May 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup News Archive

MAY 2013 NASCAR NEWS ARCHIVE

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

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    News from May 31, 2013

  • Hamlin wins Dover pole: #11-Denny Hamlin won the pole for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway with speed of 157.978mph for his 3rd pole of 2013 and 15th of his career. #56-Truex, Jr. is on the outside pole, followed by #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #39-Newman, #55-Martin, #29-Harvick, #2-Keselowski, #22-Logano, and #1-McMurray. Only 43 teams were entered so no one missed the race.See the starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying results, qualifying order, qualifying rules on the Dover Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(5-31-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Dover:
    Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 44th Annual FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks with a lap of 22.788 seconds, 157.978 mph.
    This is his 15th pole in 268 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third pole and eighth top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his second pole in 15 races at Dover International Speedway.
    Martin Truex Jr. (second) posted his eighth top-10 start of 2013 and his seventh in 15 races at Dover International Speedway.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his ninth top-10 start at Dover International Speedway. It is his 10th in 13 races this season.
    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (23rd) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(5-31-2013)

  • Denis McGlynn explains JGR appeal: Denis McGlynn had a simple explanation why an appeals panel sided with Joe Gibbs Racing and eased penalties levied against the organization by NASCAR: The harsh punishment simply did not fit the small infraction. McGlynn, CEO of Dover International Speedway, was part of a three-person National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel that significantly reduced NASCAR's punishment of JGR for having an illegal part in #20-Matt Kenseth's race-winning engine at Kansas. "The penalty was so severe for what was, in our opinion, a minor infraction," McGlynn said Thursday. McGlynn said the panel entered the appeal "thinking with more flexibility" because penalties against Penske Racing had been reduced a week earlier by chief appellate officer John Middlebrook.
    "Yes, the engine was out spec very, very marginally," McGlynn said. "There were three independent affidavits or personal testimony from engine builders who testified that infraction gave no advantage to the team. In fact, the other push rods were all overweight." In retrospect, McGlynn said the panel should not have allowed the win to count toward Chase eligibility because the engine had an illegal part. McGlynn said he reached out that day to NASCAR President Mike Helton and apologized if he made his day more difficult. "He said we did," McGlynn said, chuckling. "But it's just one of those things. We're on that panel for a purpose."(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-31-2013)

  • Friday practice for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
    #48-Johnson 159.603
    #5-Kahne 159.447
    #18-Busch 159.348
    #78-Busch 159.208
    #1-McMurray 159.067
    slowest:#30-Stremme 152.188 & #44-Riggs 151.707
    notes: This is the only practice today. Qualifying is scheduled for 3:15pm/et and will be shown on SPEED.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Dover Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(5-31-2013)

  • Qualifying Order for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #13-Mears.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #18-Busch.
    Fastest in Friday practice, #48-Johnson, is scheduled to qualify 29th.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Dover Qualifying Page.(5-31-2013)

  • TNT to provide "All-Access" pass to 2013 NASCAR Summer Series: The green flag is set to wave on TNT's 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action with the network offering all-access coverage throughout the six-week NASCAR Summer Series beginning Sunday, June 9, at Pocono Raceway at 1:00pm/et. TNT's all-access pass will include behind-the-scenes content featuring a select driver and their team (one per week) throughout the NASCAR Summer Series along with special "off the track" segments and more.
    TNT will follow a driver and their team over the course of the entire week as they travel and prepare for the upcoming race, with coverage beginning when the driver leaves the previous track and continuing throughout the network's next NASCAR Summer Series telecast. Featured drivers will include #11-Denny Hamlin (Pocono), #2-Brad Keselowski (Michigan), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (Sonoma) and #78-Kurt Busch (Kentucky), among others. The all-access pieces will air weekly during the pre-race Countdown to Green Presented by Kelley Blue Book show.
    Additionally, TNT will televise a special feature each week highlighting a select driver away from the track. During the Pocono telecast, TNT will focus the spotlight on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. TNT's Ralph Sheheen and Earnhardt will talk racing and life outside of NASCAR while visiting with Earnhardt at his "Whisky River" property including his "Car Graveyard."
    Inside Trax will also return for another season and will showcase audio and video from select crew chiefs and teams during each race telecast. The network will return its marquee commentator crew with analysts Kyle Petty, Wally Dallenbach and Larry McReynolds joining play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander for each race. Alexander will also host the network's 60-minute Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book pre-race show with Petty, Dallenbach and McReynolds. In addition, veteran reporters Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville will patrol pit road to bring viewers comprehensive coverage and access prior to and during each race.(Turner Sports PR)(5-31-2013)

  • Mechanical parts did not fail on cable cam: Officials could know Friday what caused a cable to snap on an overhead camera at last weekend's Coca-Cola 600, injuring at least 10 race fans. A spokesman for CAMCAT, an Austrian company that operated the aerial camera rig for Fox Sports, said it would know by Friday or next week at the latest what caused one of three cables attached to a TV camera to break during lap 121 of Sunday night's race. The incident caused cuts and abrasions to fans and sent three to the hospital. Workers dismantling the system at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night determined none of the mechanical parts of the camera or pulley system caused the cable to break, CAMCAT chief executive officer Alexander Brozek said. Officials with CAMCAT and the manufacturer of the synthetic cable Dyneema are investigating.(Charlotte Observer)(5-31-2013)

  • More Fortune 500 companies involved in NASCAR: Nearly one-in-four (117) Fortune 500 companies use NASCAR as part of their marketing mix, according to an analysis of sponsors currently in the sport when compared to the magazine's annual list released this month. For the second consecutive year, the number of Fortune 500 companies involved in NASCAR increased; and is an eight percent improvement over 2008. The analysis encompassed companies currently involved as a sponsor of NASCAR's sanctioning body, teams, tracks and/or as media partners. Findings from a study commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna prior to the start of the 2013 season show that approximately one out of four NASCAR fans strongly agree that they support NASCAR sponsors more than sponsors of other sports. To be eligible for the Fortune 500, a company must be based in the U.S. and publicly traded. Though many companies on the Fortune 500 utilize NASCAR as part of their business-building strategy to develop their customer base, strengthen market share, and increase value for their shareholders, only industry partners, media partners, and licensees involved in the sport were counted in the analysis. Companies invested in the sport solely as advertisers were not counted.(NASCAR)(5-31-2013)

  • Interstate Moving Services joins Cassil at Dover: In the midst of a two-race primary sponsorship with Bicycle Playing Cards, Circle Sport announced that Interstate Moving Services will also partner with driver Landon Cassill and the #33 Circle Sport Chevy this weekend as an associate sponsor for the FedEx 400 on Sunday. Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Arthur Morrissette originally founded Interstate Moving Services in Washington, D.C., in 1943. Now headquartered in Springfield, Va., Interstate Moving Services will be prominently displayed on the rear quarter panels of the #33 Bicycle NASCAR Playing Cards/Interstate Moving Services Chevy.(Circle Sport)(5-31-2013)

  • Dillon fastest in practice: #3-Austin Dillon was fastest during the only practice at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 152.433mph. #99-Alex Bowman was second, followed by: #20-Brian Vickers, #2-Brian Scott, #6-Trevor Bayne, #7-Regan Smith, #77-Parker Kligerman, #54-Kyle Busch, #18-Matt Kenseth, and #5-Kasey Kahne. All 40 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Dover practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(5-31-2013)

  • Allmendinger driving for Penske at Road America: AJ Allmendinger will drive a Nationwide Series car for Penske Racing next month at Road America. Travis Geisler, the team's competition director, told Motor Racing Network of Penske Racing's plans Friday morning. Allmendinger tested with the team earlier this week at Virginia International Raceway. The Johnsonville Sausage 200, the first of three road races on the 2013 schedule, is slated for Saturday, June 22. That's the day before the Sprint Cup Series race in Sonoma, Calif. Penske Racing has used its Cup Series drivers in the #22 Ford this season but with the distance between the two venues, it was decided that Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano would remain in California. That provides Allmendinger with this opportunity. He'll be a teammate to Sam Hornish Jr. Geisler isn't sure if Allmendinger will drive the #22 car in the two other road races this season, at Watkins Glen International and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August.(Motor Racing Network)(5-31-2013)

  • LVMS president to be inducted into Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame: Las Vegas Motor Speedway president Chris Powell is one of six people who will be inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame Friday night at the Orleans Arena. Powell will be inducted along with tennis legend Andre Agassi, UFC president Dana White, Las Vegas Events president Pat Christenson, professional golfer Stephanie Louden and long-time local basketball coach Bill Bobier. "This is really an induction of Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the employees who have contributed so much to the speedway's success over the past 15 years," Powell said. "I'm indebted to our chairman, Bruton Smith, for his vision and the investment he has made in our speedway. It's an honor to be able to represent this facility, and my induction is a tribute to the major impact that LVMS has on southern Nevada. I'm humbled to join the other deserving inductees, and I appreciate the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame's recognition of our hard work."(LVMS)(5-31-2013)

  • Hackenbracht to drive for KBM in Texas, other possible races: Chad Hackenbracht confirmed on his Twitter on Friday evening that he will be driving the #51 Toyota next week at Texas Motor Speedway, making his series debut. Additionally, during post race television coverage, SPEED reporter Ray Dunlap mentioned that Hackenbracht, who won the ARCA race in Pocono last season, may be behind the wheel for up to five truck races this season.(5-31-2013)

  • Busch wins Dover: #51-Kyle Busch won the Lucas Oil 200 on Friday at Dover International Speedway. Points leader #88-Matt Crafton was second, followed by #29-Ryan Blaney, #94-Chase Elliott, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #17-Timothy Peters, #98-Johnny Sauter, #18-Joey Coulter, #4-Jeb Burton, and #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr. There were six caution flags for 29 laps, and seven lead changes among six drivers. Complete results are on the Dover race results page (pdf).(5-31-2013)

  • Dover Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch won the 14th Annual Lucas Oil 200, his 32nd victory in 108 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his second victory and third top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his third victory and fifth top-10 finish in eight races at Dover International Speedway.
    Matt Crafton (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 13 races at Dover International Speedway.
    It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2013.
    Ryan Blaney (third) posted his first top-10 finish in his first start at Dover International Speedway.
    Ryan Blaney (third) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Matt Crafton leads the point standings by 30 points over Jeb Burton.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(5-31-2013)

  • Driver standings following Dover:
    1) #88-Matt Crafton, 245
    2) #4-Jeb Burton, 215, -30
    3) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 210, -35
    4) #98-Johnny Sauter, 202, -43
    5) #29-Ryan Blaney, 201, -44
    6) #31-James Buescher, 200, -45
    7) #3-Ty Dillon, 188, -57
    8) #54-Darrell Wallace Jr., 180, -65
    9) #32-Miguel Paludo, 176, -69
    10) #60-Dakoda Armstrong, 176, -69
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(5-31-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Doverare posted (pdf).(5-31-2013)

  • Wallace on the pole for the Lucas Oil 200: #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr. won the pole for Friday night's race at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 156.617 mph. At 19, Wallace is now the youngest pole winner in Truck Series history. #94-Chase Elliott will start on the outside of row one in the second position. #4-Jeb Burton, #29-Ryan Blaney, #51-Kyle Busch, #3-Ty Dillon, #88-Matt Crafton, #77-German Quiroga, #8-Max Gresham, and #98-Johnny Sauter complete the top 10. #31-James Buescher hit the wall during his run and will start at the rear of the field in a back-up truck. See complete results on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(5-31-2013)

  • Dover Qualifying Notes:
    Darrell Wallace Jr. won the Keystone 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 14th Annual Lucas Oil 200 with a lap of 22.986 seconds, 156.617 mph.
    This is his first pole in six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2013. This is his first pole in his first attempt at Dover International Speedway.
    Chase Elliott (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2013 and his first in one races at Dover International Speedway.
    Jeb Burton (third) posted his second top-10 start at Dover International Speedway. It is his sixth in six races this season.
    Darrell Wallace Jr. (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    Darrell Wallace Jr. becomes the youngest pole winner in series history at the age of 19. His birthdate is 10/08/1993.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(5-31-2013)


    News from May 30, 2013

  • Yeley racing for safety at Dover: Driving at record speeds each week, #36-JJ Yeley always remembers to buckle up for safety. As we head to Dover International Speedway this weekend, Yeley is asking fans to remember this simple life saving tip. Yeley will be driving the #36 Click It or Ticket Chevy. TBR has partnered with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DOHS) located in Dover to promote seat belt safety. "Safety is such a huge aspect of NASCAR and all of racing, I am proud to represent this cause this weekend" said Yeley.(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #36 team paint schemes page.(5-30-2013)

  • Parade Magazine to appear on McMurray's #1: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced a partnership with Parade Media Group. Parade is completely rebranding its print and digital assets, which are set to debut June 2 on the magazine and its website. The program will include primary sponsorship on the #1 Chevy of Jamie McMurray in the Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway. Through this integrated partnership, EGR offers an exclusive opportunity for Parade to capture the #1 motorsports television audience on a day that their new look is released in over 670 newspapers nationwide to more than 59 million readers in print and over 115 million across platforms. The #1 Parade Chevy will be shown on page two of the magazine with a tune-in for the race. Parade began in 1941 as a small publication with a print run of only 125,000 copies and was sold on newsstands for a nickel. With 59 million readers, Parade is now the most widely read magazine in America. The Washington Post is Parade's oldest continuous newspaper partner.(Earnhardt Ganassi PR) , see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(5-30-2013)

  • Monsters University debuts with Johnson: Characters from Disney Pixar's "Monsters University," which opens in theatres June 21 in 3D, will grace the hood of Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy at Dover. The familiar characters of Mike and Sulley will be riding with Johnson in a special paint scheme to help kick off Lowe's special Disney-themed Build and Grow clinics, which will be offered at Lowe's stores throughout the summer. Kids attending the Dover races Friday through Sunday will have an opportunity to get involved by visiting the Monsters University Admissions Tent. Kids will get a Monsters University Student ID badge for an opportunity to assemble a special-edition Lowe's Build and Grow project of Johnson's "Monsters University" racecar. Beginning June 8, Lowe's stores nationwide will hold free movie-themed Build and Grow clinics, featuring projects from Disney Pixar's "Monsters University," DisneyPixar's "Toy Story" and Disney's "Planes."(Team Lowe's / HMS), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(5-30-2013)

  • Energizer returns to the #42: The Energizer bunny is scheduled to make an appearance on the #42 Chevy of Juan Pablo Montoya this weekend as a primary sponsor at Dover International Speedway. The endless energy of the bunny is adored by millions and couldn't be a better representative of their Energizer brand. But Energizer Holdings is much more than batteries. In fact, they're made up of 30 established consumer brands the world over, from Schick and Wilkinson Sword shaving systems to Banana Boat sunscreens. The Target partnership with Energizer is one of the longest running relationships as they have been with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams for 18 years.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(5-30-2013)

  • Scott Products on the #47: "It's another big weekend for our brands," Bobby Labonte said. "This weekend at Dover we will have Sscott Products on our Toyota Camry. Last time there we had a decent qualifying effort and finished in the top-15 (14th). We're hoping to have another good weekend."(JTG Daugherty Racing), see an image of the car on the #47 team paint schemes page.(5-30-2013)

  • Dover Tire Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Dover this week will run the same right-side tire code (D-4440), teams in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run a different left-side code (D-4556) than those in the Camping World Truck Series. . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Dover last season . . . these teams have also run this right-side tire code (D-4440) at Kentucky in 2011 and 2012 . . . Dover is unique among NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, in that inner liners are required on all four tire positions . . . 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 Dover Race Info page - Goodyear section.(5-30-2013)

  • 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 Dover on the Dover Race Info page - Chassis selection area.(5-30-2013)

  • Viva Motorsports partners with Frank Cicci: Viva Motorsports announces its partnership with NASCAR veteran team owner Frank Cicci. Viva Motorsports, which fields the #55 Chevy Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, is pleased to announce the addition of legendary racer, Frank Cicci, to the team. The team will now operate under the name "Viva Motorsports with Frank Cicci." Cicci brings over 25 years of experience at the helm of winning NASCAR race teams. A force in the Nationwide Series, Frank Cicci racked up 752 starts and 19 victories during his tenure as a car owner and had a hand in beginning the careers of many drivers such as Jimmy Spencer and Todd Bodine. Cicci also introduced high profile sponsorships in which many are still involved in the sport. He will use his expertise to help guide Viva into the future by focusing on securing a long term sponsor. For the remaining 2013 season, Viva Motorsports with Frank Cicci will operate out of its China Grove headquarters and continue a partial schedule in the Nationwide Series with support from Viva Auto Group. The team looks forward to securing sponsorship that will enable them to run a full schedule in 2014.(Viva Motorsports with Frank Cicci)(5-30-2013)

  • O'Connell to drive for JR Motorsports at Road America: Accomplished sports car racer Johnny O'Connell will drive for JR Motorsports in the June 22 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America. O'Connell will make up a two-team contingent for JR Motorsports at Road America that includes Nationwide Series point leader Regan Smith. O'Connell, a longtime GM factory driver and recent inductee into the Sebring Hall of Fame, will drive the #5 CorvetteParts.net Chevy at Road America, the first of three road-course venues the Nationwide Series will visit in 2013. This will mark O'Connell's first-ever race in a NASCAR stock car. CorvetteParts.net is a subset of Keen Parts Inc., a leading supplier of Corvette restoration parts. It 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. O'Connell tested with JR Motorsports at Virginia International Raceway on Mon., May 27, and is scheduled for another test session prior to the June 22 race at Road America.(JR Motorsports)(5-30-2013)

  • Mike Wallace gets Dover sponsor UPDATE: Mike Wallace and the #01 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team will head to Dover International Speedway ready to race 200 miles with the support of Iron Source. The team, coming off a top-25 finish in Charlotte, will look to race up front and move into the top-20 in Owner's Points following the race. Iron Source is a Delaware based equipment Sales, Rental, and Service Company, serving the entire DELMARVA Region, with branches in Georgetown and Smyrna. Iron Source serves the construction and farm industries as well as homeowners, while representing several equipment manufacturers such as Gehl, Manitou, Wacker Neuson, and Bandit.(JD Motorsports)(5-29-2013)
    UPDATE: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced the addition of Meding's Seafood in Milford, DE as a primary sponsor for the Dover race weekend. Also joining the team is TIPCO Technologies Inc, a fluid solution supplier for all your industrial, hydraulic, and high-purity applications. TIPCO is proud to be the largest stocking distributor in the Mid-Atlantic.(JD Motorsports)(5-30-2013)

  • Elliott fastest in final practice: #94-Chase Elliott was fastest in final practice at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 153.702 mph. #4-Jeb Burton was second, followed by: #17-Timothy Peters, #32 Miguel Paludo, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #29-Ryan Blaney, #18-Joey Coulter, #19-Ross Chastain, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., and #51-Kyle Busch. 36 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Dover practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(5-30-2013)

  • Burton fastest in first practice: Rookie Jeb Burton was fastest during opening practice at a very hot Dover International Speedway on Thursday, with a speed of 152.066 mph. #29-Ryan Blaney was second, followed by: #51-Kyle Busch, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #3-Ty Dillon, #94-Chase Elliott, #31-James Buescher, #8-Max Gresham, #17-Timothy Peters, and #98-Johnny Sauter in the top 10. 28 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Dover practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(5-30-2013)

  • Ruud to serve as primary for three races with Buescher: Turner Scott Motorsports, in conjunction with Rheem Manufacturing Company, announced today that their Ruud brand will sponsor the #31 Chevy Silverado driven by James Buescher for three races during the 2013 Camping World Truck Series season. The first race to debut the special Ruud paint scheme on the #31 will be at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7. Ruud, a member of the Rheem Manufacturing Company's family of quality brands, is a leading heating, cooling and water heating solutions provider in Texas and major markets throughout in the U.S. and Canada. The #31 Ruud Chevy Silverado can be seen at the following events: The Winstar World Casino 400k at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7, the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26 and the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8.(See an image on the #31 team paint scheme page.)(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(5-30-2013)

  • Lafferty to return in Dover: Lafferty Motorsports and Chris Lafferty are headed to the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway, this weekend for the Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200. Lafferty will be piloting the #0 KOMA Unwind Silverado in his third start at the one-mile track. While this will be Chris' first start of the 2013 season, he hasn't been sitting at home doing nothing. In fact, Chris has been keeping very busy on the set of his national television show wearing many of the productions' hats and serving as host. Lafferty has also been buried in music spending a lot of time in the recording studio and will soon be announcing the release of his debut music album. In addition this weekend, Chris will be sporting a Blue Ox fire suit. Blue Ox is Chris' longest running sponsor; first partnering in 2006.(Laffco PR)(5-30-2013)

  • ACME Convenience Tent coming to Dover for race weekend: As part of an all-new, multi-year partnership between ACME Markets and Dover International Speedway, the popular grocery store chain will bring a convenience tent store to the track as an amenity for fans beginning with the May 29-June 2, 2013 NASCAR race weekend. The 2,500-square-foot tent store will provide fans coming to the Speedway for race weekend the convenience of not needing to pack or stock up on items prior to their trip, as just about anything they need or even forget to bring can be found in the convenience store. It will feature many items race fans could find in their local grocery store, including: meat, deli items, bakery items, fresh fruit and vegetables, chips, cookies, crackers, prepared foods, beverages, and more. The ACME Convenience Tent will be open from 7:00am  10:00pm on Wednesday, May 29 through Sunday, June 2, and is located just off the intersection of Leipsic Road and Persimmon Tree Lane, at the edge of RV Lot 10.(Dover PR)(5-30-2013)


    News from May 29, 2013

  • Code 3 Associates on the #14 at Dover: When a deadly EF5 tornado roared through Moore, Okla., May 20, lives were shattered and property was destroyed. Amid the chaos immediately surrounding the tornado, families searched for loved ones. Some of those loved ones were of the four-legged variety, ranging from beloved family pets to valuable farm animals. More than a week after the tornado cut a two-mile wide swath of destruction across Moore, children are being reunited with their pets and farmers are able to reclaim lost livestock. Reuniting people with their animals is Code 3 Associates, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas. Longmont, Colo.-based Code 3 Associates has been a partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since 2012, where the collaboration has led to increased recognition for the efforts of Code 3 Associates and, in turn, increased donations to the national response team that at the request of local government officials provides animal rescue and recovery during any kind of disaster. That collaboration takes center stage this weekend at Dover International Speedway when Tony Stewart carries Code 3 Associates on his #14 Chevy throughout the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.(Stewart Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #14 team paint schemes page.(5-29-2013)

  • Chinese company buys Smithfield Foods: Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has agreed to buy Smithfield Foods Inc. for approximately $4.72 billion, the largest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese company. Hong Kong-based Shuanghui owns a variety of global businesses that include food, logistics and flavoring products and is the majority shareholder in China's largest meat processing enterprise. Smithfield, the world's biggest pork producer, owns brands such as Armour, Farmland and its namesake. Both companies' boards have unanimously approved the transaction, which still needs approval from Smithfield's shareholders. The transaction may also be subject to review by the U.S.'s Committee on Foreign Investment, which evaluates the potential national security effects of transactions. The process typically includes a 30-day initial review, followed by a 45-day investigation before making a recommendation to the president. Smithfield's stock will no longer be publicly traded once the deal closes.
    Under the agreement, there will be no closures at Smithfield's facilities and locations, including its Smithfield, Va., headquarters in the historic southeastern Virginia town of about 8,100 where it was founded in 1936, the companies said. Smithfield's existing management team will remain in place and Shuanghui also will honor the collective bargaining agreements with Smithfield workers. The company has about 46,000 employees.(Associated Press), no word how or if this will affect the sponsorship of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team and driver Aric Almirola.(5-29-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Coca-Cola 600: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 6:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 11:35 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this 203132
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 92
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 191
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 89
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 12
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 9
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 3
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 51
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 7 min. 5 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 6:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:35PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 335
    Minutes of race broadcast: 249
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 863
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 7
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 3
    Total race brdcst time 249 Total comm. brdcst time 86
    See past races and links on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(5-29-2013)

  • Lots of testing this week: Several Sprint Cup and Natiowide teams tested Tuesday at Virginia International Raceway in preparation for upcoming road course races this summer. According to a tweet from MRN's Dustin Long, "list of Cup teams testing at VIR today, according to track: #1-McMurray, #2-Keselowski, #7-Blaney, #13-Mears, #15-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #20-Kenseth, #22-Logano, #42-Montoya, #55-Martin, #78-Kurt Busch, #83-Kvapil, #99-Edwards". A.J. Allmendinger tested a Nationwide car for Penske Racing. The track also posted several images to their Flickr page.
    AND #27-Paul Menard, along with his Richard Childress Racing teammates #31-Jeff Burton and #29-Kevin Harvick, will be stopping at Pocono Raceway on their way to Delaware for a team test session on Wednesday.(RCR)
    AND All three Stewart Haas Racing teams are testing at Pocono Wednesday and Thursday.(5-29-2013)

  • Johnson to visit Oklahoma tornado victims: #48-Jimmie Johnson will visit tornado-ravaged Moore, Okla., on Thursday to help distribute supplies to victims of the May 19-20 tornados. Johnson will be accompanied by his wife, Chani, a native of Muskogee. The visit is in conjunction with Johnson's sponsor, Lowe's, and the Feed the Children initiative. Johnson said Monday he hopes University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops and other Sooners join him. Johnson also says he'll donate his winnings from Sunday's race at Dover to tornado recovery efforts. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation each year also donates to school projects in Oklahoma, along with California and Charlotte, where he currently lives.(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-29-2013)

  • Ambrose "Racing for a Miracle" at Dover: He may hail from the land down under, but this Sunday Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 DEWALT Racing Ford, will be racing to make special children feel on top of the world. As a part of the continued "Racing for a Miracle" program, if Ambrose takes his first oval checkered, Stanley and DEWALT will donate $1 million to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through the Ace Hardware Foundation to benefit sick and injured children. New this year, if Ambrose and his Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) team finish second or third, Stanley and DEWALT, through the Ace Hardware Foundation, will donate $500,000 and $250,000 respectively.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #9 team paint schemes page.(5-29-2013)

  • Fellows named to Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame: Five Canadians will be honored at The 19th Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame's Induction Ceremonies, presented by Canadian Tire, when this year's event takes centre stage under a new format at the Glenn Gould Studio at 7:15 pm on September 28th 2013. One of Canada's great race drivers and a motorsport ambassador par excellence, Ron Fellows of Mississauga, will be inducted. Others to be inducted include the late Bob Armstrong, Jimmy Carr, Tom Walters, Jon and Sharon Fletcher. Fellows has wins in 24-hour classics at Le Mans and Daytona, in NASCAR truck and Nationwide stock car competition, and three championships in the American Le Mans Series.(more info at Toronto Star Wheels and cmhf.ca)(5-29-2013)

  • Dover News & Notes:
    • There have been 86 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway, one race in 1969 and 1970, two races per year since 1971.
    • 371 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway; 268 in more than one.
    • NASCAR Hall of Famer Ricky Rudd leads the series in starts at Dover with 56. Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 53 starts; followed by Terry Labonte with 52.
    • David Pearson won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Dover in 1969 with a speed of 130.430 mph.
    • 36 drivers have Coors Light Pole Awards at Dover, led by David Pearson with six. Mark Martin leads all active drivers in poles, with five, followed by Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman with four each.
    • Eight drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Dover with three; from 1973 to the spring race of 1974.
    • Three active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover: Mark Martin (fall 1988 and spring 1989), Bobby Labonte (fall 1996 and spring 1997) and Ryan Newman (fall 2005 and spring 2006).
    • 34 different drivers have won at Dover International Speedway, led by Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Jimmie Johnson with seven wins each.
    • 12 drivers have posted consecutive wins at Dover International Speedway, including three consecutive by David Pearson (fall 1972 and 1973 sweep), Rusty Wallace (fall 1993 and 1994 sweep) and Jeff Gordon (fall 1995 and 1996 sweep).
    • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Dover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 14: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon (four), Geoff Bodine (one), Ken Schrader (one) and Ricky Rudd (one).
    • Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Dover; led by Chevrolet with 32 victories; followed by Ford with 25.
    • 13 of the 86 (15.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover have been won from the pole position; the two most recent were Jimmie Johnson in 2009 and 2010.
    • The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Dover International Speedway.
    • 28 of the 86 (32.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover have been won from the front row: 13 from the pole and 15 from second place.
    • 68 of the 86 (79.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Four of the 86 (4.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Dover was 37th, by Kyle Petty in the spring of 1995.
    • Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Dover with eight; followed by Dale Earnhardt with five.
    • Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Dover with 24; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 19.
    • Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Dover with 32; followed by Richard Petty and Ricky Rudd with 26 each.
    • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Dover with a 9.500.
    • Carl Edwards leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Dover with an 8.294; Jimmie Johnson (8.636) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10.
    • 15 of the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners at Dover International Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jimmie Johnson won at Dover in his first two appearances.
    • Jeff Burton competed at Dover International Speedway 25 times before winning in the fall of 2006; the longest span of any the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners.
    • Among the 16 active NSCS Dover winners, Jeff Burton (25), Kurt Busch (22), Mark Martin (22), Matt Kenseth (14), Bobby Labonte (13) and Ken Schrader (12) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
    • Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Dover without visiting Victory Lane at 37; followed by Kevin Harvick with 24.
    • Since the advent of electronic scoring, the closest margin of victory (MOV) in NSCS at Dover was the Sept. 25, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Kyle Busch with an MOV of 0.08 second.
    • There has been one NASCAR Sprint Cup race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Dover International Speedway: fall of 2005 - 400/404 (scheduled no. of laps/actual no. of laps).
    • Not one of the 86 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover has been shortened due to weather conditions.
    • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover five times: fall of 1984, spring of 2001, fall of 2003, spring of 2005 and spring of 2011.
    • Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Dover: Bobby Labonte (6/3/91), Matt Kenseth (9/20/98), Kurt Busch (9/24/00) and David Ragan (9/24/06).
    • Two active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Award at Dover International Speedway: Matt Kenseth (6/2/02) and Michael Waltrip (6/3/1991).
    • One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Dover International Speedway: Martin Truex Jr. (6/4/07).
    • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Dover with 2,318 in 22 starts.
    • Two female drivers have competed at Dover International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick.(NASCAR)(5-29-2013)

  • Mike Wallace gets Dover sponsor: Mike Wallace and the #01 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team will head to Dover International Speedway ready to race 200 miles with the support of Iron Source. The team, coming off a top-25 finish in Charlotte, will look to race up front and move into the top-20 in Owner's Points following the race. Iron Source is a Delaware based equipment Sales, Rental, and Service Company, serving the entire DELMARVA Region, with branches in Georgetown and Smyrna. Iron Source serves the construction and farm industries as well as homeowners, while representing several equipment manufacturers such as Gehl, Manitou, Wacker Neuson, and Bandit.(JD Motorsports)(5-29-2013)

  • Whitt driving for TriStar: Cole Whitt will return to the wheel of a stock car this Saturday in the 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover International Speedway, teamed up with the four-car NASCAR Nationwide Series team of TriStar Motorsports. Whitt, a former Red Bull Racing development driver who most recently drove for JR Motorsports, is expected to be behind the wheel of a TriStar Toyota for a number of races this year. "I'm really excited to hop back in the seat of a race car; it feels like forever since last season," said Whitt. "I've had success in my four starts at Dover and look forward to taking on 'Miles the Monster'. I am grateful for the opportunity Mark (Smith) and TriStar have lined up for me and I hope to have success with the #44 crew." Whitt and TriStar Motorsports, owned by veteran team owner and engine builder, Mark Smith, already have a head start working together in 2013. The 21-year-old native of Alpine, CA has been working in the shop daily as a mechanic in TriStar's research and development department. Whitt will drive the #44 Toyota at "The Monster Mile" with sponsorship from Lockton.(TriStar Motorsports)(5-29-2013)

  • Camping World expands sponsorship to Wallace: This weekend beginning at Dover International Speedway, Darrell Wallace, Jr. will welcome Camping World and Good Sam to his #54 Toyota Tundra as the primary sponsor for 11 races this season in the Camping World Truck Series. Taking the next step to reach sport and outdoor enthusiasts, Camping World joined NASCAR as the Truck Series title sponsor in 2009 and also became the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR. Following this weekend's Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway, Camping World and Good Sam will appear on the #54 Toyota Tundra for 10 additional races this season as the primary sponsor.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(5-29-2013)

  • Striping Technology, L.P. partners with Starr for Dover: Striping Technology, L.P. will adorn the hood of David Starr's #81 Toyota Tundra in Friday's Lucas Oil 200. The company provides safety services including highway striping, traffic signals, signage, pavement marking and installation to general contractors, business owners and government agencies.(SS Racing PR)(5-29-2013)

  • Daytona 500 tickets on sale Thursday: Tickets to the 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23  NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race  will go on sale Thursday, May 30 at 9:00am/et. Tickets for the Daytona 500, which was won earlier this year for a second time by Jimmie Johnson, will start at $65. The Speedway will once again offer special youth pricing for the 56th annual Daytona 500. Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all backstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 while supplies last. In addition to the 56th annual Daytona 500, tickets for Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 events will be available for purchase including the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the inaugural nighttime running of the Budweiser Duel, The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona and Lucas Oil 200 Presented By MAV TV American Real doubleheader and Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger.(DIS)(5-29-2013)

  • Reality TV start to drive pace car at Michigan: Seth Gold will drive the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi pace car at the 2013 Quicken Loans 400 on June 16. Gold will lead the field to the green flag for the Quicken Loans 400, which begins at 1:00pm/et. "Being born and raised in Michigan, I'm absolutely thrilled to be driving this Ford at the Quicken Loans 400. Roger and his staff have been great and I cannot wait to see be a part of the great NASCAR tradition at Michigan International Speedway, it's going be an awesome event!" Gold, his father Les Gold and sister Ashley Broad are the stars of 'Hardcore Pawn', a show about the family-owned pawn business located on Detroit's Eight Mile Road. The show gives an inside look at the operations of American Jewelry and Loan, a pawn shop that first opened in 1978.(MIS)(5-29-2013)


    News from May 28, 2013

  • Special scheme for the #11 at Dover: FedEx will be supporting Autism Speaks with a special paint scheme on the #11 FedEx Toyota of Denny Hamlin this Sunday in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.(FedEx Facebook), see an image of the scheme on my #11 Team Schemes page.(5-28-2013)

  • Entry List for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #19-Bliss, #32-Hill, #44-Riggs, #51-Dillon. With 43 entries, no one will miss the race.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Dover Entry List

  • Some Preliminary Charlotte TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing on FOX for Sunday's Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway posted a preliminary 4.1 rating with a 8 share which is flat with last year's performance and is 8% better than the Indy 500 on ABC (3.8/10), a lead projected to increase once the national ratings are released. The race average includes the red flag portion of the race caused by a camera cable. NBC's Formula One race garnered a 1.3/4 on NBC. The Indy 500's rating was down 11% from last year's 4.1/11. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(5-28-2013)

  • Congrats - Dan Mondragon: to #93 BK Racing's tire changer Daniel Mondragon and wife Sharon welcomed their first born son Braydon Michael, who was born May 27th at 5:22pm in Huntersville, NC at Novant Hospital at 7lb 13oz and 20 1/4in. My mother and son are doing great.(5-28-2013)

  • Marks to drive #7 at Sonoma: Justin Marks will make his Sprint Cup Series debut in next month's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Marks will continue his long-standing relationship with GoPro, piloting the #7 GoPro Chevy in the road course race for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Marks has previous NASCAR stock car experience, competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as well as the ARCA Racing Series, earning a total of one win, five poles, 12 top fives and 30 top-10 finishes across the three series. Marks, a former factory BMW driver, has extensive road course racing experiencing, having participated in the NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Marks scored eight wins, including the coveted Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2009.(Spire Sports + Entertainment)(5-28-2013)

  • FOX Sports Follow-up Statement - Camera rope: Everyone at FOX Sports is relieved and thankful to know that the injuries to fans caused when CAMCAT malfunctioned Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway were minor, and those who received hospital treatment were released last night. As stated previously, we regret that the race was affected, and we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, to everyone at CMS, NASCAR, and NASCAR fans, especially those who were hurt. At this time, we still do not have a cause for what happened, but a full investigation is underway, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely. The rope is made of Dyneema, an ultra-strong synthetic that has the same approximate strength of a steel wire with the same diameter, and is less than a year old. According to the company, it had been factory-tested by the manufacturer and its breaking strength is certified before shipment. It was also inspected by CAMCAT upon receipt last June. The rope was certified to have a breaking strength of over 9,300 pounds. The force exerted during last night's race was less than 900 pounds. FOX Sports is reviewing with CAMCAT equipment maintenance records, history and installation information and will share those findings with NASCAR and CMS.(FOX Sports)(5-28-2013)

  • Stewart not happy with blocking: #14-Tony Stewart said he loves rookie #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. "like he's family," but is fed up with how Stenhouse and other young drivers are racing. "Ricky Stenhouse, I'd choke him right now if I could get to him," Stewart told Sirius XM Radio after Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600. "One more lap of having to mess around with him... " Stewart cited his strong anti-blocking stance as the reason he's upset with Stenhouse, who also happens to be the boyfriend of Stewart's own rookie driver, #10-Danica Patrick. Stewart did not name her specifically. Stenhouse and Patrick were involved in a wreck Sunday night that ensnared defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who shouldered the blame for starting the crash that knocked him out of the race. "Everybody that thinks this crap of blocking is productive, they don't know honestly what racing is all about," Stewart said. "And the guys that do it who think it's acceptable, I lose respect for them every day." Stewart said he wants to sit in on one of NASCAR's regular rookie meetings just to hear what NASCAR officials tell the drivers. When he was a rookie in 1999, former official Gary Nelson used to sternly tell Stewart and his peers about the on-track etiquette.(USA Today)(5-28-2013)

  • Study Confirms Value of Sports Sponsorships to National Guard Recruiting: A respected independent research firm has confirmed the value that professional sports sponsorships provide the National Guard in recruiting and retaining high-quality soldiers. Alan Newman Research of Richmond, Va., found that 90% of Army National Guard soldiers who enlisted or re-enlisted since 2007 were exposed to the Guard through recruiting or retention materials featuring NASCAR cars and/or drivers. Of those who enlisted or re-enlisted during that time period, 85 percent agree that professional sports are beneficial to attracting and retaining good soldiers. The survey also found that racing fans are an especially receptive group for the Army National Guard. NASCAR enthusiasts aged 18 to 34  the Guard's target recruiting audience  are twice as likely to consider a military career than nonfans. The Army National Guard turned to professional sports sponsorships in 2007 when traditional, more expensive recruiting efforts were failing to attract enough quality applicants. The force has since seen a surge in recruiting with some units having to turn away potential enlistees. See full (pdf) report at Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States site.(5-28-2013)

  • France and Hulman-George families honored: The France family and the Hulman-George family were honored Saturday with the Bob Russo Founders award for dedication to auto racing, in a ceremony during Speedweeks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bill France Sr. founded NASCAR in 1947 and later built Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Son Bill France Jr. took over as NASCAR's president in 1972 and was the driving force into making NASCAR the country's most popular racing series. Bill France Jr.'s brother Jim France recently brokered the unification of U.S. sports car racing, and his son Brian France is NASCAR's chairman and CEO. Daughter Lesa France Kennedy is chairperson of International Speedway Corporation. The Hulman-George family has been synonymous with IndyCar Racing and Indianapolis Motor Speedway since Tony Hulman purchased the track and resumed the running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1946, after a hiatus for World War II. Long-time NASCAR executive Ken Clapp accepted the award on behalf of the France family.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-28-2013)

  • Entry List:There are just 38 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's 5-hour Energy 200 at Dover International Speedway. A few notes:
    Blake Koch returns to the #00 for SR2;
    Ty Dillon returns to the #33 for RCR;
    Cole Whitt is listed as driver of the #44 for TriStar, normally driven by Hal Martin;
    Kevin Lepage will drive the #52 for Jimmy Means;
    Tony Raines will be in the #70 since this is not a scheduled race for ML Motorsports;
    Morgan Shepherd returns with his #89 team.(5-28-2013)
    UPDATE: Joey Gase will return to the #52 for Jimmy Means.(5-28-2013)
    See the complete list on the Dover entry list page.

