February 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

FEBRUARY 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 February 28, 2013

  • #16 features Sustainable Fire Suppression Fluid at PIR: Greg Biffle will be racing with the environmentally sustainable, 3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid as a new standard in the #16 3M Ford Fusion. Novec 1230 fluid balances performance requirements with favorable environmental and safety properties, giving Biffle added reassurance and peace of mind. On March 3 at the Phoenix raceway, the car will showcase the Novec brand name on the hood. Additionally, the #16 3M Ford Fusion will feature a system using Novec 1230 fluid throughout the entire 2013 racing season. Biffle's car had previously been upgraded with Novec 1230 fluid through Roush Fenway Racing, who jumped on board early in 2012 to help protect Biffle, as well as the environment. The #16 3M Ford Fusion is the first racecar that incorporates a sustainable fire suppression fluid. Metalcraft, Inc., an international leader in fire suppression, equipped the cockpit of the #16 3M Ford Fusion with its Fire-Trak branded fire suppression system using Novec 1230 fluid. The Fire-Trak system and 3M's Novec 1230 fluid received NASCAR approval in 2012. Other notable applications of 3M Novec 1230 fluid include use in helping to protect high-value assets such as data centers, aviation equipment, marine vessels, museum artifacts, library documents, and financial, health care, power generation and oil/gas petrochemical facilities, as well as computers and other critical devices where water cannot be used. Additionally, Novec 1230 fluid has found its way into the archives at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-28-2013)

  • Two fans injured in Daytona crash released from hospital UPDATE: Two fans injured in the crash at Daytona International Speedway Saturday were released from Halifax Health on Tuesday, leaving five remaining from the more than 30 fans that were injured from flying debris in the Nationwide Series crash. Hospital spokesman Byron Cogdell said five patients injured in the crash remain in the hospital and are still being treated for injuries related to the incident. The patients have been stable since Monday.(Sporting News)
    UPDATE: Five of the seven injured fans taken to Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, Fla. following Saturday's horrific Nationwide Series crash have been released from the hospital. The two that remain are in stable condition, a hospital spokesperson told ESPN.com on Thursday. At least 28 fans were injured by debris when Kyle Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence on the last lap of the Nationwide opener at Daytona International Speedway. Fourteen were treated and released at the track. The most serious were transported to Halifax Health. Two were listed in critical condition, one life-threatening with head trauma, upon arrival. They remain hospitalized (ESPN), see the initial news and updates on my Daytona International Speedway News. Stats & Links page.(2-28-2013)

  • Smithfield & RPM return Petty Blue Color Scheme to Famed #43: Richard Petty Motorsports and its partner Smithfield Foods announced that the Petty Blue tradition and heritage will return for the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season in 2013. Smithfield Foods, and its family of brands including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney and Smithfield, will showcase the historic color on the #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola in 24 races this season. It will be the first time in over 40 years that the Petty Blue color will be primarily featured on the #43 for nearly the entire race schedule. The color, introduced by the Petty family and then made famous by "The King" Richard Petty, has come to define the winning tradition and heritage of the Petty family and the famed #43. The legions of Petty race fans have long waited for the return of the famous Petty Blue paint scheme. Smithfield Foods is proud to return the tradition and winning heritage back to the track. The first Petty Blue scheme will adorn the #43 this weekend when Almirola will race the Famland Ford at the Phoenix International Raceway. This car, along with the Eckrich and Smithfield (Gwaltney) Ford were unveiled Wednesday by team owner Richard Petty and Smithfield Director of Public Affairs, Dennis Pittman.
    Also this weekend, Almirola will make his return to NASCAR Nationwide Series competition for the first time since competing full-time in 2011 when he finished fourth in the point standings. Almirola will substitute for Michael Annett, who was injured in a crash at Daytona, in the #43 Flying J Ford at Phoenix.(RPM), see images of the cars on the #43 Team Schemes page.(2-28-2013)

  • #78 Furniture Row Chevy will carry Beautyrest sponsorship in Phoenix: Joining Kurt Busch as an associate sponsor on his #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet SS for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix will be Beautyrest, the Atlanta-based manufacturer of premium mattresses, which are sold at Denver Mattress locations nationwide. It will be the first of seven races that Beautyrest will have associate sponsorship on the #78. Busch has tackled the Phoenix mile 20 times in his Sprint Cup career. He has one win (April 2005), four top-fives, 11 top-10s and has led 750 laps. His average start is 13.0 and average finish 13.2.(Furniture Row Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(2-28-2013)

  • Glad scheme for Labonte at PIR: Glad Trash Bags will be the sponsor of the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota that Bobby Labonte will drive in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix. Glad.com is the one stop shop for all your recycling and composting. The new website has everything from recycling and composting tips to tools to find local recycling centers to forums to ask waste related questions. Glad Black Bag just launched its Trail of Trash game on its Facebook page where fans play an interactive game to clean up messes around Hollywood for the chance to win great prizes (JTG Daugherty Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #47 Team Schemes page.(2-28-2013)

  • #16 features Sustainable Fire Suppression Fluid at PIR: Greg Biffle will be racing with the environmentally sustainable, 3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid as a new standard in the #16 3M Ford Fusion. Novec 1230 fluid balances performance requirements with favorable environmental and safety properties, giving Biffle added reassurance and peace of mind. On March 3 at the Phoenix raceway, the car will showcase the Novec brand name on the hood. Additionally, the #16 3M Ford Fusion will feature a system using Novec 1230 fluid throughout the entire 2013 racing season. Biffle's car had previously been upgraded with Novec 1230 fluid through Roush Fenway Racing, who jumped on board early in 2012 to help protect Biffle, as well as the environment. The #16 3M Ford Fusion is the first racecar that incorporates a sustainable fire suppression fluid. Metalcraft, Inc., an international leader in fire suppression, equipped the cockpit of the #16 3M Ford Fusion with its Fire-Trak branded fire suppression system using Novec 1230 fluid. The Fire-Trak system and 3M's Novec 1230 fluid received NASCAR approval in 2012.
    3M researchers developed Novec brand products to be a safe, sustainable chemistry used to replace ozone-depleting substances being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, potent greenhouse gas such as HFCs and agents that have undesirable toxicity. Novec 1230 fluid has an exceptional environmental profile with zero ozone depletion potential and a global warming potential of one. It stays in the atmosphere only five days, compared to HFC-236fa that lingers for 240 years.
    "Novec 1230 fluid is environmentally sustainable now and into the foreseeable future, unlike HFCs that are targeted for phase-down by international treaties and the European Union.," said Joe Ziemba, marketing manager at 3M. "We're proud that the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion is putting 3M technology to work to help it keep racing toward a bright future."
    Novec 1230 fluid is a clean extinguishing agent that is stored as a liquid but is discharged as a gas that leaves no residue. The fluid does not damage sensitive electronics or equipment in the racecar and provides a wide margin of safety if deployed in an enclosed area near Biffle. It also does not affect the surface of the racetrack, keeping it clean for other drivers. Novec 1230 fluid comes with 3M's Blue SkySM Warranty, offering peace-of-mind protection against future regulatory bans or restrictions. And when used in commercial buildings, it offers an opportunity to earn innovation credits toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
    Other notable applications of 3M Novec 1230 fluid include use in helping to protect high-value assets such as data centers, aviation equipment, marine vessels, museum artifacts, library documents, and financial, health care, power generation and oil/gas petrochemical facilities, as well as computers and other critical devices where water cannot be used. Additionally, Novec 1230 fluid has found its way into the archives at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo.
    For more information regarding 3M Novec 1230 fluid use in racing applications visit www.3M.com/novecracing or for other Novec branded products log onto www.3M.com/Novec. Also visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/3MNovec1230fluid. For more information about 3M's sustainability initiatives visit www.3M.com/sustainability.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-28-2013)

  • Phoenix International Raceway Facts and Notes:
    · Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.
    · Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.
    · The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch.
    · The track underwent its first repave in 2011. The construction began in March and concluded in September of that year.
    · The following changes were made during the construction period (March  Sept., 2011):
    o Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet
    o Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls
    o Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet
    o Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet
    o Implemented variable banking to ensure the immediate use of two racing grooves, including 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2; 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg; and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4
    Notebook
    · There have been 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.
    · 184 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix; 134 in more than one.
    · Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988 at a speed of 123.203 mph (29.220 sec.)
    · There have been 19 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four.
    · Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), while Gordon won the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, and Edwards won the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.
    · There have been 23 different race winners at Phoenix, seven of which have won more than once, led by Jimmie Johnson, with four  ('07 fall, '08 sweep, '09 fall).
    · The seven drivers who have won more than once at Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson (four), Kevin Harvick (three), Davey Allison (two), Jeff Burton (two), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Jeff Gordon (two) and Mark Martin (two).
    · Of the seven drivers with multiple wins at Phoenix International Raceway, Mark Martin is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Ford (1993) and Chevrolet (2009).
    · The race has been won from the pole four times: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007), Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008), Mark Martin (spring 2009) and Carl Edwards (fall 2010).
    · The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in 17 of 33 events.
    · Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) and AJ Allmendinger (April, 2010) won their first career pole at Phoenix International Raceway.
    · Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
    · Matt Kenseth won the 2002 race from the 28th-place starting position, the furthest back an active race winner has started.
    · Mark Martin has 21 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. Martin (9.0 average finish) is one of two active drivers who average a top-10 finish. Jimmie Johnson (6.6) is the other.
    · Two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix, Kurt Busch in April of 2005 and Kevin Harvick in November of 2006.
    · Five drivers have won consecutive races at Phoenix: Davey Allison (1991,1992); Jeff Burton (2000, 2001); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2004); Kevin Harvick (swept 2006); Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the five to win three consecutive races (fall 2007, swept 2008).
    · Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with six.
    · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Phoenix with five; followed by Tony Stewart with three.
    · Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson lead the series in top-five finishes at Phoenix with 12 each.
    · Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Bobby Hamilton (10/27/1996) are the only two drivers to post their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at Phoenix International Raceway.
    · 21 of the 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Phoenix participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Tony Stewart (11/7/1999) are the only two drivers to win at Phoenix in their first appearance.
    · Jeff Gordon competed at Phoenix International Raceway 16 times before winning (4/21/2007); the longest span of any the 23 winners.
    · Six drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Phoenix: Jeff Gordon (16), Ryan Newman (15), Kasey Kahne (14), Denny Hamlin (13), Carl Edwards (12) and Rusty Wallace (11).
    · Bobby Labonte leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix without visiting Victory Lane with 28.
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Phoenix was the (4/10/2010) race won by Ryan Newman with a MOV of 0.13 seconds.
    · Seven of the 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Phoenix have been won from the front row.
    · Five drivers have won the first two races of the season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; the first two times did not include the Daytona 500: Lee Petty (Daytona Beach Course, Tri-City Speedway; 1954), Marvin Panch (Willow Springs Speedway, Concord Speedway; 1956), David Pearson (Riverside, Daytona; 1976), Jeff Gordon (Daytona, Rockingham; 1997) and Matt Kenseth (Daytona, Auto Club).
    · Three reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champions have gone on to win at Phoenix the following season; Jimmie Johnson is the only one to do it multiple times: Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009); Kurt Busch (2005) and Bill Elliott (1989).
    · Two drivers have won at Phoenix and the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in the same season: Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009); Dale Earnhardt (1990).
    · Danica Patrick is the only female driver to have made a NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Phoenix International Raceway. She did so last season (11/11/12) starting 37th and finishing 17th.
    Car numbers that have produced three or more Phoenix wins:
    Car Number  Drivers  (Years)
    #48 - Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009)
    #29  Kevin Harvick (2006 sweep and 2012)
    #5 - Mark Martin (2009), Kyle Busch (2005) and Terry Labonte (1994)
    #99  Carl Edwards (2010) and Jeff Burton (2000, 2001)
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

  • Annett injured at Daytona UPDATES: Michael Annett is currently being treated at the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. after an accident during Saturday's Nationwide Series event. He will be kept for observation. Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum. Annett was treated for bruising on his chest and underwent a CT Scan.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-23-2013)
    UPDATE: Michael Annett has been released from the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., today. Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum during an accident in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at the Daytona International Speedway. Annett will travel back to his home in North Carolina today where he will be evaluated again later this week.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-24-2013)
    UPDATE 2: After further evaluation by two different doctors in North Carolina, it has been determined that Richard Petty Motorsports driver Michael Annett has suffered a fracture and dislocation of his sternum. He will immediately undergo surgery for his injuries in Charlotte. He suffered the injury as a result of an accident during Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series event in Daytona Beach, Fla. Annett will not be able to compete for an indefinite amount of time as he heals from the surgery. Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will drive the #43 Pilot Flying J Ford this weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway as the team evaluates its options moving forward. Richard Petty Motorsports' primary concern is the health of Annett and getting him the proper treatment he needs for a full recovery.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports driver Michael Annett is recovering from surgery and while a timetable for his return hasn't been set, RPM is preparing for him to be out for possibly six to eight weeks. The 26-year-old Annett, injured in an accident with four laps left in the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, had surgery Wednesday for a fractured sternum and had a plate put in his chest, said RPM Director of Operations Sammy Johns. "It looks like it could possibly be a couple of months," Johns said Thursday at PIR. "He's a young man, he's in good shape and he takes good care of himself. All of that is going to help. We're hoping for a little quicker than what they're thinking. "We should be making some announcements in the next day or two what we'll be doing (as far as a driver for the) long-term because this is a little bit longer than a race or two," Johns said.(Sporting News)(2-28-2013)

  • Harrison Rhodes in the #23 at Phoenix: Timeshare Spot LLC, one of the country's leading timeshare marketing companies, announced its' primary sponsorship agreement with driver Harrison Rhodes, and the RWR/R3 #23 NASCAR Nationwide Series team. Timeshare Spot will be the team's primary sponsor for the Nationwide Series Dollar General 200 event at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday March 2, 2013. Timeshare Spot markets timeshares for owners around the world and the Phoenix area is a primary market, making Saturday's race a great opportunity to gain exposure both in Phoenix and the rest of the country in this nationally televised event.(GMG Communications)(2-28-2013)

  • Clements suspended for violating code of conduct UPDATES: #51-Jeremy Clements, a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Code of Conduct. On Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway, Clements was found to have violated Sections 7-5 (NASCAR's Code of Conduct) and 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing). "During the course of an interview, Jeremy Clements made an intolerable and insensitive remark," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that's explicitly spelled out in the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. We fully expect our entire industry to adhere to that Code."(NASCAR)(2-27-2013)
    UPDATE: The following statement has been issued by Jeremy Clements regarding his NASCAR suspension: "I apologize and regret what I said to the NASCAR writer and to NASCAR, my sponsors, my fans, and my team. NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that everyone must follow and I unintentionally violated that code. I will not get into specifics of what I said but my comment to the writer was in no way meant to be disrespectful or insensitive to anyone or to be detrimental to NASCAR or the NASCAR Nationwide Series. I will do what I need to do in order to atone for my error in judgment."(Jeremy Clements Racing)(2-27-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements was indefinitely suspended on Wednesday for using a racial slur in an interview with a writer at Daytona International Speedway, a source told ESPN.com. NASCAR officials would not verify or discuss what Clements said to earn the suspension, only that it was an "intolerable and insensitive remark'' and violated the sanctioning body's Code of Conduct for actions detrimental to stock car racing. Officials did verify that the remarks came during the course of a Feb. 23 interview. That was the same day as the Nationwide opener at DIS. The rule book prohibits "public statement'' that criticizes, ridicules or otherwise disparages another person based on race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age or handicapping condition.(ESPN)(2-27-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements explained in detail Thursday exactly how he finds himself suspended indefinitely from NASCAR competition. In a one-on-one interview with ESPN, Clements would not verbalize the specific comments he made, but when pressed for clarity about whether or not it was racial, he paused. Asked again, "Was it racial or not? Maybe not in context, but in term?" Clements replied: "Correct." "When you say 'racial' remark, it wasn't used to describe anybody or anything," Clements said. "So that's all I'm going to say to that. And it really wasn't. I was describing racing, and the word I used was incorrect and I shouldn't have said it. It shouldn't be used at all." Clements said he only said the word once. The remarks, he said, were made Saturday following the driver's meeting at Daytona International Speedway. The remark lands Clements in NASCAR suspension for a minimum of two races, he said. He also said he must undergo some sort of speech advisement, the details of which he did not have at the time of the interview. Clements admitted his mistake and he's hurting. His emotions "are pretty bad. I'm pretty hurt, for sure," he said. "I've never gotten into trouble with NASCAR. Not one time. We're just a small family team, just trying to survive and run the whole season. This is our third full season. And I was supposed to be on a plane right now going to Phoenix to race. And then this hit me late [Wednesday] afternoon. I've known about it since Sunday night, when I got a phone call. But I did not think it was going to be like this. I just thought I'd be fined like most normal guys have been fined. But not suspended for this. But I'm going to do what they want me to do so I can get back in the car as soon as possible. I think it's a little harsh, but it's their rules. It's their game."(see more details at ESPN)(2-28-2013)

  • Brian Baumgartner named grand marshal of Subway Fit Fresh 500: Emmy winning star of NBC's critically acclaimed sitcom "The Office" Brian Baumgartner a national spokesman for Subway Restaurants  has been named Grand Marshal for the upcoming SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500" at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 3. Baumgartner will join PIR in welcoming fans, NASCAR, drivers, and teams to the second race of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season by delivering the most famous words in racing. "This is definitely something that you don't get to do everyday" said Baumgartner. "I'm extremely honored to be the Grand Marshal for this race and want to thank my friends at Subway and the folks at Phoenix International Raceway for giving me the opportunity to deliver those magic words on Sunday." Baumgartner currently stars as Kevin Malone in the ninth and final season of NBC's "The Office", airing Thursday evenings through May 16. Baumgartner's television appearances also include roles on Wilfred and Arrested Development and he appeared in the romantic comedy feature film License to Wed opposite Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, and The Office co-star John Krasinski. Tickets for the March 3 SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, as well as all other events throughout the March race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are available at www.phoenixraceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223).(PIR)(2-28-2013)

  • More properties join Bristol's lodging program: Six additional properties have joined the Bristol Motor Speedway's Fan-Friendly Lodging Program, giving BMS guests more options when choosing where to stay for the Food City 500 weekend next month. A lodge in Linville Falls, N.C., two hotels in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and two in Bristol, Tenn., have been added to the list, offering reduced rates and special discounts for race fans. "We said last month when we announced the initial group of participants for 2013 that we expected more properties to join the program before race week and this is evidence of that," said BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell. "We now have about two dozen properties participating, offering more than 40 different pricing options. We would like to add a few more not only for March but August as well." Now in its third year, the Fan-Friendly Lodging Program identifies properties with reduced rates and nightly minimums to help ease the cost of attending events at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is just one of the more than half-dozen such programs established at BMS in the last three years aimed at adding value to the pilgrimage made by guests to the East Tennessee mountains. Program participants range from chain and privately-owned hotels, cabins, lodges and even an historic Inn which has hosted three former U.S. Presidents. They range in distance from 20 miles to 100 in all different directions in three states to accommodate guests. A full list Fan-Friendly Lodging partners may be found at: bristolmotorspeedway.com. For guests looking for more than a place to stay, there are several ticket options. For more information, please contact the BMS ticket office toll-free at 1-866-415-4158 or at www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(2-28-2013)


    News from February 27, 2013

  • UPDATED Entry List for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #19-Mike Bliss, #30-David Stremme [was the #26 at Daytona], #33-Landon Cassill, #44-Scott Riggs, #51-Allmendinger. Two teams that attempted the Daytona 500 #21-Bayne and #52-Brian Keselowski are not entered. #21-Bayne is scheduled to run next at Las Vegas. #44-Riggs would had to get in by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the team is too far down the owners points list to use a provisional BUT the #98 team that finished 9th in the Daytona 500 is now listed as withdrawing from the event. So no cars/drivers will go home.
    UPDATE: the #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford has withdrawn from the race, only 43 cars entered now, so all will make the race.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Phoenix Entry List

  • #98 Phil Parsons Racing skips Phoenix: the #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford entry has withdrawn from the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint CUp Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, per driver Michael McDowell's Twitter: "Unfortunately @PPR98 will not be in Phoenix this weekend. We have fallen behind building new Gen6 cars and will be back on track in Vegas."(2-27-2013)

  • Cassill joins #33 Circle Sport team: Circle Sport, LLC, announced that Landon Cassill will drive the #33 Circle Sport entry beginning this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Cassill, the 23-year-old former development driver for Hendrick Motorsports, will pilot the #33 Moon Shine Wildfire Camo Chevrolet SS in Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500. Cassill enters the weekend event with 84 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts to his credit, in addition to 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series and eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts. Cassill, who competed in all 36 Sprint Cup Series races last year for BK Racing, will mark his 2013 Sprint Cup Series debut in a specially outfitted camouflage Chevrolet SS designed by Moon Shine Attitude Attire. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native will be led by NASCAR veteran Mike Hillman, Sr., who has won three NASCAR championships with drivers Tommy Ellis and Todd Bodine. Circle Sport enters its second season of NASCAR competition in 2013 and continues to be owned by Joe Falk, a Virginia businessman who has been a part of the sport since the late 1990s. Falk previously fielded the #91 Sprint Cup entry for drivers Dick Trickle, Greg Sacks, Kevin Lepage, Mike Wallace and Todd Bodine, which included a top-five finish in 1998 season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Circle Sport), see images of the car on the #33 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2013)

  • Lowe's extends sponsorship of #48 team and Johnson: Lowe's Companies Inc. will continue its successful relationship with Hendrick Motorsports after signing a two-year contract extension that secures the full-season primary sponsorship of the #48 NASCAR Sprint Cup team and five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson in 2014 and 2015. Announced today to more than 1,700 store managers at the Lowe's national sales meeting, the agreement builds upon a partnership launched in 2001 when Johnson was selected to drive for the new #48 Hendrick Motorsports team. Now in its 12th full season, the sponsor-driver-team relationship has become one of the most successful in NASCAR history. On Sunday in his 400th Cup race, Johnson drove the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS to his second career Daytona 500 win. In the process, he became just the second driver (teammate Jeff Gordon is the other) to have the same primary sponsor for each of his first 400 Cup starts. Led by crew chief Chad Knaus, the #48 Lowe's team has now scored at least one Sprint Cup win in 12 consecutive seasons (2002-13).(HMS)(2-27-2013)

  • No Label Watches to sponsor #44 starting at Phoenix: Xxxtreme Motorsport announced the return of No Label Watches to the team's #44 Ford Fusion. No Label first debuted with Xxxtreme Motorsport in 2012 at Phoenix International Raceway and the team is excited about having them on board again for the 2013 season. "Their timing could not be more perfect" team owner John Cohen remarks, "I have made some changes within the team and will continue building and developing to make sure that this team will be professional and competitive now and in the future." One of the key changes within the team is the hiring of veteran crew chief Tony Furr. Furr, who is no stranger in the garage, has called the shots from atop the pit box for over 83,000 laps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, most notably for Hendrick Motorsports, Hass Motorsports and CaleYarborough Racing. Roush Yates Engines will be providing the power under the hood of the Xxxtreme Motorsport Ford Fusion. Scott Riggs, a competitor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series will be behind the wheel of the #44 No Label Ford Fusion. The team is kicking off their schedule in the 16th Annual Kobalt Tools 400 at Phoenix International Raceway.(Xxxtreme Motorsport), see images of the car on the #44 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2013)

  • New look for the #20 at Phoenix: Sunday's 312-lap Subway Fresh Fit 500 will mark the premiere of the #20 Home Depot Husky Tools Toyota. Featuring the Husky brand's red and black colors, the #20 Toyota Camry will debut its new paint scheme on the track this weekend with veteran driver Matt Kenseth behind the wheel. With over 80 years of experience building the toughest hand tools, air compressors, air tools and tool storage products, Husky has what it takes to provide solutions you can count on. No one knows that better than The Home Depot, which is the only place you can find the complete selection of Husky. If there's ever a problem with your hand tool, you can be sure that they'll replace it. No hassle. No charge.(JGR), see image of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2013)

  • NASCAR to evaluate 'Gen 6' cars: NASCAR plans to meet with Sprint Cup teams to discuss whether tweaks are needed to the new "Gen 6" car before the next restrictor plate race. "We'll do one-on-ones on that and see what they think," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, on Tuesday. "A lot of people have opinions. The racing was as old school as it gets. If there's some things we're encouraged to look at, we will. Once you get a race under your belt, even as a competitor, you would work on things once you got a race of that length under your belt." Pemberton said the main issue appeared to be the lack of movement on the inside lane. Many fans complained the race was boring due to the lack of passing. "Some of the stuff we were told is they could run 10 to 20 laps on the bottom, and then it went away on them," Pemberton said. "It was in short spurts. We know that's something they need." For about 75% of the race, the cars ran in single file on the top lane. Many drivers were frustrated about the inability to move forward when they moved to the bottom line, and that fellow competitors weren't willing to go to the bottom line with them. Pemberton said it's too early to determine whether a test will be added before the next plate race, May 5 at Talladega Superspeedway. He noted that despite their similarity in length -- 2.5 miles for Daytona, 2.66 for Talladega -- they are "so different racetracks."(ESPN)(2-27-2013)

  • All-Star Format to be announced on SPEED tonight UPDATE: the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Format is scheduled to be announced during press event at Charlotte Motor Speedway and be carried live on SPEED's NASCAR RaceHub Tuesday, February 26th at 6:00pm/et. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will unveil its own "unique" race car for the upcoming event. Scheduled to be at the press event: #2-Brad Keselowski, 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion; Marcus Smith, president and general manager, CMS; Chad Knaus, crew chief for #48-Jimmie Johnson; and Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition, NASCAR.(CMS)
    AND through March 31, legal-drinking-age fans will have the chance to submit an image of their favorite moments with friends - otherwise known as Miller Time moments - to be featured on the #2 Miller Lite Ford during the May 18 All-Star Race in Charlotte. To encourage fans to participate, for every photo submitted, Miller Lite will donate $2 to Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation (CFF), up to $22,222. More info on Jayski's NASCAR Contests page.(2-26-2013)
    FORMAT CHANGE the format for the 2013 Sprint All-Star race has changed a bit. There will be four 20 lap segments followed by a final 10 lap segment for a total of 90 laps. Teams will have one mandatory 4-tire pit stop between segment 4 and 5. The final segment lineup is based on average finish in first four segments. The winner earns $1 million AND if a driver wins ALL five segments, that driver will win an additional $1 million.(SPEED's NASCAR Racehub)(2-26-2013)
    UPDATE: With a $1 million payday, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway already offers the richest per-mile winner's purse in motorsports at more than $7,400 for each mile raced. But this year, the pot gets even sweeter with the introduction of Bruton's Big Bonus. When NASCAR's best take to the high banks of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway, drivers will have a million more reasons stay up front from the first green flag until the checkered falls. If one driver wins all four 20-lap segments and bests the field in the final 10-lap shootout, he will double his winnings and take home Bruton's Big Bonus of an additional $1 million.
    The May 18 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will consist of 90 total laps; four 20-lap segments followed by a mandatory four-tire pit stop and a 10-lap sprint to the big-money finish.
    Drivers currently eligible for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race are Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Keselowski, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart. In addition, the top two finishers from the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint Fan Vote winner will be added to the field, plus any additional drivers who wins a Sprint Cup Series race prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and all the May race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway are available through the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. All-Star weekend packages start at just $99, including tickets to NASCAR Sprint All-Star Qualifying, the N.C. Education Lottery 200, Sprint Showdown and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race plus scanner rental. For even more great ticket offers, call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-27-2013)

  • Derek White joins SR² Motorsports as minority owner: SR² Motorsports announced that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Canadian Tire Series driver Derek White has joined the Buford, Ga.-based Nationwide Series team as a minority owner. White's stake in the team has already paid dividends. He landed a multi-race sponsorship with HEADRUSH Apparel, which will adorn Jason White's #00 Toyota Camry this week at Phoenix International Raceway. HEADRUSH Apparel will run at select races throughout the 2013 season. White, a North American Indian from Kahnawake, Quebec brings a strong combination of racing passion and experience to SR² Motorsports.(Breaking Limits/SR2)(2-27-2013)

  • HEADRUSH sponsoring White at Phoenix: HEADRUSH Brand Apparel Inc. is joining Jason White at Phoenix International Raceway as sponsor of the SR2 Motorsports #00 Toyota Camry for the Dollar General 200. The race will mark White's first Nationwide Series event at Phoenix. He has five starts in the Camping World Truck Series, earning a best finish of 10th place, which he scored in 2011. HEADRUSH aims to create the highest quality authentic apparel for lifestyle and mixed martial arts enthusiasts. The company will sponsor White at multiple to-be-determined events this season.(Breaking Limits/SR2)(2-27-2013)

  • Allgaier, wife expecting baby: Approximateley 27 years ago to the day, while sitting in the Steak and Shake just outside Daytona Beach, Florida, Dorothy Allgaier made the announcement to Mike "Gator" Allgaier that she was expecting an addition to the family. In June 1986, Justin "Lil' Gator" arrived. Mike and Dorothy are the owners of HOOSIER Tire Midwest, Inc. and www.racetires.com. Justin Allgaier know affectionately known as Lil' Gator is the driver of the Turner Motorsports, BRANDT #31 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry. Not to be outdone, and sticking with tradition, on Tuesday night, Justin and wife Ashley were sitting in that same Steak and Shake just oustside Daytona Beach with longtime family friend Roy Kovski who was also present on that remembered day nearly 27 years ago when Dorothy made her announcement. The stage was set and the timing was right when they made their announcement that there was yet another oncoming addition to the family of gators! They are expecting their first child in August& a "Baby Gator".(2-27-2013)

  • Re-Load.biz ups sponsorship of #79 team: Re-load has raised their involvement this week for the Dollar General 200, with Go Green Racing and their driver Jeffrey Earnhardt. Owner of Go Green Racing, Archie St Hilaire said "After the attention from Daytona, Re-Load's CEO Ken Lewis was very pleased, and decided to be a major associate sponsor this week. Ken and I will be negotiating over the next week or so, and we hope to have a major announcement for Re-Load, and Go Green Racing by Bristol.(DBM Marketing Group)(2-27-2013)

  • Neuenberger assisting high schoolers in engineering program: Long-time NASCAR driver Donnie Neuenberger is preparing a race of a new kind. From March 22 through 24, Neuenberger, who last appeared in the Truck Series last October in Talladega, will join up with Chavez Motor Sports Engineering from Houston, Texas to compete in the Texas Mile land speed event. Chavez Motor Sports is unique from most other teams in pro racing; the crew chief, car, chief, and team specialists are all still in high school. The team is lead by science and engineering teacher Greg Ditch. In just 6 short weeks the students took a part a relatively stock Pontiac GTO and re-engineered it for this specific event. In the motor sports engineering program, students from Chavez High School are able to learn to apply math and science, learn about high performance automotive, and the general business side of racing. (Chavez Motor Sports)(2-27-2013)


    News from February 26, 2013

  • NASCAR, Speedway to oversee Daytona NNS crash probe: An investigation into the crash that injured 28 fans when debris flew into the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway will be conducted by the track and NASCAR, and not by any outside agency. NASCAR and Speedway officials said Monday they would dedicate significant time and resources into investigating what could be done to prevent a repeat of the crash and determine if any safety improvements are needed to protect fans -- their "number one priority." The Speedway and NASCAR, which governs and sanctions stock car racing, said they have no timetable for completing the investigation. But they said no government agency would be called in nor would they be required to file reports with any public agency. NASCAR will dedicate "significant time and resources into getting the right answer," said David Higdon, NASCAR's managing director, integrated marketing communications, adding it may take days, weeks or even months to complete the review.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-26-2013)

  • Homestead & Edwards on TV Show tonight: Homestead-Miami Speedway will be featured in the February 26 episode of Top Gear on the History Channel. Following last November's Ford Championship Weekend, the speedway hosted BBC America for filming of its hit show and the episode will air at 9:00pm/et on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, featuring 2011 Ford 400 race winner Carl Edwards. The episode will review the newest supercar to come out of the United Kingdom--the McLaren MP4-12C, and see how it stacks up against a good old American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Edwards was behind the wheel of his #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion. The guys also head to Las Vegas on a quest to create the ultimate taxi, aiming to keep both driver and passengers happy. After getting some experience riding along with real cabbies, they reveal their creations, put them through a series of tests and then hit the Las Vegas strip to see who can get the most tips.(HMS)(2-26-2016)

  • Allmendinger to drive #51 at Phoenix: A.J. Allmendinger is returning to Phoenix Racing to compete in the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway. He'll be piloting the #51 Guy Roofing Chevy in his fifth Sprint Cup Series start with team. Allmendinger has eight previous Cup Series starts at the one-mile oval and has driven to four top-15s and two top-10s. He has started on the front row three times, including one pole, which he captured in 2010. Phoenix Racing has made 16 Cup Series starts at Phoenix. Their best finish came in 2005, with Johnny Sauter taking the checkered flag in ninth place. Allmendinger comments on his return at Phoenix: "This will be good. It's been a few months since I've been in a stock car. I haven't been in one of the Gen 6 cars yet, so I think it will take a little time to get acclimated to it. Phoenix International Raceway is a great place for me to get back behind the wheel. I've always enjoyed the race track. It will definitely feel different, but I'll be ready to go."(Phoenix Racing/Breaking Limits)(2-26-2013)

  • Injured spectators planning to sue DIS: Three spectators injured by the wreck at Daytona International Speedway have contracted with the personal injury law firm of Morgan and Morgan, and four more have made appointments, firm founder John Morgan said Monday. Morgan said of the three under contract, one has a broken leg and another has a head injury. He was checking with his firm on the third person's injuries. None of the injuries of those seeking legal help with the firm were life-threatening, he said. A Speedway attorney said he would not comment on possible litigation. The potential legal fight to come will involve the "assumption of risk" when someone attends a sporting event, whether it's a race at the Speedway or a basketball game with players driving toward the hoop, said Morgan of Ponce Inlet, whose firm has offices in four states. "When you go to a sporting event, if you are underneath the basket that's where your seat is and Shaquille O'Neal comes after a loose ball and dislocates your shoulder, you sat there knowing that was a risk," Morgan said. But Morgan said in the case of the Speedway fans, they expected the fence to keep them safe when Kyle Larson's car slammed into the wall near the finish line of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday. The car broke apart, spraying a car tire and debris through a 22-foot grandstand fence into the crowd. At least 28 fans were injured.(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-26-2013)

  • More Daytona 500 TV Ratings news: Sunday's Daytona 500, which featured Danica Patrick's historic pole position start, the official coming out of the Gen 6 car and Jimmie Johnson's second Daytona 500 win earned a 9.9/22 rating/share, averaging 16.7 million viewers according to fast national figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. It ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched Daytona 500 since 2008 (10.2/20, 17.8 million viewers) and marks a huge +24% ratings gain over last year (8.0/14), and a +22% rise in average viewership (13.7 million). An estimated 31.6 million Americans watched at least part of Sunday's Great American Race, the best for a regularly scheduled Sunday afternoon Daytona 500 since 2008's 33.5 million viewers. This year's rating and viewership increases mark the best year-to-year rise for the Daytona 500 ever.
    Sunday's rating reaffirmed the Daytona 500 as one of the biggest events in sports. The 2013 race ranked as the top-rated sports event on any network since the Super Bowl and garnered more viewers than last week's NBA All-Star Game (+108%, 8.0 million), the 2012 Kentucky Derby (+53%, vs. 10.9 million), the Final Round of the 2012 US Open (+74%, vs. 9.6 million) and the Final Round of the 2012 Masters (+24%, vs. 13.5 million).
    As strong evidence that this year's compelling stars and storylines transcended the traditional NASCAR fan base, Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opener was bolstered by a +42% ratings increase in the country's top 10 markets, with the top five markets notching jumps of 25% or more. Significant surges in Chicago (+91%, 8.4 vs. 4.4), San Francisco (+64%, 5.9 vs. 3.6), Los Angeles (+60%, 6.4 vs. 4.0), Boston (+59%, 8.1 vs. 5.1), New York (+43%, 5.0 vs. 3.5), Houston (+33%, 5.3 vs. 4.0) and Dallas (+25%, 8.1 vs. 6.5) helped power this year's ratings gains over 2012. Greensboro was the 2013 Daytona 500's No. 1 market, averaging a 21.8/38, followed by Indianapolis (20.5/40), Charlotte (20.3/40), Jacksonville (19.6/33) and Dayton (19.1/35). Albuquerque saw the nation's biggest increase, up +115% (10.3 vs. 4.8).
    Tune-in for Sunday's green flag was a strong 8.6/20, with 14.3 million viewers and peaked from 4:30  4:45 PM ET when 21.4 million viewers (12.7/26) watched as Johnson held off Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s charge in the exciting final laps to take home the 2013 prize.
    Sunday's race witnessed viewership increases in female demographic categories including +16% among Women 18-34 (2.2 vs. 1.9), +3% among Women 18-49 (3.2 vs. 3.1) and up +8% among Women 25-54 (4.2 vs. 3.9). Across key male and adult demographics, the year-to-year increases were also impressive as Sunday's race was up +14% among Men 18-34 (4.0 vs. 3.5), +8% among Men 18-49 (6.4 vs. 5.9), +11% among Men 25-54 (8.2 vs. 7.4), and +7% among Adults 18-49 (4.8 vs. 4.5).(FOX)(2-26-2013)

  • Stewart visits fans in hospital: #14-Tony Stewart visited six NASCAR fans who were injured Saturday during a horrific wreck on the last lap of the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart was present at Halifax Health Medical Center Sunday after the Daytona 500 for more than two hours, according to a Stewart Haas Racing spokesman. He arrived at approximately 8:00pm and stayed just past 10:00 pm. Stewart did not want to be acknowledged for the deed, but when ESPN.com learned he had visited the injured fans, his team confirmed the visit with his blessing. The three-time champion met with each patient individually, and interacted extensively with five of them. He gave each a personalized, autographed Bass Pro Shops #14 cap. It was Stewart's decision alone to visit the fans, the spokesman said. He wanted to do it, and charged his team with coordinating logistics.(full article at ESPN.com)(2-26-2013)

  • #48 Team Celebrates Second Daytona 500 Triumph at Champion's Breakfast: Following his second victory in the "Great American Race," driver Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and owner Rick Hendrick inducted the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet into the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building during Monday's annual Champion's Breakfast. "The night was great," Johnson said of the celebration. "We had a lot of fun in the infield. I think the security guys knew we were here and said, 'Nice job celebrating, now you guys just need to slow down a little bit.' "
    Johnson's late night celebration might have gone well, but his immediate celebration after taking the checkered flag wasn't as successful. His burn out in the tri-oval grass actually damaged the front end of the No. 48 car that is now on display in the indoor Gatorade Victory Lane at the "World Center of Racing." "The damage was pretty bad. I'm not going to lie," Johnson said with a laugh. "I just wanted to get a cool picture on the Daytona logo. I think every driver's goal is to get on the logo and do a burnout. I turned down and pulled it into second gear and thought I had the right angle to spin it off into the grass. As I turned in, the right front tire dug in. I knew instantly, when it grabbed the dirt, that I had a big problem. It just didn't go as planned."
    Joining the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion was long-time crew chief, Chad Knaus, who was unable to serve as crew chief on the team when they won the Daytona 500 in 2006. Knaus was sent home by NASCAR after the #48 car failed post-qualifying inspection. "This is a dream race; everyone wants to come to Daytona," said Knaus. "I remember sitting on the sofa in the early 1970's, watching the Daytona 500 and wanting to be a part of it for years. When we won this race in 2006 that was probably one of my best moments as a crew chief. Unfortunately I wasn't here, so that's the bad thing.
    "To finally be able to be down here in Victory Lane with the #48 car and Jimmie and the rest of my guys, it's a fantastic thing and I'm honored to be the crew chief on this race team."
    "(Chad) didn't get to call the race and he didn't get to experience the fun that followed," said Johnson of the 2006 win. "That's why I'm so happy for him  to have that moment standing there in Victory Lane."
    There are many obligations that come with winning NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race. After the Champion's Breakfast, where Johnson and Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III unveiled the logo for the 56th annual Daytona 500, Johnson left immediately to begin a whirlwind media tour. "(Winning the Daytona 500) was thrilling  there's nothing like that moment," Johnson said. "What follows winning this race is what happens when you win the championship; NASCAR owns you for a few days. I'm not sure exactly of everything we have in store. I think we go to Charlotte today for some more media and then to Connecticut to ESPN; tomorrow is New York media. I'm not sure what happens after that, but I'm sure it's going to be busy and I'm just going to savor the moment. There's no telling when this will happen again, so I want to enjoy it."(DIS)(2-26-2013)

  • Annett being kept for observation UPDATE - surgery required: Michael Annett is currently being treated at the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. after an accident during Saturday's Nationwide Series event. He will be kept for observation. Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum. Annett was treated for bruising on his chest and underwent a CT Scan.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-23-2013)
    UPDATE: Michael Annett has been released from the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., today. Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum during an accident in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at the Daytona International Speedway. Annett will travel back to his home in North Carolina today where he will be evaluated again later this week.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-24-2013)
    UPDATE 2: After further evaluation by two different doctors in North Carolina, it has been determined that Richard Petty Motorsports driver Michael Annett has suffered a fracture and dislocation of his sternum. He will immediately undergo surgery for his injuries in Charlotte. He suffered the injury as a result of an accident during Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series event in Daytona Beach, Fla. Annett will not be able to compete for an indefinite amount of time as he heals from the surgery. Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will drive the #43 Pilot Flying J Ford this weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway as the team evaluates its options moving forward. Richard Petty Motorsports' primary concern is the health of Annett and getting him the proper treatment he needs for a full recovery.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-26-2013)

