April 2014 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 April 30, 2014

  • Montoya expected to drive third Penske car in some races UPDATE: Team Penske is expected to announce on Wednesday that Juan Pablo Montoya will return to Sprint Cup competition in the Brickyard 400 on July 27. However, Montoya's NASCAR homecoming could come sooner than that. Don't be surprised if Montoya runs a third Penske Racing car (likely the #12 Ford) at Sonoma Raceway on June 22. Montoya's first career Cup win was earned at the track in 2007. He could also compete at Watkins Glen on August 10, the site of his second Cup win in 2010. Both dates are open on the IndyCar calendar. Sources say Montoya tested a Team Penske NASCAR Ford last week at Nashville Speedway. Veteran Greg Erwin, who was retained after serving as Sam Hornish's crew chief last year, would likely fill that role with the third Cup car.(Motorsport)(4-29-2014)
    UPDATE: Team Penske announced that Juan Pablo Montoya will make two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts for the team in 2014. Montoya will pilot the #12 SKF Ford Fusion at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on June 15 and he will also compete for Team Penske in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) on July 27. The #12 car sponsor for the Brickyard 400 will be announced at a later date. NASCAR veteran Greg Erwin will work with Montoya as crew chief of the #12 Ford entry. Since joining Team Penske in 2012, an SKF-sponsored entry has made three NASCAR Cup Series starts. SKF earned its first NASCAR victory with Team Penske and Keselowski in the Nationwide Series last season. In addition to the race at MIS with Montoya, the #12 SKF Ford will also compete at Kansas on May 10 and at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19 with Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney.(Team Penske)(4-30-2014)

  • NASCAR meets with Michelin: Just days after several Sprint Cup champion contenders had issues with where the rubber meets the road in Richmond, NASCAR officials met with representatives from Michelin at the R&D Center in Concord, NC. The timing of the Tuesday meeting is coincidental considering the rash of failures experienced by competitors in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series last weekend. According to a Michelin source, however, it was a "mid-level meeting" that was scheduled before the Richmond race. "It was generally a get-acquainted and get-familiar with the tech center, and some relationship building," said the source. It likely also involved some regional and "grassroots" possibilities that could involve NASCAR and Michelin to partner. Michelin already supplies tires for the NASCAR Europe series, and also is a supplier for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's GT-Le Mans class. The TUDOR Championship is the NASCAR-controlled sports car series that was formed by combining Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series.
    The other three classes in the TUDOR Championship have Continental as the lone supplier. The GT-Le Mans series competitors can run whatever tire brand they choose. At the 24 Hours of Daytona, the tire of choice was Michelin. At the 12 Hours of Sebring, the only team that did not run Michelins was the Falken Tire-sponsored car. Michelin North America is based Greenville, S.C., about 100 miles south of NASCAR's Research and Development Center. Michelin reportedly is interested in bidding against Continental when the TUDOR Championship rights expire. Continental renegotiated its contract following the merger of the series and is in the first season of a multi-year deal. The exclusive Goodyear contract with NASCAR's top three touring series, including Sprint Cup, runs through 2017.(Motorsport)(4-30-2014)

  • Ragan to sport new sponsor at Talladega: KFC's patented Go Cup is designed for maximum portability, fitting in the cup holders of more than 80% of cars on the road today. On Sunday, the Go Cup will take portability to an extreme level when it goes "along for the ride" as defending NASCAR Aaron's 499 champion David Ragan takes to the track. "It's great to have KFC backing the team for the Talladega race," Ragan said. "We're excited about again contending for a Talladega win, this time in the KFC Go Cup Ford Fusion. The Go Cup is specifically designed for on-the-go consumers, and guys who race cars for a living definitely fit into that category." Besides leading a NASCAR team respected for its growth and accomplishments in its short history, Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins is also a KFC franchisee, operating restaurants in Kentucky, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.(Front Row Motorsports), see an images of the scheme, go to the #34 Team Schemes page.(4-30-2014)

  • Driver wins before age 25: 67 of 2,398 NASCAR Sprint Cup races for which the winner's age is known have been won by drivers under 25. Those 17 drivers and number of wins under 25 years of age:
    1. Kyle Busch, 17 [turned 25 the day after his 17th win on May 2, 2010]
    2. Jeff Gordon, 15
    3. Kurt Busch, 7
    3. Richard Petty, 7
    5. Junior Johnson, 5
    6. Joey Logano, 5 [won't be 25 until May 24, 2015]
    Eleven drivers with one win: Trevor Bayne [won't be 25 until February 19, 2016]; Bob Burdick; Bobby Hillin Jr.; Parnelli Jones; John Kieper; Terry Labonte, Ryan Newman, Bill Rexford; Fireball Roberts; Donald Thomas; Brian Vickers.(4-30-2014)

  • NASCAR Numbers:
    173: The race-high number of laps led by Jeff Gordon Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, bringing his RIR career total to 1,637, most among active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. Gordon has been a consistent frontrunner all season long, leading to the points lead after nine races.
    15: The series leading number of bonus points scored by both Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick through nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. Bonus points are awarded for winning races (3 points), leading at least one lap and leading the most laps in an event (1 point each). Logano and Harvick are the only two-time winners in the series.
    59: In points, Jimmie Johnson's deficit to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leader Jeff Gordon through nine races. After a 32nd-place finish at Richmond, the six-time champion is in eighth place, already more than a full race out of the lead with 17 events left in the regular season. Of course, in the new championship format, a Johnson win will render points practically meaningless.
    14.2: The average finish at Talladega Superspeedway of Brad Keselowski and David Ragan, best among active drivers with at least 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts there. There are those who would contend Ragan's win at the 2.66-mile track last year was a fluke. The stats argue otherwise.
    11: The combined number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories at Talladega posted by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon (6 wins) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5). No other active driver has more than two victories at NASCAR's biggest race track.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-30-2014)

  • Shell Saver Cardholders Can Save When #22 Ford Wins: Joey Logano took the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion car to victory lane at Richmond, and now it's time for Shell customers who have a Shell $averSM Card to save! Shell is offering Shell Saver Cardholders the opportunity to save 22 cents per gallon in Fuel Rewards savings on all three grades of Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines, and Shell Diesel, up to 25 gallons at participating stations, this upcoming Wednesday, or WINsday, April 30. For additional information, visit www.shell.us/winsday.(Shell)(4-30-2014)

  • Kahne in the #5 at Talladega: A 16-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Kasey Kahne joins perennial Chase contenders Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick working with the Ernie Cope-led #5 team this season. Great Clips, the world's largest hair salon brand, will be featured as primary sponsor of Kahne's #5 Chevy at Talladega. Returning for its second year with JR Motorsports, Great Clips is also an associate partner on Chase Elliott's #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy this season. Kahne is currently scheduled for two Nationwide Series starts this season with the #5 team. In addition to driving the #5 Great Clips Chevy at Talladega, the Enumclaw, Wash., native will pilot the #5 Hellmann's Chevy at Daytona in July.(JR Motorsports)(4-30-2014)

  • Jeremy Clements names Talladega sponsor: Jeremy Clements Racing announced that All South Electrical Constructors, Inc. will return as primary sponsor of the #51 Chevy at Talladega for the Aaron's 312, as part of a multi-race deal this season. In addition to All South Electric, BRT Extrusions will return for the first time this season as an associate sponsor. The Ohio based company, which delivers high quality aluminum extrusions from standard or custom dies, plans to serve as associate sponsor for additional races later this season.(Clements Racing PR)(4-30-2014)

  • RSS names Talladega sponsors UPDATE: RSS Racing announced that two Hot Springs, Arkansas based business have come on board as sponsors for the Aarons 312 at Talladega. Flurry Racing Stables will be a major associate sponsor the race and Avant Agency will serve as an associate for the race Saturday afternoon. Driver Ryan Sieg is looking to better his career best 9th place finish he earned at the season opening race at Daytona.(RSS Racing)(4-28-2014)
    UPDATE: Smart Cell is partnered with RSS Racing and Ryan Sieg for this weeks Aaron's 312. Smart Cell, a manufacturer of cellphone accessories has a new fundraising program they are offering High School Booster Organizations, and other organization that need a program.(RSS Racing)(4-30-2014)


    News from April 29, 2014

  • Dale Earnhardt Day 2014: Dale Earnhardt Inc. and The Dale Earnhardt Foundation announced the 2014 Dale Earnhardt Day on Tuesday, April 29th, at the DEI Corporate Headquarters on Hwy. #3, Mooresville, NC. Doors will open at 10:00am/et on Tuesday morning, and the annual event in celebration of The Intimidator's birthday is free and open to the public. This year will mark the 11th anniversary of the first Dale Earnhardt Day, held on April 29th, 2003. The DEI Showroom will be opening its' newest exhibit on Dale Day, which shows how the company founded by the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion carries on his legacy, how DEI and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation continue to support the causes that Dale held dear, and how the divisions of Dale Earnhardt Inc. continue to grow the business that Dale and Teresa founded. The Grand Showroom will also be open to the public, with a special display of Dale Earnhardt Inc. vehicles. The Grand Showroom is occasionally opened to the public, and this special event gives fans a rare opportunity to see these remarkable vehicles up close. The DEI Archives will be giving presentations at 11am and 2pm, showing how they preserve and protect Dale's trophies and other special mementos. Fans will also be treated to a theatre-style showing of "DALE - The Movie" in Dale's own Grand Showroom. Cupcakes will be served in the afternoon....an annual tradition on Dale's birthday celebration. Owners of customized Dale Earnhardt vehicles are invited to bring their personalized cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles for display in front of the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Corporate Offices. Dale Earnhardt Day will run from 10am until 5pm, on Tuesday, April 29th.(DEI)(4-28-2014)

  • Montoya expected to drive third Penske car in some races: Team Penske is expected to announce on Wednesday that Juan Pablo Montoya will return to Sprint Cup competition in the Brickyard 400 on July 27. However, Montoya's NASCAR homecoming could come sooner than that. Don't be surprised if Montoya runs a third Penske Racing car (likely the #12 Ford) at Sonoma Raceway on June 22. Montoya's first career Cup win was earned at the track in 2007. He could also compete at Watkins Glen on August 10, the site of his second Cup win in 2010. Both dates are open on the IndyCar calendar. Sources say Montoya tested a Team Penske NASCAR Ford last week at Nashville Speedway. Veteran Greg Erwin, who was retained after serving as Sam Hornish's crew chief last year, would likely fill that role with the third Cup car.(Motorsport)(4-29-2014)

  • NASCAR will look at Ambrose, Mears incident UPDATE 3 Penalties: NASCAR will investigate a post-race incident that resulted in both #9-Marcos Ambrose and #13-Casey Mears being punched, but Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said "we don't think it was anything too severe." FOX caught the incident after Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The network's video shows Ambrose and Mears talking to each other when Mears shoves Ambrose. Ambrose responds with a right cross to the left side of Mears' head. Ambrose is pulled away while Mears pursues. Then Ambrose is sucker-punched by someone else. Pemberton said that series officials did not meet with either driver after the race. Series officials met with Ambrose's crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, and Sammy Johns, director of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports. Pemberton said officials watched footage of the incident. Pemberton said they would continue to investigate the situation. He was unaware of anything on the track that would have precipitated the confrontation. "We'll get all the footage that we can and look at it and see what happens from there," Pemberton said. "We've got to take our time and do everything. Sometimes there's things for us to look at that we don't have available right now, so to make any kind of statement or call on it (at this point), we'd be wasting everybody's time."(Motor Racing Network)(4-27-2014)
    UPDATE: Casey Mears didn't let a punch keep him away from a race Sunday morning. The driver of the #13 Chevy was in Huntersville, NC for a 5K race put on by the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. It came not long after the checkered flag fell in Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway. Mears finished 19th in that race, and left with a bruised left eye after a punch from fellow driver Marcos Ambrose. "He got me pretty good with that shot." Mears told NASCAR.com after completing his 5K run. Mears wore sunglasses for most of Sunday's event, but it was clear the punch left a gnarly bruise and swollen left eye. Replays of the incident show Mears and Ambrose talking just after the race ended. The situation escalated when Mears forcefully shoved Ambrose. The driver of the #9 Ford then returned with a right hook to Mears' face. On Sunday, Mears remained affable despite being on the wrong end of the punch. "One thing I can say is that out of all the NASCAR fights, when you see people swing it's usually a lot of fly-swatting," Mears said. "He actually connected, so that was pretty good." Mears said the bad blood began on the track while the two were battling for position. He didn't mention one specific incident, but conceded both drivers did things the other was not happy with.(NASCAR.com)(4-28-2014)
    UPDATE 2 - NASCAR Penalizes Drivers Marcos Ambrose And Casey Mears: NASCAR has penalized drivers Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears for their involvement in a post-race altercation in the garage area following last Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Ambrose, driver of the #9 Ford, and Mears, driver of the #13 Chevy, were found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), and 12-4.9 (Behavioral Penalty; involved in an altercation in the garage area after the race) as outlined in the 2014 NASCAR rule book. As a result, Ambrose has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 28, while Mears has been fined $15,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 28.(NASCAR)
    UPDATE 3: Marcos Ambrose accepts the penalties levied by NASCAR after his actions at Richmond International Raceway. Ambrose will not appeal.(RPM)(4-29-2014)

  • Hunt Brothers Pizza to sponsor Harvick: Hunt Brothers Pizza will be the primary sponsor for Kevin Harvick and the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) Chevrolet SS for the 30th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "This is our first primary sponsorship with our new racing partner, Stewart-Haas Racing," said Keith Solsvig, vice president of marketing for Hunt Brothers Pizza. "Kevin and Stewart-Haas have already had a very impressive run this year, including trips to victory lane at Phoenix and Darlington. We chose to align ourselves with this reputable team because racing fans are our consumers."(PR Newswire), see an image of the scheme on the #4 Team Schemes page.(4-29-2014)

  • Overnight Richmond TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing on FOX for Saturday nights Toyota Owner's 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway earned a 3.0 overnight rating on FOX. That is a 12% decline from each of the previous four years, when the Richmond race held steady at a 3.4. Seven of the eight lowest rated Sprint Cup races on FOX in the metered markets have aired on Saturday nights, and five of the eight have taken place from Richmond (Sports Media Watch / ShowBuzz Daily). See past races for 2014 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2014 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(4-29-2014)

  • Kurt Busch to undergo Indy 500 rookie orientation UPDATE: It's been 14 years since Kurt Busch was last called a rookie. And even though Busch has a Sprint Cup championship trophy at home, he's still a rookie open-wheel driver as far as the Indianapolis 500 is concerned. That's why Busch and four other drivers will take part in the rookie orientation or veteran driver refresher course to be eligible to compete in the May 25th Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track announced Tuesday. Busch will join four other drivers - Mikhail Aleshin, Martin Plowman, Jack Hawksworth and 1995 Indy 500 winner and former CART and F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve - for the three-pronged orientation and driving program on Tuesday, April 29th and Monday, May 5th. Villeneuve will only have to complete the final two phases of the three-phase program to be recertified to race in the 500 because of his prior experience there. The orientation/refresher is designed that all five drivers can potentially complete all three phases in one day. If they are able to do so, the second day would be for practice - or if they need more instruction.(NBC Sports)(4-23-2014)
    UPDATE: Andretti Autosport unveiled Monday the black-and-white #26 car that Kurt Busch seeks to race in the Indianapolis 500, and Busch will drive that car Tuesday in the first day of rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch is attempting to become the fourth driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. John Andretti, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart have done it. Stewart finished in the top 10 in both races in 1999 and 2001. The double was last run by Robby Gordon in 2004.
    Rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway consists of three phases where drivers must maintain a consistent speed within a preset range. Typically the range is 200-210 mph, 210-215 mph and then 215 and above. Once they have met those standards while being judged by observers, they are cleared to practice for the Indianapolis 500.
    A second day of testing will be May 5. Busch will be allowed to run that day regardless of if he completes the rookie requirements Tuesday, an IndyCar official confirmed. Busch is scheduled to return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 11 - the day after the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway - for practice. Suretone Entertainment will be Busch's sponsor.(Motor Racing Network)(4-29-2014)

  • Toyota moving U.S. headquarters to Texas: Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. announced that it will pack up and move its headquarters from sunny Southern California to Texas, after 57-years in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The move will take place over the next three years and will affect about 4000 marketing, management, and communications jobs. Expected to move to Toyota's new campus in Plano, Texas, right outside of Dallas, are approximately 2000 employees from Torrance, Calif., 1000 employees from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America in Erlanger, Ky., and a number of employees located in New York, NY. Toyota will break ground on its new campus this year, with construction expected to finish by late 2016 or early 2017.
    A number of the automaker's operations will be unaffected including its current distribution centers, other regional offices, Toyota Racing Development, AirFlite Inc, Toyota InfoTechnology Center, and its Calty Design Research campuses in Southern California and Ann Arbor.
    The reasons for Toyota's exodus from the Southland are many, reports the Los Angeles Times. When Toyota launched its North American operations in 1957, the Japanese automaker picked L.A. as its U.S. headquarters because of easy port access in Long Beach and San Pedro, and easy airline access to Tokyo. Now with about three-quarters of its production located in the South Eastern United States, a move to Texas puts Toyota big wigs closer to the company's factories. The other reason for Toyota's move is expenses. The Los Angeles metro area is reportedly the ninth-most expensive in the U.S., while the Dallas metro area is 19th. Toyota would also pay less business and real estate taxes in Texas than it does in California.(Motor Trend)(4-29-2014)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Talladega:
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr..........94.7
    #20-Matt Kenseth................91.6
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr...........91.5
    Jeff Burton.....................89.1
    #78-Kurt Busch..................87.4
    #55-Brian Vickers...............87.3
    #48-Jimmie Johnson..............85.1
    #2-Brad Keselowski..............84.4
    #34-David Ragan.................84.2
    #43-Aric Almirola...............83.7
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Talladega Superspeedway.
    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)(4-29-2014)

  • David Starr gets Talladega sponsor: TriStar Motorsports announced that Steely Lumber, Co. will be on board the #44 TriStar Motorsports Camry this weekend as the primary sponsor. Native Texas driver, David Starr, will be behind the wheel of the Steely Lumber Camry at Talladega Superspeedway. Steely Lumber Co. is a family-owned sawmill located in Huntsville, Texas. The Steely Lumber Co. is a strictly southern yellow pine production facility that cuts approximately 50 million board feet annually. Steely Lumber Co. has partnered with David Starr over the past two years and continues to support his racing career.(TriStar Motorsports)(4-29-2014)

  • Jeffery Earnhardt gets associate sponsor for Dega: Warrior 50 announced their partnership with Jeffrey Earnhardt and JD Motorsports for the May 4, 2014 Aaron's 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Warrior 50 will be featured on the #4 Chevy Camaro as an associate sponsor to kick-off their Memorial Day campaign to raise awareness of and to educate all Americans of the importance to account for the soldiers who are still missing. Jeffrey Earnhardt joined Warrior 50 as the official spokesman to help educate younger generations about our Prisoners of War and our Missing in Action (POW/MIA). (Warrior 50 PR)(4-29-2014)

  • 5-hour Energy to sponsor night race at Kansas: Kansas Speedway officials announced that 5-hour Energy will sponsor Kansas Speedway's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race on May 10, naming the race the 5-hour Energy 400 Benefiting Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). From May 1 through July 31, 2014, Living Essentials will donate five cents from the sale of every specially marked red, white and blue bottle of cherry flavored 5-hour Energy to SOWF, a top-rated nonprofit organization that supports the military's special operations forces and their families through college scholarships, family services, and financial stipends. The minimum guaranteed donation is $75,000.
    Tickets for Kansas Speedway's 2014 events, including Kansas Speedway's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race the 5-hour Energy 400 Benefiting Special Operations Warrior Foundation, are currently on sale. To purchase season tickets or single event tickets, call 866-460-RACE (7223) or visit kansasspeedway.com.(Kansas Speedway)(4-29-2014)

  • Randy Houser to Perform Saturday Night Infield Concert at Talladega: A big question from fans leading up to Talladega Superspeedway's Aaron's Dream Weekend (May 2-4) is, "Who is performing the Saturday Night Infield Concert?" NASCAR's Most Competitive track is happy to announce today that it is none other than country music star Randy Houser. In what has become a Talladega Superspeedway tradition with top music acts, the Saturday Night Concert on May 3 will feature Houser, whose powerhouse voice fits perfectly with Talladega Superspeedway, the biggest and baddest race track on the planet. Houser's songs like "Runnin' Out of Moonlight" and "Goodnight Kiss" will have the intersection of Eastaboga and Talladega Boulevard rocking the party well into the night on Saturday, May 3. The best part about the concert is that admission is FREE with the purchase of a Sunday race ticket (to the Aaron's 499). Saturday's activities kick off at 10 am with the ARCA Racing Series International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200, followed by "Knockout" group qualifying for the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and the start of the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. The day will end in the evening, but the party will just be getting started with Houser on stage. Tickets for the May races are available at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(4-29-2014)


    News from April 28, 2014

  • Entry List for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Terry Labonte, #33-Brian Scott, #35-Eric McClure, #66-Michael Waltrip, #87-Joe Nemechek, J.J. Yeley is back in the #44 Chevy [was the #30 at RIR].
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them: #95-McDowell, #35-McClure, #77-Blaney, #87-Nemechek
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Talladega Entry List

  • NASCAR will look at Ambrose, Mears incident UPDATE: NASCAR will investigate a post-race incident that resulted in both #9-Marcos Ambrose and #13-Casey Mears being punched, but Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said "we don't think it was anything too severe." FOX caught the incident after Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The network's video shows Ambrose and Mears talking to each other when Mears shoves Ambrose. Ambrose responds with a right cross to the left side of Mears' head. Ambrose is pulled away while Mears pursues. Then Ambrose is sucker-punched by someone else. Pemberton said that series officials did not meet with either driver after the race. Series officials met with Ambrose's crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, and Sammy Johns, director of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports. Pemberton said officials watched footage of the incident. Pemberton said they would continue to investigate the situation. He was unaware of anything on the track that would have precipitated the confrontation. "We'll get all the footage that we can and look at it and see what happens from there," Pemberton said. "We've got to take our time and do everything. Sometimes there's things for us to look at that we don't have available right now, so to make any kind of statement or call on it (at this point), we'd be wasting everybody's time."(Motor Racing Network)(4-27-2014)
    UPDATE: Casey Mears didn't let a punch keep him away from a race Sunday morning. The driver of the #13 Chevy was in Huntersville, NC for a 5K race put on by the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. It came not long after the checkered flag fell in Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway. Mears finished 19th in that race, and left with a bruised left eye after a punch from fellow driver Marcos Ambrose. "He got me pretty good with that shot." Mears told NASCAR.com after completing his 5K run. Mears wore sunglasses for most of Sunday's event, but it was clear the punch left a gnarly bruise and swollen left eye. Replays of the incident show Mears and Ambrose talking just after the race ended. The situation escalated when Mears forcefully shoved Ambrose. The driver of the #9 Ford then returned with a right hook to Mears' face. On Sunday, Mears remained affable despite being on the wrong end of the punch. "One thing I can say is that out of all the NASCAR fights, when you see people swing it's usually a lot of fly-swatting," Mears said. "He actually connected, so that was pretty good." Mears said the bad blood began on the track while the two were battling for position. He didn't mention one specific incident, but conceded both drivers did things the other was not happy with.(NASCAR.com)(4-28-2014)

  • Dale Earnhardt Day 2014: Dale Earnhardt Inc. and The Dale Earnhardt Foundation announced the 2014 Dale Earnhardt Day on Tuesday, April 29th, at the DEI Corporate Headquarters on Hwy. #3, Mooresville, NC. Doors will open at 10:00am/et on Tuesday morning, and the annual event in celebration of The Intimidator's birthday is free and open to the public. This year will mark the 11th anniversary of the first Dale Earnhardt Day, held on April 29th, 2003. The DEI Showroom will be opening its' newest exhibit on Dale Day, which shows how the company founded by the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion carries on his legacy, how DEI and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation continue to support the causes that Dale held dear, and how the divisions of Dale Earnhardt Inc. continue to grow the business that Dale and Teresa founded. The Grand Showroom will also be open to the public, with a special display of Dale Earnhardt Inc. vehicles. The Grand Showroom is occasionally opened to the public, and this special event gives fans a rare opportunity to see these remarkable vehicles up close. The DEI Archives will be giving presentations at 11am and 2pm, showing how they preserve and protect Dale's trophies and other special mementos. Fans will also be treated to a theatre-style showing of "DALE - The Movie" in Dale's own Grand Showroom. Cupcakes will be served in the afternoon....an annual tradition on Dale's birthday celebration. Owners of customized Dale Earnhardt vehicles are invited to bring their personalized cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles for display in front of the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Corporate Offices. Dale Earnhardt Day will run from 10am until 5pm, on Tuesday, April 29th.(DEI)(4-28-2014)

  • Richmond Race and Commercial Breakdown: 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 7:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:29 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 108
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 97
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 11
    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: 37
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 30 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:29 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 209
    Minutes of race broadcast: 161
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 48
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 6
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1 (Referred to, but not shown)
    Total race brdcst time 161
    Total comm. brdcst time 48
    See past races, links to more detailed reports on the 2014 TV Commercials page.(4-28-2014)

  • Nationwide Entry List:There are 42 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. A few notes:
    Kasey Kahne will make his first start of the year in the JR Motorsports #5;
    Blake Koch will drive the #10 for TriStar;
    Darrell Wallace Jr. will be in the JGR #20;
    Ryan Blaney remains in the #22 for Penske;
    John Wes Townley is in the #25;
    Sam Hornish, Jr. will make his first start of the year in the JGR #54.(4-28-2014)
    See the complete list on the Talladega entry list page.

