January 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

JANUARY 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 January 31, 2013

  • PETA asks for space on Earnhardt, Jr.'s #88: It's been wildly reported that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still looking for some sponsors. In fact, Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt's team, has yet to find sponsorship for 13 Sprint Cup races (although with an owner that just spent a million on a Corvette, it's unlikely Earnhardt Jr. is going to miss any races). Anyway, apparently the folks over at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals heard about the open space on Earnhardt Jr.'s car. And they want some of it...for free. The animal rights organization wrote the driver a letter on Thursday, asking him to consider putting the campaign's logo on his #88 car. "I'm writing today after reading that sponsorship this season is at a low because I hope that you'll consider using the available space on your beautiful car as an opportunity to spread a lifesaving spay-and-neuter message that would spare countless dogs and cats in your home state tremendous suffering," wrote Michelle Cho, PETA's associate director. Hendrick Motorsports had no official comment on the PETA request.(AutoWeek)(1-31-2013)

  • SANY America sponsoring Blaney for 14 races: Tommy Baldwin has been gradually building his race team since 2009. He's endured a fledgling economy and has managed to maintain a presence in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Now, he's seeing his patience and hard work pay off. Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that the building continues, as they introduce SANY America to NASCAR as a major sponsorship partner for 2013. With Dave Blaney at the wheel, SANY America will serve as the primary sponsor on the #7 ChevyS for 14 Sprint Cup Series events and associate partner for 22 races, starting with the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 3rd. The relationship was forged with the help of Al Heinke, owner of Mohawk Construction and co-owner of TBR. Started in 1989 by college roommates, SANY is now the sixth largest industrial equipment company in the world. With global sales of their cranes, concrete pump machinery, excavators, and other heavy-duty equipment, they reported revenues of over $12 billion in 2012.(TBR/140 BUZZ)(1-31-2013)

  • Former NFL player becomes minority owner of Swan Racing: Bill Romanowski, who played 16 seasons in the NFL, has signed on as a minority-owner of Swan Racing, a fulltime competitor in the Sprint Cup Series. The retired NFL star joins forces with upstart team owner Brandon Davis, who is leading Swan into its first full racing season. Romanowski's health supplement company, Nutrition53, also signed on as a team sponsor and will be the primary sponsor for ten races on the #30 Toyota driven by David Stremme. Nutrition53 will have an associate sponsor position on the car for the other 26 races. Romanowski started in an astounding 243 consecutive games  highlighted by 5 Super Bowl appearances as a linebacker  and was selected twice to the Pro Bowl. He played for the San Francisco 49ers, 1988-1993; Philadelphia Eagles, 1994-1995; Denver Broncos, 1996-2001; and Oakland Raiders, 2002-2003. Romanowski is founder and CEO of Nutrition53, which markets a line of supplemental health drinks and vitamins developed by a team of doctors, scientists and nutritionists to help with weight loss, energy, mental performance and sleep. Nutition53 will be featured on the #30 Toyota as the primary sponsor for 10 Sprint Cup races in 2013, which include: Texas (April 13), Charlotte (May 26 and October 12), Pocono (June 9 and August 4), Sonoma (June 23), Daytona (July 6), New Hampshire (July 14 and September 22), and Atlanta (September 1).(Swan Racing)(1-31-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #48-Jimmie Johnson / Hendrick Motorsports:: No changes on the #48 team. Will run a special yelow scheme in the Sprint Unlimited and a few other special schemes thru out the season. Lowe's will be the sponsor on about 2/3rds of the races and Kobalt Tools [Lowe's Tool brand] on the others. See images of the Lowe's, Kobalt Tools and special yellow Lowe's schemes on my #48 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-31-2013)

  • Rondeau named Director of Competition at Furniture Row: Pete Rondeau, who has been affiliated with Furniture Row Racing since the 2010 season, has been elevated to the competition director position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup team. Rondeau initially joined the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing as the team's car chief. He assumed the crew chief role in May 2010 and served in that capacity until July 2012. In his new position as competition director, Rondeau will be the point person at the Denver race shop with the building and preparation of the team's #78 Chevys which will be driven by Kurt Busch. Rondeau will report to Mark McArdle, Furniture Row Racing's executive director of competition, who also serves as director of racing operations at Richard Childress Racing. Furniture Row Racing and RCR are partners with a technical and engineering alliance.(FRR)(1-31-2013)

  • Valvoline extends partnership with Roush Fenway: Roush Fenway Racing and Valvoline have announced the extension of their long-running and equally successful NASCAR partnership. The relationship, which spans over a decade and a half, pairs two elite organizations with long histories of automotive performance excellence. RFR will continue to use Valvoline's revolutionary NextGen recycled, re-refined motor oil, which last season helped the team to a win in the famed Daytona 500 and its second consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship. Valvoline, a leading innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive products, will continue to be the exclusive motor oil provider for Roush Fenway Racing; NASCAR's winningest Team.(Roush Fenway)(1-31-2013)

  • Johnson driving for JR Motorsports at Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson will compete in the March 2 Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway for JR Motorsports. Johnson will drive the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 (4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2). This will mark Johnson's first Nationwide Series race since finishing second in a JR Motorsports car at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13, 2011. Johnson is a four-time winner at Phoenix in the Sprint Cup Series. Johnson has competed in 92 Nationwide Series races, 64 of which came during his full-time campaigns in 2000 and 2001. He has one victory (Chicagoland Speedway on July 14, 2001), 24 top-10s and two pole awards. Great Clips, the world's largest hair salon brand, announced earlier this month its partnership with JR Motorsports by way of a 28-race sponsorship agreement. The Phoenix event on March 2 was part of the original 28-race package, but it was to be driven by Brad Sweet. With Johnson now filling the seat at Phoenix, Sweet has been added to the June 15 event at Michigan International Speedway, bringing the Great Clips package to 29 races. Kasey Kahne and Sweet will share most of the workload in the #5 Chevy.(JR Motorsports)(1-31-2013)

  • Monsam takes over as McClure's crew chief: NASCAR veteran John Monsam has replaced Wes Ward as crew chief for Eric McClure and the #14 Hefty/Reynolds Racing team effective immediately. Ward, who called the shots for the 34-year-old driver last season, decided late last week to pursue other opportunities that kept him closer to home with his family on most weekends. Monsam, a Connecticut native, has worked in all three of NASCAR's top divisions during his racing career. He's worked for top Sprint Cup organizations like Dale Earnhardt Inc, Roush Fenway Racing, The Wood Brothers, and former Camping World Truck Series team Kevin Harvick, Inc. He most recently led Nationwide Series driver Jason Bowles and the #81 team at Randy MacDonald Motorsports to a 13th-place and 22nd-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver and Owner standings respectively. In 19 years, the 52-year-old crew chief has recorded one ARCA Series victory, seven Camping World Truck Series victories, and two Nationwide Series victories.(TMI)(1-31-2013)

  • Pardue named crew chief for Newberry: NTS Motorsports announced that Eddie Pardue has been named crew chief for the #14 Chevy driven by Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Brennan Newberry for the 2013 Camping World Truck Series season. Pardue began working in NASCAR in 1993. Before becoming a crew chief, the Virginia-native served as a shock specialist and spotter. Pardue began his career as a crew chief in the Nationwide Series in 1998. His resume includes three NNS wins with drivers, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth, eight pole awards and more than 35 top-five finishes.(NTS Motorsports PR)(1-31-2013)

  • Quicken Loans renews sponsorship of Michigan Cup race: Quicken Loans Inc, the nation's third largest mortgage lender, announced it has again partnered with Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, to sponsor the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, June 16. Detroit-based Quicken Loans was a sponsor of the same race in 2012, which saw driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. break his 143-race winless streak. Along with its renewed sponsorship of the Quicken Loans 400, Quicken Loans is the primary sponsor of Stewart-Haas Racing's #39 team and driver Ryan Newman for 18 Sprint Cup races, and an associate sponsor for the remainder of the season. The company also serves as an associate sponsor of three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Sprint Cup rookie-of-the-year candidate Danica Patrick, both of whom are teammates with Newman at Stewart-Haas Racing.(TrueSpeed Communications)(1-31-2013)

  • Bristol Fan-Friendly Lodging partners announced: One of the most recognizable of Bristol Motor Speedway's guest initiative programs takes shape for 2013 with at least three new partners. 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. "When we developed this program more than three years ago, we did not want to limit the definition of lodging properties to just hotels, but any type of facility with accommodations for our guest," said BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell. "As a result we have chain and privately-owned hotels, cabins, lodges and even an historic Inn which has hosted three former U.S. Presidents. Properties in three states: Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, make up the preliminary list for 2013. Caldwell expects more properties to join the program.(BMS)(1-31-2013)


    News from January 30, 2013

  • Timmy Hill driving for FAS Lane: 2011 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year Timmy Hill has announced he will make a run at the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors driving the FAS Lane Racing #32 U.S Chrome Ford. Hill joined FAS Lane Racing in 2012, racing three events late in the year, including at Kansas Speedway where he finished a career-high 22nd while racing on the lead lap. Hill will race 18 to 20 races for FAS Lane Racing with veteran NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader also taking turns at the wheel as the team will race the entire 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. The total of races Hill will enter will allow him to compete against Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. for the Rookie of the Year title. Hill's first race of 2013 will be the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 24th, at Auto Club Speedway.(Hill PR)(1-30-2013)

  • Former NASCAR team employee pleads guilty to embezzlement: A 62-year-old Summerfield woman accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from Bill Davis Racing entered a plea deal in Guilford County Superior Court today. Anne Winner, who had worked as a business manager at a division of the company for two years, pleaded guilty to six counts of embezzlement and one count of obtaining property under false pretenses. Judge John O. Craig III gave her a sentence of four to five months in prison for one of the embezzlement counts and six consecutive suspended sentences of six to eight months each for the other charges. She was also ordered to pay $100,000 to her former employer, $75,000 of which she has already paid. Based in High Point, Bill Davis Racing fielded cars in NASCAR's top three series until 2009.(News Record)(1-30-2013)

  • Accell Construction will sponsor Yeley for 6 races: Accell Construction will be back with Tommy Baldwin Racing and the #36 Chevy of JJ Yeley for six races in 2013. This marks the third year that the Oklahoma-based company will partner with TBR, serving as a primary sponsor at both events at Phoenix International Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kansas Speedway. Accell Construction, Inc. operates as a full service site civil contractor for the petroleum terminal and bulk storage industries and specializes in tank farm construction, tank foundations and other related site civil construction.(TBR/140 BUZZ)(1-30-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #47-Bobby Labonte / JTG-Daugherty Racing:: 2000 Sprint Cup Champion Bobby Labonte re-signed for 2013. Brian Burns worked his way from interim status 2012 to the full crew chief role in 2013. House-Autry Mills is a new primary sponsor for two races and an associate partner for 21 races in 2013. Herr's also joins the team as an associate sponsor in 2013. Scott Products, Clorox, Kingsford, Bush's Beans, Charter and Kroger return as sponsors on the #47 Toyota. JTG Daugherty team owner Brad Daugherty said on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio 90's The Morning Drive that the team is looking to add a 2nd car in the 1st half of the 2013 season. One rumored driver was David Reutimann but he has signed with BK Racing for 2013. See images of the six of the #47 schemes on my #47 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-30-2013)

  • Race start times released: NASCAR has released the start times and television networks for its 2013 races in its three national series. The Sprint Cup Series times have primarily remained the same, with only a slight change to Darlington Raceway's start time to 6:45 p.m. Although most night races are set for 7:30 p.m. ET, Darlington was moved to 7 p.m. last year because of the time it takes to complete 500 miles at the track. Two Nationwide Series races will be on ESPNNEWS. The Richmond race in April conflicts with ESPN's coverage of the NFL draft and the NBA playoffs and the ABC Friday night prime-time lineup. The Kentucky race in September, which was initially an afternoon race but has been moved to night, conflicts with previously scheduled college football on ABC and other ESPN networks.(Sporting News), see all the schedules on the 2013 Sprint Cup Series schedule, 2013 Nationwide Series schedule, and 2013 Camping World Truck Series schedule pages.(1-30-2013)

  • Racing Electonics signs deal with ISC: UPDATE: Racing Electonics is very pleased and excited to announce that they have been selected and signed a multi year deal as the exclusive scanner company for the International Speedway Corporation's racetracks. RE is now preparing for a busy 2013 and will have additional locations, equipment and staff to assure race fans receive the very best experience possible. In addition to racing scanners Racing Electronics, is proud to be the distributor for FanVision at all NASCAR Sprint Cup Races again in 2013. 2013 marks our 25th year in business which makes this a particularly special deal for RE. More info on Racing Electronics go to racingelectronics.com.(1-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Track Scan has been notified that we will not be granted access to support you at the International Speedway Corporation facilities during the 2013 Season. Americrown Service Corporation, with the approval of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), has notified us of their decision to enter into an exclusive agreement with another scanner vendor. While they have enjoyed a successful working relationship with Track Scan, Americrown considered factors unique to their business and strategy, and believe this exclusive agreement to be in their best interests. As a result of the Americrown/ISC decision, Track Scan will not be allowed to place our trackside vendor trailers at any of the ISC facilities and Track Scan's proprietary airwave programming equipment will not be transmitting frequency updates. Track Scan is not out of business and is looking forward to seeing all of you at non-ISC events!(Track Scan)(1-30-2012)

  • Sad News - Ken Houston: Kenneth Aray Houston, 79, of Hickory, NC, passed away Monday, January 28, 2013 unexpectedly at Frye Regional Center. Mr. Houston was born December 30, 1933 in Catawba County he was the son of the late Winnie Lee Sigmon & Clyde Houston. Mr. Houston was the owner and operator of Merican Muffler for 40 years in Hickory.
    Houston was part of the famed Houston racing family and the brother of former Sprint Cup (13 races) and Nationwide (24 wins) driver Tommy Houston and of Hal, who was Teresa Earnhardt's father.(Bass-Smith Funeral Home)(1-30-2013)

  • Swindell to drive for Biagi-DenBeste: After competing for NASCAR Nationwide Series team #98-Biagi-DenBeste Racing last year at Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kevin Swindell will return to the team for select NNS races in 2013. The team plans to compete in 15 NNS events this season and will first race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 9. Swindell, a sprint car standout, has been building his stock car experience, competing in the NNS, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the ARCA Racing Series, earning his first NASCAR pole in 2010 and taking home his first stock car win last year at Chicagoland Speedway. After competing in the NNS in 2002-2006, Biagi-DenBeste Racing returned to the series for select races in 2012. In total, the team has amassed 168 starts, one win, three top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. In addition to bringing back Swindell as the driver, Steve Plattenberger will continue to serve as the Team Manager and Competition Director with Jon Hanson as the crew chief.(Biagi-DenBeste Racing)(1-30-2013)

  • Alliance Truck Parts returns with Penske: After a strong second season as a primary sponsor of the #12 car in Nationwide Series competition, Alliance Truck Parts announced that it is extending its partnership with Penske Racing. As part of the multi-year extension agreement, Alliance Truck Parts will serve as a primary sponsor of the #12 Ford Mustang driven once again this season by Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series. Alliance Truck Parts will be a primary sponsor of the #12 entry for 17 races in 2013 and will be an associate sponsor on the car for the balance of the NNS races this season.(Penske Racing), see an image of the car on the #12 team paint schemes page.(1-30-2013)

  • Stenzel, MB Motorsports reunite for Daytona: Scott Stenzel will drive the #63 for Mike Mittler and MB Motorsports at the season-opening race in Daytona, as well as other select races this season. Stenzel ran two races for Mitler in 2012, with a best finish of 23rd in Kansas.(MB Motorsports)(1-30-2013)

  • Compton, Armstrong team up for 2013 effort UPDATE: SPEED's Ray Dunlap posted onhis 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)

  • Pardue named crew chief for Newberry: NTS Motorsports announced that Eddie Pardue has been named crew chief for the #14 Chevy driven by Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Brennan Newberry for the 2013 Camping World Truck Series season. Pardue began working in NASCAR in 1993. Before becoming a crew chief, the Virginia-native served as a shock specialist and spotter. Pardue began his career as a crew chief in the Nationwide Series in 1998. His resume includes three NNS wins with drivers, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth, eight pole awards and more than 35 top-five finishes.(NTS Motorsports PR)(1-31-2013)

  • Kentucky single race tickets on sale: Reserved single tickets and daily Fan Zone passes for five Kentucky Speedway races including the June 27-29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 tripleheader weekend go on sale Jan. 30 at 9:00 a.m. The "Quaker State 400" serves as the finale of the first of two race weekends. Opening weekend also includes the June 28 NASCAR Nationwide Series Feed The Children 300 and June 27 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225. Racing continues with a return NNS 300-mile engagement on Sept. 21 and the 20th all-time ARCA Racing Series Kentucky Speedway event on Sept. 20. Adult ticket prices will not increase for the 14th Kentucky Speedway season and seats will be reserved for all events. NSCS Quaker State 400 tickets range between $70 and $110. NNS race tickets are priced from $45 to $75 while NCWTS and ARS tickets will be $30 and $40.(Kentucky Speedway)(1-30-2013)


    News from January 29, 2013

  • Brian Keselowski to attempt Daytona 500 with Hamilton Means: Brian Keselowski Motorsports will take on another NASCAR Sprint Cup series season. The team stepped back last year to study the new motor packages and sought sponsorship to return to the track. "I want to race and race right" stated Keselowski who went on to say "If I can't do it that way, I won't do it at all". Brian Keselowski has partnered with Kelly Owen, who is a partner in #52-Hamilton Means Racing. "I'm excited about the opportunity to partner with Brian Keselowski and be a part of the Daytona 500. Brian has shown the same ability as his brother, 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, Brad Keselowski but just hasn't had the equipment to prove it. We are hoping with this partnership that we can get him the equipment he needs to be successful." states Owen. Brian and Brad's dad, Bob Keselowski made his only ever NASCAR cup series start in the No.52 car owned by Jimmy Means Racing at Pocono Raceway in June, 1994. Brian Keselowski Motorsports has secured and signed a primary sponsor who will be announced shortly.(Keselowski PR)(1-29-2012)

  • United Mining Equipment sponsoring Yeley for three races: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that United Mining Equipment (UME) will be a primary sponsor on JJ Yeley's #36 Chevy for three races in 2013. The Butler, PA-based company will be on board for both races at Bristol Motor Speedway, and the annual summer race at Kentucky Speedway. Team owner Tommy Baldwin, Jr. is happy to bring new sponsors to NASCAR's top level. "United Mining Equipment tested TBR and NASCAR out at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year and really liked what they saw. By expanding their program this year emphasizes that our program and NASCAR can work for any business category." United Mining Equipment (UME) has been developing, repairing and supplying long wall equipment for 20 years. Together with their sister company PittLite they now offer low cost, leading technology cap lamps throughout the mining industry.(TBR/140 BUZZ), see an image of the car on the #36 team paint schemes page.(1-29-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports:: The team made its debut at Phoenix last November with David Reutimann driving. Supposedly the team was to make an announcement just after the holiday's but have not seen any. The team did not test at Daytona or Charlotte. Reutimann recently signed with BK Racing for the 2013 season. Crew chief Frank Kerr also signed a deal with Front Row Motorsports. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-29-2013)

  • No more Cup races for Bill Elliott? Although it's been a quarter of a century, Bill Elliott remembers his first short track win at Bristol Motor Speedway like it was yesterday. In a recent interview, Elliott talked about that win, racing at BMS and his son Chase's career, among other topics. Following is a transcript in part about his plans to race in 2013:
    Q) You competed some last year. Will that continue?
    Bill Elliott: I ran twice last year and that was enough for me. Now about all I do is try to keep up with Chase and our Late Model program. We've helped Ben Kennedy some, T.J. Reed and Mason Massey and between those three and what Chase has going on, I haven't had time to do anything else. It was fun to run that car at Daytona last year for Turner. That was the best car I've been in in I don't know when. But, the way I look at it, if I keep doing that then I'm taking away from somebody else getting in a car so it's kind of a doubled-edge sword.(BMS)(1-29-2013)

  • Winning Races Only Thing That Mattered To Herb Thomas: Take it from the King. Herb Thomas stood tall in an era when the stock in stock car truly defined what NASCAR's pioneers raced. "He was as good as they come," said Richard Petty. "There have been very few guys who had more confidence in what he could do than Herb. He was so strong-minded that he 'willed' his wins and what he was doing on the track. He was going to beat the guys on the track no matter what was going on. That was his mind set." High praise indeed from a driver whose father, Lee, battled door to door with Thomas and traded NASCAR championships with him. Both Pettys, father and son, are members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Thomas is due to be inducted into the hall on Friday, Feb. 8, along with fellow NASCAR premier series champions Buck Baker and Rusty Wallace; championship owner Cotton Owens and innovative crew chief, mechanic and engine builder Leonard Wood.(NASCAR). For the full story, stats and more on Herb Thomas and the Class of 2013, see my NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2013 page.(1-29-2013)

  • Rusty Wallace Racing returning for limited schedule: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced that the organization will make a return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, campaigning the #66 Ford Mustang in a limited 2013 campaign. At the helm of the #66 car will be 25 year-old Steve Wallace. Wallace, a perennial top-ten competitor in NNS competition, scored his third-straight top-ten finish in NNS points in 2011. Backing a portion of the effort will be Charlotte, NC-based mortgage and real estate firm, Richard Tocado Companies. Tocado will serve as primary sponsor of the #66 Ford Mustang beginning with the May 2013 NNS event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with additional events to be named later.(RWR)(1-29-2013)

  • Trucks to qualify, race on same day at Rockingham: When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) makes its return to Rockingham Speedway for the Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine in April, the field for the second event at the venerable one-mile track will not be set until morning of the race. Qualifying for the race will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 14. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 2:00 p.m. for the 200-lap tilt. For this year's event, the trucks will arrive at Rockingham on Friday, April 12 and will practice on Saturday, April 13 before Sunday, April 14's time trials and race.Tickets, suite packages and camping are now available for the April 12-14 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine weekend at rockinghamspeedway.com or by calling 910.205.8800. General admission tickets for Saturday are $15 in advance ($20 at the gate) and grandstand tickets for Sunday range from $20 to $35. ( Rockingham Speedway PR)(1-29-2013)

  • NTS Motorsports, Hornaday partner with Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff for 12 races: NTS Motorsports is pleased to announce the return of Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff, America's original, best-selling tobacco-free smokeless brand, to the #9 Chevrolet Silverado, piloted by four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) champion, Ron Hornaday. Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff will serve as the primary sponsor on Hornaday's #9 machine for 12 events throughout the 2013 NCWTS season as well as share associate sponsorship for the remaining 10 series events. The growing herbal snuff brand will also serve as an associate sponsor for select events on the #14 entry of teammate Brennan Newberry. Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff will adorn Hornaday's #9 Chevrolet Silverado in the NCWTS events at Daytona International Speedway, Rockingham Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway (June), Iowa Speedway (July), Eldora Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway (November), and Phoenix International Raceway. Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff will debut a new paint scheme exclusively for next month's NextEra Energy Resources 250 at DIS - a new black, green and gold #9 machine. This special paint scheme will replicate the can of the tobacco-free chew's #1 seller, Wintergreen.(NTS Motorsports PR)(1-29-2013)

  • Sellout "imminent" for Truck Series Eldora dirt race: UPDATE: Eldora Speedway officials announced Monday that brisk weekend sales have reduced the number of remaining reserved seats to just 600 for the Wednesday, July 24 running of the Inaugural Mudsummer Classic. The highly anticipated NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event will be NASCAR's first national series event held on a dirt track since September 1970. In just 16 days of ticket sales, fans from 48 states, the Virgin Islands, seven Canadian provinces and New Zealand have secured their ticket to witness NASCAR stars take on 'dirt track ringers' in another historic Eldora moment. Due to the demand, Eldora Speedway officials also announced that 1,000 General Admission tickets will go on public sale Tuesday at 10 a.m. The tickets, which allow fans to bring their own lawn chairs and view all of the action from the popular grass hillsides in a festival setting are an Eldora tradition, and will be available from www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling the Eldora Speedway Ticket Office at (937) 338-3815. General Admission tickets are $36 for adults and $12 for children (12 & younger).( Eldora Speedway) (1-21-2013)
    UPDATE: Eldora Speedway officials have announced that all reserved grandstand seats have been sold for the Inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mudsummer Classic. The final pairs of tickets were sold last Friday and sales of the remaining single seats continued throughout the weekend until the final one (Sec NTD Row 1 Seat 78) was purchased at 12:35 a.m. Tuesday morning. There are 300 General Admission tickets remaining for the event. Eldora's popular General Admission grassy hillside area, which allows fans to watch from blankets or their own lawn chairs in a festival-style setting, are going fast. General admission tickets are priced at $36 for adults and $12 for children 12 and younger. They are available from www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling the Eldora Speedway Ticket Office at (937) 338-3815.( Eldora Speedway) (1-29-2013)

  • Zac Brown Band to Perform at the Daytona 500: Grammy-award winning musicians Zac Brown Band will perform the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show leading up to the start of "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 24. Zac Brown Band will perform several songs prior to the start of the 55th annual Daytona 500  the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the biggest stock car race in the world. Zac Brown Band member and Southern Ground recording artist Clay Cook will sing the National Anthem. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Daytona 500 will be able to enjoy Zac Brown Band's Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, as well as driver introductions, from the grass tri-oval area. In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around the Zac Brown Band has been created that includes a Daytona 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Zac Brown Band's performance. Packages start at $164. Fans that already have race tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for $99.(DIS)(1-29-2013)


    News from January 28, 2013

  • Golden Corral Renews partnership with Tommy Baldwin; Yeley to drive #36: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that Golden Corral will return to the organization in 2013 as a primary sponsor on the #36 Chevy to be driven by J.J. Yeley at the four superspeedway races. This will mark the third year that the Raleigh, N.C. based company has been a partner with TBR. Driving the #36 Chevy will add to an already impressive resume for Yeley. Also returning is the popular "Top 10 Kids Eat Free" promotion. Each time the #36 Golden Corral Chevy finishes in the top 10, Golden Corral will offer a one day "Kids Eat Free" promotion called "J.J.'s Mondays" on the Monday immediately following the top-10 event.(TBR/140 BUZZ)(1-28-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #43-Aric Almirola / Richard Petty Motorsports:: Almirola re-signed with RPM for the 2013 season. RPM stayed with Ford after thinking about switching to Chevy or Dodge. Smithfield Foods expanded their sponsorship of the team, going from 18 races in 2012 to 25 in 2013. The U.S. Air Force will be the primary sponsor for a few races and looks like STP will return for a race, the STP 400 at Kansas is likely. Todd Parrott returns as Almirola's crew chief in 2013 after taking over in late 2012. Almiorla had three crew chiefs in 2012: Greg Irwin, Mike Ford and Parrott. See many images of some #43 schemes on my #43 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-28-2013)

  • Mears and Geico off to fast start 2013: Time flies, but the #13 Germain Racing team maximized each moment that's passed since departing Homestead in November. Casey Mears and his GEICO team took few days off in the off-season and instead committed themselves to being prepared for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. No sooner than the team arrived home from last season's finale, they found themselves working feverishly to build new racecars, as the 2013 season will see a new bodystyle enter NASCAR. The new #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will look more similar to the Ford Fusion found at local dealerships, bringing about excitement with fans and teams alike. A single car team with just 30 employees, Germain Racing's hard work and diligence paid dividends. When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a preliminary test in December, Mears and his GEICO team were one of the only organizations to arrive at the track with a fully built, steel-bodied racecar. In January, the team was expected to be challenged by back-to-back tests at Daytona and Charlotte, but the speed charts indicated otherwise. Daytona's 2.5-mile superspeedway saw Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion in the top ten before Charlotte's 1.5-mile quad-oval found them third when the off-season's final test concluded.
    Most notably, Germain Racing is quickly becoming a destination point for NASCAR talent. Even the Sprint Cup Series' top teams experience employee turnover in the off-season, but Germain was immune to it. Instead, they added team members, including a shop foreman and mechanic. They also retained their pit crew and have a pit crew coach and consultant on staff. Both GEICO and Mears are signed on through the end of 2014, providing a level of stability that will allow Germain to experience continued growth.(Germain Racing)(1-28-2013)

  • On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen: Fred Lorenzen The story of NASCAR legend and Elmhurst (IL) native Fred Lorenzen comes to life through photos, artifacts, and exciting race footage depicting a little-known local hero who etched his name in the annals of racing history. Find out how this Midwestern outsider, known as "Fearless Freddie," got the inside track in the early days of professional NASCAR racing to become a fan favorite and winner of the 1965 Daytona 500. See the Fred Lorenzen tribute car, an exact replica of Lorenzen's #28 1964 Ford Galaxie, on opening weekend, Feb. 1-3 from 1-5 p.m. and on Museum Day (May 19). This exhibit is supported by Chicagoland Speedway. On the Road to Glory is in exhibit from February 1 thru May 19, 2013 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum . There will be a special preview on Thursday, January 31st. More info at elmhurst.org.(1-28-2013)

  • Ganassi team wins Rolex 24 At Daytona: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was clearly the team to beat throughout the 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. A couple teams, however, came close to doing just that over the final few hours of the twice-around-the-clock race around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. In the end, however, the #01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley team of Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball gave CGRFS its fifth victory in 10 attempts at the Rolex 24. In the process, Pruett joined Hurley Haywood  who served as the event's grand marshal  as the only drivers to claim five overall Rolex 24 victories. Finishng 2nd was Max Angelelli/Jordan Taylor/Ryan Hunter-Reay and 3rd was John Pew/Ozz Negri/AJ Allmendinger/Justin Wilson/Marcos Ambrose. Other NASCAR drivers finishes: Nelson Piquet Jr. was 8th overall, 8th in class(DP); Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip were 18th, 8th(GT); Boris Said was 28th, 18th; Max Papis was 31st, 21st; Jamie McMurray 37th, 11th; Former NASCAR driver David Donohue was part of a team that won the GX Class.(more at Grand-Am.com)(1-28-2013)

  • Mario Andretti trophy awarded: Motor sports icon Mario Andretti presented his namesake trophy to 2012 Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel as this year's SPEED Performer of the Year on the Sunday night edition of SPEED Center. "You are going up against the best of the best for this award," said Andretti, the only driver to ever win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 and the Formula One World Championship. "We're considering every major discipline in motor sports. That's what you are up against & that's the grandeur of this award." Vettel, who captured his third consecutive Formula One title in dramatic fashion to become the youngest triple champion in series history, came out atop five SPEED Performer of the Year finalists, including NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski, versatile youngster Kyle Larson, IndyCar champ Ryan Hunter-Reay and WRC legend Sebastien Loeb. Ten of this year's 16 nominees earned at least one first-place vote in the balloting.
    Racer Alex Zanardi, who continues to personify the heart of a racer despite an accident that robbed the Italian of both his legs in 2001, was recognized on SPEED Center with the Dan Gurney Spirit of Racing award for his success last year as a paracyclist. The two-time CART champion won two gold medals and a silver medal in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.(SPEED)(1-28-2013)

  • Sad News - Sammy Gonzalez: On Thursday January 24, the racing community lost a truly wonderful friend and teammate...Sammy Gonzalez lost his battle with cancer. Sammy was most recently a mechanic on the #1 Chevy at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR). Gonzalez came to North Carolina from California in 1995 with Ron Hornaday. He was temporarily hired to help drive the team transporter for the Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) Truck Series teams from Washington State to North Carolina. He quickly earned the respect of Dale Earnhardt Sr. at DEI and was hired on a full-time basis to co-drive the transporter for the Truck Series team. Gonzalez always had a love for racing and being on the road with the team. He has been part of the DEI/EGR family since 1996. Gonzalez is survived by his wife Diane and two sons, Stephen and Sean. A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Sammy Gonzalez will be held this Friday, February 1st at 6 pm at Williamson Chapel United Methodist Church in Mooresville, NC. The address is 575 Brawley School Road Mooresville 28117.(EGR)(1-28-2013)

