March 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

MARCH 2013 NASCAR NEWS ARCHIVE

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

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    News from March 31, 2013

  • Jet Edge to sponsor Vickers at Martinsville: Water jet systems manufacturer Jet Edge, Inc. proudly announced that Brian Vickers will drive the #55 Jet Edge Toyota Camry April 7 at the Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Last September, Vickers drove the #55 Jet Edge-Freightliner Toyota Camry to a ninth place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and led the race for five laps despite starting from the rear due to an engine change. MWR uses a Jet Edge precision water jet cutting system to cut more than 1,000 parts for each of its racecars. This spring, MWR is installing a second Jet Edge water jet system in its Cornelius, N.C. fabrication shop. MWR.s second water jet system will feature Jet Edge.s latest Permalign EDGE taper control and bevel cutting technology.(Jet Edge PR), see images of the car on the #55 Team Schemes page.(3-31-2013)

  • Univision Studios Set for World Premiere of NASCAR-Themed Novela: NASCAR and Univision will make history on April 1 as "Arranque de Pasión, La Historia de Ela," the first-ever sports-themed original project for the leading media company serving Hispanic America, debuts in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on Univision.com. Following five consecutive weeks of three new five-to-seven-minute episodes, this NASCAR-themed drama will air an edited version in a special primetime network television debut on Univision on Sunday, May 5. "Arranque de Pasión, La Historia de Ela," is a co-production between Univision Studios and Kate Del Castillo Productions, Inc., in association with NASCAR. The drama stars internationally acclaimed television and motion picture actress Kate del Castillo, who yesterday served as Honorary Starter for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., as well as leading men Carlos Ponce and Christian Meier. Shot at Homestead-Miami Speedway, "Arranque de Pasión, La Historia de Ela" is also NASCAR's first-ever Spanish language original production. Following the premiere on Monday, April 1, a new episode will be released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, midnight ET, for five consecutive weeks, culminating with the Univision network television special on Sunday, May 5. NovelasySeries.com will also provide compelling behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive content, character bios, previews, recaps, trivia and much more for users to engage with before, during and after each episode airs.(NASCAR)(3-31-2013)

  • Sad News - Art Malone: Art Malone, a legendary figure in drag racing and other motorsports, died March 29 at the age of 76. He suffered severe injuries in an airboat crash a few years ago and never fully recovered. Few automotive racers have enjoyed a more varied and exciting career than Malone, who not only was a successful dragstrip owner and Top Fuel campaigner, but also gained fame as a driver at the legendary Indy 500 [running two Indy 500's]. Raised in Tampa, Fla., Malone got his first taste of drag racing when he and a group of teenage buddies made the trek to the West Coast to attend the first NHRA event in Pomona in 1953. Upon returning to Florida, he began staging races at Henderson Airfield in Tampa, charging 25 cents a head to cover the cost of trophies for the winners. After substituting as a driver for Garlits, who was recovering from burns suffered during a June 20, 1959, engine explosion, Malone began Top Fuel match racing on his own. He soon ventured into the world of circle-track competition, where he became the first driver to exceed 180 mph on an oval course with a 181.561-mph lap at Daytona Int'l Speedway in 1961 [Malone ran two Sprint Cup Series races finishing both in the top-10, one driver for Petty Enterprises].(Racer and SPEED)(3-31-2013)


    News from March 30, 2013

  • Sadler expected to fill in for Hamlin? Martin? UPDATES - Martin, then Vickers: Elliott Sadler has been chosen as the primary sub for Denny Hamlin. All that's preventing an official announcement, as of Wednesday morning is a few details to work out with sponsor Fed Ex. Sadler, who was long pegged as the likely choice is driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series and was scheduled to drive a fourth Cup car in a limited schedule later this season. There are no conflicts on the Nationwide schedule that would affect Sadler until early June.(Frontstretch)(3-27-2013)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing said Thursday morning that they were not prepared to announce a replacement driver for Denny Hamlin yet. The Associated Press' Jenny Fryer tweeted, "the word on the street is [Mark Martin] is in play for #11 in a straight swap with [Michael Waltrip Racing] for [Brian Vickers], except Talladega."(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several driver scenarios, including fellow Toyota driver Mark Martin, to replace Denny Hamlin while he recovers from a back injury. Multiple sources told ESPN.com that one scenario that JGR has considered is Martin driving all five races in the # 11 car while Hamlin is out. Brian Vickers would pick up Martin's schedule in the Michael Waltrip Racing # 55 that includes Texas, Kansas and Richmond. Michael Waltrip is in the #55 at Talladega. Another scenario, according to sources, is that Vickers would pick up Hamlin's schedule for four races after next week at Martinsville, where he is scheduled to drive the # 55 for Martin. Martin or Elliott Sadler would drive at Martinsville. Sources said another scenario would have Sadler drive for Hamlin the entire way, although that is the most unlikely option. Both Vickers and Sadler drive a full-time Nationwide Series schedule for JGR. Gibbs said for the sake of continuity, he would prefer to go with one driver versus multiple drivers. MWR, according to sources, would like to keep Vickers in the 55 for as much as possible because he is the likely replacement for Martin next season.(ESPN)(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Mark Martin will drive the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series while Denny Hamlin recovers from an L1 Compression Fracture suffered during an accident on March 24 at Auto Club Speedway. "We've been real fortunate to have never been in this situation with the need to find someone to fill in for an injured driver," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "A lot goes into a decision like this but we are really pleased to have someone of the character and caliber of Mark Martin to fill in while Denny is out. Obviously we're not exactly sure how long that is going to take, but Mark's career speaks for itself and our team knows it will have the opportunity to compete for a win every week." Martin will make his first start for JGR in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 7. Martin has made one previous appearance for JGR when he started in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished second. "I'm happy to have this opportunity to help out JGR, FedEx and Denny," said Martin. "Hopefully I can keep those guys up front and compete for wins while Denny heals up."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 4: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Mark Martin will fill in for injured Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin in the #11 Toyota Camry next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Martin will return to the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13 and resume his previously scheduled run of events with MWR for the remainder of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint cup season. As previously announced, Brian Vickers will race MWR's #55 Jet Edge Toyota Camry for MWR at Martinsville.(MWR)(3-29-2013)
    UPDATE 5: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Brian Vickers will take over behind the wheel of the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series for the injured Denny Hamlin starting on April 13 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was previously released that Mark Martin would handle the duties behind the wheel for the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing team while Denny Hamlin recovered from injury. Martin will drive the car in Martinsville, but Vickers will now take over the duties beginning in Texas. "Obviously having to find someone to fill in for Denny is not an ideal situation to have to be in and when you start a process like this you obviously begin to look at the drivers that are not only available but also able to drive for your race team and manufacturer. We were a bit premature in determining Mark's status past Martinsville however," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We're real happy to have the opportunity to get Brian in our Cup cars and with him driving Nationwide for us we think we have some continuity there that is beneficial.(JGR)(3-29-2013)
    UPDATE 6: Rumors of Mark Martin's substitute role have been greatly exaggerated. It will now last only one race, after a series of conflicting announcements. Joe Gibbs Racing originally reported on Thursday that Martin would be competing for Denny Hamlin while Hamlin recuperates from a lower-back compression fracture, suffered during a last-lap crash at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday. The sub-headline that read, "Veteran NASCAR Driver Mark Martin to Drive No. 11 FedEx Toyota Until Hamlin Returns" indicated that the affable 54-year-old veteran would sub throughout Hamlin's recovery. But apparently the deal was not cleared by Aaron's, which is sponsoring Martin in the #55 this season and has enjoyed a relationship with Michael Waltrip since 2000.(Fox Sports)(3-30-2013)

  • Patrick to be guest reader for White House Easter Egg Roll: #10-Danica Patrick will spend part of her Easter weekend on the South Lawn at the White House. Patrick has been selected to be a guest reader for the 2013 Easter Egg Roll at the White House on Monday April 1. The Easter Egg Roll takes place on the South Lawn of the White House and is focused on promoting health and wellness. The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling. Patrick will join NFL star Adrian Peterson, Sesame Street, Super Sprowtz and child actress Quvenzhané Wallis.(Sporting News)(3-30-2013)

  • Falwell to delive invocation at Martinsville: The Rev. Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, will offer the invocation prior to the start of the STP Gas Booster" 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 7. Rev. Falwell has been in full-time ministry since 1994 and has served as senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church since his father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, passed away in May of 2007. His father was the founding pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in 1956. "What an honor for me to be able to take part in the festivities surrounding the STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway. I love the excitement and competitive spirit that is found in NASCAR," said Rev. Falwell. "I look forward to offering a prayer of safety and encouragement for the drivers as well as the fans.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-30-2013)


    News from March 29, 2013

  • Sadler expected to fill in for Hamlin? Martin? UPDATES - Martin, then Vickers: Elliott Sadler has been chosen as the primary sub for Denny Hamlin. All that's preventing an official announcement, as of Wednesday morning is a few details to work out with sponsor Fed Ex. Sadler, who was long pegged as the likely choice is driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series and was scheduled to drive a fourth Cup car in a limited schedule later this season. There are no conflicts on the Nationwide schedule that would affect Sadler until early June.(Frontstretch)(3-27-2013)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing said Thursday morning that they were not prepared to announce a replacement driver for Denny Hamlin yet. The Associated Press' Jenny Fryer tweeted, "the word on the street is [Mark Martin] is in play for #11 in a straight swap with [Michael Waltrip Racing] for [Brian Vickers], except Talladega."(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several driver scenarios, including fellow Toyota driver Mark Martin, to replace Denny Hamlin while he recovers from a back injury. Multiple sources told ESPN.com that one scenario that JGR has considered is Martin driving all five races in the # 11 car while Hamlin is out. Brian Vickers would pick up Martin's schedule in the Michael Waltrip Racing # 55 that includes Texas, Kansas and Richmond. Michael Waltrip is in the #55 at Talladega. Another scenario, according to sources, is that Vickers would pick up Hamlin's schedule for four races after next week at Martinsville, where he is scheduled to drive the # 55 for Martin. Martin or Elliott Sadler would drive at Martinsville. Sources said another scenario would have Sadler drive for Hamlin the entire way, although that is the most unlikely option. Both Vickers and Sadler drive a full-time Nationwide Series schedule for JGR. Gibbs said for the sake of continuity, he would prefer to go with one driver versus multiple drivers. MWR, according to sources, would like to keep Vickers in the 55 for as much as possible because he is the likely replacement for Martin next season.(ESPN)(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Mark Martin will drive the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series while Denny Hamlin recovers from an L1 Compression Fracture suffered during an accident on March 24 at Auto Club Speedway. "We've been real fortunate to have never been in this situation with the need to find someone to fill in for an injured driver," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "A lot goes into a decision like this but we are really pleased to have someone of the character and caliber of Mark Martin to fill in while Denny is out. Obviously we're not exactly sure how long that is going to take, but Mark's career speaks for itself and our team knows it will have the opportunity to compete for a win every week." Martin will make his first start for JGR in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 7. Martin has made one previous appearance for JGR when he started in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished second. "I'm happy to have this opportunity to help out JGR, FedEx and Denny," said Martin. "Hopefully I can keep those guys up front and compete for wins while Denny heals up."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 4: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Mark Martin will fill in for injured Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin in the #11 Toyota Camry next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Martin will return to the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13 and resume his previously scheduled run of events with MWR for the remainder of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint cup season. As previously announced, Brian Vickers will race MWR's #55 Jet Edge Toyota Camry for MWR at Martinsville.(MWR)(3-29-2013)
    UPDATE 5: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Brian Vickers will take over behind the wheel of the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series for the injured Denny Hamlin starting on April 13 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was previously released that Mark Martin would handle the duties behind the wheel for the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing team while Denny Hamlin recovered from injury. Martin will drive the car in Martinsville, but Vickers will now take over the duties beginning in Texas. "Obviously having to find someone to fill in for Denny is not an ideal situation to have to be in and when you start a process like this you obviously begin to look at the drivers that are not only available but also able to drive for your race team and manufacturer. We were a bit premature in determining Mark's status past Martinsville however," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We're real happy to have the opportunity to get Brian in our Cup cars and with him driving Nationwide for us we think we have some continuity there that is beneficial.(JGR)(3-29-2013)

  • Vickers expected to pick up Martin's races at MWR: Michael Waltrip Racing didn't announce who will drive Martin's #55 Toyota in his absence, but it will most likely be [Brian] Vickers, who was slotted to drive nine of Martin's races this year. The team is believed to be considering Vickers as Martin's potential replacement, and this would give MWR a lengthier preview. Thursday [J.D.] Gibbs said his preference was to use just one driver in the #11 while Hamlin is sidelined. The organization has Elliott Sadler and Vickers running Nationwide Series cars, but neither was totally free of commitments to drive Hamlin's Cup car. Vickers had the Martinsville conflict and Sadler has a deal with sponsorship to run a fourth JGR car at Kansas and Talladega.(Associated Press)(3-29-2013)

  • Jack Roush to be inducted in Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame: Jack Roush's success at Texas Motor Speedway has become a part of the speedway's growing history. It was Roush who became the first team owner to sweep both events at "The Great American Speedway!" during the inaugural season in 1997. His success has not stopped there as he has since gone on to win 18 races as a car owner across NASCAR's top three national series at Texas Motor Speedway, including a record nine in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. His dominance at Texas Motor Speedway has earned him the honor of becoming the 15th member inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Roush will be honored Thursday, April 11, during the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala benefitting Speedway Children's Charities that will be held in The Speedway Club's Grand Ballroom.
    Roush's induction culminates an evening that celebrates the accomplishments of motorsport's most talented drivers and contributors. Other honorees will be five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson; 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch; IZOD IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal; and legendary motorsports journalist Chris Economaki posthumously.
    Johnson will receive the Texas Motor Speedway Racer of the Year award. In the AAA Texas 500, Johnson became just the second driver to win from the pole for his second career victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Busch has been instrumental in helping Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter raise funds to benefit children in North Texas. He will be recognized as this year's recipient of the Maj. General Thomas Sadler Award. Busch has helped Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter raise more than $40,000.
    Rahal will receive the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award for displaying a demeanor both on and off the track that exemplifies the meaning of sportsmanship.
    Economaki, motorsport's most noted and accomplished journalist, will be honored posthumously with the Bruton Smith Legend Award.(TMS)(3-29-2013)

  • Kyle Busch to appear on 'Anger Management': #18-Kyle Busch apparently will make fun of, of all people, Kyle Busch when he appears on upcoming episode of the FX comedy "Anger Management." According to TMZ, Busch will play himself and seek counseling from the character portrayed by Charlie Sheen, who of course isn't exactly known as the most stable person in the world. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is one of the most polarizing personalities in the Sprint Cup Series thanks to his incredible talent, aggressive moves and an, at times, off-track surliness. Kyle Busch's wife, Samantha, posted a couple of photos of her and Kyle with Sheen on the set of the show Monday.(Sporting News)(3-29-2013)

  • Congrats: to Richard Childress Racing driver #2-Brian Scott on his engagement to Whitney Kay Thursday.(3-29-2013)

  • Hines to drive for Thorsport at Eldora: Two-time USAC open-wheel champion Tracy Hines will attempt to boost his victory total at one of his favorite race tracks this summer when he drives a Toyota Tundra in a reunion with ThorSport Racing at Eldora Speedway's inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series dirt-track race. When NASCAR scheduled its first national series' dirt race since 1970, it anticipated an all-star cast of dirt-track specialists entering. Hines, 40, of New Castle, Ind., brings much more than a notable dirt pedigree to his ThorSport entry in the July 24 mid-week NCWTS round at the half-mile speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Hine has 52 career Truck Series starts -- 48 of them for ThorSport in 2004-2005 -- but he's been an ace on dirt, where he's won 85 main events across USAC's three primary divisions, putting him fourth on USAC's all-time wins list. Those victories include Hines' 12th career Eldora win, in a USAC sprint car in September 2012. Hines' next Eldora start will come in a USAC sprint car on April 20 -- an event he won a year ago.(Thorsport PR)(3-29-2013)

  • Sport Clips, VFW return as Darlington Nationwide race sponsors: Longtime partners, Sport Clips Haircuts and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), announce the return of the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 Nationwide Series event at Darlington Raceway on Friday, May 10, 2013. It is the second consecutive year the two organizations have partnered to sponsor the Nationwide Series event at Darlington. Sport Clips and the VFW will continue to use their NASCAR partnership to raise awareness about the struggles many military families are facing and the VFW's mission to support active-duty military, veterans and their families. As the "Official Haircutter" of the VFW, Sport Clips has donated almost $2 million to the organization's Operation Uplink free call days program through its annual "Help a Hero" campaign. Since the first contribution of more than $80,000 was made in 2007, Sport Clips' donations have increased annually. The company's most recent donation of a record-breaking $500,000 was presented to the VFW at the national headquarters on December 10, 2012.(Darlington Raceway)(3-29-2013)


    News from March 28, 2013

  • Sadler expected to fill in for Hamlin? Martin? UPDATES - It's Martin: Elliott Sadler has been chosen as the primary sub for Denny Hamlin. All that's preventing an official announcement, as of Wednesday morning is a few details to work out with sponsor Fed Ex. Sadler, who was long pegged as the likely choice is driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series and was scheduled to drive a fourth Cup car in a limited schedule later this season. There are no conflicts on the Nationwide schedule that would affect Sadler until early June.(Frontstretch)(3-27-2013)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing said Thursday morning that they were not prepared to announce a replacement driver for Denny Hamlin yet. The Associated Press' Jenny Fryer tweeted, "the word on the street is [Mark Martin] is in play for #11 in a straight swap with [Michael Waltrip Racing] for [Brian Vickers], except Talladega."(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several driver scenarios, including fellow Toyota driver Mark Martin, to replace Denny Hamlin while he recovers from a back injury. Multiple sources told ESPN.com that one scenario that JGR has considered is Martin driving all five races in the # 11 car while Hamlin is out. Brian Vickers would pick up Martin's schedule in the Michael Waltrip Racing # 55 that includes Texas, Kansas and Richmond. Michael Waltrip is in the #55 at Talladega. Another scenario, according to sources, is that Vickers would pick up Hamlin's schedule for four races after next week at Martinsville, where he is scheduled to drive the # 55 for Martin. Martin or Elliott Sadler would drive at Martinsville. Sources said another scenario would have Sadler drive for Hamlin the entire way, although that is the most unlikely option. Both Vickers and Sadler drive a full-time Nationwide Series schedule for JGR. Gibbs said for the sake of continuity, he would prefer to go with one driver versus multiple drivers. MWR, according to sources, would like to keep Vickers in the 55 for as much as possible because he is the likely replacement for Martin next season.(ESPN)(3-28-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Mark Martin will drive the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series while Denny Hamlin recovers from an L1 Compression Fracture suffered during an accident on March 24 at Auto Club Speedway. "We've been real fortunate to have never been in this situation with the need to find someone to fill in for an injured driver," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "A lot goes into a decision like this but we are really pleased to have someone of the character and caliber of Mark Martin to fill in while Denny is out. Obviously we're not exactly sure how long that is going to take, but Mark's career speaks for itself and our team knows it will have the opportunity to compete for a win every week." Martin will make his first start for JGR in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 7. Martin has made one previous appearance for JGR when he started in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished second. "I'm happy to have this opportunity to help out JGR, FedEx and Denny," said Martin. "Hopefully I can keep those guys up front and compete for wins while Denny heals up."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-28-2013)

  • Can Hamlin still make the Chase? Yes. And it might not be as difficult as it appears. Hamlin is expected to miss the next five races recovering from a compression fracture in his lower back. He had 180 points during that span a year ago, which is a ton for one of only two drivers --#48- Jimmie Johnson is the other -- to have never missed NASCAR's 10-race playoff. It basically ends any chance he has of automatically qualifying in the top 10.
    But earning one of the two wild-card berths, given to the drivers with the most wins inside the top 20, isn't a reach at all. A year ago, Jamie McMurray was 20th in the standings with 640 points when the Chase was set after 26 races. Hamlin, now 10th in the standings, has 145 points. Hamlin would need approximately 495 points -- and one or two wins -- over the 16 races before the September Richmond race to be in position for the top 20 under 2012 standards. To do that he would need an average of 30.9 points per race, or an average finish of around 13th. Throw in bonus points for a few wins in which he leads the most laps for a maximum 48 points and his average finish could be slightly higher. A year ago, Hamlin's average finish was only 14.1 from race 11 to 26. But he won at Bristol and Atlanta and accumulated 499 points, three more than he would have needed to get into the Chase. Based on what 20th place has done so far this year Hamlin may have even more leeway. Ryan Newman is in the bubble slot with 121 points, an average finish of 24.2. Average that out over 26 races and the total is only 629.(ESPN)(3-28-2013)

  • IRS probes OXYwater founders: Two local entrepreneurs who came up with an oxygen-enhanced water that landed a NASCAR sponsorship are in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is investigating Preston J. Harrison, a former Ohio State University football player, and Thomas E. Jackson Jr., founders of a Westerville business that makes and distributes OXYwater. An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus says that IRS agents recently seized a 2009 Cadillac, a 2009 BMW and a bank account as part of an investigation into the financial dealings of Imperial Integrated Health Research and Development at 470 Olde Worthington Rd., Suite 200. Harrison and Jackson are the founders of Imperial Integrated. The allegation is that they funneled investors' money into their personal bank accounts and into another company. As of yesterday, no charges had been filed. Possible charges, according to the affidavit, are wire fraud and money laundering. The affidavit says that Harrison, 41, of 3071 Willow Springs Court, Lewis Center, and Jackson, whose address and age were unavailable, borrowed $5 million from more than 10 people and one company to produce OXYwater beginning in 2011. The investors included several professional basketball players in Europe. A year later, the court record says, several investors became worried about where their money was going and hired a lawyer. That attorney, who is not named in the affidavit, supposedly learned that the company's tax returns grossly underestimated the amount investors had paid into the company. This month, a three-year sponsorship agreement between NASCAR's FAS Lane Racing team and OXYwater was announced. FAS Lane's #32 Ford Fusion in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series sports the company's name. Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader and Timmy Hill alternate as drivers.(Columbus Dispatch)(3-28-2013)

  • Daytona crash investigation continues: The investigation into a last-lap crash at Daytona International Speedway that resulted in injuries to at least 28 fans has yet to be completed, according to NASCAR officials and those affiliated with the 2.5-mile facility. The car of development driver Kyle Larson was launched into the catchfence along the frontstretch on the final lap of the Drive4COPD 300, and debris from Larson's car was thrown into the grandstands. "As far as the accident at Daytona, we're still in the middle of it and trying to see how everything falls together," Wayne Auton, NASCAR Nationwide Series director, said March 26. Thus far, he said, a determination has not been made as to whether changes will be required before the series returns to the facility later this year. "As we do at any venue that we go to, if we see that any changes need to be made, then we'll check into it," he said. Lenny Santiago, Senior Director of Public Relations for Daytona International Speedway, said the track's examination of the fencing and whether modifications might be necessary was also yet to be completed. "We are working with an outside engineering firm," Santiago said via e-mail, "to help us determine what, if any changes we should implement going forward." A representative with Turner Scott Motorsports said it is also the organization's understanding that the investigation has not been completed at this time.(NASCAR.com)(3-28-2013)

  • Testing the new car at Richmond UPDATE dates changed: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #1-Jamie McMurray, #43-Aric Almirola and #9-Marcos Ambrose are scheduled to be testing the new Gen-6 car on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway in advance of the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets for the Toyota Owners 400 can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR), the test is closed and NOT open to the public.(3-22-2013)
    UPDATE: the testing has been moved to Monday and Tuesday, April 1-2.(RIR)(3-25-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Although the much-anticipated debut of NASCAR's Gen-6 car in a points-paying race at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race, the first time it hits the pavement will be this Monday. Earnhardt Ganassi drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya will be joined by Richard Petty Motorsports drivers Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola when they test at RIR, and the grandstands are open for fans to watch, for free. The test is scheduled for Monday, April 1. The Colonial Grandstands in Turn 4 will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., free of charge. With many kids on Spring Break, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon in Richmond. Fans coming out to Richmond International Raceway may enter at the Service Gate, located on Meadowbridge Rd., one gate away from the main entrance at the corner of Laburnum Ave. and Meadowbridge Rd. Attendants will guide fans to a parking area and will be instructed where to go to enter the grandstands.(RIR)(3-28-2013)

  • Sad News - William Giordano: William Giordano died March 25, 2013 at age 60. Beloved husband of Ann & the late Marie. Father of Joseph Giordano & Michele Giordano. Visitation will be Friday 3:00-9:00pm. Funeral Saturday at 11:00am at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons, Inc., 36900 Schoenherr at Metro Parkway (16 Mile), Sterling Heights, MI. William had previously worked for Katech Engines, where he was the engine delivery man for their NASCAR teams. He also worked at Diamond Racing Products in Michigan. Most recently he worked at Pratt & Miller in Wixom, MI. Services are under the direction of Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons.(3-28-2013)

  • South Carolina Education Lottery issues NASCAR ticket: The South's love affair with racing is now celebrated on an instant ticket from the South Carolina Education Lottery. FAN-tastic!, an officially licensed NASCAR game, is on sale at lottery retailers statewide. FAN-tastic!, with a top prize of $100,000, offers racing fans a second-chance opportunity to win Special Insider trips to Darlington Raceway or the Biggest Race in NASCAR. Tickets are $5. It's fitting for the Lottery to launch a racing-themed ticket and pay homage to Darlington Raceway, a part of the racing landscape of this state for more than six decades. An iconic image of cars racing out of the turn at the track known as "Too Tough to Tame" is the artwork for the FAN-tastic! ticket.(Darlington Raceway)(3-28-2013)


    News from March 27, 2013

  • Logano, Hamlin exchange texts: Roger Penske said Wednesday that Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin have exchanged text messages since their final-lap crash at Fontana last weekend that left Hamlin hospitalized with a fractured vertebra. Penske said he's also sent text messages to Hamlin, who is expected to miss at least six weeks. Penske and Logano, one of his drivers, were playing in the pro-am leading up to his week's PGA Houston Open. Logano twice turned down interview requests. "I've texted back and forth with him and said that we're thinking about him," Penske said. "Obviously, we're hoping for a speedy recovery. It's never good to have a driver out for a period of time." He didn't know what Logano and Hamlin said to one another in their text messages. NASCAR returns to action April 7 at Martinsville Speedway, and Penske said it's time for everyone to "settle down."(Associated Press)(3-37-2013)

  • Sadler expected to fill in for Hamlin: Elliott Sadler has been chosen as the primary sub for Denny Hamlin. All that's preventing an official announcement, as of Wednesday morning is a few details to work out with sponsor Fed Ex. Sadler, who was long pegged as the likely choice is driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series and was scheduled to drive a fourth Cup car in a limited schedule later this season. There are no conflicts on the Nationwide schedule that would affect Sadler until early June.(Frontstretch)(3-27-2013)

  • No penalties from Auto Club Speedway UPDATE: Kerry Tharp, NASCAR Director of Communications, tweeted Tuesday, "NASCAR will issue no penalties from last weekend's events at [Auto Club Speedway]".(3-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Sprint Cup Series director John Darby addressed the media Tuesday afternoon and discussed the decision to not issue fines;
    Q. Going back to the decision not to penalize anybody there, Stewart did cut off Logano on pit road, and started an incident there. Can you tell me why the governing body decided there was nothing wrong there?
    JOHN DARBY: Yeah, all of the post-race incidents, a few years ago, we backed away from micromanaging drivers' emotions. You would hope in today's world that if somebody didn't win a race, they would be upset about it for whatever reason. That's what our drivers do is they try to win races. So the emotions that follow a race sometime, as long as stuff -- and keep in mind, there's the checks and the balances, but a couple of drivers at the end of the race arguing a little bit doesn't create a foul in our world today. The crews did a great job of managing their drivers to make sure that it didn't cross the line to where there was physical violence or anything like that, and that's what you would hope. That's just another example of the state of competition in NASCAR racing, and the disappointments that come sometimes when you don't win the race. I don't see any foul there at all.(NASCAR)(3-27-2013)

  • France takes responsibility for decision to fine Hamlin: [NASCAR CEO Brian] France has been busier than usual to start the season. He met with reigning champion Brad Keselowski in late February to discuss questionable comments the Penske Racing driver made in a newspaper article. Then came a suspension of Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements for using a racial slur in front of an MTV reporter, followed by a $25,000 fine to Hamlin for criticizing the new Gen-6 car and the quality of racing at Phoenix. France acknowledged it was primarily his decision to penalize Hamlin, and he stood by that decision. "There's always going to be, when we make decisions that are not black and white per se, we're always going to have people all over the organization that may not have made that call," France said. "But I did. I'm crystal clear with everybody about where the line is, what we can accept, and about how the sport is going today. And that is we give more latitude than any professional sport to criticize, speak their mind and say whatever they want. We encourage it, actually, including criticism that gets directed at us. But when the driver . . . begins to call out the quality of the racing or the rules packages, we have to make that call or opinions will shape what may not be reality." France met with Hamlin, who dropped his right to appeal the fine, and believes they are on the same page now.(ESPN)(3-27-2013)

  • Efland, JD Motorsports part: UPDATE: Danny Efland posted on Facebook Tuesday evening, "Looks like JD Motorsports and I have parted ways after a short start to the season."(3-26-2013)
    UPDATE: In an amicable agreement, JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller has, effective immediately, parted ways with driver Danny Efland. Efland drove the #4 Chevy for the team through the past two seasons, but not on a full-time basis. His departure now opens up the opportunity for someone else to continue on in that car. "I would like to thank Danny for all his time and effort this year," said Johnny Davis, owner. "This is a move to make our organization better. As a team, we need to constantly improve our communication in order to improve our finishes on the track. I believe this change will make both the #01 and the #4 Chevy teams stronger throughout the year." The team's #01 entry will continue to be driven by Mike Wallace; who has been with JD Motorsports through the past five seasons.(JD Motorsports)(3-27-2013)


    News from March 26, 2013

  • Hamlin released from hospital UPDATE 3 - out about 6 weeks: #11-Denny Hamlin spent the night at a local hospital in the Fontana, Calif., area and was released on Monday to fly home to Charlotte, where Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates will evaluate him later in the week. Hamlin told reporters that it is too hard to say if he will be ready for the next Sprint Cup race as he walked out under his own power, according to one of his representatives. The Sprint Cup series has this weekend off, then resumes its schedule on April 7 at Martinsville Speedway. Dr. Petty declined to talk about Hamlin's case or compression fractions in general until he has met with Hamlin.(ESPN.com)(3-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Denny Hamlin walked out of Loma Linda University Medical Center on Monday night under his own power, one day after sustaining a fractured L1 vertebra in a crash at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin, wearing a thick back brace under a gray sweatshirt, had difficulty breathing as he spoke to two reporters, including one from USA TODAY Sports, upon his release. Hamlin said he immediately knew "I was in big trouble" after he felt a pop in his back following a violent collision with the wall the result of a crash triggered by contact with rival Joey Logano as the two raced for the win on the final lap. "The position I was in, I couldn't breathe at all," Hamlin said. "I'm still having a hard time breathing. Literally, when I felt a pop, I couldn't move at all and I knew I had to get flat to my back to be able to breathe again. That's why I rushed out and just laid flat on the ground to start breathing again." Hamlin, who was en route to fly home to North Carolina, said he had to be 100% straight no bending at all. Otherwise, he said, "I run out of breath." Though it's too early to tell whether Hamlin will miss any races, he seemed to understand there was a lengthy recovery in front of him. He tried to read up on the injury, he said, and nothing was very encouraging. Hamlin said he will meet with Dr. Jerry Petty near Charlotte on Wednesday or Thursday for further evaluation. "He's going to spend tomorrow looking at scans to distinguish what the next step is," Hamlin said. "We're kind of leaving the analyzing for him on what to do either surgery-wise or just stick with a brace and let it heal itself. Either way, obviously, both of them take a lot of time."(more at USA Today)
    UPDATE2: Asked specifically Monday night if Logano had tried to call him, Hamlin said, "No. I've heard from pretty much all my peers which has been humbling to say the least. It makes me really happy and keeps your spirits up when you hear from all your peers and everything," he added. "That part of it has been very encouraging." So, does he view the incident as the product of hard racing or as a part of the rivalry between the two? "I think it's a little bit of both if I had to characterize it," he said. "I really went out of my way throughout the day to give the #22 (Logano) room in a lot of places. He raced me really hard for really the entire event and obviously other guys as well. But at the end I think he saw I was going to win and wasn't going to let that happen."(FoxSports)(3-26-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin was evaluated today by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates after suffering an L1 Compression Fracture during an accident on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Dr. Petty determined that Hamlin will not require surgery, but will need time to properly heal, which is estimated around six weeks time. Dr. Petty will make the determination when Hamlin will be able to return to racing this season. No decision has been made on a replacement driver for Hamlin during his absence from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-26-2013)

  • No penalties from Auto Club Speedway: Kerry Tharp, NASCAR Director of Communications, tweeted Tuesday, "NASCAR will issue no penalties from last weekend's events at [Auto Club Speedway]".(3-26-2013)

  • Logano says he wasn't trying to wreck Hamlin: #22-Joey Logano said he did not realize #11-Denny Hamlin was involved in a hard crash when he made televised comments suggesting the driver had it coming  nor did he mean to wreck his former teammate on the last lap of Sunday's Auto Club 400. Logano told USA TODAY Sports by phone Monday that he had "no idea" Hamlin was hurt or even that he hit the wall hard when he told Fox: "He probably shouldn't have done what he did last week (at Bristol), so that's what he gets."
    "I just thought we were racing hard, you know?" Logano said Monday. "It happens. You don't ever want anyone to get hurt; you don't ever want anything to happen, especially to Denny. We were racing really hard there at the end of the race. I wish there was a SAFER barrier down there, and I wish I knew before I made any comments on TV also." Logano insisted he was not trying to wreck Hamlin "in any way, shape or form."(USA Today)(3-26-2013)

  • Sadler to run Sprint Cup race in 2013: Elliot Sadler is scheduled to run at least one un-named NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2013, running the #81 Alert Energy Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. This new energy product, was recently introduced by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. The scheme is purple, orange-and-yellow.(lionelnascarcollectables.com.(3-26-2013)

  • Yarborough joins the South Carolina Hall of Fame: South Carolina Hall of Fame President Brad Dean described both men inducted Monday into the state Hall of Fame at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center as American heroes, one of whom flew in an airplane while the other flew in a stock car. World War II veteran William Farrow and NASCAR Hall of Famer William Caleb "Cale" Yarborough were the 84th and 85th inductees into the S.C. Hall of Fame. Yarborough was in Myrtle Beach on Monday for the induction ceremony. Before the formal festivities began, he talked to students from Myrtle Beach Middle School and cadets of the Junior ROTC from Horry County Schools. "Life's victories don't always go to the fastest or strongest man," Yarborough told the more than 100 students who had some of their own questions for the racing legend. Yarborough admitted to getting a little nervous before races because of the tough job ahead. However, it all went out the window when that light turned green at the starting line. Yarborough's racing career began in 1957. Over 31 years, he won 83 victories, which ranks fifth all-time. Yarborough won three consecutive Sprint Cup championships from 1976 to 1978, an achievement unmatched until 2008. In that three-year span, he was the victor in 28 races. He was the second NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of "Sports Illustrated," and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.(Myrtle Beach Sun News)(3-26-2013)

  • Sad News - Nikki Park: Nikki passed away on Sunday, March 24 after a lengthy illness. She is survived by her husband Greg Park, the CFO at Stewart-Haas Racing; her father, Hal; brothers Frank (June) Knight and Neal R. (Connie) Knight; sister Crystal A. (Darven) Erickson; and nieces and nephews. There will be a celebration of life for Nikki Park from 5:00pm/et to 8:00pm/et on Wednesday, March 27 at James Funeral Home (details). The funeral will be held at 11:00am/et on Thursday, March 28 in the chapel of James Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Huntersville Oaks Resident Counsel Fund (memo line: Oak leaf for Nikki K. Park) 12019 Verehoff Dr., Huntersville, NC 28078.