  • RSS names Talladega sponsors: RSS Racing announced that two Hot Springs, Arkansas based business have come on board as sponsors for the Aarons 312 at Talladega. Flurry Racing Stables will be a major associate sponsor the race and Avant Agency will serve as an associate for the race Saturday afternoon. Driver Ryan Sieg is looking to better his career best 9th place finish he earned at the season opening race at Daytona.(RSS Racing)(4-28-2014)

  • Talladega names pre-race officials: Two prominent individuals making a positive impact in the state of Alabama will serve in honorary capacities during Talladega Superspeedway's Aaron's Dream Weekend. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley will be the Grand Marshal for this Sunday's Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race and will give the most famous command in all of motorsports - "Drivers, Start Your Engines." Auburn University Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn will serve as the race's "Honorary Pace Car Driver," leading the field of NASCAR's best drivers during the pre-race pace laps. Since he was elected in 2010 as the 53rd Governor of the State of Alabama, Governor Bentley, who will give the drivers' command from the start/finish line, has been committed to creating jobs for the people of Alabama. In January of 2001, the unemployment rate was 9.3% but had dropped to 6.3% in July of 2013. Malzahn will be driving Talladega Superspeedway's official Ford Fusion pace car for the Aaron's 499 around the 33-degree banked turns of the track's 2.66-mile layout. He received national acclaim for overseeing one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history last year. Inheriting a team that didn't win a game in the Southeastern Conference in 2012, Malzahn led the Tigers to the SEC title and a trip to the BCS Championship Game.(TSS)(4-28-2014)

  • Michigan has special offers for military members and college students: Michigan International Speedway continues to enhance its fan experience and looks to make memories for everybody. Now, NASCAR's fastest track has a special ticket offer just for military service members and college students who want to spend the summer at the speedway. As a thank you to service members and their families for their service to our country, Michigan International Speedway is offering special pricing. An active or retired service member can purchase a ticket to the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 15 or the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August, 17 for just $20, a savings of $27. And college students can spend summer break at the biggest party in Michigan by taking advantage of special discounted camping and NASCAR ticket prices. And the process is easy. All eligible race fans in the military or in college have to do is visit www.mispeedway.com/military or www.mispeedway.com/college to purchase tickets.(Michigan Speedway)(4-28-2014)

  • Watkins Glen expands camping options: Each year reserved camping for the Cheez-It 355 and Zippo 200 sells out, prompting Watkins Glen International to expand their offerings. This year, officials at WGI are proud to announce the expansion of Pit Road RV Camping. After opening and selling out in 2013, the expansion of the coveted Pit Road RV camping provides fans with the opportunity to camp on the infield of Watkins Glen International during the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. Located behind the Pit Terrance Grandstands, spots in this area are available with 50 amp electrical and water hook-ups for $1,315. Tents are not permitted. The weekend price is at a premium as Pit Road camping is the only paved campsite area available and in a prime location. Campers looking to enhance their Pit Road camping experience can also opt for the Pit Road RV Camping package which includes the typical Pit Road RV Camping amenities as well as four Pit Terrace Grandstand seats, four FanVision rentals, and four Sunday Fan Walk passes for $1,995. In addition to the newly expanded Pit Road RV Camping, Family Camping is still available and is highly recommended for guests with families who are interested in staying at The Glen and appreciate a quieter experience. Quiet hours are strictly enforced in this area to ensure a family friendly environment. Launched in 2011 and located outside the track, the Family Camping area has sold out each season for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen and continues to grow in popularity. Spots in this area can be reserved for $350 and do not have electric or water hook-ups.(WGI)(4-28-2014)


    News from April 27, 2014

  • NASCAR will look at Ambrose, Mears incident: NASCAR will investigate a post-race incident that resulted in both #9-Marcos Ambrose and #13-Casey Mears being punched, but Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said "we don't think it was anything too severe." FOX caught the incident after Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The network's video shows Ambrose and Mears talking to each other when Mears shoves Ambrose. Ambrose responds with a right cross to the left side of Mears' head. Ambrose is pulled away while Mears pursues. Then Ambrose is sucker-punched by someone else. Pemberton said that series officials did not meet with either driver after the race. Series officials met with Ambrose's crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, and Sammy Johns, director of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports. Pemberton said officials watched footage of the incident. Pemberton said they would continue to investigate the situation. He was unaware of anything on the track that would have precipitated the confrontation. "We'll get all the footage that we can and look at it and see what happens from there," Pemberton said. "We've got to take our time and do everything. Sometimes there's things for us to look at that we don't have available right now, so to make any kind of statement or call on it (at this point), we'd be wasting everybody's time."(Motor Racing Network)(4-27-2014)

  • Several teams have tire issues at Richmond: Several Sprint Cup drivers battled tire issues Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, causing some cars to catch fire from the burning rubber. Among the drivers who had problems were #48-Jimmie Johnson, #99-Carl Edwards, #15-Clint Bowyer, #41- Busch, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr and #36-Reed Sorenson. Goodyear brought a new tire combination to Richmond, with its new multi-zone tire on the right side. The outward 10 inches of the right-side tire had the same compound as last year but the inside two inches of tread surface was designed for more endurance, with a tougher, more heat-resistant compound. It appeared the inside few inches of the tires were unraveling, causing the areas around the brakes and wheels to catch fire when rubber became entangled with wheel and suspension parts.
    "There are a number of cars that don't have any issues at all and they have got a good balanced car and everything is fine," Goodyear Racing executive Stu Grant told Motor Racing Network during its race broadcast. "But what we're seeing is the inside shoulder of the right front is wearing through the tread and through the overlay. It's important to have a good balanced car, it's important to not have a lot of camber, and it's important to try to stay off that right front. But having said that, it looks like the operating window is pretty narrow for these guys. If they miss it by a little bit, you're going to get into that right front and we're going to have to work on that." Goodyear most likely will conduct a tire test and bring a new tire for the Richmond race next September, a pivotal event as the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup field is set.
    "The tire was adjusted properly on many of the cars, and I think some of them took it overboard," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "Goodyear being a good partner, they'll get together and if it's something we need to re-do before we get back in here in the fall, I'm sure Goodyear is more than happy to test and build another tire."(Sporting News)(4-27-2014)

  • Goodyear announces return of "Support our Troops" tires: With the calendar set to dig deeper into the heart of spring, certain annual racing traditions associated with the month of May take hold. Goodyear started one of the newest institutions as a simple expression of gratitude and awareness five years ago. Now it's accredited as a nearly seven-figure fundraiser for America's military. The Ohio-based tiremaker announced Saturday at Richmond International Raceway that the logo for the Support Our Troops Foundation will adorn its racing tires for the fifth straight year in all three of NASCAR's national series. The program will roll out in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 race weekends at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Goodyear's involvement is part of an annual NASCAR industry-wide movement that often reaches its height around memorial Memorial Day and July 4 weekend. In the coming weeks, patriotic paint schemes, military salutes and more details will emerge to raise awareness and support.(NASCAR.com)(4-27-2014)

  • Goodyear announces return of "Support our Troops" tires: With the calendar set to dig deeper into the heart of spring, certain annual racing traditions associated with the month of May take hold. Goodyear started one of the newest institutions as a simple expression of gratitude and awareness five years ago. Now it's accredited as a nearly seven-figure fundraiser for America's military. The Ohio-based tiremaker announced Saturday at Richmond International Raceway that the logo for the Support Our Troops Foundation will adorn its racing tires for the fifth straight year in all three of NASCAR's national series. The program will roll out in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 race weekends at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Goodyear's involvement is part of an annual NASCAR industry-wide movement that often reaches its height around memorial Memorial Day and July 4 weekend. In the coming weeks, patriotic paint schemes, military salutes and more details will emerge to raise awareness and support.(NASCAR.com)(4-27-2014)

  • Tennessee's Pride of the Southland Band to Return to Bristol: One of East Tennessee's favorite tunes once again reverberates through The Last Great Colosseum this August as the University of Tennessee's Pride of the Southland Band returns for the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Set to ignite the crowd before one of the most popular races on the NASCAR circuit, 100 performers from the prestigious 330-member band treat guests to their well-known rendition of "Rocky Top" as part of Bristol's pre-race show. Excited to enhance fan experience through the band's inclusion in pre-race, Bristol Motor Speedway officials look forward to the group's repeat performance.(BMS)(4-27-2014)


    News from April 26, 2014

  • Logano wins at Richmond: #22-Joey Logano won the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 2nd win of 2014 and his 5th career win.
    #24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #20-Kenseth, #47-Allmendinger, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #31-Newman, #99-Edwards, and #78-Truex, Jr.
    #42-Larson, who started from the pole, spun after contact with #15-Boywer on the first lap of the race. He came back to finish 16th, the top finishing rookie.
    #24-Gordon, who came into the race as the points leader, is now up 5 points over #20-Kenseth. Logano now leads the Chase Seeding with two wins. #4-Harvick is second, also with 2 wins, but lower in points. They are followed by #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
    There were 20 lead changes among 8 drivers and there were 9 cautions for 66 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 93.369mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Richmond Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Richmond Penalty Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Richmond Race & Points Report (pdf).(4-26-2014)

  • Race Fast Facts - Richmond International Raceway:
    Joey Logano won the 60th Annual Toyota Owners 400, his fifth victory in 192 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2014. This win locks in his spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, barring Logano doesn't fall out of the top 30 in driver points and miss any races.
    This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in 11 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 27th top-10 finish in 43 races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2014.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 19 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Jeff Gordon leads the point standings by 5 points over Matt Kenseth.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-26-2014)

  • 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Championship Points Standings:
    [after Richmond, race 9 of 36]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 341
    2) #20-Matt Kenseth, 336, -5
    3) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 313, -28
    4) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 310, -31
    5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 309, -32
    6) #22-Joey Logano [2 wins], 292, -49
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 287, -54
    8) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 282, -59
    9) #31-Ryan Newman, 272, -69
    10) #55-Brian Vickers, 256, -85
    Other drivers with at least one win, should make the Chase:
    20) #4-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 220, -121
    25) #41-Kurt Busch [1 win], 185, -156
    See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
    See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    (4-26-2014)

  • Current 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Seedings:
    [after Richmond, race 9 of 36 if Chase seeding started after this race]
    1) #22-Joey Logano, 2 wins, 6th in points
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick, 2 wins, 20th
    3) #99-Carl Edwards, 1 win, 3rd in points
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 1 win, 4th
    5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1 win, 5th
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski, 1 win, 7th
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 1 win, 25th
    (no wins, in by points)
    8) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1st
    9) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2nd
    10) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 8th
    11) #31-Ryan Newman, 9th
    12) #55-Brian Vickers, 10th
    13) #16-Greg Biffle, 11th
    14) #3-Austin Dillon, 12th
    15) #42-Kyle Larson, 13th
    14) #11-Hamlin, 14th
    (4-26-2014)

  • Richmond Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #42-Larson, finished 16th, 11 rookie points
    #51-Allgaier, 21st, 10
    #3-Dillon, 27th, 9
    #23-Bowman, 28th, 8
    #83-Truex, 31st, 7
    #7-Annett, 33rd, 6
    #26-Whitt, 41st, 5
    Kligerman, Did Not Race
    (4-26-2014)

  • NASCAR not planning additional SAFER barriers: NASCAR has undergone significant format modifications this season in an attempt to bolster its reach, but additional major changes are unlikely. "More tweaks, if any at all are made, they'd be minor because we believe the current format we have is built to stand a long time," NASCAR chairman Brian France said Friday at a conference with sports editors.
    France suggested that the changes to the championship structure has altered the way drivers race, forcing them to increase "taking risks" and being more aggressive in the pursuit of victories, as opposed to securing points. When weighing safety, however, France didn't indicate that more changes would be likely, despite several calls from drivers to install SAFER barriers that help absorb crash impacts to any parts of racetrack walls that have concrete. "We're going to put SAFER walls wherever it's necessary," France said. "There are parts of the track that we may determine aren't necessary for those walls. When and if we think they are, we'll obviously make sure that happens. We do add SAFER walls to the inside areas depending on if it's necessary. We'll do it wherever it's appropriate. Period. We already have. We've been clear about that. We don't think it's necessary, as an example, to do it on pit lane, because they're not running fast enough and it wouldn't make any sense to do that, so wherever it's appropriate, we'll do it."
    Since each race track is different, there are challenges to installing SAFER walls in all places where cars are exposed to concrete. According to France, several factors determine whether or not the barriers are necessary.(USA Today)(4-26-2014)

  • Goodyear completes tire tests: The early spring has been a busy time for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's racing program. The exclusive tire supplier for NASCAR's top three has run three at-track tests already, with many more on the books. The testing season started with a two-day session at Sonoma Raceway on March 25-26. The goal was to improve overall grip for cars on the 1.99-mile, 10-turn road course.
    "The surface at Sonoma tends to be pretty slick, particularly in hot weather like is possible for California in June," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. "The recommendation we came up with will incorporate a new tread compound, which was unanimously chosen as a grip improvement by all drivers that evaluated it."
    Two weeks later, on April 8-9, Goodyear tackled Michigan International Speedway, in an effort to monitor the track surface since it's repave in 2012 and evaluate the impact of the 2014 rules package on performance at the ultra-fast, two-mile track.
    "As expected, the cars were extremely fast at Michigan," said Stucker. "Our tire recommendation will incorporate the same left side as raced in 2013, along with a multi-zone tread right side tire. The inboard portion of the tire - the endurance zone -- will use a new compound formulated specifically for the Michigan test, aimed at controlling the heat and wear of that high stress zone. The outboard portion - the traction zone -- will utilize a compound very similar to what was raced there in 2013. Overall the grip level was good, as evidenced by the speeds teams were able to run."
    Just last week (April 15), Goodyear visited another recent repave in Kansas Speedway. The initial focus of this test was to refine the multi-zone tread right side tire raced at Kansas last October. With sustained testing speeds at the existing track record, heat and wear rates were up, necessitating a change in direction.
    "With the 2014 rules package, more severe operating conditions were expected at Kansas," said Stucker. "With what we saw on the right side, we've decided on a conventional, single tread compound design, formulated to address treadwear, while maintaining the heat resistance still required for this surface. This compound will be the same as the one used in the traction zone of the Michigan right-side tire. The left-side tire will be the same one we raced at Kansas last October."
    The first three tire tests of the year have been fruitful. Goodyear will follow up with sessions at Dover International Speedway (May 6-7), Kentucky Speedway (May 20-21), Chicagoland Speedway (June 10-11) and Indianapolis (June 15-16) in the coming weeks as it continues to fill in its 2014 tire lineup.(Goodyear PR) (4-25-2014)

  • Special Ford scheme for Edwards at Richmond: In conjunction with the Ford Always Racing fan sweepstakes launch, the #99 Ford Fusion of Carl Edwards will feature a #FordAlwaysRacing paint scheme and fire suit. Edwards, a winner already at Bristol this season, is one of seven Ford Racing drivers who will appear in online videos throughout the year that highlight their competitive nature (Ford Racing), more info on the contest on the NASCAR Contest page and to see imagges of the car, go to the #99 Team Schemes page.(4-26-2014)

  • Johnson and Harvick getting most television exposure: #48-Jimmie Johnson has accumulated the most television on-screen time for his sponsors during the first eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of 2014. Meanwhile, #4-Kevin Harvick, coming off a victory at Darlington, ranked second in cumulative on-camera time, but at the same time racked up nearly twice as many brand mentions for his corporate backers as Johnson. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc., which specializes in measuring the scope of sponsorships across all forms of media , Johnson's sponsors as a group appeared for 11 hours, 11 minutes, 40 seconds (11:11:40) during live and replayed race broadcasts. Johnson's sponsors were also mentioned 37 times by the FOX/FS1 announcers. Harvick's sponsors enjoyed 10:47:00 of in-broadcast exposure time to go along with a Series-leading 73 verbal references. Additional driver sponsorship findings through Race #8:
    • The most seen hood on TV belonged to Joey Logano with a total on-screen time of 2:27:16. Jeff Gordon's hood was second with 2:17:11.
    • Brad Keselowski and Gordon shared the distinction for having the most monitored sponsors during the telecast with 58 each.
    • Kyle Busch helped generate the single-most TV exposure for a car manufacturer with a contribution of 1:07:17 and 24 mentions leading to more than $6.5 million of exposure value for Toyota.
    (Joyce Julius & Associates)(4-262014)

  • United States Tennis Association looking at Air Titan: The United States Tennis Association may be looking to an unlikely source to help solve the unyielding issue of rain delays: NASCAR. The Air Titan 2.0 is a track-drying technology that uses compressed air and heat, which NASCAR implemented this season. The device is attached to the back of a car that drives slowly over a wet track to make it safe to drive following rain. Now, the USTA may be considering a similar strategy. "I was just out with the United States Tennis Association because they have a similar issue with all those courts," NASCAR chairman Brian France said Friday at a conference with sports editors. "When it rains, they need about 20 or 30 minutes to dry their courts. This technology is going to have major ramifications. We always believed that it would. It's a green solution. "To give you a little perspective on that, we can clean the area the size of a football field in 20 seconds with this technology, which gives you a certain feel of why the tennis guys are intrigued to know more about this technology." So far this season, NASCAR has used it with success, as five of the first seven races were delayed by rain.(USA Today)(4-26-2014)

  • Richmond Notes and Facts - Saturday: race:
    • 472 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond; 306 in more than one.
    • Only four of the 115 races at Richmond International Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions: spring of 1962, spring of 1977, spring of 1982 and spring of 2003.
    • Since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993, the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway was the (09/12/1998) race won by Jeff Burton with a MOV of 0.051 second.
    • There have been two NSCS race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Richmond International Raceway: spring of 2008 (400/410) and spring of 2013 (400/406).
    • 48 different drivers have won at Richmond International Raceway, led by Richard Petty with 13. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with four.
    • Petty Enterprises has the most wins at Richmond in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 15; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 10, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing each have nine.
    • Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Richmond with 36 victories; followed by Ford with 29 and Toyota with seven.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Richmond International Raceway was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the spring of 2008.(NASCAR)(4-26-2014)

  • T-28 Trojan Aircraft to perform flyover at Talladega: Talladega Superspeedway will be celebrating the United States Military in a big way on May 4 for the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. At the end of the race, the previously-announced "Freedom Trophy" will be awarded to the race's winner by the members of the military. But before the green flag waves, fans in the stands will receive a historic symbol of patriotism high above the track in the beautiful blue sky. Two combat veteran T-28 Trojan aircraft, accompanied by a C-45-Expeditor from the Hixson Museum of Flight, Chattanooga's Aviation Museum (TN), will soar above Talladega Superspeedway near the conclusion of the National Anthem to the roar of thousands of fans at NASCAR's Most Competitive Track.(TSS)(4-26-2014)

  • Oxford Casino to Sponsor July Pole Day at New Hampshire: With the exciting new NASCAR knockout style pole position format being unveiled at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this season, Oxford Casino has anted up with a buy-in as the new official pole day sponsor. Speedway officials announced that the Oxford Casino Pole Day will be named for Friday, July 11 when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers qualify for the Camping World RV Sales 301. There is plenty of on-track action scheduled for Oxford Casino Pole Day on Friday, July 11, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Modified All-Star Shootout at 2:10pm; two rounds of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for the Camping World RV Sales 301 beginning at 4:35pm; and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Granite State 100 at 6:00pm. Forty minutes from Portland and located in the gateway to Maine's Lakes and Mountains Region, Oxford Casino, which opened its doors in June of 2012, features more than 850 slot machines and 26 table games.(NHMS)(4-26-2014)


    News from April 25, 2014

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #42-Larson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #2-Keslowski took pit stall 17, the first pit stall in front of it.
    #15-Bowyer, who starts 3rd took the 5th pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #23-Bowman, who starts 24th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-25-2014)

  • Qualifying rained out; Larson on pole: Rain at Richmond International Raceway forced the cancellation of Sprint Cup qualifying for the Toyota Owners 400. The starting lineup was set according to the NASCAR rulebook and based on first practice speeds.
    #42-Larson will start from the pole (his first career pole).
    #2-Keselowski will start second, followed by #15-Bowyer, #5-Kahne, #4-Harvick, #55-Vickers, #1-McMurray, #83-Truex, #27-Menard, and #48-Johnson.
    Missing the race were: #95-McDowell, #77-Blaney.
    See starting lineup, links, and notes on Jayski's Richmond Qualifying / Starting Lineup page.(4-25-2014)

  • NASCAR Next Roster For 2014 Announced: When Chase Elliott took the NASCAR Nationwide Series checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this month, he joined fellow rising star Kyle Larson in the 2014 win column. Before their headline-making victories on one of the sport's biggest stages, though, Elliott and Larson were 'next' - the next in a wave of young talent making its way up the NASCAR ladder. Like Elliott and Larson before them, the 12 drivers named today to the 2014-15 NASCAR Next class have résumés loaded with accomplishments and promise. The roster was unveiled at Richmond International Raceway and marks the kickoff of the fourth installment of the industry initiative designed to spotlight NASCAR's rising stars.
    The NASCAR Next members for 2014-15 are:
    • Cole Custer (16 years old, Ladera Ranch, Calif., Twitter: @colecuster00) - A two-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2013, he opened the K&N Pro Series West season this year with a victory from the pole in Phoenix.
    • Rubén García Jr. (18, Naucalpan, Mexico, @rubengarcia4) - The 2012 NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series Rookie of the Year continues to improve and finished fourth in the standings last season. Earlier this season, he made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut.
    • Gray Gaulding (16, Colonial Heights, Va., @graygaulding) - Holds the mark for youngest pole winner in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, and recorded his first series win at Phoenix last fall.
    • Ryan Gifford (25, Winchester, Tenn., @ryangifford2) - The NASCAR Drive For Diversity driver scored the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win at Richmond and posted an impressive top-10 finish in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut last August in Iowa.
    • Austin Hill (20, Winston, Ga., @hillbroracing) - The winner at last year's K&N East race at Dover, he has two top-five finishes in this season's four races.
    • Erik Jones (17, Byron, Mich., @erik_jones) - Made his mark on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last November in Phoenix by becoming the youngest winner in series history.
    • Jesse Little (17, Sherrills Ford, N.C., @jesselittle97) - The 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He made his first series start just 11 days after turning 15 in 2012.
    • Dylan Lupton (20, Wilton, Calif., @LuptonDylan) - The 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Sunoco Rookie of the Year picked up his first series victory at Evergreen Speedway in August.
    • Brandon McReynolds (23, Mooresville, N.C., @Bmcreynolds28) - With starts in four different NASCAR series, he is chasing the championship in the K&N Pro Series West, where he is second in points.
    • Ryan Preece (23, Berlin, Conn., @RyanPreece16) - He became the youngest champion in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour last season while balancing a 43-race schedule in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (finished fourth in the national standings) and making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut.
    • Ben Rhodes (17, Louisville, Ky., @benrhodes) - The current points leader in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with three poles in four races, and a win at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway. He scored an impressive top-10 finish in his NASCAR Camping World Truck series debut at Martinsville.
    • Kenzie Ruston (22, El Reno, Okla., @KenzieRuston) - She finished sixth in last season's K&N Pro Series East season standings and has top 10 finishes this season at New Smyrna and Daytona. She has the highest finish - both in a race and in the championship standings - for a female driver in K&N Pro Series East history. (NASCAR)see the complete release on the Development Drivers/Drive for Diversity News page.(4-25-2014)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #31-Newman 124.235
    #14-Stewart 123.468
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 123.429
    #22-Logano 123.378
    #5-Kahne 123.310
    slowest: #30-Yeley 118.880 & #40-Cassill 116.706.
    Notes: #40-Cassill did not get on track for the first time today until there were 15 minutes left in the session. The team had trouble getting through inspection because of a rear end issue.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and 10-lap consecutive average on the Richmond Practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-25-2014)

  • First Friday practice for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #42-Larson 126.880
    #2-Keselowski 126.192
    #15-Bowyer 125.909
    #5-Kahne 125.780
    #4-Harvick 125.424
    slowest: #66-Nemechek 118.864 & #30-Yeley 118.265. No speed: #40-Cassill.
    Notes: #15-Bowyer made contact with the outside wall early, but only bent in a little sheet metal.
    There is a increasing chance of rain throughout the day. If qualifying is rained out, this practice session would set the starting lineup.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and 10-lap consecutive average on the Richmond Practice 1 speeds page (pdf). (4-25-2014)

  • Qualifying Order for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed. Qualifying order is how the cars can come off pit road for group qualifying.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #14-Stewart.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #55-Vickers.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Richmond Qualifying Page.(4-25-2014)

  • Richard Petty expected back at Richmond UPDATE: #43-Aric Almirola talked Thursday about Richard Petty's planned return to the track this weekend following the death of his wife, Lynda:
    WHAT WILL IT MEAN TO HAVE RICHARD BACK AT THE TRACK THIS WEEKEND?
    Almirola - "I think he's doing well. I think being back at the race track is gonna be good for our race team and good for him. I think it'll be good medicine. When something like that happens you kind of want to hide a little bit and just get your feelings straight, but he's been by the shop and been in good spirits and I think he's doing very well considering. We're looking forward to getting him back at the race track and getting him back into race mode. I've spent quite a bit of time with him over the last few weeks since Miss Lynda passed, and it's gonna be great to have our leader back at the race track. He's the name and the face of our company and all the guys on the race team, any myself included, look up to him and enjoy having him around at the race track and having him inside the hauler and talking to us after practice and getting his perspective on what he sees with other race cars and with our race cars throughout practice, so I'm excited about having him back at the race track and, like Trent said, I think it's gonna be good medicine for him. He comes to about 95 percent of the races every year, so for him to take the two or three weeks off that he's taken, I know he's itching to get back to the race track. He's been watching the practices and watching qualifying and watching the races and Dale Inman goes home on Sunday night and gives him the full report on what went down that weekend and how things went. He's still heavily involved and he's still been paying attention for sure, he just hasn't been at the race track. He knows everything that's been going on."(Ford Racing PR)(4-24-2014)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty met with the media Friday morning at Richmond:
    WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO BE BACK? "I just felt like I needed to sort of had a little time on our own so I have been gone for two or three weeks but I am back in the saddle again now. I am just learning to live all over again."
    DO YOU THINK BEING AT THE TRACK WILL BE A GOOD DISTRACTION? "Yeah, doing the things we were supposed to do the last few weeks have been put off so starting Monday we were in Georgia and Tuesday we were in Tennessee and Wednesday in Wyoming and now here on Thursday. The busier they keep me the better off I will be."
    HOW ARE YOU DOING? "I am surviving. It is going to be different I guess. After 55 years I have to start all over again. I was fortunate that all the kids came home for Easter. We had all the kids and grand kids home and that really made things work good."
    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE OUTPOURING YOU WILL RECEIVE AT THE TRACK TO BE LIKE? "It is great that so many people knew Lynda so well. Of course she had been around a long time too. She never met a stranger. Every once in awhile I would come in the house and see people I didn't even know. She would invite them in the house to spend the night or whatever. Again, it is just going to be different."(Ford Racing PR)(4-25-2014)