  • Stolen vehicles siezed from Harmon's garage: Rowan County Sheriff's deputies are watching NASCAR driver Mike Harmon closely, after recovering two cars and five trucks from his two garages Tuesday afternoon. Deputies say Harmon stole the cars from racer Jennifer Jo Cobb at the end of last year. The vehicles were seized from Harmon's shop in Mooresville, and from a storage facility in Catawba County, officials told WBTV. Harmon was arrested two weeks ago in a separate incident, also involving Cobb. Authorities say Harmon broke into Cobb's Mooresville headquarters, and stole her hauler to transport cars and trucks. WBTV spoke with Harmon just moments after he posted bail on the initial charge. "I've never stolen as much as a piece of bubble gum. To be arrested for a felony is ridiculous," Harmon said. Last week, a judge ordered Harmon to stay away from Cobb, though the two both say they plan to finish this year's racing season. As of Tuesday night, Harmon had not been charged for the seven vehicles, and Cobb's hauler was still missing.(WBTV)(5-28-2013)

  • Jeffrey Earnhardt returns to the #79: Jeffrey Earnhardt will be racing at Dover International Speedway this Saturday, June 1st in the 5-Hour Energy 200 racing the #79 Oath Keepers Ford Mustang for Go Green Racing. Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of current & former military members, peace officers and firefighters who will fulfill the oath they swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Their motto is "Not on our watch"! Oath Keepers partnered with Earnhardt for the Dover race with plans to run additional races this season.(Earnhardt PR), see an image of the car on the #79 team paint schemes page.(5-28-2013)

  • Entry list: There are 35 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday's Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway. A few notes: K&N Pro East driver CJ Faison debuts in trucks with the #07;
    Kyle Martel enters in the #59;
    Chase Elliott returns to trucks in the #94; (5-28-2013)
    See the complete list on the Dover International Speedway entry list page

  • Crew member suspended: Beaugard M. (Beau) Wilkes, a crew member in the Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On May 23, Wilkes was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(5-28-2013)
    UPDATE:Eddie Sharp Racing has released Beau Wilkes, a crew member in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series who was indefinitely suspended Tuesday for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. ESR fields two full-time trucks in the series, one for Max Gresham and another that has had a variety of drivers this year. Wilkes is a tire specialist. For a first violation of its substance abuse policy, NASCAR typically issues an indefinite suspension. The violator must have an assessment by a substance abuse professional, who determines a recovery program based on that assessment. "ESR supports all NASCAR rules and mandates zero tolerance with any violations, especially concerning NASCAR's and ESR's own substance abuse policy," team owner Eddie Sharp said in a statement. "Upon learning that one of our team members violated NASCAR's substance abuse policy, we immediately released him from the team. That said, we support his Road to Recovery efforts and wish good health for him and his family." (Sporting News)(5-28-2013)

  • CMS still in running for the X Games: Charlotte Motor Speedway knows how to host first-rate, world-class events like this past weekend's Coca-Cola 600, and speedway officials are hoping that truth is evident to ESPN as the network considers who will host the summer X Games for three years beginning in 2014. Charlotte is among four finalists  including Austin (Tex.), Chicago, and Detroit  in the running to host the action-sports contests, which range from skateboarding and BMX to Rally Car and Moto X. CMS officials are making a final, concentrated push for their bid this weekend, sending a crew out to talk to race fans, hand out X Games T-shirts and drum up support. There is also an X Games logo in the infield grass. ESPN will visit each of the site finalists in the next few weeks and plan to announce the new host city by Aug. 1.(CMS)(5-28-2013)

  • New menu items to be featured at Michigan International Speedway: The Quicken Loans 400 will soon be speeding toward the green flag, so fans will want to make a pit stop and check out all of the new food choices at Michigan International Speedway. MIS and its catering partner Americrown have developed new food items for the fans this year  and these items are truly unique to Michigan. The "Pierogi Burger" is a juicy new hamburger. But instead of a plain, cheese with grilled onions burger, a cheese pierogi has been added. A pierogi is a Polish dumpling, a delicacy with many of the local Polish residents of Southeastern Michigan. Americrown has added also gravy cakes to the menu. These potato pancakes are topped with a chipped beef gravy, sour cream and green scallions, sure to satisfy a race fan. Coney Dogs have become synonymous with Michigan. What a better way to watch a race at NASCAR's fastest track than with a coney dog with real sauce, mustard and diced onions? The all new tailgate package includes a beef tri-tip roast, baby back ribs, port butts, chicken wings, chicken thighs and jumbo hot dogs. The best part is everything is fully cooked. All you have to do is season it to your liking and heat the items up. The 10-person package is $250 while the 20-person package is $400. You can feed 40 people for only $550. Invite your neighbors over and have a cookout. All you have to do is simply call Brandy Escamilla at 909-429-5380 and your package will be delivered to your campground on June 14. Michigan International Speedway has more than 8,000 campsites and smells like one large kitchen as people cookout. Now Americrown makes it easy for all the campers with a special tailgate package that feeds 10, 20 or 40 people. Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(5-28-2013)

  • Fort Erie Speedway gets a partner: The Canadian Motor Speedway, a $150-million world class motor sports and entertainment development to be situated on 820 acres of land in Fort Erie, has entered into partnership with Aecon Group Inc., one of Canada's largest publicly traded construction companies. The announcement was made by the project's executive director and partner, Azhar Mohammad, and Teri McKibbon, chief operating officer for Aecon. "We look forward to working with Aecon as a partner to ensure our development is built to the highest standards," said Mohammad. Aecon, as the project's construction manager, will oversee the entire 820-acre development by identifying qualified local construction resources, administration of construction program activities, and management of contractors. It will ensure a timely completion with the targeted cost. "We are thrilled to be working with Canadian Motor Speedway and pleased to bring our expertise to the development of this world class racetrack," said Teri McKibbon, Aecon's chief operating officer. The speedway project is adjacent to the QEW within minutes from the Canadian/U.S. border at Buffalo and 15 minutes from Niagara Falls. The core of the project consists of a standalone 1.6-kilometre, Jeff Gordon-designed signature speedway.(Fort Erie Times)(5-28-2013)


    News from May 27, 2013

  • TV Camera cable breaks, damages cars, injures fans UPDATE: On lap 126 of the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a cable for Fox's overhead camera broke and fell on to the track, #18-Busch, who was 3rd at the time, caught the cable and it tore up the right front fender. The red flag was issued and cars were parked on pit road while crews cleaning up the cable. #9-Ambrose also had brake line tore off from the rope/cable and stuck in the grill and some damage to the roof. Busch got a phone/camera and took pictures of the damage as the crew was not allowed on pit road to look at the car. Once the cable/rope was removed, the cars took a lap and were brought to pit road for 15 minutes. Each team was allowed to check their cars for any damage the cable/rope may have caused. The team for #18-Busch, replaced a lot of the right fender. #55-Martin ran over the cable/rope and had some front splitter damage, then the rope went over the #9 Ford and wrapped around the left rear wheel area and broke a brake line. #42-Montoya had some slight damage and the team made repairs. #11-Hamlin had some damage to a roof flap. The red flag lasted 26 minutes.
    FOX later reported that CMS announced that ten fans in the stands were injured by the cable and seven were treated and released, three were taken to the local hospital for observation.(5-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Charlotte Motor Speedway said 10 fans were injured Sunday at the Coca-Cola 600 and three of them were taken to the hospital after a nylon rope supporting a Fox Sports overhead television camera fell from the grandstands and landed on the track surface. CMS vice president of communications Scott Cooper said after the race that all three fans were treated and released from the hospital. He said he couldn't discuss the nature of their injuries due to privacy laws. Cooper said seven other people were treated with minor cuts and scrapes at the track and released.(Associated Press)(5-27-2013)

  • News about the Air Titan track drying system: NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Saturday state-of-union address that the new Air Titan track drying system has been a success, particularly at Talladega Superspeedway where it allowed Saturday's Nationwide Series race and Sunday's Sprint Cup event to be completed on the same day. So why doesn't every track have the system? France said NASCAR, which owns the right to Air Titan, is in the process of educating tracks on the cost savings from getting the event completed on the scheduled day versus the cost of purchasing the machines. "In fairness to different tracks, they hadn't seen that work in a real live condition [before Talladega],'' France said. "Now they have. My hope is that we will get the cost down, number one, and that every track who is in risk of having rain will be using the system.'''(ESPN)(5-27-2013)

  • Georgia Racing Hall Of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees: Some of the greatest racers in Georgia Racing History gathered at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, GA Saturday morning as the five newest inductees into the Hall of Fame were formally announced. They include a former NASCAR and short track ace, a pioneer Peach State open wheel racer, a trailblazing stock car team owner, one of the most successful short track racers in the southeast, and a drag racing legend and pioneer. The 2013 inductees are Charles Barrett of Cleveland, GA, Hank Blalock of Decatur, GA, Frank Christian of Dahlonega, GA, Freddy Fryar of Chattanooga, TN, and Huston Platt of Buford, GA. The five new GRHOF inductees were chosen from a list of 15 semi-finalists, all of whom were honored during Saturday's event. The inductees were chosen by an 18 member panel of voters. The 2013 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction banquet will be held on Dec. 13, 2013 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, located inside the Dawsonville Municipal Complex in Dawsonville, GA. A limited number of seats for the banquet will be available. For more information go to www.georgiaracinghof.com.(GRHoF)(5-27-2013)

  • Crafton, Buescher to hit milestones in Dover: Two drivers facing different circumstances celebrate milestone starts this week at Dover International Speedway. Points leader Matt Crafton will appear in his 300th consecutive race and become the sixth NCWTS competitor to reach 300 starts. He'll also try to add to his series-best, five-race top-10 finishing streak. Reigning series champion James Buescher will start his 100th race and work at whittling down a 31-point deficit in the standings.(NASCAR)(5-27-2013)


    News from May 26, 2013

  • Kevin Harvick wins the Coca Cola 600: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of 2013, 2nd Coca Cola 600 and 21st career win.
    #5-Kahne finished 2nd followed by #78-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #22-Logano, #39-Newman, #14-Stewart, #15-Bowyer, #56-Truex Jr. and #9-Ambrose.
    Points leader #48-Johnson wrecked late in the race and finished 22nd, down 5 laps.
    On lap 126, a cable for Fox's overhead camera broke and fell on to the track, #18-Busch, who was 3rd at the time, caught the cable and it tore up the right front fender. The red flag was issued and cars were parked on pit road while crews cleaning up the cable. #9-Ambrose also had brake line tore off from the rope/cable and stuck in the grill and some damage to the roof. Busch got a phone/camera and took pictures of the damage as the crew was not allowed on pit road to look at the car. Once the cable/rope was removed, the cars took a lap and were brought to pit road for 15 minutes. Each team was allowed to check their cars for any damage the cable/rope may have caused. The team for #18-Busch, replaced a lot of the right fender. #55-Martin ran over the cable/rope and had some front splitter damage, then the rope went over the #9 Ford and wrapped aropund the left rear wheel area and broke a brake line. #42-Montoya had some slight damage and the team made repairs. #11-Hamlin had some damage to a roof flap. The red flag lasted 26 minutes.
    FOX later reported that CMS announced that ten fans in the stands were injured by the cable and seven were treated and released, three were taken to the local hospital for observation.
    #18-Busch led 65 laps and was a strong contender until he lost an engine on lap 257 and finished 38th.
    On lap 326 #43-Almirola and #55-Martin made contact, sending the #55 and #43 into the frontstretch wall, collecting #24-Gordon, #47-Labonte, #13-Mears & #17-Stenhouse Jr., the red flag came out to clean up the track.
    There were 24 lead changes among 12 drivers and 11 cautions for 61 yellow flag laps and three red flags (camera cable & a big wreck).
    The average speed was 130.521mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Charlotte Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Charlotte Penalty Report (pdf).(5-26-2013)

  • Race Fast Facts - Charlotte:
    #29-Kevin Harvick won the 54th Annual COCA-COLA 600, his 21st victory in 442 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 25 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    #5-Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 19 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2013.
    #78-Kurt Busch (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 26 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (14th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 32 points over #99-Carl Edwards.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(5-26-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Charlotte, race 12 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 445
    2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 413, -32
    3) #20-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 394, -51
    4) #15-Clint Bowyer, 385, -60
    5) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 370, -83
    6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 364, -81
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 362, -83
    8) #27-Paul Menard, 347, -98
    9) #56-Martin Truex Jr., 336, -109
    10) #2-Brad Keselowski, 335, -110
    Wild Cards [11 & 12]
    11) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 332, -113
    12) #43-Aric Almirola, 328, -117
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #16-Greg Biffle, 13th
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 15th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 20th
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 24th [missed 4 races with injury]
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • TV Camera cable breaks, damages cars, injures fans: On lap 126 of the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a cable for Fox's overhead camera broke and fell on to the track, #18-Busch, who was 3rd at the time, caught the cable and it tore up the right front fender. The red flag was issued and cars were parked on pit road while crews cleaning up the cable. #9-Ambrose also had brake line tore off from the rope/cable and stuck in the grill and some damage to the roof. Busch got a phone/camera and took pictures of the damage as the crew was not allowed on pit road to look at the car. Once the cable/rope was removed, the cars took a lap and were brought to pit road for 15 minutes. Each team was allowed to check their cars for any damage the cable/rope may have caused. The team for #18-Busch, replaced a lot of the right fender. #55-Martin ran over the cable/rope and had some front splitter damage, then the rope went over the #9 Ford and wrapped around the left rear wheel area and broke a brake line. #42-Montoya had some slight damage and the team made repairs. #11-Hamlin had some damage to a roof flap. The red flag lasted 26 minutes.
    FOX later reported that CMS announced that ten fans in the stands were injured by the cable and seven were treated and released, three were taken to the local hospital for observation.(5-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Charlotte Motor Speedway said 10 fans were injured Sunday at the Coca-Cola 600 and three of them were taken to the hospital after a nylon rope supporting a Fox Sports overhead television camera fell from the grandstands and landed on the track surface. CMS vice president of communications Scott Cooper said after the race that all three fans were treated and released from the hospital. He said he couldn't discuss the nature of their injuries due to privacy laws. Cooper said seven other people were treated with minor cuts and scrapes at the track and released.(Associated Press)(5-27-2013)

  • France and Hulman-George families honored: The France family and the Hulman-George family were honored Saturday with the Bob Russo Founders award for dedication to auto racing, in a ceremony during Speedweeks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bill France Sr. founded NASCAR in 1947 and later built Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Son Bill France Jr. took over as NASCAR's president in 1972 and was the driving force into making NASCAR the country's most popular racing series. Bill France Jr.'s brother Jim France recently brokered the unification of U.S. sports car racing, and his son Brian France is NASCAR's chairman and CEO. Daughter Lesa France Kennedy is chairperson of International Speedway Corporation. The Hulman-George family has been synonymous with IndyCar Racing and Indianapolis Motor Speedway since Tony Hulman purchased the track and resumed the running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1946, after a hiatus for World War II. Long-time NASCAR executive Ken Clapp accepted the award on behalf of the France family.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-27-2013)

  • Official Statement from FOX Sports: "At this time, we do not have a cause for the failure of the camera drive line that interrupted tonight's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and our immediate concern is with the injured fans. The camera system consists of three ropes -- a drive rope which moves the camera back and forth, and two guide ropes on either side. The drive rope failed near the Turn 1 connection and fell to the track. The camera itself did not come down because guide ropes acted as designed. A full investigation is planned, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.
    This camera system had been used successfully at this year's Daytona 500, last week's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and other major events around the world. We certainly regret that the system failure affected tonight's event, we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, and our immediate concern is for the race fans. We also offer a sincere 'thank you' to the staff at CMS for attending to the injuries and keeping us informed on this developing situation. When we have more information on the cause of the equipment failure, we will share it with you immediately."(FOX Sports)(5-26-2013)

  • The other races today: in what some [Jayski] consider the best day in Auto Racing with the Formula One Grand Prix race from Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Coca-Cola 600 [used to be the World 600] from Charlotte Motor Speedway, the two big winners so far:
    Nico Rosberg won the Formula One Grand Prix at Monaco, leading all 78 laps. See the results at espnf1.com.
    Tony Kanaan won the Indianapolis 500, for his first Indy 500 win. The race featured a record 14 leaders, a record 68 lead changes and a record speed of 187.433mph. NASCAR driver, A.J. Allmendinger finished 7th. See the results at ESPN.com.(5-26-2013)

  • Kahne has the flu, but expects to run entire race: #5-Kasey Kahne, a favorite to win the Coca-Cola 600, is battling the flu but is expected to run the entire 600 miles Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne, who won last year's race, had received intravenous fluids earlier Sunday and while he canceled some prerace appearances, appeared to be feeling OK during the prerace drivers meeting two hours before the race. Kahne told Speed reporter Wendy Venturini that he was feeling fine before the race. "I feel alright. I couldn't believe I got sick last night, but I guess it happens," Kahne said. "I feel pretty good now. I took some Ivs and at some plain food and I'm looking forward to the race." A Hendrick Motorsports spokesman said no backup driver was planned for Kahne. "It's not that bad," Kahne said.(Sporting News)(5-26-2013)

  • Menard re-signs with Richard Childress Racing UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced today that Menards, the third-largest home improvement store in the United States, has signed a multi-year partnership renewal of the #27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) entry driven by Paul Menard. Menards first partnered with RCR in 2011 and enjoyed a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500. Later that year, Menard scored his first NSCS victory by claiming the prestigious Brickyard 400 checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It is great to have Paul Menard back in the #27 Menards Chevrolet as our driver," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "He has shown his ability to be consistent, competitive and win on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series level. He did that in the Brickyard 400 (2011) with us at Indy. Having 'Slugger' Labbe (crew chief) and the entire crew coming back gives us something to build on to win more races, make The Chase and contend for a championship. We are very excited to continue our partnership with Menards. They are a great organization with strong customer service values who successfully use their racing program to promote their business. We couldn't be prouder to represent them as part of our race team and future."
    "My family, all of our great team members at Menards and I are excited to extend our partnership with Richard and Richard Childress Racing," said Menard. "Being part of a family-owned and operated business I can relate to the team's goals and objectives. We will continue to grow together and build our relationship, achieving even greater accomplishments in the future."(RCR)(5-24-2013)
    UPDATE: from a Team Chevy transcript of a press conference held on Saturday, May 25th at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
    Q) HOW MANY YEARS IS THE CONTRACT FOR AND IS IT ALWAYS GOOD TO GET THIS SETTLED AND DONE WITH?
    Menard: "We probably got it done a little bit sooner. A lot of people do, maybe. There was really no reason not to get it done sooner. We're happy here and this is a good place to be. It's for three years. And hopefully after three years we'll do another three."(Team Chevy)(5-26-2013)

  • CMS & Cup teams welcome troops home: This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will truly Welcome Home Our Troops with a unique program in which each of the 43 teams is hosting a recently returned military member and their guest for race day activities. As adjunct members of the race teams, the military members will attend the drivers' meeting, help the team prepare for the day, accompany the driver and pit crew on pit road for driver introductions and the spectacular pre-race show, then join the team in the pit box for the opening laps of the Coca-Cola 600.
    The participating military members are from the:
    · U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division
    · U.S. Army 108th Defense Artillery Brigade
    · U.S. Air Force 21st, 43rd, 14th, 440th and 36th Squadrons
    · U.S. Marine 4th Maintenance Battalion
    "I am honored to be able to join in such a prestigious and time-honored event that honors NASCAR and the world's finest military and show the world that this Memorial Day we have not forgotten, said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Russell Collie, who is assigned to Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Chevy. "This special event is a reflection of where we have been, where we come from and where we are going."
    There are a number of unique pairings for the teams.
    · #11-Denny Hamlin's military member plays free safety on a semi-pro football team out of Fayetteville, N.C., so is looking for a few tips from the coach
    · #42-Juan Pablo Montoya is paired with a sergeant who is originally from Columbia
    · The sergeant serving with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr is a longtime fan of Dale and his father, but this is his first race
    · #10-Danica Patrick is paired with a female master sergeant with 24 years of service
    · #21-Trevor Bayne's military member is a member of the U.S. Army Shooting Team and is one of the top 100 shooters in the nation
    As part of their day at the track, the 43 military members and their guests will join approximately 10,000 other troop members for a special Welcome Home Celebration luncheon at zMAX Dragway. The lunched, hosted by John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John's International, will feature headline guests Robin Meade of CNN; Lt. Col. Oliver North; Willie Robertson, star of "Duck Dynasty;" Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row car, and the USO of North Carolina.(VMG)(5-26-2013)

  • Dillon to run #51 at Dover: Austin Dillon will drive the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy in the Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway next weekend. AJ Allmendinger was originally slated for the Dover race. Allmendinger, who starts fifth in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, was enlisted by his IndyCar team owner Roger Penske to race at Belle Isle next weekend (FoxSports), Ryan Truex was scheduled to drive the #51 at Dover but broke his collarbone in April.(5-26-2013)

  • NASCAR TV Negotiations update: NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Saturday state-of-union address that negotiations for a new television contract that would go into effect in 2015 are "getting down to the last bit of it.'' France said his hope is to renew with the incumbents. Fox already has renewed from 2015-2022 for a reported $300 million a year. ESPN and TNT are the other current partners. NBC also is a player for a major portion of the 36-race schedule. "My hope is to remain where we are,'' France said. "But that's why you have negotiations and discussions. We'll have to see how that plays out.''(ESPN)(5-26-2013)

  • No new tracks on 2014 schedule: NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Saturday state-of-union address that there will be no new venues when the 2014 schedule is released later in the year.'(ESPN)(5-26-2013)

  • #43 Team Wins 1st Qtr Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: The #43 Smithfield Ford over-the-wall Richard Petty Motorsports crew of driver Aric Amirola has been named the Quarter One Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew  an honor determined by a vote of each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief given quarterly to top-performing pit crews. "It's just awesome," said rear tire changer Dwayne Ogles. "Just the history of the 43 car in itself and us kind of being the underdogs, it's pretty cool to bring the 43 back. Everybody's looking at us and it's cool for the spotlight to be back on the 43 team." The #43 crew's precise performance this season has helped to cement Almirola's solid start to the 2013 campaign. The team's four straight top-10s, accumulated from the April 13 race at Texas to May 5 at Talladega, marked the first time since 1996 that the storied Petty Enterprise's #43 had finished in the top-10 in four straight races. In addition to Ogles, the 43 over-the-wall pit crew consists of a combination of newcomers and experienced pit road veterans, including: Joe Karasinski (gas man), Jeremy Neeley (jackman), Greg Donlin (front tire changer), Lance Hanna (front tire carrier), and Eric Wallace (rear tire carrier). Andrew Carter is the team's pit crew coach.(NASCAR)(5-26-2013)

  • Bass Pro Shops honors U.S. Troops at CMS: As we head into Memorial Day weekend, Bass Pro Shops would like to again say thank you to all of the men and women in our armed forces and their families who serve our great nation. As a show of our support, Bass Pro Shops has partnered with the Patriot Partners to help bring over 7,000 troops and their families to the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Patriot Partners program offers companies and individuals the opportunity to welcome home and thank the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces by sponsoring buses to transport troops from bases. Troops from Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC and Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC will be able to attend the 54th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Charlotte Motor Speedway is providing 3,000 tickets to the military for distribution through the USO and with the help of programs such as Patriot Partners and corporate support from companies such as Bass Pro Shops, more than 7,000 troops and their families are expected to attend the race. Bass Pro Shops strongly supports our military personnel through special events and activities at our store locations. We offer special military discounts to current and retired members of all branches of the armed forces from the 15th to 22nd each month in all our stores. We also sponsor the USO's "Operation Car Package" that sends care packages to troops serving abroad. In addition, Bass Pro Shops supports AMVets, a veterans group that provides assistance to men and women who are returning home from the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.(Bass Pro Shops)(5-26-2013)

  • Harvick Makes Special Appearance at Fort Bragg: America's most iconic beer paid tribute to America's heroes on Thursday, as Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, made a special visit with military men and women stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. Folds of Honor Foundation founder Major Dan Rooney and Rocky Sickmann, director of military sales for Anheuser-Busch and retired U.S. Marines Sergeant, joined Harvick at Fort Bragg while he visited the Warrior Transition Battalion's (WTB) Soldier and Family Assistance Center. The Fort Bragg Warrior Transition Battalion provides command and control, primary care and case management for warriors who have suffered injury or illness while serving as a member of the U.S. Army. "I'm always at a loss for words for how to express my utmost gratitude to the men and women who serve our country," Harvick said. "I know the entire NASCAR community is behind me when I say I can't thank these individuals enough for their dedication and service. Freedom isn't free. It's because of them that we can enjoy even the simplest things in life." While at Fort Bragg Harvick presented the installation with the firesuit he wore while driving the #29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevy to victory in the 2011 Coca-Cola 600. The firesuit was accepted by Major Jason Todd of the WTB on behalf of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) group. Harvick's visit to Fort Bragg was a part of Budweiser's "Red, White and Blue Summer" initiative, which benefits Folds of Honor Foundation. Since 2010, Anheuser-Busch has raised more than $5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation and provided more than 1,000 scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in service. From May 5 to July 4, 2013, with every purchase of Budweiser, the King of Beers will make a donation to the Folds of Honor Foundation up to $1.5 million*.(Bud Racing)(5-26-2013)


    News from May 25, 2013

  • Race Coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, 2013.
    Television (TV): FOX at 6:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 5:30 pm/et; green flag approx 6:16pm/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, May 29 at 12:00pm/et

  • Happy Hour practice for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #5-Kahne 188.594
    #78-Busch 188.219
    #11-Hamlin 188.055
    #20-Kenseth 188.003
    #16-Biffle 187.891
    slowest: #32-Hill 180.874 & #35-Wise 182.611
    no speed listed: #36-Yeley, #87-Nemechek, #98-McDowell.
    #21-Bayne lost an engine, the team will put in a new one. #31-Burton had a leaking oil cooler, but didn't have to change the engine.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Charlotte Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(5-25-2013)

  • Saturday 1st practice for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #5-Kahne 191.591
    #78-Busch 191.435
    #18-Busch 190.981
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 190.954
    #48-Johnson 190.355
    slowest: #35-Wise 182.846 & #87-Nemechek 183.755
    notes: #10-Patrick's engine was leaking oil, the team decided to change the motor.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10-lap averages on the Charlotte Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(5-25-2013)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #11-Hamlin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #78-Busch took pit stall 15, the next pitstall with an opening in front of it.
    #20-Kenseth, who starts 3rd took the 22nd pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #18-Busch, who starts 8th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-25-2013)

  • Brian France not in favor of moving race from Charlotte: NASCAR chairman Brian France is not in favor of moving a Sprint Cup race from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Las Vegas. Earlier this week, Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said there was a 70% chance he would seek to move the October Chase race from CMS to his 1.5-mile track in Sin City. That would leave the hub of NASCAR with only one point race, the Coca-Cola 600 in May, and the All-Star race held the week before. France said during a Saturday state-of-union address at CMS there have been no discussions with Smith or SMI, but his preference is to "make the events where they are more successful.''
    "We have gotten a long way with our position in motorsports because we've had historically important events, like this weekend, that happen every year that people can count on,'' France said. "That said, for one reason or another, a certain market is not performing as well, it may be a better opportunity. We've seen that in the last five, six years or longer. We'll take a look at it. My preference would be to keep the event here in Charlotte.''(ESPN)(5-25-2013)

  • Zipadelli says Cars to Blame: Greg Zipadelli, the competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing and longtime confidante of Tony Stewart, said the team has fallen behind on technology relative to the top NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. Zipadelli said the combination of adding a third car for Danica Patrick, converting to the new Generation-6 cars and shuffling personnel internally has left SHR well behind top teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports so far this season. Coming into Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, #39-Ryan Newman is 17th in points, #14-Stewart 21st and #10-Patrick 28th. Thursday night, Newman qualified 10th for the Coca-Cola 600, with Patrick 24th and Stewart 25th.(full story at SPEED)(5-25-2013)

  • Wood Brothers To Make 1400th Cup Start in Coke 600: The sunshine in turn three at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday hampered Trevor Bayne on his qualifying lap, but a sunny day was just what Bayne and the crew of his #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion needed to qualify for the Wood Brothers' 1,400th Sprint Cup start. Should the rain have made its way to the track just 2 hours sooner, most likely qualifying would've been cancelled. The Woods, with their limited schedule, would have missed the race, as they had the fewest attempts to qualify at this point in the season, of the teams entered in the Coca-Cola 600. Bayne will line up 29th for his team's milestone start, and just being in the starting field is a great relief, and a proud moment, for team co-owner Eddie Wood. "We all feel very fortunate to be where we are today," Wood said. "We couldn't have done it without having great drivers in our cars over the years, from my dad in the beginning to Trevor Bayne today. And we couldn't have done it without the support of Ford Motor Company. They've been right there with us through the great times and the struggles."(Wood Brothers Racing)(5-25-2013)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Facts and Notes Saturday:
    · 45 different drivers have won at Charlotte Motor Speedway, led by Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison and Jimmie Johnson with six wins each.
    · Nine drivers have posted consecutive wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including three consecutive by Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964 and both 1965) and four straight by Jimmie Johnson (both in 2004 and 2005).
    · A season sweep at Charlotte has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007.
    · Seven times from seven different drivers has the winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race gone on to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).
    · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Charlotte in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 17: Jimmie Johnson (six), Jeff Gordon (five), Darrell Waltrip (two), Ken Schrader (one), Terry Labonte (one), Casey Mears (one) and Kasey Kahne (one). · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Charlotte; led by Chevrolet with 40 victories; followed by Ford with 28.
    · 14 of the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners at Charlotte Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jamie McMurray won in his first appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon won in his second appearance at CMS.
    · Terry Labonte competed at Charlotte Motor Speedway 36 times before winning in the fall of 1996; the longest span of any the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners.
    · Among the 16 active NSCS Charlotte winners Bobby Labonte (36), Kevin Harvick (20), Kurt Busch (19), Mark Martin (15), Clint Bowyer (13), Ken Schrader (10) and Jeff Burton (10) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
    · Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte without visiting Victory Lane at 33; followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 26.
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte was the May 29, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Bobby Labonte with an MOV of 0.027 second.
    · There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but only once for the Coca-Cola 600 (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2005 (334/336), fall of 2007 (334/337) and the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 (400/402).
    · Six active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have posted their first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (5/29/94), Bobby Labonte (5/28/95), Matt Kenseth (5/28/00), Jamie McMurray (10/13/02), Casey Mears (5/27/07) and David Reutimann (5/25/09).(NASCAR)(5-24-2013)

  • Carlisle Companies to Honor U.S. Marine Corps at Coke 600: Carlisle Companies Incorporated will once again host a group of active duty U.S. Marines and their guests at a NASCAR event at this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Carlisle is a sponsor of Penske Racing and #2-Brad Keselowski. Keselowski is the current Sprint Cup Series champion and he currently sits seventh in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series standings. Carlisle supplies components for the wiring harnesses and clutch friction material for the #2 Ford. The Carlisle logo, which is prominently displayed on Keselowski's car, will be replaced this weekend with the Marine logo to honor Marines worldwide. Carlisle has arranged for the Marines to arrive on Saturday May 25th and spend two nights in the Charlotte area as they enjoy the Memorial Day weekend experience. Race day activities include a private meet and greet with Keselowski, attendance at the drivers' meeting and driver introductions as Carlisle's guests of honor during the weekend.(Penske Racing)(5-25-2013)

  • Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Form Athletic Apparel Partnership: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced a multi-year partnership with C9 by Champion, Target's exclusive brand of performance activewear, to become the official athletic apparel provider to all six of the organization's race teams across the NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM series. The performance collection will be worn for working out in the gym and training for race days. The lifestyle pieces will be worn by drivers, crew and executive staff at the track. In addition, the C9 by Champion branding will be carried on multiple assets across all six teams and eight drivers, including race cars, team transporters, firesuits and team gear.(EGR)(5-25-2013)

  • Busch wins at Charlotte: #18-Kyle Busch won the History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his 6th win of the year (in 9 races), his 7th Nationwide win at Charlotte (most of all drivers) and 57th of his Nationwide career. He dominated the race, leading 186 of the 200 laps. #5-Kasey Kahne finished second followed by #22-Joey Logano, #32-Kyle Larson, #33-Kevin Harvick, #6-Trevor Bayne, #31-Justin Allgaier, #18-Matt Kenseth, #77-Parker Kligerman, and #7-Regan Smith.
    There were 7 cautions for 33 laps and 9 lead changes among 5 leaders. Complete results are on the Charlotte race results page (pdf).(5-25-2013)

  • Charlotte Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the 32nd Annual History 300 , his 57th victory (series most) in 253 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his sixth victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his seventh victory (series most) and 17th top-10 finish in 20 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Kasey Kahne(i) (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 20 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
    Joey Logano(i) (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in ten races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Larson (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Regan Smith leads the point standings by 29 points over Sam Hornish Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(5-25-2013)

  • Driver standings following Charlotte:
    1) #7-Regan Smith 376
    2) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 347, -29
    3) #31-Justin Allgaier 336, -40
    4) #11-Elliott Sadler 331, -45
    5) #20-Brian Vickers 327, -49
    6) #77-Parker Kligerman 322, -54
    7) #3-Austin Dillon 321, -55
    8) #2-Brian Scott 313, -63
    9) #32-Kyle Larson # 288, -88
    10) #99Alex Bowman # 282, -94
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(5-25-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Charlotte are posted (pdf).(5-25-2013)

  • Dillon on pole at Charlotte: #3-Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole for the History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 183.949mph. #54-Kyle Busch will start second. The rest of the top 10: #20-Brian Vickers, #2-Brian Scott, #77-Parker Kligerman, #20-Joey Logano, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #99-Alex Bowman, #18-Matt Kenseth, and #7-Regan Smith. #23-Robert Richardon wrecked on his qualifying lap and will have to go to a backup. #60-Travis Pastrana spun but didn't hit anything. #00-Bryan Silas spun & #17-Tanner Berryhill hit the wall on their attempts. They did not qualify. #10-Green withdrew after qualifying so #66-Steve Wallace could make the filed. Did Not Qualify: #42-Yeley, #00-Silas, #37-Dibenedetto, #17-Berryhill. The starting lineup is posted on the Charlotte starting lineup page (pdf).(5-25-2013)

  • Charlotte Qualifying Notes:
    Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 32nd Annual History 300 with a lap of 29.356 seconds, 183.949 mph.
    This is his fourth pole in 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first pole and ninth top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his first pole in three races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Busch(i) (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2013 and his 12th in 20 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Brian Vickers (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his sixth in ten races this season.
    Alex Bowman (eighth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(5-25-2013)

  • Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson to offer the invocation before Coke 600: Star of the A&E show "Duck Dynasty" and Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson will give the invocation for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Robertson, the only family member with a business degree, is credited with taking his father's duck-call business from a living room operation to a multi-million dollar business. His entire family is highlighted in the reality show "Duck Dynasty," an inside look at these self-proclaimed "Rich Rednecks" from the Louisiana bayou. Other Coca-Cola 600 dignitaries are Sgt. Aaron Causey (Grand Marshal), U.S. Senator Tim Scott (Honorary Starter) and Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (Honorary Race Director). Tickets for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 are on sale and can be obtained online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Get two reserved frontstretch seats, with the best views of the world's largest HDTV and all the action on pit road, starting at just $99.(CMS)(5-25-2013)

  • Voting open for "Your Hero's Name Here" program: "Your Hero's Name Here" program, which awards naming rights to the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to a deserving hero. is down to five individuals. After receiving thousands of entries for men and women across the country, the field was narrowed to these five individuals whose stories reflect acts of selflessness and an ongoing commitment to give back to their communities:
    · Kenneth Kurth, Debary, FL  EMT was one of the first responders to February NASCAR wreck in Daytona
    · Stephen Brady, Pleasant Lake, IN  Deputy Marshal survived gunshot wound and returned to the Waterloo Police Department
    · Deon Joseph, Los Angeles  LAPD member offers assistance to LA's homeless
    · Taryn Davis, San Marcos, TX  Founded American Widow Project in honor of late husband
    · Samuel Deeds, Independence, KY  Marine who saved lives stateside and abroad
    For more info and to vote, go to www.CrownRoyalHeroes.com through June 9th. The winner will be revealed in late June.(PR)(5-25-2013)


    News from May 24, 2013

  • Menard re-signs with Richard Childress Racing: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced today that Menards, the third-largest home improvement store in the United States, has signed a multi-year partnership renewal of the #27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) entry driven by Paul Menard. Menards first partnered with RCR in 2011 and enjoyed a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500. Later that year, Menard scored his first NSCS victory by claiming the prestigious Brickyard 400 checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It is great to have Paul Menard back in the #27 Menards Chevrolet as our driver," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "He has shown his ability to be consistent, competitive and win on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series level. He did that in the Brickyard 400 (2011) with us at Indy. Having 'Slugger' Labbe (crew chief) and the entire crew coming back gives us something to build on to win more races, make The Chase and contend for a championship. We are very excited to continue our partnership with Menards. They are a great organization with strong customer service values who successfully use their racing program to promote their business. We couldn't be prouder to represent them as part of our race team and future."
    "My family, all of our great team members at Menards and I are excited to extend our partnership with Richard and Richard Childress Racing," said Menard. "Being part of a family-owned and operated business I can relate to the team's goals and objectives. We will continue to grow together and build our relationship, achieving even greater accomplishments in the future."(RCR)(5-24-2013)

  • Impressions from a NASCAR Hall of Fame voter: from AutoWeek's Al Pearce...... often wondered how much pressure NASCAR exerts on voters, either subtly or outright. Short answer: none, at least not publicly. Granted, several executives from Daytona Beach spoke eloquently in favor of specific nominees, but never once did anyone suggest the rest of the voting panel should follow their lead. In three cases, in fact, the nominees they seemed to favor didn't make the cut. On the other hand, Maurice Petty and Dale Jarrett did..........often wondered whether officials lobby voters to consider living candidates who can support and promote the Hall of Fame........often wondered whether the high-profile "Voting Day" is just an elaborate and well-orchestrated sham. See full story at AutoWeek.(5-24-2013)

  • MWR cars to carry Feed the Children decals to support Tornado Victims: In 2010 brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip combined their philanthropic efforts and created the Waltrip Brothers Charity Championship. The Waltrips selected Feed The Children as one of the golf tournament's benefactors in 2012. The Oklahoma City-based organization, whose mission is to provide hope and resources for those without life's essentials, saw deadly tornados strike at its doorstep this week. During this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Michael Waltrip Racing will carry Feed The Children decals on the roofs of all three of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyotas. The decals will bring greater awareness to an organization forced to turn its focus to its own Oklahoma community. The cars of drivers #56-Martin Truex Jr., #15-Clint Bowyer and #55-Mark Martin will carry the decals in Sunday's 600-mile race. Founded in 1979, Feed The Children is on the front lines helping tornado victims and first responders in their hometown. Feed The Children is currently accepting product and monetary donations and providing help for Oklahoma tornado victims and first responders with ready-to-eat meals, disaster relief supplies, water and food. Feed The Children is a BBB Wise Giving Alliance accredited charity and uses a comprehensive and integrated program to combat hunger and poverty to make sure no child or family goes to bed hungry. To Donate text "DISASTER" to 80888 or visit feedthechildren.org/tornado.(MWR)(5-24-2013)

  • Folds of Honor scheme for Harvick: The #29 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevy of Kevin Harvick will don a special patriotic paint scheme for Sunday's 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway to reflect the special "Red, White and Blue Summer" packaging featured on the iconic Budweiser bottles and cans this summer. The packaging represents a special initiative in which the brand will contribute a portion of all sales from May 5 - July 4 to help raise as much as $1.5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation*, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country. Since 2010, Budweiser has raised more than $5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation and provided more than 1,000 educational scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in service. (*Donation of 2 cents per case of Budweiser sold, May 5, 2013 to July 4, 2013, with a maximum donation of $1.5 million.)(RCR)(5-24-2013)

  • Cardinale named the 1st Qtr recipient for its Spirit Award: The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) announced that the late Sonoma Raceway Vice President of Media Relations, John Cardinale, had been named the first quarter recipient for its Spirit Award. Cardinale passed away March 21 after a two-year battle with gastric cancer. But he never lost his enthusiasm, dedication or optimism, all trademarks of a man well respected and greatly missed in the NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports Inc. family. The NMPA Spirit Award, presented annually since 1992, recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, as well as sportsmanship ad contributions to motorsports. At the end of the year, an overall recipient from the four quarterly winners is selected by the NMPA membership.(CMS)(5-24-2013)

  • Georgia Racing Hall of Fame announces semi-finalists: The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame has announced the "Fast 15" Semi-Finalists for the 2013 class of inductees into the hall. The semi-finalists include Dick Anderson of Chamblee, GA, Charles Barrett of Cleveland, GA, Hank Blalock of Decatur, GA, Dick Brannan of Dawsonville, GA, Charlie Burkhalter of Athens, GA, Frank Christian of Dahlonega, GA, Tommie Clinard of Macon, GA, Freddy Fryar of Chattanooga, TN, Bobby Johns of Miami, FL, Jabez Jones of Toccoa, GA, Huston Platt of Buford, GA, Sam Sommers of Sylvania, GA, Jimmy Thomas of Columbus, GA, Charles Tidwell of Macon, GA, and Frank Warren of Augusta, GA. The five new GRHOF inductees will be chosen by an 18 member panel of voters to make up this year's class. The announcement of the 2013 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame inductees will be made during the Hall of Fame's fourth annual Memorial Day Weekend event, scheduled for Saturday, May 25 at the Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, GA. The event begins at 9 am with a swap meet, a car show and the inductee announcement at Noon. The 2013 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction banquet will be held on Dec. 13, 2013 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, located inside the Dawsonville Municipal Complex in Dawsonville, GA. A limited number of seats for the banquet will be available. For more information go to www.georgiaracinghof.com.(GRHoF)(5-24-2013)

  • Congrats: #55 Aaron's Dream Machine mechanic Chris Hall and his wife Denelle welcomed James Mason Dean (7 lbs 8 oz) into the world Thursday. Mother and baby are doing well.(MWR)(5-24-2013)

  • RCR appeal of Richmond penalties denied: On May 24, 2013, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the#2 Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series team. The penalties concern Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Involved in an altercation with another competitor after the race had concluded. The penalties stemmed from a post-race incident following the April 26 race at Richmond International Raceway. The original penalties assessed to the #2 team were:
    • Crew members Thomas Costello and Michael Scearce were both fined $15,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next four NASCAR Nationwide Series events. They were also both placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    • The Appellants appealed all penalties listed above. The Appellants also requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions until such time as the hearing could be convened.
    Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The suspensions of the two crew members in question will take effect beginning with the May 31 event at Dover International Speedway. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.(NASCAR)(5-24-2013)

  • Lt. Col. Oliver North to be Honored at Coke 600 pre-race ceremony: Lt. Col. Oliver North is a combat decorated U.S. Marine, a No. 1 best-selling author, the founder of a small business, an inventor with three U.S. patents, a syndicated columnist and the host of "War Stories" on Fox News Channel. For his unwavering support of the military, decades of service to his country and a continued commitment to service, the man whom President Ronald Reagan described as "an American hero" can add Stonewall Jackson Award winner to his long list of accolades. In addition to being recognized with the Stonewall Jackson Award, North will deliver a moving "State of Freedom" speech during pre-race festivities and sign autographs in The Speedway Club for a limited number of military members. The address and the salute for the military portion of the pre-race show is presented by NRA Life of Duty. North is also scheduled to appear earlier in the day at a special "Welcome Home the Troops" luncheon at zMAX Dragway. Presented annually since 1992, the Stonewall Jackson Award recognizes recipients who have demonstrated, by example, the highest standards of patriotism through personal support of the military and/or by personal service to sacrifice above the call of duty.
    Tickets for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, are on sale and can be obtained online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Get two reserved frontstretch tickets, with the best views of the world's largest HDTV and all the action on pit road, starting at just $99.(CMS)(5-24-2013)

  • Rusty Wallace runs out of gas in bid for Iowa Speedway funding: Despite personal lobbying by NASCAR great Rusty Wallace, a legislative bid to provide an $8 million state appropriation to the Iowa Speedway at Newton may have run out of gas at the Iowa Statehouse. Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, said Wednesday there aren't enough votes in the Republican-controlled House to include the speedway money in a major state spending bill that could be voted on soon as lawmakers push for adjournment of their 2013 legislative session. "It doesn't have the support, correct," Paulsen said. The Democratic-led Iowa Senate agreed last week to provide the $8 million to the track over the next four years to upgrade its facilities in an effort to bring NASCAR's top circuit to Newton. But the measure can't win final approval without the support of the Iowa House. Wallace personally met with Iowa lawmakers on Tuesday at the Iowa Statehouse in an effort to win approval for the state appropriation. However, when a Des Moines Register reporter attempted to sit on one of Wallace's meetings with Iowa Senate members, he was told by a senator he couldn't attend. Wallace, an Iowa Speedway designer and minority owner, said last week the state appropriation would help the Iowa Speedway's efforts to land a date on the coveted Sprint Cup Series calendar. Wallace said the money could help the Speedway expand its permanent seating from 25,000 to 60,000 and "improve the infrastructure around the track to get it in shape for a Cup race." Sen. William Dotzler, D-Waterloo, a proponent of the $8 million state appropriation and a season ticket holder at the Iowa Speedway, said Wednesday that Paulsen has told him he doesn't have enough House members speaking up in favor of the Newton track. "I know that there are people who are in favor of it who are encouraging members to speak up. So we are still hopeful enough people come to the speaker and talk directly with him about it," Dotzler said. "It is a mistake not to fund the track because when you get that next level race, it could mean $100 million per race of money into the state of Iowa. So the return on investment is huge. But nothing is over until it is over."(Des Moines Register)(5-24-2013)


    News from May 23, 2013

  • Hamlin wins Charlotte pole: #11-Denny Hamlin won the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with new track record speed of 195.624mph for his 2nd pole of 2013 and 14th of his career. #78-Busch is on the outside pole, followed by #20-Kenseth, #55-Martin, #15-Bowyer, #5-Kahne, #16-Biffle, #18-Busch, #1-McMurray and #39-Newman. The first nine drivers all were faster then the old track record, set in Oct 2012 by Greg Biffle (193.709). Missing the race was: #19-Bliss [was 40th fastest and 44th in owners points].
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results, pole progression, qualifying order on the Charlotte Lineup / Qualifying Page.(5-23-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Charlotte:
    #11- Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 54th Annual COCA-COLA 600 with a lap of 27.604 seconds, 195.624 mph.
    This is his 14th pole in 267 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and seventh top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his first pole in 16 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    #78-Kurt Busch (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2013 and his sixth in 26 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    #20-Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 10th top-10 start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his eighth in 12 races this season.
    #10-Danica Patrick (24th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-23-2013)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 7:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 7:00pm/et
    Radio: PRN, 7:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none

  • Qualifying Order for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #2-Keselowski.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #15-Bowyer.
    Fastest in Thursday practice, #78-Busch, 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 Charlotte Qualifying Page.(5-23-2013)

  • Thursday practice for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
    #78-Busch 190.846
    #18-Busch 190.469
    #48-Johnson 189.660
    #5-Kahne 189.660
    #43-Almirola 189.454
    slowest: #35-Wise 181.232 & #83-Reutimann 182.766
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Charlotte Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(5-23-2013)

  • #34 Team Encourages Fans to Join Oklahoma Partner in Supporting Tornado Victims: David Ragan and Front Row Motorsports' #34 team will encourage NASCAR fans to join team partner Love's Travel Stops in donating to help victims of this week's Oklahoma tornadoes. Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops announced a $3 million donation to support relief efforts, and the No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford will carry decals for this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway to promote additional giving. Love's announced the donation this week to support immediate and long-term relief efforts in Oklahoma following the devastating tornado that impacted the communities of Moore, Shawnee and surrounding areas.
    The first $1 million will be designated to the OK Strong Relief Fund established by Governor Mary Fallin to meet the long-term needs of victims in partnership with the United Way of Central Oklahoma. Another donation of $500,000 will be given to Catholic Charities. The remaining $1.5 million will fund a benefit event to honor those impacted by the storm and to raise additional relief funds. "Our company has been engrained in the fabric of Oklahoma since 1964. Our hearts are saddened by the news of this tragedy affecting so many of our friends and neighbors," said Tom Love, Chairman and CEO. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all those impacted by this horrific event."
    Front Row Motorsports was eager to donate space on the car to help raise additional funds. "Anything we can do to help, we're obviously happy to do it," Ragan said. "You feel so helpless when you watch the footage on TV and you wish you could do something more for those folks. The best way to help is to donate money and we hope NASCAR fans will follow in Love's footsteps in doing so." To join Love's in helping to provide relief over long-term for those affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes, visit www.unitedwayokc.org and click on the Governor's OK Strong fund to donate.(Front Row Motorsports)(5-23-2013)