  • Larson's, Patrick's cars being looked at by NASCAR for violations UPDATE: The Nationwide Series team that had two cars involved in the horrific multi-car wreck during Saturday's Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona  including #32-Kyle Larson's car, which vaulted off another car and into the catch fence, showering parts into the stands and injuring at least 28  is under scrutiny for possible rules violations by NASCAR. Sources have told FOXSports.com that principals from Turner Scott Motorsports are meeting with the heads of NASCAR on Tuesday to discuss Larson's car as well as Danica Patrick's, which was discovered to have modifications to the car's chassis during inspection at Daytona International Speedway. Patrick was competing as a Turner Scott teammate to Larson and was not involved in the wreck. NASCAR has brought Patrick's #34 GoDaddy.com Chevy back to its Research and Development Center for further inspection. The modification to the #34 Chevy was described by a garage source as "squaring off the trailing edge of the frame rails" to decrease drag from the car and provide an aerodynamic advantage to the rear of the car. Three counts of drag is equal to one-tenth of a second on the racetrack. It is uncertain whether any similar altercations were made to the other three cars. One car builder said under anonymity, "Air will get off of a sharp edge better than it will a rounded edge, but it's not worth the risk." NASCAR has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any change on a certified chassis. With the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow in 2007, the sanctioning body began requiring Sprint Cup teams to certify every chassis that competes in a race. When the COT was introduced in the Nationwide Series in 2010, that tour fell under the same rule. When a car is involved in a major wreck, the chassis must be re-certified before competition. Section 12-K of the NNS Rulebook states that "if, in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, Race Equipment that has been previously certified or previously approved and/or sealed by NASCAR for use in an Event, pursuant to sub-section 8-6 and/or 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired, or changed in any manner: a fine and/or disqualification and/or loss of a minimum of 25 Championship Driver and/or Car Owner points and/or loss of the opportunity to qualify, and/or loss of a pre-determined starting position in the Event, and/or loss of a provisional starting position in the Event, and/or confiscation of Race Equipment, and/or probation, and/or suspension of any NASCAR Member(s) may be assessed."(Fox Sports)(2-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Tuesday afternoon, NASCAR communications director Kerry Tharp said that the #34 Chevy had passed inspection at the R&D Center. He believes the #32 Chevy is still in Daytona. Tharp added that it's normal for team members to accompany the car for inspections.(Fox Sports)(2-26-2013)

  • Pastrana, wife expecting child: Time to add stroller derby to the list of new X Games disciplines? On Tuesday, X Games gold medalists Travis Pastrana and Lyn-z Adams Hawkins Pastrana announced via Facebook that "baby Pastrana" is officially on the way. "Looks like Lyn-z Adams Hawkins Pastrana and I have a baby Pastrana on the way," Pastrana wrote, announcing the news to his 4.3 million Facebook followers. "Thumbs Up!" Pastrana, who made the jersey #199 legendary as a freestyle motocross and rally car racing champion before moving on to pursue his nascent NASCAR career, broke the news with a photo of custom jerseys for himself, Mrs. Pastrana, and #199½. Pastrana has won a 17 X Games medals while wearing the No. 199, including nine gold medals in various Moto X events and two in Rally events. Lyn-Z, a professional skateboarder, posted a below-the-knees photo of herself standing on a skateboard on the flat section of a halfpipe posing with a "Baby on Board" sign, with Travis standing by her side and a pair of toddler-sized sneakers from Pastrana's DC Shoes sponsor in front. The baby is due in September, according to her post.(ESPN)(2-26-2013)

  • Daytona TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 23, continued the Nationwide Series' trend of strong ratings and viewership on ESPN networks as it was the #1 sporting event of the weekend on cable television. Coming off three consecutive good ratings years for the series on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, the Daytona race earned a 2.5 household coverage rating (2.2 U.S. rating), averaging 3,360,122 viewers. Last year's race set a record as the most-viewed Nationwide Series race ever on cable with 4.4 million viewers (3.3 household coverage rating) and while the 2013 race did not match that, it was the third-highest viewership for the race since ESPN returned to live NASCAR telecasts in 2007. The race earned high ratings in several markets traditionally associated with racing, with Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, N.C., leading the way with an 8.0 rating. The Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C., market was second with a 6.4 rating, followed by Indianapolis at 6.3, Charlotte at 6.1 and Richmond, Va., at 5.1.(ESPN)(2-26-2013)

  • Harr driving the #4 at Phoenix; Wallace gets sponsor: After leaving Daytona without the finish the team deserved, the hard working JD Motorsports with Gary Keller group look to rebound at Phoenix International Raceway. Joining Mike Wallace in the #01 Verve Bold Chevy will be Daryl Harr, from Alberta, Canada, piloting the #4 iWorld Chevy. With Daytona in the rear view mirror, the team hopes to capitalize at the one mile, low banked track located south of Phoenix in Avondale, Arizona. The team announced Vemma, the industry leader in healthy energy supplements, has joined Mike Wallace as marketing partner for the #01 team. The team will rely on Wallace and his experience at the track to bring home a good finish for the Verve Bold brand. Verve Bold is produced by Vemma, maker of multiple liquid wellness products. Daryl Harr will step into the #4 Chevy with backing from iWorld, taking over for Danny Efland who had a strong run at Daytona. Harr is no stranger to Phoenix, having completed both races out west for Johnny Davis last year.(JD Motorsports)(2-26-2013)

  • Three fans hurt at Daytona get lawyers: An Orlando, Fla.-based law firm has been hired to represent three of those injured in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Attorney Matt Morgan of Morgan & Morgan announced the hiring on Twitter Monday night. Morgan told ESPN.com on Tuesday that no lawsuits have been filed, but he is gathering information for the individuals to "pursue their claim for damages against the entities responsible for the injuries.'' The entities could include Daytona International Speedway, the company that designed the catch fence, NASCAR, the car owner and others. "We're in very preliminary stages to see what was done wrong and what could have been done to prevent this type of injury,'' Morgan said. "I've done a preliminary investigation to see what has been done with the fencing in the past and the fencing now. As time goes on, I'll have a better understanding of liability.'' Morgan said he has not contacted DIS at this point, but plans to do so as soon as he gathers more information.(ESPN)(2-26-2013)

  • Port of Tuscon on the #99 at Phoenix: Alex Bowman will pilot RAB Racing with Brack Maggard chassis #44 in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Port of Tucson returns this weekend as primary sponsor of the #99 Toyota Camry. Port of Tucson is a multi-faceted rail facility in Tucson, providing a wide variety of rail-oriented transportation options in and around the southwest. Bowman, a native of Tucson, grew up just over 125 miles southeast of Phoenix International Raceway.(RAB Racing)(2-26-2013)


    News from February 25, 2013

  • The Entry List for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #19-Mike Bliss, #30-David Stremme [was the #26 at Daytona], #33-Austin Dillon, #44-Scott Riggs. Two teams that attempted the Daytona 500 #21-Bayne and #52-Brian Keselowski are not entered. #21-Bayne is scheduled to run next at Las Vegas. #44-Riggs will have to get in by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the team is too far down the owners points list to use a provisional.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Phoenix Entry List

  • Hendrick willing to help delvelop better fence tech: Winning Daytona 500 team owner Rick Hendrick wants to find out what allowed the front clip of Kyle Larson's car to be sheared off in Saturday's Nationwide Series race. He is willing to work with NASCAR to develop technology that will help prevent another such incident that left 28 fans injured when debris flew into the stands. Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence on a horrific last-lap crash. The engine, built by Hendrick Motorsports, was separated from the car and landed on the concrete in front of the Campbell grandstands between sections H and I. One of the tires with the hub attached sailed over the fence and hit two fans, sending both to nearby Halifax Heath with critical injuries, one life-threatening. Both, according to a hospital representative on Monday, are stable and no longer critical. "I think the fence did its job,'' Hendrick said during Monday's Daytona 500 champion's breakfast for driver Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team. "I've never seen the clip come off before. They say they haven't found parts of the transmission. "What happened to the clip, there might be something else we can do. I've never seen that happen.''(ESPN)(2-25-2013)

  • Johnson denies wrecking car on purpose: #48-Jimmie Johnson laughed when told that fans are accusing him of cheating because he wrecked his car during the celebration of his Daytona 500 victory Sunday. "I can only imagine," Johnson said Monday morning when asked if he knew about the comments. The conspiracy theorists point to October 2010 audio of Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus telling Johnson to make sure the back of his car has hit something either during the race or afterward in order to make sure they pass inspection. Johnson cleared tech after the race Sunday, and Johnson said the damage to the car was more in the front end after he drove through the Daytona tri-oval grass to celebrate his victory. "Luckily they don't measure heights on the front of the car anymore," Johnson said.(in part from the Sporting News)(2-25-2013)

  • Daytona 500 TV Ratings: Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway earned a 10.0 overnight rating on FOX, up 30% from last year's Monday night race (7.7), and up 22% from 2011 (8.2). According to FOX, the 10.0 overnight is the best for the Daytona 500 since the 2006 race on NBC. That 2006 race had a lead-in from the Winter Olympics and finished as the highest rated and most-viewed Daytona 500 ever. Unlike other sporting events, such as the NBA or Major League Baseball, final ratings for NASCAR typically increase from the overnight. Over the past five years, final ratings for the race have risen between 4% and 15% from the overnight, putting Sunday's race on pace to finish in the 10.4-11.5 range. The record-setting 2006 race had an 11.3 final rating.(Sports Media Watch)
    AND 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX, Overnight Rating/Share (average of largest 56 US markets): 10.0/22
    - Up +30% over last year 7.7/13
    - Best year-to-year increase among the metered markets for Daytona 500 ever
    - Best metered market rating for the Daytona 500 since 2006 on NBC (10.1/20)
    - Top five metered markets: Greensboro (21.2), Indianapolis (20.5), Charlotte (20.3), Jacksonville (19.6) and Dayton (19.1)
    - The race opened at an 8.6/20 between 1:30 - 2:00 PM ET and peaked at final exciting laps of the race averaging a massive 12.8/26 from 4:30  4:45 PM ET.
    Fast national ratings will be available later this afternoon.(FOX)(2-25-2013)

  • Voting Begins for NMPA NASCAR's Most Popular Driver: Fans of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will try to defend a 10-year win streak as voting opens today [Feb 25th] for the NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Most Popular Driver Award. Fans can vote online once a day throughout the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season to earn their driver the coveted "most popular" trophy. This year marks the first year of eligibility for Sprint Cup rookie #10-Danica Patrick, whose fan base could push voting activity and award competition to a new intensity.
    Fans can visit www.MostPopularDriver.com and vote once a day for their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup driver among the 39 eligible. All 39 will remain eligible for voting throughout the entire Sprint Cup Series season. Voting will conclude November 17 at 11:59pm/et after the season's final race at Homestead. The winner will be announced at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon in December. Earnhardt Jr. notched his 10th straight NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver award last season, tying a record for consecutive wins set by Bill Elliott. Elliott holds the record for most overall wins with 16.(Breaking Limits), for past info on the Most Popular Driver Award. see my Most Popular Driver Award page.(2-25-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Daytona 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:10 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:39 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 138
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 76
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 123
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 63
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 15
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 13
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 42
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 20 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:10 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:39 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 209
    Minutes of race broadcast: 142
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 66
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 8
    Number of times Danica Patrick was NOT referred to as a driver (leading many to wonder, "Then what DOES James Franco think she does?"): 1
    Number of stealthy whispered conversations between a rookie and a veteran (leading many to wonder, "Perhaps he's telling her that, of course, she IS a driver?"): 1
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 2
    Total race brdcst time 142 Total comm. brdcst time 66
    See past races, links and more my TV Commercials page.(2-25-2013)

  • Free food & movie Monday: Two drivers finished in the top ten in the Daytona 500, meaning free food:
    Get a FREE Bloomin' Onion with any purchase all Bloomin' Monday long at Outback Steakhouse! Why? Because #39-Ryan Newman says so. (by placing in the top 10 today). Just say "Bloomin' Monday" on 2/25.
    With #36-J.J. Yeley's 10th place in the Daytona 500, Yeley's sponsor Golden Corral: "JJ's Mondays" - Kids Eat Free on Feb 25, 2013: -Free kids buffet with an adult buffet purchase at regular price; -Limit of two (2) free kids meals per adult buffet purchased.
    and Blockbuster is offering fans a Free 99¢ Movie Rental.(2-25-2013)

  • Windows 8 App Allows TRD to Set the Pace: TRD (Toyota Racing Development) worked with Microsoft Corp. to design a touch-enabled app for Windows 8 as the centerpiece of a new strategy to improve the performance of the Toyota teams competing in NASCAR. When drivers, crew chiefs and team engineers expressed the need for a more mobile computing platform to monitor real-time performance data, TRD answered with the Windows 8 Trackside app running on Surface Pro hardware. During practice, drivers and crew chiefs previously had to record racing performance data with software on a laptop, or even with pencil and paper, requiring drivers to get out of their race cars to view information about the car's performance, as well as to explain what was happening on the track.
    Now with the Windows 8 Trackside app and Surface Pro, the race team can efficiently capture performance data through the touch-based app and share it with the crew in real time, enabling mechanics to immediately get to work fine-tuning the race car for enhanced performance. Trackside also offers touch-enabled data that gives the crew chief and driver insight and analysis on timing and scoring data versus competitors, allowing a team to determine if the right adjustments have been made to the car or what adjustments may need to be made.(more info at microsoft.com.(2-25-2013)


    News from February 24, 2013

  • Jimmie Johnson win the Daytona 500: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the 55th running of the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 2nd career Daytona 500 win and 61st career win. Johnson is the 10th driver to win multiple Daytona 500's. Johnson won in his 400th career start, the 6th driver to do so. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 2nd followed by #55-Martin, #2-Keselowski, #39-Newman, #16-Biffle, #51-Smith, #10-Patrick (1st career top 10 in 11 races), #98-McDowell (first career top 10 in 155 races) and #36-Yeley (1st top 10 since 2008)
    #20-Kenseth led 86 laps until he blew an engine on lap 149. Pole sitter #10-Danica Patrick finished 8th, the best finish for a female driver, Janet Guthrie finish 11th in 1980.
    On lap 138 #21-Bayne got into the rear of the #2-Keselowski in turn 1, Keselowski went to the apron, Bayne spun and collected #99-Edwards (he was involved in wrecks during practice, the Sprint Unlimited, the Budweiser Duel and now the Daytona 500) #33-Dillon, #34-Ragan, #35-Wise, #38-Gilliland, #32-Labonte and #17-Stenhouse Jr.
    On lap 90, #10-Patrick led a lap, the first woman to lead a lap in the Daytona 500.
    On lap #32, the three lead cars slowed, 4th in linr, #6-Kahne hit the brakes and #18-Busch got into the rear of the #5, causing the #5 to spin. Other cars collected were #29-Harvick, #14-Stewart, #42-Montoya, #1-McMurray, #13-Mears and #78-Busch.
    Early in the race, #38-Gilliland was slow and thought he was down a cylinder, ended up being a plug wire not connected.
    It was the seventh Daytona 500 victory for owner Rick Hendrick. Chevrolet now has 22 Daytona 500 victories, more than any other manufacturer. A Team Chevy driver has won seven of the last 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series openers at the 2.5-mile track.
    There were 28 lead changes among 14 drivers and 6 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 159.250mph.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Daytona 500 Race Results page (pdf) and Daytona Penalty Report.(2-24-2012)

  • Race Fast Facts - Daytona:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson won the 55th Annual Daytona 500, his 61st victory in 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    Johnson also won the Daytona 500 in 2006. He becomes the 10th driver to win multiple Daytona 500s.
    Johnson is the sixth driver to win in his 400th start. The others were Lee Petty, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dave Marcis and Dale Earnhardt.
    This is his second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 23 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 27 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
    #55-Mark Martin (third) posted his 20th top-10 finish in 55 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #10-Danica Patrick (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie. She is the first female driver to score a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500.
    The previous highest Daytona 500 finish by a female was Janet Guthrie's 11th-place finish in 1980.
    Patrick, who led five laps, became the first female to lead a lap in the Daytona 500.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(2-24-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Daytona, race 1 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 47
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 42, -5
    3) Mark Martin, 41, -6
    4) #2-Brad Keselowski, 41, -6
    5) #39-Ryan Newman, 40, -7
    6) #16-Greg Biffle, 38, -9
    7) #10-Danica Patrick, 37, -10
    8) #98-Michael McDowell, 35, -12
    9) #36-J.J. Yeley, 34, -13
    10) #15-Clint Bowyer, 34, -13
    11) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 32, -15
    12) #43-Aric Almirola, 31, -16
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • Winners of both Sprint Unlimited & Budweiser Duel - never won Daytona 500 same year:
    Thirteen drivers have won both the Sprint Unlimited [started in 1979] and a Budweiser Duel [or Twin] in the same season / speedweeks, but none have also won the Daytona 500:
    year, driver, Daytona finish, Daytona 500 winner
    2013: Kevin Harvick, finished 42nd, won by Jimmie Johnson
    2011: Kurt Busch, 5th, won by Trevor Bayne
    2008: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 9th, Ryan Newman
    2007: Tony Stewart, 43rd, Kevin Harvick
    2003: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 36th, Michael Waltrip
    1995: Dale Earnhardt, 2nd, Sterling Marlin
    1993: Dale Earnhardt, 2nd, Dale Jarrett
    1991: Dale Earnhardt, 5th, Ernie Irvan
    1989: Ken Schrader, 2nd, Darrell Waltrip
    1986: Dale Earnhardt, 14th, Geoff Bodine
    1983: Neil Bonnett, 22nd, Cale Yarborough
    1981: Darrell Waltrip, 36th, Richard Petty
    1979: Buddy Baker, 40th, Richard Petty


    ESPN.com's Racecast - Live Coverage and Chat
    Racing Live! on ESPN.com
    Listen Live Online at Motor Racing Network
    Fantasy NASCAR Chat with Mark Garrow / the Guru at 10:00am/et on Sunday


  • Race Coverage of the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, February 24, 2013.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 12:00 pm/et; Driver Intros 12:43pm/et; National Anthem 1:10pm/et; Start your engines command 1:18pm/et; green flag approx 1:30pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, February 27 at 12:00pm/et

  • Weather on Sunday could be a concern for the Daytona 500 [as of 3:00pm/et]: The weather forecast for Sunday, Feb. 24th looks iffy. We may get a chance to see the Air Titan track drying system in operation and see if it works well, more info on my Track Drying System page.
    The current radar has some cells to the west, but looks like they are heading south. So it looks like a good chance the race will get in. here are a couple of forecasts for Sunday:
    Weather.com forecast for today: Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 73F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50% and for Sunday night: Scattered thunderstorms during the evening. Cloudy skies after midnight. Low 61F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
    The National Weather Service forecast for today: A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 75. West northwest wind around 10 mph becoming north northeast. Chance of precipitation is 50%. And for Sunday night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am, then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. East northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
    The weather for Monday and Tuesday look very similar to Sunday.
    Last year, rain forced the Daytona 500 to be postponed for the first time in its 54-year history and ran Monday night. One-Hundred laps need to be run [of 200, 1/2 distance] to be official. See a few weather links on my Daytona Race Info page.(2-24-2013)

  • Updates on the Nationswide Series Wreck at Daytona: posted many updates and retweets of the news on the Jayski twitter page;
    Some news and updates:
    A horrific multicar crash moments before the end of the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway caused Kyle Larson's car to become airborne into the frontstretch catch fencing, shearing off the front half of the car and leaving large pieces of the vehicle inside the fencing.
    Sergeant John Creamer of the Daytona Beach Police said 17 fans were injured with two suffering "major injuries." Eleven were sent to Halifax Medical Center, with one adult in surgery with head trauma and listed in critical condition. The other major injury is to a 14-year-old. Six fans were transported to Florida Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, and are expected to be treated and released.
    At least one tire from Larson's car flew into the seating area at Daytona. Police officers and NASCAR safety officials quickly ran to the location where part of the car went through the fencing, destroying one section of the catch fence.(see much more at ESPN.com)
    AND A violent 12-car crash at the end of the DRIVE4COPD 300 sent a tire and other debris flying over the grandstand fence at Daytona International Speedway, injuring at least 15 bystanders, some critically, among the crowds watching the race from the grandstands. A Halifax Health Medical Center official confirmed just before 6 p.m. that 11 spectators are being treated in the hospital's emergency room and two of them are critically injured. Four others are on trauma alert and five are being treated as non-trauma cases, the official said. Lindsay Rew, spokeswoman for Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center, confirmed that one patient was being treated there and three more were on the way. NASCAR just announced that they would conduct a press conference at 7 p.m.
    Dozens of safety workers went into the stands and carried several people out on stretchers to a line of at least eight ambulances waiting below and behind the stands. Safety workers appeared to carry patients from at least two sections of the grandstands on the upper deck and from a section of the lower deck.
    At 5:30 p.m., NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said "we are continuing to assess the situation, taking care of those involved."
    (Daytona Beach News Journal)
    Statement at 7:00pm/et: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood and NASCAR SVP Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell are scheduled to address media at approx 7:00pm/et in the media center at DIS.
    AND SPEED remains live from Daytona International Speedway and surrounding facililities following a major last-lap crash at the conclusions of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Debris from the incident made it into the grandstands and several fans are reported injured. SPEED will cut into regularly scheduled program to provide live coverage of any press conference from NASCAR and/or track officials throughout the evening.
    UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood and NASCAR SVP Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell held a press conference at 7:00pm/et:
    the STATEMENT: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III provided the following statement Saturday evening: "First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans. Following incident, we responded appropriately according to safety protocols and had emergency medical personnel at incident immediately. We transported 14 people off property and 14 were treated at our on-track care center. We are in the process of repairing the facility & will be ready to go racing tomorrow."(Compiled from Daytona International Speedway's Twitter)
    Latest UPDATE: Two fans are in critical condition, including one child, after a horrific crash on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Twenty-eight people suffered some sort of injury. Fourteen were treated at the track, and 14 others were taken to hospitals. Halifax Health spokesman Byron Cogdell said 12 people were brought in, seven for treatment from the crash and five for heat exhaustion and other issues. Two of the seven were in critical condition, including one child. The other has life-threatening injuries because of head trauma. Daytona Beach Police public information officer Jimmie Flynt said another six people were transported to Halifax Urgent Care in Port Orange for minor injuries, and one additional person was transported to Florida Memorial for minor injuries.(USA Today)
    AND from SPEED's Twitter: "Reports say 2 fans in critical condition have now been stabilized w/ no life-threatening injuries". Updates about the race on my Nationwide Series site
    UPDATE 9am Two fans previously listed in critical condition, including one child, have been upgraded Sunday morning after a horrific crash on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Twenty-eight people suffered some sort of injury. Fourteen were treated at the track, and the others were taken to hospitals. Halifax Health spokesman Byron Cogdell said 12 people were brought in there, seven for treatment from the crash and five for heat exhaustion and other issues. Two of the seven had been in critical condition, including one with life-threatening injuries because of head trauma. But Codgell said Sunday morning that the patients were no longer listed in critical condition. Daytona Beach Police public information officer Jimmie Flynt said another six people were transported to Halifax Urgent Care in Port Orange for minor injuries, and one additional person was transported to Florida Memorial for minor injuries.(USA Today)
    Catch Fence update: Daytona International Speedway has repaired the front stretch catch fence that was severely damaged in Saturday's horrific Nationwide Series crash and is prepared to run Sunday's Daytona 500. "We met with NASCAR,'' Daytona Speedway president Joie Chitwood said on Sunday. "We reviewed all the repairs we made last evening. We worked late into the evening and are prepared to go racing today.'' Repairs to the fence were completed around 2:00am/et. A track-access gate that was destroyed was not replaced. Chitwood said there were no concerns for the safety of fans in the 500. He said the 22-foot high catch fence was installed in 2010 after recommendations by engineers following the 2009 crash at Talladega Superspeedway in which Carl Edwards' car sailed into the fence and injured fans. Chitwood said the track worked well into the night helping those injured, from transporting those released to their hotels to making sure they had accommodations for the 500. Chitwood said the track is willing to relocate any fans sitting on the front stretch that are uncomfortable with their seats.(ESPN)(2-24-2013)

  • Inspection troubles for the #24 UPDATE passes: Wendy Venturini reported on SPEED's NASCAR Raceday that the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy went thru inspection twice and there is an issue with the rear housing placement, the car has been parked off to the side so NASCAR can finish the inspection process for the rest of the cars and then #24 Chevy go thru the inspection process last.
    Mark Garrow tweets that "Some asking why 24 held in inspection line..turns out no big deal..Was told by crew they had to put a wheel spacer on to measure correctly."
    UPDATE: been told that the #24 has passed the pre-race inspection and all is good.(2-24-2013)

  • Swan Racing Signs Widow Wax as Associate Sponsor: Swan Racing announced that the maker of Widow Wax, a car wax company will be an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2013 season on the #30 Swan Racing Toyota. The company will also donate 10% of its net proceeds through August to the Sandy Hook Memorial Fund. "Swan Racing is really going all out to make its mark in NASCAR and Widow Wax is proud to be part of this team in 2013," said Widow Wax owner Justin Kuhn. "We are so proud to join the team this very special week in which Swan Racing is raising awareness and money for the people of Newtown, CT. Widow Wax will be donating 10% of all net proceeds to the Sandy Hook Memorial Fund," said Kuhn.
    "Adding Widow Wax to our team provides Swan Racing more resources in which to compete every lap of every race this season," said Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis. "Justin and his team at Widow Wax wasted no time becoming part of our team by supporting the efforts of the Sandy Hook Memorial Support Fund. That is a special and inspiring commitment." Swan Racing will be competing in the Daytona 500, Sunday February 24 in a special number and paint scheme. The No. 30 Swan Racing Toyota will be featured as the #26 Sandy Hook Memorial Fund Toyota driven by Michael Waltrip. The #26 honors the 20 children and six adults that lost their lives last December. Following the Daytona 500 the car number will return to the 30 driven by David Stremme.(Swan Racing)(2-24-2013

  • Cellphones at Speedway get better reception: Race fans might notice better cellphone reception during this weekend's races. International Speedway Corp., which owns and operates 13 racetracks across the country, including Daytona International Speedway, inked a deal to install permanent cellphone antennas at the Speedway that will boost reception regardless of a person's wireless telecommunications provider. This weekend's races will be the first test of how well the system performs with a large crowd on site, and the Speedway will be watching how well it works, said Joie Chitwood III, president of Daytona International Speedway. "Any opportunity for fans to have enhanced coverage on property so they can use their smartphones and the like is good for us," he said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-24-2013)

  • Honey Nut Cheerios sponsors Dillon at Daytona: Buzz, the official SpokesBee of Honey Nut Cheerios, will be featured on the hood of the No. 33 Chevrolet for the Great American Race. This marks the fifth year of Richard Childress Racing's partnership with General Mills, which is a major associate sponsor throughout the year in the Sprint Cup Series on the #31 Cheerios Chevrolet and driver Jeff Burton. Cheerios, America's No.1 cereal franchise, debuted in 1941 as Cheerioats. The nation's first ready-to-eat oat cereal has since become one of the most trusted and recognized brands in America. In fact, one of every eight boxes of cereal sold in America is a box of Cheerios. General Mills' popular franchise includes Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Peanut Butter Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, Dulce de Leche Cheerios, Yogurt Burst Cheerios and Banana Nut Cheerios.(RCR.(2-24-2013)

  • The NASCAR Foundation Celebrates "High Speed Hold 'Em On The Halifax": The NASCAR Foundation held its second annual poker event, "High Speed Hold 'Em On The Halifax" on Wednesday night, a fun and charitable lead-in to Sunday's Daytona 500. The evening brought together NASCAR personalities and local community leaders for a fun-filled night of charity high stakes, presenting The NASCAR Foundation's annual $150,000 donation to benefit the Speediatrics childrens' care unit at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach. The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France was joined by co-chairs, Brett Dill, president of MG on the Halifax ownership group and Glenn Ritchey, former Daytona Beach mayor and president and CEO of Jon Hall Automotive Group. Greg "FossilMan" Raymer, winner of the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event and Heartland Poker Tour 2012 Player of the Year served as Honorary Tournament Director. The evening's activities included an auction event, 18 tables of poker and a check presentation by The NASCAR Foundation for its annual donation to the Speediatrics unit.(2-24-2013)

  • Annett being kept for observation UPDATE - released: Michael Annett is currently being treated at the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. after an accident during Saturday's Nationwide Series event. He will be kept for observation. Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum. Annett was treated for bruising on his chest and underwent a CT Scan.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-23-2013)
    UPDATE: Michael Annett has been released from the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., today. Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum during an accident in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at the Daytona International Speedway. Annett will travel back to his home in North Carolina today where he will be evaluated again later this week.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-24-2013)

  • MIS part of the ServiceMaster Clean crew at the Daytona 500: The focus of NASCAR is on Daytona International Speedway for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. And Michigan International Speedway's maintenance team will take on a significant role as part of the spectacle as proud members of the ServiceMaster Clean crew. The ServiceMaster Clean crew works with NASCAR and helps ensure the track stays clean, dry and ready for racing, driving and maintaining trucks and other track cleaning equipment. Four MIS team members and three of its ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers are at the Great American Race to assist. MIS Senior Director of Facilities Craig Hatch is getting first-hand experience at operating the new Air Titan track drying system NASCAR developed this year. While he hopes to not see action on Sunday, Hatch will be ready if necessary. Hatch will focus his efforts on operating the system to dry the track on the backstretch. In the group of three Air Titans on the backstretch, Hatch will be in the middle truck using a high-pressure air system to dry the track. He will be traveling 3-5 mph while watching the equipment behind him on a video monitor inside his vehicle. He will have three different angles to monitor the progress of the drying and to adjust to the circumstances. The three Air Titans operated by Hatch will be attached to three Ring Power CAT generators by a hose blowing compressed to air to the equipment. He will work in conjunction with a driver in semi hauling the generators to get the racing surface prepared. Specially built trucks will circle the bottom of the track and sweep up the excess water that is blown off by the Air Titan. ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers will continue to follow the entire system to complete the drying process. The entire system is to aid in preparing the track and returning to racing quicker. Hatch will not be the only member of the MIS Maintenance staff working on the ServiceMaster Clean crew. Tim Lamb, Ryan Clark and Gary Cox will each be operating ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers to aid in the clean-up process. Being a part of the ServiceMaster Clean crew is an important and historical significance for MIS. The jet dryer was invented at MIS, initially used as a mechanism to melt snow off the racetrack in wintertime in the 70s. Over time, MIS track officials began using the jet dryer to dry the track after rain delays during racing events. The new Air Titan track drying system debuted during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. This innovative technology, steeped in science and created by the NASCAR Research & Development Center, will reduce track drying time, improve the racing product and enhance the fan experience. Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(2-24-2013)

  • ISC teams up with Drive to End Hunger: International Speedway Corporation (ISC) announced a year-long commitment to help fight older adult hunger in support of Drive to End Hunger, an initiative by AARP and AARP Foundation to help the nearly nine million older Americans who face the threat of hunger every day. All twelve ISC member tracks, led by ISC's primary food and beverage concessions operator, Americrown Services Corporation, as well as Levy Restaurants at Chicagoland Speedway, will donate extra food from NASCAR race weekends to local food banks on behalf of Drive to End Hunger throughout the 2013 season. AARP Foundation and Americrown will work with local food banks to receive the donations, which are expected to include bread, produce and other food items. This week, Americrown and the Daytona International Speedway will donate extra food from the Daytona 500 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. ISC and Americrown began working with Drive to End Hunger on food donation efforts in 2011. Since then, the collaboration has donated more than 70,000 pounds of food  the equivalent of approximately 54,000 meals  to local food banks near ISC tracks. Drive to End Hunger is AARP and AARP Foundation's national effort to help the nearly 9 million older Americans who are facing hunger across the United States. Drive to End Hunger is not only raising awareness of the problem, but also the funds to fight it. Drive to End Hunger engages corporate sponsors and individuals across the country, as well as funds innovative programs with promising results that can be applied elsewhere to prevent hunger. All contributions to Drive to End Hunger go to support the hunger solutions of AARP Foundation.
    Since AARP and AARP Foundation launched Drive to End Hunger, it has donated nearly 16 million meals and driven corporate and individual donor commitments with an expected value of $18.1 million. All contributions to Drive to End Hunger go to support the hunger solutions of AARP Foundation.(HMS/DIS)(2-24-2013)


    News from February 23, 2013

  • Happy Hour practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, top five and notes:
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 198.592
    #38-Gilliand 198.421
    #15-Bowyer 198.242
    #9-Ambrose 198.146
    #43-Almirola 198.037
    (above were drafting)
    slowest:#47-Labonte 189.243 and #51-Smith 190.150 (single car runs)
    33 of 43 cars ran laps.
    no laps for #'s 1 10 11 13 14 18 20 24 32 87
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Daytona 500 Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(2-23-2013)

  • #95 and Speed get sponsor for Daytona 500: #95-Scott Speed knew his window to make the starting lineup for Sunday's Daytona 500 was closing in the final laps of Thursday's Budweiser Duels. Then an actual missing window helped Speed and the rest of the Leavine Family Racing (LFR) race team qualify for the biggest NASCAR race of the season and resulted in a new sponsor for the Texas-based team with DISH Network. A leading satellite TV company, DISH Network, will be the primary sponsor on the #95 Ford Fusion with Speed for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 24 at the Daytona International Speedway. "We're excited to team up with Leavine Family Racing on the #95 DISH Ford Fusion to help promote the Hopper," said James Moorhead, chief marketing officer for DISH. "Racing fans are passionate and dedicated - just like our customers. We love this opportunity to engage with a fan base that really mirrors the innovative spirit at DISH where we push the limits of technology and challenge the status quo." Speed ran as high as eighth in the first 150-mile qualifying race at the Daytona International Speedway, but a problem with the brakes on a scheduled pit stop forced a longer stop which put #95 machine toward the back of the 21-car field. He got as high as 16th at the finish with the top 15 automatically advancing to Sunday's race. Moments later, NASCAR officials moved Speed up to 15th - and into the Daytona 500 - when sixth-place Martin Truex Jr. finished without a side passenger window. "We got lucky to get in because of the window, but at the same time we ran way better than that all race," Speed said. "That window coming out of the car cost us an easy transfer spot anyway because it's faster. The window giveth and it taketh away." Based on NASCAR's unique qualifying rules, Leavine Family Racing would likely still have advanced into the Daytona 500. By finishing 15th, however, team owner Bob Leavine no longer had to worry about any of the complicated exemptions.
    "We're in," he said with an enormous sigh of relief. "I feel blessed." Speed clearly had a racecar worthy of stock car racing's Super Bowl. With three more practice sessions remaining before the green flag on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, Speed and crew chief Wally Rogers believe they have enough of a baseline to be competitive in the new Gen-6 racer. "Scott did a really good job, especially when he got in the outside line," Rogers said. "We're learning so much about the car with every lap. Scott was patient and the car had good solid speed in it. Making the race is a huge relief for everyone at Leavine Family Racing. We're a small team, and this is a very big deal for us." The team didn't learn of Truex's problems until they were walking down pit road after the race. "We heard it on the (public address) speaker," Leavine said. "All I could imagine was going home. Then we heard we were in. It's one of the most incredible feelings I've ever had at a racetrack." Speed will start 31st in the Daytona 500.
    "It was hard once we got to the back after the pit stop because we didn't have anyone back there to help us," Speed said. "We finally got back up there and picked off a few of them. You had to have a good car to be able to do that. That's a credit to everyone at LFR. This is a proud moment for everyone. We're in the Daytona 500. I will never get tired of hearing that." The team's shop is located in Concord, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway's turn two.(Leavine Family Racing)(2-23-2013)

  • Military cuts could limit flyovers: The military flyover for Sunday's Daytona 500 may be a rarity at NASCAR events -- and sporting events in general -- moving forward. Military spending cuts of 30 percent have forced the Air Force to trim flying hours by 18%. That will come from air shows, including the Thunderbirds aerobatic flying team that will perform prior to Daytona 500. Daytona International Speedway did not have its traditional flyover for the Rolex 24, Thursday's 150-mile qualifying races, and one is not planned for Saturday's Nationwide Series race. There is a plan in place if automatic budget cuts known as "sequestration" are triggered on March 1 to suspend all Air Force flyovers immediately except for the Thunderbirds, which will be suspended on April 1. "If sequestration kicks in, we'll be looking not to support any future NASCAR races," Wendy Varhegyi, the chief of the engagement division for Air Force public affairs, told ESPN.com. Varhegyi said the suspension of flyovers would include all sports "at least through the end of the fiscal year [Sept. 30]." Luke Air Force was not allowed to provide a flyover for the March 3 Sprint Cup race at Phoenix. Instead, a private company has provided the track a B-17 that is not a part of Air Force inventory. Las Vegas Motor Speedway has an agreement with the Thunderbirds based nearby at Nellis Air Force Base for its March 10 Cup event. But Speedway Motorsports, which hosts 11 other Cup events in addition to the Vegas race, has a "tentative hold" on flyovers. NASCAR officials said they are working with the military and tracks to find a compromise that will allow flyovers to remain at events.(ESPN)(2-23-2013)

  • NASCAR meets with Keselowski about article: NASCAR executives met Friday with Brad Keselowski after the defending Sprint Cup Series champion outlined the challenges facing the sport in a Sports cover story in Friday's USA TODAY. NASCAR Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes said Keselowski wasn't penalized. Jewkes said the meeting wasn't directly a result of the USA TODAY story, but it was discussed. NASCAR generally had been seeking more dialogue with its champion, according to Jewkes, and Friday provided the opportunity.(USA Today)(2-23-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 1: There is one day left before the Feb. 24 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 1: The number of Daytona 500s that have not been run on the scheduled date because of rain. For the first time last year, persistent storms forced postponement of the race until Monday night, making for the first prime time week-night running of the Great American Race. This year, NASCAR introduced a new Air Titan track drier that will significantly shorten drying time and increase the chances of completing a race in the event of intermittent storms.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-22-2013)

  • Matt Kenseth "auditioned" spotters before picking his new one: Spotter Chris Osborne didn't know at the time that he was part of a two-month audition process conducted by driver Matt Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff. But the man who goes by the handle @crazy_spotter on Twitter passed the meticulous test admirably and now is installed as spotter for Kenseth and his new #20 Toyota team at Joe Gibbs Racing. One area of concern to the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, after he announced plans to leave Roush Fenway Racing and join the Gibbs organization, was finding a spotter to replace Mike Calinoff, who opted to remain with Roush Fenway. Calinoff and Kenseth had a rhythm and repartee that would be difficult to duplicate. That's why Kenseth and Ratcliff listened to hours of audio before making their choice. "I did a lot of research last year -- Jason and I did -- before we really interviewed or offered a job to a spotter," Kenseth told the NASCAR Wire Service on Friday at Daytona International Speedway. "I listened to a lot of different audio& I was so sick of listening to spotters and drivers and crew chiefs talking back and forth. "I just listened to a lot of audio from different races that we recorded, so I could listen to different spotters and their style, without them knowing that you're listening to them." More than anything else, Kenseth was looking for a spotter who fit his laid-back style. He found that in Osborne, who was spotter for the #22 car at Penske Racing.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-23-2013)

  • Patrick, Stenhouse Jr. Headline Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award Battle: As teams make final preparations to start the 2013 race season, NASCAR announced today the lineup of 2013 Contingency Program sponsors for all three national series. Not since 2006, when Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. battled for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, has there been this much attention focused on the rookie title. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Timmy Hill and Danica Patrick, all eligible for 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, enter this season with high expectations. Stenhouse, the two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, and Hill won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Patrick finished the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series 10th in points. "This year's Sunoco Rookie class is going to be truly exciting to watch," said Andrew Kabakoff, Sunoco Brand Manager. "We are proud to support NASCAR's rising stars and wish them the best of luck as we look forward to a very exciting season of racing."
    The Coors Light Pole Award is another key contingency partner that will undoubtedly receive a lot of attention this season. Danica Patrick's pole victory in Daytona placed the award in the spotlight this week, as did the season-opening Sprint Unlimited, where the field was set by 2012 Coors Light Pole winners and past champions of the event. The Coors Light Pole Award is presented to the fastest eligible qualifier in each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
    Duralast, the 'Official Brakes of NASCAR,' has become the newest addition to the stable of companies that participate in the NASCAR Contingency Program with the creation of the "Brake in the Race Award" across both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. The weekly award will be given to the highest eligible driver in the running order at the time of the first caution of each race. The year-end award winner will be the driver who wins the "Brake in the Race Award" the most times during the course of the season. In the event of a tie, the final series point standings shall serve as the tiebreaker.
    "We are proud of the strong lineup of NASCAR Contingency Program sponsors across our three national series this year, and are enthused by the excitement surrounding the intense competition for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award," said Norris Scott, NASCAR vice president, Partnership Marketing. "NASCAR contingency sponsors and teams display a level of collaboration and teamwork that is unmatched in sports and continues to be one of the major reasons companies choose to partner with NASCAR."
    The NASCAR Contingency Program strives to build strong relationships with high­ quality, performance­ driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories, and award money to NASCAR teams via per ­race and year-­end awards. Competitors become eligible for prize money by displaying sponsor decals on the front fender of their race cars and trucks. In some instances, use of a sponsor product is also required.(NASCAR)(2-23-2013)

  • Ray Lewis to serve as Daytona 500 honorary starter: The retired Baltimore Ravens star, Ray Lewis, will serve as honorary starter for the Daytona 500. Lewis will wave the green flag to start the Daytona 500. Lewis ended his playing career in perfect fashion this month, directing a successful goal-line stand that provided him a second Super Bowl title. A 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker, Lewis announced his retirement Jan. 2.(Associated Press)(2-23-2013)

  • Mark Reuss Named Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 55th Annual Daytona 500: Mark Reuss, General Motors North America president, who was instrumental in bringing the new Chevrolet SS to NASCAR, will be the honorary pace car driver for the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24. He will be behind the wheel of a 2014 production Chevrolet SS. "Leading the Daytona 500 starting field to green driving a 2014 Chevrolet SS pace car on one of the most famous race tracks in the world will be a special honor for me," Reuss said. "I can't wait to drive across the start/finish line and on into Turn 1. I know it will be difficult to turn down onto pit road when it's over because I will want to make that moment last as long as possible." The 2014 Chevrolet SS pace car has been busy during its Speedweeks debut, earlier pacing The Sprint Unlimited and both Budweiser Duels. The 2014 Chevrolet SS is the first V-8, rear-wheel drive performance sedan for Chevrolet since 1996. "The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it's been 17 years since we've offered one," Reuss said when the production car was unveiled at the track last weekend. "The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand's rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today." Tickets for all Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-23-2013)

  • Stewart wins at Daytona: #33-Tony Stewart won the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. #12-Sam Hornish finished second followed by #99-Alex Bowman, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #77-Parker Kligerman, #2-Brian Scott, #31-Justin Allgaier, #14-Eric McClure (his career best finish), #23-Robert Richardson, Jr., and #60-Travis Pastrana.
    #7-Regan Smith was leading coming out of turn 4 on the final lap when he moved up to block a pass by#22-Brad Keselowski and got hooked. Several cars were caught up in the accident. #32-Kyle Larson's car was tossed into the catchfence, where the engine was sheared from the car and went though the fence. Some debris also ended up in the stands. Stewart avoided the wreck to take the lead and the win as the caution came out at the finish line. Drivers involved were treated and released. There is no word on spectator injuries yet.
    Another accident with 14 laps to go resulted in #43-Michael Annett being taken to the hospital for futher evaluation. He will reportely be ok.
    There were 7 cautions for 26 laps and 34 lead changes among 20 leaders.
    Complete results are on the Daytona race results page (pdf).(2-23-2013)