  • Compton, Armstrong team up for 2013 effort: 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)

  • Joe Mattioli, III leaves Pocono Raceway Joseph R. Mattioli, III, the son of Dr. Rose Mattioli and the late Dr. Joseph Mattioli, announced that he is stepping down as a member of Pocono Raceway's Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Mattioli's tenure at Pocono started in 1974 following his graduation from Lehigh University and spanned over 40 years, with him serving as a member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and as its past President and COO. In 1995, with Pocono enjoying unprecedented success, Mattioli stepped down as President and COO, but continued to assist the family business as a member of the Board and Executive Committee. Joe Mattioli is especially proud of Pocono's success through the 70's and 80's, when debt service, a hurricane, a recession, an oil crisis and two sanctioning body boycotts during the USAC  CART wars threatened to shut the track down. "This was a family business, so failure was not an option. With a lot of help, including major assistance from the France and Hulman families, somehow we fought our way to success," Mattioli concluded. Mattioli's future plans include focusing more time on non-profit and veterans' organizations that he supports, such as the Military Warriors Support Foundation, which provides housing assistance to returning veterans, and the Motor Sports Institute, which promotes academic success through engagement with motor racing. He also plans to develop Group 341, a consulting business he began 2011. With offices in California, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, Group 341 provides strategic planning, marketing, branding, and event management consulting services.(Pocono Raceway)(1-28-2013)


    News from January 27, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #42-Juan Pablo Montoya / Earnhardt Ganassi Racing:: Montoya signed a contract extension with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, supposedly a multi-year deal. Target returns as the primary sponsor. The biggest change is that the #42 and #1 Chevy's will change from Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines and run Hendrick Motorsports engines. See images of the Target scheme on my #42 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-27-2013)

  • Ganassi wins in Rolex 24 : With the swagger of inevitably, given a decisive power advantage, the #01 BMW/Riley of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates captured the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Juan Pablo Montoya did the honors, crossing the finish line of the grueling 24-hour race 21.92 seconds ahead of Max Angelelli in the #10 Chevy of Wayne Taylor. Defending champion AJ Allmendinger ran third in Michael Shank's #60 Ford. Montoya's closing drive made a five-time overall winner of teammate Scott Pruett, who tied Hurley Haywood for the record in that category. Pruett extended his own record to 10 class wins in the Rolex 24. Memo Rojas and Charlie Kimball teamed with Pruett and Montoya for the victory, which was owner Chip Ganassi's record fifth in 10 tries.(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-27-2013)

  • Some Rules Changes in 2013: NASCAR is going back in time with a series of changes related to qualifying and testing. Series officials met with Sprint Cup drivers and crew chiefs Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway to detail next year's changes.
    " The top 35 rule, in existence since 2005, will be eliminated. This rule was in place to ensure teams in the top 35 in car owner points (and their sponsors) would be in the race in an era when 50 or more cars were attempting to qualify for races.
    " The top 36 positions will be set by qualifying speed with the remaining spots set by provisionals, including a champion's provisional. Provisionals are based on car owner points rankings.
    " A random draw will set the qualifying order. The past two seasons, the order was determined by speeds in the first practice session.
    " Provisionals for the first three races next year will be based on the final car owner points standings this year instead of the first five races as in previous years.
    " Each organization can test at four tracks of its choosing next season where NASCAR competes, the first time teams can do so since 2008. The series' sanctioning body banned testing in 2009, and since then teams could not test at tracks where NASCAR held races, but they could test on other tracks.(USA Today)(repost 1-27-2013)


    News from January 26, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #39-Ryan Newman / Stewart Haas Racing: Newman loses the U.S. Army sponsorship in 2013, which was good for about 18 races. Quicken Loans picks up the slack, upping their sponsorship total to 18. The team also has sponsorship from: Wix Filters (3 races), Outback Steakhouse (3 races), Aspen Dental (2 races) and Code 3 Associates (both Kansas races). That leaves nine races the #39 is unsponsored, Haas Automation could take over those races. Crew Chief Tony Gibson moved over to the #10 SHR Chevy to be Danica Patrick's crew chief late in the 2012 season. Matt Borland, SHR's vice president of competition for SHR, took over as the crew chief last October. Borland served as Newman's crew chief for five years when the two were together at Penske Racing (2002-2006), earning 12 wins. Newman is currently working on a one-year contract for 2013 with uncertainly on his return in 2014. With Danica Patrick running full-time in 20-13 and the foreseeable future and with Kevin Harvick coming aboard SHR in 2014, Newman could be left out of a ride. But Stewart has said, that from day one of starting Stewart Haas Racing, the plans were to grow to a four car team. So if sponsor ship is there and Newman willing, he could return in 2014. Penske was interested in bringing Newman back to Penske in 2013 but didn't have sponsorship and would be interested in Newman for the 2014 season. See images of the Wix Filters scheme on my #39 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-26-2013)

  • Interstate Batteries returns to sponsor the #18: Interstate Batteries will return for the 21st season to sponsor the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for six races in 2013. Kyle Busch is scheduled to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota at: Auto Club (3/24), Texas (4/13), Daytona (7/6), New Hampshire (7/14), Michigan (8/11) and Dover (9/29). See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team & Schemes page.(1-26-2013)

  • Racing Electonics signs deal with ISC: Racing Electonics is very pleased and excited to announce that they have been selected and signed a multi year deal as the exclusive scanner company for the International Speedway Corporation's racetracks. RE is now preparing for a busy 2013 and will have additional locations, equipment and staff to assure race fans receive the very best experience possible. In addition to racing scanners Racing Electronics, is proud to be the distributor for FanVision at all NASCAR Sprint Cup Races again in 2013. 2013 marks our 25th year in business which makes this a particularly special deal for RE. More info on Racing Electronics go to racingelectronics.com.(1-26-2013)


    News from January 25, 2013

  • CSX Transportation Joins Front Row Motorsports for 2013 Season: CSX Transportation is teaming up with Front Row Motorsports and driver David Ragan to remind NASCAR fans to "Play it Safe" around railroad tracks. CSX will serve as a primary sponsor of Ragan's #34 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, as a major associate in five additional events - Daytona (2/24), Michigan (6/16), Watkins Glen (8/11), Chicago (9/15) and Talladega (10/20) - and be featured on Ragan's #34 car throughout the entire 2013 season. Ragan, a seasoned safety messaging spokesperson, is happy to be pairing up with CSX at Front Row Motorsports. "It's important for all of us to be safe around railroad crossings and tracks. Far too many incidents occur each year simply because people don't recognize the danger associated with taking unnecessary changes around railroads," Ragan said. "I'm glad CSX is bringing this issue to the forefront of the NASCAR fan base and I'm honored to champion their message." More than 2,000 crossing collisions occurred in the U.S. in the most recent year for which statistics are available, and more than 400 pedestrians were killed on the nation's railroad tracks. "Play it Safe" is a CSX safety campaign that is online, at NASCAR events, and on college campuses.
    "We're pleased to join with Front Row Motorsports and David Ragan to show people that the injuries and fatalities associated with crossing collision and trespassing on railroad tracks are completely avoidable if you play it safe," said Cliff Stayton, director-community affairs and safety. "David's work on distracted driving and other safety messages makes him the right spokesman for CSX's campaign." Chief Marketing Officer Robin Johnson welcomes CSX to Front Row Motorsports for the 2013 season. "CSX is not only a leading transportation provider, but a leader in safety initiatives," Johnson said. Marketing Director Mike Laheta added, "I'm encouraged with the sponsorship landscape that is shaping up for 2013. Adding a highly respected Fortune 250 company like CSX to our sponsorship base is evidence of the value proposition here at FRM."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(1-25-2013)

  • Danica and Stenhouse Jr. are dating: #10-Danica Patrick revealed to The Associated Press she and #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are a couple, ending widespread speculation about the nature of their relationship. "I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard," she said during an exclusive telephone interview with AP. The couple waited until the end of Charlotte Motor Speedway's weeklong annual media tour to go public with their relationship, which started as a friendship as they raced each other the last two seasons in the Nationwide Series. Stenhouse became a mentor of sorts to the 30-year-old Patrick, who left IndyCar after the 2011 season to make the full-time switch to NASCAR. Stenhouse, 25, confirmed the relationship. "Yes we are dating," he said. "I don't normally say too much about my private life, always been focused on the track. I didn't want to confirm at media day so that we could keep the focus on the season, the Gen-6 (car), my sponsors and team. That's what it's all about for me." Patrick announced in November she and husband Paul Hospenthal were divorcing after seven years, and said in the Jan. 3 filing that her marriage to the 47-year-old Hospenthal was "irretrievably broken."(full story at the Associated Press)(1-25-2013)

  • How much longer will Jeff Gordon keep racing: #24-Jeff Gordon, who ranks third on the all-time wins list with 87 victories, is moving closer to the end of his career at age 41, but just when will that be in a series where Mark Martin is still driving at age 54? "There was a time when I didn't think I was going to be racing at 40, so I hate to even say 'never say never,' but I'm pretty sure that's not something that is in the cards for me," Gordon said of racing as long as Martin has. "I don't work as hard on the physical side as Mark does, so from a physical standpoint I don't think I'd be prepared for it. Also, I'm as excited about the future that I have when that day comes when I'm not driving the car in motorsports, maybe even some other opportunities and my kids and my family and that life. I feel like I have a whole other step of life and career ahead of me that if I selfishly race until I'm 50 or 52, I think it's going to take away some of those opportunities that are there that I'm excited about."(Sports Illustrated)(1-25-2013)

  • Bayne may run full time in 2014: Roush Fenway Racing's goal is to put Trevor Bayne in a full-time Sprint Cup ride by 2014. Bayne has run a part-time schedule since 2011 when he kicked off the season winning the Daytona 500 in the legendary #21 Wood Brothers Ford. He will run another part-time schedule for the Wood Brothers this season as well as a full Nationwide Series schedule for Roush Fenway Racing. Bayne's contract is with RFR, which supplies engines and chassis to the Wood Brothers. Team owner Jack Roush said if he can work out the finances and sponsorship issues toward the end of this season the plan is to put Bayne in Cup full time next year.(ESPN)(1-25-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #38-David Gilliland / Front Row Motorsports David Gilliland signed for the 2013 season to run the #38 FRM Ford, a one year deal, his 4th year with FRM. No sponsors announced yet, usually owner Bob Jenkins pit one of his franchise restuarants on the car, like Long John Silver's. Frank Kerr was hired as Gilliland'd crew chief. Hiring Kerr allows Derrick Finley to return full-time to his role of competition director. The team will also continue its relationships with manufacturing partner Ford Racing and engine builder Roush Yates Racing Engines. FRM with continue to be a three-car team with #26-Josh Wise and #34-David Ragan. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-25-2013)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Kicks Off 2013 Season with #TBR7in7 Week: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) has already announced their number change for 2013 but what's the big news that has Baldwin and company all abuzz? Find out during a week-long event, 7 announcements in 7 days. You can keep up daily by following on Twitter via #TBR7in7. What we already know is that Dave Blaney will pilot the #7 Chevrolet SS. Beyond that is anyone's guess. Included as part of the 7 in 7 will be a media teleconference and a chance for fans to chat with Tommy on Facebook and Twitter. The driver of the #36 Chevrolet SS will be announced during Tommy Baldwin Racing's Media Week: January 28th through February 3rd.(TBR/140 BUZZ)(1-25-2013)

  • Wise to run more full races: Since Front Row Motorsports runs a start-and-park entry for #26-Josh Wise. FRM's Jerry Freeze was asked how he felt about Bruton Smith's comments that the practice is bad for the sport. Freeze says that FRM uses Wise's #26 team, which often runs a third or half of the races, to give FRM an opportunity to a.) fund the other two cars better, b.) give Wise, a driver they really like, some seat time, and c.) develop other team members that they can move to the #34 and #38 teams. Freeze and Gilliland both say that no team wants to show up to a race and not run competitively, but they have to sometimes. Freeze also says that as long as there are more spots to fill in a race than funded cars, the practice will happen - if NASCAR wants to ban start-and-parks he says they should decrease the number of cars allowed in races. Freeze does say they plan to run Wise in eight to 15 full races this season, up from the single race the #26 finished in 2012.(WSB Radio)(1-25-2013)

  • ISC reports dip in profits: International Speedway Corp. saw a year-over-year decline in both its 2012 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings and revenues, but the narrowing of the revenue decline for its core business operations to less than 1 percent has company officials encouraged. "We experienced leading signs of revenue stabilization this year," stated Lesa France Kennedy, ISC's chief executive officer, in both a news release and Thursday morning conference call with stock analysts. ISC, which operates Daytona International Speedway and a dozen other tracks around that country that host NASCAR races and other motorsports events, generated a net profit of roughly $54.6 million for its fiscal year, which ended Nov. 30, down from $69.4 million in fiscal 2011, and a fourth-quarter net profit of about $24.7 million, down from $26.5 million the same period the previous year. Its revenues totaled $612.3 million in 2012, down from $629.7 million in 2011, and in the fourth quarter it generated $189.4 million in sales, down from $191.9 million the same period the previous year. Kennedy said ISC had year-over-year increases in both revenues from broadcast fees, corporate sponsorships and food, beverage and merchandise sales at races, but "we continue to experience modest headwinds with admissions, not to the degree experienced in 2011, but enough to know we still have further inroads to make with our consumer."(full article at the Daytona Beach News-Journal)(1-25-2013)


    News from January 24, 2013

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour - Final Day - Thursday: The 31st annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway runs from Monday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 24. The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is open only to pre-approved media members. More than 220 motorsports journalists are scheduled to attend. More than 20 stops will keep participating media occupied throughout the week including visits to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be hosting programs.
    THURSDAY The event wraps up Thursday afternoon following a morning session with most of the Ford Racing drivers in the hotel, then a mid-morning trip to the Hall of Fame for a parade of Ford Fusions through downtown Charlotte. Then a tour-ending visit to Joe Gibbs Racing.
    Ten Ford Fusions will run through the streets of Uptown Charlotte on Thursday, Jan. 24 outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame starting at 11:20 am. The drive will begin from the NASCAR Hall of Fame loading dock on Caldwell Street. Cars will turn right on Caldwell and go to Stonewall; Turn right on Stonewall and go to Tryon; Turn right on Tryon and go to 5th Street; Turn right on 5th Street and go to Caldwell; Turn right on Caldwell and go to Martin Luther King Jr.; Turn left into Ceremonial Plaza.(Ford Racing)(1-24-2013)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Agree to Contract Extension: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that it has signed driver Kyle Busch to a long-term contract extension. In addition, JGR will field the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 with Busch serving as the primary driver. "I'm passionate about winning and that was a big factor in deciding to re-sign with Joe Gibbs Racing," said Busch. "I think JGR gives me the best opportunity to win a championship in the Cup Series for M&M's and Interstate Batteries. I know that everyone on our team is committed to that goal and will push towards making that a reality in 2013. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to work with Adam Stevens in the Nationwide Series and put Monster Energy in Victory Lane where they belong. "I'm extremely proud of what we have accomplished in a short period of time at KBM in both the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series. When we started KBM our attention was to build something for the long term and now we are going to put a greater focus on our future with Parker (Kligerman) competing in Nationwide and Joey (Coulter) running trucks."
    The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens calling the shots from atop the pit box. Busch is currently scheduled to drive the majority of the races in 2013. Additional drivers for the 54 team will be announced soon. "This is a big deal for us," said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. "It's no secret that you have to have great drivers to win in NASCAR and in the past year we've been able to secure long-term deals with Kyle and Denny and of course we were able to add Matt as well. Kyle is a big part of our success at JGR and we're thrilled to know he will be with us for a long time."(JGR)(1-24-2013)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the final stop on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour was Joe Gibbs Racing: Some notes from Twitter world
    JGR officially announces multi-year extension with Kyle Busch.
    Busch says he had two serious offers from other Sprint Cup teams to leave JGR (supposedly SHR was one).
    Kyle Busch will also drive 25 Nationwide races for JGR in the #54.
    Kyle says that Joe Gibbs Racing will supply engines for KBM (Kligerman in Nationwide, Coulter & Kyle in truck)
    Denny Hamlin expects that new rear camber rules will make reliability a big topic in 2013.
    Joe Gibbs says that all JGR Cup sponsors are signed for long term deals except one (Home Depot/Husky?).
    Coach Gibbs says the 49ers will win this year's Super Bowl.
    Matt Kenseth says changing teams at the same time as learning the new #car has been beneficial.
    Elliott Sadler testing a Sprint Cup car today at New Smyrna Speedway but no Cup races set for him in 2013.
    JD Gibbs says there will be an announcement on Bubba Wallace soon.
    (from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-24-2013)

  • Ford Racing - RPM & RFR Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the first stop on the final day of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour was at the hotel where Ford drivers from Richard Petty Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing talked and met with the media: Some notes from Twitter world
    Roush on working with Penske: "They have a dramatically different car than our car. The underbody and the suspension doesn't relate."
    Robbie Reiser promoted from general manager to vice president of competition at Roush Fenway.
    Roger Penske says his team's main contact with the RFR is Robbie Reiser.
    Jack Roush said he's looking to put Trevor Bayne in a Cup car, full-time for the 2014 season, depending on sponsorship and driver performace.
    Roush Fenway Racing had 9 sponsors up for renewal entering 2012 who are back.
    There is sponsorhip available for #17-Stenhouse.
    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was asked directly whether he is dating Danica Patrick. He said he preferred not to talk about his personal life.
    Smithfield Foods will expand the number of races it will sponsor the #43 to 25 races.
    Marcos Ambrose shaved off his bushy beard he sported at testing.
    (from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-24-2013)

  • Smithfield Foods Expands Partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports: Smithfield Foods announced it will expand its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports to include primary sponsor of the legendary #43 Ford in 25 events during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Smithfield Foods and its family of brands including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney and Smithfield will all participate as primary sponsors throughout the year. Aric Almirola will drive the Smithfield Foods-backed #43 Ford in his second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Smithfield Packing will kick off the season aboard the #43 Ford at Daytona International Speedway for The Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500.(RPM)(1-24-2013)

  • Penske and Shell, Pennzoil Extend Alliance: Penske Corporation and Shell confirmed a multi-year extension [thru at least 2015] of their ongoing alliance in North America. As part of the agreement, Shell and Pennzoil will continue sponsoring Penske Racing entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series as well as continue to be the preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization. As part of the agreement, Pennzoil will continue to be the "Official Motor Oil" of Penske Racing. Shell and Pennzoil will continue to be the primary sponsor of the Penske Racing #22 car for 33 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Proven race-winning driver Joey Logano joins the team this season racing the distinctive Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion beginning in 2013.(Penske Racing)(1-24-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #37-J.J. Yeley / MaxQ Motorsports started the 2012 season as a Ford, teaming with Rick Ware for the first five races and Timmy Hill running the car. Ware and Gunselman parted ways and Gunselman's Max Q Motorsports team didn't run for a while. Max-Q teamed up with Tommy Baldwin Racing starting at Pocono in August. Teamed up with J.J. Yeley and ran Chevy's for the remainder of the season, making 7 races and not qualifying for the other seven. No word what the plans are for the team or Yeley in 2013. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-24-2013)

  • Martin doesn't expect to drive #55 in 2014, but not retiring: Mark Martin said Tuesday he doesn't plan to drive the #55 Toyota after this season. "My goal is to make this car one of the most wanted rides in NASCAR for 2014," Martin said Tuesday. "I want to help [crew chief] Rodney Childers get there and see him race for a championship." Martin still can race for a championship this year at age 54 -- an owner's championship. He is driving 25 of 36 Cup events this year, sharing the ride again this season with Brian Vickers and team owner Michael Waltrip. But Martin wouldn't say if his driving career would end after this season. "It's way too early to speculate on that," Martin said. "I really enjoy working at Michael Waltrip Racing. I'll be around no matter what. But I want to do everything I can to get this team in position to race for a [driver's] championship in 2014." Martin also would not speculate on who might drive the car in 2014, but Vickers is an obvious candidate.(ESPN)(1-24-2013)

  • Mark McArdle works for Furniture Row & RCR: Even before this season, Furniture Row Racing had a close relationship with Richard Childress Racing. Furniture Row gets its engines and chassis from RCR. The partnership was strengthened recently when Mark McArdle, managing director of competition at Furniture Row, took on a dual role as director of racing operations at RCR. With Furniture Row based in Denver, Colo., and RCR in Welcome, N.C.. The new opportunity for McArdle resulted from a standing offer by Furniture Row owner Barney Visser and general manager Joe Garone and hit critical mass when RCR hired Eric Warren as director of competition late in 2012. McArdle and Warren worked together at Evernham Motorsports. "Joe and Barney offered up my services to RCR if they could use me in any way to help that situation that they have there," McArdle told the NASCAR Wire Service. "Eric Warren and I had worked together for eight years at Evernham's. When he heard about that offer, he took us up on it and has asked me to operate as director of racing operations. The Cup teams, the Nationwide teams and the truck teams all report up through me. I report to Eric." With three Cup teams at RCR and one at Furniture Row, McArdle is spending more time in North Carolina as the organizations develop the Gen-6 car. "Right now, because of the intensity of the changeover process at RCR, we're doing kind of a two thirds/one third," McArdle said. "Two thirds of any given calendar month is being spent here in North Carolina, and about one third in Denver at this point. We hope that, as things become more stabilized and settled, that that will become more 50-50. Eventually the hope is to be able to train someone at RCR to step into that role."(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-24-2013)

  • Former NFL player Terance Mathis joins Leavine Family Racing: When Terance Mathis retired from the National Football League (NFL) following 13 successful seasons, he refused to slow down with his ambitions. In fact, he was just catching his stride. Over the holiday, the record-setting wide receiver shifted gears, joining Leavine Family Racing (LFR) as the new Vice President of Marketing. He will work with sponsors while maintaining a presence at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this year.(Leavine Family Racing)(1-24-2013)

  • Kyle Busch to drive Nationwide for Gibbs: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has signed driver Kyle Busch to a long-term contract extension. In addition, JGR will field the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 with Busch serving as the primary driver. The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens calling the shots from atop the pit box. Busch is currently scheduled to drive the majority of the races in 2013. Additional drivers for the 54 team will be announced soon.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-24-2013)

  • Riggs to pilot #92 for first five NCWTS races: When Ricky Benton Racing (RBR) Enterprises tabbed Scott Riggs to drive the # 92 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) entry at Martinsville last fall, the veteran driver was just looking to go out and have a little fun running in the series where he got his start in NASCAR. But after a fifth-place finish in the BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/fleetHQ.com/QMI Chevrolet, Riggs and team owner Ricky Benton decided to extend the relationship into 2013. Riggs will be behind the wheel of the # 92 for at least the first five races of the upcoming season. RBR Enterprises is looking for additional sponsorship to expand its schedule, possibly the entire 22-race slate. Mike Hester will be returning to RBR Enterprises in 2013 to call the shots as the crew chief for the #92 truck. Hester served as crew chief at RBR in 2010 and 2011. (RBR PR) (1-23-2013)

  • Silas returns full-time, adds Cogswell as crew chief: After a successful and modest rookie campaign in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) last year, officials from T3R2 (formally known as T3R Racing) confirmed today that the family-owned team will return to the circuit full-time with Stuart, Florida native Bryan Silas steering the #99 Rockingham Speedway Ford F-150. Gary Cogswell joined the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team during the off-season and will lead the role as crew chief beginning with the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22. The team will once again utilize Ford as its manufacturer with Roush-Yates Engines providing the horsepower. In addition to a full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series slate, Silas will also continue to expand his racing resume with several NASCAR Nationwide Series races also planned for 2013.( BryanSilasRacing.com) (1-23-2013)

  • Chase Elliott to run part-time for Hendrick Motorsports: During Wednesday's stop at Hendrick Motorsports during the media tour, it was announced that Chase Elliott will run in five ARCA and nine Truck Series races in 2013. He will run the #94 during his truck starts, which will be fielded by Hendrick Motorsports with the trucks coming from Turner Scott Motorsports. Elliott's scheduled events include both Martinsville and Iowa dates as well as Rockingham, Dover, Bristol, Mosport, and Phoenix. (1-23-2013)

  • Todd Peck / Peck Motorsports announce part-time plans: With a focus on continued growth and continuing to help bring awareness to the Arthritis Foundation, Peck Motorsports announced their plans for 2013 today. The Pennsylvania-based team will compete part-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with driver Todd Peck behind the wheel of the # 96 Arthritis Foundation Chevrolet. The family-owned and operated team will plan to compete in at least five events in 2013 with more events planned depending on sponsorship. The team will make their 2013 debut at the Kansas Speedway in April. The team will then pick their remaining schedule events after that.Also returning for their third year with the race team is the Arthritis Foundation. The collaboration is aimed to bring awareness and raise funds for the millions who, like Peck, suffer from the disease. Peck was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis as a teenager and has proved to be an inspiration to those who suffer, young and old. Peck will also continue to attend events with the Arthritis Foundation to promote awareness for juvenile arthritis and arthritis patients.(Peck Motorsports PR) (1-23-2013)

  • Darlington Goodyear Tire test open to public: On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Darlington RAceway will host a Goodyear Tire Test, which will feature the Gen-6 racecar. Participating in the test will be NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #99-Carl Edwards, #11-Denny Hamlin, #56-Martin Truex Jr., #27-Paul Menard and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. The test, which will be held from 9:00 a.m.  5:00 p.m., is FREE and open to the public. Darlington Raceway will open two sections of the Colvin Grandstand on the backstretch of the track for fans to watch the test throughout the day and witness the first laps of the Gen-6 car on the high banks of the track Too Tough To Tame. If fans enjoy the new Gen-6 car testing at Darlington, they will have the opportunity to visit the Darlington ticket office that day and receive a special gift and pricing on tickets for the Bojangles' Southern 500. Fans can also get their picture taken with Darlington's new Chevy Camaro pace car, which will be located next to the ticket office. The Darlington gift shop and stock car museum will be open from 10 a.m  5 p.m. that day. An adult admission price for the museum will be just $3 for that day only. Fans need to use the Gate 6 entrance to the track off of Highway 151. The parking lot is located next to the track's administration building and certain sections of the Colvin Grandstand on the backstretch will be open for public viewing. Times of the test are subject to change by Goodyear. A rain date of Wednesday, Feb. 6 has been scheduled if there is a postponement due to inclement weather. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 on May 11 and Nationwide Series 200 on Friday, May 10 are on sale now! Remember, kids 12 and under are half off for the Bojangles' Southern 500 and FREE for the Nationwide Series 200 in general admission sections. Visit www.DarlingtonRaceway.com or call 866-459-7223 for tickets.(Darlington Raceway)(1-24-2013)

  • Daytona International Speedway unveils renderings for proposed redevelopment project: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood unveiled the first conceptual renderings of a proposed multi-year redevelopment of the historic facility. During an address to the motorsports community this afternoon at NASCAR's annual "state of the sport" media event in Charlotte, N.C., Chitwood revealed the first images of what the redeveloped Daytona International Speedway could look like. The proposed project is designed to provide a better overall race experience for fans, including upgraded concession areas, entrances, ticket gates, grandstands and seating, as well as interactive common areas that allow for opportunities to watch a race from several vantage points (DIS). See the images on my Daytona Internatioanl Speedway Track News, Stats and Links page.(1-24-2013)


    News from January 23, 2013

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour - Day 3 - Wednesday: The 31st annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway runs from Monday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 24. The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is open only to pre-approved media members. More than 220 motorsports journalists are scheduled to attend. More than 20 stops will keep participating media occupied throughout the week including visits to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be hosting programs.
    WEDNESDAY Wednesday features shop visits to Earnhardt-Ganassi-Sabates Racing, to Hendrick Motorsports and to Penske Racing.(1-23-2013)

  • Penske Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the final stop on the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Wednesday, was Penske Racing in Mooresville, NC. Some notes:
    Shell/Pennzoil extends sponsorship with Penske Racing.
    Hertz to be a co-primary sponsor on the #22 in fall Charlotte Cup race.
    Greg Erwin will be Sam Hornish Jr.'s crew chief in the Nationwide Series.
    Penske executive Walt Czarnecki says the transition to Ford has been seamless.
    Joey Logano says move to Penske Racing has been a great experience already.
    Roger Penske says he talked with Ryan Newman but enough sponsorship wasn't there for 3rd car,
    says Newman could return in 2014 but Hornish first option for 3 teams.
    Penske says they've eatablished a relationship with Roush Fenway Racing's, says sharing notes will be beneficial.
    Penske said if James Finch (#51) is talking to a sponsor for AJ Allmendinger, Penske would meet with sponsor to try to help seal the deal.(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-23-2013)

  • #88 unsponsored for 13 races: NASCAR's most popular driver will enter the 2013 season with 13 unsponsored races. But team owner Rick Hendrick doesn't seem concerned that Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 has open inventory. Hendrick said there has been plenty of interest from sponsors and that he is more concerned with finding a match that will work beyond 2013. "We've got a lot of good opportunities," Hendrick said during Wednesday's stop of the Sprint Media Tour. "The way we're positioned, the car is covered until the end of the summer. I don't have a deadline [for a deal]. I'm not looking at a timeline. I'm looking at the right deal." Hendrick said he was close on two or three deals, but "we haven't put any line in the sand." It was announced last year that National Guard would be on Earnhardt's car for 20 races in 2013. Diet Mountain Dew was contracted for 16 races in 2012 with PepsiCo having the sponsorship rights for 20 races..(ESPN)(1-23-2013)

  • Hertz to sponsor Logano: Penske Racing announced that Hertz will sponsor seven Nationwide Series races and a Sprint Cup race with the #22 Ford of Joey Logano. The rental car company also will be an associate sponsor of the team. Hertz CEO Mark Frissora said the deal is for three years. Hertz's research data showed 20% of NASCAR fans rented a car last year. The audience also is attractive because Hertz is growing its muscle car segment while changing its tagline to emphasize speed of service.(USA Today)
    AND: Penske Racing proudly welcomes The Hertz Corporation as a new partner in 2013 as one of the world's leading car rental and transportation companies joins forces with one of NASCAR's top teams. Under a multi-year agreement announced on Wednesday, Hertz will serve as a primary sponsor for select races on Penske Racing cars competing in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series beginning this season. Hertz will be co-primary sponsor on the #22 Ford Fusion driven by Joey Logano in the Sprint Cup Series at the fall race hosted at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Under the new partnership, Hertz will also be an associate sponsor throughout the course of the season for the Penske Racing #22 Cup Series and Nationwide Series teams with branding presence on the team's uniforms and equipment as well as on the Nationwide Series car (Penske Racing)(1-23-2013)

  • Hendrick Motorsports Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour:
    All Hendrick cars are fully-funded except Dale Jr.'s #88. But Rick Hendrick says there's interest and he has no sponsorship worries, the #88 is 13 races short.
    . Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Daytona testing wreck. "I thought long and hard, and that's probably the most embarrassed I've ever been."
    Chase Elliott will run in five ARCA and nine Series races in 2013, his Truck number will be #94, Hendrick Motorsports will field the entries. Elliott's scheduled Truck races: Martinsville (both). Iowa (both), Rockingham, Dover, Bristol. Mosport/Canada and Phoenix.
    #24-Jeff Gordon on Gen-6 car :"I'm a big fan, I love it. I like the body style & I think the teams and crew chiefs feel the same thing."
    #5-Kasey Kahne says he's an "underdog" compared to those who have Cup titles, but says this is his best shot yet in 2nd season, Kahne is sporting a new hair style. (from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-23-2013)