  • Drag racer to test a stock car UPDATE: It is expected that during a press conference to be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday, it will be announced that NHRA drag racer Antron Brown will take a shot at stock-car racing. Brown will test a stock car for Rev Racing, the team owned by Max Siegel. Brown currently drives a Top Fuel car for Don Schumacher Racing. He won last year's Top Fuel championship. He is a 37-year-old native of Chesterfield, N.J.(RacinToday)
    UPDATE: Rev Racing will partner with Toyota Racing to have 2012 NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Champion Antron Brown test a NASCAR K&N Series Toyota Camry Tuesday at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA. Brown, the first African-American to win a major auto racing championship, will test alongside NASCAR Drive for Diversity drivers Bryan Ortiz, Daniel Suarez, Mackena Bell and Ryan Gifford. Brown said he has been interested in stock car racing for many years but had never been offered the opportunity to test a quality car. "I know I can go straight," said Brown. "Now I gotta see if I can throw a left-hand turn in there. You know, I drive for four seconds at a time right now. So this is a lot different. I know there is a big learning curve. We are just trying to take that step to see if I can do it." Brown would not admit to a desire to run NASCAR full-time, or much of anything else beyond Tuesday's test session. But he acknowledged that he wouldn't be doing the test if it weren't with a top team that he felt had the ability to take him to the next level.(CMS)(5-23-2013)

  • Bad Boy Buggies to sponsor McMurray: Bad Boy Buggies will be the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevrolet SS for Jamie McMurray at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bad Boy Buggies is a leader in off-road utility vehicles for hunting and outdoor recreation. Whether the customer is a hunter looking for the best technology to track and bag the next trophy kill, or a recreational rider seeking to tackle the trails, Bad Boy Buggies will continue to transform the way people enjoy the outdoors. In 2010, the Bad Boy Buggies brand and product lines were acquired by E-Z-GO, a global manufacturer in light-transportation vehicles renowned for its expertise in electric-vehicle technology. Textron, Inc. is the parent company of E-Z-GO. The #1 team will host US Air Force Senior Airman (SRA) Kevin Jackson on race day at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of the "Welcome Home the Troops" initiative. SRA Jackson will sit-in on the driver crew chief meeting, as well as join the #1 team for their private pre-race meeting at the team hauler, have a photo on the grid with Jamie McMurray and join the team on pit road for invocation and National Anthem.(EGR)(5-23-2013)

  • Camo scheme for Earnahrdt Jr.: In honor of National Guard Soldiers and Memorial Day, the #88 Chevrolet SS of Dale Earnhardt Jr. will carry a camouflage paint scheme this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As the nation's oldest Armed Forces component, the National Guard and its Citizen Soldiers play a vital role in protecting the freedoms Americans hold dear. Join Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the National Guard this Memorial Day by celebrating America and the men and women who serve this great county. To learn more about the Guard, visit NationalGuard.com. Five soldiers from the North Carolina National Guard will be on hand this weekend to help the #88 team push the specially designed camouflage #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS to the starting grid for Sunday's 600-mile race. Last Saturday, five additional North Carolina National Guard soldiers helped push out the #88 car when Earnhardt was introduced at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (HMS), see images of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page.(5-23-2013)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Facts and Notes Thursday: · Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Charlotte in 1960 with a speed of 133.904 mph.
    · 41 drivers have Coors Light poles at Charlotte, led by David Pearson with 14. Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in poles, with nine, followed by Jeff Gordon with eight.
    · 12 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Charlotte. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Charlotte with 11; from the fall of 1973 through 1978.
    · Jeff Gordon won five straight poles for the spring races at Charlotte between 1994 and 1998.
    · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte twice; the fall race of 2002 and the fall race of 2008.
    · 14 of the 108 (12.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from the Coors Light pole; the two most recent were Jimmie Johnson in 2004 and 2009.
    · The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (17) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    · 31 of the 108 (28.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from the front row: 14 from the pole and 17 from second-place.
    · 83 of the 108 (76.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Eight of the 108 (7.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Charlotte with a 6.917.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Charlotte was 37th, by Jimmie Johnson in the Coca-Cola 600 of 2003.
    · Four active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (10/10/93), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5/28/00), Ryan Newman (5/27/01) and Aric Almirola (5/27/12). Almirola's pole last season was the first time since May 22, 1966 that the No. 43 car had won the Coors Light pole at CMS.(NASCAR)(5-23-2013)

  • Scott Speed increases 2013 Cup schedule: #95-Scott Speed is adding up to 10 further NASCAR Sprint Cup events to his schedule after his recent top-10 finish at Talladega secured extra backing for his Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion. The ex-Toro Rosso Formula 1 racer now plans to combine top-level US stock car racing with a Global Rallycross Championship campaign for the rest of the season. His ninth-placed Cup finish at Talladega and victory in the opening GRC event at X Games Brazil last month have boosted his chances of extra outings, including this week's Charlotte NASCAR round. "We've found the support to run more [NASCAR Cup] races this year, so we're going to run eight to 10 more," Speed told AUTOSPORT. "It's working out great to have a part-time schedule in Cup and now we can do this [rallycross] schedule, so we can balance the two." Speed drove in X Games Brazil in the Ford Fiesta ST 'star car' but shocked the establishment by winning the event outright - despite it being his first-ever experience of driving on a loose surface. He hopes to combine the two series for the rest of the season. "At this point the Cup deal takes precedence, but hopefully we can build it so they're working cohesively with each other," said Speed. "It's a unique opportunity here, and we're working as hard as we can to make the most of it."(AutoSport)(5-23-2013)

  • Kenseth voted 1st Qtr Driver of the Year award: NASCAR's Matt Kenseth crushed the opposition to win the first quarter Driver of the Year Award 2013. The 2003 Sprint Cup Champion scored twice the points of his nearest rivals in a vote by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists. In racing terms Kenseth rolled off the hauler quickly in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing. In the first quarter ending May 12th he scored three wins (Las Vegas, Kansas and Darlington), two poles and led 781 laps. The usually droll Wisconsin native was moved and a little surprised when he heard the news. "It's always an honor whenever you're selected for any kind of award from the media or the fans," Kenseth said. "I never even thought of receiving this award, so it's pretty cool to have been selected for this. In the voting Kenseth, who drives the No. 20 Dollar General/Home Depot Husky Toyota Camry, had ten first-place ballots and totaled 110 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Canada's James Hinchcliffe, who drives the Go Daddy Dallara-Chevrolet for Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar series, had one first-place vote and tallied 55 points. Kyle Busch, one of Kenseth's teammates, a threat to win on any NASCAR track finished third with two first-place votes and 50 points. Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race, also had one first-place vote. A total of 15 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 47th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. The panel of 18 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Four panelists did not vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Kenseth will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a race weekend at to be determined.(DOTY)(5-23-2013)

  • Goodyear "Support Our Troops" Tires Charlotte Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Charlotte this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in both of these series ran at Charlotte last season, and that Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck teams ran last week . . . this left-side tire code was run by these teams at Charlotte beginning in 2011 . . . this right-side tire code was also run by Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams at Darlington earlier this month . . . normally, Goodyear's tires for Cup and Nationwide teams are branded "Goodyear Eagle," though throughout both of Charlotte's race weeks, all tires will be decaled with "Support Our Troops" as part of the Goodyear Gives Back program . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures and more on the Charlotte Race Info - Goodtear section.(5-23-2013).

  • Townley fastest in happy hour: #25-John Wes Townley was quickest during happy hour for the History 300 with a speed of 181.087mph. He was followed by: #29-Kenny Wallace, #2-Brian Scott, #66-Steve Wallace, #30-Nelson Piquet, Jr., #21-Dakota Armstrong, #43-Michael Annett, #5-Kasey Kahne, #17-Tanner Berryhill, and #14-Eric McClure. Just 25 drivers participated in the session. Many teams decided to save tires. See complete results on the Charlotte practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(5-23-2013)

  • Bowman fastest in first Friday practice: #99-Alex Bowman was fastest during Friday's frist practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 184.483mph. #77-Parker Kligerman was second, followed by: #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #3-Austiin Dillon, #5-Kasey Kahne, #98-Kevin Swindell, #20-Brian Vickers, #54-Kyle Busch, #29-Kenny Wallace, and #22-Joey Logano. All 45 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Charlotte practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(5-23-2013)

  • Charlotte starts 21 race stretch for Nationwide: By the time the NASCAR Nationwide Series enjoys their next weekend off the championship contenders will have separated themselves from the pretenders. Saturday's History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway marks the beginning of a 21-week stretch in which the series will be on track every weekend. It's a stretch that lasts five months, ending with the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte on Oct. 11. It spans the entire summer on into the fall and is a huge factor in determining the champion. During the stretch there are very little opportunities for drivers and teams to take a break, mentally collect themselves after a rough outing or not bring their "A game." A bad start could spell "D-O-O-M" for a driver's chance at the crown, but a strong and consistent run throughout the stretch could help propel a driver to the Championship Stage at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. Last year, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove well during a similar, 16-week stretch that eventually led him to his second consecutive championship. With the exception of a 25th-place finish at Michigan in the first race of the stretch and a 17th at Kentucky in its 15th race, Stenhouse finished no lower than 12th, including wins at Atlanta and Chicagoland. After the Michigan race, he was third in the overall standings, but by the end of the marathon he had moved into second (only nine points behind leader Elliott Sadler). Stenhouse briefly sat atop the standings after the 14th race (Chicagoland), but surrendered the lead the following weekend. Three races after the 16-race stretch ended, Stenhouse regained the points lead and held it the rest of the way.(NASCAR)(5-23-2013)

  • CMS to honor 10,000 active military and family members: Charlotte Motor Speedway is joining with business leaders from around the country to honor some 10,000 active military and family members before the green flag drops on NASCAR's ultimate test of man and machine, the May 26 Coca-Cola 600, as part of a Memorial Day weekend saluting the U.S. Armed Forces. The day of tribute will feature a special celebration luncheon hosted by John Schnatter, founder, chairman and CEO of Papa John's International, where more than 3,000 pizzas will be served to the military guests.
    The star-studded affair will be emceed by HLN's Robin Meade, and will include special appearances by Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret), a political commentator, television host, military historian and New York Times best-selling author; Kurt Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet; Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and Papa John himself. The event will be held at zMAX Dragway from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and also feature live music and a drag racing exhibition with Smith and Papa John.
    Hundreds of the troops will then be loaded onto buses courtesy of the speedway's Patriot Partners program where companies such as Toyota, Papa John's, Goodyear, Coca-Cola, Bojangles' and more sponsored their transportation from area military bases. More than 30 Patriot Partner buses will then take a parade lap around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway as part of a patriotic "Welcome Home Our Troops" pre-race show. Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers march through the grandstands to participate in the pre-race ceremonies. The show will also include an air parade featuring during the national anthem performed by Robin Meade and a 21-gun salute by the Fort Bragg firing squad.
    Tickets are still available for all May race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can join in welcoming home our troops during the biggest Memorial Day tailgate party in the country at the Coca-Cola 600, with race weekend packages starting at just $99. Fans can also purchase tickets for just $25 to send an active duty member of the military to the Coca-Cola 600 through the speedway's Let The Troops Race program.(CMS)(5-22-2013)


    News from May 22, 2013

  • 2014 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced: NASCAR announced the inductees who will comprise the 2014 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person group  the fifth in NASCAR Hall of Fame history  consists of Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty and Fireball Roberts. Next year's Induction Day is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, broadcast on Fox Sports 1 from Charlotte, N.C. The 54-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2014. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France made the announcement this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Great Hall." Next year's class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com  which counted for the 55th and final vote. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes. Voting for next year's class was as follows: Tim Flock (76%), Maurice Petty (67%), Dale Jarrett (56%), Jack Ingram (53%) and Fireball Roberts (51%). The next top vote getters were Jerry Cook, Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott. Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Dale Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Fireball Roberts. The five inductees came from a group of 25 nominees that included: Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Tim Flock, Ray Fox, Anne Bledsoe France, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Dale Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Maurice Petty, Larry Phillips, Les Richter, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Wendell Scott, Ralph Seagraves, O. Bruton Smith, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly and Rex White.
    Class of 2014 Inductees:
    Tim Flock - A two-time NASCAR premier series champion, Flock was one of the sport's first dominant drivers. In 187 starts, Flock had 39 victories, a total that still ranks 18th on the all-time wins list. Flock won his first series title in 1952 while driving Ted Chester's Hudson Hornet, and his second in 1955 driving Carl Kiekhaefer's Chrysler. He dominated that season, posting 18 wins, 32 top fives and 18 poles in 39 races. Flock's 18 wins stood as a single-season victory record until Richard Petty surpassed it with 27 wins in 1967.
    Jack Ingram - The NASCAR Nationwide Series has had a variety of incarnations through the years but when considered collectively, an argument can be made that Jack Ingram is the series' all-time greatest driver. Before the formation of the series, Ingram won three consecutive championships, from 1972-74, in its precursor  the Late Model Sportsman Division. When the NASCAR Busch Series was formed, he won the inaugural title in 1982 and again in '85. In his 10 years of competition in what was called the NASCAR Busch Series, Ingram had 31 wins, a record that stood until Mark Martin broke it in 1997. All but two of Ingram's 31 wins came on short tracks.
    Dale Jarrett - Dale Jarrett personified big-stage performances. A three-time Daytona 500 winner and two-time winner of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jarrett excelled under NASCAR's brightest spotlights. His 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories  21st all-time  also include the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jarrett won the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, and recorded six additional top-five championship finishes. With father Ned, the Jarretts are only the second father-son combination with NASCAR premier series championships after NASCAR Hall of Famers Lee and Richard Petty. Ned Jarrett was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2011. Ned and Dale Jarrett become the third father-son duo selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, following Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., and Lee and Richard Petty.
    Maurice Petty - The chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises, Maurice Petty becomes the fourth member of the dynasty to be chosen for membership in the NASCAR Hall of Fame  following his older brother Richard, father Lee and his cousin Dale Inman. The man simply called "Chief" supplied the horsepower that propelled Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR victories, plus his seven NASCAR premier series championships and seven Daytona 500 victories. Lee Petty, Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal and Pete Hamilton were also among those who won with his engines. Petty had a brief driving career  26 premier series races with seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes between 1960 and 1964  but was satisfied to work behind the scenes as one of the top engine builders ever seen in the sport.
    Fireball Roberts - Glenn Roberts, who got his legendary nickname from his days as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school, is perhaps the greatest driver never to win a NASCAR title. He was arguably stock car racing's first superstar, an immensely popular prototype for some of today's competitors who are stars on and off the track. During his career he often came up big in the biggest events, winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and '63. Overall, he won seven races at Daytona International Speedway, starting with the Firecracker 250 in the summer of 1959  the year the speedway opened.(NASCAR)(5-22-2013)

  • Newest class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame to be announced Wed: The newest class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame is set to be announced live this Wednesday during a special edition of NASCAR Race Hub on FOX Sports' SPEED starting at 6:00pm/et. Steve Byrnes and Danielle Trotta host the event in-studio, while Mike Joy, Kyle Petty and Rick Allen all report from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Uptown Charlotte to provide news, analysis and interviews. A 34-person panel, among those are the aforementioned Joy, Petty and Allen, with 55 total votes available (including a fan vote) will select the five members comprising the Class of 2014. They choose among a group of 25 nominees, including those on the ballot for the first time in Maurice Petty, Dale Jarrett, Larry Phillips, Rex White and Bruton Smith.(SPEED)(5-22-2013)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 to be announced today: The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be announced Wednesday, May 22 at 6:00pm/et following a vote by the 54-member Voting Panel. Five inductees will be selected from the 25 nominees at the Great Hall, NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Nominees
    Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949
    Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
    Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion
    Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Dale Jarrett, 1999 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises
    Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion
    Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
    Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500
    T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company senior VP
    Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
    O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
    Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    NOMINATING COMMITTEE
    NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
    NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; President Mike Helton; Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Senior Vice President Paul Brooks; former Vice President Ken Clapp.
    Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Kingsport Speedway operator Robert Pressley; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery.
    VOTING PANEL
    The Voting Panel consists of the above 21-member Nominating Committee and the following 34 representatives.
    American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association: Dusty Brandel, AARWBA President.
    Eastern Motorsports Press Association: Ron Hedger, EMPA President.
    National Motorsports Press Association: Kenny Bruce, NMPA President.
    Print & Online Media: Jenna Fryer, Associated Press; Dustin Long, MotorRacingNetwork.com; Al Pearce, Autoweek; Jim Pedley, RacinToday.com; Bob Pockrass, Sporting News; Nate Ryan, USA Today.
    Broadcasters: Mike Joy, FOX; Jerry Punch, ESPN; Kyle Petty, TNT; Barney Hall, MRN; Doug Rice, PRN; Rick Allen, SPEED; Dave Moody, SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio.
    Manufacturers: Chevrolet  Jim Campbell, former General Manager; Ford  Edsel B. Ford II, Board of Directors; Toyota  Lee White, President/General Manager, Toyota Racing Development USA.
    Retired Drivers: Harry Gant; Ned Jarrett; Richard Petty; Ricky Rudd.
    Retired Car Owners: Junior Johnson; Bud Moore; Robert Yates.
    Retired Crew Chiefs: Buddy Parrott; Waddell Wilson; Eddie Wood.
    Industry leaders: Retired Associated Press writer Mike Harris; former motorsports journalist Tom Higgins; former broadcaster Ken Squier; former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler.
    Fan Vote.(NASCAR)(5-22-2013)

  • Woods Poised To Make Milestone Start At Charlotte: Like nearly everyone in America this week, Eddie Wood and his fellow members of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team have had the weather on their minds, especially after the heart-breaking death and damage that massive tornados caused in Oklahoma on Tuesday. Wood and his crew also have been keeping an eye on the forecast for Charlotte on Thursday, when qualifying is scheduled for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, and there's a chance of rain. Wood is hoping for clear skies and a fast Ford Fusion so his family team can reach a milestone 1,400 Sprint Cup starts, dating back to Glen Wood's first appearance in NASCAR's elite division, at Martinsville Speedway on May 17, 1953, driving a 1953 Lincoln. Should there be rain, enough rain for qualifying to be cancelled, the team would miss the race. By competing on a limited schedule, the team has made fewer attempts to qualify for races this season than the other teams not otherwise locked into the starting field. In rainouts, the final starting slots go to teams based on the number of attempts to qualify. "Considering the tragedy and loss the people of Oklahoma have suffered, our weather concerns don't seem that important," Wood said. "But the Wood Brothers have run 1,399 races, and we plan to run a lot more in the future. If we miss Charlotte, we'll make our 1,400th start somewhere else."(Wood Brothers Racing)(5-21-2013)

  • Bicycle Brand Playing Cards Team up with #33 team: Bicycle Brand, America's Favorite Playing Cards, announced a two-race partnership with Landon Cassill and Circle Sport as a primary sponsor beginning with this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 race event under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The iconic brand will also serve as the primary of the #33 Bicycle NASCAR Playing Cards Chevrolet SS at next weekend's FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway.
    In a tribute to the Memorial Day holiday, the #33 Chevrolet will proudly display the nation's colors incorporated into the Bicycle Playing Cards' paint scheme showcasing the recently launched NASCAR Playing Cards. The officially licensed NASCAR playing cards feature either NASCAR cars or drivers with authentic sponsor logos. Sr. VP of Marketing at The United States Playing Card Company Roy Gifford said, "We're excited about our sponsorship with the #33 Chevrolet and the launch of our NASCAR Playing Cards." You can find the cards at www.shopbicyclecards.com.(Circle Sport PR), see images of the scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page.(5-22-2013)

  • Almirola Honors Air Force with Patriotic Paint Scheme in Coke 600: Aric Almirola and the #43 Air Force Ford team look to repeat last year's speed in the Coca-Cola 600. Almirola and team won the pole in last year's 600-mile event and finished 16th in his Charlotte Motor Speedway debut. In just his second start at the 1.5-mile track, Almirola started 15th and drove to the 12th position. The United States Air Force will adorn the hood of the #43 Ford this weekend. This will mark the 13th consecutive season the Air Force has been involved in NASCAR, five of which were with Richard Petty Motorsports. Charlotte Motor Speedway has many events that include the Air Force, as well as other branches of the military, as the sport works to give back during this patriotic weekend.(RPM), see an image of the Air Force scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(5-22-2013)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Facts and Notes Wednesday:
    · Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Charlotte with nine. Bobby Labonte leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Charlotte with six; followed by Matt Kenseth with three.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison are tied for the series' most top-five finishes at Charlotte with 23. Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 18, followed by Jeff Gordon with 16.
    · Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Charlotte with 31. Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 24.
    · Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Charlotte with a 10.125.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Charlotte with 1,439 laps led in 23 starts. 826 of Johnson's 1,439 laps led at CMS were in the Coca-Cola 600; the most of any active NSCS driver.
    · Five of the 108 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 won by David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing. Four of the five races shortened were the 600-mile events (1968, 1997, 2003 and 2009).
    · Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup active drivers have made their first career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Michael Waltrip (5/26/85), Elliott Sadler (5/24/98), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5/30/99), Jimmie Johnson (10/7/01), Brian Vickers (10/11/03), David Reutimann (10/15/05) and Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5/29/11).(NASCAR)(5-22-2013)

  • "NASCAR: An American Salute" Pays Tribute to U.S. Military: NASCAR announced the launch of the second-annual "NASCAR: An American Salute" initiative, an industry-wide effort to honor and celebrate the service of members of the United States Armed Forces, veterans and their families. Beginning with the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and culminating with the Independence Day Weekend's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, this year's campaign aspires to reach one million "salutes" to U.S. military members during the next six weeks. In addition to being able to track the progress against one million salutes, NASCAR fans, partners, drivers, teams and tracks can salute the military by sending messages of gratitude at www.NASCAR.com/Salutes and by using #NASCARSalutes on Instagram and Twitter. "The tradition of honoring our military is part of the fiber of our sport," said Mike Helton, NASCAR president. "Everyone at NASCAR is proud of the NASCAR: An American Salute initiative. It enables us to collectively express our gratitude to the millions of American members of the armed forces, both currently serving and those who have served, for the sacrifices they make in defending our nation."
    Some of the activities planned throughout the six weeks of "NASCAR: An American Salute" include:
    · The NASCAR Foundation will partner with USO to support the "With You All the Way" program, a partnership between the USO, Comfort Crew for Military Kids, and the Trevor Romain Company. "With You All the Way" promotes self-confidence and resiliency among military children as they tackle difficult issues which are unique to growing up in a military family.
    · NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race teams will showcase their support by displaying patriotic-themed elements and paint schemes on their race vehicles (see images of the Sprint Cup cars on my Paint Scheme Gallery).
    · Race tracks hosting national series events during the "NASCAR: An American Salute" window  Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Raceway, Sonoma Raceway, Kentucky Speedway and Daytona International Speedway  will participate through a variety of military-themed activations. Tracks will feature active and retired service men and women in pre-race show festivities, patriotic grass and wall stencils, donations, special activities for soldiers and their families, among an assortment of other military-themed programming.
    · A number of NASCAR Official Partners will support "NASCAR: An American Salute" through patriotic and military-themed activations. Goodyear will announce its annual "Goodyear Gives Back" program and replace the "Eagle" and "Wrangler" sidewall design with desert camouflage lettering that reads "Support Our Troops" on all NASCAR race tires during Memorial Day Weekend. Additional participating partners include: 3M, Axalta Coating Systems, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Coors Light, Ford Motor Company, Mechanix Wear, Nationwide Insurance, New Holland, Sprint, Toyota, Sunoco and UPS will also participate.
    · During the "NASCAR: An American Salute" initiative, NASCAR and the Armed Forces Foundation will expand their season-long partnership on the NASCAR Troops to the Track program to host military families at each NSCS race throughout the six-week period. The service members and their families will be treated to a customized program at track that honors their service in the military.
    · NASCAR and the Honor and Remember organization will host several Gold Star families at various tracks including Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway who have lost loved ones in their U.S. military service.
    · Through a partnership with A Million Thanks  an organization dedicated to showing appreciation for U.S. military men and women through varying forms of correspondence  drop boxes will be placed at tracks and various locations in local communities where fans can send personalized letters to active U.S. troops.(NASCAR)(5-22-2013)

  • Top 12 Driver Rating at Charlotte:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson........................ 111.7
    #18-Kyle Busch............................... 107.7
    #5-Kasey Kahne.............................. 98.0
    #20-Matt Kenseth.............................. 94.4
    #16-Greg Biffle.................................. 94.1
    #11-Denny Hamlin............................. 92.1
    #99-Carl Edwards.............................. 89.0
    #22-Joey Logano.............................. 88.4
    #55-Mark Martin................................. 88.2
    #24-Jeff Gordon................................ 87.3
    #43-Aric Almirola............................... 84.8
    #14-Tony Stewart............................... 83.4
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (16 total) among active drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.(NASCAR)

  • Microsoft sponsoring Bowman at Charlotte: RAB Racing with Brack Maggard and driver Alex Bowman announced that they are teaming with Microsoft Corp. for the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 on May 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Since its premiere at Daytona International Speedway in February, Toyota teams - including RAB Racing - have been utilizing its line-of-business Windows 8 Trackside app to enhance their performance on and off the racetrack. Developed by Toyota Racing Development (TRD) and running on the Surface Pro, RAB Racing is able to monitor real-time performance data, conveniently and portably. Because of its ability to share data with the crew instantaneously, the application has quickly become a staple of the team's strategy.(RAB Racing)(5-22-2013)

  • CMS to honor 10,000 active military and family members: Charlotte Motor Speedway is joining with business leaders from around the country to honor some 10,000 active military and family members before the green flag drops on NASCAR's ultimate test of man and machine, the May 26 Coca-Cola 600, as part of a Memorial Day weekend saluting the U.S. Armed Forces. The day of tribute will feature a special celebration luncheon hosted by John Schnatter, founder, chairman and CEO of Papa John's International, where more than 3,000 pizzas will be served to the military guests.
    The star-studded affair will be emceed by HLN's Robin Meade, and will include special appearances by Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret), a political commentator, television host, military historian and New York Times best-selling author; Kurt Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet; Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and Papa John himself. The event will be held at zMAX Dragway from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and also feature live music and a drag racing exhibition with Smith and Papa John.
    Hundreds of the troops will then be loaded onto buses courtesy of the speedway's Patriot Partners program where companies such as Toyota, Papa John's, Goodyear, Coca-Cola, Bojangles' and more sponsored their transportation from area military bases. More than 30 Patriot Partner buses will then take a parade lap around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway as part of a patriotic "Welcome Home Our Troops" pre-race show. Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers march through the grandstands to participate in the pre-race ceremonies. The show will also include an air parade featuring during the national anthem performed by Robin Meade and a 21-gun salute by the Fort Bragg firing squad.
    Tickets are still available for all May race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can join in welcoming home our troops during the biggest Memorial Day tailgate party in the country at the Coca-Cola 600, with race weekend packages starting at just $99. Fans can also purchase tickets for just $25 to send an active duty member of the military to the Coca-Cola 600 through the speedway's Let The Troops Race program.(CMS)(5-22-2013)


    News from May 21, 2013

  • All-Star TV Ratings: According to Nielsen Media Research, SPEED enjoyed a strong week of live racing, as the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Charlotte and the ARCA Racing Series event from Toledo all enjoyed ratings increases.
    Minus a red-flag stoppage for rain, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race scored a rating of 3.29 Saturday night, up 6.5% from last year's 3.09. Including the nearly one-hour rain delay, the total rating of 3.04 was off only 2% from 2012. On the night, SPEED's Nielsen Household Rating finished second in ad-supported cable. In addition, it ranked second with Men 18-49, first with Men 35-54 and second with Men 25-54. Lastly, Saturday had the highest HH rating for any day this year on SPEED with a 0.99. Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Charlotte was up 14%, and the ARCA Racing Series race was up 29%. SPEED Total Day ratings for the entire week were up 19% versus the same week in 2012.(SPEED)
    See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(5-21-2013)

  • No crew chief changes for Stewart Haas Racing: Despite a dismal season to date, there are no crew chief changes planned at Stewart-Haas Racing [#10-Patrick, #14-Stewart & #39-Newman], a high-ranking team official told SPEED.com Monday morning. "We've all won races together and championships together, we're going to pull ourselves out of this together," the team official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. After Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, team co-owner Tony Stewart spent nearly two hours in the team hauler, meeting with crew chief Steve Addington and team engineers to work on solving the team's handling issues. "Every team goes through this at one point or another. We'll get through it," the SHR team person said.(SPEED)(5-21-2013)

  • Roush to run triple Fastenal Ford's in the Coca Cola 600 UPDATE: Fastenal Racing will be on #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and #99-Carl Edwards Ford Racing Fusions for the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend.(Roush Fenway Racing Facebook)(5-18-2013)
    UPDATE: Held on Memorial Day weekend, the Coca-Cola 600 presents an opportunity for the NASCAR community to display appreciation for our country's military forces. This year, Fastenal is proud to honor military service men and women, both active and retired, with a three-car tribute on the #16, #17 and #99 Ford Fusions at Charlotte Motor Speedway. These three cars, known as the Fastenal Tribute Cars, will feature the names of current Fastenal employees who served in the military. David MacFadden (First Sergeant, U.S. Army) will be displayed on the hood of the #99, and Brian Ashbee (Chief Quartermaster, U.S. Navy) and Anthony Phillips (Private First Class, U.S. Army) will see their names on the hood of the #17. The displays are part of Fastenal's "Heroes Hired Here" campaign honoring employees who are active or retired military members. MacFadden, Ashbee and Phillips were the top three finishers in a Fastenal employee essay contest. As the contest winner, MacFadden will also receive a trip for two to the Bank of America 500 in Charlotte on October 12th. Fastenal will be posting the winners' stories on the Fastenal Racing Facebook page this week (https://www.facebook.com/fastenalracing). "We're extremely proud of the hundreds of former and current military personnel who are part of the Fastenal Blue Team," said Fastenal President Lee Hein. "The Tribute Cars are a small way of expressing our gratitude to them and all of the men and women who have served our country." This is Fastenal's second season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as the primary sponsor for Carl Edwards in the #99 Ford Fusion and second year sponsoring three Cup cars in the Roush Fenway Racing family for the Coca-Cola 600.(Roush Fenway Racing)
    ALSO: Roush Fenway Racing's Spring Fan Day is scheduled for Thursday, May 23rd, more info at roushfenway.com. see images of the Fastenal schemes on my #17 Team Schemes page.(5-21-2013)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Facts and Notes Tuesday:
    · Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1959.
    · The track's first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960  won by Joe Lee Johnson.
    · The track was repaved midseason in 1994.
    · The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1999. It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season.
    · The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season.
    · There have been 108 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, two races per year since the track opened in 1960. In 1961, there were two 100-mile qualifying points races held the week before the May race. The first six fall races at Charlotte were 400-mile events (1960-65).
    · 517 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying race at Charlotte Motor Speedway; 364 in more than one.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Charlotte with 64. Terry Labonte leads all active drivers with 57 starts; followed by Mark Martin with 56.(NASCAR)(5-21-2013)

  • Kulwicki Team Assembles 20 Years After Title: Twenty years after losing their mentor, their leader, in a plane crash near Bristol, Tenn., nine members of Alan Kulwicki's 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup championship team reunited. It was a time to laugh, shed a few tears, renew friendships and help raise money for the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship fund at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Held Sunday, the storytelling hour, reception and dinner was the idea of Ryan Zeck, the scholarship's first recipient. Folks can still donate directly to the scholarship fund by visiting giving.uncc.edu, then select "William States Lee College of Engineering" on the right drop down menu. Click "Submit Dropdown Field", and on the next page, you will see the "Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship" in the Designation Name drop down menu.(See full story at RacinToday)(5-21-2013)

  • Annett cleared to return at Charlotte UPDATE: #43-Michael Annett tweeted Monday afternoon, "Pumped to announce I'll be making my return to the #43 car this weekend at Charlotte. Can't wait to get back in the seat". Annett broke his sterum at the end of the Daytona race and has been sidelined since then.(5-20-2013)
    UPDATE: After being sidelined for eight races, Michael Annett will return to the driver's seat of the #43 Pilot Flying J Ford this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Annett was medically cleared today after suffering a broken and dislocated sternum after an accident in the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway. The NNS series regular underwent surgery for his injuries after the accident and has been sidelined for three months to allow his injuries to heal. Annett has been preparing for his return by participating in physical therapy over the last three weeks. Medical doctors, along with NASCAR officials, determined he was cleared to drive in the upcoming NNS race at Charlotte Motor Speedway following an MRI on Monday afternoon.(RPM)(5-21-20013)

  • Steve Wallace making first attempt of 2013: After finishing among the top-ten in Nationwide Series points from 2009-2011, Steve Wallace will attempt his first Nationwide Series start of 2013 this weekend at Charlotte. Backing Wallace's effort is Richard Tocado Companies, a Charlotte, NC-based provider of mortgage and real estate consulting services. Wallace will pilot a former Roush-Fenway Mustang in the event, powered by Roush Yates Engines. While Wallace's Ford Mustang was prepared out of the Rusty Wallace Racing shops, pit road duties will be handled by Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Sprint Cup Series team. Blake Bainbridge will serve as crew chief and former #66 car chief, Ricky Cade, will have the same role this weekend.(Rusty Wallace Racing)(5-21-2013)

  • Cobb's transporter stolen from race shop UPDATE 5: On Saturday, May 11, 2013, at around 3:00 AM, the Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing team transporter was stolen from the team's race shop in Mooresville, N.C. The value with the contents included is well over $250,000. Rowan County Sheriff's Department and Detective Carl Dangerfield is pursuing leads and has issued arrest warrants in connection with this case. "It is my sole concern to get the transporter back so that we can make Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Cobb. "We are working with other teams right now to borrow the necessary items in the event our hauler and its contents are not returned. We are pleased with the diligent work that the Rowan County Sheriff's Department has shown in solving this crime." Any information on the whereabouts of the stolen property can be directed to the lead investigator, Detective Carl Dangerfield 704-216-8711.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(5-15-2013)
    UPDATE: The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said it has issued warrants for the arrest of Mike Joseph Harmon and Sheila Rae Rice for felony larceny and breaking and entering in connection with the case. It values the hauler and contents at $279,000. Harmon, a NASCAR driver and team owner primarily in the Nationwide Series, has worked with Cobb in the past. Harmon used to be the team manager for Cobb's Nationwide team.(Sporting News)(5-15-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Mike Harmon tweeted twice Wednesday evening, "I want it known that I have never stolen so much as a piece of bubble gum in my life. I did not take JJC hauler, there is no video of me anywhere near her shop. Today she was the windshield & I was the bug, but when we get in FEDERAL court in a couple wks there's a boulder coming".(5-15-2012)
    UPDATE 3: A NASCAR driver is out on bond after deputies in Cleveland County arrested him and charged him with stealing a competitor's trailer from a Rowan County business park. He says he didn't do it. According to the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, Mike Harmon was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle and felony larceny. He was later released from the jail on a $10,000 bond. Harmon told WBTV that he has a strong alibi, he wasn't even in the state. He says he was in Darlington, SC for the race over the weekend, watching a friend drive his car in the Darlington 500. Investigators told WBTV on Thursday morning that they are still working to recover the stolen trailer. Harmon has attempted to get the trailer back in the past, through the court system, but the ruling went against him, investigators say. The Rowan County Sheriff's Office want the public to know that if someone is hiding the trailer until the situation gets sorted out, they could be charged with receiving stolen goods - a felony charge.(WBTV)(5-16-2013)
    UPDATE 4: Two days after racing in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR driver Mike Harmon found himself being charged, again, by Rowan County Sheriff's detectives in an ongoing feud he's having with fellow driver and Camping World Truck Series team owner Jennifer Jo Cobb. On Sunday, Harmon was charged with obstruction of justice and released on $20,000 bond. Harmon is accused of stealing Cobb's race hauler. On Friday night he had his cell phone confiscated by deputies as they investigate the crime. Deputies are reportedly using his cell phone to track Harmon's GPS, text messages and phone calls. Another man, David Novak, is charged with conspiring to commit felony larceny and obstructing justice for admitting to deputies that he knew the location of the trailer but did not tell investigators. Novak is the former business partner of Cobb.(WBTV)(5-21-2013)
    UPDATE 5: Mike Harmon knew where the Jennifer Jo Cobb hauler was located and initially told police he would release it to them as long as they didn't return it to Cobb, according to a probable cause affidavit released by the Rowan County Sheriff's Office. Cobb's hauler, is part of an ongoing property dispute between Cobb and her former business partner David Novak. Novak, who was romantically involved with Cobb before they stopped working together in 2012, claims in a lawsuit filed in federal court that Cobb took the hauler from storage at Harmon's shop in January. His motion for an injunction against Cobb and for the return of the hauler was denied in February, and Cobb alleges in a document filed Thursday that Novak "hired others to proceed to misappropriate" property from her shop. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Novak on Saturday on an obstruction of justice charge and a charge of conspiring to commit felony larceny. According to the arrest warrant, Novak allegedly conspired with Harmon to steal the hauler and he acknowledged to a Rowan County detective that he knew where the hauler was but would not reveal its location. Novak, who lives in Illinois, has not turned himself in. Harmon, who worked for Novak as a team manager for the Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing team in 2010, and Harmon's girlfriend already had been arrested Wednesday on charges of felony larceny and breaking and entering. An additional charge against Harmon of obstruction of justice was added Saturday, and Harmon also was forced to give up his cell phone, which could indicate his whereabouts when the hauler was stolen at approximately 3 a.m. May 11. Harmon told reporters Thursday he has paperwork that shows Novak is the one who bought the hauler and equipment from Circle Bar Racing. When asked Thursday if he knew where the hauler was, Harmon told reporters he did not and that he was on his way back from Darlington at the time the hauler was taken. Harmon was asked point-blank by reporters if it was his cab that pulled the hauler out. He said: "No." He also was asked if he knew what happened to the hauler: "I definitely don't (know)," he said. That is different from what a Rowan County police detective believes and what he testified Harmon told him. According to a probable cause affidavit released Tuesday, a Rowan County detective testified that two days after the hauler was stolen, Harmon "indicated he knew where the car hauler was located but would not reveal that information unless I promised him it would not be returned to the victim," according to the affidavit. The detective said Harmon told him May 14 that he would deliver the hauler to the sheriff's department at 8 a.m. the next day. "Mr. Harmon did not return the car hauler & as he had promised," the detective said in the affidavit. "I called Mr. Harmon and he stated he had changed his mind and was prepared to be arrested if necessary." The detective said in the affidavit that Harmon's semi matches the video surveillance of the truck that towed Cobb's hauler away and that a car whose license plate matches that of the car of Harmon's girlfriend was seen at the Cobb shop at the time of the crime. (Sporting News)(5-21-2013)

  • Bruton Smith could move fall race out of Charlotte UPDATE: NASCAR mogul Bruton Smith says there is a strong possibility that he will move the Bank of America 500 out of Charlotte, NC. The Bank of America 500 is one of two annual races held at Smith's Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with May's Coca-Cola 600. The BoA 500 is held in October. "I know you're not gonna cut this one out, but I've been having some strong conversations about one of these events being moved," Smith told WBTV's Paul Cameron in an exclusive interview. "And Las Vegas is a great place - it's the entertainment capital of the world - and they want another event." In addition to owning the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the North Carolina native owns eight NASCAR tracks, including the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which host eleven NASCAR Sprint Cup events. The only Sprint Cup race that is currently held on the LVMS is the Kobalt Tools 400, which is held in early March. Smith says he's flown out to Vegas several times to talk about moving a Sprint Cup race to his track there. "They've made me offers to move one," Smith said. "But you can't just move the race though, doesn't NASCAR have to move it?" Cameron asked. "I know they would approve this," Smith responded. "And say the October race... Las Vegas. You're gonna get a lot of phone calls about this - I'm gonna predict that." Smith says the idea of moving to Vegas is not just a fishing expedition. "I've made two trips out to Vegas and it costs money to go out there. I know all the powers out there," he told WBTV. "I have a lot of friends in Las Vegas - I have businesses out there, I have six businesses in Las Vegas." The Charlotte Motor Speedway is based in Concord, North Carolina. Smith has been involved in legal fights with Cabarrus County for years over money he is owed. Smith says he initially kept the track there after a $80 million deal was presented to him, $60 million from Cabarrus County and another $20 million from the state. He says the county still hasn't come through with their end of the deal. When asked if he thought he could make more money at a race in Las Vegas versus having a race in Charlotte, Smith's answer was simple. "Yes, yes, yes. Oh yes," he said. "Plus, we're discussing a ten-year contract for a lot of money every year." Smith played a major role in getting NASCAR to move the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards from New York to Las Vegas five years ago. When it comes to a timeline on the potential move, Smith says this isn't a spur of the moment idea. "Oh, now there you're pinning me down. I don't know how soon, that's just, it's something that's been in the stages now for at least a year." So what's it going to take to move the race from Charlotte to Vegas? "When the game is over, it'll be money, money, money. Money will move it," Smith said. "I'd say [the chances] are about 70/30."(wbtv.com)(5-20-2013)
    UPDATE - Statement From O. Bruton Smith: The following is a statement from Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, O. Bruton Smith:
    "The 'done deal' report by WBTV regarding moving a race is false. No final decision has been made regarding any race date move, and I have not discussed this with NASCAR. "Instead of what 'could' happen, let's set the facts straight about what has happened. We've invested $100 million in the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex in the past six years to make it even better for the fans. We've expanded our fan zone, added pit road suites and built the world's largest HDTV for every fan to enjoy. We've put more people to work with these projects and we've added more events to the calendar to bring in more tourists and fans. And we've done this during the worst economy since the Great Depression. We've done this without asking for a handout from the government, like we've seen from so many other sports facilities, teams or franchises, and yet at the same time property values are falling during the recession, our Cabarrus County taxes have doubled since 2005. We absolutely love the fans that come to Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's frustrating to think about the future and consider that the local government doesn't share the same excitement about Charlotte Motor Speedway that our fans do. The Cabarrus County politicians may say nice things to the media, but raising taxes does not support the tourism business, the area economy or companies trying to grow."(CMS)(5-21-2013)

  • HLN News Anchor & Country Music Recording Artist Robin Meade to sing Coke 600 National Anthem: Robin Meade, host of HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade" has been added to a star-studded lineup that will join the largest Memorial Day weekend celebration in the country at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday. Meade, who is also a New York Times best-selling author and emerging country artist, will kick off the ultimate test of man and machine  NASCAR's only 600 mile contest  by performing the national anthem. Other celebrities scheduled to appear during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend include HISTORY's Rick Dale, of "American Restoration;" decorated veteran and No. 1 best-selling author Lt. Col. Oliver North; and Papa John's founder, John Schnatter. In addition, country music megastar and NBC's newest "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" winner, Trace Adkins, will perform a free concert for all Coca-Cola 600 ticket holders on Friday, May 24. Fans can get two frontstretch tickets to the Coca-Cola 600, with the best views of the world's largest HDTV and all the action on pit road, for just $99 when they purchase online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by phone at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-21-2013)

  • Stay the Entire Weekend and Camp at AMS: For the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 weekend, many race fans will flock to Atlanta Motor Speedway to fulfill their need for speed on the historic 1.54-mile speedway. But AMS wants its customers to take in more than just the race, and the perfect way to do that is with an array of camping options available for the Labor Day weekend date, Aug. 30-Sept. 1. AMS knows that campers come with many different situations and needs, whether it is a RV requiring full hook-ups, pop-up units or classic tent camping, the near 900-acres of property at the speedway will offer a fit for each person. A limited-number of infield camping spaces is currently available. Join fellow die-hard race fans in getting the full race weekend experience from inside the track. All practices, qualifying and race action can be viewed from your infield position, as well as socialize with your camping neighbors. Outside campgrounds open on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 8:00 a.m. allowing campers to enjoy the entire race week and build-up to race weekend for an affordable price. Infield and trackside camping will open on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 2:00 p.m. See a complete list of camping options and ticket options at atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(5-21-2013)

  • Great Clips Named Title Sponsor of NASCAR "Fast Friday" in Sonoma: Sonoma Raceway will kick off NASCAR's dynamic new two-day qualifying format with "Great Clips Fast Friday" at the 2013 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series event. Great Clips, the world's largest salon brand, will become title sponsor of this critical practice day on Friday, June 21, as NASCAR and the raceway unveil an exciting new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying procedure for Northern California race fans. This final timed practice session on Great Clips Fast Friday will lock in groups for qualifying on Saturday morning. In addition to becoming title sponsor of Fast Friday, Great Clips continues as the Official Hair Salon of Sonoma Raceway for the second consecutive year. Great Clips will also set up a mobile salon at the raceway during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and IZOD IndyCar® Series event weekends. Stylists from local salons will give haircuts for a suggested donation of just $10, with proceeds benefiting Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway. The one-year agreement also includes hospitality, signage and other assets during race weekend. Great Clips will also receive the right to use the Sonoma Raceway name and logo for promotional purposes.(Sonoma Raceway)(5-21-2013)


    News from May 20, 2013

  • Kyle Busch, & team helping build Habitat for Humanity Homes; scheme: Almost daily, Kyle Busch and members of his #18 M&M'S Toyota team practice to improve their efficiency changing tires and pouring gas, to ensure they can save precious seconds necessary to maintain track position. Today, the team banded together with colleagues from Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR and M&M'S to make improvements of a different kind.
    This unique team, comprised of more than 50 volunteers, is helping build two Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte homes in the Charlotte area, which includes the future homes of Yasin Mohamed and Egland Isak and their three children, as well as Kung Mang and Sung Thluai and their two children. The effort is part of M&M'S M'Prove America campaign, a year-long partnership with Habitat designed to fund construction of new Habitat homes across the United States.
    Fans can join Busch and M&M'S by pledging to volunteer their time and talents at Habitat for Humanity build sites across the country at www.mproveamerica.com. This year, M&M'S is encouraging its associates and fans to log an ambitious 1.5 million minutes -- or 25,000 hours -- of volunteer time with Habitat. In addition to encouraging fans to volunteer time, M&M'S is also making a donation of $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity to fund the construction of Habitat homes in 2013. Later this month, M&M'S will also introduce specially marked M'Prove America packages of red, white and blue M&M'S Brand Candies in stores nationwide.
    The M&M'S M'Prove America campaign will also be on display during the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when Busch gets behind the wheel of a special #18 M&M'S M'Prove America Toyota.(Wall Street Journal), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2013)

  • Schrader wins ARCA race, oldest driver to win an ARCA race: Ken Schrader won the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway, making him the oldest winner in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards history. Schrader started second in his Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet and led 163 laps. The NASCAR veteran took command of the lead early in the race and held off a long side-by-side battle with Grant Enfinger and took the checkered flag while waving to a capacity crowd. "I love it," Schrader said in Victory Lane. "That's five (at Toledo). We'll take it. But, now, it means nothing because we have to go to Elko." Schrader's Federated Car Care team celebrated in victory lane. It was his fifth win at Toledo Speedway and 16th all-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards win. The race will be re-broadcast on SPEED at noon Monday.(ARCA)(5-20-2013)

  • Harvick to visit Fort Bragg: #29-Kevin Harvick will join Folds of Honor Foundation founder Major Dan Rooney at Fort Bragg to make a special presentation to the base, tour the Warrior Transition Battalion and meet with soldiers on Thursday, May 23rd. The visit is a part of Budweiser's "red, white and blue summer" initiative, which benefits the Folds of Honor Foundation. Since 2010, Budweiser has raised more than $5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation and provided more than 1,000 educational scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in service. Harvick's No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS will feature a special patriotic paint scheme that reflects the King of Beers' limited-edition red, white and blue packaging as well as the Folds of Honor Foundation in the Memorial Day Weekend 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Bud Racing)(5-20-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 45 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Chris Buescher returns to the Roush Fenway #16;
    Tannery Berryhill is back in the #17;
    Dakota Armstrong will drive the RCR #21;
    Kenny Wallace returns to the RAB #29;
    Matt Dibenedetto will drive the #37 for Vision Racing;
    The Petty #43 is TBA. Michael Annett is expected to be cleared to return this week;
    Steve Wallace will make his first attempt of the season in the Rusty Wallace #66.(5-20-2013)
    UPDATE: Michael Annett tweeted Monday afternoon that he has been cleared to return this weekend.(5-20-2013) See the complete list on the Charlotte entry list page.

