work with him."(ESPN)(4-9-2013)

  • Texas Motor Speedway - News and Notes:
    • Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995.
    • The first NASCAR national series race at TMS was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997  won by Mark Martin.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was on April 6, 1997  won by Jeff Burton.
    • The track underwent a repave between the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
    • In 2011, the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was moved from Sunday to Saturday night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • There have been 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 - 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
    • 129 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas; 105 in more than one.
    • Four drivers have made all 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway  Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and Mark Martin.
    • Jeremy Mayfield was the first Coors Light pole winner, in 1998. The inaugural Coors Light pole at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 was cancelled due to weather conditions.
    • 17 drivers have Coors Light poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. with two each.
    • Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway: Bobby Labonte (2003 and 2004) and Ryan Newman (2005 sweep).
    • Youngest Texas pole winner: Brian Vickers (11/5/2006  23 years, 0 months, 12 days).
    • Oldest Texas pole winner: Bill Elliott (4/8/2002  46 years, 6 months, 0 days).
    • 16 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Carl Edwards (three).
    • Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (three), Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
    • Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the most wins at Texas Motor Speedway (nine); followed by Hendrick Motorsports (four).
    • Two of the 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Kasey Kahne (2006) and Jimmie Johnson (2012).
    • The third-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway producing four wins - more wins than any other starting position in the field.
    • Five NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the front row: two from the pole and three from second-place.
    • 18 of the 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top 10 starting position.
    • Four of the 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas Motor Speedway was 31st, by Matt Kenseth in 2002.
    • Youngest Texas winner: Ryan Newman (3/30/2003  25 years, 3 months, 22 days).
    • Oldest Texas winner: Dale Jarrett (4/1/2001  44 years, 4 months, 6 days).
    • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four.
    • Matt Kenseth leads the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 12; followed by Jimmie Johnson with nine.
    • Matt Kenseth leads the series in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 15; followed by Jimmie Johnson (14) and Mark Martin (13).
    • Jimmie Johnson leads active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.842. Jimmie Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas in the top 10.
    • Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Texas: Matt Kenseth (8.333) and Jimmie Johnson (9.263).
    • There have been three NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Texas Motor Speedway: fall 2006 (334/339), spring 2008 (334/339), and fall 2012 (334/335).
    • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions twice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway; the inaugural event in 1997 and spring 2007. The race has never been rain shortened.
    • Kevin Harvick has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (20).
    • Jeff Burton (4/06/1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4/02/2000) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup career race at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • David Ragan (4/09/2011) and Martin Truex Jr. (11/04/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski (11/02/2008) and Trevor Bayne (11/07/2010) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • Two NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
    • Nine of the 14 active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers who have won at Texas Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas in their first appearance; Carl Edwards, Mark Martin and Ryan Newman all won in their second appearance at TMS.
    • Jeff Gordon competed at Texas Motor Speedway 16 times before winning in the spring of 2009; the longest span of any the 14 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners.
    • Only two of the 14 winning drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Texas: Jeff Gordon (16) and Kurt Busch (13).
    • Bobby Labonte leads the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 24.
    • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing at Texas was the (4/4/2004) race won by Elliott Sadler with a MOV of 0.028 second.
    • Two female drivers have made starts at Texas Motor Speedway (each only making one start): Shawna Robinson (4/08/2002)  starting 16th and finishing 36th; Danica Patrick (11/4/2012)  starting 32nd and finishing 24th.
    • Only one car number has produced three or more Texas Motor Speedway NSCS wins: #99  Jeff Burton (1997); Carl Edwards (2005 and 2008 sweep)
    • Matt Kenseth leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup in laps led at Texas with 772 laps led in 21 starts.
    • One NASCAR Sprint Cup driver has won at Texas Motor Speedway in two different manufacturers: Jeff Burton (1997  Ford; 2007  Chevrolet).(NASCAR)(4-9-2013)

  • #74 gets sponsor and new driver at Texas: Mike Harmon & Dave Novak Racing announced that Carved Records is sponsoring the #74 in the NNS race this weekend in Texas. And Kevin Lepage will be driving. Harmon-Novak racing are very excited to have Carved Records and Kevin Lepage on board.(Harmon PR)(4-9-2013)

  • New look for Pastrana: Travis Pastrana will make his first start at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend. Pastrana previously competed at TMS in Global RallyCross last season, finishing 15th. The #60 Ford Mustang will don a new look this weekend at TMS, sporting a red, white and blue patriotic paint scheme. Pastrana will also run the patriotic scheme at Daytona International Speedway over the July Fourth weekend.(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #60 team paint schemes page.(4-9-2013)

  • SchoolTipline.com on the #99 at Texas: The RAB Racing #99 Toyota Camry, piloted by Alex Bowman will have a new sponsor for Texas and the rest of the 2013 Nationwide Series season in SchoolTipline.com. Alex will become the face of the company's "Driving Away Bullies" campaign whose mission is to provide a safe haven and outlet for kids who are being bullied. SchoolTipline.com was founded as a platform to give students, parents, and faculty alike an outlet to report bullying, weapon possession, drug use, etc. in schools. Completely anonymous, students can report bullying and other incidents via text messages. Administrators receiving the texts can respond, opening bridges of two-way communication. This system empowers students to make positive changes, so schools can return to a safe place of learning. (RAB Racing), see an image of the car on the #99 team paint schemes page.(4-9-2013)

  • Compassion International sponsoring Koch: Blake Koch and SR2 Motorsports announce a new partnership with Compassion International, a Christian child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. Thanks to the generous contribution of an anonymous donor, Compassion will be the primary sponsor of Koch's #24 Toyota Camry in Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX. Compassion has launched the website, www.CompassionRacing.com, where its partnership with Koch will be highlighted, to raise awareness for this important cause. Compassion and Koch are confident that the NASCAR community will rally to provide sponsorships for at least 2,400 children who live in extreme poverty around the world as they launch the partnership in Texas. The primary sponsorship was funded by a Blake Koch supporter/donor and SR2 Motorsports. Child sponsorships are only $38 per month. The sponsorship provides nutrition, healthcare and training, educational opportunities and assistance, social development, important life-skills training, as well as regular Christian training.(SR2 Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #24 team paint schemes page.(4-9-2013)

  • Cessna sponsoring Larson at Texas: Cessna will be returning to take flight with #32-Kyle Larson this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway after debuting with the rookie NASCAR Nationwide Series driver in the ARCA Racing Series event at Daytona. Cessna, the world's leading general aviation company, has designed, produced and delivered more than 193,500 airplanes around the globe. This includes more than 6,300 Citation business jets, making it the largest fleet of business jets in the world.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(4-9-2013)

  • Bruton Smith renews lawsuit over incentives: The mogul behind one of the country's largest auto racing track operators is trying to resurrect a lawsuit claiming local officials reneged on an offer of $80 million in incentives to land a new drag strip and upgrade the Charlotte Motor Speedway. A three-judge state Court of Appeals panel will hold a closed-door discussion Tuesday to determine whether the lawsuit will be heard by a jury. A judge last year dismissed the lawsuit against Cabarrus County by Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Charlotte Motor Speedway, both based in Concord and headed by magnate Bruton Smith. At issue is whether Smith can enforce what his lawyers say was an oral agreement that ended threats to move the 135,000-seat speedway and build a new drag strip somewhere other than the heart of NASCAR country. The contract wasn't put in writing until after the new drag strip opened the following year, with terms the track operator rejected. If the lawsuit doesn't move forward, Speedway Motorsports could have to wait up to 40 years to be reimbursed for road and other upgrades around the track. It's not clear if SMI -- which owns the track and seven others in Georgia, Tennessee, California, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas -- has yet seen any of the $80 million announced in 2007. A track spokesman declined comment and lawyers for both sides did not respond to requests for comment last week. A decision is expected in about three months. If the case moves forward, it could be appealed to the state Supreme Court.(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-9-2013)

  • Fans rename June Pocono race "Party in the Poconos 400": Pocono Raceway and Walmart announced the new name for the June 9 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, as voted on by race fans, will be the "Party in the Poconos 400 Presented by Walmart." Additionally, fan voting for the official June 7  9 race weekend concession item, from three fan-submitted pierogi recipes, begins today. "Party in the Poconos 400" was chosen, following a four-week, fan-driven vote between three fan-submitted race names. Nearly half of the overall votes for the new race name were in favor of "Party in the Poconos 400." The other race name submissions were the "Race More, Live Better 400" and the "Pocono for the People 400." Fans will continue to have their voices heard as they vote on the official race weekend concession item, to be sold at select Raceway vendor locations. Voting begins today and fans will vote on one of the following fan-submitted pierogi recipes: Hot Honey Buffalo Wing, Loaded Baked Potato or Sweet Cinnamon Sugar. To vote, please visit walmarturl.com/fandriven400. Concession item voting ends on May 6. Additionally, Pocono Raceway and Walmart are making the 400-mile June 9 race more affordable for fans by offering 16,000 Concourse Grandstand Tickets for $25 each. (Pocono Racineway)(4-9-2013)

  • Wallace, Dillon, Rogers pulling Double Duty in Rockingham: Darrell Wallace, Jr., 2012 Truck Series Rookie of the Year Ty Dillon and Clay Rogers will all compete in the UARA-STARS event at Rockingham Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Dillon has never raced at Rockingham in a UARA car but has a career best finish of 3rd in the series at Hickory in 2010. Wallace, the 2008 UARA-STARS Rookie of the Year, has three previous tour starts at Rockingham with a best finish of 5th last fall. Rogers won the last time the series visited Rockingham in November. 2010 UARA-STARS Champion Coleman Pressley will be practicing Joey Logano's truck (#19 BKR Ford) on Saturday, and Devin Jones (#6 Veristory Chevy) will be competing only in the UARA event on Saturday after making his Truck Series debut at Martinsville last week.(UARA-STARS PR)(4-9-2013)

  • Coulter to make 50th start at Rockingham: Joey Coulter has had the type of success in his early racing career that most "young guns" only dream about. At the ripe age of 22, with 49 Camping World Truck Series starts under his belt, Coulter's resume already includes a Rookie of the Year award, one win (Pocono, 2012), three poles, 120 laps led, 13 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes. Coulter will make his 50th career Truck Series start this weekend in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Rockingham Speedway. (Kyle Busch Motorsports PR)(4-9-2013)