  • Matt Bowling wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown: Matt Bowling won the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown on Thursday night at South Boston Speedway, fighting off Matt Waltz in the seventh edition of the charity race. The event benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation and raises awareness and funding to support Cystic Fibrosis research and new therapies in the region. Nick Smith finished third. Hamlin was eighth, while defending Showdown champion Kyle Busch ended the night in fourth. Matt Kenseth was fifth, and David Reagan 20th. Truck Series driver Timothy Peters finished 27th after his night was cut short following a tangle with Jeb Burton, who finished 25th after getting into a scuffle with Blake Stallings.(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-25-2014)

  • NASCAR to announce engine changes by All-Star race: NASCAR's senior vice president of racing operations has said that a formal announcement on engine changes for the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season will come before next month's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. At a sponsor summit for Iowa Speedway, Steve O'Donnell said that the final overall racing package for 2015 would also see changes involving downforce, aerodynamics, and tires. In additional comments to The Des Moines Register, O'Donnell said that teams have already been notified of where NASCAR was going with the changes and that the process of finalizing the 2015 engine package was underway. O'Donnell wouldn't divulge exact details of the package, but did perhaps show a glimpse of how drivers would have to adapt to it. "If you combine the aero package with that [reduction of] horsepower [and] allow some aero changes with the engines going into the corner, drivers have to get off the gas and they're able to maneuver around a little bit more," O'Donnell said according to the Register's Chad Leistikow. "Combine that with Goodyear and a little softer tire, now you're able to move around a little bit more."(NBC Sports)(4-25-2014)

  • Cole Whitt joins BK Racing; gets two race sponsor: As BK Racing embarks on this weekend's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, the team will have several new additions to the fray including the addition of Scorpyd Crossbows as a two race primary sponsor for Richmond and Talladega. BK Racing's newest teammate Cole Whitt will drive the #26 Scorpyd Crossbows Toyota Camry as he competes for Sunoco Rookie of the Year in his debut race under the BK Racing flag. Scorpyd Crossbows and Reverse Draw Technology are both creations of Crossbow innovator Jim Kempf. The technology that Jim Kempf created has now lead Scorpyd Crossbows to be one of the most effective hunting tools to date.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #26 team paint schemes page.(4-25-2014)

  • Kligerman undecided on future plans: Parker Kligerman said on his podcast Thursday that he can "absolutely, 100 percent say I will be racing" after losing his ride in Swan Racing's restructuring. Kligerman said on his podcast "Kickin' it with Kligerman" that he remains under contract with Swan Racing. "In situations like this, I always see a silver lining," said the 23-year-old Kligerman, who was 44th in the points. "I always see an opportunity to take it and parlay it into something bigger and better. I've done that two or three times in my career. I think this just gives me another chance to see where I can expand as a racecar driver." Kligerman said he's received interest to drive in NASCAR and elsewhere but has yet to decide where he'll go next. "We have been approached by certain teams within the Cup series," Kligerman said. A key, Kligerman said, is if those are the right opportunities to "moving my career forward. With that said, there are a couple of exciting opportunities outside of NASCAR. We also will be looking at those and evaluating and understanding them."(Motor Racing Network)(4-25-2014)

  • Reutimann gets new crew chief: According to MRN's Dustin Long, Derrick Finley is new crew chief for David Reutimann in #35 for Front Row. Todd Anderson no longer with team.(4-25-2014)

  • Hillman Racing gets Richmond sponsor: Atlantic Plumbing and Utilities, Virginia's leading provider of HVAC, plumbing, and utilities services, announced it is the sponsor of the #40 Chevy SS for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at the Richmond International Raceway. Hillman Racing's #40 is driven by Landon Cassill, the 24-year-old Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native and 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year. "Atlantic is exceptionally proud to sponsor the #40 Atlantic Plumbing and Utilities Chevy in the race this weekend. We are a high-speed, progressive company so this sponsorship is right up our alley," said Tavis Meredith, Atlantic's Director of Business Development, "and we are excited to be a part of the Sprint Cup Series event."(Hillman Racing)(4-25-2014)

  • Richmond Notes and Facts - Friday: poles:
    • Buck Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Richmond in 1953 with a speed of 48.465 mph.
    • 52 drivers have Coors Light poles at Richmond, led by Richard Petty and Bobby Allison with eight each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
    • Seven drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Richmond. Bobby Allison holds the record for most consecutive Coors Light poles at Richmond with five (1972 - 1974).
    • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Richmond International Raceway with a 7.643.
    • 22 of the 115 (19.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from the Coors Light pole. Only three active drivers have been able to accomplish the feat: Kasey Kahne (2005), Jimmie Johnson (2007) and Kyle Busch (2010).
    • The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond (22).
    • The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond (22).
    • 35 of the 115 (30.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond have been won from the front row: 22 from the pole and 13 from second-place.
    • 90 of the 115 (78.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • 13 of the 115 (11.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.(NASCAR)(4-25-2014)

  • Harvick wins Nationwide race at Richmond: #5-Kevin Harvick won the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway. #9-Chase Elliott finished second followed by #54-Kyle Busch, #42-Kyle Larson, #2-Brian Scott, #11-Elliott Sadler, #60-Chris Buescher, #7-Regan Smith, #22-Ryan Blaney, and #99-James Buescher.
    There were 5 cautions for 36 laps and 5 lead changes among 4 leaders. Complete results are on the Richmond race results page (pdf).(4-25-2014)

  • Richmond Nationwide Race Fast Facts:
    Kevin Harvick(i) won the 27th Annual ToyotaCare 250, his 41st victory in 307 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his seventh victory and 20th top-10 finish in 25 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Chase Elliott (second) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is JR Motorsports' fourth NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of 2014, tying the organization's best season.
    Kyle Busch(i) (third) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 18 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Chase Elliott (second) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Chase Elliott # leads the point standings by 19 points over Regan Smith.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-25-2014)

  • Nationwide Driver standings following Richmond:
    1) #9-Chase Elliott# 313
    2) #7-Regan Smith, 294, 19
    3) #11-Elliott Sadler, 290, -23
    4) #3-Ty Dillon# 278, -35
    5) #6-Trevor Bayne 274, -39
    6) #2-Brian Scott 265, -48
    7) #62-Brendan Gaughan 239, -74
    8) #99-James Buescher 229, -84
    9) #31-Dylan Kwasniewski# 212, -101
    10) #16-Ryan Reed# 204, -109
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-25-2014)

  • Nationwide Owner Standings following Richmond are posted (pdf).(4-25-2014)

  • Scott on pole at Richmond: #2-Brian Scott on the Coors Light Pole for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 122.061mph. #31-Dylan Kwasniewski will start second followed by : #22-Ryan Blaney, #9-Chase Elliott, #6-Trevor Bayne, #7-Regan Smith, #60-Chris Buescher, #54-Kyle Busch, #5-Kevin Harvick, and #01-Landon Cassill.
    Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #2-Brian Scott.
    #6-Trevor Bayne was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 121.463mph
    Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Richmond starting lineup page (pdf).(4-25-2014)

  • Richmond Qualifying Notes:
    Brian Scott won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 27th Annual ToyotaCare 250 with a lap of 22.120 seconds, 122.061 mph.
    This is his third pole in 150 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first pole and sixth top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his second pole in ten races at Richmond International Raceway.
    In his last visit to Richmond International Raceway, Scott started on the pole and led a career-high 239 laps in a dominating performance before finishing second.
    Dylan Kwasniewski (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2014 and his first in one races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Ryan Blaney(i) (third) posted his second top-10 start at Richmond International Raceway. It is his third in three races this season.
    Dylan Kwasniewski (second) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-25-2014)

  • Crum backed by MyFreedomSmokes.com for Charlotte: Jake Crum Racing has partnered with the popular online electronic cigarette retailer MyFreedomSmokes.com for the upcoming NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16th. Jake Crum will pilot the #82 MyFreedomSmokes.com Chevy as a strategic alliance with fellow-independent team Empire Racing.Based out of Charlotte, NC, Freedom Smokes, Inc. is the brainchild of founder Chris Yelton. A smoker himself, Yelton set out to create a cigarette alternative that tastes great and would satisfy cravings with none of the harmful effects of the chemical-laden cigarettes that currently fill the market. They offer superior customer service, same day shipping, and the best pricing in the industry so that smokers wanting to kick the tar and harmful chemicals in cigarettes without giving up the stress-relieving aspects of smoking now have a legitimate alternative.(Jake Crum Racing)(4-25-2014)

  • Train to perform at All-Star Race: Prior to the drop of the green flag for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17, fans can enjoy a performance by GRAMMY Award-winning pop rock group, Train, as part of Time Warner Cable and Fox Sports 1 All-Star Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The concert will take place between qualifying and the start of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The San Francisco-based group has achieved much success since originally forming in 1994, winning three GRAMMY Awards and two Billboard Music Awards. Some of their biggest singles include, "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)," "Hey, Soul Sister," "Calling All Angels," "Marry Me" and "If It's Love." Their sixth studio album "California 37," released in 2012, produced their latest hits "Drive By" and "Bruises," featuring country music artist Ashley Monroe.(CMS)(4-25-2014)


    News from April 24, 2014

  • Swan Racing Restructures UPDATE Yeley in for Kligerman: Swan Racing announced it has successfully restructured the company by finding solutions for the #26 and #30 teams in an attempt to save the jobs of the crews, the drivers, and to keep those teams competing throughout the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As a result, Anthony Marlowe has merged his ownership of the #26 team into BK Racing, effective immediately. Cole Whitt will remain behind the wheel of the #26. The #30 team has been sold to John Cohen of XxxTreme Motorsports, which will operate the team going forward and intends to compete with veteran driver J.J. Yeley. Stephen "Bones" Lane will serve as crew chief and be joined by several other former Swan Racing crewmembers. Driver Parker Kligerman remains under contract with Swan Racing, which will seek to identify options for him to get back on track. Team owner Brandon Davis issued the following statement:
    "I want to first thank our employees, fans, and others in the NASCAR industry for their patience and understanding over the past several days while we work out the future of Swan Racing. As previously stated, the team is restructuring due to a lack of additional funding. However, over the past couple weeks we worked tirelessly to find an alternative to ending operations. Fortunately, we were able to find a home for the #26 team and the #30 team thanks to Anthony Marlowe and Jonathan Cohen respectively. "Anthony and Jonathan are both young and ambitious NASCAR enthusiasts. It is important to keep them in the sport for the long term. I am very relieved to know that the #26 and #30 teams will be in good hands and will continue to compete the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Most importantly, most of the team members have the opportunity to continue their employment in the sport and to support their families. This was critically important to me. Swan Racing is exploring any and all options to keep Parker Kligerman on track throughout the season. We are encouraged by the response we have received from interested parties. Parker continues to be one of the most talented young drivers in NASCAR. He brought this racing team one of its strongest results in his first race with us, and we are certain of his success in the future.(Swan Racing PR)(4-23-2014)
    UPDATE: "It went from a lot of fun to a nightmare in a matter of months," [Swan Racing owner] Brandon Davis told NASCAR.com by telephone Wednesday, after his race team farmed off both its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars to other organizations. "I'm not going to point my finger in any one direction. It was just the overall thing, probably adding two cars, etc. ... There were challenges there." Davis, whose Swan Energy oil and gas company has bankrolled the team for most of its brief existence. Davis was willing to dig into his pockets to get the team going last year, when it fielded one car. But he expanded to two entries for 2014 and had hoped to subsist on sponsorship dollars, and the pieces simply didn't come together in time to keep the organization operational. Combine that with the time demands of Davis' growing oil and gas businesses, and it added up to difficulty from the first weeks of the season. Davis added he's retained a few people to help "wind things down" with Swan Racing, and can't foresee the team returning to the track in any capacity in the immediate future. Although Swan lacked sufficient sponsorship dollars, money wasn't the only issue -- expansion to two cars took more of a toll than Davis expected, and the demands of his day job cut into the available time he had to help the race team grow. With two cars now in the stable, everything took double the time, money, and effort. The financial amount contributed to the team by Swan Energy, Davis said, was used up in a matter of weeks. Asked if expanding to two cars proved too much, he did not mince words. "Yes. Most definitely."(NASCAR.com)
    AND: Per Xxxtreme Motorsports Twitter, the team will run the #30 Chevy at Richmond, then switch back to the #44 starting at Talladega, and have the owners points / race attempts from the #30 team (4-24-2014).

  • Richard Petty expected back at Richmond: #43-Aric Almirola talked Thursday about Richard Petty's planned return to the track this weekend following the death of his wife, Lynda:
    WHAT WILL IT MEAN TO HAVE RICHARD BACK AT THE TRACK THIS WEEKEND?
    Almirola - "I think he's doing well. I think being back at the race track is gonna be good for our race team and good for him. I think it'll be good medicine. When something like that happens you kind of want to hide a little bit and just get your feelings straight, but he's been by the shop and been in good spirits and I think he's doing very well considering. We're looking forward to getting him back at the race track and getting him back into race mode. I've spent quite a bit of time with him over the last few weeks since Miss Lynda passed, and it's gonna be great to have our leader back at the race track. He's the name and the face of our company and all the guys on the race team, any myself included, look up to him and enjoy having him around at the race track and having him inside the hauler and talking to us after practice and getting his perspective on what he sees with other race cars and with our race cars throughout practice, so I'm excited about having him back at the race track and, like Trent said, I think it's gonna be good medicine for him. He comes to about 95 percent of the races every year, so for him to take the two or three weeks off that he's taken, I know he's itching to get back to the race track. He's been watching the practices and watching qualifying and watching the races and Dale Inman goes home on Sunday night and gives him the full report on what went down that weekend and how things went. He's still heavily involved and he's still been paying attention for sure, he just hasn't been at the race track. He knows everything that's been going on."(Ford Racing PR)(4-24-2014)

  • AAA Insurance on the #15 at Richmond: AAA Insurance serves as the primary sponsor for #15-Clint Bowyer this weekend at Richmond International Raceway as well as Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26. AAA serves as an associate sponsor on MWR's Toyotas including Brian Vickers' #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota throughout the season. AAA has been serving its members and the community on the road and around the world for more than 100 years. AAA helps more than 50 million people across the U.S. and Canada any time with their Automotive, Travel, and Insurance needs.(Michael Waltrip Racing), see an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(4-24-2014)

  • Axe Peace on the #42: Kyle Larson will trade in the familiar Bullseye paint scheme this weekend for that of the Axe Peace brand. This will be Larson's second time this year in the Axe Peace car. Although he has not driven the car in a race, he acted out some racing scenes while shooting a commercial for the brand back in January.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #42 team paint schemes page.(4-24-2014)

  • Toyota's Laukes Named to TRD, USA Board of Directors: Effective immediately, Ed Laukes, vice president, marketing- performance and guest experience at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., has been named to the TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) board of directors. As part of this change, David Wilson, president and general manager of TRD, will now report directly to Laukes. "This change will better align our technical racing programs directly to the marketing department and their various initiatives," said Bob Carter, TMS senior vice president of automotive operations. Prior to his current role, Laukes was most recently responsible for managing advertising for all Toyota cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles, as well as motorsports public relations and marketing operations. He will continue to oversee the company's motorsports activities, including strategy, research, sponsorship, advertising and merchandising activation (Toyota Racing)(4-24-2014)

  • Safety-Kleen renews Official partnership with NASCAR: NASCAR announced it has reached a multi-year agreement to renew its official partnership with Safety-Kleen, and is among several companies renewing their commitment to NASCAR in 2014. The company will continue as the Official Environmental Services Supplier of NASCAR. The news comes amidst NASCAR's second-annual NASCAR Race to Green initiative, which is galvanizing teams, tracks, drivers, Official NASCAR Partners, and fans around the theme of protecting and preserving the environment. Richardson, Texas based Safety-Kleen is owned by Norwell, Massachusetts based Clean Harbors, Inc. Safety-Kleen, an Official NASCAR Partner since 2004, provides onsite trackside support with its cleaning products and through its oil recycling and re-refining services at more than 200 NASCAR-sanctioned races a year. This ensures all cleaning solvents, oil, fluids and lubricants used in NASCAR racing are recaptured and re-used into useable products. A major contributor to NASCAR's recycling efforts; Safety-Kleen became a founding partner of NASCAR Green at the inception of the platform in 2008. Since entering the sport, Safety-Kleen has collected enough race-used oil to power the Empire State Building for more than an entire year. In 2013, Safety-Kleen collected and re-refined more than 200,000 gallons of NASCAR oil at tracks and team shops.(NASCAR)(4-24-2014)

  • Milestone starts at Richmond: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Chevy for JTG / Daugherty Racing, will make his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend, at Richmond. His best career finish is second, on April 1, 2012, at Martinsville Speedway - like Richmond, a short track. Marcos Ambrose, who drives the #9 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, will also make his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Saturday night. He has two wins in his career, both at Watkins Glen.(NASCAR)(4-24-2014)

  • Richmond Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Richmond this week . . . this is the first time NASCAR teams have run on either of these two codes . . . this right-side code (D-4610) is one of Goodyear's multi-zone tread tires, which combines two distinct tread compounds on the same tire . . . the outboard 10 inches of tread surface (traction zone) is the same compound run on the entire right-side tire at Richmond last season . . . the inboard two inches of tread surface (endurance zone) features a slightly tougher, more heat resistant compound . . . compared to what was run at Richmond last year, this new left-side code (D-4608) features a compound change to give the cars more grip . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear tire test at Richmond last October 22-23 . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. (Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Richmond Race Info page - Goodyear Section.(4-24-2014)

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

  • Buescher fastest in happy hour: #99-James Buescher was quickest during happy hour for the ToyotaCare 250 with a speed of 121.792mph. He was followed by: #6-Trevor Bayne, #60-Chris Buescher, #16, Ryan Reed, #9-Chase Elliott, #31-Dylan Kwasniewski, #42-Kyle Larson, #2-Brian Scott, #43-Dakoda Armstrong, and #5-Kevin Harvick. 40 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Richmond practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-24-2014)

  • Blaney fastest in first practice: #22-Ryan Blaney was fastest during opening practice at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 122.421mph. #7-Regan Smith was second, followed by: #6-Trevor Bayne, #42-Kyle Larson, #3-Ty Dillon, #9-Chase Elliott, #99-James Buescher, #2-Brian Scott, #43-Dakoda Armstrong, and #5-Kevin Harvick. 38 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Richmond practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-24-2014)

  • Tim Dugger to perform during Aaron's Dream Weekend at Talladega: Everyone knows NASCAR and country music go hand-in-hand, and no one personifies this combination more than singer-songwriter Tim Dugger, who will be performing as part of the free Saturday Night Infield Concert at Talladega Superspeedway during the Aaron's Dream Weekend. The singer behind NASCAR anthem "You Know Who We Are" will be rocking the infamous Talladega infield on May 3, opening for country star Randy Houser. The Saturday Night Concert has become a tradition at Talladega Superspeedway with top music acts playing on a stage next to the rowdy and infamous Talladega Blvd. Fans with tickets to Sunday's Aaron's 499 receive free access to the concert. Headlining clubs along the NASCAR circuit for years, Dugger has amassed a loyal following of race fans, drivers, and crew chiefs. Songs of his like "Sunday Drive" and "You Know Who We Are" speak directly to the sport of NASCAR and the energy and excitement found on the track and in the stands each week. Houser will be hitting the stage after Dugger and giving race fans a taste of his powerhouse vocals, playing hit songs "Runnin' Out of Moonlight" and "Goodnight Kiss."(TSS)(4-24-2014)


    News from April 23, 2014

  • Swan Racing Restructures: Swan Racing announced it has successfully restructured the company by finding solutions for the #26 and #30 teams in an attempt to save the jobs of the crews, the drivers, and to keep those teams competing throughout the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As a result, Anthony Marlowe has merged his ownership of the #26 team into BK Racing, effective immediately. Cole Whitt will remain behind the wheel of the #26. The #30 team has been sold to John Cohen of XxxTreme Motorsports, which will operate the team going forward and intends to compete with veteran driver J.J. Yeley. Stephen "Bones" Lane will serve as crew chief and be joined by several other former Swan Racing crewmembers. Driver Parker Kligerman remains under contract with Swan Racing, which will seek to identify options for him to get back on track. Team owner Brandon Davis issued the following statement:
    "I want to first thank our employees, fans, and others in the NASCAR industry for their patience and understanding over the past several days while we work out the future of Swan Racing. As previously stated, the team is restructuring due to a lack of additional funding. However, over the past couple weeks we worked tirelessly to find an alternative to ending operations. Fortunately, we were able to find a home for the #26 team and the #30 team thanks to Anthony Marlowe and Jonathan Cohen respectively. "Anthony and Jonathan are both young and ambitious NASCAR enthusiasts. It is important to keep them in the sport for the long term. I am very relieved to know that the #26 and #30 teams will be in good hands and will continue to compete the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Most importantly, most of the team members have the opportunity to continue their employment in the sport and to support their families. This was critically important to me. Swan Racing is exploring any and all options to keep Parker Kligerman on track throughout the season. We are encouraged by the response we have received from interested parties. Parker continues to be one of the most talented young drivers in NASCAR. He brought this racing team one of its strongest results in his first race with us, and we are certain of his success in the future.(Swan Racing PR)(4-23-2014)

  • New sponsor for Keseloswki? UPDATE at Richmond: an image of the #2 Team Penske Ford has been found on https://twitter.com/keselowski that show Brad Keselowski will drive a light blue car sponsored by Detroit Genuine Parts in a future race. A few readers also saw the same car in the Team Penske shop and sent images. See images of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2014)
    UPDATE: Keselowski #2 Ford sponsor is listed on the Richmond Entry list as Detroit Genuine Parts.(4-22-2014)
    UPDATE 2: This weekend's race marks the debut of the #2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion. Driven by Brad Keselowski, the car features a distinctive blue-grey color that will stand out under the lights at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. A key Alliance Truck Parts partner, Detroit Genuine Parts is a premiere brand in the transportation aftermarket that supplies remanufactured parts to commercial on- and off-highway customers around the world.(Team Penske).
    Detroit Genuine Parts is also scheduled to be the primary sponsor in the October race at Charlotte.(4-23-2014)

  • Ryan Truex gets 2 race sponsor: Race fans will once again have to keep a keener eye for the #83 BK Racing Toyota in the next two Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. The black color has been replaced with Mardi Gras colors of purple and gold for New Orleans, LA based VooDoo BBQ & Grill. VooDoo BBQ & Grill served as the primary sponsor of the #83 car at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2013 and has continued as a partner and associate sponsor for 2014 until the opportunity presented itself to have them as a primary sponsor once again. VooDoo BBQ & Grill opened its first location in New Orleans, LA on Mardi Gras Day 2002 and has expanded to reach 57 planned locations in six states.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(4-23-2014)

  • Kurt Busch to undergo Indy 500 rookie orientation: It's been 14 years since Kurt Busch was last called a rookie. And even though Busch has a Sprint Cup championship trophy at home, he's still a rookie open-wheel driver as far as the Indianapolis 500 is concerned. That's why Busch and four other drivers will take part in the rookie orientation or veteran driver refresher course to be eligible to compete in the May 25th Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track announced Tuesday. Busch will join four other drivers - Mikhail Aleshin, Martin Plowman, Jack Hawksworth and 1995 Indy 500 winner and former CART and F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve - for the three-pronged orientation and driving program on Tuesday, April 29th and Monday, May 5th. Villeneuve will only have to complete the final two phases of the three-phase program to be recertified to race in the 500 because of his prior experience there. The orientation/refresher is designed that all five drivers can potentially complete all three phases in one day. If they are able to do so, the second day would be for practice - or if they need more instruction.(NBC Sports)(4-23-2014)

  • Ambrose to "Race for a Miracle" at Richmond: This Saturday night, Marcos Ambrose and the No.9 STANLEY Racing have a million reasons to win. If Ambrose earns his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, Richard Petty Motorsports partner STANLEY will donate $1 million to the Children's Miracle Network through the Ace Hardware Foundation to benefit sick and injured children. If Ambrose finishes second or third, a donation of $500,000 and $250,000 will be made respectively. The incentive is part of the annual "Racing for a Miracle" campaign by STANLEY and the Ace Hardware Foundation. Ambrose has a best finish of fifth at the track. Ambrose and the team will head to Richmond early on Thursday to visit the patients at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Ambrose and his #9 RPM pit crew will interact with the children through various games and demonstrate pit stops. The #9 will also have a different look to it this weekend. The car will be unveiled this Friday morning at Richmond International Raceway during a special presentation at the amphitheater.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-23-2014)

  • Richmond Notes and Facts - Wednesday: drivers
    " NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Richmond with 63. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 42 starts.
    " Bobby Allison and Richard Petty are tied for the lead in runner-up finishes at Richmond with nine each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
    " Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Richmond with 34; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 16.
    " Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Richmond with 41. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 26.
    " Eight drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Richmond International Raceway. Richard Petty leads the series in consecutive wins at Richmond after posting seven consecutive wins from the fall of 1970 - 1973. Jimmie Johnson (2007 sweep) is the only active driver with consecutive wins at Richmond.
    " All of the 13 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Richmond International Raceway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart won at Richmond in their second appearance.
    " Joe Nemechek competed at Richmond International Raceway 18 times before winning in 1994; the longest span of any the 13 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    " Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond International Raceway with a 7.222.
    " Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Richmond: Kyle Busch (7.2) and Denny Hamlin (8.9).
    " Dave Blaney leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond without visiting Victory Lane at 26.(NASCAR)(4-23-2014)

  • Hermie Sadler joins wrestling board: Global Force Wrestling welcomes former NASCAR driver and current Fox Sports NASCAR analyst Hermie Sadler to its Board of Directors. Sadler, who turns 45 later this week, is a lifelong wrestling fan who also has promoted live wrestling events. A 1991 graduate of the University of North Carolina, he was the 1993 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year. Sadler has a diverse portfolio away from the race track, including restaurants, finance companies and franchises. Jeff Jarrett, the CEO of GFW and a 12-time world champion, and his wife, Karen, have continued their travels around the world laying the groundwork for Global Force Wrestling. "Hermie and I have been friends for more than 20 years," Jarrett said. "Yes, he has been a great driver for years, but I have always admired him for his business acumen. He also fits with GFW because he understands the importance of fan interaction as clearly all of NASCAR does."(Global Force Wrestling/Newsday)(4-23-2014)

