December 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 December 31, 2013

  • #98 Team Owner Mike Curb honored: Without the support of longtime music mogul Mike Curb, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame might never have called Kannapolis home. During a brief presentation on Dec. 16 in the city's meeting room at the Kannapolis Train Station, the city of Kannapolis honored Curb for his philanthropy and his contributions to music, motorsports and the growth of the city. The Hall of Fame was incorporated by Doug Croft in Thomasville on May 26, 1994. Its primary goals are to recognize, promote and commemorate the state's musical heritage. Curb is the owner of Curb Records. It's the nation's leading country music label, with stars that include Tim McGraw, The Bellamy Brothers and Lee Brice, whose recording of "I Drive Your Truck" was named the Country Music Association's 2013 Song of the Year. He also has given the city of Kannapolis the Curb Museum for Music and Motorsports, which combines two of his greatest passions.(Charlotte Observer), Curb is currently part-owner of the #98 Phil Parsons team and has two wins as a team owner for Richard Petty in 1984.(12-31-2013)

  • Ernie Irvan's son takes next step in racing career: Jared Irvan was merely an infant when his father, Ernie, retired as a NASCAR driver in 1999, but that never affected his enthusiasm for racing. Ever since he was 4, the younger Irvan has piloted some type of race car. First it was go-karts on the family's dirt track in Mooresville, then quarter midgets at the North Carolina Quarter Midget Association Speedway in Salisbury. The family briefly moved to Charleston, S.C., but upon their return to Midland in Cabarrus County, Irvan began competing in a Ford Focus Midget. He won the championship two consecutive years in that series, while also competing in Legends Cars in Charlotte Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout. Last year, he made his debut in a super late model, with a seventh-place finish at Hickory Motor Speedway. In 2014, with sponsorship from Auramist, the now-15-year-old Irvan will compete full time in the PASS Super Late Model Series. Then, when June arrives, he will split his time between PASS and the CMS Summer Shootout Series. "There's been a lot of good guys run the PASS Super Late Model Series," the older Irvan said when asked how he determined his son's racing route. "We've followed in Ryan Blaney's footsteps. We've been racing quarter midgets, and now we're running a super late model. Hopefully, we can be on the same page with Ryan. Kyle Busch ran that series a lot, and Ross Kenseth, Matt's son, runs that series a lot. So we're really excited about going that path. Hopefully, in the next year or two we can go into the NASCAR K&N Series."
    Ernie Irvan said the super late model team was a family-owned operation, and "because of funding we have to make sure we do it all ourselves." He has employed a crew chief to take care of the car, but he plans to be available whenever needed. Meanwhile, Jared has acquired his knowledge of his father's racing career primarily through watching YouTube videos and the "Miracles Happen" movie. He also listens to his father's stories of his racing days and has learned from them that "you can't take anything for granted. You have to make the best of what you have when you have it," he said. Eventually, Jared Irvan would like to compete in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, but he's focused on learning "as much as I can in every series that I'm in and take away as much as I can from every race that I'm in," he said, "and then try and use that to my advantage in every other race." Irvan's 2014 PASS Super Late Model season begins Feb. 8 in New Smyrna Beach, FL.(Cabarrus News)(12-31-2013)

  • Congrats: Scott Brewer and Samantha Brewer welcomed their daughter Sloan Marie Brewer into the world on December 14, 2013. Scott works for Richard Childress Racing. Grandparents are Tim & Susan Brewer and Claude Queen & Ruth Queen.(12-31-2013)

  • Sad News - Andy Granatelli: Andy Granatelli, the former CEO of STP motor oil company who made a mark on motorsports as a car owner, innovator and entrepreneur, has died. He was 90. Granatelli's son, Vince, said his father died Sunday of congestive heart failure at a Santa Barbara hospital. Granatelli is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.(Associated Press)
    He was one half of perhaps the most important sponsorship deal NASCAR has ever known, a man whose company would become as synonymous with Richard Petty as the driver's seven championships and ostrich-feathered cowboy hat. Everybody knew the King. But everybody in motorsports also knew Andy Granatelli.(NASCAR.com)(12-30-2013)
    A statement from Richard Petty on the passing of Andy Granatelli: "Andy was one of the best at public relations and marketing in all of motorsports. He was ahead of his time and set the standard for selling his products. We still enjoy our relationship with STP today and it was our meetings with Andy that started it all. He was really determined about how he wanted to market his product, and he never stopped wanting to get his way, but that's what made him successful too."(RPM)(12-31-2013)

  • Sad News - Richmond Gage: Richmond Gage, a program chair and instructor for the Motorsports Management and Technology program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, died suddenly on Sunday. He was 51 years old. Richmond had a lengthy career in the motorsports industry, including serving as the Chief Stewart of the USAC Eastern Ford Focus Midget Series. He spent several years working on various NASCAR teams before joining Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to direct and instruct the first accredited degreed-program in motorsports in the United States. He was also the Director of the North Carolina Community College Motorsports Consortium. Gage is survived by his wife Carol, and daughters Alex and Sarah.(NSSN), more info on the Sad News page.(12-24-2013)
    UPDATE: no service info found yet, but a fund to set up the family of Richmond Gage has been established at Wells Fargo. It's the Richmond Gage fund account #6301712680.(12-27-2013)
    Memorial Service Richmond Gage's memorial service is scheduled to be held Saturday January 4th at 2pm at the Hendrick Team Center at Hendrick Motorsports. The address is 4433 Papa Joe Henrick Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28262.(12-31-2013)

  • Former F1 Champ Schumacher In Critical Condition UPDATE2: Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is in a "critical" condition in hospital following a head injury suffered in a fall while skiing with his son in the French Alps. Schumacher was skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel when the accident happened on Sunday morning. Although he was wearing a helmet he suffered a serious head trauma and was flown to hospital in Moutiers by helicopter and was subsequently transferred to a bigger facility in Grenoble. He was reported to be conscious immediately after the accident he had lost consciousness by the time he reached hospital. A statement from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble said Schumacher had "suffered a severe head trauma with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical treatment" and that "he remains in a critical condition".(ESPN F1)
    UPDATE: Michael Schumacher's condition is still "critical" and he is being kept in intensive care at a hospital in Grenoble following a skiing accident on Sunday. In an update on Monday morning, surgeons treating Schumacher said he was operated on immediately to relieve pressure on his head after a brain scan on Sunday night. He is being kept in an artificial coma with treatment to limit a cerebral oedema and a second operation is not currently planned. Professor Jean-Francois Payen added: "We are working hour by hour, we cannot say anything more".(ESPN F1)(12-30-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Schumacher has shown a "slight improvement" but is still in a critical condition, according to doctors treating head injuries he sustained in a skiing accident on Sunday. On Tuesday the medical team at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble said his situation is "better controlled" than it was on Monday, but that he was not out of danger yet and remains in a medically-induced coma in intensive care. Schumacher's condition improved slightly on Monday, presenting an opportunity for doctors to carry out a scan on his brain later in the day. After evaluating the results the doctors were positively surprised and, with the agreement of the family, decided to undertake a second surgical intervention to reduce intercranial pressure. Following the two-hour surgery, which went according to plan, his doctors were able to say his situation has slightly improved since Monday.(ESPN F1)(12-31-2013)


    News from December 30, 2013

  • Former F1 Champ Schumacher In Critical Condition UPDATE: Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is in a "critical" condition in hospital following a head injury suffered in a fall while skiing with his son in the French Alps. Schumacher was skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel when the accident happened on Sunday morning. Although he was wearing a helmet he suffered a serious head trauma and was flown to hospital in Moutiers by helicopter and was subsequently transferred to a bigger facility in Grenoble. He was reported to be conscious immediately after the accident he had lost consciousness by the time he reached hospital. A statement from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble said Schumacher had "suffered a severe head trauma with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical treatment" and that "he remains in a critical condition".(ESPN F1)
    UPDATE: Michael Schumacher's condition is still "critical" and he is being kept in intensive care at a hospital in Grenoble following a skiing accident on Sunday. In an update on Monday morning, surgeons treating Schumacher said he was operated on immediately to relieve pressure on his head after a brain scan on Sunday night. He is being kept in an artificial coma with treatment to limit a cerebral oedema and a second operation is not currently planned. Professor Jean-Francois Payen added: "We are working hour by hour, we cannot say anything more".(ESPN F1)(12-30-2013)

  • Sad News - Andy Granatelli: Andy Granatelli, the former CEO of STP motor oil company who made a mark on motorsports as a car owner, innovator and entrepreneur, has died. He was 90. Granatelli's son, Vince, said his father died Sunday of congestive heart failure at a Santa Barbara hospital. Granatelli is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.(Associated Press)
    He was one half of perhaps the most important sponsorship deal NASCAR has ever known, a man whose company would become as synonymous with Richard Petty as the driver's seven championships and ostrich-feathered cowboy hat. Everybody knew the King. But everybody in motorsports also knew Andy Granatelli.(NASCAR.com)(12-30-2013)

  • Jorkai Motorsports to run some Nationwide races: After a short stint with NASCAR GRAND-AM, Jorkai Motorsports with Jonathan Smith Racing will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2014. We have partnered with 1 Legion Brands & Marketing for sponsorship promotions for the 2014 season. Jonathan Smith, a former NASCAR Drive For Diversity driver, will be the race driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.(Jorkai Motorsports)(12-30-2013)


    News from December 29, 2013

  • Harvick tabbed for opening coin toss at bowl game: Outback Bowl officials announced Kevin Harvick will perform the official coin toss at this year's game between LSU and Iowa at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Harvick will drive the #4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. The Outback Bowl will kick off at noon on New Year's Day between the 14th-ranked Tigers (9-3) and Iowa (8-4).(The Times-Picayune)(12-29-2013)

  • 2013 Pitty Awards announced: PitTalks.com thought they would start a new tradition and give out some awards to culminate a long season. Some include:
    Pit Crew of the year (voted on by crewmen)-#20 car of Joe Gibbs Racing
    Pit Crew of the year (voted on by pit coaches)-#14 of Stewart Haas Racing
    Pit Crew Coach of the year (voted on by crewmen)-Lance Munksgaurd #88/48 Hendrick Motorsports
    All Pro Team (voted on by crewmen) and other awards can be viewed at PitTalks.com.(12-29-2013)

  • Motorsports Racecar & Trade Show returns to Philadelphia: It is considered a mid-winter respite for the racer and the race fan. It is the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports Racecar & Trade Show Fueled by Sunoco & Distributed by Insinger Performance. The show fills more than 225,000 square feet of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks and it all happens starting on Friday, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. and continues through Sunday, Jan. 12.
    Brad Keseslowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, is scheduled to be there from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday to sign autographs. Keselowski went from champion to not being able to make the Chase in 2013. He is revved up and ready to go with the Roger Penske-owned Miller Lite sponsored Ford as the season kicks off February at Daytona International Speedway. Keseslowski has his goal set to be in the Chase again in 2014 and return to championship status. However he will have plenty of competition, including 2013 champion Jimmie Johnson, going for his seventh title, which would tie him with Richard Petty and the late Dale Eanrhardt for most NASCAR Sprint Cup titles earned.
    Long-time fan-favorite Harry Gant, nicknamed Handsome Harry for his movie star good looks, is scheduled to be returning to the Motorsports 2014 show for the first time in several years. Though he was never able to win a Cup title he was a winner in Cup racing many times and a 21 time winner in Nationwide competition. Gant is also well known for his years spent as the driver of the Skoal Bandit Pontiac that was owner in part by movie actor Burt Reynolds. For several years Gant was a fixture at the Motorsports show as he represented Skoal and U.S. Tobacco with their involvement in motorsports and the show. Gant will be celebrating his 73rd birthday at the show on Friday, Jan. 10, and will sign autographs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
    And just added to the lineup of well-known personalities is former NASCAR Cup racer Ricky Craven, who is now an outstanding member of the ESPN motorsports broadcast team. He will be appearing with Gant. Autograph sessions with Gant, Craven and Keselowski will include at question and answer session for the fans to learn more about them.
    Old-timers will be anxious to see the large display dedicated to the once famous East Windsor Speedway, where many of the top talents in the sport were fixtures in Friday night racing action. Meeting fans in the display area will be such greats as Sammy Beavers, Chip Slocum, Kenny Brightbill, Jimmy Horton and many others when a special autograph session is presented on Saturday from 2:00 pm to 4:00pm. For complete information on the show check in at www.aarn.com or telephone 609-888-3618.(12-29-2013)

  • Congrats to Ty Dillon: #3-Ty Dillon tweeted Saturday evening that he is now engaged, "Well cats out of the bag she is mine forever @HaleyKCarey and I are engaged so happy!"(12-29-2013)

  • Watkins Glen International Tickets on Sale Now: Watkins Glen International 2014 tickets and camping are now on sale. For a limited time, those who buy early can save up to $30 by taking advantage of advance pricing. "We are excited to see that a majority of our loyal fans have already made plans to return next year for the Cheez-It 355," stated Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International. Tickets went on sale December 16 and fans have been rushing to take advantage of the savings ever since. Located in the heart of New York's Finger Lakes region, The Glen will heat up during its first official weekend of summer, featuring the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship during the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen (June 26-29). In July, WGI turns from racing to tasting, with the Finger Lakes Wine Festival (July 11-13). In August, New York's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend returns, on its traditional race weekend (August 7-10), with the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen and Nationwide Series Zippo 200. Don't miss the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen, a race that can make-or-break a driver's position leading into the Chase for The NASCAR Sprint Cup. Camping has always been a popular "ticket" to reserve at The Glen. The GEICO Reserved Campgrounds sold out in early February of 2013 for The Glen's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend and this year looks to continue that trend. Quantities are limited and fans looking to secure a campsite should call the ticket office immediately. Event specific information and a complete list of pricing is available at www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(12-29-2013)


    News from December 28, 2013

  • Stewart discusses progress with leg injury: #14-Tony Stewart, still recovering from the last of three surgeries to repair his leg, will be in the Expo Hall at Memorial Coliseum even though he can't drive his black #2 Munchkin midget in the 16th Rumble in Fort Wayne, IN. Event organizer Tony Barhorst has declared the weekend "A Salute to Tony Stewart" in honor of Stewart's devotion to short-track racing, and he'll sign autographs for a couple of hours today and Saturday. In between, he'll watch his pal Lou Cicconi, the 2013 International Supermodified Association champion, wheel the Munchkin around, and wish it could be him. "You know, when I first got hurt, I was hurt bad enough that it didn't really feel like that I had that sense that I was missing it," Stewart says. "But now that I'm closer to being healed, and ready to go, the more anxious I am to be in the car. But, I've got a good friend of mine that's going to drive the car, and you know, to me, I still get to go. I still get to compete as a car owner. So I'm still looking forward to it." And come February, to getting back in the car again. The last surgery was a couple of months ago, and the timetable has him back in the car in time for the Daytona 500. And so far the timetable looks good. "It feels really good, actually," Stewart says. "I'd say the last three weeks in particular in therapy we're really making big gains. So I'm pretty happy with it."(Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)(12-28-2013)

  • Indoor Races return to Atlantic City, Trenton added: NAPA Kknow How Atlantic City and the Battle Of Trenton Indoor races presented by PRC Industries/ Angela House Charity, Indoor races. The two Len Sammons Motorsports Productions events are scheduled two weeks apart. Indoor racing inside Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall is now in its 12th consecutive year of action. Dates are Friday and Saturday January 24 and 25, 2014. The highlight race is the 2014 "Gambler's Classic" a 40 lap TQ / Microsprints feature race for the top 25 cars that qualified through a series of heat and consolation / last chance races. The Trenton schedule calls for Twin 20 lap features for the TQ Midgets and compete program of Slingshots on Friday, Feb. 8 and a compete program for TQ Midgets and Champ Karts on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, NJ. See aarn.com for more details on the races.(12-28-2013)

  • Sad News - Dennis Wood: Dennis Wood, former owner of Phoenix International Raceway and the man largely credited with saving the track, died Thursday at the age of 75. Wood was born in Phoenix and attended Phoenix Union High. He spent 23 years at PIR and became the owner after purchasing it for $325,000 in 1976. and was a key figure in PIR's development before selling it to Buddy Jobe in 1985. Wood was instrumental in bringing the first Copper World Classic to the track in 1977, and was perhaps Wood's "real love," according to Steve Stroud, president of the Arizona Open Wheel Racing Museum.
    PIR President Bryan Sperber said Wood was a huge influence on racing in the Valley. "Dennis was an icon in motor racing and played a critical role in PIR's history," Sperber said Friday. "It saddens all of us at Phoenix International Raceway to learn of his passing. Racing lost a great one whose impact will live on."
    Racing legend A.J. Foyt, a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, was good friends with Wood. "Denny and I had a lot of fun together through the years," Foyt said. "He was a good friend, a hell of a sportswriter and a great race promoter. I liked working with him because he was a straight shooter and a hard worker. We had a lot of respect for each other. He was a hell of a guy." Wood also wrote for The Republic and Phoenix Gazette, was general manager at the since-closed Manzanita Speedway and is a member of the Arizona Motorsports Hall of Fame.(Arizona Republic)(12-28-2013)


    News from December 27, 2013

  • Johnson 3rd in voting for Male Athlete of the Year: #48-Jimmie Johnson's sixth Sprint Cup championship wasn't enough to earn him the Associated Press' 2013 Male Athlete of the Year award, which wound up going to the Miami Heat's LeBron James. The leader of the "Heatles" earned 31 of 96 votes cast in a poll of news organizations, enough to beat out Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in second (20 votes) and Johnson, who finished third with seven votes. Nonetheless, the Hendrick Motorsports driver didn't seem too perturbed by coming up short in winning the award, which has been given out annually since 1931. In fact, he took the loss in stride on Twitter, even taking time during a tweet on the subject to deliver an apparent jab toward all of the people who look down upon his job as un-athletic. He tweeted, "So I'm told the @AP or @AP_Sports ranked me as the 3rd best athlete of 2013 .. not bad for a non-athlete".(NBC Sports)(12-27-2013)

  • BK Racing gets new pit crew coach: BK Racing has decided to move in another direction with their pit crew coach and over the off season they hired long time Cup coach Gary Smith to run their program. Last year Gary worked with the Front Row Motorsports group and has spent many years before that as a coach and Crewmen. Gary brings years of experience to the team and sees an opportunity to improve at BK. "I've had the opportunity to work with Mike Ford before and we work well together. Rick Carpenter and the owners are dedicated to winning and that excited me about the future and building a good pit crew to help with the performance of the teams." Pit crews are generating a lot more attention due to the inability to pass on the track. Everyone is looking to make their teams better and adding Gary Smith to the BK line up is a good start. Gary will inherited a team from last year with very few returning starters and expects to build a team they can build on.(Pit Talks)(12-27-2013)

  • New book about spotters: Veteran motorsports media member and retired NASCAR race day spotter John Close announced the publishing of his third book - On The Spot - Life In The Fast Lane As A NASCAR Spotter. The volume - which is Close's first electronic book - is now available as a FREE download at www.closefinishes.com. "On The Spot will allow race fans to get an inside look at what happens up on the spotters stand during a professional motorsports event," stated Close, who spotted more than 150 NASCAR Cup, Nationwide and Truck events as well as dozens of short-track races from 1995-2008. "Spotting is one of the least publicized and most misunderstood aspects of auto racing. Considering the importance of spotters in today's high-pressure world of stock car racing, I think fans will find it an enlightening and interesting read."In On The Spot, Close takes you up on the spotter's stand where he relates some of his most memorable race events and personal experiences. Additional chapters in the book cover the history of NASCAR race spotting and how the practice and equipment have evolved over the years since first implemented in the early 1950s. On The Spot also includes an introduction by NASCAR Sprint Cup star and Wisconsin native Matt Kenseth. A host of current NASCAR spotters - and others such as NASCAR driving legend Buddy Baker - contributed to the book which also features more than 100 photos taken by Close and top motorsports photographers such as Nigel Kinrade, Brian Czobat and Russ Lake.(PR)(12-27-2013)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame adds Teague's 1952 Hudson Hornet: As part of the revamped Glory Road set to debut Saturday, Jan. 11, the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced the final exclusive sneak peek of the cars included in the exhibit. Marshall Teague's 1952 #6 Hudson Hornet will join the 18 historic cars that will comprise the exhibit. The reveal took place online on the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages on Dec. 26. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will be closed from Jan. 6-10 to prepare for the special exhibit reveal and additional venue enhancements.
    Marshall Teague built and drove the 1952 #6 Hudson Hornet sponsored by Hudson Motor Company, the first manufacturer in NASCAR history to support a race team. Teague's 1951 victory at Daytona Beach drew the attention of Hudson Motor Company leading to a sponsorship and allowing Teague to sign a second driver to his team - 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Herb Thomas. Teague went on to win at Daytona Beach in 1952, marking the first back-to-back win on the beach-road course. Teague and Thomas won 10 races throughout the season, and Thomas finished second in points to champion Tim Flock. The Hudson Hornet's "step-down" frame design gave the car a low center of gravity greatly increasing its handling capabilities. Its "Twin H Power" carburetion system used two carburetors to power its potent six-cylinder flathead engine. The Hudson Hornet brand dominated NASCAR racing in the early 1950s with various drivers capturing 80 wins from 1951 through early 1955 and winning three consecutive championships in 1951, 1952 and 1953.(NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(12-27-2013)


    News from December 26, 2013

  • Larson partners with Texas DOT to encourage sober rides: As the holiday season rings in festivities and family gatherings, the Texas Department of Transportation teamed with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson in an effort to remind party goers to share the gift of a sober ride as part of their seasonal goodwill. "I may drive faster speeds than most, but it doesn't take a professional to know that you must stay sober to drive safely," Larson said. "Getting thrown in jail or landing in the hospital will not only wreck your holidays, but also will wreck your life. From one driver to another, I ask everyone to find a sober ride and don't drink and drive." Larson's message is complementing the extra hours law enforcement officers across Texas have been putting in since Dec. 13 through Jan. 1 to crack down on drunk driving. Last year during the New Year's holiday reporting period (from Dec. 28 through Jan. 1), there were 149 DWI alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 16 fatalities and 33 serious injuries. In an effort to curb this dangerous holiday trend, TxDOT is encouraging people to plan for a sober ride home by visiting soberrides.org.(Texas DOT)(12-26-2013)

  • MRN's Steve Post to appear on Food Network: Motor Racing Network pit reporter Steve Post, also the co-host of MRN.com's weekly "Fast Food" program during the NASCAR season, will be featured in an upcoming episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on the Food Network. The show, titled "Soup, Salad and Seafood," is hosted by Guy Fieri and will air Monday, Dec. 30, at 10pm/et. It was taped in October at "PotPie," a home-style restaurant in Kansas City, Mo. Post says next week's program is an outgrowth of a friendship he and Fieri have struck up in recent years.
    "We had a chance to interview Guy when he was Grand Marshal for a Sprint Cup Series race in Sonoma (Calif.)," Post said. "We hit it off pretty good and talked about doing some more shows together, previewing great places to eat in upcoming race towns." Their schedules merged again this year, in early October. Fieri was in the Midwest to tape next week's show and Post was on his way to Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series race. "I shot him a note about being in Kansas City and the first thing he texted back was an invitation to one of their tapings," Post recalls. "The next morning at 7 a.m., I was headed to PotPie. I assumed I was there to watch the taping and was just trying to stay out of the way when he (Fieri) grabbed a chair and said, 'Post, sit here.' The next thing I know, we were sitting with cameras rolling talking about the incredible chicken pot pie that was served to me."(Motor Racing Network)(12-26-2013)