  • Former driver Sutton involved in serious motorcycle crash: A man is killed and a woman is critically injured in a motorcycle crash on Veterans Highway. It happened Sunday just after 9 p.m. on Veterans Highway near Benfield Boulevard in Millersville when a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle crashed after striking a raised cement median/barrier. The driver, 55-year-old Robert G. Wells of Crownsville, was transported to Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where he later died from injuries. The passenger, 41-year-old Kelly R. Sutton of Crownsville, sustained severe injuries from the crash and was transported to Baltimore Shock Trauma in critical condition. Speed and alcohol use appear to be possible contributing factors in the crash. The investigation is ongoing. Sutton has 54 career starts within trucks spanning the 2003 to 2007 seasons.(CBS Baltimore)(4-9-2013)

  • NASCAR announces Eldora race format: NASCAR announced today the qualifying and race procedures for the inaugural "Mudsummer Classic" the highly anticipated Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday, July 24. Unlike asphalt tracks, dirt tracks have historically used a format much different than typical races and that will be the case for this event, the first NASCAR national series race held on dirt in more than 40 years. The race will feature a traditional two-lap qualifying session, five qualifying races, one last-chance race and a champion's provisional to determine the 30-truck starting field. The top-20 in owners' points entering the race event will have a guaranteed starting position. Here are additional details for each round of qualifying: Two-lap qualifying determines starting position for the qualifying races. Qualifying Races: Five qualifying races; Eight laps each; only green flag laps count; Five trucks transfer from each qualifying race; Lineup for the qualifying races will be based on qualifying speeds with four locked-in trucks (trucks in the top 20); The top-five trucks in qualifying will start on the pole for their respective qualifying race; Highest finishing non-locked-in truck will transfer to race from each qualifying race; At the completion of the qualifying races, 25 trucks will have earned spots into the feature. Last Chance Race: 15 laps; only green flag laps count; The top-four finishers will transfer to the feature and start in positions 26-29; The lineup will be based on the finish from the qualifying races. Starting position No. 30 will go to the most recent past series' champion who has not already qualified. If the 30th starting position is not filled by an eligible champion, it will be assigned to the next highest finishing truck in the Last Chance Race. The race length and format are also new for the series. The race will be 150 laps divided into three segments. The segments will be 60, 50 and 40 laps. There will be pit stops between each segment, with teams having the opportunity to change tires and work on their trucks. More details on the event schedule will be released later this spring. The "Mudsummer Classic" will be the first NASCAR national touring series event held on dirt since NASCAR's premiere series competed on September 30, 1970 in Raleigh, N.C. Richard Petty won the Home State 200 at the one-mile State Fairgrounds Speedway.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-9-2013)

  • Pressley to sub for Logano: Joey Logano, driver of the #19 Reese Towpower Carbon Forged Ford F-Series, will make his inaugural start for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series during the North Carolina Lottery 200 at Rockingham Speedway. Logano is slated to compete in additional races for BKR throughout the 2013 season. The Penske Racing driver will pilot the #19 BKR Ford F-Series in only his second career NCWTS start. Logano's only other NCWTS start came in 2008 at Talladega, where he started 6th and finished 26th after being involved in a multi-truck wreck. Logano's longtime friend, Coleman Pressley, will practice the #19 Reese Towpower Carbon Forged on Saturday. Logano will be competing in his #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion for Penske Racing on Saturday night in the Sprint Cup Series.(Brad Keselowski Racing PR)(4-9-2013)

  • Gallagher set for seven races this season: Spencer Gallagher will make his Camping World Truck Series debut this weekend piloting the #21 Allegiant Air Chevy Silverado in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Rockingham Speedway. Gallagher Motorsports and Allegiant Air officials announced earlier this year that Gallagher would compete for the 2013 ARCA Racing Series championship after a successful 2012 campaign. To further progress Gallagher's racing career, team officials have added seven NCWTS starts to the 23-year-old's busy season, reserving his rookie status for 2014. In addition to this weekend's scheduled start at Rockingham, Gallagher will drive the #21 Allegiant Air Chevy Silverado at Kansas Speedway April 20, Iowa Speedway July 13, Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway September 28, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway October 26, Texas Motor Speedway November 1 and Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway November 15.(Gallagher Motorsports PR)(See an image of the truck on the #21 paint schemes page)(4-9-2013)

  • Entry list: There are 43 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Sunday's NC Education Lottery 200 at Rockingham Speedway. A few notes:
    Joey Logano is in the #19 for BKR;
    Kevin Harvick will make his second start for NTS in the #24;
    Kyle Larson is in the #30 for TSM;
    UPDATE: NTS Motorsports said on their Twitter that the #24 entry was an error and Harvick will not be running this week. His next expected start is Martinsville in the fall. See the complete list on the Rockingham Speedway entry list page


    News from April 8, 2013

  • Entry List for the NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #19-Mike Bliss, #21-Trevor Bayne, #30-David Stremme, #33-Landon Cassill, #44-Scott Riggs, #95-Scott Speed, #98-Michael McDowell, . #19-Bliss & 44-Riggs will have to get in by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the teams are too far down the owners points list to use a provisional.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Texas Entry List

  • Ryan Truex's Cup debut delayed UPDATE: Ryan Truex Tweeted Sunday afternoon, "I won't be in the #51 car at Richmond. Broke my collarbone in 2 places on Easter.. Will heal and ready for rehab in May. Cup Debut at Dover.(4-8-2013)
    UPDATE: Team owner James Finch said AJ Allmendinger is now scheduled to drive at Richmond. Finch is currently 11th in Sprint Cup owners points after fielding rides for Regan Smith, Austin Dillon and Allmendinger. Allmendinger's seat is also in the car for this weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway, but details have not been finalized. Initially, Allmendinger, who is pulling double duty between the IndyCar and Sprint Cup series, was expected to attend rookie orientation for the Indianapolis 500, which was postponed due to weather. Allmendinger was also expected to drive the car the following weekend at Kansas Speedway, but team owner Roger Penske confirmed on Saturday that Allmendinger will indeed race at Long Beach on April 21. The former open-wheeler made his IndyCar debut for Penske Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park.(Fox Sports)(4-8-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 STP Gas Booster 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:03 PM (all times are EDT). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 111
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 58
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 102
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 9
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 7
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 3
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 43
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min. 30 sec
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:03 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 243
    Minutes of race broadcast: 195
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 48
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 4
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 195 Total comm. brdcst time 48
    Commercials during race broadcast: 'Side-by-Side' ('Thank you!' to all of the participating sponsors!)
    1:25 PM  1:27 PM
    Sprint.com/No Texting and Driving http://www.sprint.com/drive (Dale Earnhardt Jr.); Toyota #LetsGoPlaces; GoodYear (various drivers)
    4:24 PM  4:25 PM
    AT&T/network; Lowes (Jimmie Johnson); Subway (Carl Edwards)
    4:40 PM  4:41 PM
    Sprint.com/No Texting & Driving http://www.sprint.com/drive (Dale Earnhardt Jr.); Toyota #LetsGoPlaces; Sonic
    See full rundown and past races at CawsnJaws.com.(4-8-2013)

  • Edwards in the TV booth for 3 races: After a two-race initiation last year, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards will return to the ESPN broadcast booth as an analyst for the next three races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Edwards will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick and analyst Andy Petree in the booth to call the 300-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night, April 12, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The race will be the first after a two week break in the schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Edwards also will call races at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night, April 26 (7 p.m. on ESPNEWS) and at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, May 4 (2:30 p.m. on ESPN). In each case, Edwards will compete in the next day's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the same track. "I truly appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the ESPN team and their Nationwide Series broadcasts again this season," said Edwards. "Allen, Andy and the whole ESPN team really helped me get a better feel of what goes on in the booth last season." (ESPN)(4-8-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 46 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Landon Cassill will be in the #4 for JD Motorsports;
    The #15 for Rick Ware is TBA;
    Chris Buescher returns to the Roush #16;
    Michael McDowell and the #27 team make another attempt;
    Scott Riggs will drive the #47 for Curtis Key;
    The #86, driven last year by Kevin Lepage, is entered with driver TBA;
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. returns to the #88;
    Kevin Swindell returns in the #98.(4-8-2013)
    UPDATE: Michael McDowell and Jason White have switched cars. McDowell now listed in the #00 and White in the #27.(4-9-2013)
    See the complete list on the Texas Motor Speedway entry list page.

  • Sad News - William Ballew: Mr. William Earl "Bill" Ballew [father of Truck Series team owner Billy Ballew], age 81 of Blue Ridge, GA, passed away Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Life Care Center of Copper Basin. Mr. Ballew was born June 3, 1931 in Blue Ridge, GA A member of Sugar Creek Baptist Church he was a local business man operating car lots and service station. He was preceded in death by wife, Edna Griggs Ballew and son, Charles Ballew. Service info on my Sad News page.(4-8-2013)

  • Larson to run Rockingham UPDATE: SPEED announcer Phil Parsons explained during the Martinsville practice coverage that team owner Steve Turner informed him that Turner Scott Motorsports will field Kyle Larson in the #30 Chevy at Rockingham Speedway. Larson, who drives full-time for TSM in the Nationwide Series, will get the nod over last year's winner Kasey Kahne. Larson made four Truck Series starts last season for TSM, scoring one top-five and three top-10s.(4-5-2013)
    UPDATE: Turner Scott Motorsports announced today Kyle Larson will be behind the wheel of a fourth Camping World Truck Series entry for the team at Rockingham Speedway this Sunday. Larson will travel to Rockingham after competing in the Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. Larson, a 20-year-old NNS Rookie-of-the-Year contender, will make his first NCWTS start of the season behind the wheel of the #30 Autism Speaks Chevy Silverado. Larson's NNS crew chief, Trent Owens, will also make the trip from Texas to Rockingham and call the race on Sunday afternoon. In just four previous career NCTWS starts, Larson has collected three top-10 finishes, including a runner-up designation, and led over 90 laps. His last two NNS starts have produced a second- and a sixth-place finish, as he currently sits seventh in driver point standings. Larson will race in the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night in his #32 Chevy Camaro and travel immediately following that event to Rockingham for NCWTS practice the following day. This weekend will mark Larson's first "Double Duty" attempt in NASCAR's top-three series.To bring attention to Autism Awareness Month, TSM has designed a special paint scheme for the #30 Silverado to honor Autism Speaks. Larson's machine will feature the signature Autism Speaks blue puzzle pieces, and the name of five-year-old Gray Owens, who is affected by Autism and is the son of crew chief Trent Owens, will be placed above the passenger-side door.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(See an image of the truck on the #30 paint schemes page)(4-8-2013)