  • Efland, JD Motorsports part: Danny Efland posted on Facebook Tuesday evening, "Looks like JD Motorsports and I have parted ways after a short start to the season."(3-26-2013)

  • Homestead starts refer a fan program: Homestead-Miami Speedway announced its Refer A Fan program where ticket purchasers receive benefits when they refer an individual who also purchases tickets to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race, the Ford EcoBoost 400 (Nov. 17). The incentive, available to any fan that has purchased tickets for the Ford EcoBoost 400, automatically activates when a new purchaser provides the account number of an existing seat holder at the time of purchase. More info at homesteadmiamispeedway.com/referafan or by calling the Homestead-Miami Speedway Ticket Sales department at 305.230.5255.(HMS)(3-26-2013)

  • Indy events add $510 in Indiana Economy: Events and operations at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and associated motorsports businesses generate more than $510 million annually to the Indiana economy, according to a study by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. The study addressed the direct and indirect economic contributions made by IMS through its operations, spending by out-of-state visitors to the Indianapolis 500, Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP annual events, and the presence of nearly all INDYCAR race teams and the Dallara facility in the Indianapolis area, which are attracted to Indiana due to the presence of the Speedway.(see full report at IMS.com)(3-26-2013)

  • Dale Jr. to Appear in the Talladega Experience: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., the only driver in the history of Talladega Superspeedway to capture four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race victories at the 2.66-mile venue, will join defending Series Champion Brad Keselowski in the driver lineup for the Talladega Experience during the upcoming Aaron's Dream Weekend, May 3-5. This year's crop of drivers is shaping up to be one of the best in years, and even more of NASCAR's finest will be announced to join Dale Jr. and Keselowski in the Talladega Experience in the coming weeks. The Talladega Experience is a fun, one-of-a-kind fan hospitality event unrivaled by any other in the sporting world. The Talladega Experience is designed for the FAN, with the ultimate goal of providing each guest with a world-class experience and memories to last a lifetime. The package, which must be accompanied by a Frontstretch Grandstand or Tower ticket, is $145. Secure your tickets at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(3-26-2013)

  • NASCAR Weekend in Sonoma Features Silver Celebration: It seems like just yesterday Ricky Rudd and Rusty Wallace were swapping paint along the hillside at Turn 7 at the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Sonoma in 1989. Rudd survived the battle and took the checkers by just .05 seconds over Wallace in what is still the closest margin of victory for a NASCAR Cup race at Sonoma Raceway. That race included legends like Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott and Richard Petty, among others. Fast-forward to 2013 and stock-car racing is alive and well in Northern California as Sonoma Raceway celebrates the 25th running of the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 21-23.
    The raceway has plenty in store for race fans in honor of this very special weekend, including: Silver Celebration Ticket, Silver Celebration Q&A, Historic Stock Car Display, Web-site special photo galleries and commentary, Social Media contests & special driver ticket giveaways and Bring on the Jets a very special 25-minute jet show on Sunday, June 23, by the Patriots Jet Team. This special weekend can mean only one thing: tickets will go fast. Act today by calling the raceway at 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit racesonoma.com/nascar for the latest information regarding the Silver Celebration of NASCAR in Sonoma.(Somona Raceway)(3-26-2013)


    News from March 25, 2013

  • Hamlin injured in last lap wreck at Auto Club UPDATE2 & Statement: In a wild finish, #22-Joey Logano was leading the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway at the white flag and #11-Denny Hamlin was next to hm a few feet behind the #22. The two drivers raced hard and got into each other near turn 4, sending Logano into the outside wall and #11-Hamlin hard into the inside wall, which has no SAFER (for some reason). After climbing from the car under his own power, Hamlin laid down and was put on a stretcher and then an ambulance and taken to the infield care center. Hamlin was them taken by helicopter to a local hospital. #18 crew chew chief Dave Rogers was interviewed by SPEED's Kenny Wallace and said that he talked to team owner J.D. Gibbs and supposedly Hamlin has some back pain and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.(3-24-2013)
    UPDATE: #11-Denny Hamlin was airlifted to a hospital after a hard single-car crash at the inside wall on the final lap of Sunday's Auto Club 400. Hamlin was awake and alert in the infield care center before being transported, but was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. A helicopter was used due to post-race traffic. Hamlin was helped from his car after the hard hit and seemed to collapse outside his car after he had pulled the window net down. He was taken by ambulance to the infield care center, where crew chief Darian Grubb hurried inside to check on the driver. Hamlin's girlfriend, Jordan Fish, tweeted Sunday night: "Thank u everyone for your messages concerning Denny. Darian is keeping us posted. He's alert n awake, main concern is his back.(USA Today)
    JGR STATEMENT: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Denny Hamlin was involved in an accident on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin complained of lower back pain at the track's infield medical center and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. Hamlin will remain at the hospital overnight for observation. No further updates are expected tonight.(JGR)
    JGR STATEMENT 2: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Denny Hamlin suffered a L1 Compression Fracture following an accident on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin hopes to be released today to fly to his home in North Carolina where he will be evaluated by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates later this week.(JGR)(3-25-2013)

  • Auto Club Overnight TV Ratings: Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Auto Club 500 from Auto CLub Speedway earned a 4.5 overnight rating on FOX  up 32% from last year's rain-shortened race (3.4), and up 10% from 2011 (4.1). The 4.5 overnight is the highest for the race since 2010 (5.0), when Fontana was still the second NASCAR event of the season. So far this season, four of the five NASCAR Sprint Cup races have had increases in overnight ratings compared to last year. Three of the races  Daytona, Las Vegas and Fontana  have had double-digit increases. For the weekend, the Auto Club 500 was the top non-NCAA sporting event by a wide margin.(Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Daily), see past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(3-25-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Auto Club 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:17 PM (all times are EST). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 109
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 55
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 102
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 7 And one was cut short to return to racing action
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 6
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 2 And one was cut short to return to racing action
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 44
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 15 sec
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:17 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 197
    Minutes of race broadcast: 146
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 51
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 4
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 146 Total comm. brdcst time 51
    See more, links and past races on my2013 TV Commcericials page.(3-25-2013)

  • Stewart-Logano conflict upstages Hamlin-Logano feud: After trading barbs on Twitter a week ago, #11-Denny Hamlin and #22-Joey Logano actually traded paint on Sunday, throwing away their chances to win the Auto Club 400 by banging each other into oblivion on the final lap at Auto Club Speedway. But it was Logano's row with #14-Tony Stewart that led to the most heated exchange of the season so far, first as Stewart tried to get a piece of Logano on pit road and later as the three-time champion roasted the 22-year-old with criticism that turned very personal.
    The Hamlin-Logano feud, which began last week at Bristol when Hamlin's attempted bump-and-run sent Logano's Ford spinning into the wall, escalated at Fontana, as Hamlin drove to the outside of Logano to start the final lap and the drivers traded shots until they wrecked in Turn 3 -- to the benefit of Kyle Busch, who was running third at the time and won the race. Logano was credited with a third-place finish, but Hamlin's car slammed nose-first into the inside wall. Hamlin was airlifted to a local hospital for precautionary evaluation.
    But it was Logano's block of Tony Stewart on the final restart on Lap 190 that had Stewart seething after the race, to the point where he nosed in front of Logano's car on pit road (stopping its progress), climbed out and confronted the young driver before crew members intervened. Logano acknowledged that the block was a deliberate attempt to win the race.
    "I had to throw the block there," Logano said. "That was a race for the lead. I felt if the 14 (Stewart) got underneath me, that was going to be the end of my opportunity to win the race, so I was just trying to protect the spot I had. I was actually pedaling, because I couldn't keep the 18 (race leader Kyle Busch) aligned (in front of Logano's No. 22 Ford, as the rules require on a restart). I was actually faster than the 18 getting our tires hooked up. And then I'm trying to stagger myself making sure I don't beat him to the line, and then I had to block the 14 because I was pedaling it. I'll talk to him and we'll see what happens."
    Stewart was having none of it.
    "He's going to learn a lesson," Stewart said. "He's run his mouth long enough& He's nothing but a little rich kid who's never had to work in his life, so he's going to learn what us working guys who had to work our way up& how it works. He has the choice to do that. He's in control of his car. But if he ever turns down across in front of me again -- I don't care what lap it is -- he won't make it through the other end of it& I'm tired of these guys doing that stuff, especially out of a kid that's been griping about everybody else -- and then he does that the next week& send Denny to the hospital and screw our day up. He's talked the talk, but he hasn't walked the walk yet. He's always got his crew guys walking the walk for him."(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-25-2013)

  • Testing the new car at Richmond UPDATE dates changed: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #1-Jamie McMurray, #43-Aric Almirola and #9-Marcos Ambrose are scheduled to be testing the new Gen-6 car on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway in advance of the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets for the Toyota Owners 400 can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR), the test is closed and NOT open to the public.(3-22-2013)
    UPDATE: the testing has been moved to Monday and Tuesday, April 1-2.(RIR)(3-25-2013)

  • Dale Jr recommends small change to Auto Club Speedway: from a Team Chevy post race press conferences transcript, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked:
    Q. A lot has been said this weekend that the track hasn't been resurfaced or redone in a while. Some people are calling it character like Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. What's your take?
    DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I think it's great. Do everybody a favor, whoever owns this place, and pave the back straightaway. If you pave the back straightaway, there's some real bad bumps, we all watched it on TV in the Nationwide race and I'm sure you saw it today. It's just going down the back straightaway. It probably doesn't cost much to pave the two lanes that we race in, and that would really cure any complaints that I got. I think the corners are perfect. I wouldn't pave anything or change anything about the turns. This place has got -- this is the age of asphalt that I think tracks strive for. This is what places like Michigan and Phoenix look forward to, you know, when they get a good 10, 15 years on their asphalt. This is really right in the ballpark, right in everybody's wheelhouse. I think everybody that runs in the Cup garage really likes the surface. It's just real bumpy down the back straightaway for some reason, and it doesn't have to be, and I think they can fix that with a couple lanes of asphalt on that outside toward the wall, and like I said, the corners, man, you couldn't ask for a better racetrack."(Team Chevy)(3-25-2013)

  • Penske defends Logano: Team owner Roger Penske staunchly defended #22-Joey Logano after his Sprint Cup driver was involved in a pair of controversies near the end of Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway. "I'm 150% behind my driver, and I think he's a real star on the team," Penske told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview Sunday night after returning to his home in Michigan. Logano wrecked with Denny Hamlin while racing for the lead in a final-lap incident that sent Hamlin to the hospital for overnight observation after his #11 Toyota sustained heavy right-front impact with an inside wall not covered by a SAFER barrier. Tony Stewart confronted Logano after the race because he was upset with being blocked on the bottom lane in the closing laps. "It's time he learns a lesson," Stewart said. "He's run his mouth long enough and done this double standard, but he's nothing but a little rich kid who has never had to work in his life." Racing for the lead on a restart with 10 laps remaining, Stewart felt that Logano blocked him low, forcing Stewart's Chevrolet all the way to the inside apron. The momentum shift ended up thwarting what looked to be Stewart's best finish of the season, and after drifting back, Stewart finished all the way back in 22nd place. "He has that right, he has the choice to do that. If he ever turns down across in front of me again, I don't care what lap it is, he won't make it through the other end of it," Stewart said.(USA Today))(3-25-2013)

  • Glick Award winner announced: The late Mickey Thompson, who popularized stadium off-road racing among his many accomplishments in life, was named winner of the Shav Glick Award presented by the Justice Brothers before the start of the race. The award, named for the longtime L.A. Times motorsports Hall of Fame writer who passed away in 2007, recognizes a personality who made valuable or distinguished contributions in California. The 2013 nominees included George Follower, Tom McEwen and Chris Pook and Mickey Thompson. Ed Justice, Jr., president and CEO of Justice Brothers, made the presentation to Colleen Campbell, Thompson's sister, during pre-race ceremonies. The panel awards include Bill Center; Jim Short; Mike Harris; John Zimmerman and Doug Stokes.(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(3-25-2013)

  • Danica Patrick bests Williams sisters, Gabby Douglas: On Saturday night, Danica Patrick won a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for the third time. She was named favorite female athlete. Patrick earned the orange blimp trophy by besting Serena and Venus Williams and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas.(USA Today)(3-25-2013)

  • Sad News - "Jivie" Simpson: Mr. Torrence "Jivie" Simpson Jr., 76, of Concord, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Tucker Hospice House. He was born Sept. 29, 1936, to the late Torrence and Myrtle Craig Simpson. After serving in the U.S. Army, Jivie worked as a welder at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Racing was his life. He built the first Jet Truck, the first Code 3 Emergency Truck and the first Legend Car at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jivie also built cars for David Smith Racing, Ernie Irvan Racing and J.D Gibbs Racing. Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord is serving the Simpson family. Online condolences may be made at www.hartsellfh.com. See more at Independent Tribune.(3-25-2013)

  • Neuenberger assisting high schoolers in engineering program UPDATE: Long-time NASCAR driver Donnie Neuenberger is preparing a race of a new kind. From March 22 through 24, Neuenberger, who last appeared in the Truck Series last October in Talladega, will join up with Chavez Motor Sports Engineering from Houston, Texas to compete in the Texas Mile land speed event. Chavez Motor Sports is unique from most other teams in pro racing; the crew chief, car, chief, and team specialists are all still in high school. The team is lead by science and engineering teacher Greg Ditch. In just 6 short weeks the students took a part a relatively stock Pontiac GTO and re-engineered it for this specific event. In the motor sports engineering program, students from Chavez High School are able to learn to apply math and science, learn about high performance automotive, and the general business side of racing.(Chavez Motor Sports)(2-27-2013) UPDATE:Donnie Neuenberger competed in the Texas Mile over the weekend with the students at Chavez High School's Motor Sports Engineering program. Neuenberger was able to view their engineering facility, talk to students working on various projects, and have what he considered "an amazing experience in racing." Neuenberger normally drives the Eagle Convenience Stores Silverado, but this weekend he drove the JC Whitney/Drive Shaft Shop Pontiac GTO. His best 1/2 mile speed from a standing start was 146.3 mph with a top mile speed of 175.5 mph.(Chavez Motor Sports)(3-25-2013)

  • Martinsville Speedway Offers Amazing Action For Incredible Prices: The STP Gas Booster 500 is two weeks away, but there is still plenty of time to make sure that you are up-close-and-personal for all the exciting racing Martinsville Speedway will have to offer on April 7. And if history is any indication, the STP Gas Booster" 500 will deliver an amazing amount of action. Tickets remain available at low prices for the STP Gas Booster 500, starting at just $37 and ranging to $79. Martinsville Speedway also offers great youth, teen and family prices. Tickets for youth 12 and under are just $10 in the Clay Earles Tower, rows 15-52. Teen tickets (ages 13-17) in the same area are $25. Youth and teen ticket prices are good with the purchase of an adult ticket. There are two great Family Four Pack deals to choose from. The STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Sunday, April 7, the day after the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Pole Day is Friday, April 5. Tickets for the STP Gas Booster 500, the Kroger 250 and Martinsville Pole Day may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com online.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-25-2013)


    News from March 24, 2013

  • Kyle Busch wins at Auto Club: #18-Kyle Busch won the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 2nd win at ACS and 25th career win. It is the first Sprint Cup Series win for Joe Gibbs Racing at ACS. Busch had a streak of 31 races since his last win. In a wild finish, #22-Logano was leading at the white flag and #11-Hamlin was next to hm a few feet behind the #22. The two drivers raced hard and got into each other in turn 4, sending Logano into the outside wall and #11-Hamlin hard into the inside wall, which has no SAFER (for some reason). After climbing from the car under his own power, Hamlin laid down and was put on a stretcher and then an ambulance and taken to the infield care center. Hamlin was them taken by helicopter to a local hospital. #18 crew chew chief Dave Rogers was interviewed by SPEED's Kenny Wallace and said that he talked to team owner J.D. Gibbs and supposedly Hamlin has some back pain and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #99-Edwards, #78-Busch, #16-Biffle, #20-Kenseth, #27-Menard, #5-Kahne and #39-Newman.
    #11-Hamlin, the pole sitter and involved in the last lap wreck, finished 25th.
    There were 17 lead changes among 8 drivers and 9 cautions for 35 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 135.351mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Auto Club Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Auto Club Penalty Resport (pdf)
    And see the Official Race and Points on the Auto Club 400 Official Race and Points Report page (pdf)

  • Hamlin injured in last lap wreck at Auto Club UPDATE & Statement: In a wild finish, #22-Joey Logano was leading the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway at the white flag and #11-Denny Hamlin was next to hm a few feet behind the #22. The two drivers raced hard and got into each other on the backstretch, sending Logano into the outside wall and #11-Hamlin hard into the inside wall, which has no SAFER (for some reason). After climbing from the car under his own power, Hamlin laid down and was put on a stretcher and then an ambulance and taken to the infield care center. Hamlin was them taken by helicopter to a local hospital. #18 crew chew chief Dave Rogers was interviewed by SPEED's Kenny Wallace and said that he talked to team owner J.D. Gibbs and supposedly Hamlin has some back pain and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.(3-24-2013)
    UPDATE: #11-Denny Hamlin was airlifted to a hospital after a hard single-car crash at the inside wall on the final lap of Sunday's Auto Club 400. Hamlin was awake and alert in the infield care center before being transported, but was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. A helicopter was used due to post-race traffic. Hamlin was helped from his car after the hard hit and seemed to collapse outside his car after he had pulled the window net down. He was taken by ambulance to the infield care center, where crew chief Darian Grubb hurried inside to check on the driver. Hamlin's girlfriend, Jordan Fish, tweeted Sunday night: "Thank u everyone for your messages concerning Denny. Darian is keeping us posted. He's alert n awake, main concern is his back.(USA Today)
    JGR STATEMENT: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Denny Hamlin was involved in an accident on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin complained of lower back pain at the track's infield medical center and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. Hamlin will remain at the hospital overnight for observation. No further updates are expected tonight.(JGR)(3-25-2013)

  • Race Fast Facts - Auto Club:
    #18-Kyle Busch won the 17th Annual Auto Club 400, his 25th victory in 298 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ties Matt Kenseth, Jim Paschal and Joe Weatherly for 24th in all-time victories.
    This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in 2013. His last win came at Richmond on April 28, 2012. He breaks a 31-race winless streak.
    This is his second victory and 11th top-10 finish in 16 races at Auto Club Speedway. This is Kyle Busch's 9th weekend sweep, having also won Saturday's Royal Purple 300.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 21 races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2013.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (19th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the point standings by 11 points over #2-Brad Keselowski.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(3-24-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Auto Club, race 5 of 36]
    1) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 199
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski, 187, -12
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 183, -16
    4) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 164, -35
    5) #16-Greg Biffle, 164, -35
    6) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 163, -36
    7) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 159, -40
    8) #27-Paul Menard, 154, -45
    9) #22-Joey Logano, 146, -53
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin, 145, -54
    11) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 141, -58
    12) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 139, -60
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #15-Clint Bowyer, 14th in points
    #29-Kevin Harvick, 15th
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 18th
    #56-Martin Truex Jr., 19th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 22nd
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • #43 to feature Farmland at ACS UPDATE: Aric Almirola will make his ninth NASCAR series start at the Auto Club Speedway this weekend in the #43 Farmland Ford. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver looks to surpass his best California finish of sixth, which he posted in 2010 in the Nationwide Series, in Sunday's Auto Club 400. As part of their Race to End Hunger, Almirola will join Farmland Foods this week to present a cash and protein donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. The donation will help feed thousands of families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire. The announcement and presentation will be held at the Auto Club Speedway on Friday, March 22 at 9:30am and will include remarks from Farmland, Aric and Second Harvest Food Bank representatives, as well as photo opportunities.(RPM)(3-22-2013)
    UPDATE: Farmland Foods presented $20,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties on Friday as part of an expanding effort by the company to raise awareness of hunger issues around the country. Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola joined Farmland in presenting the check. In addition, 43 cases of Farmland's famous Hickory Smoked Bacon were donated in honor of the legendary #43 Ford made famous by Richard Petty. The bacon donation will help to ensure families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire have access to much-needed protein. Farmland's "Race to End Hunger" is raising awareness about hunger issues in a growing number of communities in conjunction with race weekends for the famous #43 car, and in partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports,. In 2013, Farmland is expanding their efforts in the "Race to End Hunger" as part of the Helping Hungry Homes initiative of Smithfield Foods, Farmland's parent company. Farmland is providing cash and protein donations to food banks such as Second Harvest as part of a continued partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the No. 43 team. Earlier this month as part of the Race to End Hunger, Farmland donated an additional $20,000 and 43 cases of Oven Perfect to St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, Ariz., and Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas.(RPM)(3-24-2013)

  • Roush feels confident Ford engine woes over: To contend at Auto Club Speedway, #16-Greg Biffle will have to come from the rear of the field due to an engine failure in opening practice on the 2-mile track. And car owner Jack Roush believes his driver has enough under the hood to do it. Roush said Saturday the engine failures suffered by Biffle and Ford stable mate Brad Keselowski appeared to be due to lost bearings, and the No. 16 car's strength in practice Saturday gave him confidence the issue would not rear its head again in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. "Both of those problems are something we characterize as an infant mortality problem," Roush said after Biffle topped the first of Saturday's two practice sessions. "The fact that we've gotten the rest of the practice today, that we had one practice today and had no further problems, gives me confidence that we're going to be OK. We have adequate spare engines, and if we have more trouble in practice, we can make changes. But right now, I'm believing it's behind us."(in part from NASCAR.com)(3-24-2013)


    News from March 23, 2013

  • Race Coverage of the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 24, 2013.
    Television (TV): FOX at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:30 pm/et; green flag approx 3:16pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, March 27 at 12:00pm/et

  • Happy Hour practice for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #55-Martin 183.351
    #15-Bowyer 182.945
    #20-Kenseth 182.839
    #48-Johnson 182.417
    #2-Keselowski 182.375
    slowest: #44-Riggs 173.426 & #19-Bliss 174.187
    no speed listed: #98-McDowell
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Auto Club 400 Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(3-23-2013)

  • Saturday first practice for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #16-Biffle 186.253
    #51-Allmendinger 186.191
    #18-Busch 185.342
    #11-Hamlin 185.276
    #78-Busch 185.261
    slowest: #19-Bliss 175.301 & #32-Hill 177.550
    no speed listed: #87-Nemechek & #44-Riggs
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Auto Club 400 Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(3-23-2013)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #11-Marlin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #16-Biffle took pit stall 12A, the first pitstall in front of it.
    #2-Keselowski, who starts 3rd took the 2nd pit stall, right behind the poll sitter.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #20-Kenseth, who starts 5th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-23-2013)

  • Final Bristol TV Ratings: Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway earned a 4.6 final rating and 7.5 million viewers, up 5% in ratings and 3% in viewership from last year (4.4, 7.3M), and up 7% and 4%, respectively, from 2011 (4.3, 7.2M). This marks the highest rated and most-viewed edition of the spring Bristol race since 2008 (5.5, 8.9M). Sunday's race was also the first since 2008 to avoid competition with the NCAA Tournament. Though up from last year, the 4.6 rating ranks as the fifth-lowest for the race since 2000 (13 telecasts). The race earned at least a 5.0 rating each year from 2001 to 2008, peaking with a 6.3 in 2005. The Bristol race also ranks as the first Sprint Cup telecast since the Daytona 500 to have an increase in ratings. The March 3 Phoenix race was flat in ratings, and the March 10 Las Vegas race had a double-digit decline.( Sports Media Watch), see past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(3-23-2013)

  • 2012 Auto Club winner Stewart to Walk of Fame: Last year's Auto Club 400 winner #14-Tony Stewart made a return trip to the Walk of Fame on Friday commemorating his 2012 victory at the Auto Club Speedway. "It feels great to be back here," said Stewart, who also was bestowed the honor back in 2011 following his October of 2010 win at Auto Club Speedway. "I love this track and racing here. This makes it a lot of fun when you can win and then get recognized for it like this." Stewart, 41, was presented with a plaque by Speedway Vice President Dave Allen and then stepped in the concrete and signed his name and number as a large crowd of his fans cheered him on. Last March, Stewart won his second race of the year capturing the rain-shortened 16th annual Auto Club 400 after 129 laps were completed. Located at Gate 12, on the east end of the FanZone, the Auto Club Speedway Walk of Fame ceremony has become a fan-favorite event.
    Stewart joins other past ACS winners Kevin Harvick (2011), Jimmie Johnson ('02, '07, '08, '10), Jeff Gordon ('97, '99 & 04), Mark Martin ('98), Jeremy Mayfield ('00), Rusty Wallace ('01), Kurt Busch ('03), Elliott Sadler ('04), Kyle Busch ('05), Greg Biffle ('05), Matt Kenseth ('06, '07 & '08), Kasey Kahne ('06) and Carl Edwards ('09, '10) as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to be enshrined at the speedway's Walk of Fame.(ACS)(3-23-2013)

  • Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR Bring "Troops to the Track" Program to the Auto Club 400: The Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR continue the 2013 Troops to the Track TM program on Sunday, March 24th, by bringing service members based out of Camp Pendleton (CA) to the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway. They are pleased to again be partnering with NASCAR to allow for wounded service members, active duty troops, warriors in transition, veterans and military families throughout the country to enjoy a special day of NASCAR-style VIP activities at the racetrack. 2013 season of Troops to the Track is a program in which service members are treated to a daylong interactive at-track experience, which includes: a special invitation and recognition at the driver's pre-race meeting, a private tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pit road access during driver introductions / National Anthem and special seating in the grandstands. See the attached document for more information about the program.(AFF)(3-23-2013)


    News from March 22, 2013

  • Hamlin wins Auto Club pole: #11-Denny Hamlin won the pole for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway with speed of 187.451mph for his 1st pole of 2013, 3rd at Auto Club Speedway and 13th of his career. #16-Biffle is on the outside pole, followed by #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #22-Logano, #56-Truex Jr., #14-Stewart, #55-Martin and #78-Busch. Both #16-Biffle and #2-Keselowski had engines changes before qualifying and will have to fall to the rear of the field before the start of the race on Sunday, but will get to chose good pit stalls. No cars / drivers missed the race as there were 43 cars entered for 43 spots.
    See the strating lineup, qualifying results, qualifying order and pdf links on the Auto Club Qualifying Page.(3-22-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Auto Club:
    #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 17th Annual Auto Club 400 with a lap of 38.410 seconds, 187.451 mph.
    This is his 13th pole in 264 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his third pole in 13 races at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin won the pole for last year's Auto Club Speedway event.
    #16-Greg Biffle (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2013 and his 10th in 19 races at Auto Club Speedway.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (third) posted his first top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his third in five races this season.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (31st) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-22-2013)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 22, 2013 at 7:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 7:00pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network, 7:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 11:00pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #48-Johnson.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #83-Reutimann.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Auto Club Qualifying Page.(3-22-2013)

  • Friday practice for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #15-Bowyer 185.414
    #11-Hamlin 184.824
    #51-Allmendinger 184.611
    #18-Busch 184.554
    #22-Logano 184.403
    slowest: #87-Nemechek 174.834 & #38-Gilliland 175.859
    notes: #16-Biffle lost an engine aboutr 13 minutes into practice an the team is putting in a fresh powerplant in the hopes of getting a few practice laps on the engine before qualifying, scheduled for 7:10pm/et tonight. #16-Biffle did get on the track late in practice and ran 6th fastest with the new engine. #2-Kesekowski's team will change an engine before qualifying. So both #16-Biffle and #2-Keselowski will have to start the race on Sunday at the rear of the field. They will be qualifying for their pit position.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Auto Club 400 Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(3-22-2013)

  • Hamlin apologizes for Logano bump: #11- Denny Hamlin apologized on Friday for making two mistakes involving former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate #22-Joey Logano last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. The first mistake was bumping Logano too hard on lap 349 in retaliation for the way the Penske Racing driver raced him earlier. The bump sent Logano into a spin when he was battling Jeff Gordon for the lead and ruined any chance he had of contending for the victory. The second was for attacking Logano personally after a post-race shoving match between the crews that began when Logano approached Hamlin at his car. On the first mistake, Hamlin said he was trying to send Logano a message with a tap after Logano pinched down on him too hard earlier. "I felt bad, and really if you could watch my in-car camera you could see how frustrated I was to see he had damage to his car,'' Hamlin said before the first practice at Auto Club Speedway. "I banged the steering wheel because I was, 'Man, I didn't mean to do that.' '' Hamlin said that gave the impression he was trying to "bully'' Logano, which he was not. Then came what Hamlin called "the big mistake.''
    "At the end of the race I shouldn't have degraded him as a driver,'' he said. "It's not my job to say who's good or bad in our sport. That part probably should have been left out.'' Hamlin and Logano haven't communicated since a battle of words on Twitter Sunday night. Logano indicated the issue that began at the Daytona 500 with Hamlin criticizing his driving wasn't over. "I feel like I've told him everything I can tell him,'' Logano told ESPN.com earlier in the week. "I've got nothing to say.'' Hamlin considers the issue over because they haven't talked.(ESPN)(3-22-2013)

  • Bowyer fights lawsuit in South Dakota: #15-Clint Bowyer is asking a judge in South Dakota to throw out a lawsuit filed against him by a motorcycle company. Klock Werks Kustom Cycles in Mitchell alleges that Bowyer failed to pay about $31,000 for customization work done on a motorcycle in late 2008 and early 2009. It's seeking the money plus 18% annual interest, along with attorney and court fees. Bowyer claims to have provided Klock Werks with numerous promotional services in exchange for the customized motorcycle. In court documents filed Feb. 28, Bowyer, 33, and his attorney Steve Sanford, of the Sioux Falls law firm Cadwell, Sanford, Deibert and Garry, motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed last May by Klock Werks Kustom Cycles, because they claim a Davison County court has a "lack of personal jurisdiction" over Bowyer in the case.(in part from the Daily Republic)(3-22-2013)