  • Annett cleared to return at Charlotte: #43-Michael Annett tweeted Monday afternoon, "Pumped to announce I'll be making my return to the #43 car this weekend at Charlotte. Can't wait to get back in the seat". Annett broke his sterum at the end of the Daytona race and has been sidelined since then.(5-20-2013)

  • Bruton Smith could move fall race out of Charlotte: NASCAR mogul Bruton Smith says there is a strong possibility that he will move the Bank of America 500 out of Charlotte, NC. The Bank of America 500 is one of two annual races held at Smith's Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with May's Coca-Cola 600. The BoA 500 is held in October. "I know you're not gonna cut this one out, but I've been having some strong conversations about one of these events being moved," Smith told WBTV's Paul Cameron in an exclusive interview. "And Las Vegas is a great place - it's the entertainment capital of the world - and they want another event." In addition to owning the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the North Carolina native owns eight NASCAR tracks, including the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which host eleven NASCAR Sprint Cup events. The only Sprint Cup race that is currently held on the LVMS is the Kobalt Tools 400, which is held in early March. Smith says he's flown out to Vegas several times to talk about moving a Sprint Cup race to his track there. "They've made me offers to move one," Smith said. "But you can't just move the race though, doesn't NASCAR have to move it?" Cameron asked. "I know they would approve this," Smith responded. "And say the October race... Las Vegas. You're gonna get a lot of phone calls about this - I'm gonna predict that." Smith says the idea of moving to Vegas is not just a fishing expedition. "I've made two trips out to Vegas and it costs money to go out there. I know all the powers out there," he told WBTV. "I have a lot of friends in Las Vegas - I have businesses out there, I have six businesses in Las Vegas." The Charlotte Motor Speedway is based in Concord, North Carolina. Smith has been involved in legal fights with Cabarrus County for years over money he is owed. Smith says he initially kept the track there after a $80 million deal was presented to him, $60 million from Cabarrus County and another $20 million from the state. He says the county still hasn't come through with their end of the deal. When asked if he thought he could make more money at a race in Las Vegas versus having a race in Charlotte, Smith's answer was simple. "Yes, yes, yes. Oh yes," he said. "Plus, we're discussing a ten-year contract for a lot of money every year." Smith played a major role in getting NASCAR to move the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards from New York to Las Vegas five years ago. When it comes to a timeline on the potential move, Smith says this isn't a spur of the moment idea. "Oh, now there you're pinning me down. I don't know how soon, that's just, it's something that's been in the stages now for at least a year." So what's it going to take to move the race from Charlotte to Vegas? "When the game is over, it'll be money, money, money. Money will move it," Smith said. "I'd say [the chances] are about 70/30."(wbtv.com)(5-20-2013)

  • Pole Tix honor Earnhardt's 1993 sweep: Twenty years after NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt drove into the record books with an exhilarating sweep of both the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway is honoring the legendary driver's accomplishment with a limited edition LiftMaster Pole Night commemorative ticket. For just $20, Earnhardt fans and enthusiastic race historians can get their hands on this unique keepsake, which marks Earnhardt's memorable back-to-back wins at his hometown track. The tickets feature photos of Earnhardt with the trophies he earned at the 1993 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. Earnhardt entered the 1993 All-Star race with two victories in the special event already in his possession. Danny Lawrence, who was then the team's assistant engine builder and second gasman, noted the environment created by the All-Star race was electrifying. "When (we pushed the car) around the corner (onto the frontstretch), it sounded like an earthquake (the way) people were roaring. It sent chills through your bones," Lawrence said. Earnhardt struggled with his car during the race's first two segments. However, when it came time for the race's 10-lap shootout, Earnhardt once again reigned supreme. After Earnhardt jumped the restart, NASCAR threw the yellow flag, lined up the cars again with Earnhardt still in second, and then threw the green flag. Earnhardt didn't jump the second restart. This time he passed Martin with slightly more than a lap remaining for the victory. "That was all him. Our car really wasn't that good," Lawrence said.
    When it came time for the Coca-Cola 600, Earnhardt once again produced a phenomenal performance to win stock car racing's longest event for the third and final time. He shook off two penalties and came from a lap down on two occasions to become the first driver to win the Coca-Cola 600 at night. "What Dale Earnhardt was able to do was damn near impossible," said Danny "Chocolate" Myers, Earnhardt's long-time gasman who now co-hosts a show on XM-SIRIUS Satellite Radio. "It was through sheer dedication and determination that he was able to pull it off." Earnhardt's victory made him the first driver to claim two consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories since Darrell Waltrip in 1988-89. And Earnhardt accomplished the feat with an event record of 145.504 mph, breaking the old one of 145.327 mph set by Richard Petty in a Dodge in May 1975. "Dale would tell us all the time, 'Boys, we're making history', but we never thought about it, Lawrence said. "It was neat to be able to go to any race you wanted to and you felt like you had a chance to win. When we had a bad day it was when we finished 12th. If we had a 12th-place car, he somehow would finish fifth. It was awfully neat to be working on that deal back then when he was so good. He wasn't happy unless he was winning. He was cool under pressure. He always thought if the race was still running he still had a chance of winning it. He never overdrove it; he never got in trouble. That's why he was the best."
    Tickets to race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway are available through the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267)(CMS)(5-20-2013)

  • Possible Funding to expand Iowa Speedway, Cup race?: A major expansion of the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA could hinge on whether state lawmakers approve $8 million in additional funding. State Representative Dan Kelley, a Newton Democrat, hopes to convince lawmakers to put public dollars behind the project. Thursday afternoon, Kelley said the Speedway wants to lure a Sprint Cup series race to town. To help those efforts, the Speedway would use the public money to expand its current 40,000 seat capability to up to 100,000, the crowd size the Sprint Cup series race could attract. Kelley said, "We're bringing a sports entity that is at its highest level to the state of Iowa. We have many sporting opportunities for fans in the state that are just wonderful. We have the I-Cubs, the Barnstormers, Iowa Hawkeye fans and Cyclone fans and so forth. This is the highest level of motorsport in the world. That's what we're fighting for today." Channel 13 has also learned if state lawmakers reach a deal on the extra funding for the Speedway that would also open up a potentially even bigger deal. Sources close to the deal say an outside group is interested in bringing even more dollars to the project to develop the area around the Speedway. Current Speedway owner and racing legend, Rusty Wallace, had plans to develop that area in the past but never pulled off the deal. Sources say this new outside group would have a better chance of accomplishing that goal. (whotv.com)(5-20-2013)

  • Country music group Gloriana to play free concert at Dover: Race fans will be treated to a very special pre-race event, as country music group Gloriana will play a free concert for fans in Victory Plaza the morning of the June 2 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The award-winning trio will also perform the National Anthem for the day's race. Singer-songwriter Sara Haze, whose music has been featured in television shows such as "Safe Haven" and "The Hills," will be the opening act for Gloriana's morning concert. NASCAR returns to Dover International Speedway May 31-June 2, 2013 for the June 2 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the June 1 "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the May 31 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.(Dover Intl Speedway)(5-20-2013)


    News from May 19, 2013

  • TV graphic mistake leads to fan confusion: A television graphic incorrectly showed #48-Jimmie Johnson should have entered pit road 11th instead of fourth on the mandatory four-tire stop before the final segment of Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. It started a social media outcry for those who didn't know the facts. It grew louder when Johnson left pit road second. It grew even louder when the five-time Sprint Cup champion won for the second straight year and a record fourth time overall, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt and future Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon. "People just want to hate," Johnson said with a laugh inside the media center at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "That's fine. I'm just lucky. NASCAR rigs the races and whatever they want to believe. I'm going home with a cool trophy and a big check and we all really know what happened. So whatever."(ESPN)
    NOTE: Johnson coming in 4th for the pitstop was correct, see the averages of the four segments and the order of pit road entry on my Jayski's Sprint All-Star Race page.(5-19-2013)

  • Kahne says he and Kyle Busch are good: Despite three on-track incidents between them in just 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, #5-Kasey Kahne told SPEED.com that he doesn't have a problem with #18-Kyle Busch. Prior to Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kahne told SPEED.com that he and Busch talked things out and are OK going forward. "Yes, it's over. I thought it was over before Darlington," said Kahne. Kahne said Busch called him earlier in the week. "We talked about & it was just hard racing. We were both going for the lead."(SPEED)(5-19-2013)

  • Crew chief Kevin Manion fight with gout: There's a reason why flip-flops are Kevin "Bono" Manion's favorite shoes. There's a reason why the crew chief of Jamie McMurray's #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet would cut holes in the toes of his work shoes before venturing into the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage. Manion, 40, has suffered from gout for the past 10 years, and lately he's also been fighting the mistaken perception that gout afflicts elderly persons who drink too much alcohol. At age 30, Manion began to suffer the symptoms of gout, a severe form of arthritis caused by high uric acid levels. At times, the pain was unbearable. "I've broken some bones, I've stubbed my toe, I've cut myself wide open and had plenty of stitches," Manion told the NASCAR Wire Service during an interview in the #1 team's transporter on Friday. "I've had my front teeth replaced, but (gout) is the most painful. You know when you've got it. There's no question. Literally trying to sleep at night, you're fine unless you have to put a cover on, because a bed sheet will make you scream like a baby. That's how painful it is. There's no thought of putting a sock on. I basically have cut the big toe out of my shoe so my toe wouldn't touch anything at a track over a weekend."
    Manion may have known he had goutdespite one early misdiagnosis as turf toebut he was reluctant to acknowledge it because of the stigma associated with a disease that afflicts eight million Americans. "For two years, I was just stubborn more than anything, a guy that (said), 'Surely it wasn't goutit couldn't be,' being my age of around 30," Manion said. "I always heard (gout afflicts) old people that drink a lot of liquor, and I don't do that. Occasionally, I'll have a beer or two, but I'm not the guy that drank too much or ate too much red meat. I'm not that old guy&You always hear, and I've heard it before, 'Oh, he's got the gouthe's a drunk.' By no means did I ever think that was what it was. I just thought I had sprained my toe. I heard it was turf toe from one doctor. Finally, it hurt so badand I honestly thought it was broken, that's how bad it hurtand the doctor said, 'No, if you broke your foot, it wouldn't hurt that bad; what you have is gout.'"
    At this point, Manion has done more than just accept the reality of the disease. He is working with Takeda Pharmaceuticals to heighten awareness of the disorder and to alter the conventional wisdom about its nature and causes. "Simply, it's just a severe form of arthritis," Manion said. "If you say you have arthritis, people don't look at you funny. When you say you have the gout, people kind of look at you funny. It's the same thing. It's just a form of arthritis. The only thing I can recommend is to go to your local physician and get on a plan to manage it." Manion also encourages gout sufferers, and those who think they might have it, to visit www.gout.com, a web site that provides comprehensive information about the condition.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-19-2013)


    News from May 18, 2013

  • Johnson win All-Star race: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, for his 4th All-Star race win. Johnson finished 15th, 5th, 3rd & 3rd in the four segments which meant he had the 4th best average finish of the drivers, so he went in 4th for the madatory 4-tire pit stop before the fifth and final segment, #5-Kahne came out 1st, followed by Johnson, #18-Busch, #22-Logani and #78-Busch. #78-Busch won segments 1 & 4 and led 29 laps and #18-Busch won segments 2 & 3 and also led 29 laps. Johnson led 10 total laps, all of the final segment. Johnson now has the most All-Star wins of any driver with 4.
    #22-Logano finished 2nd, followed by #18-Busch, #5-Kahne, #78-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #1-McMurray (the Showdown winner), #20-Kenseth and #99-Edwards.
    See race results, each segment finish, average of the four segments, links to pdf for results and more on Jayski's Sprint All-Star Race Info page.(5-18-2013)

  • added pages for the 2013 Sprint All-Star Race schemes and the 2013 Sprint Showdown paint schemes

  • Sprint All-Star Race Notes:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, his record breaking fourth victory in 12 starts in the annual non-points race
    Johnson broke a tie for the all-time all-star race wins lead with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson also won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in 2003, 2006 and 2012.
    Johnson becomes the second driver to win back-to-back all-star races. The first was Davey Allison in 1991-92.
    This is Johnson's eighth top-five finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    #22-Joey Logano finished a career-best second in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. This is his third top 10 in three all-star race starts.
    #18-Kyle Busch finished third, his third consecutive top-five finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(5-18-2013)

  • Red Flag: due to rain, the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is under a red flag as of lap 13, 9:52pm/et. Cars are parked in their pit stalls and teams can work on the cars, change tires, etc.(5-18-2013)

  • McMurray dominates the Sprint Showdown: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, leading all 40 laps to transfer to the Sprint All-Star race. #17-Stenhouse Jr. finished 2nd and will also transfer to the All-Star race. #31-Burton finished 3rd followed by #27-Menard, #56-Truex Jr., #42-Montoya, #43-Almirola, #93-Kvapil, #10-Patrick and #13-Mears. After segment 1, #13-Mears was the only driver not to pit and started segment 2 first, but McMurray quickly retook the lead as his team changed two tires and he came out to start segment 2 second. #42-Montoya sped on pit road and started segment 2 from the rear. After the Sprint Showdown was over, NASCAR called #56-Truex Jr., #47-Labonte and #10-Patrick to staging area after the race. It will be one of those three as the Fan vote winner.
    Fan Vote Winner: it was announced that #10-Danica Patrick won the fan vote and will race in the Sprint All-Star race.
    See results for each segment on Jayski's Sprint All-Star Race Info page.(5-18-2013)


    Carl Edwards will honor the late Dick Trickle by running Trickle's name above the window of his #99 Ford in the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    (image from Roush Fenway Racing Facebook page)

  • Getting married at All-Star race: When John and Monica Russell decided to get married, they knew exactly where to do it. As diehard race fans, there was really no other option. "I thought, 'Well, let's get married at a race track,'" John Russell said. "Why not get married on the biggest stage (in racing)." The couple met online in October, and three days later they were engaged. "It was his wedding," said Monica, who has been married once before. "I said, 'What do you want, baby?' So here we are. I haven't actually been to a race here since 1994, so I am loving it." Both diehard Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans, the bride and groom wore #88 T-shirts for the ceremony, which took place Saturday morning at the start/finish line of Charlotte Motor Speedway They took their wedding photos in Victory Lane and will be featured live on the Speed Stage at 4 p.m. The Russells, from Bethune, S.C., spent the week before the wedding taking a NASCAR-themed pre-honeymoon in the area, checking out Victory Junction Gang Camp, Stewart-Hass Racing Wednesday, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Whisky River, Victory Lane (go-kart racing), Roush/Fenway Racing and the NASCAR R&D Center.(CMS)(5-18-2013)

  • Kyle Busch discusses Kasey Kahne: from a Toyota Racing press conference transcript:
    Q) How will you race Kasey Kahne?
    Busch "You race him (Kasey Kahne) just has hard as you race him any other week. The first two instances were a mistake, just misjudgment. Kasey admitted it, he had to get on the brakes in Daytona and checked up a little bit and I ran over him. You couldn't really see through the cars in front of you to see what was happening. Daytona I just misjudged, I wanted to pull out and thought last second that I was going to stay in line and push Kasey. I turned him sideways when I was coming back in line. Last week was just hard racing. You're in the last three laps and you're past the last pit stop and it's all about track position. For us, we were racing as hard as we could. He pulled a huge slide job on me in turn three and I got back to his inside and I had been running down there on the flat all night and had been passing lapped cars down there and some of my restarts were even that low on the race track. I didn't think there was going to be a problem and when I got down there I just got tight and pushed up a little bit. Whether or not we touched, I think that's insignificant because I'm not racing to wreck Kasey Kahne, but Kasey Kahne did crash because of me so it's a part of hard racing at the end of the race and I hate that it keeps being the same guy, but if it were a Matt Kenseth on a Tony Stewart we probably wouldn't see a story."
    Q) Have the incidents occurred with Kasey Kahne due to both of you racing up front?
    Busch "It's got some merit to it sure. Being up front racing with a guy, Kasey (Kahne), he won Bristol and I think we finished second to him there and then obviously he ran well at Vegas and he ran well at Kansas. We were up front at Vegas with him and running well there, but you run up front and you try for wins in the last 30 laps and you have to give it everything you've got. You're not there to rollover and let a guy go. Even the Darlington piece, if I would have let him go, I don't know that I could have got back by him. It was a little difficult to pass and he did seem to have a good car on the long runs so I knew that protecting my spot was what I needed to do at that particular point. Racing up front, racing hard I'm sure there would be a moment where it could come back on me and I expect it, it's fine. I just told Kasey, I said, 'Just don't make it hurt too bad."
    Q) Are you expecting retaliation from Kasey Kahne?
    Busch "I don't think Kasey (Kahne) is that kind of guy, but if it happens I'll understand."
    Q) Have you communicated with Kasey Kahne?
    Busch "We have communicated."(Toyota Racing)(5-18-2013)

  • Paint schemes added: a few for the All-Star race: #2 Miller Lite Fan Mosiac, #22 Pennzoil, #1 Bass Pro Shops/NWTF, #39 Aspen Dental, #10 GoDaddy Cares, #29 Budweiser / Rheem and #48 Lowe's Patriotic; plus some from last weeks race at Darlington: #5 Time Warner Cable, #11 Sports Clips, #14 Bass Pro Shops (orange), #16 Meguiars, #18 DoubleMint, #24 Cromax Pro, #30 Swan Energy, #33 Chevy, #34 Peanut Patch, #36 Chevy, #47 Kingsford, #48 Lowe's Emerald, #87 RoyalTeakCollection.com and #99 Geek Squad. See links and more on the Paint Scheme Gallery page.

  • NASCAR slips in money race: It's race month in Charlotte, but yet another indication of NASCAR's diminished fortunes can be seen in a new ranking of the highest-paid American athletes. Just one driver from stock-car racing  Dale Earnhardt Jr.  ranks among the top 50 and he just made the list at No. 49. Sports Illustrated compiles the list each year, known as The Fortunate 50. Boxer Floyd Mayweather ranked first among U.S. athletes, earning $90 million. NBA players LeBron James ($56.5 million) and Kobe Bryant ($46.9 million) ranked second and fourth, respectively, while NFL quarterback Drew Brees ($47.8 million, third on the list) and golfer Tiger Woods ($40.8 million) round out the top five.
    The magazine bases its rankings on analysis and estimates of contracts, winnings, bonuses and endorsements. Earnhardt Jr. earned a combined $18.4 million last season, according to SI. Endorsements accounted for $12.6 million and race winnings $5.8 million. The magazine notes Earnhardt Jr. failed to crack the top 10 in NASCAR driver winnings but still lapped the field in total income because of his pitchman roles for Chevy, Nationwide Insurance and the National Guard, among others.
    In 2012, four NASCAR drivers ranked in the magazine's 50 highest-paid athletes list. Jeff Gordon ($23.9 million, 18th), Tony Stewart ($22 million, tied for 29th) and Jimmie Johnson ($21 million, 33rd) were all included last year, along with Earnhardt Jr., who ranked eighth at $28 million. Earnhardt Jr.'s endorsements fell by almost half in the span of year. Fan interest in NASCAR peaked in 2005 and the sport has also been battered by the recession, harder hit than other sports because of the near-collapse of the car industry several years ago.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-18-2013)

  • Roush to run triple Fastenal Ford's in the Coca Cola 600: Fastenal Racing will be on #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and #99-Carl Edwards Ford Racing Fusions for the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend.(Roush Fenway Racing Facebook)(5-18-2013)

  • Sad News - Dick Trickle: Retired race car driver Richard "Dick" Trickle, 71, died Thursday from an apparent self inflicted gun shot wound, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. The incident occurred at 12:02 p.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery on Highway 150 East in Boger City. The Lincoln County Communications Center received a call apparently from the victim that "there would be a dead body and it would be his." Communications Center workers tried to place a return call to the number but did not get an answer. The first emergency units arriving on the scene located the body lying near the victim's pickup truck. Trickle was a Lincoln County resident and had lived there since the early 1990's.(wbtv.com)
    Trickle was the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year, started 303 Cup races with 15 top-fives [with a best finish of 3rd, five times), 36 top-tens and 1 pole (Dover 1990).(Racing-reference.info)(5-16-2013)
    more info and full obituary at warlickfuneralhome.net.(5-18-2013)

  • NASCAR legend makes south Georgia' teen's wish come true: A south Georgia boy's wish will come true this weekend when he meets a NASCAR legend. 16 year-old Jacob Entrekin from Sumner lives with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. He left for Charlotte Wednesday where he will attend the NASCAR All-Star race as a special guest of Richard Petty Motorsports. Jacob will get to meet Petty and driver Marcos Ambrose. The Make a Wish Foundation helped make the trip possible.(WALB)(5-18-2013)

  • Jeff Gordon Joins Forces With Gleaners: #24-Jeff Gordon visited Detroit to kick off a month-long food drive in conjunction with Gleaners Community Food Bank and Quicken Loans. The #24 Drive To End Hunger is focused on the elderly. "You know, I feel fortunate that I was made aware of this, because I had no idea," Gordon said during his stop in the Motor City on Thursday. "I had no idea that more than 9 million (people) 50 and older are having these type of issues in this country. Gordon said when he was first approached with the idea of his spearheading the drive  he immediately signed on. "It's brought me to cities all over the country to places like Gleaners here, that do amazing work gathering the food, sorting the food, packaging the food, and then distributing the food," Gordon said. Gleaners says that for every dollar that is donated they'll be able to feed three hungry senior citizens.(CBS Detroit)(5-18-2013)


    News from May 17, 2013

  • Race Coverage of the Sprint All-Star Race and Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2013.
    Television (TV): SPEED at 7:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 4:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:46pm/et for Showdown, sometime after 9:00pm/et for All-Star race
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Sunday, May 19 at 12:00 am/et & Wednesday, May 22 at 12:00pm/et

  • Edwards wins pole for Sprint All-Star Race #99-Edwards won the pole for the Sprint All-Star Race Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a qualifying time of 111.297 seconds. All-Star Race qualifying is three laps with a mandatory 4-tire pit stop. #78-Busch will start on the outside pole followed by #16-Biffle, #18-Busch, #22-Logano, #15-Bowyer, #11-Hamlin, #55-Martin, #5-Kahne and #24-Gordon. #29-Harvick slid thru his pit box but didn't back up far enough and was serviced outside the pit box, so Harvick's time was disallowed and he will start last, but since Harvick lost an engine in practice, he would had started from the rear anyway. Four drivers lost 5 seconds for a loose lug nut #88-Earnhardt Jr., #20-Kenseth, #9-Ambrose and #48-Johnson.
    See full qualifying results and starting lineup on the Sprint All-Star Race page - Lineup section.(5-17-2013)

  • Truex Jr. wins pole for Showdown #56-Truex Jr. won the pole for the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 193.424mph. #1-McMurray will start 2nd followed by #42-Montoya, #17-Stehnouse Jr., #13-Mears, #31-Burton, #10-Patrick, #27-Menard, #36-Yeley and #33-Cassill. See full qualifying results and starting lineup on the Sprint All-Star Race page - Lineup section.(5-17-2013)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race [2 laps] at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, May 17, 2013 at 5:00pm/et with Sprint All-Star Race qualifying [3 laps with 4 tire change pit stop] scheduled to 6:00pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 5:00pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network, 6:00pm/et
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: 11:00pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Sprint All-Star Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is posted. 19 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #5-Kahne.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #2-Keselowski.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Sprint All-Star Race page.(5-17-2013)

  • Qualifying Order for the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is posted. 23 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #38-Gilliland.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #56-Truex Jr.
    Fastest in the one and only practice, #17-Stenhouse Jr. is scheduled to qualify 17th.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Sprint All-Star Race page.(5-17-2013)

  • The one and only practice: for the Sprint All-Star Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five and notes:
    #18-Busch 189.607
    #20-Kenseth 188.042
    #2-Keselowski 187.865
    #16-Biffle 187.585
    #48-Johnson 187.559
    slowest: #34-Ragan 182.359 & #9-Ambrose 183.418.
    Notes: #9-Ambrose wrecked late in practice and did a lot of damage to the rear of the car and is going to a backup car for qualifying.
    #29-Harvick lost an engine towards the end of practice.
    See fastest speds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Sprint All-Star Race Practice Speeds page (pdf)(5-17-2013)

  • The one and only practice: for the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five and notes:
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 188.811 (not a typo)
    #1-McMurray 186.968
    #31-Burton 186.677
    #42-Montoya 186.593
    #19-Bliss 186.233
    slowest: #52-Keselowski 174.735 & #7-Blaney 179.194
    notes: #10-Patrick, #13-Mears and #33-Cassill scraped the wall and did some damage to the right sides of their cars.
    See fastest speds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Sprint Showdown Practice Speeds page (pdf)(5-17-2013)

  • Johnson goes Patriotic at CMS: Jimmie Johnson will drive the #48 Lowe's "Patriotic" Chevrolet SS in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The car will be painted red, white and blue and ringed in stars. Lowe's and its #48 team have a long history of supporting the military and honoring the nation over the years. In 2001, Johnson's first Sprint Cup race came at Charlotte in the Lowe's Chevrolet, which was specially painted to honor the country. In 2009, crew chief Chad Knaus helped create a patriotic-themed car that carried the names of more than 12,000 Lowe's employees who are military veterans or reservists.(Team Lowe's / HMS), see an image of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(5-17-2013)

  • CAMCAT Returns for All-Star Race Saturday Night: For the first time since this year's Daytona 500, FOX Sports and SPEED bring CAMCAT back to the track, as the 85-mph, high-tech camera suspended above the race track by a pair of gigantic cranes positioned outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway adds a strong element to SPEED's signature coverage of the 29th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 18 (7:00pm/et). With $1 million-to-win from Sprint, and another $1 million available to any driver that can win all five segments, this 'anything goes' event showcases the sport's biggest stars. A special three-hour All-Star edition of NASCAR RaceDay Fueled by Sunoco begins at 4:00 PM ET with hosts John Roberts, Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds leading into live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. NASCAR Race Hub hosts Steve Byrnes and Danielle Trotta handles driver introductions.
    Mike Joy, NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and McReynolds call the action once live racing begins with the Sprint Showdown, the final opportunity for drivers to race their way into the main event. SPEED's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on-air team also includes Chris Myers from the famed Hollywood Hotel, Jeff Hammond, Krista Voda, Byrnes and Matt Yocum. In addition, Hall of Fame broadcaster Keith Jackson narrates a pre-race All-Star retrospective. Jackson called NASCAR's first three All-Star events, including Dale Earnhardt's famous "Pass in the Grass" win in The Winston in 1987.(FOX)(5-17-2013)

  • Pit Crew change for the #48 team: The pit crew of the #48 Lowe's Chevy of Jimmie Johnson has been together for nearly 3 years and done a good job on pit road. Over the last few weeks the team is moving in another direction and has made 3 changes. Moving forward on the #48 will be Front Changer Cam Waugh, Rear Changer David Mayo and Rear Carrier Ryan Patton. Cam Waugh pitted the #51 Cup car last year and has been in the HMS developmental program for a while. He will get his chance on the front. David Mayo was changing for the #2 car at Penske Racing last year and was hired as a back up for HMS this year. Ryan Patton was on the #7 NNS team this year and will get his chance as the rear carrier. As of now, all the other crewman on the #48 that were replaced are traveling as back ups with HMS.(Pittalks)(5-17-2013)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame's Newest Exhibit, "Lights. Camera. NASCAR.": The NASCAR Hall of Fame introduces its newest and largest exhibit in its three-year history, "Lights. Camera. NASCAR." opens to the public May 17. A never before seen look at NASCAR, the exhibit chronicles how the industry has influenced films, how NASCAR has promoted movies through sponsorship and how film has portrayed the sport's legends over the years. With more than 40 artifacts on display, box office favorites represented include "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," Disney's "Cars," "Days of Thunder," "Greased Lightning," "Herbie Fully Loaded" and much more.
    The new exhibit, located in the Great Hall within the NASCAR Hall of Fame, is just in time for the excitement accompanying the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Lights. Camera. NASCAR." opens Friday, May 17 and runs through mid-October. Extended hours for the NASCAR Hall of Fame will take place through May 27 to accommodate fans visiting for the May races and attending the Food Lion Speed Street 600 Festival. More info at nascarhall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-17-2013)

  • SHR extends partnership with Atlas Copco Compressors: Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has extended its partnership with Atlas Copco Compressors, and the Rock Hill, S.C.-based company will also serve as an associate sponsor of the #39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS of driver Ryan Newman during the Oct. 10-12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Atlas Copco Compressors has served as SHR's official compressed air supplier since the team's inception in 2009. As part of this continued relationship, Atlas Copco Compressors is installing its new SmartLink technology into SHR's headquarters in Kannapolis, providing 24/7 remote monitoring of the team's compressed air system to ensure continuous uptime and peak performance. This year marks Atlas Copco's 140th anniversary, and when Atlas Copco Compressors serves as an associate sponsor of Newman's #39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet at Charlotte in October, one lucky Atlas Copco employee will have their name printed on the side of Newman's car.(SHR)(5-17-2013)

  • Truex Jr raises $60k: #56-Martin Truex Jr. He raised $60,000 for charity Wednesday night when his foundation held its fourth annual Catwalk for a Cause presented by Toyota on Wednesday at MWR. The fashion show sold out with more than 450 in attendance including several drivers and NASCAR celebrities. All of the monies raised benefit the Martin Truex Jr. Special Needs Fund at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte.(MWR)(5-17-2013)

  • Busch wins at Charlotte: #51-Kyle Busch won the NC Education Lottery 200 on Friday night. #62-Brendan Gaughan, #8-Max Gresham, #88-Matt Crafton, #3-Ty Dillon, #31-James Buescher, #32-Miguel Paludo, #7-John Wes Townley, #19-Ross Chastain and #6-Justin Lofton complete the top-10 finishers. There were eight caution flags for 40 laps, and seven lead changes among five drivers. Complete results are on the Charlotte race results page (pdf).(5-17-2013)

  • Driver standings following Charlotte:
    1) #88-Matt Crafton, 202
    2) #4-Jeb Burton, 180, -22
    3) #3-Ty Dillon, 175, -27
    4) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 171, -31
    5) #31-James Buescher, 171, -31
    6) #98-Johnny Sauter, 165, -37
    7) #29-Ryan Blaney, 106, -42
    8) #60-Dakoda Armstrong, 153, -49
    9) #32-Miguel Paludo, 150, -52
    10) #54-Darrell Wallace Jr. 144, -58 See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(5-17-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Charlotte are posted (pdf).(5-17-2013)

  • Burton on the pole for the NC Education Lottery 200: #4-Jeb Burton won the pole for Friday's NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Burton ran a top speed at 181.372 mph. It is his third pole of the season. #3-Ty Dillon, #17-Timothy Peters, #51-Kyle Busch, #32-Miguel Paludo, #6-Justin Lofton, #19-Ross Chastain, #60-Dakoda Armstrong, #29-Ryan Blaney, and #77-German Quiroga close out the top 10. See complete results on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(5-17-2013)

  • Peters fastest in final practice: #17-Timothy Peters was fastest in final practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway prior to Friday night's 200-mile race. Peters clocked the fastest speed at 180.965 mph. #29-Ryan Blaney, #3-Ty Dillon, #77-German Quiroga, #32-Miguel Paludo, #6-Justin Lofton, #4-Jeb Burton, #51-Kyle Busch, #60-Dakoda Armstrong, #31-James Buescher complete the top 10. 37 of the entered 38 trucks turned at least one lap during the session. The #51-Kyle Busch team changed an engine, their second change in as many days. See complete speed results on the Charlotte practice 3 speeds page (pdf).(5-17-2013)

  • Kwasniewski to trucks?: Dylan Kwasniewski graduates from Faith Lutheran High School on June 7, obviously a landmark day in a young person's life. So is the day someone turns 18, and for Kwasniewski that day is May 31. It is then that Kwasniewski, considered a potential future star driver, will be eligible to compete in a NASCAR Nationwide or Camping World Truck series race. He will finish the season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East but will look to possibly run in one of those other series during breaks in the schedule. "I'm confident we'll have some Truck or some Nationwide or some combination of both," said Chris Newman, president of Spire Sports & Entertainment, which represents Kwasniewski. Newman said Kwasniewski could make his debut in either of those series in Sparta, Ky., at the Truck race June 27 or Nationwide race June 28. Kwasniewski drives for Turner Scott Motorsports, which owns three full-time Truck and three full-time Nationwide teams. Turner Scott could provide Kwasniewski with a fourth seat for either or both races, but Newman said the team would need at least three or four weeks to put it together. (Las Vegas Review Journal)(5-17-2013)
    NOTE: Kwasniewski is already of age to race in trucks since the age limit was moved back to 16 prior to the start of the 2013 season.(5-17-2013)

  • Kaya Jones to Perform National Anthem for All-Star Race: Pop music sensation Kaya Jones will perform the national anthem preceding Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Jones came to prominence as a member of the popular music group "The Pussycat Dolls" in 2003 and later reached international acclaim as a solo act, performing alongside celebrated entertainers including Mick Jagger, Eminem and Katy Perry. Danielle Johnson, who played the role of Annie Who in the 2012 musical national tour of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," will sing the national anthem before Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race.
    In addition, two Speedway Superstar winners will perform "God Bless America" during the weekend pre-race shows. Logen Hall of Spartanburg, S.C., will sing at the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 on Friday, while Rosalee Johnson of Belmont, N.C., will take the stage Saturday before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Hall and Johnson were selected from among 350 eligible auditions held across North and South Carolina during the Speedway Superstar tour presented by Best Buy and Coca-Cola. Fans can save up to 49 percent when they purchase a Family Four-Pack to the All Star Race online at charlottemotorspeedway.com or by phone at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-17-2013)

  • Coca-Cola 600 officials and war hero's: A United States senator, a lieutenant governor and a military hero will lead race fans in the commencement of the nation's largest Memorial Day celebration as they serve as race officials for the 2013 Coca-Cola 600. Sgt. Aaron Causey will be Grand Marshal; U.S. Sen. Tim Scott will serve as Honorary Starter and Tennessee's Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 54th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26.
    "It is our pleasure to welcome these distinguished elected officials, as well as a military hero to the 2013 Coca-Cola 600," said Lauren C. Steele, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Coca-Cola Consolidated. "It is exciting to have these state leaders to recognize America's servicemen and women at the largest Memorial Day celebration in the country. We are honored to have a true American hero announce those famous words: 'Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!'"
    As race officials, Scott and Ramsey will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of more than 140,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Grand Marshal, Causey will give the race command, while Scott will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. As Honorary Race Director, Ramsey will ride in an official pace car.
    Causey graduated from EOD school at Eglin Air Force Base in August 2001 and was then stationed in Aviano, Italy. He served in Iraq in 2004 along with many other international missions during his years in Aviano. In 2006, he left the Air Force to continue working in EOD, transferring to the Army. He deployed to Iraq 2006-08 out of Fort Stewart, Ga., then was stationed in Mannheim, Germany 2008-10. Later in 2010, he was stationed at Fort Drum, NY and deployed to Afghanistan in March 2011. On Sept. 7, 2011, he was performing dismounted operations in an attempt to disarm a suspected IED when one detonated under him. He ultimately lost both legs above the knees, two fingers, suffered broken arms and hand injuries, shrapnel wounds over most of his upper body, loss of tissue, and multiple other serious injuries. He lives with his wife of three years, Kat. After recovery is complete, they intend to stay in the DC-metro area and build a new life together.
    Scott is a U.S. senator representing the great state of South Carolina. His goal is simple: to positively affect the lives of the American people. That path has taken him from a successful small businessman, to being elected to Charleston County Council, the South Carolina State House, the U.S. House of Representatives, and now the U.S Senate.
    Ramsey is serving his fourth term as Lt. Governor of Tennessee. A small businessman himself, he has become a leading voice for economic growth in his state and region. He and his wife, Sindy, live in Blountville.
    Continuing its tradition as the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in America, the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will pay tribute to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Welcome Home Our Troops Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will also include a performance of "I Will Give My All" by country music artist Jamie Tate and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus, a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler. There will also be a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad.
    Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-17-2013)


    News from May 16, 2013

  • NASCAR Day - Friday, May 17: The NASCAR Foundation and NASCAR industry will come together on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway to celebrate the 10th Annual NASCAR Day. This special day is an unprecedented celebration of drivers, corporate partners, media and fans uniting with The NASCAR Foundation to support a range of charitable causes that are relevant and meaningful to those within the NASCAR family. Fans can get the commemorative NASCAR Day pin and make a donation at NASCAR.com/foundation.