  • Carl Long forming own Nationwide team: According to a post on his website, Carl Long will operate a Nationwide team in 2014:
    "I am putting my own team back on the track in 2014. I This effort will be a combination of people. First is Gregg Mixon and partner, they have purchased two Penske Dodges so far. I have different people who have helped me attain 3 more Penske Dodges. JC Blum owns one car at moment, and plans are being made for him. John Carter, owner of the #37 and #08 cup cars I drove a few years ago, has contributed with parts to help me with Daytona. Chuck Friedel owner of #54 nationwide car I raced at Dover some years ago has made the purchase of Penske Dodges possible. Chuck and his wife Joan have been supporting my racing effort for the last few years. Although limited, we now will be able to put all stuff together. I have a purchase pending of a Toyota team equipment. I have a few drivers that may work through us to on their own car and race under our banner. Otherwise, myself and Matt Carter will do [start and park] to keep payroll while we look for sponsors and develop the team. We will be using Penske engines and looking at different locations for the shop. If a funded driver is available to race, Matt will do the S&P and I will get out of the seat. Hope to give a formal announcement in weeks ahead."(Carl Long)(12-26-2013)


    News from December 25, 2013

  • NASCAR "Loopies" Awards announced: Sometime in the middle of November, as NASCAR prepared for its 2013 culmination, the good folks at Oxford announced "selfie" as their word of 2013. Well, since then, a new word has taken the sports world by storm: Loopie. As in: Statistically based awards using NASCAR's Loop Data. One day, Oxford will wait until the end of December to make its announcement. A quick primer on the Loopies: NASCAR's Integrated Marketing Communications squad dug through, deciphered and deliberated on pages upon pages of Loop Data statistics to come up with one final batch of awards. And here they are...
    Most Improved Driver Award: Points position... wins... top 10s... laps led. These are the factors most often used to determine Most Improved Driver. Not here. We use driver rating, the ultimate picture painter when deciding upon a driver’s year-over-year performance. And the winner of this year's Most Improved Loopie: Kurt Busch, who finished 2012 with a driver rating of 71.0. This year, that number ballooned to 93.0, an increase of 22.0 - the largest in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Interestingly, second and third on that list were Joey Logano (an increase of 12.8 points) and Matt Kenseth (11.0). That means the top three were all drivers who just completed their first full season with a new team.
    Least Improved Driver Award: This is what makes the Loopies unique. Not every award is coveted. Like this one. This one goes to the driver who had the biggest drop in driver rating. The unlucky winner: Denny Hamlin. In 2012, he chipped in an excellent driver rating of 100.9. This season, it fell to 82.4, a difference of 18.5. No need to worry for Hamlin, however. He heads into 2014 hot. Three of his last four finishes were in the top 10 (including his season-finale win at Homestead-Miami Speedway), and two of those resulted in a driver rating over 100. We believe Vegas has posted him as even money for the Most Improved Loopie in 2014.
    Jimmie Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award: A new award, this one goes to the driver who has assembled a career that most resembles that of Jimmie Johnson, one of the all-time NASCAR legends. The winner: Jimmie Johnson. With its inception in 2005, Loop Data is now nine years old. During that span, Johnson has posted otherworldly stats - and he doesn't show signs of slowing down. A few superlatives: Series highs in career driver rating (105.9), fastest laps run (8,071), laps in the top 15 (75,070) and average running position (10.206). Additionally, this year, he set Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup records in driver rating (125.8), average running position (5.165) and laps in the top 15 (3,001).
    Project Makeover Award: This goes to the driver who switched teams in 2013, and became a completely different competitor. Congratulations, Matt Kenseth. Here's why: Kenseth ranked second in laps led with 1,783. His average rank in the five seasons prior to 2013 was 9.8. (Another fun fact: His 1,783 laps led were more than his laps led total in the previous four seasons, combined.)
    It's Go Time Award: This one goes to the top "closer" in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The "closer" stat measures the positions gained or lost in the last 10 percent of races. And the Loopie goes to: Dale Earnhardt Jr., who improved 68 positions over the final 10 percent of races this year, tops in the series. That accounts for almost two positions per race, and the reason for his career-high 22 top-10 finishes. In eight races this season, Earnhardt came from outside-to-inside the top 10 with 10 percent of the laps remaining.
    No, Really, It's Go Time, Why Aren't You Going? Award: While statistics like average finish and laps led tell fans what a driver did, Loop Data tells them how and why a driver did it. Here's a possible explanation of why the winner of this award went otherwise winless this season for the first time since 2009. The unfortunate winner: Clint Bowyer. The reason: He lost 67 positions in the final 10 percent of races, the second highest figure in the series. That means a very strong season could have been that much better. On the bright side, he did win this Loopie.
    Stefan Kretschmann Lifetime Achievement Award: Nothing pleases an awards show crowd - and dictates a standing ovation - like a Lifetime Achievement Award. That's why the Loopies have two of them this year. (It's been seven years of this ... we do what we gotta do.) A quick explanation on the namesake of this award: Stefan Kretschmann works for our good friends at Stats, LLC in Chicago, and is considered the godfather of Loop Data. The formulas that make Loop Data so interesting and invaluable are his brainchild. Prior winners of this prestigious award included Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. The winner this year ... Jeff Gordon. If not for Johnson, Gordon would lead almost all key Loop Data categories. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, he is second in fastest laps run (5,006), average running position (11.9), laps in the top 15 (70,985) and percentage of laps run on the lead lap (89.4 percent). In addition, only three drivers have posted a 90+ driver rating each year from 2006 to present in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition: Gordon, and the two previous winners (Johnson and Busch).(NASCAR)(12-25-2013)


    News from December 24, 2013

  • FAS Lane and Go Green Racing enter joint venture: FAS Lane Racing owner, Frank Stoddard, and Go Green Racing owner, Archie St. Hilaire, announce that they have entered into a joint venture for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and beyond. "Frank has a great program here at FAS Lane Racing and we believe that by combining our resources, we can take the program to the next level," said St. Hilaire. "It's been my goal to race in the Sprint Cup Series on a weekly basis and this joint venture makes the most sense for both parties." Stoddard and St.Hilaire both recognize the increasing challenges to being competitive at the Sprint Cup level. By combining resources from both their teams, they believe the joint venture will strengthen the overall program of the #32 Ford. Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte will return to the teams #32 entry to compete in the season opening Daytona 500. The driver list for the remaining races will be announced in the coming weeks. The team also announces that they have hired veteran crew chief Dan Stillman, giving Stoddard more time to focus on the business side and assist in securing marketing and sponsorship opportunities for the team. The team will continue to operate out of the FAS Lane Racing shop in Mooresville, North Carolina where they will continue to field Fords and utilize Roush/Yates engines.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(12-24-2013)

  • NASCAR changes spoiler height for Daytona: NASCAR tweeted Monday afternoon that they have altered the spoiler size that teams will use February in Daytona.
    "NASCAR notified Sprint Cup teams today that the spoiler size for the January DIS test and the 2014 Daytona 500 event week, including the Sprint Unlimited, will be 4.5 inches tall. This is .5 inches taller than previously. NASCAR says the taller spoiler size should allow for a little more rear down force which should make the cars a little more stable."(12-24-2013)

  • UPS to end NASCAR involvement after 2014: UPS notified NASCAR and Roush Fenway Racing that it plans to end its sponsorship of the sport and team following the '14 Sprint Cup season. The move comes after UPS in 2012 dropped its full-season primary sponsorship of the #6 Cup entry then driven by David Ragan. The company has shifted its focus over the last several years from NASCAR to college sports, signing one of the first national sponsorships with IMG College. UPS signed a four-year, $100M deal with 68 colleges in August '11. UPS is the latest in a series of blue-chip sponsors to end their official NASCAR agreements, including PNG and DirecTV. Meanwhile, NASCAR added HP and Sherwin-Williams as sponsors this year. NASCAR Chief Sales Officer Jim O'Connell in a statement said, "UPS has been a fantastic partner to NASCAR over the last decade-and-a-half. As we celebrate its long and successful tenure, we also welcome seven new companies to the family of Official NASCAR Partners." UPS PR Dir Susan Rosenberg added in a statement, "UPS has enjoyed tremendous success through its partnership with NASCAR, including sponsorships at the league, team and track level. The business-to-business opportunities provided within NASCAR have proven valuable to UPS and have helped achieve desired results and accomplished the goals we set forth. The UPS decision to exit NASCAR is strictly a business decision to align with new business priorities."(Sports Business Daily)(12-24-2013)

  • Sad News - Richmond Gage: Richmond Gage, a program chair and instructor for the Motorsports Management and Technology program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, died suddenly on Sunday. He was 51 years old. Richmond had a lengthy career in the motorsports industry, including serving as the Chief Stewart of the USAC Eastern Ford Focus Midget Series. He spent several years working on various NASCAR teams before joining Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to direct and instruct the first accredited degreed-program in motorsports in the United States. He was also the Director of the North Carolina Community College Motorsports Consortium. Gage is survived by his wife Carol, and daughters Alex and Sarah.(NSSN)(12-24-2013)

  • Sad News - Chris "Blue" Margolin: Christopher J. Margolin, of Budd Lake, NJ, passed away on Sunday December 22, 2013 at St. Clare's Hospital, Denville Campus. He was 60 years of age. Born in Hollywood, CA, Chris resided in Hopatcong, NJ for 25... years before moving to Budd Lake in 2004. He was an Electrical Technician for CAT Entertainment Services of Florida working with NASCAR. Chris enjoyed race cars and his Corvette. In his early years, he enjoyed surfing on the California beaches and racing midget cars in Pine Brook, NJ. Chris was especially fond of the time spent with his grandchildren and his visits to Las Vegas with his wife, Audrey. He was an active volunteer as a coach for the Hopatcong Warriors Youth Football and past president of the Hopatcong Little League.
    Chris was predeceased by his daughter, Stephanie, his mother, Glenna and a brother Kameron. Survivors include his wife, Audrey, 2 sons, TJ and Jay and their wives Natalie and Melissa. Also surviving are Chris' four grandchildren, Tyler, Alyssa, Arianna and Cameron, his father, James and wife, Dottie, siblings, Mitchell and wife, Mary, Scott and Sandy, and father and mother in law, Vincent and Ora Jane Bauer. See the obituary and more info about services, donations, condolences on my Sad News Page)(12-24-2013)


    News from December 23, 2013

  • IndyCar TV ratings and the impact from NASCAR: IndyCars' popularity on television displays a downward trend for much of its history, while the last four seasons with ABC and NBC Sports Network have been relatively flat. Some key findings:
    • Races earn household audiences that are roughly 6% larger when airing on networks that hold a major contract with NASCAR. As such, IndyCar should expect an augmented number of viewers when NASCAR enters NBCSN's line-up in 2015. Interestingly enough, however, when an IndyCar race airs directly opposite of a Cup Series event; the open-wheel series loses a quarter of its typical audience. Events also suffer significantly when competing for viewers with the NFL and college football (30% and 17%, respectively).
    • Oval facilities listed as one-mile or greater in length earn the highest television ratings among track configurations, all other variables held constant. Shorter ovals draw a similar audience, while street and road courses result in ratings reductions of 10% and 18%, respectively. An event held on a street circuit that draws a 0.2 television rating, for example, would increase to 0.3 (depending on rounding) if the race were held on a large oval.
    • IndyCar events on NBCSN result in a 38% decrease in television ratings compared to a similar race on ESPN (an open-wheel partner from 1997 through 2008). To examine the relationship between current partners, a similar race on NBCSN reduces ratings by 70% compared to ABC.
    • Danica Patrick's presence in the IndyCar Series was meaningful. Her participation garnered home audiences that were 13% greater than events in which she did not appear. Ms. Patrick's finishing in the top 5 resulted in a ratings boost of 25% for the following race, all other terms held equal.
    See much more at NASCARnomics.(12-23-2013)


    News from December 22, 2013

  • Work to begin on former NASCAR property in New York: The company responsible for transforming an idle industrial property into a thriving marine port says it will soon begin the first part of a lengthy construction process. The effort involves collecting and spreading an estimated 4.3 million cubic yards of clean fill material across portions of a 676-acre site in Bloomfield that was once expected to be a NASCAR arena. The process to erect a surface cover over most of the property will be the first part of a three-phase project and is expected to take at least three years. The location, now referred to by SIMD as the 380 Development Site, previously housed the GATX petroleum storage facility.(Staten Island Advance)(12-22-2013)


    News from December 21, 2013

  • Like Father, Like Son: Chase Elliott Takes His First Laps Around Daytona: Bill Elliott has a big place in the history of racing at Daytona International Speedway. He is a two-time Daytona 500 champion and the record holder for the fastest lap around DIS in a stock car with a speed of 210.364 mph. On Friday, the next chapter in the Elliott legacy at the "World Center of Racing" began as Elliott's son Chase took his first laps around the storied 2.5-mile tri-oval as part of the three-day ARCA test session. "It was really exciting for me," Elliott said of his first laps driving the #9 Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet around Daytona. "I told Dad this when we were flying down here, it's weird coming down here and not to come watch him (drive). It's kind of a weird feeling for him and I both." Bill Elliott is in attendance for the test and Chase plans to pick his brain when it comes to drafting. The 18-year-old Elliott of Dawsonville, Ga., is one of the rising stars in stock car racing. He is a developmental driver for Hendrick Motorsports and has been competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, ARCA and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. ARCA testing continues through Sunday and is open free to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway Tours and Ticket Building. Tickets for the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(12-21-2013)

  • New Miss Sprint Cup named: Madison Martin, a 23-year-old from Cumberland, Md., is the newest addition to the Miss Sprint Cup lineup. Martin will join Kim Coon and Brooke Werner as representatives for Sprint, entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, for the 2014 season. "The biggest part is bringing NASCAR to the fans," Martin said of her new job. "Giving them that cool, personal experience that I had at my first race. If I can make somebody's day by talking to them ... about the sport I love, that's an amazing opportunity."(NASCAR.com)(12-21-2013)

  • 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Top Performances: Although he's only competed in NASCAR's national series fulltime for four years, Austin Dillon has already perfected the art of proving he's the best rookie in a series one year and the series' best overall driver the next. In 2014, he gets an opportunity to start the process all over again when he moves to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

    In 2010, Dillon captured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. He followed it up with the series title in 2011 on the strength of two wins. The following season, Dillon jumped to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, again taking home the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

    The 23-year-old driver from Welcome, N.C., entered 2013 with high expectations and hopes of duplicating his previous track accolades. Despite not reaching Victory Lane, his strong performances week after week yielded finishes that kept him in the championship conversation throughout the season.

    Dillon became only the third driver to win titles in both the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, joining Greg Biffle and Johnny Benson. If Dillon's track record holds true to form and he wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in 2014 and the series' crown during his career, he would become the first driver to earn rookie of the year honors and win championships in each of NASCAR's three national series.

    Although Dillon and his two closest rivals throughout the season, Sam Hornish Jr. and Regan Smith, took turns sharing the points lead in the drivers' standings, it was Penske Racing's No. 22 Ford and Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 54 Toyota that battled back and forth for the owners' championship. Four different drivers - Brad Keselowski (six), Joey Logano (three), AJ Allmendinger (two) and Ryan Blaney (one) - piloted the Penske Ford to the checkered flag 12 times and, ultimately, the title.

    Top Drivers
    Austin Dillon - Dillon's 2013 campaign was a model of consistency in which he only finished outside the top 20 twice in 33 races. As the season progressed so did his finishes, wrapping up the season with an 11-race streak of top-12 finishes, including a pair of runner-up performances at Kentucky and Charlotte. After a long climb from seventh in points after the first Charlotte race, Dillon claimed the top spot in the standings for good after placing sixth in the fall Kansas race. Though winless on the year, Dillon posted 13 top fives and 22 top 10s. Additionally, he captured a series-high seven poles, including a series-record four in a row.

    Kyle Busch / Sam Hornish Jr. (Honorable Mention) - No one can dispute that Kyle Busch was on a mission to prove that his winless 2012 season was a fluke. By season's end, he had visited Victory Lane 12 times (one shy of his personal best) and posted 22 top 10s in only 26 races. He led at least one lap in 20 races, and fell one point shy of winning Joe Gibbs Racing its fifth owners' crown in six years. Hornish ran atop the points standings or in second after 30 of the 33 races, winning at Las Vegas in the third race of the season. He finished as the top points-eligible driver in 10 races, finishing second only three points behind Dillon in the final rankings.

    Comeback Drivers of the Year
    Regan Smith - After starting 102 races over the course of six years without a win, Smith took a five-year break from competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series to focus on his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. He returned to series competition for the 2012 season finale at Homestead, where he won driving for JR Motorsports. He came back in 2013 as the full-time driver of the organization's No. 7 Chevrolet. He posted personal bests in wins (two), top fives (eight) and top 10s (19) - all of which eclipsed his career totals heading into the season. Smith finished third in the final standings, 17 spots better than his previous best back in 2005.

    Trevor Bayne (Honorable Mention) - Going into the 2013 season, no driver had more pressure to succeed than Trevor Bayne, who replaced back-to-back NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Bayne's June win at Iowa was huge for a team that had experienced great success with Stenhouse, but was still waiting to see if their new driver was capable of handling the expectations that come with working with a championship-caliber team. Bayne delivered, posting personal bests in top fives (seven) and top 10s (21), as well as finishing a career-best sixth in the standings. He spent all but four weeks in the top 10 of the standings.

    Top Teams
    Penske Racing - No other team in NASCAR's No. 2 series demonstrated as much dominance as Penske Racing with all five of its drivers winning at least once in 2013, accounting for 14 wins. Four of its drivers - Keselowski, Logano, Allmendinger and Blaney - all piloted the No. 22 Ford to Victory Lane en route to capturing the owners' title. Hornish also collected one win in the No. 12 Ford, with Keselowski tacking on one more victory in the No. 48 Ford in the season finale at Homestead. 

    Joe Gibbs Racing (Honorable Mention) - Although the No. 54 Toyota, driven primarily by Kyle Busch, grabbed most of the headlines for JGR this season, the organization also fielded three other NASCAR Nationwide cars. The No. 54 entry moved atop the owners' standings after the sixth race of the season and held it for 16 consecutive weeks before relinquishing its perch. Matt Kenseth also pulled in two victories in the No. 18 Toyota.

    Top Breakthrough Performances  
    Kyle Larson - When Larson crossed the finish line second in the season finale at Homestead, he added another impressive race finish to an already-remarkable rookie season. The California native won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award by 82 points over Alex Bowman, becoming the first NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate and first Asian-American driver to receive the award in a national series. He finished eighth in the final points standings after posting nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes, including four runner-up performances. In the March Bristol race, Larson went toe-to-toe with Kyle Busch over the final laps before finishing 0.023 seconds behind the veteran driver, proving he has the ability to compete against the more-experienced drivers when he moves to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014.

    Brian Scott (Honorable Mention) - In his fourth full-time season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Scott was hoping his switch to Richard Childress Racing would bring him more success. Although the move didn't result in trips to Victory Lane, he improved his stats across the board - top fives (three), top 10s (13) and final position in the standings (seventh). There was no race at which his talent was more apparent than the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond in September. Scott started on the pole and led the first 239 circuits in the 250-lap event, before finishing second to Brad Keselowski.

    Top Races
    Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 17) - The NASCAR Nationwide Series made its first trip to Ohio for NASCAR's first national series event at Mid-Ohio in Lexington, located about an hour away from the series' entitlement sponsor's headquarters. The lead changed hands eight times among seven drivers with the eventual race winner AJ Allmendinger leading a race-high 73 laps, including the final 31. The road course was a welcome sight for several road-ringers who all took turns at the point, including Allmendinger, Michael McDowell (finished second) and Max Papis (fourth).

    Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Mar. 16) - The finish in this 300-lap event at the coliseum nestled in the mountains of northeastern Tennessee provided a classic duel between veteran driver and young gun. As the laps wound down, Kyle Larson charged to the front of the field in an attempt to overtake Kyle Busch. Unable to catch Busch, Larson hugged the bumper of the No. 54 Toyota with one lap to go. Busch dropped to the bottom of the track and Larson stayed up top, but as they crossed the finish line the two were door-to-door with the veteran besting the rookie by a fender.