  • Crafton to tie consecutive starts record in Martinsville UPDATE: Matt Crafton will start seventh in Martinsville on Saturday, and noted his truck was one of the best he'd ever had here, in his 23rd career Martinsville start, which will also tie him with former ThorSport driver Terry Cook for the all-time Truck Series consecutive starts streak, with 296.(ThorSport Racing PR)(4-6-2013)
    UPDATE:When Crafton took the green flag in his #88 Rip It Energy Fuel / Menards Toyota, it was his 296th consecutive Truck Series start, which tied the series' all-time record, a mark Crafton now holds in conjunction with former ThorSport driver Terry Cook. Ironically, Crafton replaced Cook in the seat of the #88 for the final race of the 2000 season, the beginning of Crafton's impressive streak. Crafton is now poised to take sole possession of the Truck Series' consecutive starts mark, when he takes the green flag next Sunday at Rockingham Speedway in the second annual North Carolina Education Lottery 200.(ThorSport Racing PR)(4-8-2013)


    News from April 7, 2013

  • Johnson wins at Martinsville: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the STP Gas Booster 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 2nd win of 2013, 8th win at Martinsville and 62nd career win. #15-Bowyer finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #5-Kahne, #18-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #1-McMurray, #9-Ambrose, #16-Biffle, and #11-Martin.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr., the points leader coming into the race, fought an ill-handling car and a spin late in the race. He finished 24th and fell to 3rd in the points.
    There were 12 lead changes among 5 drivers and 12 cautions for 85 yellow flag laps. There was a 6 minute red flag with 13 laps remaining after #78-Busch lost his brakes, hit the wall and the car caught fire. He was not injured. The average speed was 72.066mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Martinsville Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Martinsville Penalty Resport (pdf)
    And see the Official Race and Points on the STP Gas Booster 500 Official Race and Points Report page (pdf)

  • Race Fast Facts - Martinsville:
    Jimmie Johnson won the 64th Annual STP Gas Booster 500, his 62nd victory in 405 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his eighth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 23 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Clint Bowyer (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 15 races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2013.
    Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 33rd top-10 finish in 41 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Danica Patrick (12th) was the highest finishing rookie in her first trip to Martinsville Speedway.
    Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 6 points over Brad Keselowski and 12 over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-7-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Martinsville, race 6 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 231
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski, 225, -6
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 219, -12
    4) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 203, -28
    5) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 199, -32
    6) #16-Greg Biffle, 199, -32
    7) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 193, -38
    8) #15-Clint Bowyer, 179, -52
    9) #27-Paul Menard, 179, -52
    10) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 172, -59
    11) #22-Joey Logano, 167, -64
    12) #24-Jeff Gordon, 164, -67
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #29-Kevin Harvick, 14th in points
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 18th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 22nd
    #56-Martin Truex Jr., 25th
    (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).

  • Hamlin first JGR driver to miss a race because of injury: #11-Denny Hamlin is expected to miss at least five races while recovering from a compression fracture in his back. Hamlin amazingly will be the first Sprint Cup driver in the 21-year history of Joe Gibbs Racing to miss a race because of an injury.(Sporting News)
    (4-7-2013)

  • Hendrick makes another big purchase at Barrett-Jackson: Rick Hendrick has done it again. The famed NASCAR team owner, who bought the rights to the very first 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in January, has doubled down by winning the Palm Beach bidding for the first 2014 Stingray convertible to be produced. The price tag: $1 million. Although, every penny of the charity sale goes to benefit the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute . Hendrick, a familiar face as a regular buyer and seller at Barrett-Jackson auctions, paid $1.1 million for the coupe in Scottsdale. So it was widely speculated that he would vie for the convertible. Now, he has a pair of No. 1 2014 Corvette bookends costing a total of $2.1 million. Barrett-Jackson charges no auction fees for charity sales. "I paid a little more than I wanted for that car," Hendrick said in a classic understatement. "But I owe so much to Corvette for getting me into the car business in the first place." Part of the deal from General Motors for the first Corvette convertible is a ceremony that will take place at the factory when Hendrick will start up the freshly built Stingray for the first time at the end of the assembly line.(SPEED)(4-7-2013)

  • Multiple camping options available at Richmond: Fans looking for daily and overnight RV parking during the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway April 25-27, should look no further than the Blue Ox Meadowbridge Unreserved RV Parking (Lot J). This lot opens at noon on Thursday, April 25 and at 7:00am on Friday and Saturday for daily and overnight parking. Blue Ox Meadowbridge Unreserved daily and overnight parking spaces are available for oversized vehicles, RVs and motorcoaches in Lot J. Passes for Blue Ox Meadowbridge Unreserved RV Parking can be purchased in advance for $90 for the weekend.
    New for 2013, Richmond International Raceway offers tent camping in Lot G. Fans may purchase a reserved 20' x 30' tent camping spot for $75 by calling 866-455-7223. Fans must have two or more Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets in their account to purchase a reserved tent camping spot in that account. A tent camping ticket package, which includes two tickets (in Henrico Grandstand, rows 1-10) to the race and a reserved tent camping spot, is available for$145. Shower facilities will be available in Lot G for $5 per shower.(RIR)(4-7-2013)


    News from April 6, 2013

  • Happy Hour practice for the STP Gas Booster 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #15-Bowyer 97.018
    #48-Johnson 96.293
    #99-Edwards 96.161
    #16-Biffle 96.151
    #31-Burton 96.073
    slowest: #7-Blaney 94.293 & #87-Nemechek 93.318. No speed: #98-McDowell.
    notes: there is no TV coverage of today's practices. #22-Logano suffered some right rear damage after contact with #48-Johnson, with 20 minutes left in the session.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the STP Gas Booster 500 Practice 3 Speeds page (pdf).(4-6-2013)

  • Saturday first practice for the STP Gas Booster 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #15-Bowyer 96.681
    #18-Busch 96.529
    #24-Gordon 96.357
    #55-Vickers 96.327
    #39-Newman 96.185
    slowest: #32-Schrader 94.125 & #95-Speed 93.673. No speed: #44-Riggs.
    notes: there is no TV coverage of today's practices.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the STP Gas Booster 500 Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(4-6-2013)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the STP Gas Booster 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #59-Ambrose took pit stall 11, the next pitstall with an opening in front of it.
    #55-Vickers, who starts 3rd took the 8th pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #42-Montoya, who starts 14th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-6-2013)

  • Swan Racing makes personnel changes: Swan Racing announced that Tony Eury Jr. has been named competition director for the team, replacing Steve Hmeil. Steven "Bones" Lane has been named crew chief for the #30 Toyota driven by David Stremme. Hmeil was relieved of his duties. This move reunites Lane and Stremme as crew chief and driver combination. Lane was Stremme's crew chief from 2011  2012. The two also worked together in 2006  2007 and for one race in 2008. "We made changes in the front office today that we believe will have a long term benefits for the team going forward," said Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis. "I want to thank Steve Hmeil for his service, we wish him all the best in his future endeavors." Eury said, "This team is committed to making progress every week. I'm excited for this opportunity. I think having 'Bones' on top of the box is a great move and will help improve our overall effort."(Swan Racing)(4-6-2013)

  • Tony Stewart discusses blocking: #14-Tony Stewart addressed the media Friday at Martinsville:
    DO YOU STILL FEEL THE SAME WAY YOU DO ABOUT BLOCKING?
    "Yeah, my stance has never changed about blocking. Everybody has got a different opinion. I know the last two weeks everybody has tried to make a comparison to the Talladega deal. Talladega is a little different deal than the rest of it. I don't like it at Daytona and Talladega either, but it's the position we are put in there. What happened at California is a different deal. The people that are trying to compare the two are people that honestly I've read who has written it. It's disappointing that they don't understand the sport any better than that, but there is a huge difference between the two. It's our jobs as drivers to go out there and try to pass people. That is what racing is about. We didn't have blocking 10 years ago. I don't know where all of a sudden it became a common deal or some people think it's alright to do now and think it's common practice. I don't believe in it. I don't believe it should be common practice."
    AT RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACKS IT'S A NECESSARY EVIL?
    "We don't have a choice. We can't even get away from each other there. It's not so much that you are trying to block as much as you are trying to make that guy that you are trying to get in front of push you. We don't have the luxury of running on our own there. You have to have somebody pushing you. So if there is a line coming you want that faster line to pick you up and push you. The last half of a lap at Talladega is different than a restart with 15 to go at California."
    WHY DO YOU THINK BLOCKING HAS INCREASED?
    "I don't know. I hope you guys can tell me. I don't understand it either. I have never agreed with it. I don't like it. For some reason it's getting increasingly worse. I don't know why that is, but it is."(Chevy PR)(4-6-2013)

  • Vickers' understands Hamlin's situation: In picking Brian Vickers to substitute for Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing got a driver who can empathize with what Hamlin is feeling while he waits to return to his car. Vickers will start a stint of indeterminate length in the # 11 Toyota next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, as Hamlin continues to recover from a compression fracture. Driving the # 11 Camry is an important opportunity for Vickers, who is running a nine-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing, including Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway. But Vickers has mixed feelings about the circumstances that will put him behind the wheel of Hamlin's car. Much of Vickers' ambivalence stems from a medical condition that forced him out of his ride at Red Bull Racing in 2011. Suffering from blood clots in his legs and lungs, Vickers missed the last six months of the season while he recuperated. "Next week I'm going to be in the 11 car, which I'm obviously excited about, but sad how the opportunity came about," Vickers said Friday morning at Martinsville. "I know what it's like to be pulled out of your car for health reasons -- I've been in that boat before and wish Denny a speedy recovery.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-6-2013)