  • RCR honors Warner Hodgon: Richard Childress Racing will honor former NASCAR track and team owner Warner Hodgon, who passed away March 20, with a memoriam decal [on thr RCR's Chevy's] at this weekend's NASCAR events at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Hodgon was also president of Black Gold Oil Company, a RCR sponsor in the late-1970s when Richard Childress was both owner and driver of his #3 Chevy. "Warner was a great friend and partner who helped change the landscape of NASCAR team ownership in the late 1970s," said Childress. "I learned a lot about business from the advice he gave me over the years. He was there to help me with sponsorship from Black Gold when I really needed it. Warner was an entrepreneur with a great vision for where stock car racing could go and we stayed in touch long after his time in racing ended. He was a great friend and will be missed."(RCR)(3-22-2013)

  • Testing the new car at Richmond: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #1-Jamie McMurray, #43-Aric Almirola and #9-Marcos Ambrose are scheduled to be testing the new Gen-6 car on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway in advance of the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets for the Toyota Owners 400 can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR), the test is closed and NOT open to the public.(3-22-2013)

  • Cassill to sue BK Racing UPDATE: Landon Cassill is suing BK Racing over what he alleges is $205,000 in unpaid winnings and other fees owed to him for racing for the team last year. Cassill also is asking for an unspecified amount of money for not being told until mid-January that he would not drive for the team in 2013. The lawsuit was filed last month in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte against BK Racing, which bought the assets of Red Bull Racing just prior to the 2012 season, and principal owner Ron Devine. Adam Ross, a Charlotte attorney representing BK Racing, said that there is a dispute over what is owed to Cassill but would not go into specifics. The team has until mid-May to file a legal response to the lawsuit.(Sporting News)(3-20-2013)
    UPDATE: BK Racing co-owner Ron Devine has responded to the lawsuit filed by former driver Landon Cassill, alleging that the team failed to pay him $145,000 in guaranteed 2012 base salary and an additional $60,000 for other services rendered to the team. "He had some things he wanted us to agree to that we weren't willing to do," said Devine. "One of them was (agreeing) that he was the number-one, full-time starter. We had three drivers (who) shared the rides last year and we were set to do that again. We have aspirations of putting a third car on the track (in 2013). We're trying as hard as we can to get the (No.) 73 on the track, but we're just not there yet. "We were not prepared to run three cars& and when I went to the other two drivers and said they would have to share the ride, they were fine with it. When we talked to Landon, he didn't want to do that. We were trying to work something out with all three of the drivers where they could share the (monetary) pool, no matter who was driving the car," he explained. "Landon didn't want to do that. I understand that he's young and wants to run every week, but we felt that for the size of our team, it was better for us to have a stable of three (drivers) and share the ride. Devine said the dispute over Cassill's 2012 pay was not a factor in his decision to part company for 2013. Attorney Adam Ross has been hired to represent the team, and Devine said he is crafting a response to the suit that will be filed in the near future.(in part from Godfather Motorsports)(3-22-2013)

  • 3M Window Film featured on the #16: 3M Window Film will be featured on Greg Biffle's #16 Ford this weekend in California and the 3M Automotive Window Film  Crystalline 90 product will be on the inside of the windshield. Crystalline is 3M's highest heat rejecting and UV protecting film. 3M invented window tint in 1966 and have provided protection from the sun's harmful rays for more than 40 years.(RFR)(3-22-2013)

  • Sad News - John Cardinale: Sonoma Raceway vice president for media and community relations John Cardinale, 47, lost his battle with stomach cancer this week.(SPEED & The Spectrum)
    AND from Sonoma Raceway "We are saddened to share that we have lost our dear friend and colleague, John Cardinale. He passed away at home with his family after a two-year battle with gastric cancer. John was 47 years old and is survived by his wife, Andrea, and their two daughters. For those who would like to make a donation in John's honor, a memorial fund has been set up on behalf of his family. Donations may be sent to the John Cardinale Memorial Fund, care of Sonoma Raceway, 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476. We will share information on services and other arrangements as they become available."
    Thoughts from Steve Page, president & general manager of Sonoma Raceway: "There is a hole in the heart of this organization. John Cardinale was as true a friend, as loyal a colleague, as devoted a husband and father and as fine a human being as you could ever hope to know. John has been a part of every good thing that has happened at this track over the last 15 years. We are all so fortunate to have had him in our lives and to have shared in his intelligence, his wit, his integrity and his brave spirit."(Sonoma Raceway).(3-22-2013)

  • #43 to feature Farmland at ACS: Aric Almirola will make his ninth NASCAR series start at the Auto Club Speedway this weekend in the #43 Farmland Ford. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver looks to surpass his best California finish of sixth, which he posted in 2010 in the Nationwide Series, in Sunday's Auto Club 400. As part of their Race to End Hunger, Almirola will join Farmland Foods this week to present a cash and protein donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. The donation will help feed thousands of families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire. The announcement and presentation will be held at the Auto Club Speedway on Friday, March 22 at 9:30am and will include remarks from Farmland, Aric and Second Harvest Food Bank representatives, as well as photo opportunities.(RPM)(3-22-2013)

  • Above All Advertising joins JD Motorsports: JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller announced they have recently inked a deal with San Diego based- Above All Advertising as a marketing partner for the 2013 season. The deal will begin at Auto Club Speedway, as an associate sponsor on the #01 Flex Seal Chevy of Mike Wallace, and the #4 iWorld Chevy of Daryl Harr. The agreement came to fruition through a shared industry connection and both organizations determined they could immediately benefit from one other. In addition to supporting the race entries this weekend, the #01 transporter's design will be completely revamped and rebranded, thanks to the Above All Advertising's team of skilled artists, their top quality production facility and professional installers.(JD Motorsports)(3-22-2013)

  • MaddiesPlaceRock.com returns as associate sponsor on #87: NEMCO-JRR Motorsports announced that MaddiesPlaceRocks.com will be the primary on the #87 NEMCO-JRR Toyota for the Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 race this Sunday and an associate partner on the #87 NEMCO Toyota for Royal Purple 300 NNS Saturday. Both #87 Toyota's will be driven by "Front Row" Joe Nemechek over the race weekend in California.(NEMCO-JRR)(3-22-2013)

  • Carl Long driving the #23 at Auto Club Speedway: In an 11th hour agreement, Bebida Beverage Company announced that investors of the KOMA Unwind Liquid Relaxation brand and supporters of Carl Long have agreed to sponsor the #23 Ford Mustang in the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway. The partnership reunites Long with KOMA Unwind for the first time since 2010 when Long scored his career-best finish in the Camping World Truck Series of 11th at Dover International Speedway.(KOMA PR)(3-22-2013)


    News from March 21, 2013

  • Accell Construction Adds to Schedule with #36 team: JJ Yeley and the #36 Chevy SS find a familiar sponsor coming back on board for this weekend's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Encouraged by the progress of the 2013 season, Accell Construction Inc. found it a perfect fit to join on for another race this season. Accell Construction adorned the hood of the No. 36 Chevrolet SS at Phoenix and Vegas this season and will return again at Auto Club Speedway. Heading into Fontana, JJ Yeley is 27th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, 91 points behind leader Brad Keslowski.(TBR/140Buzz), see images of the car/scheme on the #36 Team Schemes page.(3-21-2013)

  • Johnson announces 2013 "Helmet of Hope" program UPDATE: #48-Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to make a stop in Le Mars, Iowa on Thursday [March 21, 2013]. Johnson will be there to announce the 2013 Wells Blue Bunny "Helmet of Hope Campaign" at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor in Le Mars. This year marks the second year for Blue Bunny as the title sponsor of the "Helmet of Hope" program. Jimmie Johnson, along with Wells Blue Bunny CEO Mike Wells, will announce the event's kick-off, and unveil this year's helmet.(kcautv.com)(3-21-2013)
    UPDATE: Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson made his first trip to Le Mars, Iowa today to announce the 2013 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope campaign. Le Mars is the home of Wells Enterprises, maker of Blue Bunny Ice Cream. Johnson was joined by Mike Wells, President and CEO of Wells Enterprises, Inc. to unveil this year's Jason Beam designed helmet, and to recognize the first charity selected, Make-A-Wish Iowa.(Team Lowe's/JJF), see more on my NASCAR Racing Charities page.(3-21-2013)

  • Special scheme for Johnson at Auto Club: Jimmie Johnson will drive the #48 Lowe's/Jimmie Johnson Foundation (JJF) Chevy at Auto Club Speedway. This is the seventh time Johnson has run the special scheme at his home track in the Sprint Cup Series (September 2007, August 2008, October 2009 and 2010, June 2011 and March 2012). Johnson has won three times with this paint scheme (2007-2009). His worst finish was 10th in last year's Auto Club 400. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation, founded by Chandra and Jimmie Johnson in 2006, has awarded more than $5.6 million to various organizations (Team Lowe's), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(3-21-2013)

  • Martin oversee's MWR training facility: #55-Mark Martin is overseeing the construction of Michael Waltrip Racing's new 7,500-square-foot training facility. The multi-level gym at the team's Cornelius, NC. shop will further the skills of pit crew members. The facility includes an inlaid car silhouette so crews can practice agility drills around a car, free weights, weight machines, Cross Fit elements, cardio equipment as well as locker rooms and offices. Construction should begin this week with completion expected within 90 days. Martin said: "I'm really enthused and excited about what we're working on getting at MWR. This has been a 10-month crusade to get the green light. It's fun. It's my second passion. I've been consulting with the strength staff and the coaching staff picking out equipment and designing the layout. We hope to have the nicest facility in the sport. You spend a lot of money on equipment in the sport and I think you are starting to see the teams invest even more in human performance." What is your normal workout routine? "Right now, it's five days a week -- five or four depending on what the schedule is, but usually five days a week. I only lift weights an hour and try not to let my weight lifting last beyond an hour because it's incredibly intense and somewhat counterproductive to go beyond 60 minutes."(MWR)(3-20-2013)

  • NASCAR video slots take center stage at Gaming Tradeshow & Convention: Bally Technologies' new NASCAR video slots and Virtual Racing NASCAR application are taking center stage at the NIGA Indian Gaming 2013 Tradeshow & Convention in Phoenix, Ariz. March 24-27, getting ready to bring the horsepower of America's most popular spectator sport to casino floors everywhere. "We always look forward to NIGA and showcasing our newest games, systems, and interactive technology to our important partners in tribal gaming," said Ramesh Srinivasan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally Technologies. "NIGA is the perfect stage to highlight the power of brands like NASCAR and Pawn Stars when combined with Bally's sleek slot cabinets, high-performing math, and engaging play mechanics." Srinivasan added that this year, Bally is bringing tribal operators the power of the NASCAR brand across both games and systems through the NASCAR Video Slots and Virtual Racing NASCAR, a floor-wide bonusing application that enables casinos to run a virtual race on nearly every game device  without interrupting gameplay. Bally's NASCAR innovations, along with nearly 60 unique game titles and a host of award-winning systems and interactive products, will be spotlighted in booth no. 412 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Bally's product suite is designed to optimize performance for operators and deliver unparalleled player excitement.(Casino City Times)(3-21-2013)

  • 10th Annual Sprint Fan Vote Now Open: Race fans can now begin casting ballots for their favorite Sprint Fan Vote eligible driver in the hopes of seeing him or her in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Voting begins today and ends at 5:00pm/et on the day of the race. Fans can vote an unlimited number of times between March 20 and May 18 by downloading the NASCAR Mobile '13 application or visiting NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote. Votes cast on NASCAR Mobile '13 will count twice towards a driver's total. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a spot in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. More info abour the All-Star race, eligible drivers on my 2013 Sprint All-Star Race page.(3-21-2013)

  • Kentucky Speedway Opens its Gates for Fun-Filled Ford Fan Day April 27: Kentucky Speedway's free Ford Fan Day will give visitors a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the 107,000-seat venue while enjoying live music, activities, giveaways, food and INEX U.S. Legends International racing on Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fans will be able to tour the media center, garages, owner's suite, press box and campgrounds, have their photo taken in Victory Lane, see Fire and Safety Team demonstrations on pit road and walk the speedway's 1.5-mile tri-oval track. Guests also will be able to learn more about the speedway from General Manager Mark Simendinger during "Ask the GM" question-and-answer sessions at noon and 2 p.m. Visitors will be able to talk racing with local media during insightful Racing Roundtable chats at 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. The Raceway Ministries Kids Zone will be filled with activities such as face painting, Hot Wheels car racing, a pit stop tire challenge, inflatables and petting zoo with 20 animals from Honey Hill Farms. The complete Ford Fan Day schedule and info available at kentuckyspeedway.com.(Kentucky Speedway)(3-21-2013)


    News from March 20, 2013

  • New sponsor for Stewart debuts at Auto Club: Rush Truck Centers makes its sponsorship debut during this weekend's Auto Club 400 where the premier solutions provider to the commercial vehicle industry will serve as the primary sponsor for the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team and driver/owner Tony Stewart. It's the first of three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in which Stewart will carry the colors of Rush Truck Centers in the capacity of primary sponsor for the #14 team. Rush Truck Centers is the United States' largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships, representing industry-leading truck and bus manufacturers (SHR), see images of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(3-20-2013)

  • added the #32 OxyWater, #14 Rush Truck Stops, #24 CroMax Pro, #11 FedEx / March of Dimes, #18 Snickers Bites and #22 AAA schemes.

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

  • Bass Pro Sports returns to the #1 car: Bass Pro Shops will make their first appearance of the season on the #1 Chevy of Jamie McMurray. The Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats paint scheme on the #1 at Auto Club Speedway will be the first of two races in 2013 (EGR), see my #1 Team Schemes page for images of the car.(3-20-2013)

  • Stenhouse Jr. to have NOS as sponsor: NOS Energy Drink will sponsor Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway this coming weekend. Six winners of the #IMNOSome Twitter campaign will be featured on the #17 decklid this weekend. Stenhouse on Auto Club: "We are bringing the same car that we tested with at Las Vegas. We had a lot of speed during the test so I feel confident going into this weekend. NOS Energy Drink sponsored me last year and stepped up to the Cup Series this year so it would be great to get a solid finish in their paint scheme this weekend. We've been strong at other mile-and-a-half tracks so I feel we should have a strong showing in our #17 NOS Energy Drink Ford this weekend."(RFR), see an image of the scheme on the #17 Team Schemes page.(3-20-2013)

  • Cassill to sue BK Racing: Landon Cassill is suing BK Racing over what he alleges is $205,000 in unpaid winnings and other fees owed to him for racing for the team last year. Cassill also is asking for an unspecified amount of money for not being told until mid-January that he would not drive for the team in 2013. The lawsuit was filed last month in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte against BK Racing, which bought the assets of Red Bull Racing just prior to the 2012 season, and principal owner Ron Devine. Adam Ross, a Charlotte attorney representing BK Racing, said that there is a dispute over what is owed to Cassill but would not go into specifics. The team has until mid-May to file a legal response to the lawsuit.(Sporting News)(3-20-2013)

  • Bowyer to make a stop in Kansas: Before #15 Clint Bowyer travels to Auto Club Speedway for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race, Bowyer spent a few days in his hometown of Emporia, Kan. opening the new Clint Bowyer Autoplex. Bowyer partnered with Davis-Moore Auto Group to purchase the Toyota dealership, formerly called Emporia Motors, where he once worked as a paint-less dent repair specialist and detailer. The Clint Bowyer Autoplex, 2815 U.S. Highway 50 in Emporia, is across the street from the Clint Bowyer Community Building. Davis-Moore Auto Group, out of Wichita, Kan., will run the day-to-day operations, while Bowyer focuses on his duties at Michael Waltrip Racing as the driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota.(MWR)(3-20-2013)

  • Auto Club Speedway Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Fontana this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at this track last season . . . this right-side tire code has been run at Fontana since 2011, while this left-side tire code was introduced at this track in 2012 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Fontana . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Auto Club Race Info page - Goodyear section.(3-20-2013)

  • Papis to run UARA race at Hickory: Max Papis has filed an entry with former Cup driver Lee Faulk's late model team for the 2nd UARA-STARS Late Model Stock Tour race of the season this weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway. Since it's been a while between starts for him, he plans on running 3 races with Faulk to help refresh him before racing for RCR in the NASCAR Nationwide Series later this year. Tickets are still available and spectator gates open at 4:30 pm with fans having the chance to meet Max during the on-track autograph session at 6:20pm. Other notable drivers who will be racing include NASCAR K&N Pro Series drivers Ben Rhodes and Brandon Jones along with Michael Leavine, driving for Leavine Family Racing, the same team that fields cars for Scott Speed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(UARA-STARS PR)(3-20-2013)

  • Honorary Starter named for Auto Club 400: One of Mexico's most acclaimed and popular actresses, Kate del Castillo, will serve as Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 24. As Honorary Starter, del Castillo will wave the green flag to get the Auto Club 400 underway. Del Castillo will soon star, alongside popular leading men Carlos Ponce and Christian Meier, in "Arranque de Pasion, La Historia de Ela," an original webnovela produced exclusively for Univision's online and mobile properties. A NASCAR-themed drama debuting on Univision.com/ArranqueDePasion on April 1, 2013 at midnight ET, "Arranque de Pasion, La Historia de Ela" is a co-production between Univision Studios and Kate del Castillo Productions, Inc., in association with NASCAR. To see del Castillo get the Auto Club 400 underway at Auto Club Speedway or to purchase tickets to race weekend call 800-944-RACE (7223), log on to www.autoclubspeedway.com or visit the Auto Club Speedway Ticket Office.(ACS)(3-20-2013)

  • Mark Burnett And Roma Downey Named Martinsville Co-Grand Marshals: Four-time Emmy Award-winning producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, who together co-produced the hit cable miniseries The Bible, will serve as Co-Grand Marshals for the STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 7. Burnett and Downey, who also stars in the miniseries as Mother Mary, will give the starting command, "Drivers start your engines," in addition to being introduced at the drivers' meeting and participating in pre-race ceremonies. "It is an incredible honor for us to host Mark and Roma. They are two exceptional talents who are known worldwide for their work," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "We are delighted and proud to be able to share a bit of our world with them for the STP Gas Booster 500." Tickets for the STP Gas Booster 500 on Sunday, April 7, the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, April 6 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-20-2013)

  • NASCAR promoter lobbies for tens of millions in tax breaks: International Speedway Corp. and NASCAR promoter just won an extension of a lucrative tax break from the federal government. The company says interest among its most avid fans is at a five-year high. And it has signed a new television deal with Fox Sports valued at more than $2.4 billion over eight years  a 36% jump over its current TV-rights deal. ISC is lobbying the state Legislature for a package of tax breaks that could save it close to $100 million during the next 30 years. ISC says the tax breaks would help persuade it to go forward with a sweeping renovation and expansion of Daytona International Speedway, home of the storied Daytona 500 and other racing events. The company's tentative plans call for everything from the installation of escalators, concourses and wider seats in the grandstand itself to a mixed-use commercial development just across the street. Adding pressure to get a deal done, ISC executives say the amount of money they ultimately decide to invest in the project is directly tied to whether the Legislature gives the company its tax breaks. "It's definitely going to affect whether or not it [the project] gets approved or at what size or scope," said Joie Chitwood III, an ISC vice president and the president of Daytona International Speedway. The legislation (HB 1049, SB 1394) was initially written by ISC lobbyists. It is being sponsored in the Legislature by a pair of Volusia County Republicans: Sen. Dorothy Hukill of Port Orange and Rep. David Santiago of Deltona.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-20-2013)


    News from March 19, 2013

  • Smith to run the #51 at Martinsville: Regan Smith will pilot the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway on April 7. AJ Allmendinger's two top-15 performances, at Phoenix and Bristol, helped solidify the team's early success this season. Allmendinger, who was originally tabbed to drive for team owner James Finch's Phoenix team at Martinsville, will make his IndyCar Series debut for Roger Penske at Barber Motorsports Park that weekend.(FoxSports), no word who will drive the #51 at Texas or Kansas. Ryan Truex is scheduled to run the #51 at Richmond in April and Dover in June.(3-19-2013)

  • Timmy Hill making 2013 debut in California: Timmy Hill will make his first 2013 series start on Sunday, March 24th, in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. He will pilot the FAS Lane Racing #32 OXYwater Ford Fusion. "I've had quick success with FAS Lane Racing in the three 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts," said Hill. "We all gelled right away last year and we are all optimistic on what the 2013 season will bring." Hill will be racing 18 to 20 races of the 36-race schedule in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, splitting seat time with veteran NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader and Terry Labonte. Hill is a Rookie of the Year contender. "We have our eye on that Rookie of the Year award, but the main thing is for me to continue to grow as a driver and we as a team continue to improve each week. If last year's starts I had with FAS Lane Racing and this year's team performance is any indication, we should have a very successful season."(Hill PR)(3-19-2013)

  • Auto Club Speedway Notes & Facts:
    • Groundbreaking for California Speedway, as Auto Club Speedway was originally known, took place in November 1995.
    • The first race at Auto Club Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West race won by Ken Schrader on June 21, 1997.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 22, 1997 and won by Jeff Gordon.
    • September 2004 was the first night race at Auto Club Speedway and that also was the first year both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series ran two races in a season there.
    • The track name was changed to Auto Club Speedway (ACS) in February 2008.
    • There have been 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Auto Club Speedway, the track hosted one NSCS race a season from 1997-2003, then two races per season from 2004-2010. In 2011 Auto Club Speedway returned to a single race season.
    • 125 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club; 105 in more than one.
    • Three drivers have participated in all 23 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte.
    • Joe Nemechek won the inaugural pole with a speed of 183.015 mph (39.341 secs.)
    • 15 drivers have poles at ACS, led by Kurt Busch with three.
    • Kurt Busch (2006) and Jamie McMurray (2010) are the only two drivers to win consecutive poles at Auto Club Speedway.
    • Youngest ACS pole winner: Kyle Busch (2/27/2005 - 19 years, 9 months, 25 days).
    • Oldest ACS pole winner: Mike Skinner (4/30/2000  42 years, 10 months, 2 days).
    • 14 different drivers have won at ACS, led by Jimmie Johnson (five). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Auto Club Speedway: Jeff Gordon and 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth each have three wins, Tony Stewart has two.
    • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Auto Club Speedway with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven.
    • California-native Jimmie Johnson became the first and only driver to win from the pole at Auto Club Speedway in 2008.
    • Only two ACS races have been won from the front row both by five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson, fall of 2008 (pole); and the fall of 2007 (second-place).
    • 12 of the 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Seven of the 23 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 31st, by Matt Kenseth in the spring of 2006.
    • Youngest ACS winner: Kyle Busch (09/04/2005 - 20 years, 4 months, 2 days).
    • Oldest ACS winner: Rusty Wallace (04/29/2001 - 44 years, 8 months, 15 days).
    See more notes and facts on the Auto Club Speedway race page.(NASCAR)(3-19-2013)

  • Stars of GI Joe to serve as Auto Club 400 Grand Marshals: Stars of the upcoming film G.I. Joe: Retaliation, D.J. Cotrona and Adrianne Palicki, will serve as Grand Marshals for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. As Grand Marshals, Cotrona and Palicki will give the command "Drivers, start your engines" to the 43-car field of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Southern California's premier motorsports facility. In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, set for release in theaters on March 28, Cotrona plays Flint, a beloved character of the G.I. Joe mythology and a solid and strong-willed soldier who has a bit of a rebellious streak. Palicki plays Lady Jaye, the only female in the squad and never one to back down or be intimidated.(ACS)(3-19-2013)

  • Adelitas Way performing in Auto Club Fanzone: Capitol Recording artist Adelitas Way, who's current single "Alive" is approaching Top 5 at Active Rock will headline Auto Club Speedway's FanZone main entertainment stage on Saturday, March 23 from Noon  1pm prior the Royal Purple 300 NNS race. In addition to seeing Adelitas Way perform live, fans will also have the opportunity to take part in all the fun in the FanZone surrounding race morning. The rockers will perform hits from both their self titled debut album as well as their sophomore CD Home School Valedictorian which includes the hit songs "Sick" and "Criticize" - both number one singles on the active rock chart. In keeping with their all-for-one-and-one-for-all outlook, Adelitas Way won't leave a gig until every waiting AW fan has met the band or gotten autographs. "I mean, we've played at festivals for 75,000 people, our first single ("Invincible") broke top five at active rock, and it's all because of the people who listen to us," says DeJesus. "We'll never forget that. We're blessed."(ACS)(3-19-2013)


    News from March 18, 2013

  • Entry List for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #19-Mike Bliss, #30-David Stremme, #32-Timmy Hill, #44-Scott Riggs, #55-Mark Martin.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Auto Club Entry List

  • Overnight Bristol TV Ratings: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on FOX averaged a 4.3/10 among the metered markets Sunday [March 17, 2013] afternoon for the Food City 500 from Bristol, TN. That's up +8% over last year's 4.0/10 for the same race and marks the third out of fourth time that a NASCAR race on FOX posted a year-to-year increase. While yesterday's race was edged out by the NCAA Selection show on CBS (4.4/10) among the metered markets, projections are that the NASCAR Race on FOX will once again be the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend when final national ratings are released Thursday. Through four races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 6.0/13 among the metered markets, up +13% over last year's 5.3/11. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(3-18-2013)

  • Some charges against Mayfield dropped: Jeremy Mayfield's quest to race in NASCAR again has taken a positive turn as 10 felony burglary-related charges were dropped in Iredell County because the primary witness against him died in a motorcycle accident last year. Mayfield, suspended by NASCAR in May 2009 for a failed drug test, still faces nine felony charges in two other North Carolina counties. Some of the Iredell County charges  stemming from alleged burglaries at Red Bull Racing and Fitz Motorsports  were dropped in November and the final one was dropped March 6, according to the court file. The dismissal sheets state that there is insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution because "co-defendant/primary witness against defendant is deceased" and "witness who can establish property was stolen from alleged victim is deceased." The co-defendant in the case is John Kavann Franklin, who died following an aborted police chase on Sept. 16. Mayfield and Franklin were indicted April 2, 2012 on charges in Iredell County. Mayfield also was charged in those cases in Catawba County, N.C., because that is where he allegedly had the possession of the stolen goods. He faces three possession of stolen goods charges, one charge of obtaining property under false pretense and one methamphetamine possession charge in Catawba, while he faces four larceny charges  for stolen goods unrelated to the race-team property  in Caldwell County. Those two counties share a prosecutor's office. Mayfield's next court date is April 1 in Catawba County court. Mayfield has been discussing a possible plea deal the last few months but there has been no resolution and Mayfield has vowed not to make any plea that results in jail time.(Sporting News)(3-18-2013)

  • War of words between Logano, Hamlin: #22-Joey Logano was tired of getting pushed around by his former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. So after Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, in which #11-Denny Hamlin spun him out with about 150 laps remaining, Logano decided to let him know it. But as Logano leaned into the window of Hamlin's #11 Toyota, a shoving match broke out between the crews of both teams. Logano quickly was restrained and retreated to his Penske Racing hauler. "We've got a freaking genius behind the wheel of the 11," Logano said. "Probably the worst teammate I ever had, so I learned that now. He chose to run into the back of me. Whatever. I have a scorecard and I'm not putting up with that. What goes around come around." Asked what Logano said to him at the car, Hamlin said, "He said he was coming for me. I usually don't see him, so it's usually not a factor." NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said no penalties were expected for either driver or team.
    The feud continued on Twitter after the race with Logano writing, "Hey @dennyhamlin great job protecting that genius brain of yours by keeping your helmet on."
    Hamlin answered: "Why's that ... What would u do?"(ESPN)(3-18-2013)

  • Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Food City 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 12:56 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:07 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 107
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 101
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 55
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 6
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 7
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 2
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 32
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 45 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 12:56 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:07 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 191
    Minutes of race broadcast: 138
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 53
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 4
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown):
    Total race brdcst time 138 Total comm. brdcst time 53
    See past races, links and more on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(3-18-2013)

  • Lack of sponsorship forces Shepherd to scale back: According to a post on #89-Morgan Shepherd's Facebook page, "Just going to let everyone know that I do not know if or when we will be attending another race event in 2013 due to non-funding. We have given all the efforts every way we could just can not go any longer. Sorry to disappoint. We have and are always looking for sponsors."(3-17-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 42 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway. A few notes:
    Daryl Harr is driving an #07 Chevy with a listed owner of Kertus Davis;
    Juan Carlos Blum returns to the #15;
    The #23 Chevy is TBA;
    Dakota Armstrong will make his debut in the #33 RCR Chevy;
    Paulie Harraka will be in the #79 for GoGreen Racing;
    Kevin Swindell and the #98 team will attempt their second race of the season.(3-18-2013)
    See the complete list on the Auto Club entry list page.

  • SEM Products joins Pauludo for Martinsville: Turner Scott Motorsports announced today that SEM Products, Inc. will sponsor the #32 Chevy driven by Miguel Paludo in the April Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. SEM Products, which has been a partner of TSM for several seasons, provides adhesives, sealers and paint products to the organization's three full-time NCWTS and Nationwide Series teams. SEM Products is a leading manufacturer of innovative paint, adhesive and coating products. The company, which was founded in 1948, manufacturers a wide array of automotive products including repair materials such as adhesives, fillers and sealers; flexible coatings; color horizons; rust and corrosion prevention and treatment; trim paint and truck bed liners.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR), See an image on the #32 Paint Scheme page.(3-18-2013)


    News from March 17, 2013

  • Kahne wins at Bristol: #5-Kasey Kahne won the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 1st win at Bristol and 15th career win. Pole sitter #18-Busch finished second followed by #2-Keselowski, #78-Busch, #15-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #39-Newman, #55-Vickers, #27Menard, and #1-McMurray.
    #48-Johnson, who started the race as the points leader, blew a tire late and hit the wall. He finished 22nd.
    There were 17 lead changes among 10 drivers and 10 cautions for 66 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 92.206mph. Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Las Vegas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Bristol Penalty Report (pdf).