    DuPont Pioneer 250 at Iowa Speedway (June 9) - In an attempt to win his first race, eventual series champion Austin Dillon dominated, leading 207 of the 250 laps before surrendering his spot at the front of the pack to Trevor Bayne with 12 laps to go. Dillon started the race on the pole for the third time in as many races. The race saw 12 lead changes among four drivers. Bayne, who got married five days earlier, notched his second career victory in the series and his first since taking over the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford vacated by two-time NASCAR Nationwide champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (NASCAR)(12-21-2013)

  • Pocono Raceway Announces New Fan Council Members: Pocono Raceway announced today the 20 members who will make up the 2014 Pocono Raceway Fan Council. All members, including those selected for the inaugural Fan Council last year, will now serve a two-year term. The Fan Council's main object is to help improve the overall fan experience for all who attend events at "The Tricky Triangle."
    "We are excited to welcome the new members to our Fan Council and we cannot wait to see what they will bring to the table this year," said Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway President/CEO. "Additionally, the inaugural Fan Council members did such an amazing job; we decided to extend their term one more year and the terms of all future members for a total of two years. Pocono received nearly 100 applications this year. The Pocono Raceway Fan Council will complete surveys, meet quarterly and assist with promotional events throughout the year. Fan Council members will be active during the three major race weekends at Pocono as they interact with fellow fans and learn about their experiences.(view the names at the Pocono Raceway website)(12-21-2013)

  • Jennifer Imbimbo Promoted at Sonoma Raceway: Jennifer Imbimbo has been promoted to Senior Manager of Media and Community Relations at Sonoma Raceway, raceway officials announced. With her increased role, Imbimbo will help oversee the planning and execution of all media relations events at the raceway, including the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and IndyCar Series race weekends. She will also take on a larger role in developing and executing community events and fundraising activities for Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of the raceway. Imbimbo, 33, has been employed at Sonoma Raceway since 2006, serving as Manager of Media and Community Relations since 2008. "Jennifer is an integral member of our media relations department and raceway staff," said Diana Brennan, senior director of media and community relations for Sonoma Raceway. "Her work-ethic, passion and integrity are to be admired, and I have no doubt she will excel in this new role." Imbimbo completed her undergraduate work at UCLA and earned a master's degree in sports sciences at the University of the Pacific. She is a native of Marin County and currently resides in Terra Linda.(Sonoma Raceway)(12-21-2013)


    News from December 20, 2013

  • 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top Performances: #48-Jimmie Johnson took a giant step toward joining NASCAR's pantheon of legends. And he did it in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series" Gen-6 race car, which made its debut in record-setting fashion. Johnson, whose run of five consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships ended in 2011, regained his winning form. His "six pack" of titles is one fewer than the seven championships won by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt - a record the 38-year-old El Cajon, Calif., competitor will stalk in 2014. Johnson won his second Daytona 500 and became the first competitor since 1982 to post a season sweep at Daytona International Raceway.
    The Gen-6 car, a collaborative and far-reaching initiative undertaken by NASCAR, Toyota, Chevrolet Division of General Motors and Ford Motor Company to put the "stock" back in stock car, provided close, competitive racing. The season saw 19 track qualifying records broken; a record number (127,306) of Green Flag Passes; and the lowest Margin of Victory (1.267 seconds) since 2005. Twenty races ended with a margin of victory of less than one second, up from 17 in 2012. Seventeen different drivers - including five who had gone winless the previous season - went to Victory Lane, two fewer than the series' modern era record.
    Top Driver
    Jimmie Johnson: With four victories, Johnson led the points standings after all but three of the regular season's 26 races. The Hendrick Motorsports driver, however, started the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" as the No. 2 seed behind Matt Kenseth. Victories at Dover International Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway enabled Johnson to keep pace with and then pass his rival. The only driver to qualify in all 10 years of the Chase era, Johnson posted an average finish of 5.0 in the 2013 Chase to edge Kenseth by 19 points. Johnson's championships have come in three different generations of NASCAR Sprint Cup cars.
    Matt Kenseth (Honorable Mention): Many felt 2013 would be a learning year as Kenseth transitioned from driving a Ford for Roush Fenway Racing to piloting a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff, however, jelled from the first Daytona 500 practice, in which Kenseth led 86 laps before his No. 20 Toyota succumbed to engine failure. He won a career-best seven times, including the first two races of the Chase. Kenseth led the Chase after six of its first eight races before handling issues and a 23rd-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway effectively doomed his hopes for a second NASCAR Sprint Cup title.
    Comeback Driver of the Year
    Kurt Busch: Two seasons after his release from Penske Racing, Kurt Busch's career has risen from the ashes thanks to a gritty performance behind the wheel of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet. Busch didn't win, but he did just about everything but. He wheeled the Denver, Colo.-based organization into the Chase, the first time a single-car team has qualified for NASCAR's postseason. Busch finished 10th in the final standings with a solid log of 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. The performance earned Busch a spot in a fourth Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet for 2014.
    Kyle Busch (Honorable Mention): After a lost year in which he failed to qualify for the Chase, Kyle Busch roared back in 2013 to make his strongest bid yet for a premier series championship. He won four times during the regular season and finished second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kenseth in the opening two races of the Chase. A 34th-place finish at Kansas Speedway ended Busch's title hopes but his fourth-place overall ranking is the Las Vegas native's best since becoming a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup competitor in 2005. Busch posted 22 top-10 finishes and won three poles - each a season best.
    Top Team
    Hendrick Motorsports: Rick Hendrick again qualified all four of his drivers - Johnson, Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne - for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Johnson produced the organization's 11th NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and won six times. Kahne won twice. Gordon extended his reign as the series' active win leader with his 88th career victory in October's Chase race at Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt failed to find Victory Lane but his 10 top-five finishes were a season best in a Hendrick Chevrolet, which matched his top output of 2004.
    Joe Gibbs Racing (Honorable Mention): Coach Gibbs' three drivers - Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin - gave JGR the most victories among team owners in 2013. Their combined total of 12, led by Kenseth's seven victories, represented a .333 winning percentage over the season's 36 races. Kenseth entered the Chase with the No. 1 seed. Kenseth and Busch ranked one-two through the first two races of the postseason before finishing second and fourth, respectively, in final points. It marked the first time since 1999 that two JGR drivers ranked among the top five overall.
    Top Breakthrough Performance
    Joey Logano: In his first season with Penske Racing, Logano upstaged his new teammate, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski. Logano qualified for his first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, while Keselowski became just the second champion during the Chase era to fall short of postseason qualification. The Connecticut native won for the first time in the No. 22 Ford in August at Michigan International Speedway. He posted season bests in overall finish (eighth), top fives (11) and top 10s (19) and laps led (323).
    Brian Vickers (Honorable Mention): Once tabbed a "can't miss" prospect after winning a NASCAR Nationwide Series championship at age 20 and a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup races, Vickers' career had been stymied by illness. Vickers latched onto a part-time job with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012 and finished three of eight races among the top five. This year saw Vickers take the team's No. 55 Toyota to Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway - confirming his status as the car's full-time driver in 2014.
    Top Races
    Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, May 4 - Often a back-and-forth affair, this May's race at Talladega Superspeedway lived up to the track's reputation. It also provided the surprise winner of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season - David Ragan. Ragan, who had previously won at Daytona International Speedway driving for Roush Fenway Racing in 2011, was pushed to victory by his current Front Row Motorsports teammate David Gilliland. It was Front Row's first victory in NASCAR's premier series.
    Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, March 24 (Honorable Mention) - Kyle Busch was the benefactor of all-or-nothing beating and banging on the final lap between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin during March's race at Auto Club Speedway. As Logano and Hamlin traded paint for the win - a battle that caused both to wreck - Busch came on the outside to steal the victory. The Gen-6 race car produced 41 green flag passes for the lead during this one, tying the track record at the Southern California two-miler.
    IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, August 24 (Honorable Mention) - Bristol's annual night race is a spectacle - the perfect stage for late-race drama. During the 2013 edition, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne battled side-by-side in the closing laps. The edge-of-your seat action led to the fourth-closest margin of victory of the season, with Kenseth narrowly beating Kahne to the line.(NASCAR)(12-20-2013)

  • CBS This Morning feature about the return of #3: Austin Dillon, Richard Childress, Danny "Chocolate" Myers and Mike Helton sat down with correspondent Manuel Bojorquez for a CBS This Morning feature regarding Dillon's move to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the historic #3 and Richard Childress Racing's #3 Dow/Cheerios Chevrolet program. The segment is aired Friday morning, Dec. 20 on CBS This Morning. See the story and video at CBS This Morning (3 minutes 19 seconds).(RCR)(12-20-2013)

  • Firefighters burn former Mayfield mansion Thursday night: Firefighters went ahead with a scheduled burn of Jeremy Mayfield's former mansion. Neighbors tell us the house went up very quickly, much of it gone in less than an hour. Smoke was still rising from the home Thursday night that was once owned by former NASCAR driver Mayfield. The mansion was scheduled to be burned to the ground Dec. 14 by the Catawba Fire Department as a training exercise. The original training exercise was canceled due to inclement weather. Viewers sent photographs at the height of the fire in what the fire chief described as a training exercise after the new owner decided to burn it. The new property owner said he wants to farm the land where the house sat.(WSOC TV)(12-20-2013)


    News from December 19, 2013

  • New crew chief named for #55 team: Michael Waltrip Racing announced Billy Scott will serve as Brian Vickers' crew chief on the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. "Billy was the unanimous selection by everyone here at MWR including the crew, drivers, and ownership," said Waltrip. "We feel like engineering is one of our strongest assets and with that type of talent in house it was easy to promote from within. Billy has earned this opportunity because he has helped develop and refine the engineering tools that we use every day to make our cars faster."
    Scott, 36, began racing motorcycles as a 5-year-old and stock cars when he turned 15. He worked in the truck series as a mechanic before he returned to college to obtain an engineering degree. After graduating in 2005 Scott worked at Robert Yates Racing and began as an engineer at MWR in 2008. He has served exclusively as the No. 55 team's lead engineer the last two seasons. "I'm honored, but I also know this is a big responsibility," said Scott on the announcement. "We have very high expectations for the Aaron's Dream Machine in 2014. Brian has been incredible to work with and is a winner, so we can't wait to get 2014 started."
    Scott Miller, MWR's Executive Vice President of Competition, performed crew chief duties on the #55 since Rodney Childers departure in August. Miller will return to overseeing all of MWR's competition effort, which includes the #55, Clint Bowyer's #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota and the #66 [was #56] Toyota shared by Waltrip and Jeff Burton. Vickers raced the #55 on a part-time basis for MWR in 2012 and 2013. He posted his third career victory at New Hampshire on July 14.
    "I've been around Billy the last two seasons and he's demonstrated a strong knowledge of what makes these cars go fast," said Vickers. "I have a lot of faith in Billy. This is one of the strongest teams I've had and that's a great feeling heading into a new season." In August, Aaron's announced a multi-year agreement to sponsor Vickers in the #55 beginning at the Feb. 23 Daytona 500. Aaron's will sponsor each race during the length [2 years] of the agreement.(MWR)(12-19-2013)

  • Kahne and Stewart to honor Leffler at Chili Bowl: Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart are entering next month's Chili Bowl Nationals in honor of late racer Jason Leffler. Kahne will drive a car entered in combination with Stewart, Leffler's girlfriend, Julianna Patterson, and former father-in-law, Bob East., in the Jan. 14-18 race at the Tulsa Expo Center in Oklahoma. Plans had been for Leffler and Patterson to co-own the car, and Leffler and East to build it together before Leffler's death in a June sprint car crash. East continued the project following the accident, and Patterson turned to Stewart for help after the three-time NASCAR champion broke his leg in his own sprint car accident last season. "She told me, 'I'm going to be a car owner at the Chili Bowl' and I said, 'OK?' kind of quizzically, and it's just gone on from there," Stewart told The Associated Press. "Bob is building the car. The owner was going to be Jason and Julianna, and I really wanted to be involved." So did Kahne, who was close friends with the 37-year-old Leffler, a journeyman NASCAR driver who loved racing so much he entered everything he could. The night he was killed in a sprint car race in New Jersey, the winner was guaranteed just $7,000. Kahne had to first convince his NASCAR team owner, Rick Hendrick, to sign off on his participation in the Chili Bowl. Hendrick hasn't forbidden Kahne from any extracurricular racing, but hasn't exactly rubber-stamped Kahne's opportunities, either. Kahne felt racing in honor of Leffler at the Chili Bowl, with the promise of raffling off the car after for the Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust to benefit Leffler's son, would get him the permission from Hendrick. The Chili Bowl is one of the most prestigious midget events of the year and has a star-studded lineup. The entry list is nearing 250 already and includes Sammy and Kevin Swindell, Joey Saldana, Bryan Clauson, and NASCAR drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson.(full story at the Associated Press)(12-19-2013)

  • David Ragan set to join the ranks of NASCAR dads: #34-David Ragan will soon join the growing list of Sprint Cup Series drivers who have joined the ranks of fatherhood. Ragan told FOXSports.com on Tuesday that he and wife Jacquelyn are expecting their first child next summer. The couple, who celebrated their one-year anniversary on Dec. 15, only recently began notifying family members and friends that they are set to become parents. "We're excited about that and we're looking forward to it," David Ragan said. "I'm sure it's going to open a whole other chapter of our lives and we'll see things from a totally different perspective all over again."(FoxSports)(12-19-2013)

  • Brad Vickers talks about deep vein thrombosis: #55-Brian Vickers has a condition known as deep vein thrombosis and has suffered from two blood clots in his leg. Vickers and Jack Ansell, MD with New York University School of Medicine joined the FOX43 morning team, to talk about the connection between the winter months and the increase in blood clots. See the video at FOX43.(12-19-2013)

  • NASCAR Delivers 2014 Competition Package to Teams UPDATE2: NASCAR delivered the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules package to race teams today, following collaborative development by the industry. "It was important to get the final pieces of the rules package to teams as quickly as possible following the final tests last week," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. "Throughout the process, we gained valuable data that informed many of the changes for 2014. This data will prove useful as we continue to evolve the racing product into the future."
    Changes to the package include statically setting the race car ride height and eliminating the pre- and post-race front height rules and inspections. Additionally, the 2014 package includes:
    a square leading edge on the splitter;
    side skirt and rear fascia adjustments;
    an eight-inch rear spoiler;
    a 43-inch by 13-inch radiator pan.
    "We looked at a number of important factors when finalizing what the 2014 version of the race package will look like," Stefanyshyn said. "The Gen-6 car has been a great asset to our sport. As we continue to improve and develop the racing product, we'll rely significantly on the critical data that has been generated by the entire industry over the last several weeks. We're extremely appreciative of those efforts." The first race featuring the new package will be at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2. This package will not be utilized for restrictor-plate races (Daytona/Talladega), including the 2014 Daytona 500 on Feb. 23.(NASCAR)(12-17-2013)
    UPDATE on Tuesday, December 17th, the NASCAR Teleconference had NASCAR's VP of Innovation and Racing Development, Gene Stefanyshyn do a Q&A with media about the 2014 Competition Package announced earlier in the day. Some items discussed included impact speeds on the racetrack, downforce and presumably higher cornering speeds, are you going to have to do anything different tire-wise, how the changes in downforce will effect the tires, throttling back RPMs, the radiator pan, the size of the spoiler and more, View the full transcript.(12-17-2013)
    UPDATE2: see a copy of the actual rule changes sent to all the teams on Dec 17, 2013 at RMP2Night.com.(12-19-2013)

  • Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird V has returned home to Daytona International Speedway: The historic 28-foot, three-inch, 10,000-pound Bluebird V departed the "World Center of Racing" back in June to go on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the world's biggest and most diverse celebration of the history of motorsport held on the grounds of the Goodwood House, West Sussex, England. The historic land speed record was later on display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England before returning back to the United States at Charleston, S.C. on Dec. 12. After a short drive down I-95, Campbell's Bluebird V, which set a land speed record of 276.82 mph in Daytona Beach back in 1935, was loaded back into the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building on Wednesday. Tickets for NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - the 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 - start at $65 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-19-2013)


    News from December 18, 2013

  • Rush Truck Centers expands sponsorship with Stewart: Back in February, Rush Truck Centers became the primary sponsor of Tony Stewart and his #14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team for three Sprint Cup races featuring the "Rush Truck Centers" logo on the car's hood for the 2013 season, with plans for an expanded deal in 2014 for five race sponsorships. W.M. "Rusty" Rush, chairman, CEO and president of Rush Enterprises, which owns the Rush Truck Centers chain of commercial vehicle dealerships, increasing "brand awareness" will play a key role in the company's growth strategy - with Rush's partnership with Tony Stewart's Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team a key part of that effort. "I'm very comfortable with my NASCAR investment because it's sport that appeals to our customer base and our employees as well," Rush explained in a meeting with reporters here at the 2013 Rush Truck Centers Technician Skills Rodeo. "You can't believe how many tool boxes I see in our company's shops with his [Tony Stewart's] picture on them."
    "This goes way beyond just having Rush Truck Centers on the hood of race cars," Stewart told reporters. "One thing that is very consistent is our passion for what we do and I think that's where our friendship developed."(FleetOwner)(12-18-2013)

  • Cassill to return to Circle Sport in 2014: Cedar Rapids (Iowa) native Landon Cassill has finalized plans for full-time rides in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series for 2014. Cassill will return to Circle Sport [ran #33 & #40 in 2013] in Sprint Cup, and will take over the #4 car for JD Motorsports in Nationwide, though logistical issues with Cup commitments may cause him to miss a few Nationwide races. He ran 33 of the 36 races in 2013 for Circle Sport in Cup, and 23 of the 30 races in a separate entry for JD Motorsports in Nationwide. "(Running both series) keeps me on the racetrack, it's more opportunities for me to show my skills to potential sponsors," Cassill said. "It's really valuable for me to be running in both series every weekend.(The Gazette)(12-18-2013)

  • New pit coach at EGR: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [#1 & #42 Chevy's] has hired long time Jack Man and coach Shaun Peet to coach next year. Peet is replacing coach Brett Cummings who had been at EGR the last few years. Peet brings a wealth of experience as an over the wall jack man as well as a coach. Over the last 10 or so years, Peet has spent time jacking at EGR, Red Bull Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, and now back to EGR. When he was at Red Bull with coach Greg Miller, Peet helped coach all the developmental peetathletes and has a strong background in not only coaching but in strength conditioning. The last few years have been spent at MWR as the Jack Man for the #15 of Clint Bowyer.(Pit Talks)(12-18-2013)

  • Sad News - Tommie Stewart: Mrs. Eva Mae (Tommie) Hege Stewart, 87, resident of Kernersville, NC, died December 15th, 2013 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Mrs. Stewart was a co-owner of Spectrum Furniture, where she was active in helping her husband operate the business. She loved auto racing, having co-owned Tarheel Speedway, and also loved to travel. In 1944 she married Howard Clifton (Cliff) Stewart who survives of the residence. Cliff Stewart is a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner from 1962-1986, fielding a winning car in 2 of 265 starts. His drivers included Jim Paschal, Buddy Baker, Joe Weatherly Morgan Shepherd, Geoff Bodine & Rusty Wallace. More info about services, donations, condolences on my Sad News Page)(12-18-2013)

  • Buescher tests with RAB UPDATE: According to a tweet from RAB Racing, the team tested the #99 with James Buescher on Tuesday at Nashville.(12-18-2013)
    UPDATE: The team is testing Wednesday only. Check out the team Twitter feed for updates.(12-18-2013)

  • Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird V has returned home to Daytona International Speedway: The historic 28-foot, three-inch, 10,000-pound Bluebird V departed the "World Center of Racing" back in June to go on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the world's biggest and most diverse celebration of the history of motorsport held on the grounds of the Goodwood House, West Sussex, England. The historic land speed record was later on display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England before returning back to the United States at Charleston, S.C. on Dec. 12. After a short drive down I-95, Campbell's Bluebird V, which set a land speed record of 276.82 mph in Daytona Beach back in 1935, was loaded back into the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building on Wednesday. Tickets for NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - the 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 - start at $65 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-19-2013)


    News from December 17, 2013

  • NASCAR Delivers 2014 Competition Package to Teams: NASCAR delivered the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules package to race teams today, following collaborative development by the industry. "It was important to get the final pieces of the rules package to teams as quickly as possible following the final tests last week," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. "Throughout the process, we gained valuable data that informed many of the changes for 2014. This data will prove useful as we continue to evolve the racing product into the future."
    Changes to the package include statically setting the race car ride height and eliminating the pre- and post-race front height rules and inspections. Additionally, the 2014 package includes:
    a square leading edge on the splitter;
    side skirt and rear fascia adjustments;
    an eight-inch rear spoiler;
    a 43-inch by 13-inch radiator pan.
    "We looked at a number of important factors when finalizing what the 2014 version of the race package will look like," Stefanyshyn said. "The Gen-6 car has been a great asset to our sport. As we continue to improve and develop the racing product, we'll rely significantly on the critical data that has been generated by the entire industry over the last several weeks. We're extremely appreciative of those efforts." The first race featuring the new package will be at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2. This package will not be utilized for restrictor-plate races (Daytona/Talladega), including the 2014 Daytona 500 on Feb. 23.(NASCAR)(12-17-2013)

  • added more 2014 schemes #18 M&M's, #15 Five Hour Energy, #10 GoDaddy, #31 Quicken Loans, #1 McDonald's, #3 Dow Chemical and #3 Cheerios schemes.

  • Finch plans to enter a car in Daytona 500 UPDATE2: Former #51 Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch told Brad Gillie and Buddy Baker on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's The Late Shift that he plans to enter a car in the 2014 Daytona 500.(listen at Soundcloud/SiriusXM). Finch will use a car from his old team, Phoenix Racing, now owned by Harry Scott Jr.. No word on a driver or what car nuumber Finch will use.(12-10-2013)
    UPDATE: James Finch has asked 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champ Bobby Labonte to run a second Phoenix Racing Chevy in the 2014 Daytona 500. Finch, who sold majority interest of his team to Harry Scott last summer, said he hopes to have the car, engine and team solidified next week. "We'll be running out of the Phoenix Racing shop," Finch said. "I hope to have a number before Christmas. I'm waiting for NASCAR to get back to me on that."(FoxSports)(12-12-2013)
    UPDATE: Phoenix Racing announced that Bobby Labonte will drive a second car for the team in the Daytona 500 on February 23, 2014 at Daytona International Speedway. The move reunites Phoenix Racing chairman emeritus, James Finch, with the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Bobby Labonte. Labonte drove for Phoenix Racing for 13 races in the #09 in 2010 and for one race at Michigan International Speedway in 2013 in the #51. Harry Scott, Jr., who purchased the team from Finch in 2013, said, "James continues to be a valuable part of our team and when he came up with the idea of running Bobby in a second car, I jumped at the opportunity to bring him back into the fold. Bobby is a veteran driver that can also provide valuable insight and leadership for Phoenix Racing."
    "I'm thrilled to be headed back to Daytona with Bobby Labonte," said Finch. "I thank Harry Scott for this opportunity. He knew I would have to be weaned off racing, I can't quit cold turkey."
    "I am grateful and excited to return to Daytona with Phoenix Racing," said Labonte. "The Daytona 500 is obviously a special event for everyone involved in the sport. I can't wait to get back in the car for my 22nd Daytona 500."
    Labonte, who will run a number of races for Phoenix Racing in 2014 has won 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in his career that started in 1991. During that time Labonte scored 115 Top 5s and 203 Top 10s. In 1990 Labonte was named the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver. He captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship a year later in 1991. The team will provide additional information in the coming weeks about which car number will be entered, the crew chief for the team and sponsors supporting the car.(Phoenix Racing)(12-17-2013)

  • The Best Selling 2013 Die-Casts Announced: What do Dale Earnhardt Jr., Duck Dynasty, and a Chevrolet from 1989 have in common? All three made it onto this year's list of best-selling die-cast, which was announced today by Lionel Racing, The Official Die-Cast of NASCAR. While the stock cars changed dramatically in 2013, one thing that remained the same was Earnhardt's popularity among die-cast collectors. Earnhardt occupied not just the first, but the top three spots on the best-sellers list. His #88 National Guard Chevrolet was the best-selling 1:24 scale die-cast car of the year, while his Diet Mountain Dew and National Guard/Man of Steel cars followed in second and third positions, respectively. "Every year it holds true, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a fan favorite among collectors and those who spend their hard-earned discretionary income on NASCAR merchandise," said Howard Hitchcock, Vice President and General Manager of Lionel Racing. "His National Guard/ Man of Steel die-cast was our best-selling special paint scheme of the year, and his primary paint schemes outpaced the field by a wide margin." For the first time, Clint Bowyer made Lionel's Top 10 with the PEAK/Duck Dynasty Toyota Camry that he raced at Watkins Glen.
    "This car was a bona fide hit with NASCAR fans," Hitchcock said. "Bowyer and Duck Dynasty are a perfect match and that combination resulted in one of the most sought after collectibles of the year." An offering from Lionel Racing's NASCAR Classics line also made the cut. Coming in tenth was a raced version of the Chevy that Dale Earnhardt won in at Wilkesboro in 1989 - his last win in the Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "This is one of those historic die-cast that you can't believe was never made before," Hitchcock said. "We replicated the car Earnhardt won in at Wilkesboro with the scratches and scuffs that were on his actual car after the race. It's one of my favorite NASCAR Classics offerings to date."
    The Top 10 Die-Cast Cars of 2013 are listed below. For images and a slideshow detailing the story behind each car and a list of best-selling drivers, please visit www.lionelnascar.com/top10.
    1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard Chevy
    2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy
    3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard/Man of Steel Chevy
    4. Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy
    5. Jeff Gordon #24 AARP/Drive to End Hunger Chevy
    6. Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy Chevy
    7. Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford
    8. Jeff Gordon #24 Cromax Pro Chevy
    9. Clint Bowyer #15 PEAK/Duck Dynasty Toyota
    10. Dale Earnhardt #3 1989 Wilkesboro Win Chevy
    (Lionel Racing)(12-17-2013)