  • Daytona Race Fast Facts:
    Tony Stewart(i) won the 32nd Annual DRIVE4COPD 300, his 11th victory in 94 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his seventh victory and 10th top-10 finish in 14 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Sam Hornish Jr. (second) posted his second top-10 finish in five races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
    Alex Bowman (third) posted his first top-10 finish at Daytona International Speedway.
    Alex Bowman (third) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Sam Hornish Jr. leads the point standings by 1 point over Alex Bowman #.
    Today's race set a new track record for lead changes with 20. Previous record was 16 lead changes set on 7/6/2012.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-23-2013)

  • Driver standings following Daytona:
    1) #12-Sam Hornish Jr.42
    2) #99-Alex Bowman # 41, -1
    3) #77-Parker Kligerman 40, -2
    4) #2-Brian Scott 39, -3
    5) #31-Justin Allgaier 38, -4
    6) #14-Eric McClure 37, -5
    7) #23-Robert Richardson Jr. 35, -7
    8) #60-Travis Pastrana 34, -8
    9) #30-Nelson Piquet Jr. # 33, -9
    10) #32-Kyle Larson # 32, -10
    11) #7-Regan Smith 32, -10
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(2-23-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Daytona are posted (pdf). Last year's top 30 in points will remain locked in for the first 3 races of 2013.(2-23-2012)

  • Earnhardt may not run full season with Go Green: Jeffrey Earnhardt has been saying for a while that his 2013 Nationwide Series campaign is meant to be a run for Rookie of the Year honors. Those plans may have changed, as Go Green officials said the fourth-generation racer (son of Dale Earnhardt's oldest son, Kerry) has not gotten sponsorship sold on as many races as originially thought. This could mean other drivers that bring funding with them could replace him in the newly re-numbered #79 Ford. Randy Hill Racing, which runs as a teammate to Go Green, is not fielding the #08 at Daytona, but plans to be back this season with drivers that bring sponsorship. Among them could be Smyrna, Georgia's Kyle Fowler, who ran several races in the #08 last season.(WSB Radio)(2-23-2013)


    News from February 22, 2013

  • Rush Truck Centers to sponsor Stewart in three races: Rush Enterprises, which operates the largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships in North America, will be the primary sponsor of Tony Stewart and the #14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) for three Sprint Cup races with its Rush Truck Centers brand. Rush Truck Centers will adorn the hood of the #14 Chevy March 24 at Auto Club Speedway, April 7 at Martinsville and April 27 at Richmond. When not serving as the primary sponsor, Rush Truck Centers will be an associate sponsor on the #14 Chevy with placement on the B-pillar and lower-rear quarterpanel.(SHR)(2-22-2013)

  • #98 features Victory Junction on decklid: Victory Junction, founded by NASCAR's Petty family, is gearing up for its 10th summer of serving chronically ill children from across the country. To honor this milestone, Phil Parsons Racing is featuring the camp's 'Celebrating 10 Empowering Summers' logo on the decklid of the #98 K-Love Ford Fusion at Daytona International Speedway.
    "It's hard to believe that we are closing in on a decade," said Victory Junction's Founder and Chairman, Kyle Petty, "I am incredibly grateful that Phil (Parsons) and K-Love were willing to help us celebrate this milestone by acknowledging Victory Junction on their Daytona 500 car. The support my family and camp has received from the NASCAR community since Adam's death continues to amaze me."
    K-Love, the #98 team's primary sponsor, is not new to supporting the Randleman, NC-based camp. The contemporary Christian radio group adopted Victory Junction as one of its featured causes in 2012 highlighting the camp on their radio stations, website, and social media outlets. "Bringing partnerships like K-Love and Victory Junction together is one of the many great benefits of being a part of NASCAR," explained car owner Phil Parsons. "K-Love understands that for Victory Junction, every partnership is an opportunity to help broaden its donor base and assure continued interest in its mission." To date, 17,832 children and families have benefitted from the programming and love shared by the donors, volunteers and staff at Victory Junction. Beginning in June, another 1000+ campers will be empowered to reach beyond their illnesses and just be kids.(Phil Parsons Racing)(2-22-2013)

  • American Ethanol to sponsor Dillon in a couple races: American Ethanol announced its plans to enhance its partnership with Richard Childress Racing and driver Austin Dillon for the 2013 NASCAR season. Dillon will race the #33 American Ethanol Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway on June 16 and will drive a RCR-fielded entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Eldora Speedway on July 24 with an American Ethanol paint scheme. "American Ethanol is extremely pleased to once again partner with Austin Dillon, Richard Childress and the entire RCR team to help promote a sustainable homegrown American fuel that is better for our environment, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates jobs right here in the U.S., while revitalizing rural economies across America," said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.
    American Ethanol, launched by Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association along with the support of other partners, is a breakthrough brand that seeks to expand consumer awareness of the benefits of ethanol and E15. Since the program launch for the 2011 season, NASCAR drivers have run more than 3 million miles on renewable Sunoco Green E15.
    "We want to show the people coast-to-coast there is a great alternative to imported oil and our association with NASCAR and RCR is doing that extremely well," said Jon Holzfaster, a Paxton, NE farmer and chairman of the National Corn Growers Association's NASCAR Advisory Committee. "Ethanol is also responsible for bringing a rural renaissance from Main Street to the family farm."
    With help from American Ethanol, Dillon is scheduled to make his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start since clinching the 2011 Driver's Championship by entering the Series' inaugural race at Eldora Speedway on July 24. American Ethanol will also serve as an associate sponsor for Dillon's #3 Chevy for the full 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season and as an associate sponsor for Dillon's limited 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.
    "It feels good to be able to help spread the news about American Ethanol and encourage every American to run the fuel of the future, American Ethanol, in their personal vehicles," said Dillon. "If American Ethanol can withstand the rigors of NASCAR, it can withstand everyday driving. Homegrown biofuels like American Ethanol have stepped up to help our nation's economy, and are proving to be a better fuel. I am proud to wear the American Ethanol colors in NASCAR and I hope I can bring them to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series" and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2013."
    Dillon is an official spokesperson for American Ethanol, the most commercially-viable alternative that America currently has to offset the economic impact of foreign petroleum. Corn ethanol reduces emissions by 59 percent. And by strengthening America's energy independence, ethanol helps create American jobs - studies have shown that for every $1 sent overseas for oil, $1.55 leaves the U.S. economy.(RCR)(2-22-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 2: There are two days left before the Feb. 24 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 2: The number of Daytona 500 victories posted by 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth, the defending champion in the Great American Race. Kenseth won the rain-shortened 500 in 2009, completing 152 of the scheduled 200 laps. Last year, Kenseth won the race in a green-white-checkered-flag finish, holding off runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr. and third-place Greg Biffle in an event extended to 202 laps.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-22-2013)

  • Bayne to use Brand-New Back-Up Ford Fusion for Daytona 500: The scene in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane garage area at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday was a tale of two race cars. On one side of the aisle, there was a battered #21 Ford Fusion, one that led more than half of the first of two Budweiser Duel qualifying races, but was later wiped out in a crash. On the other side sat a brand-new Fusion, one that had never even been rolled on asphalt before it was unloaded from the Wood Brothers' hauler. The first car, despite the damage, did its job. It was third fastest in qualifying, assuring Trevor Bayne and the team a starting spot for Sunday's Daytona 500. Bayne will start 33rd, one spot worse than he started in 2011 when he won the 500. The other car now is poised to pick up where the first one left off. First, there's plenty of preparation to be done by crew chief Donnie Wingo and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew. "We may not even practice on Friday, but that's OK," said team co-owner Eddie Wood. "We didn't practice on Friday in 2011, and we won that race." There also is a final practice session set for Saturday, and Wood said he was confident the new car would be race ready by then. Despite the battered car in the background on Thursday, Wood and the rest of the Motorcraft crew seemed upbeat. "You can't be disappointed when you lead more that half the race," he said.(Wood Brothers Racing)(2-22-2013)

  • Front row starters don't win Daytona 500 often: In the 54 previous runnings of the Daytona 500, only seven drivers have won from the pole position. Only two of these drivers accomplished the feat more than once -- Cale Yarborough (1968, 1984) and Bill Elliott (1985, 1987). Dale Jarrett was the most recent polesitter to capture the Harley J. Earl Trophy when he won the event in 2000. The other drivers to win the Daytona 500 from the pole were Fireball Roberts (1962), Richard Petty (1966), Buddy Baker (1980) and Gordon (1999).
    Winning the Daytona 500 from the outside of the front row is even rarer. Only six drivers have accomplished this feat, with Richard Petty the only one with more than one victory in the race from the second starting position. The most recent driver to win from this spot was once again Jarrett, in 1993, Gordon's first full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A.J. Foyt (1962), Geoffrey Bodine (1986), Darrell Waltrip (1989) and Ernie Irvan (1991) are the four other drivers.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-22-2013)

  • Earnhardt's Legendary #3 Subject of New ESPN NASCAR Spot: ESPN will debut a new promotional spot paying homage to the legendary #3 of the late NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt in a new promotional spot that will begin airing in the telecast of Saturday's season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon uses #3 in the series, driving a car owned by his grandfather, Richard Childress, who also was Earnhardt's car owner and had stopped using the number following Earnhardt's death in the 2001 Daytona 500 until Dillon began racing in the NASCAR Truck Series three years ago. In the spot, images of NASCAR fans and their reverence for the #3 run under a narration from Dillon, who speaks of his respect for Earnhardt, the number and NASCAR fans, as well as his desire to make his own mark in the sport. The commercial continues ESPN's "Names Are Made Here" campaign for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which ESPN airs for the full season. The spot will air across ESPN programming through July.(ESPN)(2-22-2013)

  • Sad News - John Ervin: John Ervin, the former crew chief of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Ned Jarrett, has passed away after a long illness at the age of 74. Ervin moved from Hickory, NC to Camden,SC with the rest of the Jarrett family in 1964 and actually lived with them, as Glenn Jarrett's roommate, when Ned began to run a team owned by Bondy Long. Starting out as a mechanic, Ervin eventually rose to be Jarrett's crew chief and would serve in that capacity years later when Dale Jarrett ran what was then the Busch Series. He would also serve as Jason Jarrett's Busch Series crew chief and for years maintained the cars for the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure. Ervin is survived by his wife Frances. According to his wishes, a memorial service will be held for John Ervin Sunday, February 24th at the First Presbyterian Church in Newton, NC. The service will begin at 3:00 and a reception will follow.(2-22-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Budweiser Duels: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Thursday's races. Began recording the times at the beginning of the first race at 2:00 PM, and stopped following the second race at 4:50 PM (all times are EST). SPEED was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 105
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 11
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 1 min. 45 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:50 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 170
    Minutes of race broadcast: 126
    Minutes of commercials (not split-screen): 44
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 126 Total comm. brdcst time 44
    See past races, links and more on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(2-22-2013)

  • UPS, NASCAR Work to Give Racing a 'Greener' Image: UPS is rolling out a new truck used for trackside deliveries in time for the Daytona 500. Beginning with this season's opening events at Daytona International Speedway in the lead-up to next weekend's Daytona 500, the UPS Trackside Services will operate using a diesel exhaust fluid, or D.E.F. system to reduce exhaust particulate emissions. The truck pulls a trailer that is equipped with solar panels to help generate sustainable energy needed to keep its operations going. UPS also uses a miniature package car that makes pick-ups and deliveries throughout the race weekend. This year, the mini car is battery-powered. UPS has provided special pick-up and delivery services for race teams, sponsors, officials, vendors and news media at NASCAR events for years. In 2012 the company began developing plans to further reduce the environmental impact of its Trackside Services operation. The move reflects NASCAR's broader effort to develop a more environmentally friendly image.(Wall Street Journal)(2-22-2013)

  • Richard & Kyle Petty Dedicate Muscle Cars Forever Stamps: Raw power will get a stamp of its own when seven-time NASCAR National Champion Richard Petty will dedicate new America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamps. On Friday, Feb 22nd at 2pm/et, Petty, joined by son Kyle, will dedicate the limited-edition stamps at the Daytona International Speedway where "King Richard" won a record seven Daytona 500 Championships. Typically equipped with big, powerful engines, these high-performance vehicles began roaring across America in the 1960s. The stamps feature five iconic muscle cars: the '66 Pontiac GTO, the '67 Shelby GT-500, the '69 Dodge Charger Daytona, the '70 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda and the '70 Chevelle SS. Three classic muscle cars, '67 Shelby GT-500, '70 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda and '69 Dodge Charger Daytona will be in the Sprint FANZONE on Friday! Customers may view the America on the Move: Muscle Cars stamps, as well as many of this year's other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps or at beyondtheperf.com.(2-22-2013)

  • Bayne on pole at Daytona: #6-Trevor Bayne won the Coors Light Pole for the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 177.162mph. #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. will start second. The rest of the top: #77-Parker Kligerman, #60-Travis Pastrana, #3-Austin Dillon, #11-Elliott Sadler, #54-Kyle Busch, #99-Alex Bowman, #18-Matt Kenseth, and #33-Tony Stewart.
    Did Not Qualify: #85-Bobby Gerhardt, #89-Morgan Shepherd, #92-Dexter Stacey, and #52-Joey Gase. The starting lineup is posted on the Daytona starting lineup page (pdf).(2-22-2013)

  • Daytona Qualifying Notes:
    Trevor Bayne won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 32nd Annual DRIVE4COPD 300 with a lap of 50.801 seconds, 177.162 mph.
    This is his sixth pole in 86 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his first pole in six races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Sam Hornish Jr. (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2013 and his second in five races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Parker Kligerman (third) posted his second top-10 start at Daytona International Speedway.
    Alex Bowman (eighth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(2-22-2013)

  • Eric McClure to Help Bring Awareness to "Saving Owen" : During Saturday's season-opening 300-mile Nationwide Series race at Daytona, Eric McClure will run a special "Saving Owen" decal on the C-post of his #14 Hefty/Reynolds Camry. "Saving Owen" is personal to the 34-year-old driver, as Owen is the son of one of his college friends from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. The seven-year-old second grader not only has a rare autoimmune liver disease that doesn't allow medications to processes properly, he has also been diagnosed with pectus escavatum, a condition that affects both his breathing and the function of his heart. Surgery is imminent for young Owen and will take place at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in late spring/early summer. Not only is the surgery extensive but so is the recovery process as, often times, medications will actually attack his liver rather than fighting the intended target, thus creating a more complicated situation. By running the special decal, McClure hopes to bring as much awareness to Owen's situation as possible and is asking his fans to help Owen by purchasing a "Saving Owen" blue bracelet. The information can be found on www.facebook.com/SavingOwen. The proceeds will go towards helping the family with the expenses associated with the surgery.(TMI)(2-22-2013)

  • Daytona International Speedway reveals more of Proposed Redevelopment Project: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) President Joie Chitwood this morning conducted the first in-depth, virtual "walk through" of what the iconic Speedway would look like as part of a proposed redevelopment project, one that Chitwood emphasized would be designed to reaffirm the Speedway's standing among race fans as "the world center of racing for years to come."
    The proposed project is subject to approval by senior management of the International Speedway Corporation (ISC), which owns Daytona International Speedway, pending several economic stability factors as well as construction design and costs. The project may also be impacted by state legislation that would include incentives for surpassing significant private investment levels.
    Speaking to nearly 300 media members and motorsports industry leaders this morning at the Speedway, Chitwood guided attendees through three-dimensional video renderings of what the redeveloped frontstretch structure would look like. The vision for the redevelopment places an emphasis on enhancing "the complete fan experience," beginning with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances ("injectors") along International Speedway Boulevard.
    Each injector would lead directly to a series of escalators that would transport fans to any of three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious and strategically-placed social "neighborhoods" along the mile-long frontstretch. The 11 neighborhoods, each measuring the size of a football field, would enable fans to meet and socialize during events without ever missing any on-track action, thanks to an open-sightline design throughout each concourse and dozens of added video screens in every neighborhood.
    The central neighborhood, the "World Center of Racing," would celebrate the history of Daytona International Speedway and its many historic moments throughout more than 50 years of racing. In addition, the redevelopment would see every seat in the Speedway frontstretch replaced with new and more comfortable seating, as well as the addition of more restrooms and concession stands within easier access points for all fans.
    To learn more about the potential project, fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/redevelopment. Fans can also visit RedevelopDaytona.com to learn how they may be able to get involved in helping make this potential project a reality.(DIS)(2-22-2013)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway goes smoke free: From the Charlotte Motor Speedway site: " For the health and comfort of our guests, grandstands and concourses at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track are smoke-free. This policy also applies to terrace boxes, kids' play zones, bathhouses and restrooms. In conjunction with this policy, smoking lounges with flat-screen televisions and high-top tables will be conveniently located at each of our three venues. Smoking is also allowed in open-air campgrounds, parking lots, hospitality and souvenir display areas. It is our goal to reduce the risk of secondhand smoke exposure to our fans, while still allowing the freedom of choice with convenient smoking locations during our events. Enforcement -- Ushers will direct those found smoking in the grandstands to the nearest smoking lounge, and repeat offenders will be asked to leave.(CMS)(2-22-2013)

  • Senate OKs bill to help Indianapolis Motor Speedway: The [Indiana State] Senate voted 37-12 to help the Indianapolis Motor Speedway finance improvements. The measure, Senate Bill 91, now goes to the House for debate. It would create a motorsports development district at the speedway, comprised of the track, the golf course and two buildings across the street. Up to $5 million annually of the sales and income taxes generated within it will be set aside for 20 years to help the Speedway finance improvements. Those include new lights potentially for night races; upgrades to the grandstands, restrooms and tunnels, and making the facility more accessible to the handicapped.(Indianapolis Star)(2-22-2013


    News from February 21, 2013

  • See the starting lineup for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on the Daytona 500 Starting Lineup Page.

  • Kyle Busch wins Budweiser Duel #2: #18-Kyle Busch won the Budweiser Duel #2 Qualifying Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. #5-Kahne finished 2nd followed by #33-Dillon, #15-Bowyer, #20-Kenseth, #55-Martin, #27-Menard, #31-Burton, #1-McMurray and #34-Ragan. Eleventh was #9-Ambrose, #24-Gordon (will start on outside pole), #43-Almirola, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #7-Blaney and #35-Wise finished 16th, gaining the final transfer spot. Finishing out of the transfer spots were #93-Kvapil, #32-Labonte, #98-McDowell, #36-Yeley, #39-Newman and #19-Bliss. Newman fell back from his 2nd starting spot quickly, spun entering pit road and did some damage to the car, will still make the race by speed and start 34th. There were no cautions. #19-Bliss had the window net fall down and had to pit and never recovered, finishing 22nd and will not qualify for the Daytona 500.
    See race results and more on the Budweiser Duel Race #2 Results (pdf).(2-21-2013)

  • Harvick wins Budweiser Duel #1: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser Duel #1 Qualifying Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Harvick has won both races so far this season, the Sprint Unlimited and a Budweiser Duel race. #16-Biffle finished 2nd (also finished 2nd in the Sprint Unlimited) followed by #42-Montoya, #48-Johnson, #78-Busch, #14-Stewart, #2-Keselowski, #13-Mears, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #22-Logano. Eleventh was #47-Labonte, #38-Gilliland, #87-Nemechek, #26-Waltrip and #95-Speed finished 15th, gaining the final transfer spot. Finishing out of the transfer spots were #83-Reutimann, #10-Patrick [ill handling car, but will still start on the pole in the Daytona 500], #51-Smith, #56-Truex Jr. [came across the finish line 6th but had been blacked flagged for a missing side window], #11-Hamlin, #52-Keselowski, #99-Edwards and #21-Bayne. Bayne led the first 37 laps. On lap 52, #11-Hamlin got loose and came down on #99-Edwards, sending Edwards into the outside wall, Bayne had no place to go and hit the #99. #21-Bayne will get in the race via speed. Edwards, Hamlin and Truex Jr. should get in the race by either speed or owners points provisional. #52-Keselowski will be one of the two cars that will not make the race.
    See race results and more on the Budweiser Duel Race #1 Results (pdf).(2-21-2013)

  • Coverage of the Qualifying races the Budweiser Duel to make the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 2:00pm/et.
    TV: SPEED - 2:00pm/et
    Green Flag approx 2:15pm/et [2nd Duel around 3:30pm/et]
    Radio: Motor Racing Network [also online] and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Budweiser Duel Re-Air: 8:00pm/et on SPEED
    Online coverage: no video streaming known, but NASCAR.com, ESPN.com and FoxSports.com have live scoring

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Budweiser Duel Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway have been made. To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-21-2013)

  • GEICO to fully sponsor the #13 thru 2014: GEICO Racing tweeted today that "We will be sponsoring Germain Racing & Casey Mears for the full season for both 2013 & 2014!(GEICO Racing)(2-21-2103)

  • Blockbuster Goes Racing with Front Row and Wise: Blockbuster will sponsor the #35 Front Row Motorsports Ford of Josh Wise for the Sprint Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. Blockbuster, the well-known provider of home movie and video game rental services, will partner with Front Row Motorsports for the first time. The partnership will promote the brand to the millions of fans who tune in or attend "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway. One of the most recognizable entertainment names in the world, Blockbuster provides movie and game rentals and sales to millions worldwide by mail, in stores, by digital download and through the DISH Network. "Blockbuster is excited to be part of the Front Row Motorsports team and NASCAR's 'Great American Race,'" said Mitch Weinraub, Product VP at Blockbuster, LLC. "We are proud to play a lead role in bringing Josh Wise, a new and promising driver, to the premier racing circuit." The race will also mark the first time that Front Row Motorsports and Wise will race the new #35 entry [they ran #26 in 2012]. Wise, entering his second full-time Sprint Cup season, will aim to secure the Blockbuster Ford Fusion in the Daytona 500 starting line-up during Thursday's second qualifying Duel. "It's pretty cool to have Blockbuster on the car for such a huge event," Wise said. "With the new cars and the new qualifying format that NASCAR has implemented, all eyes are going to be on Daytona this week. We're happy that Blockbuster realized the potential of partnering with Front Row Motorsports for the biggest race of the year."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-21-2103)

  • STP to sponsor April race at Martinsville: co-sponsor on #43: Martinsville Speedway and the STP brand announced a multi-year entitlement sponsorship agreement at Daytona International Speedway. The sponsorship kicks off with the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for April 7, 2013 at the historic Virginia track. "STP and Martinsville Speedway have both been a part of the NASCAR family for decades. To work with a company that has such legendary status in our sport is exciting to me," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "Bringing together two companies that have so much history and such fan recognition is going to be a winning combination for everyone, especially the fans." The Martinsville Speedway entitlement is the latest addition to the STP brand's motorsports portfolio which includes entitlement sponsorships of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide events at Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway, respectively, and the entitlement sponsorship for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
    In addition to sponsoring the race, the STP brand will be a co-primary sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports and the #43 Jani-King STP Ford Fusion driven by Aric Amirola at the Martinsville spring race. The paint scheme will be commemorative of the first time the STP logo was on Petty's car at Riverside in 1972.
    The STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Sunday, April 7, the day after the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Pole Day is Friday, April 5. Ticket prices for the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race start as low as $37. Tickets for the STP Gas Booster 500, the Kroger 250 and Martinsville Pole Day may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(2-12-2013)

  • EGR spends day at Fort Bragg: EGR over-the-wall pit crew members recently spent a day at Ft. Bragg (Jan 17), for a morale and team-building event with soldiers from the US Army. Activities included flying several different types of Army helicopter simulators including the Apache, Black Hawk and Chinook trainers. The team also joined US Army soldiers at the Virtual Training Facility (VTF), and learned first-hand how the Army utilizes the high-tech training equipment to prepare men and women in the US Army for combat situations by simulating conditions in areas of deployment. The final event of the day allowed the EGR crew to give back to the Ft. Bragg soldiers by hosting a pit crew competition for 10 different Ft. Bragg units. The winning team of soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, completed their four-tire change in 28.93 seconds. They will have their unit insignia placed in both the #1 and #42 Chevys at the season-opening Daytona 500.(EGR)(2-21-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 5: There are three days left before the Feb. 24 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 3: The car number Dale Earnhardt Sr. drove to 67 of his 76 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, all 67 with Richard Childress Racing. Perhaps Earnhardt's most significant win was his long-awaited triumph in the 1998 Daytona 500, his 20th attempt in NASCAR's most prestigious race. The No. 3 has been inactive since Earnhardt died as a result of injuries sustained in an accident on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, though team owner Richard Childress is contemplating using the number again when his grandson, Austin Dillon, ascends to full-time competition in the Cup series.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-21-2013)

  • MWR Hires Christmas Abbout as full-time crew member: Michael Waltrip Racing announced today it has hired professional CrossFit competitor Christmas Abbott as a full-time pit crewmember for its NASCAR Sprint Cup operation. Abbott, 31, will be a "weekend warrior" with MWR, traveling to all NASCAR Sprint Cup events in a pit support role. Her long-term goal is to go over the wall as a tire changer. "This is just the first step for me," said Abbott who competed in several CrossFit competitions since 2006 and can overhead squat 200 lbs. "I've been training for several months. This is the most challenging thing I have ever done. I'm here to do whatever my coaches ask of me, and I don't want any handouts. I'm ready to work three races a weekend if that's what it takes to get me where I want to be. I'm in this for the long haul." MWR's pit coaches have seen enough development of the 5'3 115-pound Abbott to name her to the MWR travel squad. "This is another first for Michael Waltrip Racing," said founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. "She is an incredible elite athlete and she has worked with our crews by bringing some cross-fit elements to their workouts. She is a competitor and when she decided to start working towards an over the wall position, we said we are the perfect place to make it happen. As Danica has seen, it takes a lot of work and dedication to get to the top level of her trade. With her Daytona 500 pole, it seems so much of that work has been worth it. I believe the same can hold true for Christmas. We expect her to excel or we wouldn't commit the position to her."(MWR)(2-21-2013)

  • No Cup Champs as winner of Daytona 500 in a while: If #2-Brad Keselowski wins the Daytona 500 on Sunday, he'll be the first defending Cup champion in 13 years to accomplish the feat. The last man to do it was Dale Jarrett in 2000, three months after winning the 1999 title.(ESPN)(2-21-2013)

  • MRN and AudioNow partner up: In a first for motor sports fans around the country, Motor Racing Network and AudioNow have jointly announced a new way to access live race broadcasts simply by dialing a number from any mobile device. Across the United States, race fans can dial 1-832-999-1717 and listen to MRN race-day broadcasts, interviews and analysis, and weekly programming such as "NASCAR Live" and "NASCAR USA." Upcoming broadcast includes the Budweiser Duel and the season-opening Daytona 500 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday, Feb. 24. The phone number incurs no extra charges and is the equivalent of making a mobile call. As data costs continue to rise on mobile devices and "unlimited voice plans" plummet, radio-by-voice stream is emerging as one of the most affordable pathways in the United States for listeners to use when they're away from their favorite station.(Motor Racing Network)(2-21-2013)

  • FDP Becomes Newest Official Partner of NASCAR: NASCAR and FDP Friction Science, a leading manufacturer and supplier of brake pads, announced today a new agreement that designates the Duralast brand as the 'Official Brakes of NASCAR.' With more than 50 years of brake technology and friction development experience, FDP manufactures Duralast Brakes which are sold exclusively at AutoZone. Duralast will also participate in the NASCAR contingency program, with the creation of the "Brake in the Race Award" across both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. The weekly award will be given to the highest eligible driver in the running order at the time of the first caution of each race. The year-end award winner will be the driver who wins the "Brake in the Race Award" the most times during the course of the season. In the event of a tie, the final series point standings shall serve as a tiebreaker.(NASCAR)(2-21-2013)

  • Budweiser Duel moves to night in 2014: Daytona International Speedway announced Thursday that the Budweiser Duel 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500 will be moved next year to a night-time start and be televised by Fox. "To earn a coveted starting spot in the Daytona 500, the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will have to perform under the lights and in front of a primetime audience in the Budweiser Duel,'' DIS president Joie Chitwood III said. "Moving the Budweiser Duel under the lights will add another dimension to Budweiser Speedweeks.'' The qualifying races join the Sprint Unlimited and the Camping World Truck Series race as night-time events during Speedweeks.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-21-2013)

  • STP to sponsor April race at Martinsville: co-sponsor on #43: Martinsville Speedway and the STP brand announced a multi-year entitlement sponsorship agreement at Daytona International Speedway. The sponsorship kicks off with the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for April 7, 2013 at the historic Virginia track. "STP and Martinsville Speedway have both been a part of the NASCAR family for decades. To work with a company that has such legendary status in our sport is exciting to me," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "Bringing together two companies that have so much history and such fan recognition is going to be a winning combination for everyone, especially the fans." The Martinsville Speedway entitlement is the latest addition to the STP brand's motorsports portfolio which includes entitlement sponsorships of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide events at Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway, respectively, and the entitlement sponsorship for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
    In addition to sponsoring the race, the STP brand will be a co-primary sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports and the #43 Jani-King STP Ford Fusion driven by Aric Amirola at the Martinsville spring race. The paint scheme will be commemorative of the first time the STP logo was on Petty's car at Riverside in 1972.
    "STP, Richard Petty Motorsports and Martinsville Speedway were made for each other. It is surprising this hasn't happened sooner! Everyone at the STP brand is very proud to support Martinsville Speedway, the fans and Richard Petty Motorsports," said Jamie Kistner, Brand Director, STP. "The sponsorship is a perfect way to introduce our latest product innovation, STP Gas Booster" Concentrated Fuel System Treatment. This is the first time that we've leveraged an entitlement sponsorship to launch a new product. The STP brand continues to develop innovative technology and believes NASCAR provides a perfect platform to share the news with fans."
    STP Gas Booster is a modern approach to fuel system treatments. One treatment of STP Gas Booster starts working immediately to help restore lost power and performance, and this unique formulation also helps to restore fuel economy by cleaning the fuel system. The STP brand continues to develop breakthrough technology to help consumers keep their engines running better longer.
    "It is hard to believe my relationship with STP started more than 40 years ago, and here we are today announcing yet another chapter in the brand's history with me, Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR," said Richard Petty. "During my time with STP I've watched the brand become a fan favorite with products that give them The Racer's Edge and this partnership is yet another example of their commitment. I can't wait to see the '72 Riverside STP car paint scheme back on the track."
    Richard Petty and the #43 STP machine have a storied history at Martinsville: Petty has the most wins with a total of 15
    · Petty has the most grandfather clocks, awarded to the winner, with a total of 12
    · Petty has an amazing 67 starts, the most of any driver
    · Petty has the most top-10 and top-five finishes
    · In 1960, Petty won the spring race at the age of 20, becoming the youngest winner at Martinsville
    · The last "ride" by Petty came on the side door of the famous #43 STP car with John Andretti driving him to Victory Lane in April of 1999; that year also marks the last time the #43 STP machine won there
    The STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Sunday, April 7, the day after the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Pole Day is Friday, April 5. Ticket prices for the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race start as low as $37. Tickets for the STP Gas Booster 500, the Kroger 250 and Martinsville Pole Day may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(2-12-2013)

  • Kahne & Smith fastest in happy hour: #5-Kasey Kahne & #7-Regan Smith were quickest during happy hour for the DRIVE4COPD 300, each with a speed of 191.930mph. They were followed by: #32-Kyle Larson, #30-Nelson Piquet, Jr., #31-Justin Allgaier, #34-Danica Patrick, #6-Trevor Bayne, #88-Dale Earnhardt, jr., #87-Joe Nemechek, and #01-Mike Wallace. 43 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Daytona practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-21-2013)

  • Hornish fastest in first practice: #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. was fastest during opening practice at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 191.836mph. #22-Brad Keselowski was second, followed by: #2-Brian Scott, #3-Austin Dillon, #11-Elliott Sadler, #20-Brian Vickers, #18-Matt Kenseth, #54-Kyle Busch, #33-Tony Stewart, and #1-Kurt Busch. 38 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Daytona practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-21-2013)

  • Eric McClure to Help Bring Awareness to "Saving Owen" : During Saturday's season-opening 300-mile Nationwide Series race at Daytona, Eric McClure will run a special "Saving Owen" decal on the C-post of his #14 Hefty/Reynolds Camry. "Saving Owen" is personal to the 34-year-old driver, as Owen is the son of one of his college friends from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. The seven-year-old second grader not only has a rare autoimmune liver disease that doesn't allow medications to processes properly, he has also been diagnosed with pectus escavatum, a condition that affects both his breathing and the function of his heart. Surgery is imminent for young Owen and will take place at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in late spring/early summer. Not only is the surgery extensive but so is the recovery process as, often times, medications will actually attack his liver rather than fighting the intended target, thus creating a more complicated situation. By running the special decal, McClure hopes to bring as much awareness to Owen's situation as possible and is asking his fans to help Owen by purchasing a "Saving Owen" blue bracelet. The information can be found on www.facebook.com/SavingOwen. The proceeds will go towards helping the family with the expenses associated with the surgery.(TMI)(2-22-2013)

  • Stalkit/WorldVentures sponsoring Richardson: R3 Motorsports announced a strategic allaniance with Stalk It Boards as the title sponsor of the #23 Chevy and driver Robert Richardson Jr. in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona this Saturday. Joining the partnership venture are WorldVentures, Dreamtrip, Daddies Board Shop, Orangatang and Telluride Brewing Co. Stalk It is an innovative eco-driven longboard company that uses CornBoard in the construction of its custom, hand-crafted longboards. WorldVentures is a social commerce, peer-to-peer marketing pioneer and the direct-selling industry's largest seller of vacation and entertainment club memberships.(R3 Motorsports)(2-21-2013)

  • Edwards will return to the broadcast booth: During an ESPN press conference Thursday at Daytona, Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports, production announced that Carl Edwards will be back in the TV broadcast booth this season. "Over the past 13 weeks, our team has been working hard to make all our plans for the 2013 season. Delighted that our entire talent group will be returning again this year, the same group that we've had last year, and that includes Carl Edwards will be joining us as a booth analyst for several Nationwide races throughout the season. Right now looks to be about three [races]. We're still kind of finalizing the schedule, and it's one of those things that evolves as the season goes on. Obviously his priority is competition."(ESPN)(2-21-2013)

  • Barnwell joins Team Dillon: Team Dillon Racing and drivers Austin and Ty Dillon have added to their personnel department with the addition of NASCAR veteran team manager Keith Barnwell, as Director of Business for TDR. Barnwell joins the brothers after two years of service with Hall of Fame driver/owner Junior Johnson. "After Junior got settled in at his Charlotte home, my job there was pretty much complete. Fortunately, this opportunity to work with Austin and Ty came about rather quickly and we have hit the ground running as we gear up for 2013. These guys are the future of the sport and I am looking forward to seeing that as it develops." Barnwell will have a dual role as he also picks up the spotting details for Sprint Cup Series veteran driver Jeff Burton and the Richard Childress Racing #31 Chevy.(Team Dillon)(2-21-2013)

  • Cobb, Lofton crew chief caught up in van repossession fiasco: Truck series racer Jennifer Jo Cobb thought someone stole her team's van following a promotional event at a Ponce Inlet restaurant, an official said. But it turns out the van wasn't stolen, but taken in an attempt to repossess it by a man with whom Cobb is involved in a civil dispute, according to a Ponce Inlet police report. Cobb made a promotional appearance with her racing crew Wednesday night at Down the Hatch and discovered her team's van that crew members' luggage and racing equipment inside was gone, according to the report. Cobb and 10 members of her crew filed out reports detailing what they had lost. Cobb, who owns JJC Racing and will run Friday's Truck Series race, said she did not think the van had been repossessed or taken by David Novak, who she is in litigation with over the ownership of the team, according to the report. Soon after the van was discovered missing, between 8 and 9 p.m., Ponce Inlet police were contacted by Novak who said he is the rightful owner of the van as well as JJC Racing. Novak told police he did have someone repossess the van. He supplied police with documents showing he had been making payments on the van and holds the insurance on it. Novak cut ties "personally and professionally" with Cobb last December. Cobb's crew found the van at a home in Daytona Beach on Ekana Circle. Daytona Beach police responded to the home on Ekana Circle at about 11:10 p.m. Wednesday and spoke with Denise Mixon who works for Novak, according to a Daytona Beach police report. Mixon said she and a man named Terry Watkins were instructed by Novak to take back the van. After parking the van in the home's garage, Mixon received a call from Novak who said someone on Cobb's crew needed medication from inside the van, according to the report. Mixon went to get the medication, and as the garage door was opening, several people rushed in and attempted to take back the van. Mixon said a man named Eddie Troconis (crew chief of the #6 Eddie Sharp Racing entry) jumped into the driver's seat and tried to back the van out while the garage door was still opening, damaging the garage door and van in the process, according to the report. The van was returned to Cobb as the registered owner. No one was charged in the van incident.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(2-21-2013)


    News from February 20, 2013

  • Final Wednesday practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, most cars did drafting during this practice, after 90 scheduled minutes, top five and notes:
    #5-Kahne 197.737
    #16-Biffle 197.702
    #24-Gordon 197.628
    #10-Patrick 197.555
    #99-Edwards 197.507
    slowest: #52-Keselowski 183.135 & #39-Newman 189.625 (1 lap)
    only 27 of 45 cars have made a run, many teams have decided not to run in this practice.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. got back on track after the team made the engine change and ran the most laps with 34. #39-Newman, involved in a practice 1 wreck, got on the track with about 10 minutes to go to shake down the car.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Daytone 500 Practice 4 Speeds page (pdf).(2-20-2013)

  • First Wednesday practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, most cars did drafting during this practice, after 90 scheduled minutes, top five and notes:
    #26-Waltrip 198.347
    #34-Ragan 198.133
    #14-Stewart 198.133
    #27-Menard 197.946
    #18-Busch 197.511
    slowest: #52-Keselowski 170.950 & #36-Yeley 186.027 (each only ran a lap)
    31 of 45 cars have made a run.
    no speed listed for #24 #35 #98
    notes: #2-Keselowski lost power early in the practice and had to be pushed to the garage, Keselowski said there was some fuel system problem.
    Fifteen minutes into the practice #39-Newman came down and #99-Edwards came up, making contact, the #39 spun around, the #39 has damage, slight damage on the #99 and some cosmetic damage to the #55. The #55 says they are done practicing for the day.
    #88-Earnhardt lost an engine 50 minutes into practice, #88 goes to the rear for Duel only, not the 500.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Daytone 500 Practice 3 Speeds page (pdf).(2-20-2013)

  • Earnhardt Jr. loses engine in first practice on Wednesday: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. comments following engine failure during practice for the Budweiser Duel at Daytona Qualifying Races:
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
    Earnhardt Jr: "We broke a motor, it's as simple as that. They'll figure out what happen. I'm sure there is some logical explanation as to what happened, but, we'll just put a new one in and start at the back of the Qualifier tomorrow, and race up through there."
    Q) WILL YOU GO TO BED A LITTLE WORRIED TONIGHT?
    Earnhardt Jr: "No, it's just part of racing."
    Q) IS THIS ANY SORT OF A SETBACK?
    Earnhardt Jr: "Not really. Everything is good. We were just making some single car runs by ourselves. Everything seemed like it was working. Just trying to find a little more speed, and we found a few things that seemed to help the car. We'll try to get out in this next practice, and see what else we can learn, but everything should be fine."
    Q) DID YOU HAVE ANY WARNING THAT IT WAS GOING?
    Earnhardt Jr: "No."
    (Team Chevy)(2-20-2013)

  • Newman discusses drafting accident in Wednesday's practice: #39-Ryan Newman crashed during first practice run; will repair the car - not going to back-up.
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?
    Newman: "I don't know. I want to watch first (after watching the replay). My car came around. I don't know if it was the air off of Carl's (Edwards) car or what. My car just came around. (Referring to the replay) You can see the backend getting light there. I think it's just an aero situation, but that was news to me. Carl (Edwards) came over and said 'hey man'& I said 'I don't even know what to tell you yet'. It was unfortunate for our Quicken Loans Chevrolet, but that is why we had practice. That was my first experience, but I guess my car just got light in the back going into the corner."
    Q) HOW BADLY WOUNDED IS YOUR CAR?
    Newman: "I think it's totally fixable, it's just a matter of time and getting practice and everything else. Matt (Borland, crew chief) and the guys are assessing the situation."
    Q) CARL (EDWARDS) CAME OVER IMMEDIATELY TO TALK TO YOU. WHAT DID YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT?
    Newman: "Just what happened. I didn't know what happened and he honestly admitted that he didn't know what happened. Just all of a sudden my car was going across his nose. He did say that he tried to come up and put the air brakes on me. I think in doing so it just made my car that loose. I hadn't been loose the entire time. It was just something new and a different characteristic of this car I guess."
    Q) YOU HAVE NOT FELT THAT SIMILAR SITUATION WHY IS THAT DIFFERENT? A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT A WEIRD AERO DEAL THERE?
    Newman: "I think some of it has to do with the huge shark fin that we have on that side. When you pack air up on that side it's not going to the spoiler it's getting blocked off from the spoiler. There are a lot of things to think about and talk about."
    Q) YOU GUYS ARE PLANNING TO FIX THE DAMAGE RIGHT?
    Newman: "We are going to fix it. It's a Catch-22 we brought this car for a reason. The engine is fine; it never spun backwards all that stuff is good. We don't think we will make it back out for the second practice, but we will be fine."
    Q) EVEN IF YOU DID WOULD YOU PRACTICE DRAFTING OR DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DONE?
    Newman: "No, we will still practice drafting. That is what it is going to take to win the (Daytona) 500."(Team Chevy)(2-20-2013)

  • Arko Custom signs on as associate sponsor of #36: Arko Custom has signed on as associate sponsor for Tommy Baldwin Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup #36 Golden Corral Chevy, driven by JJ Yeley during Daytona 500 Speedweeks. Arko Custom, a large format digital print and media provider based in Atlanta, GA, will begin its co-sponsorship during Thursday's Budweiser Duel, the pair of 150-mile qualifying races that will set the starting order for the Feb. 24 Daytona 500, otherwise known as The Great American Race. Though heavily involved in motorsports and sports marketing, this will be the .rst sponsorship endeavor for Arko Custom and its parent company, Graphics Central Inc., also based in Atlanta.(Arko Custom PR)(2-20-2013)

  • Austin Dillon soars with Thunderbirds' pilot in F-16: #33-Austin Dillon traded in his driver's fire suit for a Thunderbird pilot's G-suit and felt firsthand what his favorite movie, "Top Gun," called "the need for speed." Dillon, who went up Tuesday on an Air Force F-16 with a Thunderbirds' pilot, races with a "Top Gun"-themed helmet with the word Maverick on it, just like the Tom Cruise character in the movie from 1986  four years before he was born. "Flying upside down was really awesome," the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion said. "I was kind of comparing things and asking (the pilot) questions on how truthful the movie was. It's cool to go out there and see what it's really like." The Thunderbirds are in town to perform a flyover at Daytona International Speedway for Sunday's Daytona 500. Dillon went straight up 11,000 feet after takeoff from Daytona Beach International Airport, then over to Cape Canaveral where he flew upside down, experienced loops and all the aerobatics moves the team does in an air show. "That was awesome," Dillon said when he first got off the aircraft at about noon, showing the Thunderbirds' crew his empty sick bag. "I didn't have to use it. That was fun. That was so crazy."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-20-2013)