  • Sad News - Dick Trickle: According to the sheriff's office, Retired race car driver Richard "Dick" Trickle, 71, died Thursday from an apparent self inflicted gun shot wound. Investigators say Trickle apparently went to the Forest Lawn Cemetery on Highway 150 East in Boger City around noon on Thursday. He used his phone to call the Lincoln County Communications Center and told the 911 operator to come to the cemetery and "there would be a dead body and it would be his." He then hung up the phone. Communications Center workers attempted to call Trickle back, but he did not answer. When emergency crews arrived on the scene, they reportedly found Trickle's body lying near his pickup truck. Dick Trickle was NASCAR legend who actually didn't start with the organization until he was 48-years-old. He won the Winston Cup Series' "Rookie of the Year" in 1989. Trickle, a Wisconsin-native who achieved much success on short tracks outside of NASCAR, made his Cup debut in 1970 but didn't race full time in the series until 19-years later. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today," said NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France. "Dick was a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite."
    "Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed," France continued. He was known as "The White Knight" and often referred to as the "winningest short track driver in history" with more than 1,200 wins on short tracks all over the country. His last Winston Cup start was in 2002. He finished his Cup career with 303 starts, but no wins. Trickle had more than 150 starts in the Nationwide series, the last in 2001, where he won twice.
    NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace competed for years against Trickle on Midwest short tracks, in the American Speed Association (ASA), and then later in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "I'm in 100 percent shock. Dick Trickle was my mentor. When I was short track racing, I would call him every Monday morning and he would always help me with race setups and stuff," Wallace said in a statement on Thursday afternoon. "He and I had such a good time telling little stories, but he was the guy that taught me almost everything in the American Speed Association. And he was the guy that I battled right to the end for my 1983 ASA championship. I barely beat the guy that taught me everything. I'd not seen Dick as much as I'd like to of late. He was a legend," Wallace continued. "A man that'd won over a thousand short track races, was one of the most winning short trackers in America, was a role model to many short track racers coming up. Could just do magic with the race car and he taught me so much about racing. My success in the ASA and what Trickle taught me is what got me into NASCAR. That's what got me hired by Cliff Stewart back in '84. Between Larry Phillips and Dick Trickle, they taught me everything." Dick Trickle has lived in Lincoln County since the early 1990's.(wbtv.com)
    Trickle was the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year, started 303 Cup races with 15 top-fives [with a best finish of 3rd, five times), 36 top-tens and 1 pole (Dover 1990).(Racing-reference.info)(5-16-2013)

  • Final Darlington TV Ratings: Airing in primetime against stiff competition this past Saturday night, NASCAR on FOX Sprint Cup racing from Darlington emerged as the highest-rated and most-watched sports event of the day. Head-to-head, NASCAR on FOX delivered a 3.8/7 (5.9 million viewers) +11% on viewership versus ABC's Knicks-Pacers NBA playoff game (3.5/7, 5.3 million viewers). Saturday night's Darlington 500 was flat with last year's race. Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 4.9/10 with 7.9 million viewers, flat with last year (FOX). See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(5-16-2013)

  • Richard Childress Receives Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from UNOH: In a ceremony held at Sapona Ridge Country Club in Lexington, NC, legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) on Wednesday, May 15. With more than 100 people in attendance, including his wife Judy, daughter Tina Dillon, son-in-law Mike Dillon, and grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon, the 14-time championship race team owner was bestowed the honor by Dr. Jeffrey Jarvis, president of UNOH. Dr. Jarvis presented the degree based on Childress' achievements in the high performance/motorsports industry, his commitment to assist in the school's goal of achieving educational excellence and his lifetime achievements in the field of auto racing.(RCR)(5-16-2013)

  • NASCAR does not plan to change rules on communicating with suspended crew chiefs: While teams continue to expand communications with suspended crew chiefs and crewmen, NASCAR does not plan to change its rules on teams communicating with personnel not allowed at the track. Last weekend, pit crew members were using FaceTime and other methods of communicating with suspended crew members. Both Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing had crew chiefs that were suspended for rules violations and there were texts messages and even video being sent to those crew chiefs either at home or in the race shop. NASCAR President Mike Helton said Wednesday that no changes in the rules are planned. NASCAR's rules keep those suspended off track property and off team radios. "The teams' depth today & are so deep now that I'm not sure we're suspending crew members to hurt the performance of the team," Helton said. Helton said NASCAR understands there will be communication between the team and suspended personnel throughout a race weekend. (Sporting News)(5-16-2013)

  • Change in All-Star fan vote: A tweak announced Wednesday for the Sprint All-Star race will allow the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote from the Sprint Showdown to advance into the main event without being on the lead lap as long as the car is in "raceable" condition as determined by Sprint Cup Series director John Darby.(ESPN)(5-16-2013)

  • Kurt Busch and Trevor Bayne top 211 mph at MIS test: #78-Kurt Busch and #21-Trevor Bayne spent the past two days at Michigan International Speedway testing NASCAR's Gen-6 Car for their respective Furniture Row Racing and Wood Brothers Racing teams. The drivers have been preparing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 on June 18 and the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 18. The speeds were once again fast as both teams continued to work on the setup of their cars on the two-mile oval, continuing MIS as NASCAR's fastest track. Busch's top average speed around the two-mile oval was 195.865 mph with a top speed of 212 mph down the back stretch. Bayne was nearly as fast on the second day of his test. He clicked off a lap at 193.500 mph with a top speed of 211.500 mph. Michigan International Speedway became NASCAR's fastest racetrack in June 2012 when Marcos Ambrose qualified at 203.241 mph for the Quicken Loans 400. It was the 11th-fastest pole-winning speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history and the first time the pole winning speed was faster than 200 mph at a track other than Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. MIS is once again host to a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2013. The top series comes to the Irish Hills for the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 16, and returns just two short months later for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August 18. Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(5-16-2013)

  • State Water Heaters Partners with Stewart-Haas Racing: State Water Heaters, a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential water heaters, has joined Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. Effective immediately, State Water Heaters will be an associate sponsor of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy driven by Stewart and the #39 Quicken Loans Chevy driven by teammate Ryan Newman. Additionally, State Water Heaters will serve as the primary sponsor of Newman and the #39 team during the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup race weekend Oct. 25-27 at Martinsville Speedway.(SHR)(5-16-2013)

  • #78 to pay tribute to Armed Forces Day at Sprint All-Star Race: With Armed Forces Day being celebrated on Saturday (May 18), Kurt Busch's #78 Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet will observe the annual holiday with a special paint scheme for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Armed Forces Day, which was created in 1949 and celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May, was an initiative led by President Harry S. Truman to establish a single holiday for citizens to pay tribute to the men and women who served in the United States' armed forces. The paint scheme for Busch's car for the Sprint All-Star Race will include a ribbon on both the hood and rear quarter panels announcing Armed Forces Day. The inscription: "Thank You For Your Service" will also be positioned below the ribbon on the quarter panels. Over the past year, Busch has worked with the Armed Forces Foundation by living up to its motto: "Serving those who Serve" and partnering in various events, such as the military inspired mud run "Busch Whacked" at Texas Motor Speedway. To further enhance its support for Armed Forces Day, Furniture Row Companies will have a nationwide celebration at all of its 330 stores on Friday (May 17) from 3  9 p.m.(Furniture Row Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2013)

  • McMurray to run Bass Pros Shops scheme in Showdown:
    Bass Pro Shops will salute the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) this weekend at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race [Sprint Showdown] with a special NWTF paint scheme on the #1 Chevy SS of Jamie McMurray. Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $412 million to conserve nearly 17.2 million acres of habitat. The NWTF is a national nonprofit organization that is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Founded in 1973, the NWTF is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and has local chapters in all 50 states and Canada.(EGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.
    #14-Tony Stewart is also running a Bass Pro Shops / NWTF scheme in the All-Star race, see an image of that scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2013)

  • New look for the #18 in All-Star race: #18-Kyle Busch will debut a new scheme he hopes to find in victory lane on Saturday night with SNICKERS Bites. The brand new hunger-satisfying innovation that offers the trademark SNICKERS combination of chocolate, peanuts, caramel and nougat shrunk down into small, no fuss, "pop 'em in your mouth" milk chocolate cubes. The unwrapped treats are ideal for sharing, whether while watching a movie, attending a gathering, or for fans cheering Busch to victory lane.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2013)

  • Special scheme for Danica in Showdown: Danica Patrick's #10 GoDaddy Cares Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will carry the logo of GoDaddy Cares for this weekend's Sprint All-Star festivities. GoDaddy Cares is GoDaddy's charitable branch whose unique "Round Up for Charity" program in which customers who purchase a domain name or a product at GoDaddy have an option of rounding up their purchase to the nearest dollar. Customers then select a charity of their choice from an extensive list offered by GoDaddy. Three of the charities on that list are featured on Patrick's GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS this weekend: Hope for Haiti, National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and VEX Robotics / REC Foundation.(SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2013)

  • Latest on the Run Smart Hauler Challenge: Each year Freightliner, the Official Hauler of NASCAR, hosts the Run Smart Hauler Challenge. This challenge puts the Team Freightliner Hauler Drivers to the test. With grand prizes for the top 4 drivers on the line, the hauler drivers will do whatever it takes to win and this year they need your help. After each round, you will be able to save one hauler driver and vote him back into competition. More info at freightlinerhaulerchallenge.com.(5-16-2013)

  • Road America gets race sponsor: Road America is on a roll  if you'll pardon the pun  with title sponsorships for the biggest weekend of its schedule. Although the naming rights deal has not been announced, a Sheboygan Falls sausage maker has joined a Neenah-connected papermaker to bring more Wisconsin flavor to June 22. The NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the track in Elkhart Lake is going by the name Johnsonville Sausage 200. Title sponsorship for Road America's Nationwide Series races has been held previously by Bucyrus (2010-'11) and Sargento (2012), both also state companies. Nelson Piquet Jr. is the defending champion.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(5-16-2013)

  • Cobb's transporter stolen from race shop UPDATE: On Saturday, May 11, 2013, at around 3:00 AM, the Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing team transporter was stolen from the team's race shop in Mooresville, N.C. The value with the contents included is well over $250,000. Rowan County Sheriff's Department and Detective Carl Dangerfield is pursuing leads and has issued arrest warrants in connection with this case. "It is my sole concern to get the transporter back so that we can make Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Cobb. "We are working with other teams right now to borrow the necessary items in the event our hauler and its contents are not returned. We are pleased with the diligent work that the Rowan County Sheriff's Department has shown in solving this crime." Any information on the whereabouts of the stolen property can be directed to the lead investigator, Detective Carl Dangerfield 704-216-8711. (Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(5-15-2013)
    UPDATE: The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said it has issued warrants for the arrest of Mike Joseph Harmon and Sheila Rae Rice for felony larceny and breaking and entering in connection with the case. It values the hauler and contents at $279,000. Harmon, a NASCAR driver and team owner primarily in the Nationwide Series, has worked with Cobb in the past. Harmon used to be the team manager for Cobb's Nationwide team.(Sporting News)(5-15-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Mike Harmon tweeted twice Wednesday evening, "I want it known that I have never stolen so much as a piece of bubble gum in my life. I did not take JJC hauler, there is no video of me anywhere near her shop. Today she was the windshield & I was the bug, but when we get in FEDERAL court in a couple wks there's a boulder coming".(5-15-2012)
    UPDATE 3: A NASCAR driver is out on bond after deputies in Cleveland County arrested him and charged him with stealing a competitor's trailer from a Rowan County business park. He says he didn't do it. According to the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, Mike Harmon was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle and felony larceny. He was later released from the jail on a $10,000 bond. Harmon told WBTV that he has a strong alibi, he wasn't even in the state. He says he was in Darlington, SC for the race over the weekend, watching a friend drive his car in the Darlington 500. Investigators told WBTV on Thursday morning that they are still working to recover the stolen trailer. Harmon has attempted to get the trailer back in the past, through the court system, but the ruling went against him, investigators say. The Rowan County Sheriff's Office want the public to know that if someone is hiding the trailer until the situation gets sorted out, they could be charged with receiving stolen goods - a felony charge.(WBTV)(5-16-2013)

  • Burton fastest in second practice: #4-Jeb Burton was fastest during the second practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday. Burton paced the second session with a speed of 180.572 mph. #17-Timothy Peters, #88-Matt Crafton, #98-Johnny Sauter, #19-Ross Chastain, #29-Ryan Blaney, #77-German Quiroga, #3-Ty Dillon, #32-Miguel Paludo, and #51-Kyle Busch complete the top 10. 38 of the entered 38 trucks for Friday's nights race participated in the session. See complete results on the Charlotte practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(5-16-2013)

  • Dillon fastest in first practice: #3-Ty Dillon was fastest during opening practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday. During what is being considered a test day for all of the teams, Dillon led the way with a speed of 179.283 mph. #31-James Buescher was second, followed by: #51-Kyle Busch, #19-Ross Chastain, #29-Ryan Blaney, #4-Jeb Burton, #2-Brad Keselowski, #98-Johnny Sauter, #17-Timothy Peters, #88-Matt Crafton. See complete results on the Charlotte practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(5-16-2013)

  • Hillman, Agnew partner with West Virginia Coal Association: Hillman Racing today announced that the West Virginia Coal Association and the Friends of Coal organization will be the primary marketing partners on the #27 Camping World Truck Series entry driven by Team 7 Motorsports driver Jeff Agnew at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Friday night's N.C. Education Lottery 200. Located in Charleston, W.Va., the West Virginia Coal Association is a trade association representing more than 90 percent of the state's underground and surface coal mine production. Its purpose is to have a unified voice representing the state's coal industry as well as increase emphasis on coal as a reliable energy source to help the nation achieve energy independence.(See an image on the #27 team paint scheme page.) (Hillman Racing PR)(5-16-2013)

  • New sponsor for Silas at Charlotte: Bryan Silas and his T3R2 team will welcome a new primary marketing for tomorrow night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bell Equipment, which manufactures and markets a wide range of earthmoving and materials handling machinery for the mining, construction, forestry, sugar and related industries will adorn the hood of the Stuart Florida native's No. 99 Ford F-Series Friday night. Bell Equipment, SA was founded in 1954 by Irvine Bell and is still managed by the Bell family today. The Bell company has grown to employ 2400 people worldwide, with production in South Africa and Germany. (T3R2 PR)5-16-2013)

  • Sauter's fuel cell confiscated UPDATE 2: Inspectors confiscated the fuel cell from Truck Series points leader Johnny Sauter this weekend at Kansas Speedway and will review it the first part of next week. NASCAR did not say what issue was found with the fuel cell, which was taken Thursday during the opening day inspection. Any potential penalties would also be handed down next week. Sauter won the first two races of the season at Daytona and Martinsville, and finished fourth at Rockingham. He stayed out of trouble in a crash-filled race Saturday at Kansas to finish fifth, maintaining a 12-point lead over Matt Crafton in the series standings.(Associated Press)(4-21-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced penalties and fines to the #98 team that competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as a result of rule infractions at Kansas Speedway. The #98 truck was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4K (if in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, race equipment that has been previously verified or previously approved and/or sealed by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-6 and/or 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired, or changed in any manner); 20B-16 (once a fuel cell or fuel cell components have been certified, modifications of any kind will not be permitted to the fuel cell or fuel cell components); and 20B-16.1B (standard black, safety foam with minimum free-standing height of eight (8) inches, acceptable to NASCAR Officials, and used as provided by an approved fuel cell manufacturer, must be used: Fuel cell safety foam modification.) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, crew chief Joel Shear has been fined $10,000 and suspended from NASCAR competition until the completion of the next four (4) NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. He has been placed on NASCAR probation until December 31. The team has also been docked 25 championship driver (Johnny Sauter) and 25 championship owner (Mike Curb) points. The violations involving the #98 truck occurred in opening day inspection.(NASCAR)(4-24-2013)
    AND:The penalty knocked Sauter out of the points lead and dropped him into a tie with Jeb Burton with 149 points through four races. The punishment moves Matt Crafton, who won Saturday at Kansas, into first by 13 points through four races.(USA Today)(4-24-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Crew chief Joe Shear begins his four race suspension at Charlotte. Jesse Saunders is listed as acting crew chief.

  • Cobb's transporter stolen from race shop UPDATE 3: On Saturday, May 11, 2013, at around 3:00 AM, the Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing team transporter was stolen from the team's race shop in Mooresville, N.C. The value with the contents included is well over $250,000. Rowan County Sheriff's Department and Detective Carl Dangerfield is pursuing leads and has issued arrest warrants in connection with this case. "It is my sole concern to get the transporter back so that we can make Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Cobb. "We are working with other teams right now to borrow the necessary items in the event our hauler and its contents are not returned. We are pleased with the diligent work that the Rowan County Sheriff's Department has shown in solving this crime." Any information on the whereabouts of the stolen property can be directed to the lead investigator, Detective Carl Dangerfield 704-216-8711. (Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(5-15-2013)
    UPDATE: The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said it has issued warrants for the arrest of Mike Joseph Harmon and Sheila Rae Rice for felony larceny and breaking and entering in connection with the case. It values the hauler and contents at $279,000. Harmon, a NASCAR driver and team owner primarily in the Nationwide Series, has worked with Cobb in the past. Harmon used to be the team manager for Cobb's Nationwide team.(Sporting News)(5-15-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Mike Harmon tweeted twice Wednesday evening, "I want it known that I have never stolen so much as a piece of bubble gum in my life. I did not take JJC hauler, there is no video of me anywhere near her shop. Today she was the windshield & I was the bug, but when we get in FEDERAL court in a couple wks there's a boulder coming".(5-15-2012)
    UPDATE 3: A NASCAR driver is out on bond after deputies in Cleveland County arrested him and charged him with stealing a competitor's trailer from a Rowan County business park. He says he didn't do it. According to the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, Mike Harmon was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle and felony larceny. He was later released from the jail on a $10,000 bond. Harmon told WBTV that he has a strong alibi, he wasn't even in the state. He says he was in Darlington, SC for the race over the weekend, watching a friend drive his car in the Darlington 500. Investigators told WBTV on Thursday morning that they are still working to recover the stolen trailer. Harmon has attempted to get the trailer back in the past, through the court system, but the ruling went against him, investigators say. The Rowan County Sheriff's Office want the public to know that if someone is hiding the trailer until the situation gets sorted out, they could be charged with receiving stolen goods - a felony charge.(WBTV)(5-16-2013)

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway reduces capacity by an estimated 10%: Since last year's Indianapolis 500, thousands of grandstand seats overlooking Turn 3 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been removed. Gone, too, are several rows of seats on the front straightaway, reducing capacity at the venerable venue by another couple of thousand. Those alterations follow the removal of the First Turn Terrace, a bleacher section that five years ago sat on the inside of Turn 1. It was torn down to extend the IMS road course. The result of the changes means the May 26 Indy 500 will have the smallest seating capacity since 2000, the last time the Speedway had a major makeover. In 2004, The Indianapolis Star inspected the world's largest sports facility and counted 257,325 seats. Today, that figure is at 235,000. That's an estimated 11,600 seats removed in the North and Northeast Vistas, 5,136 gone in the Turn 1 infield and the loss of the low-row seats. It adds up to nearly a 10 percent reduction in capacity, although IMS officials declined Wednesday to reveal the actual total, a closely guarded secret since Tony Hulman bought the facility in 1945.(Indianapolis Star)(5-16-2013)

  • Kentucky Speedway's First Top Cop Challenge to be Part of Police Memorial Week: Cincinnati Chief of Police James Craig is inviting officers from eight regional law enforcement agencies to compete for a ride in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts pace car by testing their stock car racing skills in Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) cars during the first Top Cop Challenge at Kentucky Speedway May 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Officers representing the City of Cincinnati, Butler Co., Ohio, Hamilton Co., Ohio, City of Florence, Ky., City of Lexington, Ky., Gallatin Co., Ky., Oldham Co. Ky., and the Kentucky State Police will open the Top Cop Challenge with a two-officer team competition that will ultimately determine three officers who will have the chance to become Top Cop.
    Each team member will race six timed laps around the speedway's 1.5-mile tri-oval. The team which generates the fastest average during its session will be the Top Cop Challenge Team Champion. The winning team will be awarded tickets to the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts and the Friday, June 28 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Feed The Children 300. Tickets will be distributed among needy families in the team's community. The highest-ranking officers from the quickest three teams will advance to a final round in which they will drive 10-lap segments. The officer with the fastest cumulative time will be crowned Top Cop. In addition to the pace car ride, the Top Cop will be recognized during Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts prerace ceremonies Saturday, June 29, and receive a one-year supplies of both Coca-Cola and Quaker State Motor Oil to be donated to the cause of their choice. The Top Cop Challenge is just one event that will remember fallen officers throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana during Police Memorial Week May 13-19. Fallen officers will be honored with a Police Memorial Parade that will begin May 17 at 11 a.m. at Fountain Square on Fifth Street and travers to the Cincinnati Police Memorial at the corner of Central Parkway and Ezzard Charles Drive.(Kentucky Speedway)(5-16-2013)


    News from May 15, 2013

  • No pit road speed for Qualifying in All-Star race: Speeding on pit road is now legal -- at least in qualifying for Saturday's Sprint All-Star race. In an attempt to spice up qualifying, pit road speeds that are strictly enforced in races as a safety measure will be lifted for Friday night's three-lap trip around Charlotte Motor Speedway that includes a mandatory four-time stop. Other cars will not be on pit road during All-Star qualifying, and crew members will not be allowed to come over the wall until the car is stopped, which is not the case in a race.(ESPN)(5-15-2013)

  • Wild Win Makes Ragan an All-Star with CSX: David Ragan will line up for a shot at winning $1 million Saturday night in NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race, and he's bringing partner CSX with him. The transportation company returns to the #34 Ford for its second primary sponsorship in one of the biggest showcases of the Sprint Cup Series season. Ragan earned his spot in the All-Star starting line-up with his dramatic win at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5  the first victory in Front Row Motorsports history. The All-Star race will feature all of the race winners from 2012 and 2013 to date. Saturday night's non-points event will be the second time this season that CSX will use the entire Front Row Motorsports #34 Ford to promote safety around railroad tracks and crossings. The car will feature a special "Play it Safe" paint scheme, including a bumper sticker on the back that says "I brake for trains," the "Play it Safe" logo and a hood that says "Beats Goliath, Brakes for trains," as a nod to Ragan's status as the last driver to qualify for the prestigious All-Star Race. The All-Star start will be Ragan's third appearance in the annual event, but the first earned with a Front Row win.(Front Row Motorsports), see images of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(5-15-2013)

  • All-Star Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Charlotte this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in both of these series ran at Charlotte last season . . . this left-side tire code dates back to Charlotte in 2011 for Sprint Cup teams . . . this right-side tire code was run by Cup teams at Darlington last weekend . . . in Camping World Truck, Charlotte is the only track at which teams run either of these two tire codes . . . normally, Sprint Cup tires are branded "Goodyear Eagle" and Camping World Truck tires are branded "Goodyear Wrangler," however, throughout Charlotte's Speed Weeks, all tires will be decaled with "Support Our Troops" as part of the Goodyear Gives Back program . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures and more on the All-Star Race Info page.(5-15-2013)

  • Aspen Dental makes it 2013 debut on the #39: Ryan Newman and the #39 Stewart Haas Racing team will have Aspen Dental as the primary sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Tina Johnson is the latest Aspen Dental patient to be included on the rear quarter-panel of Newman's #39 Chevy. Continuing on a program that started in 2012, Johnson, a patient of the Aspen Dental office in Waukesha, Wis., was selected to have her photo featured on the #39 Chevrolet based on comments she provided regarding her dental treatment on the Aspen Dental Facebook page. Not only will she be along for the ride this weekend, she'll spend the next three Sprint Cup races riding along with Newman, as well (SHR), see an image of the car on the #39 Team Schemes page.(5-15-2013)

  • Body of missing race fan found: Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore said in a statement that "no foul play" is suspected at this time in the death of Georgia man Nicholas "Nick" Bower, whose body was found today after a search of more than a week. Bower disappeared May 4 after being seen the night before the race at Talladega Superspeedway. Kilgore said Bower's body was found shortly before noon in a creek at the Jackson Shoals area downstream from an old dam. The area is a short distance east from the bridge on Jackson Trace Road. Bower's body was discovered by searchers flying a helicopter over the area along the creek. Talladega County deputies and other law enforcement began an extensive search of the area around the track beginning last week, using boats and aircraft. Kilgore said Bower's body was found in tall grass in the middle of the creek. The body was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy. "Verification of the cause of death is pending," the statement read.(Alabama Live)(5-15-2013)

  • Testing at Michigan: While they weren't on record pace, NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers #78-Kurt Busch and #21-Trevor Bayne spent valuable time testing at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday in advance of the Quicken Loans 400 here on June 16. Unlike last April's Goodyear tire test at the newly repaved MIS, when speeds of almost 220 miles per hour were reached by cars diving into Turn 1 on the 2-mile oval, Busch and Bayne were more interested in feedback from their new Gen-6 cars. "Just trying to get a feel for the Goodyear tires and balance of this Gen-6 car, as a lot of little things on the car we didn't have last year. I'm glad we came to test," said Busch, who drives the #78 Chevy for Furniture Row Racing. "If we had to unload (in June) and work in a quick hour and half, we would have been behind." Busch said the car was still very quick heading into the first turn at MIS and he expected speeds to creep up toward Marcos Ambrose's astonishing qualifying record of 203.241 in last year's June Cup race at the track in the Irish Hills. Busch and Bayne were the only Cup drivers to test on Tuesday at MIS. They are scheduled back on track Wednesday. Bayne, who is driving a partial season in Cup for the Wood Brothers and a full Nationwide Series schedule for Roush Fenway Racing, said Tuesday's test session was all about getting to grips with the tires and Gen-6 car.(Detroit Free Press)(5-15-2013)

  • Speed skipping All-Star race, will race in Spain: It's been a great month for Scott Speed in the Ford Racing world. After driving the OlsbergsMSE Fiesta 'Star Car' to a gold medal in his Global Rallycross debut at X Games Brazil on Apr. 21, he finished a season-best ninth in his #95 Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega on May 5. Speed will be looking to continue his hot streak this week as he misses the annual Sprint All-Star Weekend and travels to Spain for X Games Barcelona.(see interview at Ford Racing), Michael McDowell will drive the #95 Leavine Family Racing Ford in the Sprint Showdown.(5-15-2013)

  • NBC to pick up TNT's NASCAR races? ESPN to cut back?: NASCAR has signed one contract for 2015-2022, for the first 13 Cup races, with Fox Sports, which includes the new Fox Sports 1 that replaces Speed in August. Fox considered it a priority to get NASCAR as one of its anchor sports for its all-sports Fox Sports 1 network, so it already signed a deal for 2015-2022 (at a 36% rate increase). While the sport might have lost some of its buzz, Fox Sports recognized the loyalty of NASCAR fans to watch its programming. It will eventually put some Cup races on that cable network to boost its profile. The big question now turns to who will televise the remaining 23 races of the season. Right now, TNT has six and ESPN/ABC has 17. NBC is expected to make a run at NASCAR. It could replace TNT for those six races but there's also speculation it could take 12 or 13 races and ESPN/ABC gets the final 10 or 11 events. With Turner relinquishing NASCAR.com to NASCAR, it makes little sense for it to have the six races. It's not enough time to really get in a good flow. The TNT telecasts aren't bad at all, but it's just too short of a bridge from Fox to ESPN for any continuity or for the announcers to get into a groove. If NBC lands races, that would put more Cup events on network television, which is important considering the addition of cable races to the Fox portion of the schedule.(Sporting News)(5-15-2013)

  • New crew chief for #44: Walter Giles has assumed crew chief duties for the #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports team for driver Scott Riggs. Peter Sospenzo had left the #19 Humphrey-Smith team with some crew personnel and headed to the #44 team a few weeks ago, but has since left Xxxtreme Motorpsorts and headed back to Humphrey-Smith.(5-15-2013)

  • Cobb's transporter stolen from race shop UPDATE: On Saturday, May 11, 2013, at around 3:00 AM, the Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing team transporter was stolen from the team's race shop in Mooresville, N.C. The value with the contents included is well over $250,000. Rowan County Sheriff's Department and Detective Carl Dangerfield is pursuing leads and has issued arrest warrants in connection with this case. "It is my sole concern to get the transporter back so that we can make Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Cobb. "We are working with other teams right now to borrow the necessary items in the event our hauler and its contents are not returned. We are pleased with the diligent work that the Rowan County Sheriff's Department has shown in solving this crime." Any information on the whereabouts of the stolen property can be directed to the lead investigator, Detective Carl Dangerfield 704-216-8711. (Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(5-15-2013)
    UPDATE: The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said it has issued warrants for the arrest of Mike Joseph Harmon and Sheila Rae Rice for felony larceny and breaking and entering in connection with the case. It values the hauler and contents at $279,000. Harmon, a NASCAR driver and team owner primarily in the Nationwide Series, has worked with Cobb in the past. Harmon used to be the team manager for Cobb's Nationwide team.(Sporting News)(5-15-2013)

  • NNS & NCWTS banquet returns to Miami: NASCAR announced the postseason awards dates for the annual NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, set for Monday, Nov. 18 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. For the fifth consecutive season, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will share the awards stage, honoring the series driver and owner champions as well as the top-five drivers in each series. "Winning a NASCAR championship in one of our national series is a remarkable accomplishment, and the reason why the postseason awards shows are such significant dates on the NASCAR calendar," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer. "Returning to a major market such as Miami for the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series Awards will shine a bright spotlight on the special and unique achievements of our champions." For the first time in two years, NASCAR will crown a new champion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as reigning two-time titlist Ricky Stenhouse Jr. now races full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. JR Motorsports driver Regan Smith currently owns the top spot in the standings, followed by three-time IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr., last year's championship runner-up Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Brian Vickers. Reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher returned to the series in 2013 to defend his crown, and currently ranks sixth after four races. Johnny Sauter leads the points, followed by Matt Crafton and a trio of young rising stars Jeb Burton, Ryan Blaney and Ty Dillon. NASCAR previously announced the date for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards  Dec. 6 at Wynn Las Vegas.(NASCAR)(5-15-2013)

  • Pillow Pets to sponsor Bayne: Roush Fenway Racing has announced a multi-race partnership with Pillow Pets. The leader in plush toys will serve as the primary sponsor on Trevor Bayne's #6 Ford Mustang in the May 25th Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As part of the Memorial Day Weekend festivities, Pillow Pets will take part in Charlotte Motor Speedway's "Welcome Home our Troops; Let Freedom Race" program, billed as the largest welcome home ceremony for returning troops. The company will provide Patriotic Pillow Pets to the families of military recently returning home from active duty. In addition to the Nationwide Series race at Charlotte, Pillow Pets will serve as the primary partner on Bayne's #6 Ford Mustang at Indianapolis (July 27) and Dover (Sept. 28).(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-15-2013)

  • Newberry picks up sponsor, changes number: NTS Motorsports, a Camping World Truck Series team in its infancy stages revealed today unprecedented news at their new 70,000 square foot Kernersville facility, unveiling not only a new sponsor, and a new look for their truck but also a new number for Brennan Newberry in the NCWTS. When Newberry takes to the track Thursday morning for the first NCWTS practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he will sport the new blue and yellow colors of Qore-24, the world's first antimicrobial barrier for the skin, in the #24 truck. Bringing a sponsor on board who agreed to a multi-year deal and who is basically launching their entire product campaign through NTS Motorsports via the truck series; what better way to promote the product than to change the truck number to match the product, Qore-24. With the permission of NASCAR, Newberry will run the #24 truck for the remainder of the 2013 season instead of the previous #14.(NTS Motorsports PR)(5-15-2013)

  • Crum adds sponsors, new crew chief for Charlotte: Jake Crum Racing will make its 2013 Camping World Truck Series debut on Friday, May 17th at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway. 21-year-old Jake Crum will pilot the #01 Chevy Silverado with sponsorship from Frontline Designs and Jersey Mike's Subs. Crum's efforts will be led by crew chief Doug George, who has three top-six finishes at Charlotte in four trips as a crew chief. George was also the crew chief for two victories by Kyle Busch and has 20 career NCWTS top-fives to his record.(84EXPO Motorsports Communications PR)(5-15-2013)

  • Cobb's transporter stolen from race shop UPDATE: On Saturday, May 11, 2013, at around 3:00 AM, the Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing team transporter was stolen from the team's race shop in Mooresville, N.C. The value with the contents included is well over $250,000. Rowan County Sheriff's Department and Detective Carl Dangerfield is pursuing leads and has issued arrest warrants in connection with this case. "It is my sole concern to get the transporter back so that we can make Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Cobb. "We are working with other teams right now to borrow the necessary items in the event our hauler and its contents are not returned. We are pleased with the diligent work that the Rowan County Sheriff's Department has shown in solving this crime." Any information on the whereabouts of the stolen property can be directed to the lead investigator, Detective Carl Dangerfield 704-216-8711. (Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(5-15-2013)
    UPDATE: The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said it has issued warrants for the arrest of Mike Joseph Harmon and Sheila Rae Rice for felony larceny and breaking and entering in connection with the case. It values the hauler and contents at $279,000. Harmon, a NASCAR driver and team owner primarily in the Nationwide Series, has worked with Cobb in the past. Harmon used to be the team manager for Cobb's Nationwide team.(Sporting News)(5-15-2013)

  • Awards banquet returns to Miami, date announced: NASCAR announced today the postseason awards dates for the annual Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series, set for Monday, Nov. 18 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. For the fifth consecutive season, the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series will share the awards stage, honoring the series driver and owner champions as well as the top-five drivers in each series. Reigning Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher returned to the series in 2013 to defend his crown, and currently ranks sixth after four races. Johnny Sauter leads the points, followed by Matt Crafton and a trio of young rising stars Jeb Burton, Ryan Blaney and Ty Dillon.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(5-15-2013)

  • Extra practice added to Eldora schedule: Eldora Speedway has added a pair of Camping World Truck Series practice sessions on the day before NASCAR's historic, sold-out return to dirt racing. The half-mile facility owned by Tony Stewart announced Wednesday that it would host a pair of two-hour Truck Series practices on Tuesday, July 23, the day preceding the Mudsummer Classic. The first practice will begin at 4:30 p.m., and the evening will also include a 25-lap dirt late model race. Tickets start at $10 and go on sale Thursday. The added Tuesday night slate, dubbed "Tailgate Tuesday" by the track, will be part of a race week that will have a traditional dirt-track feel. NASCAR announced in April that the event will consist of five qualifying races, one last-chance race, and a 150-lap feature split into segments of 60, 50 and 40 laps. (Yahoo! Sports)(5-15-2013)
    AND: See the tentative Eldora schedule here.(5-15-2013)


    News from May 14, 2013

  • Eleven teams test at Dover: Dover International Speedway hosted its first team testing session of the year on May 14, with six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and five NASCAR Nationwide Series teams turning laps at the Monster Mile today in preparation for the May 31-June 2, 2013 tripleheader weekend.
    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams testing included #14-Tony Stewart, #10-Danica Patrick and #39-Ryan Newman, all of Stewart-Haas Racing; #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; and Germain Racing's #13-Casey Mears. NASCAR Nationwide Series teams on track included Austin and Ty Dillon, plus Brian Scott, all of Richard Childress Racing; and Sam Hornish Jr. and Ryan Blaney, both of Penske Racing. The test was the first opportunity for these drivers to try out the all-new Generation 6 car at Dover. All the drivers on site will return for a second day of testing on May 15, with Blaney and Hornish Jr. sticking around for an extra day on May 16. NASCAR returns to Dover International Speedway May 31-June 2, 2013 for the June 2 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the June 1 "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the May 31 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.(DoverSpeedway.com), no word if testing is open to the public.(5-14-2013)

  • Crew Members Suspended For Violation Of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy: Jackson L. (Lee) Dodson II, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Frank W. Earnhardt, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On May 9, Dodson was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. On May 10, Earnhardt was found to have violated Sections 12-1 and 19.(NASCAR)
    AND Michael Waltrip Racing has fired crew member Lee Dodson after Dodson was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance-abuse policy. Now in its fifth year of random drug testing, NASCAR suspends indefinitely anyone who fails a drug test. Before being reinstated, those suspended must meet with a substance-abuse professional and complete a recovery program based on the professional's recommendation. Dodson had joined MWR this year and had been working on the car of #15-Clint Bowyer. "Michael Waltrip Racing fully supports NASCAR's substance abuse policies and those who complete the Road to Recovery program," MWR said in a statement. "MWR's zero tolerance policy has resulted in the immediate termination of the employee."(Sporting News)(5-14-2013)

  • Overnight Darlington TV Ratings: FOX averaged a 3.5/7 on Saturday night for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Seriers race from Darlington Raceway. That's flat with last year's performance and ranked as the second highest-rated event of the day among the metered markets. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(5-14-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Bojangles Southern 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 6:45 PM PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:35 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 132
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 72
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 123
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 70
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 9
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 8
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 3
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 33
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 50 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 6:45 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:35PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 230
    Minutes of race broadcast: 177
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 53
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 5
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 177 Total comm. brdcst time 53
    See past races and links on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(5-14-2013)

  • Former NASCAR Cafe demolished as part of Sahara renovation: Demolition work continued Friday at the Sahara where workers began dismantling the former NASCAR Cafe. The work was just a small part of the ongoing renovation project, which also calls for stripping down and remodeling two of the property's three hotel towers and demolishing a low-rise hotel building. The 1,620-room property is scheduled to reopen in fall 2014 as the SLS Las Vegas, a rebirth for a storied Strip resort that fell on hard times in the recession and finally closed in May 2011 after punishingly low room rates made it economically viable. Remodeling at the Sahara began in February, after Los Angeles-based owner SBE Entertainment got the final piece of $415 million in financing to overhaul the buildings. When it reopens, the SLS Las Vegas will include restaurants such as Umami Burger and nightclubs including Shelter, as well as seven outlets belonging to Fred Segal, an upscale clothing retailer based in California.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(5-14-2013)

  • Penske engine tuner injured in accident: Virginia State Police have identified the two bicyclists seriously injured in a hit-and-run involving a tractor-trailer Saturday as Jonathan S. Clark [who works as an engine tuner at Penske Racing], 42, of Mooresville, N.C. and Will T. Bagby, 55, of Richmond. The men and two others were riding together on state Route 106 in Charles City County for the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation's eighth Cap2Cap Ride from Richmond to Williamsburg on Saturday morning, a relative of one of the men said. They were headed northbound when the tractor-trailer attempted to pass them, said Sgt. Thomas J. Molnar of the Virginia State Police. After the rig crossed a double solid line into the southbound lane, Molnar said, it swerved back into the north lane to avoid a head-on collision with a Ford pickup truck and hit the bicyclists. The pickup driver ran off the right side of the road to avoid colliding with the tractor-trailer, which did not stop, Molnar said. The men were flown to VCU Medical Center for injuries that were serious but not believed to be life-threatening, Molnar said. Catherine Benson, Clark's cousin, said in an email that she and another bicyclist followed shortly behind the injured pair. She said she attended to her cousin and her brother-in-law assisted his injured friend for 45 minutes to an hour before EMS help arrived. "Both men were very seriously wounded, and (Clark) was in surgery for approximately eight hours," she said. Witnesses described the rig as having a red cab and white trailer. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police at (804) 553-3445.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(5-14-2013)

  • All-Star Race Notebook:
    • There have been 28 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was in 1985.
    • 27 have been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 1986, the event was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and won by Bill Elliott. That season was also the first year for what is now known as the Sprint Showdown.
    • 89 drivers have run in at least one NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, with 75 competing in more than one.
    • There have been 19 different winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    • NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip won the inaugural NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in 1985 at 161.184 mph.
    • Mark Martin has participated in 23 races, more than any other driver. Terry Labonte has participated in 20, followed by Jeff Gordon with 19.
    • The race has featured a field that ranged from 10 drivers in 1986 to 27 in 2002. Last season's field had 23 participants.
    • Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990 and 1993), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 2001) and Jimmie Johnson (2003, 2006 and 2012) are the only three-time winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.
    • Davey Allison (1991 and 1992), Terry Labonte (1988 and 1999) and Mark Martin (1998 and 2005) are the only other drivers to post multiple victories in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Allison is the only driver to ever win consecutive All-Star events.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000) and Ryan Newman (2002) are the only drivers to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in their rookie season.
    • In two starts Joey Logano leads the series with an average finish of 5.5 in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    • Eight drivers including Joey Logano, have an average finish in the top 10 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Matt Kenseth (6.2), Jimmie Johnson (6.6), Marcos Ambrose (7.0), Tony Stewart (7.7), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8.3), Ryan Newman (9.2) and Jeff Gordon (9.5).
    • Terry Labonte won the inaugural Coors Light pole for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in 1985.
    • 15 drivers have won Coors Light poles at Charlotte for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, led by Bill Elliott with five. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with three.
    • Three drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Davey Allison (1991, 1992) Bill Elliott (1997, 1998) and Kyle Busch (2011, 2012).
    • The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has been won from the pole position four times; the first three came in consecutive years: Dale Earnhardt (1990) and Davey Allison (1991 and 1992). Kurt Busch posted the fourth win from the pole in 2010.
    • The front row starting positions are the two most proficient starting positions in the field, producing more winners (four each) than any other starting positions in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    • Eight of the 28 (28.5%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races have been won from the front row: four from the pole and four from second-place.
    • 21 of the 28 (75.0%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Two of the 28 (7.1%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field a NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner has started was 27th, by Ryan Newman in 2002.
    • Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won seven NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races: Jeff Gordon (three), Jimmie Johnson (three) and Terry Labonte (one).
    • NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with nine; followed by Tony Stewart (eight) and Jimmie Johnson (seven).
    • Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with 13; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin lead all active drivers with 10 each.
    • Five drivers have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same year: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 2001) and Jimmie Johnson (2006).
    • In 2008, Kasey Kahne became the first driver to get into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race by the Sprint Fan Vote and go on to win the event.
    • Seven times from seven different drivers has the winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race gone on to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway the following weekend: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).
    • The record for lead changes in a NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is 10 in 2004.
    • The record for different leaders in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is nine in 2002.
    • The series best Driver Rating performance by a NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner was Carl Edwards posting a 141.7 in 2011.(NASCAR)(5-14-2013)

  • #54 team penalized after Darlington: NASCAR announced that NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chief Adam Stevens (#54 team) has been fined and placed on probation for violations during this past weekend's event at Darlington Raceway. In addition, the team's car chief Christopher Landis has been placed on probation for the remainder of the year. Stevens has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Landis has likewise been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. The rules violations referred to Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the rule book); 20A-2.1E (streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car's hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel area will not be permitted. If, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. Addition of body fillers of any type, to the underside of the body, chassis or suspension components will not be permitted. All cars must remain standard in appearance); 20A-3.10A (front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor's bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.) The infractions were discovered during opening day inspection on May 9.(NASCAR)(5-14-2013)

  • Crew members suspended for violating Substance Abuse Policy: Jackson L. Dodson II, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Frank W. Earnhardt, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On May 9, Dodson was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. On May 10, Earnhardt was found to have violated Sections 12-1 and 19.(NASCAR)(5-14-2013)

  • Different look for Dillon in Charlotte: The #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy will sport a different look this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the National Wild Turkey Federation on board. Bass Pro Shops and the NWTF work together in wildlife habitat conservation in an effort to preserve North America's wild turkey population. The NWTF was founded in 1973 in Edgefield, S.C., and has since expanded to having local chapters in every state and Canada. Today, the NWTF has helped preserve almost 17 million acres of habitat land.(Richard Childress Racing PR)(5-14-2013)

  • Fans bring millions in economic impact to Charlotte: It's difficult to overstate just how big the 10 Greatest Days in Racing are at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with fans from around the globe tuning in to watch NASCAR's best battle for up to $2 million at the Sprint All-Star Race and endure the season's toughest test of man and machine at the Coca-Cola 600. Dedicated fans from all 50 states and as far away as Queensland, Australia will travel to the heart of NASCAR country to take in all the excitement of back-to-back weekends at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Millions more will tune in as NASCAR is broadcast worldwide to more than 150 countries and in more than 20 different languages. Approximately 5,000 people work at the speedway during each NASCAR event weekend. In addition, with fans camping or staying in local hotels, eating at local restaurants and visiting area attractions like the team race shops and NASCAR Hall of Fame, the economic impact to the region has been estimated at $250 million to $275 million. But the impact isn't just felt on race weekends. In 2012, more than 150 community groups and nonprofits partnered with Charlotte Motor Speedway to assist in race operations, earning more than $600,000 for their respective groups throughout the year. During NASCAR event weekends last year, Speedway Children's Charities also generated funding to support 36 local nonprofit and charity groups.(CMS)(5-14-2013)

  • CMS, NCDOT and State Highway Patrol prepare fans for race week traffic: In preparation for the 10 Greatest Day in Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 17-26, speedway officials are making sure race fans and area residents are fully equipped to handle race day traffic by providing safe and efficient travel routes and information. With help from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the City of Concord, Charlotte Motor Speedway is working to ease travel for fans heading to and from the races. Here are tips from Charlotte Motor Speedway and NCDOT:
    Best Routes
    For motorists traveling from South Carolina:
    Take I-77 North to the I-485 outer loop (Exit 1B) to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 North (Exit 33).
    For motorists traveling from west of Charlotte:
    Take I-85 North to I-485 (Exit 48) to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 (Exit 33). An alternate route is I-85 North to Poplar Tent Road (Exit 52) to Pitts School Road to U.S. 29 South. Through traffic should remain in the left two lanes of I-85 North to avoid delays near Exit 49.
    For motorists traveling from east of Charlotte:
    Take the I-485 outer loop to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 North (Exit 33).
    For motorists traveling from north of Charlotte:
    Take I-85 South to Poplar Tent Road (Exit 52) to Pitts School Road to U.S. 29 South.
    Officials recommend motorists take the I-485 outer loop to N.C. 49 North, which is usually less congested than other suggested routes.
    Commuters that use I-85 can expect delays beginning on Friday afternoon, May 17, and continuing Saturday May 18 as fans make their way to the speedway for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The following week, increased traffic is expected around the speedway May 23-26. Commuters should plan to adjust driving time, if possible, or use an alternate route.
    NCDOT will utilize overhead message signs and portable message signs to alert motorists of problem areas and suggested alternate routes around incidents and congestion. The Department advises motorists to check for real time traffic information by calling 511 or by signing up for updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_charlotte.
    Traffic maps are posted on Charlotte Motor Speedway's website at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/maps/.(CMS)(5-14-2013)

  • Michigan National Guard on board for race sponsorship in August: The Michigan National Guard is partnering with Michigan International Speedway and sponsoring the Camping World Truck Series race in August. The Michigan National Guard 200 race on Aug. 17 will be the first time that the organization has sponsored a race. The partnership will allow the Michigan National Guard to connect with residents and potential recruits through NASCAR. The Michigan National Guard will also continue to partner with Michigan International Speedway for race activities at all of the events held at the track this year. (Michigan Live)(5-14-2013)


    News from May 13, 2013

  • Entry Lists for the Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway are posted, there are 23 teams/drivers listed for the Showdown, including: #19-Bliss, #32-Hill, #44-Riggs, #52-Keselowski, #95-McDowell.
    #35 Front Row Motorsports & #98 Phil Parsons Racing are not entered.
    19 drivers are listed for the All-Star Race, 2 more will come from the SHowdown and 1 more from the Sprint All-Star Vote.(5-13-2013)
    See the full entry list, all star vote, event scheule and more on the 2013 Sprint All Star Race page

  • Sherwin-Williams becomes official sponsor of NASCAR: NASCAR and Sherwin-Williams announced a multi-year partnership designating the nation's largest specialty retailer of paint and painting supplies as the "Official Paint of NASCAR." Sherwin-Williams, a FORTUNE 500 company, will leverage its new designation for architectural paint and the power of NASCAR's intellectual property to activate at its more than 3,500 stores nationwide and ignite the passion of its customers  many of whom are fiercely brand-loyal fans of the sport
    In addition to signing on as an Official NASCAR Partner, Sherwin-Williams also becomes a Contingency Sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing. The NASCAR and GRAND-AM contingency programs foster strong relationships between competitors and the high-quality, performance-driven brands that are part of the program, by providing prize money for each race and at the end of each racing season. Competitors become eligible for the money by displaying partner decals on their race vehicles. As part of the contingency program, Sherwin-Williams will be title sponsor of the Fastest Lap Award in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(NASCAR)(5-13-2013)

  • Who's likely to make the Chase? Want to know who's a lock to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this year? [Here's] six names: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #99-Carl Edwards, #20-Matt Kenseth, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Clint Bowyer and #18-Kyle Busch. Typically, by the time the Cup series leaves Darlington, it's relatively easy to predict most of the Chase field. Last year, 10 of the drivers in the top 12 in the standings after the Mother's Day eve visit to the Lady in Black went on to qualify for the Chase.
    The six drivers listed above are locks for two basic reasons. Number one is the point spread between Bowyer in fifth and #5-Kasey Kahne and #2-Brad Keselowski, who are tied for sixth. Bowyer has scored 349 points through 11 races, 23 more than the two drivers immediately behind him. Second, five of the top six drivers (the first five listed above) have shown the sort of consistency necessary to make the Chase with relative ease. If Busch should fall out of the top 10 in points, he'll make the Chase as a wild card.
    Beyond those six, however, assumptions are impossible and predictions nothing short of precarious. For one thing, five of the 12 drivers who made the Chase last year -- #24-Jeff Gordon, #16-Greg Biffle, #56-Martin Truex Jr., #14-Tony Stewart and #11-Denny Hamlin -- are currently outside the top 10. Common sense tells you that most, if not all of the drivers in that elite group will make a move in the 15 races before the Chase field is set.
    To add to the intrigue, no driver in positions 11-20 in the standings has a victory so far this year. Should that remain the case, #27-Paul Menard and Gordon (currently 11th and 12th) would win the two Wild Card Chase spots by default.
    Far more likely, however, is the prospect of such drivers as Hamlin (currently tied for 26th) or Stewart (21st) winning a race or two, cracking the top 20 and grabbing a wild card spot.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-13-2013)

  • Entry list: There are 38 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday's N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Notables include: Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch in their own entries;
    Tim George, Jr. and the #5 Wauters Motorsports team switch from Ford to Chevy. (5-13-2013)
    See the complete list on the Charlotte Motor Speedway entry list page

  • Wauters moves from Ford to Chevy: Wauters Motorsports owner Richie Wauters has announced that his Camping World Truck Series Team has made a change of manufacturers from Ford to Chevy, effective immediately. The decision by the veteran crew chief and owner follows a series of frustrating performances in the opening rounds of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines, the prominent supplier of engines for Chevy Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series teams will provide the power.(Wauters Motorsports PR)(5-13-2013)

  • Kangaroo Express joins Burton for Charlotte: Jeb Burton and the #4 Arrowhead team is thrilled to announce the addition of Kangaroo Express to their Turner Scott Motorsports Silverado for the Friday, May 17 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kangaroo Express will adorn the truck bed for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, accompanying full-time sponsor Arrowhead.(See an image on the #4 team paint scheme page.)(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(5-13-2013)

  • Townley gets involved: On Friday, May 17th, the NASCAR Foundation will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of NASCAR Day. For the special anniversary, NASCAR created the 'Ten Days of Giving' with philanthropic visits set across the country. John Wes Townley kicked off the tour in Atlanta on May 8th alongside the NASCAR Foundation and Coca-Cola. The team presented the George Washington Carver Boys & Girls Club with a new TV for their gaming room. Townley did a question and answer session and spent time playing the NASCAR game on the Wii with the kids. (Red Horse Racing PR)(5-13-2013)

  • Daytona offers #88 package for July race: Daytona International Speedway will offer a special ticket package for the upcoming Sprint Cup Series event on Saturday night, July 6 at the "World Center of Racing" that includes a question and answer session with #88 National Guard driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. The #88 Package, available starting at $88 per ticket for adults and $35 for children 12 and under, includes:
    " A grandstand ticket to the 160-lap, 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway
    " 15-minute question-and-answer session with Dale Earnhardt Jr. inside an air-conditioned tent in the frontstretch hospitality village
    " $10 in Daytona Dollars that can be used for food and non-alcoholic beverages at any Daytona International Speedway concession stand
    " Special Daytona International Speedway giveaways
    Tickets for No. 88 Package are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/88 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(5-13-2013)


    News from May 12, 2013

  • Kahne expects another apology from Busch: #5-Kasey Kahne anticipates another phone call and apology from #18-Kyle Busch after an incident between them cost Kahne a chance to win Saturday night's Bojangles' Southern 500. It's the third time this season - and second race in a row - that Busch has caused Kahne to wreck. "I don't know what his deal is with me,'' Kahne said after finishing 17th. Kahne and Busch dueled for the lead 34 laps from the finish Saturday. Kahne edged by Busch in Turn 3, Busch moved ahead off Turn 4. They headed to turn 1 side by side. "He blew that entry into (Turn) 1,'' Kahne said. Busch went low into turn 1 but slid up the track. "I was like, "Oh shoot, oh shoot,' '' Kahne said. "The car moved and then just spun out. I don't know if he actually touched me or not. If he would have just entered normal like he entered the whole race there would have been no issues and I would have been leading off 2. He just didn't want that to happen, so he blew turn 1. Whether he hit me or not, he still caused that whole deal with screwing up and just mind fade. He's had a few of them this year when I've been around him."(Motor Racing Network)(5-12-2013)

  • Goodyear decides on Indy tire: Goodyear's Stu Grant says he's decided on the Brickyard 400 tire package for the July race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teams will run the same right-side tires used last summer; Nationwide teams will run the same left-sides used last summer but Cup teams will run a new left-side.(MikeMulhern.net)(5-12-2013)

  • Richmond Tickets on sale May 23: Following one of the most thrilling finishes of the NASCAR season last month at Richmond International Raceway, fans are excited that short track action returns to America's Premier Short Track September 6-7 for the "One Last Race to Make The Chase" weekend. Tickets for both nights of racing go on sale May 23. The Saturday, September 7, Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, known as "One Last Race to Make The Chase," is the final event before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Federated Auto Parts 400 is a race circled on every driver's calendar, as many will be fighting for one of the 12 spots in The Chase  NASCAR's 10-race finale that determines the series champion. The weekend gets started Friday, September 6, with a full day of on-track activity, highlighted by the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Friday's advance tickets start at $30, with kids 12 and younger admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission. In addition to tickets for the races, fans can upgrade their race day experience with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes ($50) and Saturday 3-Wide Fan Hospitality ($80), which includes a Pre-Race Pit Pass, as well as food, beverages, driver question & answers sessions, and much more.(RIR)(5-12-2013)


    News from May 11, 2013

  • Entry Lists for the Sprint Showdown and All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speed are posted, there are 23 teams/drivers listed for the Showdown, including: #19-Bliss, #32-Hill, #44-Riggs, #52-Keselowski, #95-McDowell.
    19 drivers are listed for the All-Star Race.(5-13-2013)
    See the full entry list at my Sprint All Star Race page

  • Kenseth wins at Darlington: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd win of 2013, 1st win at Darlington and 27th career win. He took the lead from #18-Busch with 13 laps to go and pulled away to win by more than 3 seconds. Kenseth was running with Wally Brown acting as his crew chief while Jason Ratcliff served his one race suspension.
    #11-Hamlin, in his first full race back since being injured at Auto Club Speedway, finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon (his 300th career top-5 finish), #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #18-Busch (who dominated much of the race, leading 265 laps, before fading late), #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #39-Newman.
    Pole sitter #78-Busch struggled with an ill-handling car and finished 14th.
    A long stretch of green flag laps put as few at 10 cars on the lead lap at one point, before late cautions allowed 17 drivers to finish on the lead lap.
    There were 9 lead changes among 4 drivers and 5 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 141.383mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Darlington Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Darlington Penalty Report (pdf)
    And see the Official Darlington Race and Points Report.