  • Paige Duke will serve as "Lady in Black" at Darlington: The Lady in Black, as Darlington Raceway has been notably named for decades, will have a new face in 2013 as Paige Duke will serve as the track's official "The Lady in Black" for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend on May 10-11. Duke, a former Miss Sprint Cup and current model, will be present during the race weekend and other track events throughout the year proudly wearing a black fire suit and representing Darlington Raceway. Her local ties are in the state of South Carolina as she hails from nearby Lancaster, S.C. and is a graduate of Clemson University. Besides her role serving as Miss Sprint Cup in 2010-11, Duke is the national spokesperson for Kruger Farms, an online outdoor outfitter in Minnesota, and was cast in the CMT hit show Sweet Home Alabama for two seasons in 2011 and 2012. She is also a model for various national campaigns and works as a veterinary technician in Lancaster.(Darlington Raceway)(4-6-2013)

  • Kansas Speedway partners with Hy-Vee: Kansas Speedway and Hy-Vee, Inc. announced a partnership agreement that makes Hy-Vee the Official Grocer and Tailgate Pit Stop of the Kansas Speedway. Hy-Vee operates 26 full-service supermarkets throughout Kansas and the Kansas City metro area. Randy Edeker, Chairman, President and CEO of Hy-Vee, said the company has planned special events throughout the year to promote the Speedway and enhance the fan experience. The 2013 racing season at Kansas Speedway kicks off April 19-21 with the SFP 250 and STP 400.(Kansas Speedway)(4-6-2013)

  • Sauter wins at Martinsville: #98-Johnny Sauter won the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. #88-Matt Crafton finished second followed by #4-Jeb Burton, #17-Timothy Peters, #54-Darrell Wallace, #94-Chase Elliott, #60-Dakoda Armstrong, #39-Ryan Sieg, #51-Erik Jones, #9-Ron Hornaday.
    There were 11 cautions for 71 laps and 13 lead changes among 7 leaders. Complete results are on the Martinsville race results page (pdf).(4-6-2013)

  • Driver standings following Martinsville:
    1) #98-Johnny Sauter, 94
    2) #4-Jeb Burton, 82, -12
    3) #88-Matt Crafton,77, -17
    4) #9-Ron Hornaday, 76, -18
    5) #54-Darrell Wallace, 72, -22
    6) #39-Ryan Sieg, 70, -24
    7) #13-Todd Bodine,67, -27
    8) #3-Ty Dillon,66, -28
    9) #32-Miguel Paludo, 64, -30
    10) #29-Ryan Blaney, 64, -30
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-6-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Martinsville are posted (pdf).(4-6-2012)

  • Crafton to tie consecutive starts record in Martinsville: Matt Crafton will start seventh in Martinsville on Saturday, and noted his truck was one of the best he'd ever had here, in his 23rd career Martinsville start, which will also tie him with former ThorSport driver Terry Cook for the all-time Truck Series consecutive starts streak, with 296.(ThorSport Racing PR)(4-6-2013)


    News from April 5, 2013

  • Johnson wins Martinsville pole: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the STP Gas Booster 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway with speed of 98.400mph, a new track record, for his 1st pole of 2013 and 30th of his career. #9-Ambrose will start 2nd, followed by #55-Vickers, #22-Logano, #5-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #20-Kenseth, #99-Edwards, and #39-Newman. #11-Martin qualified 35th. Missing the race was: #19-Bliss.
    See the starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying results, qualifying order, qualifying rules on the Martinsville Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(4-5-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Martinsville:
    Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 64th Annual STP Gas Booster 500 with a record lap of 19.244 seconds, 98.400 mph.
    This is his 30th pole in 405 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his third pole in 23 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    His average starting position at Martinsville Speedway is 11.9.
    Marcos Ambrose (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2013 and his second in nine races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Brian Vickers(i) (third) posted his third top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his second in two races this season.
    Tony Stewart held the previous track qualifying record with a lap of 19.306 seconds, 98.083 mph.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-5-2013)

  • Friday practice for the STP Gas Booster 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 98.553
    #42-Montoya 98.502
    #15-Bowyer 98.359
    #24-Gordon 98.257
    #2-Keselowski 98.236
    slowest: #87-Nemechek 96.156 & #32-Schrader 95.574.
    #11-Martin, filling in for Hamlin, was 18th fastest.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the STP Gas Booster 500 Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-5-2013)

  • Qualifying Order for the STP Gas Booster 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #14-Stewart.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #87-Nemechek.
    Fastest in Friday practice, #48-Johnson, is scheduled to qualify 33rd.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Martinsville Qualifying Page.(4-5-2013)

  • Sadler to run Sprint Cup race in 2013 UPDATE: Elliot Sadler is scheduled to run at least one un-named NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2013, running the #81 Alert Energy Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. This new energy product, was recently introduced by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. The scheme is purple, orange-and-yellow.(lionelnascarcollectables.com.(3-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Wrigley's new Alert Energy Caffeine Gum will make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing and driver Elliott Sadler on April 21 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Sadler will pilot the #81 Alert Energy Camry there and at Talladega Superspeedway (May 5 and Oct. 20) for a total of three races during the 2013 race season. The #81 Alert Energy Camry joins an all-star lineup of Mars, Inc. and Wrigley sponsors at Joe Gibbs Racing including Doublemint gum, M&M'S and SNICKERS throughout the 2013 season. "I'm really looking forward to representing Alert Energy in the Sprint Cup Series," said Elliott Sadler, driver of the #81 Camry. "I've been lucky to have a long history with Mars, Inc. and am very excited about working with them again in launching this new product." Alert will be available nationwide starting in April. (JGR)(4-5-2013)

  • Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma on the #31: Richard Childress Racing will feature the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma on the #31 Chevy driven by Jeff Burton at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. "We take for granted that the best emergency care for our children is always available, but that is not the case. Critically-injured patients treated in a certified trauma center have a 25% increased rate of survival," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing and co-founder of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. "We wanted to spotlight the need for awareness by running a paint scheme featuring the Institute this weekend." Nearly 10,000 children die each year due to life-threatening injuries - more than all other causes combined. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma invests resources in research, medical education and awareness to improve the treatment for critically injured children across the United States.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #31 team paint schemes page.(4-5-2013)

  • Nemechek unveils new paint scheme: NEMCO-JRR Motorsports unveiled the new MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Toyota paint scheme for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The Purple, White, and Black #87 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com is wrapped and ready to be driven by "Front Row" Joe Nemechek at the short track in Martinsville. Driver Joe Nemechek stated, "We are excited to have the Maddie's Place folks with us over the Martinsville race weekend. As a Team we hope to brighten up the race weekend with the new #87 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Toyota paint scheme and also be competitive and put that car upfront." (NEMCO-JRR), see an image of the car on the #87 team paint schemes page.(4-5-2013)

  • Ganassi not rushing Larson: Kyle Larson, who has been praised as a potential superstar by Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, is back to work crisscrossing the country racing anywhere he can during a long break in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series. He spent last weekend at home in California racing at Antioch and Calistoga in Outlaws and 360 sprints, was back in North Carolina to run his kart at MMX on Wednesday, then was off again Thursday to Sacramento to repeat last week's schedule at Antioch and Calistoga again. Next week it's back to MMX for karting and then on to Texas Motor Speedway to resume racing in the Nationwide Series. So far, team owner Chip Ganassi hasn't been disappointed. But Ganassi is being cautious. It is early, after all, and Larson has just five races with Turner Scott Motorsports under his belt. Just how long Ganassi actually allows Larson to be a kid is another question. He holds options for next year on both #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, who sit 16th and 30th in the Sprint Cup standings right now. His loyalty to Montoya is unquestioned, but he's admittedly frustrated that the results still aren't there as the duo heads into their seventh season together in NASCAR. If Ganassi has something already in mind for Larson as a potential replacement to one of his Cup drivers he isn't saying. He initially joked there was no firm plan for Larson, "we just, every Monday morning, we just throw a dart at the board," before getting serious about the importance of going slow with his young driver.(Associated Press)(4-5-2013)

  • ISC pays insurance deductible on Nationwide crash: Daytona International Speedway parent company International Speedway Corporation has paid a $1.1 million deductible in insurance costs related to the treatment of injuries for more than 30 fans hurt by debris Feb 23. On the final lap of the Nationwide Series race, the car driven by Kyle Larson got airborne and hit the catch fence in the area that can be unattached to allow fans and officials to go to and from the stands before and after a race. Fourteen people were admitted to the hospital following the accident. All have been released, ISC President John Saunders told financial analysts Thursday. In discussing its financial results for the first quarter of 2013 (December-February), ISC chief financial officer Dan Houser said the company had paid $1.1 million for the insurance deductible because of the Larson accident. The actual amounts expected to be paid out by insurance were not disclosed. According to the standard NASCAR sanctioning agreement filed by Dover International Speedway with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, tracks are required to carry $50 million in insurance to cover costs of injuries and lawsuits arising from NASCAR races.(Sporting News)(4-5-2013)

  • Leavine Family racing spotlighting testicular cancer awareness month: On April 7th at Martinsville Speedway, the first weekend of testicular cancer awareness month, #95-Leavine Family Racing will begin to promote testicular cancer education and awareness. LFR will partner with Besties with Testies, a 501(c)3 non-­profit corporation. Besties with Testies, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, was founded with the mission to promote public interest and awareness of testicular cancer. Besties with Testies has been active informing the public of the importance of self-­examination and early detection. Providing tools and resources to educators, advocates, testicular cancer patients, and survivors, Besties with Testies has reached thousands of young men through an all-volunteer organization and nationally recognized website. Testicular Cancer is most common in men ages 15 to 35 but can strike at any age. Testicular cancer is highly curable if detected early through self-­examination.(Leavine Family Racing)(4-5-2013)