  • Race Fast Facts - Bristol:
    Kasey Kahne won the 53rd Annual Food City 500, his 15th victory in 328 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his first victory and eighth top-10 finish in 19 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Busch (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 17 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2013.
    Brad Keselowski (third) posted his third top-10 finish in seven races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Brad Keselowski leads the point standings by 9 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    This is Kahne's second short-track victory. He won previously at Richmond in 2005.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(3-17-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Bristol, race 4 of 36]
    1) #2-Brad Keselowski, 166
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 157, -9
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 151, -15
    4) #15-Clint Bowyer, 128, -38
    5) #16-Greg Biffle, 126, -40
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 125, -41
    7) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 124, -42
    8) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 124, -42
    9) #27-Paul Menard, 118, -48
    10) #18-Kyle Busch, 115, -51
    11) #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 115, -51
    12) #22-Joey Logano, 104, -62
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 13th in points
    #29-Kevin Harvick, 17th
    #56-Martin Truex Jr., 18th
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 21st
    #14-Tony Stewart, 24th
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • Carl Long's fine still hanging over his head: #11-Denny Hamlin's recent refusal to pay his $25,000 fine has reawakened the plight of Carl Long, a driver who lacks the financial resources to settle his debt with NASCAR. Long's career as a Sprint Cup Series driver essentially ended when his team was penalized for having an illegal engine at the 2009 All-Star race. Long's crew chief was fined $200,000, an amount he was unable to pay. Under NASCAR rules, the fine was reverted to the car owner, which was Long's wife, DeeDee. Unable to drive until the fine is paid, Long was still able to work in the Sprint Cup Series garage because his wife was technically responsible for settling the debt. But last year, Long said NASCAR transferred the fine to his name and he's no longer allowed inside the Cup garage. "Last year at Daytona, they issued me as the driver the fine, and I couldn't pay $200,000, so I was escorted out of the Cup garage," Long said at Bristol Motor Speedway. "NASCAR basically let me know that anybody on the crew roster could be held responsible for the fine, all the way down to the tire guy. Anybody on the crew roster, they can leverage the fine against him, no matter who. Actually, no matter what, if you are signed in on a crew roster, you are hanging by a thread." Long is allowed to work in NASCAR in any other series, and he's currently a jack of all trades for Rick Ware Racing in the Nationwide Series. He's also a part-time Nationwide driver, and has made 37 starts since the All-Star race incident. But he said he's clearing just over $35,000 a year after paying all his expenses, which means he'll likely never be back in a Sprint Cup car because he lacks the means to clear his debt with NASCAR.(Associated Press)(3-17-2013)

  • Cody Karey to perform National Anthem for Auto Club Nationwide race: Verve Music recording artist Cody Karey will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the Royal Purple 300 NNS race at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 23. The 22-year-old tenor was discovered in 2006 while participating in a Talent Search contest by 16-time Grammy Award winning producer David Foster, he was then invited to several prestigious events which eventually lead to a recording contract. While preparing for his album, Karey has traveled across North America, enthralling audiences with his breath-taking vocals and commanding stage presence. Karey is set to release his self-titled debut release on Verve Records this summer.(ACS)(3-17-2013)

  • Stewart To Appear in Martinsville Fan Zone: Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart will appear in the Martinsville Speedway Fan Zone the morning of the STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Stewart, the 2002, 2005 and 2011 Sprint Cup champion, has three Martinsville Speedway victories. He last won here in the fall of 2011, a victory that helped him capture the Sprint Cup title that year. Stewart will participate in an emceed question and answer session. Tickets for the Martinsville Speedway Fan Zone presented by Pepsi Max are $99 and include: Hot buffet featuring breakfast and lunch items; Four beverage coupons for Pepsi products and wine and beer (patrons 21 and older); Pre-race Track Pass from 9:15-11:45am/et.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-17-2013)


    News from March 16, 2013

  • Final practice at Bristol Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #18-Busch 124.824
    #5-Kahne 124.638
    #38-Gilliland 124.638
    #20-Kenseth 124.622
    #11-Hamlin 124.605
    slowest: #98-McDowell 121.336 & #87-Nemechek 121.052. No speed: #34-Ragan.
    #34-Ragan's team will change the engine on his car. He will start in the back tomorrow.
    See fastest laps, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Bristol Practice 3 Speeds page (pdf).(3-16-2013)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #18-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #5-Kahne took pit stall 23, the last pitstall on the backstretch.
    #11-Hamlin, who starts 3rd took the 22nd pit stall, the last stall on the frontstretch.
    The 43rd and final pit stall (the first pistall on the backstretch) was taken by #55-Vickers, who starts 4th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-16-2013)

  • First Saturday practice at Bristol Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #18-Busch 125.831
    #20-Kenseth 125.749
    #11-Hamlin 125.658
    #31-Burton 125.601
    #5-Kahne 125.584
    slowest: #32-Labonte 121.290 & #33-Cassill 119.084
    notes: #1-McMurray's team forgot to put the pins in the hood of his car and the hood flew up whie he was practicing. The team repaired it.
    See fastest laps, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Bristol Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(3-16-2013)

  • Danica not interested in F1: Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, #10-Danica Patrick addresses recent comments by Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone that he would like her to run F1:
    DID YOU SEE BERNIE ECCLESTONE'S COMMENTS YESTERDAY? "Yes I did see something about Bernie's comments and they sounded complimentary. It looked like he was kind of acknowledging my ability to drive a car. So that was kind."
    ANY THOUGHTS? WOULD YOU EVER WANT TO TRY IT (FORMULA ONE RACING)? "I've always said that unless that it would be something I would want to do for real, as in race a Formula One car, I don't see any point in testing it. It is a lot or work to get fitted in the car comfortable enough to go drive it. Then as a driver, for me at least, I run the risk of what if it doesn't go well, and then people judge me for that. So, unless it was something that I was really serious, I wouldn't do it. I will say that Bernie over the years has actually sent a lot of messages. Any kind of big high point that happens in my career, whether it be at Indy, or Daytona now, or winning in Japan  things like that, he has sent messages. He even sent me like a big picture one time that was signed by him. He's actually been really nice. I don't necessarily think that his comments a long while back are representative of his opinion of me."(Chevy PR)(3-16-2013)

  • West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Class Announced: Three NASCAR Champions, a Daytona 500 winner and the former owner and developer of one of the nation's premier racing facilities will comprise the 2013 Class of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. The newest inductees were named March 3 at Phoenix International Raceway prior to the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500. Their enshrinement will bring the Hall's total membership to 118. The newest inductees are: Derrike Cope, Winner of the 1990 Daytona 500; Ron Hornaday Jr., Four-Time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion; Buddy Jobe, Former Owner and Developer of Phoenix International Raceway; Chad Little, 1987 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion; Randy Lynch, 2007 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Car Owner Champion. Induction ceremonies will be held Thursday, June 20, at the Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa, Calif. in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Sonoma Raceway.(PR)(3-16-2013)

  • Edwards, Gossage on VH1 SATURDAY: Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage and #99-Carl Edwards will be part of the Emmy Award-nominated "Behind The Music Remastered" series featuring Foreigner that will debut 9:00pm/et Saturday on VH-1 Classic and pay tribute to one of the most successful rock-n-roll bands of its era. Gossage and Edwards will reminisce about their favorite memories of the band as well as their interaction with the group in recent years as Foreigner as become immersed in NASCAR. Foreigner was introduced to the NASCAR industry in 2009 when the group served as the pre-race entertainment headliner for the annual Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Now Foreigner has appeared at more NASCAR-related events than any other top Classic Rock band, including a return appearance to Texas Motor Speedway for the spring race last season. It also was the time when VH-1 sat down and interviewed Edwards and Gossage.(TMS)(3-16-2013)

  • Busch wins at Bristol: #54-Kyle Busch won the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, his 5th a Bristol, and 53rd of his career. He held off a hard charging #32-Kyle Larson by .023 second. It was the second closest margin of victory in a Nationwide race at Bristol. #20-Brian Vickers finished third followed by #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #33-Kevin Harvick, #7-Regan Smith, #16-Chris Buescher, #77-Parker Kligerman, #31-Justin Allgaier, and #2-Brian Scott. There were 8 cautions for 54 laps and 5 lead changes among 5 leaders. Complete results are on the Bristol race results page (pdf).(3-16-2013)

  • Bristol Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the 31st Annual Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300, his 53rd victory in 248 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his second victory and third top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his fifth victory and 14th top-10 finish in 18 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Larson (second) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
    Brian Vickers (third) posted his third top-10 finish in seven races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Larson (second) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Sam Hornish Jr. leads the point standings by 22 points over Justin Allgaier.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(3-16-2013)

  • Driver standings following Bristol:
    1) #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. 167
    2) #31-Justin Allgaier 145 -22
    3) #2-Brian Scott 142 -25
    4) #7-Regan Smith 141 -26
    5) #20-Brian Vickers 137 -30
    6) #3-Austin Dillon 133 -34
    7) #6-Trevor Bayne 128 -39
    8) #99-Alex Bowman # 120 -47
    9) #32-Kyle Larson # 118 -49
    10) #11-Elliott Sadler 116 -5
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(3-16-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Bristol are posted (pdf).(3-16-2013)

  • Allgaier on pole at Bristol: #31-Justin Allgaier won the Coors Light Pole for the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 124.759mph. #3-Austin Dillon will start second. The rest of the top 10: #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #7-Regan Smith, #11-Elliott Sadler, #22-Brad Keselowski, #33-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brian Scott, #19-Mike Bliss, and #6-Trevor Bayne. Did Not Qualify: #4-Danny Efland, #89-Morgan Shepherd. #52-Joey Gase withdrew after Friday's accident. The starting lineup is posted on the Bristol starting lineup page (pdf).(3-16-2013)

  • Sara Evans performing Texas pre-race concert: Country music star Sara Evans, who has gained popularity with five No. 1 singles on the country charts, will headline the Great American Pre-Race Spectacular at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 13 prior to the NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Sup Series race. Evans, whose latest album, "Stronger" debuted at No. 1 atop the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, will take the stage on the frontstretch at 4:30pm/ct and perform an hour-long concert that will lead into the NRA 500, which is set for 6:30pm/ct. Fans can get up to all the entertainment of the Great American Pre-Race Spectacular with Sara Evans with a special $79 "mosh pit" ticket. The special ticket, which must be accompanied by an NRA 500 grandstand ticket, provides fans exclusive access stage-side for all the pre-race festivities leading up to the NRA 500, including the concert and driver introductions.(TMS)(3-16-2013)

  • Construction on additional pit road suites begins at Charlotte: Construction is underway on six additional pit road suites at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Crews have begun pouring the concrete pylons which will support the new structure along pit road. The suites are 11 feet above pit road and are as close as fans can get to the action, overlooking the race team pit boxes. The original suites, built in 2012, were sold out prior to last year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The open-air, covered seating areas can accommodate up to 15 people and include exclusive access to the Winner's Circle Lounge located adjacent to Victory Circle. The lounge includes a bar, meeting room, seating areas, televisions and restrooms. The new suites will be added on to the existing structure toward the Turn 1 end of pit road. Suite holders receive 15 tickets to each of eight NASCAR events and have the option to purchase catering for the suite.(CMS)(3-16-2013)


    News from March 15, 2013

  • Kyle Busch wins Bristol pole: #18-Kyle Busch won the pole for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway with speed of 129.535mph for his 1st pole of 2013, his 1st at Bristol, and 11th of his career.The pole speed is a new track record, breaking the old record set by Ryan Neman in March 2003. The top 3 drivers broke the old record. #5-Kahne will start 2nd, followed by #11-Hamlin, #55-Vickers, #27-Menard, #1-McMurray. #2-Keselowski, #14-Stewart, #56-Truex, Jr., and #22-Logano. Missing the race was: #44-Riggs.
    See the starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying results, qualifying order, qualifying rules on the Bristol Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(3-15-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Bristol:
    Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 53rd Annual Food City 500 with a track record qualifying lap of 14.813 seconds, 129.535 mph.
    This is his 11th pole in 297 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his first pole in 17 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. He has five wins at the track.
    Kasey Kahne (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2013 and his 10th in 19 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. His qualifying speed of 128.995 mph was also above the previous track qualifying record set by Ryan Newman in 2003.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his third in four races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(3-15-2013)

    Hamlin discusses dropping appeal of fine: From #11-Denny Hamlin's Friday media availability:
    How do you feel about having this incident concluded?
    "The biggest thing is I think that we won in the judge of the people and their opinion I think some of the peers of mine -- at least the ones that have a backbone had the nerve to stick up for what they know is right and wrong -- agreed. But what was the point in going another week or so. We've got bigger fish to fry than to argue over what I said just for $25,000 and it's better just to move on and let NASCAR get its credibility back and they're going to do that and I'm going to move on and just focus on a championship."
    Is this something that Joe Gibbs helped to mediate?
    "No, (Joe) Gibbs (team owner, Joe Gibbs Racing) really supported -- whatever I wanted to do, he was fine with it. Ultimately, I had some conversations with Brian France (NASCAR CEO) and we had a lot of the same ideas. And I think that in hindsight I really believe they (NASCAR) overreacted and I believe that they think they overreacted once they thought about it a little bit, but now we're at a point that we're good with each other and we're just going to move on from here."
    Did you drop the appeal once you knew they wouldn't suspend you?
    "I was prepared either way, honestly. They (NASCAR) are ultimately not going to want to suspend -- that would be their last resort. I was prepared to do it and I let my sponsors and everyone know that it's a possibility, so everyone was behind me to do whatever I wanted to do. But, ultimately after talking with NASCAR and (Joe) Gibbs (team owner, Joe Gibbs Racing) and everyone and really thinking about it more, it just needed to end."
    Did your conversation with Brian France end with you feeling you could talk to him?
    "That was the biggest complaint I had was that if I was Jeff Gordon, Tony (Stewart), Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. or any Hendrick (Motorsports) driver -- let's just say that -- they would have had a conversation with me before. Just to slap the fine on me and not tell me anything is what really, really bugged me a lot. That felt like I had not earned my place in this sport and I've grinded it out here for eight years and I really feel like I've done what it takes to earn the respect of both my peers and NASCAR and I felt like if I had been somebody else the outcome may have been different."(Toyota PR)(3-15-2013)

  • Friday practice at Bristol Motor Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #2-Keselowski 129.047
    #20-Kenseth 128.908
    #18-Busch 128.900
    #15-Bowyer 128.417
    #11-Hamlin 128.331
    slowest: #35-Wise 123.642 & #47-Labonte 123.000.
    #18-Busch hit the splitter coming off turn 2 and slid up into #38-Gilliand and spun, but did no damage.
    #17-Stenhouse, Jr. lost an engine. He will have to start in the back on Sunday.
    See fastest laps, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Bristol Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(3-15-2013)

  • Qualifying Order for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #19-Bliss.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #13-Mears.
    Fastest in Friday practice, #2-Keselowski, is scheduled to qualify 10th.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Bristol Qualifying Page.(3-15-2013)

  • Tradebank joins Mears as associate sponsor at Bristol: In Sunday's race, Tradebank will be featured as an associate sponsor on the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion at Bristol Motor Speedway. Tradebank's barter network helps business owners use barter to maximize the return on their products and services. Since 1987, Tradebank has been the strategic business partner for companies of all sizes and in virtually all industries attract new customers and conserve cash.(Germain Racing)(3-15-2013)

  • MaddiesPlaceRocks.com returns as Nemechek's sponsor at Bristol: NEMCO-JRR Racing is doubling down after the Las Vegas race weekend and so is their primary partner. MaddiesPlaceRocks.com will be the primary partner on both the #87 Toyota for the NNS race this Saturday and on the #87 Toyota in the NSCS race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Both #87 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Toyota's will be driven by "Front Row" Joe Nemechek over this St. Patrick's Day race weekend in Bristol.(NEMCO-JRR)(3-15-2013)

  • Kellogg's on the #99: Kellogg's will run the Frosted Flakes paint scheme on the #99 to kick off the first of four races in the Kellogg's Ford Fusion this season. Kellogg's will return again for Pocono, Watkins Glen and the fall Richmond races.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #99 team paint shcemes page.(3-15-2013)

  • Earnhardt Jr., Kahne and Stewart to guest on The Cleveland Show UPDATE: NASCAR stars #88-Dale Earnhart Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne and #14-Tony Stewart will guest-voice on Fox's The Cleveland Show next season. In the episode, Cleveland (voiced Mike Henry) convinces Donna (voiced Sanaa Lathan) to lighten up and have a few drinks when she takes her run for local office way too seriously. "Unfortunately, they party way too hard - and wake up on the infield of a NASCAR track. It's up to guest stars Earnhardt, Jr., Stewart and Kahne to race Donna and Cleveland home," executive producer Rich Appel says.(TV Guide)(4-27-2012)
    UPDATE: are scheduled to be voicing their characters' roles on Fox is scheduled to air "The Cleveland Show" on Sunday, March 17th at 7:30 pm/et in which NASCAR drivers #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne and #14-Tony Stewart are featured.(Charlotte Observer)(3-15-2013)

  • Kevin Harvick fastest in happy hour: #33-Kevin Harvick was quickest during happy hour for the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 with a speed of 123.889mph. He was followed by: #31- Justin Allgaier, #6-Trevor Bayne, #12-Sam Hornish, #33-Brad Keselowski, #7-Regan Smith, #99-Alex Bowman, #77-Parker Kligerman, #32-Kyle Larson, and #2-Brian Scott. 41 drivers participated in the session. #70-Brad Teague, #5-Brad Sweet, #52-Joey Gase, and #33-Kevin Harvick were involved in an accident. The #5 of Sweet and #52 of Gase suffered the most damage. Gase does not have a backup. See complete results on the Bristol practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(3-15-2013)

  • Austin Dillon fastest in first practice: #3 Austin Dillon was fastest during opening practice at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 124.186mph. #99-Alex Bowman was second, followed by: #7-Regan Smith, #22-Brad Keselowski, #54-Kyle Busch, #30-Nelson Piquet, #6-Trevor Bayne, #31-Justin Allgaier, #33-Kevin Harvick, #20-Brian Vickers. 42 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Bristol practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(3-15-2013)

  • Graham Rahal wants to drive at Mid-Ohio: It's a big year for Graham Rahal, who for the first time in his career will be the top driver on his team. As the IndyCar driver embarks on his first season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Rahal is also looking to fill his schedule with at least one NASCAR race. Rahal wants to run the inaugural Nationwide Series race at hometown track Mid-Ohio and has been actively searching for a ride. "I want to do it really bad," he said this week. "I'd like to do more, actually, just because I think it would be fun. But Mid-Ohio is the one I'm really trying to make happen and trying to find an opportunity." The road course in Lexington, Ohio, is roughly an hour away from Rahal's hometown of Columbus and the race falls on an open date in the IndyCar schedule. It makes Mid-Ohio a natural fit for the potential NASCAR debut for the 24-year-old Rahal, who stressed he is not trying to change series. He's just exploring. "Finding a way to do Mid-Ohio is the priority right now, but I'd love to do an oval at some point," Rahal said. "I was watching the race at Las Vegas this weekend and was thinking someday I'd like to try it - not because I want a career change, but because one-offs would be fun. Our schedule certainly has the time."(Associated Press)(3-15-2013)

  • Martel plans truck races: Kyle Martel of Bill Martel Racing is looking forward to the 2013 Camping World Truck and ARCA Series schedule. The crew is ready to burn the midnight oil at the Myerstown shop and do whatever it takes to compete. As of March, BMR is planning to compete in the Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 at the Dover International Speedway in May, and the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway in August. Patriot Energy Group has signed on as sponsor for the team for the Dover event. Last season Martel ran his first truck race at Pocono, where he finished 21st.(Bill Martel Racing PR)(3-15-2013)

  • Jones joins KBM roster: Already boasting three talented young drivers in its stable, Kyle Busch Motorsports announced the addition of a fourth today, with the signing of 16-year-old Erik Jones. The 2013 Snowball Derby winner will make his Camping World Truck Series debut driving the #51 Tundra in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway April 6 as part of a five-race schedule for KBM this season. Last March, Jones became the first 15-year-old driver ever to compete in the ARCA Racing Series, making his debut at the Mobile ARCA 200. Across 10 ARCA Racing Series starts in 2012, he posted four top-five and five top-10 finishes while leading 103 laps. The talented youngster qualified inside the top 10 for all 10 races and twice posted third-place finishes, June 24 at Winchester Speedway and Aug. 11 at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. The Michigan native made a name for himself last December when he raced side-by-side for several laps and eventually worked his way past KBM owner Kyle Busch in the closing laps to win the 45th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. The victory came in a race widely recognized as the most prestigious late model event in the country, with a field which included NASCAR regulars Busch, David Ragan and Johanna Long along with up-and-coming second-generation drivers Chase Elliott, Ross Kenseth and John Hunter Nemecheck.A rule change announced at the end of the 2011 season, allows 16 and 17-year-old drivers to compete in Camping World Truck Series events on tracks that are 1.1-mile or less. In addition to his debut at Martinsville, Jones will drive the #51 Tundra at Rockingham Speedway April 14, both Iowa Speedway races (July 13 and Sept. 8) and one more race yet to be determined.(SPEED)(3-15-2013)

  • Four drivers test Rockingham: It is a month until the Camping World Truck Series makes its way back to Rockingham Speedway for the second installment of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Rock.This doesn't mean it is all quiet on U.S. Highway 1. NCWTS drivers Max Gresham, Ron Hornaday, Justin Lofton and Brennan Newberry hit the track at Rockingham Speedway Thursday to prepare for the April's return. Even though the temperature is 20 to 30 degrees colder than what the drivers and their crews will expect in April, they believe the testing will help them during the race weekend. Gresham competed in last season's race, finishing 18th after qualifying in the 15th position. He said the key to having a successful run at "The Rock" is learning the track's nuances. Newberry used Thursday's time to continue to get acclimated to his new crew chief and team after NTS Motorsports and Joe Dennette Motorsports merged in the offseason. Lofton was in attendance during the practice session to assist Gresham.(Richmond County Daily Journal)(3-15-2013)

  • Three bands to perform at Rockingham:When Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg started making plans for April 14th's Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine, he was consumed with one thought. To that end, the City of Rockingham and the speedway have brought in three bands instead of one to perform at the track on Saturday, April 13. Kernersville, N.C.-based Chris Lane Band will take the stage at 6 p.m. following the UARA and Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals races. Ty Brown will follow at approximately 7:40 p.m. Headliner Hoss Howard Band will perform at approximately 9:15 p.m. Admission is free to anyone holding a ticket for Saturday or Sunday's races.(Rockingham Speedway PR)(3-15-2013)

  • Bristol mascots making debut this weekend: Bump and Run, brother and sister raccoons, debut as the official mascots of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway prior to this weekend's Food City 500 festivities. Residents of BMS/BD property since the summer of 2011, today is the first time the pair makes an appearance as official representatives of the Speedway at Food City Race Night in Knoxville, Tenn. They are offspring of two other inhabitants of the property affectionately named Thunder and Valley by BMS/BD personnel. The state wild animal of Tennessee since 1971, the raccoons are a fitting symbol for a facility located in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee. Guests are encouraged to look for them, say hello and have their picture taken with Bump and Run.(BMS)(3-15-2013)

  • Mario Lopez named honorary starter at Martinsville: Mario Lopez is best known for his on screen roles. There's A.C. Slater from "Saved By The Bell" back in the 1980s, his stint on "Dancing With The Stars" and his current role as a host of the television entertainment show "Extra." Here are a couple of little-known facts, though: he's a car guy and he loves NASCAR. And those are the big reasons that Lopez will be the Honorary Starter for the STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 7. Although he has a love of cars instilled by his father, it wasn't until his first trip to a NASCAR event several years ago as a guest of a track did he begin to appreciate the sport, its athletes and fans. His day will begin with a pace car ride, continue with a pit tour, private time with drivers, attendance at the drivers' meeting, introduction to the crowd in prerace and finally, waving the green flag to start the race.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-15-2013)

  • Daymond John named honorary started for Auto Club Nationwide race: Daymond John, President, CEO and Founder of FUBU and Shark on ABC's Emmy nominated hit reality show Shark Tank, will serve as Honorary Starter for the Royal Purple 300 NNS race at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 23. As Honorary Starter, John will wave the green flag to get the Royal Purple 300 underway. The event will be televised at 5:00pm/et on ESPN. Through FUBU"For Us, By Us" FUBU, Daymond John revolutionized the sportswear industry in the 1990s with a distinctive line of fashionable attire that transcended the underserved urban market and became wildly popular in the mainstream teen market. John has since gone on to own and operate several other lines including Crown Holder, Kappa USA, Coogi, and Heatherette. In addition, John established Shark Branding that specializes in brand strategies, brand development, licensing, artist relations, and marketing. John has appeared on Shark Tank since the show launched in 2009.(ACS) (3-15-2013)


    News from March 14, 2013

  • Hamlin drops appeal of fine: #11-Denny Hamlin tweeted Thursday afternoon, "After a lot of thought I have decided not to appeal the fine NASCAR has issued. Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next 2 weeks would not be good for anyone. I firmly believe I am in the right on this issue and will stand behind my decision not to pay. I understand NASCAR will do what they feel is necessary based on my decision. Thanks to all of my fans and peers who have supported me in this decision. I look forward to putting it to rest."
    AND NASCAR announced today that the $25,000 fine assessed to driver Denny Hamlin on March 7 will be settled per Section 12-3 of the 2013 NASCAR rule book after being informed by Hamlin that he will not appeal the penalty. Hamlin was fined after the sanctioning body determined he had violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing). NASCAR considers this matter closed.(NASCAR)
    AND Section 12-3 of the NASCAR rule book allows NASCAR to collect fines from the driver points fund and/or race purse winnings.(3-14-2013)

  • Hendrick Motorsports still most valuable team according to Forbes: Hendrick Motorsports is NASCAR's most valuable team with a value of $357 million, up 2%. Hendrick is worth twice as much as second-ranked Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick is the only four car Sprint Cup team left and brings in $125 million in sponsor revenue a year. Lowe's extended its deal last month through 2015 as the primary sponsor of Jimmie Johnson's #48 car. Earnhardt Ganassi (ranked #8 with a value of $72 million) announced it would switch engine suppliers from Earnhardt Childress Racing to Hendrick starting in 2013. This will add to Hendrick's coffers, which are already full as NASCAR's most profitable team with an estimated operating income of $16.6 million in 2012.
    Gibbs, worth $168 million, leapfrogs Roush Fenway Racing. Gibbs got a huge boost in 2013 with the addition of 2003 Sprint Cup champ Matt Kenseth, who replaced Joey Logano in the #20 car. Gibbs has been one of the most consistent teams when it comes to selling sponsorships with all paint schemes sold ahead of the season start in 2012 and 2013. JGR signed a 30-race renewal with FedEx last year on the #11 car.
    The value of Roush is down 10% to $166 million. The team has struggled to sell sponsorships in recent years and lost Kenseth to Gibbs. Richard Childress Racing ranks No. 4 with a value of $139 million, down 6%. Childress is at a crossroad as it prepares to lose its top driver, Kevin Harvick, who signed a deal to race for Stewart-Haas Racing starting in 2014. Still to be determined is if long-time sponsor, Budweiser, will follow Harvick out the door.
    The value of Stewart-Haas is up 14% to $123 million and ranks fifth. Tony Stewart and Gene Haas are building one of the top teams in NASCAR.
    NASCAR's top nine teams are worth $143 million on average, up 1% over last year. Each of these teams are profitable by our count (some just barely) with team's cutting budgets in cases where sponsor shortfalls arise. Earnings are down 10% overall compared to 2011.(see more details and the complete list at Forbes)(3-14-2013)

  • Forbes names highest paid drivers: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the highest-paid driver in the sport for the fifth straight year with total earnings of $25.9 million in 2012 by our [Forbes] count. We estimate that Earnhardt earned $12.9 million in combined salary and his share of prize money, which is split with Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt signed a contract extension with Hendrick in 2011 that will keep him part of NASCAR's most valuable team through at least 2017. But what really separates Earnhardt from the rest of NASCAR's top drivers is his off-the-track earnings, which were $13 million last year. While Earnhardt's licensing income is down like all drivers (some as much as 80%), he still generated the most licensing dollars in the sport last year.
    Another Hendrick driver, #48-Jimmie Johnson, ranks #2 with earnings of $23 million. In fact, all four Hendrick drivers are among the 10 highest paid with Jeff Gordon #4 ($18 million) and Kasey Kahne at #9 ($12 million). Johnson barely missed his sixth Sprint Cup title in 2012, but it was still a banner year on the track, as he earned a NASCAR-high $8.1 million in race winnings for the #48 car. His "Special Awards" and Sprint Cup bonuses added another $2.3 million.
    #10-Danica Patrick, ranks #7 with earnings of $12.9 million in 2012. Her merchandise was NASCAR's ninth best seller in 2012, according to Fanatics.com, one of the largest online retailers of officially licensed sports merchandise. But that ranking will jump this year, as she only raced in 10 Sprint Cup races last year and will be running a full-time Sprint Cup schedule in 2013 for the first time.(see more details and the complete list at Forbes)(3-14-2013)

  • #98 team still searching for sponsorship: Interviewed by Frontstretch, #98-Michael McDowell discussed the team's sponsorship status:
    Bowles: You guys announced a sponsor for Vegas, but it appeared you pulled it in early. Where are you at in terms of races you'll run the distance?
    McDowell: It is week by week. We have one more race for Curb, we have one more race for K-LOVE. We're working on lots of deals, but really right now we have two more races and that's it. Sponsorship is key to whether or not we're able to run, and run competitively. Like I said, we're constantly working on it. It's not something where we're sitting back and waiting for a deal to show up. We're having meetings every week with potential sponsors and it's just a hard sell right now. It's hard to get things rolling. So, we'll see what happens, but the goal for us, like in years past, is stay around, stay relevant and when things start to move and shake, we'll be in a good position.(Frontstretch)(3-14-2013)

  • 200 starts for Reutimann: #83-David Reutimann, a two-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will make his 200th series start on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Reutimann made his series debut at Charlotte Motor Speeday in October 2005. He drove the #00 State Fair Corn Dogs Chevy for Michael Waltrip.(3-14-2013)

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

  • Bristol Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Bristol this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams ran at Bristol last August . . . this right-side tire code (D-4526) was also run by Cup teams at Bristol last March, and by Nationwide teams at both race weekends at the track in 2012 . . . this left-side tire code (D-4416) has been run by teams in both of these series at Richmond for the past two seasons . . . as a reminder, since the track surface at Bristol was modified after this race weekend last March, Goodyear held a tire test at the track on June 12-13, 2012 . . . drivers participating in that test were Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Tony Stewart . . . unlike on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, on which teams generally do not run inner liners in their tires, teams are required to run liners in their right-side tires only at Bristol . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear). See full notes, tire limits, pressures, codes on the Bristol Race Info page - Goodyear section.(3-14-2013)

  • Harmon gets Bristol sponsor: Mike Harmon & Dave Novak Racing announce that JD Squared is the primary sponsor for the #74 NNS car in this week's Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips "300". Mike is locked into the field after having qualified for the first 3 races. JD Squared is a small family run business that has been around for over 30 years. They manufacture tube vending and notching products geared at the racing industry.(Mike Harmon Racing)(3-14-2013)

  • Annett hopes to return by Talladega: The blunt force of the head-on impact knocked the wind out of him, but that wasn't anything Michael Annett hadn't experienced before. His steering wheel wasn't bent, his belts weren't broken, his helmet didn't have a mark on it. It wasn't until he climbed out of the car, walked to the ambulance and unzipped his firesuit that he realized something was wrong. "Honestly, it felt like there was a golf ball right in the middle of my sternum," the Richard Petty Motorsports driver said Wednesday. "I knew right away -- my sternum's snapped." Although it would take a few more days to diagnose, that would indeed prove the case -- Annett's sternum had been fractured and dislocated by the force of his accident in the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona International Speedway, an injury that would require surgery and a recovery period as long as two months. In the meantime, the 26-year-old Iowa native has turned his #43 car over to friend Reed Sorenson, worked to figure out why he was hurt in the crash and made plans to return to the track as a spectator this weekend at Bristol. If all goes to plan, Annett could be back by the May 4 event at Talladega, although he holds out hope of returning a week earlier at Richmond. The sternum is shaped roughly like an upturned dagger, and Annett said his snapped where the blade meets the hilt, with the bottom fragment protruding over the top part by about three-quarters of an inch. He had surgery Feb. 28, where doctors repaired the damage using screws and a metal plate.(NASCAR.com)(3-14-2013)

  • Travis Pastrana Featured in New ESPN NASCAR Commercial: With worldwide fame as an action sports star, Travis Pastrana is one of the highest-profile rookies ever to compete in NASCAR. But in a new ESPN commercial, Pastrana's humility comes through clearly. After dabbling in NASCAR the past two years, Pastrana has given up action sports and made a fulltime transition to stock car racing for 2013, driving a Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. Pastrana is featured in the latest round of ESPN's "Names are Made Here" campaign to promote its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, considered a breeding ground for future stars of the top-level NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The commercial will begin airing across ESPN platforms on March 18 in advance of ESPN's telecast of the Nationwide Series race at Fontana, Calif., on March 23. "I've worked with ESPN in the past through my X Games exploits," Pastrana said. "It's always a lot of fun and I'm honored to have a commercial in NASCAR. Hopefully this will be the start of a successful NASCAR career." The new spot shows Pastrana in action doing a double flip on a motorcycle at the X Games, performing a jump across a body of water in a car and parachuting from an airplane, then switches to scenes of him racing in NASCAR. "I have 10 world records," Pastrana says in voiceover. "I have fans all over the world. I even had my own TV show. But here, my name doesn't mean anything. Not yet." The spot can be viewed here. (ESPN)(3-14-2013)

  • Bristol names race officials: Country music icon Charlie Daniels pulls double duty March 17 prior to the start of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. After the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning artist and members of the Charlie Daniels Band perform the pre-race concert, Daniels will lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
    Straight off an appearance in the Super Bowl with San Francisco 49ers, Kingsport, Tenn., native Daniel Kilgore is the Honorary Starter. Kilgore played his high school ball at Dobyns-Bennett and spent his college career at Appalachian State University.
    Keeping with the football trend, University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones is the Grand Marshal.
    Specialist Mary Potts of the 129th Army Band and Tennessee National Guard sings the national anthem Sunday.
    Jeff Foxworthy, comedian and host of television's The American Bible Challenge and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader, is the Grand Marshal for Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 on Saturday while Sean McDonough, CEO of Roswell Food Group, is the Honorary Starter.(BMS)(3-14-2013)

  • "The Tenors" singing National Anthem at Auto Club 400: Verve recording artists 'The Tenors,' will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 24. The multi-platinum-selling vocal group has performed their blend of classical and contemporary pop for audiences around the world. The group's latest CD "Lead With Your Heart" was released via a U.S. deal with multi-Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster, Chairman of Verve Music Group reaching #1 on Billboard's Crossover chart. In their short career, the Tenors (Remigio Pereira, Clifton Murray, Victor Micallef and Fraser Walters) have performed on The Oprah Winfrey Show (with Celine Dion), for Her Majesty The Queen during her Diamond Jubilee at Windsor Castle, the live broadcast of the 2011 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, at the opening ceremonies of Vancouver's 2010 Olympics and for the NBA, MLB, and NHL All-Star Games.(Auto Club Speedway)(3-14-2013)


    News from March 13, 2013

  • Patrick generated massive social media impact at Daytona: During a Speedweeks in which she twice made NASCAR history, #10-Danica Patrick's performance triggered some unprecedented reverberations in social media, too. Repucom, a global company with an office in Charlotte, found that Patrick had 971 million impressions on Twitter in the eight days spanning when she became the first woman to capture a Sprint Cup pole position to the first to lead the Daytona 500. By comparison, the 2012 Daytona 500 pole winner, Carl Edwards, had 15 million impressions during the same timeframe last year, and Patrick had 19 million in the two months entering her Daytona 500 debut last season. With an advanced algorithm that has a 3% margin of error, impressions are calculated through tweets, retweets and replies about a topic and the number of followers associated with the accounts. "It's staggering," Repucom vice president Peter Laatz told USA TODAY Sports. "That's a really good thing for the sport, and it's great for her and great for her sponsors. We thought last year was a big deal until we looked at the numbers from this year." Repucom, which measures the impact and valuation of sponsorships across several sports and tracks close to 1,700 NASCAR brands, also estimated that primary sponsor Go Daddy received 1,203 seconds of on-screen branding during the Daytona 500 that was equivalent to $2.9 million in media value. During Patrick's last full season in the Izod IndyCar Series in 2011, Go Daddy had 5,637 seconds of screen time but nearly half the media value ($1.5 million) because NASCAR's ratings and reach dwarf rival racing series.(USA Today)(3-12-2013)