  • Race Fast Facts - Darlington:
    Matt Kenseth won the 64th Annual Bojangles' Southern 500, his 27th victory in 483 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 20 races at Darlington Raceway.
    The average race speed of 141.386 mph is a track record. The previous record was 140.350 mph, set by Kyle Busch in May 2008.
    Denny Hamlin (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in eight races at Darlington Raceway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2013.
    Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 22nd top-10 finish in 33 races at Darlington Raceway. This was his 300th top-five finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series becoming only the fourth driver to accomplish this feat, joining David Pearson, Bobby Allison and Richard Petty.
    Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 44 points over Carl Edwards.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(5-11-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Darlington, race 11 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 423
    2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 379, -43
    3) #20-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 364, -59
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 359, -64
    5) #15-Clint Bowyer, 349, -74
    6) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 326, -97
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski, 326, -97
    8) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 325, -98
    9) #43-Aric Almirola, 317, -106
    10) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 315, -108
    11) #27-Paul Menard, 315, -108
    12) #24-Jeff Gordon, 311, -112
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #16-Greg Biffle, 13th
    #56-Martin Truex Jr., 14th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 21st
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 27th [missed 4 races with injury]
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • NASCAR undeterred by appeal setbacks:NASCAR president Mike Helton insists the governing body did not have its power undermined by recent reductions in penalties through the appeal process. "I don't feel like this in anyway undermines what we do," Helton said Friday at Darlington Raceway. "And in most cases the process doesn't come back with anything that really changes our mind much [about the severity of the penalties]. We do our job and the due process exists for others to have an opportunity for others to listen to it and decisions are made to it." While disappointed in [the reductions of penalties to Penske & Gibbs], Helton stands by the original penalties and says NASCAR would respond in a similar way if faced with the same violations. He added that the rules may be written even more specific in the future so teams and those involved in the appeals process understand more clearly why the penalties were given. "First of all, the integrity of the appeal process needs to be maintained as independent of the regulating arm of NASCAR,'' Helton said. "But we do learn from the appeal process as to how we may be able to write or be more clear so that you can show a third party why we reacted the way we reacted."(ESPN)(5-11-2013)

  • Kurt Busch passes Indy rookie test UPDATE: Kurt Busch wants to race an IndyCar at Indianapolis. Just not now. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion kept Ryan Hunter-Reay's primary car out of trouble Thursday, topping 218 mph on one of the world's most prestigious tracks. He became the first driver to pass this year's rookie test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, likely creating a rumor-filled month of May. "I really couldn't do it this year because of the stamina," Busch said. "My hands were tense and firm and that was only after 10 laps. Michael (Andretti) wants to do it, but they've already got five cars committed this year, so I think the proper thing would be to get some experience with this car at another track. There's going to be a lot of swirling that goes on after day like today, after reaching 218 on your first day around this place," Busch said after posting a fast lap of 218.210 mph. "But that doesn't mean anything because I need more time." Andretti acknowledged that's a possibility later this year, if Busch can work out the details with his Cup schedule.(Associated Press)(5-10-2013)
    UPDATE: Busch developed a relationship with Andretti Autosport owner Andretti through their mutual agent John Caponigro last season when Busch interviewed with potential teams for 2013. At the time, Andretti was entertaining a possible entry into NASCAR and a possible partnership with Dodge. Since then, Busch signed with Furniture Row Racing to run in the Sprint Cup Series, where he is currently 20th in the points standings. Busch has the blessing of FRR team owner Barney Visser to pursue this latest dream. "It's a bucket-list type item," he said. "It's also because I have the heart and desire to do anything in motorsports. So to wrap my arms around, moreso of what can happen next, we've just got to let things sit on the burner here and see where it goes." Although this year's Indianapolis 500 is not a practical option for Busch, he's mentioned the possibility of racing in IndyCar events at Pocono Raceway, Milwaukee Mile and Auto Club Speedway. Busch isn't sure what opportunities exist in IndyCar, but just the chance to say he's been on the yard of bricks in an open-wheel car is "a nice achievement." "Any opportunity in motorsports is what I'm looking for. I grew up in a stock car world. I've spent the last dozen years in the Sprint Cup garage. You never know what's around the next turn. I've been full-throttle on a quarter-mile and full-throttle at Indianapolis. There's a lot of cool things out there."(Fox Sports) (5-11-2013)

  • Elliott not officially retired, but not looking to race: Bill Elliott hasn't officially retired but he isn't itching to get back into a racecar these days. The 57-year-old driver, who has 828 career Cup starts but hasn't run full time since 2003, is more focused on the career of 17-year-old son Chase. Bill Elliott, the 1988 Cup champion who has 44 career victories, has competed in just seven races since the start of 2011 and 32 since the end of 2008. His last race was the Cup race in July at Daytona, where he qualified sixth in a Turner Motorsports car but got caught up in a crash to finish 37th. "I've thought about a lot of stuff," Elliott said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Right now, I'm just kind of waiting to see where things go. It's kind of a two-fold deal. I still enjoy competing and that would be a neat deal. But unless you got in a caliber of car like I did a year ago, I really have a hard time justifying it after I got in such a good car. Why would I want to run and just kind of hang out? I'm going to look at a few things and decide here pretty soon what I'm going to do," he said.(Sporting News) (5-11-2013)

  • "A Racer's Life: Richard Childress" debuts Sunday: Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, will be featured in the next installment of SPEED TV's on-going series, "A Racer's Life: Richard Childress" this Sunday at 8:30pm/et. The hour-long show takes viewers for an in-depth and personal account of the driver-turned-championship-owner's life and career. He talks about how he got into racing, the glory years with Dale Earnhardt, and after, and the growth of Richard Childress Racing to where it is today. The interview was conducted in four different places with four different people. Austin Dillon, Childress' grandson and driver of RCR's #3 Advocare Chevy in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and former RCR driver, Ricky Rudd. A rare interview with Judy Childress, Richard's wife, adds even more of an in-depth and first-hand account of the 14-time championship team owner, family man, outdoorsman and businessman. In the program, Childress details his path to NASCAR greatness through key milestones, including his first visit to the track to his stint as an independent NASCAR racer; the difficult decision to hang up his helmet and put Earnhardt in his car; hiring Rudd; Earnhardt's return to RCR and his and Childress' triumphs and eternal bond; Childress' vision for the future of RCR; and his regrets over the years.(RCR)(5-11-2013)

  • Gordon's New York condo for sale: An inventively embellished three-bedroom condominium at the reigning superstar of Manhattan trophy residences, 15 Central Park West, is about to enter a trophy-conscious marketplace priced at $30 million. The seller of No. 7C also happens to be a bit of a superstar and trophy-magnet: Jeff Gordon, the telegenic four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. A confirmed early bird among the initial wave of well-heeled buyers at 15 Central Park West, Robert A. M. Stern's postmodern paean to prewar spaciousness, Mr. Gordon signed a contract there in August 2007. Buying from the offering plan, Mr. Gordon spent $9.67 million for his apartment: before he and his wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, customized it to their specifications, it was a big white box with high ceilings and stunning views of Central Park from the trio of oversize picture windows in its east-facing great room. Mr. Gordon decided to sell at this time, Ms. Ariffin said, because "the demand for trophy apartments is pretty strong." The $30 million asking price was arrived at after the neighboring No. 7D, a slightly larger unit, listed for $36 million and sold for $32.5 million last December.(New York Times)(5-11-2013)

  • Finger Eleven headlining concert at Michigan:Burlington, Ontario, Canada's own Finger Eleven will headline the free and always popular post-race concert in Lot 10 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, June 15. The show will begin shortly after the Alliance Truck Parts 250 Nationwide Series race. The concert is free to anyone with an Alliance Truck Parts 250 race ticket, an infield wristband or an APEX wristband. Tony Lucca from the popular television show "The Voice" will open the concert and hand it off to Finger Eleven. Rock music's Finger Eleven earned their confidence album by album, tour by tour and song by song. The band has worked the road non-stop since 1998 and has released successful albums such as their debut Tip and follow-up, The Greyest of Blue Skies. By the time the band released its third album, self-titled album, Finger Eleven had built a successful career. The band has produced such songs as "Them vs. You vs. Me," "Paralyzer" and "One Thing."(MIS)(5-11-2013)

  • Daytona launches mobile ticketing site: Daytona International Speedway, which will next showcase the stars of NASCAR on July 5-6 for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, launched a new, mobile-friendly option that makes it even easier for race fans to purchase tickets to a wide variety of events directly from their smartphones. The new mobile ticketing site gives race fans the ability to easily purchase event tickets at the "World Center of Racing," Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access and much more. Fans can simply visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com on a mobile device and select the "Tickets" link next to an event. Moovweb helped launched the new mobile ticketing site at Daytona International Speedway as well as the other 12 International Speedway Corporation facilities.(DIS)(5-11-2013)


    News from May 10, 2013

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #78-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #48-Johnson took pit stall 21, the first pitstall behind the start finish line.
    #18-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 7th pit stall, with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #88-Earnhardt, Jr, who starts 16th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-10-2013)

  • Kurt Busch wins Darlington pole: #78-Kurt Busch won the pole for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway with speed of 181.918mph, a new track record, for his 1st pole of 2013 and 16th of his career. #48-Johnson is on the outside pole, followed by #18-Busch, #5-Kahne, #56-Truex, Jr., #11-Hamlin, #20-Kenseth, #24-Gordon, #16-Biffle, and #29-Harvick. There were 43 cars entered so no one missed the race.
    See the starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying results, qualifying order, qualifying rules on the Darlington Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(5-10-2013)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Darlington:
    Kurt Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 64th Annual Bojangles' Southern 500 with a lap of 27.032 seconds, 181.918 mph. This is a track record, which was previously set by Kasey Kahne in 2011 with a lap of 181.254 mph.
    This is his 16th pole in 446 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his second pole in 17 races at Darlington Raceway.
    He was the youngest pole winner at Darlington Raceway when he won the pole in September 2001. He was 23 years and 29 days old.
    Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2013 and his eighth in 15 races at Darlington Raceway.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Darlington Raceway. It is his eighth in 11 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(5-10-2013)

  • Menard plans to stay with Childress: #27-Paul Menard says he is "close" to re-signing with Richard Childress Racing. Menard said he's "looking forward" to making an announcement soon that he will remain in the #27 Menard's Chevy. Menard, 32, is currently ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. He's remained in the top 10 for seven of 10 weeks this season and earned three consecutive top-10 finishes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway earlier this year. Since Menard and crew chief Slugger Labbe joined RCR as a package deal in 2011, the driver has experienced the best three seasons of his Cup career, a stretch that includes a victory at the Brickyard 400. In 2012, Menard finished a career-high 16th in the points standings with an average finish of 15.5. Labbe signed an extension two weeks ago. His contract runs through 2016.(Fox Sports)(5-10-2013)

  • Final practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over after 45 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
    #42-Montoya 177.070
    #17-Stenhouse, Jr. 176.809
    #99-Edwards 176.543
    #31-Burton 176.492
    #78-Busch 175.993
    slowest: #7-Blaney 166.953 & #36-Yeley 166.326. No speed: #87-Nemechek.
    Notes: Qualifying will start at 5:10pm/et today and shown on SPEED. With 43 cars at the track, everyone will make the race.
    See fastest kaps, best ten-lap average, laps run and more on the Darlington Practice 2 Speeds (pdf) page.

  • First Friday practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over after 120 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
    #27-Menard 173.963
    #15-Bowyer 173.626
    #1-McMurray 172.936
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 172.596
    #99-Edwards 172.481
    slowest: #30-Stremme 166.444 & #35-Wise 166.337.
    Notes: #16-Biffle got a Darlington stripe early in the session. The team repaired the car. #36-Yeley, #30-Stremme, and #24-Gordon also scraped the wall, with only minor damage. #10-Patrick hit the wall hard enough that she will have to go to a backup car.
    See fastest kaps, best ten-lap average, laps run and more on the Darlington Practice 1 Speeds (pdf) page.

  • Qualifying Order for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #10-Patrick.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #51-Smith.
    Fastest in second Friday practice, #42-Montoya, is scheduled to qualify 6th.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Darlington Qualifying Page.(5-10-2013)

  • RK Motors sponsoring Bowyer UPDATE: Clint Bowyer will make his eighth Sprint Cup start at Darlington Raceway in the RK Motors Charlotte Toyota Camry. In seven previous starts, Bowyer has one top-10 (ninth in 2007). He won the pole in 2007 in only his second start at the track. It is one of two career NSCS pole awards that Bowyer has won - the other came at Loudon in 2007. RK Motors Charlotte is the country's leading retailer of investment-grade classic and collector cars. Founded in 2010 by Robert Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, and Joseph M. Carroll, founder of Best of Show Automotive, RK Motors Charlotte's 80,000 sq./ft. facility features a 200-vehicle, state-of-the-art showroom complete with digital media studio, full restoration / customization shop and a full service area.(MWR)(5-10-2013)
    UPDATE: At some point this weekend at Darlington Raceway Clint Bowyer is sure to look into a television camera and say: "I Ate The Bones." That's because Bowyer's #15 Toyota will carry Kentucky Fried Chicken's "I Ate The Bones" paint scheme Saturday night when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at the 1.366-mile South Carolina track. Last month, KFC launched its revolutionary new Original Recipe Boneless chicken and accompanying "I Ate the Bones" advertising campaign to respond to an increase in consumer demand for boneless menu items.(MWR), see an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(5-10-2013)

  • Wally Brown to serve as Kenseth's crew chief: Two former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs and an engineer will begin interim roles atop the pit box this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway. Kevin Buskirk and Steve Reis have been named to fill the crew chief roles for Penske Racing's two Cup teams beginning with this week's Bojangles' Southern 500. For Joe Gibbs Racing, former Cup crew chief Wally Brown will be calling the shots for the #20 team and driver Matt Kenseth.(NASCAR.com)(5-10-2013)

  • Hamlin plans to run full race at Darlington: After running just 24 laps last week at Talladega, #11-Denny Hamlin says he is fully healed and prepared to run the full 500 miles Saturday night at Darlington Raceway. Hamlin missed four Sprint Cup races and only started the race last week at Talladega after suffering a compression fracture in his lower back in a March 24 crash at Auto Club Speedway. He tweeted Wednesday, however, that he has been fully cleared by his doctors and plans to run the full race in Saturday's Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington, a race that he won in 2010. Hamlin tweeted: "More good news after this weeks scan. Healing is going really good and I'm ready to go the distance this week. #makethechase"(Sporting News)(5-10-2013)

  • Kurt Busch passes Indy rookie test: Kurt Busch wants to race an IndyCar at Indianapolis. Just not now. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion kept Ryan Hunter-Reay's primary car out of trouble Thursday, topping 218 mph on one of the world's most prestigious tracks. He became the first driver to pass this year's rookie test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, likely creating a rumor-filled month of May. "I really couldn't do it this year because of the stamina," Busch said. "My hands were tense and firm and that was only after 10 laps. Michael (Andretti) wants to do it, but they've already got five cars committed this year, so I think the proper thing would be to get some experience with this car at another track. There's going to be a lot of swirling that goes on after day like today, after reaching 218 on your first day around this place," Busch said after posting a fast lap of 218.210 mph. "But that doesn't mean anything because I need more time." Andretti acknowledged that's a possibility later this year, if Busch can work out the details with his Cup schedule.(Associated Press)(5-10-2013)

  • Sport Clips sponsoring Hamlin at Darlington: This weekend Denny Hamlin will return to the #11 Sport Clips Toyota for his first full race since being sidelined after a late-race accident at Auto Club on March 24. Denny Hamlin will make his eighth Sprint Cup Series start at the track 'Too Tough Too Tame' on Saturday night when he climbs back into the #11 Sport Clips Toyota. Last year Hamlin finished second in the Bojangles' 500 driving a retro Sport Clips paint scheme honoring Cale Yarborough and his induction in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This year Hamlin is back looking to finish one position stronger and earn his first win of the 2013 season for the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing team.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(5-10-2013)

  • RK Motors sponsoring Bowyer: Clint Bowyer will make his eighth Sprint Cup start at Darlington Raceway in the RK Motors Charlotte Toyota Camry. In seven previous starts, Bowyer has one top-10 (ninth in 2007). He won the pole in 2007 in only his second start at the track. It is one of two career NSCS pole awards that Bowyer has won - the other came at Loudon in 2007. RK Motors Charlotte is the country's leading retailer of investment-grade classic and collector cars. Founded in 2010 by Robert Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, and Joseph M. Carroll, founder of Best of Show Automotive, RK Motors Charlotte's 80,000 sq./ft. facility features a 200-vehicle, state-of-the-art showroom complete with digital media studio, full restoration / customization shop and a full service area.(MWR), see an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(5-10-2013)

  • Time Warner Cable returns to the #5: Time Warner Cable will adorn the hood of Kasey Kahne's #5 Chevy SS this weekend at Darlington Raceway and will be the primary sponsor on the car for two more Sprint Cup Series events this year: Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26 and Kansas Speedway on Oct. 6. Kahne welcomed Time Warner Cable on the hood of his #5 Chevy for the first time at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Sprint Cup Series event on Oct. 13, 2012.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(5-10-2013)

  • Geek Squad back on the #99: Geek Squad returns to the track for their second primary race of the season. #99-Carl Edwards last ran the Geek Squad paint scheme in Richmond, where he started in 26th-place and drove to a sixth-place finish.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #99 team paint schemes page.(5-10-2013)

  • Busch wins at Darlington:#18-Kyle Busch won the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway, for his 5th win of the year and the 56th of his Nationwide career. #11-Elliott Sadler finished second followed by #20-Brian Vickers, #22-Joey Logano, #18-Matt Kenseth, #32-Kyle Larson, #7-Regan Smith, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne, and #31-Justin Allgaier. There were 4 cautions for 17 laps and 10 lead changes among 8 leaders. Complete results are on the Darlington race results page (pdf).(5-10-2013)

  • Darlington Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the 31st Annual VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, his 56th victory in 252 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his fifth victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in nine races at Darlington Raceway.
    This is the 13th NASCAR Nationwide Series race to be won from the pole (or 1st starting position) at Darlington Raceway. He was the last driver to accomplish this feat in May 2011.
    Elliott Sadler (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in ten races at Darlington Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2013.
    Brian Vickers (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in nine races at Darlington Raceway.
    Kyle Larson (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Regan Smith leads the point standings by 28 points over Sam Hornish Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(5-10-2013)

  • Driver standings following Darlington:
    1) #7-Regan Smith, 342
    2) #12-Sam Hornish Jr., 314 -28
    3) #11-Elliott Sadler, 300 -42
    4) #31-Justin Allgaier, 299 -43
    5) #20-Brian Vickers, 293 -49
    6) #3-Austin Dillon, 290 -52
    7) #77-Parker Kligerman, 287 -55
    8) #2-Brian Scott, 284 -58
    9) #99-Alex Bowman #, 258 -84
    10) #32-Kyle Larson #, 248 -94
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(5-10-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Darlington are posted (pdf).(5-10-2013)

  • Busch on pole at Darlington: #54-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole for the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 172.584mph. #11-Elliott Sadler will start second. The rest of the top 10: #18-Matt Kenseth, #20-Brian Vickers, #31-Justin Allgaier, #5-Kasey Kahne, #32-Kyle Larson, #3-Austin Dillon, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., and #6-Trevor Bayne. Did Not Qualify: #47-Jason Bowles & #73-Derrike Cope. The starting lineup is posted on the Darlington starting lineup page (pdf).(5-3-2013)

  • Fix-A-Flat sponsoring Bliss at Darlington: The #1 brand in tire repair, Fix-A-Flat, will debut on Mike Bliss' Toyota Camry for tonight's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway. On a track that is notorious for 'eating-up' tires, the timing of Fix-A-Flat's first appearance with TriStar Motorsports seems perfect. Invented in 1970 by Snap Products, Fix-A-Flat became the first emergency aerosol flat tire sealant and inflator. In 2011 Fix-A-Flat was acquired by Illinois Tool Words (ITW) and joined the Accessories Marketing family of brands under ITW in March of 2012. With the launch of several new and exciting products under the well-known Fix-A-Flat brand, 2013 has been a cutting-edge year.(TriStar Motorsports)(5-10-2013)

  • Vickers fastest in practice: #20-Brian Vickers was fastest during the only Nationwide Series practice at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 171.124mph. #11-Elliott Sadler was second, followed by:#7-Regan Smith, #3-Austin Dillon, #6-Trevor Bayne, #32-Kyle Larson, #54-Kyle Busch, #18-Matt Kenseth, #2-Brian Scott, and #77-Parker Kligerman. See complete results on the Darlington practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(5-10-2013)

  • Efland in the #74 at Darlington: Danny Efland will return to the Nationwide Series after a brief hiatus to pilot the #74 Mike Harmon Racing Chevy in the VFW Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway. Joining Efland in his return to the Nationwide Series is new sponsor the Las Vegas based Eurasia Resorts International, Ltd. The Future EURASIA Live Entertainment Hotel Mega Resort will feature a variety of 39 boutique country-specific themed hotels along with the "world's largest" 15,000,000 square foot Las Vegas Dream Shopping Mall featuring live entertainment and amusement attractions featuring cirque style production with animated characters from a major Hollywood animation company. Eurasia in Las Vegas will also be home to the "world's largest" convention center featuring 6,000,000 square feet of meeting space.(Efland PR)(5-10-2013)

  • Sheryl Crow to perform pre-race concert for Coke Zero 400: Nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow, whose long list of hits include "All I Wanna Do," "Soak Up The Sun" and her latest single "Easy," will perform a hour-long pre-race concert prior to the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Through a special VIP Ticket Package, race fans can get unprecedented access to the 60-minute pre-race concert that will be staged on pit road in the tri-oval area of the "World Center of Racing." With packages starting at $115, the VIP Ticket Package includes: A reserved grandstand ticket for the Coke Zero 400, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access, Admission to the VIP viewing area in front of the stage for the pre-race concert by Crow. VIP Ticket Packages can be purchased online.(DIS)(5-10-2013)

  • Keselowski, Kenseth, Kahne and others headline NASCAR Hall of Fame Pit Party: Brad Keselowski will join NASCAR stars Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne, legends Bobby and Donnie Allison and team owner Joe Gibbs for appearances at a one-of-a-kind infield Pit Party sponsored by the NASCAR Hall of Fame at the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Pit Party will be a fan-friendly event taking place on pit road from 12:30pm-4:15pm before the only 600-mile race on the NASCAR circuit. The party will feature driver appearances, live music from national recording artist Benton Blount, concessions, racing displays and more. Access to the Pit Party is included with the purchase of a pit pass or a driver introduction pass. In addition to fan forums with Keselowski, Kenseth, Kahne, the Allison brothers and Gibbs, the Pit Party will feature vintage military vehicles and displays from the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Pit passes are $100 for adults, $50 for children 14-18 and free for kids 13 and under with a paying adult. Driver introduction passes are $150 for adults and $75 for kids 13 and under. Pit passes must be purchased in addition to a race ticket.(CMS)(5-10-2013)


    News from May 9, 2013

  • Final Talladega TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing on FOX posted a 4.6/10 with 7.3 million viewers on Sunday afternoon for the Aaron's 499 which was impacted by rain. While that's off -10% from last year's 5.1/12 (8.3 million viewers) it managed to rank as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the day, beating the NBA Playoffs on ABC by +18% (vs. a 3.9/8 for the Pacers and Knicks). Sunday's rating excludes the rain interrupted portion of the race as it opened with a 4.1/11 (6.4 million viewers) at 1:10p and rose to a 4.4/10 (6.9 million viewers) at 3:15p before the rain delay. The race resumed at 6:54p with a 4.0/8 (6.2 million viewers) which was below the initial tune-in of the telecast, spiked to a 4.7/9 (7.9 million viewers) at 7:30p, and peaked with a 6.0/10 (10.3 million viewers) at 8pm. The 6:54-8:17p portion of Sunday's race averaged a 4.9/9 with 8.1 million viewers, off -14% from last year's 5.7/13 (10.0 million) for the final 75 minutes of the telecast while the rain interrupted portion averaged a 3.6/8 with 5.5 million viewers. To put that rating in better perspective, Sunday's nearly four hour rain delay easily outdelivered most sports events for the entire weekend, including the three NHL Postseason games on NBC. Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.0/11 with 8.2 million viewers. That's flat with last year's season-to-date performance of a 5.0/11 with 8.4 million viewers. NASCAR on FOX currently ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched sport in season. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(5-9-2013)

  • First win for car #34 since 1963: When David Ragan won the Aaron's 4099 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega on May 5, 2013, it was the first time since December 1, 1963 that a driver had won a Sprint Cup Series race in a car #34. Wendell Scott won at Jacksonville on that day. Ragan's win was only the third time a car #34 won a Sprint Cup Series race. The first was by Jim Roper at Charlotte in 1949, the first ever NASCAR race. The car #34 has three wins in its history. See more about car numbers on my Wins by Car Numbers page.(5-9-2013)

  • Sadler's sponsor pulled from market: Wrigley is pulling its new "Alert Energy Caffeine Gum" from the market temporarily, as the United States Food and Drug Administration looks more closely into the proliferation of caffeine-added products in the marketplace. Alert Energy Caffeine Gum has sponsored Elliott Sadler's #81 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season, with plans for another. A spokesperson for the company said today, however, that production and sales of the gum will be halted temporarily while the FDA clarifies its guidelines concerning caffeine-added products. There is no word from Joe Gibbs Racing on how Wrigley's decision may affect the Sadler sponsorship.(Godfather Motorsports)(5-9-2013)

  • Nemechek gets Darlington sponsor: Joe Nemechek and The #87 Sprint Cup Series Race Team will be sporting a new paint scheme this week with RoyalTeakCollection.com as the primary sponsor for the race in Darlington. Joe Nemechek says; "I am very excited to have RoyalTeakCollection.com on our #87 car, and look forward to promoting the premium brand of teak wood casual furniture. " In celebration of Royal Teak Colletion.com's first primary sponsorship in the Sprint Series, they will be offering a special promotion for race fans on their website. Royal Teak Collection.com is one of the largest manufacturers of premium patio/casual furniture in the world, offering a wide range of Solid Teak and All-Weather Wicker collections.(NEMCO-JRR)(5-9-2013)

  • Almirola looks to extend streak: Aric Almirola and the #43 Smithfield Ford team are looking to make history this weekend at Darlington Raceway with a fifth consecutive top-10 finish. If the team can finish in the top-10, it will mark the first time that the Petty-owned #43 has more than four consecutive top-10 finishes since Richard Petty posted seven consecutive top-10s in 1983. It will also mark the first time Richard Petty Motorsports has posted five consecutive top-10 finishes. With a 10th-place finish at Talladega, the team moved to the seventh position in championship points, a first for any Richard Petty Motorsports team after 10 races. The #43 team is trailing the sixth spot by six points and has a 14 point lead on 11th.(RPM)(5-9-2013)

  • Stewart thinks Kurt Busch could make Indy 500: Consider Tony Stewart officially jealous that fellow NASCAR driver Kurt Busch gets to test an Indy car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this week. The five-time Indianapolis 500 starter said that he plans to call Busch "to see if there's anything I can do to help him." "There's not a doubt in my mind that he could make the (500's) field," Stewart said following a sponsor event at the garage where he stores his classic cars. "If he gets with the right team  and obviously he's going with Andretti  I don't see any problem making the starting field for sure." Busch isn't targeting this month's 500, but he has told reporters he's open to pursuing a ride next year if all goes well with this test.(Indianapolis Star)(5-9-2013)

  • Court opens France's divorce documents: NASCAR chief executive Brian France said in court documents that his former wife spent a "staggering" amount of his fortune on her family and friends. Megan France said her former husband spent little time with their two children and became verbally abusive when he didn't get his way. Voluminous court documents unsealed Wednesday revealed new details about the couple's bitter second divorce, years after the contentious 2008 breakup. France's lawyers had fought for years to keep the records confidential. France married the Charlotte woman twice and they divorced twice. Their first marriage lasted from 2001 to 2004. They married again in 2005 and the second divorce was finalized in 2008. Several news organizations fought to unseal the documents, arguing those were public records, and a North Carolina appeals court last year agreed. So on Wednesday, 3,000 pages of documents were released, including dozens of court motions, depositions and emails. According to statements in open court, the couple's 2008 separation agreement included paying Megan France $9 million, alimony of $32,000 a month for 10 years and $10,000 a month in child support. The unsealed records showed Brian France is wealthy. A 2005 financial statement included in the court documents show he had $564 million in total assets - including stock and real estate - and that he was likely to inherit "substantial wealth from his parents," which could exceed $1 billion.(Associated Press)(5-9-2013)

  • Ambrose, Almirola complete test at Sonoma: Richard Petty Motorsports teammates Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola completed a successful two-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Wednesday. It marked the first test for the new Gen-6 car on a NASCAR-sanctioned road course, and the debut of the new car on the 10-turn, 1.99-mile Sonoma circuit. Ambrose completed approximately 75 laps, while Almirola completed 100 laps, all in race trim. Lap times were not available. "We always want to try to get an advantage on the competition, so we feel like it's been worthwhile to be out here and hopefully it will pay off for the race," said Ambrose, who won the pole in Sonoma last year. "We're happy with the progress, but we would love to be faster, always. We're confident that we've learned a lot and we'll come back with a better package in June." (Sonoma PR)(5-9-2013)

  • Johnson goes emerald at Darlington: #48-Jimmie Johnson has his own stripes this weekend, albeit of a different hue but, in either case, he hopes the color doesn't show up on the Darlington walls. Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy SS will sport emerald stripes this weekend. The color was chosen as the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year, which is featured in the new PANTONE UNIVERSE Paint Collection by Valspar.(TrueSpeed Communications), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(5-9-2013)

  • Meguiar's on Biffle's Ford at Darlington: The #16 Meguiar's Ford will feature a black paint scheme for Darlington. Meguiar's has a special "Black Wax" which is perfect for black to dark colored cars since they require a formula that provides "gloss" to the paint to give it a deep reflection. This specially formulated wax is designed to make your paint shine with the help of its polishing oils.(Roush Fenway)(5-9-2013)

  • 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 Darlington on the Darlington Race Info page - Chassis selection area.(5-9-2013)

  • Darlington continues Mother's Day tradition: With its annual event falling on Mother's Day weekend, Darlington Raceway has built a longtime tradition with its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 race. Each year, the grand marshals for the race have been the moms of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, a tradition that fans, drivers and their families have enjoyed over the last several years. The moms will once again say the command to start engines for this weekend's race, but will also be joined by a special honorary mom, Stephanie Decker, who has her own story of courage and perseverance to tell. Decker will join the likes of driver's moms, including Carol Bickford (Jeff Gordon), Gaye Busch (Kurt & Kyle Busch), Tammy Kahne (Kasey Kahne), Beverly Ragan (David Ragan), Janna Bowyer (Clint Bowyer), Kay Keselowski (Brad Keselowski), Brenda Jackson (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), Mary Lou Hamlin (Denny Hamlin) and Carol Mears (Casey Mears), among others. Decker, a resident of Henryville, Ind., was injured shielding two of her children from a devastating tornado that hit their home in March of 2012. Decker lost the use of both of her legs in the incident and now utilizes prosthetics to walk on. Her up-hill battle to walk again was a national news story of courage, leading to the creation of the Stephanie Decker Foundation, supporting prosthetics for kids and access to leading-edge prosthetics for every person.(Darlington Raceway)(5-9-2013)

  • Iowa Senate passes bill that would help Speedway fund improvments: An appropriations bill approved by the Iowa Senate includes $8 million in state money spread over four years for the Iowa Speedway at Newton to upgrade the track's facilities to attract NASCAR Sprint Cup races. The track money was included in the so-called standings appropriations bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday night. The special appropriation received no debate, although Sen. William Dotzler, D-Waterloo, who pushed for the funding, said Wednesday that both the Democratic and Republican caucuses were aware the track money had been inserted into the spending package. The legislation says the state money would be appropriated to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for the development and promotion of a national sporting event at the automobile racetrack location in the City of Newton. The Newton speedway has already hosted the Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Race, but Sprint Cup races would be "the big Kahuna" for the facility, Dotzler said. Those races could draw more than 100,000 fans and nationwide media coverage for one of the most popular events in the country,he said. But the track would need to expand its stands, restrooms, and concession stands and make other upgrades to offer the next-level races, Dotzler said. The $8 million state appropriation would be provided to the Newton speedway in increments of $2 million for four years, starting in fiscal year 2014.(Des Moines Register)(5-9-2013)


    News from May 8, 2013

  • Gibbs' penalties reduced by appeals panel UPDATE: According to reports from media at the NASCAR Research & Development Center, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel has modified the penalties accessed to Matt Kenseth's #20 team:
    Kenseth's points penalty has been reduced from 50 to 12;
    Joe Gibb's owner points penalty has been reduced from 50 to 12;
    Gibb's suspension was eliminiated;
    The marnufacturer's point penalty to Toyota has been increased from 5 to 7 points;
    Kenseth's win at Kansas will now count for the Chase;
    Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff's suspension has been reduced from 6 races to 1. His fine remains at $200,000.
    The appeal panel consisted of Mark Arute (Stafford Motor Speedway), Denis McGlynn (Dover Raceway) and Jack Housby (former team owner).(5-8-2013)
    UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of the#20 Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The penalties concern Sections 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to the NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event; and 20-5.5.3E: Only solid magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Connecting rod failed to meet minimum connecting rod weight. The penalties stemmed from a post-race engine inspection April 23 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center. The Appellants appealed all penalties. The Appellants also requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions until such time as the hearing could be convened. Upon hearing the testimony, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to amend the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The amendments are as follows:
    • Crew chief Jason Ratcliff: The $200,000 fine remains intact; NASCAR suspension now covers one championship points event. In addition, he will be placed on NASCAR probation until the completion of the next three championship points events following his reinstatement;
    • Car owner Joe Gibbs: Loss of championship owner points has been reduced to 12. All other components of his penalty were rescinded;
    • Driver Matt Kenseth; Loss of championship driver points has been reduced to 12. All other components of his penalty were rescinded;
    • Manufacturer: The loss of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturer championship points has been increased to seven.(NASCAR)(5-8-2013)

  • Penske announces personnel changes for Darlington and Charlotte: Due to the recent penalties announced by NASCAR regarding the #2 and 22 Penske Racing teams, Penske Racing has made the following roster adjustments for the Darlington and Charlotte races.
    Team Manager: Mike Nelson, currently Vice President of Operations, will fulfill this role
    #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion:
    Crew Chief: Kevin Buskirk. Buskirk, a former driver and crew chief, joined Penske racing prior to the 2012 season. He currently manages the test teams for Penske Racing.
    Race Engineer: Jonathan Hassler. Hassler, served as the lead engineer for the #22 Sprint Cup Series team last season and helped the #22 Nationwide Series team earn six victories in 2011.
    Car Chief: Nick Hensley. Hensley, has worked with Penske Racing since 2007 and has worked with the No. 2 team since the 2011 season.
    #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion:
    Crew Chief: Steve Reis. Reis, who normally serves as one of the team's engineers, has been with Penske Racing since 2009 and has been with the #22 team since 2011. Before, he served as the race engineer on the #77 Penske Racing Sprint Cup team
    Race Engineer: Ben Atkins. Atkins is an engineer with Penske Racing and worked with Todd Gordon during the 2011 season.
    Car Chief: Jeffery Thousand. Thousand, who has been with Penske Racing for close to twenty years, served as the car chief for the #22 through last season.
    Greg Erwin, Sam Hornish Jr.'s crew chief in the Nationwide Series, will sit atop the pit box on race day for the Shell-Pennzoil team and serve as a race strategist. Erwin will continue in his role as Sam Hornish' s crew chief in the Nationwide Series.(Penske Racing)(5-8-2013)

  • Newman's comments after Talladega under review by NASCAR UPDATES: NASCAR will likely review comments made by Stewart-Haas Racing driver #39-Ryan Newman following a Lap 183 crash in Sunday's rain-marred Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. Any potential fine that could come from the comments likely would be made on Tuesday or Wednesday, per NASCAR's history. Earlier, it was reported that NASCAR would definitely review his comments, but a spokesperson clarified that there are a variety of things that will be reviewed over the course of a race weekend. Newman finished 32nd after the crash in which Kurt Busch's #78 car barrel-rolled and landed upside down on the hood of the #39 car Newman had in position for a top-10 finish or win with five laps left in regulation as darkness approached. NASCAR fined #11-Denny Hamlin $25,000 earlier this year for perceived negative comments about the new "Gen 6" car and the quality of racing at Phoenix International Raceway.(ESPN)(5-7-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR said Tuesday that Ryan Newman will not be fined for his rebuke of NASCAR on live television following a late accident at Talladega. Newman's race ended Sunday in a 12-car accident when Kurt Busch's car barrel-rolled on top of his car. Newman said his TV interview was solely to complain that NASCAR had made plenty of safety advances but still couldn't figure out how to keep cars on the track. He used a vulgarity in his interview. Not fining Newman is consistent with NASCAR chairman Brian France's decision to give drivers' permission to criticize anything but the cars and the on-track product. Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 in March for saying he didn't think NASCAR's new car races as well as the old car.(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-8-2013)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR stated Tuesday that Newman would not face any penalties but spokesperson Kerry Tharp explained NASCAR's position Wednesday and defended its actions. "We did tell them they could challenge NASCAR, they could challenge the racing calls, certain calls that we made and that type of thing," Tharp said of guidelines to drivers. "We did tell them a couple of years back, hey, don't take on the racing product, don't disparage the racing. We believe (Newman) kind of pushed the edge on that in his comments. We disagree with his opinion. We disagree with the comments he made but he wasn't critical of the racing, he wasn't critical of the racing product, so therein lies the decision not to fine him. We don't agree with what he said, I'll tell you that right now." (Motor Racing Network)(5-8-2013)