  • NASCAR Promotes Dr. Michael Lynch To Vice President: NASCAR announced the promotion of Dr. Michael Lynch to vice president, green innovation. The elevation of his role from managing director to VP reaffirms NASCAR's commitment to aggressively continue to grow the sport's green platform. As he has done over the past five years at NASCAR, Lynch will champion the adoption and implementation of sustainability practices across the sport. Lynch joined NASCAR in 2008, shortly after NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France declared the sport would be venturing into an endeavor to reduce its environmental impact. After joining the company, Lynch launched NASCAR Green, which has since grown into the largest sustainability program in all of sports and one of the most powerful and impactful green programs in the public and private sectors. "We knew that going green was not only the right thing to do, it was also good for business," said France. "In the process of creating programs and implementing changes to help make our sport more environmentally friendly, Mike has also helped generate commercial opportunities for the entire industry through partnerships with more than two dozen organizations interested in using NASCAR as a platform to uniquely validate their technologies."
    Once coined 'the dirtiest sport in America,' NASCAR now boasts the three largest green programs in sports: renewable energy, recycling and clean air. As a result, 75% of NASCAR fans now say they 'believe the sport cares for the environment' and are 'aware of NASCAR Green,' according to Custom Environment-Related Tracker commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna in July 2013.
    "NASCAR is a widely embraced and trusted form of community engagement to tens of millions of Americans," said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council. "NASCAR Green, through Dr. Lynch's leadership, offers the encouraging prospect that millions of sports fans and businesses will be positively influenced about responsible environmental action for years to come."
    One of Lynch's key accomplishments was helping NASCAR develop and launch the world's most visible biofuels program through the introduction of a 15 percent ethanol blended fuel, made from American-grown corn. In February 2011, Sunoco Green E15 made its competition debut and subsequently reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent while increasing race car horsepower. NASCAR has since put more than five million tough competition miles on the racing fuel.
    Since joining the company, NASCAR has recycled more than 20 million bottles and cans; 600,000 race tires; and enough oil to power the Empire State Building for one year. It has also planted enough trees (188,000) to completely offset carbon emissions for all NASCAR national series racing for the past five years of NASCAR Green, plus the next 18 years. Additionally, NASCAR's Daytona Beach, Fla., headquarters is LEED Gold certified, while NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, N.C., has its LEED Silver certification. These bold initiatives also inspired change throughout the industry.
    NASCAR has the largest renewable energy stadium project in the world - the solar farm at Pocono Raceway - that powers more than 250 homes in the region. The sport also features teams such as Roush Fenway Racing which recycle as much as 96 percent of each race car.
    These enhancements are among many that now make the sport a more attractive partner to companies in the green and technology sectors. Since 2010, the number of green companies investing in NASCAR has grown at a 90 percent rate year-over-year. To date more than 150 green brands have entered the sport as sponsors of our industry with race teams and venues.
    "The backbone of NASCAR Green has been the mass adoption and acceptance of sustainable practices by our green-conscious fans; the steadfast involvement of the industry; and the strong and unwavering support from a range of Official NASCAR Partners," said Lynch. "Thanks to these key stakeholders, we've been able to make substantive changes to our operations and business practices and expand the reach and scope of the platform."
    Prior to joining NASCAR, Lynch served as an executive at Tyco International and Boston Consulting Group. He was a tenured professor at Purdue University, with his lab funded by the National Institutes of Health. Lynch graduated the MBA program at the Booth School of Business at University of Chicago with honors in Finance and Strategic Management. Mike also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in studio music and jazz from the University of Miami, where he played tenor saxophone and worked extensively as a professional musician. He has several patents in green technology and has been published extensively in peer-reviewed academic journals.(NASCAR)(12-17-2013)

  • SGR shut down UPDATE Hearing that Sharp-Gallaher Racing has shut down and employees have been laid off. In 2013, the team scaled back from two full-time teams to one, with driver Max Gresham behind the wheel of the #8 Chevy. Gresham ended the season 16th in driver points. The team also ran the #6 on a part-time basis with multiple drivers sharing the driving duties. The team first entered truck competition in 2010. In 2012, the team won two races under the Eddie Sharp Racing name with drivers Justin Lofton and Cale Gale. In August of this season, the team announced a partnership with Bill Gallaher, forming Sharp-Gallaher Racing.(12-17-2013)
    UPDATE: Sharp Gallaher Racing laid off virtually all of its employees yesterday in the aftermath of an apparent dispute between partners Eddie Sharp, Jr. and Bill Gallaher. SGR employees were informed yesterday that the team is shutting down, and all but one employee was reportedly laid off. Multiple sources say the shutdown occurred after Gallaher informed Sharp that his services would no longer be required. Sources close to the situation say the team may subsequently be reopened under Gallaher's sole ownership. Sharp was unavailable for comment today, attempts to contact Gallaher were unsuccessful.(Godfather Motorsports)(12-17-2013)

  • NASCAR reinstates crew member: NASCAR has reinstated former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series crew member Marshal Faust upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Faust had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on Oct. 10, 2013 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(12-17-2013)


    News from December 16, 2013

  • Congrats to the Petty's: Congrats to Austin and Sarah Petty on the birth of their son, Adam. It's Richard Petty's newest great grandson and first "Petty" newborn in 30 years! (RPM Facebook) and see a picture of the King and Adam at FoxSports. Adam is named after the late Adam Petty (Austin's brother), who was killed in a 2000 crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(12-16-2013)

  • NASCAR Honors Seven Champions: The common thread throughout Saturday's NASCAR Night of Champion Touring Awards [Dec 14th] was of a dream realized. From Lakeport, Calif., to San Sebastián, Spain, seven NASCAR drivers collected their series championship trophies and received their coveted championship rings from NASCAR President Mike Helton. "To win this championship, to accomplish this goal, it means the world to me," said 22-year-old Ryan Preece, who became the youngest champion of NASCAR's oldest division, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
    "Being part of this is amazing," said Ander Vilarino, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion. "I would have never imagined that one day I could say I'm a two-time NASCAR champion."
    Preece and Vilarino were joined on the stage at the end of the night to show off their championship rings by NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Dylan Kwasniewski, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Derek Thorn, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 champion Scott Steckly and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III. Brunnhoelzl won his fourth NASCAR tour championship, while Steckly picked up his third. The 18-year-old Kwasniewski became the first driver to win NASCAR's K&N Pro Series West and East titles -- and he did so in consecutive seasons.
    "The drivers who graced the stage truly reflect the depth, talent and diversity of NASCAR in the 21st century," said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. "And the seven NASCAR champions who were crowned embody the strength and future promise of our sport." The championships were won in vastly different ways. Brunnhoelzl used a mid-season run of three straight wins en route to his title, while Vilarino started off the season with a NASCAR touring-series record six straight wins. Steckly, on the other hand, finished outside the top 20 in the first two races and rallied by winning the finale to edge rival DJ Kennington by two points. "This year has been amazing," Steckly said. "To race at this level and with other drivers who are such strong competitors is something I am very grateful for, and love doing."
    The champions weren't the only ones to pick up hardware Saturday night. In addition to the championship awards, each series rookie of the year was honored. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award winners were Jesse Little in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Dylan Lupton in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Cole Powell in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Luke Fleming in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Top rookie performers in three international series were Alex Guenette in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Santiago Tovar in Mexico's NASCAR Toyota Series and Yann Zimmer in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
    The Most Popular Driver Awards for each series were also presented during the ceremony. The seven drivers honored with the prestigious award were Ben Kennedy in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Cameron Hayley of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Guenette in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Pepe Montaño of the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, Freddy Nordström from the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Mike Stefanik from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Andy Seuss from the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Montaño and Nordström were repeat winners from a season ago. The top-10 drivers and car owners from each of NASCAR's touring series also were recognized during the gala. "There are a lot of young faces here tonight that you will probably be seeing a lot more of in the future," continued Silbermann. "They are the new ambassadors of our sport -- fearless and very talented on the race track and eager to prove their mettle."(NASCAR Wire Service)(12-16-2013)

  • Dillon, #3 Richard Childress Racing Team Extend Title Celebration: Austin Dillon, the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series driver champion, and his #3 Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide team - led by crew chief Danny Stockman, were honored today with a full day - and evening - of activities, hosted by series sponsor Nationwide Insurance in its headquarters' hometown of Columbus, Ohio. This is the sixth consecutive year Nationwide Insurance has welcomed the series driver champion to its home turf, and the second time an RCR driver has been honored (Clint Bowyer, 2008). Following the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards on Nov. 18, today's schedule allows Dillon's championship celebration to continue a bit longer. The day began with a visit to Nationwide Children's Hospital. Then Dillon and the #3 team received a tour of Nationwide's corporate headquarters, participated in an exclusive Q&A session and signed autographs for Nationwide associates on site. Following lunch, the driver champion team headed to The Ohio State University for a tour of the famed Woody Hayes Athletic Complex, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes' football practice facility. Late this afternoon and early evening, the team will travel to Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League, for a tour of the facility and a game of broomball on the Jackets' home ice. A unique experience follows as team members will be once again be introduced to a Columbus, Ohio original: Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. Jeni's was a garage favorite earlier this year at the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio. The day concludes with a short trip back to Nationwide Arena for "NASCAR Night" where the team will enjoy the 7 p.m. ET matchup between the Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets and be recognized at the game. (NASCAR)(12-16-2013)

  • Viva Motorsports names new crew chief: Viva Motorsports announced that Bill Henderson would assume Crew Chief duties for Jamie Dick and the #55 Viva Auto Group Chevy Camaro. Henderson will take over the role effective immediately in preparation for the upcoming 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). Henderson joins Viva Motorsports after spending the 2013 season at Penske Racing serving as the car chief for the #12 Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In the 2013 season the #12 Ford won one race, four poles, 16 top-five finishes and a serious contender for the Nationwide Series Championship. Henderson brings five years of experience as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Rick Ware Racing, Front Row Motorsports, Prism Motorsports and Richard Petty Enterprises. He also brings knowledge from the R&D departments of Joe Gibbs Racing and Wood Brother Racing. Jamie Dick and Viva Motorsports will begin their fourth season of NNS competition when the 2014 season kicks off at Daytona International Speedway in February.(Viva Motorsports)(12-16-2013)

  • Buescher not returning to TSM; UPDATES: Kennedy to drive the 31: Turner Scott Motorsports announced today that driver James Buescher will not return to the organization in 2014. Buescher, 23, has driven for TSM since the team's inception in 2010. In addition to winning TSM's first championship when he captured the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) title in 2012, the Plano, Texas native has recorded seven victories for TSM, six in the NCWTS and one in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). Buescher also earned seven poles for the team across the NCWTS (five) and NNS (two). Turner Scott Motorsports, which captured a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) championship this past season with Dylan Kwasniewski and earned 10 wins total across the three series in which it competes, will continue to field multiple entries in the NNS, NCWTS and the NKNPSE in 2014. Information regarding Turner Scott Motorsports' sponsor and driver lineup for 2014 is forthcoming.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(12-13-2013)
    UPDATE: It was announced that Buescher will move to RAB Racing in the Nationwide Series.(12-13-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Turner Scott Motorsports is pleased to announce the addition of Ben Kennedy to its 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series roster. The 21-year-old will drive a full-time championship campaign while competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors behind the wheel of the #31 Chevy Silverado. Michael Shelton, who led the #31 team to TSM's first championship in 2012 with driver James Buescher, will continue his role atop the pit box. Kennedy made his NCWTS debut for TSM in 2013, earning a best finish of fourth at Martinsville Speedway.Kennedy, who began his racing career on the short tracks of central Florida, has Pro-Truck championship titles at both Orlando Speedworld and New Smyrna Speedway, which he earned in 2009, followed by the Super Late Model championship at Orlando Speedworld in 2010. The great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr., Kennedy made his touring series debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2010. Kennedy began racing full time in the NKNPSE in 2011. In 2012, Kennedy competed in the first NASCAR-sanctioned Euro Racecar Series event, winning the event at Tours Speedway, the first NASCAR race held on an oval in Europe. Kennedy experienced his most successful NKNPSE season to date in 2013, finishing fourth in the Driver Point Standings on the strength of two wins, one pole, three top fives and nine top 10s in addition to being crowned as the series' Most Popular Driver. Kennedy was selected for the NASCAR Next program in 2013, an initiative to spotlight the sport's up-and-coming stars. The Daytona Beach, Fla. native is also completing his Sports Management degree at the University of Florida.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(12-16-2013)

  • Coulter wins charity event: The Eighth Annual Joey Coulter Charity 200 was run December 13 and 14 at Auburndale Speedway in Florida. The event raises money for children and families facing terminal illness. The Coulter Motorsports team has fielded a truck in all eight events with various drivers. This year was the first time Coulter competed in the event. He took the lead on lap four and drove off to victory. Last year's event raised $27,000 to assist three families, while this year's event raised $31,000.(C.A.R.S. PR)(12-16-2013)


    News from December 15, 2013

  • added more 2014 schemes #10 GoDaddy, #31 Quicken Loans, #1 McDonald's, #3 Dow Chemical and #3 Cheerios schemes.

  • Strong Sprint Cup Series Rookie class shaping up: The leading candidate for 2014 Sprint Cup Series looks to be #3-Austin Dillon, although relative stock-car newcomer #42-Kyle Larson is expected to be at the least his biggest challenger. #51-Justin Allgaier (not yet announced), #7-Michael Annett, Parker Kligerman, Cole Whitt (both at Swan Racing, two cars #30 and unknown #) and possibly #93-Alex Bowman (tested at Charlotte in a BK Racing Toyota) are will all be Cup rookies in 2014. This year's top rookie, two-time defending Nationwide Series champion #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 19th in the final Cup standings.(Sporting News)(12-15-2013)

  • Brian Keselowski to make some changes, plans to run some 2014 races: from the K-Automotive / Brian Keselowski Motorsports Facebook page: Here is the latest news from Brian Keselowski Motorsports regarding our plans for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. In a recent post, Brian Keselowski stated "Were officially switching to Ford for next season. We are picking up our first car Monday , a Roush/Fenway car. Hope to have a new number for next season, will find that out soon. Can't announce any sponsorship yet, but working really hard on some things. I feel like this move will help us with getting newer equipment and technical help. Going to PRI tomorrow to try and get some things lined up for 2014. Excited to get going". Keselowski ran the #52 Toyota in 2013 and teamed with GoGreen Racing (who tested recently at Charlotte in the #52 Ford with Jeffrey Earnhardt) and Hamilton Means Racing for owners points. Keselowski ran at Richmond in April and Watkins Glen, also attempted to make the Daytona 500 but failed. The team had Morgan Shepherd in the car at New Hampshire in July. And Go Green Racing had Paulie Harraka in the #52 Ford at Sonoma. Bob Keselowski, Brian father, was listed as the owner of the car in 2013. Keselowski has run the #92 for his own team in the past.(12-15-2013)

  • Sad News - Lee Raymond: Lee Raymond, a two-time ARCA Racing Series national driving champion, died Thursday, December 12. He was 59. Born on October 2, 1954, Raymond, of Dayton, Ohio, had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and was hospitalized prior to being placed in the care of Hospice. Over an ARCA career that stretched from 1979 through 1993, Raymond made 136 career ARCA starts, earning back-to-back championships in 1985 and 1986. Raymond's ARCA titles came in car owner Jim Coyle's famous orange No. 1 Riverside Auto Parts Chevrolet. Raymond also finished second in championship standings in 1982 to Scott Stovall and again in 1987 to Bill Venturini.(ARCA Racing)
    Lee Raymond also made one NASCAR Sprint Cup start, the 1989 Daytona 500 finishing 26th in the #69 Ford.(12-15-2013)

  • Purchase STP 500 Tickets For Christmas Without Battling Mall Madness: Christmas is getting closer and shopping malls are getting crazier, but Martinsville Speedway can take the crazy out of your last-minute shopping. Without leaving the comfort of your home or the warmth of your fireplace, you can purchase the best possible gift for your favorite race fan: tickets to the STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway on March 30. Tickets to the STP 500 are guaranteed to deliver smiles on Christmas morning and action and excitement on race day. And we have tickets to fit everyone's budget and needs. Tickets to the STP 500 start at just $37. Seats in the Bill France Tower are only $42. Youth 12 and under tickets in the Clay Earles Tower are $10 with teens 13-17 for $25 and adults only $57. The Family Four Pack which includes 2 adults and 2 youth 12 and under is just $90. Tickets may be purchased as Christmas presents by calling at 877.RACE.TIX or order online at martinsvillespeedway.com. Select print at home and you can print your tickets to wrap up just in time for Christmas. The STP 500 weekend at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for March 28-30. The Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is scheduled for March 29 and Pole Day on March 28.(12-15-2013)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway honors employees: Kannapolis, N.C., resident, Jamie Johnson was named the 2013 Ticket Office Salesperson of the Year during a banquet recognizing sales representatives for their hard work and exceptional results in the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office. Johnson has been with the ticket office since 2008 and is an account executive for ticket sales. Her duties include establishing relationships with fans and helping them purchase tickets, camping and multiple entertainment upgrades to various Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway events. Her hard work was recognized in previous years when she received the "Workhorse" award for having the most outbound calls in 2012 and won the "Most Upsells" Award in 2011. As part of her award, Johnson received a trophy, a monetary prize and a week's vacation for two to the location of her choice.
    Matt Bunn, a Raleigh, N.C., native, was named the Ticket Operations Employee of the Year. Bunn is currently the ticket reporting manager and has been with the ticket office for two years.
    Ashley England, of Kannapolis, N.C., received the "Camping Salesperson of the Year" Award. England is an account executive in ticket and camping sales and has worked with the camping office for seven years.
    Ashley Helms won the award for Most Outbound Calls and is an account executive in ticket sales. Helms, of Monroe, N.C., has been with the ticket office for more than six years.
    Lee Ann Villanueva, of Kannapolis, N.C., received the "Most Part-Time Upsell Dollars" Award for 2013. Villanueva, an account executive for ticket sales, has worked in the ticket office since March 2012. Upsells include race-day experience upgrades such as pit passes, hospitality packages, driver introduction passes and more.
    Jenni Bowden, of Concord, N.C., won the award for the "Most Full-Time Upsell Dollars" at this year's ceremony. Bowden is an account executive for Speedway Club ticket sales. Bowden has been with the ticket office since 1993 and was the 2011 Ticket Office Salesperson of the Year.
    Also recognized was Monica Ellerbrock, of Charlotte, N.C., who was named Marketing Employee of the Year. Ellerbrock is the Marketing Coordinator of Ticketing and Affinity Programs at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(CMS)(12-15-2013)


    News from December 14, 2013

  • Flowmaster Becomes Exclusive Performance Exhaust Of NASCAR: NASCAR announced a new multi-year agreement with Flowmaster designating it as the exclusive NASCAR Performance partner for performance exhaust system components, which include performance mufflers, catalytic converters, headers and installation accessories. Flowmaster will complement their category rights with participation in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Contingency Program. Flowmaster will leverage its new designation for exhaust system components and the power of NASCAR's intellectual property to activate at various retail and wholesale channels nationwide and at-track through aggressive customer hosting.
    NASCAR fans are more likely to be do-it-yourselfers when it comes to automotive maintenance and repairs, including mufflers. According to independent research conducted by Scarborough (USA+ 2013 Release 1) among consumers who have a vehicle, NASCAR fans are approximately 50 percent more likely than non-fans to have had a muffler repair or service in the past year and are approximately 55 percent more likely to have either done the muffler repair or service themselves or have someone else do it for free.
    "We're proud to welcome Flowmaster to the NASCAR family because they exemplify the type of reliability our fans have come to expect from NASCAR Performance partners," said Norris Scott, NASCAR vice president of partnership marketing. "NASCAR teams and contingency sponsors display a level of synergy and teamwork that is unparalleled and continues to be one of the major reasons companies choose to partner with NASCAR."
    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Contingency Program strives to build strong relationships with high­-quality, performance-driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories and awards money to NASCAR teams after each race and at the end of each season. Flowmaster becomes the third new company this year to join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Contingency Program, where companies have their sponsor decals on the front fender of competitor race cars.
    "I can't wait until next February when the Flowmaster brand hits the high banks of Daytona International Speedway in NASCAR's premier series," said Flowmaster Chief Marketing Officer Nate Shelton. "We have been developing exhaust systems for 30 years and will continue to manufacture best-in-class exhausts and mufflers for NASCAR fans who demand performance from their car or truck."
    Flowmaster is constantly developing the highest quality exhaust products at its state-of-the-art Research and Development Center in Santa Rosa, Calif., through innovation and decades of manufacturing experience. All Flowmaster mufflers and exhaust systems are developed and manufactured in the USA.(NASCAR)(12-14-2013)

  • Humpy Wheeler's Brainchild, Speedway Benefits, Translates into Millions for Potential Sponsors: In just 45 business days, a unique idea that could save many of the nation's grassroots racetracks was born, and the results have been sensational. The idea was created by NASCAR legend Humpy Wheeler and his son Trip. It was simple: amass as many grassroots racetracks as possible and pool them together to sell advertising and collectively buy the products they use most. Speedway Benefits, LLC has already signed close to 300 tracks translating to an annual attendance of over 12,000,000 fans. Members include many of the top tracks in the nation. See full release at speedwaybenefits.com.(12-14-2013)

  • Jeremy Mayfield's $1.3M mansion to be burned down UPDATE: A million dollar mansion once owned by former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield will be burned to the ground this weekend. Mayfield was evicted from the property last year after financial troubles stemming from a failed drug test in 2009 that banned him from racing. Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty was the only reporter allowed in the house that at one time was valued at $1.8 million. The 12,000-square-foot house isn't worth that anymore and by Saturday afternoon, much of it will be gone. Everything in the seven-bedroom, seven-bath house is stripped down from the windows to the wiring. Neighbors said Mayfield tried to renovate the home, but when he was banned from racing and arrested for possession of meth and stolen property work on the home came to an abrupt halt. Catawba Fire Chief Donald Robinson will oversee the controlled burn. He said the new owners no longer want the home that is worth just over $300,000 dollars. Burning it will take it off the tax books while providing training for firefighters in the county. Mayfield told Channel 9 he has no plans to watch the home burn. Mayfield is scheduled to go back before a judge early next month where he faces several felony charges.(WSOC TV)(12-13-2013)
    UPDATE: Inclement weather has forced officials to cancel the burning of Jeremy Mayfield's former mansion, Eyewitness News learned Friday. The $2 million dollar mansion once owned by Mayfield, a former NASCAR driver, was scheduled to be burned to the ground this Saturday by the Catawba Fire Department as a training exercise. Mayfield called Channel 9 Wednesday night and said he doesn't plan to watch the $2 million home burn to the ground. Mayfield tagged WSOC-TV in a tweet Thursday saying, "Hate 2 see our previous residence burned down however, I've always loved a good bonfire. Out of the ashes a Phoenix will rise @WSOC_TV." Channel 9 will provide updates when the burning is rescheduled.(WSOC TV)(12-14-2013)


    News from December 13, 2013

  • NASCAR Season Review Specials Airing Sunday on ESPN2: NASCAR fans looking for some off-season action will have the opportunity to relive some of the highlights of the 2013 season when ESPN2 airs a pair of programs on Sunday, Dec. 15. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will be reviewed in a half-hour program airing at 4:00pm/et, immediately following a program reviewing the NASCAR Nationwide Series season that airs at 3:30 pm/et. Live NASCAR racing will return to ESPN in 2014, with the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series season airing across ESPN networks. In addition, the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will air on ESPN (14 races) and ABC (three races).(ESPN)(12-13-2013)

  • Jeremy Mayfield's $1.3M mansion to be burned down: A million dollar mansion once owned by former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield will be burned to the ground this weekend. Mayfield was evicted from the property last year after financial troubles stemming from a failed drug test in 2009 that banned him from racing. Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty was the only reporter allowed in the house that at one time was valued at $1.8 million. The 12,000-square-foot house isn't worth that anymore and by Saturday afternoon, much of it will be gone. Everything in the seven-bedroom, seven-bath house is stripped down from the windows to the wiring. Neighbors said Mayfield tried to renovate the home, but when he was banned from racing and arrested for possession of meth and stolen property work on the home came to an abrupt halt. Catawba Fire Chief Donald Robinson will oversee the controlled burn. He said the new owners no longer want the home that is worth just over $300,000 dollars. Burning it will take it off the tax books while providing training for firefighters in the county. Mayfield told Channel 9 he has no plans to watch the home burn. Mayfield is scheduled to go back before a judge early next month where he faces several felony charges.()(12-13-2013)