  • Cessna makes first appearance with McMurray: Cessna will make their primary sponsorship debut on the #1 Chevy SS at Bristol this weekend. This will be the first of multiple races for Cessna and the #1 team in 2013. Cessna announced a multiyear Partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in January. Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron, Inc. company, will sponsor the cars in all three series in which CGRT competes. Sharing assets with sister Textron companies Bell Helicopter and E-Z-GO golf carts which will come later throughout the season.(Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing), see an image ofthe car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(3-13-2013)

  • Allmendinger returns to the #51: After a successful outing with the #51 team at Phoenix International Raceway, A.J. Allmendinger will pair with Phoenix Racing again this week at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500. Allmendinger will pilot the Guy Roofing Chevrolet in his second Sprint Cup Series event of 2013. Allmendinger and Phoenix Racing raced to an 11th-place finish in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 two weeks ago. Allmendinger's first-ever Cup Series start came at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2007. Phoenix Racing scored its best Cup Series finish at Bristol last season.(Phoenix Racing)(3-13-2013)

  • NAPA on Clint Bowyer's Toyota: March is filters month at NAPA Auto Parts, and to celebrate the month-long promotion, Clint Bowyer's Toyota will carry NAPA's iconic blue and yellow colors this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series visits Bristol Motor Speedway. Bowyer's #15 Toyota Camry will promote NAPA's $20.99 oil change special, while Martin Truex Jr.'s #56 Toyota Camry will adorn the traditional NAPA AUTO PARTS scheme. NAPA and the #15 car have a rich history, scoring two Daytona 500 wins together with Michael Waltrip behind the wheel. This will mark the first time since 2005 the NAPA AUTO PARTS shield will be on the hood of the #15 race car.(MWR), see an image ofthe car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(3-13-2013)

  • Dockside Logistics sponsoring Ragan: Like most drivers, #34-David Ragan circles the Bristol Motor Speedway race on the calendar as one to look forward to. But this year, he also put a question mark next to it. Without any Sprint Cup Series testing at the .533-mile oval in the new Gen-6 car, the driver says the short track will be the first "wild card" on the 2013 schedule. But he likes his chances. Ragan earned his second NASCAR win at the track in 2009 in the Nationwide Series. He has 12 Sprint Cup starts at Bristol with a top finish of 10th. Sunday's race will mark the NASCAR debut of Dockside Logistics on the #34 Ford. The company provides distribution, warehouse services, port operations and transportation, serving the Southeast from Charleston, S.C.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image ofthe car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(3-13-2013)

  • NASCAR reinstates Clements UPDATE: NASCAR has reinstated driver Jeremy Clements upon the successful completion of stipulations following his indefinite suspension from NASCAR on Feb. 27 for violating the sanctioning body's Code of Conduct policy. Clements will be on NASCAR probation until Sept. 13, 2013. "As part of the requirements for reinstatement, Jeremy Clements participated in an individualized program with Dr. Richard Lapchick and his staff at the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "In Dr. Lapchick's judgment, Jeremy has successfully completed the program. We're pleased that Jeremy has taken these important steps and will return to racing starting this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway."(NASCAR)(3-13-2013)
    UPDATE: Clements will be back in the #51 Chevy starting this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. In a statement released this morning from his Spartanburg S.C. shop, Clements said, "I would like to thank NASCAR for their support throughout this entire process. I would like to also thank Dr. Lapchick and his team for their time and the opportunity to help me grow. I have learned a lot and am looking ahead, to getting back in the car at Bristol and having a fresh start to the season. I am truly grateful to my sponsors who have stood by me, to my fans for their tremendous outpouring of support and to my family and team for their unwavering love and support."(Clements PR)(3-13-2013)

  • Veterans Lodge sponsoring Koch at Bristol: Blake Koch will have a new primary sponsor aboard his Toyota Camry this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. VeteransLodge.com will support Koch's #24 SR2 Motorsports-fielded entry in Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chip 300 on Saturday, March 16. Veterans Lodge villages include a state of the art health care facility, counseling and rehabilitation facilities, modern recreational programs, wellness care educational program, workforce and job training programs and a housing component for the veterans and their families. The organization works in conjunction with the Veterans Administration, researchers and local hospitals, to continually update programs that deliver the best care to veterans and meet the goal of returning them to an active and productive civilian life.(SR2 Motorsports)(3-13-2013)

  • Kurzejewski moving to trucks: On the heels of a top-10 finish in the ARCA Racing Series opener last month, Mansfield's Matt Kurzejewski is expanding his plans to include competing in some Camping World Truck Series events. The 21-year-old second-generation driver said Wednesday he will do "a handful" of Truck Series races this year along with a few more ARCA events. He said he could make his Truck Series debut as soon as the May 17 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kurzejewski will reunite with former ARCA champion Bob Keselowski, who proposed the Truck Series deal and will serve as the crew chief. Details are still being worked out but the newly-formed Truck Series that has yet to come up with a name. The team will work out of a Mooresville, N.C-based shop owned by current Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski. Bob Keselowski, who is Brad's father, will be joined by his brother, Ron, on the new Truck Series project with Kurzejewski. Ron Keselowski will act as car chief. Kurzejewski said he'll race the trucks at events on 1.5-mile tracks. He said he hopes to be able to run on the Iowa, Pocono, and Texas tracks, to name a few. (Ithaca Journal Online)(3-13-2013)

  • August Pocono race named GoBowling.com 400: Pocono Raceway and Strike Ten Entertainment, the sponsorship activation arm of the bowling industry, jointly announce a groundbreaking, multi-faceted partnership deal that brings together two of the nation's favorite sports brands: NASCAR and GoBowling.com, the official brand of bowling. For the first time ever, the 2013 and 2014 August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will be renamed the "GoBowling.com 400" as part of this freshly inked two-year sponsorship. In addition to the renaming of the GoBowling.com 400, TPocono Raceway and Strike Ten Entertainment will deploy an integrated sponsorship campaign that will extend across multiple platforms including traditional marketing, digital and social media as well as event activations. The partnership program will also include a series of GoBowling.com-themed bowling league promotional contests and in-center marketing elements, as well as other initiatives to be rolled out across the more than 4,000 participating bowling centers.(Pocono Raceway)(3-13-2013)

  • Miller Lite continues partnership with Chicagoland Speedway: Chicagoland Speedway, Route 66 Raceway and MillerCoors announced a multi-year sponsorship renewal that will keep Miller Lite as the Official Beer of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway. MillerCoors, with its corporate headquarters located in downtown Chicago, will continue to support all events across both facilities including the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the start of NASCAR's playoffs at Chicagoland Speedway. As the official beer of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, Miller Lite will receive exclusive marketing rights, including what have become fan-favorites such as the Miller Lite Pit Stop, a widely popular beer garden in Chicagoland Speedway's midway area known as Champions Park, and the Miller Lite Turn 1 Party Deck along with signage and other on-site benefits.(Chicagoland Speedway)(3-13-2013)

  • Auto Club Speedway hosts hauler parade: Everyone loves a parade  especially a NASCAR Hauler parade. To help get the Auto Club 400 Weekend underway, March 22-24, the spectacle of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hauler Parade will make its way to Auto Club Speedway from Citizens Business Bank Arena (4000 E. Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario) through Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, beginning at 6:00 pm/pt on Thursday, March 21. Along the parade route, NASCAR drivers Jamie McMurray and Tony Stewart will make an appearance at the NASCAR Hauler Parade Festival at Bass Pro Shops (7777 Victoria Gardens Ln, Rancho Cucamonga). In addition, several merchandise haulers including Danica Patrick, Junior Nation, Tony Stewart, NASCAR and Auto Club Speedway will be on site. Stretching nearly an entire mile from the first hauler to the last, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hauler Parade will make its way to Auto Club Speedway around 7:00 pm/pt.(ACS)(3-13-2013)

  • Hoss Howard Band tapped for National Anthem at Rockingham:Western N.C.-based Hoss Howard Band will be performing the National Anthem to kick off the Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine at Rockingham Speedway on April 14. Howard and the band play Southern rock and country-style music and should not be strangers to Carolina race fans. For the last two years, Hoss Howard Band has been part of the Coca-Cola 600 race activities, playing at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Speed Street. (Rockingham Speedway PR)(3-13-2013)


    News from March 12, 2013

  • Sponsor for FAS Lane Racing? UPDATE: An update posted to the #32-FAS Lane Racing Facebook page Monday evening states, "Been quiet working on good things. Looks like we have a commitment for a full time sponsor, with a three year deal. This week we are working on a plan to really improve our program. Be patient with us, we are trying and there is no lack of effort by anyone. Don't give up on us".(3-12-2013)
    UPDATE: FAS Lane Racing announces a new three year sponsorship agreement with OXYwater. The Ultimate Healthy Hydration Beverage will be the Primary Sponsor on the #32 FAS Lane Racing Ford for 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season and continue for the entire 2014 and 2015 seasons. The #32 OXYwater Ford will debut this weekend in the running of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway with two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte behind the wheel. OXYwater is a dynamic young company that features an oxygen-enhanced mineral water.(Integrity Sports Marketing), see an image ofthe car on the #32 team paint schemes page.(3-12-2013)

  • Bristol Motor Speedway Notes & Facts:
    • There have been 104 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway since the first race in 1961, two races each season.
    • All races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps.
    • 421 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol; 293 in more than one.
    • Terry Labonte has participated in the most Bristol NASCAR Sprint Cup races among active drivers with 57 starts.
    • Fred Lorenzen won the inaugural pole with a speed of 79.225 mph.
    • 45 different drivers have poles at Bristol, led by Mark Martin and Cale Yarborough with nine each. Martin swept both poles at Bristol in 2009.
    • The race winner has started from the pole 22 times, the most productive starting position. The last driver to win from the pole was Carl Edwards, in the night race of 2008.
    • Four drivers have won from the pole position more than once: Bobby Allison (1972 twice), Cale Yarborough (1973, 1977 twice, 1980), Darrell Waltrip (1981 twice, 1982) and Rusty Wallace (1991, 1993, 1999, 2000).
    • 10 different drivers have posted consecutive poles at Bristol Motor Speedway; Mark Martin is the only driver of the 10 to win four consecutive poles at Bristol: Fireball Roberts (swept 1962), Fred Lorenzen (swept 1963), Richard Petty (1967-'68), Bobby Allison (swept 1972), Cale Yarborough (swept 1973; swept 1977; swept 1980), Darrell Waltrip (swept 1981), Geoff Bodine (swept 1986), Mark Martin (swept 1995-1996 all four races; and swept 2009); Rusty Wallace (swept 1998) and Jeff Gordon (swept 2002).
    • Jeff Gordon leads (active drivers) the series in average starting position at Bristol with a 6.775.
    • Youngest Bristol pole winner: Joey Logano (3/21/2010  19 years, 9 months, 25 days)  his first series career pole.
    • Oldest Bristol pole winner: Harry Gant (8/27/1994  54 years, 7 months, 17 days).
    • 40 different drivers have won at Bristol, led by Darrell Waltrip (12). Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch each have five wins, the most among active drivers. • Junior Johnson leads the series in car owner wins at Bristol with seven; Roger Penske and Jack Roush are tied among active car owners for the most wins at Bristol with 10 each.
    • 83 of the 104 races have been won from a top-10 starting position; including 53 from the first four spots.
    • 34 of the 104 races at Bristol have been won from the front row: Pole position (22 wins); Second-place (12 wins).
    • Five of the 104 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 38th, by Elliott Sadler; in 2001.
    • Youngest Bristol winner: Kyle Busch (3/25/2007  21 years, 10 months, 23 days).
    • Oldest Bristol winner: Dale Earnhardt (8/28/1999  48 years, 3 months, 30 days).
    • Mark Martin leads the series (among active drivers) in runner-up finishes at Bristol (six); followed by Kevin Harvick and Terry Labonte with four.
    • Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty lead the series in top-five finishes at Bristol with 26 each. Terry Labonte leads the series among active drivers with 19 followed by Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin (16).
    • Richard Petty has 37 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. Terry Labonte leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes with 33; followed by Mark Martin with 23.
    • Kyle Busch leads the series (active drivers) in average finish at Bristol with a 10.313.
    • Seven of the last eight races have ended with a margin of victory of less than a second.
    • There has been three green-white-checkered finishes at Bristol  all three were the spring race: 2007 (500/504); 2008 (500/506); 2009 (500/503).
    • Kurt Busch posted his first series career win at Bristol (2002), and Joey Logano won his first pole at Bristol (2010).
    • 12 drivers have won consecutive races at Bristol led by Darrell Waltrip with seven consecutive victories from 1981-1984. The other 11 are Fred Lorenzen (1963-1964 sweep), David Pearson (1968 sweep), Bobby Allison (1972 sweep), Cale Yarborough did it twice (1974 sweep and four straight from 1976-1977), Richard Petty (1975 sweep), Dale Earnhardt also twice (1985 sweep and 1987 sweep), Alan Kulwicki (1992 sweep), Rusty Wallace (2000 sweep), Kurt Busch (2003 sweep and 2004 spring race), Kyle Busch (2009 sweep) and Brad Keselowski (2011 fall-2012 spring).
    • All 14 active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers who have won at Bristol Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane  among the active winners Kurt Busch won in the fewest starts (third) at Bristol.
    • Jeff Burton competed at Bristol Motor Speedway 28 times before winning (2008 spring race); the longest span of any of the 14 active winners. Burton is the only active driver to have made 20 or more attempts before his first win at BMS.
    • Bobby Labonte leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Bristol without visiting Victory Lane with 40.
    • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Bristol was the 3/25/2007 race won by Kyle Busch with a MOV of 0.064 second.
    • Two female drivers have made NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Bristol: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick.
    (NASCAR)(3-12-2013)

  • Prevost becomes official NASCAR partner: NASCAR and Prevost announced a new multi-year partnership that designates the leading manufacturer of premium touring and conversion coaches, as the Official Luxury Motorcoach of NASCAR. Prevost assembles motorhomes for a number of NASCAR team owners and drivers who make the race track their home for more than 30 race weekends a year. Prevost, along with its converter partners, manufactures innovative motorhomes that stand up to the demand of a 10-month-long NASCAR schedule. A fixture at the track each weekend, Prevost motorcoaches are utilized across the driver and team owner lots, sponsor hospitality compounds, manufacturer engineering stations, and fan camping areas. NASCAR will utilize Prevost motorcoaches this year for at-track hospitality through the NASCAR Fuel for Hospitality program, which is specifically designed for Official NASCAR Partners to provide employees and customers with a VIP race-day experience at the track. In addition, Prevost will also be joining the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council to buy and sell directly with top Fortune 500 companies.(NASCAR)(3-12-2013)

  • Mike Wallace gets Birstol sponsor: Mike Wallace and the #01 JD Motorsports team are prepared to head to the action-packed Bristol Motor Speedway with the support of Calhoun's. The restaurant is a part of the Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants including Copper Cellar, Smoky Mountain Brewery, Chesapeake's, and Cherokee Grill. Calhoun's has been in business for almost 30 years and currently has eight locations located across East and Middle Tennessee. Known for their award winning hickory smoked ribs and BBQ, the team is excited to represent the brand at a national level.(JD Motorsports)(3-12-2013)

  • Fan Voting for June Pocono race name begins: Pocono Raceway and Walmart announced, voting for the new name of the June 9 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at "The Tricky Triangle," based off three fan-submitted race name entries, is now open. The three fan-submitted race name finalists include: Race More. Live Better. 400, Pocono for the People 400, and Party in the Poconos 400. Race fans will have the chance to vote on their favorite race name choice until April 8. To vote, visit: walmarturl.com/fandriven400. Additionally, Pocono Raceway and Walmart are making the 400-mile June 9 race more affordable for fans through the "Fan Driven 400" program by offering 16,000 Concourse Grandstand Tickets for $25 each. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929).(Pocono PR)(3-12-2013)

  • Bowyer, Harvick leading celebrity softball game between Dover and Pocono: Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway will square off on the diamond for the second straight year as both tracks announced the return of the Second Annual Celebrity Softball Game, featuring Sprint Cup Series drivers Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick. The game will be played on Wednesday, April 24 at the home of the Harrisburg Senators in Harrisburg, Pa. Bowyer will captain Team Dover, while Harvick, will lead Team Pocono. In the inaugural game last year, Jeff Burton and the team from The Tricky Triangle narrowly defeated Carl Edwards and the Monster Mile after mounting a late comeback. Access to the celebrity softball game is free with a ticket to that night's baseball game. Tickets for the Senators game start at just $8, and all children ages 16 and younger that wear their NASCAR gear get a free Senators Hat and free passes to the Kids Play Area. For tickets, call 717-231-4444 or visit SenatorsBaseball.com. In addition to Bowyer and Harvick, the rosters from each team will be made up of members of national and local motorsports media, as well as other local media personalities, and a few other special guests.(Dover Raceway)(3-12-2013)


    News from March 11, 2013

  • Las Vegas Overnight TV Ratings: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on FOX averaged a 4.4/10 on Sunday, March 10, 2013 for the Kobalt Tools 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. While yesterday's rating is off 2/10th's from last year's 4.6/10 for the same race, it still managed to rank as the highest-rated event of the weekend among the metered markets. This marks the third straight week in which NASCAR on FOX was the #1 event of its respective weekend. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX is averaging a 6.6/14 among the metered markets. That's up +14% over last year's season-to-date average of a 5.8/11. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(3-11-2013)

  • Entry List for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #19-Mike Bliss, #32-Terry Labonte, #44-Scott Riggs, #51-A.J. Allmendinger, #55-Brian Vickers, and #98-Michael McDowell.
    #44-Riggs needs to make the race by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the team is too far down the owners points list to use a provisional.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Bristol Entry List

  • Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Kobalt Tools 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:03 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 111
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 51
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 103
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 51
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 8
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 6
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 2
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 38
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 5 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:03 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 183
    Minutes of race broadcast: 136
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 47
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 4
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 136 Total comm. brdcst time 47
    See past races, links and more on (CawsnJaws)(3-11-2013)

  • Passing up at Las Vegas: NASCAR's new Gen-6 Sprint Cup race car racked up some impressive statistics in Sunday's race. The official race reports reads 22 lead changes among eight drivers, with the 22 lead changes being the most at Las Vegas since 2007, the year before the Gen-5 car (Car of Tomorrow) was introduced at intermediate race tracks. Beyond those numbers, NASCAR's loop data (stats measured at the 10 scoring loops around the 1.5-mile track) showed a phenomenal 2,342 green-flag passes throughout the race, compared with 1,301 last year. In addition, there were 31 green-flag passes for the lead (including intra-lap passes scored at loops other than the finish line), the most since NASCAR started recording loop data in 2005.(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-11-2013)

  • Sunday's flyover could be the last for a while: Sunday's military flyover before the Kobalt Tools 400 might have been the last flyover at a NASCAR race. With $85 billion in federal budget cuts possibly going into effect soon, flyovers would be grounded by the government's sequestration process, which includes about 30 percent in military budget cuts. "The Thunderbirds are expected to stand down effective April 1. (Las Vegas) is pretty much going to be, I think, the last flyover you'll see for a while from us," Wendy Varhegyi, chief of the engagement division for Air Force public affairs, told USA Today Sports. Varhegyi said the cutbacks would last at least through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30). "And then at that point, we'll reevaluate. & Sequestration is a 10-year problem, so we just don't know." The Air Force conducts about 1,000 flyover per year, Varhegyi said.(Sporting News)(3-11-2013)

  • MWR hires models for Social Media Engagement efforts: The face of Michael Waltrip Racing's social media engagement is getting a new look that began Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Each NASCAR Sprint Cup race day, a team of digitally savvy models will roam the garage, infield, sponsor midway and hospitality areas to interact with NASCAR fans. The uniformed ladies will also lead a concerted social media effort from the track in 2013 in support of MWR's team initiatives and sponsors. Fans can interact with them via twitter by using the handle @MWRGirls. Uniquely, one of the @MWRGirls is Miss Florida Latina, speaks fluent Spanish and will lead MWR's effort to take the MWR/NASCAR experience to the Latino audience. Waltrip said over the years he noticed almost all of the social media communication from race teams is about cars, pit strategy, and the drivers. Instead, the @MWRGirls will take fans to a variety of events on race day, share insider information and show the magnitude of NASCAR Sprint Cup races.(MWR)(3-11-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 43 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Brad Sweet remains in the #5 for JR Motorsports;
    Chris Buescher will be in the #16 for Roush Fenway;
    John Wes Townley will drive the #25 for Venturini Motorsports;
    Michael McDowell is in the #27 Toyota;
    The #51 of Jeremy Clements is TBA;
    Kevin Lepage returns in the #86 Ford.(3-11-2013)
    See the complete list on the Bristol entry list page.

  • JR Motorsports Adjusts NNS Slates for Earnhardt Jr., Kahne: JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller announced a change in NASCAR Nationwide Series schedules for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Earnhardt Jr. was previously scheduled to race in the May 4th race at Talladega Superspeedway as part of his four-race Nationwide Series slate in 2013. Now he will compete in the Sept. 14th race at Chicagoland Speedway instead of Talladega. In turn, Kahne will now compete at Talladega as part of his 11-race line-up in 2013. Both drivers will compete in Great Clips-sponsored Chevy  Earnhardt in the #88 Camaro and Kahne in the #5.(JR Motorsports)(3-11-2013)

  • Darlington offers new hospitality option: A new turn-key hospitality option is available for race fans wanting a VIP experience when they attend either the NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 on May 10 or the Bojangles' Southern 500 on May 11 at Darlington Raceway. The Champions Club, housed in the former President's Suite in turn 3 of the Darlington infield, provides an all-inclusive experience for fans. Each Champions Club package consists of one VIP access pass, COLD garage access (Saturday only), a pass to attend pre-race driver introductions (Saturday only), catered meal and snacks, unlimited non-alcoholic Coke beverages and water, cash bar including beer, wine and mixed beverages, a souvenir program, Darlington Raceway branded gift and a lanyard. One Champions Club parking pass will also be provided for package orders of four or more. The Champions Club hospitality package is available for $110 per person on Friday or $185 per person on Saturday.(Darlington Raceway)(3-11-2013)


    News from March 10, 2013

  • Kenseth wins at Las Vegas: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 1st win with Job Gibbs Racing, 3rd win at Las Vegas and 25th career win. #5-Kahnefinished second followed by #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #99-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #56-Truex, Jr., #29-Harvick, and #27-Menard.
    Kenseth did not take any tires on his final pitstop to grab the lead and held Kahne off the rest of the race.
    There were 22 lead changes among 8 drivers and 5 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 146.287mph. Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Las Vegas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Phoenix Penalty Resport (pdf).

  • Race Fast Facts - Las Vegas:
    Matt Kenseth won the 16th Annual Kobalt Tools 400, his 25th victory in 475 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. This is Toyota's 50 Sprint Cup Series victory.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2013. Today is Kenseth's 41st birthday. Cale Yarborough won twice on his birthday; Kyle Busch once.
    This is his third victory and seventh top-10 finish in 14 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .
    Kasey Kahne (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in ten races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
    Brad Keselowski (third) posted his first top-10 finish in five races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .
    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (18th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 5 points over Brad Keselowski.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(3-10-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Las Vegas, race 3 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 129
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski, 124, -5
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 119, -10
    4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 102, -27
    5) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 98, -31
    6) #55-Mark Martin, 95, -34
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 93, -36
    8) #16-Greg Biffle, 93, -36
    9) #15-Clint Bowyer, 89, -40
    10) #43-Aric Almirola, 88, -41
    11) #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 87, -42
    12) #27-Paul Menard, 82, -47
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #24-Jeff Gordon is 13th in points
    #5-Kasey Kahne, 14th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 18th
    #29-Kevin Harvick. 19th
    #56-Martin Truex Jr. 22nd
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • Brian Keselowski will attempt Talladega race: #92-Brian Keselowski posted a message on Facebook, that he would next attempt to make the Aaron's 499 at Talladega. "Ok we officially have a plan for our next race now. Talladega May 5th. We will run the Toyota again. We are seeking sponsors to get a TRD or a Triad engine. Also hope to test the car at Dega in April. Seeking sponsors to put us back on track."(3-10-2013)

  • Gibbs still supportive of Hamlin's appeal: Joe Gibbs is standing by #11-Denny Hamlin in the driver's appeal of his $25,000 NASCAR fine. But the owner of Joe Gibbs Racing doesn't have much more to say about the dispute over Hamlin's penalty for criticizing the Gen-6 race car. After watching fellow JGR driver Kyle Busch finish second in Saturday's Nationwide Series race, Gibbs said he has talked to Hamlin about the brouhaha. "We've been talking all along," Gibbs told reporters. "We're keeping our communication open with NASCAR, too. We'll just go through a process here and work our way through it." Gibbs clammed up after that, referring everybody to his organization's statement that it would support Hamlin. Hamlin is allowed to drive while appealing the fine, which he says he won't pay. NASCAR could take the fine out of his winnings.(Associated Press),see more information about Hamlin's fine below, or on the #11 team news page.(3-10-2012)

  • Johnson to appear at Bristol Kids Zone: Young fans have the chance to spend some time with five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson when he makes a stop in the Bristol Motor Speedway Kids Zone Sunday, March 17 prior to the Food City 500. Johnson appears in the Kids Zone Sunday morning for a special question-and-answer session with his youngest supporters. During that time, fans 15 and under will receive a Lowe's Build and Grow kit of Johnson's #48 machine to construct (Build and Grow Kits limited to first one hundred children in attendance), as well as a BMS matchbox car. Johnson's appearance is limited to children only, although they may be accompanied by Food City 500 ticket holding parent or guardian. The BMS Kids Zone, located in the North parking lot, will be open Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March race weekend.(BMS)(3-10-2013)


    News from March 9, 2013

  • Final Saturday practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #56-Truex, Jr. 188.383
    #99-Edwards 187.007
    #18-Busch 186.845
    #48-Johnson 186.528
    #55-Martin 185.816
    slowest: #98-McDowell 179.027 & #87-Nemechek 177.830.
    #11-Hamlin spun off turn four right after the session started. He did not hit anything.
    See fastest laps, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Las Vegas Practice 4 Speeds page (pdf).(3-9-2013)

  • First Saturday practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #5-Kahne 188.134
    #16-Biffle 187.859
    #18-Busch 187.611
    #29-Harvick 187.084
    #99-Edwards 187.071
    slowest: #83-Reutimann 180.084 & #87-Nemechek 178.879.
    #83-Reutimann got loose and made light contact with the wall early in the session. The team will repair the car.
    See fastest laps, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Las Vegas Practice 3 Speeds page (pdf).(3-9-2013)

  • Only TWO Birthday winners EVER: Cale Yarborough and Kyle Busch are the only NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to ever win a points paying race on their birthday. Yarborough, birthday March 27, in 1977 at North Wilkesboro Speedway and a second time in 1983 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Busch won at Richmond on May 2, 2009, to become only the 2nd driver EVER to win on their birthday, and only the third time ever.
    why do I bring this up? #20-Matt Kenseth's birthday is Sunday, March 10th and in his 13 Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he has never raced at the 1.5-mile track on his birthday BUT has won two races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was fastest in one of Thursday's practices. Kenseth's two wins came under the old track configuration in 2007. Kenseth won in 2003 and 2004.(3-9-2013)

  • Two more Daytona fans get lawyer: Two more fans injured in the Feb. 23 Nationwide Series crash at Daytona have retained an Orlando, Fla.-based attorney to seek personal injury claims. Attorney Matt Morgan now represents six of the people who were injured when Kyle Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence, sending debris flying into the front-stretch stands on the last lap of the race. At least 28 fans were injured in the wreck. NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation have retained a Miami-based law firm to handle the claims. Morgan said he is working "diligently'' with NASCAR and ISC legal representation -- Cole, Scott & Kissane, Pa. -- to settle the issue without going to trial. Meanwhile, one of the two who had remained at Daytona Beach's Halifax Health in stable condition has been released. According to a hospital spokesman and Twitter, the 14-year-old brother of Becket McGinn was released and had headed home.(ESPN)(3-9-2013)

  • Ford named winner of "Driving Business Award": When Carl Edwards powered his 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford Fusion to Victory Lane on Sunday, Ford Motor Company took home its historic first win with the Gen-6 car. Today, the auto manufacturer captured yet another honor when it was named recipient of the 2012 NASCAR Driving Business Award. NASCAR presented Ford the award at a ceremony in Las Vegas during the NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) Council. The annual award is bestowed upon the Official NASCAR Partner that demonstrates extraordinary leadership and results through its participation in the NFFB Council. With its win, Ford becomes the first two-time recipient of the Driving Business Award. The NFFB Council brings together an exclusive group of more than 55 Official NASCAR Partners to get more out of their sponsorships, specifically aligning partners four times a year to buy and sell products and services. Ford Motor Company, which has been competing in NASCAR since 1949, has been a member of the NFFB Council since 2007. The company brings key personnel from across its organization and matches them up with their counterparts at other NFFB companies during the Council's signature Speed Meetings. Most notable is Ford's effort to sell vehicles to other NFFB members through its Partner Recognition Program.(NASCAR)(3-9-2013)

  • Patrick sore after Phoenix accident: Danica Patrick said she doesn't have a concussion from Sunday's hard crash at Phoenix, but she joked she might have one from Thursday night when a rock hit her in the head. "I feel like I got a concussion last night when I got hit with a rock at the [Las Vegas Motor Speedway] dirt track," Patrick said Friday. "It's really sore. It hit me straight in the head, and I went to the ground. Good thing I had a hat on, or I feel there would have been blood." NASCAR officials said there was no need for Patrick to get evaluated Friday at the LVMS infield care center because she was evaluated Thursday night when the incident happened. Patrick also said NASCAR medical officials called her Monday to ask her how she was feeling one day after a hard, head-on crash into the outside wall at Phoenix when a right-front tire blew out on her #10 Chevy. Patrick said her neck remains sore, but she doesn't expect it to cause her any problems this weekend.(ESPN)(3-9-2013)

  • Hornish wins at Las Vegas: #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. won the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his second career Nationwide win. Hornish led 114 laps on the day. #54-Kyle Busch finished second followed by #20-Brian Vickers, #6-Trevor Bayne, #11-Elliott Sadler, #3-Austin Dillon, #7-Regan Smith, #99-Alex Bowman, #2-Brian Scott, and #60-Travis Pastrana. There were 8 cautions for 37 laps and 19 lead changes among 9 leaders. Complete results are on the Las Vegas race results page (pdf).(3-9-2013)

  • Las Vegas Race Fast Facts:
    Sam Hornish Jr. won the 17th Annual Sam's Town 300, his second victory in 69 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in 2013. He breaks a 36-race winless streak. His last win came on Nov. 12, 2011 at Phoenix International Raceway.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in two races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . This is Penske Racing's first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Las Vegas.
    Kyle Busch(i) (second) posted his second top-10 finish in ten races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . It is his second top-10 finish in 2013.
    Brian Vickers (third) posted his third top-10 finish in six races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .
    Alex Bowman (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Sam Hornish Jr. leads the point standings by 19 points over Justin Allgaier.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(3-9-2013)

  • Driver standings following Las Vegas:
    1) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 127
    2) #31-Justin Allgaier 108, -19
    3) #11-Elliott Sadler 108, -19
    4) #2-Brian Scott 108, -19
    5) #7-Regan Smith 103, -24
    6) #3-Austin Dillon 100, -27
    7) #20-Brian Vickers 96, -31
    8) #6-Trevor Bayne 95, -32
    9) #30-Nelson Piquet Jr. 93, -34
    10) #99-Alex Bowman 90, -37
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(3-9-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Las Vegas are posted (pdf).2013 owner points will now be in effect for the remainder of the year.(3-9-2013)

  • Austin Dillon fastest in first practice: #3-Austin Dillon was fastest in the only practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a speed of 179.647mph. #20-Brian Vickers was second, followed by: #12-Sam Hornish, #6-Trevor Bayne, #2-Brian Scott, #11-Elliott Sadler, #77-Parker Kligerman, #54-Kyle Busch, #99-Alex Bowman, and #33-Ty Dillon. All 40 drivers practiced during the session. #19-Mike Bliss will have to go to a backup car from his teammate #14-Eric McClure after being involved in an accident. See complete results on the Las Vegas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(3-9-2013)

  • Sam's Town renews Las Vegas Nationwide race sponsorship: Boyd Gaming and Las Vegas Motor Speedway announced a milestone agreement that extend the company's sponsorship of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at LVMS for four more years. The entitlement has been in place since 1998, and the new agreement will extend Boyd Gaming's sponsorship to 20 years. Boyd Gaming is the parent company of Sam's Town and eight other casino properties throughout the Las Vegas Valley. "We've been very fortunate to have the best title sponsor in the Nationwide Series," LVMS president Chris Powell said. "The event (Sam's Town 300) has become one of the most popular on the circuit, and our friends at Boyd Gaming share a great deal of responsibility for that success."(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-9-2013)