  • Another Truex to make Sprint Cup debut UPDATE: Ryan Truex, Martin Truex Jr's younger brother, announced on his twitter that he will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Richmond [in April], driving the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy and could drive in some additional races.(2-18-2013)
    UPDATE: Ryan Truex revealed on his Twitter today that he would also drive the #51 Cyevy at Dover in June.(2-20-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 4: There are four days left before the season-opening Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 4: The number of Daytona 500 poles won by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Cale Yarborough, who claimed 12 career poles at Daytona in all races. Yarborough twice parlayed his top starting spot in the Daytona 500 into a victory, winning the "Great American Race" from the pole in both 1968 and, 16 years later, in 1984. Yarborough had a knack for the 2.5-mile superspeedway. In 57 appearances at the track, he won nine times and posted 27 top-10 finishes.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-20-2013)

  • Notes & Facts Daytona International Speedway:
    Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
    The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
    Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
    Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under the lights ever since.
    The track underwent a repave in 2010.
    There have been 131 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 54 have been 500 miles, 50 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races.
    Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona.
    Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.
    Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959; he led 38 laps and won by 2 feet.
    Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
    55 drivers have posted poles at Daytona.
    Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona.
    Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin lead all active drivers with three poles at Daytona.
    56 drivers have won at Daytona.
    Richard Petty leads all drivers in victories at Daytona with 10.
    Jeff Gordon has six victories at Daytona, more than any other active driver.
    The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner.
    17 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole; the last to do it was Kevin Harvick in the 2011 Coke Zero 400.
    A driver has swept both races at Daytona only four times, most recently by Bobby Allison in 1982.(NASCAR)(2-20-2013)

  • Sprint Unlimted TV Ratings: FOX was first in the ratings (1.3 in the 18-49 year-old target demographic) and also in overall viewers (5.157 million) with NASCAR's "Sprint Cup: The Sprint Unlimited" from Daytona International Speedway in Florida, which drew a 1.3 rating and 5.16 million viewers. While the race was just an exhibition race before the season starts next Sunday, it was still strong enough to lead the night in ratings.(Examiner / zap2it.com)(2-20-2013)

  • Harvick to deliver tickets by Clydesdale: On Wednesday, Feb 20, #29-Kevin Harvick and wife DeLana will honor Ormond Beach, Fla., Marine veterans with a home delivery of Daytona 500 tickets via the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch. Jayson and Justin Ryter, 22-year-old twin brothers, both completed four years of active duty in the United States Marine Corps and recently returned home after being honorably discharged to pursue college degrees at Daytona State College. DIS fans can get a close look at the Budweiser Clydesdales, an enduring symbol of Anheuser-Busch's heritage, tradition and commitment to quality for nearly 80 years. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be stationed in the DIS midway for the remainder of Budweiser Speedweeks. In addition, the hitch, consisting of eight Clydesdales, the famous red, white and gold beer wagon, and two drivers seated next to the hitch's signature mascot Dalmation will take part in a pre-race parade lap prior to the Budweiser Duel on Thursday, Feb. 21 and the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24.(RCR)(2-20-2013)

  • KOMA Unwind Relaxation Drink Joins FAS Lane Racing: Bebida Beverage Company (BeBevCo.) confirmed that they have reunited with FAS Lane Racing to become an associate sponsor on the team's #32 Ford Fusion for the 55th running of the Daytona 500. The team will promote the company's quickly-growing and popular KOMA Unwind Relaxation Drink brand on their #32 Ford Fusion. The event will mark the first race that KOMA Unwind has backed Labonte. KOMA Unwind relaxes those who drink it. The two-time Sprint Cup champion will rewrite the record books in the season-opener surpassing former rival Bill Elliott for the most starts at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Currently, the two are tied at 60 starts a piece, but Labonte will inherit sole possession of that statistic once the green flag drops.(PR)(2-20-2013)

  • July Daytona Nationwide race now named Subway Firecracker 250: The July NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway will bear a legendary name in 2013  the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola. The Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola, which is scheduled for Friday night, July 5 and part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, will feature the stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series for 100 laps / 250 miles. The origin of the name "Firecracker" dates back to the first year of operation of Daytona International Speedway in 1959. The inaugural NASCAR summer race was run as the Firecracker 250. The summer NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at DIS included "Firecracker" in the event name from 1959 through 1988.(DIS)(2-20-2013)

  • Earnhardt's #3 Subject of New ESPN NASCAR Nationwide Spot: ESPN will debut a new promotional spot paying homage to the legendary #3 of the late NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt in a new promotional spot that will begin airing in the telecast of Saturday's season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon uses #3 in the series, driving a car owned by his grandfather, Richard Childress, who also was Earnhardt's car owner and had stopped using the number following Earnhardt's death in the 2001 Daytona 500 until Dillon began racing in the NASCAR Truck Series three years ago. In the spot, images of NASCAR fans and their reverence for the #3 run under a narration from Dillon, who speaks of his respect for Earnhardt, the number and NASCAR fans, as well as his desire to make his own mark in the sport. The commercial continues ESPN's "Names Are Made Here" campaign for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which ESPN airs for the full season. The spot will air across ESPN programming through July.(ESPN), click here to view the spot.(2-20-2013)

  • Flex Seal sponsoring Efland: Swift Response LLC, makers of FLEX SEAL, has completed a marketing partnership to partner with JD Motorsports for the 2013 Nationwide Series season. The relationship will kick off at Daytona, by sponsoring the #4 FLEX SEAL Chevy driven by Danny Efland in this weekend's DRIVE4COPD 300, at Daytona International Speedway. FLEX SEAL will also be the Associate Sponsor of the #01 car driven by Efland's teammate Mike Wallace in the same race. The multi race marketing partnership will place the familiar FLEX SEAL logo across the #4 machine for multiple races throughout the year. The deal will also include Mike Wallace in the #01 Chevy for races both as a primary and associate sponsor.(JD Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #4 team paint schemes page.(2-20-2013)

  • Florida Lottery to sponsor RAB Racing at Daytona: #99-RAB Racing with Brack Maggard and driver Alex Bowman announced a partnership with the Florida Lottery for the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on February 23rd. Celebrating their 25th anniversary, the Florida Lottery has paid out over $37 million in prizes and contributed $24 billion to education since its conception.(RAB Racing)(2-20-2013)

  • Clements plans full season: Jeremy Clements Racing's #51 is planning run the full 2013 season with sponsorship being secured for select races. All South Electrical Constructors, Inc. of Cartersville, Ga. are on board as primary sponsors for the DRIVE4COPD as well as 3 other races through out the season. Associate sponsorship for this race is Curry's Roofing, Merit-Pro, USS James E. Williams DDG 95, BRT Extrusions Inc.,Rivet Eyelet, Carolina Collision, Coca Cola Spartanburg, and Rob Ianuario.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(2-20-2013)

  • Go Green Racing gets a new marketing partner Go Green Racing announced that Talk Fusion has joined their efforts as an associate sponsor for the #79 car driven by Jeffery Earnhardt in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona this Saturday. Archie St Hilaire stated, "As an owner of a race team, using Talk Fusion will only help our marketing efforts, and I recommend it to any other team or business."(DBM Marketing Group)(2-20-2013)

  • DefyDiabetes.com on board for Wallace debut: Darrell Wallace, Jr. will make his Camping World Truck Series debut this weekend when the series kicks off the 2013 season at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway, Daytona International Speedway. Wallace will make his first start in the series and first start for Kyle Busch Motorsports when he climbs behind the wheel of the #54 DefyDiabetes.com Toyota Tundra. The "Defy Diabetes" movement was created to engage people with diabetes or at risk for diabetes in regular, sustained activities to improve their lives and to reward healthy choices. Through social media and local, grassroots activities, Defy Diabetes will seek to build partnerships to support persons with diabtes and those at risk through a wide variety of programs and actions. These include encouraging better menu options at popular restaurants to mobile apps that help users take control of their condition.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(2-20-2013)

  • Crawford returns with MAKE, SUPERSEAL: Veteran Rick Crawford will be piloting the #50 SUPERSEAL Construction Products Chevy with MAKE Motorsports this Friday night for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona. The #50 MAKE Motorsports team will be making its return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the 2013 season. MAKE Motorsports has also added a partner for 2013, Long time businessman and past ARCA official Ron Olah. Rick Crawford is a veteran driver in the Camping World Truck Series. He has compiled over 336 starts in his career making him the all-time leader. Rick has 5 wins in the NCWTS with a 2003 Daytona win that is known by most as one of the most exciting finishes ever. He will be making his first start for the #50 MAKE Motorsports entry this weekend in Daytona. The #50 MAKE Motorsports Chevy entry will be sponsored primarily by SUPERSEAL Tile Subfloor & SUPERSEAL Carpet & Laminate Subfloor. SUPERSEAL is also announcing their partnership with Menards and that these 2 industry leading products, (SUPERSEAL Tile Subfloor & SUPERSEAL Carpet & Laminate Subfloor), are now available at your local Menards store. Associate sponsors are Precon Marine, Lilly Trucking, and CRASHCLAIMSR.US attorney James Carter. (See an image on the #50 Paint Scheme page)(MAKE Motorsports PR)(2-20-2013)


    News from February 19, 2013

  • Xxxtreme Motorsports at Phoenix? Xxxtreme Motorsports, who ran the #44 Ford at Phoenix in November with David Reutimann as the driver, tweeted on Monday that "Xxxtrememotorsport will be in Phoenix with Scott Riggs and @nolabel watches", along with a drawing of the #44 Ford. The Xxxtreme Motorsports has not been updated with that info.(2-19-2013)

  • Daytona 500 Qualifying TV Ratings: NASCAR ratings:Danica Patrick becoming the first woman to capture the pole position for the Daytona 500 will obviously draw more viewer attention to an event that could use some extra hype. The 500 in 2012 was the fourth consecutive year that the race drew less than a 10 rating; the race had exceeded a 10 rating in seven of the eight previous years. But Patrick's performance in qualifying Sunday gave Fox just a small ratings pop: That coverage drew a 2.0 overnight rating, translating to 2% of households in the 56 urban markets measured for overnights -- up 11% from last year.(USA Today), no reports yet on TV Ratings for the Sprint Unlimited.(2-19-2013)

  • Daytona 500 to be Johnson's 400th start: The Daytona 500 will mark #48-Jimmie Johnson's 400th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, his 23rd career points-paying Sprint Cup start at Daytona and his 118th career points-paying start in a restrictor-plate race. In his first full Sprint Cup season in 2002, Johnson earned the pole in his very first race, the Daytona 500. Johnson has one win, six top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 22 starts. His only win came in the 2006 Daytona 500 with Darian Grubb as crew chief. Johnson's last top-five finish in the Daytona 500 was his win in 2006. His average start is 9.6 and average finish is 19.0. Johnson has completed 3,536 of 3,865 laps (91.5%) and led 60 laps in 22 starts.(HMS/Lowe's Racing)(2-19-2013)

  • Congrats - Jamie McMurray: #1-Jamie McMurray and wife Christy recently celebrated the birth of their second child. McMurray's and son Carter welcomed Hazel Leigh McMurray into the family on Monday February 11. Hazel weighed in at 6 pounds 15 ounces, mom and baby are doing great, and will be watching from home as dad makes his first start of the 2013 season.(EGR)(2-19-2013)

  • Borland and Newman back together: The dynamic duo of driver #39-Ryan Newman and crew chief Matt Borland were reunited last fall for the final four races of the 2012 Sprint Cup season. The pairing of the engineering majors  Newman a graduate of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and Borland a graduate of the General Motors Institute of Technology in Flint, Mich.  for a second time seemingly picked up right it left off in 2006, earning four top-12 finishes in four races, including two top-fives. Newman and Borland's success in multiple series from 2000 to 2006 includes:
    Ø ARCA: four wins, three poles, four top-fives and five top-10s
    Ø NASCAR Nationwide Series: one win, six poles, two top-fives and eight top-10s
    Ø NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: 12 victories, 37 poles, 52 top-fives and 83 top-10s.
    Newman and Borland's Stats at Daytona  In 10 point-paying Sprint Cup races at Daytona from 2002 to 2006, Newman and Borland combined for two top-10 finishes  seventh in February 2002 and third in February 2006. The pairing also clinched a victory at Daytona's famous high banks in the ARCA Series in February 2001.(SHR)(2-19-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 5: There are five days left before the season-opening Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 5: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories posted by a gaggle of seven drivers, none currently active. Ward Burton, Dan Gurney, Alan Kulwicki, Tiny Lund, Dave Marcis, Jeremy Mayfield and Ralph Moody are the members of the five-win club. Lund and Burton are the only Daytona 500 winners in the group. Lund subbed for injured Marvin Panch, whom he had pulled from a sports car earlier in Speedweeks, and won the 1963 Daytona 500. Burton took the checkered flag in the Great American Race in 2002.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-19-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 45 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's season opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. A few notes:
    Jason White makes his first attempt in the #00;
    Kurt Busch will drive the #1 for Phoenix Racing;
    Michael McDowell will drive the #27;
    Tony Stewart will drive the RCR #33;
    The #52 for Jimmy Means is listed as TBA, but is expected to be Joey Gase;
    The #74 for Mike Harmon is TBA;
    Bobby Gerhardt will drive the #85;
    Dexter Stacy is in his #92 Ford.
    Locked in positions are still subject to change, due to possible owner points swaps. Also, the Nationwide fields this year will shrink to 40.(2-18-2013)
    UPDATE: Mike Harmon will be in the #74.(2-19-2013)
    UPDATE: Juan Carlos Blum has been added in the #15 for Rick Ware Racing.(2-19-2013)
    See the complete list on the Daytona entry list page.

  • 200 starts for McClure: Eric McClure will be reaching a milestone this weekend in his Nationwide Series career; he will be making his 200th start during the season-opener at Daytona Int'l Speedway on Saturday, February 23, 2013. McClure's first recorded NNS start came in 2003, where he has competed in at least one race every year since then. This weekend's DRIVE4COPD 300 will mark McClure's 14th start at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway. In 13 starts, the 34-year-old driver has completed 88.6% of the total laps attempted and has an average finish of 30.2.(TMI)(2-19-2013)

  • I am Second sponsoring Koch at Daytona: It's not often that a race car driver wants to be second, but Blake Koch is excited to share that message with the NASCAR community at Daytona. Koch will carry primary sponsorship from I am Second, a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others, on his #24 SR² Motorsports Toyota in the DRIVE4COPD 300. Koch will also receive backing from Salt Life and Support Military in associate sponsorship.(SR² Motorsports)(2-19-2013)

  • Hillman Racing, Team 7 Motorsports partner for 2013: Hillman Racing and Team 7 Motorsports today announced that they will combine efforts to field the #27 Chevy for driver Jeff Agnew for the start of the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Agnew, who competed in 11 truck series races last season and has 14 total truck series starts to his credit, will take the wheel of the #27 Hillman Racing Chevy this weekend at Daytona in his first visit to the famed 2.5-mile speedway. The Copper Hill, Va., native will look to build upon his two Pro Cup Series championships where he holds numerous series record including total series starts (237) and top-10 finishes (153) as he prepares for his first full-time season of truck series competition. The 2013 season will mark Hillman Racing's second year of competition in the Camping World Truck Series, but it's the same equipment and management team that won two truck series championships in 2006 and 2010. Doug Weddle, the long-time friend and crew chief of Agnew, will work alongside Mark Hillman as the two will call the shots this weekend.(Hillman Racing PR)(2-19-2013)

  • Lazer TroKar to sponsor Silas UPDATE: Officials from T3R2 announced today that they will be sporting a brand new sponsor aboard their #99 Ford F-150 for Friday night's NextEra Energy Resources 250. Lazer TroKar will debut as a primary sponsor in the Camping World Truck Series with Stuart, Florida native Bryan Silas. The TroKar brand has been able to dominate the world of bass fishing and change the perception and value of the fishhook in the minds of today's discerning anglers .Friday's race will also mark the debut of Gary Cogswell as the new crew chief for T3R2.(T3R2 PR) (2-18-2013)

    UPDATE: T3R2 and Bryan Silas welcome World of Beer on board as an associate sponsor on their #99 Ford F-Series for Friday night's NextEra Energy Resources 250. World of Beer is a truly uncommon establishment where the experience is as essential as the product. At World of Beer, having the most extensive beer selection is not enough. It is important that a broad spectrum of patrons, from the beer aficionado to the casual beer fan, can enjoy the best beers on the planet and increase their beer knowledge in a comfortable and upbeat setting. By combining a friendly environment with an exceptionally knowledgeable staff, World of Beer creates an atmosphere where patrons feel at home, as if they are visiting a neighbor and not just a neighborhood bar.(T3R2 PR)(2-19-2013)

  • GunBroker.com teams up with Coulter, KBM: Joey Coulter's bid for the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship begins Friday night when he pilots the #18 GunBroker.com Tundra in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona. The 22-year-old driver, who will begin his third full-time season in the Truck Series and first with Kyle Busch Motorsports, heads into the 2013 season with a new team, a new number and a new sponsor.GunBroker.com - which will celebrate its 10th season as a NASCAR team sponsor in 2013 - will adorn Coulter's #18 Tundra in the Friday's NextEra Energy Resources 250. The world's largest online auction of firearms, parts and accessories, will also serve as the primary sponsor on KBM's flagship Tundra for four additional races in 2013 - Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Aug. 21, Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway Sep. 28, Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway Nov. 9 and in the Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway Nov. 15. (Kyle Busch Motorsports PR)(2-19-2013)

  • Quiroga to Red Horse Racing? UPDATE: Hearing that German Quiroga is headed to Red Horse Racing as a teammate to Timothy Peters and John Wes Townley to drive the #77 Toyota. Quiroga, a three-time Toyota Series champion, ran four truck races for KBM in 2012 with a best finish of eighth in Talladega. It is unclear who the crew chief would be, as Rick Gay, who was the crew chief for Todd Bodine last season, is no longer with the team.(2-9-2013)
    UPDATE: Three-time Mexico Series Champion, Germán Quiroga will join Red Horse Racing as the team's third driver and pilot of the #77 NET10 Wireless Toyota Tundra. The 32-year-old driver will compete for the Camping World Truck series Rookie of the Year honors. Quiroga, who has six Truck Series starts, will pair up with veteran crew chief Dan Stillman starting at the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. NET10 Wireless will serve as primary sponsor for 12 Truck Series races this year and will continue as an associate sponsor for the remaining 10 races. Additional partners for the #77 Toyota Tundra will be announced at a future date. (Red Horse Racing PR)(2-19-2013)

  • Moffitt scheduled for five Truck races:Brett Moffitt will be racing in a minimum of five Camping World Trucks Series races for Hattori Racing Enterprises this season. Moffitt will drive a Toyota Camry full-time for HRE in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East as well. HRE and Moffitt plan to race in the Camping World Trucks Series at Charlotte on May 17, Kentucky Speedway on June 27, Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 17, Iowa Speedway on Sept. 8 and at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 15. More races could be added if sponsorship permits. Moffitt will work with Randy Goss on the Truck Series team. Goss led the Rev Racing Toyota team to a championship in 2012 and served as Greg Biffle's crew chief during his championship years in the Truck Series and the Nationwide Series. Moffitt also will continue to test NASCAR Sprint Cup cars for Michael Waltrip Racing.(Des Moines Register)(2-19-2013)


    News from February 18, 2013

  • Candlelight Remembrance of Dale Earnhardt on Feb 18th: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will be holding the annual "Candlelight Remembrance of Dale Earnhardt" on Monday, February 18th, 2013. The Showroom will be open to the public and will be illuminated with candles. Commemorative decals and prayer cards will be distributed to all in attendance. A memorial guest book will be available throughout the day for those who would like to share their memories of Dale. Fans are invited to attend from 6pm until 9pm, at Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Highway 3, in Mooresville, NC. Those unable to attend are encouraged to light a candle at home that evening in remembrance of Dale Earnhardt's remarkable spirit and life, and all fans of Dale Earnhardt are asked to help "Continue the Legend" through their support of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation and Dale's passions: Children, Education, and Environmental/Wildlife Conservation. For more information on the work of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation, go to daleearnhardtinc.com/foundation.(DEI)(2-10/18-2013)

  • Jayski Podcast is back: ESPN: The Jayski Podcast has returned for the 2013 season as Mark Garrow (@GuruGarrow) provides NASCAR news, rumors, stats and info. The Jayski Podcast wil air Monday thru Friday thru the season. For today's podcast and the list of podcast's at ESPN.com.(2-18-2013)

  • Richard Petty special to air tonight: Richard Petty: A Racer's Life: Richard "The King" Petty shares the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR as reported by Steve Byrnes. The Richard Petty Stories delivers the vanguard family of Nascar in a remarkably open manner that has never been documented before. At his request, The King, Richard Petty sat down with Steve Byrnes to share the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR. The premiere is scheduled for Monday, February 18th at 8L30pm/et on SPEED with re-airs scheduled.(SPEED)(2-18-2013)

  • Another Truex to make Sprint Cup debut: Ryan Truex, Martin Truex Jr's younger brother, announced on his twitter that he will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Richmond [in April], driving the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy and could drive in some additional races.(2-18-2013)

  • Problems with NASCAR's new laser inspection system on Sunday: NASCAR experienced issues on Sunday morning with its new laser inspection platform, which measures cars at the track. The software problem had most of the Daytona 500 qualifying field backed up outside of the inspection bay for more than an hour before officials elected to return to the manual route. "Early this morning, we experienced start-up issues with the laser inspection platform ... but the two systems parallel each other," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We're working through those things right now. Inspection went along fine. We got qualifying started on schedule, and hopefully we can have it back up and running the next time we need to use it. It is a new system. We put it through a lot of testing late last year  as a parallel test at Talladega, Martinsville, Charlotte. It's been at the R&D Center. Teams have used it. Sometimes you experience these things with a new device. We've got good people working on it that know what they're doing. Hopefully we'll get resolved sooner than later."(FoxSports)(2-18-2013)

  • Cajun Industries Takes a Ride with Wise: Cajun Industries will join Front Row Motorsports and Josh Wise as an associate sponsor on the #35 Ford Fusion for the 55th annual Daytona 500. The Baton Rouge, La.-based company provides services in all aspects of the construction industry and has earned elite honors for its post-Hurricane Katrina work in New Orleans. Cajun has worked with Wise in the past and recognizes the value of partnering with Front Row Motorsports for NASCAR's biggest event. "Cajun Industries is proud to partner with Front Row Motorsports and Josh Wise for the Daytona 500," remarked Ken Jacob, President of Cajun Industries. "We've gotten to know Josh well over the past few years, and he is great to work with on and off the track. Josh is a talented driver, and I'm excited to continue our relationship with him and partner for NASCAR's most prestigious race."
    Cajun provides a broad range of services, including heavy civil, mechanical and deep foundation construction, in numerous states. The 40-year-old company earned multiple industry awards for its draining and rebuilding work in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, including the Alliant Build America Award from the Associated General Contractors of America, known as the "Oscars of the construction industry."
    Cajun's logo will appear on the #35 Ford's lower hood and lower rear quarter panels for Thursday's Duel 150 qualifying race and Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500. Primary sponsorship for the #35 Daytona 500 entry will be announced soon.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-18-2013)

  • Guthrie congratulates Patrick on Daytona pole: Danica Patrick has found more than the success that eluded Janet Guthrie in her brief NASCAR stint. Patrick also has the acceptance in the garage that Guthrie never did. Guthrie struggled in an era when women were still viewed in stock car racing as unwanted outsiders. Guthrie, the first woman to race in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in 1976, received an icy reception from the sport's biggest drivers as she tried to build her career. It was in stark contrast to the scene on pit road moments after Patrick clinched her Daytona 500 pole - with a hug from Tony Stewart and a handshake from Jeff Gordon Guthrie congratulated Patrick on Sunday for becoming the first woman to win the top spot for any race in NASCAR's top circuit. But Guthrie was more proud of the way NASCAR's attitude toward women has evolved over the last 30 years. Guthrie was heartened at seeing a women succeed in a man's world. "It took time for that attitude to change, but it did change," Guthrie told The Associated Press by phone Sunday. "That was one of my biggest pleasures was seeing that attitude change." Guthrie was the previous best female qualifier in a Cup race. She started ninth at Bristol and Talladega in 1977. She was the first woman to drive in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977, that same year she became the first to run in the Daytona 500. A ninth-place finish at Indy in 1978 stood as the best by a woman until Patrick finished fourth in 2005, then third in 2009. "I'm ancient history," Guthrie said, from Colorado. "It's about time my little record got broken."(see full article at the Associated Press)(2-18-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 6: There are six days left before the season-opening Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 6: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career victories recorded by Jamie McMurray, three of which have come on restrictor-plate superspeedways. McMurray has an affinity for big races. Subbing for injured Sterling Marlin, he won at Charlotte in the fall of 2002 in his second Cup start. McMurray's other triumphs include the 2007 July race at Daytona, the 2009 fall race at Talladega, the 2010 Daytona 500, 2010 Brickyard 400 and 2010 fall Charlotte race.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-18-2013)

  • Drivers run in Daytona Beach Half Marathon: #5-Kasey Kahne apparently had slightly better equipment than Hendrick Motorsports teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson for Sunday's Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Kahne finished the chilly 13.1-mile run -- which began on pit road at Daytona International Speedway and included a brief stint on the beach -- in 1:28:45. Johnson came in at 1:29:48. Aric Almirola and Michael Waltrip also participated. Almirola crossed the lined in 1:46:12. Waltrip, who was hoping for a 10-minute-mile pace, said he had a good time, too.(ESPN)(2-18-2013)

  • Commercial breakdown of 2013 Sprint Unlimited: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 8:10 PM and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 9:55 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 57
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 35
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 25
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 8:10 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 9:55 PM
    Minutes of race broadcast: 79
    Minutes of commercials: 26
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 105
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    More info and past race links on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(2-18-2013)

  • Drivers appearing on "PRN Up to Speed": "PRN Up to Speed" returns to the Volusia Mall across from Daytona International Speedway for another star-studded lineup including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick and many more. "PRN Up to Speed", now in its 21st year, is one of the most popular free events on the Daytona calendar for NASCAR fans and annually draws thousands of attendees looking to hear from their favorite drivers and get a preview of the new season. "PRN Up to Speed" is also broadcast live for millions of listeners around the world and streamed online at GoPRN.com. See the full driver lineup and more on the Driver Appearances page.(2-18-2013)

  • VIVA Motorsports plans full Nationwide Season:National Spanish media network Media Latino Communications (MLC) will partner with Viva Motorsports associate sponsor during the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. MLC is a California based Spanish Language Content Media Network and Program Syndicate providing news, entertainment and development of Latino celebrities and DJ's. VIVA Motorsports Team Manager/Driver, Jamie Dick says "the time is right for a multi-­cultural NASCAR team and NASCAR fan base to grow systemically. We want to be competitive and encourage more talent to enter the sport with VIVA at all levels. VIVA Motorsports will introduce a new paint scheme and promote its passion for NASCAR to new fans everywhere. With MLC as our partner we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the first NASCAR connection to millions of new fans all across the country Viva Motorsports is preparing a full stable of #55 Chevrolet Camaros and Impalas to make a run at the Nationwide Series Championship with continued support from Viva Auto Group, Bestway Autos and Viva Powersports.(VIVA Motorsports)(2-18-2013)

  • Alert Today Alive Tomorrow on the #87 at Daytona: Pedestrian safety will be emphasized during the upcoming Speedweek in Daytona Beach. The Florida Department of Transportation's Alert Today Alive Tomorrow campaign is designed to raise public awareness of pedestrian safety in the Sunshine State. To promote this important message, FDOT will sponsor the #87 Alert Today Alive Tomorrow Toyota driven by Joe Nemechek in the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona.(NEMCO)(2-18-2013)

  • Atlanta Motor Speedway NASCAR Tickets On Sale: In an SMI Fans First initiative, fans who wish to attend the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway can reserve their seats for only 25% down when tickets go on sale Monday, Feb. 18 at 9:00 a.m. Atlanta Motor Speedway is committed to helping fans by offering a payment plan in which fans put 25% down upon purchase and then split the remaining balance over three equal installments over the course of the spring and summer. Fans also have two new incentives to purchase early. AMS is offering two new programs for any fan that purchases their tickets before 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25.
    The first incentive is the customer will gain instant access into the AMS Insiders Club. The second incentive is the opportunity to gain stagefront access to a Friday, Aug. 30 question-and-answer session with defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. For more info and all of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Labor Day weekend ticket specials, including the two Sunday frontstretch seats for $99, go to www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or at (770) 946-4211.(AMS)(2-18-2013)

  • Lazer TroKar to sponsor Silas: Officials from T3R2 announced today that they will be sporting a brand new sponsor aboard their #99 Ford F-150 for Friday night's NextEra Energy Resources 250. Lazer TroKar will debut as a primary sponsor in the Camping World Truck Series with Stuart, Florida native Bryan Silas. The TroKar brand has been able to dominate the world of bass fishing and change the perception and value of the fishhook in the minds of today's discerning anglers .Friday's race will also mark the debut of Gary Cogswell as the new crew chief for T3R2.(T3R2 PR) (2-18-2013)

  • Truex to drive for Turner Scott in Daytona: Turner Scott Motorsports announced today that Ryan Truex will be behind the wheel of the #30 Chevy Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The two-time consecutive K&N Pro Series East champion will pilot Turner Scott Motorsports' fourth entry in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 with sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops. Truex, who won the NKNPSE championship in 2009 and 2010, made his NCWTS debut in 2012, running two events and earning a best finish of ninth at Phoenix International Raceway. The 20-year-old Mayetta, N.J. native has two previous NASCAR starts on superspeedways, both in the Nationwide Series. Truex most recently earned an 11th-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in May of 2012, but finished 31st after being swept up in a late-race crash at Daytona earlier that season. Truex has a total of 35 NNS starts under his belt, collecting one pole and a total of two top-five and nine top-10 finishes. (See an image on the #30 Paint Scheme page)(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(2-18-2013)

  • Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup to sponsor Hornaday, Harvick entries: NTS Motorsports is pleased to announce the addition of Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup to its 2013 partnership lineup. The Wisconsin-based company will serve as primary sponsor on the #9 Chevy Silverado for three races with four-time Camping World Truck Series Champion, Ron Hornaday, in addition to primary placement on the #24 Chevy Silverado at Martinsville Speedway (October) with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular, Kevin Harvick.The family-run and operated company will adorn the #9 machine at Dover Motor Speedway (May), Kentucky Speedway (June) and Chicagoland Speedway (September).(NTS Motorsports PR) (2-18-2013)


    News from February 17, 2013

  • Patrick wins Daytona 500 pole: #10-Danica Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 196.925mph. Patrick is the first female driver to win a pole in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history. #24-Gordon won the outside pole and will start 2nd next Sunday. #21-Bayne was 3rd fastest, followed by #38-Newman, #14-Stewart, #5-Kahne, #11-Hamlin, #18-Busch, #22-Logano and #20-Kenseth.
    #10-Partick (pole) and #24-Gordon (outside pole) are locked in their starting spots. Eleven other drivers are locked into the Daytona 500 field: , #21-Bayne (speed), #39-Newman (speed), #14-Stewart (speed), #5-Kahne (speed), #2-Keselowski (owners points/provisional), #15-Bowyer (op/prov), #48-Johnson (op/prov), #16-Biffle (op/prov), #11-Hamlin (op/prov), #17-Stenhouse Jr. (op/prov), and #78-Kurt Busch (past champions provisional). If any of those eleven race their way into the Daytona 500 [finishing 16th of better in their Duel], other drivers will be eligible to make the race on speed, owners points or past champions provisional.
    See qualifying results and how drivers will start in the Budweiser Duel on the 2013 Budweiser Duel page.(2-17-2013)

  • Patrick wins Daytona 500 pole: #10-Danica Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 196.925mph. Patrick is the first female driver to win a pole in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history. #24-Gordon won the outside pole and will start 2nd next Sunday. #21-Bayne was 3rd fastest, followed by #38-Newman, #14-Stewart, #5-Kahne, #11-Hamlin, #18-Busch, #22-Logano and #20-Kenseth.
    QUALIFYING RESULTS
    #10-Patrick (8th out) 196.434mph - pole winner
    #24-Gordon (30th out) 196.292 - outside pole winner
    #21-Bayne (39th out) 195.976 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by speed
    #39-Newman (14th out) 195.946 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by speed
    #14-Stewart (1st) 195.925 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by speed
    #5-Kahne (37th out) 195.852 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by speed
    #11-Hamlin (24th out) 195.771 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by owners points/provisional
    #18-Busch (3rd), 195.767
    #22-Logano (35th out) 195.767
    #20-Kenseth (29th out) 195.725
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. (26th out) 195.584
    #17-Stenhouse Jr (19th out) 195.537 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by owners points/provisional
    #42-Montoya (45th out) 195.508
    #27-Menard (16th out) 195.503
    #13-Mears (6th) 195.495
    #33-Dillon (23rd out) 195.385
    #99-Edwards (44th out) 195.240
    #15-Bowyer (22nd out) 195.228 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by owners points/provisional
    #56-Truex Jr., (4th) 195.207
    #31-Burton (36th out) 195.156
    #48-Johnson (33rd out) 195.084 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by owners points/provisional
    #1-McMurray (18th out) 195.042
    #2-Keselowski (31st out) 194.951 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by owners points/provisional
    #9-Ambrose (15th out) 194.793
    #29-Harvick (40th out) 194.742
    #43-Almirola (9th) 194.742
    #16-Biffle (21st out) 194.729 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by owners points/provisional
    #55-Martin (11th out) 194.683
    #38-Gilliland (32nd out) 194.654
    #34-Ragan (39th out) 194.616mph
    #26-Waltrip (25th out) 194.313
    #35-Wise (43rd out) 194.254
    #78-Busch (42nd out) 193.657 - locked in Daytona 500 at least by past champions provisional
    #98-McDowell (7th) 193.544
    #95-Speed (34th out) 193.540
    #32-Labonte (5th) 193.515
    #51-Smith (27th out) 193.096
    #7-Blaney (13th out) 192.996
    #47-Labonte (17th out) 192.563
    #36-Yeley (12th out) 192.094
    #83-Reutimann (20th out) 190.339
    #93-Kvapil (10th) 190.142
    #87-Nemechek (28th out) 190.046
    #19-Bliss (2nd), 189.438
    #52-Keselowski (41st out) 183.876
    (2-17-2013)

  • Danica Patrick Becomes First Female Pole Winner In NASCAR Sprint Cup History: #10-Danica Patrick made NASCAR history today during Coors Light Pole qualifying for the Daytona 500, becoming the first female driver to win a pole at NASCAR's top level  the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. During qualifying for the sport's marquee event, Patrick turned a lap of 196.434 mph (45.817 seconds), giving her the first starting position for next Sunday's Daytona 500. It was the fastest Daytona 500 pole-winning speed since 1990. Patrick shattered the previous record for top starting spot by a female NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. Janet Guthrie previously held the mark, twice starting ninth in 1977. She started ninth at Talladega Superspeedway on Aug. 7, 1977 and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977. The previous best starting position for a female in the Daytona 500 was 18th by Janet Guthrie in 1980.
    This is Patrick's second NASCAR pole, also winning the Coors Light Pole for the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona last season. The only other female to win a NASCAR national series pole was Shawna Robinson in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1994. Already a NASCAR record holder, Patrick set the mark of best finish by a female driver in NASCAR national series history when she finished fourth in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. She finished 10th in the final 2012 NASCAR Nationwide points standings, the top finish by a female in NASCAR national series history. Patrick, who is running for the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, is the first rookie to win the Daytona 500 pole since Jimmie Johnson in 2002.(NASCAR)(2-17-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Daytona International Speedway:
    #10-Danica Patrick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Daytona 500 with a lap of 45.817 seconds, 196.434 mph.
    Patrick is the first female driver to win a pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    Janet Guthrie previously held the record for top starting position by a female NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, twice starting ninth in 1977. She started ninth at Talladega Superspeedway on Aug. 7, 1977 and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.
    The previous best starting position for a female in the Daytona 500 was 18th by Janet Guthrie in 1980.
    This is Patrick?s second NASCAR pole, also winning the Coors Light Pole for the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona last season.
    Patrick, who is running for the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, is the first rookie to win the Daytona 500 pole since Jimmie Johnson in 2002.
    Patrick is the 11th different pole winner in the last 11 Daytona 500s.
    It was the fastest Daytona 500 pole-winning speed since 1990.
    #24-Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 26th top-10 start in 41 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    This is the fourth time Gordon has started on the front row for the Daytona 500. He won the pole in 1999 and started second in 2006 and 2011.(NASCAR)(2-17-2013)

  • Qualifying sets only Daytona 500 front row: Sunday's Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole qualifying is unique in that only the top two positions will be guaranteed. Remaining qualifiers are seeded by qualifying speed into Thursday's Budweiser Duel, two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 is set. The front-row qualifiers and the highest 15 finishers in each Duel  excluding the front row from qualifying  will earn a spot in the Daytona 500. The next four fastest Coors Light Pole qualifiers will make up positions 33-36. Six provisional starting positions (37 through 42) will be awarded to the highest eligible car owners in final 2012 standings not otherwise qualified for the race. The 43rd position will be filled by the most recent past champion participating in a 2012 event. Should no past champion be eligible, the final position goes to the next highest owner in 2012 points. The most recent Daytona 500 pole winner to win the race was Dale Jarrett in 2000, one of two drivers (Bill Elliott is the other) to sweep The Sprint Unlimited, pole and race in the same season.(NASCAR)(2-17-2013)

  • How To Qualify For The Daytona 500 - 2013: Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is unlike any other auto racing qualifying procedure. Drivers have multiple opportunities to qualify for the season-opening race, as opposed to the usual format of one qualifying session per event. The first chance comes via Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Qualifying, which will be held Sunday, Feb. 17 on FOX. The other chance is the Duel at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races held on Thursday, Feb. 21 on SPEED. Below is a breakdown of the Daytona 500 qualifying procedure:
    Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Qualifying
    " Each team may run two consecutive laps with the fast lap setting the qualifying time. The two fastest qualifiers earn starting positions one and two and are the only guaranteed positions, filling the front row for the Daytona 500 and pole positions for the two qualifying races.
    " The Duel at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races, will determine starting positions for the Daytona 500 beyond the front row. In the event of cancellation, the field will be set according to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.
    Duel at Daytona
    " Those cars earning odd-numbered positions from qualifying will be assigned to the first Duel race. Those cars earning even-numbered positions from qualifying will compete in the second race.
    " The starting positions for each Duel race will also be based on qualifying times.
    Daytona 500 Lineup
    " The two fastest qualifiers set starting positions one and two.
    " The highest 15 finishers in each Duel race  excluding the already locked-in front row  will earn a spot in the Daytona 500, and fill positions 3-32.
    " Based on their finishing position in the first Duel race, the top 15 will line up on the inside row (odd-number starting positions).
    " Based on their finishing position in the second Duel race, the top 15 will line up on the outside row (even-number starting positions).
    " Positions 33-36 will go to the four fastest cars from qualifying that have not already earned a spot.
    " Position 37-42 will be provisional positions, and go to the highest six cars in 2012 owner points that have not already qualified via the Duel or Coors Light Pole qualifying.
    " The 43rd starting position will be assigned to any car owner who has the most recent eligible past NASCAR Sprint Cup champion who did not make the field by any other method, providing the driver had competed in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. If the 43rd position remains unused it will be assigned to the next highest car in 2012 owner points not already locked into the field.(NASCAR)(2-17-2013)

  • Lowe's to return to the #48 in 2014: At the Chevy unveiling, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick was quick to scotch rumors that Lowe's, sponsor of five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, might not renew its sponsorship [after the 2013 season]. "Lowe's will be back," Hendrick said emphatically. "I don't know where that came from, but they'll be back. Wishful thinking, maybe, by some of the other folks, but they'll be back." Lowe's and Hendrick haven't signed a deal yet, but the car owner is confident he has a commitment from the home improvement retailer. "We've got a verbal," Hendrick said. "We'll button it up, but it's early."(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-17-2013)

  • NASCAR will no longer provide attendance estimate: NASCAR will end its policy of providing estimated attendance figures in its race reports this season. Spokesman Kerry Tharp said tracks still will have the option of providing crowd estimates, but it will be their prerogative. "NASCAR's race reports generally becomes a box score for the media, and box scores from sporting events do not generally provide estimates," Tharp said. Of the 23 tracks that play host to races in NASCAR's premier series, 21 are owned by publicly traded companies such as International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. Officials with those tracks have said they don't provide attendance figures because they don't want to provide earnings guidance.(USA Today)(2-17-2013)

  • Chevy may have left NASCAR without Gen 6 car: Chevrolet may have pulled out of NASCAR had the governing body not developed the new "Gen 6" car that returns brand identity to the sport. "It would have been a good chance," team owner Rick Hendrick said on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. "As a matter of fact, I'm sure they might have." Hendrick, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports and one of the top owners of automobile dealerships in the United States, made the comment during the unveiling of the 2014 Chevrolet SS production car that will debut in NASCAR this season.(ESPN)(2-17-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 7: There are seven days left before the Feb. 24, 2013 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 7: The record number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship won by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. Petty won record seven Daytona 500s to go with his seven titles. Earnhardt, on the other hand, was frustrated in his attempts to win the Great American Race for 19 years before achieving his breakthrough victory in 1998. All told, Petty won 10 points races at Daytona to Earnhardt's three.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-17-2013)

  • Chevrolet Will Set the Pace at Daytona: The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be very busy during its Speedweeks debut, pacing all four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races  The Sprint Unlimited, both Budweiser Duels and the Daytona 500. And, it will be one of Chevrolet's three newest models to pace NASCAR's races at Daytona International Speedway next weekend:
    · 2014 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    · 2013 Camaro ZL1 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300
    · 2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy 250
    "Chevrolet is extremely proud to be a part of NASCAR's season-opener by pacing all of the events at Daytona International Speedway," said Jeff Chew, Marketing Manager for Chevrolet Racing. "In 2013, Chevrolet will launch 13 all-new or significantly redesigned products in North America. Included in those models is the Chevrolet SS, which race fans will get a chance to see on track when it paces The Sprint Unlimited tonight, the Budweiser Duels next Thursday, and the Daytona 500 next Sunday."
    The 2014 Chevrolet SS is the first rear-wheel drive performance sedan for Chevrolet since 1996.
    The 2013 Camaro ZL1 brings supercar levels of performance and technology to the sports-car segment, featuring a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 that produces 580 horsepower, and can go from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds.
    The 2014 Silverado all-new EcoTec3 engines, designed specifically for trucks, provide power and torque when needed, then switches seamlessly to 4-cylinder mode to save fuel for light-load driving.
    In 2013, Chevrolet is campaigning the Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.(Team Chevy)(2-17-2013)