  • Michael Waltrip helps raise $100,000 for charity: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip and Columbus Ohio's Sports Pavilion & Automotive Research Center (SPARC) teamed with Aaron's and Toyota today to donate more than $100,000 worth of food, home items, cash and 1,000 children's books to local charities. Bill Schottenstein and Waltrip delivered a semi-hauler of food and other items to families at the site of what will be an automotive research and technology center in Columbus. Schottenstein heads Arshot Investment Corporation that is leading SPARC's redevelopment effort of the old Cooper Stadium. It plans to turn the stadium into a multi-purpose event facility that features a Waltrip-designed half-mile test and race track, an automotive research and technology center, as well as a conference and lodging complex. Waltrip made local media appearances, delivered food to local charities and signed autographs in Columbus today for fans who brought canned food to the site. Aaron's brought food items and distributed merchandise to those in attendance. Toyota made a cash donation. Fans also got an up-close view of Clint Bowyer's No. 15 PEAK Toyota at the event. "The Schottenstein family is known for giving back to this community and it was an honor for me to be part of this today. When you combine Bill, SPARC and our partners at Aaron's and Toyota it makes for a great event. Isn't this what the holidays are really all about?" asked Waltrip. "This redevelopment project is going to be really cool and I think everyone around the Midwest will want to come and check it out. This place is going to host a lot of great events and I can't wait to open it up in 2015."(MWR)(12-13-2013)

  • Buescher to drive for RAB Racing UPDATE: Turner Scott Motorsports has released 2012 Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher from his contract, freeing Buescher to accept a full-time 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series ride with RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. Buescher finished third in the Truck Series championship standings last season, with a pair of wins at Michigan and Iowa, four Top-5 and 14 Top-10 finishes. Both RAB and Turner Scott field full-time Nationwide Series teams, but Buescher said RAB's strong ties to Toyota and the Toyota Racing Development engine program offer him a better career path. Turner Scott Motorsports is owned in part by Buescher's father-in-law, Steve Turner, and the former Truck Series champion said all parties worked diligently to separate business from family. An announcement on sponsorship for Buescher's new team is expected in the near future.(Godfather Motorsports)(12-13-2013)
    UPDATE: RAB Racing announced that they have signed 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion James Buescher to a multi-year deal to compete full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Buescher has competed full time in the NCWTS for the past three seasons and has recorded one championship and two third-place finishes in the drivers' championship standings. Buescher will have veteran crew chief Chris Rice on top of the pitbox for the 2014 season. In 2013 Rice, lead the #99 Toyota Camry to two poles, two top-5 finishes, and six top-10 finishes. Sponsorship details for Buescher and RAB Racing will be announced in the near future. Buescher will first take to the track for RAB Racing in the DRIVE4COPD 300 on February 22, 2014 at Daytona International Speedway.(RAB Racing)(12-13-2013)

  • Cassill to drive for JD Motorsports: Up-and-coming driver Landon Cassill will drive the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller lead car - the #4 G&K Services Chevy - for the 2014 Nationwide Series season. Team owner Johnny Davis made the announcement Friday and said the team looks to make progress in Cassill's second season working with the group. Cassill will replace veteran Mike Wallace as the team's lead driver. Davis plans to run a second car with at least a part-time Nationwide schedule, and Canadian driver Daryl Harr will fill that spot. Other opportunities for races in the second car will be available as sponsorship allows. Minnesota-based G&K Services will return as a key sponsor for JD Motorsports and the 4 car. Veteran crew chief Dave Fuge, who joined the team during the 2013 season, will be Cassill's crew chief.(JD Motorsports)(12-13-2013)

  • LVMS receives second straight SMI Speedway of the Year award: Las Vegas Motor Speedway's position as the premier motorsports facility in the world was further solidified with its second consecutive selection as Speedway Motorsports' Speedway of the Year. LVMS, which hosts more than 1,400 event days a year, is the only winner in the two-year history of the award. The announcement was made by Speedway Motorsports Inc. President Marcus Smith. "This award is all about the employees who work so hard and take great pride in what we do here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway," said Chris Powell, LVMS president. "I'm so happy for our staff. This has been a remarkable year at LVMS with successful racing events and track-rental business. We have eight fantastic facilities within the SMI family, and to be selected as the top-performing speedway out of that group has thrilled everyone on our staff." In 2013, LVMS again hosted many racing events, including the annual NASCAR Weekend, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and two NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series national events. The Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) returned for the third consecutive year and featured record crowds. The speedway also buttressed its reputation as one of the world's most diverse facilities by hosting golf's World Long Drive Championships. "The 2013 season was a special one for us here at the speedway," Powell said. "On any given day there can be as many as eight or 10 different events going on. As we look ahead to 2014, we'll continue to stage NASCAR and other premier racing series. And we'll host several 'non-traditional' events, including EDC and a new event, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Meanwhile, we'll continue to explore new avenues that help maximize the use of our world-class venue."(LVMS)(12-13-2103)


    News from December 12, 2013

  • Finch plans to enter a car in Daytona 500 UPDATE: Former #51 Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch told Brad Gillie and Buddy Baker on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's The Late Shift that he plans to enter a car in the 2014 Daytona 500.(listen at Soundcloud/SiriusXM). Finch will use a car from his old team, Phoenix Racing, now owned by Harry Scott Jr.. No word on a driver or what car nuumber Finch will use.(12-10-2013)
    UPDATE: James Finch has asked 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champ Bobby Labonte to run a second Phoenix Racing Chevy in the 2014 Daytona 500. Finch, who sold majority interest of his team to Harry Scott last summer, said he hopes to have the car, engine and team solidified next week. "We'll be running out of the Phoenix Racing shop," Finch said. "I hope to have a number before Christmas. I'm waiting for NASCAR to get back to me on that."(FoxSports)(12-12-2013)

  • Childress consulted with Earnhardt's before using #3: The late Dale Earnhardt's famed #3 will be back on track in the elite Sprint Cup Series next season with Austin Dillon using the number. The move has been long anticipated because car owner Richard Childress has allowed his grandson to use the #3 as he's moved through NASCAR's ranks. Childress said he's consulted with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his sister, Kelley, every time he's moved the #3 to a different level on the track and the Earnhardt family has been supportive. Earnhardt Jr. declined to use the #3 following his father's death, but has raced the number in the Nationwide Series. "I would be worried if I didn't think he'd respect it or not understand the legacy, but he does. I know he does. He appreciates it," Earnhardt Jr. said last week of Dillon using the #3.(Associated Press)(12-12-2013)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers who have won in the #3:
    The #3 was run in 1134 Sprint Cup Series races with 97 wins, 367 top-fives, 605 top-ten races and 65 poles.
    Dale Earnhardt, 67 wins in #3, 76 wins overall (HOF)
    Junior Johnson, 9, 50 (HOF)
    Paul Goldsmith, 5, 9
    David Pearson, 3, 105 (HOF)
    Dick Rathman, 3, 13
    Buck Baker, 2, 46 (HOF)
    Ricky Rudd, 2, 23
    Buddy Baker, 2, 19
    Fireball Roberts, 1, 33
    Charlie Glotzbach, 1, 4
    Danny Letner, 1, 2
    Earl Balmer, 1, 1
    (HOF) - in the NASCAR Hall of Fame
    Stats compiled from Racing-reference.info.
    Also see an artcle at NASCAR.com: Dale Earnhardt far from only legend to drive #3.(12-12-2013)

  • Cheerios to Sponsor Austin Dillon in his move to Sprint Cup: General Mills Inc.announced its sponsorship of rising star Austin Dillon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014. Dillon, the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, will drive the #3 Cheerios Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR's elite series. To celebrate the news, Cheerios launched "Cheer the 3" social media communities on Facebook and Twitter for fans to interact and receive unique content about Austin and the #3 race team throughout the 2014 season.
    "We are proud to support a proven champion in Austin Dillon, a driver who shares many of the same values as Cheerios," said Gregg Dorazio, manager of Shopper Marketing and Motorsports at General Mills. "We have been an active sponsor in NASCAR for many years now and this is an exciting opportunity to be part of a historical moment in the sport."
    Austin Dillon, grandson of car owner Richard Childress, will be competing in his first full season in NASCAR's premiere series in 2014, building on an already impressive racing career. He became the youngest champion in Truck series history when he won the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at 21 years, six months and 22 days. The 23-year-old driver won the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship, becoming only the third driver in NASCAR history to win both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck championships. In addition to his championships, Dillon earned Rookie of the Year honors in both series.
    "I'm thrilled to take this next step in my career and think it's awesome to have the support of Cheerios, a cereal I've eaten since I was a kid," said Dillon. "After gaining experience in Truck and Nationwide Series competition, I'm ready to take this next step and drive the #3 Cheerios Chevrolet against the best drivers in the world." First entering NASCAR in 1997, General Mills has been an active sponsor of the sport for over 15 years working with elite drivers including Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Johnny Benson.(Cheerios Racing)
    See images of the #3 Cheerios Chevy, see my #3 Team Schemes page.(12-12-2013)

  • Childress reveals details of Menard explosion: Team owner Richard Childress said Wednesday that a severed brake line made a bad situation worse in last month's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, causing the back of Paul Menard's #27 Chevrolet to explode. Childress had previously said he would share the findings of his team's investigation with the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, NC. A tire failure in the late stages of the Ford EcoBoost 400 sent Menard to the pits, but he continued on with shredded rubber wrapped around the rear gearing. After several attempts to repair the issue, the trouble area caught fire, sending Menard to a halt in the pits during the 231st of 267 laps. Shortly thereafter, the hub, brake rotor and right-rear tire blew off the car with a loud, violent thud. "When that wrapped around the housing, it cut the brake line in two," Childress said Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Richard Childress Racing unveiled its 2014 racing plans. "Every time he was hitting the brakes, it was pumping fire back there. It was just like holding a torch on the tire, and that's what blew it off." No one was injured, but the car was severely damaged. The impact raised the hood and blew a hole in the floorboard of Menard's car.(NASCAR.com)(12-12-2013)

  • NASCAR Names Brent Dewar Chief Operating Officer, Promotes Three Executives: NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France has announced the appointment of long-time auto industry executive Brent Dewar as Chief Operating Officer of NASCAR to strengthen its executive management team and accelerate a number of key growth initiatives. Dewar begins at NASCAR on January 6, 2014.
    Concurrently, NASCAR announced that Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, has been promoted to executive vice president, while Steve O'Donnell, senior vice president, racing operations, has also been promoted to executive vice president. The company's general counsel, Gary Crotty, has been elevated to chief legal officer/general counsel. Mike Helton continues as NASCAR President with continued oversight of all racing operations.
    NASCAR's executive leadership restructuring reflects France's effort to make bold resourcing decisions that accelerate progress as the company focuses on announced changes in competition, research and development and on-going efforts to serve the current fan base and grow audience. The addition of Dewar, who has been consulting with NASCAR over the past year, will balance the responsibility across the executive leadership team and allow France to focus on setting the vision for NASCAR and driving key strategic growth initiatives and innovation across NASCAR.(NASCAR)(12-12-2013)

  • Ernie Cope working with #5 team: Veteran crew chief Ernie Cope will oversee the Nationwide #5 Chevy for JR Motorsports in 2014 with an all-star cast of drivers that includes Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne. Cope, 44, transitioned from the driver's seat to crew chief in 1997. The Tacoma, Wash., native has worked in that role most recently at Richard Childress Racing in the Nationwide Series, where he won races with both Harvick and Tony Stewart in 2013. "I made the move to stay with Kevin," Cope said. "We wanted to keep racing together, and we expect to win races or at least have a shot at winning every weekend."(Fox Sports)(12-12-2013)

  • NASCAR Appoints Jimmy Small As Iowa Speedway President: As the first step toward a bright future under new ownership, Iowa Speedway today welcomed Jimmy Small, a rising talent within the industry, as its new track president. Small's appointment at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines comes on the heels of NASCAR's announcement two weeks ago that it purchased the Speedway. Several of the sport's top executives along with state and local dignitaries were present for the announcement.
    "Jimmy's tireless dedication, energy and experience make him the ideal candidate for leading Iowa Speedway into this new era," said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development. "He has a strong background in identifying and creating fan experience improvements and defining best practices designed to help strengthen sponsor relations and ticket sales. In addition, he will have a great support structure at the Speedway and NASCAR."
    Small, 28, joins the Speedway after six years with NASCAR in various business-building capacities. Most recently, he served as senior manager for team marketing services within the NASCAR Industry Services department out of the Charlotte, N.C., office. In that role, he was the business and marketing liaison with teams and drivers in all three national series. Additionally, he helped manage the implementation of the NASCAR Industry Action Plan (IAP), including several key initiatives targeting Event Management and Entertainment, Youth & Gen-Y Marketing and Driver Star Power. When Small started in the sport in 2008, he worked out of NASCAR's Daytona Beach, Fla., headquarters coordinating event weekends with tracks, television partners and teams.
    "I'm honored to be presented with this opportunity to help guide Iowa Speedway in the next chapter of its life," Small said. "We will continue fanning the intense passion for motorsports that is prevalent here, and do our best to showcase Iowa Speedway's fast, exciting short-track racing in creative, fan-friendly ways." Small is a Detroit native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He was named as a member of Sports Pro Magazine's The 10 NEXT Class of 2012, an honor recognizing 10 sports executives under the age of 30.
    The track currently is gearing up for its slate of three NASCAR race weekends during the 2014 season. The Speedway's season opens May 17-18, with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge on Saturday night followed by a 250-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Sunday. The weekend of July 11-12, Iowa Speedway will host a Friday night NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event and an IndyCar Series race on Saturday. A second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge race is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 1 followed by another 250-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series event Saturday night. (NASCAR)(12-12-2013)


    News from December 11, 2013

  • Childress announces the return of the #3, Austin Dillon to driver, schemes posted UPDATE 2: Richard Childress Racing has scheduled an announcement for their 2014 plans on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 11 at the RCR facilities in Welcome, NC. It is expected that they will announce Austin Dillon's move to Sprint Cup and the return of the #3 Chevy.(12-4-2013)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing has scheduled a press conference for noon Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where NASCAR Sprint Cup testing will take place following two days of rain delays. According to multiple sources, Austin Dillon, grandson of team owner Richard Childress, will be named as the driver of one of the RCR Chevrolet SS Sprint Cup cars. And his car will carry the #3, the number Dillon used while competing in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, but one that has been absent from the Cup series since the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001. A team spokesman contacted by FOXSports.com would confirm only that Wednesday's press conference was about the team's 2014 plans and would include at least one sponsor announcement. Rumored but unconfirmed sponsors for the #3 include Dow Chemical, which has a long history with RCR, General Mills and Jack Daniel's. Dillon, the reigning Nationwide champion and 2011 Truck series title winner, has already acknowledged he's moving up to the Sprint Cup Series in 2014.(FoxSports)
    AND folks can watch the press conference at nascar.com.
    UPDATE2 Austin Dillon, a champion in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will compete full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2014 driving for Richard Childress Racing. Dillon joins Paul Menard, who will drive the #27 Menards Chevrolet with crew chief "Slugger" Labbe, and Ryan Newman, who will drive the #31 Caterpillar/Quicken Loans/Wix Filters Chevrolet with crew chief Luke Lambert, as full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers under the RCR banner in 2014. The Welcome, N.C., organization has invested significant resources in its competition and engineering departments to prepare for the 2014 season. Many of these changes were spearheaded by the additions of Dr. Eric Warren (director of competition) and Mark McCardle (director of racing operations) to the organization, along with the recent addition of Mike Coughlan (technical director).
    Dillon's program will be led by crew chief Gil Martin, a 13-year veteran of the organization who led Kevin Harvick to six chase berths. It also marks the highly anticipated return of the #3 to Sprint Cup Series competition. Dow (supposedly the primary for 16 races) and General Mills' Cheerios brand will be the primary brands featured on the #3 Chevrolet SS throughout the season.
    "My grandfather and everyone at RCR have done a great job of not pushing me too quickly into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Dillon. "I feel like I've been able to spend adequate time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series preparing for this next step in my career. I am thrilled to be making this move with partners like Dow and Cheerios, along with some long-time partners who have supported me and RCR throughout my career. I am truly grateful and looking forward to this opportunity."
    The program between RCR and Dow is driven by several Dow businesses that are directly involved in R&D projects and strategic business and relationship opportunities unique to the NASCAR community. "We see this as a great opportunity to partner with a historic team like Richard Childress Racing that is synonymous with success, integrity and championships, and a championship driver in Austin Dillon," said Joe Harlan, executive vice president of Dow. "Austin's winning passion is representative of Dow. Our employees and customers were very supportive of our debut into our partnership with RCR during 2013 and they are looking forward to continued involvement with Austin next year. Dow's technology-focused, market-driven, customer-centric organization aligns perfectly with the performance-driven values of RCR and NASCAR. We look forward to being a part of Austin's rookie NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and continued success in NASCAR."
    General Mills is entering its 17th year in NASCAR and its sixth year with RCR. They began their association with Dillon last year when the Minneapolis, MN.-based company used its Honey Nut Cheerios brand to help Dillon make his inaugural Daytona 500 start. Today, Cheerios launched the @CheerThe3 communities on Facebook and Twitter so fans can access exclusive content and share their excitement around Austin and the #3 race team. "With Austin Dillon's success in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, we're proud to continue our support of Austin, a proven winner and passionate driver," said Gregg Dorazio, manager of shopper marketing and motorsports for General Mills. "He shares many of the same values as the Cheerios brand and has a bright future in the sport. We're excited to join him in this next step in his career. We're also proud to continue our partnership with RCR and continue our heritage in the sport."
    In addition to Dow and Cheerios, several long-time partners associated with RCR and Dillon will join him as he moves to full-time competition in the Sprint Cup Series including Realtree Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, American Ethanol and the University of Northwestern Ohio.(RCR)
    See images of the #3 Dow and Cheerios Chevy, see my #3 Team Schemes page.(12-11-2013)

  • Charlotte testing finishes up: On Wednesday, fans watched 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers take to the track in the sixth-generation car test at Charlotte Motor Speedway from the enclosed Clubhouse seating of The Speedway Club. NASCAR ran five different mock races, as well as several tuning sessions with cars completing single-car runs. The test session was intended to finalize rules packages for the 2014 season. "We did an initial test here in October," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Vice President, Innovation and Racing Development. "We got some information. We've been very fortunate that we've actually had a huge participation. We have 30 cars out there. We're trying to exercise all this in a real?world environment."
    "It is different when you have 30 cars, or 25 cars, versus the six (from October)," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR VP of Competition and Racing Development. "It was important that we come back with a field of cars like we did. It gave us a little bit of a different view of some of the answers and has put us in some different directions that we will continue to work on."
    The stars of NASCAR return to Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 10 greatest days in racing, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. Fans can catch all the action, including reserved seats with the best views of pit road and the world's largest HDTV with weekend packages starting at just $99. After testing concluded, fans were invited to enjoy Speedway Christmas, the region's largest holiday light show, which runs through Dec. 30. The 3.1-mile course allows families to experience more than 3 million lights and 800 holiday displays. The show is open from 6 to 10 p.m. and admission is only $15 per car on Monday through Wednesday when the infield Christmas Village is closed, and $20 per car Thursday through Sunday when the Christmas Village is open. Ticket information for all Charlotte Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)
    See 'results' of the five different mock races at (pdfs):
    Charlotte Configuration Race 1 Results page
    Charlotte Configuration Race 2 Results page
    Charlotte Configuration Race 3 Results page
    Charlotte Configuration Race 4 Results page
    Charlotte Configuration Race 5 Results page.(12-11-2013)

  • Teams/Drivers testing and racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Wed Dec. 11th:
    The teams did some single cars runs, testing spoilers and also ran a 30 lap configuration race with #4-Harvick being listed as the 'winner' (no points). Thirty cars are listed as testing in the morning session:
    #1-Jamie McMurray
    #2-Brad Keselowski
    #4-Kevin Harvick
    #5-Kasey Kahne
    #7-Michael Anett
    #9-Marcos Ambrose
    #11-Denny Hamlin
    #15-Clint Bowyer
    #16-Greg Biffle
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    #18-Kyle Busch
    #20-Matt Kenseth
    #22-Joey Logano
    #24-Regan Smith (testing for Jeff Gordon)
    #29-Austin Dillon (will be #3 in 2014)
    #30-Cole Whitt
    #31-Ryan Newman
    #36-J.J. Yeley
    #38-David Gilliland
    #41-Kurt Busch
    #42-Kyle Larson
    #43-Aric Almirola
    #47-A.J. Allmendinger
    #52-Jeffrey Earnhardt (in a GoGreen Racing Ford)
    #55-Jeff Burton (testing for Brian Vickers)
    #78-Martin Truex Jr.
    #83-Alex Bowman (Reutimann has sched conflict)
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    #93-Travis Kvapil
    #99-Carl Edwards
    (12-11-2013)

  • Bowman to test for Reutimann: Alex Bowman will fill in for David Reutimann in the #83 Burger/Dr. Pepper Toyota during the test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bowman, 20, ran 32 races for RAB Racing in his first full season in the Nationwide Series and finished 11th in the points standings. He earned two poles - at both Texas Motor Speedway races - and posted top-five finishes at Daytona and Kentucky. Reutimann, 43, had a scheduling conflict this week. However, in his seventh season in the Sprint Cup Series, he finished 33rd in the BK Racing Toyota. His only top-20 finish of 2013 came in the Daytona 500, where he finished 16th. Could the test be an audition for Bowman? All BK Racing team owner Ron Devine would say is, "My driver lineup isn't set yet."(Fox Sports)(12-11-2013)

  • Stenhouse getting more than a new crew chief: The # 17 Roush Fenway Racing team will have a different look when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. returns to the track Wednesday for the Charlotte Motor Speedway test. With his former crew chief, Mike Kelly, replacing Scott Graves, several crewmen - including car chief Pierre Kuettel, engineer Mike Bugarewicz and mechanics Brent Wentz and Joey Elliott - have parted ways with the team. Former Nationwide Series crew chief Patrick Magee is replacing Kuettel. "It's going to be good, I'm excited," Stenhouse said. "I've been in the shop hanging out with the guys. I think there was a little something we were missing last year - a little excitement with the team. One thing I feel like this year is everyone wants to be there. They all believe in Mike. They all believe in me. They're ready to go to battle. It's been a fun offseason being in the shop and feeling the atmosphere of the shop."(Fox Sports)(12-11-2013)

  • Childress to announce 2014 plans: TODAY: Richard Childress Racing has scheduled an announcement for their 2014 plans on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 11 at the RCR facilites in Welcome, NC. It is expected that they will announce Austin Dillon's move to Sprint Cup and the return of the #3 Chevy.(12-4-2013)
    UPDATE: Due to rescheduled testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, RCR will hold their announcement at the facility at 12:00pm/et. NASCAR.com will stream the announcement as it happens.(12-11-2013)