  • Lowe's extends sponsorship of Vegas race: Lowe's Companies Inc. will continue its successful partnership with Las Vegas Motor Speedway by remaining the title sponsor of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. An extension of the agreement was announced in Las Vegas as the Kobalt Tools 400 weekend kicked off. "Lowe's is a company with a long and storied history in NASCAR, and has been a wonderful partner for the past three years," said LVMS president Chris Powell. "We're very excited that they have decided to extend the agreement, and we're looking forward to helping Lowe's build its brand within the NASCAR community and beyond." The event, which has been known as the Kobalt Tools 400 since the partnership began in 2011, has been one of the best-attended and highest-rated events on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. The race has ranked in the top five in both attendance and ratings over the past 10 years.(LVMS)(3-9-2013)

  • Darlington releases mobile app: With the ever-changing world of communication through technology, Darlington Raceway is giving its race fans more convenient and enhanced ways to obtain information about the track Too Tough To Tame with the launch of its new mobile app and redesigned DarlingtonRaceway.com website. The free mobile app, available for both iOS and Android users, will give fans the most up-to-date information on the track, which includes news, maps, social media, event information and more. Visit the iTunes App Store or Google Play to download the free app today using keyword search "Darlington Raceway". The new and improved DarlingtonRaceway.com will offer a more streamlined format that is easier to navigate and also feature Facebook and Twitter RSS feeds, showing the most up to date posts from the track.(Darlington Raceway)(3-9-2013)

  • Richmond offers Q&A Session with Keselowski: There aren't many sports or venues where you can participate in an exclusive question-and-answer session with the defending champion. But when you're talking about NASCAR and Richmond International Raceway, you can do just that. RIR is offering a ticket package that includes an exclusive Q&A with the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and driver of the #2 Miller Lite car, Brad Keselowski. For $70, fans receive admission to an exclusive Q&A with Keselowski and a seat in the first 10 rows of the Dogwood Grandstand (Turns 1 & 2) or Colonial Grandstand (Turn 4) for the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, April 27. The Q&A will take place in the Colonial Building at 3:45 p.m. on April 27. Any fan who has already purchased a ticket for the April 27 race may add on the Q&A with Keselowski for $30. Guests must purchase a race ticket and voucher for the Q&A to attend. This offer is limited, while supplies last.(RIR)(3-9-2013)


    News from March 8, 2013

  • Las Vegas qualifying rained out: Rain forced NASCAR to cancel qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's the first time a Cup qualifying session has ever been rained out in Las Vegas. The lineup was set by the NASCAR rule book. #2-Keselowski will start from the pole followed by #15-Bowyer, #48-Johnson, #5-Kahne, #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #29-Harvick, #14-Stewart, and #24-Gordon. The only driver to miss the race: #19-Bliss. See the starting lineup and qualifying rules on the Las Vegas Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(3-8-2013)

  • Rain in Vegas? Weather could be an issue Friday at Las Vegas Motors Speedway. The Weather Channel calls for a 60% chance of rain with a high temperature of 55 degrees. The hourly forecast calls for the greatest chance of rain coming in the moring, with the odds decreasing in the afternoon. Cup practice is scheduled to start at 9:00 Las Vegas time (noon/et) and qualifying is set for 3:40 local time (6:40pm/et). See more weather links on the Las Vegas Race Info Page - weather section.(3-8-2013)
    UPDATE: As of 3:40pm/et, rain has returned and track drying has stopped. NASCAR nearly had the track dry before the rain resumed. A revised schedule has not been announced, but it's expected Nationwide Series will practice first, once the track is dry. If Cup practice and qualifying is rained out #19-Mike Bliss would be the only driver that does not make the race. For unofficial qualifying rules, see my Qualifying Rules page.(3-8-2013)

  • Hamlin fined for Phoenix post-race comments UPDATES: NASCAR has fined driver #11-Denny Hamlin $25,000 for comments he made following the March 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR determined that Hamlin violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. NASCAR issued the following statement regarding the penalty: "Following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event last Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, Denny Hamlin made some disparaging remarks about the on-track racing that had taken place that afternoon. While NASCAR gives its competitors ample leeway in voicing their opinions when it comes to a wide range of aspects about the sport, the sanctioning body will not tolerate publicly made comments by its drivers that denigrate the racing product."(NASCAR)
    Comments: NASCAR did not announce the specific comment that got Hamlin fined, but the following appears to be his primary complaint against the car after the race (per Toyota PR):
    Q: How much did you learn about the new race car today?
    Hamlin: "We learned a lot. I don't want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our generation five cars. This is more like what the generation five was at the beginning. The teams hadn't figured out how to get the aero balance right. Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th-place with 30 (laps) to go, I would have stayed there -- I wouldn't have moved up. It's just one of those things where track position is everything."(3-7-2013)
    UPDATE: Denny Hamlin said on Thursday that he refuses to pay the fine that NASCAR assessed him after comments he made regarding the new Generation 6 car last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The car debuted in the Sprint Cup Series this season. "Ultimately, I'm not OK with it," Hamlin said of the penalty. "This is the most upset and angry I've been about anything in a really, really long time  anything that relates to NASCAR ... the truth is what the truth is and I don't believe in this, I'm never going to believe in it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to pay the fine. If they suspend me, they suspend me. I don't care at this point."(Fox Sports)(3-7-2013)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR VP of Competition Robin Pemberton discussed the fine Thursday afternoon:
    Q. Denny Hamlin was saying he's not planned to pay the fine that he was given for his comments. What would be the procedure and how long does he have to pay?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: He also has the ability to appeal. The fines are supposed to be paid as soon as possible, but we're not in any of those windows yet where it seems to be a problem.
    Q. Where is the limitation for what drivers can say without facing a fine if they have concerns about the car, whatever?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: We give them quite a bit of latitude, but you can't slam your racing, you can't slam your product. That's where it crosses a line.
    Q. If Denny wants to appeal the fine, what would that process entail?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: He has to let us know. He has to write a letter.
    Q. He can continue to compete?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: Yes. It's like every other appeal. Over the course of time, you remember mechanics and crew chiefs, whatever, if they appeal, then they can continue to carry on business as usual until the appeal has been heard and ruled on.
    Q. Just to clarify on that. When he does appeal, does it also go to the National Stockcar Racing Commission and then to the chief appellate officer?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: This isn't any different than an illegal part or piece.(NASCAR)(3-7-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Denny Hamlin issued the following statement Thursday night: "The short of the long of it is I believe I was severely disrespected by NASCAR by getting fined. I believe that the simple fact of us not even having a conversation about this issue before I was hit with a fine has something to say about our relationship. What I said was 1 sentence taken completely out of context. Most drivers will tell you that we constantly have our AND nascars best interest in mind when speaking. On the other hand I am a person that worked very hard from the BOTTOM to get where I am today and someone telling me that I can give my 100 percent honest opinion really bothers me. Since being fined in 2010 I have been a lot more careful about what I say to media and I felt this past weekend felt completely in my rights to give a assessment of the question asked. I feel as if today NASCAR lost one of its biggest supporters vocally of where our sport is headed. So in the end there are no winners. I said today I would not pay the fine. I stand by that and will go through the process of appealing. Trust me, this is not about the money. It's much deeper. I will now shift my focus on giving FedEx and my team what they deserve this weekend, a win."(3-7-2013)
    UPDATE 4: Statement from Joe Gibbs Racing: "We have spoken with NASCAR and will continue to keep an open dialogue with them on this matter, but we will keep those discussions between the parties involved. We will fully support Denny in his appeal process."

  • Almendinger to drive for Penske in IndyCar: Team Penske announced that AJ Allmendinger will join its IZOD IndyCar Series program in 2013. Allmendinger, who rose up through the ranks of open-wheel racing before transitioning to NASCAR, will compete in at least two IndyCar events for Team Penske this season, including the Indianapolis 500. Allmendinger will drive the #2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet at this year's Indianapolis 500, scheduled for May 26 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 31-year-old Allmendinger will also compete in the April 7 IZOD IndyCar Series race at the Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Ala., in the IZOD machine for Team Penske. Today's announcement represents a homecoming for Allmendinger on a couple of different fronts. He will return to his roots as the Los Gatos, Calif., native raced in the Champ Car World Series from 2004-2006 when he earned five wins, two poles and 14 podium finishes over a three-year period. It also means a return to Penske Racing. Allmendinger drove for the organization's Sprint Cup Series team for the first 17 races of the 2012 season before he was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy. After successfully completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program, Allmendinger returned to compete in four Cup Series events for another team at the end of the 2012 season. Allmendinger will next drive the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske car at the IZOD IndyCar Series spring training test sessions, March 12-13 at Barber Motorsports Park.(Team Penske)(3-8-2012)

  • NASCAR has no plans for own TV network: With Speed going away on Aug. 17, leaving race fans with no motorsports-focused network, this might seem like the perfect opportunity for NASCAR to begin its own cable property. But no plans are in the works. "We still discuss it from time to time about having our own network  we still think about it and throw it around a little bit every once in a while," NASCAR Vice President of Broadcasting Steve Herbst said in a phone interview. "But I think what we'll find on FS1 is a consistent, strong, and maybe even an increased level of NASCAR programming as compared to Speed today. Without a 'NASCAR channel,' we'll still have a very healthy and robust amount of NASCAR programming on there that will satisfy our motorsports fans and reach a broader audience." Herbst said having Cup races, practices and qualifying on Fox Sports 1 could attract general sports fans that wouldn't necessarily tune into a motorsports channel. Still, there must be a balance between network and cable telecasts. NASCAR Chairman Brian France said last month that he hopes there are more network races in 2015  indicating that either ABC will add races or, more likely, NBC will get some races as part of the new television rights deal that goes into effect in 2015. Though Fox has re-signed, NASCAR has not yet completed its next TV deal. Herbst said that all Camping World Truck Series races will be on Fox Sports 1 and that they cannot be moved to other Fox channels, such as Fuel, which also could become a secondary sports channel. NASCAR has contracts with Fox Sports to televise several regional series and road-racing events. Those are one-year deals that expire after this season and could move to other networks.(Sporting News)(3-8-2013)

  • Final Phoenix TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX posted a 5.6/12 with 9.1 million viewers on Sunday for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix. Though that's flat with last year's performance of a 5.6/12 (9.2 million), Sunday's race easily ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend. Through two telecasts, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 7.8/17 (13.0 million viewers), up +11% on Households and up +9% on average audience over last year's 7.0/13 (11.9 million).(3-8-2013)

  • Burton's crew chief still waiting on baby: #31-Jeff Burton is hoping his crew chief's soon-to-arrive baby can wait one more week. Luke Lambert's wife, Jamie, is expecting their second child back home in Charlotte. Lambert flew home from Phoenix last Saturday with RCR's Nationwide car in anticipation of the birth, but it didn't happen. Jamie is on bed rest, and the Lamberts are hoping the baby will wait until after the race. If the baby has other ideas, Nationwide crew chief Ernie Cope will fill in for the second straight week while Lambert leaves Las Vegas. "If something starts, we're going to support Luke being at home," Burton said. "He should be home with his wife. If anybody questions that, I don't give a damn. Yeah, racing is important, but being a father is more important."(Associated Press)(3-8-2013)

  • Danica Patrick nominated for Kids' Choice Award: What does Danica Patrick have in common with athletes Tim Tebow and LeBron James? What does she share with Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber? Patrick has been nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award. A fan favorite among women and kids, the popular NASCAR star is one of four athletes nominated for Nickelodeon's "Favorite Female Athlete" award. She joins 2012 Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and professional tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams on the list. The winners will be announced on Nickelodean on March 23 at 8 p.m. Patrick was voted the Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver last year.(Sporting News)(3-8-2013)

  • Qualifying cancelled in Las Vegas; Vickers on pole: #20-Brian Vickers will start from the pole for the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after rain washed out all of Friday's on track schedule and NASCAR cancelled Saturday's qualifying so teams could practice Saturday morning instead. #6-Trevor Bayne will start second. The rest of the top 10: #2-Brian Scott, #3-Austin Dillon, #33-Ty Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #77-Parker Kligerman, #43-Reed Sorenson, and #31-Justin Allgaier. Did Not Qualify: #46-Chase Miller, #21-Brendan Gaughan, and #98-Kevin Swindell. The starting lineup is posted on the Las Vegas starting lineup page (pdf).(3-8-2013)

  • Rain delays Nationwide practice UPDATE 2: Rain in Las Vegas has delayed practice for the Sam's Town 300. Jet driers were on track attempting to dry the surface, but heavier rain began to fall, forcing NASCAR to halt track-drying attempts. When it does stop raining, estimates put drying efforts around an hour and a half to two hours.
    UPDATE: Cup practice and qualifying was cancelled but Nationwide practice was finally able to get underway just after 8:30pm/et.However, cars never took the green before the rain returned. NASCAR has cancelled qualifying and will practice tomorrow morning from 11:00am-12:30pm/et.(3-8-2013)

  • Bandit Chippers adds to sponsorship of Kligerman: Bandit Chippers will be the co-primary sponsor for Parker Kligerman in his Kyle Busch Motorsports #77 Toyota for the Nationwide Series race at Bristol on March 16. "After Parker's memorable fifth place finish at Daytona, we knew we made a great choice in joining with him and Kyle Busch Motorsports to go racing this year," said Christopher Smith, communications and public relations director for Bandit. "We are so grateful that Parker and the drivers made it through that last-lap crash at Daytona without injury, and we are especially grateful for the recovery of all the injured fans. Our fans and customers around the world are behind Parker, and Bristol has always been a great track for us. We know he's going to put on a heck of a show." (Bandit Chippers), the company previously announced sponsorship of Kligerman for Daytona and Michigan.(3-8-2013)

  • Keen Parts joins JR Motorsports: JR Motorsports announced a new partnership with Keen Parts Inc., a leading supplier of Corvette restoration parts. As an official partner, Keen Parts will receive branding on the decklid of Regan Smith's #7 Chevy for the balance of the season, joining Smith on his bid for a Nationwide Series title run in 2013. Owned by Tom and Teresa Keen and based out of Cleves, Ohio, Keen Parts specializes in Corvette restoration parts ranging from vintage 1953 models to customized accessories for today's Corvettes. The company's current inventory boasts more than 18,000 parts and accessories.(JR Motorsports)(3-8-2013)

  • Teams testing Martinsville UPDATE: Several Camping World Truck Series drivers will be testing next Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12 and 13, at Martinsville Speedway in preparation for the April 6 race. Three Turner Scott Motorsports drivers, Jeb Burton, James Buescher, and Miquel Paludo will be testing, along with rookie Chase Elliott, son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, and Caleb Holman of Abingdon, Virginia.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(3-5-2013)
    UPDATE: Former Martinsville truck series winner Scott Riggs, Caleb Holman, and Bryan Silas will also be taking part in the test.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(3-8-2013)

  • Save Some Green with Atlanta Motor Speedway: To celebrate the upcoming St. Patrick's Day holiday, Atlanta Motor Speedway is rolling out a new and limited-time offer for race fans looking to save some green while watching their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars at the AdvoCare 500, Sunday, Sept. 1. Matching the car number of Sprint Cup Series rookie Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., the most recent NASCAR Nationwide Series race winner at the speedway, AMS is giving a $17 discount on AdvoCare 500 tickets located in rows 13-26 of the Winners Grandstand, as well as in row 16-32 of the Petty Grandstand. Both of these grandstands are located on the speedway's fronstretch, offering great viewing opportunities of the entire speedway and pit road. This special discount will only be available now through 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19.(AMS)(3-8-2013)

  • Martinsville Mobile App will improve fan experience: Race fans can begin downloading the new Martinsville Speedway Mobile App which should make their next trip to Martinsville Speedway a much easier experience. The new app, which is available at no cost for iOS and Android, has features that will help visitors navigate their way around Martinsville Speedway's property on event weekends. The first event fans will be able to utilize the Martinsville Speedway App will be the STP Gas Booster 500 weekend April 5-7. Key features of the new App include: interactive GPS map, detailed facility maps, race weekend schedule, ability to find your friends at the track, and much, much more.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-8-2013)

  • Ride Metrolink trains to Auto Club 400: Race fans looking for a stress-free, convenient and affordable way to get to Auto Club Speedway's Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race need not look any further! Auto Club Speedway (ACS) has again partnered with Metrolink to provide direct train service to the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 24 at Auto Club Speedway. Metrolink train tickets to the Auto Club 400 are only $19 for one (1) round trip train ticket. Metrolink will operate three trains originating from Oxnard, Lancaster and Oceanside with limited stops in between for faster service. Metrolink's Speedway trains stop at a specially constructed station just off the back straight-away at the race track. From there, passengers will board a free tram that takes them to the entrance gates. Trains depart Auto Club Speedway one hour after the end of the race, or checkered flag. For stops, more info and race tix, go to autoclubspeedway.com.(Auto Club Speedway)(3-8-2013)


    News from March 7, 2013

  • Hamlin fined for Phoenix post-race comments UPDATES: NASCAR has fined driver #11-Denny Hamlin $25,000 for comments he made following the March 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR determined that Hamlin violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. NASCAR issued the following statement regarding the penalty: "Following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event last Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, Denny Hamlin made some disparaging remarks about the on-track racing that had taken place that afternoon. While NASCAR gives its competitors ample leeway in voicing their opinions when it comes to a wide range of aspects about the sport, the sanctioning body will not tolerate publicly made comments by its drivers that denigrate the racing product."(NASCAR)
    Comments: NASCAR did not announce the specific comment that got Hamlin fined, but the following appears to be his primary complaint against the car after the race (per Toyota PR):
    Q: How much did you learn about the new race car today?
    Hamlin: "We learned a lot. I don't want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our generation five cars. This is more like what the generation five was at the beginning. The teams hadn't figured out how to get the aero balance right. Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th-place with 30 (laps) to go, I would have stayed there -- I wouldn't have moved up. It's just one of those things where track position is everything."(3-7-2013)
    UPDATE: Denny Hamlin said on Thursday that he refuses to pay the fine that NASCAR assessed him after comments he made regarding the new Generation 6 car last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The car debuted in the Sprint Cup Series this season. "Ultimately, I'm not OK with it," Hamlin said of the penalty. "This is the most upset and angry I've been about anything in a really, really long time  anything that relates to NASCAR ... the truth is what the truth is and I don't believe in this, I'm never going to believe in it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to pay the fine. If they suspend me, they suspend me. I don't care at this point."(Fox Sports)(3-7-2013)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR VP of Competition Robin Pemberton discussed the fine Thursday afternoon:
    Q. Denny Hamlin was saying he's not planned to pay the fine that he was given for his comments. What would be the procedure and how long does he have to pay?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: He also has the ability to appeal. The fines are supposed to be paid as soon as possible, but we're not in any of those windows yet where it seems to be a problem.
    Q. Where is the limitation for what drivers can say without facing a fine if they have concerns about the car, whatever?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: We give them quite a bit of latitude, but you can't slam your racing, you can't slam your product. That's where it crosses a line.
    Q. If Denny wants to appeal the fine, what would that process entail?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: He has to let us know. He has to write a letter.
    Q. He can continue to compete?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: Yes. It's like every other appeal. Over the course of time, you remember mechanics and crew chiefs, whatever, if they appeal, then they can continue to carry on business as usual until the appeal has been heard and ruled on.
    Q. Just to clarify on that. When he does appeal, does it also go to the National Stockcar Racing Commission and then to the chief appellate officer?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: This isn't any different than an illegal part or piece.(NASCAR)(3-7-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Denny Hamlin issued the following statement Thursday night: "The short of the long of it is I believe I was severely disrespected by NASCAR by getting fined. I believe that the simple fact of us not even having a conversation about this issue before I was hit with a fine has something to say about our relationship. What I said was 1 sentence taken completely out of context. Most drivers will tell you that we constantly have our AND nascars best interest in mind when speaking. On the other hand I am a person that worked very hard from the BOTTOM to get where I am today and someone telling me that I can give my 100 percent honest opinion really bothers me. Since being fined in 2010 I have been a lot more careful about what I say to media and I felt this past weekend felt completely in my rights to give a assessment of the question asked. I feel as if today NASCAR lost one of its biggest supporters vocally of where our sport is headed. So in the end there are no winners. I said today I would not pay the fine. I stand by that and will go through the process of appealing. Trust me, this is not about the money. It's much deeper. I will now shift my focus on giving FedEx and my team what they deserve this weekend, a win."(3-7-2013)

  • Second Thursday test/practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over after180 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #16-Biffle 189.427
    #48-Johnson 189.142
    #55-Martin 189.142
    #99-Edwards 189.102
    #29-Harvick 189.049
    slowest: #47-Labonte 182.143 & #98-McDowell 180.699. 43 drivers were on track in the afternoon session.
    There is no TV coverage or online streaming for today's sessions.
    See fastest laps, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Las Vegas Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(3-7-2013)

  • First Thursday test/practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over after 210 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #20-Kenseth 187.396
    #99-Edwards 187.363
    #29-Harvick 187.344
    #56-Truex, Jr. 187.214
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 186.819
    slowest: #32-Schrader 179.862 & #83-Reutimann 179.671. 42 drivers practiced during the session.
    There is no TV coverage or online streaming for today's sessions.
    See fastest laps, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Las Vegas Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(3-7-2013)

  • PRN Launches Mobile App: The Performance Racing Network [PRN[ launched their first mobile app giving fans access to award-winning PRN programming and NASCAR coverage right at their fingertips. "NASCAR fans want their race broadcasts, news and information on the go, and now we're able to deliver the Performance Racing Network wherever they go," said Doug Rice, president and co-anchor of the Performance Racing Network. "With the new PRN mobile app, they can access all PRN race coverage, PRN's "Fast Talk" show, PRN's "O'Reilly Auto Parts Pit Reporters" and PRN's "Garage Pass", along with the latest photos and videos. Fans can now listen to PRN on more platforms than ever before. PRN programming is available on more than 650 affiliate stations, GoPRN.com, SiriusXM Radio, NASCAR.com, TuneIn and now through the Performance Racing Network mobile app. More info at goprn.com.(PRN)(3-7-2013)

  • MaddiesPlaceRocks.com on the #87 at Vegas: NEMCO-JRR Motorsports announced that their valued partner is back on board and ready for some fun in Las Vegas. The #87 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Toyota will be the primary sponsor driven by "Front Row" Joe Nemechek for the Kobalt Tools 400 race as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series weekend in Vegas.(NEMCO-JRR)(3-7-2013)

  • Teams test Thursday at Las Vegas: Sprint Cup teams typically get only about three hours of practice on a race weekend. They will get more than six hours on Thursday alone at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and then about three more hours on Friday and Saturday. The key for drivers and crew chiefs during Thursday's one-day test session will be to not only find pure speed in the car but also find ways for it to handle better in traffic. The test, which will not count against the four-per-organization allotment for the year, is key for smaller teams that don't test often at non-Cup tracks. NASCAR opted to open Las Vegas, the first 1.5-mile track on a 36-race schedule that includes 11 races at 1.5-mile tracks, a day early for testing rather than have the teams using one of their four allotted tests this early in the year. Teams will be allowed to have telemetry on the cars for the day of testing and change engines after the test. NASCAR will begin its regular race weekend with technical inspection Friday morning, followed by practice and qualifying.(Sporting News)
    AND: Race fans are invited to watch NASCAR's new "Gen6" Sprint Cup Series cars test at LVMS. The grandstands will be open, free of charge, to the public.(LVMS)(3-7-2012)

  • Serta Mattress featured on #78 at Vegas: Furniture Row Racing driver Kurt Busch is banking on a "Lucky 13" start to beat the odds and fulfill a career dream of claiming his first Sprint Cup victory in his hometown of Las Vegas. "Not too many people beat the odds in Las Vegas, but after 12 attempts of trying to win there, I think I'm overdue," said Busch, whose #78 Chevy will feature a new associate sponsor  Serta Mattress  for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(FRR)#78 Furniture Row / Serta schemes.(3-7-2013)

  • Roush Fenway selected as finalist for Social Media Icon Award: Roush Fenway Racing has been named a finalist for the PR News' Social Media Icon Award. The program is sponsored by PR News and is designated to honor those that "took chances, made incredible strides and understand the power of social media in public relations." RFR has been named a finalist in the category of "Use of Google+", with its marketing efforts through the platform in 2012. Roush Fenway become the first motorsports team to build a significant footprint in the Google+ space and the first team to exceed one million fans in its combined circles. A leader in NASCAR marketing solutions, Roush Fenway has brought home MarCom awards the past two years for its award-winning campaigns for RickyVsTrevor.com and "25 Winning Years." The significantly upped its level of fan engagement with a behind the scenes look at the organization kicking off at the 2012 Daytona Speedweeks with the first ever 'Five Driver Hangout.' The platform also featured live pre and post-race driver 'hangouts' from Daytona International Speedway, as well as G+ Hangouts from Fenway Park and RFR Fan Days.(Roush Fenway Racing)(3-7-2013)

  • Las Vegas Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Las Vegas this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at Las Vegas last season . . . this is the only track at which these two tire codes are scheduled to be run in 2013 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Las Vegas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear). See full notes, tire limits, pressures, codes on the Las Vegas Race Info page - Goodyear section.(3-7-2013)

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

  • World Financial Group to sponsor Bayne: World Financial Group, Inc., a business unit of Transamerica, has joined forces with NASCAR-series championship team Roush Fenway Racing to sponsor Trevor Bayne in two NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2013. Bayne will race the WFG and Transamerica sponsored #6 Ford Mustang in the Sam's Town 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9 and in the Great Clips 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 9. WFG has a rich history with Roush Fenway Racing. The company partnered with Roush Fenway as one of Carl Edwards' first sponsors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2004, and continued to sponsor Roush Fenway drivers in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Series' for many years, most recently in 2011.(Roush Fenway)(3-7-2013)

  • Josh Wise in the #40 for 5 races: Josh Wise will be racing in the #40 The Motorsports Group Chevy for 5 races starting at the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9th. Wise will also compete at Bristol on March 16th, California March 23rd, Texas April 12th and Richmond April 26th. Wise has three previous starts at Vegas with a best finish of 19th.Josh Wise has 104 NASCAR Nationwide Series Starts with 2 top 5's and 6 top 10's to his credit.(The Motorsports Group)(3-7-2013)

  • Little to be inducted into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame: Chad Little has directed only one race as the new Camping World Truck Series director, and he's already picked for a hall of fame? Yes, but there's an easy explanation. Little was named last week as one of five new inductees for the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Little is a former NASCAR West champion and a former Sprint Cup regular. He moved into a new position with NASCAR this season as boss of the Truck series.(SPEED TV)(3-7-13)

  • Ratt to perform prerace concert at Auto Club 400: Los Angeles-based rockers RATT will get race day started in classic rock-and-roll style at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 24 when they perform a pre-race concert beginning at 10am on the FanZone main stage. Hard rockers Stephen Pearcy (vocals), Warren DeMartini (guitar), Bobby Blotzer (drums), Juan Croucier (bass) and Carlos Cavazo (guitar)  will perform hits including "Round and Round," "Wanted Man," and "Lay it Down" as well as many other fan favorites, shuttling listeners to a time when metal ruled the earth and real musicians wore eyeliner like a badge of honor. This year RATT is preparing to enter the studio and begin work on what will be their eleventh studio album, expected to arrive later this year.(Auto Club Speedway)(3-7-2013)

  • "Two for $88" Dale Jr. Ticket Package at Talladega:Entering the 2013 edition of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, has "two" career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories in the May classic. As a result of his success at the 2.66-mile facility, and in recognition of him being in position "two" in the title chase after "two" races in 2013, Talladega is offering a special Dale Jr. "Two for $88" ticket package for the upcoming Aaron's 499 set for Sunday, May 5. The "Two for $88" Dale Jr. opportunity includes two Anniston Grandstand tickets located in between turn four and the frontstretch Tri-Oval for the Aaron's 499, and presents a savings of over $50 off race time pricing. The offer is good though Monday, March 18, while seats last.(TSS)(3-7-2013)

  • Outshyne to perform prerace concert at Darlington: Pre-race entertainment for the May 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway just got kicked up a notch with the addition of a pre-race concert. Millstar Nashville recording artist, Outshyne, will perform at Darlington Raceway prior to driver introductions for the Bojangles' Southern 500 on May 11. The pre-race concert will begin at approximately 5 p.m. Outshyne's lead singer Waylon Owings will also perform the national anthem for the Bojangles' Southern 500. The latest album by Outshyne, "Startin' Over" debuted at #11 on the iTunes charts and the band's latest single "Dirt Road Romance" has been climbing the charts at a rapid pace. The South Carolina-based band is expected to take off in 2013 for greater heights in the country music industry.(Darlington Raceway)(3-7-2013)

  • Little to be inducted into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame: Chad Little has directed only one race as the new Camping World Truck Series director, and he's already picked for a hall of fame? Yes, but there's an easy explanation. Little was named last week as one of five new inductees for the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Little is a former NASCAR West champion and a former Sprint Cup regular. He moved into a new position with NASCAR this season as boss of the Truck series.(SPEED TV)(3-7-13)


    News from March 6, 2013

  • McDowell gets Vegas Sponsor: Michael McDowell will carry a new primary sponsor aboard the #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. McDowell will sport the colors of Ambient Edge, an air conditioning, heating and refrigeration company, on his Fusion as part of a one-race partnership in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400. It is the organization's first NASCAR sponsorship. Ambient Edge provides new equipment sales and installation, 24-hour repair and service on all major brands of heating and air conditioning equipment, custom sheet metal fabrication, duct design and building load calculations. They service the Las Vegas, Henderson, Laughlin, Kingman, Lake Havasu, and Bullhead City areas. McDowell has three Cup Series starts and two Nationwide Series starts at Las Vegas. His best performance came in the 2009 Nationwide race, which he finished in sixth place.(Breaking Limits/Phil Parsons Racing), see an image of the car on the #98 team paint schemes page.(3-6-2013)

  • NASCAR retains law firm for Daytona crash: NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation have retained a Miami-based law firm to handle claims from fans injured in a Feb. 23 Nationwide Series crash. At least 28 fans were injured when Kyle Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence, sending debris flying into the front stretch stands on the last lap of the race. NASCAR is conducting an investigation to see if the catch fence did its job, focusing on the area around a crossover gate where the engine of Larson's car ripped through. Orlando, Fla., based attorney Matt Morgan told ESPN.com a fourth client recently retained him to seek compensation for burns suffered as a result of the crash. Morgan said he is working "diligently" with NASCAR and ISC legal representation -- Cole, Scott & Kissane, Pa. -- to settle the issue without going to trial. Meanwhile, the two most seriously injured fans remain at Halifax Health in stable condition, according to a hospital spokesperson.(ESPN)(3-6-2013)

  • SPEED to be rebranded as Fox Sports 1 UPDATE:: FOX Sports Media Group officially unveiled plans to launch a new, national, multi-sport network called FOX Sports 1. The announcement was made by FSMG Co-Presidents and COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. Set to debut on Saturday, Aug. 17, just as FOX Sports kicks-off its 20th anniversary year, FS1 is available in over 90 million homes, making this the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever. At the outset, FS1 boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually. A robust schedule of live events forms the backbone of FOX Sports 1's programming from Day 1, with college basketball, college football, NASCAR, soccer and UFC all on tap between launch and year's end. In fact, the schedule on Aug. 17 features live events morning, noon and night including a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan and "UFC on FS1 1" in prime time. In 2014, FSMG's new rights agreement with MLB takes effect, bringing regular and postseason games to FS1.
    NASCAR programming will include: Select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as soon as 2015; NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races; NASCAR Sprint All-Star race; all SpeedWeeks events leading up to the Daytona 500 including: Daytona 500 Qualifying, Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (2014, 2017-22) and the Budweiser Duel, now in prime time; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NCWTS Practice and Qualifying sessions; NASCAR RaceDay, providing pre- and post-race coverage; NASCAR Victory Lane, a weekly wrap-up show; and Race Hub, a daily mid-day studio show with the latest from drivers, owners and garages.
    FSMG's experimentation with the "double box" commercial format, intended to keep viewers engaged throughout breaks, is expected to be an FS1 staple.Fox PR)(3-5-2013)
    UPDATE: Select Sprint Cup Series races will be shown on the new Fox Sports 1 channel starting in 2015, the network announced. Fox Sports Media Group has the rights to [the season's first] 13 races, and the news release Tuesday did not indicate which of those races will move from network television to cable. NASCAR officials confirmed when the Fox 2015-2022 deal was announced last October that the Daytona 500 will remain on network television. Speed shows such as NASCAR RaceDay, NASCAR Victory Lane and Race Hub will be added to the Fox Sports 1 lineup. Race Hub, typically a 6:00pm/et show on Speed, will move to midday.(Sporting News)(3-6-2013)