  • Hendrick pit coach is leaving for a job outside of racing UPDATES: One of the best pit coaches in NASCAR is leaving racing for work outside of the sport. As of Darlington two weeks ago, Hendrick Motor Sports pit coach Lance Munksgard will no longer be at HMS. Munksgard will be taking a new job in McGregor, Texas at Fourseventy Claim Management. Pit Talks talked with Coach Munksgard, he had this to say. "I was blessed to have been able to live a dream of working with the best mechanics and pit crew members in NASCAR over the years which was an unforgettable experience. I couldn't have asked for a better organization than HMS to finish my NASCAR career. HMS is a truly professional company that starts from Mr. Hendrick down through the management, crew chiefs, and through the pit crews. It was a true pleasure to work with a strong coaching staff and pit crew members at HMS and watch them progress each week. I will truly miss the competition on pit road each week and wish all the guys on pit road the best of luck."(Pit Talks)(4-21-2014)
    UPDATE: Greg Morin, who has been pit crew coach for the teams of Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon, and Chris Krieg, the assistant coach to Munksgard, will oversee the pit crews for Earnhardt and Johnson until a full-time replacement is hired.(MRN)(4-22-2014)
    UPDATE 2: Greg Morin and Chris Krieg were the 2 assistants for the #48/#88 pit crews will now be sharing duties until a replacement is hired for Munksgard. The #5/#24 pit coaches will remain the same.(4-23-2014)

  • Bubba Wallace in the #20 at Talladega: Darrell Wallace, Jr. is set to make his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the 2014 season at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, May 3, behind the wheel of the #20 ToyotaCare Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. The start will mark the 20-year-old's fifth-career start in the series. In his previous four starts in the Nationwide Series, Wallace earned one pole (Dover International Speedway) and three top-10 finishes in 2011. His worst finish in those four starts is 12th at Dover after contact on the last restart late in the race took him out of contention for a top finish. Wallace currently competes full time in the #54 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports where after two races this season, he has one second-place finish and is eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-23-2014)

  • Bayne finishes first in class at TryCharleston Sprint Triathlon: While the majority of his fellow NASCAR competitors enjoyed a relaxing Easter weekend off, Roush Fenway Racing's Trevor Bayne embarked on a different type of race. Rather than 'kicking back' on an exotic sandy beach down south, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner chose to push his mind and body to the limits in the TryCharleston sprint triathlon. In what was only his second sprint-tri, Bayne finished first in his age group (male 20-24), posting a personal best time of 1:10:21. The sprint triathlon event consists of a 750-meter swim, a 20K-bike ride and a 5K-run. Bayne - who has six top-10 finishes in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series starts this season - says his consistent training regimen has also paid dividends behind the wheel of his #6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang this season.(Roush Fenway PR)(4-23-2014)

  • K-LOVE Crisis Response Training on the #44 at Richmond: TriStar Motorsports announced that the K-LOVE Crisis Response Training logo will adorn the hood of the #44 Toyota Camry piloted by Blake Koch this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The K-LOVE Crisis Response Training program is about impacting the community through Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training and by helping create a network of first responders within the community that will be on hand during disasters or times of need. This will mark Koch's sixth start at Richmond International Raceway and his first RIR start behind the wheel of the #44 TriStar Motorsports Camry. Koch has a strong relationship with the Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) program and is excited to represent the K-LOVE Crisis Response Training this weekend in Richmond.(TriStar Motorsports)(4-23-2014)

  • Reaume debut delayed UPDATE: 23 year-old Redlands, CA native Josh Reaume will have to wait just a little bit longer for his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. In a mutual decision, Reaume has moved out of the #23 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet for this Saturday's event at Bristol Motor Speedway with former series Rookie of the Year Timmy Hill taking the controls. The move comes after a rough start in 2014 with the team falling out of the top 30 in owner's points, a critical threshold which guarantees a starting position. Reaume's debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be postponed to April 25 at Richmond International Raceway as part of a multi-race program with Rick Ware Racing.(RWR)(3-12-2014)
    UPDATE: 23 year-old Redlands, CA native Josh Reaume will make his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this Friday, driving a #23 Rick Ware Racing-owned Chevrolet with support from longtime RWR supporter Lilly Trucking. The Virginia-based company will support Reaume as he competes at Richmond International Raceway in the TOYOTA Care 250. Reaume's previous experience at the .750 mile Richmond International Raceway includes a start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, East in 2013. The #23 entry will also carry sponsorship from Colonial Countertops, as part of a multi-race associate sponsorship program, Contractor Rush, Cry of the Outcast the book, and Pray for Your Pastor.(Reaume PR)(4-23-2014)

  • Martins gets Talladega sponsor: Diamond Gusset Jeans will return to Martins Motorsports as primary sponsor of the #76 at Talladega Superspeedway. Diamond Gusset sponsored Willie Allen at Bristol & Daytona earlier this year.(4-23-2014)

  • Robert Griffin III to drive pace car at Richmond: It started with a tweet from Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Robert Griffin III, followed by some chiming in from Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier and RIR. What began as a Twitter conversation about a month ago has resulted in Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III driving the Official Pace Car to start this Saturday's TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Griffin will join thousands of fans who align with the Redskins and NASCAR, just a short trip south of Washington, DC. Prior to Griffin leading the field of 43 NASCAR drivers to the Green Flag, he'll go through Pace Car training, spend some time with his pal Dale Earnhardt Jr., and get together with legendary Washington Redskins Coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs for a garage tour.(RIR)(4-23-2014)

  • Jordy Nelson to drive pace car at Kansas: Catching passes in the NFL, including one for a touchdown in the 2010 Super Bowl, is nothing new for Kansas native Jordy Nelson. But on May 10, Nelson, who is a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, will add a new title to his resume - pace car driver. He will drive the Toyota Highlander V pace car to start the Kansas 400, Kansas Speedway's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race, as part of Toyota's official partnership with Kansas Speedway. Nelson, is one of the most prolific football players in K-State history. He went from being a walk-on safety as a freshman to earning consensus All-America honors, including being named to nine first-team All-America squads, in 2007 as a senior and being named a Biletnikoff Award finalist. The Biletnikoff Award is given annually to the top receiver in the nation.(Kansas Speedway)(4-23-2014)


    News from April 22, 2014

  • Ducks scheme for Stewart at Daytona: Tony Stewart will be piloting a stellar display of patriotism on the side panels of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevy at Daytona in July. In an industry-wide initiative titled NASCAR: An American Salute, Stewart and his team will partner with NASCAR to bring honor to our U.S. military, veterans, and their families (Lionel Racing). See an image of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(4-22-2014)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Richmond:
    #11-Denny Hamlin............................ 114.8
    #18-Kyle Busch............................... 111.9
    #4-Kevin Harvick............................ 110.0
    #15-Clint Bowyer.............................. 100.7
    #14-Tony Stewart............................... 96.5
    #24-Jeff Gordon................................ 96.0
    #41-Kurt Busch.................................. 92.2
    #31-Ryan Newman............................. 91.6
    #99-Carl Edwards.............................. 90.1
    #48-Jimmie Johnson.......................... 88.5
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Richmond International Raceway.
    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)

  • New sponsor for Keseloswki? UPDATE at Richmond: an image of the #2 Team Penske Ford has been found on https://twitter.com/keselowski that show Brad Keselowski will drive a light blue car sponsored by Detroit Genuine Parts in a future race. A few readers also saw the same car in the Team Penske shop and sent images. See images of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2014)
    UPDATE: Keselowski #2 Ford sponsor is listed on the Richmond Entry list as Detroit Genuine Parts.(4-22-2014)

  • Take 5 joins Germain Racing as an associate sponsor at Richmond: The #13 GEICO Chevy driven by Casey Mears will feature associate sponsor Take 5, Home of the 5-Minute Oil Change, for the Virginia 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 26th. The sponsorship is a great addition to the company's celebration of "30 Years of the Fastest Oil Change on the Planet." The company slogan, "We Change Your Oil, Not Your Schedule" is a fun concept to throw into the context of the short-track, high-speed action of Richmond International Raceway. Take 5 Oil Change offers convenient drive-thru oil changes featuring liquid engineering in Castrol products. Take 5 oil changes come with a complementary beverage and the overall experience in Take 5's "stay in your car", low pressure, high speed oil change environment. Take 5 Oil Change understands the value of the driver's time and is competitively priced and the company's certified manager and staff are there to serve seven (7) days a week.(Germain Racing)(4-22-2014)

  • RCR Names Matt Shearer as Director, Business Development: Richard Childress Racing has named Matt Shearer as Director, Business Development for their 15-time championship organization, effective immediately. Shearer joins RCR from Churchill Downs, Inc. where he spent the past five years in their partnership development and sales departments. The graduate of the School of Management from Purdue University also has three years of sales experience in the National Football League working with the Oakland Raiders. He will work under the guidance of Rick Penn, Vice President of Business Development for RCR. "First and foremost, Matt is a great person and RCR is happy to have him join our team," Penn said. "He has experienced success at every step during his career and demonstrated he can adapt and create long-term, winning partnerships. We look forward to Matt's contributions in bringing new partners into the RCR family." This will be Shearer's first foray into motorsports, making the transition from one kind of horsepower to another."
    "Richard Childress Racing is one of the most well-known and highly respected organizations in motorsports and I am honored to be part of the team," Shearer said. "NASCAR is a powerful marketing and business development platform and RCR's focus on performance, its roster of blue-chip partners and a strong front office team make this a compelling opportunity. I look forward to getting started in my new role."(RCR)(4-22-2014)

  • NASCAR Names Two New Hires as part of Growth Segment Marketing Team: NASCAR announced two new hires as part of the company's commitment to implementing strategic growth plans for several critical segments, including youth, millennial and multicultural. Peter Jung joins NASCAR as Senior Director of Growth Segment Marketing, reporting into Managing Director of Brand and Consumer Marketing Kenny Mitchell. Jung, most recently from MasterCard International, served as vice president of global consumer marketing, responsible for youth segment strategies and programs designed to drive a greater preference for the MasterCard brand. In this role, he oversaw the delivery of global consumer insights, innovation and marketing plans that supported youth segment priorities in the U.S. and several international markets.
    Nicole Smith will serve as Director of Growth Segment Marketing at NASCAR, reporting directly to Jung. Smith joins NASCAR from her most recent post at the San Diego Padres, where she served as Director of Brand Development. At the Padres, Smith was responsible for leading all marketing and branding activities with a focus on growing sales and attendance among key demographics including youth and multicultural segments. Smith previously worked at Hewlett-Packard where she explored international business models and the impact of digital innovation, and The Walt Disney Company, where she focused on marketing and branding initiatives. Smith holds a B.A. from UCLA and an MBA from the University of Michigan.(NASCAR)(4-22-2014)

  • Richmond Notes and Facts - Tuesday: history, track:
    · Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953 won by Lee Petty.
    · The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
    · The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
    · The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
    · The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
    · The track was re-measured to .542-mile for 1970.
    · The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
    · The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
    · The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
    · There have been 115 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway, one NSCS event from 1953 - 1958 and two races per year since 1959.(NASCAR)(4-22-2014)

  • Hendrick pit coach is leaving for a job outside of racing UPDATE: One of the best pit coaches in NASCAR is leaving racing for work outside of the sport. As of Darlington two weeks ago, Hendrick Motor Sports pit coach Lance Munksgard will no longer be at HMS. Munksgard will be taking a new job in McGregor, Texas at Fourseventy Claim Management. Pit Talks talked with Coach Munksgard, he had this to say. "I was blessed to have been able to live a dream of working with the best mechanics and pit crew members in NASCAR over the years which was an unforgettable experience. I couldn't have asked for a better organization than HMS to finish my NASCAR career. HMS is a truly professional company that starts from Mr. Hendrick down through the management, crew chiefs, and through the pit crews. It was a true pleasure to work with a strong coaching staff and pit crew members at HMS and watch them progress each week. I will truly miss the competition on pit road each week and wish all the guys on pit road the best of luck."(Pit Talks)(4-21-2014)
    UPDATE: Greg Morin, who has been pit crew coach for the teams of Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon, and Chris Krieg, the assistant coach to Munksgard, will oversee the pit crews for Earnhardt and Johnson until a full-time replacement is hired.(MRN)(4-22-2014)

  • First of three for Blaney: Ryan Blaney will return to the seat of the #22 SKF / Discount Tire Ford Mustang this weekend at Richmond. After a merry-go-round consisting of Blaney, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano to start the season, Blaney will be behind the wheel for the next three NASCAR Nationwide Series races beginning at Richmond, followed by Talladega and Iowa. (Team Penske)(4-22-2014)

  • Nelson Piquet, Jr moving to Global Rallycross: The newly-formed SH Racing Rallycross team announced it will contest the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season with Formula 1 and NASCAR superstar Nelson Piquet Jr. behind the wheel. The team will campaign the #07 Ford Fiesta ST, a factory Ford car constructed by OMSE. The car will showcase the BSN N.O.-XPLODE livery at six of ten Red Bull GRC races this year, including the 2014 X Games Austin. Nelson Piquet Jr. will be moving to Global Rallycross after spending the past four years working his way up the NASCAR ranks, where he became the he first Brazilian to visit Victory Lane in the Nationwide Series by taking the checkered flag at Road America in 2012. Piquet Jr. is best known for his time in Formula 1 with the ING Renault team, starting as a test driver and graduating to a full-time ride. (Fuel Sports Managment)(4-22-2014)

  • Theriault to drive 3 races for JRM: Austin Theriault will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut this season, as JR Motorsports has signed him to drive three races in the #5 Chevy. Theriault, a 20-year-old late model racer from Fort Kent, Maine, will make his debut on May 18 at Iowa Speedway, driving the #5 Chevy replete with primary branding from SPY, the eyewear brand behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Signature 88 Collection and innovative Happy Lens" technology. The upper-rear quarter-panels of the car will carry the logo of Dirty Mo Radio, the internet home for Earnhardt Jr.-related podcasts throughout the NASCAR season. Nationwide Series races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 12) and Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 20) will fill out Theriault's three-race schedule. The seat of the #5 is filled by multiple drivers throughout the season. Theriault was the 2012 Maine Vintage Race Car Association's Driver of the Year, and he made his NASCAR K&N Pro Series debut after winning "Maine Young Guns" inaugural competition in 2012. It was that same year he became a part-time developmental driver for Brad Keselowski Racing. Theriault's Super Late Model success in 2013 included three Pro All Star Series wins.(JRM)(4-22-2014)

  • Perdue Foods sponsoring Jeffrey Earnhardt at Richmond: Perdue Foods will be riding along with Jeffrey Earnhardt when he challenges Richmond International Raceway in Friday's ToyotaCare 250 Nationwide Series race. JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced the Perdue sponsorship Tuesday. The partnership renews a very special relationship for Perdue, which once worked with and sponsored Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jeffrey's grandfather and one of NASCAR's all-time greatest drivers.(Johnny David Motorsports)(4-22-2014)

  • RCR to hit 1,000 starts in Richmond: This weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway will mark RCR's 1000th start in the Nationwide Series. RCR had its first Nationwide Series start in 1995 with Mike Dillon, father of reigning Nationwide Series champion Austin Dillon and current series driver Ty Dillon. Since that start in '95, the organization has won four driver championships with Kevin Harvick in 2001 and 2004, Clint Bower in 2008 and Austin Dillon in 2013. The team also won two owner's championships, doing so in 2003 and 2007. Collectively, RCR has won 66 NNS races, led 14,474 laps, qualified first 51 times, accumulated 327 top-fives and 551 top-10 finishes.(RCR)(4-22-2014)

  • Suarez to debut with JGR in Richmond: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that Daniel Suarez will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 25 in the #20 Silent Circle/Telcel Toyota. Suarez is a part of the NASCAR Drive 4 Diversity program, as well as an alumnus of the NASCAR Next program. He is currently running a full season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for Revolution Racing and the NASCAR Toyota Series in Mexico. He opened this season with wins at New Smyrna Speedway and Daytona International Speedway in February, and is currently second in points following the first four races of the 2014 NASCAR K&N Series East season. He also has two wins in the first three races of the 2014 NASCAR Toyota Series season and currently leads the point standings. It will be a busy weekend for Suarez who will pull double duty at Richmond International Raceway competing in the K&N Pro Series East race immediately following the Nationwide Series race on Friday night. He will then drive back to Charlotte to board a plane to Monterrey, Mexico to compete in the NASCAR Toyota Series, hoping to make practice on Saturday afternoon before competing in the race on Sunday afternoon.(JGR)(4-22-2014)

  • MadVapes returns with Mingus: Officials from Win-Tron Racing announced today that MadVapes, one of the web's largest and most popular electronic cigarette provider since 2009 will return as the primary marketing partner for Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Mason Mingus in next month's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, MadVapes is a premier provider of e-cig products, available online as well as their nationwide retail locations. The company partnered with Mingus and Win-Tron Racing in February at Daytona International Speedway, where a strong performance was thwarted by a late race incident.(Win-Tron Racing)(4-22-2014)

  • RIR debuts Turn 3 Terrace: Richmond International Raceway will introduce the Turn 3 Terrace featuring the Outback Bloomin' Zone, another amenity open to all fans, during the April 25-26 NASCAR race weekend. The Turn 3 Terrace, not surprisingly located outside of Turn 3, is open before AND during the TOYOTA OWNERS 400, from 2:00 p.m. until the checkered flag flies. Fans are invited to take the Richmond stroll around the track and take a break to enjoy:
    · Outback Bloomin' Zone featuring:
    o Q&A with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (3:45 p.m.)
    o Harvick's No. 4 Outback showcar for photo ops
    o Fill up on tasty food that you've come to expect from Outback Steakhouse
    o Free prizes
    · RIR Memory Lane - take a walk through time and learn about many historical and monumental moments throughout RIR's legacy that spans more than 60 years
    · Decades Trackside Bar - a full-service bar and outdoor seating that will be a hot spot before the Green Flag flies and during NASCAR action on America's Premier Short Track
    Don't forget - the Turn 3 Terrace featuring the Outback Bloomin' Zone is open to all ticket holders before and during the April 26, TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Go to rir.com or or call 866-455-7223 for tickets.(RIR)(4-22-2014)

  • Earnhardt Jr. and Harvick Headline Hunt Brothers Pizza All-Star Pizza Party: Race fans who love pizza will get a special treat as Hunt Brothers Pizza is offering a VIP experience with NASCAR driver and owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, on May 17, with the Hunt Brothers Pizza All-Star Pizza Party at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the $69 ticket upgrade offered by Hunt Brothers Pizza, up to 1,000 fans will get exclusive access to a VIP party that includes Q & A sessions by the two drivers. Fans must have a ticket to the race to take advantage of the upgrade. At the party, fans will also be treated to Hunt Brothers Pizza, beverages and a goody bag with gifts from Hunt Brothers Pizza and Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition, fans have the opportunity to win awesome door prizes, such as a stand up featuring Harvick and Earnhardt Jr. or tickets to the Coca-Cola 600. The promotion will run through May 16 or while supplies last. To get the ticket upgrade for the Hunt Brothers Pizza All-Star Pizza Party at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, fans may visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/huntbrothers or call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(4-22-2014)


    News from April 21, 2014

  • Entry List for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #26-Whitt & #30-Kligerman are listed but that may change, others include #35-Reutimann, #33-Stremme, #32-Kvapil, #95-McDowell.
    The drivers who must qualify on speed and cannot use a provisional: #35-Reutimann, #77-Blaney.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Richmond Entry List

  • Congrats - Clint Boyer: #15-Clint Bowyer is now a married man. Bowyer and his fiancee Lorra tied the knot in the Bahamas over the weekend.(FoxSports)(4-21-2014)

  • Construction worker injured at Daytona: A construction worker employed working on the new grandstands at Daytona International Speedway had his head compressed between a steel beam and a scissor lift in a jobsite accident on the Daytona Rising project, Daytona Beach fire officials said. The 43-year-old unidentified man was working 94 feet above ground on the third floor level Saturday, said Daytona Beach fire Lt. Larry Stoney. Reports indicate that the worker was controlling and ascending the lift when incident occurred. The worker was rescued by his co-workers before firefighters arrived on scene, Stoney said. Firefighters had to immobilize and carry the worker from the third floor to the awaiting ambulance due to his injuries. The worker was transported in serious but stable condition to Halifax Health Medical Center. The Daytona Rising project is renovating the Speedway's frontstretch grandstands by the 2016 Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-21-2014)

  • Lack of sponsorship could shut down Swan Racing UPDATE 4: Swan Racing [#26-Cole Whitt & #30-Parker Kligerman] issued the following statement Thursday afternoon: "Swan Racing is in the process of reviewing its current situation and the ability to continue to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The team has been unable to secure the kind of sponsorship required to effectively operate the team. As a result, the team management is exploring every available option. We hope to be in position to provide a detailed update in the near future."(Swan Racing)(4-17-2014)
    UPDATE: Team spokesperson Ramsey Poston told Motorsport.com that Swan is assessing its current situation. Other sources familiar with the situation said it's unlikely that Swan will field more than one car -- if any -- for the Apr. 25-26 NASCAR events at Richmond International Raceway.(Motorsport)
    UPDATE 2: The Swan Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team released a number of employees today [Thursday] and may not compete in the circuit's next race at Richmond International Raceway On April 26. Team employees were reportedly informed today that the team is suspending operations, and many of them are already seeking employment with other teams. Sources say there is a possibility that Whitt's #26 Toyota could be absorbed into the existing BK Racing operation, if Swan Racing is unable to continue.(Godfather Motorsports)
    UPDATE 3: Swan Racing co-owner Anthony Marlowe tweeted on Thursday afternoon: "My mission is to ensure @ColeWhitt races in every #NASCAR Sprint Cup event this season."(4-18-2014)
    UPDATE 4 Cole Whitt, a Sprint Cup rookie who is fourth among the 2014 rookie class at 33rd in the overall standings, is scrambling to find a ride for this weekend's race at Richmond. A representative for Fuel Sports Management Group confirmed that as of Monday morning, Whitt did not have a ride for Richmond.(Sporting News)(4-21-2014)

  • Stremme back in the #33 at RIR with new sponsor: Circle Sport Racing announced that Newtown Building Supplies, Inc. (NBS) will be the primary sponsor of the #33 Chevy driven by David Stremme April 26 in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). This will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sponsorship for Newtown Building Supplies, which markets windows, doors, siding, installation and a range of building materials to commercial builders and residential home owners in Hampton Roads, VA.
    D.J. "Jimmy" Rogers, the president and principal owner of Newtown Building Supplies (a member of the Tidewater Builders Association), has turned NBS - not even a year old - into a force among the building community in southeast Virginia. He's excited to partner with Stremme, a veteran racer with nearly 200 starts in the Sprint Cup Series. "NBS is thrilled to sponsor Circle Sport, the #33 car and David Stremme," says Rogers. "We are fierce competitors and know David is too. We believe he has what it takes to make a splash 'under the lights!'"
    Known for its wide selection of building materials and superb customer service with builders, NBS is marking its foray into NASCAR with Circle Sport as a way to reach the Hampton Roads NASCAR community. "NASCAR is the perfect arena for Jimmy to showcase his entrepreneurial spirit and market Newtown Building Supplies to thousands of race fans and potential customers," says Stremme. "Richmond is not only the home track of NBS but also Little Joe's Autos, and I know that team owner Joe Falk has this race circled on his calendar. With the emphasis on this race from within the organization, we're looking forward to putting on a good show in front of the fans and all of our Virginia-based guests."(Circle Sport), see image of the scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page.(4-21-2014)

  • Darlington TV Rating Hits Low, But Viewership Hits High: In an interesting quirk, last week's NASCAR race from Darlington both matched a record-low and hit a three-year high. Last Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Southern 500 from Darlington earned a 3.6 final rating and 6.0 million viewers on FOX, down 5% in ratings and up 2% in viewership from last year (3.8, 5.9M), and down 5% and up 6%, respectively, from 2012 (3.8, 5.7M). The 3.6 rating is the lowest for NASCAR from Darlington since 2000 (3.5) and tied as the lowest ever for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on FOX. Despite the 14-year low in ratings, viewership was the highest for the Darlington race since 2011 (7.0M). The 2% increase in viewership also marked NASCAR's first increase in either ratings or viewership this season. Of note, Saturday's NASCAR coverage earned more viewers than the third round of The Masters on CBS earlier in the day (5.9M).(Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Daily)(4-21-2014)

  • Special America Salute Scheme for Harvick: on the July 4th weekend at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR will launch its third annual "NASCAR: An American Salute" industry-wide initiative that honors our U.S military, veterans, and their families. Kevin Harvick will be driving the #4 Chevy in the ultimate patriotic makeover. Debuting at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and painted from bumper to fender in red, white and blue, Harvick's Chevrolet SS will be running the Budweiser "Folds of Honor" Chevy (Lionel Racing). See an image of the scheme on the #4 Team Schemes page.(4-21-2014)

  • Sad News - Richard 'Dick' Duff: Richard S. Duff, of Sylvania, OH died peacefully Sunday, April 20, 2014 at Kingston Care Center of Sylvania, OH. On weekends, he and and his wife Fran worked scoring major events at numerous short tracks throughout Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. When not traveling throughout the Midwest, they both worked as chief scorers for the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) and at both Flat Rock (MI) and Toledo Speedways. Dick frequently contributed news articles from the races to the National Speed Sport News, MARC Times, and Mid-American Racing News. Additionally, he was a Charter Member of the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club since 1965, and served as the group's publicity director until he moved to North Carolina in 1985.
    Once in Charlotte, he served as head of accounting for DiGard Racing and later Hendrick Motorsports. While at Hendrick Motorsports, Dick was part of an organization that won over 100 NASCAR races and 6 championships. He retired from Hendrick Motorsports shortly after being honored by team owner Rick Hendrick for 20 years of service in 2007. Dick's grandson, Charles Krall, is the play-by-play voice of the ARCA Racing Series broadcasts on ARCARacing.com as well as the public address announcer at Michigan International Speedway. See services and the full post on the

  • Sad News Page.(4-21-2014)

  • More stats at NASCAR's Spring Break: After eight races, three of the top five drivers in the series standings are winless - #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth and #48-Jimmie Johnson. Those three drivers have won 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships (and 185 wins) collectively.
    Two drivers with race victories aren't even in the top 16 in points, starting with #4-Kevin Harvick who is "mired" - talk about another outdated term due to the new format - in 22nd. Harvick's Stewart-Haas Racing teammate #41-Kurt Busch is 26th but he has a Martinsville victory and a likely Chase berth.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500, has three runner-up finishes plus one third. He has been running near the front seemingly all season - with the exception of Texas, when he ran into the grass early in the race.
    #14-Tony Stewart, coming back from being sidelined for much of last year by injury, is winless but has four top-10 finishes in the last five races, including an incredibly strong Texas run where he was the Coors Light Pole Award winner.
    Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevy, was never a factor at the Daytona 500 but had her second-best finish of the year thus far at Bristol's half-mile.
    Team Penske has both of its drivers in the victory column, with #2-Brad Keselowski winning at Las Vegas and #22-Joey Logano at Texas. That's two wins on 1.5-mile tracks. There are five 1.5-mile tracks in the Chase lineup.
    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule resumes Saturday night April 26 at three-quarters mile Richmond International Raceway.(NASCAR)(4-21-2014)

  • Hendrick pit coach is leaving for a job outside of racing: One of the best pit coaches in NASCAR is leaving racing for work outside of the sport. As of Darlington two weeks ago, Hendrick Motor Sports pit coach Lance Munksgard will no longer be at HMS. Munksgard will be taking a new job in McGregor, Texas at Fourseventy Claim Management. Pit Talks talked with Coach Munksgard, he had this to say. "I was blessed to have been able to live a dream of working with the best mechanics and pit crew members in NASCAR over the years which was an unforgettable experience. I couldn't have asked for a better organization than HMS to finish my NASCAR career. HMS is a truly professional company that starts from Mr. Hendrick down through the management, crew chiefs, and through the pit crews. It was a true pleasure to work with a strong coaching staff and pit crew members at HMS and watch them progress each week. I will truly miss the competition on pit road each week and wish all the guys on pit road the best of luck."(Pit Talks)(4-21-2014)

  • Nationwide Entry List:There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday's ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway. A few notes:
    Kevin Harvick is back in the #5;
    Eric McClure remains in the #14;
    The Joe Gibbs #20 is TBA;
    Ryan Blaney will drive the #22 for Penske;
    The #23 is TBA;
    Jimmy Weller will make his NNS debut in the #55;
    Joe Nemechek will be in the #86;
    The #93 is TBA.(4-21-2014)
    See the complete list on the Richmond entry list page.