  • Charlotte test scheduled for Monday; UPDATE - postponed until Wednesday: Travel included, the time gap between standing on the stage at Wynn Las Vegas and sitting behind the wheel of a car at Charlotte Motor Speedway will amount to less than 60 hours. With the crowning of six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson still looming large in the rear-view mirror, roughly 25 drivers will assemble Monday at CMS to validate potential changes to the Gen-6 race car for 2014, changes designed to make intermediate speedway racing closer and more competitive. The test follows an initial gathering of data in October, also at Charlotte.
    "We had the test in October, we had six cars, and we learned quite a bit," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. "We were generally looking at aerodynamic and chassis changes. I think we've got some very good insight, and now we've determined that we've got to bring a bigger pool of cars together. We think right now we're going to have about 25 cars participate, so we'll have a bigger field to validate some of the changes we're anticipating for 2014."
    As Stefanyshyn said, most of the changes will deal with aero packages, but NASCAR also will test tapered spacers on the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars to measure the effects of reduced horsepower. The NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series both use tapered spacers as part of their engine packages. NASCAR has reviewed potential configurations and provided test plans to the teams, including detailed CAD drawings of parts that needed to be created or fabricated.
    During the eight-hour test, NASCAR plans to run four different configurations in an attempt to arrive at a 2014 package that will reduce the aerodynamic disadvantage of trailing cars.(NASCAR Wire Service)
    AND Ryan Newman will be one of several drivers with new teams at the test. Newman will drive for Richard Childress Racing next season after spending five years at Stewart-Haas Racing. Other drivers who will test for new organizations include Kevin Harvick (SHR), Kurt Busch (SHR) and Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing). Rookies Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing), Kyle Larson (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing) and Michael Annett (Tommy Baldwin Racing) are expected to test. Some top-tier drivers won't attend but will instead rely on teammates' information. Among those not attending will be defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick, Stewart and Paul Menard. Regan Smith, often used by Hendrick Motorsports to test, will test for the HMS team of Jeff Gordon. Jeff Burton will test the car for Michael Waltrip Racing's Brian Vickers, who was sidelined in October because of blood clots but is expected back in the car in February.(Sporting News
    AND Fans are invited to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing free of charge on Monday, Dec. 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway from The Speedway Club's enclosed Clubhouse seating. The open test will help define rules packages for the 2014 season and more than 20 teams are expected to participate. Testing will run from 9:00am-5:00pm/et on Monday. Speedway Club Clubhouse seating will open at 9:00am for the public to enjoy the test session. Fans should park at the main entrance to the speedway, enter through the main ticket office on the second floor of Smith Tower and take the elevator to Clubhouse seating on the fifth floor. Refreshments will be available for purchase in the Clubhouse seating area. Fans are invited to take advantage of The Speedway Club Lounge area to purchase lunch or dinner from 11:00am-9:00pm, or to make lunch or dinner reservations in The Speedway Club dining room by calling 704-455-3216.(CMS)
    UPDATE: Due to rain at the track and the poor forecast for today and tomorrow, NASCAR has postponed the test until Wednesday.(12-9/11-2013)

  • RCR sells equipment, may run part-time team: During a press conference today Richard Childress said that Richard Childress Racing would not field a full-time truck team in 2014. With drivers Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan moving to the Nationwide Series, RCR sold some of their trucks and equipment to Gallagher Motorsports, who is planning on running a full-time team with driver Joey Coulter next season. Additionally, Childress added that Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines would be supplied for NTS Motorsports and Sharp-Gallaher Racing. Childress concluded that a part-time #3 team may run some races next season, if a sponsor is found for driver Jeffrey Earnhardt.(12-11-2013)

  • Coulter lands new ride for 2014: Joey Coulter will have a new ride for the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series season. Coulter ran the full Truck schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports last season, finishing 15th in championship points with three Top-5 and five Top-10 finishes, highlighted by a runner-up showing at Kansas in late April. Now, Coulter is set to run the full 2014 Truck Series for a new team owned by Allegiant Air CEO Maurice Gallagher and fielded out of the Coulter Motorsports shops in North Carolina. The team will be sponsored by Allegiant Air, a low-cost airline headquartered in Enterprise, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas. Allegiant Air fielded entries for Spencer Gallagher -- son of Maurice Gallagher - in three Truck Series events this season at Kansas, Texas and Homestead Miami Speedways, with a top finish of 20th in the Lone Star State. Spencer Gallagher will reportedly run a full-time ARCA and part-time Truck schedule in 2014, with Coulter serving as driver coach. Jeff Stankiewicz will reportedly serve as crew chief for Coulter's truck effort. Contacted today for comment, Coulter said the deal is close to completion, with an official announcement possible next week. "It's not a deal until its signed sealed and delivered," he said, "but we're getting close."(Godfather Motorsports)(12-11-2013)

  • Indiana Motorsports Commission approves modifications to IMS: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced plans on Tuesday for track modifications and upgrades to enhance fan experience that include additions of track aprons in the turns for NASCAR events, new video screens, improved catch fencing, a new scoring pylon and improved restroom facilities. The list of proposed improvements carries a price tag of about $140 million, according to Jeff Belskus, Hulman & Company president and chief administrative officer. The project does not include lights for the facility -- a $20 million project in itself -- because it was determined that lights did not bring a strong enough return on investment. The project also includes the recently completed repaving and renovations to the road course that will be used for an IndyCar race scheduled for May 10, 2014. The plans were approved by the Indiana Motorsports Commission. The plans also outlined the need for increased concession choices, more on-site entertainment, improved access and improved traffic flow and parking. Wireless access throughout the facility was also addressed as a priority to enhance the fan experienced. The apron only will be used for NASCAR racing and will cost less than $1 million.(Autoweek)(12-11-2013)

  • Bristol August race tickets on sale: Consistently named a can't-miss event by NASCAR drivers and racing enthusiasts alike, the excitement of an August race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway is unparalleled and starting this Wednesday fans can ensure they don't miss a minute of the 2014 summer brawl inside the bullring. For as little as $99, guests are guaranteed an action-packed experience that includes watching NASCAR's future starts battle on the high banks during Friday night's Food City 250 and cheering their favorite modern-day gladiator to victory under the lights of the Last Great Colosseum at Saturday's IRWIN Tools Night Race. Several tickets package options are available for those ready to reserve one of the most sought-after tickets in motorsports, so beginning Wednesday, Dec. 11 visist bristoltix.com or call (855) 580-5525 for complete pricing information or to purchase your August weekend tickets.(BMS)(12-11-2013)


    News from December 10, 2013

  • Finch plans to enter a car in Daytona 500: Former #51 Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch told Brad Gillie and Buddy Baker on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's The Late Shift that he plans to enter a car in the 2014 Daytona 500.(listen at Soundcloud/SiriusXM). Finch will use a car from his old team, Phoenix Racing, now owned by Harry Scott Jr.. No word on a driver or what car number Finch will use.(12-10-2013)

  • Danica Patrick to co-host American Country Awards - TONIGHT: Multi-platinum recording artist Trace Adkins and NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick will co-host the fourth annual AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS, airing live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Tuesday, Dec. 10 on FOX. This is Adkins' fourth time serving as a host of the annual awards show, which gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite artists in categories such as artists, albums, singles, videos and touring, encompassing the entire spectrum of country music and bestowing honors that no other awards show has. Nominees, performers and presenters to be announced. "I'm so excited to host the AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS with Trace Adkins," Patrick said. "I have no doubt he'll be able to keep up with me. I've become a huge fan of country music since I came to NASCAR and have been fortunate to be in videos with Miranda Lambert and Colt Ford. This is going to be a really cool experience and I'm excited to be a part of it. It's going to be a great show!"(Stewart-Haas Racing)(9-18/12-10-2013)

  • Simpson introduces Hybrid Sport Head and Neck Restraint: The Hybrid Sport from Simpson Performance Products is the latest in SFI 38.1 approved head and neck restraint technology from one of the most trusted names in racing safety. The evolution of the Hybrid Pro Rage technology and design has led the way for the development of the new high performance Hybrid Sport which promises the racer a better product, at the same price range as the Pro Rage. The Hybrid Sport is lighter, weighing in at 20% less for the large, including hardware; and the DuPont carbon/polymer construction is sleek, modern and appealing with defined wings for seatbelt containment. The sliding tethers and patent pending multi-tether system enhances side to side range of movement and field of vision. The Hybrid Sport over performed in the strenuous SFI testing lab to gain SFI 38.1 certification. The Hybrid Sport retails beginning at $595 and is available in sizes Extra Small - Extra Large. The Hybrid Sport will be available in late December, 2013 and will be followed by the Hybrid Sport Youth model, available in February, 2014. The Hybrid Sport Youth is scaled down for the growing racer and will retail at $399.(Simpson Performance Products)(12-10-2013)

  • Thunderbirds to perform flyovers at Daytona 500 and Las Vegas: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have finalized their 2014 show schedule. In its 61st season, the team is slated to perform 66 demonstrations at 34 locations. The flying unit, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform its first public flyover of 2014 at the opening of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1. Two of the shows include the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb 23, 2014 and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014. The announcement of the schedule confirms the Defense Department's commitment to supporting community engagement. Last October, in an internal memo to military service chiefs, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stressed a continuing need to maintain military demonstration teams. Charged with demonstrating the professionalism of Airmen and the capabilities of modern airpower, the Thunderbirds were formed in 1953. The 2014 season marks the 32nd year the squadron has performed in the F-16 Fighting Falcon.(U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds)(12-10-2013)

  • Wallace returning to KBM, Ren out: According to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series reporter Ray Dunlap, Darrell "Bubba" Wallace will return to Kyle Busch Motorsports in the #54 Toyota Tundra in 2014. Dunlap also tweeted that General Manager Rick Ren will not return to the organization in 2014 due to consolidation. It's still a mystery as to what other plans Kyle Busch Motorsports has for the 2014 season. No word on what Ren's plans are for the 2014 NASCAR season. Wallace will return after finishing eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points in the 2013 season. Wallace won his first career race in the series at Martinsville in October. The #54 truck had been sponsored the majority of the season by Truck Series title sponsor Camping World but there is no word on whether they will return with Wallace in 2014. Wallace, a 19 year old driver from Mobile, Alabama is a Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver.(Sports Media)(12-10-2013)


    News from December 9, 2013

  • Charlotte test scheduled for Monday; postponed until Wednesday: Travel included, the time gap between standing on the stage at Wynn Las Vegas and sitting behind the wheel of a car at Charlotte Motor Speedway will amount to less than 60 hours. With the crowning of six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson still looming large in the rear-view mirror, roughly 25 drivers will assemble Monday at CMS to validate potential changes to the Gen-6 race car for 2014, changes designed to make intermediate speedway racing closer and more competitive. The test follows an initial gathering of data in October, also at Charlotte.
    "We had the test in October, we had six cars, and we learned quite a bit," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. "We were generally looking at aerodynamic and chassis changes. I think we've got some very good insight, and now we've determined that we've got to bring a bigger pool of cars together. We think right now we're going to have about 25 cars participate, so we'll have a bigger field to validate some of the changes we're anticipating for 2014."
    As Stefanyshyn said, most of the changes will deal with aero packages, but NASCAR also will test tapered spacers on the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars to measure the effects of reduced horsepower. The NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series both use tapered spacers as part of their engine packages. NASCAR has reviewed potential configurations and provided test plans to the teams, including detailed CAD drawings of parts that needed to be created or fabricated.
    During the eight-hour test, NASCAR plans to run four different configurations in an attempt to arrive at a 2014 package that will reduce the aerodynamic disadvantage of trailing cars.(NASCAR Wire Service)
    AND Ryan Newman will be one of several drivers with new teams at the test. Newman will drive for Richard Childress Racing next season after spending five years at Stewart-Haas Racing. Other drivers who will test for new organizations include Kevin Harvick (SHR), Kurt Busch (SHR) and Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing). Rookies Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing), Kyle Larson (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing) and Michael Annett (Tommy Baldwin Racing) are expected to test. Some top-tier drivers won't attend but will instead rely on teammates' information. Among those not attending will be defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick, Stewart and Paul Menard. Regan Smith, often used by Hendrick Motorsports to test, will test for the HMS team of Jeff Gordon. Jeff Burton will test the car for Michael Waltrip Racing's Brian Vickers, who was sidelined in October because of blood clots but is expected back in the car in February.(Sporting News
    AND Fans are invited to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing free of charge on Monday, Dec. 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway from The Speedway Club's enclosed Clubhouse seating. The open test will help define rules packages for the 2014 season and more than 20 teams are expected to participate. Testing will run from 9:00am-5:00pm/et on Monday. Speedway Club Clubhouse seating will open at 9:00am for the public to enjoy the test session. Fans should park at the main entrance to the speedway, enter through the main ticket office on the second floor of Smith Tower and take the elevator to Clubhouse seating on the fifth floor. Refreshments will be available for purchase in the Clubhouse seating area. Fans are invited to take advantage of The Speedway Club Lounge area to purchase lunch or dinner from 11:00am-9:00pm, or to make lunch or dinner reservations in The Speedway Club dining room by calling 704-455-3216.(CMS)
    AND Teams are scheduled be on track from 9:00am-5:00pm/et. In the event of rain, the test will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The forecast for Monday is cloudy with a 60% chance of rain and a high of 59 degrees. If testing is rained out Monday, it NASCAR will try to hold it Tuesday, where the forecast calls for a 70% chance of rain.(12-9-2013)
    UPDATE: Due to rain at the track and the poor forecast for today and tomorrow, NASCAR has postponed the test until Wednesday.(12-9-2013)

  • Erik Jones wins Snowball Derby: Erik Jones has won his second consecutive Snowball Derby after original winner Chase Elliott was disqualified in post-race technical inspection. Elliott had crossed the line first but his car was found to have an illegal block of tungsten as a replacement for the lead weighting that typically goes into a Super Late Model. The expensive metal is heavier and more expensive than lead and allows teams to place the weight in a more ideal manner. Tungsten is strictly outlawed in the Snowball Derby rulebook and is typed in boldfaced print. The Elliott team said it was an oversight but chief technical inspector Ricky Brooks was forced to disqualify the #9 team. Before he could be announced as the winner, Jones also had to pass technical inspection and was given the same through treatment by Brooks and his staff that Elliott received. Ultimately, Jones and his Kyle Busch #51 team passed inspection and was declared the winner. Grant Enfinger moved up to second in the revised order and remarkably was able to finish the race, near the front, despite losing a cylinder early in the race. Austin Theriault, Hunter Robbins, John Hunter Nemechek, David Rogers, Kyle Benjamin, Ross Kenseth and Derek Thorn and Donnie Wilson completed the revised top-10. Elliott had led 227 of 300 laps overall prior to his tech failure while Jones did not even lead a single lap as the winner.(SB Nation)(12-9-2013)


    News from December 8, 2013

  • Chase Elliott on pole for Snowball Derby: Five Flags Speedway, home to so many of Chase Elliott's most memorable achievements in recent years, was once again the backdrop for the Dawsonville, Ga., native's unyielding talents Friday night. The 2011 winner of the Snowball Derby for Super Late Models and a two-time winner of the Snowflake 100 for Pro Late Models, Elliott penned another chapter in his memoirs Friday at the famed half-mile asphalt oval during 102.7 WXBM Pole Night Qualifying. The last of 58 cars to qualify, Elliott's blistering and eye-popping mark of 16.133 seconds not only helped assure him of his first career Derby pole for Sunday's 46th running of the Snowball, but it also set the all-time track record for SLMs in Pensacola. He topped previous marks set by Bubba Pollard, who qualified second for Sunday's race. Two years ago Pollard's 16.290-second time was tops in Derby history. Johanna Long, the 2010 champion and local she-ro, qualified a mediocre 23rd. NASCAR driver Landon Cassill, who Long beat in 2010 sits 29th. Another NASCAR regular David Ragan, who sat on the pole at last year's Snowball, qualified eighth. Ross Kenseth, son of Sprint Cup star Matt, is 11th. Ben Kennedy, the grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France and son of International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy, won the K&N Pro Series East race at Five Flags earlier this year. He qualified 16th.(5 Flags Speedway)(12-8-2013)

  • Harvick's home suffers damage from fire UPDATES: Kevin Harvick and his family escaped injury when a fire broke out in their Oak Ridge, N.C., home Wednesday morning. Both Kevin and his wife, DeLana, tweeted photos of the fire department at their house saying they were thankful for the response and that they were OK. The fire and fire alarm that went off woke up the Harvicks, his wife tweeted. Kevin Harvick Inc. later tweeted that the Harvicks were fine and suffered no major damage to their home.(Sporting News)(11-27-2013)
    UPDATE: Kevin Harvick, Inc, tweeted Wednesday, "Last night the local fire department was called to the Harvick's house where a fire started in the basement in the early morning hours. There was structural and smoke damage within the area. Kevin, DeLana and Keelan were not injured. Thank you all for the outpouring of concern."(11-28-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Kevin Harvick won't be able to live in his home for another four to six months because of a Nov. 27 fire at his North Carolina residence. Harvick told reporters Friday following the Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas that the fire started when the floor joist underneath the fireplace caught on fire between the downstairs ceiling and the upstairs floor. "We couldn't really find the fire but it was basically just sitting between the two floors getting bigger and bigger and bigger," Harvick said. "When we walked downstairs, there was probably three foot of smoke from top to bottom from one end of the house to the other. So we were very fortunate. ... We were very lucky with our home. The fire alarm pretty much saved our house." Initially, Harvick thought he would be back in his home by February. "The more we dig into it, the worse it gets," Harvick said. "They told us (Thursday) that we're four to six months (before returning)." The Harvicks have been living in their motorhome while looking for a place to stay.(Sporting News)(12-8-2013)

  • Congrats: to Reed Sorenson & Laura Frame. The couple was married Saturday afternoon.(12-7-2013)

  • Daytona Rising December Project Update: Although 2013 will soon come to a close, construction activities related to the DAYTONA Rising project continue to accelerate. Daytona International Speedway is also preparing for the 52nd Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 to ensure that the facility is "race ready" for fans. Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in November:
    • Initial steel installation near the east end of new grandstand footprint
    • Completed pile cap installation
    • Operationalized domestic water and fire lines
    • Began asphalt paving near the west end of new grandstand footprint
    Upcoming construction activities:
    • Ongoing steel installation
    • First Slab on Metal Deck (First Elevated Concrete Pour)
    • Masonry work commences
    (DIS)(12-8-2013)


    News from December 7, 2013

  • NASCAR honors Jimmie Johnson as 6 Time Champion: Ultimately, the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards were all about Jimmie Johnson and his sixth series championship, but there were some pointed jokes and some return barbs before the Friday night program at Wynn Las Vegas got there. After team owner Rick Hendrick, sponsor Lowe's and crew chief Chad Knaus all received their due, Johnson took the podium to acknowledge those who had helped make his sixth title possible.
    "Rick and (wife) Linda, you've created the winningest racing organization in NASCAR history by caring for the people you employ and treating us all like family," Johnson said after receiving his championship ring from NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "And I'm honored to call myself a Hendrick employee."
    Johnson thanked Knaus for pushing him to make him better and acknowledged the bond, both personal and professional, formed between driver and crew chief over the past 12 years.
    Johnson's speech was the climax of the evening, but the humor that preceded it often brought the house down. Comedian Jay Mohr, the master of ceremonies, revved up the crowd with some well-researched jokes that poked fun at Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick and Clint Bowyer in particular. Mohr highlighted Gordon's last-minute addition as a 13th driver to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, after manipulation of the outcome of the final regular-season race at Richmond by Michael Waltrip Racing changed the course of the 2013 season. Mohr interrupted his own routine with "news" that Gordon had just been added to the BCS championship in college football, that the four-time champion had been added to the Best Picture category for the Academy Awards and, finally, that a 13th month had been added to the calendar, called "JeffGordonary."
    Mohr surmised that Patrick, who was sitting close to the stage with her boyfriend, Sunoco Rookie of the Year Ricky Stenhouse Jr., might feel uncomfortable being so close to the front.
    He congratulated Bowyer, whose late-race spin started the sequence of events at Richmond that led to a record $300,000 fine for the organization for being "so good at apologizing for things you may or may not have done."
    Before Johnson took the stage, series runner-up Matt Kenseth, who moved from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing this season, offered his congratulations with a pointed suggestion. "I will start by congratulating Jimmie, Chad, Rick and the 48 team ... but, honestly, I have to say, your dominance is getting old," Kenseth said. "If I were you Jimmie, I would seriously contemplate retirement. Winning that much has to be tiring. Go buy yourself an island somewhere, hang out with your family, find a new hobby, spend some of that money and enjoy yourself."
    But as usual, Johnson had the last word, as he and the #48 team prepare for a run at a record-tying seventh championship next year.(NASCAR Wire Service)(12-7-2013)

  • Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented: Friday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards was jam-packed with presentations but only one was a surprise -- the presentation of the Third Annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award to Don Post of Kansas City, Mo. The award showcases The NASCAR Foundation, which was created in 2006 with the mission to raise funds and increase volunteerism to support charitable causes throughout the nation -- with special emphasis on positively impacting the lives of children. In 2011, the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award was created. The award honors the longtime commitment to community service and charitable causes by the foundation's founder, Betty Jane France, who presented the award to Post. The award goes annually to a NASCAR fan who embodies those ideals. By any measure, Post fits the mold. He was diagnosed with ALS, "Lou Gehrig's Disease," in 1980 and was told he had three to five years to live. Undaunted, he embarked on a 33-year mission of donating his time and talent to charities in the Kansas City area. Post has rallied the Kansas City community through the March of Dimes. His leadership on the "Bikers for Babies" motorcycle ride has helped raise $6.8 million toward finding causes and cures for premature birth, infant mortality and neuromuscular diseases. The charities supported by the finalists will each receive a 25 thousand dollar donation from The NASCAR Foundation. Post will receive a new Chevrolet SS, courtesy of Chevrolet, and provide the March of Dimes with a $100,000 donation.(NASCAR Wire Service)(12-7-2013)

  • Championship Tire Specialist award announced: Champion Tire & Wheel has announced the recipient of the 2013 Sprint Cup "Consistently Smooth" award is Kyle Collins of Hendrick Motorsports. The award recognizes the skill and effort of the team's tire specialist in overseeing the Lowes #48 teams' tire and wheel program. The tire specialist is an important piece in the performance formula for a championship effort as it requires managing a program of over 2,500 tires and wheels throughout the full Sprint Cup season. When the call for a pit stop comes, the efforts to find the right combination of tires, wheels, and air pressure is critical in the overall handling and performance of the race car. The lead crystal trophy will be presented to Collins at the team's shop in Charlotte, NC with owner Rick Hendrick, Crew Chief Chad Knaus, and Team Manager Michael Landis. In addition to the Sprint Cup series recipients, Champion Tire and Wheel will also present Richard Childress Racing's Dustin Keath, the Championship tire specialists award for the Austin Dillan driven Nationwide Series team, and Chris Rock, the tire specialist for Thorsport Racing and the Matt Crafton driven Camping World Truck Series Championship effort.(Champion Tire and Wheel)(12-7-2013)

  • Northeastern Supply renews associate sponsorship of #7 team: Continuing to experience strong support of its NASCAR Nationwide Series race team sponsorship program, the Northeastern Supply Company will add yet another season to its string of years in which it has offered such support. By renewing its associate position with the JR Motorsports organization and driver Regan Smith for a second straight season in 2014, Northeastern Supply will have now supported a full-time Nationwide Series team for 21 consecutive seasons when the green flag falls on season opener in February in Daytona Beach, FL. Since its first year of full-season Nationwide Series team sponsorship in 1993, Northeastern Supply has visited Victory Lane on several occasions to highlight its many years of involvement.(Northeastern Supply)(12-7-2013)