  • New track dryers to be unveiled at Daytona: NASCAR will unveil next month at Daytona International Speedway a new piece of equipment that could revolutionize track drying. Twenty-four machines will be ready for Speedweeks events leading up to the Feb. 24 Daytona 500, executive Steve O'Donnell said. The equipment will rely on compressed air moving water off the track in a squeegee effect as opposed to traditional jet dryers that blow hot air onto the track. It also will include vacuums that will work in conjunction with the compressed air that would help dry a 2.5-mile track such as DIS in about 30 minutes -- 20% of the current time. DIS typically takes about 2.5 hours to dry. Last year's Daytona 500 was delayed until Monday night because of rain. "There's a few faces out here that will remember when we used to dry tracks off with just a fleet of vehicles going around the racetrack, or dragging tires behind pickup trucks,'' NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "And then someone came along with the jet dryer that expedited it quite a bit and served its purpose for a long period of time. "But in today's world with the expectations of getting the show done and getting it on, there was a high priority placed by [chairman] Brian [France] and the rest of us to come up with a way that we could expedite that. The R & D Center responded to that and come up with ideas, and this one seems to have quite a bit of validity to it.''
    O'Donnell said the new device does not have a name yet. Unlike jet dryers, which were owned by individual tracks, he said the governing body has a patent on the new machine that gives it proprietary rights. O'Donnell said the equipment isn't quite to the level of efficiency that France asked for. Because of that, jet dryers also will be used at Daytona and perhaps ensuing races to help with the drying process. O'Donnell said the equipment could revolutionize the drying procedure for other venues in sports.(ESPN)(1-23-2013)

  • Cessna to sponsor McMurray in 2013: It was announced at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing shop / hanger during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour that Jamie McMurray would have primary sponsorship for ten races by Cessna in 2013. Bass Pro Shops will also return in 2013, but for two races. See images of the Cessna scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.
    UPDATE: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announces a multi-year partnership with Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron, Inc. company, to sponsor cars across all three series in which CGRT competes. The world's leading general aviation company will sponsor multiple races [10] on the #1 Chevy SS of Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) sharing assets with sister Textron companies Bell Helicopter and E-Z-GO golf carts. Each of Textron's brands can be and often are, incorporated into every race event where CGRT competes. From a team's air travel to and from the host city, helicopter transport from airport to venue and ground transportation onsite, Cessna and Textron have options for all of it. The partnership offers a new connection to an industry that relies heavily on private aircraft travel. In addition to the full primary sponsorships, a Textron brand will have placement on every team, race car, driver uniform and transporter, across all of CGRT's diverse reach of racing assets. Those assets including each of the seven full-time drivers; NSCS drivers McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series drivers Pruett and Rojas.(EGR)(1-23-2013)

  • Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: EGR announced a new partnership with Cessna.
    Cessna wil be the priamry sponsor for #1-Jamie McMurray in 10 races in 2013 and will be displayed across all Ganassi's racing platforms.
    McDonald's and Dr. Pepper also will be on McMurray's #1 Chevy.
    Bass Pro Shops, which joins #14-Tony Stewart in 2013, will remain the primary sponsor on McMurray's #1 for two races this season.
    The #1 has just four races where McMurray is not sponsored.
    All seven Ganassi drivers will race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
    Chip Ganassi says Kyle Larson is testing today. Announcements on Larson are forthcoming / Next week.(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-23-2013)

  • NASCAR Offers Glimpse Into Future: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France took to the podium today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during the sanctioning body's stop on the week-long media tour, and offered fans a robust menu of reasons why 2013 is one of the most anticipated campaigns in recent memory. The Gen-6 race car. & Innovative technology & And, of course, the drivers  from the rising young talents to the established stars. "This year with the new car, it adds that unbelievable excitement and anticipation," said France. "It's a great time. & and we're looking forward to a spectacular 2013."
    Anticipation and competition  these were the two overriding themes from Tuesday afternoon's NASCAR press conference as part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. An industry collaboration between the auto manufacturers, race teams, drivers and NASCAR, the Gen-6 car was central among the topics discussed among today's speakers.
    "The amount of testing that NASCAR has done with the teams to get prepared with this car, and work on very specific areas to promote side-by-side racing at tracks other than the superspeedways, has been intense," said Mike Helton, NASCAR president. "On the computer, in the wind tunnel, at the race shops, at the R&D Center and at the race tracks, there's never been as much effort put into a car to get it ready to go racing. & For the drivers to say that we think this car is going to offer up the best racing we've seen, it's got us all going in the right direction, so we expect to see that."
    Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, was integral in the implementation of the Gen-6 race car. He joined France, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood on today's stage to preview the upcoming season. "I really believe we're going to see some of the most competitive, intense and exciting racing that we've seen in quite some time," Pemberton said. "We're excited about the direction we're headed with our competition."
    France touched on a number of topics throughout his opening statements and the follow-up question-and-answer session with Helton. Chief among them was innovation, from the new race car to a faster, more environmentally friendly means of track drying.
    "We'll be debuting & our first generation of [a new] track drying system," France said. "We are going to do it in a much more green, carbon emission friendly way. It's going to be a spectacular thing, and all of auto racing will benefit from this as we go down the road."(NASCAR PR), see the full transcript, info on the new track drying system and images of the Daytona International Speedway's redevelopment plans on the NASCAR Press Confercence - Media Tour 2013 page.(1-23-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #7-Dave Blaney / Tommy Baldwin Racing Dave Blaney returns to drive the #7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy. This is TBR's top team and will use owners points from the #10 team which was listed as a TBR team in 2012 with Danica Patrick driving in 10 races for Stewart Haas Racing and David Reutimann and others in the #10 for TBR. No word on sponsors but the #36 had Golden Corral on the hood during Daytona testing. No word on a crew chief for the team or if Baldwin will crew chief his own team. TBR hopes to run their second car, the #36 full time in 2013 if sponsorship can be found. No word who the driver would be. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-23-2013)

  • Bruton Smith Wants End to Start-and-Park: Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. told media attending the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway that he would like to see an end to start-and-park racing, a term that refers to race teams that run only a few laps of a race in order to collect a portion of the purse, but pull off the track before causing too much wear and tear on their equipment, thereby saving on the expense of running a full race. "Start-and-park should not be a part of what we do," he said. "I think it's derogatory toward our sport. I'm going to try my best  and I hope you'll join me  to see if NASCAR can do something about this. It certainly isn't adding anything to our sport, and it certainly takes away." He then asked media in the room to use their influence to put an end to the practice. Smith's other appeal was to encourage NASCAR to reduce the top speeds of the race cars, which he argued would make the racing safer but also create more excitement for the fans because the drivers will make moves with more confidence.(CMS Notes)(1-23-2013)

  • Red Kap Joins RCR/ECR Engines: Richard Childress Racing has partnered with Red Kap, a division of VF Imagewear, Inc., as the official workwear outfitter for RCR and ECR Engines employees. Red Kap has been creating comfortable, durable workwear since starting out as a family business in 1923. Today they outfit 16 million Americans in a wide variety of industries.(RCR)(1-23-2013)

  • Gayle named crew chief for Sadler: Elliott Sadler believes he can win the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in 2013, and not just because the guy who won the last two titles is no longer in the series. It's because he's with a Joe Gibbs Racing team that has a strong Nationwide record as well as one that boasts capable, talented teammates. And it's because Sadler, 37, has finished second the last two years and, quite frankly, he's had enough of being the guy who almost won the title. Sadler and Brian Vickers are part of a retooled effort for JGR, although Vickers made one start for the team last year. Sadler will pilot the#11 OneMain Financial Toyota, driven last year by Brian Scott. Vickers will slide into the team's #20 entry, one of two entries split among several drivers last season. The team's #18 will likely see several drivers behind the wheel. Chris Gayle, senior team engineer for the #18 Sprint Cup team with driver Kyle Busch, has been named crew chief for Sadler's team.(NASCAR.com)(1-23-2013)

  • Hertz sponsoring #22 car for 7 races: Penske Racing welcomes The Hertz Corporation as a new partner in 2013 as one of the world's leading car rental and transportation companies joins forces with one of NASCAR's top teams. Under a multi-year agreement, Hertz will serve as a primary sponsor for select races on Penske Racing cars competing in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series beginning this season. Hertz will be co-primary sponsor on the #22 Ford Fusion driven by Joey Logano in the Sprint Cup Series at the fall race hosted at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In Nationwide Series competition, Hertz will be the primary sponsor for seven races on the #22 Ford Mustang, which will be driven in 2013 by Brad Keselowski, Logano and Ryan Blaney. The #22 Hertz Ford will compete in Nationwide Series races at Dover International Speedway (two races), New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Watkins Glen International and Homestead-Miami Speedway this season. Under the new partnership, Hertz will also be an associate sponsor throughout the course of the season for the Penske Racing #22 Cup Series and Nationwide Series teams with branding presence on the team's uniforms and equipment as well as on the Nationwide Series car.(Penske Racing) see an image of the car on the #22 team paint schemes page.(1-23-2013)

  • Northeastern Supply joins JR Motorsports as associate sponsor: NASCAR sponsors come and go, and seldom does one remain in the sport very long unless their programs are providing a return on investment. For the regional plumbing, heating, air conditioning, HVAC, water systems and hardware distributor Northeastern Supply Company, that all-important ROI has always been met. As a result, the private, Baltimore-based company will commemorate its 20th consecutive season of NASCAR Nationwide Series team sponsorship in 2013 with associate support of JR Motorsports and the #7 team of driver Regan Smith. Northeastern Supply spent the last four seasons at Turner Motorsports where it backed Jason Leffler's efforts for three years and then Justin Allgaier's run last season. The company then struck a deal with JR Motorsports during the off-season with JRM and driver Smith.(Northeastern Supply)(1-23-2013)

  • Riggs to pilot #92 for first five NCWTS races: When Ricky Benton Racing (RBR) Enterprises tabbed Scott Riggs to drive the # 92 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) entry at Martinsville last fall, the veteran driver was just looking to go out and have a little fun running in the series where he got his start in NASCAR. But after a fifth-place finish in the BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/fleetHQ.com/QMI Chevrolet, Riggs and team owner Ricky Benton decided to extend the relationship into 2013. Riggs will be behind the wheel of the # 92 for at least the first five races of the upcoming season. RBR Enterprises is looking for additional sponsorship to expand its schedule, possibly the entire 22-race slate. Mike Hester will be returning to RBR Enterprises in 2013 to call the shots as the crew chief for the #92 truck. Hester served as crew chief at RBR in 2010 and 2011.(RBR PR)(1-23-2013)

  • Silas returns full-time, adds Cogswell as crew chief: After a successful and modest rookie campaign in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) last year, officials from T3R2 (formally known as T3R Racing) confirmed today that the family-owned team will return to the circuit full-time with Stuart, Florida native Bryan Silas steering the #99 Rockingham Speedway Ford F-150. Gary Cogswell joined the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team during the off-season and will lead the role as crew chief beginning with the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22. The team will once again utilize Ford as its manufacturer with Roush-Yates Engines providing the horsepower. In addition to a full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series slate, Silas will also continue to expand his racing resume with several NASCAR Nationwide Series races also planned for 2013.(BryanSilasRacing.com)(1-23-2013)

  • Chase Elliott to run part-time for Hendrick Motorsports: During Wednesday's stop at Hendrick Motorsports during the media tour, it was announced that Chase Elliott will run in five ARCA and nine Truck Series races in 2013. He will run the #94 during his truck starts, which will be fielded by Hendrick Motorsports with the trucks coming from Turner Scott Motorsports. Elliott's scheduled events include both Martinsville and Iowa dates as well as Rockingham, Dover, Bristol, Mosport, and Phoenix.(ChaseElliott.com)(1-23-2013)

  • Todd Peck / Peck Motorsports announce part-time plans: With a focus on continued growth and continuing to help bring awareness to the Arthritis Foundation, Peck Motorsports announced their plans for 2013 today. The Pennsylvania-based team will compete part-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with driver Todd Peck behind the wheel of the # 96 Arthritis Foundation Chevrolet. The family-owned and operated team will plan to compete in at least five events in 2013 with more events planned depending on sponsorship. The team will make their 2013 debut at the Kansas Speedway in April. The team will then pick their remaining schedule events after that.Also returning for their third year with the race team is the Arthritis Foundation. The collaboration is aimed to bring awareness and raise funds for the millions who, like Peck, suffer from the disease. Peck was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis as a teenager and has proved to be an inspiration to those who suffer, young and old. Peck will also continue to attend events with the Arthritis Foundation to promote awareness for juvenile arthritis and arthritis patients.(Peck Motorsports PR)(1-23-2013)


    News from January 22, 2013

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour - Day 2 - Tuesday: The 31st annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway runs from Monday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 24. The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is open only to pre-approved media members. More than 220 motorsports journalists are scheduled to attend. More than 20 stops will keep participating media occupied throughout the week including visits to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be hosting programs.
    TUESDAY On Tuesday morning, Furniture Row Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing will visit the media hotel. The tour then heads to the NASCAR Hall of Fame to meet with NASCAR officials. The Nationwide Series meets with the press at the hotel in the evening.(1-22-2013)

  • Harvick confirmed out of RCR after 2013: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress confirmed what driver Kevin Harvick would not since November 2012. Harvick will leave Childress, where he has been since his first Cup race in 2001, and drive for friend and team owner Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Childress, who spoke Monday night at NASCAR's Sprint Cup Media Tour, talked about knowing about Harvick's plans last year before the race at Phoenix International Raceway -- a race Harvick would win to snap a 44-race winless streak. "We had a meeting and he told me his plans and we discussed what we were going to do in '13," Childress said Monday. "He'll do well over there at Stewart-Haas, and RCR will keep going and moving forward. I think him and Tony will have a good relationship." Stewart, who spoke to the media earlier Monday about his three-car team that includes Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick, has hinted at adding a fourth car to the Stewart-Haas Racing stable. Harvick, meanwhile, told reporters he didn't have "anything to tell you for 2014." On Monday, Childress said he did not know whether sponsor Budweiser would leave RCR along with Harvick. "They haven't made any comments on what they're going to do," Childress said. Though Childress admitted he knew Harvick's plans before Phoenix, he said he was surprised when word leaked out because he didn't expect it to be released until after the postseason awards banquet. As for the future, Childress welcomes grandson Austin Dillon into the fold this season. Dillon is slated to race the Daytona 500, among a handful of other Cup races. Burton and Menard are signed through 2013.(in part from the USA Today)(1-22-2013)

  • BK Racing announces driver, crew chief and managerial roles: BK Racing begins its second season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing with some changes in different levels of their operation. Harry McMullen will remain in his role as the team's General Manager, which he's held since the team started January 2012. Just added to the team is Rick Carpenter, who will be the Assistant General Manager helping McMullen with the day-to-day operations. Carpenter comes from Tri Star Motorsports, most recently, and Rusty Wallace Racing, where he held the position of General Manager at both teams. He also worked at Penske Racing.
    As previously announced, Mike Ford is now the team's Director of Competition. The veteran crew chief, with 21 wins and 17 poles in 453 NSCS starts, is overseeing shop and race-prep activities of BK Racing's two NSCS entries.
    Doug Richert has been promoted from his role as crew chief on the #83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry. The championship leader with 13 wins to his credit will now serve as a supervisor to the crew chiefs overseeing their efforts at the shop and during race days.
    David Reutimann, a two-time race winner will drive the #83 Toyota this season full time. Reutimann drove in two races for the team last year. Pat Tryson, who has eight trips to Victory Lane, is now the team's crew chief. He came on board towards the end of 2012 to assist on both teams.
    Travis Kvapil will remain in the #93 Burger King Toyota Camry with Todd Anderson returning as his crew chief. The 2012 season was Anderson's first in that capacity with Kvapil, the 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, who has made 210 NCSC starts.(BK Racing)(1-22-2013)

  • Busch could stay at Furniture Row after 2013: #78-Kurt Busch says Furniture Row is a "strong option'' for him in 2014. Busch signed with the Denver-based Sprint Cup team late last season, finishing the year with three consecutive top 10s to build momentum for this season. There has been much speculation that the 2004 Cup champion was using the single-car team as a stepping stone to a top-tier organization after this year. Much of that speculation has involved Busch going to Richard Childress Racing, which supplies engines and chassis to Furniture Row. But Busch told ESPN.com during Day 2 of the Sprint Media Tour that he is happy at Furniture Row, which he already considers a fourth car at RCR. "It's a strong option,'' he said of signing an extension. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said preliminary discussions already are taking place with Busch. Asked if he thought it was possible a deal could be reached, he said, "Yeah, I do.'' Busch said serious negotiations for next season likely wouldn't start until sometime after April.(ESPN)(1-22-2013)

  • Michael Waltrip Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: team owner Michael Waltrip says, "This is breaking news: We don't have any news. There's really nothing new or different from 2012. Man are we happy about that."
    Clint Bowyer on a 2nd-place hangover: "I've had a lot of hangovers, you fight through them." and also said his #15 team is not fully-sponsored, "We're definitely looking for some more sponsors on our car."
    Mark Martin said #55 team was able to keep entire team together from 2012 to 2013,
    Mark Martin said: "I don't expect to be in it (55 car in 2014) That's not my goal. My goal is to see Rodney & 55 car race for a championship" but on his 2014 plans: "It's too early to get into discussions about future behind the wheel. Some talk about being further involvement w/ 55 team."
    MIchael Waltrip announces plans for new fitness facility at MWR and that Martin is helping to update the gym.
    Brian Vickers only test in Gen6 car was last fall, but expects to test more before first race at Bristol.
    Besides running nine race in the #55 for MWR, Vickers is also running full time in Nationwide with JGR.
    Truex Jr. says Toyota Racing Development is playing a key role in development of new car and TRD was a key in 2012 success.(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-22-2013)

  • Furniture Row Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: #78-Furniture Row Racing opened Day 2 of the media tour, having Furniture Row recliners on stage for the team to sit in.
    Driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevy, Kurt Busch said "We want to be a western-based team that can compete w/ the big dogs."
    Busch said. "It was great to have those six weeks to get team communication up and to feel comfortable."
    Busch open to idea of more NNS races with Phoenix Racing (3 scheduled). Not set to drive any for his brother but not closing door.
    Busch said heading into 2012 was bizarre, this is the moat comfortable I've ever felt (going into a season) and that he travels at least twice a month to the shop in Colorado.
    #78 crew chief, Todd Berrier, says Goodyear will open the season with conservative tires.
    Berrier says relationship RCRracing gives team a base line, able to work & adapt from there.
    Berrier says Busch truly cares about the people he works with and says a team will work very hard for that type of person.
    Furniture Row's Director of Competition Mark McArdle says parts from third-party suppliers are tight for all teams. Deck lids among them. Also of note, McArdle is also the Director of Racing Operations at RCR.(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-22-2013)

  • Pit-crew competition may not be held in 2013: Sprint shifted its sponsorship of the pit-crew competition during all-star week to the Daytona event to give it sponsorship of both non-points Cup events, the Sprint Unlimited and the Budweiser Duel. The pit-crew competition currently is without sponsorship, and NASCAR has not determined whether it will be held this year. "We are working to continue the event," NASCAR Senior Vice President Steve O'Donnell said in a statement.(Sporting News)(1-22-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #34-David Ragan / Front Row Motorsports David Ragan signed for the 2013 season to run the #34 FRM Ford, a one year deal. So far the team has announced, McCall Farms, Peanut Patch to sponsor the #34 in four races. Jay Guy returns as Regan crew chief. FRM with continue to be a three-car team with #26-Josh Wise and #38-David Gilliland. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-22-2013)

  • The King & Dale Jr. team up: Dale Earnhardt Jr., the most popular driver in NASCAR racing today, is joining Goody's longtime spokesman, Richard "The King" Petty, in a new multi-media campaign that will introduce consumers to the fast-dissolving headache remedy. Beginning in early 2013, the driving duo's radio, television and digital campaign will tell fans how to be unstoppable with Goody's. Goody's Powder will be the title sponsor for the Goody's Fast Relief 500, the October 27 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville. Goody's also will continue its longstanding tradition of sampling the product at racetracks and, to the delight of fans, bring Earnhardt and Petty together for personal appearances. "This partnership is unprecedented," said Joseph Juliano, Brand Director, Goody's. "It is the first time that these two NASCAR legends have worked together. Each of them has a huge fan base, and they are both synonymous with the sport of auto racing. Goody's is all about speed, and nobody personifies the idea of speed better than Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Jr."
    "I am really looking forward to working with Dale Jr. on the new campaign for Goody's, which will introduce the product to a whole new generation," Petty said. "He is a great driver and a smart businessman, and nobody is more popular with NASCAR fans."
    "Richard Petty is a role model for me and every other driver in NASCAR," Earnhardt said. "I am honored to be working with him and thankful Goody's brought us together. I signed on with Goody's in part because of their long-term commitment to NASCAR. They helped start the trend of non-car companies coming into the sport. In my mind, they are synonymous with NASCAR racing. I am also a big fan of their product because it works so fast."(JR Motorsports)(1-22-2013)

  • NMPA announces 2013 award winners: Jeff Dennison, Director of Media and Public Relations for the Breaking Limits marketing group, was presented the Joe Littlejohn Award during the National Motorsport Press Association's annual awards ceremony last night in Charlotte, NC. The award is presented each year to a person(s) or organization in recognition of outstanding service to the NMPA. It is named after the former track owner from Spartanburg, S.C. Littlejohn is credited with two career NASCAR starts, but raced extensively prior to the formation of NASCAR. Dennison was recognized for his work with the NMPA's Most Popular Driver program, establishing a new web site that provided race fans with a year long opportunity to vote for their favorite drivers.
    Dave Moody of the Motor Racing Network was recognized at NMPA's Radio Broadcaster of the Year, after sweeping the top three positions in the Event Oriented Feature category. He claimed first place honors for an exclusive interview with NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger following his suspension from the sport for a failed substance abuse test in July of last year.
    The second-place award was shared with Motor Racing Network producer Brian Nelson, for an interview conducted with driver Kurt Busch prior to the start of his comeback season with James Finch's Phoenix Racing team at Daytona International Speedway.
    Moody also took third place in the Event Oriented Feature category for his interview with United States Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) concerning a bill her co-authored to prohibit sponsorship of NASCAR and other sporting events by the United States military.
    His final award was a first place honor in the Spot News category, for his interview with NASCAR Managing Director of Communications David Higdon, who disputed allegations by Allmendinger and his representatives on the specifics of his test results.
    Other NMPA Award winners included:
    ˇ Richard Petty Driver of the Year: Brad Keselowski (Penske Racing)
    ˇ Ken Patterson Helping Others Award: Scott Cooper (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
    ˇ NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award: Andy Hillenburg (Rockingham Speedway)
    ˇ NMPA Radio Producer of the Year: Woody Cain (Motor Racing Network)
    ˇ Charlie Harville Award: Paul Johnson (WCYB/WEMT TV)
    ˇ NMPA Television Producer of the Year: Suzanne Clavette (NASCAR Race Hub on Speed)
    ˇ George Cunningham Writer of the Year Award: Ryan McGee (ESPN.com)
    (Godfather Motorsports)(1-22-2013)

  • CMS Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism Announced: Charlotte Motor Speedway announced today the winners of the 28th annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Russ Catlin Awards for Excellence in Motorsports Journalism. The honorees were Thomas Pope (Fayetteville Observer), Kris Johnson (NASCAR Illustrated), Andrew Doud (WSOC-TV, Charlotte, N.C.), Rosie Barresi (SPEED) and Gary Nastase (National Dragster) for their contributions to motorsports journalism in 2012. To view the winning entries, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com. For decades, Russ Catlin was one of the best known racing writers and historians, contributing articles and information to Speed Age, Automobile Quarterly, Open Wheel and numerous other publications. As in years past, the Indiana University School of Journalism judged the award entries. The recipients were honored at a ceremony held in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. Winners received a trophy and $1,000 scholarship from Charlotte Motor Speedway in their names to the school of their choice. Their names were also added to a perpetual trophy housed at the track that lists all past winners.(Breaking Limits)(1-22-2013)

  • Efland returning to #4 team: UPDATE: Danny Efland announced his return to J.D. Motorsports w/ Gary Keller as the driver of the Nationwide Series #4 Chevy for the 2013 season in 27 races. Danny drove 17 races for the Johnny Davis owned team as Mike Wallace's teammate during 2012. Finishing 21st in the driver standings, Danny had 5 top 20s and completed all of the laps at both supper speedways. Danny said that he looks forward to an expanded season with JDM and further said that Johnny Davis has been very busy during the off season and has significantly improved the cars and over all program. Sponsorship is not yet locked in but Danny and the JDM team are busy working to put that together.(Efland PR)(1-22-2013)
    UPDATE: Efland, who also drove in 18 NNS races last year, made 17 starts in the JD Motorsports #4 Chevy. This year, he will drive in each race except the Auto Club Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, both Iowa Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway events. For those events, the team has brought back Daryl Harr, from St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, to drive. He competed in eight races with JD Motorsports in 2012. While the driver seat situation is solidified for 2013, the team is still seeking qualified shop mechanics and a hauler driver for their team. And, like all teams on the NASCAR circuit, they are seeking marketing partners for both the #01 and #04 Chevys. (JD Motorsports)(1-22-2012)

  • Dillon joins Drive4COPD: Armed with the memory of his late grandfather and a desire to promote healthy living, Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon has joined the DRIVE4COPD campaign to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a serious and progressive lung disease that is the third leading cause of death of Americans. DRIVE4COPD will serve as an associate sponsor of the #3 AdvoCare Chevy driven by Dillon in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and as a major associate sponsor of the #33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet driven by Dillon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in this year's Daytona 500. "It means a lot to be able to work with DRIVE4COPD, a campaign of the COPD Foundation," said Dillon. "It's an honor to play a small part in helping to raise awareness about COPD and work towards improving the quality of people's lives." COPD takes one life every four minutes and kills more people each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined. Dillon's paternal grandfather, Stan Dillon, passed away from COPD in May 2012, prompting the NASCAR driver to join the DRIVE4COPD health initiative.(RCR)(1-22-2013)

  • Sylvania to Remain September Race Sponsor at NHMS: New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced the entitlement sponsorship extension of OSRAM SYLVANIA, which will keep the SYLVANIA 300 on the Magic Mile marquee for another five years. The deal, which was revealed at the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour, will partner New England's largest sports and entertainment facility and one of the world's largest lighting companies through the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. SYLVANIA has sponsored the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at NHMS for the last decade. The extension will take the sponsorship to 15 consecutive years, making it one of the lengthiest in NASCAR. New Hampshire Motor Speedway joins sister Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) facilities Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway as three of the five longest tenured entitlement sponsors in the sport. Tickets for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events are on sale now. They can be purchased by calling the NHMS ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting www.nhms.com.(NHMS)(1-22-2013)


    News from January 21, 2013

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Monday: The 31st annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway runs from Monday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 24. The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is open only to pre-approved media members. More than 220 motorsports journalists are scheduled to attend. More than 20 stops will keep participating media occupied throughout the week including visits to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be hosting programs.(CMS)
    MONDAY: this afternoon and evening will be stops at Stewart Haas Racing and Richard Childress Racing, also tonight an announcement with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Richard Petty.(1-21-2013)

  • Richard Childress Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: The media was late getting to Richard Childress Racing in Lexington NC due to an accident on I-85, some notes:
    Richard Childress said #29-Kevin Harvick will do well at Stewart Haas Racing in 2014.
    Harvick didn't deny reports he will move to SHR in 2014 or offer up plans for 2014. Harvick is only talking about 2013 and making it his best season but said iy has been a good run (at RCR) and sometimes you need a change of pace. Childress said he knew Harvick wasn't returning in 2014 when story broke in Phoenix but it wasn't supposed to be let out before banquet.
    Richard Childress said he has no current plans to run the #3 in the Sprint Cup Series, at least for 2013. Childress said fan reaction has left him more open minded to using the #3 in the future.
    Richard Childress says he hired his first engineer in 1989 and now has around 30.
    Austin Dillon is named the spokesperson for COPD.(compiled from many Twitter feeds)(1-21-2013)

  • Stewart Haas Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: #10-Danica Patrick will not be using #14-Tony Stewart's owners points to start the year. Stewart said, "I worked hard for my points" and believes Patrick will be fine. The #10 team finished the 2012 season 33rd in owners points but been told those owners points will be used for Tommy Baldwin's #7 team with driver Dave Blaney. Baldwin will use the #36 owners points for his 2nd team, car #36 [unknwon driver/plans]. So the #10 car goes into the season with no owners points and Partick will have to make the races via speed. There is no top-35 or guaranteed spots in 2013, but owners points will used for 6 cars each race for provisional starting spots 37th thru 42nd and poosibly the 43rd spot.
    Patrick has not finalized a deal to run any Nationwide Series races in 2013 but is hoping to do a 10 race deal with Turner Scott Motorsports.
    As for Stewart running the 2013 Indy 500 for Penske Racing, he has open invitation for Indy 500 from Roger Penske, but has no plans to do so in 2013.
    On the sponsor front for SHR the #14 has nine races open without a primary, the #39 of Ryan Newman has 8-9 races open for a primary sponsor and #10-Patrick has three racesopen for a primary sponsor.
    Stewart said the Eldora Speedway Truck Race that will run on the dirt, is close to a sellout, with 16,000 reserved seats sold and about 600 left with 1000 general admission going on sale this week.(1-21-2013)

  • RCR Adds New Staff to Team Communications Programs: Richard Childress Racing has added two members to its communications staff. Andrea Cleveland has been named manager of communications in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the #27 Menards Chevy team and driver Paul Menard. Jeff O'Keefe has assumed a similar position with RCR's NASCAR Nationwide Series program with the #2 Shore Lodge Chevy team and driver Brian Scott. Cleveland begins her new responsibilities immediately while O'Keefe joined RCR's communications staff in December 2012.(RCR)(1-21-2013)

  • Fans get to vote on Sprint Unlimited rules: For the first time in NASCAR history, fans will decide the Race Format, Pit Stops, Elimination and Miss Sprint Cup's Fire Suit in The Sprint Unlimited. More info at NASCAR.com, more info, past winners and more on my 2013 Sprint Limited page.(1-21-2013)
    AND The starting lineup will be determined by fans at the track on race day. Their choices will be by 2012 owner points, practice speeds or car number.(Sporting News)(1-21-2013)

  • Richard Childress Signs on as Ambassador for TAG Heuer Eyewear: Richard Childress Racing president and CEO Richard Childress has signed a multi-year agreement with TAG Heuer Eyewear, joining grandsons Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon as ambassadors for the France-based eyewear company. The RCR team owner can be seen at race tracks across the country wearing TAG Heuer's L-Type Lightweight Alligator model glasses exclusively, in both clear and sunglasses. The Dillons both became TAG Heuer spokesmen in 2012 as part of a multi-year deal designed to bring exposure to the TAG Heuer brand and aid in retailer development. The Dillon brothers will continue to display the TAG Heuer eyewear logo on the visor of the racing helmet each wears during NASCAR competition, as well as in other forms of motorsport.(RCR), TAG Heuer is scheduled to sponsor Austin Dillon at Las Vegas in the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy.(1-21-2013)

  • Congrats Denny Hamlin...baby: per Denny Hamlin's twitter: "Introducing Taylor James Hamlin! Born Jan 20 at 20:20! Weighting 6lb 5oz and 20 inches in length. Mother is Jordan Fish.(1-21-2013)

  • Mobil 1 extends contract with NASCAR: Mobil 1 will remain the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR" through 2017 under a contract extension with parent company ExxonMobil. Mobil 1 is entering its 11th year as an official NASCAR partner. It will now be a contingency partner across all NASCAR national and touring series, the presenting sponsor of the Mobil 1 Driver of the Race Award, and the presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.(Associated Press)(1-21-2013)

  • Keselowski named NMPA Driver Of Year: Brad Keselowski, NASCAR's surprise Sprint Cup champion for 2012, picked up another award Sunday night. Keselowski was named the Richard Petty Driver of the Year by the National Motorsports Press Association and received the award Sunday night at the group's annual awards dinner. The NMPA is an organization of writers, broadcasters and photographers.(SPEED)(1-21-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #33 Circle Sport the team started off under the RCR banner in 2012, then Joe Falk / Circle Sport took over mid 2012 season. The team use six drivers in 2012 with Stephen Leicht running the most and winning the 2012 Rookie of Year Awards. The only news for the 2013 season has been that Austin Dillon would run the Daytona 500 in the #33 Chevy with Honey Nut Cheerios as the sponsor. Dillon could run more races in the car. No word if Leicht returns in 2013. See an image of the Honey Nut Cheerios scheme on my #33 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-21-2013)