  • Travel Channel Seeking NASCAR fans for new show: Are you a die-hard fan of NASCAR and attending the Daytona 500? Travel Channel will be filming at this year's Daytona 500 and is seeking NASCAR superfans for a new series. More information on the Daytona International Speedway Facebook page.(2-17-2013)

  • Uponor sponsoring Jeffrey Earnhardt: Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the Uponor #79 Ford for Go Green Racing at Daytona. The team will switch numbers this year from #39 to #79.(Go Green Racing Facebook page), see an image of the car on the #79 team paint schemes page.(2-17-2013)


    News from February 16, 2013

  • Harvick wins the Sprint Unlimited: #29-Harvick led 40 of 75 laps and won the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his third event win. #16-Biffle finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #14-Stewart and #20-Kenseth. Fans had until the start of the second segment to vote for the number of cars that will be eliminated after the 25-lap second segment. The four choices were none, two, four or six. The fans chose not to eliminate any cars.
    Fans voted up to the start of the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway for the type of pit stop each team must make after the 30-lap first segment. The three choices were a required four-tire pit stop (63% of the vote), a required two-tire pit stop (17%) or no stop at all (20%) at the completion of the first segment. The fans chose a required four-tire pit stop at the end of the 30 lap segment 1. On Lap 15, #14-Stewart, was running 2nd, came down to get in front of #9-Ambrose, sending #9 up the track a bit and the #14 hitting the apron, but both drove on at speed. #11-Hamlin got into the #48-Johnson car, send both into the outside wall, collecting #55-Martin, #78-Busch, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon and #56-Truex Jr. Only Truex Jr. was able to stay in the race.
    For each segment results and notes along with links on the 2013 Sprint Unlimited page.(2-16-2013)

  • Harvick wins the Sprint Unlimited: #29-Harvick led 40 of 75 laps and won the Sprint Unlimited Sprint CUp Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his third event win. #16-Biffle finsihed 2nd followed by #22-Logano.
    FINAL results:
    1) #29-Harvick, 75 laps run, 40 laps led
    2) #16-Biffle, 75, 2
    3) #22-Logano, 75
    4) #14-Stewart, 75, 5
    5) #20-Kenseth, 75, 26
    6) #43-Almirola, 75
    7) #5-Kahne, 75
    8) #88-Eanrhardt Jt., 75
    9) #56-Truex Jr., 75, 2
    10) #42-Montoya, 75
    11) #9-Ambrose, 75
    12) #99-Edwards, 75, 1
    13) #78-Busch, 17, accident
    14) #48-Johnson, 15, accident
    15) #11-Hamlin, 15, accident
    16) #18-Busch, 15, accident
    17) #24-Gordon, 15, accident
    18) #55-Martin, 15, accident
    19) #32-Labonte, 3, out
    See final results, more link on my 2013 Sprint Unlimited page.(2-16-2013)

  • Race Coverage of the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, February 16, 2013.
    TV: FOX at 8:10pm/et; pre-race show at 8:00pm/et; green flag scheduled for 8:29pm/et.
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Re-Air: Sunday, February 17 at 5:00pm/et on SPEED

  • Fans choose to eliminate ZERO cars: Fans had until the start of the second segment to vote for the number of cars that will be eliminated after the 25-lap second segment. The four choices were none, two, four or six. The fans chose not to eliminate any cars.(2-16-2013)

  • Fans choose four tire pit stop: Fans voted up to the start of the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway for the type of pit stop each team must make after the 30-lap first segment. The three choices were a required four-tire pit stop (63% of the vote), a required two-tire pit stop (17%) or no stop at all (20%) at the completion of the first segment. The fans chose a required four-tire pit stop at the end of the 30 lap segment 1.(2-16-2013)

  • Edwards to start first in Sprint Unlimited: Race fans had the final voice in selecting the starting lineup for The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, Feb. 16. The fans had three choices:
    1) Number of career wins (most to least)
    2) 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final driver point standings
    3) The order of when drivers earned their pole position in 2012 (Daytona 500 first place  Homestead-Miami Speedway Ford 400 last place)
    And fans chose the third option, so #99-Edwards will start on the pole followed by #55-Mark Martin.
    The Lineup:
    1) #99-Carl Edwards (X) - 2012 Daytona 500 pole
    2) #55-Mark Martin (X) - Phoenix pole
    3) #5-Kasey Kahne - Las Vegas pole
    4) #16-Greg Biffle - Bristol pole
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin - Auto Club pole
    6) #56-Martin Truex Jr. - Texas pole
    7) #24-Jeff Gordon - Talladega pole
    8) #43-Aric Almirola - Charlotte pole
    9) #22-Joey Logano - Pocono pole
    10) #9-Marcos Ambrose - Michigan pole
    11) #48-Jimmie Johnson - Kentucky pole
    12) #20-Matt Kenseth - Daytona - July pole
    13) #18-Kyle Busch - New Hampshire pole
    14) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya - Pocono pole
    15) #14-Tony Stewart - Atlanta pole
    16) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Richmond pole
    17) #29-Kevin Harvick (won event 2009-2010)
    18) #78-Kurt Busch (X)(won event 2011)
    19) #32-Terry Labonte (won event 1985)
    NOTE: (X) three cars confirmed to the rear before the drop of the green flag: #99-Edwards (backup); #55-Martin (backup); #78-Busch (backup); looks like #5-Kahne (transmission change) will keep his spot.
    Also see the Sprint Unlimited Starting Lineup (pdf).(2-16-2013)

  • New Fox camera's to debut at Daytona: As Speedweeks coverage begins this weekend, FOX Sports and SPEED announced plans to showcase exciting, never-before-seen looks of racing at Daytona International Speedway and the Great American Race, courtesy of newly deployed technologies. Coverage this year includes a collection of new cameras and graphics that are expected to add a dynamic new dimension to the viewing experience, including in-car Gyro-Cams, the FOX Super Zoom 4K camera, virtual 3D graphics and the return of a suspended cable camera over the length of pit road.
    Gyro-Cam: Gyro-Cam is a gyro stabilized, in-car camera mounted in the center of the cockpit that rotates as cars enter DIS's extreme 31-degree banked turns, keeping its view level with the horizon at all times. The resulting look demonstrates to viewers just how dramatic Daytona's turn angles are at race speed. Click here to see a simulation of Gyro-Cam in action.
    FOX Super Zoom 4K: Introduced last year during FOX Sports' coverage of MLB and the NFL, the 4K "Super Zoom" camera produces pictures with five times the resolution of normal HD cameras and captures the action at 300 frames per second. The resulting detail is remarkable and can zoom into an area of interest during the race with incredible detail.
    VIZ-RT Encoded Camera: The VIZ-RT encoded camera graphically places three-dimensional virtual objects on screen. These graphics include delineating the "restart box," where cars can accelerate toward the start/finish line during a restart and highlighting the entire track in yellow to emphasize that a race is under caution.
    CAMCAT: Supported by two gigantic cranes outside the track, CAMCAT is an advanced, two-point flying camera system developed in Austria that skies over the tri-oval along pit road. Previously used to cover F1 and certain Olympic events, the camera is suspended at a maximum 140 feet in the air and dips to 45 feet above the track at its midpoint. The cameras can speed up to 85 miles per hour along a 2,900 foot long cable to offer never-before-seen shots of Daytona. FOX first employed a four point cabled camera system over pit road from 2005 to 2007. All the cables were suspended within the track, and the camera traveled at 15 to 20 miles per hour 30 feet above ground.
    FOX Sports Media Group's new arsenal of enhancements is available and ready for coverage of Daytona Speedweeks this weekend.(Fox)(2-16-2013)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 1:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): FOX, 1:00pm/et
    Radio: MRN, 1:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none

  • Qualifying Order for the Daytona 500 / Budweiser Duel Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #14-Stewart.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #42-Montota.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Daytona Qualifying Page.(2-16-2013)

  • Second practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over. After 120 minutes of single car runs, the fastest was #10-Danica Patrick at 196.219mph followed by #14-Stewart, #18-Busch, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #1-McMurray, #21-Bayne, #27-Menard, #39-Newman, #22-Logano and #31-Burton. All 42 of the 45 cars made runs. #19-Bliss was the slowest at 188.072mph. Three drivers didn't practice: #33-Dillon, #78-Busch and #52-Brian Keselowski. The only incident was #42-Montona losing an engine.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Daytona 500 Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(2-16-2013)

  • First practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over. After 120 minutes of single car runs, the fastest was #22-Joey Logano at 195.410mph followed by #33-Dillon, #10-Patrick, #27-Menard, #31-Burton, #5-Kahne, #21-Bayne, #42-Montoya, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and ##18-Busch. All 45 cars made runs. #52-Brian Keselowski was the slowest at 183.974mph. There were no incident or accidents. The last practice before Sunday's qualifying is scheduled to run from 2:00-4:00pm/et and aired on SPEED.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Daytona 500 Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(2-16-2013)

  • Fans [in attendance] to decide the Sprint Unlimited Starting Lineup: Race fans will have the final voice in selecting the starting lineup for The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona on Saturday night, Feb. 16 under the lights at Daytona International Speedway. Race fans will have three options to determine the order that the drivers will line up for the fan favorite, star-studded race.
    1) Number of career wins (most to least)
    2) 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final driver point standings
    3) The order of when drivers earned their pole position in 2012 (Daytona 500 first place  Homestead-Miami Speedway Ford 400 last place)
    To participate, fans can cast their vote through a digital app at one of four Daytona Rewards Stations on Daytona International Speedway property or through texting.
    The Daytona Rewards Stations will be located in the Midway, Sprint FANZONE, DIS Ticket & Tours Building and at the Gate 8 Pedestrian Bridge. Texting information on how to vote will be promoted throughout the day to race fans on property at the "World Center of Racing." Voting for the starting lineup will take place on Saturday only from 9:30 am  4:00pm/et.
    In addition to voting on the starting lineup, fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences including roles as Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter, and trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane or participate in driver introductions during pre-race ceremonies.
    Prior to The Sprint Unlimited, race fans will be able to shape the race by voting on race elements such as length of each race segment, type of team pit stop after first segment, how many cars will be eliminated after the second segment and the type of fire suit Miss Sprint Cup will wear. Fans can vote at NASCAR.com/sprintunlimited or on the NASCAR Mobile '13 app. The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona is scheduled 8:00pm/et live on FOX and MRN Radio. Tickets for The Sprint Unlimited are available for purchase at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Children 12 and under are free in general admission grandstands and the Sprint FANZONE.(DIS), more info about the Sprint Unlimited on my Sprint Unlimited page.(2-12/16-2013)

  • Race is on for NASCAR TV rights: The race is on to see which network fills the broadcast gaps of the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series television deal. Fox Sports got the jump on its broadcast rivals by inking an eight-year extension, including the rights to the prestigious Daytona 500, worth $2.4 billion. The package includes rights to the first 13 Cup Series races of the season. It breaks down to approximately $300 million per season, up from the current $220 million a year deal. The current TV deal with all broadcast partners is worth $2.8 billion. The current NASCAR TV contract includes TNT, which lost its exclusive rights to NASCAR digital content on Jan. 1, and ESPN. TNT broadcasts six Cup Series races during the summer.(Daytona Beach News Journal), Fox's deal is thru 2022. ESPN's and TNT's is good thru the 2014 season.(2-16-2013)

  • Fourth Childress Car? The #78-Furniture Row Racing team that fields Kurt Busch's Chevrolets is based in Denver, Colo. Home to Richard Childress Racing is Welcome, N.C. Nevertheless, the two organizations have formed a bond that defies geography. Furniture Row's executive director of competition, Mark McArdle, doubles as director of racing operations at RCR, shuttling between the two shops. Asked whether he attends competition meetings with RCR drivers, Busch was adamant. "Absolutely," Busch said. "I was in Charlotte last year (for his first start with Furniture Row). The setups for all four cars were there on one sheet. The crew chiefs are in a meeting, the engineers are in a meeting, the drivers are in a meeting. You have all the top guys spread around into the meetings as well. It's like we're the fourth car. Instead of it saying '33' on the door, it says '78' and Furniture Row."(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-16-2013)

  • 2014 Chevrolet SS unveiled UPDATE: Chevrolet is scheduled to hold a press conference to unveil the 2014 Chevrolet SS passenger vehicle on Saturday around 1:00pm/et at the Fan Zone at Daytona International Speedway.(2-16-2013)
    UPDATE: As Chevrolet's first V-8, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan since 1996, the new Chevrolet SS is designed to deliver performance on the street and on the track. The 2014 Chevrolet SS will debut this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway as the SS racecar makes its NASCAR debut during the Daytona 500. The Chevrolet SS benefits from the proven, race-tested, global rear-wheel drive architecture that is the foundation for the Camaro, Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle and Holden's VF Commodore. The Chevrolet SS is powered by the LS3 Chevrolet V-8, expected to deliver 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Also used in the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette, the LS3 displaces 6.2 liters, more than the 5.5-liter V-8 powering the Chevrolet SS NASCAR competitors. The LS3 is married to a six-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. With an aggressive 3.27 final-drive ratio, the Chevrolet SS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds  making it one of the quickest sedans on the market. The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, with prices set closer to the on-sale date. When it arrives in showrooms, the SS will join the Corvette and Camaro, whose combined sales have made Chevrolet America's favorite performance brand for the last two years.(Team Chevy)(2-16-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 8: There are eight days left before the Feb. 24, 2013 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 8: The car number Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove to 17 of his 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. All seven of Earnhardt's wins at restrictor-plate superspeedwaysincluding his triumph in the 2004 Daytona 500were accomplished in the #8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet. When Earnhardt left his family-founded team to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt, retained control of the #8. Hence, Earnhardt switched to the #88 Chevy at HMS and has won two points races with that number, both at Michigan. Earnhardt also won the exhibition Daytona Shootout (now The Sprint Unlimited) in his first competitive outing for owner Rick Hendrick.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-16-2013)

  • Motor Racing Network at Daytona: Motor Racing Network kicked off its 2013 schedule with 25 hours of coverage from last month's Rolex 24 at Daytona. For February, MRN has slated 33 hours of exclusive radio and streaming content from Budweiser Speedweeks to launch the 2013 NASCAR season. Saturday's Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (formerly the Budweiser Shootout) opens a stretch of nine races in as many days for Motor Racing Network as it heads into its 44th year of broadcasting. That'll culminate with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. In addition to servicing its traditional network of radio affiliates, MRN will provide a number of webcasts heard only at MotorRacingNetwork.com including the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19; and coverage of Sprint Cup Series practice sessions Feb. 15, 20 and 23. More info at motorracingnetwork.com.(MRN)(2-16-2013)

  • ISC's Eddie Roche to be Honored: Eddie Roche, International Speedway Corporation's images and archives manager since 2003, will be honored with The National Russ Moyer Media Award, representing excellence in journalism. The award will be presented by Ray Fox's Living Legends of Auto Racing Organization on Feb. 20 during the Living Legends of Auto Racing Organization's annual banquet at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach Shores, FL. Donnie Allison, International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee who competed in NASCAR during the 1960s-1980s, will present the award on behalf of the Living Legends of Auto Racing Organization.(DIS), see more on my NASCAR Racing Awards page.(2-16-2013)

  • Juan Carlos Blum joins Rick Ware Racing: Juan Carlos Blum will be racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series after reaching an agreement with Rick Ware Racing. The challenge he faces will be the largest of its short racing career, because Blum will be contesting a total of 33 races, being the first Mexican in participate full-time in this competitive category. Blum will be driving the # 15 Chevy. "I'm excited, I still do not believe it, the power to run a full Nationwide season is a great challenge for me and a great opportunity that is given to me. "(translated from Speedfan.biz)(2-16-2013)

  • Dover & Pocono team up for Daytona 500 Watch Party: Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway are bringing race fans together to kick-off the 2013 NASCAR season during the broadcast of the "Daytona 500" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race which will be shown on the 32-foot Sony High Definition screen at XFINITY Live! in Philadelphia on Sunday, February 24 beginning at 1:00pm/et. In addition to the on-track action that opens the race season, fans in attendance will have the opportunity to compete against each other in the all-new "NASCAR The Game: Inside Line," as well as win a number of great prizes by entering for drawings to win tickets to the June 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Monster Mile or the June 9 "Pocono 400" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at The Tricky Triangle. The day's grand prize winner will receive an incredible VIP package that includes suite tickets to the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at both Dover and Pocono, as well as other upgrades for those trips to make the weekends a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Representatives from both tracks will also conduct trivia and other games during commercials and cautions with prizes such as copies of "NASCAR The Game: Inside Line" for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, various autographed NASCAR items, track merchandise and more. The first 60 fans to arrive will get a pair of tickets to either the Friday, May 31 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race or the Saturday, June 8 "Pocono 200" ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. XFINITY Live! is located at 1100 Pattison Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19148.
    NASCAR returns to Dover International Speedway May 31-June 2, 2013 for the June 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the June 1 "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the May 31 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.
    A week later, NASCAR's premier circuit visits Pocono Raceway for the June 7-9, 2013 "Pocono 400" race weekend, including the June 8 "Pocono 200" ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards race and the June 9 "Pocono 400" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. For tickets or more information, call 800-722-3929 or visit PoconoRaceway.com.(PR)(2-16-2013)

  • Watch The Daytona 500 at The Glen: Catch all of the action of the 2013 Daytona 500 while enjoying the luxuries of The Glen Club on Sunday, February 24. Watkins Glen International welcomes all NASCAR and Glen fans to join us for a Daytona 500 Viewing Party in The Glen Club. Doors to the exclusive Glen Club open at noon. Admission is $10 and free for children five and under. Tickets are only available for purchase at the door. There will be a buffet with discount beverages available for purchase. All attendees will have the opportunity to win an assortment of prizes and there will be a 50/50 cash raffle benefiting a local charity. Tickets for the 2013 season, including the Cheez-It at The Glen, will be on sale. Fans who purchase tickets prior to Opening Weekend (April 21-22) have the chance to save more than fans who wait until the season at Watkins Glen International has started. Tickets for Watkins Glen International's season are on sale and available at www.TheGlen.com and by calling 866.461.RACE.(WGI)(2-16-2013)

  • Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway hosting Daytona 500 party: The Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway is ready to kick the season off by hosting an official Daytona 500 watch party in the Turn 2 Sports Bar and Restaurant. Turn 2, which opens at 11:30 am on Feb. 24, will be offering food and drink specials throughout the day and fans will have the opportunity to win great prizes throughout the race, including Hollywood Casino 400 merchandise and items autographed by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. The first 172 fans that enter Turn 2 will randomly be assigned a driver (with up to four people having the same number) and if your driver wins the Daytona 500, those fans will win two tickets, a parking pass and cold garage passes to the Kansas Speedway race weekend of their choice. Kansas Speedway season tickets, which are currently on sale, include both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (April 21 and Oct. 6), the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race (April 20), and the NASCAR Nationwide Series race (Oct. 5), along with a TrackPass, which allows you up close access to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver introductions, the pre-race concert, and much more! Tickets can be purchased by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com or calling 866.460.RACE (7223). Individual race tickets are also on sale now by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or logging onto kansasspeedway.com.(Kansas Speedway)(2-16-2013)

  • Walmart Puts NASCAR Fans in the Driver's Seat at Pocono: Walmart is putting race fans in the driver's seat with the "Fan Driven 400"  an innovative, socially-driven program that gives fans a voice in branding the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on June 9 at the Pocono Raceway. Starting today through May 27, fans can submit ideas and vote via Walmart's Local Facebook pages on details including the official race name, a signature concession and the pace car design. In addition to the Fan Driven 400, Walmart will once again offer its $99 Walmart Family Track Pack, which includes four discounted race tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas a savings of more than $100. Walmart will also be hosting in-store events with race car displays, racing simulator machines and special appearances by fan-favorite drivers in every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race market. Beginning today through May 27, 2013, fans can vote online to customize the "Fan Driven 400" and view timelines for voting at walmarturl.com/FanDriven. Walmart is also making the Pocono 400 race on June 9, 2013 more affordable by offering 16,000 Concourse Grandstand tickets at a discounted price of $25. Tickets can be purchased online starting Feb. 15 at Walmart.com/NASCAR or through Pocono Raceway at poconoraceway.com.(Pocono Raceway)(2-16-2013)

  • ESR announces King as driver for the 33 UPDATE: Eddie Sharp Racing announced on their Twitter this morning that 2012 Daytona winner John King will be behind the wheel of the #33 Chevy next week in Daytona.(2-16-2013)
    UPDATE: Defending Daytona Camping World Truck Series event winner, John King Jr., will join Eddie Sharp Racing for Friday's Nextera Energy 250 driving the#33 ESR Chevy. King is scheduled to run Daytona with support from the Eastern Coal Council, and possibly more if additional sponsorship comes together.(Eddie Sharp Racing PR) (2-16-2013)

  • Rick Ware Racing returns in 2013 UPDATE: Rick Ware Racing returns full time with the #1 in the Truck Series. RWR will be racing throughout the season with multiple drivers to be named later. RWR also announces sponsorship from Oklahoma based Accell Construction for Daytona. (See an image on the #1 Paint Scheme page)(Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-14-2013)
    UPDATE: RWR announced today that 20-year-old Dusty Davis will drive the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona. (Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-16-2013)

  • SS Green Light Racing announces driver lineup, sponsors: SS Green Light Racing will be reunited with veteran racer David Starr as he returns to the seat of the #81 Toyota for the Bobby Dotter and Ken Smith-owned Camping World Truck Series team. Marking his sixteenth season behind the wheel of NASCAR's tough Truck series, the Texas native will join veteran crew chief Bryan Berry though the 2013 NCWTS season. NCCER's Build Your Future campaign (BYF) and Chasco Constructors will adorn Starr's Toyota at the season-opening Nextera Energy Resources 250. Steely Lumber Company Inc., Striping Technology LP and Niece Equipment LP will be associate sponsors on the BYF/Chasco Constructors #81 at Daytona. The #81 team will utilize proven Toyota power from Mark Smith's Pro Motor Racing Engines (PME). Chris Cockrum will pilot the SSGLR Advanced Communications Group #07 with associate sponsorship from ACCU-TECH on Friday night. (See an image on the #81 Paint Scheme page)(SS Green Light Racing PR)(2-16-2013)


    News from February 15, 2013

  • Happy Hour practice: for the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over after 60 minutes of practice. #11-Hamlin was the fastest at 196.053mph (drafting) followed by #22-Logano, #29-Harvick, #16-Biffle, #43-Almirola, #42-Montoya, #5-Kahne, #9-AMbrose, #18-Busch, #32-Labonte, #24-Gordon and #48-Johnson. Only those 12 cars of the 19 cars ran Happy Hour practice. The three drivers in backup cars didn't practice: #55-Martin, #78-Busch and #99-Edwards as well as #14-Stewart, #20-Kenseth, #56-Truex Jr. and #88-Earnhardt Jr. The #5 team changed a transmission between the practice sessions.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, ten-lap averages on the Sprint Unlimited Happy Hour Practice page (pdf)(2-15-2013)

  • First practice: for the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over after 60 minutes of practice. #29-Harvick is the fastest at 197.364mph (drafting) followed by #43-Almirola, #16-Biffle, #5-Kahne and #56-Truex Jr. #48-Johnson was slowest but only made single car runs. About nine minutes into the practice there was about a 8-10 car pack. #20-Kenseth came down and into #78-Busch, collecting #55-Martin, #99-Edwards and #42-Montoya. #99, #78 and #55 will go to backup cars. #20 & #42 teams are making repairs.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, ten-lap averages on the Sprint Unlimited First Practice page (pdf)(2-15-2013)

  • Driver change in the #32 for Sprint Unlimited: Terry Labonte will now drive the #32 FAS Lane Racing Ford Fusion Saturday.(FAS Lane Racing), Ken Schrader had been listed as the driver for the #32 in the Sprint Limited at Daytona International Speedway.(2-15-2013)

  • McMurray to carry "Race With Insulin" colors at Martinsville: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and partner Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, announced that their IZOD IndyCar Series driver, Charlie Kimball (#83 Novo Nordisk Honda), of the Race with Insulin program, has gained the support of his fellow CGRT teammates across NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM, combining for a Race with Insulin Unites initiative.
    During the weekend of April 5-7, CGRT NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) teammate Jamie McMurray (#1 Chevy SS) and Kimball will both sport Race with Insulin paint schemes at Martinsville Speedway and Barber Motorsports Park, respectively, to show that with the right management plan and "team" support, people with diabetes can start to get their diabetes on track. In addition to the special paint schemes #42-Juan Pablo Montoya's Chevy will run blue tire rims to help launch the Race with Insulin Unites campaign. The rims will emulate a blue circle, which is the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) global symbol for diabetes, to support Kimball's quest to educate more people about diabetes. "If our team can help others understand that even with diabetes, you can live life to the fullest, then we are glad to help," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi. "Charlie is an emerging talent in the race car, and he is an even better human being. A program like this speaks volumes about him."
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 26 million people are currently living with diabetes in the United States 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf. Accessed February 13, 2013. For many patients and their families, diabetes management can be daunting. "Diabetes is one of the greatest health threats of our time," said President, International Diabetes Federation, Sir Michael Hirst. "With the support of such programs, we can begin to tackle a disease which is expected to affect 552 million people around the world by the year 2030." Now in his third season with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing, Kimball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during a routine physician's visit in 2007 while racing in Europe. Kimball returned to the F3 Euroseries in April 2008 and finished second in his first race back after the diagnosis. Determined to get back on the track, Kimball strategized with his doctor to create some innovative solutions for keeping him safe and healthy in and out of the race car. Along with diet and exercise, Charlie uses a pre-filled insulin pen and a continuous glucose monitor to ensure that his diabetes is properly managed, so that when he gets in the car, he can focus on racing. "I am able to live my dream and compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series because I have been fortunate to have the support of Novo Nordisk and my teammates, who are extensions of my on-track pit crew," said Kimball, who recently became an IDF Blue Circle Champion for diabetes. "Follow me at @racewithinsulin to learn how you can enter to win a chance this year to become my honorary pit crew member." Visit www.RaceWithInsulin.com for more information.(CGRT), see images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(2-15-2013)

  • NASCAR Speedpark in Concord NC closes, could reopen elsewhere: When NASCAR SpeedPark at Concord Mills closed on Feb. 8, it opened up a space for a proposed $10 million aquarium at the site. The proposed Sea Life aquarium, which has been proposed for the old NASCAR SpeedPark site, was expected to receive approval from the Concord City Council on Thursday night for an economic development grant. Cabarrus County commissioners approved an economic development grant for the project in January, saying it would round out the tourism appeal at Concord's Exit 49 on Interstate 85. The aquarium is expected to draw as many as 350,000 additional tourists to the area each year. Already, that exit is home to Concord Mills, which reports 17 million to 18 million visits per year, and is the main drag leading to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Great Wolf Lodge, with its indoor waterpark, is another prime attraction at the exit. "As the Concord Mills Mall prepares to bring new attractions to the property, the space that is currently occupied by NASCAR SpeedPark is being recaptured and renovated. & We are actively seeking a new location in the Charlotte market to reopen our park," NASCAR SpeedPark officials said in a statement about the closing posted on its Facebook page. NASCAR SpeedPark's proposed replacement, Sea Life, is the world's largest aquarium brand with more than 30 attractions around the world.( Independent Tribune)(2-15-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 9: There are nine days left before the Feb. 24, 2013 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 9: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup victories recorded at Daytona International Speedway by Cale Yarborough, who won the Daytona 500 four times. The three-time Cup champion was a qualifying machine at the 2.5-mile superspeedway; he collected 12 poles at Daytona, and two of his wins in the Great American Race came from the top starting spot. Yarborough was the only driver to win three straight Cup titles (1976-1978), before Jimmie Johnson equaled the feat in 2008 and exceeded it with his fourth and fifth titles the following two seasons.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-15-2013)

  • Daytona 500 / Sprint Unlimited Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same tire codes at Daytona, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in all three of these series ran at both Daytona and Talladega the last two seasons . . . this left-side code has been run by Sprint Cup teams at Talladega since 2009 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Goodyear's "Spirit of Innovation" airship, based out of Pompano Beach, Fla., will be in the air over Daytona International Speedway throughout Speedweeks . . . it will be in the Daytona Beach area on February 16-17 and again February 20-24, with a short trip to the Orlando area in between (Goodyear), see tire codes. pressures, set numbers on the Sprint Unlimited page or the Daytona 500 race info page.(2-15-2013)

  • Menard's Future at RCR: #27-Paul Menard enters the season in a contract year with Richard Childress Racing. After a disappointing 2012 effort, he needs a much better performance to ensure his Sprint Cup Series future. But Menard is not concerned about the business aspect of the sport right now and remains focused on simply improving his effort. "I'm sure those questions will be coming throughout the year," Menard said. "I hope by the middle of summer, we'll have an answer for everybody." Despite the advantage of having his family's home improvement warehouse company's funding for sponsorship, Menard says he hasn't discussed joining any other team with or without crew chief Slugger Labbe. "Honestly I haven't had discussions with anybody," he said. "Slugger is a great friend and a hell of a crew chief." Menard thinks the off-season changes in personnel that took place at RCR will pay dividends on the track. The hiring of Dr. Eric Warren as competition director and the addition of more engineers are two reasons for Menard's confidence in his team and the new Cup car. "Getting everybody on the same page and working in the same direction has translated to this 2013 car, trying to get everything we can to build up a notebook from all the testing we've done," he said. "We've got good speed. I think the test at Las Vegas in a couple weeks is going to be one of the biggest tests of the year, just to understand what these cars do."(Motor Racing Network)(2-15-2013)

  • Brad Keselowski Joins FOX for the Sprint Unlimited: the NASCAR season gets underway Saturday, Feb. 16 with The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. The network continues coverage Sunday, Feb. 17 with Daytona 500 Qualifying. The Sprint Unlimited marks the racing debut of the much-anticipated Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car  the Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. Special guest and 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion #2-Brad Keselowski joins NASCAR on FOX host Chris Myers and Michael Waltrip during Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited from the Hollywood Hotel studio. Keselowski offers in-race analysis throughout the duration of Saturday's race giving viewers direct insight into what drivers on the track are experiencing. FOX Sports' Jeff Hammond serves as the network's roving analyst, taking fans from the garages to pit road and everywhere in between. Once the green flag drops, race announcer Mike Joy is alongside analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds to call all the action on the track, while Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for reports on teams and pit stops. FOX Sports' coverage of The Sprint Unlimited begins Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8:00pm/et.(FOX)(2-15-2013)

  • Five races at Daytona for Kyle Busch: #18-Kyle Busch is scheduled to participate in a total of five races during the 2013 edition of Daytona Speedweeks  three Sprint Cup events (Sprint Unlimited, Gatorade Duel, and the 55th Daytona 500), along with the Feb. 22 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for Kyle Busch Motorsports and the Feb. 23 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in a car fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing.(JGR)(2-15-2013)

  • Special scheme for Johnson in the Sprint Unlimited: For the 2013 season, #48-Jimmie Johnson's 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the five-time champion once again climbs behind the wheel of the #48 Lowe's and Kobalt Tools Chevrolets. The primary paint scheme for the year mimics last year's sleek, two-color schemes, which marked the first major redesign of the primary paint scheme for the #48 car since Lowe's began its relationship with Johnson. The schemes are a tribute to the American muscle car, including several that will feature some of Chevrolet's classic colors at select races throughout the year. The first of these combinations debuts at the opening race of the season, the Sprint Unlimited. Appropriately, the #48 Lowe's machine features the classis Chevrolet color "Daytona Yellow." The color was used by the automaker on its Camaro and Corvette models in 1969 and 1970.(HMS/Team Lowe's), see images of the yellow scheme on my #48 Team Schemes page.(2-15-2013)

  • Bloomin' Monday is Back when Newman earns top-10 finish: After its inaugural season with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2012 that saw Outback Steakhouse deliver over 100,000 free Bloomin' Onions® to race fans, Bloomin' MondayTM is back for 2013. Every time Ryan "Bloomin' "Newman finishes in the top-10 of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, fans can get a free Bloomin' Onion at Outback Steakhouse on the Monday immediately following the race. Fans simply need to reference the promotion to their server to receive their Bloomin' Onion. Newman scored 15 top-10 finishes in 2012 (including the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race). The race is on for a free Bloomin' Onion beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. "I'm happy that Outback Steakhouse is continuing the Bloomin' Monday promotion for the 2013 season," said Newman, driver of the #39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing. "It was cool that the fans could get something from our team having a good finish. It gave them another reason to cheer us on.cBelieve me, I heard from fans who were disappointed when we didn't get top-10s. We had 15 top-10 finishes last year, a number we're planning to beat in 2013, which will make for a lot of happy Bloomin' Onion fans."ccOutback Steakhouse will be the primary sponsor of Newman and the #39 team for three races in 2013  at Richmond in April, Daytona in July and Texas in November. When not serving as a primary sponsor, Outback Steakhouse will be an associate sponsor with placement on the B-post of the #39 Chevy. "The launch of our Bloomin' Monday promotion in 2012 fueled results beyond what we had hoped," said Mike Kappitt, chief marketing officer, Outback Steakhouse. "Outback is looking forward to this 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and cheering Ryan on to many more top-10 finishes." Offer valid with any purchase. One per table. Offer subject to change. Prices and participation may vary.(SHR/True Speed Communication)(2-15-2013)

  • JD Motorsports renews with G&K Services; signs new crew chiefs: JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller is even more ready for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season than they were in 2012. In addition to resigning primary sponsor G&K Services for a multi-race deal, they have also added some horsepower and support in their shop. The team has entered into a six race agreement with the North American market leader in branded identity apparel programs and facility services. "We are excited that G&K Services has decided to come on board again for the 2013 racing season. Their organization sees a benefit in working with our team, and we are pleased to have them as part of our program." The two-car team will have Mike Wallace returning behind the wheel of the #01 Chevy. And, Danny Efland is driving a very large majority of races in the #4 Chevy. Each of them has a new crew chief for their respective teams. Marc Browning takes over the #01 team for Wallace. His most recent employment was with Parker Kligerman for Team 42 Racing. Dave Smith returns to the JD Motorsports team and will be calling the shots for Efland at the #4 Chevy team. His prior stint with the team included working with Eric McClure and Efland during his tenure at JD Motorsports. He was also with Eddie Sharp Racing. While the team has signed G&K Services, there is still room for more marketing partners on both cars for the 2013 season.(JD Motorsports)(2-15-2013)

  • KOMA Unwind partners with Cobb UPDATE: Officials from Statesville, North Carolina-based Bebida Beverage Company confirmed today that they have reunited with Camping World Truck Series veteran Jennifer Jo Cobb for next Friday night's running of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona. Last season, BeBevCo.'s KOMA Unwind brand paired with the fan-favorite driver for numerous races during the season's 22-race tour. However, the season-opener will mark the first time that KOMA Unwind will serve as the title sponsor on her #10 Chevrolet Silverado. Developed by BeBevCo., KOMA Unwind relaxes those who drink it. It also helps them improve both the duration and quality of their sleep with flair and favor. KOMA Unwind is formulated to relax the body, mind and soul. It is the perfect lifestyle beverage for those who can appreciate reduced stress, reduced anxiety or a great night of sleep.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(2-14-2013)
    UPDATE:Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing adds ProudAmericanTradingPost.com as associate sponsor on her #10 Camping World Truck Series for the NextEra Energy Resources 250. ProudAmericanTradingPost.com is a proud supporter of WreathsAcrossAmerica.org. Proud American Trading Post is an online merchandise store of over 5,000 "Made In The USA" items for everyday use. Proud American Trading Post has partnered with TruckerFan.com's line of race related apparel and merchandise to help create awareness and raise donations for WreathsAcrossAmerica.org. Fans can text "Honor to 20222" to make a $10 donation to sponsor a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery or show their support in purchasing any ProudAmericanTradingPost.com item. A percentage of each item sold helps support the TruckerFan.com race teams who honor Wreaths Across America and represent the trucking industry for their support.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(2-15-2013)

  • RCR shuts down #2 team? UPDATE: hearing that the #2 Richard Childress Racing Truck Series team has ceased operations and that multiple crew guys were laid off and crew chief Gere Kennon was let go. Hearing that driver Tim George Jr. may end up at Eddie Sharp Racing.(1-15-2013)
    UPDATE: A broken ankle suffering in a recent snowmobiling accident will force Tim George, Jr., to cancel a planned part-time schedule of 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races with Richard Childress Racing. George made 12 Truck Series starts for RCR last season, driving the #2 Chevy Silverado with sponsorship from the Applebee's restaurant chain. He had a best finish of ninth in the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway, and also won the pole at Kansas Speedway in late April. Calls to Richard Childress Racing in search of comment were not immediately returned, but sources say the shutdown of the #2 Truck team could result in the layoff of crew chief Gere Kinnon and nearly a dozen crewmen.(Godfather Motorsports)(1-15-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Despite the news of being sidelined due to a broken ankle, George Jr. said on Twitter that his cast will be coming off in a few weeks and that he is still hopeful about racing in the season-opener in Daytona, adding that it is "sponsor pending." (1-17-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Tim George Jr. posted on his Facebook page that he would be driving the #5 Ford for Wauters Motorsports next week during the season opener in Daytona. George says as of now it is a one-race deal. Applebee's will be on board for the race.(Tim George Jr.'s Facebook page)(2-15-2013)


    News from February 14, 2013

  • The Entry List for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #26-Waltrip [normally the #30 with Stremme], #32-T. Labonte, #52 Brian Kesewloski, #19-Bliss, #95-Speed, #51-Smith. There is no top-35 guaranteed spots any longer. Qualifying is scheduled for Sunday at 1:10pm/et to air on Fox. Qualifying will determine the front row for the Daytona 500 and the lineup for the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Daytona 500 Entry List

  • NASCAR likely to make concussion test mandatory: NASCAR is on pace to make neurological baseline testing, used to determine whether there is a loss of function after a head injury, a mandatory part of the preseason physical by 2014. Vice president of race operations Steve O'Donnell told ESPN.com on Thursday that drivers are being encouraged to take the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) baseline test on a voluntary basis this year with plans to become mandatory by next year. Baseline testing already is used in the IndyCar Series and other forms of motorsports. It was brought to light in NASCAR last season when #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was forced to sit out two races in the Chase after suffering a concussion at Talladega Superspeedway. O'Donnell said the decision to move forward with baseline testing came after NASCAR officials recently met with the organization's panel of doctors and neurologists. "The decision was made that they thought we should look into this, but we really needed to educate the driver first, how decisions are made, that it's not just made on the ImPACT test [that determines if a driver should be parked]," O'Donnell said. "We're encouraging everyone to do one this year, most likely to be required prior to 2014." The ImPACT test provides a baseline for neurologists to determine brain function prior to a concussion. It is then measured against another test after a wreck or head injury to determine whether a concussion has occurred and its severity. O'Donnell said NASCAR is looking by then at the potential of having ImPACT equipment at the track that can instantly measure whether a driver has suffered a concussion. But he made it clear the test isn't the final factor in determining whether a driver should be parked. O'Donnell said plans are being made to bring the equipment to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the May All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 to help further educate drivers on how it works.(ESPN)(2-14-2013)

  • NASCAR, Swan Racing and Waltrip to Pay Tribute to Newtown, CT, Community: Using the biggest race of the year as a backdrop, NASCAR, Swan Racing and two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip announced today a special tribute to raise awareness and contributions for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Following a private meeting with town officials, community leaders, first responders and victims' families last week in Newtown, Conn., NASCAR, Swan Racing and Waltrip announced that the #30 Lean1 Swan Racing Toyota will instead garner the #26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund Toyota. Waltrip's ride for the Daytona 500 will honor the 26 victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School and prominently feature a call-to-action decal encouraging the NASCAR community to make $10 donations by texting NEWTOWN to 80888.
    The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, established jointly by United Way of Western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank, supports the healing process for the broader Newtown community including children, teachers, first responders, families, residents, mental health professionals, counselors and others, following the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. One hundred percent of the funds raised for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund go to meet the needs of the Newtown community. In addition to piloting the #26 Newtown car in the Great American Race, Waltrip confirmed today that all three Michael Waltrip Racing entries will run the "text NEWTOWN to 80888" decal for the Daytona 500. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France also announced today that he and his wife Amy would personally kick off the NASCAR industry support with a $50,000 donation that will be matched by The NASCAR Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR family and its commitment to serving communities. Donations can also be made online at newtown.uwwesternct.org or by mail to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street, Newtown, CT, 06470.(MWR/NASCAR), see images of the scheme on the #30/26 team schemes page.(2-14-2013)

  • Fan Vote has determined the Sprint Unlimited format: A few short hours after voting closed, the annual NASCAR Media Day opened. The first announcement of the day: Fans have decided the race format for The Sprint Unlimited, Saturday night's season-opening event. In voting that closed last night at 11:59pm/et, fans voted on the first component  the length of the race's three segments  to be set at 30 laps, 25 laps and 20 laps. For the first time in the sport's 65-year history, NASCAR and Sprint announced last month that fans would vote to decide several key competition elements in The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona.
    The winning combination for the segment lengths received 55% of the votes, while the option for 40 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps finished second with 23%. In last place, the format consisting of 35 laps, 30 laps and 10 laps finished with 22% of the votes.
    "By giving the fans the power to decide the length of the three segments in the Sprint Unlimited, we feel there will be an unprecedented buzz surrounding the event," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "The 30-25-20-lap format the fans voted for will create three distinctly different segments that will keep fans enthralled throughout the race."
    Fans still have an opportunity to vote on two other competition elements during Saturday night's race:
    1) Fans have until the green flag drops at the start of the race to vote for the type of pit stop each team must make after the 30-lap first segment. The three choices are a required four-tire pit stop, a required two-tire pit stop or no stop at all at the completion of the first segment.
    2) Fans also have until the start of the second segment to vote for the number of cars that will be eliminated after the 25-lap second segment. The four choices are none, two, four or six.
    Votes for the remaining two categories can be cast on NASCAR's new official mobile app  NASCAR Mobile '13  or at NASCAR.com/SprintUnlimited. All votes made through the NASCAR Mobile '13 app will count twice.(NASCAR)(2-13-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona - 10: There are 10 days left before the Feb. 24, 2013 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 10: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories posted by seven-time champion Richard Petty in 74 career points races at Daytona International Speedway. Seven of those wins came in the Daytona 500, a record for the event. Arguably, though, Petty's most notable victory at the 2.5-mile superspeedway was the 200th and last of his career. On July 4, 1984, driving the iconic No. 43 STP Pontiac -- and with United States President Ronald Reagan in attendance -- Petty took the checkered flag under caution to win the Firecracker 400 and attain one of the sport's most significant milestones.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-14-2013)