  • Keselowski apologizes to Regan for post race allegation: Reigning Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski apologized publicly Tuesday for his Twitter rant following David Ragan's victory at Talladega Superspeedway. Keselowski accused Ragan on Twitter of getting an unfair advantage by switching to an outside lane before the green-white-checkered restart in Sunday's race. He tweeted it was "blatantly wrong" and that he was "mad as hell about the finish." As Keselowski later discovered, Ragan was told by NASCAR to switch lanes prior to the restart after the governing body realized there was a mistake in the order. NASCAR also radioed the switch to Keselowski and his spotter, but neither heard it and both were unaware the change was being made until about a half-lap before the restart. After the race, Keselowski responded with a series of tweets that included: "I'm happy as hell a small team won. Doesn't change the fact that the restart was blatantly wrong. mad as hell about that finish. We were suppose to line up 10th when the 34 switched lanes entering 3 before green. That lane won. BS." But Keselowski changed his tone Tuesday in a written apology posted on his website. "I finally had a chance to digest what happened at the end of the Cup race at Talladega on Sunday," Keselowski said in the apology. "I owe David Ragan and his fans an apology. I placed blame on David Ragan for the restart lineup confusion when it wasn't his fault. Keselowski emphasized that he did not mean to "detract" from Ragan's victory and attempted to explain his confusion regarding the restart. "With the multicar wreck, the rain and the impending darkness, it is easy to see how NASCAR could have made that mistake. It was a confusing time for all of us. I want to send a sincere congratulation out to David Ragan and everyone at Front Row Motorsports. It was a very cool win for our sport."(ESPN)(5-8-2013)

  • Peanut Patch returns to the #34 at Darlington: Peanut Patch is sponsoring Sprint Cup Series Driver David Ragan, fresh off his win at Talladega Superspeedway, in the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Saturday at Darlington Raceway. This will be the second consecutive year the boiled peanuts brand is backing Ragan in the Southern 500. He will drive the #34 "Peanut Patch" car, a Ford Fusion."We made our debut last year at the Darlington Raceway with David Ragan, and he was an ideal fit because of his Southern roots, exuberance and strong connection to NASCAR and its fans," Woody Swink, regional director of sales and an owner of McCall Farms said. "Therefore, it was just a matter of plain common sense to reconnect with David Ragan, an impressive talent who is respected and recognized as a formidable competitor among car racing enthusiasts."(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(5-8-2013)

  • Doublemint on the #18 at Darlington: Kyle Busch has proven he knows a thing or two about doubling up on a race weekend. So it might be appropriate that the driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing will have the iconic Doublemint gum brand adorn his racecar as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to historic Darlington Raceway for Saturday night's Bojangles Southern 500. Busch has already recorded two Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series "doubles" thus far in 2013. Those Sprint Cup and Nationwide wins on the same weekends at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., in March, and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in April upped his total to eight career Sprint Cup-Nationwide doubles. This weekend's event will mark the first of four races in 2012 that Doublemint will serve as primary sponsor for Busch, as the iconic chewing gum brand's mint paint scheme will also adorn Busch's #18 Toyota at Kentucky, Atlanta, and the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Chicagoland.(TrueSpeed Communications/JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(5-8-2013)

  • Darlington Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Darlington this week . . . this is the same left-side tire code (D-4392) that teams in these two series ran at Darlington the last two seasons . . . these teams have also run this left-side tire at Texas (including earlier this season), Homestead and Chicagoland in the past . . . this is the first time these teams have run this right-side tire code (D-4552) at Darlington, though they did run it at Charlotte last season and will do so again later this month . . . compared to what was run at Darlington last year, this right-side tire features just a slight construction change to bring it into line with what is run at similar speedways . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test with the Gen-6 car at Darlington on February 5 . . . drivers and teams participating in that test were Carl Edwards in the #99 Roush Fenway Ford, Denny Hamlin the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Paul Menard in the #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevy, Juan Pablo Montoya in the #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy and Martin Truex Jr. in the #56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . 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 Darlington Race Info page - Goodyear section.(5-8-2013)

  • Man reported missing after race at Talladega: The search is on for an Indiana man who went missing after the NASCAR race in Talladega this past weekend. Nicholas Bower, 27, grew up in Plainfield, IN but recently moved to Georgia for a job. Bower was last seen Saturday night sitting at a campsite with friends in the South Park area of the Talladega Superspeedway. He's described as a white male about 6 feet 4 inches tall and 185 pounds. Bower was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with "Fastenal" displayed on the front and a black "Fastenal" hat with a mesh back. Anyone with information about Bower's whereabouts is asked to call the Talladega County sheriff at 256-362-6117.(WBIW)(5-8-2013)

  • Buescher to run special Boston Strong scheme at Darlington: Roush Fenway Racing's Chris Buescher and the #16 NASCAR Nationwide Series team will run a special Boston Strong paint scheme Friday, May 10 in Darlington. "I am happy to carry these colors and try to do our part to support the victims and families impacted by the recent events in Boston," Buescher said. The #16 Ford Mustang will carry the red, white and blue Boston Strong colors on Friday as a continued tribute to those impacted by the tragic events in Boston. Buescher will make his second NNS start at Darlington Raceway on Friday and his fifth NNS start overall.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(5-8-2013)

  • Logano driving #22 at Iowa: Iowa Speedway officials announced that NASCAR Sprint Cup star Joey Logano, who won the Newton track's first-ever NASCAR race in May of 2007 at 16 years of age, will drive a #22 Penske Ford Mustang in the track's first Nationwide Series race of the season, the 'DuPont Pioneer 250' on Saturday evening, June 8. Logano, now 22 and in his fifth full season of Sprint Cup Series racing, is perhaps best known as the youngest race winner ever in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. But to Iowa race fans, he is also known as the kid from Connecticut who beat Kevin Harvick in Iowa Speedway's inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West challenge race on May 18, 2007.(Iowa Speedway)(5-8-2013)

  • King still hoping to return to trucks this season: John King is itching to climb back on the NASCAR stage. For the past few weeks, the Kingsport resident has labored behind the scenes in hopes of attracting funding for another ride in the Camping World Truck Series. It's a tedious yet vital process full of phone calls, proposals and waiting. "We've been working hard on it, and we're close to putting something together for a sponsor," said King, winner of the 2012 Daytona truck race. "Hopefully, we can announce something soon and race for the rest of the season." Saturday night, King honed his skills and fed his passion by competing in the Fastrak Late Model event at Wythe Raceway. King, 24, drove the #33 Chevy for Eddie Sharp Racing in the 2013 truck series opener at Daytona. He finished 18th after qualifying in the 21st spot. That was the last event for King until Saturday night at Wythe, where he finished ninth in a 10-car field. For now, King tends to his sprawling cattle farm in Fort Blackmore, Va., and works the phones for potential sponsors.(Tri-Cities.com)(5-8-2013)

  • Daytona upgrades in doubt after bill's failure: The Florida Legislature has ended its 2013 session, passing the largest budget in state history. But the legislature did not deliver tax subsidies that would have benefited Daytona International Speedway's ambitious development plans. Indeed, Speedway President Joie Chitwood said that the failure to pass the legislation is sending the flagship track for the International Speedway Corporation back to the drawing board to decide the feasibility of the track's plans. "We are clearly disappointed by the outcome last week in the Florida Legislature," Chitwood said in a statement released on Tuesday. " We made a very compelling case for what could have been a successful public/private partnership with the State of Florida to create jobs and generate real economic growth. We also had substantial local, regional and statewide support. However, given this setback to our project, we are forced to reassess the proposed redevelopment and closely examine a number of factors such as its timing, size and scope, before we decide on next steps." Last October, Chitwood announced plans that would develop the area around the Speedway as a business and entertainment complex. And last January, he unveiled additional plans for the Speedway itself, adding a new tower, additional entrances and a fourth tier of seats along the front straight.(Autoweek)(5-8-2013)


    News from May 7, 2013

  • Penske fines and points penalties upheld; suspensions reduced UPDATE: According to media at the NASCAR Research & Development Center, Chief Appeallate Officer John Middlebrook has upheld the fines and penalties to the Penske Racing #2 & #22 teams, but has reduced the suspensions from 6 races to 2 races (plus the All-Star race) for the crew chiefs, car chiefs, and team engineers on both teams, as well as #2 team manager Travis Geisler. See complete information on the original penalties on the NASCAR Penalties, Fines & Suspensions page. (5-7-2013)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing won a partial victory Tuesday in its final appeal to have penalties against the Sprint Cup teams of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano overturned or reduced. NASCAR chief appellate officer John Middlebrook upheld all the fines and point penalties, but he reduced the suspensions of seven crew members from six races to two races. The crew members still will be suspended for the May 18 All-Star race. A week ago, the National Stock Car Racing panel unanimously upheld NASCAR's penalties, sending the final decision to Middlebrook. As a result, the 25-point deductions for Keselowski and Logano in the driver and owner standings stand. So do the $100,000 fines for crew chiefs Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon. But the suspensions for Wolfe, Gordon, chiefs Jerry Kelley and Raymond Fox, engineers Brian Wilson and Samuel Stanley and competition director Travis Geisler were reduced by four, which team owner Roger Penske considered a victory. The suspensions will begin this weekend at Darlington Raceway and include the May 26 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Those suspended will return for the June 2 race at Dover.(ESPN.com)(5-7-2013)
    UPDATE 2: On May 7, 2013 the Chief Appellate Officer heard and considered the appeal of the penalties from the #2 and #22 Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. These penalties stemmed from pre-race inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway April 13. The penalties concern Sections 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to the NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event; and 20-12: All suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted in a completed form/assembly to the office of the NASCAR competition administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond component normal rotation or suspension travel.
    The results of the Chief Appellate Officer hearing were:
    - Upholding the fines and points penalties that were originally assessed.
    - Reducing the suspensions of the seven team members from six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (plus the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (plus the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race).
    The seven team members in question will be suspended for the next three upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends at Darlington Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. They will return for the race weekend at Dover International Speedway. They remain on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    "After looking at all the facts and data and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties," said John Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Officer. "However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the all-star race to two points races and the all-star race."(NASCAR)(5-7-2013)

  • Phoenix Racing to exit NASCAR: Unable to find a long-term sponsor for his #51 Sprint Cup team, James Finch is eyeballing an exit from racing all together. "I'm contemplating finishing up this year, and I don't know if I want a sponsor," Finch said Monday. "Sunday was my 776th start in NASCAR between the Nationwide and Sprint Cup. That's a lot of weekends. I'm considering pulling the plug later in the summer." Finch, 62, said Phoenix Racing will not enter any races after the Brickyard 400 scheduled for July 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He said he intends to wrap up team operations before the Chase for the Cup begins in September. "I have not been able to get the right amount of funding, the economy is pretty bad, and a lot of people don't want to do it," Finch said of his team's fruitless search for a permanent sponsor. "I'm getting kind of burned out. I think it is time for me to do something else." Finch's decision comes in the midst of one of his most successful seasons as an owner. Finch currently is tied for 13th in NASCAR's owner points standings with 276 points, just a handful of points outside the Top 10. Phoenix Racing enjoyed a fourth-place finish with Kurt Busch behind the wheel for the Nationwide race at Talladega this past weekend, and Regan Smith steered the team's #51 car to a sixth-place finish in Sunday's Aaron's 499. The team's success, which includes a pair of Top-10 finishes and five Top-15 results, did not appear to help the team find a full-time sponsor, however. The team has found sponsors for individual or small blocks of races, but the lack of a permanent sponsor has forced Finch to cover his team's considerable costs on his own. "I don't want to lose everything I've got trying to outrun people," Finch said. "I can't do that. It's time to do something else and go from there. I've still got some cars I haven't torn up. And I don't want to build any new ones." Finch said he will help his 18 employees find work with other racing teams if they want to remain in the sport.(News Herald)(5-7-2013)

  • Jeff Gordon to make 700th career start...all consecutive: It may not be tame or the same, but respect is what #24-Jeff Gordon will give Darlington Raceway as he prepares for his 700th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this Saturday night in the Bojangles' Southern 500. Darlington Raceway has earned a few monikers since it opened in 1950. "The Track Too Tough to Tame" and "The Lady In Black" are two of those, and drivers tend to use the term "respect" when describing how they attack the 1.366-mile South Carolina track. A new element - the Generation-6 car - will be added to the mix this weekend, but a winning recipe will still include respect. Saturday's race marks Gordon's 700th start - all consecutively - in NASCAR's premier series. The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion comprehends the milestone, but does not focus on it. "I've been fortunate to race this long and have the type of career I've had," said Gordon. "It's really cool to see that this will be my 700th start, but it's not something I really paid attention to. It's hard to believe I've run that many - especially consecutively."(Performance PR Plus)(5-7-2013)

  • Newman's comments after Talladega under review by NASCAR: NASCAR will likely review comments made by Stewart-Haas Racing driver #39-Ryan Newman following a Lap 183 crash in Sunday's rain-marred Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. Any potential fine that could come from the comments likely would be made on Tuesday or Wednesday, per NASCAR's history. Earlier, it was reported that NASCAR would definitely review his comments, but a spokesperson clarified that there are a variety of things that will be reviewed over the course of a race weekend. Newman finished 32nd after the crash in which Kurt Busch's #78 car barrel-rolled and landed upside down on the hood of the #39 car Newman had in position for a top-10 finish or win with five laps left in regulation as darkness approached. NASCAR fined #11-Denny Hamlin $25,000 earlier this year for perceived negative comments about the new "Gen 6" car and the quality of racing at Phoenix International Raceway.(ESPN)(5-7-2013)

  • Kurt Busch, Trevor Bayne to test at MIS on May 14-15: NASCAR's new Gen-6 Car has drawn rave reviews from drivers and fans alike after the first 10 races in 2013. On May 14-15, the car will make its debut at Michigan International Speedway when two teams conduct a test. And fans are invited to watch free of charge. Speedway officials will open the Turn One grandstands from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. May 14 and May 15 to watch testing. So far, #78-Kurt Busch and #21-Trevor Bayne are the only drivers schedule to test those days. "It will be exciting to finally see the Gen 6 Car at Michigan International Speedway," track President Roger Curtis said. "We became NASCAR's fastest track in 2012 during the Quicken Loans 400. So far in 2013, the new cars have been posting record qualifying speeds so it will be fun to see how fast they go here."
    Last year, Marcos Ambrose posted a track qualifying mark of 203.241 mph for the Quicken Loans 400. That speed was the 11th-fastest pole-winning speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history and the first time the pole winning speed was faster than 200 mph at a track other than Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pulled into victory lane for his first win since June of 2008, also at MIS. Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances. Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstands through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. The restroom facilities will be open. Fans are also allowed to bring in coolers that meet the MIS grandstand gate policies for any race weekend. MIS is once again host to a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2013. The top series comes to the Irish Hills for the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 16 and returns just two short months later for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August 18. Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(5-7-2013)

  • Overnight TV Ratings Talladega: A NASCAR overrun powered Fox to a victory Sunday. The network averaged 5.8 million viewers and a 2.1 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic after NASCAR delayed prime time by 25 minutes. The rating was 2.3 with 7.6 million viewers.(TV Guide)
    AND Even with rain delaying the finish into primetime, overnights for Sunday's Sprint Cup race from Talladega were the lowest since FOX began televising the race in 2001. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Aaron's 499 from Talladega earned a 4.4 overnight rating on FOX Sunday, down 6% from last year (4.7), and down 4% from 2011 (4.6). The 4.4 overnight is the lowest for the race since it moved to FOX in 2001. Sunday's overnight only includes race action from 1:15-3:15 PM ET and 7:00-8:15 PM. Rain-delay coverage was excluded. Overall, the 4.4 overnight is tied as the fourth-highest of the season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, trailing only Fontana, Phoenix (5.3) and Daytona (10.0). NASCAR earned the third-largest overnight of the weekend for a sporting event on broadcast, trailing only a Pacers/Knicks NBA playoff game on ABC (4.9) and the Kentucky Derby on NBC (10.4).(Sports Media Watch/Sports Business Daily)(5-7-2013)

  • Top 12 Driver Rating at Darlington:
    #24-Jeff Gordon.............................. 111.8
    #16-Greg Biffle................................ 110.5
    #11-Denny Hamlin............................ 109.5
    #48-Jimmie Johnson........................ 105.7
    #18-Kyle Busch............................... 102.3
    #5-Kasey Kahne.............................. 98.3
    #39-Ryan Newman............................. 97.6
    #56-Martin Truex Jr............................ 95.2
    #99-Carl Edwards.............................. 93.9
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr........................ 90.4
    #14-Tony Stewart............................... 90.0
    #20-Matt Kenseth.............................. 86.5
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (8 total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway
    Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.(5-7-2013)

  • Facts, Notes and Stats - Darlington Raceway:
    · Darlington Raceway was built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-1950.
    · Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt on Sept. 4, 1950  won by Johnny Mantz.
    · The track was re-measured to 1.375 miles in 1953.
    · The track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race in 1970.
    · The track was repaved in 1995.
    · The 2005 race was the first Saturday night race at Darlington.
    · The track was repaved again prior to the 2008 season.
    · There have been 109 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway. The 1.366-mile track has hosted the fourth most NASCAR Sprint Cup points paying races.
    · 700 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway; 423 in more than one.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Darlington with 65. Terry Labonte leads all active drivers with 54 starts; followed by Mark Martin with 46.
    · Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Darlington in 1950 with a speed of 82.034 mph.
    · 47 drivers have Coors Light poles at Darlington, led by David Pearson with 12. Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers with four.
    · Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Darlington. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Darlington with five (1975 -1977).
    · 45 different drivers have won at Darlington Raceway, led by David Pearson with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.
    · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Darlington in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 14.
    · 11 different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Darlington; led by Chevrolet with 40 victories; followed by Ford with 28.
    · 19 of the 109 (17.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Dale Jarrett in 1997.
    · The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (19) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second most wins (17).
    · 36 of the 109 (33.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 19 from the pole and 17 from second-place.
    · 94 of the 109 (86.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Six of the 109 (5.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington was 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950  the inaugural NSCS event. The furthest back an active winner has started was 23rd by Regan Smith (2011).
    · Buddy Baker and Richard Petty are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Darlington with eight each. Mark Martin leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with six; followed by Jeff Gordon with four.
    · Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Darlington with 25. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 18.
    · Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 26.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.719.
    · Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 5.857.
    · Three active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (5.8), Jimmie Johnson (9.1) and Brad Keselowski (9.2).
    · 13 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Darlington; Dale Earnhardt (1989-1990) and Jeff Gordon (1995-1996) are tied for the series lead in consecutive wins at Darlington with three each.
    · All 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Darlington Raceway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Among active drivers, Kyle Busch won at Darlington in the fewest previous appearances (three).
    · Mark Martin competed at Darlington Raceway 15 times before winning in 2009; the longest span of any of the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    · Among the 10 active NSCS Darlington winners Mark Martin (15), Bobby Labonte (14) and Jeff Burton (10) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway was the (3/16/2003) race won by Ricky Craven with a MOV of 0.002 second  the MOV is tied with the 2011 Talladega race as the closest finishes in the NSCS using electronic scoring.
    · There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Darlington Raceway: 2005 (367/370), 2011 (367/370) and 2012 (367/368).
    · Eight of the 109 races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the fall race of 2000.
    · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway five times; most recently was the fall race of 2004.
    · Kurt Busch (9/2/2001) and Clint Bowyer (5/13/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light poles at Darlington.
    · Regan Smith (5/7/2011) and Terry Labonte (9/1/1980) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Darlington.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Darlington with 1,720 laps led in 32 starts.
    · Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 
    o Janet Guthrie - (9/5/1977) - starting 26th and finishing 16th
    o Shawna Robinson - (3/17/2002) - starting 42nd and finishing 42nd
    o Danica Patrick - (5/12/2012) - starting 38th and finishing 31st (NASCAR)(5-7-2013)

  • Sad News - Frederick Hmiel: Frederick J. Hmiel, 87, of Colonie, NY, passed away on Friday, May 3, 2013 at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter's Hospital surrounded by his loving family. He was a World War II Navy veteran serving on the USS Midway. Frederick was the father of longtime NASCAR crew chief Steve Hmeil and grandfather to former NASCAR driver Shane. More info on my Sad News page.(5-7-2013)

  • Allgaier has new sponsors on #31 at Darlington: This week the #31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevy Camaro welcomes aboard Wolf Pack Energy Services and AccuDoc Solutions. Wolf Pack Energy Services is a diversified company supplying a wide range of products and services to the oil and gas industry - from top-quality wellsite accommodations to oil and gas industry rental equipment and pipe storage, inspection, threading and refurbishing. AccuDoc Solutions is based in Morrisville, NC and provides billing-statement printing and processing to hospitals and hospital-based physicians. In addition to paper-based billing statements, ADS enables patients to choose electronic statement delivery and make payments through secure online payment portals.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(5-7-2013)

  • Wallace running Eldora: Add veteran Kenny Wallace to the list of names planning to enter the lone Camping World Truck Series race on dirt this summer. Wallace said in an interview his plans for the season include eight Nationwide Series race and one Truck Series race, the Inaugural Mudsummer Classic, at Eldora Speedway on July 24. Wallace explained, "The dirt racing experience doesn't really help me in the Nationwide Series races. I'm running about eight Nationwide races this year and one Truck race (on dirt at Eldora), and to me dirt racing is like restarting your career. I should've done dirt racing in the beginning of my career. I just love it because it's really fun." (Rant Sports)(5-7-2013)

  • Gresham adds primary for two races: Eddie Sharp Racing announced a new partnership today at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas with NLKUSLLC that will showcase Trimmer Assist on the #8 Chevy for Max Gresham in two Camping World Truck Series races. The agreement will feature Trimmer Assist, a revolutionary new string trimmer and blower suspension system, and will be the first venture into NASCAR sponsorship for the Georgia-based company. Gresham will kick off the partnership by competing in the May 17 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Later, Trimmer Assist will adorn the #8 Chevy as the primary sponsor with a full paint scheme at Dover Speedway on May 31. (Eddie Sharp Racing PR)(5-7-2013)


    News from May 6, 2013

  • The Entry List for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #52-Brian Keselowski, #51-Smith, #19-Bliss and #11-Hamlin #52-Keselowski would had to get in by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the team is too far down the owners points list to use a provisional.
    For the 2013 qualifying rules and format, see my Qualifying Rules page
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Darlington Entry List

  • Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week Celebrates Five Years In Las Vegas: NASCAR announced that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards  the annual culmination of Champion's Week  will be held on Friday, Dec. 6 at Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev., for the fifth consecutive year. From 1981 until 2008, NASCAR held its year-ending premier series awards show in New York City. Starting in 2009, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards has been held in Las Vegas, a destination that has triggered an entertainment evolution for the fan-favorite show.
    Last year's show alone featured host Howie Mandel, Train, Phillip Phillips, Lifehouse with Natasha Bedingfield and Cirque du Soleil: The Beatles LOVE. Among other A-List entertainment acts who have performed since the move to Vegas include Reba, Kid Rock, Brooks and Dunn, David Gray, Rascal Flatts, Colbie Caillat, Martina McBride, Jersey Boys, Cirque du Soleil's "Viva ELVIS" and Frank Caliendo.
    "Every single week, NASCAR creates the big-event experience, so it's fitting that our year-end celebration of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion takes place in a city built on major moments," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer. "Las Vegas has been home to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards for five years, and each year it grows bigger, better and more entertaining for our fans. Undoubtedly, this milestone Champion's Week will continue  and heighten  that tradition."
    "Two of the world's most recognizable brands, NASCAR and Las Vegas, have developed a strong and successful partnership that delivers unrivaled excitement to millions of loyal fans," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. "We're proud to celebrate this milestone as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards and its Champion's Week return for the fifth year, proving that no destination matches the passion and energy of NASCAR like Las Vegas."
    A full lineup of events or activities during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week will be announced at a later date.(NASCAR)(5-6-2013)

  • Front Row Motorsports Earns First Win in 1-2 Ragan-Gilliland Finish: Front Row Motorsports earned its first NASCAR victory Sunday night at Talladega Superspeedway when #38-David Gilliland pushed teammate #34-David Ragan to the checkers in a dramatic last-lap surge to cap off a wild and rain-interrupted race. Ragan earned Bob Jenkins' young team its first Sprint Cup Series win and Gilliland finished second for the best  and most dramatic  finish in team history. The ending came in the form of a green-white-checkered finish, in which Ragan and Gilliland restarted in 10th and 11th respectively. In two laps, the pair freight-trained through the traffic in their Roush Yates-powered Ford Fusions to emerge at the front of the pack  seemingly out of nowhere and to the surprise and delight of the rain-soaked crowd.
    The win is the second Sprint Cup victory for Ragan, and the runner-up finish ties Gilliland's best career result. The milestone event put partners Farm Rich (#34) and Love's Travel Stops (#38) in the spotlight in their first season working with Front Row Motorsports.
    "This is a true David vs. Goliath moment here," Ragan said. "This is special to get Front Row Motorsports their first win. It feels like I've never been in Victory Lane before, I'm so excited. We're a small team. We build our own chassis, our own bodies, and it's such a special moment for our team and all of our partners. This is big." For Jenkins, whose passion for racing led him to purchase a small NASCAR team in 2004, the Victory Lane champagne was long, and patiently, awaited.
    "I've got guys at the shop that have the heart to win races," Jenkins said. "We just haven't always had the resources. So the challenge for me is, as we build cars, to make them better every week and to put ourselves in a position to win a race and that's really what happened (Sunday). It's just so satisfying to see that over the last nine years, we've gotten a little bit better every single year, and I felt the progress and I knew it was just a matter of time before we'd win one of these things."
    "My crew chief, Frank Kerr, said, 'You've got to have the restart of your life,' and we had a good one," remarked Gilliland. "It's a huge day obviously for any team to get first and second, but for Front Row Motorsports and our little team, and what we do it with, we're really proud of that." Gilliland owned the team's previous best finish, a third-place showing in the 2011 Daytona 500. #35-Josh Wise earned a commendable finish Sunday in his first full Sprint Cup race at Talladega, bringing home a top-20 finish after crossing the line 19th.(Front Row Motorsports)(5-6-2013)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 Aaron's 499: For those 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 12:47 PM, stopped at the rain delay at 3:10 PM, restarted at 7:04 PM, then stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 8:12 PM. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 123
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 72
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 115
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 71
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 8
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 7
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 3
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 40
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 10 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 12:47 PM
    Time to stop for rain delay: 3:10 PM
    Restart Time to record race/commercial periods: 7:04 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 8:12 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 211
    Minutes of race broadcast: 143
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 68
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 5
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 164 Total comm. brdcst time 47
    See past races on the 2013 TV Commercials page(5-6-2013)

  • Orchestrated exit nets Hamlin 10 extra points: The driver change planned and practiced by Denny Hamlin and Brian Vickers worked to perfection. An opportune caution flag flew on Lap 23 of Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Speedway when fluid gushed out of Trevor Bayne's Ford and oiled the track. Hamlin, Vickers and the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing crew were ready. Recovering from a compression fracture of his first lumbar vertebra sustained during a last-lap crash at Auto Club Speedway in late March, Hamlin received medical clearance to race at Talladega but planned to exit the car during the first caution. On Lap 25 he brought the car to pit road where Vickers waited. Hamlin unbuckled his belts, disconnected the radio and popped out of a roof hatch in #11 FedEx Toyota as Vickers began to climb in the driver's-side window. The crew buckled Vickers in and connected the radio. Vickers exited the pit stall less than a minute after Hamlin got there and had no difficulty staying on the lead lap. "The exchange went great," Hamlin said. "Really, that was about as smooth as it's went for us. Obviously, we've had a few repetitions at it. That was about the quickest that I was able to get out so everything went well. I had a checklist in the car with things that I needed to do before I got out to switch over for the next driver. Everything really went seamless and painless." Unfortunately for Hamlin and Vickers, the afternoon didn't continue that smoothly. On Lap 43, Vickers was an innocent victim of a 16-car wreck ignited by Kyle Busch's tap of Kasey Kahne's Chevrolet. The Hamlin/Vickers collaboration finished 34th, but by virtue of starting the race, Hamlin scored 10 championship points he otherwise wouldn't have had.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-6-2013)

  • Air Titan track-drying system passes first major test: NASCAR's new Air Titan track-drying system got its first major test of the season and had a substantial impact on the racing schedule at Talladega. Thanks to faster drying through the use of compressed air--and augmented by traditional jet dryers--Air Titan lengthened a hole between rain and darkness that allowed 110 of 117 scheduled laps to be completed in the Aaron's 312 Nationwide Series race on Saturday. When Sunday's Sprint Cup race was interrupted by rain, Air Titan went to work after two separate showers and dramatically cut the time need to dry the 2.66-mile superspeedway, NASCAR's longest closed course, and the race went the distance.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-6-2013)

  • Kahne & Busch comments about the 1st 'Big One" at Talladega: #5-Kasey Kahne and #18-Kyle Busch were racing for second when Busch tapped Kahne's car on the right-rear corner, turning the #5 into the wall and collection twelve other cars. Kahne had a few comments:
    Q) FIRST OF ALL ARE YOU OKAY AND WHAT HAPPENED FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
    Kahne: "Yeah, I'm alright. I felt like I had a really fast Time Warner Cable Chevrolet. I just kind of got shot through the center there, just a lot of momentum coming from behind. Felt the No. 18 pushing me and next thing I know I was spinning. You just can't push with these cars. We learned that at Daytona, he was pushing me and spun me in the wall and then happened again, so that is what it is."
    Q) HAVE YOU TALKED TO KYLE (BUSCH) AT ALL IN THE INFIELD CARE CENTER?
    Kahne: "No, I didn't talk to him. I think we both probably understand what happened and we will figure it out from there."(Team Chevy)(5-5-2013)
    Busch's comments:
    Q) Are you okay after the accident?
    Busch: "Yeah, I'm alright. I don't really know what happened. I know I got in the back of the 5 (Kasey Kahne) and I guess I was trying to go to the outside of him, but he just moved up in front of me and I wasn't expecting it and I tried to go to the outside of him and before I could get to the outside of him I got in the back of him. I just hate that I caused a hell of a melee for everybody. I hate that. A lot of cars got torn up and it's way too early in the race to be doing any of those sorts of moves whether he made it or I made it. Just I hate it that we all got crashed in that deal. I don't know. I think our day is done."
    Q) How was your car up until the accident?
    Busch: "I thought we had a strong car. I thought our car was really fast and I thought we could get up to the front and I thought I was the guy that was making the outside lane go a little bit and anybody that ever got in front of me kind of slowed it down and our progress went the wrong way. I felt like we were really fast with the M&M's Toyota."(Toyota Racing)(5-6-2013)

  • Entry List:There are 43 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway. A few notes:
    Michael McDowell returns to the #00;
    Stanton Barrett makes another attempt in the #15;
    Chris Buescher returns to the RFR #16;
    Tanner Berryhill is entered in the #17;
    Matt Kenseth will drive the Gibbs #18;
    Harrison Rhodes will drive the RB3 #23;
    Ty Dillon is back in the RCR #33;
    The #55 Viva Motorsports team is not entered;
    Joey Gase returns to the Jimmy Means #52;
    Derrike Cope is entered in his #73;
    Kyle Fowler will drive the #79 for Go Green.(5-6-2013)
    See the complete list on the Darlington entry list page.

  • Viva Motorsports looking for additional driver: Viva Motorsports is looking for drivers to fill out the rest of the season. Fresh off their 12th place finish at Talladega, Viva Motorsports has a full fleet of #55 Chevy Camaros and is looking for the right partner to put in the driver's seat for selected races throughout the remainder of the 2013 season. The team currently has plans to run approximately half of the remaining races, but the equipment and the personnel are in place to run more races if funding can be found.(Viva Motorsports)(5-6-2013)

  • Atlanta Offering Buy One, Get one Frontstretch Seats for one week: For one week only, Atlanta Motor Speedway is making an unbelievable discount offer available to fans for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 1. Starting Sunday, May 5 at 6:00pm/et, race fans can purchase buy one, get one Lower Champions Grandstand seats located at the start/finish line. This offer represents at 50 percent discount off the normal value, allowing purchasers to get two fronstretch tickets for only $99. This promotion is only available while supplies last for up to one week, and will end at 11:59 pm/et on Sunday, May 12. Tickets available for the special promotion are in limited supply, and fans are strongly encouraged to act quickly before supplies run out. One of the best areas to watch the race from at AMS, start/finish line seats in the Lower Champions Grandstand allow fans to have an amazing view of the 1.54-mile facility. A clear look at the pits will give fans the chance to watch pit strategy unfold before their eyes, with many races often won or lost in the pits. AdvoCare 500 tickets are on sale now and adult tickets start at just $39. Student tickets cost just $19. Other specials are available while they last. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211.(AMS)(5-6-2013)

  • Speed Street announces music acts in Charlotte: Three acts with either No. 1 songs or "Song of the Year" honors will headline this year's Food Lion Speed Street festival later this month in Charlotte's uptown. The celebration, tied to the two weekends of major NASCAR events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will take place May 23-25. Once again, it offers free admission. Featured acts on the three nights are SWV (Sisters With Voices) on May 23; Jamey Johnson on May 24; and Survivor on May 25. While Speed Street will stretch along South Tryon Street and several other uptown thoroughfares, the music portion of the entertainment will take place at the Coca-Cola Stage, on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near the NASCAR Hall of Fame. SWV, a trio of New York-based soul and R&B singers, had a No. 1 single in the 1990s with "Weak" and followed with a No. 2 pop hit with "Right Here/Human Nature." The group disbanded in the late 1990s but reformed several years ago and has been touring and making frequent television appearances. Jamey Johnson is a country artist, with several Grammy nominations to his credit. His "Give It Away" was named the Academy of Country Music's Song of the Year in 2007, and he followed that with the same award in 2009 with "In Color." Survivor became one of music's biggest acts in the 1980s, perhaps best-known for its No. 1 single "Eye of the Tiger," which gained secondary fame as the theme song in a "Rocky" movie. Survivor also had a big hit in 1985 with "Burning Heart." Also on the Saturday card is the Florida-based rock group Sister Hazel.(Charlotte Observer)(5-6-2013)

  • Pocono Completes Extensive Road Course Upgrades: Pocono Raceway has completed their extensive road course renovation project. This includes the resurfacing of all infield road courses, the addition of multi-directional curbing and upgraded participant amenities. Each of the 17 track layouts can be run in either clockwise or counter clockwise directions, allowing for a total of 34 configurations. The courses range in distances from a technical half-mile layout to a 2.53-mile national circuit. FIM multi-directional curbing was added to all the corners and the run-offs were smoothed and leveled. All available configurations can be found by visiting www.poconoraceway.com/roadcourses.
    Two new structures were added that include meeting rooms, classrooms, the Garage Grill Cafe and modern restrooms and showers for both competitors and guests conveniences. Additionally, 100 Infield RV spots have been opened for use. Complete with power, water and sewer hookups, these spots are available for both competitors and guests to enjoy while utilizing the road courses. For track rental availability, rates and RV Reservations, please contact Pocono Raceway's Operations Department at 570-646-2300. Pocono Raceway is the world's largest solar powered sports facility. The Raceway developed a 25 acre, three megawatt solar farm that provides the energy needs of the Raceway as well as adding electricity to the local power grid.(Pocono Raceway)(5-6-2013)


    News from May 5, 2013

  • Ragan wins at Talladega: #34-David Ragan won the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 1st win of 2013 and 2nd career win. On the green-white-checkered finish that was caused by a 2nd 'big one', #20-Kenseth led on the restart, #99-Edwards took the lead on the white flag lap and #34-Ragan and teammate pushed thru and Ragan took the lead and won the race. The race was rained delayed for a few hours on lap 125 with #99-Edwards leading but NASCAR got the track dried and was able to finish the race.
    #38-Gilliland finished 2nd followed by #99-Edwards, #55-Waltrip (in his 2nd race of the year), #48-Johnson, #51-Smith, #20-Kenseth (led the most laps at 142), #56-Truex Jr., #95-Speed and #43-Almirola.
    #21-Bayne brought out the first caution on lap 22 when the engine let go. During that caution, #11-Hamlin pitted and the team made the driver change, putting Vickers in the car for the injured Denny Hamlin. Vickers finished 34th after being involved in the lap 42 crash, with 10 points going to Hamlin, as the driver who starts the race, gets the points.
    There was 'a big one', a wreck that involved 14 cars on lap 42 when #18-Busch got into the right rear of the #5-Kahne car, sending the #5 into the wall, the #5 came down and collected the #18, involving #1-McMurray, #9-Ambrose, #11-Vickers, #13-Mears, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #30-Stremme, #31-Burton, #78-Busch and #83-Reutimann.
    The red flag came out on lap 125 when the rains came. The track was close to dry when a storm with hail and wind came. The track was dried a 2nd time and restarted the race around 7:00pm/et.
    There was a 2nd 'big one' on lap 182 when #17-Stenhouse Jr. tried to squeeze by #36-Yeley on the outside, clipping the #36 which got sideways and slid into the pack. #78-Busch flipped over and landed on the top of the #39-Newman car and slid off. Other cars collected included #1-McMurray, #30-Stremme, #32-Labonte, #47-Labonte and #10-Patrick.
    After the 2nd 'big one', NASCAR only allowed one green-white-checkered attempt due to impending darkness.
    There were 30 lead changes among 17 drivers and 5 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps and a lengthy red flag for rain.
    The average speed was 148.729mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Talladega Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Talladega Penalty Report (pdf)
    And see the Official Talladega Race and Points Report.

  • Race Fast Facts - Talladega:
    #34-David Ragan won the 44th Annual Aaron's 499 , his second victory in 228 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 13 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    #38-David Gilliland (second) posted his third top-10 finish in 12 races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
    #99-Carl Edwards (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 18 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (13th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 41 points over #99-Carl Edwards.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(5-5-2013)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Talladega, race 10 of 36]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 383
    2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 342, -41
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 324, -59
    4) #15-Clint Bowyer, 316, -67
    5) #2-Brad Keselowski, 314, -69
    6) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 299, -84
    7) #43-Aric Almirola, 293, -90
    8) #27-Paul Menard, 290, -93
    9) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 285, -98
    10) #16-Greg Biffle, 280, -103
    11) #20-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 279, -104
    12) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 276, -107
    2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
    #56-Martin Truex Jr., 13th
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 14th
    #14-Tony Stewart, 22nd
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 31st [missed 4 races with injury]
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).

  • Talladega resumes after long rain delay: after 125 of 188 scheduled laps, rain has halted the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The red flag is out and the drivers are out of their cars.
    UPDATE the engines fired at 6:52pm/et. moments later the cars went out to the track. Many have come in to pit road.
    As of 7:00pm/et, the rain has stopped and track drying is about done, cars are circling the track.
    NASCAR used the Air Titan track drying system.
    Sundown is approx 8:30pm/et in Talladega. FOX is still covering the race in most markets.
    The top 10 after 125 laps when rain halted the race:
    #99-Edwards
    #17-Stenhouse Jr.
    #22-Logano
    #2-Keselowski
    #55-Waltrip
    #15-Bowyer
    #56-Truex Jr.
    #48-Johnson
    #88-Earnhardt Jr.
    #39-Newman
    #20-Kenseth has led 101 of the 125 laps and is running 12th.
    There was 'a big one', a wreck that involved 14 cars on lap 42 when #18-Busch got into the right rear of the #5-Kahne car, sending the #5 into the wall, the #5 came down and collected the #18, involving #1-McMurray, #9-Ambrose, #11-Vickers, #13-Mears, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #30-Stremme, #31-Burton, #78-Busch and #83-Reutimann.
    There are no lights at the track, see weather links on my Talladega Race Info page - weather section.