  • Sad News - Joe Carver: Joe Carver, one of the best-known promoters in Langley Speedway's 63-year history, died on Saturday. A resident of Concord, N.C., he was 76. Carver moved from the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn. to become promoter of what was then known as Langley Field Speedway, serving at the track from 1973-83. A series of promoters had experienced little success during the four years prior to his arrival. Carver was an innovator, whose gimmicks included match races. He brought in big-name drivers from around the region and nation, once creating a $1,000-to-win match race between Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip, Sonny Hutchins and Ray Hendrick. In addition to Waltrip, Carver brought in NASCAR legends Bobby Allison, Benny Parsons, Dick Brooks, Lennie Pond and Neil Bonnett to race in special events. Waltrip tweeted on Saturday that Carver "is one of the best track promoters and PR guys I've ever known." Carver also served a stint as Darrell Waltrip's PR person.(Daily Press and RacinToday)(1-21-2013)

  • 2013 Miss Sprint Cup lineup unveiled: Sprint unveiled the complete 2013 Miss Sprint Cup lineup to the more than 1 million Miss Sprint Cup followers on Facebook and Twitter. Newcomer Brooke Werner (Granville, Vt.) will join returning members Kim Coon (Orlando, Fla.) and Jaclyn Roney (Ann Arbor, Mich.) this season. Miss Sprint Cup represents the Sprint brand around the track and in Victory Lane wherever the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes. The three representatives also serve as the fans' "friend on the inside," delivering behind-the-scenes updates, pictures and videos via Facebook and Twitter, while highlighting Sprint products and offers.(more at NASCAR.com)(1-21-2013)

  • TMS's Gossage and Ricky Rudd to appear in TV show Dallas: Meet the new cast member of Dallas: Eddie Gossage. Actually, we overstate his role in TNT's hit prime-time soap. The president of Texas Motor Speedway has just two lines in the Season 2 premiere Monday, Jan. 28. In it, Gossage introduces Christopher Ewing (played by Jesse Metcalfe) to driver Ricky Rudd.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(1-21-2013)

  • Harris Poll: NFL Is Still King Among Sports Fans: Pro football remains the most popular sport in the U.S., followed by baseball, college football, auto racing and basketball (pro and college), according to a just-released study from global market and research firm Harris. Pro football was picked No. 1 by 34% of those surveyed, which was down from 36% last year. But even with baseball up from last year (13%), the sport is still far behind at 16%. Pro football has gone up 10% in popularity since the first such Harris Poll in 1985 while baseball has gone down 7% over that time. The Harris Poll of 2,176 adults surveyed online between December 12 and 18, 2012 by Harris Interactive.(see full story at )(1-21-2013)

  • Danica driving for Turner Motorsports? UPDATE: Danica Patrick will drive for Turner Motorsports in her 10-race commitment to this year's Nationwide Series schedule, sources tell espnW.com. Driving for JR Motorsports in her first full-time Nationwide season last year, Patrick produced the highest final points finish (10th) among women in NASCAR history. She will begin her partial campaign in NASCAR's second-tier series on Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway in conjunction with her first full Sprint Cup season with Stewart-Haas Racing the same weekend. Turner Motorsports was a fit for Patrick not just because it fields Hendrick Motorsports-produced Chevy like Stewart-Haas. Richard Childress Racing vice president of competition Mike Dillon told espnW.com in November that his organization had discussed the possibility of Patrick driving his team's #33 Chevy, saying "we would love to run Danica. We think we could do a lot with her." Dillon's team already had re-signed three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who has six wins in 13 Nationwide starts at Daytona, for the opener, however, and Patrick's management team preferred the continuity of allying with one organization for her supplemental program. Though not all details concerning Patrick's remaining schedule have been finalized, she is expected to race it with Turner. Patrick's Turner Motorsports car would be sponsored by GoDaddy.com, sources said. Her schedule is expected to include events at Talladega and Watkins Glen.(ESPN.com)(1-2-2013)
    UPDATE: Yes, Danica Patrick will run her first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year. No, Patrick won't compete in the Indianapolis 500 in 2013, as she reiterated for the umpteenth time during Monday's Stewart-Haas Racing stop on the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. Patrick, however, does have her sights set on a limited schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, after finishing 10th in the final standings in her first full-time NASCAR competition last year. Why? Because, quite simply, Patrick believes the double-duty weekends help her. Last year Patrick ran 10 Cup races in addition to her Nationwide schedule. "Nothing's set in stone yet -- we are working it, though, for sure," said Patrick, who has talked to Turner Scott Motorsports, among others, about Nationwide Series opportunities. "I would love to do 10 Nationwide races. It think that would be our perfect plan, mostly to improve on my Cup experience and be able to learn from some of those races, some of them to have an opportunity to go out and win a race, and others just to get track experience." (NASCAR Wire Service)(1-21-2013)

  • Bowman to run full season with RAB: RAB Racing with Brack Maggard announced that 19-year-old Alex Bowman will compete for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year honors, driving the team's #99 Toyota Camry. Bowman, who tallied four wins and six pole awards en route to claiming 2012 ARCA Racing Series Rookie of the Year honors, has four career Nationwide Series starts to his credit. He posted a career-best 15th-place finish behind the wheel of RAB Racing's #99 Toyota Camry in the penultimate race of the 2012 season, at Phoenix International Raceway. Bowman will be paired with veteran crew chief Chris Rice, who served in the same capacity for RAB Racing's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series operation. Rice, 38, a NASCAR Nationwide Series race-winning crew chief, has been with the company since 2010. Sponsor announcements for RAB Racing's #99 Toyota Camry will be announced at a later date.(RAB Racing)(1-21-2013)

  • Texas Motor Speedway makes sweeping changes for fans: Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage announced a dozen impactful changes to further enhance the motorsports fan experience in 2013, ranging from a new, wide-ranging children's ticket pricing program and restructured individual adult ticket pricing to unique race-related perks for season ticketholders. Fan Fueled Evolution Web The sweeping changes - known as the Fan-Fueled Evolution - come as a result of recommendations from the Texas Motor Speedway Fan Council and extensive fan surveys of former season and individual ticketholders. The speedway executive team, led by Gossage, examined and evaluated all of the recommendations and survey results to construct an all-encompassing package to further enrich the fan experience while making it even more economical to visit the largest sports facility in Texas during its three major race weeks.
    "These fan-fueled changes are 12 things we're doing to change the sport," Gossage said. "Sports teams, both locally and nationally, have been announcing ticket price increases, but we have come up with a dozen dynamic changes for our fans. From price cuts to children's ticket pricing to a new rainout policy to race friendly hotel listings on our website and more will make attending our races easier and more fun. We are committed to over delivering to our fans once again."
    The majority of the changes will go into effect immediately while others will be in place when Texas Motor Speedway opens its 2013 season with the Texas 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend on April 11-13. The changes and enhancements that will go into effect consist of:
    " Revamped Rainout Policy. If a season or individual ticketholder is unable to attend a rained-out race (all series) on its rescheduled date, they will have the ability to redeem that ticket for a future event at equal or lesser value for up to one calendar year. Tickets under the previous policy were only valid for the rescheduled date.
    " "Code Of Conduct" Text Response System. Texas Motor Speedway will incorporate a texting system where fans can alert speedway officials of conduct unbecoming
    " Non-Smoking Grandstands. Texas Motor Speedway will no longer permit smoking in the grandstands
    " Upgraded Backstretch Seating Experience. Ticketholders will now have the benefit of a 17x27-foot Jumbotron screen in the center of the backstretch
    " New Children's Ticket Program That Will Be Among The Most Comprehensive In Motorsports And Other Major Sports.
    " Adult Individual Ticket Restructuring
    " Unique Race-Related Perks For Season Ticketholders
    " Upgraded Fan Tram Service
    " Flexible Season, Individual Ticket Payment Plans
    " Premium Seat Options Available Through Texas Motor Speedway and Ticketmaster
    " Fan Friendly Hotel Listing
    " New Reactive Website, Mobile Lite Site
    The 2013 racing season begins April 11-13 with the Texas 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend. The opener is followed by the Firestone 550 INDYCAR/NASCAR Camping World Series doubleheader June 6-8 and AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader weekend on Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Tickets, including season ticket packages beginning as low as $270, are available by calling the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(1-21-2013)

  • Sellout "imminent" for Truck Series Eldora dirt race: Eldora Speedway officials announced Monday that brisk weekend sales have reduced the number of remaining reserved seats to just 600 for the Wednesday, July 24 running of the Inaugural Mudsummer Classic. The highly anticipated NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event will be NASCAR's first national series event held on a dirt track since September 1970. In just 16 days of ticket sales, fans from 48 states, the Virgin Islands, seven Canadian provinces and New Zealand have secured their ticket to witness NASCAR stars take on 'dirt track ringers' in another historic Eldora moment. Due to the demand, Eldora Speedway officials also announced that 1,000 General Admission tickets will go on public sale Tuesday at 10 a.m. The tickets, which allow fans to bring their own lawn chairs and view all of the action from the popular grass hillsides in a festival setting are an Eldora tradition, and will be available from www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling the Eldora Speedway Ticket Office at (937) 338-3815. General Admission tickets are $36 for adults and $12 for children (12 & younger).( Eldora Speedway) (1-21-2013)


    News from January 20, 2013

  • added some more new 2013 schemes #11 FedEx Express, #11 FedEx Freight, #11 FedEx Ground, #11 FedEx Office, #43 Smithfield, #43 Gwaltney, #43 Eckrich, #43 Farmland, #42 Target, #55 Aaron's (Waltrip), #17 Fifth Third Bank, #99 Aflac, #27 Menard's to the Paint Scheme Gallery.

  • 2013 silly season notes for #32-FAS Lane Racing: The team has not tested at the open tests at Charlotte or Daytona. Been told that FAS Lane Racing plans will be similar to 2012. Terry Labonte is scheduled to run #32 for the plate races [Daytona & Talladega] with C&J Energy as the sponsor. Ken Schrader in the #32 for 10 races with Federated Auto Parts as the sponsor. Timmy HIll and other drivers to run a few races. The team may run two cars in the Sprint Unlimited (Shootout) for Schrader and Labonte, both who are eligible to run the race as past event winners. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-20-2013)

  • Dodge not expected back soon: Don't look for NASCAR to add a new manufacturer anytime soon. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said during Friday's "Gen 6" test at Charlotte Motor Speedway that he doesn't anticipate another manufacturer joining Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota in the "foreseeable future ... the next year or two." Dodge pulled out of the sport after winning the championship last season with Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing, which moved to Ford in 2013. There has been speculation that Dodge might return in 2014, possibly with a premier team such as Richard Childress Racing that has fallen to third among organizations in the Chevrolet fleet. Pemberton said the governing body periodically gets "cold calls" from potential manufacturers, but none that appear ready to join the sport in the next few years.(ESPN)(1-20-2013)

  • Sad News - Virginia Means: Virginia P. Means, 85, of Huntsville, passed away Thursday. Means is the mother of former NASCAR driver and current NASCAR team owner, Jimmy Means. She was predeceased by her husband, Bradford 'Bob' Newton Means.()(1-20-2013)

  • Benning looks to run full 2013 season again in Truck Series: #57-Norm Benning finds himself in the unenviable position of scrambling for sponsors as he prepares for next's month Camping World Truck Series opener at Daytona International Speedway. Benning remains confident he'll secure the financial support required to enter his #57 Chevy in all 22 truck events this season. "The economy is hurting everybody," said Benning, who was 21st in the truck standings in 2012. "I'm not looking for the kind of money those (Sprint Cup) guys are to run my operation, but you can't do it without some kind of consistent budget." Benning's race truck requires about $3 million to $4 million in sponsorship funding to legitimately compete for the Camping World Truck points title. "The more money I have, the faster I go," said Benning, who had a two-year deal with SoBe before the company was sold to PepsiCo. "We leased top-notched engines, so every little bit helps. I'll be disappointed if I don't do a top 10, if not a top five, at Daytona," said Benning, a commercial jet pilot. He doesn't have to qualify. "Regardless if I don't get a dime, I'm going down to win that race. I'll spend the money myself. It'll be a huge loser for me financially, but I don't care.(in part from the Pittsburgh Tribune)(1-20-2013)

  • Canadian Motor Speedway gets green light in Fort Erie: On Monday, the Ontario Municipal Board rejected all appeals against the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie, opening the door for groundbreaking on a $400 million, 65,000-seat facility near the Peace Bridge. The land  in a town that recently lost live horse racing and slots  has been purchased and it's believed the major investors are from Kuwait. Construction is expected to take 18 months. Speedway officials say they will try to attract NASCAR and other auto racing events, as well as rock concerts. Four-time NASCAR champion #24-Jeff Gordon is designing the Fort Erie project's 1.6-kilometre (approx 1 mile) banked oval track and a 4.2-kilometre (approx 2.6 mile) road course. It would be the largest track in Canada. Plans call for 60,000 grandstand seats, 5,000 club seats and 80 suites.(Toronto Star)(1-20-2013)

  • Mansfield Motorsport Speedway purchased: Local businessman Grant Milliron purchased the former Mansfield Motorsport Speedway LLC Friday morning at sheriff's sale for $800,000. The 177.86 acres went up for auction at 10 a.m. during the Richland County Sheriff's sale at the sheriff's office. The starting bid was $308,827, the amount the county was owed in past-due property taxes. With the sale, former track owner Mike Dzurilla lost six parcels listed as Mansfield Motorsports Speedway LLC, including the banked oval racetrack, grandstand, press boxes, concession stands and part of the parking area. Milliron said he bought the track for the real estate but he hopes to find someone to operate the facility as a racetrack.(Mansfield News Journal)(1-20-2013)


    News from January 19, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #31-Jeff Burton / Richard Childress Racing: Burton starts the season with a new crew chief, Luke Lambert, who was his crew chief for part of 2011, returns to the #31. Burtons past crew chiefs: Scott Miller (Nov 2005-Oct 2009), Todd Berrier (Oct 2009-July 2011), Luke Lambert (July-Dec 2011), Drew Blickensderfer (most of 2012) and Shane WIlson (final 3 races in 2012), Caterpillar returns as the primary sponsor for 20-22 races. General Mills scraps the Wheaties colors for Cheerios in 2013, for 6 races. All indications are that BB&T Bank, a primary sponsor for 6 races in 2012, will not return in 2013. No word if EnerSys/ODYSSEY Batteries returns as a sponsor for a couple of races or if Rain-X will return as a sponsor for a race. RCR brought in Eric Warren as the competition director. Speculation was that Burton is signed thru 2013, but recently Burton said he has a long-term contract and that 2013 is not the last year of his contract.
    See images of the Caterpillar and Cheerios schemes on my #31 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-19-2013)

  • NMPA Hall Induction Tonight: The National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame will gain three new members Saturday night in an induction ceremony in Charlotte, N.C. Veteran broadcaster Ken Squier, the late track owner Joe Mattioli and the late NASCAR official Jim Hunter will be inducted into the NMPA Hall, which is located at Darlington Raceway. Squier, Mattioli and Hunter were elected to the hall last year by members of the NMPA, an organization of writers, broadcasters and photographers.(SPEED)(1-19-2013)

  • Hendrick to appear on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood Jan 20th: CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan gets a sneak peek at of Chevrolet's totally redesigned 2014 Corvette Stingray and talks with NASCAR team owner and Corvette collector Rick Hendrick about the prized vehicles this weekend on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. "The Corvette was just the ultimate car," Hendrick tells Cowan. "I mean, it was  you had the styling, the power, all the girls liked them." Timed to the car's 60th birthday, Chevrolet has redesigned the vehicle for 2014 and brought back the legendary Stingray name. Hendrick, a top NASCAR team owner, has one of the largest private Corvette collections in the world, with nearly 150 in his stable. He said he met his wife, Linda, while driving a Stingray. Hendrick, a Chevy dealer, can't wait to get his hands on one of the new Corvettes, Cowan reports. "I think this car will probably be one of the most sought-after cars that we've seen in a long time," Hendrick tells Cowan. Cowan's report on the new Corvette is scheduled to be broadcast Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 on CBS Sunday morning at 9:00am/et on the CBS Television Network.(CBS)(1-19-2013)

  • Bill Simpson tackles football concussions with new helmet: Bill Simpson, the former California drag racer, Indianapolis 500 driver and motorsports safety innovator has created a football helmet that he and others believe could revolutionize the sport. Simpson knows this because he knows what he's talking about when it comes to making safer helmets. Researchers believe it because they have seen data charts. "Most helmets succeed at distributing force over a large area, but [Simpon's helmets] actually absorb the energy and dissipate the force more effectively," said Eric Nauman, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. "The results are impressive."(full story, lots of quptes and more at Autoweek)(1-19-2013)

  • Motor sports shifts from concentration to major at Belmont Abbey: Motor sports management has revved up from a concentration under the business major to sending students across the finish line with a stand-alone major at Belmont Abbey College. The Abbey began motor sports management as a concentration seven years ago. Students couldn't enroll in their first motor sports related class until their sophomore year. Students frustrated by not being able to delve into motor sports classes during their freshman year changed their minds about the program. Students in the program enrolled in essential business courses like finance and marketing, but they weren't being taught with a specific focus on motor sports, said Travis Feezell, director of motorsports management. Feezell took the lead in the motor sports program in the spring of 2011 after then-director Tracy Rishel accepted another job. Earning a degree in motorsports management makes these students stand out when a potential employer combs through a stack of resumes. Belmont Abbey College's motor sports program involves more than just in the classroom academics. The college helps students make connections with key players in the industry, from race teams to race tracks.(see full story at Gaston Gazette and more info on the program at belmontabbeycollege.edu)(1-19-2013)

  • Lofton to reduce CWTS schedule to run Stadium Trucks: UPDATE: Justin Lofton has decided to scale back his NASCAR schedule in 2013, instead focusing his title aspirations towards the newly-formed Stadium Super Trucks Series organized by Robby Gordon. Before moving to NASCAR, Lofton fancied a career in off-road racing. His background and long-time friendship with Gordon helped the Stadium Truck deal come together pretty quickly. "This is going to be cool," Lofton told SB Nation over the phone on Friday. "I've known Robby Gordon for a long time and this is something he's wanted to do as long as I've known him. We grew up doing this and it's something I have a passion for." The Stadium Super Truck Series is 10-race rally-style series that will contest events on temporary circuits constructed on some of the largest stadium venues in the United States. Rallies will be contested at University of Phoenix Stadium, Soldier Field, Cowboys Stadium and the Metro Dome just to name a few. The series is aided by a tape-delay national television package between NBC and the NBC Sports Network. Lofton cited the lack of sponsorship and funding as the primary reasons he couldn't return full-time in 2013 but believes success in off-road can catapult him back towards NASCAR. "I want to be seen as the NASCAR driver who went over to the Stadium Truck Series and found some success," Lofton said. "Hopefully some of my NASCAR fans will follow me on this new venture and I'll take some rally fans with me when I come back to NASCAR." Lofton hasn't finalized his 2013 NASCAR schedule yet but expects to run at least 10 Truck Series races on tracks longer than a mile.(SB Nation)(12-29-2012)
    UPDATE: Lofton will be in the Truck Series opener at Daytona, where he finished third last year. The first real conflict comes during the circuit's second race, April 6 at Martinsville, which is on the same day as a stadium truck event in Phoenix.(NASCAR.com)(1-19-2013)

  • LVMS opening superspeedway for NASCAR testing March 7: Las Vegas Motor Speedway has set aside one day for NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to test at the 1.5-mile superspeedway in preparation for the Kobalt Tools 400 on Thursday, March 7. The test session will be free and open to the public. NASCAR's announcement last week that it would allow all NASCAR Sprint Cup racing organizations to have four tests (not including Daytona) prompted speedway officials to open up the dates on the speedway's calendar. "Before the testing ban was implemented, every major race team used Las Vegas as a key test heading into the season," said LVMS president Chris Powell. "There are a lot of tracks very similar to Las Vegas, so between the favorable January weather and the amount of data that can be collected by testing here, we hope many of the teams will choose to test in Las Vegas prior to the start of the season." NASCAR prohibited testing at tracks hosting Sprint Cup events following the 2008 season. Up until 2008, NASCAR test sessions at LVMS routinely drew 30 drivers or more for the two-day test sessions. Tickets for the March 10 Kobalt Tools 400, March 9 Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide race and March 8 Stratosphere Pole Day are on sale now at www.lvms.com or by calling 1-800-644-4444. (LVMS), NOTE: the test had been scheduled for Jan 28-29, 2013, but is now March 7th.(1-19-2013)


    News from January 18, 2013

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway testing is over: After getting rained out on Thursday, then an almost four hour delay, due to a wet track/ice melting on Friday, the Sprint Cup Series finally got some testing done at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The test ran from 12:45 - 7:30pm/et. 33 cars ran laps.
    #43-Almirola was the fastest at 194.021mph [faster then the track record] then #99-Edwards, #13-Mears, #9-Ambrose, #48-Johnson, #55-Martin, #16-Biffle, #56-Truex Jr., #15-Bowyer & #17-Stenhouse Jr. #11-McDowell (subbing for Hamlin) ran the most laps with 204, followed by #18-Busch (156) and #22-Logano (139). #95-Speed was the slowest of the 33 drivers/cars at 186.968 and ran the least amount of laps at 41.
    AND More than 2,000 fans braved the chilly January temperatures to watch more than 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers take to the track in the rain-shortened sixth-generation car test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. At the end of the day, Richard Petty Motorsports' driver Aric Almirola turned the fastest lap of 27.832 seconds at 194.021 mph. Carl Edwards (27.882 seconds at 193.673 mph) and Casey Mears (27.924 seconds at 193.382 mph) clocked the second and third fastest laps respectively, with Marcos Ambrose (27.938 seconds at 193.285 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (28.009 seconds at 192.795 mph) rounding out the top five. During a morning delay, Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle told media the time on the track was important to provide teams invaluable information about the new cars. "We've tested a few times with a composite body and not all of the latest rules, but this is really it for us," he said. "We needed these two days to really figure out what the car is gonna end up like. Hopefully, we can test into the evening and it won't get too cold too fast because I'd rather stay as long as we can and get as much information as we can, versus having to pack this whole show up and go somewhere else again, or come back later."(CMS)
    See fastest speeds and laps run on the Charlotte Test Speeds page.(1-18-2013)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway testing under delay: Track workers are drying the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is still wet in areas from ice/snow/rain. The drying process has been slowws due to ice melting from behind the SAFER barriers, keeping areas of the track wet. Cars are now expected to take to the track 12:00-1:00pm/et range. The end of testing has changed, teams will be allowed to test until 7:30pm/et tonight, under the lights. There is no scheduled televison or online streaming of the testing. Of Note, when the cars go out, the #11 will be tested by Michael McDowell, standing in for Denny Hamlin, who is still on baby watch. There are no plans for testing to continue or be expanded on Saturday, Jan 19th. (1-18-2013)

  • CMS entry list for testing Friday - UPDATE: NASCAR drivers from many of the sport's top teams will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway this week for a second round of NASCAR Gen-6 testing, and fans can watch all the action free of charge. Thirty-three cars are currenlty entered to take the track during the two-day test. Testing is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday [Jan 17 & 18]. Fans can watch the testing from the grandstands, entering at Gate 5A beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day. Every fan who buys a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or NHRA ticket in the speedway ticket office during the test will receive a free 1:24-scale diecast car. They will also receive a voucher for a free day-of scanner rental so they can listen to their favorite driver during the test session, courtesy of Racing Electronics. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will offer behind-the-scenes tours and concessions for purchase during both test days (CMS).
    The 33 car/driver entry list [as of Jan 15]:
    Car#, Team Name, Driver
    1, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Jamie McMurray
    2, Penske Racing, Brad Keselowski
    5, Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne
    7, Tommy Baldwin Racing, Dave Blaney
    9, Richard Petty Motorsports, Marcos Ambrose
    10, Stewart Haas Racing, Danica Patrick
    11, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael McDowell in for Denny Hamlin (baby watch)
    13, Germain Racing, Casey Mears
    14, Stewart Haas Racing, Tony Stewart
    15, Michael Waltrip Racing, Clint Bowyer
    16, Roush Fenway Racing, Greg Biffle
    17, Roush Fenway Racing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    18, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch
    20, Joe Gibbs Racing, Matt Kenseth
    21, Wood Brothers Racing, Trevor Bayne
    22, Penske Racing, Joey Logano
    24, Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon
    27, Richard Childress Racing, Paul Menard
    29, Richard Childress Racing, Kevin Harvick
    30, Swan Racing, David Stremme (X)
    31, Richard Childress Racing, Jeff Burton
    34, Front Row Motorsports, David Ragan (X)
    39, Stewart Haas Racing, Ryan Newman
    42, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Juan Pablo Montoya
    43, Richard Petty Motorsports, Aric Almirola
    47, JTG-Daugherty Racing, Bobby Labonte
    48, Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson
    55, Michael Waltrip Racing, Mark Martin
    56, Michael Waltrip Racing, Martin Truex Jr.
    78, Furniture Row Racing, Kurt Busch
    88, Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr
    95, Leavine Family Racing, Scott Speed
    99, Roush Fenway Racing, Carl Edwards
    (X) didn't test last week at Daytona
    There is no TV or live streaming coverage scheduled for this testing session. (NASCAR)(1-16/18-2013)

  • Allmendinger has four race deal with #51 team: AJ Allmendinger has an opportunity to initially run four NASCAR Sprint Cup races for #51 Phoenix Racing as its driver roster starts to take shape. While Regan Smith will kick off the season in the #51 Guy Roofing Chevy at Daytona, Allmendinger has been offered the chance to drive [early season races] at Phoenix, Bristol, Auto Club and Martinsville. TAG Heuer will sponsor Austin Dillon in the car at Las Vegas. Both parties have agreed to keep their options open should an opportunity arise. Right now, they are working on a race-to-race basis.(FoxSports)(1-18-2013)

  • NASCAR using new laser device for inspection: Along with the development of the Gen-6 race car has been the development of the inspection process. The newest development now in place is the use of a laser device which measures "40 different positions". The device, while similar to a process used in the Formula One series, is massive steps ahead. "There is no other system like this used in any other form of racing," exclaimed John Darby, Managing Director of Competition and the Director of Sprint Cup Series. The race teams have known of the impending inspection change for close to six months. The media, and those who will visit the garage area during the races are getting a first look.(see more and a video of the inspection process at RPM2Night)(1-18-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #30-David Stremme / Swan Racing: Many changes for this team. The team was sold to Brandon Davis who formed Swan Racing. The purchase of Inception Motorsports occurred in October 2012. David Stremme will be the primary driver of the #30 Swan Energy Toyota. Michael Waltrip will drive the car in the Daytona 500. Stremme opted out of the road courses in 2012 but attempted to run all the oval tracks. The team made some big moves, hiring competition director Steve Hmiel and Tony Eury Jr. as the crew chief. The team also has an engine package with Triad Racing Technologies. Swan Energy will be the primary sponsor on the #30 Toyota with the team talking to additional sponsors. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-18-2013)

  • Cassill leaves BK Racing UPDATE Reutimann in: Landon Cassill issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon, "This is a tough decision but with one month before the Daytona 500 I have no other option but to leave the #83 BK Racing Toyota and pursue other opportunities. We simply could not close out our 2012 agreement and complete an agreement for 2013. I am motivated and driven to find a new opportunity in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I have proven myself as a championship caliber test driver, an exceptional qualifier, and I'd like to continue working towards my goal of becoming a race winner and champion in NASCAR. I would like to thank my BK Racing team and especially Burger King and Dr. Pepper for the opportunity to represent such iconic brands. I'm looking forward to my next opportunity in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."(Spire Sports + Entertainment), look for David Reutimann to drive the #83 Toyota in 2013 and Travis Kvapil has tweeted that he will return to the #93 Toyota. There had been rumors that BK Racing would take over the number 23 for one of its two cars in 2013 as R3 Motorsports, who ran the #23 in 2012, doesn't plan to field a Sprint Cup team in 2013.(1-16-2013)
    UPDATE: David Reutimann will drive the #83 Toyota for BK Racing full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013. The ownership group at BK Racing has confirmed that Landon Cassill has left the organization. "We wish Landon all the best," said team owner Ron Devine. "We have no comment on his departure. Our plans are really no different than last year except Landon has decided to move on." Pat Tryson, who worked with Reutimann at Michael Waltrip Racing, is expected to oversee the #83 team [no word what is up with crew chief Doug Richert]. Travis Kvapil will continue in the organization's #93 Dr. Pepper Toyota. Crew chief Todd Anderson remains in the crew chief role with him.(FoxSports)(1-18-2013)

  • Earnhardt grandson to run ARCA Trucks: Bobby Dale Earnhardt, grandson of legendary NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, has announced plans to race full-time in the ARCA Truck Series in 2013. Bobby Dale Earnhardt moved to WV in March 2012 and teamed up with Wilson Motorsports and has created a three year plan to get to NASCAR. Bobby Dale Earnhardt is the son of Kerry Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt's son.(bobbydaleearnhardt.com)(1-18-2013)

  • NASCAR considering European races: NASCAR has revealed that it would consider hosting exhibition races in Europe to boost the profile of stock-car racing in the region. European racing is dominated by single-seaters such as Formula One, as well as touring cars, while some of the most popular stock-car series there take place on dirt tracks. George Silbermann, NASCAR's vice president of regional and touring series, says that the purpose of hosting races in Europe would be to build up interest in the market. "NASCAR would consider future exhibition race opportunities in Europe as part of a broader strategy of promoting stock-car racing in a region and supporting existing efforts like our Euro Racecar NASCAR Touring Series, which is about to embark on its second season," Silbermann told Autoweek. NASCAR's involvement with Euro Racecar explains its desire to rev-up European interest in stock-car racing.(more at AutoWeek)(1-18-2013)

  • Cotton Owens Was Gentleman Competitor In NASCAR's Early Era: Through stock car racing's rough and tumble, formative years Everett "Cotton" Owens stood out for a multitude of reasons: among them, winning driver and owner and master mechanic. But perhaps most of all, he was a gentleman. "He was such a nice guy, one of the nicest I ever drove for," said David Pearson, whose first of three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships was won in 1966 at the wheel of Owens' #6 Dodge. "He was a real smart, sensible man. They (his competitors) liked him as much as he liked them. If somebody wanted to know something, he'd answer them." Owens, who died last June at the age of 88, will join Pearson in the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, Feb. 8 as one of five members of the Hall's fourth class. His fellow 2013 inductees are NASCAR premier series champions Buck Baker, Rusty Wallace and Herb Thomas and master crew chief Leonard Wood. Owens' NASCAR premier series driving career spanned 15 years  160 races, nine victories and a second-place championship finish to NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty in 1959. Faced with diminishing depth perception coupled with the need for his cars to perform on superspeedways, Owens began his transition to owner/builder/crew chief. His cars won 38 times, the last in 1971 in a Daytona 500 qualifying race  which at the time awarded NASCAR premier series points  by Pete Hamilton. Among those who drove cars fielded by Owens were NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Bobby Allison, Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, Marvin Panch, Bobby Isaac, Ralph Earnhardt, Charlie Glotzbach, Mario Andretti and Al Unser. See much more of the story, history, stats and more on Cotton Owens and the Class of 2013, see my NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2013 page.(1-18-2013)