  • NASCAR Day will be May 17: The NASCAR Foundation and many throughout the NASCAR industry will come together on Friday, May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to celebrate the 10th Annual NASCAR Day. This special day is an unprecedented celebration of drivers, corporate partners, media and the sport's millions of fans uniting with The NASCAR Foundation to support a range of charitable causes relevant and meaningful to those within the NASCAR family. For the first time, The NASCAR Foundation will be launching a "Ten Days of Giving" tour that will include philanthropic activities in several markets across the country. At each stop on the tour, beginning May 8 in Atlanta, Ga., and culminating on NASCAR Day in Charlotte, N.C., the foundation will partner with various organizations to deliver surprise acts of kindness. In addition to Atlanta and Charlotte, the tour will make stops in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Brooklyn, Mich.; Darlington, S.C.; Kansas City, Kan.; New York, N.Y.; and Daytona Beach, Fla.
    Camping World, the Official Outdoor and RV Retailer of NASCAR, has joined the cause this year and will make the limited edition pin, designed by NASCAR's first officially licensed artist Sam Bass, available now until May 17 at Camping World SuperCenters nationwide for a $10 donation to The NASCAR Foundation. NASCAR fans and supporters can also pick up their collectible pins at track during select race weekends or online at NASCAR.com/foundation. To date, NASCAR Day fundraising efforts has raised nearly $12 million for various charities supported by The NASCAR Foundation with an emphasis on children's causes.
    NASCAR Day at-track activations will include commemorative B-post decals on all trucks running in that day's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and on all cars participating in the next day's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, a special pre-race check presentation and many others.(NASCAR)(4-5-2013)

  • Congrats: to Doug and Klarysa Riepe on the birth of their daughter Norah, who was born Friday morning, April 5 in Charlotte, NC. Doug works at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) as both a sponsor account manager and part of the over-the-wall crew on race day, as the rear tire carrier on the #1 Chevy SS for Jamie McMurray.(4-5-2013)

  • FedEx, Autism Speaks return as Dover race sponsor: For the third straight year, FedEx Corp. , Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway will team up, as FedEx will serve as the title sponsor for the "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, June 2, 2013. The announcement of the renewed partnership is coupled with the news that for the second straight year, the Autism Speaks Day at the Races event will be part of the June 2 race. Last year, this was the first-ever opportunity for those on the autism spectrum and their families to attend a NASCAR race, with a special ticket package set in a sensory friendly area within the air-conditioned grandstands at the Monster Mile. The NASCAR Unites Track Walk, benefiting Autism Speaks and The NASCAR Foundation, will follow the Saturday, June 1 "5-hour ENERGY 200" Nationwide Series race. Fans will have the opportunity to walk a lap around the one-mile, concrete oval where the top drivers in the sport do battle all weekend long. Another returning aspect to help raise awareness for Autism Speaks throughout the weekend will be the Autism Speaks puzzle piece decals for drivers in all three national touring series to display on their cars throughout the weekend. In 2012, 47 drivers participated in this aspect of the weekend.(Dover Speedway)(4-5-2013)

  • Texas unveils new food items for NRA 500 weekend: Texas Motor Speedway will unveil a variety of brand new food items over the NRA 500 weekend. Always striving to build the most unique and flavorful items for fans, Levy Restaurants and The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway Executive Chef Joel Pena created these one-of-a-kind additions. Some of the new featured items will include a glazed donut and brisket combination dubbed the "Smokin' Hubcaps," the "Bacon Cotton Candy Martini," the "Jackalope Sausage" featuring pork, rabbit and antelope, as well as a "Kid's Favorite" hot dog.(TMS)(4-5-2013)

    Burton on the pole for the Kroger 250: #4-Jeb Burton won the pole for Saturday's race at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 96.666 mph. #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr. will start on the outside of row one in the second position. #17-Timothy Peters, #98-Johnny Sauter, #77-German Quiroga, #3-Ty Dillon, #88-Matt Crafton, #94-Chase Elliott, #9-Ron Hornaday, Jr. #14-Brennan Newberry complete the top 10. #1-Jonathan Davenport and #68-Clay Greenfield failed to qualify for the race. See complete results on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(4-5-2013)

  • Burton fastest in first practice: #4-Jeb Burton was fastest during practice at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 96.244 mph. #98-Johnny Sauter was second, followed by: # 9-Ron Hornaday, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr.- #2-Ty Dillon, #30-Nelson Piquet, #77-German Quiroga, #88-Matt Crafton, and #32- Miguel Paludo. 38 drivers practiced during the session. Clay Greenfield blew an engine in practice. Multiple trucks had separate spins during the session, but none suffered major damage. See complete results on the Martinsville practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-5-2013)

  • Larson to run Rockingham: SPEED announcer Phil Parsons explained during the Martinsville practice coverage that team owner Steve Turner informed him that Turner Scott Motorsports will field Kyle Larson in the #30 Chevy at Rockingham Speedway. Larson, who drives full-time for TSM in the Nationwide Series, will get the nod over last year's winner Kasey Kahne. Larson made four Truck Series starts last season for TSM, scoring one top-five and three top-10s.(4-5-2013)

  • Peters to be declared reserve deputy: A NASCAR driver will become the newest face of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, also known as Operation Blue Ridge Thunder. Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown will swear in Timothy Peters as a reserve deputy and spokesman at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday morning. Peters drives the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck Series. He will join a spokesperson panel that includes other entertainers such as actors Erik Estrada, of "CHiPs" and Jeremy Piven, of "En-tourage."(The News and Advance)(4-5-2013)


    News from April 4, 2013

  • Hamlin will go to Martinsville; hopes to return at Richmond: Showing minimal aftereffects of the crash that has sidelined him in Sprint Cup, Denny Hamlin was in good spirits and solid stature Wednesday at Joe Gibbs Racing. He smiled broadly while holding his 2-month-old daughter, Taylor. He joked with reporters. He seemed relatively ambulatory while walking around the shop wearing a back brace beneath his black FedEx polo shirt. But his discontent with Logano hasn't.
    "I don't blame him for the particular injury," Hamlin said in his first extensive interview since returning home last week from an overnight hospital stay. "I do for the wreck. The injury was circumstantial. A wreck on a 2-mile speedway, you risk getting hurt. That frustrates me the most. Listening to him say, 'I'm sure Denny's fine, these cars are safe.' That really gets to me because he's taking for granted no matter how hard you wreck, you're going to be fine.
    [Hamlin] is hopeful of returning by the April 27 race at Richmond International Raceway, which would be two races earlier than the original prognosis of a six-week recovery. But the return will be dictated by doctors, who aren't expected to scan his back to assess his progress for at least another two to three weeks. That won't keep him Sunday from Martinsville Speedway, where he is planning to be on the pit box watching Mark Martin pilot his #11 Toyota.
    Hamlin, though, doesn't think NASCAR should take any punitive action [against Logano] because of the "self-policing" philosophies often employed by drivers. Tony Stewart went after Logano after the Fontana race because he was unhappy with a blocking maneuver and vowed to retaliate. See much more at USA Today.(4-4-2013)

  • Mayfield's motion to throw out search warrant denied: Former NASCAR Driver Jeremy Mayfield was hoping a ruling from a judge Wednesday would solve his legal troubles in Catawba County. Instead, the ruling means he likely will go to trial on charges of possession of stolen goods, possession of methamphetamine and several other charges. Mayfield's attorneys had filed a motion to throw out a search warrant that was obtained by law enforcement in 2011 and led to the discovery of what authorities believe were stolen goods and methamphetamine in Mayfield's Catawba County home. The defense argued that there was no credible basis for the warrant to be issued. Catawba County Sheriff's Lt. Aaron Turk testified he obtained the warrant after speaking with an informant. Turk said the informant was John Franklin, a convicted felon who was facing more drug charges when he spoke with him. He was killed last year in a motorcycle wreck while fleeing from police. His girlfriend, who was riding with him, died as well. Methamphetamine was found on the motorcycle after the wreck. Despite that, the court ruled that the search warrant was properly handled and denied the defense motion to throw it out.(WBTV)(4-4-2013)

  • United Mining Equipment adds to sponsorship of Yeley: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) heads up to Martinsville Speedway for some short track racing after a weekend off for Easter. Dave Blaney will have SANY America on board his #7 Chevy SS again for a fifth time this season. JJ Yeley and the #36 Chevy SS recently signed on again with United Mining Equpiment (UME), after recent success in Bristol, TN. track in Virginia. His best finish came in 2006, when he ended the race in 20th position.(TBR)(4-4-2013)

  • Mears to promote Distracted Driving Awareness Month: The month of April is underway and it serves as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. For the second straight year, DRIVE SMART Virginia, GEICO and Germain Racing will partner to bring attention to one of our nation's biggest hazards, distracted driving. Casey Mears will carry the DRIVE SMART Virginia logo on his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion for the Martinsville and Richmond Sprint Cup Series races on April 7th and April 27th. Mears and his GEICO team will help deliver the message that 'driving distractions can be deadly& buckle up, phone down'.(Player Management International)(4-4-2013)

  • Fifth Third Bank making first appearance on #17: Fifth Third Bank will make its 2013 debut with the two-time Nationwide Champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. this weekend at Martinsville for the STP Gas Booster 500. This will be the Sprint Cup rookie's first attempt at the famed paper-clip half-mile track. Fifth Third Bank joined Roush Fenway Racing in 2012 and will continue to serve as a primary sponsor for the #17, as Stenhouse and the team fight for the Rookie of the Year honors. The next scheduled event for Fifth Third Bank is Kentucky Speedway on June 29, 2013. Stenhouse ran a # 6 Fifth Third Ford Fusion in the 2012 Sprint Cup finale last season at Homestead.(Roush Fenway)(4-4-2013)

  • 811 Logo returns to the #22: Shell and the Common Ground Alliance have teamed up for a fifth consecutive season to raise awareness for 811, the national "Call Before You Dig" hotline. Shell will leverage its sponsorship with Penske Racing around seven races this season in a continued effort to protect America's underground infrastructure. As in previous years, the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion will carry the 811 logo during National Safe Digging Month in April. Due to the program's continued success, new races have been added this year, as Shell-Pennzoil driver Joey Logano will feature a large Call 811 logo on the deck lid of his car during races in Talladega on May 5 and Sonoma on June 23. Even small projects like planting trees or shrubs require a call to 811. The quick and easy call will connect you with a local One Call Center operator who will record information about your dig location and notify the underground facility operators so they can mark the approximate location of underground utilities and pipelines. Once the lines are marked, you can begin to dig, but always dig with care.(Shell Penzoil)(4-4-2013)