  • BUBBA burgers sponsoring Nemechek in select races: BUBBA burgers, the nation's #1 branded frozen hamburger, has announced a multi-race sponsorship with DRG Motorsports for the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek will be behind the wheel of the #86 DRG Motorsports Bubba burger Chevy at Richmond, and selected additional events. Along with the Richmond event, BUBBA burgers will serve as primary sponsor for the May 24th Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the June 27th event at Kentucky Speedway. BUBBA burgers will also see action as an associate sponsor on the No. 86 DRG car at additional selected races during the 2014 season.(DRG Motorsport), see an image of the car on the #86 team paint schemes page.(4-21-2014)

  • Teams testing Charlotte: Multiple Camping World Truck Series teams will spend Monday and Tuesday testing the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway in preparation for next month's N.C. Education Lottery 200. Some of the participating teams include ThorSport Racing, Brad Keselowski Racing, Red Horse Racing, WinTron Racing, and Wauters Motorsports.(Charlotte Motor Speedway Twitter)(4-21-2014)

  • Miller Lite Party Zone relocates to RIR's Midway: With the help of fan feedback, Richmond International Raceway enhanced the old and added some new. So what's changed in 2014? The Miller Lite Party Zone relocates to the Midway prior to the Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26 NASCAR races. RIR took the fan-favorite atmosphere and moved it to a more fan-friendly area. The ultimate tailgate party just got that much better. Situated on prime real estate near the Virginia Is For Lovers Frontstretch Gate, it has never been easier to enjoy live music, tailgate games, a mechanical bull, food, a full-service cash bar with Miller Lite specials, and the #2 Miller Lite show car of Brad Keselowski. Open to ALL fans and FREE of charge, be sure to check out the scene on Friday before the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series & Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races, and Saturday prior to the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The April NASCAR weekend at RIR begins on Friday, April 25, with two races in one night. Catch the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, where kids 12 & younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Your Friday ticket also includes Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying for NASCAR Sprint Cup and NBC12 Pole Qualifying for NASCAR Nationwide Series. Go to rir.com or or call 866-455-7223 for tickets.(RIR)(4-21-2014)


    News from April 20, 2014

  • Keselowski recalls how Rick Hendrick left him heartbroken: In a just-released video interview, #2-Brad Keselowski [2012 Sprint Cup Champion] - looking perhaps as somber as we've ever seen him, at times seemingly ready to break into tears - discusses how heartbroken, if not potentially betrayed he felt in 2009 when team owner Rick Hendrick picked Mark Martin to drive the #5 Chevrolet instead of giving Keselowski the opportunity, even though Bad Brad insists Hendrick had previously promised him that ride in 2010. Appearing on the syndicated "In Depth With Graham Bensinger," Keselowski also talks prominently about how Roger Penske approached him back in 2008, inquiring if the young talent would be interested in joining Team Penske. See full article at NBC Sports, with a link to the video interview there)(4-20-2014)

  • Special scheme to thank teachers for Kahne in three races: At Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, Kasey Kahne will partner with the "Thank A Million Teachers" initiative when he debuts a special Farmers Insurance paint scheme on the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. Kahne will also run the scheme at Kansas in May 10 and Charlotte in May 25.(Lionel Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(4-20-2014)

  • Jack Roush discusses possible engine changes: With NASCAR officials focusing on engine changes in the Sprint Cup Series for 2015 that will result in a reduction of horsepower, such a move should involve "a restriction on the intake side," according to Sprint Cup Series team co-owner [#16, #17, #99] Jack Roush. Roush, an owner in the series since 1988, isn't suggesting the use of restrictor plates similar to those used at Daytona and Talladega. Instead, he said, a reduction of the throttle bore size "without a plate underneath" would accomplish the objective. "(It is) straightforward and it is easily reversible if you decided that the quality of the racing was hurt by it," Roush said. "If they want to take 100 horsepower off ... reduce horsepower significantly, the least expensive and most palatable way to do that is with a restriction on the intake side." Today's Cup engines, limited to 358 cubic inches, produce approximately 850 horsepower. Speeds have increased, in part due to a new rules package and the continued development of the Generation-6 car, now in its second year. While officials with the three auto manufacturers currently involved at the series' top level, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, have been a part of the discussions, they say it is too early in the process to respond to potential engine changes. "From an owner's standpoint, NASCAR has got to be mindful of ... what it costs," Roush said. "The race teams can only afford to change so many things at a time. With the expanding technology and the engineering costs that everybody has with the pressure for sponsorship and investment in the sport, a dramatic or unnecessary engine change would not be welcome in my world."(see full article at NASCAR.com)(4-20-2014)

  • Earnhardt Jr. heads to school in Kansas: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be in Topeka May 8th for an appearance at Seaman High School. Seaman athletic director/assistant principal Brad Dietz confirmed the appearance of Earnhardt Jr., who is scheduled to be at the school from approximately 1 to 3 p.m. on the 8th and sandwich visits with two groups of students around an all-school assembly. Earnhardt will be in Kansas for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, May 10th at Kansas Speedway.(Capital-Journal)(4-20-2014)

  • Cope picks up Richmond sponsor: Acredale Vending Co. will come on board with Derrike Cope & the #70 team for the Nationwide race at Richmond. Acredale Vending co. has provided Vending Machine sales and service to the Tidewater Virginia area for 30 years.(Acredale PR)(4-20-2014)

  • Fan Hospitality and Pit Pass Options for Richmond: Looking to upgrade your April 25 & 26 race days at Richmond International Raceway? We have options for fans to take their experience to the next level with add-ons and ticket packages that include pre-race pit passes, exclusive driver appearances, food & beverages, and much more.
    Pit Stop Club ($2,300 per group of 8), includes:
    · Eight reserved grandstand seats in the Commonwealth Mezzanine on the frontstretch for the Saturday, April 26, TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
    · Guided garage tours for each guest
    · Pre-race pit passes for each guest
    · Exclusive Q&A with NASCAR driver Kurt Busch
    · Two VIP parking passes
    · Admission to the climate-controlled Pit Stop Club hospitality area, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., which includes a full buffet with beverages - complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks, and water
    TORQUE Club ($800 per person), includes:
    · Reserved, outdoor stadium seat for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (Saturday, April 26), and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series and BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races (Friday, April 25)
    · Exclusive Q&As with NASCAR's Paul Menard, Ryan Reed, Kaz Grala and Mike Calinoff (Friday); Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Larry McReynolds (Saturday)
    · Pre-race pit pass for both days
    · All-inclusive gourmet food package
    · Unlimited soft drinks and water
    · Adult beverage tickets
    · Reserved parking
    · Access to the indoor, air-conditioned lounge
    Veranda Club ($320 per person), includes:
    · Reserved seat in the top row of the Veranda grandstand for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series and BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races
    · Pre-race pit pass for Saturday, April 26
    · Exclusive Q&A with NASCAR driver Kurt Busch
    · Guided garage tour on Saturday, April 26
    · VIP parking for April 25 and April 26
    · Admission to the climate-controlled Pit Stop Club hospitality area, from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., which includes a full buffet with beverages - complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks, and water
    For more information on these options, please call RIR's Sales Office at 804-228-7611(RIR)(4-20-2014)


    News from April 19, 2014

  • Sprint Fan Vote continues: It's time again for fans to vote their favorite Sprint Fan Vote-eligible driver into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Voting opened March 16 and closes at 7:00pm/et on Friday, May 16, one day before the green flag. Through the Sprint Fan Vote, fans can cast their ballots an unlimited number of times to help determine the starting lineup for the prestigious race. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a starting spot in the annual event worth a $1 million payday, courtesy of Sprint. For the first time in its history, the Sprint Fan Vote will include a sweepstakes awarding one lucky voter a trip for two to any 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race of his or her choice, among other instant prizes.
    NASCAR fans have three options to cast their Sprint Fan Votes:
    Download the NASCAR MOBILE application. Votes cast through NASCAR MOBILE will count as double towards a driver's total.
    Go to NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote
    Visit The Sprint Experience, located in the midway at all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    Last year, then-rookie #10-Danica Patrick, garnered nearly half-a-million votes to win the Sprint Fan Vote. Eligible for the vote again this year, Patrick will be vying for votes against the likes of #47-AJ Allmendinger, #15-Clint Bowyer, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and rookies, #3-Austin Dillon and #42-Kyle Larson.
    The winner of the 2014 Sprint Fan Vote will be announced in Victory Lane after the conclusion of the Sprint Showdown on Friday, May 16. In addition to accumulating the most votes, a Sprint Fan Vote-eligible driver must also finish the Sprint Showdown qualifying race with a car in "raceable" condition (as determined by NASCAR Competition) to earn a spot in the race field.
    To date, 30 drivers are eligible for the 2014 Sprint Fan Vote. Eligibility for participation is restricted to those drivers who have been approved by NASCAR for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Amongst those eligibility requirements, drivers must have attempted to qualify for the 2014 Daytona 500 and race in the Sprint Showdown. Should any eligible Sprint Fan Vote candidate win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race during the 2014 season, and therefore automatically earn a spot into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the driver's name will be removed from the Sprint Fan Vote ballot and their existing votes will be voided.
    Frontstretch tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race are available for purchase and affordably priced at two for $99 (plus taxes and fees). Fans can obtain tickets by calling 1-800-455-FANS or buying online at CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com.
    Tune in to the Sprint Showdown at 7:00pm/et on Friday, May 16 on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Then catch NASCAR's biggest stars in Sprint All-Star Race Qualifying at 7:00pm/et on Saturday, May 17 on FOX Sports 1, and the Sprint All-Star Race immediately following at 9:00pm/et on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
    The 30 drivers (as of March 15) eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote include: #51-Justin Allgaier, #47-A.J. Allmendinger, #43-Aric Almirola, #9-Marcos Ambrose, #7-Michael Annett, #21-Trevor Bayne, #77-Dave Blaney, #23-Alex Bowman, #15-Clint Bowyer, #40-Landon Cassill, #3-Austin Dillon, #38-David Gilliland, #30-Parker Kligerman, #42-Kyle Larson, #52-Bobby Labonte, #32-Terry Labonte, #35-Eric McClure, #95-Michael McDowell, #13-Casey Mears, #27-Paul Menard, #66/#87-Joe Nemechek, #10-Danica Patrick, #33-Brian Scott, #93-Morgan Shepherd, #36-Reed Sorenson, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #83-Ryan Truex, #66-Michael Waltrip, #26-Cole Whitt, #98-Josh Wise. (CMS)(4-19-2014)

  • #42 scheme to honor Target at Charlotte: Kyle Larson will be running the #42 Target Silver Chevy at Charlotte in May, a paint scheme designed to celebrate the 25-year partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing. "What I'm truly proud of is the partnership we have is built on innovative and maybe even more collaboration," said Ganassi. "Our organization and Target have had an open dialogue from day one. The program looks today nothing like it did 25 years ago - but then we don't look anything like we did 25 years ago. It continues to evolve and that's why it's worked for so long."(Lionel Racing), more about CGR and Taret at chipganassiracing.com, see an image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(4-19-2014)

  • France, NASCAR earn Cynopsis Sports Awards: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Fuel for Business were honored at the Cynopsis Sports Awards Thursday at the Yale Club in New York City. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Rick Hendrick presented France with the Vision Award, which recognizes the executive of the year from a sports league or organization who has demonstrated innovation and transformed an industry. "With all the stakeholders involved in our sport, it takes a leader who is willing to stand tall," Hendrick said. "Brian has revolutionized the sport of NASCAR, working with the entire NASCAR industry -- the teams, tracks and sponsors."
    Accepting the award, France said, "One thing that is never lost on me at these types of sports industry gatherings is how lucky we all are to be working in an industry that evokes so much passion from people across the world." NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) earned two awards for B2B Program and Proprietary Asset. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the NFFB Council is a business-to-business platform that brings together an exclusive group of more than 50 Official NASCAR Partners to buy and sell products and services. Since its inception in 2004, the quarterly meetings have facilitated more than 1,000 "speed meeting" sessions where Official NASCAR Partners meet and do business with one another.
    NASCAR earned Honorable Mentions for Brand Activation at Live Events for its NASCAR After the Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola; Brand Extensions/Licensing for Touch by Alyssa Milano and Mobile App - Live Streaming for NASCAR Digital Media's NASCAR RaceView Mobile '13. The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards recognize the most outstanding work in the sports industry from the past year with categories that span television, digital, marketing and more.(NASCAR.com)(4-19-2014)


    News from April 18, 2014

  • New sponsor for Keseloswki?: an image of the #2 Team Penske Ford has been found on https://twitter.com/keselowski that show Brad Keselowski will drive a light blue car sponsored by Detroit Genuine Parts in a future race. A few readers also saw the same car in the Team Penske shop and sent images. See images of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2014)

  • Lack of sponsorship could shut down Swan Racing UPDATE3: Swan Racing [#26-Cole Whitt & #30-Parker Kligerman] issued the following statement Thursday afternoon: "Swan Racing is in the process of reviewing its current situation and the ability to continue to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The team has been unable to secure the kind of sponsorship required to effectively operate the team. As a result, the team management is exploring every available option. We hope to be in position to provide a detailed update in the near future."(Swan Racing)(4-17-2014)
    UPDATE: Team spokesperson Ramsey Poston told Motorsport.com that Swan is assessing its current situation. Other sources familiar with the situation said it's unlikely that Swan will field more than one car -- if any -- for the Apr. 25-26 NASCAR events at Richmond International Raceway.(Motorsport)
    UPDATE2: The Swan Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team released a number of employees today [Thursday] and may not compete in the circuit's next race at Richmond International Raceway On April 26. Team employees were reportedly informed today that the team is suspending operations, and many of them are already seeking employment with other teams. Sources say there is a possibility that Whitt's #26 Toyota could be absorbed into the existing BK Racing operation, if Swan Racing is unable to continue.(Godfather Motorsports)
    UPDATE3: Swan Racing co-owner Anthony Marlowe tweeted on Thursday afternoon: "My mission is to ensure @ColeWhitt races in every #NASCAR Sprint Cup event this season."(4-18-2014)

  • NASCAR birthplace Streamline hotel sold and to be renovated: The Streamline Hotel, the 1940s-era beachside inn known as the birthplace of NASCAR, has sold, and the new owner plans to renovate the property. Eddie Hennessy, son of cosmetic company Pevonia International founders Phillippe and Sylvie Hennessy, bought the property at 140 S. Atlantic Ave. late last month for $950,000. He intends to restore the art deco building and turn the hotel into an upscale South Beach-style boutique inn. "My goal is to clean up the hotel, the block, the drug stuff going around," Hennessy said. "We're bringing the hotel back to its original state, only more modern." Since buying the hotel, Hennessy has installed new management and has started some work on the facelift. He said he doesn't yet know when the major renovation work will begin, but added he looks to get started "as soon as possible." Hennessy said he plans to start the restoration with the hotel's rooftop bar, which is where in 1947 Bill France Sr. met with race drivers and track owners to form NASCAR. The hotel has a second bar on the ground floor that Hennessy said he intends to turn into a NASCAR-themed lounge. The Streamline will stay open while renovation work is done, Hennessy said. After renovating the rooftop bar, Hennessy will start work on the lobby, the hotel's ground-level bar, then the guest rooms. He said he isn't yet sure how much he will invest in the hotel's renovation.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-18-2014)

  • Last Minute Ticket Options for Richmond: As NASCAR gears up for a visit to Richmond International Raceway April 25 & 26, fans have several last-minute ticket options for Saturday's TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and Friday's ToyotaCare 250/BLUE OX 100 doubleheader.
    · Grandstand tickets for the April 25-26 races increase on race week, beginning Monday morning, April 21. That means Saturday's tickets will start at $40 (while supplies last), and Friday's tickets are $35 (general admission)/$45 (reserved). · Special Pricing is available for several groups:
    o Kids 12 & younger feel the thrill and excitement of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at $25 off the adult price in EVERY grandstand. Kids are admitted FREE in general admission on Friday.
    o College students can celebrate the end of the school year "under the lights" at America's Premier Short Track for only $19. College students may purchase online in advance or on race day - must present college ID at ticket window. Click here for College Pricing info.
    o Toyota and RIR are proud to bring the Military Appreciation offer, which includes a complimentary Pre-Race Pit Pass. Toyota Military Appreciation info.
    o Groups of 20 or more receive special pricing and priority seating. Group Sales info.
    · Ticket packages remain on sale through Wednesday, April 23
    o Papa John's 4-Pack ($199) includes 4 TOYOTA OWNERS 400 tickets, 4 Papa John's personal pizzas, and 4 Coca-Cola beverages.
    o Outback Steakhouse Ticket Package ($95) includes 2 TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race tickets and a $50 Outback Steakhouse gift card.
    o Fan Vision Ticket Package ($65) includes a TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race ticket and a FanVision Controller and headset rental.
    o Racing Electronics Ticket Package ($50) includes a TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race ticket and a Racing Electronics headset scanner rental.
    The April NASCAR weekend at RIR begins on Friday, April 25, with two races in one night. Catch the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, where kids 12 & younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Your Friday ticket also includes Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying for NASCAR Sprint Cup and NBC12 Pole Qualifying for NASCAR Nationwide Series. CLICK HERE or call 866-455-7223 for tickets.(RIR)(4-18-2014)

  • Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass at Richmond: The green flag may wave at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 25, but the action at Richmond International Raceway starts well before that. Join us on Pit Road from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm for a pre-race experience where you take in the sights and sounds of race prep - including Knockout Pole Qualifying and practice - from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member. Friday's events include Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as well as NBC12 Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The day's action is topped off with the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, followed by the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race - that's right, we said TWO races in ONE night! On Friday at noon, the new NASCAR Next class will be announced in Gatorade Victory Lane, and all Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass holders are invited. NASCAR Next is a program that spotlights NASCAR's emerging stars. Launched in 2011, the program has identified a number of drivers who have advanced from regional and touring racing series to NASCAR's national series. Notable alumni include Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Dylan Kwasniewski, Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. Can't get enough of the NASCAR Next class? They will be signing autographs on the backstretch at Track Takeover on Saturday, April 26, and you can say you knew them when they were just breaking into the sport! Every fan who has a ticket to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 is invited to get up close and personal with the track you love.
    Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $50 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road on Friday. Passes are available online by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223. In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the April 25 events. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. A parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children younger than 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes. Click here to view the Pre-Race Pit Pass Access areas. Appropriate dress is required. Shirt, shoes and shorts or pants must be worn at all times while on pit road. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield.
    CLICK HERE or call 866-455-7223 to purchase tickets for the Friday, April 25, ToyotaCare250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. Advance tickets start at just $30 and kids 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission.(RIR)(4-18-2014)


    News from April 17, 2014

  • Lack of sponsorship could shut down Swan Racing: Swan Racing [#26-Cole Whitt & #30-Parker Kligerman] issued the following statement Thursday afternoon: "Swan Racing is in the process of reviewing its current situation and the ability to continue to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The team has been unable to secure the kind of sponsorship required to effectively operate the team. As a result, the team management is exploring every available option. We hope to be in position to provide a detailed update in the near future."(Swan Racing)(4-17-2014)

  • NASCAR Executive Marcus Jadotte Leaving Organization: NASCAR announced that Marcus Jadotte, vice president of public affairs and multicultural development, will be leaving the organization. Jadotte will serve as a consultant as NASCAR continues to evolve its diversity and multicultural development initiatives throughout the organization. Additionally, NASCAR will expand its existing relationship with Teneo Strategy, a strategic advisory firm which has worked with NASCAR since 2013, to support its public affairs activities. Among his accomplishments since joining NASCAR in March 2005, Jadotte led the development of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) and NASCAR Pit Crew Development programs. These initiatives focus on developing the skills of promising female, Asian, Latino and African-American drivers and crew members in NASCAR. Jadotte has effectively overseen NASCAR's relationship with Rev Racing, which operates teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for the NASCAR D4D program, resulting in an increase in minority participation and on-track success. NASCAR D4D will continue under the leadership of Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president, racing operations (to whom Jadotte reported). The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program and annual NASCAR Diversity Awards also are among a number of diversity and inclusion programs started by Jadotte that will continue at NASCAR.(NASCAR)(4-17-2014)

  • NASCAR's Spring Break Arrives After Intriguing Start: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has its own version of spring break and it has arrived, with the traditional Easter weekend hiatus. It's time for a bit of rest, relaxation - and examination regarding the first eight races of the 2014 season. In case you hadn't noticed, there's a lot going on, starting with the unreal level of parity that has made predictability an outdated term. Much has been said and written about the seven different winners to start the season, a streak broken this past weekend at Darlington Raceway when Kevin Harvick became the year's first two-time winner. Overshadowed somewhat has been a concurrent revolving door, in the form of eight different Coors Light Pole winners to open the season, tied for the series' longest season-opening streak of different pole winners.
    Is competition better than ever? There are statistics supporting that notion:
    All three manufacturers have won races thus far, led by Chevrolet's four victories.
    An average of 12 different leaders per race, compared to 8.6 at this point last year.
    An average of 25.6 lead changes per race, compared to 17.4 in 2013.
    Total of 29,541 green flag passes, compared to 23,178 in 2013.
    Total of 346 green flag passes for the lead, compared to 181 in 2013.
    And ... an average margin of victory of 0.588 seconds, the smallest since 2008.(NASCAR)(4-17-2014)


    News from April 16, 2014

  • Tire Testing at Kansas: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams converged on Kansas Speedway for a Goodyear tire test Tuesday in preparation for the track's first night race next month. Goodyear allowed one car per organization to the single-day test, held in advance of the May 10 event at the 1.5-mile track. The teams took part on a cool spring day that portended potential track record speeds at a facility where #20-Matt Kenseth set the existing mark of 191.864mph in qualifying last April. Although the track hosted its first Sprint Cup weekend in 2001, temperature extremes in the region led officials to surface the facility in 2012. Speeds jumped as a result, and last fall Goodyear brought to Kansas its multi-zone tread tire, which combines one compound designed for traction and another toughened for durability. Different multi-zone combinations have also been used for races at Texas and Atlanta, and another is planned for next week's event at Richmond.(NASCAR.com)
    Teams that were scheduled to test were: #2-Keselowski, #3-Dillon, #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, #7-Annett, #11-Hamlin, #13-Mears, #17-Stenhouse Jr.,#42-Larson, #43-Almirola, #51-Allgaier, #55-Vickers, #78-Truex Jr., #83-Bowman / Truex.(MRN's Dustin Long)(4-16-2014)

  • FOX moves Talladega qualifying to FOX: NASCAR ramped up its pre-race excitement level for the 2014 season, making qualifying more relevant and much more entertaining by introducing a highly competitive "knockout" system, beginning with 43-plus race cars on the track at the same time at tracks 1.25 miles or longer. NASCAR on FOX, which covers the first 13 NASCAR Sprint Cups Series of the season, is showing its enthusiasm for the new system, moving the (Saturday) May 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway from FOX Sports 2 to FOX, marking the first time a non-Daytona qualifying session has aired on FOX. "This move is a direct result of the double-digit ratings gains NASCAR's new knockout qualifying format is delivering every weekend," said Bill Wanger, EVP of Programming, Research & Content Strategy. "We are thrilled to be able to highlight this new format on FOX, and what more exciting place to do that than Talladega Superspeedway." The new qualifying system, which moves away from single-car qualifying and is supported by double-digit, year-to-year ratings growth, allows for all cars to qualify collectively for up to 25 minutes, with the top 24 based on fastest laps advancing for a subsequent 10-minute session. The top 12 from that group advance to the final, five-minute round. The 90-minute Talladega qualifying session begins on FOX on Saturday, May 3 at 1:30 pm/et(FOX).
    NOTE so far FoxSports has aired qualifying time delayed, 5-10 minutes behind live. Results will be posted LIVE on Jayski.com, and Jayski's Twitter & Facebook...so spoiler alert....(4-16-2014)

  • Don't expect to see Stewart-Haas drivers in F1 car: Now that her car owner has a Formula One team, could Danica Patrick ever race in the worldwide racing series? Gene Haas doesn't think so. Nothing against Patrick, he just doesn't think any of his NASCAR drivers could jump in a car for Haas Formula, a new F1 team that will begin fielding two cars in 2015 or 2016, and succeed. Haas actually has three drivers with IndyCar experience in his NASCAR stable. Tony Stewart was the 1997 IndyCar championship, Patrick spent seven years on the circuit and Kurt Busch is competing in the Indianapolis 500 this year after completing rookie orientation last year. But Haas isn't looking from within for a future F1 driver. "I'd certainly never expect any of our current lineup of drivers to want to be able to do that," Haas said during a news conference Monday. "It would be really impossible to accomplish that and survive. ... Just the thought of jumping into a Formula One car from a Cup car would be very, very difficult."(Sporting News)(4-16-2014)