  • Qualifying for 2013 Sprint Cup Series at Pocono moved to Friday: Pocono Raceway announced changes to their two 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race weekends. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for the Pocono 400 and the Pennsylvania 400 will occur on Friday, June 7th, and Friday, August 2nd, respectively. Additionally, the Pennsylvania 125 ARCA Racing Series moves from a traditional Saturday race event to Friday, August 2nd.
    "We are excited with the changes to the 2013 race weekend schedules," said Pocono Raceway's President and CEO, Brandon Igdalsky. "Our fans were outspoken regarding the return of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying back to its traditional Friday slot. Additionally, our jam-packed August Pennsylvania 400 race weekend will now include three straight days of races with the ARCA Racing Series race moving to Friday; the Pocono Mountains 125, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and two Sprint Cup practice sessions on Saturday and the Pennsylvania 400 on Sunday. The changes, done in cooperation with NASCAR and the ARCA Racing Series, should be a great benefit for race fans attending our Raceway this summer."
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Pocono Raceway was held on Saturdays the last two season, marking the first time since 2010 where qualifying will occur on Fridays. Tickets are still available for both the June 7-9 Pocono 400 and August 2-4 Pennsylvania 400 race weekends. Friday and Saturday event tickets start at $10 and $20, respectively, for both these weekends, with children ages 12 and under being admitted free (with accompanying adult holding a Grandstand ticket). Pocono 400 and Pennsylvania 400 tickets start at $45 and all Concourse-level section tickets are half-priced for children ages 12 and under. To purchase tickets, visit www.poconoraceway.com or call 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929).(Pocono Raceway)(1-18-2013)

  • TMS, CMS intend to bid for X Games: Texas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway have signed letters of intent to bid on becoming a host venue for ESPN's X Games beginning in 2014. TMS, which is located in Fort Worth, and CMS, which is located in Concord, N.C., are owned by parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc. Atlanta Motor Speedway, another SMI track, is part of an overall bid by the Atlanta Sports Council. Mike Zizzo, vice president of media relations at TMS, said X Games officials are traveling to TMS at the end of the month to evaluate the facility. TMS officials say they are interested in a three-year hosting period for the summer edition of the X Games. The summer event requires venues that can accommodate courses ranging from rally car and motocross to skateboarding and BMX competition. The four-day event traditionally attracts between 80,000 and 100,000 spectators. TMS is one of 13 locations bidding for the summer X Games, including two others in Texas: Austin's Circuit of the Americas Formula One road course and the Houston Sports Authority, representing Harris County.(ESPN)(1-18-2013)

  • Sonoma Raceway Opens Ticket Windows for 2013 Season: The wait is finally over for anxious race fans as Sonoma Raceway has officially opened its ticket windows for the 2013 motor-racing season. Tickets are now on sale for all major events on the 2013 calendar, including the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (June 21-23); NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 26-28); GoPro IndyŽ Grand Prix of Sonoma (Aug. 23-25); and the FIA World Touring Car Championship (Sept. 7-8). The 2013 calendar will also include the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival (May 18-19); NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel (July 19-21); and the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge (Oct. 5-6). This year's Historics race weekend will be highlighted by the 60th anniversary of the Corvette. Fans can purchase individual or weekend tickets as well as special ticket packages for all 2013 major events by calling 800-870-RACE (7223), visiting an account representative at the raceway or by purchasing tickets online at racesonoma.com/tickets. Camping is also available for all major events.(Sonoma Raceway)(1-18-2013)

  • Another Amenity Unveiled at Auto Club Speedway: Continuing to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to fan amenities at Southern California's premier motorsports facility, Auto Club Speedway officials unveiled an incredible race weekend experience  The Pit Box Lounge. Located in the Terrace Suites, at the entrance of Pit Road at Turn 4 at the 2-mile D-shaped oval, the Pit Box Lounge offers individuals and groups of any size an upscale NASCAR race weekend experience. While supplies last, purchase this package by February 15 and receive the special purchase price of $799. After February 15, the price goes to $899.
    For more information or to purchase the Pit Box Lounge package, visit www.autoclubspeedway.com/pitboxlounge.(ACS)(1-18-2013)


    News from January 17, 2013

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway cancelled for Thursday: Day 1 of the two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Charlotte Motor Speedway was canceled due to rain at the track and an inpending winter storm and more rain in the forecast. Forecast for the Charlotte/Concord, NC area are for 100% rain Thursday, January 17th. Plus there is a winter storm apporaching the Charlotte area which could bring some snow and/or ice. The test on Friday will be extended 90 minutes: 9:00am-12:30pm/et and 1:00-5:00pm/et. Testing will NOT be extended to Saturday.(1-17-2013)

  • CMS entry list for testing Thurs/Fri - UPDATE: NASCAR drivers from many of the sport's top teams will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway this week for a second round of NASCAR Gen-6 testing, and fans can watch all the action free of charge. Thirty-three cars are currenlty entered to take the track during the two-day test. Testing is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday [Jan 17 & 18]. Fans can watch the testing from the grandstands, entering at Gate 5A beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day. Every fan who buys a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or NHRA ticket in the speedway ticket office during the test will receive a free 1:24-scale diecast car. They will also receive a voucher for a free day-of scanner rental so they can listen to their favorite driver during the test session, courtesy of Racing Electronics. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will offer behind-the-scenes tours and concessions for purchase during both test days (CMS).
    The 33 car/driver entry list [as of Jan 15]:
    Car#, Team Name, Driver
    1, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Jamie McMurray
    2, Penske Racing, Brad Keselowski
    5, Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne
    7, Tommy Baldwin Racing, Dave Blaney
    9, Richard Petty Motorsports, Marcos Ambrose
    10, Stewart Haas Racing, Danica Patrick
    11, Joe Gibbs Racing, Denny Hamlin
    13, Germain Racing, Casey Mears
    14, Stewart Haas Racing, Tony Stewart
    15, Michael Waltrip Racing, Clint Bowyer
    16, Roush Fenway Racing, Greg Biffle
    17, Roush Fenway Racing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    18, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch
    20, Joe Gibbs Racing, Matt Kenseth
    21, Wood Brothers Racing, Trevor Bayne
    22, Penske Racing, Joey Logano
    24, Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon
    27, Richard Childress Racing, Paul Menard
    29, Richard Childress Racing, Kevin Harvick
    30, Swan Racing, David Stremme (X)
    31, Richard Childress Racing, Jeff Burton
    34, Front Row Motorsports, David Ragan (X)
    39, Stewart Haas Racing, Ryan Newman
    42, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Juan Pablo Montoya
    43, Richard Petty Motorsports, Aric Almirola
    47, JTG-Daugherty Racing, Bobby Labonte
    48, Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson
    55, Michael Waltrip Racing, Mark Martin
    56, Michael Waltrip Racing, Martin Truex Jr.
    78, Furniture Row Racing, Kurt Busch
    88, Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr
    95, Leavine Family Racing, Scott Speed
    99, Roush Fenway Racing, Carl Edwards
    (X) didn't test last week at Daytona
    There is no TV or live streaming coverage scheduled for this testing session. (NASCAR)(1-16-2013)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing changes car number: Tommy Baldwin Racing is paying homage to its heritage with the announcement that Dave Blaney will drive the #7 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting at the season-opening Daytona 500. The number is a tribute to team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr.'s late father, Tom Baldwin Sr., who was a beloved NASCAR Modified driver, and sported the number 7NY throughout his career. Working on his father's cars is how Baldwin got his start in racing, and ultimately led him into NASCAR's elite series. "It is a very special moment today to announce the number 7 on our Chevrolet SS. The number has been in the Baldwin family for a long time and it is going to be pretty special to carry on that legacy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series." Based in Mooresville, N.C., TBR will compete in the NSCS in 2013 with NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney driving the #7 Chevy SS.(140 Buzz / TBR PR), supposedly TBR wants to field two Cup teams in 2013, so it could also use the #36 for the 2nd team.(1-17-2013)

  • Front Row Motorsports hire new crew chiefs: Front Row Motorsports' opening-day line-up is complete with the hiring of Frank Kerr as crew chief of David Gilliland's #38 Ford and Steven Lane as crew chief of Josh Wise's #26 Ford. The two NASCAR veterans joined the Statesville, N.C.-based Sprint Cup Series team this week. Kerr was most recently at #47-JTG Daugherty Racing [Kerr also crew chiefed on the #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports Chevy team at the end of 2012 when David Reuitman qualified the #44 at Phoenix], where he served as crew chief for Bobby Labonte in 2011 and Marcos Ambrose in 2009 and 2010. The former sprint-car champion has been a staple of the Sprint Cup garage since 2000 and has worked with drivers including David Reutimann, Robby Gordon and Stacy Compton. He'll be rejoined with #38-Gilliland, who worked briefly with Kerr in a Nationwide Series ride in 2005 and now enters his fourth year with Front Row. "I'm looking forward to working with this young team," Kerr said. "As an organization they've only been on track for a few short years, but there's a lot of experience in the shop, in the leadership and behind the wheel. I'm looking forward to helping them continue to grow."
    Lane is a 12-year veteran atop the pit box, leading teams for organizations including Petty Enterprises and Chip Ganassi Racing in his Sprint Cup career and working with drivers such as Kyle Petty, Dario Franchitti and David Stremme [in 2012]. Joining the #26 team marks a return to Front Row Motorsports for Lane, who led the team's first full-time Sprint Cup campaign in 2009 with John Andretti behind the wheel of the team's flagship #34 car. He also served as crew chief for Travis Kvapil, who drove the #34 Ford in 2010. Lane will be paired with Wise in an expanded, full-time schedule for the young driver of the #26 Ford. "This will definitely feel like a homecoming of sorts, back with Front Row and back with Ford," Lane said. "It was a great experience to help get Front Row's first full-time Cup team off the ground back in 2009, and this will be a similar experience working with Josh as he expands his role with the team."
    Jay Guy returns as crew chief for David Ragan's #34 team to round out Front Row's crew-chief line-up entering the 2013 season. The new hirings allow Derrick Finley to return full-time to his role of competition director for the young team. Finley had also been serving as Gilliland's crew chief since October. "It's great to have three veteran guys leading our race teams and have Derrick back exclusively in his competition director role as we start the season with the new Ford Fusions," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "Just like every other team, we're going to have a lot of benchmarking, analysis and building to do this season and it'll help us to have a solid, experienced group leading that effort with each guy having a focused role." The team will continue its pre-season testing of the new Fusions Jan. 17 and 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in preparation for the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 21.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(1-17-2013)

  • Mayfield: "I'll do whatever they want me to do": If former NASCAR Driver Jeremy Mayfield and the district attorney's office can't agree on a plea deal before March, the case against him inCaldwellCountycould end up going to trial. Superior Court Judge Beverly Beal agreed on Wednesday to continue Mayfield's case to March 4. Mayfield faces four felony larceny charges inCaldwellCounty. Also pending against Mayfield are felony possession of methamphetamine, three counts of felony possession of stolen goods/property and felony obtaining property by false pretense inCatawbaCounty. In addition, he faces a felony breaking and or entering and felony larceny after breaking/entering charges inIredellCounty. Beal asked whether there has been a plea offer made to Mayfield. Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith told Beal the discovery process in the case is ongoing. Smith said there have been conversations between the two sides about a plea agreement. After moving the case to March 4, Beal said unless there is a plea agreement the case is subject to being placed on the trial calendar. After his brief appearance in court, Mayfield fielded questions from various media who showed up at Caldwell County Courthouse on Wednesday to cover the case. Mayfield said he hasn't been involved in any of the conversations concerning a plea agreement but he's ready to get something done. He again said he wouldn't take a plea that involves a felony or jail time.
    And Mayfield is serious about getting back to racing. "I'll do whatever they want me to do," Mayfield said Wednesday.(Hickory Record)(1-17-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #29-Kevin Harvick / Richard Childress Racing Looks like a lame duck season for driver Kevin Harvick. Reports have Harvick leaving RCR after the 2013 season and driving for Stewart Haas Racing in 2014. Only Richard Childress has addressed the situation and he expects Harvick to finish out the 2013 season in the #29 Chevy. SHR and Harvick have not made any comments. Supposedly Harvick will take sponsors Budweiser, Jimmy John's and Rheem with him to SHR. No word if/when Harvick leaves RCR, if he will get to take the #29 to SHR or have a new car number in 2014. Gil Martin took over as crew chief in an interim role mid season and all indications are Martin will be the crew chief in 2013. Eric Warren came aboard for RCR late in the 2012 season. See images of the new look Budweiser scheme on my #29 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-17-2013)

  • RCR shuts down #2 team? UPDATE2: 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)
    UPDATE2: 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)


    News from January 16, 2013

  • Cassill leaves BK Racing: Landon Cassill issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon, "This is a tough decision but with one month before the Daytona 500 I have no other option but to leave the #83 BK Racing Toyota and pursue other opportunities. We simply could not close out our 2012 agreement and complete an agreement for 2013. I am motivated and driven to find a new opportunity in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I have proven myself as a championship caliber test driver, an exceptional qualifier, and I'd like to continue working towards my goal of becoming a race winner and champion in NASCAR. I would like to thank my BK Racing team and especially Burger King and Dr. Pepper for the opportunity to represent such iconic brands. I'm looking forward to my next opportunity in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."(Spire Sports + Entertainment), look for David Reutimann to drive the #83 Toyota in 2013 and Travis Kvapil has tweeted that he will return to the #93 Toyota. There had been rumors that BK Racing would take over the number 23 for one of its two cars in 2013 as R3 Motorsports, who ran the #23 in 2012, doesn't plan to field a Sprint Cup team in 2013.(1-16-2013)

  • Wendell Scott to be honored with historical marker in VA: The first African American to win a NASCAR Grand National Race will received a state historical marker in Danvile, VA. The Department of Historic Resources approved six new markers recently. One will honor NASCAR driver Wendell O. Scott Sr. He became the first African-American to win a NASCAR Grand National race, which took place in 1963. The marker will read: "Persevering over prejudice and discrimination, Scott broke racial barriers in NASCAR, with a 13-year career that included 20 top five and 147 top ten finishes." The state plans to dedicate the Scott marker in April, to go with the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.(wsls.com)(1-16-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #27-Paul Menard / Richard Childress Racing Supposedly driver Paul Menard and sponsor Menard's are both signed thru 2013. No word if Menard will re-sign with RCR. Crew chief Slugger Labbe returns. RVR hired a new competition director in Eric Warren late last season. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-16-2013)

  • CMS entry list for testing Thurs/Fri: NASCAR drivers from many of the sport's top teams will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway this week for a second round of NASCAR Gen-6 testing, and fans can watch all the action free of charge. Thirty-three cars are currenlty entered to take the track during the two-day test. Testing is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday [Jan 17 & 18]. Fans can watch the testing from the grandstands, entering at Gate 5A beginning at 8:30 am/et each day. Every fan who buys a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or NHRA ticket in the speedway ticket office during the test will receive a free 1:24-scale diecast car. They will also receive a voucher for a free day-of scanner rental so they can listen to their favorite driver during the test session, courtesy of Racing Electronics. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will offer behind-the-scenes tours and concessions for purchase during both test days (CMS).
    The 33 car/driver entry list [as of Jan 15]:
    Car#, Team Name, Driver
    1, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Jamie McMurray
    2, Penske Racing, Brad Keselowski
    5, Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne
    9, Richard Petty Motorsports, Marcos Ambrose
    10, Stewart Haas Racing, Danica Patrick
    11, Joe Gibbs Racing, Denny Hamlin
    13, Germain Racing, Casey Mears
    14, Stewart Haas Racing, Tony Stewart
    15, Michael Waltrip Racing, Clint Bowyer
    16, Roush Fenway Racing, Greg Biffle
    17, Roush Fenway Racing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    18, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch
    20, Joe Gibbs Racing, Matt Kenseth
    21, Wood Brothers Racing, Trevor Bayne
    22,Penske Racing, Joey Logano
    24, Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon
    27, Richard Childress Racing, Paul Menard
    29, Richard Childress Racing, Kevin Harvick
    30, Swan Racing, David Stremme (X)
    31, Richard Childress Racing, Jeff Burton
    34, Front Row Motorsports, David Ragan (X)
    36, Tommy Baldwin Racing, Dave Blaney
    39, Stewart Haas Racing, Ryan Newman
    42, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Juan Pablo Montoya
    43, Richard Petty Motorsports, Aric Almirola
    47, JTG-Daugherty Racing, Bobby Labonte
    48, Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson
    55, Michael Waltrip Racing, Mark Martin
    56, Michael Waltrip Racing, Martin Truex Jr.
    78, Furniture Row Racing, Kurt Busch
    88, Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr
    95, Leavine Family Racing, Scott Speed
    99, Roush Fenway Racing, Carl Edwards
    (X) didn't test last week at Daytona
    (NASCAR)(1-16-2013)

  • NASCAR Welcomes The 2013 NASCAR Drive For Diversity Class: Coming off the most successful season in the nine-year history of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, NASCAR and Rev Racing welcomed the 2013 NASCAR D4D class live on Google+ Hangout today  a group that will attempt to match the first series championship in the program's history. "Four drivers selected from the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine will join three returning drivers to compete for Rev Racing in 2013," said Max Siegel, owner of Rev Racing. "With Kyle Larson capturing NASCAR D4D's first title in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, as well as the series' Sunoco Rookie of Year Award, the new class is in a position to continue the momentum and defend the 2013 title."
    Bryan Ortiz, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and Ryan Gifford, of Winchester, Tenn., will return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Ortiz finished second to teammate Larson in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors last season and fifth in the standings.
    They will be joined by Daniel Suarez of Monterrey, Mexico, and Mackena Bell of Carson City, Nev. Suarez is coming off a third-place finish in Mexico's NASCAR Toyota Series, while Bell drove in Rev Racing's Late Model program last year.
    Annabeth Barnes from Hiddenite, N.C., and Jack Madrid from San Clemente, Calif., will pilot the Late Models for Rev Racing. While Devon Amos, from Rio Rancho, N.M., will compete for the team's Legends program.
    "In 2012, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative has strengthened its position as a leading driver development platform in our sport with outstanding finishes from many drivers, especially Kyle's championship, which was a first for the program," said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. "Clearly, the NASCAR D4D initiative and Rev Racing have raised the bar in preparing young drivers for success in our sport." Seventeen hopefuls went through a three-day driver evaluation of on-track performances and physical fitness to be considered for a spot in the 2013 D4D class. For the second-consecutive year, the NASCAR D4D Combine was held at Langley Speedway, a .4-mile asphalt oval and NASCAR-sanctioned track.
    While several of the drivers will compete in the UNOH Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18-19, the full team will begin its season in March. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers will make their series debut at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway March 9, while the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East drivers open their season on March 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Toyota and Toyota Racing Development will once again support Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, with all drivers racing Toyota Camrys in 2013. Goodyear, Mobil 1, Sprint, NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI), 3M, Wix Filters, Mechanix Wear, iRacing, Castle, JRI Shocks, Impact, Playseat, Doghouse Systems, Logitech and Sign Innovations also return to support Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.(NASCAR)(1-16-2013)

  • Keselowsk to DJ on Charlotte radio station: On Friday, January 25, Keselowski will slide into the deejay chair at WEND 106.5 FM The End, an alternative rock station in Charlotte, NC, to fulfill a lifelong fantasy of becoming one of the voices he often hears on the local radio station. DZL, the afternoon drive host for the station, will turn over his seat to Keselowski. "This is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid," said Keselowski. "I always thought that radio deejays, along with racecar drivers, had one of the coolest jobs around. Why wouldn't you like fast cars and rock and roll?"
    "It all started during the 2012 NASCAR Season," stated DZL. "Brad and I were backstage at Food Lion Speed Street (a race festival in uptown Charlotte during All-Star week.) He suggested I play more of 'this band or that band' on my afternoon drive radio show here in Charlotte. I told him to worry about winning the Sprint Cup championship. If he did that I'd let him come in and play whatever he wanted! He obviously held up his END of the bargain so I guess I'll have to hold up mine. On Friday, January 25th, I'm handing Brad the keys to my race car and letting him turn a few laps during the equivalent to my Bristol race... a Friday DRIVETIME (5p-6p!) Who knows what will happen. I just hope he doesn't hit the wall with my race car!" In addition, fans can partake in an online auction to meet Keselowski at the WEND station that day. The money raised from the auction will benefit the Checkered Flag Foundation.(Penske Racing)(1-16-2013)


    News from January 15, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #26-Josh Wise / Front Row Motorsports:: in mid-December, Front Row Motorsports announced it had re-signed driver Josh Wise to run their #26 Ford for the 2013 season. Wise ran of the 2012 Rookie of the Year but lost out to #33-Stephen Leicht. The #26 was a start and park for the majority of the season. Wise attempted to make 35 of the 36 races, qualifying for 30 of those but only finishing one race. Wise will return to the #26 Ford for all 36 Sprint Cup races with sponsorship from MDS Transport after completing the 2012 season in a part-time capacity with Front Row. The team plans to increase the 29-year-old driver's time on track in 2013 with a more competitive schedule of race entries. Charles Dickey was Wise's crew chief in 2012, no word if he returns in 2013. FRM will also field two full-time teams, the #34 and #38 Fords. Wise was the sole driver testing at Daytona, running the #39 Ford there. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-15-2013)

  • Austin Dillon to move up to Cup in 2014, running #3? It's almost a given that Austin Dillon will be NASCAR's 2014 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year. He'll run another full Nationwide Series schedule this year before moving up to Cup. His grandfather, legendary team owner Richard Childress, plans to run him in six to eight (maybe more) Cup races this year to prepare him for 2014. With Dillon still registered as a Nationwide driver, he can run unlimited Cup races without jeopardizing his rookie status. (That's why Danica Patrick, who ran 10 races last year, remains eligible for the Cup ROTY awards this year). Dillon plans to run some Cup races for Circle Sports (the Joe Falk-owned associate of RCR) and will get some starts for owner James Finch at Phoenix Racing [at least at Las Vegas].
    "We don't know how many Cup races he'll run because so much depends on sponsorship," Childress said Jan. 11 at Daytona International Speedway. "Since the old rule about seven races ruining your rookie status is gone, we might run him more than that. And that goes for Ty, too. [Ty Dillon, Austin's younger brother, will run his second full season in the Camping World Truck Series before going to Nationwide in 2014.] We're going to give them both some Cup races this year."
    Childress hasn't said so publicly, but insiders say he's been thinking seriously about giving Austin the iconic, stylized #3 for this year's Cup races. Nobody has carried that number in Cup since RCR star Dale Earnhardt died on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. If Dillon runs #3 this year, it's almost a certainty he'd keep that number when he competes for 2014 ROTY.(AutoWeek)(1-15-2013)

  • Larson to NNS in 2013 and some Cup races? 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 [#41?] races thrown in at the end of the year.(Robin Miller/SPEED)(1-15-2013)

  • NASCAR Launches State-Of-The-Art Fan And Media Engagement Center: NASCAR and HP today unveiled the new NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center presented by HP. This first-of-its-kind resource will enable NASCAR to better serve its industry, partners and fans through a cutting-edge technology platform that facilitates near real-time response and analytics of traditional, digital and social media. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and HP Enterprise Services Vice President Charles Salameh were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the center at NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, N.C.
    "The Fan and Media Engagement Center build has been a thorough process more than a year in the making, and we are excited to see it come to life," France said. "We believe this tool has the potential to be the best of its kind in sports  the first ever to combine not only social, but also traditional and broadcast media analysis. We'll be able to use this to help our industry and business partners and better connect with NASCAR fans across the world. It's another example of our commitment to innovation."
    HP collaborated with NASCAR to design and build the Fan and Media Engagement Center. The center is a showpiece on the 8th floor of NASCAR Plaza, where NASCAR's Digital team operates. Physical features of the FMEC include all-glass walls, a monitor bank of 13 47-inch HP displays, and the latest in touchscreen and AV technology. Behind the scenes, HP's custom-developed technology and services, based on its Autonomy analytics solutions, is the engine that processes a massive amount of data into relevant, actionable insights.
    "The FMEC is the culmination of a collaboration between NASCAR and HP," said Salameh, vice president  Americas region, Communications, Media and Entertainment Industry, Enterprise Services, HP. "HP's integrated solution not only benefits NASCAR's complex ecosystem by allowing real-time data capture and analysis across a wide variety of media, traditional as well as digital, tailored to specific audiences within the industry."
    The FMEC will provide NASCAR the ability to monitor, analyze and better understand the current media landscape in order to respond more effectively and efficiently to fans and respond more rapidly to national, local and global media. Measurement also will be a key function of the Fan and Media Engagement Center. Those capabilities will expand across qualitative and quantitative measurements, including tonality, volume, proximity and other coverage attributes in regular reports the FMEC will generate for its industry.(NASCAR)(1-15-2013)

  • Danica Patrick files for divorce: #10-Danica Patrick has cited an "irretrievably broken" marriage as the cause for her filing for divorce with Paul Hospenthal. Patrick filed for divorce on Jan. 3 in the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County, according to documents obtained by ESPN.com on Monday. The 30-year-old driver announced on Facebook the decision to divorce on Nov. 20, the day after she was named the most popular driver in the Nationwide Series. "My marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation," Patrick said in the filing that she signed on Dec. 31. According to the documents, Patrick and Hospenthal entered into a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage in 2005 that defined property interest. She stated no alimony will be necessary.(see full post at ESPN)(1-15-2013)

  • Piquet to Nationwide: Nelson Piquet, Jr., will graduate to the Nationwide Series this season, running for the series championship in a Chevy Camaro fielded by Turner Scott Motorsports. Piquet finished seventh in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings last season with Turner Scott, claiming a pair of wins at Michigan and Las Vegas, nine Top-5 and 15 Top-10 finishes in 22 events. He also made two Nationwide starts last year, highlighted by a win from the pole at Road America in late June. A spokesperson for Turner Scott Motorsports declined to confirm the move, and there is no word on who might replace Piquet at the wheel of the team's #30 Chevy Silverado. In a related story, sources say Turner Scott will continue its longstanding emphasis on fostering young talent in 2013, fielding at least three and as many as five entries on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.(Godfather Motorsports)(1-15-2013)

  • Kenseth running 5 NNS races: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Reser's Fine Foods will sponsor five races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with driver Matt Kenseth in 2013. Reser's began selling its now famous potato salad in 1950. Since then, the company has grown to become the No. 1 national brand of deli salads, and makes hundreds of other comfort foods that make fun times easy and affordable for every family. 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. For his career, Matt has started 248 races in the Nationwide Series and recorded 26 wins with 118 top-five and 168 top-ten finishes. He has also claimed 16 pole awards in the Series. Reser's will be an associate sponsor for the entire NASCAR Nationwide series, and the #18 Reser's Toyota will appear in five races in 2013 beginning with the March race in Phoenix. Reser's complete 2013 racing schedule is as follows: Phoenix (March 2), Texas (April 12), Charlotte (May 25), Richmond (Sept. 6), and Kansas (Oct. 5).(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(1-15-2013)

  • 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)

  • Chastain to BKR? UPDATE Keselowski to field two Truck teams: hearing that Ross Chastain will drive for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series. Supposedly Ryan Blaney will also driver for BKR in 2013. So looks like it will be a two-truck team.(1-15-2013)
    UPDATE: Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced today that the team owned by the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion will field two full-time entries in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) for the 2013 season. The move to two full-time teams comes in the organization's sixth season in the Series. Similar to the Penske Racing team for which Keselowski drives in the NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series, 2013 will see BKR take to the track in the Ford camp. 2012 was a banner year for BKR, which claimed its first victory behind the skillful driving of Penske Racing development driver Ryan Blaney, who became the youngest winner in NCWTS history at Iowa Speedway in September.
    Michigan-based Cooper Standard, a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry, has enhanced its 2011 and 2012 involvement with BKR and will serve as the primary partner on the #29 Ford for the entire 2013 season. Blaney will be behind the wheel for the full schedule with the team competing for both the NCWTS drivers' and owners' championships. The #29 Cooper Standard Ford team will be led once again by veteran crew chief, Doug Randolph. "We are excited to partner with Brad Keselowski and the BKR team again for the 2013 season," said Keith Stephenson, Chief Operating Officer, Cooper Standard. "Racing has proven to be a useful business tool for our company with both customers and employees and continues to help build the Cooper Standard Brand."
    Cequent Consumer Products and Cequent Performance Products (Cequent Group), leading designers, manufacturers, and marketers of a broad range of vehicle and trailer products among other automotive products, have also increased their 2013 BKR program and will be the primary partner on the #19 BKR Ford for 15 races split between the two companies. The #19 entry will feature various Cequent Group brands and products throughout the season including Draw-Tite, Reese Towpower, Reese Towpower Carbon Forged, Bulldog, and Harper. The #19 BKR Ford, led by new crew chief Chad Kendrick, will have multiple drivers as it competes for the 2013 NCWTS owners' championship. Keselowski and his NSCS Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, are scheduled to run multiple races. Blaney's father, NSCS veteran and World of Outlaws champion Dave Blaney, will race the #19 in the NCWTS' first ever dirt race at Eldora Speedway on July 24th.
    "The Cequent Performance team and its Draw-Tite, Reese, and Bulldog brands are proud to be a part of the 2013 BKR racing season and their move to Ford trucks," said Tom Benson, President, Cequent Performance Products. "It is great to be able to share in the excitement that professional motorsports brings our customers. We are looking forward to being trackside to witness the determination and positive attitude that Brad and his team show their fans in the year ahead."
    "Cequent Consumer is excited to show race fans a few different logos on our trucks this year including Carbon Forged from Reese Towpower, which is a new weld-free ball mount with increased towing capacity, in addition our new cleaning tool brand, Harper and of course the Reese Towpower truck," said John Aleva, President Cequent Consumer Products. "Kicking off race season with a winner like Brad Keselowski is good for all of our brands as race fans get to know our products through this incredible sport."
    BKR also welcomes Florida native Ross Chastain to its stable of drivers for 15 races in the #19 Ford. Chastain will fly the Melon 1 primary partnership colors to the #19 Truck for five (5) of his 15 races with BKR. The specific races for Keselowski, Logano, and Chastain will be announced at a later date. "Melon 1 is proud to continue our support of Ross Chastain with his new team at Brad Keselowski Racing," said John Lapide, President, Melon 1. "Ross has generated great awareness of the healthy benefits and great taste of watermelons, while promoting the whole watermelon industry. We look forward to watching the number 19 truck run for the owners' championship."
    "I couldn't be more pleased with the way 2013 is shaping up for BKR," said Keselowski. "With enhanced support from our long time returning partners, Cooper Standard and Cequent Group, we are poised for a successful season. We have been able to retain and attract top notch personnel. The crew chiefs, drivers, and team members all put their hearts into this organization. Hard work equals results, and I am proud of each and every teammate's passion for excellence. Last season was a huge stepping stone for the organization as we claimed our first victory. We are looking forward to building on last year's success this season."
    Blaney and Chastain will represent BKR on the track for the 2013 season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 22nd.(BKR)(1-15-2013)

  • Empire Racing to run some truck races with Corr driving: Officials at Empire Racing announced that Sean Corr will be running a limited schedule in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series. Corr will drive Empire Racing's #82 Ford entries in both series. Current plans include running 6 to 7 NCWTS races, beginning with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22nd. Corr will also be running in 4 to 5 ARCA Racing Series events, starting with the season opening Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona. Both Daytona vehicles will carry the Warriors In The Workplace badge on the hood. Warriors In The Workplace is a nonprofit hiring initiative for returning veterans.(Empire Racing)(1-15-2013)

  • Cheez-It sponsoring Watkins Glen race: Watkins Glen International announced that the Cheez-It brand has signed a multi-year agreement to be the title sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race starting in 2013. While the Cheez-It brand's parent, the Kellogg Company, has been part of the NASCAR landscape since 1991, this is the company's first race entitlement sponsorship. The Glen is not only a fan favorite, but is a circuit that drivers look forward to tackling. Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards will be looking to add a Sprint Cup victory at the track to his 2012 Nationwide win. Edwards will be piloting the #99 Cheez-It Ford Fusion for the race. Fans can purchase tickets and find out further information about the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen by visiting www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(1-15-2013)