  • Johnson not pleased with Edwards final restart at Phoenix: #48-Jimmie Johnson was none too pleased with #99-Carl Edwards for the way Edwards restarted the race prior to the final two laps of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 on Sunday. Edwards responded to the accusations with incredulity. Who, me? Was it was some postrace gamesmanship or just matter-of-fact truthfulness? It's hard to say just exactly what happened on lap 315 of the 316-lap event at Phoenix International Raceway, which Edwards won.
    "I felt like Carl didn't follow the restart protocol and was slower than the pace car on his last two restarts, and it gives the leader a huge advantage when that happens," Johnson said. "You're supposed to wait until you get between the two lines and take off and this was all going on before it. You're supposed to maintain the speed of the pace car, so I maintained the speed of the pace car and the 99 (of Edwards) is dropping back."
    Au contraire, Edwards says. He believes Johnson was speeding up. "I thought, 'Man, he's playing some kind of trick, he's speeding up,'" Edwards said about the final restart. "I thought, 'What's he doing? Usually the guy in second hangs back a little bit and tries to watch, and he pulled up there, and I thought, 'Man, why is he doing that.' Yeah, so maybe I was slowing down, but I wasn't trying to."
    Part of the advantage of being the leader is being able to dictate how the race restarts. If NASCAR believes a driver is not adhering to the rules, it often will admonish the driver and warn that any recurrences during the race will result in a penalty. NASCAR never warned Edwards on Sunday.(Sporting News)(3-6-2013)

  • Pirate returns to the #95 at Las Vegas: Scott Speed and Leavine Family Racing will keep their pirate colors for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The team set sail last week with a black #95 Ford at Phoenix, complete with a skull and crossbones designed by Sam Bass on the hood and the words "Surrender the Sponsor" across the trunk. The project got so much positive feedback, including associate sponsorships for the 267 lap event in Sin City, that the team decided to stick with it. Even though the #95 Ford will sport a black pirate theme, it will also carry the associate sponsorships from Race Fuel Energy Drink and Sin City Motorsports.(Leavine Family Racing), see images of the scheme/car on the #95 Team Schemes page.(3-6-2013)

  • 150th start for Logano: When the green flag flies in Vegas, #22-Joey Logano will reach yet another milestone in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. On Sunday, he will make his 150th Sprint Cup Series start. His first start came in September of 2008 at New Hampshire.(Penske Racing)(3-6-2013)

  • Congrats: to Richard and Jessica Coleman on the birth of their second child, Loralei Jolene Coleman. Loralei was born Tuesday, 7 lbs., 2oz at 20.5 inches long. Richard is the front tire carrier for #15-Clint Bowyer.(3-6-2013)

  • "Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?" on the #8: The great outdoors is the normal scene of the hot new television show Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?, which airs on the National Geographic Channel on Mondays at 8pm/et, but this weekend, the show will be part of an entirely different scene at the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, March 9. Scott Lagasse Jr., TeamSLR driver of the #8 HybridLight / Boy Scouts of America Chevy, will be running a special paint scheme on the hood of his Camaro promoting the new reality adventure program. Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? is an exciting yet moving reality competition series on the National Geographic Channel. Each week, an elite team of Scouts from across the country gathers to take on three new (and brave) adults in a series of challenges - all based on the Boy Scouts' 100-year-old handbook - designed to test their physical and mental stamina to determine if these adults have what it takes to prove they are Tougher Than a Boy Scout.(Team SLR)(3-6-2013)

  • Biagi-DenBeste attempting first race of 2013: Kevin Swindell and the #98 Biagi-DenBeste Racing team will take to the track this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This will be the first race of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season for Swindell and the team. The Sam's Town 300 will mark Swindell's first time racing at the Las Vegas 1.5-mile oval. The Biagi-DenBeste Racing team has previously raced at the track five times, with a top finish of 18th. In Swindell's two 1.5-mile starts for the team last season, he completed 99.8% of the laps and scored one top-10 finish.(Biagi-DenBeste PR)(3-6-2013)

  • Husky Liners to sponsor Scott: Husky Liners, a leading supplier of automotive accessories for light trucks, SUV's, vans and cars, will continue its partnership with Richard Childress Racing in 2013 as a primary sponsor for two races with the #2 Nationwide Series team and Brian Scott at the wheel. The Husky Liners brand will serve as the primary sponsor of the #2 Chevy under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway on April 12 and Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23. The Winfield, Kansas-based company will also serve as an associate sponsor throughout the season on Scott's #2 Nationwide Series Chevy.(RCR)(3-6-2013)

  • Edwards' Win Gives Martinsville Speedway Fans Special $99 Package: Carl Edwards was turning back flips after his win Sunday and for Martinsville Speedway fans, the victory could mean they will turn a back flip or two. To help Edwards celebrate the win in his #99 Ford Fusion, Martinsville Speedway is offering the $99 Carl Edwards Ticket Offer for the STP Gas Booster 500 on April 7. The offer includes two tickets for in the South Annex for only $99. The $99 Carl Edwards Ticket may be purchased by calling 877-722-3849 or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com. The offer is valid through Thursday,(Martinsville Speedway)(3-6-2013)

  • Safety Training at Charlotte Motor Speedway: As it has annually for more than two decades, Charlotte Motor Speedway welcomed more than 150 track safety professionals over the weekend for a two-day training session to hone their skills and prepare for the upcoming race season. Personnel from 10 NASCAR facilities  including Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway  received hands-on safety training for all events at the speedway. Leading the way in safety training, Charlotte Motor Speedway has been offering such classes since 1991. The sessions included online training modules and live scenarios for fire, rescue and EMS personnel. Topics covered included extrication, fire suppression, on-track EMS and track clean-up.(CMS)(3-6-2013)

  • Kobalt Social Media Command Center to debut at LVMS: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is taking social networking to a new level with the brand-new Kobalt Social Media Command Center during the March 7-10 NASCAR Weekend. The social media hub, located in the Neon Garage, will host computers accompanied by large video monitors and screens that will give fans a live view of social networking by some of the top personalities in NASCAR. Guests from Team Lowe's Racing, NASCAR, LVMS, Sprint and news media will take seats regularly in the command center to communicate with fans and share real-time information throughout the weekend. Feeds from drivers, fans, race teams and sponsors will be tracked and displayed on monitors from the second floor of the Neon Garage.(More info and hours of operation at LVMS.com)(3-6-2013)

  • Rockingham Speedway brings back "Send a Soldier to The Rock" campaign: Buoyed by the success of last year's "Send a Soldier to The Rock" promotion, Rockingham Speedway is partnering with the United Service Organization of North Carolina (USO of NC) to continue the program for the April 14 running of the Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine. Through Send a Soldier to The Rock, race fans can purchase tickets to the event that will be distributed by the USO of NC to servicemen and women and their families. Rockingham Speedway will be donating a portion of ticket sales from Send a Soldier to The Rock back to the USO of NC. Fans can purchase $25 Send a Soldier to The Rock tickets by calling 910.205.8800 or online at rockinghamspeedway.com. The NCWTS will practice on Saturday with qualifying and racing on Sunday, April 14. (Rockingham Speedway PR)(3-6-2013)


    News from March 5, 2013

  • SPEED to be rebranded as Fox Sports 1: FOX Sports Media Group officially unveiled plans to launch a new, national, multi-sport network called FOX Sports 1. The announcement was made by FSMG Co-Presidents and COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. Set to debut on Saturday, Aug. 17, just as FOX Sports kicks-off its 20th anniversary year, FS1 is available in over 90 million homes, making this the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever. At the outset, FS1 boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually. A robust schedule of live events forms the backbone of FOX Sports 1's programming from Day 1, with college basketball, college football, NASCAR, soccer and UFC all on tap between launch and year's end. In fact, the schedule on Aug. 17 features live events morning, noon and night including a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan and "UFC on FS1 1" in prime time. In 2014, FSMG's new rights agreement with MLB takes effect, bringing regular and postseason games to FS1.
    NASCAR programming will include: Select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as soon as 2015; NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races; NASCAR Sprint All-Star race; all SpeedWeeks events leading up to the Daytona 500 including: Daytona 500 Qualifying, Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (2014, 2017-22) and the Budweiser Duel, now in prime time; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NCWTS Practice and Qualifying sessions; NASCAR RaceDay, providing pre- and post-race coverage; NASCAR Victory Lane, a weekly wrap-up show; and Race Hub, a daily mid-day studio show with the latest from drivers, owners and garages.
    FSMG's experimentation with the "double box" commercial format, intended to keep viewers engaged throughout breaks, is expected to be an FS1 staple.Fox PR)(3-5-2013)

  • Kwikset to sponsor Burton: Kwikset announced a partnership agreement with Richard Childress Racing and driver Jeff Burton. Kwikset will have its logo on the #31 Chevy for every race this season, and will also be the primary paint scheme for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6. Throughout the 2013 season, Kwikset will be announcing opportunities to engage fans and customers in unique ways. Kwikset will activate this partnership with a VIP infield hospitality presence at five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends beginning with Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 10. There will also be significant activation at Dover International Speedway on June 2, Chicagoland Speedway on September 15, Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 12 and Texas Motor Speedway on November 3.
    "Richard Childress Racing's focus on elite innovation strategies falls right in line with Kwikset's brand promise to deliver smart, innovative security options to our customers," said Greg Gluchowski, president, Hardware & Home Improvement Group at Spectrum Brands. "We are proud to align ourselves with excellence for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season."
    The company sees value in working with NASCAR teams, which it has done in the past, and spreading the message of safety and innovation for families to race fans nationwide. Having a presence at the track provides an opportunity to fuel the passions of Kwikset consumers, employees and NASCAR fans. "Safety and innovation are very important to Kwikset's business, and as a driver, two areas that I'm very passionate about myself," said Burton. "I am proud to have Kwikset as a partner this season."(RCR), see an image of the scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2013)

  • Biffle to run Red Cross scheme at Las Vegas; to visit children in hospital: Driver of the #16 American Red Cross/3M Ford Greg Biffle will visit patients on Wednesday [March 7th] at the Sunrise Children's Hospital in Las Vegas, NV, this week. In addition to the visit, Biffle will speak with the media about the importance of being a blood donor, especially during March is Red Cross Month, a presidentially proclaimed national month that recognizes the unique role of the Red Cross. The American Red Cross is celebrating the sixth year of its Red Cross Racing partnership with 3M and Roush Fenway Racing. Thanks to a generous donation from 3M and support by Greg Biffle, the #16 Ford will sport a Red Cross paint scheme during the March 10 race in Las Vegas and the April 27 race in Richmond.(RFR), see an image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2013)

  • Some Las Vegas Motor Speedway Facts & Stats: · There have been 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
    · 125 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas; 96 in more than one.
    · Four drivers have participated in all 15 races: #31-Jeff Burton, #24-Jeff Gordon, #47-Bobby Labonte and #55-Mark Martin.
    · Dale Jarrett won the inaugural pole with a speed of 168.224 mph (32.773 secs.)
    · Kyle Busch is the only driver to win consecutive poles at LVMS from (2008-09).
    · Nine different drivers have won at LVMS, led by Jimmie Johnson (four). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and two-time Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth each have two.
    · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Las Vegas with seven, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five.
    · Only seven of the 15 races have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch became the first and thus far only driver to win from the pole, in 2009.
    · Only two LVMS races have been won from the front row: Kyle Busch, 2009 (pole); and Carl Edwards, 2008 (second-place).
    · Four of the 15 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004.
    · Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart lead the series in runner-up finishes at Las Vegas with two each.
    · Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart lead the series in top-five finishes at Las Vegas with six each.
    · Mark Martin has 10 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. His average finish is 13.4.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finish at LVMS with a 9.818; he is the only active driver with an average finish in the top 10.
    · There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Las Vegas: 2006 (270/267).
    · Three drivers have won consecutive races at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton (1999, 2000); Matt Kenseth (2003, 2004) and Jimmie Johnson the only one of the three to win three consecutive races (2005, 2006 and 2007).
    · Tony Stewart competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway 13 times before winning (2012); the longest span of any the nine winners. Stewart is the only driver to have made 10 or more attempts before his first win at LVMS.
    · Bobby Labonte leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas without visiting Victory Lane with 15.
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Las Vegas was the (3/12/2006) race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.045 seconds.
    · This weekend will be Danica Patrick's first attempt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Shawna Robinson is the only female driver to have made a NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to date. She did so on March 3, 2002 starting 36th and finishing 42nd.(NASCAR)(3-5-2013)

  • TRD Racing SVP Talks Engine Trouble: David Wilson, Senior Vice President of Toyota Racing Development, joined co-host Danielle Trotta on tonight's edition of NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED to talk about the recent engine trouble hampering Toyota's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race teams. He talked about some of the early season difficulties and how the manufacturer, working with the teams, is remedying the situation. Here is what Wilson had to say&
    Danielle Trotta: You've described the problems that we've seen in the first two races as an emotionally charged issue, what has the past few weeks been like for you and TRD?
    David Wilson: Certainly, the last thing you want to do is start off the season by digging a hole for any of your drivers. It's our responsibility to give them enough trouble-free weekends and build that confidence back up. I feel the most for Kyle (Busch) because purely by circumstance, purely by misfortune, he's suffered the most amongst all of our drivers in the past couple of years. We likely cost him (Kyle) a shot in The Chase last year. We all know how well he ran during those last 10 races, and we've all done the math there. First a foremost, is to first 'man up' and take responsibility, and try and give them the confidence that we are going to get this sorted, and we are going to put them in position to win races, which we know our equipment is capable of.
    Trotta: When you experience problems like this in the first two weeks of the season, I know you are already at the track; do you increase personnel at the track or back in California in any way, when you're going through something like this?
    Wilson: Absolutely, it's a great question. We typically do (have more people) at Daytona anyway because it is our Super Bowl. Coming there, with the new 'Gen 6' Toyota Camry, it is all hands on deck, so we staffed up specifically for that. Given the fact that we did have some issues at Daytona, we did bring out a couple more engineers, a couple more technicians, which was made a lot easier because we are out here on the West Coast. We have plenty of hands and plenty of resources at the race tracks to handle these issues as they come up.
    Trotta: Moving forward to Vegas, you've said that you've got enough performance, but what (you) don't have enough of is margin and safety. That's where your focus is. Could you explain more about that?
    Wilson: As we take our engines to the race track, one of the most important things that we do in developing those engines, is making sure that they do have the reliability and the durability because clearly, if we're not seeing failures here at the shop, but we're seeing them at the race track, then we're not pushing the engines hard enough. Based on what we saw at Phoenix, our engine configuration heading to Vegas is essentially the same as we ran this past weekend. We're quite comfortable that we'll not just have some good performances, but good reliability for all of the Toyota teams in Vegas.(SPEED)(3-5-2013)

  • Sad News - Jack Choquette: Jack Choquette, who captured the 1954 national championship in the NASCAR Modified Division, passed away recently and has been laid to rest in Florida. Choquette, originally from Montclair, NJ, made a name for himself in the racing ranks after relocating to Florida where he drove to the 1953 NASCAR Southeast regional title and followed that with the NASCAR Modified Division national championship in 1954. Choquette also made six combined starts in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1955-56, highlighted by a runner-up finish in his series debut at his home track  Palm Beach Speedway  to Tim Flock on Feb. 6, 1955. He competed twice on the famed beach and road course in Daytona Beach. Choquette passed away on Feb. 23 and was laid to rest on March 2 in Royal Palm Beach. He is survived by three sons, a daughter, 17 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. One of his grandsons, Jeff Choquette, is a part-time NASCAR Camping World Truck series competitor who also drives Super Late Models in the southeast.National Speed Sport News(3-5-2013)

  • Phoenix TV Ratings: ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 2, was the No. 2 sports event of the weekend on cable TV with an average audience of 2.5 million people. The telecast earned a 1.6 household coverage rating (1.4 U.S. rating), slightly down from a 1.7 rating for last year's race but up from a 1.5 for the 2011 race.(ESPN)(3-5-2013)

  • WESCO renews with RCR; sponsoring Ty Dillon: WESCO International has agreed to renew its primary sponsorship of Ty Dillon and Richard Childress Racing's #33 Chevy for six races during the 2013 Nationwide Series season. WESCO will also serve as an associate sponsor on Dillon's #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for all races in 2013. WESCO is a leading full-line wholesale distributor of electrical, industrial, utility and communications products and advanced supply chain procurement services. The Pittsburgh-based company will be the primary sponsor for the following races: Las Vegas, Talladega, Dover (June), Bristol (August), Texas (Nov), and Homestead. WESCO joined RCR in 2012 as the primary sponsor for two Nationwide Series events with Dillon: Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway where Dillon posted third and seventh-place finishes, respectively. (RCR), see an image of the car on the #33 team paint schemes page.(3-5-2013)

  • Sorenson to sub for Annett? UPDATE: Looks like there will be a familiar face subbing at Richard Petty Motorsports while regular Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett continues his recovery. Multiple sources are saying that Reed Sorenson will be announced to pilot the #43 Ford for the next few events while Annett is on the mend from his dislocated sternum suffered at Daytona. Doctors expect Annett, who was at the epicenter of a multi-car wreck late in that race to be out as long as eight weeks. Sorenson is no stranger to what's now RPM, having driven the #43 in Sprint Cup. Currently driving for The Motorsports Group #40, in the Nationwide Series Sorenson has an average finish of 24th in the first two events of 2013. There's no word on who will replace him; the driver is scheduled to run full-time, sponsorship permitting for that program.(Frontstretch)(3-4-2013)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Reed Sorenson will fill in for Nationwide Series team driver Michael Annett, who was injured in a crash at Daytona and had to undergo surgery for a fractured and dislocated sternum. Sorenson will race the #43 Pilot Flying J Ford beginning this week at Las Vegas and remain the driver until Annett is healed and cleared by NASCAR officials to race.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(3-5-2013)

  • Texas could alter famous victory lane gun celebration: Eddie Gossage isn't expecting any significant fallout from his track's sponsorship with the NRA, but the Texas Motor Speedway president is considering tweaks after aligning with the organization. Gossage told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview Monday that he will solicit team owners' opinions about altering his victory lane procedure for the NRA 500 on April 13. For several years, Texas winners have celebrated by donning a cowboy hat and firing two six-shooters (with blanks) for victory lane photos.(USA Today)(3-5-2013)

  • NASCAR Hauler Parade on Las Vegas Blvd.: The NASCAR Hauler Parade, the traditional kick-off for Las Vegas Motor Speedway's NASCAR Weekend, will take place on Wednesday evening this year as the 1.5-mile superspeedway will host a full day of Sprint Cup Series practice on Thursday. The popular NASCAR Hauler Parade will thunder up the world-famous Las Vegas Strip at 6 p.m.  under the fabulous neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip  on Wednesday, March 6. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice  originally scheduled for late January  has been moved to Thursday, March 7. Practice will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the grandstands will be open to the public, free of charge. The colorful 18-wheelers that carry the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race cars and equipment to the tracks will be staged throughout the day at the South Point Hotel & Casino on Las Vegas Blvd. Tickets for NASCAR Weekend are on sale at www.lvms.com or by calling (800) 644-4444. Neon Garage passes, Lucky 7 preferred parking and driver introduction passes also are available.(LVMS)(3-5-2013)

  • NASCAR Weekend at LVMS to provide boon to local economy: Since its inception in 1998, Las Vegas Motor Speedway's annual NASCAR Weekend has pumped billions of dollars into the economy of Southern Nevada. That's right & billions. With a "b." When America's No. 1 spectator sport makes its 16th visit to Las Vegas next week, local businesses should expect another prosperous week as race fans fill hotels, restaurants, shows and gaming areas. Last year, LVMS's NASCAR Weekend  the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Sam's Town 300 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Stratosphere Pole Day  registered a $240 million economic impact on the Las Vegas area. According to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority research, 71% of the fans come from out of town. Aside from the obvious hotel-room and rental-car sales, millions of dollars in revenue are generated in areas not always considered when NASCAR comes to town. Tickets for LVMS's March 7-10 NASCAR Weekend are on sale at www.lvms.com or by calling (800) 644-4444. Neon Garage tickets, Lucky 7 preferred parking and driver introduction passes also are available.(LVMS)(3-5-2013)

  • LVMS gears up for races, slightly alters traffic patterns: Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials are gearing up for 130,000 visitors for the Kobalt Tools 400 on March 10. As always, getting that many people into one place and out again will be a challenge.(see full story and diagram/map at the Las Vegas Review Journal)(3-5-2013)

  • Las Vegas Taxi drivers strike enters second day with no reports of disruptions: The taxi drivers strike against Yellow Checker Star Transportation went into its second day on Monday with no reports of service disruptions amid a relatively light week for conventions. Nevertheless, the Nevada Taxicab Authority issued on a temporary basis 20 new operating permits called medallions to each of the 13 taxi brands not facing a work stoppage. The medallions could put as many as 260 cabs on the street, more than a typical day if Yellow Checker Star's numbers on how many drivers came to work are correct.(see full story at the Las Vegas Review Journal)(3-5-2013)

  • Teams testing Martinsville: Several Camping World Truck Series drivers will be testing next Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12 and 13, at Martinsville Speedway in preparation for the April 6 race. Three Turner Scott Motorsports drivers, Jeb Burton, James Buescher, and Miquel Paludo will be testing, along with rookie Chase Elliott, son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, and Caleb Holman of Abingdon, Virginia.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(3-5-2013)


    News from March 4, 2013

  • Phoenix TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX averaged a 5.3/11 yesterday afternoon among the metered markets for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix. That's up +6% over last year's 5.0/10 and ranks as the top-rated event of a full sports weekend. Yesterday's race also ties as the best metered market rating for the first post Daytona race since 2008 (6.1/10).. Yesterday's race opened with a 4.6/10 at 3:30pm and grew steadily throughout the telecast as it peaked at a 6.2/12 in the final half-hour (6-6:30pm) as #99-Carl Edwards snapped a 70 race winless streak to win the race. Through two telecasts, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 7.7/17 among the metered markets, up +20% over last year's season-to-date average of a 6.4/11.(3-4-2013)

  • Entry List for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #51-Austin Dillon, #19-Mike Bliss, #30-David Stremme, #98-Michael McDowell is back, #33-Landon Cassill. #19-Bliss needs to make the race by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the team is too far down the owners points list to use a provisional.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Las Vegas Entry List

  • New look for the #88 at Las Vegas: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr, will carry an orange, white and black AMP Energy Chevy at Las Vegas this weekend. AMP and Diet Mountain Dew are scheduled to be the primary sponsor for five races on the #88 in 2013. See an image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.
    UPDATE Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the #88 AMP Energy Active Orange Chevrolet SS in the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The new sleek paint scheme features an electric vibe. Shying away from the normal AMP Energy green car the AMP Energy Active Orange gives the Generation 6 Chevy SS a bold design with orange-and-black scheme. The back of the car features the "orange is back" slogan while the hood features the AMP Energy logo.(Lionel NASCAR Collectables)(3-4-2013)

  • Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Subway Fresh Fit 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:02 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:23 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 108
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 55
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 102
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 55
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 6
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 5
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 2
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 32
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:02 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:23 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 201
    Minutes of race broadcast: 154
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 47
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 4
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 154 Total comm. brdcst time 47
    See past races, links and more on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(3-4-2013)

  • Bowyer hits crewman during pitstop, is OK: Clint Bowyer hit one of his crewman on pit road during a confusing pit stop Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Bowyer came in for a two-tire pit stop and took off after his Michael Waltrip Racing crew changed the two right-side tires. One of his crewman was still running around the front of the car, however, and Bowyer hit him, knocking him over the hood of his car. The crewman appeared to be uninjured and the team changed direction and changed all four tires.(Sporting News)(3-4-2013)

  • Osborne helping Edwards, back at the track: Bob Osborne stepped down as #99-Carl Edwards' crew chief last July, citing undisclosed health reasons. He's still helping Edward and Roush Fenway Racing, only from behind the scenes. "Bob is still here at the race track, he's still in all the meetings," Edwards said after new crew chief Jimmy Fennig helped him end a 70-race winless streak. "He doesn't seem as stressed out. He's a little easier to get along with, which is nice." Osborne has been working behind the scenes in a new department that does the planning six races out instead of the usual two.(Associated Press)(3-4-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Brad Sweet will be in the JR Motorsports #5;
    Scott Lagasse, Jr. returns with his #8 team;
    Brendan Gaughan will drive the RCR #21;
    Ty Dillon will drive the RCR #33;
    The #40 is TBA, Reed Sorenson will drive the RPM #43 for Michael Annett;
    Dale Earnhardt will drive the #88;
    Kevin Swindell will make his first attempt of the year in the #98.(3-4-2013)
    See the complete list on the Las Vegas entry list page.

  • NRA to sponsor April race at Texas: Texas Motor Speedway and the National Rifle Association have signed a one-year agreement with a renewal option for America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group to serve as the title sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on April 13, speedway president Eddie Gossage announced Monday. The annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway will be retitled the "NRA 500" and serve as the first prime-time Saturday evening race of this season. The NRA replaces Samsung Mobile, which had served as the title sponsor of this race since 2002. Gossage made the announcement and unveiled the race logo during Texas Motor Speedway's annual Media Day held in the Grand Ballroom of The Speedway Club.
    The NRA has had a relationship with the NASCAR industry for more than a decade on a variety of platforms. The organization continues to be a generous supporter of SMI's Speedway Children's Charities and its fund-raising events since 2000. The NRA has contributed more than $500,000 to the Texas Chapter of SCC at Texas Motor Speedway alone. Tickets for the NRA 500 are available by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.(TMS)(3-4-2013)


    News from March 3, 2013

  • Carl Edwards wins at Phoenix: #99-Carl Edwards won the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway for his 1st win of 2013, 2nd win at Phoenix and 20th career win. #48-Johnson barely beat #11-Hamiln for 2nd as they beat-and-banged to the finish on the green-white-checkered finish, Hamlin hung on to 3rd followed by #2-Keselowski, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #15-Bowyer, #20-Kenseth, #14-Stewart, #24-Gordon and #31-Burton.
    Pole sitter #55-Mark Martin led 75 laps, had a vibration early in the race, got the lucky dog free pass and finished 21st on the lead lap.
    #51-A.J. Allmendinger, making his first start of the season, finished 11th. #10-Danica Patrick who started 40th and struggled most of the weekend, had a right front tire blow on lap 185 and slammed the front stretch wall hard and getting hit by #34-Ragan. Both drivers were uninjured but ended their day, Patrick finished 39th. #39-Newman had a rough day, hitting the wall twice, hard the 2nd time on lap 142 ending his day, finishing 40th. #18-Busch who was to start 4th, then had to go to the rear at the start of the race due to an engine change just before the race, spun and hit the wall once and had other troubles, finally finishing 23rd.
    There were 12 lead changes among 9 drivers and 8 cautions for 43 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 105.187mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Phoenix Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Phoenix Penalty Resport (pdf).
    See the Official Race and Points on the Phoenix Official Race and Points Report page (pdf).(3-4-2013)

  • Race Fast Facts - Phoenix:
    #99-Carl Edwards won the 9th Annual SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500, his 20th victory in 303 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2013. He brakes a 70-race winless streak that matched the longest of his career - 70 races that ended in November 2010 at Phoenix International Raceway.
    This is his second victory and 11th top-10 finish in 18 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 20 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2013.
    #11-Denny Hamlin (third) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 16 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (16th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 8 points over #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(3-3-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Phoenix, race 2 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 90
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 82, -8
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski, 82, -8
    4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 72, -18
    5) #15-Clint Bowyer, 72, -18
    6) #16-Greg Biffle, 66, -24
    7) #55-Mark Martin, 65, -25
    8) #24-Jeff Gordon, 60, -30 (best 2013 finish 9th)
    9) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 60, -30 (12th)
    10) #43-Aric Almirola, 60, -30 (13th)
    11) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 59, -31
    12) #9-Marcos Ambrose, 52, -38
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #20-Matt Kenseth is 18th in points
    #14-Tony Stewart, 23rd
    #29-Kevin Harvick. 30th
    #5-Kasey Kahne, 31st
    #56-Martin Truex Jr.. 34th
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • Patrick involved in hard wreck at Phoenix, is OK: #10-Danica Patrick was involved in an on-track accident on Lap 184 of the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix, Patrick answered a couple questions afer the wreck:
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?
    Patrick: "Obviously I blew a right front. No real warning. I wasn't that tight either; I was sliding a little bit. I felt like most of the day I was chasing the rear. It was a little unexpected. I took a hard hit to the right, and then on the left. I'm fine. The cars and the tracks are so safe. As a driver that's a nice feeling. It doesn't change the fact that we aren't going to get any points really coming out of today, and it would have been nice. I was just saying that there isn't enough garage space for all of the cars, so unfortunately we're parked in the dirt this weekend. It would have been nice to get these points here, and then...especially off of our eighth last weekend (in the Daytona 500), and then have a decent run in (Las) Vegas. Then when they re-establish the pits and the garage area, we would have been in better shape. But, these points in the beginning of the year are so important. We were making progress, but unfortunately, our day ended early."
    Q) THAT WAS A REALLY HARD HIT. WAS THAT THE HARDEST YOU'VE EVER HIT?
    Patrick: "Oh, probably Daytona [2012 Daytona 500] was a little bit bigger. And it was on the right and the left. So whenever those right-fronts go, they always hit hard because you don't broadside. You kind of hit more straight on. But I took a hard hit on both side, but I'm fine. NASCAR is doing a good job with safety, but yeah, no real good warning. The car wasn't all that tight and I was mostly chasing the rear. And there was no vibration that told me in the lap before that told me it was going to happen. So, for me, it just sucks to lose the points. Everybody works hard and after last weekend we really just wanted to get to these three races and get some solid points so that when they re-establish the garage area we could; we worked in the dirt this weekend (laughed), so I really wanted my guys to get in the garage area. So, we'll just have to come at 'em at Vegas. I really, really like Vegas so it should suit me well. But yeah, we were having a steady day. Not great, but we were making progress."(Team Chevy)(3-3-2013)

  • Mother of Kurt, Kyle Busch in golf-cart accident at PIR: Gaye Busch, the mother of #78-Kurt and #18-Kyle Busch, was among those taken to a Phoenix area hospital Saturday after a golf cart tipped over in the tunnel underneath Phoenix International Raceway. Kurt Busch tweeted last night: "Don't get in any moving vehicle w/ my mom. She was involved in a crash in the tunnel b4 the end of the race. A little banged up" He updated his twitter page this morning: "Thx again for all the nice comments about mom. She's here at the track & in great spirits. She was touched by all the concern" According to Fox 10 in Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies say the golf cart had too many people on it, causing it to roll over. No one was significantly injured. (Sporting News)(3-3-2013)

  • #18 team changes engines; Busch to the rear: #18-Kyle Busch will start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the rear of the field after his Joe Gibbs Racing team changed engines in his Toyota Sunday morning. Busch qualified 4th on Friday. Team noticed a parts issue during the warmup and fixing the issue would be longer than changing the engine. Supposedly this issue is not related to the #11-Hamlin engine issue.(many Tweets)(3-3-2013)

  • No roof cams at Phoenix and other tracks: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars competing on the series' intermediate tracks this season will be doing so without the familiar roof camera, beginning with Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. According to series director John Darby, the removal of the camera (for approximately two-thirds of this year's points races) is just one of several moves made during the offseason as officials worked through changes on the new Generation-6 car. Of primary concern was how to lessen the impact of turbulent air that previously hampered side-by-side competition at the series' intermediate tracks. Roof cameras will continue to be used at Daytona and Talladega, the road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, as well as the series' smaller venues. According to Rich Feinberg, vice president of motorsports production for ESPN, the same company provides the in-car camera systems for ESPN, FOX and TNT. "And we are in the process now of developing new options to replace (the roof camera)," Feinberg said. "Perhaps behind the rear-view mirror, various places inside the car."(NASCAR.com)(3-3-2013)

  • Burton crew chief skipping Phoenix: Luke Lambert, crew chief for Jeff Burton's #31 Cheerios RCR Chevy will be at home today with his wife, who is expecting a baby. Ernie Cope will call the race. Matt McCall and team engineers will make chassis changes.(Jeff Burton RCR Twitter)(3-3-2013)

  • Problems With NASCAR's High Tech Inspection Process? There is more to NASCAR's newest inspection device than meets the eye. The device, a laser system to measure particular parts of a Ford, Toyota or Chevrolet headed out to qualify or race, is causing some serious head scratching from a larger number of race teams then might be expected. Privately numerous team members are raising serious concerns over the ability of the device to be consistent from week to week. There are growing concerns transportation of the device from track to track is enough to cause issues each and every week. Publicly, no one is vocally complaining. Privately, the words are different.(see full story at RPM2Night)(3-3-2013)

  • Gate area a concern after crash: The Daytona crash investigation will focus on the gate area of the fencing and how improvements can be made before the next superspeedway race at Talladega, Ala., in May, NASCAR senior vice president Steve O'Donnell said Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. A terrifying last-lap crash one week ago in the Nationwide race at Daytona caused parts of a car to break through the frontstretch catch fence, injuring 28 spectators, including two critically. O'Donnell said those two individuals are the only people who remain hospitalized, but added, "We are optimistic of their release, as well." O'Donnell said Dr. Dean Sicking, designer of the SAFER barrier, along with engineers from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, have been brought in as part of the investigation. "We've had multiple meetings this week," O'Donnell said. "Superspeedway racing at Daytona and Talladega is the first concentration for us. We have a race coming up in May at Talladega, so anything we can learn to apply at Talladega, we will do that."(ESPN.com)(3-3-2013)