  • Dirty Mo Radio Set to Launch Feb. 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports announced today the birth of Dirty Mo Radio, an online home for radio-style podcasts centrally themed around NASCAR's 10-time most popular driver. Dirty Mo Radio will be based at Earnhardt Jr.'s official site, www.DaleJr.com, but its podcasts will also be available free-of-charge on common podcasting outlets such as iTunes. More info at dalejr.com.(2-14-2013)

  • Detail Doctor to sponsor Ragan for Daytona 500: The Detail Doctor, the vinyl, leather and plastic "As Seen on TV" car restorer will be the primary sponsor of David Ragan's #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Detail Doctor is a one-step application that protects and restores a vehicle's bumper, moldings, door panels, mirror covers and interior dashboards. It's distributed by Ideavillage Products Corp., the developer and marketer of some of the most successful "As Seen on TV" consumer products in history. Detail Doctor is endorsed by TV personality Danny "The Count" Koker. Fans of custom choppers and hot rods know Koker from his appearances on the History Channel's hit series "Counting Cars" and "Pawn Stars."
    "This is a perfect partnership for me," said Ragan, who, like Koker, is an avid car collector. "I've got a whole garage full of older cars that I've acquired over the years that I like to tinker with and fix up. The Detail Doctor is just what I need, so I'm excited to welcome them to the team. One look at the paint scheme that we will run in the 500 will tell everyone how the product can make old cars look like new. And you can't get a better platform than the Daytona 500 to showcase a brand, especially a new auto care one." The race will mark the first time the Detail Doctor has been promoted on a Sprint Cup Series car and is being done in conjunction with the product's release in Walmart and other major retailers.
    "I am a car lover myself," said Ideavillage CEO Andy Khubani. "I'm excited about the Detail Doctor brand, its launch in Walmart and major retail, and its endorsement by David Ragan and Front Row Motorsports. David is a great brand ambassador and 'The Count' and I are happy to welcome him to the Detail Doctor family. We think the fans will love what the Detail Doctor and Front Row have done with the #34 paint scheme that will debut at Daytona, which showcases the quality of the Detail Doctor Car Restorer."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-14-2013)

  • Danica Patrick to drive for Turner Scott at Daytona: Danica Patrick will pilot Turner Scott Motorsports' fourth entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Patrick, who will be a full-time Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013, will be behind the wheel of the #34 GoDaddy.com Chevy the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will be calling the shots from atop the pit box. Patrick's longtime sponsor GoDaddy.com will back the #34 Nationwide entry.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(2-14-2013)

  • NASCAR Reinstates Former Crew Member Jerome Frey: NASCAR has reinstated former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew member Jerome Frey upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Frey had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on August 10, 2011 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(2-14-2013)

  • NASCAR limiting driver radio communication: NASCAR will limit a driver's communication to just his/her crew starting this season. Last year, NASCAR banned radio communication between drivers. Now the driver cannot talk to the crew chief or any members of other teams, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. On the analog channel that a driver uses, only his crew (those assigned to his car number) can use that channel. A driver can still talk to his team owner, who will be allowed to talk with any of the owner's drivers and crews. Many teams use digital radiosillegal for communication with the driverto talk privately among themselves before delivering messages to the driver. The new rule is designed to make sure that drivers are focused on performance and not on switching radio channels or listening to several voices.(Sporting News)(2-14-2013)

  • Patrick's #10 team using former #78 team crew: Frontstretches Mike Neff interviews Tony Gibson, crew chief for #10 Danica Patrick, Gibson was asked about the pit crew for the #10 team:
    Neff: *One last question. Your pit crew this year that will be pitting Danica Patrick in the #10, is it your old crew from the #39, a whole new crew or a combination of old and new guys?
    Gibson: "Actually, it is all guys that were working at Stewart-Haas last year that were pitting the #78 at the end of last year. That whole group of guys has moved over to the #10 team to pit Danica. The reason for that is that at least five of those guys work on the cars in the shop for our team. It makes more sense to take guys who work on the cars every day to be more connected to the cars when they get to the track. A lot of those guys I have worked with since the DEI days in the past. It pretty much just made sense to have those guys on the pit crew."(Frontstretch)(2-14-2013)

  • Leavine Family Racing gains associate sponsor: Leavine Family Racing (LFR) will arrive at the Daytona 500 with a higher level of energy with the help of TeaZa. The revolutionary product will be an associate sponsor on the #95 Ford Fusion with driver Scott Speed for selected NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this year, including the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 24 at the Daytona International Speedway. TeaZa comes in a small pouch that is placed between the lip and gum; the energy packed ingredients are then released and swallowed. TeaZa uses advanced pouching materials so the ingredients are released over several hours giving you longer lasting energy. This formula contains a doctor formulated balance of vitamins, herbs, and natural caffeine, coupled with an amazing long-lasting flavor. Each pouch stimulates the taste buds, adding to the energy boost.(LFR)(2-14-2013)

  • Re-Load.biz joins Go Green Racing as associate sponsor: Go Green Racing announced that Re-Load , a manufacturer of wellness products has signed a three race deal for the team's #39-Nationwide car driven by Jeffrey Earnhardt. Re-Load will be an associate sponsor for Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas Team owner Archie St. Hilaire said, "We are pleased to renew our relation with Re-Load, and we are working with then to extend their sponsorship with us through the 2013 season" (DBM Marketing Group)(2-14-2013)

  • Danica Patrick to drive for Turner Scott at Daytona: Danica Patrick will pilot Turner Scott Motorsports' fourth entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Patrick, who will be a full-time Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013, will be behind the wheel of the #34 GoDaddy.com Chevy the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will be calling the shots from atop the pit box. Patrick's longtime sponsor GoDaddy.com will back the #34 Nationwide entry. GoDaddy.com is the world's largest Web host and domain name provider.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(2-14-2013)

  • Rick Ware Racing returns in 2013: Rick Ware Racing returns full time with the #1 in the Truck Series. RWR will be racing throughout the season with multiple drivers to be named later. RWR also announces sponsorship from Oklahoma based Accell Construction for Daytona.(Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-14-2013)

  • KOMA Unwind partners with Cobb: Officials from Statesville, North Carolina-based Bebida Beverage Company confirmed today that they have reunited with Camping World Truck Series veteran Jennifer Jo Cobb for next Friday night's running of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona. Last season, BeBevCo.'s KOMA Unwind brand paired with the fan-favorite driver for numerous races during the season's 22-race tour. However, the season-opener will mark the first time that KOMA Unwind will serve as the title sponsor on her #10 Chevrolet Silverado. Developed by BeBevCo., KOMA Unwind relaxes those who drink it. It also helps them improve both the duration and quality of their sleep with flair and favor. KOMA Unwind is formulated to relax the body, mind and soul. It is the perfect lifestyle beverage for those who can appreciate reduced stress, reduced anxiety or a great night of sleep.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(2-14-2013)

  • U.S. Pavement Services, Gill on board with Greenfield team: U.S. Pavement Services and 1-800-PAVEMENT are pleased to announce their sponsorship of Clay Greenfield and the #68 Dodge Ram at the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Truck Series race in Daytona. Greenfield will be reunited with crew chief Danny Gill. Gill gave Clay his first driving opportunity in the series when he was owner of Team Gill Racing. Gill has worked with some of the most recognized drivers in Truck Series, such as Dennis Setzer, Johnny Benson and Steve Park.(Clay Greenfield Motorsports PR)(2-14-2013)

  • American Ethanol to sponsor Iowa Truck race: Growth Energy's American Ethanol brand will again be the title sponsor for Iowa Speedway's Camping World Truck Series race, the American Ethanol 200, on Saturday evening, July 13. The event on the Newton facility's 7/8-mile, Rusty Wallace designed tri-oval will feature up to 34 trucks in a 200-lap, high-speed duel.(Iowa Speedway PR)(2-14-2013)


    News from February 13, 2013

  • #21 Ford To Sport New Look, Old Colors At Daytona: The 2013 edition of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway has a throwback feel as the Generation-6 cars that will make their competitive debut this week, once again closely resemble those found in dealer showrooms, bringing back the old "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" approach to Motorsports Marketing. NASCAR's qualifying rules have been changed back to an earlier format, one that puts more emphasis on performance during qualifying rather than rewarding teams for past performances. It's a perfect environment for the Wood Brothers and Motorcraft/Quick Lane to roll out their 2013 Ford Fusion. This Fusion, while carrying the shapes and style of the street-legal Fusions, is decked out in the same colors as the 1963 Ford Galaxie that Tiny Lund drove to victory in the Daytona 500 for the Woods on Feb. 24, 1963, 50 years ago to the day from this year's 500. The Rangoon Red-and-Corinthian White paint scheme is part of the effort of the current generation of Wood racers to honor the team's long-time chief mechanic and crew chief Leonard Wood, who was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame last week. "It's a real honor to be able to do something like this for our uncle," said Eddie Wood, one of the co-owners of the team.
    Wood also is anxious to get back on the track with a Ford Fusion that, like the '63 Ford Galaxie back in the day, has the kind of appeal that sends race fans to the local dealership after their favorite race car wins in NASCAR. "I've have at least a dozen people come up to me recently and say they went out and bought a 1963 Galaxie after Tiny Lund won the Daytona 500," Wood said, adding that a true-to-life replica of Lund's winning Ford will be on display in the Fan Zone at Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks.
    The real emphasis for the Woods and their current driver Trevor Bayne will be in the garage and on the track as they compete in the 55th running of the Daytona 500. Even after 63 years of NASCAR racing and a Hall of Fame induction, Leonard Wood, who still works with the team, is looking out his windshield instead of his rear-view mirror as he heads to Speedweeks, where his team has five wins in NASCAR's showcase race. During his Hall of Fame induction, he talked about how happy he was to see his nephews, Eddie and Len, and his niece Kim, along with crew chief Donnie Wingo, win the 2011 Daytona 500. He also laid out his hopes for this year. "I want to see them do it again this year," he said. He believes they've got the driver to do it in a new car and with a new style of racing, now that the two-car tandem that Bayne used so skillfully in 2011 appears to have become a thing of the past with the change to the 2013 cars. "He seems to me he's matured enough that I think he's got what it takes to win the Daytona 500," Wood said.(Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the scheme on my #21 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2013)

  • Sport Clips returns to sponsor Hamlin: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today the renewal of Sport Clips Haircuts as the primary sponsor for a total of nine races during the 2013 NASCAR season  the most in the Texas-based hair care franchise's five-year history with JGR. The 2013 season will mark Denny Hamlin's fourth year competing for Sport Clips. Hamlin won at Atlanta Motor Speedway last season driving the #11 Sport Clips Toyota. He will drive the #11 Sport Clips Toyota in two Sprint Cup Series races this season beginning with the May 11th race at Darlington followed by the September 1st race at Atlanta."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-13-2013)

  • MWR Names Tom German as Chief Technical Officer: Michael Waltrip Racing announced it has hired Tom German as Chief Technical Officer for the NASCAR Sprint Cup organization. German has spent nearly 15 years with Penske Racing most recently serving as technical director for Penske's NASCAR teams. German will begin his duties after the Feb. 24 Daytona 500. The highest-ranking technical position at MWR became available when long-time MWR Technical Director Nick Hughes informed MWR he would return to his native Australia some time in 2013. Hughes joined MWR in 2008 creating and managing one of the best engineering staffs in NASCAR.(MWR)(2-13-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona: There are 11 days left before the Feb. 24, 2013 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 11: The car number with the most victories in NASCAR Sprint Cup history. With five victories last season Denny Hamlin pushed the #11 (in his case a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) past the vaunted #43 that accounted for 192 of Richard Petty's series-record 200 wins. The #11 has been to Victory Lane 202 times, the first win coming on Aug. 4, 1957, at Kitsap County Airport in Bremerton, Wash., with Parnelli Jones behind the wheel of a '57 Ford. The #43 has 198 victories to its credit, none since April 18, 1999, when John Andretti triumphed in a Petty Enterprises Pontiac at Martinsville.(NASCAR Wire Service), see my Wins by car numbers page for some history and full chart.(2-13-2013)

  • New Look for the #29 in 2013: After featuring a predominantly black paint scheme for the past two seasons, Kevin Harvick's #29 Chevy will shift to the Budweiser Bowtie-can inspired red and white scheme as the primary look in 2013. Introduced in August 2011, the current can design is Budweiser's 12th since 1936 when Anheuser-Busch first began offering its flagship brand in cans. The focal point of the design is Budweiser's iconic bowtie, complemented by the time-honored Budweiser creed and Anheuser-Busch medallion. The same elements are prominent in the new #29 Budweiser Chevrolet paint scheme (RCR), see images of the scheme on my #29 Team schemes page.(2-13-2013)

  • Bruton Smith would consider buying the NFL Panthers: Speedway Motorsports CEO Bruton Smith said Tuesday in a radio interview that he'd be willing to buy the Carolina Panthers from owner Jerry Richardson -- and Smith said he wouldn't make city or state taxpayers foot the bill for improvements at Bank of America Stadium. Smith's comments came near the end of an interview with WBT morning talk show host Keith Larson. Larson's comments had come in light of negotiations between Panthers' owner Jerry Richardson and officials from both the City of Charlotte and the state, over Richardson's plans to make about $300 million worth of improvements at the stadium. The Panthers' owner wants local and state money to pay for a chunk of the project. One background factor in the negotiations has been the possibility that the team could be sold to out-of-town ownership -- and possibly moved -- after Richardson's death.(Charlotte Observer)(2-13-2013)

  • Sport Clips renews sponsorship at JGR: Joe Gibbs Racing announced the renewal of Sport Clips Haircuts as the primary sponsor for a total of nine races during the 2013 NASCAR season  the most in the Texas-based hair care franchise's five-year history with JGR. The 2013 season will mark Denny Hamlin's fourth year competing for Sport Clips. Hamlin won at Atlanta Motor Speedway last season driving the #11 Sport Clips Toyota. He will drive the #11 Sport Clips Toyota in two Sprint Cup Series races this season beginning with the May 11th race at Darlington Raceway followed by the September 1st race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR veteran #11-Elliott Sadler brings with him 197 career Nationwide Series starts, including nine wins, 46 top-five and 86 top-10 finishes. Sadler will race for Sport Clips in seven Nationwide Series Races, including the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on May 10th.(JGR)(2-13-2013)

  • e-Swisher sponsoring Sorenson at Daytona: e-Swisher has reached an agreement with The Motorsports Group to be primary sponsor of #40 Chevy piloted by Reed Sorenson in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona. "Having the e-Swisher shield on the No. 40 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series is an exciting opportunity for the Swisher brand and our new e-cigarette products," said Ed Denk, marketing director for Swisher International. e-Swisher is a line of e-cigarettes and e-cigars by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Swisher International. e-Swisher e-cigarettes come in both disposable and rechargeable options, and the e-cigar is disposable with a taste similar to the Swisher Sweets cigar.(TMG)(2-13-2013)

  • Advance Pierre & RCR renew multi-team partnership: Richard Childress Racing and AdvancePierre Foods have reached agreement on a partnership program that will see multiple brands from the Cincinnati-based company serving as primary sponsors of multiple race teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Advance Pierre's Fast Fixin' brand will be the primary sponsor for Brian Scott and the #2 Chevy team for two races (July 21 at Chicagoland Speedway and Oct. 5 at Kansas Speedway) and one with Kevin Harvick and the #33 team (Oct. 12 at Charlotte Motor Speedway). Steak-EZE will sponsor Harvick and the #33 Chevrolet Camaro team Sept. 29 at Dover International Speedway. AdvancePierre Foods is a leading supplier of family favorite foods like chicken nuggets, Philly cheese steaks, hamburgers, chicken fried steak and sandwiches to major grocery retailers as well as to foodservice, school, vending and convenience store channels.(RCR)(2-13-2013)

  • Sieg back in the 39, Pull-A-Part to sponsor: Ryan Sieg will return as the driver of the #39 RSS Racing Chevy and will have a new paint scheme this year when the truck hits the track in Daytona, as Pull-A-Part LLC, America's Premiere Do-It-Yourself Used Auto Parts Superstore, dons the hood. Pull-A-Part is an award winning company representing the Gold Standard of enviromental and community stewardship in the auto parts retail and recycling business. (See an image on the (#39 Paint Scheme page)(RSS Racing PR)(2-13-2013)

  • Hornaday partners with AKL Insurance Group: NTS Motorsports is pleased to announce that Arthur Krenzel Lett Insurance Group, a risk management solutions firm, specializing in auto, home, life, and commercial insurance products, will continue its support of Ron Hornaday in 2013 as an active player in the team's sponsorship lineup. AKL Insurance Group, with two branches located in Winfield, WV and Dublin, OH, will be displayed as an associate sponsor on the #9 Chevy Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series for the season-opener at Daytona as well as Charlotte and Bristol.(NTS Motorsports PR)(2-13-2013)

  • MADVAPES joins ESR for Daytona: MADVAPES, a leading electronic cigarette manufacturer is pleased to announce a new partnership with Camping World Truck Series team, Eddie Sharp Racing. The Carolina based brand will be on board ESR's #6 Chevrolet Silverado for several events this season starting at Daytona with California driver Justin Lofton on the wheel. (Eddie Sharp Racing PR)(2-13-2013)


    News from February 12, 2013

  • NASCAR Unveils "Air Titan" Track-Drying Technology: Less than eight months ago, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France tasked the team at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., with developing a means to shorten the delay caused by rain. The reasons for the initiative were many, but at the top of the list: Fans, whether in the grandstands or watching on television, should not have to wait long before racing resumes following a downpour.
    NASCAR announced Phase 1 of France's vision, introducing the Air Titan track drying system that will debut during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. This innovative technology, steeped in science and created by the NASCAR R&D Center, will reduce track drying time, improve the racing product and enhance the fan experience  starting this week and including The Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night at 8:00pm/et on FOX.
    "In a short amount of time, our talented team at the NASCAR R&D Center imagined, designed and built the Air Titan, an innovative device that will dramatically improve the race-viewing experience for our fans," France said of the initiative's first phase. "With its far-reaching potential and impact, we believe the Air Titan is a big win for the motorsports industry, and eventually will enhance many surface cleaning and drying industries as well."
    With the ultimate goal of reducing track-drying time by up to 80%, the NASCAR R&D team took an advanced scientific approach during the production of the Air Titan. Using compressed air, the Air Titan efficiently and reliably pushes water off of the racing surface and onto the apron where vacuum trucks will remove the remainder of the moisture. Jet dryers will follow each Air Titan, drying any excess water that remains on the racing surface.
    As part of the Air Titan's testing process, NASCAR enlisted the expertise of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) in Auburn, Ala., International Speedway Corporation's track construction group, Racing Surface Technologies and QualPro Inc. Additionally, Elgin Sweeper Company, Sullair and Ring Power CAT also provided equipment during the testing, and will be part of the track-drying process at Daytona during Speedweeks. For the immediate future, jet dryers and vacuum trucks will continue to be used during track-drying efforts. Over time, the innovations of the Air Titan will lessen the carbon footprint of track drying, decreasing both emissions and noise pollution. The next evolution in the innovative technology will be to optimize the power source.(NASCAR)(2-12-2013)

  • Countdown to Daytona: There are 12 days left before the Feb. 24, 2013 Daytona 500; hence, today's number is: 12: The number of second-place finishes posted by James Hylton in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series before Hylton got his first victory. From the start of his career at NASCAR's highest level, it took Hylton six years and 187 starts to notch his first win, which came Mar. 1, 1970, in the Richmond 500 at what is now Richmond International Raceway. Hylton and race runner-up Richard Petty were the only two drivers on the lead lap at the finish. By then, Hylton already had finished second in the series standings twice, in 1966 and 1967, losing the title to David Pearson and Petty, respectively.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-12-2103)

  • PPG Industries extends partnership with Penske Racing: Continuing to build on one of the longest partnerships in racing, PPG Industries and Penske Racing today announced a multi-year extension of their relationship. Pittsburgh-based PPG's automotive refinish business, a leading worldwide supplier of high-performance coatings for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, heavy-duty trucks and many commercial applications, returns as a Penske Racing sponsor this season and beyond. The 2013 season marks the 29th year of the successful partnership between Penske Racing and PPG. The relationship continues to blossom, as PPG will once again serve as a sponsor of Penske Racing teams competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series.
    This season, PPG Automotive Refinish will be the primary sponsor of the #12 Ford Mustang driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on July 5. In the IZOD IndyCar Series, the #3 PPG Automotive Refinish Dallara/Chevrolet will compete at three events in 2013 with three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves behind the wheel. The PPG IndyCar will race at Milwaukee on June 15, at Mid-Ohio on August 4 and at Baltimore on September 1. "PPG has been a trusted partner of Penske Racing for nearly 30 years," said Roger Penske. "We are proud of all we have accomplished together over the years and we look forward to another successful season racing with PPG in both NASCAR and INDYCAR in 2013."
    Penske Racing and PPG established their partnership in 1984 through PPG's participation in motorsports and sponsorship of the PPG Cup from 1979 to 1999 in the CART Series, where Penske Racing teams competed. The opportunities between the two companies started with PPG providing paint for Penske's race cars. Over the years, the relationship has grown and PPG has become Penske Corporation's largest supplier of refinish coatings for its racing, truck leasing and automotive collision repair subsidiaries. "Being part of the winning Penske Racing teams has been a special experience for PPG," said John Outcalt, Vice President, Global Automotive Refinish, for PPG. "It's been exciting to see this partnership that started at the race track continue to expand its success to other areas of business. We believe that 2013 will be another great year for Penske Racing, and we're happy to continue the winning tradition with the team." Through the extended partnership PPG will also be an associate sponsor throughout the season on all Penske Racing NASCAR and INDYCAR teams.(Penske Racing)(2-12-2013)

  • Fans [in attendance] to decide the Sprint Unlimited Starting Lineup: Race fans will have the final voice in selecting the starting lineup for The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona on Saturday night, Feb. 16 under the lights at Daytona International Speedway. Race fans will have three options to determine the order that the drivers will line up for the fan favorite, star-studded race.
    1) Number of career wins (most to least)
    2) 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final driver point standings
    3) The order of when drivers earned their pole position in 2012 (Daytona 500 first place  Homestead-Miami Speedway Ford 400 last place)
    To participate, fans can cast their vote through a digital app at one of four Daytona Rewards Stations on Daytona International Speedway property or through texting.
    The Daytona Rewards Stations will be located in the Midway, Sprint FANZONE, DIS Ticket & Tours Building and at the Gate 8 Pedestrian Bridge. Texting information on how to vote will be promoted throughout the day to race fans on property at the "World Center of Racing." Voting for the starting lineup will take place on Saturday only from 9:30 am  4:00pm/et.
    In addition to voting on the starting lineup, fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences including roles as Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter, and trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane or participate in driver introductions during pre-race ceremonies.
    Prior to The Sprint Unlimited, race fans will be able to shape the race by voting on race elements such as length of each race segment, type of team pit stop after first segment, how many cars will be eliminated after the second segment and the type of fire suit Miss Sprint Cup will wear. Fans can vote at NASCAR.com/sprintunlimited or on the NASCAR Mobile '13 app; voting on the format of the race will end at 11:59 pm/et Feb. 13 while voting for the other categories close during different stages of the race.
    The format for selecting The Sprint Unlimited field of drivers is returning to its roots. The eligible field of drivers will consist of pole winners from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and past winners of The Sprint Unlimited who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season. The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona is scheduled 8:00pm/et live on FOX and MRN Radio. Tickets for The Sprint Unlimited are available for purchase at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Children 12 and under are free in general admission grandstands and the Sprint FANZONE.(DIS)(2-12-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #99-Carl Edwards / Roush Fenway Racing: Edwards worked with two crew chiefs in 2012, Bob Osborne, who forced to step aside with health issues, and Chad Norris, who finished up the season as the #99 crew chief. In 2013, Edwards has been paired him with veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig, who worked as the #17 crew chief the last two seasons. Fennig won the 2004 championship with Kurt Busch. Fastenal once again will be the primary sponsor in half the races with Aflac, Kellogg's, Best buy (4 races) and UPS (1 race) picking up some races as the primary sponsor. See images of the UPS, Kellogg's/Cheez-it, Fastenal, Aflac and Subway schemes on my #99 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-12-2013)

  • By the Numbers: The Sprint Unlimited:
    .013  Margin of victory in seconds by Kyle Busch over Tony Stewart in 2012, the closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    .058  Margin of victory in seconds by Kurt Busch over Jamie McMurray in 2011, the second closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    .08  Margin of victory in seconds by Dale Earnhardt over Sterling Marlin in 1995, the third closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    1  Laps led by Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-84), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Dale Jarrett (2000 and 2004) and Kevin Harvick (2009) in The Sprint Unlimited races they won
    2  The starting position that has produced the most Sprint Unlimited wins (five).
    2.75  Average finish by Dale Earnhardt, best by any driver with multiple starts
    5  Drivers who have won the event in their first appearance (Buddy Baker, 1979; Dale Earnhardt, 1980; Jeff Gordon, 1994; Dale Jarrett, 1996; Denny Hamlin, 2006)
    6  Number of Sprint Unlimited wins by Dale Earnhardt, the series leader
    7  Number of fewest starters in the field for The Sprint Unlimited (1981)
    11  Number of starts before winning, most since race began in 1979 (Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin)
    14  Number of different leaders in the 2009 event, most since race began in 1979
    19  Number of wins by Chevrolet in The Sprint Unlimited, leads all manufacturers
    20  Most consecutive starts in The Sprint Unlimited by Mark Martin (1989-2008)
    27  Kevin Harvick's starting position in 2009, the lowest by a race winner in the event's history
    28  Number of lead changes in the 2011 event, highest number since race began in 1979
    44  Laps led by Greg Biffle in 2005, the most by a driver who did not win the event
    47  Laps led by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008, the most in a single Sprint Unlimited
    124.095 mph  The slowest average speed of the race for The Sprint Unlimited was last season's event won by Kyle Busch.
    197.802 mph  The fastest average speed of the race for The Sprint Unlimited was in 1987 won by Bill Elliott.
    (NASCAR), more stats and entry list on my 2013 Sprint Unlimited page.(2-12-2013)

  • NASCAR Day Pin 2013 is Here: This weekend's NASCAR Preview brought great excitement as Foundation Board Member and NASCAR Hall of Fame Member Rusty Wallace, official NASCAR artist Sam Bass and NASCAR Truck Series driver Dakoda Armstrong helped unveil the 2013 NASCAR Day Pin! To help celebrate the 10th year of NASCAR Day, Sam Bass designed a custom art piece to showcase your NASCAR Day pin collection. The piece contains a special place for each years' pins and will be available in a set with the 2013 pin for a $25 donation. Bass unveiled the 2013 NASCAR Day pin with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The 10th annual NASCAR Day is scheduled for May 17, and this is the second time Bass has been asked to design the pin that signifies NASCAR's day of giving back. Proceeds from sales of the pins will go toward the NASCAR Unites initiative and the NASCAR Foundation.(2-12-2013)

  • New qualifying format should pump excitement into Duels: Even at first glance, it's obvious that changes to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying format will add two important aspects to the process -- opportunity and suspense. Nowhere will that be more in evidence than at Daytona International Speedway, where Cup teams will begin preparation for the Feb. 24 season-opening Daytona 500 this weekend. The scrapping of the top-35 rule, which guaranteed starting spots in every Cup race to the top 35 cars in the owner standings, by definition broadens the opportunity to make the field. In the case of Daytona, it also injects a level of suspense and excitement into the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races that's been minimized in the era of the top-35 rule.
    For every Cup race this season, the 36 fastest cars will make the field. Rather than, say, 13 go-or-go-homers (non-exempt cars) competing for a maximum of eight starting spots, every team that takes to the track knows one thing. If you're among the 36 fastest, you're in the race. Period. The next six positions -- provisional starting spots -- go to the top six cars in owner points that haven't qualified on speed. The 43rd position is reserved for a past champion not other qualified, provided he participated in the Cup series during the previous season. If there's no past champion to fill the final spot, it goes to the seventh car in the owners' standings not otherwise qualified.
    For the Daytona 500 and its unique qualifying format, here's what to watch: As in the past, the front row will be locked in on pole day, Sunday, Feb. 17. After time trials, the starting positions of the fastest two cars will be set, on the pole and on the outside of the front row. The pole winner will lead odd-numbered qualifiers (positions 3, 5, 7, etc.) to the green flag in the first Duel on Feb. 21. The second-place car in time trials will pace the even-number qualifiers in the second Duel.
    The top six qualifiers on Sunday are locked into the race on speed no matter what, but the starting position of the third-through-sixth-place qualifiers won't be determined until the Duels are run. For the past eight seasons, with 35 cars locked in before they ever got to the race track, the functional purpose of the Duels was to set the starting order and to determine which two back markers from each race would ride shotgun on the field at the start of the Daytona 500. This year, things have changed -- dramatically. The Duels will now determine not only the starting positions of the first 32 cars but also who actually makes the race. Finish in the top 15 in your Duel, and you're in the Daytona 500 -- simple as that.
    Positions 33-36 are filled by the four fastest cars from time trials that 1) aren't on the front row and 2) don't transfer from the Duels. Positions 37-42 go to the top six cars in owner points not otherwise qualified. The final spot goes to a past champion or a seventh provisional starter, as with the general procedure for all races. If the new format multiplies the suspense of the Duels from a fan's standpoint, it also will lead to some white knuckles inside the race cars. A major wreck in one of the Duels, one that involves a number of top drivers, could create havoc with the starting field.(NASCAR Wire)(2-12-2013)

  • Bandit Chippers sponsoring Kligerman at Daytona: UPDATE: In a YouTube video, #77-Parker Kligerman announced that he will be sponsored by Bandit Chippers at Daytona and some additional races.(2-12-2013)
    UPDATE: Bandit Industries has signed a seven-race NASCAR sponsorship with Parker Kligerman, driving the #77 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The sponsorship will see Bandit racing with Kligerman at several of NASCAR's most famous tracks through the first half of 2013, beginning with the very first Nationwide Series race of 2013 at Daytona. Bandit will serve as the primary sponsor for Kligerman for two races, including the first Nationwide Series race of 2013the DRIVE4COPD 300 on February 23 at Daytona. Bandit will be a co-primary sponsor for three races and an associate sponsor for two races. The current race schedule will have Bandit, Kligerman and Kyle Busch Motorsports racing at Bristol on March 16, Texas on April 12, Talladega on May 4, Michigan on June 15, Kentucky on June 29, and back to Daytona on July 6. Additional races with Kligerman and Kyle Busch Motorsports are a possibility.(Bandit Chippers)(2-12-2013)

  • Papis to run 3 races for RCR: Veteran road racer Max Papis is scheduled to compete in three Nationwide Series races in 2013 under the Richard Childress Racing banner, including two road course races and one oval event, driving the #33 Menards/Rheem/WESCO/Armour Vienna Sausage/Hunt Brothers Pizza/Fast Fixin' ChevyCamaro. The Como, Italy native is scheduled to drive the #33 Chevy at Iowa (June 8), Road America (June 22), and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 17). RCR will field two fulltime Nationwide Series teams in 2013 as well as an all-star lineup with the #33 team. Brian Scott will drive the #2 Shore Lodge/Armour Vienna Sausage/Fast Fixin'/Husky Liners Chevy and Austin Dillon, the 2012 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, will drive the #3 AdvoCare Chevy Camaro. The rest of the #33 driver lineup will consist of Dakoda Armstrong, Ty Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, and Tony Stewart.(Richard Childress Racing)(2-12-2013)

  • Jason White to drive for SR²: SR² Motorsports continues adding strength and stability to its organization. The team announcedy that Jason White will join Blake Koch as the driver of one of the squad's three Toyota Camrys in its 2013 lineup. The number of races that White will compete in is not finalized, but his first race with the Buford, Ga.-based team will be the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 23. All of White's 2013 Nationwide Series starts will be with SR² Motorsports. SR² Motorsports made several advancements during the off-season which have it ready to continue the momentum of its inaugural season into 2013. These changes include promoting Benny Gordon to team general manager and lead crew chief, acquiring the assets of McDonald Motorsports and re-signing Blake Koch. Adding Jason White to the roster gives additional leadership and experience to the team, which has team owner Jason Sciavicco excited about the year ahead.(SR2 Motorsports)(2-12-2013)

  • PPC renews sponsorship with Penske: Continuing to build on one of the longest partnerships in racing, PPG Industries and Penske Racing announced a multi-year extension of their relationship. Pittsburgh-based PPG's automotive refinish business, a leading worldwide supplier of high-performance coatings for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, heavy-duty trucks and many commercial applications, returns as a Penske Racing sponsor this season and beyond. The 2013 season marks the 29th year of the successful partnership between Penske Racing and PPG. The relationship continues to blossom, as PPG will once again serve as a sponsor of Penske Racing teams competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series. This season, PPG Automotive Refinish will be the primary sponsor of the #12 Ford Mustang driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on July 5.(Penske Racing)(2-12-2013)

  • GameStop sponsoring Kenseth in 10 races: GameStop, the world's largest multichannel retailer of video games, announced Matt Kenseth, former Sprint Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 Champion, will be behind the wheel of the #18 GameStop Toyota this season. GameStop is partnering with Joe Gibbs Racing for a sixth season and will be a primary sponsor in 10 Nationwide Series races. Kenseth last raced in the Nationwide Series in 2011 when he won his only start of that year in the May race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. During his career, Kenseth has started 248 races in the Nationwide Series and recorded 26 wins with 118 top-five and 168 top-10 finishes. He has also claimed 16 pole awards in the series. Since beginning its sponsorship with JGR in 2008, GameStop's approach to its NASCAR program has been a unique one in the Nationwide Series. No other sponsor completely changes the car design for each of its races. The GameStop Toyota has featured more than 60 different paint schemes promoting a variety of popular video games, gaming systems and gaming accessories. Titles such as NASCAR The Game, Call of Duty, Max Payne and LEGO Batman 2, as well as Turtle Beach headphones and the PS Vita have been featured with one-of-a-kind paint schemes.(JGR), see the complete list of races on the 2013 Nationwide Series team chart.(2-12-2013)

  • Bandit Chippers sponsoring Kligerman at Daytona: In a YouTube video, #77-Parker Kligerman announced that he will be sponsored by Bandit Chippers at Daytona and some additional races.(2-12-2013)

  • Compton, Armstrong team up for 2013 effort UPDATE: SPEED's Ray Dunlap posted on his Twitter account that driver turned owner Stacy Compton will be returning to Truck Series competition in 2013, fielding trucks for Dakoda Armstrong. Compton's Turn One Racing team sat out the bulk of the 2012 NCWTS season due to funding. Armstrong spent the majority of his 2012 behind the wheel of the #98 for ThorSport Racing, with a best finish of third at Michigan Intl Speedway. (1-28-2013)
    UPDATE: Armstrong confirmed on his Twitter Tuesday night that he will be returning to truck competition this season, but did not give any further details. He posted, "Good news, I am going to be running a full truck season and I will also be doing some Nationwide races. Everything will be released soon!" (1-30-2013)
    UPDATE 2:Armstrong confirmed his Twitter today that he would be running the full truck schedule with Turn One Racing, in addition to announcing a part-time Nationwide run with RCR.(2-8-2013)
    UPDATE 3:Dakoda Armstrong will drive the #60 Turn One Racing Chevy Silverado for the entire 2013 Camping World Truck Series season and will have WinField along as a sponsor at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. WinField, a Land O'Lakes company, offers top-performing seed and crop protection products.(Armstrong PR)
    AND: NASCAR industry veteran John Story has joined the ownership group at Turn One Racing in partnership with long-time owner/driver Stacy Compton. Compton, a Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series veteran driver founded Turn One Racing in 2006 and has competed as an owner at both the Truck and Sprint Cup Series levels, including a top-10 NCWTS finish in points with driver Cole Whitt in 2011. Since the early 1990s Story has worked with some of sports most recognizable organizations including Walt Disney World, International Speedway Corporation, Greg Norman's Great White Shark Enterprises, Robby Gordon Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Inc. In early 2012 he sold his interest in Revolution Racing, NASCAR's Drive For Diversity (D4D) initiative, a NASCAR K&N Series and NASCAR Late Model team he co-founded and led into becoming the most successful on-track D4D initiative to date. Turn One Racing will operate in 2013 with a technical services relationship with Richard Childress Racing and an engine lease agreement with Earnhardt-Childress Racing.(Turn One Racing PR) (2-12-2013)


    News from February 11, 2013

  • Elgin Sweeper Introduces Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper: Elgin Sweeper has introduced a modified Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper that is set to make its debut at NASCAR racetracks around the country this racing season, beginning with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. The Track Sweeper plays a supporting role in a new racetrack drying initiative that features a combination of air power and vacuum suction to dry rain-soaked racetracks. The regenerative air Track Sweeper adapts features from Elgin Sweeper's highly successful Crosswind GRS (glycol recovery sweeper), a special-purpose sweeper used to vacuum liquid glycol from airport runways. This specialty sweeper includes unique features developed for racetrack sweeping and maintenance applications, such as a side air-blast nozzle, a reverse sweep system, a 20,000 CFM-rated blower and a hydraulically-driven side broom with plastic bristles.
    During track testing conducted in conjunction with NASCAR last November in Daytona, this same vacuum technology proved to efficiently vacuum water from the pores of the racetrack, and worked even better with the new track-drying technology designed by the NASCAR Research and Development Center. Working together to remove moisture from the track surface, both technologies dramatically accelerated the drying time. Developed as a more effective alternative to the current track-drying method, the system, featuring the Crosswind Track Sweeper, is expected to expedite the process.
    The specialty sweeper was modified with input from racetrack officials in the NASCAR circuit. Elgin Sweeper representatives  along with Jeff Miles from Key Equipment & Supply Company, an Elgin Sweeper dealer based in Kansas City, Kans.  worked with NASCAR to address track maintenance issues, as well as fire, safety, medical and security concerns. A lifelong racing enthusiast, Miles is also a lead driver for the Richard Petty Driving Experience and has logged more than 350,000 miles in NASCAR-style stock cars. Traveling to tracks across the country has given Miles an added appreciation for clean track conditions.(much more info at prlog.org and at Elgin Sweeper's facebook)(2-11-2013)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Adds Key Members to its 2013 Roster: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced today the addition of Charlie Langenstein to the management team as Competition Director and Joe Lax as Crew Chief for JJ Yeley's #36 in 2013. In his new role at TBR, Langenstein will oversee each car to make sure they are as fast as they can be once they get to the track. Like team-owner Tommy Baldwin, Jr., Langenstein got his start in racing by working on race cars with his father Charlie, Sr. back in their hometown of Mays Landing, New Jersey. Langenstein went on to become a notable crew chief in the DIRTcar series, where he notched over 500 wins and was inducted into the Northeast Modified Hall of Fame in 2008. Moving to NASCAR in the late 1980's, he most recently served as Mechanical Director for Hendrick Motorsports, where his accolades include four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships.
    "We may be a smaller team, but we have a much bigger focus," says Langenstein. "In one way or another, everybody on this team is a racer and wants to do everything they can to win." An original member of the TBR team when the doors opened back in 2009, Lax got his start in racing at short tracks near his hometown of Goochland, VA. He first worked with team owner Tommy Baldwin, Jr. in 1997, and has since instilled a close-knit professional relationship - along with a great friendship.
    "Tommy and I had some of our biggest times in the sport together," Lax said. "For Tommy to make it to where he's at today, I can't tell you just how honored I am to work with him and JJ on the #36 Chevy SS. I helped him get going in the first days of TBR, and I'm excited to help bring the team to a whole new level."
    "Joe has been around me for a long time," team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. said. "He will adjust quickly to his new position with us. It's important that we all work together towards our goals this season and having Charlie come on board is just another strong building block in that process."(TBR/140 Buzz)(2-11-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #98-Michael McDowell / Phil Parsons Racing: Michael McDowell will return as driver of the #98 Ford Fusion to run the full 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. The #98 will run Roush Yates Engines and Gene Nead will return as the crew chief. K-LOVE radio will be back to sponsor the #98 Fusion in the Daytona 500 and potentially more races later in the schedule. Curb Records is returning as an associate sponsor for the season and will serve as primary sponsor at a to-be-announced event. See images of the #98 Ford on my #98 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-11-2013)

  • Bodine to ThorSport UPDATE: Todd Bodine announced on Sirius XM's Tradin' Paint this morning that he will be driving the #13 Toyota for ThorSport Racing in Daytona. He added that Mattei Air Compressors will serve as the sponsor. (SiriusXMNASCAR Twitter)
    UPDATE: Bodine will work with crew chief Jeriod Prince, who will do double duty at Daytona, overseeing both Bodine's effort and ThorSport's #44 Ansell/Menards ARCA Toyota Camry for nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel. (Godfather Motorsports)
    UPDATE 2: Todd Bodine, who won the 2008 and 2009 Camping World Truck Series season openers, will try to repeat the feat in 2013 as part of a three-truck Toyota Tundra lineup at ThorSport Racing. Team owner Duke Thorson announced Monday that Bodine, a two-time Truck Series champion, would drive the #13 Mattei Air Compressor Toyota Tundra in the Feb. 22 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway as a teammate to full-time ThorSport pilots Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter.(ThorSport PR) (2-11-2013)

  • NASCAR track site on Staten Island has new suitor: International Speedway Corp. is in "exclusive negotiations" with a potential buyer for the property where it hoped to build an 80,000-seat NASCAR track, according to its most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those documents don't name a buyer or a commitment of sale. But a report in the Daytona Beach News-Journal -- ISC is headquarted in the Florida city -- said the interested party is looking to turn the site into a deep water port logistics operation. "We're cautiously optimistic," Dan Houser, ISC's senior vice president and chief financial officer, told the Beach News-Journal. Despite the information already publicly available, ISC spokesman Charles N. Talbert declined comment when contacted by the Advance. "I appreciate your interest in our property," Talbert wrote in an e-mail. "At this time, we do not have anything to add to the disclosure that is included in our public filings."(Staten Island Advance )(2-11-2013)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway value put at $309M: There was one thing everybody in the room could agree on: It's hard to determine the value of Charlotte Motor Speedway. After three hours of questions and discussion Wednesday, the Cabarrus Board of Equalization and Review unanimously approved a tax value for Charlotte Motor Speedway for 2008 at $244.1 million and for 2009 at $309.6 million. Board members and county officials said the door is still open to negotiations before the matter likely reaches the N.C. Property Tax Commission on appeal. Raleigh attorney Bruce Thompson II and Charlotte commercial appraiser Fitzhugh Stout of Integra Realty Resources represented the speedway and said the value should be $78.2 million for 2008 and $108.2 million for 2009 (after the ZMax Dragway was built). Stout's appraisal placed the value of the total land (more than 1300 acres) at $41 million and the replacement cost of improvements at $137.2 million, but subtracted $100 million for the value of having a Sprint Cup race date.(Concord & Kannapolis Independent Tribune)(2-11-2013)