  • Texas Motor Speedway seeks members for fan council: For the second consecutive year, Texas Motor Speedway is seeking fans to become part of the Texas Motor Speedway Fan Council and provide insightful feedback in an effort to enhance the race experience for all the speedway's guests. Fan Web Beginning today and continuing through Feb. 8, fans can submit their application at texasmotorspeedway.com to be considered for a seat on the Texas Motor Speedway Fan Council. The group will consist of 20 to 30 fans that will maintain an active role in providing constructive feedback to speedway management throughout the 2013 season. The council will consist of a diverse group of fans that include PSL holders, individual ticket purchasers, suite holders, campers and new race fans. Selections will be made Feb. 15 and members will be notified no later than Feb. 19. Once the term expires, new members will be chosen for the following season.(TMS)(1-15-2013)

  • "The 48 Experience" Ticket Package for the Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson, five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and the 2006 Daytona 500 winner, has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to provide fans with "The 48 Experience," the ultimate race fan package for the 55th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 24.
    "The 48 Experience" package, which is available for $148, includes:
    ˇ One adult Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    ˇ One child (ages 12 & under) Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    ˇ 15-minute question and answer session with Johnson near the backstretch grandstands
    ˇ Children attending the question and answer session will have the opportunity to put together a Lowe's Build and Grow race car
    ˇ Daytona International Speedway and SPEED Channel special giveaways
    ˇ Separate adult tickets for "The 48 Experience" are available for $115
    Between 2006 and 2010, Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, won an unprecedented five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Johnson, who owns 60 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, was also the first race car driver to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 2009. Tickets for "The 48 Experience Package" are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/48 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-15-2013)


    News from January 14, 2013

  • McDowell Returns To Sprint Cup Action in 2013: Michael McDowell announced that he will return as driver of the #98 Ford Fusion to run the full 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. McDowell's Ford will be fielded by Phil Parsons Racing with Roush Yates Engines supplying the power plant. Gene Nead will continue to call the shots for the team as crew chief. Sponsorship plans to cover McDowell's car are being pieced together. Positive, Encouraging K-LOVE radio will be back to sponsor the #98 Fusion at Daytona 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. The team is currently pursuing partners to fill the rest of the Sprint Cup Series schedule. "Everything is coming together for us to have a great season," McDowell said. "We have new cars, new bodies and lots of potential. Our team has really hustled over the off season to get us prepared for 2013. They've put together some awesome cars, and with Roush Yates horsepower under the hood, I know we can run with some of the best teams in the sport. I have a lot to look forward to this year and can't wait for the green flag in Daytona."
    "I've never been more excited about the beginning of a season," team owner Phil Parsons said. "We have some great relationships that are continuing, as well as some new ones, which have us very optimistic about 2013. I want to thank K-LOVE, Curb Records, Hyde Park Storage Suites and Ford for all of their support. Their partnerships have allowed us to grow and develop as a team, and we look forward to a great year with them." This year marks McDowell's fifth year competing in the Sprint Cup Series. He ran in 30 of the 36 events last season, achieving a best finish of 23rd place, which came at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. McDowell competed in six Nationwide Series events last year, earning five top-10s and two top-fives, and one pole.(MichaelMcDowell.com/Breaking Limits)(1-14-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #24-Jeff Gordon / Hendrick Motorsports:: Drive to End Hunger/AARP returns to sponsor the #24 for 22 races in 2013. Longtime sponsor, DuPont, will be the primary sponsor for 14 races with CromaxPro featured as an associate in the others. Pepsi returns for two races, featuring Pepsi Max. Drive to End Hunger and DuPont sponsorship is good thru 2013. DuPont Performance Coatings was bought by the Carlyle Group in August, no word yet how that will affect future sponsorship by DuPont but supposedly DuPont will rebrand its sponsorship. Gordon won the season finale at Homestead, so he has won at every track he has raced at in his Sprint Cup career but Kentucky Speedway, a track he has run on twice. Gordon is signed to a lifetime contract with HMS. Crew chief Alan Gustafson returns to lead the team. See images of the Drive to End Hunger and Pepsi Max schemes on my #24 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-14-2013)

  • NASCAR & Featherlite Trailers Announce 6-year Extension: NASCAR and Featherlite Trailers announced that the Iowa-based company has agreed to extend its long-term partnership with NASCAR. The six-year extension ensures that Featherlite Trailers will be the Official Trailer of NASCAR through 2018. Entering its 13th year as an Official Partner, Featherlite Trailers built its first race car transporter for owner Richard Childress 20 years ago, dating its relationship with the sport back to 1993.(NASCAR)(1-14-2013)

  • Kevin Swindell wins Chili Bowl; Stewart 15th: It took 25 years for a driver to win back to back Lucas Oil Chili Bowl National titles. Ever since then, that same name has stood atop the podium without fail as Kevin Swindell continued his family's Chili Bowl dynasty this past Saturday night with his fourth Golden Driller in as many years. With the victory, the combined Swindell total stands at nine. Kevin Swindell capped off a perfect week having won every race he entered with Sammy Swindell earned the runner up spot for the third year in a row. Brad Sweet, after challenging earlier for the runner up spot, settled for third with Tim McCreadie fourth and Dave Darland climbing from eleventh to complete the top five. Jerry Coons, Jr. advanced eight spots to finish sixth with Shane Golobic coming from sixteenth to seventh. Bryan Clauson improved a dozen spots to eighth with Billy Wease posting his best A-Feature finish of ninth while earning the Hard Charger of the Race, coming from his twenty-second starting spot. Cory Kruseman round out the drivers in the top ten. Tony Stewart finished 15th and J.J. Yeley finished 19th in the 24 car field. In all 268 competitors from 32 states including Canada, Australia, and Finland competed in the 2013 Chili Bowl.(see more at chilibowl.com)(1-14-2013)

  • British driver looking toward Nationwide: Harry Vaulkhard could be set for a NASCAR switch in 2013. The former British and World Touring Car driver will head to the US this week to test a 900BHP machine with a view to clinching a drive for the coming season. The Geordie will test a Nationwide NASCAR machine on Thursday or Friday after being approached by the #81-MacDonald Motorsport squad last month. "It was just before Christmas and I got an email from the team offering me the chance to test in the USA," he told the Sunday Sun last night. "I have to say it was quite a nice pre-Christmas present! MacDonald Motorsports is a top-end team so it was great news. I'm really looking forward to giving it a go." If this week's test goes well, it could spell a major turnaround for the talented driver whose career has been held back only by budget issues.(Sunday Sun)(1-14-2013)

  • Cockrum to run #07 at Daytona: Chris Cockrum is scheduled driver the #07 SS/Greenlight Racing Toyota in the NCWTS Daytona race this February bring Accu-Tech and Home Smart sponsorship with him (Doug Turnbull WSB Twitter), see an image of the paint scheme on the #07 Team Schemes page. Cockrum ran four Truck Series races in 2012 and finished 16th at Daytona after starting 35th.(1-14-2013)

  • Pocono Raceway Fan Council announced: The 20-member Inaugural Pocono Raceway Fan Council has been set. We're excited to announce the individuals who will assist our staff in creating and implementing a better overall fan experience for all to enjoy. To see the 20 members selected for the 2013 Fan Council, go to poconoraceway.com. The Pocono Raceway Fan Council members will also serve as a sounding board for their fellow race fans. On behalf of the entire staff at "The Tricky Triangle," we congratulate the 20 members selected for the Inaugural Fan Council and the nearly 150 applicants.(Pocono Raceway)(1-14-2013)

  • Homestead to host Tough Mudder: One of the most intense endurance challenges is coming to Homestead-Miami Speedway March 2-3, 2013. Tough Mudder, a 10- to 12-mile obstacle course challenge that involves diving into ice-cold water, crawling through mud and running through bursts of fire, will make a stop in South Florida. Homestead-Miami Speedway will be invaded by thousands of runners who will be negotiating a course patterned after British Special Forces training methods. Runners will barrel through mud holes, army crawl under barbed wire and plunge into frigid ice water completing a total of 20-25 obstacles constructed across portions of the 640-acre facility. For between $95 and $200, anyone at least 18 years of age who is willing to sign a waiver can hurl themselves over walls, under half-submerged obstacles, into the grip of 10,000 volts of electricity and other challenges spread throughout the course. The series included 35 events in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia in 2012, and 52 events are planned for 2013 including the March event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. More than 460,000 participants worldwide took part in Tough Mudder events in 2012, raising $4 million for the Wounded Warrior Project. People are encouraged to form teams and start together. The Homestead-Miami Speedway meet is the first ever in South Florida. Registration closes February 25. Click on the following link to register: toughmudder.com.(HMS)(1-14-2013)

  • Toyota Camry to pack the Auto Club 400: As part of a new partnership between Auto Club Speedway and Toyota, officials announced today that the Toyota Camry will lead the field to the start of the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Royal Purple 300 NNS race at Southern California's premier motorsports facility, March 23 - 24, 2013. The announcement is part of a marketing agreement between the two which makes the 2013 vehicle "The Official Pace Car of Auto Club Speedway". To purchase tickets to see the 2013 Toyota Camry pace the field at the Auto Club 400 in March, or for information on the Auto Club Speedway and its other events, call Auto Club Speedway at (800) 944-RACE (7223), log on to www.autoclubspeedway.com or visit the Auto Club Speedway Ticket Office.(ACS)(1-14-2013)


    News from January 13, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #22-Joey Logano / Penske Racing: Joey Logano moves over from Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #22 Pennzoil/Shell/AAA Ford. Logano signed a multi-year deal with Penske Racing and hopes to help stabilize the team after a tumultuous season in 2012 when A.J. Allmendinger was suspended for violating NASCAR's drug policy in July. Sam Hornish Jr. took over the ride for the rest of the season and was retained by Penkse to run for the Nationwide Series championship. Penske Racing also switches manufacturers, going from Dodge to Ford as Dodge left the sport after the 2012 season. Todd Gordon will return as crew chief in 2013. Pennzoil Shell returns as the primary sponsor and AAA will be the primary sponsor for a few races. Logano also gets a new spotter as Tab Boyd after spending a year as Danica Patrick's spotter and was Juan Pablo Montoya prior to the 2012 season. See images of the Shell/Pennzoil and Pennzoil schemes on my #22 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-13-2013)

  • NASCAR doesn't foresee major changes after successful Daytona test: The search for speed continued Saturday during the third day of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway -- among NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers with their race cars still intact. After Friday's 12-car accident during drafting practice sent many teams packing, single-car runs were the order of the day among those who stayed for the duration. On NASCAR's part, this year's season-opening test was a sharp contrast to that of 2012, when the sanctioning body spent three days tinkering with the superspeedway rules package in an attempt to break up two-car drafts and to scale down speeds that exceeded 206 mph. Even though the Cup series is transitioning to a new Gen-6 race car, the 2013 sessions required little manipulation on NASCAR's part. Average lap speeds in the draft topped out at the 199.650 mph achieved Friday afternoon by 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, and NASCAR was comfortable with the results.
    "We're in the ballpark," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. "We know the teams will go back, and they'll work and they'll bring a little bit better 'this' and better 'that.'&We're right in the ballpark, and we don't foresee any changes." Pemberton acknowledged that one consideration in designing the Gen-6 cars was breaking up the tandem racing, which was not a fan favorite. "When it was new, it was cool," Pemberton said of the aggressive two-car push-drafting. "When it was a couple races old, the coolness wore off of it. It was something that wasn't very normal for us. If you saw us last year at this time, we left this race track drafting at 206 miles an hour and went back and made rule changes based on trying to minimize the advantage of doing that (tandem drafting) and to minimize the appetite to do that, knowing that -- if it was the fastest way around -- you would do that late in the race to win the race."(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-13-2013)

  • NASCAR tests at Kennedy Space Center: Research and development teams from Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing have discovered the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility just south of Daytona on Merritt Island in Brevard County  part of the Kennedy Space Center. The 15,000-foot concrete runway, built for the Space Shuttle landing in 1984, is ideal for straight-line testing  where teams gather aerodynamic data. It's also more economically feasible than transporting cars from North Carolina to the proving grounds in Arizona. "We use the landing strip at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral just because it's a long, smooth straightaway, and it's warm, so in the wintertime you can test there with pretty controlled conditions," Richard Childress Racing director of competition Dr. Eric Warren said. "You work out a relationship with those guys and pay for the use of the facilities  like any other testing facility. They have their own on-site emergency crews, so the safety side of it is really nice. It's closer (than Arizona). The weather is warmer, and it's a great wintertime alternative to going to places out West. Most of them are ovals and the straight-line facilities are up north  around Michigan and the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). We can do two straight-line segments there  as far as coast down. This place has plenty of distance."(FoxSports)(1-13-2013)

  • The Motorsports Group expands facility, engine production: The Motorsports Group announced it has entered into the high performance engine production and maintenance program to become stock car's newest engine competitor. "For the past few years, we have been focused on building an engine program for the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, as well as the ARCA Series," said Curtis W. Key Sr., Owner, The Motorsports Group." "We are excited to enter the racing engine market with our program, we look forward to providing quality engines for competitive marketplace." The Motorsports Group will continue to field cars in the Nationwide series in 2013, under this in-house motor program. This allows TMG to constantly monitor this program throughout the year and continue to build this program from the season's notes. The program currently has Chevrolet RO7's and SB2 engines ready for the Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Series for teams to lease. The in-house program allows these series participants an affordable engine program for competition in these divisions.(TMG PR)(1-13-2013)


    News from January 12, 2013

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 3, afternoon: Single runs continued in the Day 3 afternoon session of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway, the final day of testing at DIS. #16-Biffle was the fastest at 194.936mph, the fastest single car run of the three-day test. #20-Kenseth was 2nd fastest followed by #18-Busch, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #42-Montoya, #39-Newman, #99-Edwards, #14-Stewart, #10-Patrick, #48-Johnson; 11th was #21-Bayne, #13-Mears, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #38-Wise and #83-Kvapil/Reutimann. 15 cars made runs in the afternoon session. There were no incidents.
    See speeds, number of laps run, best 10 consecutive lap ave and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 3 afternoon session speeds page pdf.(1-12-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 3, morning: Single runs continued in the Day 3 morning session of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway, the final day of testing at DIS. #20-Kenseth was the fastest at 194.062mph followed by #21-Bayne, #10-Patrick, #27-Menard, #14-Stewart, #33-Dillon, #31-Burton, #16-Biffle, #18-Busch and #39-Newman. 21 teams/drivers tested in the morning session. Reports have the following teams leaving after the morning session: #78-Busch, #27-Manard, #29-Harvick, #31-Burton, #33-Dillon.
    See speeds, number of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 3 morning session speeds page pdf.(1-12-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #21-Trevor Bayne / Wood Brothers Racing:: Trevor Bayne, with 32 Cup starts, expects to run a part-time Sprint Cup schedule [16-18 races] for the Wood Brothers again in 2013. Motorcraft-Quick Lane return to sponsor the team in about 16 races. No word if Good Sam Club / Camping World will return to sponsor the team in 2013, it was the primary sponsor in four races in 2012. Donnie Wingo returns as the crew chief of the operation. Bayne will run the full Nationwide Season schedule for Roush Fenway Racing. Bayne also got engaged in the off season. See images of the Motorcraft schemes on my #21 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-12-2013)

  • Kyle Busch signed extension with JGR in December: #18-Kyle Busch has re-signed a long-term extension with Joe Gibbs Racing, removing one of the biggest names from the Sprint Cup Series' impending free-agent market. Two officials with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports that Busch, whose contract at JGR was set to expire after the 2013 season, signed a multiyear deal in December. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce the deal. The team had no comment on Busch's contract status. Asked Thursday night by USA TODAY Sports about whether he had a deal done, Busch coyly replied that "everybody will find out on (the team's) media day what's coming down." With Busch's future secure, JGR has its three drivers under long-term deals. Denny Hamlin re-signed an extension last season, and Matt Kenseth joined the organization this year in a multiyear contract. #78-Kurt Busch, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #39-Ryan Newman are the biggest names who aren't signed beyond 2013.(USA Today)(1-12-2013)

  • Dodge and RCR? What's it going to take to get Dodge Motorsports interested in NASCAR again? How about an organization such as Richard Childress Racing? One of the reasons cited for Dodge's departure from NASCAR at the end of the 2012 season was the inability to secure an organization equal to Penske Racing's stature. Although Dodge representatives flirted with Furniture Row Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Andretti Racing, nothing materialized from the meetings. However, what if Dodge could secure an organization that boasts six Cup titles, three Nationwide Series championships and two Truck titles? "I haven't talk to anybody," team owner Richard Childress said on Friday. "No one has approached me yet." Still, the rumor persists.(FoxSports)(1-12-2013)

  • Dexter Stacey forming own team: UPDATES: A new NASCAR Nationwide Series team is set to hit the track next month for their debut race in the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona on February 23rd. The team name is KH Motorsports and it is owned and operated by 20-year old Canadian driver Dexter Stacey. Dexter made his NASCAR Nationwide series debut last season at Watkins Glen in the #23 R3 Motorsports car before running another 6 races throughout the season in the #39 Go Green Racing Ford with his best finish of 24th coming at Chicago in September. Not many details are available at this time as Stacey is still working on securing sponsorship and a manufacturer deal as well. What we do know is the team plans to run a full schedule and the crew chief of the KH Motorsports car will be veteran crew chief David Ingram. Ingram last worked with the #89 team of Morgan Shepherd for 5 races in 2011.(Apex Times)(1-8-2013)
    UPDATE: Dexter Stacey, who drove the #55 Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, will be making the jump to Ford in the Nationwide Series. He will now be using the same engines as Roush-Fenway Racing and Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series. Rumors are about that he could be making a push for the #55 as well, to match his old number in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.(Apex Times)(1-9-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Dexter Stacey has gotten rights to use the #92 for the Nationwide Series. Still no word on sponsor, and is looking for one for the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona, on February 23rd. He has also confirmed that it will be a team planning to run all the laps in the race, and it will not be a start-and-park team.(Apex Times)(1-12-2013)

  • Fans Invited to watch testing at Charlotte Feb 17-18: Round two of testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car is coming up Thursday and Friday, Jan. 17-18, and track officials are once again opening the gates so fans can enjoy the two-day test, free of charge. Behind-the-scenes tours and concessions will be available for purchase. Plus, every fan that buys a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or NHRA ticket in the speedway ticket office during the test will receive a free 1:24-scale diecast car. Among the teams expected to participate in the test are Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Childress Racing and more. Testing will run from 9:00am/et to 4:00pm/et each day, with a break for lunch at 12:00noon/et. Each day, the General Motors grandstands will open at 8:30 am/et for the public to enjoy the test session. Fans should enter through gate 5A, by the main ticket office. Ticket information for all Charlotte Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(1-12-2013)

  • Ticket Renewal Deadline Fast Approaching for NHMS Fans: With test sessions keeping NASCAR teams busy in preparation for next month's season-opening races, the Jan. 15 deadline draws near for New Hampshire Motor Speedway season and individual ticket holders to reserve their seats for the two NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends in July and September. As an added incentive for all guests who purchase or renew tickets by the deadline for the New Hampshire 300 on Sunday, July 14 or the SYLVANIA 300 on Sunday, Sept. 22, an extra 25 percent off all pre-race pit passes and camping spaces (excluding Reserved RV) will be applied. For those renewing season tickets to both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, guests will earn a Loud'N'Proud membership, the speedway's perks program that gives its members VIP event pricing, discounts on merchandise, first priority notification on special speedway offers and much more. Loud'N'Proud members will also be entered into a chance to celebrate the start of the NASCAR season with an event at F1 Boston, which will include go-kart racing, lunch and a viewing of the season-opening Sprint Cup Series race with New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials. Tickets for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events are on sale now. They can be purchased by calling the NHMS ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting nhms.com.(NHMS)(1-12-2013)

  • Gary Phillips Named VP of Marketing at Sonoma Raceway: Gary Phillips, who has led the ticket sales operation at Sonoma Raceway for 10 years, has been named the raceway's Vice President of Marketing. Phillips will oversee all marketing and advertising for the raceway's major events, including NASCAR, INDYCAR and NHRA drag races, as well as other strategic initiatives for building company revenue. Phillips is a 1993 graduate from UC Davis. He lives in Walnut Creek in the East Bay with his wife Kristen, and their three children.(Sonoma Raceway)(1-12-2013)


    News from January 11, 2013

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 2, afternoon: Drafting runs in packs of as many of 20 cars were done for the first hour of practice with #21-Bayne being the fastest in the pack with a speed of 199.850mph. But about an hour into the drafting test, #9-Ambrose was 2nd in the pack with #88-Earnhardt Jr. behind the #9. The #9 got loose or came down and the #88 tapped the #9, spinning the #9. #1-McMurray hit the #9 and spun, collecting #2-Keselowski, #5-Kahne, #18-Busch, #22=Logano, #43-Almirola, #51-Smith and #99-Edwards; a total of 10 cars. After the wreck, no one else. Testing still has three hours to go, the drivers/cars left, will continue to test, probably single car runs, but there will be 8-10 less cars testing.
    SPEEDS fastest in the afternoon session was #21-Bayne at 199.650mph followed by #22-Logano, #56-Truex Jr,, #55-Martin, #99-Edwards, #43-Almirola, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #16-Biffle, #18-Busch and #13-Mears. The first 22 cars drafted. #29-Harvick was the fastest in single car runs at 193.150mph.
    See speeds, number of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 2 afternoon session speeds page pdf.(1-11-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 2, morning: Single runs continued in the Day 2 morning session of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. #31-Burton was the fastest at 194.805mph followed by #29-Harvick, #27-Menard, #20-Kenseth, #16-Biffle, #18-Busch, #78-Busch, #9-Ambrose, #10-Patrick and #33-Dillon. 34 teams/drivers tested on Friday. #83-Kvapil joined the test and #11-Hamlin is not testing Friday/Saturday. Darafting testing is expected in the Day 2 afternoon session for some drivers/team. #36-Blaney wrecked midway thru the AM practice, doing damage to the right front of the car. Tommy Baldwin Racing didn't have a backup and will not test anymore on Friday/Saturday.
    See speeds, number of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 2 morning session speeds page pdf.(1-11-2013)

  • Dillon to run some race for Phoenix Racing? UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger's 2013 NASCAR plans are less certain. He ran a pair of races for #51 Phoenix Racing late last year after being reinstated by NASCAR, and while team owner James Finch has said Allmendinger will drive for the team again this season, it will apparently not be a full-time effort. Regan Smith is slated to steer the car in the season opener at Daytona, and reliable sources say that third-generation driver Austin Dillon will also run a handful of Sprint Cup Series races for Phoenix Racing.(Godfather Motorsports)(1-11-2013)
    UPDATE: Austin Dillon, the grandson of Richard Childress Racing's owner, will drive a Sprint Cup car with a Hendrick Motorsports engine at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Phoenix Racing owner James Finch said during Friday's Cup test at Daytona International Speedway that Dillon will pilot his #51 Chevy sponsored by TAG Heuer Eyewear at the March 10 race. Finch's cars are powered by HMS engines. Dillon is running a full-time Nationwide Series schedule and about six Cup races for his grandfather, Richard Childress, as he plans to move full-time into Cup in 2014 at RCR. He is at the three-day Daytona test driving RCR's #33 in preparation for his debut in the Daytona 500 next month. Asked how the deal came about, Finch jokingly said, "Richard is too old to mess with. Austin says they don't have no fun." In reality, Finch said, Tag Heuer's existing relationship with Dillon helped put the deal together.(ESPN)(1-11-2013)

  • Kurt Busch to run three NNS race for Finch: Kurt Busch and team owner James Finch are rejoining forces for the three Nationwide Series restrictor-plate races in 2013. Busch competed for Finch in 30 Sprint Cup races in 2012. Their first win together, however, came at the Daytona Nationwide Series race in July. "He did a really good job for us on the plate races, said team owner James Finch. "We have a shot at winning all three." The team announced on Tuesday that Guy Roofing will sponsor the first NNS race on Feb. 23 at Daytona. Finch is optimistic that the relationship could blossom with additional support. Busch currently competes full-time in the Sprint Cup Series for #78-Furniture Row Racing.(FoxSports)(1-11-2013)

  • Wingo's Winter Of Work To Be Tested at Daytona: The recently completed NASCAR off-season was anything but for crew chief Donnie Wingo and his #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team. The change to a radically different Ford Fusion has kept Wingo and his Wood Brothers crew especially busy, even during the weeks of Christmas and New Year's, when teams typically take a few days off. "For the first time in a long time I didn't take a vacation," Wingo said. "We didn't even take the whole week of Christmas off. This is by far the most change we've ever had from one season to the next." It was just this week that the #21 Ford Fusion saw its first wind-tunnel test, one that answered few questions for now because it's a totally new car. "There's really nothing to compare it to," Wingo said. For the Daytona test, Wingo and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team have taken the chassis they raced at Talladega Superspeedway last fall and made the necessary changes, including the installation of the new 2013 Ford Fusion body, one that more closely resembles those on the Fusions in dealers' showrooms.
    "The car has less drag, but it also has less downforce  front, rear, and overall," Wingo said. Since NASCAR is adding even more body templates this year, there's very little that teams can do to affect the aerodynamic characteristics of their cars." Wingo said he'll have his driver Trevor Bayne focus initially on single-car runs, but he does plan to do some drafting before the test ends on Saturday. Only after some drafting practice will drivers and teams know whether the tandem-style racing that has been commonplace at Daytona and Talladega in recent years will be feasible with the new cars.(Wood Brothers Racing)(1-11-2013)

  • Two pit crew members to compete in Iron Man Triathlon: Extreme athletes and pit crew members Blake Haugland rear tire carrier for Marcos Ambrose on the #9 Ford, and Dave Collins front tire changer for Jimmie Johnson on the #48 Chevy are scheduled to be competing in the Bone Island Triathlon, an Iron Man Triathlon in Key West, FL on Saturday, Jan. 12th 2013. Haugland and Collins are scheduled to run the half triathlon. The event benefits The Florida Keys Unit of The American Cancer Society.(1-11-2013)

  • Leonard Wood Could Do Anything With A Race Car - Architect Of Modern Pit Stop Heads To NASCAR Hall Of Fame: Back in the day, there was no such thing as a "how-to" manual for chief mechanics. Or for race car builders, engine assemblers and tuners and anyone else associated with the then-fledgling sport of NASCAR stock car racing. And one who did it among the best is Stuart, Va.'s Leonard Wood, who is among the 2013 class of five set for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, Feb. 8. Wood, 78, will be enshrined in ceremonies to be held at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center Crown Ballroom which is connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Wood joins his older brother Glen Wood, the fabled Wood Brothers #21 racing team's original driver and owner, as a NASCAR Hall of Fame member. His fellow inductees in the Hall's fourth class are NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Buck Baker, Herb Thomas and Rusty Wallace and car owner/builder/driver/crew chief Cotton Owens (NASCAR). For the full story, stats and more on Leonard Wood and the Class of 2013, see my NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2013 page.(1-11-2013)

  • Danica vs. Ricky for Rookie of the Year: For the first time since 2006, when Denny Hamlin beat out Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and a host of others, there's a legitimate rookie of the year battle. It's not a deep class, but the intrigue of two-time Nationwide Series champion #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. going against former IndyCar star #10-Danica Patrick will draw a lot of attention.(ESPN), the rule used to be once a driver ran more then seven races in a season, they were not eligible for Rookie of the Year, but the rules changed when NASCAR required drivers to declare which seres to accrue points for.(1-11-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #20-Matt Kenseth / Joe Gibs Racing: 2003 Champ Matt Kenseth comes over from Roush Fenway Racing to take over the #20 Toyota formerly driven by Joey Logano. Kenseth will be paired with crew chief Jason Ratcliff who became the crew cheif of the #20 team in 2012. Dollar General will step up to sponsor the #20 for 17 races and the familiar Home Depot colors will be replaced by the reddish colors of Home Depot's tool division, Husky, for 20 races. Kenseth will also have a new spotter after a decade with RFR's Mike Calinoff. It'll also be tough not putting a #17 in front of Kenseth's name any longer. See images of the Husky and Dollar General schemes on my #20 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-11-2013)

  • Hamlin leaves Daytona test to be home for birth of his daughter: #11-Denny Hamlin spent just one day testing at Daytona International Speedway and then he had more important things to tend to. With girlfriend Jordan Fish nine months pregnant, Hamlin left Daytona Thursday night to return to their North Carolina home. Knowing that the three-day test at Daytona was scheduled around Fish's due date, the Joe Gibbs Racing team set up a plan to get its testing done in one day. The No. 11 Darian Grubb-led team went home after the test Thursday. Hamlin was among four drivers to run in a draft and had the top speed of the day at 195.712 mph.(Sporting News)(1-11-2013)

  • Ambrose to run Rolex 24 At Daytona: Even with the best laid plans, sometimes you have to call an audible. Fortunately for the defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Michael Shank Racing, the audible is an excellent play as the team has confirmed that NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose will join Michael Shank Racing for the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona to drive the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley. Ambrose, who impressed in testing with the team during the "Roar Before the 24" over the weekend, will supplement the driving line up of AJ Allmendinger, Justin Wilson, John Pew, and Ozz Negri as Negri continues to heal from an off-season testing injury. The Roar testing proved productive for the Shank organization, as the team led five of eight practice sessions during the weekend between the two team Daytona Prototype entries. Negri will continue to push ahead with his physical therapy and expects to be able to compete in the 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Ambrose has previous experience in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and with the NASCAR Preseason Thunder kicking off this weekend, is getting plenty of seat time on both the oval and the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway as he prepares to kick off a busy season.(RPM)(1-11-2013)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. potato chips: KLN Family Brands, the Minnesota company that makes Barrel O'Fun snacks, announced a new partnership with NASCAR driver #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. that will begin with the launch of four flavors of potato chips. KLN and Earnhardt formed Dale Jr. Foods, which will launch four flavors: Crispy Original, Carolina Barbecue, Creole & Green Onion, and Zesty Jalapeno. The Barrel O'Fun snacks distribution area is predominately in the Midwest, however the Dale Jr. chips will be available nationwide. The bags will be sold in various sizes, including an 8 ounce grocery store version that has a suggested retail price of $3.79. The chips will be available starting in February.(Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal)(1-11-2013)

  • Segway to target the NASCAR market: Segway Inc. announced that it's 'Teaming Up For Security' with BCM Solutions, Inc., the motorsports industry's largest security provider. BCM Solutions will deploy Segway Patrollers beginning with the 2013 and 2014 NASCAR and IndyCar race seasons to enhance its overall security efforts. Across all racing series, each season includes nearly 100 races throughout the United States.(Segway)(1-11-2013)

  • Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing Ready to Get Down to Business: It's a new year and a new car. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers set sail for a three-day test session at Daytona International Speedway January 10-12 in preparation for the Daytona 500. Bobby Labonte and his JTG Daugherty Racing team are well prepared to make single car runs and also mix it up in the draft with the 2013 #47 Toyota Camry during the Daytona Preseason Thunder test session at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. "We obviously already tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the new car and now we're ready to tackle Daytona," said 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte. "We've been gearing up for Daytona during the off season and we've got a couple cars ready to go. Brian Burns (crew chief) has surrounded himself with some really good people and we are so far ahead of where we were last year at this time. They have built two really nice cars for this three day test session. We're hoping to learn a lot so we can go back and tweak some things at the race shop. We're looking forward to representing our sponsors SCOTT Products, Clorox, Kingsford, Bush's Beans, House-Autry, Herr's, Charter, Toyota and Kroger this season. Our sponsors and our fans are really important to us and we couldn't do this without them."
    "I'm just real excited about what 2013 has in store for JTG Daugherty Racing," added JTG Daugherty co-owner Brad Daugherty said. "We've worked really hard this off season and we're ready for Bobby Labonte to get back in the seat and test this week at Daytona International Speedway. Bobby Hutchens and the entire crew have put a great package together and we're looking forward to getting in the draft and seeing how our Toyota Camry performs. We've got some fresh new faces and capable veterans and we couldn't be happier about this season."(JTG Daugherty Racing), see images of six paint schemes on the #47 Team Schemes page.(1-11-2013)

  • Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam raises $135,000: The inaugural Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam hosted by the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation, which was held October 29-30 on Daniel Island in Charleston, SC, was a major success for a first-time event, raising $135,000. The fundraising event was hosted by NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and Hootie & the Blowfish founding member and lead guitarist Mark Bryan in partnership with Denis Gallagher, CEO of Student Transportation, Inc., and his company's philanthropic arm, the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation (STAEF). Proceeds from the two-day event were recently donated to the charitable organizations represented by hosts Denny Hamlin, Mark Bryan and STAEF, which have a common mission in creating better opportunities for children. $45,000 was donated to STAEF led by Denis Gallagher, $45,000 was also donated to Carolina Studios led by Mark Bryan, $30,000 was donated to MUSC Children's Hospital for Cystic Fibrosis research on behalf of The Denny Hamlin Foundation and another $15,000 was donated to fund other projects and donation requests from The Denny Hamlin Foundation. Dates for the 2nd Annual Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam hosted by the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation have not been set yet for 2013.()(1-11-2013)


    News from January 10, 2013

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 1, afternoon: Speeds picked up a bit as four drivers ran in a draft late in the afternoon session in the day 1 of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. #11-Hamlin was the fastest in the 4-car pack at 195.712mph, followed by #20-Kenseth, #18-Gibbs and #55-Martin. The rest of the cars were single car runs with #31-Burton fastest (5th overall) at 194.620 then #27-Menard, #10-Patrick, #9-Ambrose, #15-Bowyer and #43-Almarola. 34 teams/drivers tested on Thursday. See speeds, nymber of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 1 afternoon session speeds page pdf.(1-10-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 1, morning speeds: #20-Matt Kenseth was the fastest in the day 1 morning session of Daytona Preseason Thunder. Kenseth ran a fast lap of 192.757mph in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. 34 cars made single lap runs at Daytona International Speedway. Team did not run in packs or do any drafting. #9-Ambrose was 2nd fastest, followed by #10-Patrick, #31-Burton, #27-Menard, #15-Bowyer, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #42-Montoya and #33-Dillon. See speeds, nymber of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 1 morning session speeds page pdf, see images of some cars testing on my 2013 Manufacturer News and Images page.(1-10-2013)

  • No 2013 Indy 500 for Danica: #10-Danica Patrick, met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway and discussed a few topics, including the 2013 Indy 500. The Team Chevy transcript in part:
    Q) DO YOU KNOW EXTRACURRICULAR BEYOND CUP WHAT YOUR NATIONWIDE SCHEDULE IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE AND ARE YOU DEFINITELY NOT DOING THE INDY 500 THIS YEAR?
    "I can confirm to you today that I will not be doing the Indy 500. I am just going to do the Coke 600. The team and I decided to focus on Cup. It's going to be plenty of work as it is. It's going to be important for me running for the championship full-time for the first time to really keep myself focused with the Cup car. But if I do the Indy 500 moving forward it will be with GoDaddy.(Team Chevy)(1-10-2013)

  • Waltrip to drive the #30 in Daytona 500: Michael Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, will pilot Swan Racing's #30 Toyota in the 2013 "Great American Race," reuniting him with former crew chief Tony Eury Jr. The race marks Swan Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut since announcing its new ownership this month. "I am thrilled to drive the #30 Toyota for Swan Racing and the chance to win a third Daytona 500," said Waltrip about the one-race deal. "Reuniting with Tony Jr. and Steve Hmiel brings back a lot of good memories and is going to create new ones."
    "Swan Racing is here to compete and to build a championship contender," said Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis who has vowed to end the practice of habitual "start and parks" for the team. "This one-race partnership with Michael puts a two-time champion behind the wheel and the #30 in the mix at the Daytona 500."
    "This is a great move for Swan Racing," said David Stremme who will be the regular driver of the #30 Toyota. "Michael and I have been friends for a long time. We got to talking last year and from my perspective I thought this would help to further our relationship with Toyota and be a good building block for Swan Racing."
    Swan Racing is building its team from the ground up by hiring veterans of the sport who share a common long-term vision for success. Steve Hmiel, named competition director last week, has over 35 years of experience as a crew chief, car chief and competition director. Tony Eury Jr. will be the crew chief for the #30 Toyota. "Michael is a familiar face for a lot of us here at Swan Racing," said Eury. "We know each other's habits, wants and needs on the track. We're going to Daytona to compete and hopefully we'll make a mark for Swan Racing."(Swan Racing)(1-10-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #19-Mike Bliss / Humphrey Smith Racing: The #19 Humphrey Smith Racing team made it's debut at Auto Club Speedway with Mike Bliss as the driver. The team made 29 race attempts and ran 21 races. Humphrey Smith Racing also fielded a 2nd car, the #91, making 15 attempts and running in 11 races. No word on 2013 plans for Humphrey Smith Racing or Mike Bliss. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-10-2013)

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

  • Mayfield calls radio show to question France UPDATE: An offseason NASCAR radio show took a bizarre turn Tuesday night when suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield called in to confront NASCAR CEO Brian France on the air. Mayfield, who spent more than three years fighting a NASCAR-imposed suspension after he tested positive for methamphetamines, placed a call to the Motor Racing Network's NASCAR Live show as France made a guest appearance.
    The driver, who said he was considering a plea deal this week over multiple felony charges, got his call put through to France and host Eli Gold, who welcomed him to the show.
    "I thought I would just call in and see how you guys were doing, Brian, Eli," Mayfield said. "Haven't been around much to talk to you guys lately, and just wanted to ask Brian if he's willing to accept the fact I'd like to come back racing and if we could sit down and talk about it and figure out what we need to do to make that work."
    "Well, Jeremy, you know the path back for you  it's the path back for anybody," [France] said. "I've always hoped you would choose the right path and not litigation and a bunch of other things, but that's up to you and you have a welcome mat out anytime you want. There's a stated process that AJ Allmendinger just went through and we welcomed him back, and it's terrific. That's up to you."
    Mayfield quickly got off the air after France's response. "OK, well, I appreciate that," Mayfield said. "I didn't mean to bother you on the show, but it's the only way I could get ahold of you and I figured it would be a great opportunity to do that."(USA Today)(1-9-2013)
    UPDATE: Looking back, Mayfield says there are things he would let go rather than fight, and he would pick his battles more carefully if he gets a second chance. He's hoping for that second chance after he gets his legal troubles behind him, which he hopes will happen soon. "I'm willing to do the program, and I hope they'll tailor-fit the program to Jeremy Mayfield," Mayfield said. "I'm ready, willing and able to do anything they ask, as long as it's tailor-fitted to me." Mayfield was suspended from NASCAR in May 2009 when he tested positive for methamphetamine, something he denies. He maintains the results of the drug test were due to the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall and the allergy drug Claritin-D.(Hickory Record Interview in part)(1-10-2013)

  • NASCAR will debut new track trying procedure: NASCAR will roll out a new track drying system this season that will dramatically speed up the process to get racing surfaces back to green-flag conditions following a rain shower. After NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France set a goal to improve drying times by 80 percent, the team at the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., went to work on developing the new machine. "Our group in the R&D center went right to work on that," France said Tuesday night on "NASCAR Live." "We engaged third-party help and we'll have it for Daytona. We won't be at 80 percent, but we're going to be dramatically better with a whole new system on how to dry the track as much as 60 percent (faster) and we will get to the 80 percent goal." The ultimate goal is to see a superspeedway like Daytona International Speedway race-ready in 30 minutes rather than two hours and a short track like Martinsville Speedway completed in 15 minutes. France said the new air-powered machine that is followed by a vacuum system will not only be faster but better for the environment, eventually eliminating the current process of using jet dryers powered by kerosene jet fuel that's been in place since 1976. "We're patenting some technology that (uses) air pressure," France said. "Think of it as giant tanks, scuba tanks, that drive air out and blow water - or anything else - off the surface in a dramatically better way. It's a big solution. We're not (all the way) there yet, but it's ready now."(Motor Racing Network)(1-10-2013)

  • Study names NASCAR's Social Media Leaders: Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and #48-Jimmie Johnson are among NASCAR's strongest and most engaging users of social media, a new social media study of the NASCAR industry finds. The study  conducted by Tuckahoe Strategies, a strategic communications firm - scored drivers, teams and select NASCAR sponsors and partners on a 20-point scale. Joe Gibbs Racing topped the charts with a Social Media Score of 15 points, Hendrick trailed by one point at 14 points and Johnson scored 13 points.
    Gibbs' online accounts comprise one of the broadest social media strategies for reaching fans of the sport. The team site, www.joegibbsracing.com, is up to date with timely features, and the homepage points to six social media platforms, including a mobile app for iPhone, Blackberry or Droid. The team maintains active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and FourSquare. Hendrick also has an active and diverse menu of social media platforms including a mobile app. Gibbs' social media score bested Hendrick's by a single point because of its slightly more effective home page promotion of its social media platforms.
    Johnson is the most comprehensive user of social media among drivers. He reaches his audience on a broad array of platforms including: Facebook, 657,062 page likes; Twitter, 348,402 followers; YouTube, 265 subscribers; and Instagram, with an industry-leading 60,618 followers. Johnson's social media reach (the sum of all social media followers across platforms) is 1,066,347. This veritable "media machine" has a following larger than the circulation of the Los Angeles Times, which is the fourth largest newspaper in the country.
    The sport's largest audience holder and content curator across the board is NASCAR. The sanctioning body regained a voice and a direct connection to its fan base this year after repossessing control of its online assets in a January 2012 agreement with Turner Sports Interactive. NASCAR's total social media reach is an astronomical 5,044,070, more than double the daily circulation of the largest U.S. newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. In fact, NASCAR commands the industry's top position in terms of audience on Facebook likes (3,239,504), Twitter followers (841,027) and YouTube subscribers (5,430). The sanctioning body also has 1,420 followers on Pinterest and a staggering 956,689 circles on Google+.(Tuckahoe Strategies)(1-10-2013)

  • Bumgarner named crew chief for #5 Team: JR Motorsports announced the hiring of Mike Bumgarner as crew chief for the #5 Great Clips Chevy in Nationwide Series competition in 2013. The team is currently slated for 27 races with drivers Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet. Bumgarner has spent the last 18 years at Hendrick Motorsports, where he worked on cars for Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, and Kyle Busch. In 2007 he was crew chief on Busch's #5 Chevy in the Nationwide Series. His naming as crew chief for Kahne and Sweet fills one of the final remaining slots in the JRM line-up for 2013. Greg Ives, who similarly arrived to JRM via Hendrick Motorsports, will head the #7 TaxSlayer.com/Hellmann's team and driver Regan Smith.(JR Motorsports)(1-10-2013)


    News from January 9, 2013

  • Phoenix Racing gets Daytona sponsor: Phoenix Racing announced that Guy Roofing Inc. will sponsor its #1 Chevy in the DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, February 23 and its #51 Chevy in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 24. The events at the historic, high-banked 2.5-mile oval will mark the organization's first NASCAR sponsorship endeavors. Guy Roofing is a national full service residential, commercial, and industrial roofing contractor headquartered in Spartanburg, SC. They provide services in the 48 contiguous states. It is a family-owned corporation celebrating over 40 years in business.(Breaking Limits/Phoenix Racing), see an image of the Nationwide car on the #1 Nationwide team paint schemes page.(1-9-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #18-Kyle Busch / Joe Gibs Racing: no major changes in any way with the #18 team. With the new 6th generation car to Busch's liking, Busch could have a big year as he says he loves the new car. Busch only won one Sprint Cup Series race in 2012 and missed the Chase but had six top-five finishes in the last seven races. Dave Rogers returns as the crew chief. M&M's returns to sponsor 30 races, which includes Snickers and Wrigley Gum. No official word on longtime JGR sponsor Interstate Batteries, but they are expected beck for six races as the primary sponsor in 2013. See images of the M&M's regular scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-9-2013)

  • Mayfield calls radio show to question France: An offseason NASCAR radio show took a bizarre turn Tuesday night when suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield called in to confront NASCAR CEO Brian France on the air. Mayfield, who spent more than three years fighting a NASCAR-imposed suspension after he tested positive for methamphetamines, placed a call to the Motor Racing Network's NASCAR Live show as France made a guest appearance.
    The driver, who said he was considering a plea deal this week over multiple felony charges, got his call put through to France and host Eli Gold, who welcomed him to the show.
    "I thought I would just call in and see how you guys were doing, Brian, Eli," Mayfield said. "Haven't been around much to talk to you guys lately, and just wanted to ask Brian if he's willing to accept the fact I'd like to come back racing and if we could sit down and talk about it and figure out what we need to do to make that work."
    "Well, Jeremy, you know the path back for you  it's the path back for anybody," [France] said. "I've always hoped you would choose the right path and not litigation and a bunch of other things, but that's up to you and you have a welcome mat out anytime you want. There's a stated process that AJ Allmendinger just went through and we welcomed him back, and it's terrific. That's up to you."
    Mayfield quickly got off the air after France's response. "OK, well, I appreciate that," Mayfield said. "I didn't mean to bother you on the show, but it's the only way I could get ahold of you and I figured it would be a great opportunity to do that."(USA Today)(1-9-2013)

  • Johnson favored to win 2013 title by oddsmakers: A well-known online bookmaker has spoken, and #48-Jimmie Johnson is the 2013 favorite to win the Sprint Cup. In the betting game, it's not even close. Johnson is listed at 4-1 by Bovada . Next comes a three-way tie for No. 2 with defending champ #2-Brad Keselowski, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch all at 17-2. Even though Busch failed to make the 2012 Chase, he is viewed as the second-most likely driver to win the 2013 title. Fourth on the list is #5-Kasey Kahne at 9-1, followed by three former champions at 12-1 -- #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth and #14-Tony Stewart, the 2011 champ. #99-Carl Edwards, the 2011 runner-up when he tied Stewart for the points total but had fewer wins, gets a decent betting line despite finishing 15th last season and going winless. He's 14-1 along with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Clint Bowyer and #16-Greg Biffle. #56-Martin Truex Jr. is 16-1, and #29-Kevin Harvick has the longest odds among the 2012 Chase drivers at 20-1, probably because he's a lame-duck driver at Richard Childress Racing. Harvick moves to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. If you want to pick a real long shot, #39-Ryan Newman is listed at 50-1 along with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. #1-Jamie McMurray, Montoya's teammate at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, is substantially better at 33-1. If you like #22-Joey Logano's chances in his first year at Penske Racing, you can get him at 40-1.(ESPN)(1-9-2013)

  • 'Behind The Scenes' workers honored by NASCAR: NASCAR recognized industry leaders in track services, safety and security at the annual NASCAR Track Services Summit held in Concord, N.C. Several awards were handed out to honorees who displayed excellence in their respective fields during the 2012 NASCAR race season. The highlight of the awards presentation was the recognition of the Jim Bockoven Track Services Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Jerry Petty of Charlotte Motor Speedway and Carolinas Medical Center. Petty was recognized for his pioneering efforts in the field of track safety and for his decades of service to the motorsports community.
    Daytona International Speedway won the Track Services Teamwork Award for their interdisciplinary cooperation between fire, EMS, cleanup, track services and engineering crews to contain the large blaze that ensued after a jet dryer was involved in an on-track incident during a caution period during the Daytona 500.
    Other medical personnel recognized for their teamwork was the Infield Care Center at Kansas Speedway. Medical director Dr. Dennis Allin and Nursing Director Rick Blevins, both from Kansas University Medical Center, led a group that was given the Teamwork Award by the NASCAR Medical Liaison Department.
    Other award winners included:
    TRACK SERVICES MISSION AWARD ... Ruben Rayneri, Homestead-Miami Speedway
    TRACK SERVICES INNOVATION AWARD ... Robert Garland, Darlington Raceway
    EXCELLENCE IN TRACK SERVICES AWARD ... Jay Donnay, Homestead-Miami Speedway
    NASCAR SECURITY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE ... Tyler Clement, Iowa Speedway
    NASCAR SECURITY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE ... Billie Hodges, Talladega Superspeedway
    NASCAR SECURITY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE ... Dawn Klister, Road America
    NASCAR MEDICAL LIAISON AWARDS ... (Nursing Director Award) ... Shelby Lash, Homestead-Miami Speedway; (Above and Beyond Award) ... Michelle Robertson, New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(NASCAR)(1-9-2013)

  • McClure, Hefty returning to TriStar: Team McClure, Inc. and TriStar Motorsports NC, LLC announced that Eric McClure will return to the TriStar organization for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, driving the familiar orange and blue #14 Toyota Camry in all 33 scheduled events. McClure, 34, made his NNS debut in 2003 and will make his 200th start at the season-opener on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at Daytona International Speedway. In his two years with TriStar Motorsports, McClure has recorded one top-15, eight top-20, and 30 top-25 finishes. Additionally, he earned a career-best season-ending points finish of 16th following the 2012 season. McClure's long-time partner in NASCAR competition, Reynolds Consumer Products, is also returning for the 2013 season. With its Hefty and Reynolds brands, RCP will continue to serve as primary sponsor in all 33 scheduled events. NASCAR veteran Wes Ward will continue to lead McClure and the Hefty/Reynolds Racing team during the 2013 season. This will mark Ward's 23rd year of NASCAR competition and his second with the 34 year-old driver.(TMI), see an image of the car on the #14 team paint schemes page(1-9-2013)

  • Dexter Stacey forming own team: UPDATE: A new NASCAR Nationwide Series team is set to hit the track next month for their debut race in the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona on February 23rd. The team name is KH Motorsports and it is owned and operated by 20-year old Canadian driver Dexter Stacey. Dexter made his NASCAR Nationwide series debut last season at Watkins Glen in the #23 R3 Motorsports car before running another 6 races throughout the season in the #39 Go Green Racing Ford with his best finish of 24th coming at Chicago in September. Not many details are available at this time as Stacey is still working on securing sponsorship and a manufacturer deal as well. What we do know is the team plans to run a full schedule and the crew chief of the KH Motorsports car will be veteran crew chief David Ingram. Ingram last worked with the #89 team of Morgan Shepherd for 5 races in 2011.(Apex Times)(1-8-2013)
    UPDATE: Dexter Stacey, who drove the #55 Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, will be making the jump to Ford in the Nationwide Series. He will now be using the same engines as Roush-Fenway Racing and Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series. Rumors are about that he could be making a push for the #55 as well, to match his old number in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.(Apex Times)(1-9-2013)

  • Arrowhead electronic cigarettes sponsoring Jeb Burton: Turner Scott Motorsports announced the addition of Arrowhead to the sponsorship lineup for the 2013 NASCAR season. Arrowhead will adorn the #4 Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during Jeb Burton's 2013 campaign. The next generation of the Burton racing family will work with veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. for his first full-time NCWTS season, as Burton will be vying for the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Arrowhead is a new venture and is set to debut at the TPE tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada the end of this month. Arrowhead is a disposable electronic cigarette that hails from the folks at Sequoyah Brands located in South Boston, Va.(Turner Motorsports)(1-9-2013)


    News from January 8, 2013

  • 35 teams testing at Daytona: NASCAR fans will get their first glimpse of the new sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars on the storied Daytona International Speedway for three days this week at Preseason Thunder, the unofficial on-track start of the 2013 NASCAR season. This week's sessions will be the only test for the new car at Daytona prior to Speedweeks, which begins with The Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 16 and culminates with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.
    "This test is an opportunity for the teams to prepare their cars for Speedweeks and the 55th running of the Daytona 500," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "This is the teams' test and provides an excellent lead in to the upcoming 2013 season. There has been a lot of work put into the development of the Gen-6 car by the manufacturers, teams and NASCAR. It will be exciting to see the new cars on the track for Daytona Preseason Thunder."
    After several tests for the new car, including one restrictor plate test at Talladega Superspeedway, the rules package has been set heading into Preseason Thunder.
    The rules package for Daytona includes:
    • Plate size - 29/32" (same plate size as 2012)
    • Spoiler size - 4" high x 53" wide
    • Spoiler angle - 70 degrees
    • Front Grille size - 1-3/4" high x 23" wide
    • Radiator Relief valve - 32 psi
    Teams participating in the test are:

    Car # Team Name Driver
    1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Jamie McMurray
    2 Penske Racing Brad Keselowski
    5 Hendrick Motorsports Kasey Kahne
    9 Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose
    10 Stewart Haas Racing Danica Patrick
    11 Joe Gibbs Racing Denny Hamlin
    13 Germain Racing Casey Mears
    14 Stewart Haas Racing Tony Stewart
    15 Michael Waltrip Racing Clint Bowyer
    16 Roush Fenway Racing Greg Biffle
    17 Roush Fenway Racing Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    18 Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch
    20 Joe Gibbs Racing Matt Kenseth
    21 Wood Bros Racing Trevor Bayne
    22 Penske Racing Joey Logano
    24 Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon
    27 Richard Childress Racing Paul Menard
    29 Richard Childress Racing Kevin Harvick
    31 Richard Childress Racing Jeff Burton
    33 Circle Sport / Joe Falk Austin Dillon
    36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Dave Blaney
    38 Front Row Motorsports Josh Wise
    39 Stewart Haas Racing Ryan Newman
    42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Juan Pablo Montoya
    43 Richard Petty Motorsports Aric Almirola
    47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Bobby Labonte
    48 Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson
    51 Phoenix Racing Regan Smith
    55 Michael Waltrip Racing Mark Martin
    56 Michael Waltrip Racing Martin Truex
    78 Furniture Row Racing Kurt Busch
    83 BK Racing Travis Kvapil/David Reutimann
    88 Hendrick Motorsports Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    95 Leavine Family Racing Scott Speed
    99 Roush Fenway Racing Carl Edwards
    (1-8-2013)

  • Finch working on driver lineup for #51 UPDATE 3: Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch is close to settling on his lineup for 2013. Finch said Thursday that Regan Smith will run the Daytona 500 in the #51 Chevy. But with Smith concentrating on his new gig with JR Motorsports, there will be an opportunity for AJ Allmendinger as well. "Regan will go to Daytona for us, but I want to help AJ run some races, too," Finch said. "We're still working on the final schedule, but AJ will probably run Phoenix (International Raceway on March 3) for us." Allmendinger made his comeback with Phoenix Racing in October at Charlotte after completing NASCAR's "Road to Recovery" program for violating the sport's substance-abuse policy. His top result with the team was 24th in that race.(Fox Sports)(12-21-2012)
    UPDATE: James (Finch) telling Newschannel 7 Sports he's committed to run at least 18 Cup races in 2013, starting with the Daytona 500. He says he's secured a sponsor for both Daytona races in February, but won't announce that sponsor until after the first. James says Regan Smith will drive for Phoenix in the Daytona 500. Finch will use Smith for some other Cup races, though he'll have to share Smith, since he will drive the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports. Allmendinger is another driver Finch would like to use on the Cup Series. AJ ran the final four races of 2012 for Phoenix and James says he liked how AJ handled the car. Allmendinger though apparently considering some offers to race Indy cars. As for running the whole cup circuit, Finch says he's hoping for some early success and that more sponsorship will come along, making running a full slate more possible.(News Channel 7, Panama City Beach, FL)(12-28-2012)
    UPDATE 2: As the clock winds down on 2012, Phoenix Racing, based in Spartanburg, is looking ahead to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and it's going to be a season full of changes. "One of the biggest changes is the change in the Chevy body styles," Hendersonville's Steve Barkdoll, general manager of Phoenix Racing, said. "Sprint Cup is going to the Chevy SS and Nationwide to the Chevy Camaro. For a small team like us, that creates a lot more work, and our guys in the shop are doing an incredible job. They've been working non-stop to get ready for the season, and we've already got a couple of new cars in the shop that look really sharp." Just like last year, Phoenix Racing will be using multiple drivers. "For Daytona, we'll be going with Regan Smith, who also drives for Dale Jr.'s Nationwide team. Since Regan is committed to the Nationwide Series, he won't be able to run a full Cup schedule with us. We'll be looking to other drivers throughout the year, including A.J. Allmendinger again."(Spartanburg Herald Journal)(12-30-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Phoenix Racing will put Regan Smith in its car for the Daytona 500 and plans to have Smith and AJ Allmendinger share driving duties for its Sprint Cup team in 2013. It also hopes to reunite with Kurt Busch for Nationwide Series races. Team general manager Steve Barkdoll said Tuesday that the team plans to field a Cup car for the entire season and a Nationwide car for restrictor-plate events plus other select races. Smith will drive the Cup car at Daytona and possibly in seven to 10 races throughout the season. Barkdoll said he expects Allmendinger's first race to be at Phoenix. The team plans to announce sponsorship for the Cup events at Daytona and Las Vegas as well as the Nationwide race at Daytona soon. Barkdoll said the current plan is to run a full season in Cup but if no sponsorship materializes during the season, the schedule could be cut back. The team will use Hendrick engines all season, Barkdoll said. (Sporting News)(1-8-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. / Roush Fenway Racing: Two-time NASCAR Nationwide Champ Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moves up to the Sprint Cup level in 2013. Stenhouse Jr. will run for the Rookie of the Year and take over the #17 from Matt Kenseth, who ran the car since 2000. Scott Graves will lead the #17 team as the crew chief. Graves worked with Stenhouse Jr. in his three final Sprint Cup starts in 2012. Graves did a lot of R&D work for RFR on the 2013 car. Best Buy will be the sponsor for 12 races. Zest for an unknown number of races and Fifth Third Bank for four races. See images of the Best Buy, Zest and Fifth Third Bank schemes on my #17 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-8-2013)

  • Mayfield plea deal underway: A judge agreed Monday to keep open former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield's case in Catawba County Superior Court this week. Mayfield's Attorney David Freedman and the district attorney's office appear to be trying to work out a deal. "Communication is open," Mayfield said Monday. "We'll see how it goes." Mayfield said he will not take any kind of plea deal that would mean jail time. Mayfield was in court Monday on felony possession of methamphetamine, three counts of felony possession of stolen goods/property and felony obtaining property by false pretense. All five charges stem from a search investigators conducted on Mayfield's property on Hudson Chapel Road in Catawba on Nov. 1, 2011. Law enforcement found 1.5 grams of methamphetamine in a safe in Mayfield's home, as well as sound equipment and electronics, Red Bull Racing signs, tools and furniture that were reported stolen, according to indictments. Mayfield is also accused of selling a metal surface plate to a company for $1,200. The surface plate belonged to someone else. He has a court date in Caldwell County Superior Court Monday on four felony larceny counts. "I'm ready to put this behind me, and I'm ready to move on with my life," Mayfield said Monday before going into court. Mayfield said he knows he can't do anything with the charges hanging over his head. He would like to be reinstated in NASCAR and maybe do some drag racing.(Hickory Record)(1-8-2013)

  • No DirecTV Hot Pass in 2013: DirecTV is doing away with its NASCAR Hot Pass programming this year. The decision brings an end to the five-year-old service that gave subscribers four channels of in-car-driver video and audio. The distributor opted to discontinue the service because of its cost. DirecTV also decided to end its sponsorship of NASCAR. It had been an official partner of the sport since '07. It is looking for other ways to stay involved in the sport and plans to set up displays at some racetracks this season. DirecTV Senior VP/PR Darris Gringeri said, "We tried to charge for the (Hot Pass) product a few years ago, but the demand for it was low. We decided to switch to a free service. It's been great and we've been happy with it. It's been a differentiator. But in the end, the production cost became too much to bear." The offering was expensive because DirecTV had to sublicense the video rights to in-car-camera footage from NASCAR rightsholders Fox, Turner and ESPN.(Sports Business Journal)(1-8-2013)

  • Zipadelli named crew chief for Allgaier: Turner Scott Motorsports announced that the team has named Scott Zipadelli as crew chief for the #31 BRANDT Chevy in the Nationwide Series. Zipadelli, a NNS veteran, has served as crew chief for 190 events in the series, earning one win, 12 top-five and 47 top-10 finishes. The East Haddam, Conn. native earned his first career win in 2010 with Boris Said at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(1-8-2013)

  • Dexter Stacey forming own team: A new NASCAR Nationwide Series team is set to hit the track next month for their debut race in the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona on February 23rd. The team name is KH Motorsports and it is owned and operated by 20-year old Canadian driver Dexter Stacey. Dexter made his NASCAR Nationwide series debut last season at Watkins Glen in the #23 R3 Motorsports car before running another 6 races throughout the season in the #39 Go Green Racing Ford with his best finish of 24th coming at Chicago in September. Not many details are available at this time as Stacey is still working on securing sponsorship and a manufacturer deal as well. What we do know is the team plans to run a full schedule and the crew chief of the KH Motorsports car will be veteran crew chief David Ingram. Ingram last worked with the #89 team of Morgan Shepherd for 5 races in 2011.(Apex Times)(1-8-2013)

  • Grant Galloway plans to debut at Martinsville with SS GreenLight Racing: 18-year old Indiana native, Grant Galloway has his sights set on competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2013. "I know it all sounds too familiar, but I grew up watching NASCAR and I set a goal that one day I would be competing at that level," stated Grant. "It has been amazing to see how God has opened doors for me and I am getting closer to living that dream. I have had a few really good tests in a truck and we are working hard to get the necessary sponsorship to be able to put everything together. I am approved for Martinsville and if all goes as planned we will make our debut there in April."
    Galloway, a current student at Christian based Grace College in Indiana, began racing quarter midgets at the age of nine. After accumulating 45 feature wins and multiple track championships, Grant worked his way up to compete in the National Midget Series as one of the youngest competitors. His success led him to a spot in the Richard Petty Driver Search in 2010 where he was ultimately hired as driver for the Richard Petty Driving Experience. This experience allowed him to advance to become a test driver for Dodge SRT program.
    To prepare for his advancement to the next level of NASCAR, Grant has participated in two test sessions with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team SS GreenLight Racing. The Bobby Dotter led organization fields the #07 and #08 entries in the series. "We tested Grant on two different occasions on different tracks and everyone on our team was impressed with his abilities," stated Dotter. "We have grown SS GreenLight Racing into a place where young drivers come to begin their careers and Grant ranks up there with the best of them. We look forward to the opportunity to work with him in 2013 and expect some great things from this young driver."
    Efforts are underway to solidify the necessary sponsorship to compete at Martinsville and beyond in the 2013 season.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(1-8-2013)

  • Camping World CEO on reality tv show: CNBC announced it has greenlighted two new reality series that will be part of its primetime rebrand, CNBC Prime. The series are the untitled Family Business Project and The Big Fix (working title). Both series will premiere in the spring. In each episode of the hourlong untitled family business project viewers will meet three family businesses that "have the drive, ambition and desire to succeed, what they don't have is cash," They will compete for money and the studio audience will decide who gets it the $50,000 prize. The Big Fix will follow Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, as he helps rebuild businesses that are in serious trouble. Each show focuses on one company over eight episodes the exec will invest $2 million. CNBC thought the concept would be more compelling if it involved "someone who has skin in the game."(CNBC)(1-8-2013)

  • Dover qualifying moves to Friday: As NASCAR prepares to return to Dover International Speedway for the May 31-June 2 and Sept. 27-29, 2013 race weekends, the track has announced that Sprint Cup Series qualifying will return to its Friday afternoon time. For the past few years, the Sprint Cup Series has qualified on Saturday afternoon, just prior to the day's NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The move back to Friday will add more value to a Friday race ticket  the May 31 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Sept. 27 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races  and will mark a return to a traditional Dover schedule, with qualifying now being held prior to the Friday races. In addition, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will practice once on Friday before qualifying, and then twice on Saturday prior to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(Dover Speedway)(1-8-2012)


    News from January 7, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #16-Greg Biffle / Roush Fenway Racing: No major changes with the #16 team. Biffle is signed thru the 2014 season. Matt Puccia returns as the crew chief of the #16, a spot he has held since July 2011. 3M returns as the primary sponsor, supposedly for 35 races, using different divisions/products of 3M (like ScotchBrite, Blue Tape, Post-It, etc). 3M is signed thru the 2014 season. Expect the Red Cross to show up on the car for a couple races, usually in conjunction with 3M. See images of the 3M regular scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-7-2013)