  • 600th NASCAR start for Earnhardt, Jr: This weekend's race will mark Earnhardt's 475th start in a sanctioned Sprint Cup points-paying event and his 600th overall in NASCAR competition. He also has tallied 125 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In those 599 starts, Earnhardt has 42 wins, 167 top-five finishes, 267 top-10s, 21 pole positions and 10,540 laps led. With 19 Cup wins, Earnhardt is tied for 38th on the all-time Sprint Cup winner's list and ranks 11th among active, full-time drivers. In 474 Cup starts, Earnhardt also has 108 top-five finishes, 187 top-10s and 11 pole positions.(Hendrick Motorsports)(4-4-2013)

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

  • Martinsville Tire Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series in action at Martinsville this week will run the same tire codes, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the first time these teams have run on either of these two tire codes . . . compared to what was run at Martinsville last year, this left-side tire code (D-4588) features slight construction and compound changes, while this right-side code (D-4590) features a minor compound change and has slightly less gage (tread depth) . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Martinsville last August 7-8 . . . drivers and teams participating in that Gen-6 test were Carl Edwards in the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Kevin Harvick in the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Martinsville. (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Martinsville Race Info page - Goodyear section.(4-4-2013)

  • Jeffrey Earnhardt to drive for JR Motorsports at Richmond: JR Motorsports announced via the latest JRM 360 episode, that Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the #5 Chevy at Richmond International Raceway on April 26.(4-4-2013)

  • Six-shooter celebration to remain at Texas: Firing six-shooters with blanks will remain a part of the Texas Motor Speedway Victory Lane celebration for the April 13 Sprint Cup race that will be sponsored by the National Rifle Association. Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage told ESPN.com last month he planned to meet with some Cup owners to see if they or their sponsors opposed having the six-shooters as part of the celebration because of a potential conflict with the NRA's involvement. If some were opposed, Gossage said he would consider altering the tradition. He has since reconsidered. "The more thought I gave to it, the more I realized that it is purely a celebration,'' Gossage said. "As you know, it's been going on for a long time and is not affiliated with the NRA. As a result, I decided we would go through our normal Victory Lane celebration, including the Cowboy Boot Trophy, the cowboy hat and the six-shooters. It is my decision and I'm sure it will be fine."(ESPN)(4-4-2013)

  • Atlanta announces new public hospitality ticket upgrade: Already one of the few tracks in NASCAR to offer a tent-covered, pre-race gathering for race fans inside the track, Atlanta Motor Speedway is presenting customers the opportunity to gain even more access and amenities in 2013 with the announcement of the High Speed Hospitality ticket upgrade for ticket holders of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500, Sunday, Sept. 1 at AMS. For only $60 per person, the AdvoCare 500 hospitality upgrade gives purchasers an infield hospitality package which includes a pit tour prior to the race, food and beverage, entertainment by a live DJ and a cash bar. Menu items for the afternoon include hot dogs, sirloin burgers, fried chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, peach pie, iced tea and lemonade. Spectator gates for the AdvoCare 500 will open at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, and the hospitality tent will open at 3:00 p.m. Pit tours will be offered from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with the hospitality tent closing at 8:00 p.m., just following the green flag of the AdvoCare 500.(AMS)(4-4-2013)

  • Starr, Miller reunited: Martinsville is a special place for David Starr who scored his last victory in the Truck Series at the paperclip-shaped short track back in 2006. Adding to the excitement of the weekend is that David will be re-united with old friend and long-time crew chief Jason Miller at Martinsville. Bryan Berry, who called the shots for Starr in Daytona, took a reduced schedule to spend more time with his family. Additionally, supporting Starr's Toyota this weekend will be the Steely Lumber Company of Huntsville, Texas. Family-owned Steely Lumber has been in business since 1896. Specializing in yellow pine decking, Steely Lumber is among the largest and most efficient in the South producing more than 40,000,000 board feet of dimension lumber annually.(SS Green Light Racing PR)(4-4-2013)


    News from April 3, 2013

  • Gander Mountain to sponsor Bowyer at Texas: Gander Mountain, the nation's largest retail network of outdoor specialty stores for hunting, fishing, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle products and services, announced it will sponsor Michael Waltrip Racing's #15 car driven by Clint Bowyer in the Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 on Saturday, April 13, at Texas Motor Speedway. During next Saturday's primetime event, Gander Mountain will showcase on Michael Waltrip Racing's popular #15 car the company's firearms responsibility call to action: "With Rights Comes Responsibility; Secure Your Firearms." Beginning this Friday, April 5, Gander Mountain is encouraging firearms owners to take a responsibility pledge at GanderMountain.com and use the hashtag #responsibilitypledge in social media to raise awareness and encourage accountability on the subject of responsible ownership. "As a leading outdoors retailer, Gander Mountain is committed to the mandate of responsible firearms ownership, and the importance of guarding against firearms getting into the hands of the underaged, untrained and unauthorized," said Steve Uline, executive vice president of marketing for Gander Mountain. "We believe that with rights comes responsibility. For existing firearms owners and those considering becoming an owner, personal responsibility is paramount. " Gander Mountain's commitment to responsible ownership goes beyond marketing, including training thousands of firearms users annually via safety classes and private instruction. Also, Gander Mountain is initiating a company policy calling for all employees to ask all customers who purchase a firearm if they are properly equipped to safeguard it.(MWR), see an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(4-3-2013)

  • Regan Smith returns to the #51: Regan Smith is returning to Sprint Cup Series racing this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. He's hopping behind the wheel of the #51 Hendrickcars.com Chevy fielded by Phoenix Racing for Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500. It will mark his first Cup Series start since the Daytona 500, when he piloted the #51 car to a seventh-place finish. Smith hopes his reunion with Phoenix Racing leads to another prosperous run. Smith has eight Cup Series starts at the half-mile, paperclip-shaped oval. He's finished inside the top 20 three times and scored top-15s in two events. His best finish is 13th place, which he achieved in 2011.(Breaking Limits/Phoenix Racing)(4-3-2013)

  • Go Green Racing Announces First Cup Race of 2013: Go Green Racing announced that they will attempt their first NASCAR Sprint Cup series race of the 2013 season at Richmond International Raceway on April 27th for the Toyota Owners 400. The #79 Ford Fusion team had plans to start their season earlier in the year, but with the limited availability of parts for the new Gen 6 cars, as well as building them, delayed the start. Go Green Racing expects to compete in 8-10 events this season with hopes of running the entire races as funding permits. The team has had conversations with several drivers for the #79 Ford Fusion and hopes to make an announcement in the coming weeks as to who that will be. Go Green Racing, founded by Maine native Archie St. Hilaire, has enjoyed success in the NASCAR Nationwide series over the past several years before fielding a NSCS entry last season on a limited schedule. The team qualified for six races including the Southern 500, Brickyard 400, and both races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(Go Green Racing)(4-3-2013)

  • RK Motors sponsoring the #15 at Martinsville: #15-Clint Bowyer knows a thing or two about RK Motors Charlotte - his sponsor for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. RK Motors Charlotte is the country's leading retailer of investment-grade classic and collector cars. Bowyer worked with RK Motors Charlotte on two of his custom car builds - a 2011 Toyota Tundra barn find truck with a red patina paint scheme and a 2012 Tekked Out Toyota Prius. RK Motors Charlotte is the country's leading retailer of investment-grade classic and collector cars. Founded in 2010 by Robert Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, and Joseph M. Carroll, founder of Best of Show Automotive, RK Motors Charlotte's 80,000 sq./ft. facility features a 200-vehicle, state-of-the-art showroom complete with digital media studio, full restoration / customization shop and a full service area.(MWR)(4-3-2013)

  • Race with Insulin on the #1 at Martinsville: The #1 team will sport a different paint scheme this weekend with a predominately orange Chevy SS with touches of blue in support of "Race with Insulin". In addition to this special paint scheme on McMurray`s car, teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and his #42 Target Chevy SS will sport blue rims to help with the launch of the Race with Insulin Unites campaign. The blue rims are representation of the blue circle, which is the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) global symbol for diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 26 million people are currently living with diabetes in the United States.(Earnhardt-Ganassi), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(4-3-2013)

  • Jani-King on the #43: The partners joining the #43 team this week include old and new. One of Richard Petty Motorsports newest partners, Jani-King, will make their 2013 debut on the hood, while STP will boast the Gas Booster logos on the sides of the #43. Almirola's paint scheme will commemorate STP's relationship with Petty and the first time the STP logo was on Petty's car at Riverside in 1972.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(4-3-2013)

  • NASCAR launches additional environmental initiatives: As racing season shifts gears into April, NASCAR is launching two programs further bolstering the sustainability efforts the sanctioning body, industry, and a wide range of partners have in place to help reduce the sport's carbon footprint. Headlining the month-long NASCAR Green initiative leading up to Earth Day and Arbor Day are two signature programs designed to help drive more sustainable behavior within the sport. NASCAR Race to Green will galvanize teams, tracks, drivers, Official NASCAR Partners, and most importantly fans, around the theme of protecting and preserving our environment. The NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program Delivered by UPS will plant trees to absorb carbon emissions equivalent to all of the racing in NASCAR's three national series for the entire season. One mature tree over the course of its lifetime absorbs about one metric ton of carbon dioxide, the same amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a NASCAR Sprint Cup car driving 500 miles. NASCAR Race to Green includes a call-to-action for fans and the industry to pledge trees that will be planted across the country as well as in a number of areas recently devastated by natural disasters. As presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program, UPS has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to commit to plant more than 8,000 trees - including 90 in each market where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for the remainder of 2013. Additionally, UPS will serve as presenting sponsor for the NASCAR Green Summit later this fall.(NASCAR)(4-3-2013)