  • Indy seeks state aid; could put up lights: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is seeking aid from the state as part of a plan to fund up to $100 million in improvements at the famed racetrack. The plan would create a "motor sports investment district" to collect existing state sales, income and corporate taxes generated in an area that includes the IMS to help pay for the improvements, IMS officials said. The collected taxes would raise up to $5 million a year that the state would contribute to help pay off bonds for the improvements over a 20-year period, while the IMS would put up $2 million each year. Legislation to enact the plan will be unveiled Monday by Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis. Approval by the General Assembly would be required before it could become law. Indystar.com was first to report the plan on Friday night. IMS plans to upgrade its infrastructure with changes including new video boards, better lighting and more modern grandstands, IMS officials said. Plans call for spending $70 million to $100 million. "It's really about keeping this iconic facility competitive in the sports and entertainment world," said Jeff Belskus, IMS CEO and president. Officials say they want to make the speedway more flexible, perhaps for different types of events down the line. The lighting, for example, would make it possible for some races to run at night. NASCAR fans have complained about searing heat during the mid-summer Brickyard 400, set for July 28 this year. Asked if the IMS would move the Brickyard to the cooler evening hours if the money went through, spokesman Doug Boles said, "There could be a chance." The proposal could also help address a looming cost for the IMS. Under a deal announced last month with federal authorities, the IMS is required to spend millions of dollars on renovations to make its facilities more accessible for disabled patrons within the next 30 months.(Indianapolis Star & IMS PR)(2-11-2013)

  • Daytona International Speedway Provides Added Payment Options for its Fans: As part of its ongoing efforts to make it easier for fans to see races, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced that beginning with Budweiser Speedweeks 2013, race fans can now select Bill Me Later, a PayPal service, as a payment option for ordering tickets online. Bill Me Later is an easy, convenient, and secure way to purchase tickets for any of Daytona International Speedway's major motorsports events. With Bill Me Later, race fans can buy tickets valued at $99 or more now, but pay for them over time thanks to 6 months financing* from Bill Me Later. It's a secure, instant, and reusable credit line. Tickets for all Daytona International Speedway events, including the prestigious 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24, can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-11-2013)


    News from February 10, 2013

  • Candlelight Remembrance of Dale Earnhardt on Feb 18th: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will be holding the annual "Candlelight Remembrance of Dale Earnhardt" on Monday, February 18th, 2013. The Showroom will be open to the public and will be illuminated with candles. Commemorative decals and prayer cards will be distributed to all in attendance. A memorial guest book will be available throughout the day for those who would like to share their memories of Dale. Fans are invited to attend from 6pm until 9pm, at Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Highway 3, in Mooresville, NC. Those unable to attend are encouraged to light a candle at home that evening in remembrance of Dale Earnhardt's remarkable spirit and life, and all fans of Dale Earnhardt are asked to help "Continue the Legend" through their support of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation and Dale's passions: Children, Education, and Environmental/Wildlife Conservation. For more information on the work of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation, go to daleearnhardtinc.com/foundation.(DEI)(2-10-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #95-Scott Speed / Leavine Family Racing: Scott Speed re-signed with Leavine Family Racing to run 24 races in 2013. The team attempted 16 races in 2013, making 15 of them. Wally Rogers returns as the crew chief. Former NFL player Terance Mathis joined Leavine Family Racing as the new Vice President of Marketing. He will work with sponsors while maintaining a presence at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this year. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-10-2013)


    News from February 9, 2013

  • Baker, Owens, Thomas, Wallace and Wood Officially Enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame: Five legends of stock car auto racing were enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., Friday night [Feb 8, 2013] ght during the Induction Ceremony held in the Crown Ballroom of the Charlotte Convention. Four were NASCAR pioneers, building the sport during its formative years; the other ushered it into modern times and its exploding popularity. Combined, they make the fourth class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It's a group with talents that run the gamut necessary for NASCAR excellence: Unparalleled driving skills; team unifying and talent evaluating ownership prowess; a brilliant mechanical mind.
    Here are the five new members, a group that pushes the total number of NASCAR Hall of Famers to 20.
    Buck Baker  a two-time NASCAR premier series champion in 1956-57, the first to ever win back-to-back titles in NASCAR's top level. Cotton Owens  a master of two crafts, that of driver and owner. Herb Thomas  the first driver to win multiple championships in NASCAR's premier series. Rusty Wallace  the 1989 NASCAR premier series champion and a 55-time race winner. Leonard Wood  legendary engine builder, mechanic and crew chief for the Wood Brothers.
    Baker, a 46-time winner, joined the ranks of NASCAR royalty after becoming the first driver to capture consecutive championships in NASCAR's premier series. He earned his first championship driving cars for legendary owner Carl Kiekhaefer; he won his second driving his own cars. Baker passed his immense driving talent to his son Buddy, who himself won 19 times in the premier series. Buddy Baker inducted his father during tonight's ceremony.
    "Buck always made an impression on people, good or bad," said widow Susan Baker, who accepted the induction on Baker's behalf. Buck Baker passed away in 2002. "If you ever met him, you never forgot him. It was never boring being married to Buck, either. He could make me laugh like no one else could, and he had that same effect on others."
    Cotton Owens joins Junior Johnson as NASCAR Hall of Famers who excelled as both driver and owner. The Union, S.C., native won nine times as a driver in NASCAR's premier series, and won more than 100 more races in NASCAR's Modified division. The latter feat earned him the moniker of "King of the Modifieds." He wore the crown in the NASCAR premier series as an owner in 1966, winning the championship with fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson.
    "I know this is a biased opinion, but in our family's book, there was no better racer than Cotton Owens," said Kyle Davis, Owens' grandson, who accepted the induction on his grandfather's behalf. Owens passes away last year. "My grandfather was one of the most humble, most loyal and hardest working men I've ever met. He took great pride in the fact that he could build a race car from the ground up & engine, chassis, transmission, you name it & drive it to the race track and then drive it to Victory Lane. He was a wizard at both turning wrenches and behind the wheel."
    Herb Thomas was one of NASCAR's first superstars thanks to his premier series championships in 1951 and 1953. Becoming the first driver to win multiple championships, Thomas laid the groundwork for a record-setting career. His 48 victories in 228 starts translates to a winning percentage of 21.05 percent, a NASCAR premier series record. Thomas' son Joel accepted the induction on his behalf. "I truly believe this is the greatest honor a driver could receive," Joel Thomas said. Herb Thomas passed away in 2000. "My father would have been very honored and humbled in receiving this recognition. ... Thank you all for helping him reach his dreams. Thank you to all of his fans for cheering him on and keeping his memories alive."
    Ninth on the all-time premier series wins list, Rusty Wallace enjoyed one of the most successful careers in modern-day NASCAR. Wallace won the 1989 premier series championship a season after finishing second in the final points standings. For 16 consecutive seasons, from 1986-2001, Wallace scored at least one win per season. That's tied for the third-longest streak in history. "I look out in this crowd and I see some of the biggest stars in history," said an emotional Wallace. "I am humbled that I'm standing up here, and I just can't thank everybody enough for selecting me to be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame."
    Leonard Wood again joins his brother Glen, this time in the NASCAR Hall of Fame (Glen was inducted last year). Leonard served as chief mechanic for the Wood Brothers his entire career, winning a total of 94 races with some of biggest names in NASCAR history including brother Glen, Marvin Panch, David Pearson and Cale Yarborough. "It's certainly a high honor to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, especially right behind my brother, Glen, and two of our former drivers, David [Pearson] and Cale [Yarborough]," Wood said. "Glen and I always did things together, we learned together and we won together."
    Each of the five inductees had an inductor who officially welcomed them into the hall. The inductors for the five inductees: Herb Thomas was inducted by NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett; Cotton Owens was inducted by his former driver NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson; Leonard Wood was inducted by his nephew and Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood; Buck Baker was inducted by his son Buddy Baker; Rusty Wallace was inducted by his son Greg Wallace.
    Active drivers introduced each inductee video during tonight's program. The list of drivers who participated: Carl Edwards for Herb Thomas; Mark Martin for Cotton Owens; Jeff Gordon for Buck Baker; Brad Keselowski for Rusty Wallace; and Trevor Bayne for Leonard Wood.
    Prior to tonight's Induction Ceremony was the presentation of the inaugural Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, awarded to namesakes Ken Squier and Barney Hall.
    Squier, co-founder of Motor Racing Network, is perhaps best-known for his work during the 1979 Daytona 500, a milestone moment for the entire sport, as Squier's voice on CBS welcomed millions to the first live flag-to-flag coverage of "The Great American Race"  a moniker he coined. Squier proceeded to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997 before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000. Squier continues to enlighten NASCAR fans to this day, mostly through special appearances on SPEED.
    Hall began his career in the 1950s working at local radio stations in North Carolina and served as Bristol Motor Speedway's first public address announcer when the track opened. He called his first Daytona 500 in 1960, and has missed only three broadcasts in the 54-year history of The Great American Race. He joined MRN as an original announcer at the network's inception in 1970, first as a turn announcer and then moving to the booth in the late 1970s where he has been a fixture ever since at race tracks from coast to coast.(NASCAR)(2-9-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #93-Travis Kvapil / BK Racing: Kvapil re-signs to run the #93 Toyota for DK Racing again in 2013. There were supposedly plans to switch to the #23 running Dr. Pepper colors and it looks like the #93 will stay. Todd Anderson returns as the crew chief. Mike Ford is now BK Racing's Director of Competition. Doug Richert has been promoted from his role as crew chief on the #83 team and will now serve as a supervisor to the crew chiefs overseeing their efforts at the shop and during race days. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-9-2013)

  • Austin Dillon hopes to wait for full Cup schedule to run #3: Austin Dillon has heard all the talk of him possibly racing Dale Earnhardt's famous #3 car in the Sprint Cup Series. And he's fine with that, although he would like it to be when he runs a full Cup season and not a partial schedule. There's pressure when running the stylized #3 made famous by the seven-time Cup champion, and Dillon doesn't want to wait a long time between races to feel he has to prove himself as worthy of the Richard Childress Racing number. Dillon has two career Cup starts [and plans to run the #33 at Daytona and the #51 at Las Vegas]. The #3 has not been used in Cup since Earnhardt's death in the 2001 Daytona 500. Childress said that 85% of fans want him to bring the #3 back to Cup, but he would only use it for a member of his family or the Earnhardt family. Childress has said he is heavily considering letting Dillon keep the #3 when he goes full-time Cup racing, which he hopes will be next year. Dillon has run the #3 for much of his racing career.(Sporting News)(2-9-2013)

  • Love's Travel Stops Partners with Front Row for 3 Races: Front Row Motorsports will take the green flag on the 2013 season with another new partner. Love's Travel Stops will sponsor Front Row Motorsports for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500. The travel center's colors will adorn David Gilliland's #38 Ford for Daytona 500, David Ragan's #34 Ford at Texas in April, and a third race to be determined. Love's Travel Stops, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., is family-owned and operated with more than 290 locations in 39 states and is currently ranked No. 7 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), see an image of the #38 scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(2-9-2013)

  • Evernham says he turned down a chance to return as crew chief: Ray Evernham recently turned down a job offer to return to the Sprint Cup Series  and not with Hendrick Motorsports. The former car owner and Hendrick crew chief who won three championships with Jeff Gordon has resisted the urge to return to the racetrack since selling his stake in Evernham Motorsports six years ago. But a recent call from a powerhouse NASCAR team  he wouldn't say which except that it wasn't Hendrick  had the man who was voted the greatest crew chief of all time in 2006 pondering a change of heart. "I got hit with the right opportunity not that long ago, and I really had to stop and think about it," Evernham said Thursday. "I had to make sure not to make decisions with ego and think about why I wound it down the first time, and the reality of what it would be because it's so easy to be 10 years later thinking about how great you are and how you can still do it. You can lull yourself back into thinking I could still do that." Evernham's last race atop the pit box as Gordon's crew chief was at Dover International Speedway in September 1999, but he remained as hands-on as a team owner who spearheaded Dodge's return to NASCAR in 2001. He won championships with Gordon's #24 Chevy in '95, '97 and '98, setting a modern-era record with 13 victories in the last title campaign. "I probably could still do it, but I don't think I could have the results I had," said Evernham, 55, after a news conference at his museum to present a $280,000 check to the Autism Society of North Carolina. "I look back at our stuff with Jeff Gordon. If I couldn't hold up to that 1998 standard, I'd be constantly unhappy and frustrated, so I don't want to do that again. I got that call, and I was flattered to get it, but I had to pass." He will be working at least 15 NASCAR events for ESPN, starting at Daytona International Speedway and focusing on more in-depth features. He also is working with team owner Rick Hendrick on developing a new TV show called "Americarna" that will explore the country's evolving car culture. Evernham also still is working as a consultant with Hendrick's automotive business though he is scaling back to focus on his other projects and remaining involved in NASCAR.(see full stroy at the USA Today)(2-9-2013)

  • Rule changes for 2013: NASCAR officials went over many of the new rules and policies for 2013 during a meeting with the media on Thursday. Past champion's issue was among those discussed. Past Sprint Cup champions can use a past champion's provisional only once every six races this season instead of having unlimited access to provisionals as in the past. Provisional starting spots are available to drivers who don't make the field on speed under NASCAR's new qualifying rules. Any past champion who ran at least one race the previous season starts the year with one provisional starting spot. Once a driver uses it, they must make six attempts to qualify before getting another past champion's provisional  the driver would get use of the provisional at that sixth race.
    NASCAR has changed the qualifying rules for Sprint Cup in 2013. Instead of the top 35 teams being locked into a race, only seven drivers will enter a race with a guaranteed a spot.
    The first 36 spots will be based on qualifying speed, then six spots go to non-qualifiers based on owner points. The final spot goes to a past champion. If there's no past champion, the final spot goes to the next driver based on owner points.
    The change is only for Cup and not for the Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series. Those series have impound races and NASCAR did not want teams to feel they needed to run a qualifying setup to get into the race and then try to make race-setup adjustments on pit stops, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Thursday.
    The Nationwide Series, which has cut its fields from 43 to 40 cars, will lock in the top 30 in owner points while the Camping World Truck Series will lock in the top 25 in owner points.
    Among other new race weekend procedures for 2013:
    " The qualifying order will be determined by random draw for Cup, while the qualifying order for Nationwide and truck will be the driver's best speed from all practice sessions, slowest to fastest.
    " For all three series, the current year's owner points will be used starting with the fourth race of the season.
    " For the Sprint Unlimited, the vote taken by fans at the track that day for the starting order will have three options. Those options have changed since the original announcement last month. The new options are career wins, 2012 driver points or pole speed that got them in the race.
    " Gas men will not be able to make any adjustments to the car while fuel is going into the car. They can only make adjustments after the fuel can is disengaged from the gas intake. Several times last season, gas cans either remained attached to the cars or fell off the cars as the cars sped away.
    (Sporting News)(2-9-2013)

  • Quiroga to Red Horse Racing? Hearing that German Quiroga is headed to Red Horse Racing as a teammate to Timothy Peters and John Wes Townley to drive the #77 Toyota. Quiroga, a three-time Toyota Series champion, ran four truck races for KBM in 2012 with a best finish of eighth in Talladega. It is unclear who the crew chief would be, as Rick Gay, who was the crew chief for Todd Bodine last season, is no longer with the team. (2-9-2013)

  • Wallace joining KBM UPDATE: Darrell Wallace Jr., a development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing and successful participant in NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, will run fulltime in the Truck Series in 2013. Wallace, 19, will drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports but remain under contract with JGR. Wallace would become the first African-American driver to run fulltime in one of NASCAR's three national series since Bill Lester's last season in Trucks with Bill Davis Racing in 2006. Wendell Scott remains the only African-American driver to win a race in one of NASCAR's three national series.Wallace made four starts in the Nationwide Series in 2012 with JGR and earned three top-10 finishes, including a career-best seventh at Iowa. He has six wins in the K&N Pro Series East since 2010, including one in 2012. (Charlotte Observer) (2-7-2013)
    UPDATE: It was confirmed this morning in a press conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame that Wallace will be driving the full truck season for KBM. The conference included team owners Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs, NASCAR president Mike Helton, and Wallace as they announced he will be behind the wheel ofthe #54 Toyota. Jerry Baxter will serve as crew chief for Wallace through his rookie season. Wallace will remain under the JGR roster of drivers while running the 2013 season at KBM. JGR, which has deepened its relationship with KBM this season, was able to get enough funding from Toyota, Coca-Cola and some other sponsors still to be named to put Wallace in a truck for the full season. Wallace, who has never raced at a track bigger than a mile, will run the ARCA race at Daytona for Venturini Motorsports to gain NASCAR approval to race at Daytona later this month. (Sporting News)
    AND: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that Darrell Wallace, Jr. will run a full season schedule in the Camping World Truck Series behind the wheel of the Kyle Busch Motorsports #54 Toyota Tundra. Last year, the 19-year-old made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with four starts that included three top ten finishes and his first pole award at Dover International Raceway. Wallace spent three seasons competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East from 2010-2012. He would make history when in the first race of the 2010 season he became the Series' youngest and first African American to win a race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Wallace would also earn Series' Rookie of the Year honors that season. (JGR PR) (2-9-2013)


    News from February 8, 2013

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for class of 2013: Induction ceremonies will take place at 7:30pm/et on Friday, February 8, 2013 in the Crown Ball Room at the Charlotte Convention Center which is directly connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The event is the first half of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend followed on Saturday, Feb. 9 by the NASCAR Preview 2013. Tickets for the ceremonies start at $45 (available at www.nascaracceleration.com) and the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office. In addition, a $20 ticket will gain fans all-day access into NASCAR Preview 2013 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Fame on Saturday, Feb. 9.(2-8-2013)

  • Owners Points deal for Danica Patrick: Stewart-Haas Racing has acquired owner points for Danica Patrick's Sprint Cup team heading into 2013, but likely not enough to ensure that Patrick doesn't miss the Daytona 500. Patrick drove the #10 Chevy in 10 races last year but she will not have those points from last season. Instead, Stewart-Haas Racing has struck a deal with Robinson-Blakeney Racing to acquire the owner points from its [defunct] #49 team. Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing have acquired 2012 owner points for Danica Patrick to help ensure she makes the first three races of 2013. The #49 car, which was driven primarily by J.J. Yeley, was 42nd in owner points, which likely would do little to help Patrick make the Daytona 500 should she have problems in qualifying or the qualifying races. The deal, though, could possibly help her team if rain washes out qualifying for the following races at Phoenix and Las Vegas. Patrick, who is running the full Sprint Cup schedule for the first time this year, drove the #10 car in 10 races last year through a partnership between Stewart-Haas and Tommy Baldwin Racing, which will keep those points (33rd overall) for its two-car organization entering 2013 [the owners points go to TBR's #7 team]. The starting lineup for the Daytona 500 is set by a mix of qualifying speed and results in the two Budweiser Duel qualifying races. In the next two races at Phoenix and Las Vegas, the fastest 36 cars make the field on speed with the rest of the field set by 2012 owner points, with one spot available for a past champion or another by owner points. Stewart-Haas could have swapped the points of team co-owner Tony Stewart with Patrick and have Stewart, a three-time champion, rely on a past champion's provisional if he wrecked in qualifying, but that would have impacted bonus money for the team. Also, past champion's provisionals will be limited to one for every six races attempted in 2013.(SportingNews)(2-8-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr / Hendrick Motorsports:: Earnhardt Jr. is signed thru 2017. The National Guard signed up for another season, being the primary sponsor for 20 races in 2013. Pepsi/Diet Mountain Dew dropped their sponsorship down to five races with Earnhardt Jr and the #88 (Diet Mountain Dew and Amp), two races with Jeff Gordon (Pepsi) and one with Kasey Kahne (brand TBA). This leaves the #88 Chevy without a primary sponsor for 13 races. Team owner Rick Hendrick doesn't seem concerned and has said there has been plenty of interest from sponsors and that he is more concerned with finding a match that will work beyond 2013. In 2012 Diet Mountain Dew was contracted for 16 races in 2012 with Pepsi having the sponsorship rights for 20 races, AMP was the sponsor the other four races. See images of the National Guard, Diet Mountain Dew schemes on my #88 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-8-2013)

  • NASCAR Acceleration Weekend 2013 Previews New Season: A long winter's wait is over. NASCAR Acceleration Weekend 2013 rolls into Charlotte, N.C. Friday through Sunday signaling the beginning of the new season. Three days of activities at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and adjacent Charlotte Convention Center include the hall's induction of the Class of 2013 and the popular NASCAR Preview 2013 featuring driver appearances, up-close viewing of the NASCAR Gen-6 race cars, autograph sessions and fan Q&As. The event marks the final weekend before engines roar to life at Daytona International Speedway and the start of Daytona Speedweeks 2013. The Sprint Unlimited is set for Saturday, Feb. 16. Ten days of practice, qualifying and racing culminates with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24. NASCAR Acceleration Weekend 2013 kicks off with Friday night's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame of five of the sport's legends: NASCAR premier series champions Buck Baker, Herb Thomas and Rusty Wallace; champion car owner Cotton Owens and innovative crew chief, mechanic and engine builder Leonard Wood. The Induction Ceremony, which follows a red carpet walk, private reception and induction dinner, takes place at 7:30 pm/et in the Crown Ball Room at the Charlotte Convention Center which is directly connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. SPEED, MRN Radio and SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio will broadcast the ceremonies live.(NASCAR)(2-8-2013)

  • More Than 50 Drivers Headline 2013 NASCAR Acceleration Weekend: For NASCAR fans who have been eagerly counting the days to the opening of the 2013 season, their wait is almost over. Almost. For the second-consecutive year, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, five-time premier series winner Jimmie Johnson and NASCAR's most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will help race fans celebrate the past, present and future of NASCAR. The return of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend  a fan-friendly, interactive experience  is scheduled for Feb. 8-10, 2013, at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center and includes the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and NASCAR Preview 2013. Plus a NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Junior Johnson Hosts Shine 'N Sign. More info on my Dirver Appearances page and at acceleration.nascar.com.

  • Terry Labonte returns to the #32 at Daytona: For the third consecutive year, FAS Lane Racing announced Terry Labonte will pilot the #32 C&J Energy Services Ford for the 55th Running of the Daytona 500. C&J Energy Services, who has supported Labonte and FAS Lane Racing for the past two seasons, will renew their partnership for four more races during the 2013 season. Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Labonte and C&J Energy Services will compete at the restrictor plate races during the 2013 season. This year's Daytona 500 will mark Labonte's 61st start at the famed 2-5-mile high-banked superspeedway, making him the driver with the most starts among all drivers in the history of the sport. He will pass Bill Elliott, who currently has 60 starts at Daytona International Speedway. Labonte made his first Daytona 500 start in 1979. Labonte is also the driver with the most top-10 finishes at Daytona International Speedway, with 26.(FAS Lane Racing), see an image of the car on the #32 team paint schemes page.(2-8-2013)

  • Sad News - Rodney Halverson: Rodney Wayne Halverson, 45, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at his home with his loving family by his side after a courageous battle with Leukemia. He was born Aug. 3, 1967, in Edgerton, Wis., the son of Shirley and Dick Halverson. Rodney married Cathleen Hazeltine in 1993 and moved to Concord, in 1996 to fulfill his lifelong passion for NASCAR. Rodney has been a member of the Joe Gibbs Racing family for the last 10 years. Service info and online condolences may be left at www.whitleysfuneralhome.com.(Concord & Kannapolis Independent Tribune)(2-8-2013)

  • Piquet to run full Nationwide season: Turner Scott Motorsports announced that Nelson Piquet Jr., the first Brazilian to win in one of NASCAR's top-three series, will run full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013. The 27-year-old will pilot the #30 Chevy Camaro, marking his first full-time NNS season and making him the first Brazilian to compete full time at the Nationwide level. Piquet Jr. will continue his long-standing relationship with crew chief Chris Carrier, who will lead the #30 team from atop the pit box. Piquet Jr. will also extend his partnerships with Qualcomm, Autotrac and TAG Heuer Eyewear, while welcoming Worx and Delavaco Capital Inc. on board as new sponsors in 2013. Piquet Jr. has competed in a total of four NNS events, earning a top-10 in his series debut at Watkins Glen International in 2010. The Brasilia, Brazil native earned his first NNS pole and win at Road America in 2012, only his third start in the series. The event also secured Piquet Jr. as the first Brazilian to win a Nationwide pole, as well as the first Brazilian to win in one of NASCAR's top-three series.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(2-8-2013)

  • Compton, Armstrong team up for 2013 CWTS effort: UPDATE - 5 NNS races with RCR: SPEED's Ray Dunlap posted on his Twitter account that driver turned owner Stacy Compton will be returning to Truck Series competition in 2013, fielding trucks for Dakoda Armstrong. Compton's Turn One Racing team sat out the bulk of the 2012 NCWTS season due to funding. Armstrong spent the majority of his 2012 behind the wheel of the #98 for ThorSport Racing, with a best finish of third at Michigan Intl Speedway. (1-28-2013)
    UPDATE: Armstrong confirmed on his Twitter Tuesday night that he will be returning to truck competition this season, but did not give any further details. He posted, "Good news, I am going to be running a full truck season and I will also be doing some Nationwide races. Everything will be released soon!" (1-30-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Richard Childress Racing has signed 21-year-old Dakoda Armstrong to drive in five races during the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Armstrong is scheduled to pilot RCR's #33 Chevy Camaro at Auto Club Speedway (March 23). He will then drive the #21 Camaro at Charlotte (May 25), Chicagoland (July 21), Kentucky (September 21) and a fifth race to be named later. The New Castle, Ind., native has one previous start in the Nationwide Series, qualifying 19th and finishing 25th in the 2012 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(RCR)(2-8-2013)

  • Compton, Armstrong team up for 2013 effort UPDATE: SPEED's Ray Dunlap posted on his Twitter account that driver turned owner Stacy Compton will be returning to Truck Series competition in 2013, fielding trucks for Dakoda Armstrong. Compton's Turn One Racing team sat out the bulk of the 2012 NCWTS season due to funding. Armstrong spent the majority of his 2012 behind the wheel of the #98 for ThorSport Racing, with a best finish of third at Michigan Intl Speedway. (1-28-2013)
    UPDATE: Armstrong confirmed on his Twitter Tuesday night that he will be returning to truck competition this season, but did not give any further details. He posted, "Good news, I am going to be running a full truck season and I will also be doing some Nationwide races. Everything will be released soon!" (1-30-2013)
    UPDATE 2:Armstrong confirmed his Twitter today that he would be running the full truck schedule with Turn One Racing, in addition to announcing a part-time Nationwide run with RCR. (2-8-2013)

  • Grand Marshal for Daytona 500 named: James Franco, star of the Disney fantastical adventure "Oz The Great and Powerful," which is scheduled for release on March 8, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Franco will give the starting command, "Drivers start your engines," in "The Great American Race." He'll also be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race. "We're excited to welcome James Franco and have him take part in the pre-race festivities for the Daytona 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "In front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on FOX, we're looking forward to hearing James' enthusiastic starting command to kick off the Daytona 500 and the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season."
    Franco joins the prestigious list of previous Daytona 500 Grand Marshals including John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, Kate Upton, Jane Lynch and Matthew McConaughey. Tickets for the 55th Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24, as well as all Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona events, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-8-2013)

  • Michigan to offer WiFi hotspots: Michigan International Speedway is known for being at the forefront of enhancing the fan experience. In 2013, MIS will become the first track in NASCAR to offer free WiFi hotspots to fans. The speedway will launch even more initiatives in 2013 aimed at making the experience at MIS enjoyable and memorable. Free WiFi hotspots will be available throughout the property this year. Available WiFi locations include the Budweiser Party Porch in turn four, Champion's Club presented by CP Federal, Pit Patio, MISCamping.com APEX and MISCamping.com Turn 2 Retreat. Additional WiFi hotspots will be explored and created in the coming years. Track president Roger Curtis added it would be difficult to launch hotspots across the entire 1,400-acre MIS in one swoop. So he's starting in popular areas where fans gather and working his way out. Also new in 2013, MIS will have in-seat service to allow guests to purchase favorite snacks or beverages right from their seat. Auto racing isn't baseball. There's no logical halftime break in the action, and it's not exactly quiet to take and relay orders or change. So to make the process easier, the vendors will have the items printed on their shirts with prices. Guests can simply point to what they want  beer, water, soda, Gatorade and peanuts. The service will start two hours prior to the race and will end with about 25 laps remaining. All sales are cash only.(MIS)(2-8-2013)


    News from February 7, 2013

  • Allmendinger to test IndyCar for Penske: AJ Allmendinger's career is coming full circle  albeit making left and right turns. Allmendinger, 31, will test an IndyCar for Penske Racing at Sebring International Raceway on Feb. 18 and 19. If the test is successful, Allmendinger will make his open-wheel debut for Penske Racing at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7. If everything goes according to plan and sponsorship can be acquired, Allmendinger will also run at Long Beach in preparation for the Indianapolis 500. "The first test is just to see how things go at Sebring," Allmendinger said late Wednesday by phone. "It's been seven years since I've been in one of those cars  and they've changed quite a bit. I know it won't be easy. But I know I'll be in the best possible equipment and I'll have Will Power there  one of the fastest guys in the sport  to help me get up to speed. I'm really looking forward to it. At least Sebring is a track I know. There are so many great things about getting back in a car for Roger. I can't begin to explain what it means that he believes in me enough to give me another chance. There's no pressure with this test, but I'll put the pressure on myself." Allmendinger has learned to cope with pressure over the past year. After working his way into the ride of a lifetime with Penske Racing's Sprint Cup team, Allmendinger failed a drug test administered at Kentucky Speedway on June 29 and was suspended from competition at Daytona International Speedway on July 7. Upon completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery, Allmendinger was reinstated Sept. 18, but Penske Racing released him from the No. 22 team Aug. 1. Still, Penske never gave up on his driver. Not only did Allmendinger remain on the payroll for the remainder of the year, but Penske also called him on a weekly basis.(Fox Sports)(2-7-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #87-Joe Nemechek / NEMCO: Nemechek plans to run the full season, joining up with Jay Robinson Racing to field the #87 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota. The plan also includes fifteen Nationwide Series races. The new NEMCO - JRR team will use engines provided by Race Engines Plus by Joey Arrington. No word who will be the crew chief and no sponsorship has been announced. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-7-2013)

  • SPEED to broadcast 11 days of Daytona programming: Whatever news or headlines emerge during the NASCAR invasion of Daytona, during which SPEED presents 11 consecutive days of programming for the first time ever, the network has it covered with nearly 100 hours of programming from the legendary track beginning Feb. 14 at 6 pm/et with a special two-hour edition of NASCAR Race Hub from Media Day. The fan-voted-upon format for The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (formerly the Budweiser Shootout) will be revealed Feb. 14 on Hub.
    A total of 25 SPEED on-air personalities present two weeks of on-track action to viewers beginning when Cup Series cars fire up Feb. 15 for the first The Sprint Unlimited practice session, carried live on SPEED at 5:00 pm/et
    NASCAR Race Hub returns to deliver all the days' happenings Feb. 18-20 at 6:00 pm/et, with Danielle Trotta hosting from the SPEED Studios and Byrnes and Ray Dunlap on-site at Daytona.
    SPEED is live from the Budweiser Duel at Daytona on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 2:00 pm/et as drivers battle for the final spots on the Daytona 500 starting grid.
    The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series opens its season under the lights Feb. 22 at 7:00pm/et with NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda setting the stage for the green flag at 7:30 pm/et. Rick Allen hosts with Michael Waltrip and Phil Parsons providing analysis and Dunlap, Hermie Sadler and Bob Dillner reporting from the pits.
    New to the SPEED docket from Daytona this year is live race coverage of three NASCAR Home Tracks races -- NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (Feb. 18 at 7:00 pm/et), the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (Feb. 19 at 7:00 pm/et) and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (Feb. 19 at 8:30 pm/et).
    NASCAR RaceDay Fueled by Sunoco returns for three pre-race editions from Daytona with John Roberts hosting, Kyle Petty, Kenny Wallace, Larry McReynolds and Matt Clark providing analysis, complemented by Wendy Venturini and Rutledge Wood reporting from the garage. NASCAR RaceDay offers pre-race coverage of the Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duel at Daytona and an expanded three-hour show Feb. 24 (9:00 am -12:00pm/et) leading into FOX Sports and FOX Deportes' live coverage of the 55th running of the Daytona 500.
    Trackside, the network's longest-running NASCAR program, returns Feb. 22 at 5:30 pp/et for a live, 30-minute edition hosted by Voda, Petty, Wood and Kaitlyn Vincie. The gang hangs around the next day for another one-hour edition at 4:30 pm/et.
    Live coverage of Cup and Truck Series practice and qualifying sessions, as well as up-to-the-minute updates from NASCAR Live! and SPEED Center, hosted by Adam Alexander, round out the schedule, with Wind Tunnel and Dave Despain hopping back in his chair for an 11th season Feb. 24 at 8:00 pm/et live. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED's Cup Series post-race show, rolls into the famed Victory Lane at Daytona Feb. 21 and Feb. 24 at 5:30 pm/et live with hosts Roberts, Petty and Wallace and reporting by Dillner.(SPEED)(2-7-2013)

  • Allstate Peterbilt Group providing Petty Motorsports with tractors: Richard Petty Motorsports and Allstate Peterbilt Group have joined forces for the 2013 NASCAR season. Allstate Peterbilt Group announced they will supply Richard Petty Motorsports' NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series teams with Peterbilt tractors. Allstate Peterbilt Group has 17 locations throughout the Midwest and over forty years of experience supporting the Peterbilt line of products. The company will provide the teams with Peterbilt model 389 tractors, the flagship of premium traditional trucks, with aerodynamics that provide the team more fuel efficiency. The tractors will haul the race cars and race equipment of the #9 and #43 Sprint Cup teams of Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola and the #43 NASCAR Nationwide team of Michael Annett. With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 36-race schedule and the NASCAR Nationwide Series 33-race schedule, all three teams are spending a total of over 200,000 miles transporting each team's cars and race equipment to each racetrack, making reliability a top-concern.(RPM)(2-7-2012)

  • Friday is "Buck Baker Day" in Charlotte: In anticipation of his induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday night, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx has proclaimed Friday "Buck Baker Day." In the proclamation, Foxx said Baker, a longtime Charlotte resident who died in 2002, had "established himself as one of NASCAR's early greats, becoming the first to win consecutive NASCAR premier series championships in 1956 and 1957."(Charlotte Observer)(2-7-2012)

  • Ryan Reed to drive limited schedule for Roush: Ryan's Mission, founded by driver Ryan Reed, has announced collaboration with the American Diabetes Association for the Drive to Stop Diabetes awareness campaign. Reed will compete in a number of NASCAR Nationwide Series races for Roush Fenway in 2013, driving the #16 Ford Mustang. Reed has type 1diabetes and his car will feature an American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop Diabetes paint scheme, with his first race currently set for Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2013. Ryan, a Bakersfield, California native has been racing since the age of four and was diagnosed two years ago at age 17 with type 1 diabetes and was told he would never drive again. This was unacceptable to the young man who has become an advocate for diabetes awareness and had started his own foundation, RyansMission.org, to educate people on diabetes. Ryan continued to drive and had a successful 2012 season in the ARCA Racing Series, as well as select NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. Fundly will be an associate sponsor on the #16 Drive to Stop Diabetes Ford Mustang and will fully support the crowd-funding mission.(Drive to Stop Diabetes PR), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(2-7-2013)

  • Mike Harmon will return to Nationwide: Mike Harmon of Mike Harmon Racing announced that Dave Novak has joined with him to run in the Nationwide series this year. The team has purchased a Penske Speedway Dodge and is leasing a Penske engine for Daytona. MHR plans on running full races and not start & parking. They will also run in the Camping World Truck Series with various drivers. MHR is sharing a shop in Mooresville with the newly formed team of KH Motorsports and driver Dexter Stacey.(Mike Harmon PR)(2-7-2013)

  • SR² expands with purchase of MacDonald Motorsports UPDATE: Looking to improve on a successful first season, SR² Motorsports announced it has expanded its role in the Nationwide Series in its second year. The Buford, Ga.-based organization with its shop in Mooresville N.C. will field three full-time teams in 2013, including the newly-purchased Nationwide Series operation of MacDonald Motorsports. The attained new team includes cars, equipment and owner points of the former #81 team. The team will continue to further its relationship with Toyota Racing Development and enter the #00 Camry and the #24 Camry. The third car number has yet to be selected. The company is also working to finalize its driver lineup for the season and will be announced, along with sponsors, soon. SR² will race with leased engines from Pro Motor Engines. In the team's first year, SR² Motorsports entered the #24 and #00. The season was highlighted by various drivers giving the new team strong finishes and establishing its foundation in the Nationwide Series. At the end of the season, SR² Motorsports had accumulated five top-20s, three top-15s and a best start of ninth at Homestead in the season finale with Blake Koch behind the wheel. The team hopes to build off that momentum into 2013.(SR2 Motorsports)(2-4-2013)
    UPDATE: Coming off the heels of their announcement of expanding to three cars in 2013, SR² Motorsports announced that Blake Koch will race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as driver of one of the team's Toyota Camrys. This will mark Koch's second season with the organization after starting in nine races for the Georgia-based team in 2012. Benny Gordon, who was promoted to team general manager and lead crew chief, will serve as the #24 team's crew chief. The drivers for the team's remaining two cars will be named at a later date.(SR2 Motorsports)(2-7-2013)

  • Armour Vienna Sausages and Hungry-Man renew sponsorship with RCR: Richard Childress Racing and Pinnacle Foods Group brands have developed a program that will see multiple brands from the leading packaged food company serving as primary sponsors of multiple race teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. From Pinnacle Foods Group, the Armour Vienna Sausages brand will be the primary sponsor for five races with three drivers in 2012 (Kevin Harvick/#33: March 16/Bristol Motor Speedway; Brian Scott/#2: May 4/Talladega Superspeedway, Aug. 31/Atlanta Motor Speedway; and Ty Dillon/#33: May 10/Darlington Raceway, September 6/Richmond International Raceway). Hungry-Man will sponsor Harvick and the #33 team on April 26 at Richmond International Raceway. Pinnacle Foods Group is a leading producer, marketer and distributor of high-quality branded food products, many of which have been trusted household names for decades.(RCR)(2-7-2013)

  • Brad Keselowski headlines Friday Q&A session at Atlanta: Fans looking to purchase their Friday, Aug. 30 tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series festivities at Atlanta Motor Speedway have an added incentive, as they can earn stagefront access to a question-and-answer session with defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. The Q&A session is a new event added in 2013 to the AdvoCare 500 weekend. Any ticket sold by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25 will gain an exclusive pass to be front-and-center for the Q&A session, featuring Keselowski and other NASCAR celebrities. Friday night's schedule includes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for Sunday's AdvoCare 500 at 6:40 p.m., the driver question-and-answer session at 8:00 p.m., followed by the AMS debut of Sprint Car racing with the United Sprint Car Series taking on the quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" on the frontstretch at 9:00 p.m. The above is in addition to a full day of practice sessions for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the USCS.(AMS)(2-7-2013)

  • Toyota Care sponsoring Busch in 10-race run: Kyle Busch Motorsports announced today that Toyota Care will be the primary sponsor on Kyle Busch's #51 Tundra for 10 Camping World Truck Series races in 2013, beginning with the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 22. In addition to the season-opening race, Busch is currently scheduled to drive the #51 Toyota Care Tundra at Kansas Speedway April 20, Charlotte Motor Speedway May 17, Dover International Speedway May 31, Kentucky Speedway June 27, Michigan International Speedway Aug. 17, Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 21, Chicagoland Speedway Sep. 13, Texas Motor Speedway Nov. 1 and in the Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 15. (KBM) (2-7-2013)

  • Wallace joining KBM: Darrell Wallace Jr., a development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing and successful participant in NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, will run fulltime in the Truck Series in 2013. Wallace, 19, will drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports but remain under contract with JGR. Wallace would become the first African-American driver to run fulltime in one of NASCAR's three national series since Bill Lester's last season in Trucks with Bill Davis Racing in 2006. Wendell Scott remains the only African-American driver to win a race in one of NASCAR's three national series.Wallace made four starts in the Nationwide Series in 2012 with JGR and earned three top-10 finishes, including a career-best seventh at Iowa. He has six wins in the K&N Pro Series East since 2010, including one in 2012. (Charlotte Observer) (2-7-2013)

  • NC Education Lottery on board at The Rock: Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg announced today that the North Carolina Education Lottery will serve as title sponsor when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the legendary North Carolina oval on Sunday, April 14. (Rockingham Speedway PR) (2-7-2013)

  • Dollar General to sponsor Nationwide race: Dollar General, together with AmeriGas, will be the title sponsor of the Phoenix Raceway March 2, 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The Dollar General 200 Fueled by AmeriGas is the second race of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. The Dollar General 200 Fueled by AmeriGas will be the feature event for the third day in PIR's March race weekend. The green flag will drop on the Dollar General 200 Fueled by AmeriGas at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 2. In addition to the title sponsorship deal with Phoenix International Raceway, Dollar General is the full-season Nationwide Series sponsor for the #20 Toyota driven by Brian Vickers and half-season sponsor for Matt Kenseth's #20 Dollar General Toyota Camry for 17 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(PIR)(2-7-2013)


    News from February 6, 2013

  • NASCAR Now Returns to ESPN2 Friday from NASCAR Hall of Fame: The seventh season of ESPN2's NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will get the green flag on Friday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. ET with a program originating from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The fourth class of five NASCAR legends will be inducted into the Hall that night, including ESPN analyst and 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace. Also being inducted are famed mechanic Leonard Wood, the late team owner/mechanic Cotton Owens and the late Buck Baker and Herb Thomas, both former driving champions. Allen Bestwick will host the NASCAR Now Hall of Fame program, joined by analysts Dale Jarrett and Ray Evernham. Wallace and Wood are expected to appear.
    NASCAR Now will resume its daily schedule on Monday, Feb. 11, with at least five programs per week originating from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Ct. In a move that allows NASCAR Now to join the strong company of many of ESPN's other sport-specific studio shows, the program will air in West Coast prime time in 2013. Viewers should check their local listings for the NASCAR Now airtime each day.
    When the NASCAR season gets underway later this month, a one-hour weekend edition will also air on the morning of each NASCAR Sprint Cup race and NASCAR Now will air a weekend primetime wrap-up edition starting with the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in September.
    Mike Massaro, Nicole Briscoe, Marty Reid, Shannon Spake and Bestwick will be ongoing hosts of NASCAR Now again this season, with ESPN SportsCenter anchors Lindsay Czarniak and Jonathan Coachman also occasionally hosting. Marty Smith will again be the lead reporter with Briscoe, Massaro, Spake, Jim Noble and ESPN the Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee also reporting from the field.
    Former NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner Ricky Craven will continue as an analyst for NASCAR Now with regular contributions from Jarrett, Wallace, Evernham and analysts Andy Petree and Brad Daugherty. ESPN.com motorsports writers Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton also will make appearances on the program throughout the season.
    A special three-hour edition of NASCAR Now will air on Thursday, Feb. 14, at noon on ESPNEWS with coverage from Daytona 500 Media Day at Daytona International Speedway. Briscoe will host from the studio, joined for analysis by Craven, with Massaro conducting interviews on-site at the speedway.(ESPN)(2-6-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #83-David Reutimann / BK Racing: David Reutimann was signed to run the #83 Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota for BK Racing in 2013 after the team and 2012 driver Landon Cassil couldn't agree on a contract for 2013. Pat Tryson is now the team's crew chief. He came on board towards the end of 2012 to assist on both teams. Last years crew chief, Doug Richert, has been promoted to supervisor to the crew chiefs for BK Racing. Rick Carpenter was hired as the Assistant General Manager and Mike Ford is now the team's Director of Competition. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-6-2013)