  • Michael Schumacher 'showing small signs of progress': Michael Schumacher is said to be "showing small signs of progress" in his recovery from a serious brain trauma as the seven-time Formula 1 world champion continues to be treated for injuries sustained in a skiing accident last December. The 45-year-old's manager Sabine Kehm confirmed earlier this month that Schumacher was showing signs of consciousness and being awake, and she has now elaborated on her latest revelation that gives hope of the F1 great making a recovery. "There are short moments of consciousness and he is showing small signs of progress," Kehm told German broadcaster ARD. "There are moments when he is awake and moments when he is conscious. See full story at the Independent.(4-16-2014)

  • Sad News - Tim Leslie: Tim Leslie, 50, brother of Ben Leslie (technical consultant for #32 Go Fas Racing Sprint Cup team), passed away April 10, 2014. After a long battle with cancer he passed peacefully in the company of his family at their home in New Baltimore, MI. He is survived by his wife Tina Leslie & daughter Lauren Leslie & Renee Hall. Tim was the owner of "Tim Leslie Tire", Mount Clemens for 20 years. He was a member of the Detroit Yacht Club, and enjoyed bowling, boating, driving his Lamborghini and Ford Lightning, he also had a passion for working on boats and Corvettes, and traveling to NASCAR races with his brother, Ben and other friends.(Macomb Daily)(4-16-2014)

  • Kentucky names June Nationwide race sponsor: The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety announced its return to Kentucky Speedway as the title sponsor for the June 27 NASCAR Nationwide Series 300-mile event. The John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over will be part of a NASCAR tripleheader weekend June 26-28. Kentucky HERO is part of The HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers, a national campaign established by the family of Navy Ensign John R. Elliott of New Jersey. Elliott, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, was killed in a head-on collision by a drunken driver in July 2000 as he was traveling home from Annapolis, Md. A key component of Kentucky Speedway's involvement with Kentucky's HERO program is to raise awareness about the importance of having a designated driver.(Kentucky Speedway)(4-16-2014)


    News from April 15, 2014

  • Gordon could race 10 more years? Daughter may race soon: #24-Jeff Gordon talked to Larry King at Auto Club Speedway last month about his strong season in 2014, his career and whether his children will race. "It's funny how life serves these things up," Gordon said. "You go through a time where you go through a frustrating year, or I had some back and health issues. And I said, 'You know, I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do this at this level or if I event want to.' "Then you all of the sudden have this amazing year, and you go, 'God, I love racing. Racing's amazing. I can't wait to do it for another 10 years.' " In addition to his own future, Gordon also discusses the possibility of his offspring racing and expects to see his daughter behind the wheel in the near future. "We're probably going to put my daughter in a quarter-midget soon," Gordon said.(see video at NASCAR.com), on Monday, April 14th, Gordon posted an image on his Twitter of daughter Ella driving a quarter midget for the first time.(4-15-2014)

  • NASCAR Numbers so far in 2014:
    462: The total number of laps led by Kevin Harvick in his two NASCAR Sprint Cup victories this season. Harvick led 224 laps in winning Saturday night's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway to go with the 238 he led in getting his first victory of the year at Phoenix. In the six other races combined, Harvick has led 53 laps.
    41: The number of positions both Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. improved at Darlington over their finishes in the previous race at Texas Motor Speedway. Earnhardt was first out of the Texas race (43rd) after a close encounter with the infield grass. Harvick retired in 42nd with engine issues. At Darlington, Harvick and Earnhardt ran 1-2.
    5: In eight NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, the number of times Dale Earnhardt Jr. has recorded a top-three finish. After winning the Daytona 500, Earnhardt has finished second three times (at Phoenix, Las Vegas and Darlington) and third once (at Martinsville).
    586: The total number of laps led by Kyle Busch in the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Richmond International Raceway held in the spring. Hence, it's likely Busch will notch the 30 laps he needs to reach a career milestone of 10,000 laps led in the series. Busch led at least 32 laps in each of the last five spring races and won four of them.
    1: The number of drivers advancing to the final round in each of the seven knockout qualifying sessions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year. Joey Logano kept his perfect record intact Friday at Darlington Raceway, then qualified on the outside of the front row in the final round.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-15-2014)

  • Kurt Busch says Gene Haas serious about F1 UPDATE2: #41-Kurt Busch said team owner Gene Haas is serious about making a strong entry into Formula One, a move that could expand the series' footprint in the U.S. "It will be an incredible challenge. He knows that," Busch said Sunday at the MotoGP motorcycle race in Texas. "It's a matter of the fans getting behind it, supporting Gene and trying to give F1 another chance," he said. "We've had Michael Andretti, before him was his dad. We had Scott Speed as a driver. Now we have an (American) owner. It will be interesting to see how the driver lineup shapes up." At 35, Busch said it won't be him racing a Haas Formula One car. "My time has passed to be a competitive driver in F1," Busch said. "But a test session? I'd jump on that every time. They're going to have hard time keeping me out of the shop, from hanging out."(in part from the Associated Press)(4-14-2014)
    UPDATE: NASCAR team owner Gene Haas says he plans to field an American-based Formula One racing series team within the next two years. The team will be called Haas Formula, he said Monday at a news conference. Haas says he should know within the next four weeks if the team will begin racing in 2015 or wait until 2016. He says part of that depends on how long it takes for Haas Formula to find an engine supplier. Haas Formula would become the first American-based Formula One team in more than three decades to join the racing series. Although there's plenty of skepticism over his decision, Haas says, "I wouldn't be doing it if I thought I was going to fail. But that's the challenge -- proving other people wrong."(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-14-2014)
    UPDATE2: The motivation for Gene Haas is two-fold. Primarily, Haas, who owns one the largest CNC tool manufacturing operations, wants to market his products globally and F1 will allow him to "enhance his branding" on a greater scale than NASCAR, which is limited to North America. "The ultimate goal is to take the image of Haas Automation and turn it into a brand that is desired and high-quality and known throughout the world," Haas said. "The ultimate goal would be to double our sales for Haas Automation. I think it's going to be positive. As an indicator, I'm using the relationship with NASCAR that we have here including the brands we have in the United States. We have a very good market share, good market penetration and it's as simple as to replicate that overseas."
    Secondly, despite short-lived effort of the USF1 team, Haas is convinced that an American-based team can compete against the established F1 juggernauts of Europe. Haas feels that with the current F1 rules packages, the timing is right for an aspiring team to enter the series and dispel the notion that "Americans can't do it".
    "I'm here to prove that we can do it, and we can do it with a budget and we can be efficient at it and we can win at it," Haas said. "That's what I'm going to try. I'm not saying that I'm better than anybody else. I just have a different way of doing it, and people that I work with think differently. That, I guess, is going to be the secret to our success in this business. We're going to spend our money wisely. We're going to do it with an American flair for design and efficiencies, and that's how we're going to control our costs. I don't -- we're not going to be a European-led team. We're going to be an American-led team and we'll do it the way we think is the most efficient. Yes, this is an ambitious undertaking for Haas. He wasn't joking when asked about his budget that "it's going to be billions and billions" to be operational. And he has just over a month to inform the FIA as to whether Haas Formula intends to race in 2015 or 2016. Certainly, Haas' timetable will depend on the support of his technical partners. Similar to his introduction to NASCAR where he relied on Hendrick Motorsports to get up to speed, Haas will rely on the relationship of his potential F1 partners as well.
    Formula Haas' home base will be in Kannapolis, N.C. adjacent to the existing Stewart-Haas Racing shop. The company is currently adding 150,000 sq. ft. With Haas Automation satellites in Brussels and Shanghai, there is already a global base, but Haas expects to have a secondary shop in either Germany or Italy likely dependent on whether he partners with Mercedes or Ferrari. Haas will likely use Dallara for his chassis, but his eventual goal is to develop the components to compete for the Constructors championship.
    As for prospective drivers, in the beginning Haas would like to use racers that are already familiar with the current engine rules package then eventually phase in American talent. Formula Haas team principal Guenther Steiner would prefer not entertainment drivers searching for buy rides but rely on racers with raw talent. For now, Haas intends on maintaining a clean car free of sponsorship outside of the Haas brand. He believes that any additional support would "dilute" his marketing strategy. However, a five-year plan is in place to "make this a profitable enterprise" and that will involve additional sponsors in order "to make money and compete".(Motorsport)(4-15-2014)

  • Sad News - Marty Little: Longtime Florida racing journalist, promoter and track announcer Marty Little passed away on Saturday, April 12th in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Little was a USAF Vet and longtime track announcer at the now defunct Hialeah Speedway. Little the public relations person for Rahmoc Racing, wrote weekly racing articles for National Speed Sport News for South Florida race tracks and was the historian for South Florida racing for over 40 years. Marty is the brother of long time Penske Racing employee David Little. Little currently worked at Dometic Enviromental. Survivors include wife Janet, children Richard, Suzanne (Brian) grandson Paul, brother David (Malinda) their children Chris, Dee, and Katelyn. Donations to Vitas 152 or Victory Junction. Services info at Fred Hunters in Davie, FL.(4-15-2014)

  • Sage Fruit signs associate deal with JR Motorsports: Sage Fruit Company, long-time sponsors of Kasey Kahne Racing, just announced a new associate sponsorship with JR Motorsports, the professional race team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Based in Mooresville, N.C., JR Motorsports fields multiple teams and tours nationally in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. As part of the agreement, the Sage Fruit logo will have placement on the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy for all of Chase Elliott's races, as well as placement on Kahne's #5 Great Clips Chevy at Talladega (May 3) and #5 Hellmann's Chevy at Daytona (July 4).(Perishable News)(4-15-2014)

  • Lucas Oil to sponsor Chicagoland truck race: Chicagoland Speedway today announced Lucas Oil as the title sponsor of its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this September. The Lucas Oil 225 will hit the track for a night race on Friday, Sept. 12, as part of a triple-header weekend to kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway. In recent years Lucas Oil has produced a line of high performance engine oils and gear oils that are second-to-none in the racing industry. "Lucas Oil has made good racing oil for a very long time that really works," Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas said. "We are very excited to be the title sponsor for the Lucas Oil 225 in September and look forward to presenting thrilling NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing for the enjoyment of the Chicagoland fans."(Chicagoland Speedway)(4-15-2014)



    Graphic rendering of Freedom Trophy to be presented to the winner of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4.


  • New Freedom Trophy Awarded to Talladega Sprint Cup Series Winner: Winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway - NASCAR's Most Competitive track - brings with it history, tradition, prestige and honor. Now, it has taken on a new meaning that has a special place in everyone's heart. In support of the United States Military, Talladega Superspeedway is thrilled to announce the "Freedom Trophy," which will be awarded to every winner of a Sprint Cup Series race at the 2.66-mile grand venue, beginning with the May 4 Aaron's 499. The special trophy showcases all five branches of the United States military - Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Military personnel will be on hand at each Talladega Sprint Cup Series race to make the presentation of the Freedom Trophy in Victory Lane. Not only will they be in the winner's circle to award the coveted trophy, but they will also participate in pre-race ceremonies as well. Each Talladega Superspeedway race weekend, a different United States military base will be given the opportunity to present the Freedom Trophy.
    The creation of Talladega Superspeedway Vice President Brian Crichton, the Freedom Trophy is an honor to all military men and women on behalf of the speedway, a patriotic entity since 1969. Crichton enlisted the assistance of Fast Forward Marketing Owner Mike Barth (Spring, TX), who has custom designed trophies in motorsports since 1996. MTM Recognition in Oklahoma City, OK spearheaded the design.
    "Winning a Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega just got extra special," said Talladega Chairman Grant Lynch. "With the Freedom Trophy, we pay tribute to our race winners, as well as our servicemen and women who make so many things possible for us on a daily basis." The Freedom Trophy is five-sided, reflective of each branch of the military. Silver aluminum panels, complete with a design of each military branch soldier and branch logo, are showcased, along with a star that is waterjet cut in the center. The base is black stained wood with circular discs at the bottom and top made of black acrylic, and includes the Talladega Superspeedway logo, the date of the race and the name of the base awarding the trophy.
    "As a symbol of our military we thought it was fitting to start with a pentagon shaped base'" said Crichton. "The artists did a great job by bringing together all five branches of the military, incorporating the star in the center and showcasing each branch seal on the individual pillars. It is a trophy we hope every Talladega Sprint Cup winner will be proud of - that it will mean a little something extra when they display it with the rest of their trophies." In addition to recognizing the military through the Freedom Trophy, Talladega Superspeedway is proud to offer special ticket prices for all members of the military and their families for its race weekends. For more information, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/military.(TSS)(4-15-2014)


    News from April 14, 2014

  • Subway 'exploring' F1 sponsorship: Subway is considering a ground-breaking sponsorship deal with Formula One which could see several of the sport's teams and superstar drivers teaming up to promote the brand. Subway was founded in the US in 1965 by billionaire Fred DeLuca but the UK and Ireland has become its biggest market outside America since the company opened its first store across the Atlantic in 1994. Its sponsorship strategy centres on athletes such as English boxer Anthony Ogogo and Holly Bleasdale, who holds the British pole vault record. Zak Brown, chief executive of JMI which handles Subway's motorsport sponsorship, says that F1 would be the "perfect" fit. "I took the Subway Chief Marketing Officer to meet Bernie [Ecclestone, F1's chief executive] in Montreal last year, and I would say they have been exploring it for a year," says Mr Brown. "They are all about the consumer, they are massive media buyers so they would look at a sport and see if it stacks up from a media point of view and Formula One does." Subway is JMI's oldest client and first worked with it in 2002. JMI is responsible for bringing Subway to F1's American rival NASCAR, where it sponsors a team, a driver and a race (#99 Carl Edwards, no Cup race in 2014). Mr Brown says it is likely Subway would follow the same model in F1.(in part from The Telegraph), no word if thie would affect the sponsor of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford and/or Carl Edwards.(4-14-2014)

  • Darrell Waltrip to speak Tuesday at Samford University: NASCAR Hall of Famer and NASCAR on Fox analyst Darryl Waltrip will become downright professorial when he speaks next Tuesday, April 15, at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. The school's Journalism and Mass Communication Department will host Waltrip, who will speak on campus in Reid Chapel, starting at 11:00am/et, followed by a one-hour meet-and-greet with Waltrip afterward. While admission is free and open to the public, there will be a silent auction of NASCAR memorabilia to raise money for Feed the Children, a charity Waltrip supports that provides resources for those without life's essentials.(NBC Sports)(4-14-2014)

  • Early Darlington TV Ratings: Primetime coverage of "NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing From Darlington " with 5.921 million viewers, adults 18-49 a 1.4 rating in front on Saturday. In 2013 FOX was the top draw on Saturday (4-13-2013) with its coverage of "NASCAR: Sprint Cup Racing from Texas" (5.908 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1).(Futon Critic), for past TV Ratings for the 2014 races and a 5-year comparison chart, see the 2014 TV Ratings page.(4-14-2014)
    UPDATE: Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Southern 500 from Darlington (SC) earned a 3.2 overnight rating on FOX, down 9% from each of the past three years (3.5) and the lowest ever for a Sprint Cup telecast on FOX (dates back to 2001). The previous low for NASCAR on FOX was a 3.3 overnight for the 2009 Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix, also on a Saturday night. Six of the seven lowest rated NASCAR races on FOX in the metered markets each took place on a Saturday night - 2014 Darlington (3.2), 2013 Richmond (3.4), 2012 Richmond (3.4), 2011 Richmond (3.4), 2010 Richmond (3.4), and 2009 Phoenix (3.3). The lone exception was the rain-drenched 2012 Fontana race, which earned a 3.4 overnight on a Sunday afternoon. Prior to this year, the Darlington race took place in May opposite the NBA Playoffs.(Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Daily)(4-14-2014)

  • Darlington Race and Commercial Breakdown: 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 6:30 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:41 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 125
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 72
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 112
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 68
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 13
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 10
    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: 50
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min. 10 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 6:30 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:41 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 251
    Minutes of race broadcast: 194
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 57
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 6
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 194
    Total comm. brdcst time 57
    See past races, links to more detailed reports on the 2014 TV Commercials page.
    The commercials during the race are equal about 15 minutes of commercials for every 60 minutes of total time (15 minutes of commercials, 45 minutes of the race). For instance, a 30 minute sitcom on network TV usually airs approx. 8 minutes of commercials.(4-14-2014)

  • Texas TV Ratings: Rainout coverage of last week's NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Texas earned a 2.4 final rating and 3.8 million viewers on FOX. The race was postponed to Monday.(Sports Business Daily / Sports Media Watch)(4-14-2014)

  • Sadler goes green at Richmond: OneMain Financial and NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler will support the NASCAR Green initiative in a month-long campaign to draw focus on environmental awareness. The campaign will culminate with a green paint scheme for the #11 OneMain Financial Toyota at Richmond International Raceway. Throughout the month, the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship contender will participate in several green initiatives, such as assisting in RIR's tree-planting event at the end of April at a local park along the James River. In addition to the all green paint scheme at Richmond, OneMain Financial will announce a unique partnership later in the month to further reinforce its dedication to environmental sustainability and other green initiatives.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #11 team paint schemes page.(4-14-2014)


    News from April 13, 2014

  • Someday Darlington race could return to Labor Day weekend: NASCAR president Mike Helton was asked Saturday if Darlington would ever get the Labor Day weekend back. While Helton wouldn't completely rule out a return, he didn't really think it was a possibility at this time. The track hosted racing on Labor Day weekend from 1950-2003. Darlington eventually lost one of its races and its lone date was held on Mother's Day starting in 2005. This year, the track's date was moved to April. "You never know. There were a lot of stories that came from Labor Day races here at the Southern 500. The badge around here was based on Labor Day weekends," Helton said. "So all I could tell you is you never know. I have seen a lot of things in this sport that I was surprised by ... and that led me to believe that the future of the sport can have things happen that people say won't happen again. So you never know." Darlington president Chip Wile said he is happy with the track's date but wouldn't object to a move back to Labor Day. "With the date change, we've actually seen an increase in some segments that NASCAR has been focused on," he said. "So we are committed to our race date, but we welcome any conversation."(Morning News)(4-13-2014)

  • Keselowski part of "Watch Dogs": #2-Brad Keselowski's secret life will be exposed - at least as a character in the new video game, "Watch Dogs." The 2012 Sprint Cup champion has partnered with game-maker Ubisoft for "Watch Dogs," which will be released next month. Keselowski is described in the game as one of many people in the virtual city of Chicago that players can interact with. It promises that players will find what "secrets lurk deep within a NASCAR champ's history." The description says players can use main character Aiden Pearce's ability to hack into Keselowski's profile to unlock what is there.(Associated Press)(4-13-2014)

  • Darlington Raceway announces plans to honor its history and shape its future: It all started in the fall of 1949, when a crisp breeze toyed with the loose soil of an old cotton field on the west side of rural Darlington, South Carolina. Harold Brasington saw more than just dirt dancing around that patch of land. He saw the future. He saw Darlington Raceway. Today, Darlington Raceway is a place of history, where fans reminisce about the past, while creating lasting memories of the present. Where NASCAR legends were born and the youth of NASCAR dream about making their mark on the famed walls of The Lady in Black. Celebrating its roots and looking forward to the future of NASCAR at Darlington Raceway, track president Chip Wile unveiled plans Saturday to honor the track's history and shape its future, as his team turns its attention to 2015. "As the drivers, teams, fans and media leave here this weekend thinking about who visited Gatorade Victory Lane, focusing on the next race and looking towards the 2014 Championship, we're thinking about the future of Darlington Raceway, as we celebrate our past," said Wile. Darlington Raceway's place in history sets it apart from all other tracks. It's hallowed ground, where drivers dreams were shattered and new fans were born. It continues to make its mark on drivers and fans with the great racing of today and the nostalgia of the past. "Our history defines us," added Wile. "Without history we wouldn't know where we've come from or where we're going. NASCAR legends and loyal fans have all played a role in defining Darlington Raceway. Together, we're celebrating where we came from and where we're going."
    As part of the celebration, five-time Darlington Raceway winner and 1988 NASCAR Champion, Bill Elliott, as well as his son, Chase, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, a member of the NASCAR Next program, one of the sport's rising stars and the youngest winner at Darlington Raceway, will serve as the "face" of the 2015 platform. The father-son duo joined Wile to give media and fans in attendance a glimpse of what's to come, which includes a "throwback" ticket design for the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500 and a Classic product line with merchandise through the decades that will be available for fans to purchase.
    The track "Too Tough to Tame" will unveil elements of the 2015 platform throughout the season, as it celebrates the past and embraces the future as one of NASCAR's most famed tracks. "We're excited about what the future holds for Darlington Raceway," continued Wile. "We have the most passionate, loyal fans in all of motorsports and we look forward to the role that they will play as we celebrate our past, present and future." Fans are encouraged to join in the celebration as Darlington Raceway plans for the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500. "Tell us your Darlington story," said Wile. "If you have ideas about how Darlington Raceway and NASCAR can celebrate our history and embrace our future, please let us know." Fans can share their stories and submit celebration ideas at darlington1950@darlingtonraceway.com. Keep up with all the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(4-13-2014)

  • Duck Commander 500 a huge hit at TMS: Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Properties introduced a new line of merchandise with Duck Commander making its debut as title sponsor of Texas Motor Speedway's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last week and the result was one of the highest grossing race weekend's in the speedway's 18-year history. Speedway World, Texas Motor Speedway's souvenir store located on property, reported its best race week sales total since 2000 and SMIP enjoyed its best overall event sales total since April's Samsung Mobile 500 in April of 2009. A Duck Commander 500 trailer, specially designed and wrapped for this event, was located at Texas Motor Speedway's main gate entrance and accounted for 14.6% of the total sales. Also, online sales were more than 900% higher than a typical NASCAR race weekend. The revenue total, which was not disclosed by SMIP, was an 81% increase from last year's April NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 doubleheader weekend that enjoyed significant growth in comparison to previous years. That increase was buoyed by an 87% increase in grandstand and merchandise trailer sales. The best-selling items were the Duck Commander 500 camouflage caps, camo t-shirts, total print t-shirts, feather flag, legacy t-shirt, splash-down t-shirt, koozie and bandana. Duck Commander, which grew to fame with the masses through the Robertson family exploits on A&E's "Duck Dynasty" hit reality television show, is in the first year of a three-year entitlement sponsorship with Texas Motor Speedway for its annual spring NASCAR doubleheader weekend. Fans interested in purchasing Duck Commander 500 merchandise can go to www.GoSpeedwayWorld.com or visit the Duck Commander merchandise trailer in the midway during the June 5-7 Firestone 600 INDYCAR/NASCAR doubleheader and the Oct. 30-Nov. 2 AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader at Texas Motor Speedway.(TMS)(4-13-2014)


    News from April 12, 2014

  • Harvick wins at Darlington: #4-Kevin Harvick won the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for his 2nd win of 2014 and his 25th career win. Harvick is the first driver in 2014 to win two races. The race had two -green-white-checked attempts, running 7 extra laps. Harvick led the most laps with 238 of 374. Harvick is the first driver to win at Darlington from the pole since Dale Jarrett did it in March 1997 [400 miles] and the first driver to win the Southern 500 from the pole since Dale Earnhardt won in September 1990. Harvick has now won a Southern 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Coca-Cola 600.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 2nd followed by #48-Johnson, #20-Kenseth, #16-Biffle, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #42-Larson, #14-Stewart and #31-Newman.
    #42-Lason was the rookie of the race, finishing 8th.
    #24-Gordon, who came into the race as the points leader finished 7th and holds on to the points lead by 1 point over #20-Kenseth. #4-Harivick leads the Chase Seeding with two wins followed by #99-Edwards, who has a win and is 3rd in points.
    There were 22 lead changes among 12 drivers and there were 11 cautions for 50 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 131.211 mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Darlington Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Darlington Penalty Report (pdf).
    (4-12-2014)

  • Race Fast Facts - Darlington Raceway:
    #4-Kevin Harvick won the 65th Annual Bojangles' Southern 500, his 25th victory in 474 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and third top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 18 races at Darlington Raceway.
    Harvick becomes the first driver to win from the pole at Darlington Raceway (not the Southern 500) since Dale Jarrett in 1997.
    With two wins, Harvick is now guaranteed to be among the top 15 winners - virtually guaranteeing a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 20 races at Darlington Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2014.
    Earnhardt's runner-up finish is his career-best at Darlington Raceway. His previous best was fourth (March 17, 2002 and May 10, 2008)
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 16 races at Darlington Raceway.
    #42-Kyle Larson (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #24-Jeff Gordon leads the point standings by 1 points over #20-Matt Kenseth.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-12-2014)

  • 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Championship Points Standings:
    [after Darlington, race 8 of 36]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 297
    2) #20-Matt Kenseth, 296, -1
    3) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 278, -19
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 271, -26
    5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 270, -27
    6) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 269, -28
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 246, -51
    8) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 245, -52
    9) #31-Ryan Newman, 236, -61
    10) #3-Austin Dillon, 235, -62
    Other drivers with at least one win, should make the Chase:
    22) #4-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 186, -111
    26) #41-Kurt Busch [1 win], 164, -133
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Darlington Race & Points Report (pdf).(4-12-2014)

  • Current 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Seedings:
    [after Darlington, race 8 of 36 if Chase seeding started after this race]
    1) #4-Kevin Harvick, 2 wins, 22nd in points
    2) #99-Carl Edwards, 1 win, 3rd in points
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1 win, 4th
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 1 win, 6th
    5) #2-Brad Keselowski, 1 win, 7th
    6) #22-Joey Logano, 1 win, 8th
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 1 win, 26th
    (no wins, in by points)
    8) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1st
    9) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2nd
    10) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 5th
    11) ##31-Ryan Newman, 9th
    12) #3-Austin Dillon, 10th
    13) #16-Greg Biffle, 11th
    14) ##14-Stewart, 12th
    15) #55-Brian Vickers, 13th
    16) #42-Kyle Larson, 14th
    (4-12-2014)