  • Sad News - Bud Greene: Mr. Charles M. "Bud" Greene, age 69, of Hamptonville, NC and a former resident of Watauga County passed away Saturday evening, March 30, 2013 at Sycamore Shoals Hospital in Elizabethton. Bud loved fast boats, cars and horses growing up which led to his career with Junior Johnson and Roger Penske Racing. He had a long career in racing and retired in 2010. Online condolences and service information at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory website.(4-3-2013)

  • Cassill joins JD Motorsports: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller has inked a deal with Landon Cassill to be the primary driver of the #4 Flex Seal Chevy for the remainder of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series. The agreement covers all the companion events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, beginning next week at Texas Motor Speedway. Cassill, 23, comes to the team with a vast racing experience over the past five years, including winning the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year. "I am really happy to be joining JD Motorsports and racing the #4 Flex Seal Chevy in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. I went down to the shop and met with Johnny and the guys, and I am excited for the opportunity. I look forward to helping them improve over the course of the season, and I believe we can race competitively starting at Texas." said Cassill.(JD Motorsports)(4-3-2013)

  • Davenport to debut with Advanced Electronic Services: The #1 entry for the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway will be piloted by Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Georgia. Advanced Electronic Services will be coming on board as the primary sponsor for the #1 Chevy. Advanced Electronic Service is a female owned, ISO Certified, Small Business that offers a full range of services from electronic component level repair and design, to providing worldwide depot level repair and logistics in support of sophisticated military electronic systems and components. This will be the first time Jonathan will attempt a Camping World Truck Series race. Davenport is a veteran dirt super late model racer with major victories all over the country. He has competed in all of the major series including the World of Outlaws and Lucas Oil Dirt Series. In 2013 Davenport has racked up four wins and eleven top five finishes in only nineteen races to start off the season. His most recent victory is at Lancaster Motor Speedway for the Carolina Crown, a $30,000 win.(Jonathan Davenport PR)(4-3-2013)

  • Trees to be donated every time Dillon leads a lap in April: With the help of Drive4COPD, Ty Dillon and his older brother Austin are taking part in NASCAR's Race to Green campaign, a fully-integrated and massive national tree planting initiative designed to engage the NASCAR industry and excite fans. The month-long initiative focuses heavily on sustainability programs that NASCAR, the industry and a wide range of partners have in place to help reduce the sport's carbon footprint. COPD is helping to reduce the sport's footprint by donating five trees for each lap the Dillon brothers lead during the month of April. (Richard Childress Racing PR)(4-3-2013)

  • Andrews to crew chief Harvick, 24 this weekend: There will be a new face for NTS Motorsports on the #24 pit box this weekend, as Paul Andrews will call the shots for the race at Martinsville Speedway. Andrews, a Bangor, Maine, native is best known for his role in leading Alan Kulwicki to the 1992 Winston Cup championship. In his tenure as a Sprint Cup Series Crew Chief he collected 12 victories and 30 poles.(NTS Motorsports PR)(4-3-2013)

  • Coach Frank Beamer named honorary pace car driver at Martinsville: Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer will toss aside his headset and clipboard Sunday to take over as the honorary pace car driver for the STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Beamer will be behind the wheel of the pace car for the laps leading to the start of the race. He will then turn the duties back over to regular pace car driver Brett Bodine. For Beamer, a self-described "short-track guy," this will be far from his first involvement with NASCAR. He grew up in Hillsville, about an hour from Martinsville Speedway, and has been a fan of the sport since his youth. He's been attending Martinsville races for many years.(Martinsville Speedway)(4-3-2013)

  • Kansas Speedway extends ticket office hours: Kansas Speedway's ticket office will be open the weekends of April 6-7 and April 13-14 for fans wanting to purchase tickets to the STP 400 and SFP 250. On both weekends, the ticket office will be open from 10:00am-3:00pm/CT each day. Fans can also pick up Will Call tickets on each of these days. Kansas Speedway season tickets, which are currently on sale, include both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (April 21 and Oct. 6), the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race (April 20), and the NASCAR Nationwide Series race (Oct. 5), along with a TrackPass, which allows you up close access to the Kansas National Guard pre-race activities, like NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver introductions, the pre-race concert, and much more! Tickets can be purchased by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com or calling 866.460.RACE (7223). (Kansas Speedway)(4-3-2013)


    News from April 2, 2013

  • Testing the new car at Richmond UPDATE dates changed: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #1-Jamie McMurray, #43-Aric Almirola and #9-Marcos Ambrose are scheduled to be testing the new Gen-6 car on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway in advance of the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets for the Toyota Owners 400 can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR), the test is closed and NOT open to the public.(3-22-2013)
    UPDATE: the testing has been moved to Monday and Tuesday, April 1-2.(RIR)(3-25-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Although the much-anticipated debut of NASCAR's Gen-6 car in a points-paying race at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race, the first time it hits the pavement will be this Monday. Earnhardt Ganassi drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya will be joined by Richard Petty Motorsports drivers Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola when they test at RIR, and the grandstands are open for fans to watch, for free. The test is scheduled for Monday, April 1. The Colonial Grandstands in Turn 4 will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., free of charge. With many kids on Spring Break, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon in Richmond. Fans coming out to Richmond International Raceway may enter at the Service Gate, located on Meadowbridge Rd., one gate away from the main entrance at the corner of Laburnum Ave. and Meadowbridge Rd. Attendants will guide fans to a parking area and will be instructed where to go to enter the grandstands.(RIR)(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Four NASCAR drivers turned laps at Richmond International Raceway during a test session Monday, marking the first time NASCAR's Gen-6 car has run at America's Premier Short Track. #42-Juan Montoya, #1-Jamie McMurray, #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-Aric Almirola will be back Saturday, April 27, for the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Cool track temperatures this morning made it easy for the drivers to find grip, resulting in blistering speeds that would challenge the official track qualifying record, which Brian Vickers set in 2004 (20.772 seconds, 129.983 mph). "The track is extremely fast," said Almirola. "When we rolled out on the track at 9:00 this morning, it was still kinda cool and the track had a lot of grip. We were running lap times close to the pole speed in race trim. Really surprised at how fast the track was and how fast our cars were." All four drivers will test again tomorrow at RIR, as they search for valuable data to be used at the upcoming April 25, 26 & 27 NASCAR weekend in Richmond.(RIR)(4-2-2013)

  • News and Notes - Martinsville Speedway: • Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States.
    • The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was Sept. 25, 1949.
    • The track was paved in 1955.
    • The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.
    • Concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976.
    • There have been 128 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.
    • 589 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville; 372 in more than one.
    • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has the all-time most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville with 67 starts; Terry Labonte has the most among active drivers with 53.
    • Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway in 1949.
    • 57 drivers have Coors Light poles at Martinsville, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with eight; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.
    • 11 drivers have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway. Four of the 11 have won 3 consecutive poles at Martinsville: Glen Wood (Fall of 1959 and 1960 sweep); Darrell Waltrip (1979 sweep and spring 1980); Mark Martin (fall of 1990 and 1991 sweep); Jeff Gordon (2003 sweep and spring 2004).
    • Youngest Martinsville pole winner: Ricky Rudd (4/26/1981  24 years, 7 months, 14 days).
    • Oldest Martinsville pole winner: Morgan Shepherd (4/26/1987  45 years, 6 months, 14 days).
    • 47 different drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway, led by Richard Petty (15); Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson lead the series among active drivers with seven wins each.
    • 23 drivers have multiple wins at Martinsville Speedway only five active drivers have multiple wins: Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson (seven); Denny Hamlin (four); Tony Stewart (three) and Mark Martin (two).
    • Hendrick Motorsports and Petty Enterprises are tied for the lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the most wins at Martinsville Speedway with 19 each.
    • 20 of 128 races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; six of those 20 wins came from active drivers: Tony Stewart (2000), Jeff Gordon (2003 twice), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2012) and Denny Hamlin (2010).
    • The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Martinsville producing more wins than any other starting position in the field.
    • 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the front row: 20 from the pole and 15 from second-place.
    • 93 of the 128 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Five of the 128 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 36th, by Kurt Busch in the fall of 2002.
    • Youngest Martinsville winner: Richard Petty (04/10/1960  22 years, 9 months, 8 days).
    • Oldest Martinsville winner: Harry Gant (09/22/1991  51 years, 8 months, 12 days).
    • NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with four, followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson with three.
    • Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 30; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 25, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 15.
    • Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 37; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 32, followed by Terry Labonte (27) and Mark Martin (25).
    • Jeff Gordon leads active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Martinsville Speedway with a 7.225. Ryan Newman is the only other active driver with an average starting position at Martinsville in the top 10 (9.045).
    • Three active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top at Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson (5.545), Jeff Gordon (7.075) and Denny Hamlin (8.200).
    • There have been five NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Martinsville Speedway: fall 2007 (500/506), fall 2008 (500/504), fall 2009 (500/501), spring 2010 (500/508), and spring 2012 (500/515).
    • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions eight times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was the fall race of 2011.
    • Jeff Gordon has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway without a DNF (40).
    • Tony Stewart (4/18/1999) and Scott Riggs (4/10/2005) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway.
    • Mike Bliss (09/27/1998), Travis Kvapil (10/24/2004), Michael McDowell (3/30/2008) and Scott Speed (10/19/2008) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Martinsville Speedway.
    • 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Martinsville Speedway. Fred Lorenzen won four NSCS races straight (the most) from the fall of 1963 through the spring of 1965.
    • All 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers who have won at Martinsville Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart won at Martinsville with the fewest previous appearances (three).
    • Ryan Newman competed at Martinsville Speedway 20 times before winning in the spring of 2012; the longest span of any the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    • Four drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Martinsville Speedway: Mark Martin (12); Bobby Labonte (18), Kevin Harvick (19) and Ryan Newman (20).
    • Terry Labonte leads the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 53.
    • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory at Martinsville Speedway was the April 1, 2007 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.065 second.
    • This weekend will be Danica Patrick's first attempt at Martinsville Speedway. If she makes the event, she will become the first female driver to compete at Martinsville in the NASCAR Sprint Cup.(NASCAR)(4-2-2012)