  • NASCAR to reallocate prize money: NASCAR will reallocate prize money from the last five spots in the field this season in an attempt to make it less profitable for teams to start and park. "We moved prize money higher in the purse, so if someone's intent is solely to run a lap or two and park, the revenue stream shrinks,'' NASCAR president Mike Helton said Tuesday during an "Autoweek" panel discussion in Detroit. According to NASCAR, each position from 43rd through 39th will receive $4,000 less for each position. For example, 39th will receive $4,000 less than 38th, 40th $4,000 less than 39th, etc. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp emphasized this is not a reduction in purses, that the overall prize money in 2013 will increase slightly. He said the money taken away from the last five spots will be redistributed "throughout the remainder of the field.''(ESPN)(2-6-2013)

  • Speeds up at Darlington tire test: #99-Carl Edwards and several other Sprint Cup stars gave the new, faster Gen-6 race car a thumbs-up after a Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Darlington Raceway. Edwards said the digital speedometer on his Ford Fusion hit 193 mph right before entering turn three, a typically unheard of speed at the ultra-tricky track. "Each time down, you want to watch and see what you're doing," he said. "But the fastest point is the point where the track needs your attention and your eyes are not supposed to be on that monitor. I saw 193 or something, but I can't look at it any longer before I have to look into the corner." #11-Denny Hamlin, #56-Martin Truex Jr., #27-Paul Menard and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya were also at Darlington for the daylong session. NASCAR teams have previously tested the car at Daytona International Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Edwards found the new machine to be faster and racers should expect better handling and tighter racing when the circuit returns to NASCAR's oldest superspeedway for the Southern 500 on May 11. A few laps around the track "Too Tough To Tame" in the new car and Truex was confident someone would shatter Darlington's record qualifying speed of 181.254 mph set by Kasey Kahne at the 2011 race.(Associated Press)(2-6-2013)

  • Brian Keselowski gets Daytona sponsor: Brian Keselowski will pilot the #52 BKM/HMR Wreaths Across America Toyota sponsored by TruckerFan.com in this year's Daytona 500. Keselowski will carry an all-American red, white and blue, stars and stripe paint scheme dawning the Wreaths Across America logo and "Give By Cell" text keyword and number to raise awareness and funding for the federally licensed 501(c) 3 nonprofit. "I'm truly honored to be part of this," said Keselowski. "I wanted to go to Daytona this year but didn't think we'd have enough funding, and then I received a phone call from a group of investors who are also veterans. The group, named Fans 4 Truckers, wanted to pay for the sponsorship for Wreaths Across America at Daytona and asked me if I'd represent them." Fans 4 Truckers LLC is a motorsports marketing company with a line of trucker apparel and merchandise. They are dedicated to truckers and the trucking industry in honor of the American soldier. Morrill Worchester founder of "Wreathes Across America" is the man behind the extremely successful program of having wreathes placed each year on the graves of our fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Brian Keselowski Motorsports also welcome major associate sponsor, Highland Wealth Advisors LLC a company who works closely with High Net-Worth individuals to help them accomplish their Personal and Financial goals and objectives. Support also came in droves from many loyal NASCAR Fans.(Keselowski PR)(2-6-2013)

  • Rusty Wallace Won With 'Hands-On' Approach To Racing: Rusty Wallace's ability as a driver is unquestioned. He won 55 times  ninth most in NASCAR premier series history  during two decades against rivals named Bodine, Earnhardt, Elliott, Gordon, Jarrett, Labonte, Martin, Richmond and Waltrip. But Russell William Wallace Jr., the 1989 series champion, did more than just drive the 900 horsepower stock car. Wallace won 25 short track races and on all three road course  Riverside, Sonoma and Watkins Glen  contested during his career. He scored victories with six different crew chiefs: Dodson, Pemberton, Larry Carter, Eddie Dickerson, Buddy Parrott and Jimmy Makar. His last victory came at Martinsville Speedway on April 14, 2004. His mechanical intuition was equally responsible for career achievements that will be capped Feb. 8 with Wallace's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame along with champions Buck Baker and Herb Thomas; championship car owner Cotton Owens and innovative crew chief, mechanic and engine builder Leonard Wood.
    Induction ceremonies will take place at 7:30pm/et in the Crown Ball Room at the Charlotte Convention Center which is directly connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The event is the first half of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend followed on Saturday, Feb. 9 by NASCAR Preview 2013. Tickets for the ceremonies start at $45 (available at www.nascaracceleration.com) and the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office. In addition, a $20 ticket will gain fans all-day access into NASCAR Preview 2013 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 9.
    For the full story, stats and more on Rusty Wallace and the Class of 2013, see my NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2013 page.(2-6-2013)

  • Kurt Busch one of the most disliked athletes: Forbes magazine ranked America's 10 most disliked athletes. "Feel-good stories can go sour pretty quickly, as Manti Te'o and Lance Armstrong can attest to. They lead the 2013 list of America's Most Disliked Athletes, based on the latest public surveys from Nielsen Sports and market research firm E-Poll. Candidates were limited to those scoring a minimum of 10% public awareness." Number 8 on the list was #78-Kurt Busch with an approval of 27%. They said, "Hot tempered and arrogant, Busch has feuded with teammates and reporters alike."(Forbes)(2-6-2013)

  • Drivers to run Daytona Half Marathon: Prior to turning two high-speed qualifying laps in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, several NASCAR drivers will first compete in the fifth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start and end at historic Daytona International Speedway. The Central Florida Sports Commission and Daytona International Speedway, in partnership with Volusia County, will host the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 17, just one week before the 55th running of the Daytona 500. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start at 6:30 a.m. ET, is being held for the first time during Budweiser Speedweeks. Among the NASCAR drivers that have submitted applications to compete in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon are #48-Jimmie Johnson, #30-Michael Waltrip, #5-Kasey Kahne and #43-Aric Almirola. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon is open to runners and walkers, at least 12 years of age or older, who can complete the course in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes.(DIS)(2-6-2013)

  • Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips sponsoring Spring Bristol Nationwide race: Let's face it, some things just "belong" together. So when Roswell Food Group CEO Sean McDonough saw the chance to pair one of the South's favorite comfort foods with one of the country's favorite snack items, Grit Chips were born. Even better, when his young company was presented with the opportunity to pair their new snack with perhaps the one person who represented the South better than anyone  Jeff Foxworthy's Original Grit Chips became a reality. Taking this idea of great "pairings" one step further, McDonough and his Roswell Food Group have agreed to a four-year deal to host the spring Nationwide race at iconic Bristol Motor Speedway, creating what may be the perfect blend of racing, regionalism and great taste. With more than 250,000 fans set to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and an exciting weekend of racing, it's a good time for folks to plan to be a part of the exciting new Spring tradition that is the "Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300"(BMS)(2-6-2013)

  • Shepherd to run a Dodge at Daytona: Morgan Shepherd will be in a Dodge for the Daytona race Feb 23,2013 with a Penske engine. In a search for a engine for Daytona, Dodge was the only one Morgan Shepherd Racing Venturesx could find at this point. After Daytona, Shepherd is not sure what the future holds without sponsorship. Shepherd is actively seeking sponsorship for the Daytona race as well as the rest of the 2013 season.(MSRV)(2-6-2013)

  • Sorenson in the #40 full-time: The Motorsports Group has signed Reed Sorenson to pilot its #40 Chevy Camaro in the 2013 Nationwide Series season, starting with the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 23. Sorenson comes to TMG with a winning Nationwide Series résumé. The Peachtree City, Georgia native, who will be 27 when the green flag drops at Daytona, has four victories in the series, most recently at Road America in 2011, and has earned two top-five finishes in the final series point standings (2005, 2011). He competed in 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races last year for various organizations. Veteran crew chief Gary Showalter, a presence at TMG since 2009, will oversee the $40 team.(TMG PR)(2-6-2013)

  • Chad Hackenbracht signed by TriStar: TriStar Motorsports announced the signing of former ARCA Racing Series winner Chad Hackenbracht to a driver development contract. Hackenbracht spent the 2012 season competing full-time in the ARCA Racing Series for his family owned team, CGH Motorsports. Last season, the New Philadelphia, Ohio native recorded one win, two pole positions, five top-five and 12 top-10 finishes before closing out the year fifth in the Championship Point Standings. "I am excited for the opportunity to race with TriStar Motorsports in the Nationwide Series," said Hackenbracht. "I have not run any NASCAR events and I'm excited to make my debut in the Nationwide Series with an established team. My expectations are to finish every race I run this year, qualify in the top-20 and pull off top-15 finishes." A veteran of quarter midgets and Legends Cars, Hackenbracht will continue his climb up the racing ranks by joining TriStar Motorsports. The 21-year-old driver is expected to compete in a minimum of five NASCAR Nationwide Series events for the team. His schedule will be released at a later date.(TriStar Motorsports)(2-6-2013)

  • Larson to NNS in 2013 and some Cup races? UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing development driver, Kyle Larson said he was going back to Charlotte on Sunday to find out what [team owner Chip] Ganassi has planned for him this season but it's believed he'll be driving a Target car full-time in Nationwide with a few Cup races thrown in at the end of the year.(Robin Miller/SPEED)(1-15-2013)
    UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announces that Kyle Larson, the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) Champion will look to run a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2013. Larson, the 20-year-old driver from Elk Grove, Calif. will attempt to make his series debut behind the wheel of the #32 Clorox Chevy Camaro fielded by Turner Scott Motorsports during Daytona Speedweeks in the DRIVE4COPD 300 NNS race on Feb. 23. The EGR development driver turned heads in NASCAR competition in 2012 when he won the NKNPSE Championship in his first year of driving stock cars. Larson, who is of Japanese-American descent, also claimed the first series championship for one of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Program drivers.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(2-6-2012)

  • Townley to run limited Nationwide schedule: John Wes Townley and Venturini Motorsports will continue their relationship in 2013 with limited schedules in both the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Townley, who has competed part-time under the Venturini banner since 2010, will kick-off the racing season on February 16th driving his familiar #15 Zaxby's Toyota in the ARCA Series Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona International Speedway. Townley and VMS will also enter the NASCAR Nationwide events at Talladega and Charlotte in May. Dan Deeringhoff will re-unite with John Wes Townley and serve as crew chief for VMS's newly formed Nationwide Series team. Deeringhoff, who won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship in 2008 with driver Clint Boyer, worked with Townley in 2010 when they were both with Richard Childress Racing.(Venturini Motorsports)(2-5-2013)

  • Sauter switching to the #98: SPEED reports that Johnny Sauter will be switching from the #13 to the #98 this year because of the team's association with Curb Records and Mike Curb, who is listed as the owner on Sauter's entry out of ThorSport Racing. Sauter is entering his fifth season with the Ohio-based team.(Dover Speedway)(2-6-2013)


    News from February 5, 2013

  • New car number for Josh Wise: Front Row Motorsports announced on their Facebook page that Josh Wise will run the car number 35 in 2013 and beyond after running the #26 in 2012.(FRM)(2-5-2013)

  • Furniture Row Racing announces associate sponsors: Three nationally-known mattress brands  Sealy, Serta and Simmons Beautyrest will partner with Furniture Row Racing and Denver Mattress as associate sponsors during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Each of the three mattress brands will sponsor selected races, a total of 20 during the 36-event Sprint Cup schedule. The brands will carry top billing on the rear quarter panels of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet SS driven by Kurt Busch. Part of the scheduled races for each of the mattress companies will be in the area of its corporate headquarters  Sealy (Trinity, N.C.) May 18 & 26 at Charlotte; Simmons Beautyrest (Atlanta) Sept. 1 at Atlanta; and Serta (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) Sept. 15 at Chicago(FRR)(2-5-2013)

  • Manufacturers' logos added to windshield of cars: During Autoweek's Racing Conference held Tuesday in Detroit, NASCAR announced a further enhancement to the new Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) cars that puts even more focus on manufacturer identity. In addition to displaying the names of the drivers on the Gen-6 car windshield, there will also be manufacturer identification present on either side of the driver's name. The roundtable, town hall-style conference featured a panel that included NASCAR President Mike Helton, NASCAR VP of Competition Robin Pemberton and NASCAR VP of Brand, Consumer and Series Marketing Kim Brink, as well as executives from Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. "I want to confirm that in addition to adding the name of the driver on the windshield, we're adding the badge of the manufacturer to each side of the driver's name," said Helton. "We believe this will help build the identity of the driver with the race car and their relationship with the manufacturer." The Motor City was the kickoff of "NASCAR's #Gen6 Road to Daytona Fueled by Sunoco," a multi-city tour introducing the Gen-6 race cars and generating excitement for the 2013 NASCAR season. Gen-6 will make its on-track debut during the non-points The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX and culminates with the 55th running of the season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.(NASCAR), see an image of the windshields on the 2013 Manufacturers images page.(2-5-2013)

  • Nemechek, Jay Robinson teaming up on #87: NEMCO and Jay Robinson Racing will combine efforts to field the #87 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota. The plan also includes fifteen Nationwide Series races. The new NEMCO - JRR team will use engines provided by Race Engines Plus. "There is a long history of friendship between the two organizations, so this is going to be a great opportunity for everyone involved ", says Jay Robinson. "Both groups have a lot to bring to the table and I am very excited to partner with Jay Robinson and go racing this year." commented Joe Nemechek. The first outing for the NEMCO-JRR team will be the Daytona Nationwide race followed by the Daytona 500. More information concerning crew chief and sponsors will be coming soon.(Jay Robinson Racing)(2-5-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #78-Kurt Busch / Furniture Row Racing: Kurt Busch moved over to the #78 team with six races to go in the 2012 season, starting at Charlotte. Busch finished in the top ten the final three races. Crew chief Todd Berrier moved over for the #47 JTG Daughtery Racing team midway thru the season. The team is based in Denver, CO. FRR flirted and talked to Dodge about becoming their flagship team and starting a 2nd team, keeping former driver Regan Smith [now in the NNS with JR Motorsports and part time in Busch's 2012 ride, the #51 Phoenix Racing team] but Dodge decided to leave the sport instead after the 2012 season. FRR remains affiliated with Richard Childress Racing and gets chassis and engines from RCR/ECR. FRR willfield its own pit crew in 2013 rather than using a crew from Stewart-Haas Racing as they did the past few years. See images of the #78 scheme on my #78 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-5-2013)

  • Balwin expects to be more competitive in 2013: Tommy Baldwin, who has used the start-and-park method to build his NASCAR team, isn't too impressed with track owner Bruton Smith's recent criticism of the concept. Smith said last month that start-and-parkers have no business in the sport and suggested that NASCAR work toward changing the approach. "Obviously, Bruton has got enough money that if he wanted to be part of the solution he'd help figure out how," Baldwin said Monday during a media teleconference. "Those are things he probably shouldn't be worried about. Hendrick, Childress, Roush  they all started very small just like TBR (Tommy Baldwin Racing). Bruton can do a better job. We've tried to get his sponsors at his tracks involved in some package deals, but they don't want anything to do with it. They're too greedy." Baldwin said Monday he plans a more complete effort this season, with #7-Dave Blaney and #36-J.J. Yeley scheduled to drive full Cup schedules in TBR cars. Baldwin said he expects to have "some strong places and some weak places" but that his team should run "consistently in the top 20 to 25."(SPEED)
    AND The team no longer has any alliances with any team, ending their Stewart-Haas partnership at the conclusion of 2012. Baldwin now has 4-5 engineers in-house and the team is working off old RCR chassis, modifying them with their own personal touch.(Frontstretch)(2-5-2013)

  • Hendrick not interested in the Batmobile: Rick Hendrick bought several vehicles and spent well over seven figures at last month's Barrett-Jackson Collectible Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. Some cars are for his business or personal collection while over a million dollars of cars purchased benefited charities. At the auction the original Batmobile from 1966 sold for 4.2-million dollars; however the Chevy team owner had no interest in making a bid. "Hell no, no sir", said Hendrick. "What would I want with the Batmobile? And I'm a Batman fan but I wouldn't know what to do with that car." Hendrick joked, "I wouldn't have hauled that thing home if they gave it to me!" Hendrick said the Batmobile is not his style, but another reason might be that it was also originally a concept car built by Ford.(PRN's Garage Pass)(2-5-2013)

  • Townley to run limited Nationwide schedule: John Wes Townley and Venturini Motorsports will continue their relationship in 2013 with limited schedules in both the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Townley, who has competed part-time under the Venturini banner since 2010, will kick-off the racing season on February 16th driving his familiar #15 Zaxby's Toyota in the ARCA Series Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona International Speedway. Townley and VMS will also enter the NASCAR Nationwide events at Talladega and Charlotte in May. Dan Deeringhoff will re-unite with John Wes Townley and serve as crew chief for VMS's newly formed Nationwide Series team. Deeringhoff, who won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship in 2008 with driver Clint Boyer, worked with Townley in 2010 when they were both with Richard Childress Racing.(Venturini Motorsports)(2-5-2013)

  • Phoenix offering pit pass experience: Fans looking for a behind-the-scenes peek to the NASCAR action at the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 on March 3 at Phoenix International Raceway, will now have an opportunity to enjoy an enhanced experience with their 'Pre-Race Pit Pass'. Offered at $60 per person, the Pre-Race Pit Pass entitles pass holders to a variety of added, backstage action on the NASCAR Sprint Cup race day, including: Garage Walk Access -Catch a glimpse of your favorite driver or car as they roll out of the garage and onto pit road before the start of the race (participants randomly selected); Driver Introductions - Access to pit road and the track to watch driver introductions; Trophy Photo Opportunities - Pose in Gatorade Victory Lane with the iconic SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 Trophy prior to the start of the race. Pre-Race Pit Passes are available now for purchase on PhoenixRaceway.com/Tickets or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223). Passes must be accompanied by a Grandstand Ticket to the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500.(PIR)(2-5-2013)

  • National Watermelon Association to continue Chastain sponsorship in Daytona: Brad Keselowski Racing announced today that the #19 Ford F-150 driven by Florida native Ross Chastain will be sponsored by the National Watermelon Association in the season opening race at Daytona International Speedway. The sponsorship comes as a joint venture with the National Watermelon Association and the National Watermelon Promotion Board. 2013 serves as the 100th anniversary of the National Watermelon Association. The race will be the first of 15 for Chastain in 2013 for BKR.The National Watermelon Promotion Board has supported Chastain's efforts beginning in the Late Model ranks.(BKR PR) (2-5-2013)


    News from February 4, 2013

  • DuPont will continue sponsorship of Gordon UPDATE: DuPont's sale of its automotive paint division will not affect the brand's sponsorship of Jeff Gordon in 2013, spokesperson Jon Edwards confirmed Friday. Questions about Gordon's sponsorship arose last August when private equity firm the Carlyle Group announced it would acquire DuPont Performance Coatings for $4.9 billion. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. "DuPont Performance Coatings, LLC. will be the primary sponsor on the #24 Chevrolet SS for 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in 2013. CromaxPro, a DuPont Performance Coatings, LLC. product, will be featured as a major associate in all remaining races," Edwards said in an email Friday. DuPont was also the primary sponsor for 14 races last year. According to Edwards the No. 24 DuPont car paint scheme and schedule will be made available in the near future. The sponsorship commitment ends after the 2013 season.(As the World Turns Left)(1-6-2013)
    UPDATE: The Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest and most successful investment firms with a portfolio of businesses that includes Hertz Rental Car, Allison Transmission and Dunkin' Donuts, announced that it has acquired DuPont's paint business. Although the people, products and technologies will remain the same, the paint business, which sponsors the #24 Chevy of Hendrick Motorsports and driver Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been rebranded as Axalta Coating Systems. The Axalta Coating Systems name will begin appearing on the #24 team car in the second quarter of the year. In the meantime, on-car branding will include familiar automotive paint brands and products such as Standox, Spies Hecker, Imron, and CromaxPro. The Axalta Coating Systems contract with Hendrick Motorsports includes 14 primary paint schemes annually on Gordon's #24 car. The first primary paint scheme of 2013 will be at Texas Motor Speedway in April and will run at various races throughout the year including the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Hendrick PR)(2-4-2013)

  • Air Force renews sponsorship of Almirola: The U.S. Air Force will once again partner with Richard Petty Motorsports to connect with America's best and brightest young adults. The U.S. Air Force will serve as an associate sponsor on Aric Almirola's #43 Ford for the entire 2013 season and as a primary sponsor at the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway. The star-studded Air Force paint scheme adorned the historic No. 43 Ford for the same two marquee races in 2012 - the Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte), where Almirola earned his first career pole, and the Coke Zero 400 (Daytona). The Air Force will also continue its experiential marketing activities at NASCAR events, air shows and festivals throughout the year, taking the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and "Hangar 43" interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also continue to hold swear-in ceremonies of Airmen in the Delayed Entry Program at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, giving fans an up-close, in-person look at the moment when groups of young Americans commit themselves to their country.(RPM)(2-4-2013)

  • Chad Walter joins MWR: Chad Walter has joined Michael Waltrip Racing as director of race engineering. Walter most recently led the #22 Penske Racing team and Sam Hornish in the Nationwide Series. He won races with both Hornish and Justin Allgaier and coached both drivers to fourth-place finishes in the NNS point standings. The 41-year-old Albion, N.Y. native was replaced by Greg Erwin at the end of last season. Walter, who attended Cornell University, replaces Steve Boyer at Michael Waltrip Racing. Boyer joined MWR two seasons ago but has returned to the private sector.(Fox Sports)(2-4-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #56-Martin Truex Jr. / Michael Waltrip Racing: Truex Jr. and NAPA re-signed in August to stay with the #56 MWR team thru the 2015 season. Truex Jr. gets a new spotter in Mike Herman Jr., a former racer/driving coach. Chad Johnston returns as Truex's crew chief. See images of the #56 scheme on my #56 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-4-2013)

  • Baldwin to crew chief for Blaney: Tommy Baldwin announced Sunday evening in a video message, that he will serve as crew chief of #7-Dave Blaney this season. Baldwin first served as a crew chief in the Sprint Cup series in 1997. He won the Daytona 500 with Ward Burton in 2002.(TBR/140 BUZZ)(2-4-2013)

  • Former NASCAR driver Tyler Walker arrested after chase, drugs involved UPDATE: Two California residents were taken into custody Wednesday morning after leading Nevada, Arizona and Utah Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed pursuit. The driver, Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker, 33, and passenger, Raelie Hann McDonald, 30, both of Hermosa Beach, were arrested on a variety of drug and alcohol charges. UHP Cpl. Todd Johnson said his department was notified of a pursuit traveling northbound on I-15 in Arizona at approximately 7:30 a.m. The car had failed to stop for Nevada troopers, who were pursuing the vehicle for speeding and felony evading. Troopers searched the car, finding methamphetamines, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcohol in the vehicle. Walker is a former Nationwide and Truck Series driver suspended for violating NASCAR's drug policy in 2007.(The Spectrum, KSL.com and Sporting News)(2-1-2013)
    UPDATE: A former NASCAR driver who led police on a high-speed chase through Nevada, Arizona and Utah is scheduled to appear in 5th District Court on Tuesday in St. George for his initial appearance. Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker, 33, failed to stop for police in Nevada for speeding early Wednesday morning. He then led police northbound on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge and reached speeds estimated at 150 miles per hour, according to a probable cause statement. Two Utah Highway Patrol officers were able to deflate the tires of Walker's 2007 BMW 750 Li sedan after releasing spike strips. The vehicle came to a stop 1.5 miles later. According to the statement, a UHP trooper attempted to approach the vehicle, but Walker allegedly drove off at 80 mph with flat tires. Walker stopped again, and was finally apprehended after trying to flee on foot. Walker was charged with two third-degree felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony charge of failure to stop for police, and misdemeanor charges, including driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of paraphernalia, unlawful transportation of alcohol and having an open container in a vehicle. Bail was set at $18,020. Walker and McDonald posted bail Wednesday night.(St. George Daily Spectrum)
    (2-4-2013)

  • Two-Car draft at Talladega "pathetic": Many NASCAR fans didn't like the two-car tandem draft that dominated restrictor-plate racing, especially at Talladega Superspeedway, in 2010 and 2011. They were joined by some of the top executives of the sport, including one who recently railed against the style of racing and blamed it for the sluggish ticket sales at Talladega Superspeedway. International Speedway Corp. President John Saunders, whose company owns 12 tracks, including Talladega and Daytona International Speedway, minced no words when talking about the racing during a conference call last week with financial analysts. "The tandem racing, two or three events of that kind of stuff & was quite frankly pathetic," Saunders said. "It's not what Talladega has been known for." Bad weather, including tornado warnings, that occurred during Talladega's spring weekends in 2010 and 2011 and high unemployment also hurt attendance, Saunders said. But he also said drivers' negative comments about the racing at Talladega encouraged fans to stay home. The Talladega stands were far from full last year, and NASCAR estimated the Talladega crowd last October at 88,000  an estimate that includes those camping in the infield. In fan surveys after its fall 2011 race, 75 percent said they didn't like the two-car draft, Lynch said. While NASCAR implemented rules designed to limit it in 2012  rules that kept drivers from using the two-car draft up until the race's final laps  the damage appears have been done.(Sporting News)(2-4-2013)

  • Newman focusing on 2013; looking toward 2014: #39-Ryan Newman knows he doesn't have a contract for 2014. He wishes that wasn't the case, but he knows how to handle it. After all, it was at this time last year when he also was a free agent. He eventually signed a one-year deal to stay at Stewart-Haas Racing. "I have no extra pressure on myself to perform than at any other time in my career," Newman said. "I just don't have the things done on paperwork to say what I'm doing in 2014, which doesn't the change the way I drive this year." Like many veterans in other sports, Newman faces the prospect of getting squeezed out as teams look for younger, and possibly cheaper, options. Newman said he took a cut in salary, like many drivers have as sponsorship dollars have been tougher to find. SHR already has three drivers signed for 2014 with team owner Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and, reportedly, Kevin Harvick. Stewart hasn't ruled out going to a four-car operation in 2014, and that would leave the door open for Newman to return. "Where I end up, that's where I end up," Newman said. "If I stay, I stay. If I don't, I don't. I have to do what's best for me." He will spend this season trying to win races and hope those sponsors stick behind him so he has a place to drive in 2014.(Sporting News)(2-4-2013)

  • Bloomquist in KBM entry in Eldora: Storied dirt racer Scott Bloomquist will be behind the wheel of a Kyle Busch Motorsports Truck Series entry when the tour makes its debut on the dirt at Eldora Speedway this summer. Bloomquist, who has over five championships and 500 race wins under his belt, will be making his series debut. Bloomquist and Busch have a history together, as Bloomquist provided entries for Busch to run the Prelude to the Dream charity event held at Eldora, including the car Busch drove to victory last year.(OneDirt.com)(2-4-2013)


    News from February 3, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #55-Mark Martin - Brian Vickers - Michael Waltrip / Michael Waltrip Racing: The team will run the same three drivers in the #55 in 2013 with a slightly different schedule. Mark Martin will run in 24 points races and the Sprint Unlimited and All-Star race. Brian Vickers will run the #55 in nine races. And team owner Michael Waltrip will run three restrictor plate races: Daytona in July and both Talladega races. Waltrip will run the #30 Swan Racing Toyota in the Daytona 500. Looks like Aaron's will be the primary sponsor for most of the races. Vickers may have a few races with a different sponsor as he did in 2012. Martin said recently he doesn't expect to be back in the #55 in 2014 and Vickers could be the leading candidate to run the car full time in 2014. Martin does not plan to retire and no word on his plans after 2013.
    See images of the #55 schemes on my #55 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-3-2013)

  • Green Earth Technologies' G-OIL named Official Motor Oil of Daytona Daytona International Speedway announced a new partnership with Green Earth Technologies, Inc., naming the Florida-based makers of G-OIL, the first bio-based full synthetic oil used in NASCAR competition, as the "Official Motor Oil" of Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500. G-OIL made NASCAR history here at Daytona International Speedway in February 2012 when the TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry driven by Tayler Malsam finished sixth in the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. G-OIL is the world's first and only bio-based fully synthetic motor oil to receive American Petroleum Institute certification. G-OIL products will be used in all DIS official vehicles including fan shuttles, safety, maintenance, service and landscaping equipment.(DIS)(2-3-2013)


    News from February 2, 2013

  • Florida Lottery sponsoring Blaney: The Florida Lottery and Tommy Baldwin Racing will renew its partnership for the three Florida races in 2013, with its colors to be displayed on Dave Blaney's #7 Chevy. Promoting their "Lucky for Life" line of games, the Florida Lottery will also be celebrating their 25th anniversary. The Florida Lottery has paid more than $37.7 billion in prizes to winners, enjoyed a mutually-beneficial relationship with more than 13,000 retailers and generated more than $24 billion for education.(TBR/140 BUZZ), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(2-2-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #52-Brian Keselowski - Hamilton Means Racing: Was recently announced that Brian Keselowski would drive the #52 Toyota in the Daytona 500 and has a yet unannounced sponsor for the race. Brian's father Bob will serve as the crew chief and the team will have an engine supplied by Joey Arrington. No word on further plans for 2013 and if Keselowski will drive again in the #52 or move back to his own #92 Toyota team for other races in 2013.
    See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-2-2013)

  • Stewart-Haas adding test team: Stewart-Haas Racing is developing a new test team. Veteran crew chief David Hyder will oversee the project. "I'm planning on taking the wheels off of my pit box for a while," Hyder said Friday. "With the new car coming this season, they'd been talking about putting a test team together. I'm not sure what all it will entail yet, but Zippy (Stewart-Haas Racing Director of Competition Greg Zipadelli) told me to plan on going to Daytona." In the advent of the Generation 6 car, NASCAR's top organizations are doing whatever it takes to get up to speed quickly. Although SHR has a research and development group, the test team is the latest response to up the ante. Considering that SHR is expanding its two-car operation of Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman to add rookie Danica Patrick, the timing is perfect. Hyder started working at SHR on Tuesday. He most recently guided Cale Conley in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East but missed the competition at the Cup level. Hyder had previously worked as a crew chief for Wood Brothers Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Kevin Harvick Inc.(Fox Sports)(2-2-2013)

  • NASCAR drivers make Super Bowl picks: Super Bowl 47 is set to kick off Sunday in New Orleans and when it comes to the NASCAR community, there are a number of opinions as to whether Baltimore or San Francisco will capture the Lombardi Trophy.
    • Green Bay Packer fan Matt Kenseth is sticking with the NFC San Francisco 49ers. "The Super Bowl could go either way but I'll stick with the NFC and go with the 49ers. I think (Colin) Kaepernick adds another element to the game and he's going to be tough to stop ... but man, the Ravens are looking good too. It could be a pretty entertaining game."
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. is disappointed his Washington Redskins are not playing for the Lombardi Trophy, however he believes either Baltimore or San Francisco could emerge victorious. "The Ravens seem to be on a course of destiny. There's a lot of veterans on that team that know what it takes, so going into that game I think they'll be the best prepared team. But, the 49ers have been able to overcome adversity early in games so I expect it to be pretty close.
    • Chicago Bears fan Danica Patrick says she's stuck when it comes to pulling for the Ravens or 49ers. "Bob Parsons (Executive Chairman and Founder of Patrick's sponsor Go Daddy.com) is from Baltimore and he obviously wants the Ravens to win so I feel some alliance needing to cheer for Baltimore, but, a really want the 49ers to win so I don't know. I don't really care. If the Bears aren't in it I don't really care".
    • Sprint Cup Series champ Brad Keselowski gives the nod to the Baltimore Ravens saying their retiring All-Pro Middle Linebacker Ray Lewis tips the balance toward the AFC Champs. "It's Ray Lewis ... because he brings a level of heart and passion that's unparalleled in what his sport has and I want to be that guy in our sport."
    • Nationwide Series driver Travis Pastrana is native of Annapolis Maryland and will be at the game rooting for his Ravens and hopes the emotion doesn't get the best of them. "The defense is going to be on fire!" Pastrana joked ... "Ray (Lewis) has been crying when he comes out ... and I'm like, don't cry man, and don't tire yourself out before the game! I'm pumped."
    * No matter which two teams were in the Super Bowl Kevin Harvick was going to the big game as a guest of his sponsor Budweiser. But, there's no secret as to which team he'll be rooting for. "I've been a lifelong 49ers fan ... I grew up as a kid in Bakersfield, California. It hasn't always been pretty over the last several years but to see them play now will make the day go a lot more exciting. I'll have 49ers gear on for sure. I bought my friend Kasey Kahne a nice, personalized 49ers jersey that he can wear too, so I'm holding him to wearing that thing". Kahne, a Washington State native, is a Seattle Seahawks fans.
    * Kurt Busch likes the fact that the Harbaugh brothers will be coaching on opposing sidelines, but he's also hoping that whoever wins it will be a lopsided game like the collegiate national championship game played out between Alabama and Notre Dame. "It was a blowout. That means a lot of people tuned off college football and I hope they're waiting for NASCAR and they can tune in NASCAR when it fires up. So, I'm hoping for a blowout ... people don't like the Super Bowl and they can't wait for the Daytona 500. That's what I'm rooting for.
    * Kyle Busch is a Denver Broncos fan and he'll be at the game Sunday. "What's weird is its two teams that, to me, they don't spark an interest. The Broncos would or the Chicago Bears would or the Patriots would for me but its two almost forgotten teams so it's kind of unique that you get those two in the Super Bowl which is cool. Also having the brotherly rivalry (between the two head coaches) going on there I know what that's like, so that's cool. But, if I had to pick one, it's a tough one to pick, but I like the niners".
    * Joe Gibbs has three Superbowl rings but warns not to take his prediction seriously. The NASCAR team owner said "To me, I think it's hard to stop San Fransisco right now. That's a pretty awesome deal they've got going....but....I wouldn't have thought we'd wind up with these two teams in the Superbowl so I'm probably not the best guy to talk to. Never go off what the coach says 'cause coaches, it's been proven, they don't know what they're talking about.(PRN's Garage Pass)(2-2-2013)

  • Brad Keselowski Day in Michigan: On Tuesday, Brad Keselowski met Detroit Pistons players in the locker room at the Palace in Auburn Hills. Thursday morning, the 2012 Sprint Cup champion from Rochester Hills stood at the rostrum above the Senate floor at the State Capitol building in Lansing and received a standing ovation from the packed chamber. Beside him was a replica of the Sprint Cup trophy he won for team owner Roger Penske in November. The Senate honored Keselowski with a resolution -- the second time the Penske racing driver has been recognized in the Senate. In 2010, he was honored in Lansing for his Nationwide Series championship. The governor's office will proclaim Saturday Brad Keselowski Day throughout the state in a salute to his historic Cup championship, when he became the first Michigan-born driver to win NASCAR's premier series.(Detroit Free Press)(2-2-2013)

  • Tickets on sale at Michigan: Now is your chance to get in on the exciting action at Michigan International Speedway in 2013, the fastest track in NASCAR. And the prices will never be lower. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will make a pair of stops at MIS in 2013. The opening race will once again be on Father's Day weekend for the Quicken Loans 400 on June 16. The Pure Michigan 400 will take place on Aug. 18 and annually serves as an important race prior to The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. And don't forget: NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying returns to Fridays in 2013 at MIS. The track continues to keep ticket prices low for 2013. Race fans who purchase early will have the best prices and the best seats. Tickets for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race start at $25, with children 12 and under free in certain sections, ensuring families a chance to see NASCAR at affordable prices. You can camp all week long for just $130. The speedway will also continue its junior pricing program where kids 13-16 are half price in reserve seats. In addition, MIS offers a variety of ticket packages for all types of races fans.(MIS)(2-2-2013)


    News from February 1, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #51 Phoenix Racing: The team will run a few different drivers in 2013 with Regan Smith in the #51 Guy Roofing Chevy for the Daytona 500, A.J. Allmendinger in the four out of the next five races and Austin Dillon in the #51 Tag Heuer Eyewear Chevy at Las Vegas. After Martinsville a driver schedule has not been announced. Smith is expected to run 7-10 races in 2013 and Allmendinger is expected to run the car in some others. Team general manager Steve Barkdoll said that the team plans to field a Sprint Cup car for the entire season. See an image of the #51 Guy Roofing scheme on my #51 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-1-2013)

  • Former NASCAR driver Tyler Walker arrested after chase, drugs involved: Two California residents were taken into custody Wednesday morning after leading Nevada, Arizona and Utah Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed pursuit. The driver, Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker, 33, and passenger, Raelie Hann McDonald, 30, both of Hermosa Beach, were arrested on a variety of drug and alcohol charges. UHP Cpl. Todd Johnson said his department was notified of a pursuit traveling northbound on I-15 in Arizona at approximately 7:30 a.m. The car had failed to stop for Nevada troopers, who were pursuing the vehicle for speeding and felony evading. Troopers searched the car, finding methamphetamines, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcohol in the vehicle. Walker is a former Nationwide and Truck Series driver suspended for violating NASCAR's drug policy in 2007.(The Spectrum, KSL.com and Sporting News)(2-1-2013)

  • Buck Baker's Tough Attitude Perfect For NASCAR's Early Years: Buck Baker personified the term "old school." Elzie Wylie "Buck" Baker, winner of 46 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the series' first back-to-back champion, personified the phrase "no quarter asked and none given." Baker, whose NASCAR career spanned portions of four decades beginning in 1949, had one goal: to win. How he got there, well, that was up to Baker. "He was the perfect example of how a (stock car) driver used to be; the typical Scotch-Irish driver of the past," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, the former president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and one-time sportswriter. "If you were in a corner and (it was) someplace he wanted to go, he'd be there. Either you'd be in the wall or he would. However fast the car would go, he'd get there in a fairly spectacular fashion. He was one of the best and certainly one of the toughest." Baker's son, Elzie Wylie "Buddy" Baker Jr., puts it this way. "He was not a bully. He wasn't out to create problems," said Baker, who counts the 1980 Daytona 500 and 1972-73 Coca-Cola 600s among 19 NASCAR premier series victories. "But he didn't run from them either. If you were racing against him, you didn't like him very much. But you had to be tough back then." Buck Baker, who died in 2002 at age 83, is among five being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Feb. 8. His fellow members of the class of 2013  the hall's fourth  are NASCAR premier series champions Herb Thomas and Rusty Wallace; championship car owner Cotton Owens and innovative engine builder, mechanic and crew chief Leonard Wood. For the full story, stats and more on Buck Baker and the Class of 2013, see my NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2013 page.(2-1-2013)

  • Ranger expected to run 3 Nationwide races: Andrew Ranger has returned the #53 NDS Motorsports team based in Vermont. The double champion NASCAR Canadian Tire has signed a deal to make a dozen starts with the U.S. team, the same team that he drove for in 2011. His program will be shared between the K & N Pro Series, ARCA and Nationwide. In addition, Andrew plans to do some shopping in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck race in Ontario. The NDS team will still be sponsored by Waste Management sponsors but others may be added. "The team is in better financial health than two years ago, said Andrew. They will send their cars in North Carolina to be developed before the start of the season. I like the program this season and I think we have the equipment first. There will be approximately 50% of road tracks that I love and where I had a lot of success and 50% ovals two ARCA races on dirt. It will make me a great season."(Translated from OnRoule.ca) the scheduled Nationwide races are Road America, Watkins Glen, and Mid-Ohio.(2-1-2013)

  • Tommy Baldwin continuing partnership with Lagasse; Corey LaJoie also driving some races: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced the continuation of a partnership formed last season with TeamSLR (Scott Lagasse Racing) to field the #8 Chevy Camaro in at least 15 races this season. Lagasse's sponsorship with the Boy Scouts of America and HybridLight is a continuation from his previous efforts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Teaming up with Lagasse will be crew chief Brad Parrott, who has worked with some of the most successful teams in NASCAR. "We formed a partnership with TBR (Tommy Baldwin Racing) which allows us the ability to gradually transition our team into the NASCAR Nationwide Series over two seasons," Lagasse said. "We competed in three races at the end of last season to begin the building process, evaluate our weaknesses and sharpen our focus for 2013. We believe that this will be the best approach for our organization as well as our existing marketing partners."
    AND: Tommy Baldwin Racing and TeamSLR announced a joint effort to field the #8 Chevy Camaro during the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide season, a continuation of the partnership formed between the two teams last year. Sharing the driving duties of the #8 car with Lagasse will be NASCAR K&N Pro Series East star, Corey "Supershoe" LaJoie. LaJoie, the son of two-time Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie, has been racing since the age of five with much success leading in to his Nationwide Series debut. Notably, LaJoie holds the honor of being named one of NASCAR's Next 9 drivers and has had very successful showings in the K&N Pro Series East. LaJoie held the most wins and top-five finishes last season and was runner up in the NKNPSE championship battle. LaJoie is scheduled to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Dover on June 1st 2013.(TBR/140 BUZZ)(2-1-2013)

  • Future Daytona construction could impact Cup schedule: Daytona International Speedway could look vastly different in two or three years. Exactly how and when is still to be determined. And along those construction lines, comes the inevitable question of whether the track can spend a couple of years re-doing the entire frontstretch grandstands and façade without disrupting its traditional NASCAR race dates. DIS President Joie Chitwood, who unveiled some preliminary drawings last week of the project but has not yet gotten approval to build from the board of parent company International Speedway Corp., said he thinks 2014 would be too soon for any construction impact on the schedule. In discussing future schedules last week, NASCAR Senior Vice President Steve O'Donnell said the Daytona construction schedule would have to be considered when developing a schedule. Chitwood wouldn't rule out a change in Daytona race dates but without a proposed construction schedule, he couldn't predict whether one would be necessary. "Obviously we don't want to really change anything," Chitwood said. "We've got really good event weekends. They work for us. We love our July event  wrap ourselves with the American flag and celebrate the nation's birthday. And who doesn't love Daytona in February and starting off the season? But, look, if we get the opportunity to make some massive redevelopment in our property, we'll have to see how that all shakes out. It's way too early to see if that will change our schedule, and the goal would be not to have to do that."(Sporting News)(2-1-2013)


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