  • Darlington Sunoco Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #42-Larson, finished 8th, 14 rookie points
    #3-Dillon, 11th, 10
    #51-Allgaier, 23rd, 9
    #23-Bowman, 29th, 8
    #30-Kligerman, 30th, 7
    #26-Whitt, 38th, 6
    #83-Truex, 40th, 5
    #7-Annett, 42nd, 4
    (4-12-2014)

  • Sad News - "Captain" Herb Emory: Longtime WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News traffic reporter, "Captain" Herb Emory, passed away Saturday. According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Emory stopped to help at a car accident on South Burnt Hickory Road when he suddenly fell ill. He was transported to WellStar Douglas Hospital where he later died. Emory had been with WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News since 1991. Emory has served as an Atlanta traffic reporter since 1971. Emory watched over the interstates during the week and hosted special traffic and NASCAR broadcast programs with his wife, Karen Emory. He was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2008 and received the inaugural Excellence in Motorsports Journalism Award in 2012. Emory's father was a volunteer pit crew member for Ralph Earnhardt, Dale Sr.'s dad, in the 1960s.(wsbradio.com)(4-12-2014)


    The decal ran by JD Motorsports cars (#01, #4, #87) at Darlington
    on April 11th to honor former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge

  • Sad News - Billy Standridge: former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge passed away of cancer at 1:30am/et on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Standridge made 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts from 1993-1999 with a best finish of 14th in the 1995 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. For services and visitation info or leave a comment at the blog set up by Billy's family, go to: Billy's Battle, a site for posting and sharing information for Billy Standridge.
    Jayski.com was the listed sponsor of the #47 Ford at Talladega in October 1997. I made a page back in 1997 with some notes and images of the #47 Jayski.com Ford at Jayski's Talladega Experience page.
    Three cars entered by the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team in Friday's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway carried decals honoring Billy Standridge. Standridge also raced in the Nationwide Series from 1986 to 1993. JD Motorsports owner Johnny Davis formerly worked for Standridge as a crew chief, engine builder, truck driver and all-around mechanic. The Standridge decal was carried on the C post of JDM Chevrolet's driven by #01-Landon Cassill who finished 12th, #4-Jeffrey Earnhardt (20th) and #87-Kevin Lepage (19th) at Darlington and will run in other races this year.(4-12-2014)

  • Kyle Petty says The King adjusting to life alone: Richard Petty is spending his weekends at home mourning the death of his wife instead of his familiar spot at the racetrack. Lynda Petty died last month after battling cancer for several years. She was 72. "He's doing pretty good, he's used to going to the racetracks and being at the racetracks alone, but he's not used to being at home and being alone," said his son, NASCAR announcer Kyle Petty. "So I've stayed with him some, and my sisters have stayed some. It's just going to take time. They were together 57 years and even though he spent 50 of those 57 years on the road, according to him, at race tracks, it's been a lot harder and a lot tougher (than he thought)." Kyle Petty said his mother's death has been tough on the family. "My mother had been really sick for 4½, almost five years, so she fought pretty hard," he said Friday at the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race "He's doing pretty good." Kyle Petty won the pole for the celebrity race in Long Beach. He will start about 40 seconds behind the rest of the field in Saturday's race because he's a professional, even though he has been retired since 2008.(Associated Press)(4-12-2014)

  • Ragan and CSX Go Green at Darlington: David Ragan, driver of the #34 CSX "Play It Safe" Ford, comments on CSX's "green" efforts and racing at Darlington Raceway: "We're happy to have CSX back on our Ford Fusion at Darlington this week. They're embracing the NASCAR Green program. We're going to be out and about on Friday morning handing out recycle bags and and encouraging fans to take part in green initiatives in their communities. CSX already had an environmental program in place where they pledged to plant one tree for every mile of railroad track they had, and they actually surpassed their goal, which is impressive. Now we're encouraging our fans to follow their lead and plant some trees, too, by donating dollars to plant trees at NASCAR.com/Green. I think Darlington is one of the tougher racetracks for sure. Five hundred miles at Darlington, for me, seems like forever. Your Bristol races are long, your Martinsville races are long, the Coke 600 is a long race, but for me Darlington is the longest night of the year. You are on the verge of wrecking your car every lap it seems like. And it's warm and humid down in South Carolina. So, moving the race up a couple weeks like they did this year might help make it a little cooler for the fans and for the drivers. But mentally it's still going to be tough. But, it's a great racetrack with a lot of history and we look forward to it every year."(Front Row Motorsports), see images of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(4-12-2014)

  • Larson & Dillon discuss practice incidents: from a Team Chevy transcript after both rookies #3-Austin Dillon & #42-Kyle Larson hit the Darlington Raceway wall and gained a Darlington Stripe. Larson's car was damage so bad that the team pulled out the backup car. Comments from both drivers:
    AUSTIN DILLON, #3 DOW CHEVROLET SS - HIT THE WALL DURING THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSION AND EARNED HIS FIRST NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES DARLINGTON STRIPE:
    Dillon: "Well, Kyle (Larson) came over and asked, 'where did you hit'? I said off Turn 2. He said, me too. I said did you try you try to come off the wall and make it turn? He said exact same thing. So we are just learning, I guess. You get really tight. I felt good into (Turn) 1, and then through the middle, I get tight late around the corner, it just carries speed. Just hit the wall, but I learned a lot right there. Hopefully it doesn't happen again."
    KYLE LARSON, #42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS - HIT THE WALL DURING THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSION, WILL GO TO A BACK-UP CAR; IT LOOKS LIKE YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GO TO A BACK-UP:
    Larson: "Yeah I mean we (Austin Dillon) were talking and it sounded like the exact same thing that we were describing. Difference is I have to get a back-up out. Our back-up they said is just as good as our primary so we had a really good run before we I hit the wall. Just learning, I'm mostly ever in the wall in (Turns) 3 and 4 and never hit off (Turn) 2. I killed the wall in (Turn) 2. We will get back out here soon and I'm sure be fine."(Team Chevy)(4-12-2014)

  • Childress Testifies for Biofuels: The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing this week on advanced biofuels. Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says advanced biofuels are here now, and they are an important part of the energy title in the recently passed farm bill. One of the witnesses at the hearing was NASCAR team owner Richard Childress who talked about the many benefits of corn-based biofuels, such as the higher fuel performance he has seen in more than five million miles of racing since the E15 ethanol blend was introduced in the 2011 racing season. "When they decided to go with an ethanol-blend of fuel, in 2010, NASCAR started looking at what was the correct blend to use. After many tests, they came up with E15," Childress said, pointing out that his own racing team tested up to E30 blends, which he believes would be even better. "Nothing but positive results came out of our tests. Engines ran cooler, ethanol makes more octane so it makes more horsepower, less carbon buildup, better emissions, and our parts when we tore the engines down looked much better."(Domestic Fuel)(4-12-2014)

  • Darlington Notes and Facts - Saturday: race:
    · 702 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 426 in more than one.
    · Eight of the 110 races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the fall race of 2000.
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway was the (03/16/2003) 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).
    · 46 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.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington was 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 - the inaugural NSCS event.
    (NASCAR)(4-12-2014)

  • Target CGR Partners With the Oscar Mayer: Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (TCGRFS) has partnered with the Oscar Mayer brand to help introduce P3 Portable Protein Pack to the NASCAR community. The packs of meat, cheese and nuts are designed for active consumers looking for a snack to help keep them going throughout the day. It is a perfect fit with the on-the-go lifestyle of NASCAR drivers and crews. Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevy, and his pit crew will be carrying the P3 Portable Protein Pack branding on their familiar Target uniforms and car throughout the Southern 500 weekend in Darlington, SC, while Oscar Mayer P3 Portable Protein Pack will use the backdrop of a NASCAR race weekend to teach fans the virtues of the P3 Portable Protein Pack product.(CGR)(4-12-2014)


    News from April 11, 2014

  • Harvick wins the Darlington pole for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after the five minutes final round. #4-Kevin Harvick won the pole with a third round lap of 183.479mph for his 1st pole of 2014, 1st at Darlington and 7th of his career. Harvick has won from the pole three times. Harvick is the 8th different pole winner in 8 races this season.
    #43-Almirola, who will start 3rd, broke the track record of 181.918mph set last May by Kurt Busch. Almirola ran a lap of 184.245mph in the second qualifying session,.
    #22-Logano will start 2nd followed by #43-Almirola, #9-Ambrose, #2-Keselowsk, #1-McMurray, #31-Newman, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #11-Hamlin, #27-Menard and #78-Truex Jr.
    Fastest in the second qualifying session was #43-Almirola at 184.245 (new track record)
    Fastest in the first qualifying session was #27-Menard at 183.946mph
    #22-Logano is the only driver to advance to the final round in all eight races this season.
    Missing the race are: #35-Reutimann.
    See starting lineup, links, notes, qualifying results by round and more on Jayski's Darlington Qualifying / Starting Lineup page.(4-11-2014)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Darlington:
    #4-Kevin Harvick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 65th Annual Bojangles' Southern 500 with a lap of 26.802 seconds, 183.479 mph.
    This is his seventh pole in 474 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his first pole in 18 races at Darlington Raceway.
    #22-Joey Logano (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2014 and his second in six races at Darlington Raceway.
    #43-Aric Almirola (third) posted his first top-10 start at Darlington Raceway. It is his third in eight races this season.
    #42-Kyle Larson (17th) was the fastest qualifying rookie. #43-Aric Almirola set a new track record during Round 2 of qualifying with a lap of 26.705 seconds, 183.479 mph. It is the sixth track record in eight races this year.(NASCAR Statistics)(4-11-2014)

  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over after 10 minutes. 14 drivers ran faster then the track record of 181.918mph, set by Kurt Busch last May and #43-Almirola broke the track record and was faster then the record set in the 1st round, running a lap of 184.145mph.
    #43-Almirola 184.145
    #22-Logano 183.870
    #1-McMurray 182.953
    #4-Harvick 182.926
    #9-Ambrose 182.872
    the rest of the top 12: 27 2 31 24 11 18 78;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 41 55 88 15 42 47 16 3 99 5 14 51
    (4-11-2014)

  • First Round of Qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 25 minutes. 25 drivers broke the track record of 181.918mph, set by Kurt Busch last May while driving the #78 Chevy.
    #27-Menard 183.946
    #11-Hamlin 183.726
    #1-McMurray 183.719
    #43-Amirola 183.568
    #41-Busch 183.393
    Driver who will miss the race: #35-Reutimann.
    (4-11-2014)

  • Coverage of Group Qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Friday, April 11, 2014 at 6:05 pm/et.
    Television: FS1 at 6:00 pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network at motorracingnetwork.com.
    Scheduled Qualifying TV Re-Air: at 4:30am/et on FS1

  • Happy Hour practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #31-Newman 179.167
    #9-Ambrose 178.978
    #24-Gordon 178.906
    #18-Busch 178.802
    #22-Logano 178.731
    slowest: #40-Cassill 170.691 & #66-Nemechek 173.399
    #22-Logano was fastest in the 10-lap consecutive run at 173.294mph (out of 9 drivers).
    Notes: #9-Ambrose got a Darlington stripe late in Happy Hour and the team was working on the car to fix the right side.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and 10-lap consecutive average on the Darlington Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf).(4-11-2014)

  • First Friday practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #4-Harvick 177.665
    #15-Bowyer 176.746
    #48-Johnson 176.670
    #2-Keselowski 175.886
    #24-Gordon 175.767
    slowest: #26-Whitt 167.790 and #30-Kligerman 167.819
    #2-Keselowski was fastest in the 10-lap consecutive run at 174.151mph.
    Notes: the Darlington Stripe was acquired by the following drivers so far: #3-Dillon, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #23-Bowman, #42-Larson & #78-Truex Jr. Larson hit so hard that the team is bring out the backup car.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and 10-lap consecutive average on the Darlington Practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-11-2014)

  • Group Qualifying Rules: the group qualifying rules for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway will be as follows:
    At tracks measuring 1.25 miles in length or larger, qualifying will consist of three (3) rounds:
    1) The first qualifying round is 25 minutes in duration, unless otherwise authorized by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director.
    2) All cars must compete in the first qualifying round. Upon the completion of the first qualifying round, the 43 eligible cars for starting positions 1-43 will be determined.
    3) The twenty-four (24) eligible cars that post the fastest single lap time from the first qualifying round will advance to the second round.
    4) The remaining cars will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.
    5) There will be a five minute break after the completion of the first round and the twenty-four (24) eligible cars that advance to the second round will have their times reset.
    6) The second qualifying round is 10 minutes in duration and the twelve (12) eligible cars that post the fastest single lap time will advance to the final round.
    7) The fastest remaining cars will earn positions 13th through 24th based on their times posted in qualifying in descending order.
    8) There will be a five minute break after the completion of the second round and the twelve (12) eligible cars that advance to the final round will have their times reset.
    9) The final qualifying round is 5 minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.
    See all the rules and news on the Qualifying Rules page

  • Qualifying Order for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed. Qualifying order is how the cars come off pit road for group qualifying.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #48-Johnson.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #66-Nemechek.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Auto Club Qualifying Page.(4-11-2014)

  • Edwards has no news on his contract situation: Carl Edwards (contract up at end of 2014 season), driver of the #99 Ford Ecoboost Fusion, took time to meet with media members outside his hauler following the final Sprint Cup practice session Friday afternoon. Edwards spoke about a few things, including a final question about his contract:
    Q) GREG (BIFFLE) SAID EARLIER THAT HE WAS CLOSE ON A CONTRACT EXTENSION. ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE ON THAT FRONT FOR YOU?
    Edwards: "No. I would rather not even talk about it. I have no news and when there is nothing to say all I could do is stir it up. I promise you, no drama. No drama."(Ford Racing)(4-11-2014)

  • Statement from Gene Haas Regarding FIA's Grant of Formula One License: Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been granted a Formula One license by the FIA. The following is his statement. "Obviously, we're extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula One license by the FIA. It's an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula One. Now, the really hard work begins. It's a challenge we embrace as we work to put cars on the grid. I want to thank the FIA for this opportunity and the diligence everyone put forth to see our license application come to fruition." Founded in 1983 and based in Oxnard, Calif., Haas Automation is the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. Stewart-Haas Racing won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2011. Haas also founded Windshear, a 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel in Concord, N.C., that is the first of its kind in North America. It is only the third rolling-road wind tunnel of its scale in existence and the world's first commercially available, full-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel.(True Speed Communication)(4-11-2014)

  • Latest on Biffle's contract status UPDATE: #16-Greg Biffle's contract with Roush Fenway Racing ends at the conclusion of the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season. Biffle answers a question concerning his contract status, taken from an interview with FrontStretch:
    Neff: Your contract is up this year. Have you been talking about that or are you waiting to see how the year shakes out a little more?
    Biffle: We've been working pretty diligently on that. It has been a pretty good negotiation so far. There are a lot of new people on both sides of the table so everyone is kind of getting a feel for the program and learning it. We feel pretty good that we'll have something to announce before we get to summer.(Frontstretch)(4-8-2014)
    UPDATE Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford Fusion, met with media members Friday morning at Darlington Raceway in advance of Saturday night's Southern 500. One of the questions asked was about his contract situation:
    Q) ARE YOU ANY CLOSER TO A CONTRACT EXTENSION?
    Biffle: "I think so. I think we are getting closer. There are a lot of moving parts to a contract and a lot of new people at 3M but I know the folks are going up there next week to visit some more. I have a feeling it is getting closer. I know there has been a lot of activity. The program works really well for them and we have the America Red Cross on the car this weekend so it is a good program for 3M and I think they are happy and it looks like we are closing in on an announcement. Hopefully here soon we will have something."(Ford Racing)(4-11-2014)

  • Red Cross featured on the #16 Ford at Darlington: A month-long Red Cross campaign concludes this Saturday at Darlington Raceway with one lucky blood donor, Maureen Holt from Surprise, Ariz., adding her name to the #16 Red Cross Ford Fusion hood. The #ImProud2Give campaign asked blood donors to select an online donation appointment at redcrossblood.org for a chance to join the Red Cross at the historic Darlington Raceway. The American Red Cross is celebrating the seventh year of its Red Cross Racing partnership with 3M and Roush Fenway Racing. Thanks to a generous donation from 3M and support by Greg Biffle, the #16 Ford featured a Red Cross paint scheme during the March 9 race in Las Vegas and again this weekend at the April 12 race in Darlington.(RFR), see images of the scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(4-11-2014)

  • For the new 2014 group qualifying rules and format, see my Qualifying Rules page

  • Sports Clips returns to the #11 at Darlington: Sport Clips Racing is excited to enter its sixth season (2014) as a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing and will serve as the primary sponsor of NASCAR's Denny Hamlin's # 11 Sprint Cup car in Darlington (April) and Atlanta (August). Through their partnership with Darlington Raceway, Sport Clips will be the entitlement sponsor for Friday night's Nationwide Series race, showcasing their support for VFW with the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200. Sport Clips will continue to use its NASCAR partnership to raise awareness about the struggles many military families are facing and the VFW's mission to support active-duty military, veterans and their families. As the "Official Haircutter" of the VFW, Sport Clips has donated more than $2 million to the organization through its annual "Help A Hero" campaign, which was established in 2007.. Eligible service members can now apply through April 30 at www.VFW.org/scholarship.(Sports Clips)(4-11-2014)

  • Darlington Goodyear 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 combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at Darlington last May . . . this left-side tire code has been run at Darlington since 2011 . . . these teams have also run this left-side at Texas (including last week), Chicagoland and Homestead in the past . . . in addition to Darlington 2013, these teams have run this right-side tire code at Charlotte . . . 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 PR), see full notes, tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Darlington Race Info page - Goodyear Section.(4-11-2014)

  • Ford Mustang GT Aluminator XS to Pace Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington: When the gleaming ruby red Mustang GT Aluminator XS paces the field of thundering NASCAR Sprint Cup machines at the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12, at Darlington Raceway, it also will be waving the green flag for a year-long recognition of Mustang's 50th anniversary. U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is the honorary pace car driver for the event and will start the race behind the wheel. NASCAR veteran Brett Bodine will pilot the Mustang GT Aluminator XS pace car for the remainder of the event. The Mustang GT Aluminator XS pace car started its life as a 420-horsepower 2013 Mustang GT, but with the Aluminator XS crate engine and a mix of parts from the Ford Racing Boss 302S and the Cobra Jet programs, it makes 500 horsepower. The Aluminator XS engine itself features a lightweight aluminum cylinder block with cross-bolted main bearing caps and thick main bearing bulkheads for bottom-end strength. It has four-valve-per-cylinder BOSS, fully CNC-machined aluminum heads. In addition, the 5.0L, 302 cubic-inch powerplant features forged pistons with low-friction coating. Mustang's 50th anniversary celebrations will begin with concurrent events April 17-20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ford Motor Company and its dealers will host other national and local anniversary events throughout 2014.(Ford Racing), see images of the car on the 2014 Pace Car page.(4-11-2014)

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  • Great Clips makes its debut at Darlington: Great Clips will adorn the hood of Kasey Kahne's #5 Chevy this weekend at Darlington and will be the primary sponsor on the car for nine more Sprint Cup Series events this year (HMS), see images of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(4-11-2014)

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  • Darlington Notes and Facts - Friday: poles:
    · 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).
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.758.
    · 19 of the 110 (17.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Dale Jarrett in 1997. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson has won from the pole four times at Darlington - the series' most.
    · The Coors Light 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).
    · 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.
    · 36 of the 110 (32.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 19 from the pole and 17 from second-place.
    · 95 of the 110 (86.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Six of the 110 (5.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.(NASCAR)(4-11-2014)

  • Chase Elliott wins Nationwide race at Darlington: #9-Chase Elliott won the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway for his 2nd career win and his 2nd consecutive win. He is also the youngest driver to win a race at Darlington. #11-Eliott Sadler finished second followed by #20-Matt Kenseth, #54-Kyle Busch, #22-Joey Logano, #42-Kyle Larson, #5-Kevin Harvick, #7-Regan Smith, #6-Trevor Bayne, and #3-Ty Dillon.
    Elliott now leads the points by 13 over Regan Smith.
    There were 7 cautions for 31 laps and 13 lead changes among 6 leaders. Complete results are on the Darlington race results page (pdf).
    (4-11-2014)

  • Darlington Nationwide Race Fast Facts:
    Chase Elliott won the 32nd Annual VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, his second victory in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in one races at Darlington Raceway.
    Elliott Sadler (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Darlington Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2014.
    Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 18 races at Darlington Raceway.
    Chase Elliott leads the point standings by 13 points over Regan Smith.
    Chase Elliott becomes the youngest driver to win two NASCAR Nationwide Series races (18 years, 4 months, 14 days). Joey Logano previously held the record (18 years, 10 months, 18 days).
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-11-2014)

  • Nationwide Driver standings following Darlington:
    1) #9-Chase Elliott# 271
    2) #7-Regan Smith, 258, 13
    3) #11-Elliott Sadler, 251, -20
    4) #3-Ty Dillon# 248, -23
    5) #6-Trevor Bayne 241, -30
    6) #2-Brian Scott 225, -46
    7) #62-Brendan Gaughan 215, -56
    8) #31-Dylan Kwasniewski# 200, -71
    9) #31-James Buescher 195, -76
    10) #16-Ryan Reed# 172, -99
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-11-2014)

  • Nationwide Owner Standings following Darlington are posted (pdf).(4-11-2014)

  • Kyle Busch on Nationwide 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 173.681mph. #9-Chase Elliott will start second followed by: #20-Matt Kenseth, #5-Kevin Harvick, #3-Ty Dillon, #60-Chris Buecsher, #2-Brian Scott, #7-Reagan Smith, #11-Elliot Sadler, #6-Trevor Bayne, #33-Cale Conley, and #42-Kyle Larson.
    Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #9-Chase Elliott at 172.662 mph.
    #22-Joey Logano was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 172.287 mph
    Did Not Qualify:none. The starting lineup is posted on the Darlington starting lineup page (pdf).(4-11-2014)

  • Darlington Nationwide Qualifying Notes:
    Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 32nd Annual VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 with a lap of 28.314 seconds, 173.681 mph.
    This is his 37th pole in 277 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his third pole in ten races at Darlington Raceway.
    Chase Elliott (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2014 and his first in his Darlington Raceway debut.
    Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at Darlington Raceway. It is his seventh in seven races this season.
    Chase Elliott (second) was the fastest qualifying Sunoco Rookie.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-11-2014)

  • Minor planning multiple races: It's taken some time and a lot of work, but Ted Minor has joined the world of NASCAR. Minor took part in a practice session in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville, Va., late last month. Due to some mechanical problems, he was unable to race, but Minor said he learned a lot during his time in Virginia. After working at the Pentagon in the Air Force, Minor returned to Dallas to work in the telecommunications field. Upon his return, he turned his love of watching racing into racing itself, competing on local dirt tracks at Kennedale Speedway Park and Cowtown Speedway in 2001. Over the next several years, Minor continued to develop the rental property business and race locally, moving from dirt to asphalt tracks at Red River Speedway in Wichita Falls and Altus Speedway in Altus, Okla., with a goal of taking part in a NASCAR race. At the end of 2013, after a long application and approval process, Minor was able to get his NASCAR clearance and license as a driver with the condition that he started at Martinsville Speedway under the strong evaluation of NASCAR pending further approval. Minor's next race is scheduled to be at Gateway in St. Louis on June 14, and then possibly Iowa Speedway July 12.(Weathorford Democrat)(4-11-2014)

  • Over 10,000 books read at local Darlington schools: Elementary students in the Darlington County School District (DCSD) read more than 10,500 books in three weeks, as part of Darlington Raceway's "Race Into Reading" Program. Designed as a way to celebrate "March is Reading Month" and to get children excited about reading, the "Race Into Reading" Program challenged first through fifth graders across the county to read as many books as possible. Students from Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School in Society Hill swept the competition, winning both the Top Class award and all three Top Reader awards! The Top Class award went to Ms. Allicyn Steverson's first grade class. They read an astonishing 722 books! The top three readers were K'Anndra Dickey, a first grader who read 102 books; Shareah Milling, a first grader who read 90 books; and Shaila Vickery, a fifth grader who read 88 books. The Race Into Reading Program kicked off on March 10 and ran through March 28, 2014. As part of the program, all Darlington County School District early childhood and elementary students received a Darlington Raceway bookmark, a Darlington Raceway magnet and a youth admission ticket to the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday, April 11. The winning classroom visited Darlington Raceway on Thursday, April 10, and met NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers Dakoda Armstrong and Dylan Kwasnieswki. They also toured the track, made duck houses at the Chevy display, and watched the cars warm up and practice for the following day's Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 race. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12 and Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 on Friday, April 11 are now on sale. Remember, kids 12 and under are half off for the Bojangles' Southern 500 and FREE for the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 in general admission sections. Visit www.DarlingtonRaceway.com or call 866-459-7223 for more information.(Darlington Raceway)(4-11-2014)

  • Pocono Raceway Announces All-New Kids Club: Pocono Raceway and their official mascot, Tricky, announced they will start a Kids Club for younger race fans, ages 14 and under. This membership will feature an exclusive welcome package, at-track benefits, two member-only events during the year and automatic entry into a drawing where one lucky member will be selected to wave the green flag to start one of Pocono Raceway's ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards or Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire races in 2014. After becoming a member, kids will receive a welcome bag containing their membership card, two-pocket folder, writing utensils, Tricky the Fox hero card, stuffed Tricky animal and more. A lucky kids club member will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be the Honorary Starter for either the June 7 Pocono 200, July 5 Pocono Indy Lights race or the August 1 ModSpace 125. Kids Club members will also receive free admission, with ticketed adult, to all Friday and Saturday race weekend events at "The Tricky Triangle." For more information and to join our Kids Club, visit poconoraceway.com/kidsclub. Tickets to all three of Pocono Raceway's NASCAR and INDYCAR race weekends are now available, with Kids (ages 12 and under) Sunday Grandstand tickets being offered at half price. To purchase tickets, please visit www.poconoraceway or call our ticket office at 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929).(Pocono Raceway)(4-11-2014)