  • SPEED rebranding likely soon: Fox Sports is expected to announce this month its plans for Charlotte-based SPEED channel. While motorsports will continue to be a big chunk of programming, the company is likely to retire the SPEED name late this summer and replace it with a channel called Fox Sports 1. This would provide Fox a platform to broaden the channel's focus into other sports, including content drawn from the network's NFL and Major League Baseball contracts. It is not clear what the impact will be on SPEED's modern production hub at Harris Boulevard and Interstate 85, but it will probably grow. A broader variety of programming should result in more production from the center.(Charlotte Observer)(3-3-2013)

  • Roush Fenway Racing honored: Roush Fenway Racing has accumulated a NASCAR record 311 victories during its celebrated 25 year history. It's 2012 "25 Winning Years" marketing platform  designed to highlight and celebrate those accomplishments  has brought home its own accolade; being awarded the 2012 MarCom International Gold Award for public relations/communications campaigns. It marks the second consecutive year that RFR's marketing team has been recognized by MarCom (RFR)(3-3-2013)


    News from March 2, 2013

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #55-Martin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #5-Kahne took pit stall 16, the first pitstall in front of it.
    #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 20th pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #20-Kenseth, who starts 9th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-2-2013)

  • #11 team changes engines; Hamlin to the rear: #11-Denny Hamlin will start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the rear of the field after his Joe Gibbs Racing team changed engines in his Toyota Saturday. Hamlin qualified eighth Friday.(SPEED)(3-2-2013)

  • Kurt Busch to to Backup Car at Phoenix: After a solid first qualifying lap at the Phoenix on Friday, Kurt Busch's #78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevy scraped the wall during the second lap due to a malfunction in the coolant system. The damage (right-front and right-side) was enough that the team will go to the backup car for Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup race. "Kurt did a great job saving the car from further damage," said team crew chief Todd Berrier. The culprit for the loss of grip was a parts breakage in the coolant system that sprayed water under the tires, causing Busch to wiggle and eventually lose control of the car. "The Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevy steered to the right, brushed the wall and we'll be in a backup car come Sunday," said Busch. "You would think after Daytona we would fare a little better. But right now we need to suck it up and battle through this adversity." Going to a backup car will result in Kurt starting Sunday's race from the rear of the field. Busch was credited with the 25th fastest speed based on his first lap, which is usually the slower of the two.(Furniture Row Racing)(3-2-2013)

  • Allmendinger and Penske continue a remarkable journey: Eight months removed from the biggest mistake of his life, AJ Allmendinger understands just how extraordinary second chances are - especially coming from the man who was forced to fire him. Before the 2012 season even started, Allmendinger had attained a lifelong dream. He was hired to drive team owner Roger Penske's #22 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. After 17 races in the Penske ride, his career was in shambles, as Allmendinger fell victim to a singular lapse in judgment and to a random drug test, administered at Kentucky Speedway, that discovered amphetamine in his system. Penske had no choice but to dismiss the 31-year-old driver after a "B" sample confirmed the results of the initial test. But Penske did so reluctantly, and since then the car owner, convinced that Allmendinger's mistake was a one-time occurrence, has been working to help his former driver repair a shattered dream.
    After completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program last year, Allmendinger earned reinstatement to NASCAR competition and competed in four Cup races in James Finch's #51 Chevy. In that same car, Allmendinger will make his 2013 Cup debut Sunday at Phoenix. Allmendinger also is schedule to drive Finch's car on Mar. 17 at Bristol and Mar. 24 at Auto Club Speedway [Allmendinger was scheduled to run Martinsville, but Ryan Truex will run the #51 there as Allmendinger will be in Alabama]. But the five-time Champ Car winner has other options, thanks to Penske. When details are finalized, Allmendinger will drive for Penske in IndyCar races at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala., at Long Beach, Calif., and in the Indianapolis 500.
    While Cup drivers were practicing for the Daytona 500, Allmendinger was two hours away in Sebring, Fla., testing an IndyCar with Penske drivers Will Power and Helio Castroneves. In a matter of hours, he was running competitive lap times. Though Penske recognizes Allmendinger's talent behind the wheel, the car owner feels a fondness for the driver that goes far beyond lap times and race wins. For his part, Allmendinger has difficulty believing his good fortune. "It means the world to me," Allmendinger said. "It still kind of blows me away that he cares about me that much. I feel like I'm one of the luckiest people in the world, because that's a guy that you want on your side."(in paer fromt the NASCAR Wire Service)(3-2-2013)

  • Some plans for Yeley: Frontstretch.com's Tony Lumbis spoke with J.J. Yeley driver of the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy, one qeustion was about his status for the full season:
    Lumbis: "The #36 team currently has sponsorship for 13 races. What is your status for the rest of the events this year? Will you be starting and parking or going the distance?"
    Yeley: "Right now, the great start at Daytona helps tremendously. Tommy has already discussed adding some races, even if we don't have sponsorship, although we want to get as many sponsored as possible. We will evaluate each race from there. For example, Sonoma is not a great-paying race and it is expensive to go to. So that could be a start-and-park event, but obviously we don't want to have to do that for any race. Once we get to the point in the season where sponsorship is light, we'll have to make some of those decisions. If we're in a pretty high position in points, I'm pretty sure Tommy will do everything he can to keep us racing."(Frontstretch)
    AND: Phoenix's J.J. Yeley is hoping his 10th place finish at Daytona will draw in more sponsorship for his #36 Chevy, fielded by Tommy Baldwin Racing, with support from Accell Construction at PIR. "Hopefully, I'm back on the upswing," Yeley said. "The economy has hurt the sport and, for me, not having a big sponsor, it's been more-or-less a survival mode for me in NASCAR. We don't have (sponsors) for all the schedule yet." Yeley said he's going to race in Robby Gordon's new Off-Road Stadium Super Truck Series, which debuts April 6 at University of Phoenix Stadium.(Arizona Republic)(3-2-2013)

  • Cheerios returns to the #31: The iconic General Mills brand Cheerios returns to the track this weekend as the primary sponsor on Burton's #31 Chevy. America's No.1 cereal franchise will bring its fan-favorite yellow and black paint scheme to these additional races in 2013: Bristol (March 17), Charlotte (May 26), Dover (June 2), Michigan (August 18) and New Hampshire (September 22). General Mills has roots as a NASCAR sponsor for more than 15 years and began its partnership with RCR in 2008 with Cheerios brand as the primary sponsor of the #33 Sprint Cup Series team. The program moved to the #31 team as a co-primary sponsor [Wheaties] for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season (RCR), see images of the scheme/car on the #31 Team Schemes page.(3-2-2013)

  • Stenhouse Visits With Troops in Phoenix: #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. visited troops at Luke Air Force base in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday. As part of the USO effort, the two-time reigning Nationwide Champion met with service men and women and their families to talk racing and extend thanks for all of their efforts and sacrifices. "The sacrifices these men and women make for our country is remarkable," Stenhouse said. "This is my second USO Tour and I always leave in amazement. Because of the men and women in the armed forces, we enjoy many freedoms including getting to race each and every weekend. They are true heroes."(RFR)(3-2-2013)

  • Quaker State Oil colors for Kahne: Quaker State returns as a primary partner with Kasey Kahne for its second straight season and will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevy in four Sprint Cup Series events this year -- March 3 at Phoenix, April 27 at Richmond, June 29 at Kentucky and Oct. 12 at Charlotte. The Quaker State and Hendrick Motorsports relationship began in 1996 and during this partnership, Quaker State has helped deliver a total of nine Sprint Cup championships and 160 race victories (Hendrick Motorsports), see images of the scheme/car on the #31 Team Schemes page.(3-2-2013)

  • Sponsorship Opportunities Available at Phoenix Racing: On the heels of a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500, Phoenix Racing is announcing sponsorship opportunities for its #51 Sprint Cup Series entry. Opportunities are available for select races throughout the remainder of the 2013 season, including the upcoming Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Phoenix Racing has started its season off with a bang. Regan Smith powered the #51 Chevy to a seventh-place finish in the season's biggest race, the Daytona 500, last week at Daytona International Speedway. The team has a talent-stacked roster of drivers to fill in the balance of the Sprint Cup season. A.J. Allmendinger, Austin Dillon and Ryan Truex will share the remaining races of the schedule with Smith in their campaign for the 2013 Sprint Cup Owner Championship. The team is optimistic about the season ahead. "Phoenix Racing is a tremendous value and we hope to find an organization that can use our help in meeting its marketing objectives," said Steve Barkdoll, general manager of Phoenix Racing. "We have several races available for sponsorship on the #51 Chevrolet. We've proven that we are contenders and have what it takes to run up front week in and week out. I'm really excited about our potential and hope that someone joins with us to capture the exposure and branding that we can offer."(Phoenix Racing)(3-2-2013)

  • Racing officials huddle on safety fencing: The engineer behind the most significant safety initiative of this motor sports era  the energy-absorbing SAFER barrier that covers the concrete walls of major race tracks  said Thursday that an alternative to steel debris fencing will eventually be designed. But it will take time and money, highway safety expert Dean Sicking stressed. "None of it is trivial," he said. "But this problem will be solved." Attention to racetrack fencing started after SAFER barriers were first installed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002. A group of industry experts have been meeting regularly, most recently last week at the IndyCar office. Coincidentally, that meeting was held two days prior to Saturday's crash in NASCAR's Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. At least 28 spectators were struck by debris from Kyle Larson's car that smashed into the fence. Fences are charged with many tasks, led by keeping a race car from flying into grandstands. They also must collect as much debris as possible while not forcing the car into a sudden stop  known as pocketing  that subjects the driver to extra forces. Then there is the issue of fence posts, which were the contributing factor in Dan Wheldon's fatal crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. Sicking has said the next generation of fences should hang from cables that cars can't reach. Complicating matters is visibility for spectators. A Plexiglas material is used in hockey arenas, but Kevin Forbes, director of engineering at IMS, said there are distortion issues when placing the material over a large area. "Plexiglas is just going to completely and totally ruin the sight lines," he said. "When you start looking left and right a half of a mile, the distortion in Plexiglas is unacceptable. Then you're introducing something else that can break (when struck) and become flyable, and the cost is enormous." Sicking said there's a similar material that has been used along highway bridges for noise reduction and visibility, but that's expensive, too. A more likely option, he said, is using a combination of materials in the current fences to make the system flex better.(in part from the Indianapolis Star)(3-2-2013)

  • Calderon wins first NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series race in US: Abraham Calderón jumped out front early and paced the field en route to his first career victory on an historic night for the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series. Friday night's race at Phoenix International Raceway was the first race for one of NASCAR's international touring series in the United States. The 2013 season is the seventh for the Mexico series with NASCAR. Friday's race was the first of 15 points races of the season. Former champion Antonio Pérez finished second, followed by 17-year-old Rubén García Jr. Garcia was the series' 2012 rookie of the year. Rubén Pardo finished fourth and Homero Richards fifth. Carlos Peralta was sixth, followed by Patrick Goeters, Irwin Vences, Jorge Goeters and Hugo Oliveras.(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-2-2013)

  • Busch wins at Phoenix: #54-Kyle Busch won the Dollar General 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, for his 1st win of the season and 52nd Nationwide win of his career. #22-Brad Keselowski finished second followed by #31-Justin Allgaier, #6-Trevor Bayne, #11-Elliott Sadler, #3-Austin Dillon, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #18-Matt Kenseth, #43-Aric Almirola, and #2-Brian Scott.
    There were 7 cautions for 38 laps and 6 lead changes among 4 leaders. Complete results are on the Phoenix race results page (pdf). (3-2-2013)

  • Phoenix Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the Dollar General 200 fueled by AmeriGas, his 52nd victory in 246 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. His last win came Sept. 9, 2011 at Richmond. Today's victory breaks a 24-race winless streak.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his fifth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 15 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Brad Keselowski(i) (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 13 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
    Justin Allgaier (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in ten races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Kyle Larson (13th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Sam Hornish Jr. leads the point standings by 0 points over Justin Allgaier
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(3-2-2013)

  • Nationwide Driver standings following Phoenix:
    1) #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. 79
    1) #31-Justin Allgaier 79
    3) #2-Brian Scott 73, -6,BR> 4) #11-Elliott Sadler 69, -10
    5) #77-Parker Kligerman 65, -14
    6) #7-Regan Smith 65, -14
    7) #32-Kyle Larson 63, -16
    8) #30-Nelson Piquet Jr. # 62, -17
    9) #3-Austin Dillon 61, -18
    10) #99-Alex Bowman # 54, -25
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(3-2-2013)

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

  • Busch on pole at Phoenix: #54-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole for the Dollar General 200 at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 133.057mph. #20-Brian Vickers will start second. The rest of the top 10: #18-Matt Kenseth, #6-Trevor Bayne, #31-Justin Allgaier, #3-Austin Dillon, #5-Jimmie Johnson, #43-Aric Almirola, #22-Brad Keselowski, and #33-Kevin Harvick Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Phoenix starting lineup page (pdf).(3-2-2013)

  • Phoenix Qualifying Notes:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Dollar General 200 fueled by AmeriGas with a lap of 27.056 seconds, 133.057 mph.
    This is his 27th pole in 246 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his fifth pole in 15 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Brian Vickers (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2013 and his third in five races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Matt Kenseth(i) (third) posted his seventh top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his second in two races this season.
    Kyle Larson (14th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(3-2-2013)

  • NASCAR examining role of fence gate in Daytona accident: NASCAR plans to consult with fencing experts and reconstruct Kyle Larson's car as part of an investigation into the violent Nationwide Series crash at Daytona International Speedway that injured at least 28 fans. Two fans remain hospitalized at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, NASCAR Senior Vice President for Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell told reporters Saturday. All of the safety elements worked on Larson's car, O'Donnell said -- the driver was uninjured -- but NASCAR was concerned about the way Larson's car came apart. When it flew into the fence, it hit a gate area and sheared the front end from the car. The engine and a tire ended up in the grandstands, along with other pieces. "Our focus is going to be if the elements in the car did their job...what happened once that car impacted the fence," O'Donnell said. O'Donnell said NASCAR will focus on the gate area, beginning immediately with the May race at Talladega. Most tracks have a crossover gate that can be opened and closed for people to use when there are no cars on the track. But there's concern the gate areas might make for a weak spot in the fencing. Larson's destroyed car remained at Daytona for a week in order for the track's experts to examine it. O'Donnell said the car is now in transit to NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. The Turner Scott Motorsports team will have a joint session with NASCAR to discuss how the car was built and fabricated. NASCAR will also make an effort to put the car back together and use video to determine what parts came off at what time. O'Donnell said the car's tethers -- which secure parts like the wheels to the car's body in order for it not to fly off -- did their job and did not break. But the entire piece the tether was attached to was sheared from the car, which needs more investigation.(USA Today)(3-2-2013)


    News from March 1, 2013

  • Martin wins Phoenix pole: #55-Mark Martin won the pole for the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway with speed of 138.074mph for his 1st pole of 2013 and 56th of his career. Martin breaks his own record for being the oldest pole sitter at Phoenix (54 years, 1 month, 23 days), Martin won the pole last March at PIR. #5-Kahne will start 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #14-Stewart, #29-Harvick, #11-Hamlin, #20-Kenseth (was fastest in practice) and #39-Newman. #10-Partick got loose on her lap and will start 40th. 43 cars/drivers were entered, so no one will miss the race. Six drivers make their first 2013 start: #51-Allmendinger (starts 23rd), #19-Bliss (35th), #30-Stremme (37th), #33-Cassill (38th), #44-Riggs (39th) and #32-Schrader (42nd).
    See the starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying results, qualifying order, qualifying rules on the Phoenix Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(3-1-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Phoenix:
    #55-Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 9th Annual SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 with a lap of 26.073 seconds, 138.074 mph.
    This is his 56th pole in 856 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his third pole in 33 races at Phoenix International Raceway. His last Phoenix pole came in last year's spring race.
    #5-Kasey Kahne (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2013 and his 10th in 18 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his second in two races this season.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (12th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-1-2013)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 6:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 9:30pm/et and 12:00midnight/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #32-Schrader.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #83-Reutimann.
    Fastest in Friday practice, #20-Kenseth, is scheduled to qualify 33rd.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Phoenix Qualifying Page.(3-1-2013)

  • Friday Practice: for the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest, notes and more:
    #20-Kenseth 137.023
    #18-Busch 136.976
    #55-Martin 136.872
    #11-Hamlin 136.846
    #99-Edwards 136.841
    slowest: #32-Schrader 130.293 & #95-Speed 132.665
    notes; #93-Kvapil slid up into the wall early in practice, no serious damage reported.
    See fastest laps, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Phoenix Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(3-1-2013)

  • #95 team sails into Phoenix with Hopes of Pirating a Win, Sponsor: Racing fans and potential sponsors alike won't be seeing a mirage when Scott Speed drives the all-black #95 Ford with the white skull and crossbones from Leavine Family Racing. Across the back of the new Generation-6 race car will be the words: "Surrender the Sponsor." The race team is trying to build on the momentum of a 23rd-place finish at the season-opening Daytona 500. Part of that process is the continued search for a primary sponsor. "It is exciting just to see the hype about the #95," Speed said. "We are not trying to make this a money stunt; we're just trying to draw attention to our car. Hopefully, a potential sponsor will see this and want to be teamed up with us. There is no way I could have pulled off this paint scheme with any other team, which is why it was so appropriate for LFR  they are up for anything." The nearest ocean may be 357 miles away, but it won't keep LFR from living a pirate's life during Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway. The idea was a collaborative effort between Speed and crew chief Wally Rogers. Team owner Bob Leavine quickly signed off on the idea. "The reality is, anything that brings attention to our race team is positive," Leavine said. "It's not a stunt. It's a way for Corporate America to see what this little team from Texas can do."
    "We're still looking for partners," vice president of marketing Terance Mathis said. "DISH was a great partner for us at Daytona, but they're not on for the full season. We're getting to the point where we've got to be strategic with how we use our resources and continue to run as well as we can and attract more sponsorship." In six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix, Speed qualified second in 2010 with Red Bull Racing. He also has two Nationwide and one Camping World Truck series start at the one-mile D-shaped oval.(Leavine Family Racing), see images of the scheme/car on the #95 Team Schemes page.(3-1-2013)

  • SANY America debuts as sponsor on the #7: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) welcomes SANY America aboard the #7 Chevy with driver Dave Blaney this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). In their first of a 14 race primary sponsorship, SANY America looks to align themselves with the nation's fastest growing sport while presenting a unique opportunity to introduce millions of racing enthusiasts to the SANY brand. 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 US in 2012 (TBR), see an image of the scheme on the #7 Team Schemes page.(3-1-2013)

  • Top Finishes For Daytona 500 Champs In next race since 1982: Daytona 500 winners... how the success doesn't carry over to the second race.
    Won the following race: - Twice (Jeff Gordon 1997 & Matt Kenseth 2009)
    2nd Place - Four times (Davey Allison 1992, Sterling Marlin 1994, Dale Jarrett 1996 & Jimmie Johnson 2006)
    3rd Place - None
    4th Place - Once (Bill Elliott 1987) 5th Place - Twice (Dale Jarrett 2000 & Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 2004) Average Finish since 1982 = 18th
    Only two drivers who won the Daytona 500 since 1982 have gone on to win the Sprint Cup Seires Championship, Jeff Gordon in 1997 and Jimmie Johnson in 2006.(Frontstretch)(3-1-2013)

  • Stremme returns to the seat at Phoenix: Swan Racing returns this week to the #30 Toyota driven by David Stremme at Phoenix International Raceway. Last week in Daytona, Swan Racing dedicated its efforts on raising donations and awareness for the Newtown, Ct community by running the #26 Sandy Hook Memorial Fund Toyota driven by Michael Waltrip. Stremme will compete on behalf of Swan Racing the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in the #30 where he will race hard every lap of every race. This is significant given that Stremme was ordered to "start and park" in past seasons. That was until new owner Brandon Davis stepped in late last year creating Swan Racing. "Swan Racing is here to race hard every lap of every race," said Davis. "We are going to build a championship contender over time and we'll do it by competing against the best drivers in the world, not by packing up early."
    "It's a new day for the No. 30 Toyota and we'll be mixing it up all season," said Stremme. "Drivers are competitive by nature. We feel the need to compete in everything we do. I will get the most out of this Toyota all season starting at Phoenix International Raceway." Stremme and Swan Racing represent an "old school" approach to racing which means they are stretching every dollar to put the car on track each week. "This is old school racing here at Swan. We all pitch in to build the cars at the shop each week and race hard on the weekends," Stremme said.
    Swan Racing had a busy offseason building a strong foundation for the team's success. Several key hires were made that signal Swan Racing's commitment. They include Steve Hmiel as competition director, Tony Eury Jr., as crew chief. Rocky Ryan will serve as Stremme's spotter. Swan has attracted sponsorship from Nutrition53, a health supplement, company which will feature it's Lean1 product on the car as a primary sponsor for ten races beginning at Texas Motor Speedway and as an associate sponsor the remainder of the season. The pit crew for the #30 is branded Lean1 all season.(Swan Racing), see an image of the scheme for Phoenix on the #30 Team Schemes page.(3-1-2013)

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

  • NAPA Filter's featured on the #56 at Phoenix: Martin Truex Jr. will help NAPA launch its March oil change special by piloting the #56 NAPA Filters Toyota in Sunday's race. It's just $20.99 at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores. Fans can get an instant savings of $3 if they mention hearing NAPA's oil change radio ad. For details visit, napaonline.com. "I am really looking forward to kicking off NAPA's March promotion. We got the NAPA Filters guys coming to the track to join us. They are a great bunch to work with so I hope we can get a lot of NASCAR fans to stop in at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores and take advantage of the savings." On Thursday, Truex honored 20 NAPA AutoCare Centers who gave back to their Phoenix community. Each AutoCare Center did repairs up to $500 for a family in need. The group performed more than $10,000 in repairs at no charge (MWR), see an image of the scheme on the #56 Team Schemes page.(3-1-2013)

  • Blockbuster returns to sponsor #35 at PIR: After running his first Daytona 500 last weekend, Josh Wise will strap in for the 312-lap Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday. Although the one-mile, low-banked oval starkly differs from Daytona International Speedway, one thing will carry over from the first race to the second - Wise's partnership with Blockbuster. The entertainment company will return for a second race with the #35 Front Row Motorsports team after earning attention in Daytona Beach last week when Wise secured his first career starting spot in the "Great American Race." Wise was running a strong race at Daytona until he got collected in a nine-car, domino-effect accident on Lap 138. He looks to bounce back in Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500. Blockbuster is celebrating its partnership with Wise and Front Row Motorsports with special offers for NASCAR fans at www.Blockbuster.com/car35.(Front Row Motorsports / Breaking Limits)(3-1-2013)

  • Phoenix Goodtear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Phoenix this weekend . . . this is the first time either of these two tire codes have been raced . . . this tire set-up came out of a test at Phoenix last October 23-24 . . . teams and drivers participating in that test were the #1 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet with Jamie McMurray, #2 Penske Racing Ford with Brad Keselowski, #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Denny Hamlin, #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet with Tony Stewart, #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with Paul Menard, #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet with Kurt Busch and #99 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford with Carl Edwards . . . compared to what was run at Phoenix last year, this set-up features a compound change to both the left- and right-side tires to give the cars more grip . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Phoenix (Goodyear PR). See tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Phoenix Race Info page.(3-1-2013)

  • Busch fastest in happy hour: #54-Kyle Busch was quickest during happy hour for the Dollar General 200 with a speed of 132.115mph. He was followed by: #5-Jimmie Johnson, #32-Kyle Larson, #11-Elliott Sadler, #2-Brian Scott, #18-Matt Kenseth, #31-Justin Allgaier, #20-Brian Vickers, #7-Regan Smith, and #10-Kevin Harvick. 38 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(3-1-2013)

  • Dillon fastest in first practice: #3-Austin Dillon was fastest during opening practice at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 133.087mph.#54-Kyle Busch was second, followed by: #2-Brian Scott, #32-Kyle Larson, #7-Regan Smith, #5-Jimmie Johnson, #43-Aric Almirola, #31-Justin Allgaier, #18-Matt Kenseth, and #33-Kevin Harvick. 38 drivers practiced during the session. There are only 40 teams at the track so everyone will make the race. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(3-1-2013)

  • Annett injured at Daytona UPDATES: Michael Annett is currently being treated at the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. after an accident during Saturday's Nationwide Series event. He will be kept for observation. Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum. Annett was treated for bruising on his chest and underwent a CT Scan.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-23-2013)
    UPDATE: Michael Annett has been released from the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., today. Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum during an accident in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at the Daytona International Speedway. Annett will travel back to his home in North Carolina today where he will be evaluated again later this week.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-24-2013)
    UPDATE 2: After further evaluation by two different doctors in North Carolina, it has been determined that Richard Petty Motorsports driver Michael Annett has suffered a fracture and dislocation of his sternum. He will immediately undergo surgery for his injuries in Charlotte. He suffered the injury as a result of an accident during Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series event in Daytona Beach, Fla. Annett will not be able to compete for an indefinite amount of time as he heals from the surgery. Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will drive the #43 Pilot Flying J Ford this weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway as the team evaluates its options moving forward. Richard Petty Motorsports' primary concern is the health of Annett and getting him the proper treatment he needs for a full recovery.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(2-26-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Richard Petty Motorsports driver Michael Annett is recovering from surgery and while a timetable for his return hasn't been set, RPM is preparing for him to be out for possibly six to eight weeks. The 26-year-old Annett, injured in an accident with four laps left in the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, had surgery Wednesday for a fractured sternum and had a plate put in his chest, said RPM Director of Operations Sammy Johns. "It looks like it could possibly be a couple of months," Johns said Thursday at PIR. "He's a young man, he's in good shape and he takes good care of himself. All of that is going to help. We're hoping for a little quicker than what they're thinking. "We should be making some announcements in the next day or two what we'll be doing (as far as a driver for the) long-term because this is a little bit longer than a race or two," Johns said.(Sporting News)(2-28-2013)
    UPDATE 4 After a successful surgery to repair a fractured and dislocated sternum, Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett has been released from the hospital in Charlotte, N.C. He is now resting at his home. The news is encouraging and is ahead of schedule. Doctors expect a two month recovery time, but Annett has responded quickly to all treatment so far and is hopeful to return sooner.(RPM)(3-1-2013)

  • Clements suspended for violating code of conduct UPDATES: #51-Jeremy Clements, a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Code of Conduct. On Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway, Clements was found to have violated Sections 7-5 (NASCAR's Code of Conduct) and 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing). "During the course of an interview, Jeremy Clements made an intolerable and insensitive remark," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that's explicitly spelled out in the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. We fully expect our entire industry to adhere to that Code."(NASCAR)(2-27-2013)
    UPDATE: The following statement has been issued by Jeremy Clements regarding his NASCAR suspension: "I apologize and regret what I said to the NASCAR writer and to NASCAR, my sponsors, my fans, and my team. NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that everyone must follow and I unintentionally violated that code. I will not get into specifics of what I said but my comment to the writer was in no way meant to be disrespectful or insensitive to anyone or to be detrimental to NASCAR or the NASCAR Nationwide Series. I will do what I need to do in order to atone for my error in judgment."(Jeremy Clements Racing)(2-27-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements was indefinitely suspended on Wednesday for using a racial slur in an interview with a writer at Daytona International Speedway, a source told ESPN.com. NASCAR officials would not verify or discuss what Clements said to earn the suspension, only that it was an "intolerable and insensitive remark'' and violated the sanctioning body's Code of Conduct for actions detrimental to stock car racing. Officials did verify that the remarks came during the course of a Feb. 23 interview. That was the same day as the Nationwide opener at DIS. The rule book prohibits "public statement'' that criticizes, ridicules or otherwise disparages another person based on race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age or handicapping condition.(ESPN)(2-27-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements explained in detail Thursday exactly how he finds himself suspended indefinitely from NASCAR competition. In a one-on-one interview with ESPN, Clements would not verbalize the specific comments he made, but when pressed for clarity about whether or not it was racial, he paused. Asked again, "Was it racial or not? Maybe not in context, but in term?" Clements replied: "Correct." "When you say 'racial' remark, it wasn't used to describe anybody or anything," Clements said. "So that's all I'm going to say to that. And it really wasn't. I was describing racing, and the word I used was incorrect and I shouldn't have said it. It shouldn't be used at all." Clements said he only said the word once. The remarks, he said, were made Saturday following the driver's meeting at Daytona International Speedway. The remark lands Clements in NASCAR suspension for a minimum of two races, he said. He also said he must undergo some sort of speech advisement, the details of which he did not have at the time of the interview. Clements admitted his mistake and he's hurting. His emotions "are pretty bad. I'm pretty hurt, for sure," he said. "I've never gotten into trouble with NASCAR. Not one time. We're just a small family team, just trying to survive and run the whole season. This is our third full season. And I was supposed to be on a plane right now going to Phoenix to race. And then this hit me late [Wednesday] afternoon. I've known about it since Sunday night, when I got a phone call. But I did not think it was going to be like this. I just thought I'd be fined like most normal guys have been fined. But not suspended for this. But I'm going to do what they want me to do so I can get back in the car as soon as possible. I think it's a little harsh, but it's their rules. It's their game."(see more details at ESPN)(2-28-2013)
    UPDATE 4: Several other outlets picked up on the story, and quickly figured out that reporter was Marty Beckerman, an associate editor for MTV's Guy Code blog, an extension of MTV2's "Guy Code" television series, which takes a humorous look at "the laws of manhood." Beckerman was covering last weekend's NASCAR events at the Daytona International Speedway and spoke to several drivers. As the news of Clements' suspension  and speculation over just what he said  began to spread, Beckerman remained silent... until he sat down with MTV News to speak about what happened in Daytona.
    "I was there to do a fish-out-of-water story about going to NASCAR and having a wild, crazy weekend. And, we were doing interviews with many of the drivers, and I was on the way to another interview  we were looking for [driver] Johanna Long's trailer  and the NASCAR publicist called Mr. Clements over and asked him for help finding her," Beckerman said. "He walked us toward where she was, and on the way over, I explained to him that Guy Code is rules for guys, how you treat your friends, how you treat your ladies, things like that. I was there to do a humor piece, so I asked him what would be Guy Code for race car drivers, and he blurted out [a phrase that used the n-word]."
    Beckerman said that Clements didn't use the phrase in reference to any specific driver, but was instead illustrating that "if you drive roughly, you'll be treated roughly." He wrote the quote down in his notes (the conversation was not recorded) and, since he was in the presence of a NASCAR publicist, continued to speak with Clements for a few more minutes, before going to interview Long. Then, on Thursday morning, as the story continued to unfold, Clements called him to discuss the quote and let it be known that he regretted making it. Beckerman said, since returning from Daytona, he had debated whether to publish a story around the quote. On Thursday morning, while discussions continued with Guy Code editors, he was contacted by a NASCAR rep who informed him about Clements' suspension. "We had not even intended to necessarily publish it, because our site is a humor site for men, we aren't the New York Times, we aren't investigative journalism. It didn't fit with our blog," Beckerman said. "The fact is that NASCAR made this a national story, and then Clements explained a bit of what he said to ESPN ... I never wanted to be part of the story."(MTV)(3-1-2013)

  • Iowa Governor honors NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace: Iowa Governor Terry Branstad honored NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace with a State Proclamation in a special ceremony Wednesday afternoon, February 27, at the Capitol building in Des Moines. Speaking on the main floor of the historic State Capitol Rotunda, Governor Branstad commended Wallace for his contributions to the state of Iowa as designer and part owner of the Iowa Speedway in Newton, and to the sport of NASCAR racing nationwide. "As Governor of Iowa, I am very proud to honor Rusty Wallace with this Proclamation today," Branstad said. "His many contributions to NASCAR racing have earned him a well-deserved induction to NASCAR's Hall of Fame, and his forward-thinking design of Iowa Speedway helped to create a destination in central Iowa that benefits every Iowan. Rusty may have been born in Missouri, but we will always claim him as one of our own." Wallace expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support he has received from Iowans all across the state, and specifically to Governor Branstad for the official Proclamation. "I am humbled and honored that Governor Branstad made time to recognize me today with an official Proclamation," Wallace said. "As an 'Honorary Iowan', I couldn't be more proud of this great state, or of the racetrack we have in Newton, and I look forward to being here for as many Iowa Speedway events as possible." Wallace, whose post-racing career combines a busy ABC/ESPN broadcast schedule, managing his son Steven's NASCAR Nationwide Series race team, overseeing his auto dealership interests and fundraising for the charitable NASCAR Foundation, nevertheless finds ample time to promote Iowa Speedway.
    "Rusty is without a doubt our best promoter," said Iowa Speedway President and co-owner Stan Clement. "He literally goes out of his way to be here whenever possible. Rusty gladly does media interviews, greets fans, and spends time with our promotional partners. Certainly he is deserving of this official Proclamation, as well as his recent induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame." Iowa Speedway is a state-of-the-art 7/8 mile asphalt paved tri-oval race track and motorsports facility located just 30 miles east of Des Moines at I-80 Exit 168 in Newton, Iowa. The track is owned and operated by U.S. Motorsport Corporation and designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, now an anchor and analyst for ABC-TV/ESPN. Call 1-866-RUSTY-GO, or visit www.iowaspeedway.com to learn more.(Iowa Speedway)(3-1-2013)


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