  • NNS testing at Texas: Both Turner Scott Motorsports and JR Motorsports tested at Texas Motor Speedway on April 1. Participants were #31-Justin Allgaier, #32-Kyle Larson and #30-Nelson Piquet Jr. from TSM and #7-Regan Smith, #5-Brad Sweet and #5-Kasey Kahne from JRM(NASCAR)(4-2-2013)

  • VMI Glee Club to perform National Anthem at Martinsville: The Virginia Military Institute's Glee Club will perform the National Anthem prior to Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The group from VMI has performed the national anthem at Martinsville Speedway in the past, and has received accolades for its traditional rendition of the song. The VMI Glee Club, founded in 1852, has performed around the world in its 160 years of existence. It is the oldest Cadet organization in VMI's 165-year history. The cadets in the Glee Club are enrolled in Reserve Officer Training Courses at VMI, located in Lexington, VA, and are available to commission in all branches of the US Armed Forces upon graduation. High Point University's Pep Band, which has been performing since 1927, will play the national anthem before the start of the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Saturday at Martinsville. The HPU Pep Band consists of 29 members from 10 different states, pursuing degrees in more than 17 fields of study.(Martinsville Speedway)(4-2-2013)

  • Rogers in for Riggs in Rockingham: After six weeks away from the track, the Truck Series is entering a stretch of three races in three weeks. After Martinsville, the trucks return to Rockingham Speedway for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Due to Scott Riggs' Sprint Cup commitment at Texas Motor Speedway, Clay Rogers will pilot the #92 Chevy at Rockingham Speedway. Rogers drove the #92 for 15 races in 2011 and posted a career-best NCWTS finish of third at Daytona. Since its reopening, Rogers has the most wins at Rockingham with four victories on the one-mile oval.(RBR Enterprises PR)(4-2-2013)

  • Galloway to debut with SS Greenlight Racing, North Central Indiana Teen Challenge as sponsor: SS Green Light Racing is pleased to announce that 18-year old Indiana open-wheel standout Grant Galloway will join the team for the Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 on April 6th at the Martinsville Speedway. Galloway will pilot the team's No. 07 Toyota under the guidance of longtime driver, owner and crew chief Bobby Dotter. A unique sponsorship program has established with the North Central Indiana Teen Challenge, a faith-based men's center in Elkhart, Indiana. Although it will be Grant's first start in one of NASCAR's premier series, the SS Green Light team will have plenty of experience to back the Indiana teen boasting one of the longest tenures in the NCWTS with 293 consecutive starts dating back to 2001. Dotter, co-owner and long-time NASCAR competitor will personally crew chief Grant in his debut.(SS Green Light Racing PR)(4-2-2013)


    News from April 1, 2013

  • Entry List for the STP Gas Booster 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #11-Martin, #19-Bliss, #32-Schrader, #44-Riggs, #51-Smith, and #55-Vickers. #19-Bliss would had to get in by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the team is too far down the owners points list to use a provisional.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Martinsville Entry List

  • Alan Kulwicki exhibit to open April 5th: The Milwaukee County Historical Society will open Alan Kulwicki: A Champion's Story, on April 5, 2013. The exhibit will remain on display until December 31, 2013. Alan Kulwicki: A Champion's Story highlights the life and racing career of Greenfield, Wisconsin's Alan Kulwicki, the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion. Growing up in a racing family, Alan began racing go-karts in the early 1970s, before moving to stock cars and running on dirt and pavement a few years later. He won races and championships throughout Southeast Wisconsin, including Slinger Speedway and the now-defunct Hales Corners and Cedarburg Speedways. In the early 1980s, Alan began to travel with the American Speed Association (ASA) circuit, winning five races and learning to race against the best drivers in the Midwest.
    In 1985, Alan sold most of his equipment, packed a truck, and moved to North Carolina to break into NASCAR. A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduate and one of the most successful owner-drivers in NASCAR history, Alan won five NASCAR Winston Cup races, numerous pole positions, and in one of the most dramatic season-ending finishes in history, defeated Bill Elliott by a scant ten points to win the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. Sadly, the celebration was short-lived as Alan and five others were killed in a plane crash near Bristol Motor Speedway on April 1, 1993.
    The exhibit, generously supported by the Kulwicki family, features numerous artifacts from Alan's career including driving suits, helmets, trophies, and souvenirs, as well as extensive racing and interview footage. Of particular note are interactive kiosks that feature interviews with Alan's racing family and an interactive racing game that allows the visitor to compete against Alan for the fastest lap. Milwaukee County Historical Society Executive Director, Scott Stroh, stated, "Alan's story is truly inspirational. Through hard work, a commitment to education and learning, and strong family and community ties, Alan pursued and achieved his dream with passion and enthusiasm. He simply never gave up, and this exhibit, through an amazing variety of interactive displays and collection items, will showcase Alan's life and legacy, and also provide insight into how his story is very much Milwaukee's story."
    An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 5, 2013, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Milwaukee County Historical Society, 910 N. Old World 3rd Street, Milwaukee. The event is free and open to the public. Beginning on Saturday, April 6, 2013, admission to the exhibit will be $5.00 for adults, and free for youth under the age of twelve. For more information on the exhibit, please visit www.kulwickiexperience.com or www.milwaukeehistory.net.(Milwaukee County Historical Society)(4-1-2013)

  • Roush Fenway adds marketing resources for partners: Roush Fenway Racing has increased the marketing resources available to the team's partners through the addition of six new hires and the creation of a new department focused on delivering incremental value to team sponsors. The new personnel bring to Roush Fenway areas of expertise including brand marketing, event marketing, television production, digital engagement, NFL player representation and retail activation. Included in RFR's new hires is marketing and industry veteran Mike Mooney, as vice president of partnership development. In addition, the business development department has brought in Garrett Hess as an account executive. Hess moves to RFR from K Sports & Entertainment in Boston where his was Sponsorship Sales Manager and an athlete liaison. In addition to the new personnel is the creation of a strategic marketing department focused on delivering incremental value to team partners through ideation and execution of activation, digital and public relations channels. This team is led by industry veterans Kevin Thomas, Amber Darnell and Kevin Woods, who represent nearly 40 years of NASCAR marketing experience. As one of its first moves, the strategic marketing department added Yasin Id-Deen as Social and Digital Marketing Manager. The team also bolstered its talent and diversity, bringing on television production veteran Rob DiFrank and former Octagon coordinator Amanda Weis as account/pr managers in its sponsor operations department.(Roush Fenway)(4-1-2013)

  • Sad News - Ralph Sanchez: Longtime South Florida businessman and Homestead-Miami Speedway founder Rafael "Ralph" Sánchez died Monday morning. Sánchez, who was born in 1948, had been in declining health for much of the past year. He is survived by wife Lourdes, daughter Patricia and son Ralph Jr. Sánchez, who founded and managed the Grand Prix of Miami starting in 1983, led efforts to bring the motorsports facility to Homestead. He worked with City of Homestead and Miami-Dade County officials to make the track a reality. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the track took place on August 24, 1993 -- exactly one year after Hurricane Andrew wiped out much of Homestead. The track is credited with being a major catalyst for redevelopment following the category five hurricane that leveled large portions of Miami-Dade County. Sánchez was born in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba in 1948, more than a decade before Fidel Castro assumed power. He was placed aboard an airlift from Havana to Miami after his father became fearful for his son's safety because Ralph had been recruited to distribute opposition flyers and deliver supplies to forces fighting the Castro regime. Upon his arrival in Miami, he lived with an aunt and uncle before the couple moved to Nicaragua. Sánchez then resided in a Catholic orphanage until he turned 18. Eventually, Sánchez' parents, his brother and grandmother joined him in Miami via freedom flights in 1966 and 1967. Sánchez earned an accounting degree from Florida Atlantic University, became a real estate salesmen, before moving on to become a land developer, and then a motorsports promoter. Plans for memorial services have not been finalized.(HMS)(4-1-2013)

  • Piquet in the 30 in Martinsville: It was announced today that Nelson Piquet Jr. will pilot Turner Scott Motorsports' fourth entry in the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. Piquet Jr., who is running full-time in the Nationwide Series for Turner Scott Motorsports in 2013, will be behind the wheel of the #30 Wolf Pack Energy Services Chevy Silverado in the Kroger 250. Veteran crew chief Chris Carrier will be calling the shots from atop the pit box. The 2012 NCWTS Most Popular Driver award winner has four previous NCWTS starts in Martinsville, with a best finish of second (fall of 2012). Piquet Jr. has three top-15 finishes at the 0.526-mile paper clip, including two back-to-back top-10 finishes last year.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(4-1-2013)

  • Bodine, Thorsport add races:ThorSport Racing has confirmed that two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine will drive a SealMaster-sponsored Toyota Tundra in this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway. Bodine will also compete in a third ThorSport entry at Rockingham and Kansas Speedways, as a teammate to Matt Crafton and Daytona winner -- and current point leader -- Johnny Sauter. More races can reportedly be added, if sponsorship is found. (Godfather Motorsports)(4-1-2013)

  • Rockingham Speedway to hold autograph session:Fans hoping to get to meet their favorite Camping World Truck Series drivers will have the opportunity to do so on Saturday, April 13 at Rockingham Speedway. The speedway will hold a driver autograph session that morning from 10:15 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. by the famous rocks by the main entrance of the track. The session will take place before the first NCWTS practice for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine The autograph session is open to anyone holding a ticket for Saturday's or Sunday's races. (Rockingham Speedway PR)(4-1-2013)


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1 Neil Goldberg, Fred Graves, Steve Barkdoll, John Krebs, Neil Castles, Mel Larson, Clarence DeZalia

2 John Roberts, Paul Goldsmith, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen

3 Max Papis, Chase Austin, Carolyn Carrier, Bray Pemberton, Sidney Wolfe, Joe Piette Jr., Bobby Santos

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5 J.J. Yeley, Earl Barban, Brian Johnson, Austin Fox, Dave Rezendes, Rick Beebe, Courtney George, J.T. Putney

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13 John Kernan, Michael Ehert, Tim Sauter, David Ifft

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25 Mike Hoffman, Ward Burton, Jon Wood, Taylor Lane Stricklin, Maggie Martin

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28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman

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