  • Kahne comments about Talladega wreck: #5-Kasey Kahne and #18-Kyle Busch were racing for second when Busch tapped Kahne's car on the right-rear corner, turning the #5 into the wall and collection twelve other cars. Kahne had a few comments:
    Q) FIRST OF ALL ARE YOU OKAY AND WHAT HAPPENED FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
    Kahne: "Yeah, I'm alright. I felt like I had a really fast Time Warner Cable Chevrolet. I just kind of got shot through the center there, just a lot of momentum coming from behind. Felt the No. 18 pushing me and next thing I know I was spinning. You just can't push with these cars. We learned that at Daytona, he was pushing me and spun me in the wall and then happened again, so that is what it is."
    Q) HAVE YOU TALKED TO KYLE (BUSCH) AT ALL IN THE INFIELD CARE CENTER?
    Kahne: "No, I didn't talk to him. I think we both probably understand what happened and we will figure it out from there."(Team Chevy)(5-5-2013)

  • Waltrip comments on 2014 plans for #55 and Vickers: #55-Michahel Waltrip, team owners and part-time driver, discussed many things with the media on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway, one thing was the future of the #55 team:
    Q) When will you announce the driver of the No. 55 Camry for next season?
    Waltrip: "Well, we're -- obviously I said we've raced with Aaron's for 14 years and we hope that we can sign something that will put that deal together for the near foreseeable future to come -- three years or so. And, we're working hard with Aaron's. We've targeted Brian Vickers as the guy that we want to drive our car. We think that Brian is a future champion of the Cup Series so we want Brian to drive it and we want Aaron's to sponsor it. That's the news and that's where it's at. I think both Aaron's and Brian are very into making that happen. It would just be a matter of getting the details worked out in order to be able to announce it soon. So, when it happens it won't be a surprise because that's what we're after. I think Aaron's growth in the business world, the amount of stores that they had when we started together and the amount they have now -- I used to kid people all of the time, I said I don't believe they think I had anything to do with that, but just in case I've been there the whole time and let's just keep him around. That was sort of the way that it started with Aaron's and now with the 'Aaron's Dream Weekend' and everything that they do in NASCAR, they've committed to this sport and hopefully that commitment will continue with Michael Waltrip Racing into the future."(Toyota Racing transcript in part)(5-5-2013)

  • Mike Ford to assist #93 team at Darlington: Veteran crew chief Mike Ford returns to the pit box next week at Darlington Raceway. Although Ford holds the title of director of competition for BK Racing, he will join the #93 team in what has been termed a "training exercise" to improve the systems on that squad and assist current crew chief Todd Anderson get up to speed with driver Travis Kvapil. Ford, who started as a crew chief with Bill Elliott in 2000, had his most success run guiding #11-Denny Hamlin to six consecutive Chase for the Sprint Cup appearances including a career-high second-place in 2010.(FoxSports)(5-5-2013)

  • Germain Racing to show support for Susan G. Komen Foundation: The #13 Germain Racing team will show support for the Susan G. Komen Foundation beginning at Talladega Superspeedway by promoting the upcoming "Rivals Series Shootout", a golf tournament held September 25, 2013, at Lake of Isles Country Club, North Stonington, CT, with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The Rivals teams are made up of baseball names from New York Baseball Alumni and Boston Baseball Alumni, with Bucky Dent being the team captain for the New York side and Tim Wakefield serving as captain for Boston. The "Rivals Series Shootout" logo can be seen on the decklid of the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion and the C-post pink ribbons Germain Racing normally places on the car will be adapted to the Susan G. Komen Foundation pink ribbon logo.(Germain Racing)(5-5-2013)

  • Special pit crew member in Truex's pit on Sunday: Ret. Army Sgt. Noah Galloway is this week's NAPA Honorary Pt Crew Member in #56-Martin Truex Jr.'s pit on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. He's from Birmingham, Ala. On Dec. 19, 2005, he lost his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee in an Improvised Explosive Device attack in Yusafiah, Iraq. Since his injury, Galloway has participated in two Warrior Dash events and a Barbarian Challenge. As a member of TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E, he has completed three Tough Mudder competitions and the Bataan Memorial Death March.(MWR)(5-5-2013)

  • NASCAR-Themed Novela Premieres on Sunday: "Arranque de Pasión, La Historia de Ela," the first-ever sports-themed original production for Univision, will make its primetime television debut when it airs as a special edited version on Sunday, May 5 at 10:15 pm/et. The NASCAR-themed drama is a co-production between Univision Studios and Kate del Castillo Productions, Inc., in association with NASCAR. It stars del Castillo, who served as Honorary Starter for the Auto Club 400 on March 24, as well as leading men Carlos Ponce and Christian Meier. Shot at Homestead-Miami Speedway, "Arranque de Pasión, La Historia de Ela" also is NASCAR's first-ever Spanish language original production. Beginning April 1, the drama aired every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in five-to-seven-minute segments on Univision.com/ArranquedePasion.(NASCAR)(5-5-2013)

  • Peters returns to his roots: Camping World Truck Series regular Timothy Peters picked up right where he left off last time he raced at the 0.4-mile oval at South Boston Speedway, leading 118 laps and holding off Bobby McCarty to claim Saturday night's CenturyLink Late Model 150. The victory is the first for the Danville resident at South Boston since 2004 when he claimed the Late Model track championship, marking his third consecutive Late Model title after winning in '02 and '03 at Orange County Speedway.(Danville Register and Bee)(5-5-2013)


    News from May 4, 2013


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

  • Race Coverage of the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is scheduled for Sunday, May 5, 2013.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 12:30 pm/et; green flag approx 1:19pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, May 8 at 12:00pm/et

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway have been made.
    #99-Edwards, who starts first, chose pit stall 1.
    #56-Truex Jr., who starts 2nd, took pit stall 3.
    #9-Ambrose, who starts 3rd took the 17th pit stall, the 1st stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #1-McMurray, who starts 28th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-4-2013)

  • Qualifying for the Aaron's 499 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway has been canceled due to rain. The lineup was set by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules book. First the 43 teams making the race are determined:
    Top 36 in owners points.
    Past Series Champions not in the top 36 of owners points.
    Then by race attempts, ties broken by owners points rank.
    The starting order is then set by 1st practice speed.
    So #99-Edwards starts 1st [not awarded the pole], #56-Truex Jr., #9-Ambrose, #22-Logano, #39-Newman, #20-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon and #5-Kahne.
    See the starting lineup on my Talladega Qualifying Page.(5-4-2013)

  • Hamlin discusses injury, plans for Sunday: #11-Denny Hamlin, cleared Thursday to race at Talladega, talked to the media on Friday at Talladege Superspeedway after practicing 16 laps in the #11 FedEx Toyota. A few comments from Hamlin about his back injury and return to the track:
    Q) How did it feel to be back in the car in practice today?
    Hamlin: "Obviously it's really good to get back and run some speed and get somewhat adrenaline pumping again. I'm thankful for everything Brian (Vickers) has done over these last four weeks and what he's going to do this weekend. We appreciate that and FedEx for sticking through it with us and obviously showing us a lot of support. So, it's definitely good to be back in a car and really just starting with hopefully what will be a good run in these next 17 weeks."
    Q) Is it physically painful to be in the car on the race track?
    Hamlin: "No, there's no discomfort inside the car at all. Really, for me, the most discomfort I have is getting out of the car. That's why we're choosing to go through the roof versus the window. It's much easier on me, and really any kind of twisting we can keep out of myself will be good. Really, inside the race car I feel just like I did six, seven weeks ago."
    Q) Was it hard physically to get out of the race car?
    Hamlin:"No, it took us one minute and six seconds twice in a row, so I think that we're going to be plenty good if a caution comes out to come out and preserve a lap."
    Q) Are you concerned there may be an early accident that you could get involved in?
    Hamlin: "As far as the first lap, early-on wreck it definitely can happen. We've seen it here at this race track on lap one and we've seen it on the last lap. I'm obviously going to put myself in what I believe is a safe position. Obviously you can't help things like blown tires or whatever that could possibly happen, but like I said I think the equivalency of our risks this weekend will be taking a knee."
    Q) Are you definitely getting out of the car on Sunday?
    Hamlin:"Yeah, I would say that's probably the most -- there's going to be a caution at some point and I'd like to get out to just insure myself of one more week of healing versus trying to come back in the middle of round six."
    Q) Is there any risk that you could have a career-ending injury in an accident?
    Hamlin: "I have to be careful with the answer of this. There's going to be risks. There is risk. There is risk until -- I don't know the exact science and no one knows the exact percentages. Nobody knows and that's what makes this really, really hard. With bone healing, it doesn't matter if you break your arm, you break your leg or whatever, a bone takes a year to heal. That's realistic. But, as far as I've been told and I understand it would take such a significant hit that you probably would be injured from it even if you were 100 percent healthy as far as I understand. So, it's very hard. I've got to let the doctors speak for that a little bit more than me because I don't know the risks exactly and neither do they. We're just trying to buy myself another week obviously until Darlington, but the risk is so minimal that it's almost not even there."
    Q) Do you feel like you will have to be more careful in the race car with your injury?
    Hamlin: "Not really. When I was in the car in practice you would think when you're coming back -- I know with my ACL I was cognizant the first time I actually went running again for the first time. Just trying to be -- I was scared of it. This is a little bit different because my symptoms from this went away after one week. I felt no back pain in the fractured area. For me, I'm only being limited on what I do -- the twisting, the jumping, the running, all of that -- just because I'm told to and not because I'm scared or fearful of it. It never even crossed my mind in the car so I think it's really a non-issue going forward."
    Q) Why are you getting rescanned next week?
    Hamlin: "It was scheduled. It's been on the schedule. I mentioned even through media that after Talladega we were going to get scanned once again."
    Q) Have you practiced the driver swap with Brian Vickers?
    Hamlin: "I think it's three minutes or high twos or something like that that you will lose a lap. But it took us right at one minute every time that we rehearsed it, so we're going to be plenty fine there. Everything is pretty seamless."(in part from a Toyota Racing Transcript)(5-4-2013)

  • Kurt Busch to test Indycar at Indy: After two days of testing the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy NASCAR Sprint Cup car this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch left the track knowing he was going to get more seat time at the famed oval before the Crown Royal presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard in July. But this time, the additional seat time will be behind the wheel an IZOD IndyCar Series car. Busch will test a Chevrolet-powered Andretti Autosport Indy car Thursday morning, May 9, just two days before IMS officially opens for practice for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport team owner and IMS legend Michael Andretti will be on hand to provide driver coaching and assist in getting Busch up to speed quickly.
    "I have always enjoyed racing at Indianapolis, and when IMS and Michael presented me with the opportunity to test an Indy car prior to opening day of practice of the Indianapolis 500, I jumped at it," Busch said. "The Indianapolis 500 is an iconic event and having an opportunity to go through the testing process with Michael and Andretti Autosport, the defending series champions and two-time winners of the race, is pretty cool."
    Said Andretti: "I had the chance to get to know Kurt last year when we were working on another racing project. I respect his talent and am happy to give him the opportunity to experience the raw speed of an Indy car. It's a unique feel and perspective - it will be totally different than what he is used to driving each week on the Cup circuit." Busch left open the door to compete in "The Double" - racing in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day - in the future. "I am looking forward to this test and experiencing IMS at the speeds the Indy cars run," Busch said. "Let's see how the test goes, and then I can look at the opportunities that could be beyond this coming Thursday. Running the Indianapolis 500 would certainly be a highlight, and doing another 600 miles in a Cup car on the same day would make for a special weekend." Only three drivers have attempted the Memorial Day weekend "Double" - John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon.(IMS)(5-4-2013)

  • SANY Worldwide Magazine Features SANY Racing with TBR: Emerging into the sport of NASCAR with Tommy Baldwin Racing, SANY America's partnership with TBR and the #7 Chevy has left both fans and media members talking. Anytime a new sponsor enters the sport, heads turn, but who was SANY and how did they end up at Tommy Baldwin Racing? In February as we prepared for Daytona, Kyle Nape, vice president of global sales and marketing at SANY America said,"We're excited to start this venture with Tommy Baldwin Racing and NASCAR. Many of our customers are NASCAR fans, so this partnership is a great way for us to get our name out there. We're looking forward to a great season with a great team." From our media day at SANY America in early April to welcoming executives and customers of SANY America each weekend, Tommy Baldwin Racing is proud to have SANY on board the #7 as we continue the 2013 NASCAR season.(TBR)(5-4-2013)

  • Spring Testing season underway for Goodyear: With springtime comes warmer weather across the country which, in turn, marks the beginning of testing season at some of NASCAR's more northern tracks for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. After running a two-day test down south at Daytona International Speedway on April 16-17, the exclusive tire supplier for NASCAR's top three divisions moved up north this past Tuesday and Wednesday to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to be followed by sessions at Chicagoland Speedway next week (May 7-8) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway the following week (May 14-15).
    "Now that the weather is scheduled to break, it opens up our palette of race tracks for testing to continue our tire development with the Gen-6 car," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. "We've had a great start to the season, and NASCAR deserves a lot of credit for all the work they've put in to the new car. We used the early part of the season to collect a lot of data on race weekends to see how our tires work with the Gen-6. We feel very good about our results so far and we just want to stay on top of things and see where improvements can be made. As teams have more time with the new car, their set-ups will evolve, so we need to stay in tune with those changes. Track testing in advance of summer races at some of these tracks is the best way to do that."
    Goodyear started the spring testing season with the two-day session at Daytona. Day one featured single car runs as teams sorted through several tire options. Day two was run mostly in multi-car packs, with the nine teams getting in two 20-lap runs. It was a fruitful session that yielded a new tire recommendation for NASCAR weekend scheduled for this coming July.
    "We tested at Daytona mainly to keep up with the race track, since it's now been a couple years since the re-pave" said Stucker. "After running the 500 down there in February, and what we learned at the test, we will go back there in July with a new recommendation. We've decided to change the compounds on both sides of the car and update the left-side construction to incorporate changes that we've successfully made at several other race tracks."
    Goodyear followed that up with a test this past week at Indianapolis, which has a grooved surface that is known for aggressively wearing tires. Driver's and teams participating in that six-car test were #21-Trevor Bayne, #78-Kurt Busch, #24-Jeff Gordon, #2-Brad Keselowski, #55-Mark Martin and #14-Tony Stewart.
    "Indianapolis is obviously a unique configuration and not like any other surface we race on. We've been very happy with our set-up over the last several years, and we want to be able to match that on these cars that have more left-side weight, more downforce and cambered rear ends," said Stucker. "We completed two full days of testing this week and we had excellent weather that provided conditions very typical of what we might expect in July -- sunny and mid-80-degree temperatures. All six teams participated in evaluations, and contributed a lot of data for us to review in determining the recommendation for this year's race, which we will finalize over the coming weeks."
    Goodyear continues on with tests at Chicagoland and New Hampshire, two tracks that will host three races on the remaining NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule.
    "At Chicagoland, our goal will be evaluating any changes to the track surface and learning more about this car on the intermediate tracks, which is the most popular style track on the circuit," said Stucker. "Driver feedback from Loudon last year identified that track as an opportunity to increase grip. The focus of that test will be to come up with the right balance of grip, wear and fall off for the new car on that surface."
    Drivers and teams scheduled for do the Chicagoland test are #16-Greg Biffle, #18-Kurt Busch, #29-Kevin Harvick, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #1-Jamie McMurray and #39-Ryan Newman.
    Set to handle the New Hampshire test are #7-Dave Blaney, #15-Clint Bowyer, #31-Jeff Burton, #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth and #22-Joey Logano.
    Later in the year, Goodyear has already scheduled additional tests for Atlanta Motor Speedway (June 18-19), Homestead-Miami Speedway on August 27-28, Phoenix International Raceway on September 10-11, Richmond International Raceway on October 15-16 and Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 22-23.(Goodyear Racing PR)(5-4-2013)

  • Golden Corral returns to the #36: Heading to the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway, JJ Yeley and the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing team are bringing back the popular Golden Corral paint scheme in hopes of another "Top 10 Kids Eat Free" celebration on Monday.(TBR)(5-4-2013)

  • Smith wins at Talladega: #7-Regan Smith won the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway for his first win of 2013 and the second of his career. #22-Joey Logano finished second followed by #5-Kasey Kahne, #1-Kurt Busch, #31-Justin Allgaier, #77-Parker Kligerman, #01-Mike Wallace, #24-Jason White, #51-Jeremy Clements, and #3-Austin Dillon.
    A wreck on the last lap forced NASCAR to throw the caution as the lead cars came through the tri-oval heading to the checkered flag. Kahne got to the finish line first, but NASCAR had already put out the caution.
    #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., who was the points leader coming into the race, was caught in an accident and finished 25th. Smtih now leads the points by 27 over Hornish.
    The race started nearly 2 1/2 hours late after it rained at the track most of the morning and was ended 10 laps early due to darkness. There was also a single green-white-checker attempt.
    There were 7 cautions for 28 laps and 47 lead changes among 16 leaders. Complete results are on the Talladega race results page (pdf).(5-3-2013)

  • Talladega Race Fast Facts:
    Regan Smith won the 22nd Annual Aaron's 312, his second victory in 111 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2013.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in three races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Joey Logano(i) (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in five races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
    Kasey Kahne(i) (third) posted his first top-10 finish in five races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Alex Bowman (13th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Regan Smith leads the point standings by 27 points over Sam Hornish Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(5-3-2013)

  • Driver standings following Talladega:
    1) #7-Regan Smith 305
    2) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 278, -27
    3) #31-Justin Allgaier 265, -40
    4) #77-Parker Kligerman 258, -47
    5) #11-Elliott Sadler 258, -47
    6) #3-Austin Dillon 257, -48
    7) #2-Brian Scott 254, -51
    8) #20-Brian Vickers 252, -53
    9) #99-Alex Bowman # 231, -74
    10) #6Trevor Bayne 230, -75
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(5-3-2013)

  • Owner Standings following Talladega are posted (pdf).(5-3-2013)

  • Townley in for Green at Dega: UPDATE: #25-John Wes Townley's qualifying time was thrown out because his car failed pre-qualifying inspection. His sponsorship was moved to #10-Jeff Green's car so he could race Saturday.(ESPN.com)(5-3-2013)
    UPDATE Jeff Green will drive the #10 at Talladega afterall. Townley was involved in an accident during the ARCA race Friday.(5-4-2013)

  • Bliss gets Talladega sponsor: Dixie Chopper and NASCAR share many loyal fans. The lines will blur even further when Dixie Chopper will be on the #19 Dixie Chopper Toyota Camry, driven by Mike Bliss, at the 2.66-mile tri-oval of Talladega Superspeedway. Dixie Chopper is known for manufacturing the world's fastest lawn mower, therefore being on display at one of NASCAR's fastest tracks, seems inevitable. Headquartered in Coatesville, Indiana, Dixie Chopper's revolutionary craftsmanship is proudly made in the USA.(TriStar Motorsports)(5-4-2013)


    News from May 3, 2013

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Aaron's 499 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 12:10pm/et.
    TV: SPEED at 12:00pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network at motorracingnetwork.com.
    Scheduled Qualifying TV Re-Air: 7:00pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #93-Kvapil.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #47-Labonte.
    #11-Hamlin returns, the #11 is scheduled to go out 4th.
    Fastest in first Friday practice, #99-Edwards, is scheduled to qualify 36th.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Talladega Qualifying Page.(5-3-2013)

  • Practice held but Qualifying canceled - correction: If the first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place, the cars that would make the race are the the highest 36 cars in owners points. The starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car's fastest lap from the first practice. The top-36 in speeds placed in that order. The next six cars use provisionals with the highest on owners points, not already in the race via speed getting a spot. Then the those six cars are lined up by fastest speed in practice. The 43rd spot is for a past champion to use, if needed. If not, the next team eligible for a provisional gets the spot. So if qualifying gets rained out, #81-Sadler would miss the race due to being lowest in owners points / least attempts.(5-3-2013)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes - some speds under drafting and some one lap attempts:
    #2-Keselowski 195.896
    #30-Stremme 195.544
    #5-Kahne 195.540
    #43-Almirola 195.540
    #83-Reutimann 195.445
    slowest: #33-Cassill 186.634 & #36-Yeley 187.181
    only 27 of 44 drivers ran laps.
    See fastest kaps, best ten-lap average, laps run and more on the Talladega Happy Hour Practice Speeds (pdf) page.

  • First Friday practice for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes - speeds are under drafting condistions:
    #99-Edwards 199.675
    #56-Truex Jr. 199.652
    #9-Ambrose 199.608
    #22-Logano 199.596
    #39-Newman 199.542
    slowest: #36-Yeley 177.781 & #33-Cassill 182.105
    Notes: cars were doing drafting practice, in a few packs. Denny Halin was in the #11 for the first 20 minutes, then Vickers got in the car with about 10 minutes left in practice. So if qualifying gets rained out, #99-Edwards would start first.
    See fastest kaps, best ten-lap average, laps run and more on the Talladega Practice 1 Speeds (pdf) page.

  • Weather could be a problem at Talladega: For the moment, the weather at Talladega Superspeedway is partly cloudy and comfortable, but it isn't expected to stay that way, unfortunately. According to weather.com, there is a 50% chance of rain today, with showers already reported nearby. The probability of precipitation rises to 90% on Saturday, with a 60% chance of rain on Sunday. NASCAR has its high-tech Air Titan track drying system at Talladega this weekend, and it looks as if it will get a workout soon.(SPEED), there are no lights at the track, see weather links on my Talladega Race Info page - weather section.(5-3-2013)

  • RCR receives Business Family of the Year Award from Wake Forest University: During a ceremony at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Thursday night, Richard Childress Racing received the Family Business of the Year Award, Large Business Category, from the school's Family Business Center. The award was based off the economic impact and contributions RCR has made in their community through the years. RCR was recognized for the race team's efforts, plus the Childress Winery, Sapona Ridge Country Club and Childress Institute of Pediatric Trauma. "It is an honor and privilege to accept this award on behalf of our entire Childress and Dillon family," said Judy Childress, wife of RCR's president and CEO Richard Childress. "Wake Forest University stands for leadership and progress for our future. Only in America can those dreams come true. Wake Forest is building our leaders for tomorrow, and generations to come through a four-year plan. We are doing the same thing at RCR, but we try to get it done in 500 laps." The ceremony was held at the Porter B. Byrum Welcome Center on the WFU campus.(RCR)(5-3-2013)

  • #78 to Carry Message Honoring Military for Armed Forces Day: In observance of Armed Forces Day (May 18), a holiday for citizens to come together to thank military members for their patriotic service, Kurt Busch's No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS will include an added message at the next two Sprint Cup races at Talladega (May 5) and Darlington (May 11). A ribbon on the hood and rear quarter panels of Busch's car will announce Military Appreciation Night on May 17. The hood will also communicate, At All Furniture Row Stores. This special messaging is in conjunction with the 330 Furniture Row stores nationwide hosting Military Appreciation Night celebrations for all active duty, former, and retired military, as well as reservist and members of the National Guard and their families on the eve of Armed Forces Day.
    The Military Appreciation Night on Friday May 17 will be held from 3  9 p.m. inside all of Furniture Row's specialty stores  Denver Mattress, Sofa Mart, Oak Express and Bedroom Expressions. The evening activities will include multiple drawings for Apple iPads and a 60-inch Samsung 180p Plasma HDTV along with free gifts and refreshments. Every item in the stores will be specially priced for this one evening. "I am really proud of Furniture Row for its support of our military," said Busch. "Having the Military Appreciation Night message on our race car is special to me because I am also a huge supporter of our men and women in uniform with my passionate involvement with the Armed Forces Foundation." President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. On Aug. 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense (FRR), see an image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(5-3-2013)

  • Farm Rich to sponsor #34 team: Georgia-based Farm Rich is teaming up with Unadilla, Ga., native #34-David Ragan for this weekend's high-speed action at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway - a track where he has a history of finishing up front. The Aaron's 499 race weekend will be the first time Farm Rich has partnered with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. Farm Rich makes wholesome, great-tasting frozen snack and appetizer products such as Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks, Meatballs and Jalapeño Peppers. They are sold at grocery and club stores nationwide. "Farm Rich is really happy to be involved with David Ragan, the #34 team and Front Row Motorsports," said Shannon Gilreath, Senior Brand Manager for Farm Rich. "Farm Rich fans love NASCAR, so this is a great way to put two of their favorite things together. It's going to be a great race and we think fans will be excited to see Farm Rich on the #34 car."(FRM)(5-3-2013)

  • Love's Travel Stops return to the #38: #38-David Gilliland had a fast Love's Travel Stops Ford at Daytona International Speedway in February, but "The Big One" kept him from showing what he and his car were capable of. The driver of the #38 Ford Fusion now wants to finish what he started with his Love's car when the Sprint Cup Series goes to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for Sunday's Aaron's 499. The black, red and yellow paint scheme of Love's Travel Stops will be back for its third race with Front Row Motorsports, promoting the MyLoveRewards loyalty program. The travel center company is family-owned and operated with more than 290 locations in 39 states and is currently ranked No. 9 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. Gilliland has earned one top-five and two top-10 finishes and one pole position in his 11 Sprint Cup starts at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. His best finish was fourth in 2007.(FRM), see an image of the car on the #38 Team Schemes page.(5-3-2013)

  • Budweiser Launches New Racing App featuring Harvick: Budweiser is giving consumers a whole new look at what it's like to hit speeds of 190 mph in the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS with the interactive BUD 360° app. The King of Beers' innovative new app utilizes surround video technology to provide users with a 360-degree look inside Kevin Harvick's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride as the driver completes several laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While Harvick controls the wheel, the consumer controls the view, allowing them to experience the sensation of speed in never-before-seen angles. The resulting content is available for free in the Apple App Store for both iPhone and iPad users.(Budweiser Racing)(5-3-2013)

  • Hamlin plans to start at Talladega UPDATE2 Hamlin cleared: #11-Denny Hamlin plans to start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, but don't look for him to be in the car long. Assuming nothing changes during practice or qualifying, it will be the first race back for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver since suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the final lap of the March 24 event at Auto Club Speedway in California. Hamlin tweeted on Tuesday that he was cleared "just to start,' Hamlin told ESPN.com at Kansas he would drop to the back of the pack at Talladega and ride around until the first caution, then give way to backup driver Brian Vickers.(ESPN)(4-30-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR confirmed that medical clearance has not yet been given for Denny Hamlin to return to racing the #11 FedEx Toyota (many sources on Twitter)(5-1-2013)
    UPDATE2: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota. Hamlin was injured during an accident at Auto Club Speedway and has missed the past four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races while recovering. Exact plans for this weekend will be determined by the team at Talladega.(JGR)(5-3-2013)

  • Pastrana on pole at Talladega: #60-Travis Pastrana won the Coors Light Pole for the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 176.500mph. #3-Austin Dillon will start second. The rest of the top 10: #6-Trevor Bayne, #34-Danica Patrick, #31-Justin Allgaier, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #11-Elliott Sadler, #2-Brian Scott, #1-Kurt Busch, and #54-Joey Coulter. Did Not Qualify: #25-John Wes Townley (time disallowed for the car being too low) and #15-Stanton Barrett. The starting lineup is posted on the Talladega starting lineup page (pdf).(5-3-2013)

  • Talladega Qualifying Notes:
    Travis Pastrana won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 22nd Annual Aaron's 312 with a lap of 54.255 seconds, 176.500 mph.
    This is his first pole in 17 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2013.
    This is his first pole in his first start at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Austin Dillon (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2013 and his second in two races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Trevor Bayne (third) posted his second top-10 start at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his sixth in eight races this season.
    Alex Bowman (15th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    This is owner Jack Roush's first NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light pole at Talladega Superspeedway.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(5-3-2013)

  • Robby Benton starts new team....in Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series: Successful real estate developer and Lamborghini Carolinas CEO Eddie Littlefield, along with winning NASCAR team owner Robby Benton, and NASCAR driver and Sprint Cup Series Rookie-of-the-Year Kevin Conway announce the formation of Change Racing - a new team that will compete full time in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series.Change Racing is based in Concord, NC, housed in a state of the art 40,000 square foot facility.In addition to competing for the 2013 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series World Championship, Change Racing with Lamborghini Carolinas will be providing trackside support, engineering, and program management for other Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series teams and drivers throughout North America. Change Racing also announced a multi-year driver agreement with NASCAR driver and team principal, Kevin Conway as the team’s lead driver.(Change Racing)(5-3-2013)

  • MaddiesPlaceRocks.com returns to the #87: This weekend, NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Joe Nemechek makes his nineteenth career NNS start at the Talladega Superspeedway behind the wheel of the Purple and White #87 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Toyota Camry. Joe has snagged 5 poles, 8 Top Tens, 7 Top Fives and 2 victories in his 18 previous NNS starts at Talladega. NEMCO is excited to have MaddiesPlaceRocks.com back as the primary partner for the Nationwide Series race.(NEMCO/JRR)(5-3-2013)

  • Harmon gets Talladega sponsor: #74-Mike Harmon will represent Jonesboro local businesses Haag Brown Commercial and Stone Bridge Construction in the Nationwide Series Talladega Superspeedway race. Harmon came about the car sponsorship of Haag Brown Commercial through Rob Hester and John Perry of StoneBridge Construction. Mike is proud to represent a company from Alabama. Mike is the only driver from Alabama still racing in NASCAR full time. He was mentored by the original Alabama Gang. Mike is looking forward to racing in a car he purchased from Penske racing.(Harmon PR)(5-3-2013)

  • Two T-28 Trojan Aircraft to Perform Flyover at Talladega: Talladega Superspeedway fans are known for being patriotic, but this Sunday they will have more reason to feel proud to be an American a historic flyover takes them back to the earlier days of the speedway. Two combat veteran T-28 Trojan aircraft from the Museum of Flight, Chattanooga's Aviation Museum (TN) will soar above Talladega Superspeedway near the conclusion of the National Anthem to the road of thousands of fans, minutes before the start of the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series Race at NASCAR's Most Competitive Track.
    Lt. Col. Peyton "XMan" Dehart and Pete "Wheeler" O'Hare who both served in Vietnam, will pilot the aircraft, used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s. The T-28 was successfully employed as a Counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War. They were produced from 1950-58 and was retired in 1994.
    The flyover will occur at the end of the Star-Spangled Banner, which will be performed by recording artist Robin Meade, also host of HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade." Moments later, fans will be treated to Talladega's famous tradition of presenting an American flag on the back of a semi-truck as it barrels around the track. Sunday is guaranteed to become part of Talladega's patriotic lore. Both aircraft can now be seen close up at the Museum of Flight, Chattanooga Aviation Museum, located in the suburban community of Hixson, TN. The most competitive racing in NASCAR combined with a mix of southern hospitality returns to Talladega Superspeedway May 3-5 for the Aaron's Dream Weekend. Experience the excitement as the superstars of NASCAR attempt to tackle the high-banks of 'DEGA at 200 mph. Secure your tickets at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(5-3-2013)

  • Aaron's partners to help end hunger in Alabama: Aaron's, Inc. is partnering with the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama to host a can drive at one of the largest sporting events of the year  Aaron's Dream Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, May 3-5. More than 200,000 NASCAR fans attending Aaron's Dream Weekend at NASCAR's Most Competitive Track will have an opportunity to help the hungry in Alabama by bringing canned food items to the Aaron's Corporate Display at the speedway, located just outside of the frontstretch grandstands. Throughout the weekend, Aaron's associates and can-drive volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items such as canned meat, dry cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, paper towels, toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information on Aaron's Dream Weekend Can Drive, visit aarons.com/candrive.(TSS)(5-3-2013)


    News from May 2, 2013

  • Hamlin plans to start at Talladega UPDATE2 Hamlin cleared: #11-Denny Hamlin plans to start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, but don't look for him to be in the car long. Assuming nothing changes during practice or qualifying, it will be the first race back for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver since suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the final lap of the March 24 event at Auto Club Speedway in California. Hamlin tweeted on Tuesday that he was cleared "just to start,' Hamlin told ESPN.com at Kansas he would drop to the back of the pack at Talladega and ride around until the first caution, then give way to backup driver Brian Vickers.(ESPN)(4-30-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR confirmed that medical clearance has not yet been given for Denny Hamlin to return to racing the #11 FedEx Toyota (many sources on Twitter)(5-1-2013)
    UPDATE2: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota. Hamlin was injured during an accident at Auto Club Speedway and has missed the past four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races while recovering. Exact plans for this weekend will be determined by the team at Talladega.(JGR)(5-3-2013)

  • Final Richmond TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing on FOX delivered a 3.7/7 with 6.067 million viewers on Saturday night for the Richmond 400. That's up +3% over last year's 3.6/7 (5.914 million viewers) and ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the day; second overall for the weekend behind only ABC's Heat-Bucks NBA Playoff game. Since the Daytona 500, NASCAR Sprint Cup Races on Fox were the top-rated events of their respective weekends five out of nine telecasts thus far this season. Saturday night's race also powered Fox to an easy first place Primetime finish among all Broadcast and Cable Networks on Households and Adults 18-49. Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup on Fox is averaging a 5.1/11 with 8.34 million viewers, up +2% over last year's 5.0/10 (8.35 million viewers). See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(5-2-2013)

  • Curb Records Featuring the Bobby Bones Show to Sponsor McDowell at Talladega: Joining Michael McDowell at Talladega Superspeedway will be Curb Records featuring the Bobby Bones Show, which will serve as primary sponsor on his #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford Fusion. The Bobby Bones Show is a multiple award winning country music radio show based in Austin, Texas, on 96.7 KISS FM that is syndicated across the United States. The show is broadcast live weekday mornings from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. CT. "I can't wait to go racing at Talladega," McDowell said. "Our team had such a good run at Daytona and that has us really excited about this week. We know that we're capable of having a great run. We just have to put all of the pieces together. Fortunately one of the biggest pieces is already in place. We got Curb Records Featuring the Bobby Bones Show as a partner for the race. We're thrilled to have them on our car and will do our best to give them a good ride." McDowell will be at the helm of the same car he piloted to a top-10 finish at Daytona. The car took the checkered flag at Daytona without a scratch on it.(Phil Parsons Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #98 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2013)

  • Ambrose, Almirola Set to Test at Sonoma, May 7th: Race fans will be treated to a FREE NASCAR test session and also get a sneak peek at some tasty new food options on Tuesday, May 7, at Sonoma Raceway. The test will also mark the debut of the new NASCAR Gen-6 car in Sonoma. Richard Petty Motorsports will visit the road course for a two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test with #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-Aric Almirola in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 21-23. This will be the first time the new Gen-6 NASCAR stock car will lay tracks on the Sonoma Valley road course. Ambrose claimed the pole in Sonoma last year and nearly took the checkers in 2010 before a late-race stall cost him the victory. In addition to the great on-track action, fans can also preview the raceway's newest concession concept, the Sears Point Grill. Located at the north-end of the main grandstand, the Sears Point Grill will feature handmade burgers, locally-sourced sausages and other savory grilled items. Three Sears Point Grill locations will open officially during NASCAR race weekend, but fans can purchase food and drinks near the main grandstand during the test session from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A press conference and fan event with the drivers will be held at the Sears Point Grill during the lunch break at approximately 12:15 p.m., and fans are welcome to attend. Fans can also test their skills with Grand Prix Karting in front of the Simraceway Driving Performance Center during the test session. Karting will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday in front of the racing school and is free for attendees. Testing will span from approximately 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fans who purchase tickets to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 during the test on May 7 can save up to $50 on a special NASCAR ticket package. Tickets for NASCAR's 25th annual visit to the Sonoma Valley are also available at 800-870-RACE (7223) or racesonoma.com/nascar. Great options are still available, including the all-new NASCAR Express train package, Save Mart 2-Pack and more.(Sonoma Raceway)(5-2-2013)

  • Peak Motor Oil debuts at Talladega: Michael Waltrip Racing and Clint Bowyer welcome PEAK Motor Oil as the primary sponsor of the #15 Toyota Camry for this weekend's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. PEAK will serve as the #15's primary sponsor carrying a BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid paint scheme at Daytona in July and a PEAK Antifreeze scheme at Chicagoland in September. PEAK also serves as a major associate sponsor in every race. PEAK's commitment to the sport goes beyond paint schemes. PEAK's commercials featuring Bowyer and Waltrip air during race broadcasts and this year the Northbrook, Ill company initiated the "PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge", a search for the sport's next star.(MWR), see an image of the scheme on the #15 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2013)

  • Time Warner on the #5 next three races: Time Warner Cable will adorn the hood of Kasey Kahne's #5 Chevy this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and will be the primary sponsor on the car for three more Sprint Cup Series events this year: Darlington Raceway on May 11, Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26 and Kansas Speedway on Oct. 6. Kahne welcomed Time Warner Cable on the hood of his #5 Chevy for the first time at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Sprint Cup Series event on Oct. 13, 2012.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2013)

  • Goodyear Tire Testing at Chicago: Goodyear is scheduled to be hosting a tire test at Chicagoland Speedway on Tuesday, May 7 & Wednesday, May 8. Drivers tentatively scheduled to participate in the tire test include: #1-Jamie McMurray, #16-Greg Biffle, #18-Kyle Busch, #29-Kevin Harvick, #39-Ryan Newman and #48-Jimmie Johnson. The test is closed to the public.(Chicagoland Speedway)(5-2-2013)

  • Ty Dillon fastest in happy hour: #33-Ty Dillon was quickest during happy hour for the Aaron's 312 with a speed of 192.131mph. He was followed by: #6-Trevor Bayne, #60-Travis Pastrana, #43-Reed Sorenson, #7-Regan Smith, #5-Kasey Kahne, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #22-Joey Logano, #3-Austin Dillon, and #54-Joey Coulter. 38 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Talladega practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(5-2-2013)

  • Bayne fastest in first practice: #6-Trevor Bayne was fastest during opening practice at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 190.472mph. #5-Kasey Kahne was second, followed by: #30-Nelson Piquet, Jr., #32-Kyle Larson, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #22-Joey Logano, #32-Reed Sorenson, #60-Travis Pastrana, #77-Parker Kligerman, and #2-Brian Scott. 41 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Talladega practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(5-2-2013)

  • RCR appealing suspension of crew members: Richard Childress Racing has appealed the four-week suspensions to Brian Scott crewmen Michael Scearce and Thomas Costello, who were arrested last week following the Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Scearce faces two misdemeanor assault charges and Costello faces one misdemeanor assault charge after a fight with Turner Scott Motorsports driver Nelson Piquet Jr. in the driver/owner parking lot Friday night at RIR. NASCAR has deferred the suspensions pending appeal, so both Scearce and Costello will work with the team this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. No appeal date has been set. Scearce and Costello have a June 25 court date in Richmond.(Sporting News)(5-2-2013)

  • Coulter in the #54 at Talladega: A new name will be over the door of the Monster Energy Camry this weekend, that of a young driver tackling the 33 degree banking of Talladega Superspeedway for the first time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Joey Coulter will have the wheel of the #54 Toyota on Saturday with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Aaron's 312 event. It will be the first of three Nationwide Series races this season in which Coulter will support the JGR/KBM Monster Energy program, this weekend at the 2.66-mile high banks of Talladega, July 21 at Chicagoland Speedway and September 21 at Kentucky Speedway. The 22-year-old's full-time ride is currently the #18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry at KBM where he has earned this year, one top-five and one top-10 finish along with 15 laps led.(KBM)(5-2-2013)


    News from May 1, 2013

  • Penalties against Penske Racing have been upheld by appeals panel: many reports on Twitter say the penalties against Penske Racing have been upheld by appeals panel. Penske will appeal to highest level, Chief Appellate Officer. John Middlebrook. Penske crew members will be able to work at Talladega pending approval of Middlebrook.(5-1-2013)
    AND: The National Car Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel upheld the penalties Wednesday to the Penske Racing teams of #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano. Team owner Roger Penske said he would appeal the ruling to National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook. "I can't make any comments, it's clear we have a process and I'm better off to wait to see that conclude," Penske said. "All I can say about the process is it's fair and equitable. We had an opportunity to explain our case in detail. We will move onto the next step."
    The appeals panel of Pocono Raceway president Brandon Igdalsky, former NASCAR senior vice president Paul Brooks and Bowman-Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis took about five hours to hear arguments from both sides and deliberate on the decision. The three-person panel was chosen from a list of 49 eligible members.
    "We take our inspection process very seriously," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We believe we do a strong and credible job with it. The level playing field in the garage we believe is the best it's ever been. As the sanctioning body, we have to uphold the rules and regulations in the rulebook. The inspection process we believe in very strongly." Sprint Cup director John Darby presented NASCAR's side.
    Team owner Roger Penske attended the hearing with chief lieutenants Walt Czarnecki (vice president of Penske Corp.) and Tim Cindric (Penske Racing president). Team manager Travis Geisler and crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (Keselowski) and Todd Gordon (Logano) also were present.(USA Today)(5-1-2013)
    NASCAR Statement: On May 1, 2013, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #2 and #22 Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The penalties stemmed from a pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway April 13. See full rundown of the peanlties, fines and suspensions on my 2013 NASCAR Penalties page. The Appellants appealed all penalties listed. The Appellants also requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions until such time as the hearing could be convened. Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer. The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel overseeing the appeal: Brandon Igdalsky, Paul Brooks, Dale Pinilis and Shawn Rogers  Appellate Administrator and non-voting member.(NASCAR)(5-1-2013)
    Final Appeal Date: Team owner Roger Penske will utilize the final step in the appeal process, in which NASCAR chief appellate officer John Middlebrook will hear from both sides. The hearing will take place next Tuesday [May 7] at 10 a.m. ET, meaning all of the suspended crew members will be at Talladega this weekend. "Obviously, we're disappointed with the outcome,'' Penske said. "We met with the panel for over four or five hours. It was a good process. I feel we have a good case, and as we are allowed to under the NASCAR rules we will appeal to the next level. I can't make any [further] comment. It's clear we have a process. That's why I'm better off to wait and see that conclude, and at that point I can make any other personal comments.''(ESPN)(5-1-2013)

  • Hamlin plans to start at Talladega UPDATE not cleared yet: #11-Denny Hamlin plans to start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, but don't look for him to be in the car long. Assuming nothing changes during practice or qualifying, it will be the first race back for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver since suffering a compression fracture in his lower back on the final lap of the March 24 event at Auto Club Speedway in California. Hamlin tweeted on Tuesday that he was cleared "just to start,' Hamlin told ESPN.com at Kansas he would drop to the back of the pack at Talladega and ride around until the first caution, then give way to backup driver Brian Vickers.(ESPN)(4-30-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR confirmed that medical clearance has not yet been given for Denny Hamlin to return to racing the #11 FedEx Toyota (many sources on Twitter)(5-1-2013)

  • Waltrip returns to the #55 at 'Dega: #55 Aaron's Dream Machine driver Michael Waltrip returns to the drivers seat at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday in the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The two-time Daytona 500 champion's #55 will carry a special paint scheme honoring the 2012 University of Alabama's BCS National Championship football team. Waltrip will sport an Alabama firesuit and a specially painted helmet similar to the school's football helmet. Waltrip, winner of the Talladega fall race in 2003, nearly won the October race before a last lap wreck. Waltrip celebrated his 50th birthday on Tuesday. Aaron's unveiled the #55 paint scheme in front of 78,000 fans at University of Alabama's spring football game on April 20. Coach Nick Saban signed the hood. This is the fourth consecutive Talladega spring race Aaron's Inc. and MWR have honored a national championship football team from the state of Alabama. Aaron's also honored Auburn University in 2010 as well as the University of Alabama in 2009 and 2011.(MWR), see an image of the scheme on the #55 Team Schemes page.(5-1-2013)

  • Career Sprint Cup start 700 for Bobby Labonte: #47-Bobby Labonte makes his 700th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend during the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. He is the 14th driver to be able to accomplish that feat. He is not far behind NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace, who is in 13th at 706 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. At Talladega Superspeedway, Labonte has one win, one pole, six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. He has led 154 laps. His average start is 21.375 and his average finish is 18.850. The Clorox Company have partnered with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and JTG Daugherty Racing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of their iconic brand for the weekend in Talladega, Ala. from May 3-5, 2013. The #42 Chevy of Juan Pablo Montoya will bear the 100th Anniversary paint scheme while the #47 Toyota Camry of Bobby Labonte will sport a brown retro look, reminiscent of one of Clorox's first bottles of bleach.(JTG Daugherty Racing), see an image of the car on the #47 Team Schemes page.(5-1-2013)

  • Changes with the #44 and #19 teams? UPDATE: been told that crew chief Peter Sospenzo has left the #19 Humphrey-Smith Racing team and is the new crew chief for the #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports team. Supposedly Mike Bliss, currently the driver of the #19 Toyota could move to the #44 Ford for Xxxtreme Motorsports. Scott Riggs has ran three races for Xxxtreme Motorsports this season. Supposedly the next race for Xxxtreme Motorsports will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway, possibly as soon as the Sprint Showdown on May 18th. Former #44 crew chief has supposedly moved on to the #79 Go Green Racing team in the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series. No word who the new crew chief for the #19 team will be.
    UPDATE: been told that Furr is not working with the #79 team and that Ben Leslie is working with the team as the crew chief.(5-1-2013)

  • Tire testing at Indy UPDATE: been told that there will be NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goodyear tire testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 1. The following drivers are scheduled to test. #2-Brad Keselowski, #14-Tony Stewart, #21-Trevor Bayne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #55-Mark Martin and #78-Kurt Busch.
    AND Part of NASCAR rolls into town today for stock car testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon are among the Sprint Cup Series drivers participating in the Goodyear tire test today and Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski, former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch also will be on the track. The session will be from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm both days with an hour break for lunch sometime around noon. Spectators can watch the test from the Hall of Fame Museum parking lot, the grandstand located inside the track near the museum and a small portion of the Turn 2 spectator mound. The rest of the latter is closed due to renovation and ADA upgrades that will be completed for next week's opening of Indianapolis 500 practice. There is no admission to the museum parking lot (Indianapolis Star).(4-30-2013)
    UPDATE NASCAR had the perfect combination for the start of Tuesday's tire test in Indianapolis. Cool track, new tires, long straightaways and cars with grip. It doesn't get any better than that , and they aren't likely go much faster than this, either. After #55-Mark Martin wrote on Twitter that he had hit 212 mph in the backstretch during the morning session, a disbelieving #24-Jeff Gordon walked over to his team to see what it had recorded. "They said 214 and I said, 'My gosh, it really is fast,'" Gordon said. To put the speeds in perspective, Denny Hamlin won last year's Brickyard 400 pole with a fast lap of 182.293 mph. Gordon said all the cars Tuesday were faster. The incredibly quick speeds didn't last long when the temperatures warmed up and tires started wearing faster. And while nobody expects the cars to go anywhere close to these speeds in late July, everybody was encouraged by the early performance of the new Gen-6 cars on one of America's most historic, and tricky tracks. On Tuesday, Gordon and a handful of other drivers were asked to start the testing on a new more environmentally friendly tire. It worked spectacularly well under ideal conditions. The tires, Gordon said, did not respond nearly as well in the afternoon, and Trevor Bayne, who also tested, noted his speeds were down by about one full second per lap in the heat. The same drivers will return to the track Wednesday for another closed practice.(Associated Press)(5-1-2013)

  • #95 team and Speed to honor victims in West, TX: Sunday's Aaron's 499 will be the second race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season with restrictor plates. But for Scott Speed and Leavine Family Racing, their effort will be anything but restricted. The team will dedicate its efforts on Sunday to the victims of the West, Texas, explosion that killed 14 people, including 12 first responders. "We will run with restricted engines at the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, but I can promise you nobody on this race team will hold anything back," Speed said. "Our race team has deep roots in Texas. Our car will be West, Texas, strong." The Texas-based team decided to bring awareness to the disaster with signage on Speed's #95 Ford Fusion for Sunday's race in the aftermath of the fiery explosion at the fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas. The roof to Speed's car will carry to the words: "West, Texas, Strong. Victims - Survivors - Heroes."
    "As Texans, we all bond together," said car owner Bob Leavine, who lives in Tyler, Texas. "Texans are strong people, proud people. And when something happens, we join forces." TrackingPoint and Jordan Truck Sales (JTS) will share the primary sponsorship for the 188-lap event. Returning team sponsor Jordan Truck Sales (JTS) will be on the hood of the #95 Ford. The Austin, Texas based TrackingPoint will return with sponsorship on the quarter panels. Secondary sponsors Friends of NRA and Besties with Testies also signed on for Sunday's project. Crew chief Wally Rogers knows the best way to honor the victims of the explosion is to run up front. The team will bring the same car that led two laps at the season-opening Daytona 500 and wound up with a lead-lap finish. Since Leavine Family Racing is running a selective schedule, Speed kept himself busy with driving in the X-Games Global Rallycross championship. He won a gold medal for Ford Racing by winning the race in an OlsbergsMSE Fiesta Star Ford April 23 at Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. Speed won with a last-lap pass. "Winning in Brazil was a lot of fun," Speed said. "Winning at Talladega would be even better."(Leavine Family Racing)(5-1-2013)

  • Stacey has concussion; out at least for Talladega: This season we've saw some drivers take some very hard hits, and last weekend at Richmond, Nationwide driver #92-Dexter Stacey took a very hard hit into the wall. Since then, the doctors have concluded that he does in fact have a concussion and will have to miss Talladega this coming week in Nationwide. Pending approval, he may be back the following week. Tim Andrews, who has a best finish of 17th, which he took at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last season, is expected to take the drivers seat this weekend, and possibly for following weeks if needed until Dexter is medically cleared.(Apex Times)(5-1-2013)

  • Speedway Superstars kicks off: Speedway Superstars kicks off Wednesday, May 1st at the track with special appearances by Kenny Wallace and Doug Rice, the voice of PRN. It is a 10 city, 2 state mobile audition studio giving fans the chance to sing either the national anthem or God Bless America. From there 5 fans will be selected to sing one of the songs at one of the races in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway. More info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(5-1-2013)


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Next Race: Oral-B USA 500

Countdown to Race Time: 8/31/2014 ~7:46pm/et

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