  • NASCAR bought Iowa Speedway for $10 million: Land records filed Monday in connection with the sale of Iowa Speedway to NASCAR indicate the race car sanctioning body paid $10 million for the property. The warrant deed filed in connection with the sale indicates a revenue tax amount of $15,999.20, an amount that rounds to $10 million using an Iowa real estate transfer tax calculator. In 2011, the Clement family assumed majority ownership of the Newton race track from the Manatt family in a transaction valued at just more than $19 million. Track designer and racing champion Rusty Wallace retained his 8.43 percent stake in the track at that time, but has now sold his interest. In addition to the warranty deed filing, documents pertaining to lease arrangements on approximately 20 acres of property owned by Stan Clement and his Metro East Corporate Park limited liability company, along with the Clement family's Raceway Acres site, were extended to NASCAR. The lease allows NASCAR to use the property for event parking and incidental uses for a period running from Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2023. NASCAR has also been given first right of refusal to purchase the property.(Newton Independent)(12-7-2013)


    News from December 6, 2013

  • 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The postseason black-tie event will begin tonight at 5 p.m. at Wynn Las Vegas, where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver and owner will be crowned and the top-10 drivers in the final standings will be honored. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, the culmination of Champions Week, will feature the NASCAR Fan Reception, Red Carpet Walk, celebrity guests, music and entertainment. FOX Sports 2, www.NASCAR.com, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 will provide coverage of the event. For more information see the 2013 Sprint Cup Series Awards page.(12-6-2013)

  • NASCAR Champion's Week Day Four: Johnson Returns To Head Table After Two-Year Absence Jimmie Johnson wraps up his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship celebration Friday night in Las Vegas. For Johnson, Champion's Week has been an enjoyable one - and perhaps his best since he captured his first championship in 2006 to begin an unprecedented run of five consecutive titles.
    "The streak, when it was alive, I didn't realize how much pressure we were carrying on our shoulders. We almost didn't get to enjoy the moment," he said. "We were looking ahead to see what the next year would be. "This (year) is almost a starting over. We're just enjoying it for what it is."
    Johnson and the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Lowe's Chevrolet team's streak of five titles ended in 2011 and they missed the title a year ago, but the now-38-year-old Californian smiled and applauded the achievements of Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski from the audience. The two seasons away from the head table provided some of the impetus for what Johnson calls "a kick-butt year" in which he won six races. Two victories during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup were keys to Johnson emerging victorious from a dramatic and tension-filled battle with 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth. "There's nothing more motivating than sitting down on the floor and watching the head table receive all the things through the course of the night," Johnson said. "We worked hard and came back and got it done this year."
    One championship away from matching the seven NASCAR Sprint Cup titles won by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Johnson had hoped to reference some of the legends' thoughts in making Friday night's speech. He had no luck retrieving any of Petty's remarks following his sixth title. The late Earnhardt's speech in 1994 likewise wasn't helpful.
    "I expected to see some life-changing thing in there I could attach to my speech; some meaningful moment or whatever," Johnson said of Earnhardt's banquet performance. "He was just as nervous as the rest of us. He was rattled, got off the stage and walked away. I do recognize I'm in a very unique position (that) only two other men have been in. If I can find a way to mention that tonight, that's my goal."(NASCAR)(12-6-2013)

  • NASCAR Champion's Week Day Three: Stewart Receives 2013 NMPA Myers Brothers Award: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart's reaction to being named recipient of the 2013 NMPA Myers Brothers Award was emotional and heartfelt. "This is crazy," said the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. "What an honor. It's very humbling." Stewart was honored by the National Motor Sports Press Association (NMPA) during Thursday's annual NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon at Wynn Las Vegas for a variety of reasons - as a fierce competitor, championship team owner and race track promoter. "But he's also helped others on many occasions; quietly and without recognition," said NMPA President Kenny Bruce. "The stories of our winner's big heart have gotten around; much to his dismay, I'm sure. Trust me, they're endless." Bruce's introductory remarks were echoed by master of ceremonies and FOX Sports broadcaster Mike Joy. "What he does for the sport makes him one of a kind." The NMPA Myers Brothers Award is presented in the names of pioneer NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers. Past recipients are a virtual who's-who of the industry - drivers, owners, track operators, sponsors and members of the media - and include nearly every current member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Stewart was cited for a longtime body of work - and specifically for his role in taking NASCAR back to its roots. He and his staff at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, produced the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series "Mudsummer Classic," the sanctioning body's first national points competition on a dirt surface in more than four decades.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. was named the NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a record, 11th consecutive season. He matched Bill Elliott's mark a year ago although the 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion continues to hold the overall record of 16.
    Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO, addressed the media prior to the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon calling the just-concluded season "a good year." France pronounced the roll-out of the Gen-6 Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry successful. The premier series' three manufacturers were named joint recipients of the 2013 Buddy Shuman Award for their role in creating race cars styled to better connect the sport with the pride of car ownership shared by millions of North American consumers.
    Despite cooler than normal temperatures, thousands of fans lined The Strip - Las Vegas Boulevard - as the top-13 drivers celebrated the conclusion of the 2013 season with the fifth annual Victory Lap. Engines rumbled and smoke from burnouts filled the air during the popular event that started and finished in front of the Miracle Mile Shops on Las Vegas Boulevard.
    Additional events Thursday included the NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola at the Pearl Palms Concert Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort, a "tell-all" driver-fan interaction that lived up to its promise as one of the most sought after off-track tickets.
    Here is the complete list of Thursday's award winners from the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon:
    • NMPA Myers Brothers Award: Tony Stewart
    • NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    • Buddy Shuman Award: Chevrolet Division of General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Toyota
    • NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Coca-Cola
    • 3M Lap Leader Award: Matt Kenseth
    • American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kyle Busch
    • Coors Light Pole Award: Denny Hamlin
    • Duralast Brakes "Brake in the Race" Award: Jimmie Johnson
    • Freescale "Wide Open" Award: Matt Kenseth
    • Goodyear Tires Award (Champion): Jimmie Johnson
    • MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Scott Fox, Hendrick Motorsports #48 team
    • Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: Hendrick Motorsports #88 team
    • Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award: Matt Kenseth
    • MOOG Steering & Suspension Problem Solver of the Year Award: Matt Borland, crew chief #39 Stewart-Haas Racing team
    • Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap Award: Carl Edwards
    • Sunoco Diamond Performance Award (Champion): Jimmie Johnson
    • Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    • Champion Sponsor Award: Lowe's
    • Champion Crew Chief: Chad Knaus
    (NASCAR), for more information see the 2013 Sprint Cup Series Awards page.(12-6-2013)

  • France touches on a variety of topics at press conference: NASCAR continues to work on improving its on-track product, an endeavor chairman Brian France takes so seriously he plans to attend Monday's test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The test at Charlotte will be the second as NASCAR continues to seek a rules package that could enhance the competition. "Obviously, we want to get more lead changes, we want to get closer, tighter competition," France said Thursday in a briefing with reporters. "I'd love a photo finish every weekend. The point is that we're going to be working all the time on (improving) the competition and ... lead changes are going to be a huge part. Once that Charlotte test is complete and NASCAR has a better grasp of its 2014 rules, the focus could be turned to other areas of the product: France hinted Thursday there could a larger emphasis placed on winning and changes coming to the qualifying process. For qualifying, NASCAR told competitors it is considering moving away from single-car qualifying for the group formats used on road courses. France also downplayed an overhaul to the 2015 Sprint Cup schedule when NBC takes over the second half of the NASCAR television package. "Most tracks with a couple of exceptions don't like to give up a date that's worked for them and so on that they've had for a long time," he said. "So there might be a change or two, but I wouldn't predict any significant changes." Other topics covered by France:
    -The Richmond scandal: France said he was personally "pissed off, to be honest" when it became clear that Michael Waltrip Racing had manipulated the end of the regular-season finale in its attempt to get Martin Truex Jr. into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field. -Formula One's scheduled race in Austin, Texas: The F1 schedule released this week placed the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin on Nov. 2 - the same day as the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, a three-hour drive from Austin. "Well, I wouldn't have done that myself," he said about F1's race date. "I'm sure they had the same kind of scheduling challenges that we do. They go all over the world, and that was what they chose. It wouldn't be my first choice."
    -Iowa Speedway: NASCAR last week announced it had purchased the track, but has no plans to add a Sprint Cup race to Iowa. The track has hosted Nationwide Series and Truck Series races since 2009, and IndyCar also races at the facility. France said NASCAR's ownership gives the track some stability.(Associated Press), see a transcript of the press conference on the December 5 NASCAR Teleconference transcript page.(12-6-2013)

  • #88 team wins Mechanix Pit Crew of the Year: During the championship week in Las Vegas the #88 of HMS was awarded the pit crew of the year award. All year long the #88 has been a strong team and whats more impressive was they did it with 3 rear tire changers. As the season went on they lost their starter, Joe Slingerland to a wrist injury and then David Mayo to a knee injury. In steps the 3rd string changer Steven Tautges and the team continued on with consistent stops The other members of the team are as follows.
    Front Changer: Clay Robinson, Front Carrier: Kevin Harris, Jack Man: Nick Covey, Rear Changer: Joe Slingerland, David Mayo, Steven Tautges, Rear Carrier: Matt Ver Meer, Gas Man: Caleb Hurd. (Pit Talks)(12-6-2013)

  • Congrats: to Ryan and Nicole Briscoe on the birth of their first child, a daughter Finley. Nicole tweeted a picture Thursday afternoon.(12-6-2013)


    News from December 5, 2013

  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wins 11th Most Popular Driver Award The National Motorsports Press Association announced that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the recipient of this year's NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award. It is the 11th consecutive year Earnhardt Jr. has been selected through a vote of the fans, breaking a tie with Bill Elliott for most consecutive awards received. Elliott continues to hold the overall mark, having been named the series' most popular driver 16 times. "I don't really keep track of the stats or the score, but Bill was a great driver and ambassador for the sport," Earnhardt Jr. said. "He represents the sport really well to this day, as does his son Chase, who's coming up and carrying on the family name. But, I've always looked up to Bill as a driver so it's pretty neat." More than 1 million votes were tallied for 39 eligible drivers from this year's first race to the last at the site www.MostPopularDriver.com. Fans voted once per day with Earnhardt Jr. collecting more than 700,000 votes. The award was presented to the Hendrick Motorsports driver today during the annual NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon, a part of the season-ending Champions Week activities in Las Vegas. The final top-10 drivers, in order of votes received were: Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. Earnhardt Jr. is still honored to receive the trophy.(NMPA)(12-5-2013)

  • NASCAR Announces Modifications To NASCAR Hall Of Fame Eligibility And Selection Process: NASCAR announced a number of changes to the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF), including a modification to driver eligibility parameters and the creation of a new award to honor significant contributions to the growth and success of the sport. In all, six changes and updates will be made starting with the selection of the Class of 2015 - all designed to improve upon an already strong process that has led to the selection of 25 deserving inductees. Following is a summary of changes:
    Driver Eligibility: Currently, drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for three years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. That will not change. Moving forward, however, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF. Also, any competitor who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age. Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
    Nominating Committee Will Select Five Fewer Nominees for Enshrinement: Throughout its history, the NHOF Nominating Committee has selected 25 nominees each year to be discussed and voted on for NHOF enshrinement. That number will be reduced to 20 starting with the selection process for the 2015 class.
    Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
    Beginning with the 2015 class, a new award - Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR - will be initiated to honor significant contributions to the growth and esteem of NASCAR. Potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners will remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement. Five nominees will be selected by the NHOF Nominating Committee and then be voted on by the Voting Panel. To win the award, an individual must appear on at least 60 percent of the ballots and no more than one award will be presented annually. Voting for this award will occur immediately following the voting for the NHOF class and be monitored by the same independent accounting firm that oversees NHOF voting.
    Nominating Committee to Meet, Vote on 20 NHOF Nominees / Five Landmark Award Nominees: For the first time, the Nominating Committee will meet in person to discuss, debate and vote to create two ballots - the NHOF ballot and the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR ballot. Previously, the committee submitted nominees via mail to an independent accounting firm that tallies the nominations in order to create the final NHOF ballot. The Nominating Committee will meet during Speedweeks at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, and the nominees for both ballots will be announced later that day.
    Nominees To Be Recused From the Nominating / Voting Process: Any member of the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel who appeared on the previous year's ballot or current year's ballot will now be recused from participating in the nominating and / or voting process for as long as he / she appears on the ballot. If an individual who is currently on the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel is inducted, or is no longer included on a final ballot, he or she is immediately reinstated to active participation on the panel(s).
    Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Added To Voting Panel: As was already announced on Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the annual NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be added to the following year's voting panel. That means Jimmie Johnson, who captured his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, will be included in the selection meeting and can cast a vote for the NHOF Class of 2015 on Voting Day, Wednesday, May 21, 2014.(NASCAR)(12-5-2013)

  • NASCAR Champion's Week - Day 2: In the end, there was only one grand prize winner during the fifth annual Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway held at the Fremont Street Experience, and she chose Kyle Busch and his case. Her prize? Tickets to Friday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas . The game-show format event featured six contest-winning fans selecting cases containing assorted prize packs from among the 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. Each fan had the opportunity to select a driver and his sealed case during one of six rounds. Before revealing their prize, each fan had the choice to stay with that case or choose four others to eliminate. Between each round the cases were shuffled among the drivers. Every fan walked away a winner with prizes including key chains, hats, race packages and even tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards for the Grand Prize winner.
    Also honored on Wednesday were this year's finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award - Duncan Dobie, Lisa Hall, Richard Johnson and Don Post - at an afternoon reception at Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the Award winner during this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. Fans can cast their vote to determine the 2013 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting www.NASCAR.com/Award before 11:59pm/et on Dec. 5.(NASCAR), for more information see the 2013 Sprint Cup Series Awards page.(12-5-2013)

  • Johanna Long looking for new opportunity: Two years have meant the world to Johanna Long. She has raced against some of the biggest names in motorsports. She has competed on the most famous racetracks in America. She has been interviewed on ESPN and built her name on Twitter, now with nearly 50,000 followers. She has tested mettle while learning skills on a national NASCAR circuit. She has been on a stage that few drivers can reach. The past two seasons on the NASCAR Nationwide Series have provided an unmatched experience. But these are uncertain times. Her contract with ML Motorsports, driving the #70 car for owner Mary Louise Miller has ended. It was only a two-year deal with the Indiana-based company. "I knew after this year I was going to be free agent," Long said. "I am grateful for the opportunity ML Motorsports gave me." Except that in racing, free agency isn't the same as other team sports. It's less certain when another chance will come along. It's more dependent on timing, connections and fate. There are not many openings. "You can't stress about things. It's definitely hard to go on and not know what you are doing next year, but we have a lot of people working hard. I have talked to a lot of teams and a lot of sponsorships, trying to figure it out." Hopefully, it works out.(Pensacola News Journal)(12-5-2013)

  • Atlanta Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities distributes grants: The Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children's Charities distributed $140,000 in grants to 29 metro Atlanta non-profit and children's charitable organizations on Tuesday, Dec. 3. "The Atlanta Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities continues to grow," said Ginger Moats, the Director of the Atlanta Chapter. "We have significantly increased the amount of grant money we have distributed and increased the number of organizations that have received funds from the charity over last year." Throughout the year, The Atlanta Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities collects donations from area businesses, individuals and through fundraising efforts at Atlanta Motor Speedway and throughout Georgia. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Labor Day weekend serves as a catalyst to the charities' fundraising efforts with more than a dozen events serving as the anchor to the organizations activities. In addition to the monetary donations distributed by the Atlanta Chapter, the charity helped organize more than $70,000 of in-kind donations during the past year. The Charity also hosted Feed the Children in Henry and Spalding Counties that helped feed 800 families for a week, organized the Driving out Hunger Can Drive in Henry County and secured 40,000 pounds of hot dogs from Smithfield Foods that was donated to local area food banks. Volunteers also donated over 2,900 hours of service throughout the year. The mission of Speedway Children's Charities remains true to the ideals it was founded upon in 1982: To care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives.(AMS)(12-5-2013)


    News from December 4, 2013

  • Rick Allen named lead announcer for NBC Sports: NBC Sports Group announced that Rick Allen has signed a multi-year agreement to serve as the lead race announcer for NBC's upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series coverage, beginning in 2015. Alongside Allen in the NBC Sports Broadcast booth will be current driver Jeff Burton, who announced yesterday that he also will be joining NBC's multi-platform NASCAR coverage. For more information on Jeff Burton, click here. "I met Rick early on in his career and it has been fun to watch him develop into one of the most talented voices in motorsports," said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN. "His energetic delivery, great voice, and ability to bring the best out of his analysts have led him to this well-earned position of covering NASCAR's most-watched events." Allen's sports background is wide-ranging, and includes his own impressive run as a decathlete, which sent him to the 1992 USA Olympic Trials. As a broadcaster, he currently serves as Fox Sports' race announcer for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series. In addition to his on-camera television work, Allen is widely recognized as a top voice-over talent. Allen's voice has been utilized for narrations and national campaigns for companies including Goodyear, Sears, Alltel and Toyota. Allen has hosted multiple motorsports studio shows on SPEED, has presided over several post season awards banquets, and has served on the Voting Panel for the NASCAR Hall of Fame since its inception in 2010. A native of Grand Island, Neb, Allen began his career in 1994 as the public address announcer at Memorial Stadium during University of Nebraska football games.(NBC Sports)(12-4-2013

  • Mobil 1 renews with Stewart-Haas UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart says ExxonMobil has renewed its multiyear sponsorship of both the three-time NASCAR champion and Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart made the announcement that Mobil 1 will continue its relationship with him and his team while hosting the year-end edition of "Tony Stewart Live" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Mobil 1 will be the primary sponsor on Stewart's Chevrolet for 11 races.(Associated Press/ESPN)(12-4-2013)
    UPDATE: ExxonMobil has strengthened its ongoing commitment to NASCAR by renewing its multi-year sponsorship with three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing. Mobil 1 will adorn the hood of Stewart's #14 Chevy for 11 races in 2014, while taking a high-profile associate role in the remaining races. Additional details of the Mobil 1 and Stewart-Haas Racing deal:
    " Mobil 1 will serve as the co-primary sponsor of the #14 Chevrolet SS with Bass Pro Shops.
    " Mobil 1 will also be an associate sponsor of Kurt Busch's #41 Haas Automation Chevy and Kevin Harvick's #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevy.
    " ExxonMobil will provide Mobil 1 lubricant technology and engineering support to Stewart-Haas Racing, including the #10 GoDaddy Chevy.
    Mobil 1 has been the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR since 2003 and is used by more than 50 percent of the teams in NASCAR's top-three series.(ExxonMobil)(12-4-2013)

  • Wise to drive for Phil Parsons: Phil Parsons Racing announces that Josh Wise will join the team for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. In addition to welcoming Wise to the team, PPR will switch manufacturers and become a Chevy team, with Wise piloting the #98 Chevy SS next year. PPR competed in its first NSCS race in 2012 and earned their best finish in the 2013 Daytona 500. PPR is owned by former NASCAR driver Phil Parsons. Parsons competed in nearly 500 races among the NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series, finding success in both series and excelling at some of NASCAR's most famous tracks, including wins at Talladega Superspeedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. After stepping away from the driver's seat, Parsons moved into the broadcasting world and has worked as a NASCAR analyst for FOX Sports since 2003. Wise has 69 starts in NASCAR's top series, with his best start and finish both coming at Talladega Superspeedway in 2013. In addition to his NSCS experience, Wise also has several years of experience in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Prior to coming to NASCAR, the Riverside, Calif. native earned numerous championships in the open-wheel ranks, where he started his professional racing career. Wise makes the move to PPR after racing for Front Row Motorsports the past two seasons. PPR continues to look for marketing partners for the 2014 NSCS season.(Spire Sports + Entertainment)(12-4-2013)

  • NASCAR Champion's Week In Las Vegas Officially Begins Jimmie Johnson's four-day, Las Vegas whirlwind odyssey has begun. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas officially is underway. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion's rounds of Las Vegas media outlets began early Tuesday with interviews with a pair of top-rated rock and country music radio stations; CBS, FOX and Univision television outlets; MRN Radio and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Johnson also participated in a Q&A session at the 2013 NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum and then visited the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign at the south end of the famed Las Vegas Strip where he signed autographs for waiting fans. Tuesday's activities wound down with a round of photos and the annual Champion's Dinner with NASCAR President Mike Helton and others. Champion's Week activities for Johnson began Monday in Los Angeles where the Californian visited the FOX Sports campus. He appeared on FOX Sports 1's FOX Sports Live and taped segments with The OT and UFC Tonight. Before flying to Los Angeles, Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus visited the corporate headquarters of the #48 team's sponsor Lowe's in Mooresville, N.C., where they presented the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship trophy to a large crowd of associates.(NASCAR)(12-4-2013)

  • Childress to announce 2014 plans: Richard Childress Racing has scheduled an announcement for their 2014 plans on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 11 at the RCR facilites in Welcome, NC. It is expected that they will announce Austin Dillon's move to Sprint Cup and the return of the #3 Chevy.(12-4-2013)

  • NBC hires Jeff Burton as NASCAR analyst UPDATE: NBC Sports Group has reached a multi-year agreement with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, who will transition out of full-time driving and into the role of NASCAR analyst when the green flag waves over NBC Sports and NBCSN's upcoming slate of NASCAR coverage. The addition of Burton, who has already won 48 times on NASCAR's national circuits over an exciting 25-year career, places one of the most respected and passionate voices in motorsports into the center of NBC's soon-to-be-introduced NASCAR broadcast team. The announcement was made by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN.
    "Jeff Burton was always the first person we would seek out when there was breaking news or an issue that needed to be covered throughout our previous contract with NASCAR, so he was the first person we called for this role," said Flood. "His insights, keen observations and many trophies have earned the respect of everyone involved with the sport. He will be an outstanding analyst, and has everyone here looking even more forward to getting started."
    Burton will assume double duties throughout the 2014 season, racing a schedule of select Sprint Cup Series races while also contributing to NASCAR programming on NBCSN. When NBC Sports Group's exclusive coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series racing begins in 2015, Burton will serve as a full-time analyst on NBC and NBCSN.
    "This is an exciting new challenge and I am thrilled to be joining the NBC Sports family," said Burton. "I will prepare for each race as if I were driving in it, and I look forward to sharing my experience, views and insights with all the dedicated and passionate NASCAR fans."(NBC Sports)(12-3-2013)
    UPDATE: Burton said Tuesday his [race] schedule would probably be between six and 14 races [in 2014]. His deal with MWR is for one year, while he characterized his agreement with NBC as long term. Although he may continue to test or even compete occasionally beyond next season, Burton said once the NBC broadcast season begins, he's committed to the booth. "I am 100 percent committed to being in the booth and doing my job for NBC. ... It would be unfair for me to treat this as a part-time gig," Burton said. "... It's a job, and it's going to take effort and it's going to take work. And you can't do that as effectively as you need to if you have too many other things going on. You just can't do it. The job deserves more effort than that." Burton will begin to appear on NBC's networks in 2014, as a regular guest on a daily NASCAR program on NBC Sports Network. NBC on Monday named Jeff Behnke as its vice president of NASCAR production, and will base the former Turner Sports producer out of Charlotte, N.C. Flood said more talent announcements are still to come, with one anticipated as early as Wednesday. The network has not yet revealed whether it will use a two- or three-person booth during races.(NASCAR.com)(12-4-2013)