  • Sprint will sponsor Shootout: Sprint has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to sponsor the Sprint Unlimited At Daytona, the fan-favorite non-points event formerly known as the Daytona Shootout that traditionally kicks off the stock car portion of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 and the NASCAR season. The race will once again be held under the lights on Saturday night, Feb. 16 (FOX 8 pm/et) but will feature several new elements that will make this event even more of a fan favorite. Fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences from Sprint 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. As announced earlier in the year, the format for selecting the field of drivers in the invitation-only event will return to its roots for 2013. 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 field for The Sprint Unlimited is currently at 22 drivers and features a who's who of NASCAR stars.(DIS), see more infomation on the Jayski's 2013 The Sprint Unlimited / 2012 Pole Winners page.(1-7-2013)

  • #95 team plans limited schedule: #95-Scott Speed posted Leavine Family Racing's 2013 schedule to Facebook. It is a total of 24 races, including the Budweiser Duels & All-Star shootout. The team attempted 16 races in 2013, making 15 of them.(1-7-2013)

  • BRANDT, Allgaier returning to Turner Scott Motorsports: BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of agricultural specialty products, announced its return to Turner Scott Motorsports as the primary sponsor of the #31 BRANDT Chevy driven by championship contender Justin Allgaier. BRANDT is committed to being the primary sponsor for at least 26 of the 33 scheduled NNS races in 2013. In 2012, BRANDT promoted an "all agriculture car," and 2013 will see the continuation of that concept. The "Ag Car" spotlights the hard work and value of the agriculture industry, as well as the challenges it faces to feed the world as our population continues to grow. The National FFA Organization, The Nutrients for Life Foundation, TradeMark Nitrogen Corporation, Precision Tank & Equipment and WinField all joined the #31 Ag Car in 2012.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(1-7-2013)

  • Chicagoland hosting Rally, Rock, and Race weekend: Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway will present a weekend of NASCAR action, music, off-road racing and car shows as part of the Rally, Rock and Race Weekend, July 19-21. Headlined by the STP 300 Nationwide Series on Sunday, July 21, a rare off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series, Rally, Rock and Race will also feature two nights of the Traxxas TORC Series Baja-style off-road racing at Route 66 Raceway's dirt oval in addition to entertainment including live music and car shows all weekend long. With three exhilarating forms of motorsports to go along with entertainment for the whole family, Rally, Rock and Race weekend is more than just a day at the races.(Chicagoland PR)(1-7-2013)


    News from January 6, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #15-Clint Bowyer / Michael Waltrip Racing: After finishing a surprise 2nd in the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship after moving to Michael Waltrip Racing. No major changes known for the #15 team as Bowyer and Five Hour Energy are signed thru 2014. Bowyer does get a new sponsor for 2013. Peak Motor Oil will be the primary sponsor for three races. Five Hour Energy drink was committed for 20 races in 2013 and mid season picked up another 15 races with Aaron's sponsoring the #15 at Talladega in May. No word on how many races Five Hour Energy will sponsor Bowyer, but it'll be at least 20. Brian Pattie returns as the crew chief for Bowyer. Bowyer is scheduled to run the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Michael Waltrip Racing owners Rob Kauffman and Michael Waltrip. See images of the Peak Motor Oil scheme on my #15 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-6-2013)

  • Allmendinger still working on 2013 plans: AJ Allmendinger tried to close the book on 2012 by going to bed early on New Years Eve and not celebrating the end of the year. But it was hard for him when just a few days later he drove through the tunnel at Daytona International Speedway. He couldn't help but remember last July when he drove through the DIS tunnel wondering if he would ever race again as NASCAR had just suspended him for a failed drug test the previous weekend at Kentucky Speedway. His return to Daytona Friday didn't have that type of drama as he set the fast time in testing for the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, which is scheduled for Jan. 26-27 on the track's road course. Allmendinger is driving for Michael Shank Racing, whose team he anchored in winning the sportscar event a year ago in perhaps Allmendinger's biggest win in his racing career. Allmendinger was fired by Penske Racing for the failed drug test. He drove two races for #51-Phoenix Racing following his reinstatement and while mentioned as a possible driver for select races for the team in 2013 Allmendinger said he has nothing set beyond the 24-hour race. "As of right now, this is the only race I've got planned," the 31-year-old Allmendinger said. "We know how this world works. It's crazy. & I definitely want to be back in the Cup Series because I have got a lot of unfinished business. It's not the way I want to go out like that. I'm open to all options  sportscar racing, IndyCar racing, Cup, Nationwide, trucks, whatever."(Sporting News)(1-6-2013)

  • Several drivers getting new spotters: Wondering whose voices will be directing your favorite drivers when the Sprint Cup Series tests at Daytona International Speedway next week? There are changes a-plenty coming to the NASCAR Sprint Cup spotter's stand this season. Here are a few to listen for:
    Brandon Benesch, who was Danica Patrick's car chief at JR Motorsports during her Nationwide Series stint in the #7 GoDaddy Chevy, will be her eyes in the sky starting on Thursday. Benesch also spotted for Robby Gordon.
    Veteran spotter Keith Barnwell started coordinating the schedule for Team Dillon (Austin and Ty) in December. But on the weekends, Barnwell will spot for #31-Jeff Burton. For the last two years, Barnwell spotted for Martin Truex Jr.
    Mike Herman Jr., a former racer/driving coach, will take the reins for Barnwell on the #56 Toyota for Truex at Michael Waltrip Racing. Herman, 38, competed in both Pro Cup and the Southern Modified Tour.
    Derek Kneeland is getting his big break spotting for #42-Juan Pablo Montoya this year. Kneeland spots for Brian Scott in the Nationwide Series and worked part-time guiding Frank Stoddard's #32 Ford last year.(Fox Sports)(1-6-2013)

  • DuPont will continue sponsorship of Gordon: 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)

  • Sad News - Steve Husketh: Stephen Odell Husketh, 62, of Apex, NC died Thursday, January 3, 2013. Steve was the longtime owner of Quality Brake and Quality Inspection Centers in Cary. He fulfilled his passion for racing while operating Premiere Motorsports. Steve's team, Premiere Motorsports #68, and his driver for many years, Allen Purkhiser, were able to visit Victory Lane twice in the 2012 season with Steve there to celebrate with them. Husketh's Premiere Motorsports made two Nationwide Series starts in 2000 with Jay Fogleman as the driver, finishing 11th and 12th in the two races. See full obituary and service info at Apex Funeral Home website.(1-6-2012)


    News from January 5, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #14-Tony Stewart / Stewart Haas Racing: Office Depot left the sport and the #14 team after the 2012 season. Bass Pro Shops will be the primary for three-time champ Tony Stewart for 18 races in 2013 with Mobil 1 staying aboard and being the primary for 11 races. Nine races are still unsponsored for the #14. Steve Addington returns as the crew chief in 2013. SHR expands to three full time teams with Danica Patrick running the full season in 2013. SHR could become a four car team in 2014 with Kevin Harvick already signing to move from Richard Childress Racing AFTER the 2013 season. #39-Ryan Newman is signed thru 2013 and could return if sponsorship is found. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-5-2013)

  • Cassill & Kvapil returning to BK Racing: According to a post to Twitter by Sporting News' Bob Pockrass, "Per BK Racing spokesman, the plan is for Cassill and Kvapil to drive for team in 2013. They will be at test at [Daytona]."(1-5-2013)

  • Gordon to appear on "I Get That a Lot": #24- Jeff Gordon will be featured in a one-hour special of "I GET THAT A LOT," airing Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on the CBS Television Network. Other celebrities appearing in the special include actress Jane Seymour, actor and comedian Cheech Marin, former Olympian Bruce Jenner, late actor Larry Hagman and Phil Keoghan from "The Amazing Race." "I GET THAT A LOT" features celebrities tricking everyday citizens in cases of supposed "mistaken identity." Working ordinary jobs, the celebrities confuse customers who can't decide if it's the actual celebrity or an astonishing look-alike.(NASCAR), see a clip from the show on Jeff Gordon's website.(1-5-2013)

  • Michigan Speedway honored by Jackson Citizen Patriot and its MLive.com: Michigan International Speedway garners a pair of honors from the Jackson Citizen Patriot and its MLive.com media group in a vote of its readers. The media outlet has named MIS its Corporate Citizen of the Year and track President Roger Curtis one of 13 Michiganders to watch in 2013. The MIS mission is to be a part of the community and serve as a showcase for the Irish Hills, while creating business and tourism opportunities. The track annually welcomes visitors from all 50 states and 13 countries during its annual NASCAR, wine festival and other events. But that's not all: the facility is also a fund-raising tool for local groups and serves as a venue for new business opportunities, In addition, MIS and its charity foundation, MIS Cares, hosts numerous events throughout the year to raise funds to donate money back to the community. Curtis has been at the forefront of these initiatives. In a vote of readers of the Jackson Citizen Patriot, Curtis was named one of 13 Michiganders to watch in 2013.(MIS)(1-5-2013)


    News from January 4, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #13-Casey Mears / Germain Racing: No changes as Casey Mears is supposedly signed thru 2014 and sponsor GEICO is signed thru 2014, which will be the primary for about 20 races. GEICO stays on the car for races it is not the primary unless another sponsor can be found. Mears tends to start and park or not run the full unsponsored races. Robert "Bootie" Barker returns as the crew chief and the team will run Fords with Roush Yates engines. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-4-2013)

  • Bowyer running Rolex 24 with Waltrip: Michael Waltrip Racing owners Rob Kauffman and Michael Waltrip announced they will race in the 51st annual Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26-27. Joining the pair behind the wheel of the Grand Am version of the Ferrari 458 GT that will test in Daytona this weekend will be NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer and road racing veteran Rui Aguas. The AF Waltrip entry is a joint project of the Italian championship sports car team AF Corse and MWR. AF Waltrip fielded Ferraris for Waltrip and Kauffman at sports car races around the globe since 2010 including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Sebring and last year's Rolex 24 in Daytona. Bowyer will be the newest member of the AF Waltrip driver lineup that has included Travis Pastrana and Brian Vickers in previous races.(MWR)(1-4-2012)

  • Shane Hmiel returns to a racecar at Rockingham: Ever since Shane Hmiel's accident left him paralyzed while attempting to qualify for a USAC race in Terra Haute, Ind. on Oct. 9, 2010, his road to recovery has been nothing short of miraculous and has served has an inspiration to many. Hmiel now has the opportunity to get back behind the wheel of a racecar with Accessible Racing at Rockingham Speedway on Saturday, January 26, 2013 and is set to overcome another obstacle he was told wouldn't ever be done. Accessible Racing is the brainchild of co-founder and President Brian Hanaford and is built on the mindset of breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for disabled Vets and civilians. The Accessible Racing driving experience provides an exciting and therapeutic experience that helps disabled individuals rediscover their capabilities.(Rockingham Speedway)(1-4-2012)

  • Harry Scott, Jr. expands ownership of Turner Motorsports: Harry Scott Jr., longtime minority owner of Turner Motorsports, will expand his involvement with the team, partnering with Steve Turner as co-owner of the newly rebranded Turner Scott Motorsports. Scott began his involvement with the team as both a minority owner and sponsor in 2009, first partnering with Braun Racing, which was later acquired by Turner Motorsports. Scott's decision to increase his stake in the racing organization was driven by his desire to be more involved in the operations of the team. In addition to sharing the duties of overseeing the organization, Scott will manage the team's marketing, public relations and business development efforts, while Turner will manage the competition side of the multi-series team.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(1-42013)

  • Eldora Truck race tickets on sale Saturday: With the interest in Eldora Speedway's Inaugural Mudsummer Classic featuring the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (Wednesday, July 24) reaching a feverish pitch, speedway officials are gearing up for Saturday morning's opening of public ticket sales at 10 a.m. Following the recently-concluded pre-sale campaign offered to 2012 Prelude to the Dream ticket holders, all remaining seats will be available for the first NASCAR national series event on a dirt track since 1970, and the Eldora ticketing staff is prepared for the expected onslaught of ticket sales. Campsite reservations will also become available on Saturday. The most efficient method to obtain tickets is by using the TicketForce-powered online system at www.EldoraSpeedway.com. With its capability to process up to 800 different orders simultaneously, it has a flawless track record of handling Eldora's rich history of marquee events and massive opening day ticket sales. Race fans that do not have access to a computer can call into the Eldora Box Office at (937) 338-3815 where a full staff of Ticketing Specialists will be available to assist a cue of up to 25 calls at a time. In addition, the Speedway Box Office will be open for walk-up sales beginning at 10 a.m.(Eldora Speedway)(1-4-2013)


    News from January 3, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #11-Denny Hamlin / Joe Gibbs Racing: no major changes in any way with the #11 team. Hamlin re-signed a multi-year deal with JGR midway thru the season. After a solid 2012 season, crew chief Darian Grubb starts his second season with Hamlin after winning the championship in 2011 with Tony Stewart. FedEx returns to sponsor the majority of the 2013 races. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-3-2013)

  • Brain Keselowski plans to run Daytona 500: #92-Brian Keselowski, brother of 2012 Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski, has moved his team to Huntersville, NC. His Brian Keselowski Motorsports team plans to attempt the Daytona 500 in the #92 Toyota, could run more races if sponsorship can be found and could switch to Ford. Keselowski's effort will be crew chiefed by his father Bob. Brian will also run some ARCA races.(Brian Keselowski Motorsports / PR)(1-3-2013)

  • NASCAR credit included in "fiscal cliff" deal: UPDATE: The "fiscal cliff" deal reached by the Senate and the White House on New Year's Eve, and passed in legislative form by the Senate early New Year's Day, includes many giveaways to special interests--including an extension of a perk enjoyed by "motorsports entertainment complexes" otherwise known as the "NASCAR tax credit." The provision, under section 168(i)(15) of the federal tax code, allows speedways to write off their costs over seven years. Typically, such expensing occurs over a much longer period of time, from 15 to 39 years. The cost of the NASCAR tax credit to taxpayers has been estimated at some $40 million--over and above any tax incentives provided by state and local authorities. Hollywood films also enjoy a tax incentive extension in the "fiscal cliff" deal.(Breitbart)(1-2-2013)
    UPDATE: Buried in the 154-page American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was a section renewing 31 business tax extenders, including a seven-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes. The extension allows car, truck and motorcycle racing facilities across the nation to continue fully depreciating new capital assets  such as grandstands, concession stands and parking lots  over seven years. And that could be good news for the Daytona Beach area economy, an International Speedway Corp. official said Wednesday. It's a "very positive development," said Dan Houser, the company's chief financial officer, especially given the changes being proposed at the ISC-owned Daytona International Speedway. Last year, Speedway officials announced plans for a massive renovation and expansion on their 663-acre complex, including the demolition and reconstruction of the grandstands, and an entertainment complex that could include up to 2 million square feet of retail space, nightclubs and movie theaters. The measure helps keep ISC's plans on track, lessening the upfront tax hit of new construction.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(1-3-2012)

  • Sad News - Roz Howard: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame member Roz Howard passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91. Howard, a native of Macon, GA, honed his skills as a mechanic in the motor pool of the Army in 1942. In 1946, he got his first taste of driving in a borrowed car at a track cut into a cornfield near Macon. Howard's day ended when he flipped the borrowed car three times. Howard would compete on the Southern Racing Enterprise circuit in the early 1950?s, competing across the southeast and scoring several feature wins. In 1956, Howard would compete in his first NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) event, as he drove his own car to a 13th place finish at Darlington. Howard ran six Sprint Cup Series races from 1956-1960 with a best of 7th (twice).(Raceweek Illustrated, see obituary/tribute at williamsfuneralhome.net)(1-3-2012)

  • Pastrana driving full season for Roush: Travis Pastrana will make the move to full-time NASCAR racing in 2013, driving Roush Fenway's historic #60 Ford Mustang in all 33 events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule. "I am extremely excited about making the move into full-time NASCAR competition in 2013 and equally thrilled to have the opportunity to make that move with Jack Roush and the team at Roush Fenway Racing," said Pastrana, a four-time rally champion, motocross champion and multiple X Games gold medal winner. "I am very serious about making this move, running competitively and ultimately winning races in NASCAR," added Pastrana. Pastrana will team up with veteran NASCAR crew chief Chad Norris and will be partnered with a variety of sponsors during the season. The #60 will be one of two full-time RFR Nationwide Series entries in 2013, with Pastrana being paired with Roush Fenway teammate and 2010 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne in the #6 Ford Mustang.(Roush Fenway)(1-3-2013)

  • Buescher returning to Truck Series in 2013 with Rheem sponsorship: Turner Motorsports announced that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, James Buescher will return to the seat of the #31 Chevy Silverado competing in a full 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule . Much like the 2012 season, Buescher will also continue to hone his skills running select NASCAR Nationwide Series events in 2013. Buescher will aim to become the first back-to-back NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion. Buescher will drive a minimum of fifteen races for new Turner Motorsports sponsor, Rheem Manufacturing Company. Rheem is the only North American manufacturer that produces a comprehensive line of advanced, energy efficient heating, cooling and water heating solutions for homes and businesses throughout the world. Coming off a breakout season in 2012, Buescher went on to record four wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 10 top-fives and 14 top-10's, enroute to his and Turner Motorsports' first NASCAR Championship. In addition to Buescher returning to the NCWTS, 2012 Champion crew chief, Michael Shelton will return to his previous role serving as Crew Chief for Buescher and the #31 Rheem Chevy Silverado in 2013. (Turner Motorsports)(1-3-2013)


    News from January 2, 2013

  • Danica driving Nationwide for Turner Motorsports? Danica Patrick will drive for Turner Motorsports in her 10-race commitment to this year's Nationwide Series schedule, sources tell espnW.com. Driving for JR Motorsports in her first full-time Nationwide season last year, Patrick produced the highest final points finish (10th) among women in NASCAR history. She will begin her partial campaign in NASCAR's second-tier series on Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway in conjunction with her first full Sprint Cup season with Stewart-Haas Racing the same weekend. Turner Motorsports was a fit for Patrick not just because it fields Hendrick Motorsports-produced Chevy like Stewart-Haas. Richard Childress Racing vice president of competition Mike Dillon told espnW.com in November that his organization had discussed the possibility of Patrick driving his team's #33 Chevy, saying "we would love to run Danica. We think we could do a lot with her." Dillon's team already had re-signed three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who has six wins in 13 Nationwide starts at Daytona, for the opener, however, and Patrick's management team preferred the continuity of allying with one organization for her supplemental program. Though not all details concerning Patrick's remaining schedule have been finalized, she is expected to race it with Turner. Patrick's Turner Motorsports car would be sponsored by GoDaddy.com, sources said. Her schedule is expected to include events at Talladega and Watkins Glen.(ESPN.com)(1-2-2013)

  • NASCAR credit included in "fiscal cliff" deal: The "fiscal cliff" deal reached by the Senate and the White House on New Year's Eve, and passed in legislative form by the Senate early New Year's Day, includes many giveaways to special interests--including an extension of a perk enjoyed by "motorsports entertainment complexes" otherwise known as the "NASCAR tax credit." The provision, under section 168(i)(15) of the federal tax code, allows speedways to write off their costs over seven years. Typically, such expensing occurs over a much longer period of time, from 15 to 39 years. The cost of the NASCAR tax credit to taxpayers has been estimated at some $40 million--over and above any tax incentives provided by state and local authorities. Hollywood films also enjoy a tax incentive extension in the "fiscal cliff" deal.(Breitbart)(1-2-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #10-Danica Patrick / Stewart Haas Racing: Patrick moves up from the Nationwide Series to run the full 2013 Sprint Cup Season. No word if she will be eligible to be a rookie of the year candidate as she didn't run for Cup points and the rules are unclear for the award since drivers had to declare which series they would run for points in 2011. Patrick ran 10 Sprint Cup races in 2012, which normally would make a driver ineligible for the ROTY award. Crew Chief Tony Gibson moved over to the #10 SHR Chevy from the #39 SHR camp to be Patrick's crew chief late in the 2012 season. Been told that Patrick is committed to the #10 and there are NO plans to switch from #10 to the #7. GoDaddy.com returns to sponsor the car for the full slate of races in 2013. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-2-2013)

  • Kahne, Sweet moving from Turner to JR Motorsports: UPDATES: JR Motorsports will field cars for Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet for the 2013 Nationwide Series season. Great Clips, which signed on to sponsor three Sprint Cup races for Kahne's No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2013, will move its sponsorship from Turner Motorsports to JRM to support the Nationwide Series effort. Kahne ran 15 races for Turner Motorsports in the #38 Great Clips Chevyt in 2012. After a decade-long association with Kahne, Great Clips made its Sprint Cup debut as his co-primary sponsor at Texas Motor Speedway in November.(Fox Sports)(1-1-2013)
    UPDATE: An official announcement of Kahne's addition to JRM's Nationwide program could come as early as Wednesday, sources said. Kahne is expected to run up to 15 races with JRM in 2013, splitting time with Brad Sweet. It was unclear which car number the duo would use.(Charlotte Observer)(1-1-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Turner Motorsports announced that their successful two-year-long primary marketing partnership with Great Clips, Inc. will not continue into the 2013 NASCAR season. The parting of ways is an amicable one, with both companies mutually coming to the decision in order to enhance their growing marketing platforms. Though Great Clips, the longest-running sponsor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will no longer serve as a primary sponsor of the organization's #38 entry, there remain opportunities for joint partnerships in the future. This past season marked Great Clips' 12th year in the series as primary sponsor. The company spent five years as a partner of Braun Racing, before it was acquired by Turner Motorsports two years ago. Turner Motorsports will soon be announcing their plans for the 2013 season.(Turner Motorsports)(1-2-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Great Clips Inc., the world's largest hair salon brand, has signed a primary sponsorship agreement for 28 races next season with JR Motorsports. The partnership brings Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet to JR Motorsports, adding to a lineup that already includes Regan Smith, the series' most recent winner, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The addition of Great Clips further establishes the JR Motorsports line-up for 2013, albeit with substantial changes from two months ago. First, it guarantees the company will field at least two entries in 28 of 33 Nationwide Series events. Smith is already committed to driving a full schedule, and Earnhardt Jr. will compete in select races in a third car. Additionally, car numbers have been reassigned to align with Kahne's branding in the Sprint Cup Series. Kahne and Sweet will split time in the #5 Chevrolet for 27 races. Smith will compete for a championship in the #7, and Earnhardt Jr. will carry his familiar #88 in a limited schedule that presently stands at four races. One of Earnhardt's races will be with Great Clips branding to fill out the 28-race sponsorship package. JR Motorsports General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said the organization still isn't committing the #5 team to a full-season slate but continues to work at securing sponsorship to fill out the remaining six races. A race schedule for Kahne and Sweet in the #5 Great Clips Chevy is still to be determined. So, too, is Earnhardt Jr.'s complete Nationwide Series slate. To date his only announced races are Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway and March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, both in the #88 TaxSlayer.com Chevy.(JR Motorsports)(1-2-2012)

  • Brandon Jones to drive two races for Turner: Fifteen year old Brandon Jones, a Sophomore at Mooresville (NC) High School, will drive in four different series for Turner Motorsports (TMS) in 2013. While driving for Eddie Sharp Racing in 2012, Jones competed in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) and in the United Auto Racing Association (UARA) Series. He finished fifth in the UARA final standings in his first season, which included a win at Concord Speedway, while racking up an impressive five top-five and eleven top-10 finishes in 22 races. In 2013, Jones will race the full UARA season, seven NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) races, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) events and selected NASCAR Late Model Stock races under the Turner Motorsports banner. At Turner Motorsports, Jones will work under the tutelage of Mike Greci, a stock car racing veteran, famed NASCAR crew chief and NASCAR driver development expert. Greci will now serve as Turner Motorsports' Competition Director for the NKNPSE teams. In addition to Greci, NCWTS winner Cale Gale will continue his longtime mentoring relationship with Jones. Gale recently rejoined Turner Motorsports as crew chief and will continue to groom Jones for his climb up the racing ranks.(Turner Motorsports)(1-2-2013)


    News from January 1, 2013

  • 2013 silly season notes for #9-Marcos Ambrose / Richard Petty Motorsports: Richard Petty Motorsports re-signed Marcos Ambrose for the 2013 season, the third for Ambrose at RPM. Stanley and DeWalt will be the primary sponsors for the 2013 season as they have been the last two seasons. Ambrose has won a race a season the last two years, both at Watkins Glen. Ambrose won two poles in 2012 and will be in the Shootout at Daytona. Drew Blickensderfer ie the crew chief, moving over from Richard Childress Racing after Martinsville in October 2012. RPM re-upped with Ford for the 2013 season and will continue to get engines from Roush Yates. Ambrose will have the same teammate in 2013, with Aric Almirola returning in the famed #43. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-1-2013)

  • NASCAR probation ends for many: As 2013 arrives, the sins of the past year are cast away for many in NASCAR. For those who acquired penalties, they often include "probation until Dec. 31." No matter the infraction discovered in pre-race inspection, post-race examination or some other time during a race weekend, all is forgiven, but certainly not forgotten, by series officials on Dec. 31. In the new year, defending Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski is forgiven for his frisky phone at Daytona, #24-Jeff Gordon is absolved for his actions at Phoenix (at least by NASCAR, not so much by #15-Clint Bowyer) and #78-Kurt Busch, among others, is free to pursue his quest for victory without the threat of additional sanctions. Admittedly, the phrase "NASCAR probation'' has been used as a punch line by many in the sport through the years. While the ambiguity of what happens next if someone on NASCAR probation violates the rule is maddening to fans, NASCAR has shown, at times, probation can add to a penalty.(Sports Illustrated)(1-1-2013)

  • Randy Bethea featured in new documentary: Throughout the 1970s Tennessee racer Randy Bethea was a regular competitor in NASCAR's second tier series now known as the Nationwide Series. He made history in 1973 becoming the first Afircan American NASCAR racer to win a pole in an upper division race when he knocked Darrell Waltrip off the pole in the Late Model Sportman (Nationwide Series) Southern 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
    In 1975 he made history again, starting the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and becoming one of only seven African Americans to compete at NASCAR's highest level, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. But, Bethea's dream of NASCAR success was unfulfilled for reasons he attributes to color. That color was green, and like the majority of up-and-coming drivers of that era Bethea didn't have enough green in his wallet to compete at his full potential.
    Although Bethea did experience some racism during his driving career, he is quick to state he was 'Not a Black Racer', he was a racer who happened to be black. Currently employed as a high school automotive instructor in Newport, Tenn., Bethea still remains active in local racing and among the most popular drivers in Tennessee.
    "Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" tells the story of Bethea's racing life, from sweeping the floors in legendary engine builder Banjo Matthews' shop, to his venture into Formula Super-V racing, which he attributes as the main reason he failed to maintain long term success in NASCAR. The 60 minute documentary was filmed and edited by Kingsport Times-News reporter Jeff Bobo and includes interviews with many of Bethea's NASCAR racing contemporaries including retired racers Paul Lewis, John A. Utsman, active Nationwide Series driver Brad Teague, and engine builder Stanley Allison. "Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" can be viewed for free on Youtube.(1-1-2013)

  • Kahne, Sweet moving from Turner to JR Motorsports: UPDATE: JR Motorsports will field cars for Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet for the 2013 Nationwide Series season. Great Clips, which signed on to sponsor three Sprint Cup races for Kahne's No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2013, will move its sponsorship from Turner Motorsports to JRM to support the Nationwide Series effort. Kahne ran 15 races for Turner Motorsports in the #38 Great Clips Chevyt in 2012. After a decade-long association with Kahne, Great Clips made its Sprint Cup debut as his co-primary sponsor at Texas Motor Speedway in November.(Fox Sports)(1-1-2013)
    UPDATE: An official announcement of Kahne's addition to JRM's Nationwide program could come as early as Wednesday, sources said. Kahne is expected to run up to 15 races with JRM in 2013, splitting time with Brad Sweet. It was unclear which car number the duo would use.(Charlotte Observer)(1-1-2013)

  • Indoor Racing returns to Atlantic City: Indoor Auto Racing will return to Atlantic City's (NJ) Boardwalk Hall in 2013 for the eleventh year under the promotion of Len Sammons. The races are scheduled for February 1-2, 2013. The Three-Quarter Midgets hit speeds upwards of 70 mph while running around a course set up on the historic landmark Boardwalk Hall concrete floor. The Champ Kart and Slingshot divisions will also be included in the exciting Atlantic City race weekend. Tickets and further information can also be obtained by calling the show office (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 609-888-3618. Additional information may also be found on the web at www.aarn.com.(1-1-2013)


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Countdown to Race Time: 2/22/2015 ~1:20pm/et


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added a 2nd BATTERY of new links
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Born in DECEMBER:

19 Patty Moise, Paul Tracy, Sheldon Schrader, John Monsham

20 Erin Marco, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, Kinsley Parsons

21 Michael McDowell, Travis Kittleson

22 David Pearson

23 Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye

24 Fr. Steven Janoski, David Ragan, Krista Marie Allison, Mike Gooch

25 Jesus Christ, Charles Comstock, Randy Earnhardt, Jimmy Buffett, Starr Elliott, Butch Lamoreux, Curtis W. Key, Noel Schafer

26 Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick

27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh

28 Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns

29 Waddell Wilson, Boston Reid, Mike Bagley, Owen Kearns Jr., Jessica Stroupe

30 Fred Lorenzen, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier

31 Beth Simons-Dykes, Dorthy Schrader, Riley Craven, Ryan Blaney, Joe Hicks, Benny Ertel

Born in JANUARY

1 The New Year, Godwin Kelly, Scott Riggs, Dan Elliott

2 Robby Gordon, John Linville, Jimmy Lacroix, Karen Hensley, Robert Holt, Danny Baptista

3 Tony Eury Jr., Clifton "Coo Coo" Marlin, Joe Littlejohn, Michael Schumacher

4 Trent Owens

5 Dexter Bean, Dennis Connor

6 B.A. Wilson, Malcolm Young

7 Marty Houston, Cindy Page

8 Bobby Hamilton Jr

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10 Harry Gant, Larry McReynolds, Dennis Lacroix, John Mulloy, Rodger Ward

11 Brett Bodine, Jeff Hood, Shane Wallace

12 Lloyd Ruby, Brian Scott, Walter Ballard, Jacob Dallenbach, George Bignotti, Catlin Marie Waltrip, Randy Goss, Brian Taylor

13 Ernie Irvan, Kirk Hanson, Ron Denton, Earl Balmer

14 Mack Shirley

15 Scotty Hazlett, Chris Ostrander, Tim Andrews

16 A.J. Foyt, Dick Rathman, Bill Pappas, Harold Elliott, John Ambrose, Jeremy Clements

17 Lake Speed, Harry Hyde, Michael McSwain, Gabe Martin

18 Bill Davis, Christian Fittipaldi

20 Fireball Roberts, Ryan Pepe

21 Ernie Saxton, Roman Pemberton, John Willenborg, Robert Hughes

22 Ashton Lewis Jr., Sean Pragano, Rebecca Shepperd, Emma Blaney, Josh Pate

23 Bill Patterson, Emanuel Zervakis, Daryl Rasnake, Boris Said Jr., Matt Eversole

24 Greg Wallace, Scott Speed, Bob Schacht, Mike Harmon, Austin Cameron

25 Buddy Baker, Mike Broadwater, Harry Ranier, Chuck Hill

26 Scott Wimmer, Paul Newman, Troy Welty

27 Lake Speed, Jr., Jerry Robertson, Mike "Bubba" Hart, Gary Bradberry

28 Phillipe Lopez, Jimmy Cox, David Green, Randy Renfrow, Mark DeMarco, Kenneth Lankford, Timothy Morgan, Chase Miller

29 John Witske, Tommy Houston, Frank Mathalia

30 Wendy Venturini, Sean Caisse, Andy Eversole

31 Kevin Patrick Dowd, Shana Mayfield, Rick Wilson, Scott Lagasse Jr., Rex Hathcock, Tony Mullett, Jerick Johnson

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