  • Johnson wants to give Donovan McNab a ride: Jimmie Johnson is giving Donovan McNabb the chance to change his mind. Two-and-a-half weeks after McNabb said on "FOX Sports Live" that Johnson was not an athlete, Johnson said they've talked and he might get McNabb in a car next year. Johnson and McNabb, a former NFL quarterback, talked on the phone Monday. "He'd been trying to track me down," Johnson told Motor Racing Network on Tuesday after an appearance at the annual NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum. It was McNabb. "I met Donovan a few years ago at a Super Bowl event. He's a super-nice guy," Johnson said. "He has an opinion, and he seemed open to the notion of following through on the opinion and what our sport is about. We joked about it. Hopefully, we can get something set up in the spring and get him in a car." McNabb upset many NASCAR fans and some competitors when he said Johnson was not an athlete.(Motor Racing Network)(12-4-2013)

  • Sad News - Jason Mitchell: Jason Dylan Mitchell, 41, of Doncastle Court, Concord, NC died unexpectedly at his home Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. He was born Aug. 14, 1972 in Okaloosa County, Fla., to Jerry William and LaVerne Denny Mitchell. He was a graduate from Appalachian State University. He was a sportswriter for NASCAR Racing, had managed a restaurant for Steve Grissom, and had worked for the Wilkes Journal Patriot.(Independent Tribune). Mitchel also wrote some NASCAR related book, including Tony Stewart: Driven to Win. More info about services, donations, condolences on my Sad News Page)(12-4-2013)

  • Dakota Armstrong to drive for Petty: Richard Petty Motorsports announced its signing of 22-year-old Dakoda Armstrong, who will assume driving duties of the #43 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The multi-year contract marks an ongoing commitment towards winning as the RPM team looks to build upon recent success. WinFieldTM, Armstrong's primary sponsor during his tenure with Turn One Racing and Richard Childress Racing, will continue its sponsorship for the majority of the 2014 season; Fresh From Florida will sponsor the remaining three races. Furthering continuity for the #43 race team, Crew Chief Philippe Lopez will again oversee Armstrong from the pit box. Armstrong's ascension to the NNS on a full-time basis comes on the heels of a 2013 campaign that included a 12th-place points finish after his first full season competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Armstrong also logged six NNS races, notching three top-15 finishes.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(12-4-2013)

  • Daytona could host soccer, football games: One day, the rebuilt and improved Daytona International Speedway may be the world center of more than just racing. Lesa France Kennedy, chief executive officer of Daytona's parent company International Speedway Corp., said NASCAR's most famous race track could host other events such as international soccer and college football games once the Daytona Rising project is completed in 2016. "NASCAR is always going to be our primary revenue driver, but we're going to look at some other things," Kennedy said Tuesday at the NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, which kicked off Champion's Week. "International soccer friendlies, for instance. Might want to host some of those, or concerts. It's going to be more flexible than the current speedway that we have, and it's going to offer a lot more options. We are also in discussions with several universities about NCAA football. That might be kind of exciting."
    "Today's fans also want the latest in technology, and Daytona is no different," she said. "In addition to the WiFi we will have in each neighborhood, we're also going to be installing additional infrastructure to support 4G services. How often do you go to a sporting event or an event of another type, and you're not connected to the outside world? It's just not a great experience. People don't like that. I don't like that, I know that much, and we're going to change that." Kennedy said the rebuilt Daytona, which will be completed in time for Speedweeks in 2016, will "redefine motorsports entertainment in North America." The project, five years in the planning, is also slightly ahead of schedule.(NASCAR.com)(12-4-2013)


    News from December 3, 2013

  • NBC hires Jeff Burton as NASCAR analyst: NBC Sports Group has reached a multi-year agreement with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, who will transition out of full-time driving and into the role of NASCAR analyst when the green flag waves over NBC Sports and NBCSN's upcoming slate of NASCAR coverage. The addition of Burton, who has already won 48 times on NASCAR's national circuits over an exciting 25-year career, places one of the most respected and passionate voices in motorsports into the center of NBC's soon-to-be-introduced NASCAR broadcast team. The announcement was made by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN.
    "Jeff Burton was always the first person we would seek out when there was breaking news or an issue that needed to be covered throughout our previous contract with NASCAR, so he was the first person we called for this role," said Flood. "His insights, keen observations and many trophies have earned the respect of everyone involved with the sport. He will be an outstanding analyst, and has everyone here looking even more forward to getting started."
    Burton will assume double duties throughout the 2014 season, racing a schedule of select Sprint Cup Series races while also contributing to NASCAR programming on NBCSN. When NBC Sports Group's exclusive coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series racing begins in 2015, Burton will serve as a full-time analyst on NBC and NBCSN.
    "This is an exciting new challenge and I am thrilled to be joining the NBC Sports family," said Burton. "I will prepare for each race as if I were driving in it, and I look forward to sharing my experience, views and insights with all the dedicated and passionate NASCAR fans."(NBC Sports)(12-3-2013)

  • Swan Racing to expand to two teams with Whitt & Kligerman: Swan Racing announced that it is expanding to a multicar organization in 2014 and will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with rising stars Parker Kligerman and Cole Whitt driving Toyota Camrys. This is a major step for Swan Racing as it seeks to improve its organization and to be more competitive in the upcoming season. Swan Racing completed its inaugural season this year under the leadership of team owner Brandon Davis. "When we launched Swan Racing we pledged to race hard every lap of every race. That's what we have done and what we will continue to do. We learned a lot this year and now is the time to plan for the long term future by adding more resources to be more competitive," said Davis. Swan Racing is preparing to move into its new shop in Statesville, NC. The 25,000 square foot facility will provide the team enough space to accommodate the two teams and even grow if necessary.(Swan Racing)(12-3-2013)

  • Stewart to be on the cover of NASCAR '14 UPDATE: Ever since Tony Stewart - known as "Smoke" -- badly broke his leg in an August sprint car crash, his fans have flooded social media with the #SmokeWillRise hashtag. It turns out their appetite for his return goes beyond just tweeting. NASCAR will announce today that Stewart won a competition fueled by social media to appear on the cover of next year's NASCAR '14 video game, dominating the competition in each round of its "Drive For The Cover" contest. Stewart, who is expected to return in time for the season-opening Daytona 500 in February, beat Jeff Gordon in the final round with 69% of the vote. He had the highest vote total in all five rounds of the bracket-style competition and never had less than 64% in any matchup. That Stewart won wasn't a huge surprise - Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn't eligible for the contest after appearing on last year's cover - but that he prevailed by such a large margin was notable. Even more impressive was how Stewart accomplished the feat without having a personal presence on social media (though his publicists run a Facebook page with more than 600,000 likes and a Twitter account -- @StewartHaasRcng - with 150,000 followers).(USA Today)(12-3-2013)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart fans have spoken, and they've made it clear that they cannot wait to see the driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy back on the track, even if it is on the cover of a video game. NASCAR announced today that fans worldwide have cast more than 700,000 votes in the "Drive for the Cover" campaign, ultimately selecting three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Stewart to appear on the cover of NASCAR '14. Stewart has appeared on the cover of the officially licensed NASCAR game twice before, but this is the first time he was selected by fans. It was clear early on that Stewart was going to be hard to defeat. During the five-week contest, conducted entirely on Facebook, Stewart dominated each round of the competition. Stewart's closest opposition came in the final round against another fan favorite, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. Stewart accumulated nearly one-fifth of all the votes cast during the 'Drive for the Cover' campaign.(NASCAR)(12-3-2013)

  • Behnke to head NBC's NASCAR production: NBC Sports Group has reached an agreement with Emmy Award-winning sports television producer and executive, Jeff Behnke, who joins NBC and NBCSN in January as Vice President of NASCAR Production. Operating out of Charlotte, N.C., Behnke will serve as the day-to-day leader in all areas, marking the first time that the head of a network NASCAR production team will be based in the racing hotbed that is home to many of the sport's most prominent figures. The announcement was made by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN.
    Behnke's expertise covers all aspects of production, including live remotes, studio broadcasts and on-air talent acquisitions. Behnke, who has amassed an impressive record of leading production teams covering NASCAR, NBA, MLB and more, will work closely with Flood during the lead-up to NBC Sports Group's highly anticipated return to NASCAR.
    Prior to joining NBC Sports Group, Behnke served as Executive Producer of Turner Sports for seven years, where he coordinated and provided strategic direction for all productions and personnel covering NASCAR, NBA, MLB and several of golf's Major Championships.(NBC Sports)(12-3-2013)

  • Gen-6 car offered more competition in 2013 UPDATE: Looking at the numbers from the debut season of the Gen-6 car
    1.267 In seconds, the average margin of victory in 2013. It's the lowest average MOV since 2005.
    5 The number of drivers who won in 2013 after going winless in 2012: Brian Vickers, Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr.
    17 The number of different winners this season, up from 15 different winners last season. The modern era record for different winners in a season is 19.
    19 The number of track qualifying records broken this season.
    20 The number of races that ended with a margin of victory less than one second, up from 17 races last season.
    51.2 The percentage of cars that finished on the lead lap, the highest mark since 2009.
    83.1 The percentage of cars that were running at the finish of races, up from 74.7 percent in 2012.
    127,306 The number of Green Flag Passes, the second highest total since the inception of Loop Data in 2005 -- and 17,398 more passes than 2012.
    See more info at NASCAR.com and see more stats on Jayski's Stats pages.(12-1-2013)
    UPDATE: While the Gen-6 car did bring back a traditional "stock" look, it proved to be too fast and too fickle to generate a lot of traditional side-by-side racing. There were 18 broken track records in qualifying during the season, but that speed came at the expense of the main event.
    There were 1,611 lead changes with the older Car of Tomorrow in 2012, but only 1,033 during the just-completed season. That's 578 fewer passes for the lead, a 35.9% reduction. NASCAR currently is working on changes to the car, including a restrictor plate-like tapered spacer that will reduce the flow of gas and air into the engine to reduce speeds. Crew chief Chad Knaus hinted during the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway the changes will be dramatic.(Augusta Chronicle)(12-3-2013)

  • Richmond to Red Horse? hearing that Marcus Richmond, former crew chief for Ty Dillon, has left Richard Childress Racing to join Red Horse Racing as crew chief for Timothy Peters. Butch Hylton, who served as crew chief for Peters the last two seasons, moved to the #77 entry, and Dan Stillman, who called the shots for German Quiroga on the 77 in 2013, has left the team.(12-3-2013)


    News from December 2, 2013

  • Jeff Burton to test and drive limited schedule for MWR: Michael Waltrip Racing announced it has contracted Jeff Burton to test and drive in a select number of races during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season in the #66 Toyota Camry. Burton, a 21-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series begins testing for MWR Dec. 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup race for Burton will be the March 9 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the upcoming weeks, MWR will announce any other events added to Burton's schedule. MWR will field the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry with driver Clint Bowyer and the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry with driver Brian Vickers in 2014. Burton will test for Vickers until late January when Vickers returns from medical leave. Team Co-Owner Rob Kauffman said Burton will help MWR both on and off the track. "Michael Waltrip Racing has two teams and drivers racing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in 2014 and our third team will play a very important role in that pursuit," said Kauffman. "We were extremely fortunate to have a driver as experienced and respected as Jeff Burton come available. He will be able to have an immediate impact as we continue to strive for that last one percent that separates champions from contenders." Michael Waltrip will drive the #66 in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 23 as he seeks his third victory in the sport's most prestigious event.(12-2-2013)

  • Owens reportedly taking over as Almirola's crew chief UPDATE: Trent Owens is the latest Nationwide Series crew chief to get a full-time shot at the NASCAR Sprint Cup level. Sources tell FOXSports.com that Owens will lead the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team with driver Aric Almirola. Owens, a former race car driver turned crew chief, most recently guided the #32 Turner Scott Motorsports team with rookie Kyle Larson. The team finished eighth in the NNS standings. Although the 37-year-old Davidson, N.C.-native is Richard Petty's nephew, Owens proved himself as a crew chief over the last decade by guiding five different drivers to Victory Lane, including Dave Blaney to his only NASCAR win (2006). He also earned victories with Mark Martin, James Buescher, Reed Sorenson and Nelson Piquet Jr. over the last two seasons.(Fox Sports)(12-2-2013)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced the hiring of one of the sports most talented crew chiefs in the NASCAR garage. Trent Owens has been assigned as the leader of Aric Almirola and the #43 Ford team beginning immediately. Owens has made his name known in the NASCAR Nationwide Series over the past seven years as a crew chief at both Braun Racing and Turner Scott Motorsports. The 38-year-old is a five-time winner on the Nationwide circuit with five different drivers. This will be Owens first full-time opportunity to be a crew chief at the Sprint Cup level.(RPM)(12-2-2013)

  • Dollar General increases sponsorship of Kenseth: Dollar General and Joe Gibbs Racing announced they have expanded their partnership agreement for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer will increase its sponsorship to 27 races with Matt Kenseth and the #20 team, up from 17 in 2013. As one of the top contenders for the Sprint Cup Series Championship, Kenseth celebrated seven wins in 2013 - more wins than any other driver in the series. Dollar General will again get the opportunity to showcase its brand for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway where Kenseth is a two-time Daytona 500 winner. Dollar General's increased 27-race partnership for 2014 will also include the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as well as highlight Sprint Cup Series events at Talladega Superspeedway in May, Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Richmond International Speedway, the Chase kick-off race at Chicagoland Speedway and the October event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the additional 10 races in which Matt Kenseth will drive the Dollar General #20 Toyota Camry in 2014, the major discount retailer looks to continue its consumer activation by driving sales and customer loyalty.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(12-2-2013)

  • Championship week kicks off Tuesday in Las Vegas: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week kicks off Tuesday for its fifth installment in [Las Vegas], marking a major milestone of celebration in Las Vegas. Four days of glitz and fan-friendly activity with the 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup postseason drivers is scheduled, culminating Friday with the feting of six-time champion #48-Jimmie Johnson at the Wynn Las Vegas. Coverage of the awards takes place Friday from 9:00pm-12:00am/et on FOX Sports 2 and NASCAR.com. Radio coverage on MRN affiliates and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm/et. Plenty of build-up and insider-style access -- with many events free to the public -- is scheduled before the black-tie and evening gown gala:
    Tuesday -- "NASCAR Live" with Eli Gold will host Johnson in an hourlong, audience-participation radio show from 7:00-8:00pm/et at the Wynn Sports Book. The Motorsports Marketing Forum presented by SportsBusiness Daily/Global/Journal also kicks off for the first of two days, providing a comprehensive look at the business of the NASCAR industry.
    Wednesday -- The red carpet will be out for all 13 Chase drivers in the Fanfest presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a free event also in its fifth year. Beginning at 4:30pm/et at the Fremont Street Experience, the drivers will engage in a game-show style face-off with a prize of two tickets to the Friday night awards banquet available for fans.
    Thursday -- One of the busiest days of the week in Vegas begins with the annual NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. The awards ceremonies are followed by NASCAR Victory Lap at 6:30pm/et, when the top 10 Chase drivers will offer a taste of the race-day experience with burnouts and a rumbling drive down Las Vegas Boulevard. NASCAR After the Lap presented by Ford and Coca-Cola concludes the day at the Palms Hotel & Casino Hotel with an offbeat, unfiltered roundtable involving every Chase driver. Fans can watch NASCAR Victory Lap and NASCAR After the Lap live on NASCAR.com.
    Friday -- Johnson and the rest of the top 10 drivers in the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings will be honored, marking the official close of the 2013 season. Drivers, celebrities and other special guests will all walk the redcarpet before the celebration begins.(NASCAR.com)(12-2-2013)

  • Wise completes Iornman: Josh Wise competed in the Iornman Cozumel on Sunday. A complete Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a full (26.2 mile) marathon. His total time was 11 hours and 55 seconds, placing him 427th overall and 65 in his division. More than 2500 people started the event. Wise completed a half Ironman in Wisconsin back in July.(12-2-2013)

  • Johnson's 2006 Chevy added to NASCAR Hall of Fame exhibit: As part of the revamped Glory Road set to debut Saturday, Jan. 11, the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced the fifth of nine exclusive sneak peeks included in the exhibit. The 2006 #48 Lowe's Chevy Monte Carlo SS that was driven to victory by Jimmie Johnson for his first of six championship titles will join the 18 historic cars that will comprise the exhibit. The reveal took place online via a video message from Jimmie Johnson on the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages on Nov. 29. Jimmie Johnson drove the 2006 #48 Lowe's Chevy Monte Carlo SS at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the final race of the season on Nov. 19, 2006, capturing his first of six championship titles. During the 2006 season, Johnson picked up five wins and 24 top 10 finishes in his 36 starts.
    Glory Road, which features 18 historic stock cars encircling the Great Hall, has served as one of the Hall's most prominent focal points since opening. Speedways from across the country are illustrated here as well, where guests can touch the texture of various tracks and feel the intense banking that drivers face week-to-week. Glory Road 2.0 will see 18 new cars that reflect the six generations of premier series race cars that have been driven and built by some of the sport's most celebrated drivers, owners and mechanics.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(12-2-2013)

  • Texas offering Cyber Monday deal: For those who missed Texas Motor Speedway's "Black Friday" special offering the lowest frontstretch ticket in speedway history for April's Texas 500, don't despair because "Cyber Monday" brings another unique purchasing opportunity for that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend. Between 12:01am and 11:59pm/ct Monday and available only online, Texas Motor Speedway will offer frontstretch tickets for all three days of racing during the Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series/Nationwide doubleheader weekend for just $99. The ticket package consists of SportsDay Qualifying Days Powered by The Dallas Morning News for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race on Friday, April 4; SportsDay Qualifying Days Powered by The Dallas Morning News for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday, April 5; and the Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, April 6. The "Cyber Monday" deal is limited to the first 500 and a maximum of four packages per account only. Tickets can be purchased online only by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(12-2-2013)


    News from December 1, 2013

  • Congrats: to #15-Clint Bowyer and girlfriend, Lorra Podsiadlo on their engagement. Podsiadlo tweeted a picture of the ring and "I said YES!!" Sunday morning.(12-1-2013)

  • Gen-6 car offered more competition in 2013: Looking at the numbers from the debut season of the Gen-6 car
    1.267 In seconds, the average margin of victory in 2013. It's the lowest average MOV since 2005.
    5 The number of drivers who won in 2013 after going winless in 2012: Brian Vickers, Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr.
    17 The number of different winners this season, up from 15 different winners last season. The modern era record for different winners in a season is 19.
    19 The number of track qualifying records broken this season.
    20 The number of races that ended with a margin of victory less than one second, up from 17 races last season.
    51.2 The percentage of cars that finished on the lead lap, the highest mark since 2009.
    83.1 The percentage of cars that were running at the finish of races, up from 74.7 percent in 2012.
    127,306 The number of Green Flag Passes, the second highest total since the inception of Loop Data in 2005 -- and 17,398 more passes than 2012.
    See more info at NASCAR.com and see more stats on Jayski's Stats pages.(12-1-2013)

  • Sad News - Bill Amick: Billy Lynn Amick, 70, died Friday November 29, 2013 at his residence. Born in Saluda County and the son of Gladys Padgett Amick and the late Arthur David "Chick" Amick, he was the husband of Linda Ann Taylor Amick. Bill's devotion to public service placed him on numerous boards in our [South Carolina]. He was a life member and past Chairman of the Clemson University Board of Trustees. He was also a member of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina Board of Directors as well as the SCANA Board of Directors. Bill's devotion to South Carolina and his native Saluda County gave him numerous opportunities to serve a variety of organizations throughout the state, too many to mention them all. Beyond Bill's public record of service lay a legacy of generosity whereby he touched countless lives through an amazing gift to give. More important to Bill than all of his civic achievements, however, was his love and devotion to his family. He loved his family with a passion beyond words. Above all, Bill was a man of deep faith and loved Jesus with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength. Surviving are his wife, Linda Taylor Amick, two sons, David (Melinda) Amick and Lyndon (Melanie) Amick both of Batesburg, a daughter, Angie A.(Russ) Black of Batesburg, his mother, Gladys Padgett Amick of Batesburg, a sister, Linda (Ben) Harrison, Sr. of Spartanburg and eight grandchildren, Billy Amick, Drake Amick, Jonas Amick, Aiden Amick, Tripp Amick, Bella Amick, Will Black and Jay Black. The family will receive friends from 1 until 3pm Sunday, December 1, 2013, at The Amick Co., 135 Homestead Rd. in the Amick Grove Community. The Memorial Service will follow at 4:00pm at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Saluda. In Lieu of flowers, the family respectfully request that memorials be made to T3, which was near and dear to Bill's heart, a ministry to raising up Godly men. Memorials should be made payable to The Chapel, 121 Homestead Rd., Batesburg, SC 29006. Ramey Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.(12-1-2013)


Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Sprint Cup News Page
Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site

Next Race: Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500

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

Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, VA

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

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

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



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added a COLLECTION of new links
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NOTE: the 20-25 links that seemed the most interesting to me are posted in the basic order they are shown on the Article / Column / Blog Links page with approx 10 days worth of links

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Born on Dates / Birthday's

Born in OCTOBER

24 Dave Blaney, Jim France, Brian Vickers, Tracy Leslie, Jeff Price, Bill O'Dea, Andrew Turner, Patrick Lawler

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

26 Jimmy Pardue

27 Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance

28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman

29 Teresa Earnhardt, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy 'the dog' Adamczyk

30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.

31 Mike Casto, Kip Childress

Born in NOVEMBER:

1 Jay Adamczyk, Joshua Marco, Doug Ingerson, Eric Vance, Larry Flynt

2 Larry Pearson

3 Derrike Cope, Tony Gibson, Greg Sacks, Bryan Mullett

4 Charley Pressley, Destinee Zastrow

5 Elton Sawyer Jr., Doug George

6 Bryan Reffner, Clay Rogers. Rodney Orr

7 Judy Allison, Gilbert "Pops" Gentle, Andy Houston, Dick May, Matthew Bodine, Lindsay Czarniak

8 Jason Burdett, Ed Berrier, Jim Inglebright, Teri MacDonald, John Bisci, Donny Lia, Ingrid Vandebosch

9 Rick Carelli, Nancy Sterling, Bill Kimm, John Holman, Ed Otto

10 U.S. Marines [1775], Britt Goodrich

11 Mike Hembree, Barry Bodine, Chris Horn, Rob Morgan, Loni Richardson

12 Ryan Buscaglio, Tom Ehret, Wally Dallenbach Sr., Larry Hedrick

13 Drew Blickensderfer, Karen Friddell, Katie Wallace, Tim Kuhn, Jeff Hallowell

14 none

15 Gene Haas, H.B. Bailey, Steve Lane

16 Terry Labonte, Bill Amick

17 Brad Bennett

18 Eddie Adamczyk, Gary Bettenhausen, Denny Hamlin, Ray Osian, Mickey Mouse

19 Tommy Morgan, Gary "Turtle" Clem

20 Sam Bass, Lisa Finley, Mike Cluka, Steve Prescott, Andy Belmont, Mark Wilkinson, Darren Jones, Chris Hall

21 Sheri Umscheid, Travis Carter, Terry Elledge, Victor Breininger, Banjo Grimm, Alexis Leras

22 Laurie Weil, Luke Kosner, Jake Elder, Rick Viers, Ryan McGlynn, Jamie Skinner, Scott Moyer

23 Ron Bouchard, Chris Spencer, Conrad Burr, Tony Roper

24 Buddy Parrott, James Ince, Nathan Haseleu

25 Skip Eyler, Joe Gibbs, Mike Joy, Carl Gansert

26 Dale Jarrett, Chip Bolin, Katie Pearson

27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael

28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy

29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer

30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover

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