    News from April 10, 2014

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

  • Edwards to sport Ford EcoBoost scheme at Darlington: The #99 Ford of Carl Edwards will feature a Ford EcoBoost scheme at Darlington Raceway this weekend. For 2014, EcoBoost will be available on more than 90% of the FORD nameplates, rising to 95% by 2015. EcoBoost technology combines smaller overall size with turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing for outstanding performance and fuel economy. Better fuel efficiency and lower fuel bills are the top reasons for EcoBoost engines. Edwards on Darlington: "We have EcoBoost on the car this week, it's only the decals though because EcoBoost is so technologically advanced I don't think they'd allow it. It would be an unfair advantage if we actually had an EcoBoost engine. Darlington is a lot of fun. It's a 500 mile race so it is a true test of man and machine, and it is one of the toughest races of the year. It's a fast race track, there is so much history there, and to win there would be great."(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #99 Team Schemes page.(4-10-2014)

  • Fresh From Florida debuts on the #43 at Darlington: The #43 team wants to win every week, but this week, they have an additional incentive. Crew Chief Trent Owens grew up just a few miles from Darlington Raceway and says a win at the track "Too Tough To Tame" would rank up with a Daytona 500 win. Aric Almirola will look to continue Owens' success at the track. With consecutive top-10 finishes in the last five seasons as crew chief, Almirola would like to add a Sprint Cup Series top-10 to the list. This weekend, the Fresh From Florida campaign will makes its debut on the famed #43. The campaign, led by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products (RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(4-10-2014)

  • Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes to Sponsor #51 at Darlington: HScott Motorsports announced that Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will sponsor the #51 Chevy driven by Justin Allgaier in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. Sherwin-Williams is the official provider of automotive paint and transportation finishes for NASCAR and supplies these products to HScott Motorsports as well. The Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes logo will be on the hood of the #51 car, while the quarter-panel will feature the Sherwin-Williams product AWX Performance Plus Waterborne Refinish System. AWX Performance Plus Waterborne basecoat is an easy-to-apply, fast drying basecoat that provides excellent color match while meeting the strictest VOC limits in North America. "We are pleased to be on the No. 51 car at Darlington Raceway," said Bobby Moody, Director of Motorsports for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. "We value our partnership with HScott Motorsports, and we're looking forward to watching a Sherwin-Williams car race under the lights at Darlington."(HScott Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #51 Team Schemes page.(4-10-2014)

  • Darlington Notes and Facts - Thursday: drivers
    · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Darlington with 65. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 33 starts; followed by Joe Nemechek with 27.
    · Buddy Baker and Richard Petty are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Darlington with eight each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with four.
    · Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Darlington with 25. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19.
    · Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 22.
    · Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 5.375.
    · Two active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (5.3) and Jimmie Johnson (8.8).
    · 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 six 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).
    · Matt Kenseth competed at Darlington Raceway 19 times before winning last season; the longest span of any the six active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    · Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 27.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Darlington with 1,736 laps led in 33 starts.(NASCAR)(4-10-2014)

  • Edwards shows his speed with first pitch at Royals-Rays game: Carl Edwards, in a blue Royals jersey with his #99 on the back, stood atop the pitcher's mound at Kauffman Stadium and let it rip. It may have been the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday night's Royals-Tampa Bay game, but Edwards was all business, just as he is in a race car. The right-hander's fastball blistered Billy Butler's mitt ... just a bit outside. "You've got a pretty good arm," Butler, an avowed NASCAR fan, shouted to Edwards. Edwards, from Columbia, was supposed to take some batting practice and shag fly balls during his appearance promoting the May 10 Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. But his plane was delayed out of Charlotte, where he was taping a commercial, and the Royals' batting practice had ended. That didn't diminish the enjoyment of his first trip to Kauffman Stadium, a place Edwards has driven past countless times en route to Kansas Speedway the last 14 years but never visited. "That's one of the coolest things I've ever done," a starry-eyed Edwards said as he came off the field and fist-bumped a cadre of Royals players, coaches and manager Ned Yost, another NASCAR buff. "I was a little nervous about the first pitch. I warmed up a little bit (Monday) night. I haven't thrown a baseball for a long time. My strategy was to throw it as hard as I could."(Kansas City Star)(4-10-2014)

  • Boeing Built Marines an Osprey Jeep with NASCAR Connection: One of the drawbacks of the Marines' MV-22 Osprey has been its inability to take aboard an all-terrain, multi-role combat vehicle and deliver it to the fight. The vehicle would have to be only five-feet wide to fit the tight confines of the tilt-rotor aircraft and also have enough power to handle the 60 percent grade of the off-on ramp. Boeing and MSI Defense Solutions, of Mooresville, N.C., have developed the Phantom Badger Internally Transportable Vehicle as a solution to the Marines' problem. MSI Defense Solutions worked with NASCAR teams before it started working with the Pentagon. The 60-inch wide Badger has a 240 horsepower multi-fuel engine, can ford 3 feet of water and can hit 80 mph on paved roads, according to the manufacturers. The vehicle is a much easier fit into the more spacious cabins of the CH-47, the C-130 and the C-17. Boeing played up the modularity of the Badger that would allow it to be configured for a range of missions, including reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal, mounted weaponry, and combat search and rescue.(defensetech)(4-10-2014)

  • Mike Wallace in the #93 at Darlington: Mike Wallace returns to JGL Racing in the #93 this weekend in the Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington with sponsorship from Unker's. Wallace finished 13th at Daytona in the JGL Racing #28 with sponsorship from Unker's. Mike and the team are hoping to get another good finish this weekend. Unker's is a therapeutic salve that is made by a small company out of Upton, Wyoming owned by Patricia Pendleton. JGL is happy to partner with small businesses. It is important to support Mom & Pop businesses. That is what our sport was started on.(JGL Racing)(4-10-2014)


    News from April 9, 2014

  • Teams to test at Michigan UPDATE3 - 215mph & 217mph: a few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test (tires) at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday, April 8 & Wednesday, April 9. Scheduled to test are: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #16-Greg Biffle, #15-Clint Bowyer, #21-Trevor Bayne and #31-Ryan Newman. The Turn 1 grandstand seats will be open for fans free of charge on April 8-9.(MIS)(4-2/8-2014)
    UPDATE: Greg Biffle's #16 Ford Fusion was first car on track at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Tuesday in a delayed start to the two-day Goodyear tire test there by several Sprint Cup teams. Four Cup outfits, led off by Biffle, who drives for Roush Fenway Racing, and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the track mid- to late-afternoon after a lengthy delay due to moisture on the 2-mile oval thought to be originating from behind the concrete walls following a brutal winter. The problem was addressed by MIS staff and Goodyear personnel and testing finally cranked up around 4:00pm/et. It was scheduled to continue into early evening, or when it became too dark to run safely. #21-Trevor Bayne and #15-Clint Bowyer also participated in Tuesday's test. #31-Ryan Newman is expected to join in with the others at MIS Wednesday. Fans are welcome to watch the tire test free of charge Wednesday from the Turn 1 grandstand seats.(Detroit Free Press)(4-9-2014)
    UPDATE2: How fast is NASCAR's new Sprint Cup car with new aerodynamic rules on one of its fastest tracks? #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. topped 215 mph during a test Wednesday morning at Michigan International Speedway, one of NASCAR's fastest tracks. Track president Roger Curtis tweeted about Earnhardt's fast speed. Clint Bowyer, meanwhile, said he ran 217 mph during Wednesday's test.(Sporting News)(4-9-2014)
    UPDATE 3: Blazing fast speeds continued at Michigan International Speedway on Wednesday during the second of a two-day tire test. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #15-Clint Bowyer said he went 217 mph during the morning session. "That's white-of-your-eyes-fast," he added. Bowyer, along with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #16-Greg Biffle, #31-Ryan Newman and #21-Trevor Bayne are taking part in the second of a two-day Goodyear Tire test at the two-mile racetrack. Earnhardt Jr. said he was hitting speeds between 212 to 215 mph in the straightaways and about 180 in the turns. And while speed was the topic of the day, the drivers were at the track to test tires for Goodyear.
    "This is one of our better tracks, and our fans will probably say the same," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Having the success here over the last four or five years has given us a lot of confidence when we come here, and I think that's why Goodyear brings us to test. "I enjoy racing here. It's a fun track. The asphalt is really aging well and it's just going to keep getting better and better over the next couple of years."
    Newman and Biffle agreed, adding the winter has aged the track, making the super-smooth surface less oily, and creating additional grooves. "I think (Michigan) will be a good race; I really do," Biffle said. Though speeds on a racetrack are sexy, speedway President Roger Curtis said passing and fierce competition is what makes great racing. "The drivers are posting 200 mph. That's awesome. The fans get very, very excited about that. But at the end of the day, on Sunday when the green flag drops, the numbers 'two zero zero' they're not anywhere in the fans' minds. It's lead changes, it's the competition." The track was repaved in 2012, making for blazing fast speeds. Since then, the asphalt has aged but NASCAR has made significant changes to the cars, thus keeping speeds very fast. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway this summer for two weekends: Quicken Loans 400 weekend, June 13-15 and Pure Michigan 400 weekend, Aug. 15-17. For tickets and camping, visit www.MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010.(MIS), see some video of the test at RPM2Night.com.(4-9-2014)

  • Seven races, seven different winners: After seven races this season, there have been seven different winners, which is the most since 2003, when there were nine. The seven winners are: #88-Earnhardt Jr., #4-Harvick, #2-Keselowski, #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, #41-Busch and #22-Logano.(4-9-2014)

  • Thomas Tire & Automotive Joins Germain Racing at Darlington: Heading into the "Bojangles Southern 500" race weekend at Darlington Raceway, Germain Racing announces that North Carolina's Thomas Tire & Automotive joins the team as an associate sponsor on the #13 GEICO Chevy driven by Casey Mears. Thomas Tire & Automotive will be on board for Saturday's 501.3-mile race to be held in Darlington, SC, at the 1.366-mile race track located just an hour from two Thomas Tire & Automotive locations in Aberdeen, NC. Thomas Tire & Automotive has several locations to bring customers the best in tires, maintenance and repairs, resulting in a total auto care experience.(Germain Racing)(4-9-2014)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Darlington:
    #24-Jeff Gordon.............................. 111.8
    #11-Denny Hamlin............................ 108.9
    #16-Greg Biffle................................ 107.5
    #48-Jimmie Johnson........................ 107.5
    #18-Kyle Busch............................... 106.2
    #5-Kasey Kahne.............................. 99.1
    #31-Ryan Newman............................. 95.8
    #78-Martin Truex Jr............................ 94.8
    #99-Carl Edwards.............................. 93.4
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr........................ 91.4
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races(9 total) among 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.(NASCAR)

  • Darlington Notes and Facts - Wednesday: history, track:
    · 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 110 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway. The 1.366-mile track has hosted the fourth most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying races.(NASCAR)(4-9-2014)

  • Chris Buescher to run special scheme: This weekend, Roush Fenway Racing will pay homage to the car that started the pony car craze: the Ford Mustang. RFR's Chris Buescher will be behind the wheel of a special 50th Anniversary Mustang paint scheme during the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 in Darlington, to honor the car that inspired Detroit's muscle car wars.The first Ford Mustang was unveiled on April 17th, 1964 at the New York World's Fair. Immediately, it went to work for Ford Racing, carrying generations of racecar drivers to victory lane. The Mustang's styling and engineering also inspired millions of people to buy their pony. Now, 50 years later, Ford is celebrating the Mustang's golden jubilee by unleashing a new generation of the legendary car.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-9-2014)

  • Atlanta offers Ticket special in honor of Chase Elliott's first NNS win: In celebration of Chase Elliott's first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory, Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering fans a limited-time ticket offer for the Labor Day Weekend of NASCAR night racing at AMS. Until 5:00pm/et. on Friday, April 11th, fans who purchase any grandstand ticket to the Aug. 31 Atlanta 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race can buy one general admission ticket to the Aug. 30 NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed The Children for just $9. The offer provides an overall savings of more than 50 percent for a Saturday ticket Fans may take advantage of this offer by either calling 877-926-7849 or by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/Chase. NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day Weekend. Sunday grandstand tickets start at $39 with kids 12 & under admitted free when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying on Friday, Aug. 29 or the Great Clips 300 to Benefit Feed The Children on Saturday, Aug. 30. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call Atlanta Motor Speedway at or (770) 707-7904.(AMS)(4-9-2014)

  • New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon: Ahead of a House vote on a bill allowing two casinos in the state, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway has ramped up lobbying efforts to drive home the point: They would make a fine site for a casino. General Manager Jerry Gappens hosted a breakfast Tuesday at the Holiday Inn in Concord and talked about the site's potential use as a state fairgrounds, the proposed 20,000-square-foot Northeast Motor Sports Museum and infrastructure improvements to Route 106. He also reiterated his support for the two-casino legislation that passed the Senate in March and now faces an uncertain future in the House. Gappens will testify Thursday in support of the bill in front of the House Ways and Means Committee, he said. "If it's going to come, this would be a site that should be on the most desirable list," Gappens said in an interview Wednesday. "I'm a pro-speedway guy, and I'm bullish on this location. I think the Route 106 corridor has so much economic growth potential. It would be a good thing to bring in additional tax revenue and jobs to the area." Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, the Manchester Democrat who sponsored the legislation, said Thursday that while it's too early to discuss the viability of potential sites, he has heard chatter about possible locations. "Have people mentioned sites? Yes, they have. Heck, it's a bidding situation," D'Allesandro said. If the bill is passed into law, the process to apply for a license would be open and competitive, he added. A casino at the site could bridge the race season and the off-season between late October and April, Gappens said. The speedway is well-positioned for a casino license because of its location between the Lakes Region and cities such as Manchester and Concord. There are 18 million people within 200 miles of the speedway, and those who want to gamble visit casinos in Maine and Connecticut, Gappens said. Two out-of-state casinos are spending $100,000 for advertising at the speedway, and though the revenue is welcome, the advertisements essentially ask people to leave New Hampshire.(in part from the Concord Monitor)(4-9-2014)

  • DAYTONA Rising April Project Update: Construction activities for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project are back in full swing. During the next month, the Speedway will begin to install the infrastructure for the new escalators and vertical transportation. "Our new motorsports stadium will have the most escalators of any sports stadium in the nation," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Fans will be able to easily navigate the new venue and access the new amenities and enhanced offerings."
    Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in March:
    · Began the demolition process on West end of the Petty Tower seating section.
    · Continued stair installation on West and East ends of the project.
    · Ongoing masonry at ground level including elevator tower on West end and new care center location near the existing Gate 8.
    Upcoming construction activities:
    · Begin the escalator installation process at West and East ends of the project.
    · Initial installation of aluminum grandstand system.
    · Ongoing steel installation.
    For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(4-9-2014)


    News from April 8, 2014

  • Dillon gets primary sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops for two races: The nation's No. 1 outdoor retail leader, Bass Pro Shops, will join Richard Childress Racing in commemorating Austin Dillon's rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with primary sponsorship of the #3 Chevrolet SS at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. "All of us at Bass Pro Shops are excited about continuing our friendship and business relationship with our long-time friend Richard Childress and sponsoring Austin Dillon during his rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series," said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. The #3 car is where we got our start so it's great to see it back in action."
    A longtime motorsports supporter, Bass Pro Shops' association with Dillon dates back to 2010, when the company partnered with RCR for Dillon's first foray into fulltime NASCAR competition with sponsorship of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Bass Pro Shops/Dillon duo earned the Camping World Truck Series Championship in 2011 and Bass Pro Shops was also partners with Dillon and RCR in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
    "Johnny Morris and everyone at Bass Pro Shops have been alongside me for a majority of my racing accomplishments," said Dillon. "I have photos of a giant Bass Pro Shops logo on the hood of my first Bandolero car when I was just starting out racing. They've been featured on my dirt late model and Bass Pro Shops was the primary sponsor of my truck when we won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship. I have countless memories of growing up hunting and fishing with Johnny and his son, John Paul. They are true friends so it means so much that they can be a part of my rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, especially at tracks like Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway that have so much history with RCR."
    Bass Pro Shops first began its association with RCR and its #3 Sprint Cup Series car in 1998 with an associate sponsorship of the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo made famous by seven-time Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt Sr.
    Bass Pro Shops also serves as a major associate sponsor throughout the 2014 season, joining Dow, Cheerios, Realtree Outdoors, American Ethanol and the University of Northwestern Ohio as RCR supporters associated with the #3 Sprint Cup Series entry this season. The outdoor retailer currently sponsors Dillon's younger brother, Ty Dillon, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.(RCR), see images of the car on the #3 Team Schemes page.(4-8-2014)

  • Latest on Biffle's contract status: #16-Greg Biffle's contract with Roush Fenway Racing ends at the conclusion of the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season. Biffle answers a question concerning his contract status, taken from an interview with FrontStretch:
    Neff: Your contract is up this year. Have you been talking about that or are you waiting to see how the year shakes out a little more?
    Biffle: We've been working pretty diligently on that. It has been a pretty good negotiation so far. There are a lot of new people on both sides of the table so everyone is kind of getting a feel for the program and learning it. We feel pretty good that we'll have something to announce before we get to summer.(Frontstretch)(4-8-2014)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. Scores First Last-Place Finish Since 2007: #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. picked up the 7th last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Monday's Duck Commander 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway when his #88 National Guard Chevy was involved in a scary single-car accident after he completed 12 of the race's 340 laps. The finish was Earnhardt, Jr.'s first of the 2014 season and his first while driving for Hendrick Motorsports. It is also his first last-place finish in 225 Cup Series races, dating back to November 11, 2007 and the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix. That day, in his next-to-last race in DEI's #8 Budweiser Chevy, Earnhardt, Jr. was taken out in another single-car crash after he completed 118 laps. He has never finished last in 130 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. After seven Cup Series races, we now have seven different race winners, seven different pole winners, and seven different last-place finishers.(see full post and stats at Lastcar)(4-8-2014)

  • Teams to test at Michigan: a few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test (tires) at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday, April 8 & Wednesday, April 9. Scheduled to test are: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #16-Greg Biffle, #15-Clint Bowyer, #21-Trevor Bayne and #31-Ryan Newman. The Turn 1 grandstand seats will be open for fans free of charge on April 8-9.(MIS)(4-2/8-2014)

  • Billy Standridge ill UPDATE to be honored: former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge has cancer and is seriously sick but is in good spirits. Billy made 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts from 1993-1999 with a best finish of 14th in the 1995 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. See more and leave a well wish / comment at Billy's blog: Billy's Battle, a site for posting and sharing information for Billy Standridge. Billy commented on the page: "I just want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. This has been a hard time but the support has lifted my spirits. Thanks again."
    Jayski.com was the listed sponsor of the #47 Ford at Talladega in October 1997. I made a page back in 1997 with some notes and images at Jayski's Talladega Experience page.(4-5-2014)
    UPDATE The three cars entered by the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team in Friday's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway will carry a decal honoring former NASCAR driver and team owner Billy Standridge. Standridge, who raced in the Nationwide Series from 1986 to 1993 and in Sprint Cup from 1993 to 1999, is battling cancer. He lives in Shelby, N.C., where his NASCAR team was based. JD Motorsports owner Johnny Davis formerly worked for Standridge as a crew chief, engine builder, truck driver and all-around mechanic. "Billy is a great guy who loves to race and who loves being around the sport," Davis said. "He put everything into that race team, and we ran full-schedule Busch (now Nationwide) racing out of that shop with just a few people and a lot of hard work. He has a lot of years in the sport." The Standridge decal will be carried on the C post of JDM Chevrolet's driven by #01-Landon Cassill, #4-Jeffrey Earnhardt and #87-Kevin Lepage at Darlington and in other races this year, Davis said. Standridge, 60, ran 23 Cup races and 84 Nationwide events.(JD Motorsports)(4-8-2014)

  • Texas Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Monday's race (postponed from Sunday). Began recording the times at the Invocation of the rain-delayed race at 4:15 PM on Sunday, then stopped at the rain delay at 4:28 PM. then restarted on Monday at 12:01 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 3:59 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 114
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 61
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 100
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 56
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 14
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 11
    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: 44
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 5 sec.
    Total race brdcst time 200 Total comm. brdcst time 51
    See past race links and link to full report on the TV Commercials page.(4-8-2014)

  • Bud Moore recovering: NASCAR Hall of Famer Bud Moore suffered a mild heart attack over the weekend and is recovering in a hospital near his home in Spartanburg, S.C. "He had a procedure done and is doing fine. He will be in the hospital a few days and is expected to be released later this week," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall. Moore, 88, a decorated veteran of World War II, was part of the Hall's second class in 2011.(Charlotte Observer)(4-8-2014)

  • Sad News - Ed Spencer: Edgar Robert Spencer Sr., 85, of Salem Boulevard, Berwick, PA, died Thursday, April 3, 2014, at Fritzingertown Senior Living Community, Drums. Edgar owned and operated Ed Spencer's Auto Parts since 1957. He held racetrack championships at Bone Stadium, Selinsgrove, Port Royal and Rummages Drive-In Speedway. His nickname was "Fast Eddie" and he raced under the car number 24. Ed was the father of former NASCAR driver Jimmy Spencer. See full obituary at the Times Leader.(4-8-2014)

  • When Logano Wins on Sunday, Shell Customers Save on WINsday: Joey Logano took the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion car to victory lane at Texas, and now it's time for Shell customers who have a Shell $averSM Card to save! Shell is offering Shell Saver Cardholders the opportunity to save 22 cents per gallon in Fuel Rewards savings on all three grades of Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines, and Shell Diesel, up to 25 gallons at participating stations, this upcoming Wednesday, or WINsday, April 9. The season-long promotion, called WINsday, will be applicable after every points race in which Joey Logano takes the checkered flag. Shell Saver Cardholders who are also registered Members of the Fuel Rewards Network program have the opportunity to save an additional 22 cents per gallon for each #22 team victory that can be redeemed on a future purchase of high quality fuels at any participating Shell branded station if you use your Shell Saver Card to purchase fuel at Shell on WINsday. For additional information, visit www.shell.us/winsday.(PR)(4-8-2014)

  • Weller to make Nationwide debut at Richmond: Jimmy Weller will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 25. The Hubbard, Ohio native will pilot the #55 Chevrolet Camaro in a partnership effort between Viva Motorsports and SS Green Light Racing in the 250-lap event at the Virginia short track. While the race will mark Weller's first NASCAR Nationwide Series event, it will not mark the first time he's competed at the Richmond, Va. venue. Weller competed in two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races at the 0.750-mile track. After finishing 12th in his first event at the speedway, Weller returned to the track in April 2013. In that event, Weller was racing inside the top 10 when he was involved in an on-track incident. The driver rebounded to finish in the 17th position.(Jimmy Weller Racing)(4-8-2014)

  • Ruud on the #99: Rheem Manufacturing Company, announced that their Ruud will sponsor the #99 Toyota Camry driven by James Buescher for several races during the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. The first race to debut the special Ruud paint scheme on the #99 will be at Darlington Raceway on April 11. Ruud, a member of the Rheem Manufacturing Company's family of quality brands, is a leading heating, cooling and water heating solutions provider in major markets throughout in the U.S. and Canada.(RAB Racing), see an image of the car on the #99 team paint schemes page.(4-8-2014)


    News from April 7, 2014

  • Entry List for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #44-Yeley, #66-Nemechek, #77-Blaney, #33-Stremme, #32-Kvapil. The drivers who must qualify on speed and cannot use a provisional are: #44-Yeley & #77-Blaney.
    See the full entry list the Jayski's Darlington Entry List page

  • Joey Logano wins rain delayed Texas race: #22-Joey Logano won the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2014 and his 4th career win. Logano is the seventh different winner in seven races in 2014. Logano led the most laps with 108 of 334.
    Logano is the youngest Sprint Cup Series race winner ever at Texas at 23 years, 10 months, and 13 days old beating the old record set by Ryan Newman in 2003 who was 25 years, 3 months, 22 days old.
    The race was delayed a day due to rain. The race was scheduled to run Sunday, April 6th. The race started under green-yellow allowing the cars to warm up the track for the first ten laps. During the 10 laps #2-Keselowski got too close to one of the track dryers and it popped the hood up. Keselowski made a few pit stops and the crew taped down the hood. Other cars that came in to get the cowl flaps checked and closed included: #1-McMurray, #10-Patrick, #18-Busch, #51-Allgaier, #31-Newman, #15-Bowyer, #5-Kahne, #48-Johnson, #20-Kenseth.
    Logano was leading just before the white flag when #41-Busch lost another tire and left debris on the track. All the lead lap cars made pit stops with #24-Gordon and #55-Vickers coming out 1-2 after changing only two tires. #22-Logano came out 3rd and passed Gordon at the white flag to take the lead and coasted to the win, cementing a spot in the 2014 Chase.
    #24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by: #18-Busch, #55-Vickers, #42-Larson, #16-Biffle, #20-Kenseth, #15-Bowyer,#27-Menard and pole winner #14-Stewart.
    On lap 12 of the Duck Commander 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, #88-Earnhardt Jr. went low on the front stretch, getting into the grass, which was wet. The left front of the car buckled and the left front tire blew sending the #88 up the track and into the outside wall hard. The car caught fire but Earnhardt Jr. got out and was fine. The car was not and retired from the race. #48-Johnson's car was damage when debris from the wreck hit the nose of the car and damaged thew windshield. Johnson fell 2 laps off the pace and never recovered, finishing 25th.
    #42-Lason was the rookie of the race, finishing 5th.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr., who came into the race as the points leader finished 43rd when he wrecked on lap 12, fell to 6th in points and #24-Gordon takes over the points lead for the first time since after Charlotte in May 2009, 4 points over #20-Kenseth.
    There were 18 lead changes among 9 drivers and there were 7 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 134.191 mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Texas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Texas Penalty Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Texas Motor Speedway Race & Points Report (pdf).(4-7-2014)

  • Race Fast Facts - Texas Motor Speedway:
    #22-Joey Logano won the 18th Annual Duck Commander 500, his fourth victory in 190 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 12 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    #24-Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 27 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2014.
    #18-Kyle Busch (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    #42-Kyle Larson (fifth) was the highest-finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.
    #24-Jeff Gordon leads the point standings by 4 points over #20-Matt Kenseth.
    #22-Joey Logano is the youngest winner in Texas Motor Speedway history in NASCAR Sprint Cup: 23 years, 10 months, 13 days.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-7-2014)

  • 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Championship Points Standings:
    [after Texas, race 7 of 36]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 259
    2) #20-Matt Kenseth, 255, -4
    3) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 247, -12
    4) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 235, -28
    5) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 231, -28
    6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 228, -31
    7) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 228, -31
    8) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 218, -41
    9) #55-Brian Vickers, 205, -54
    10) #27-Paul Menard, 203, -56
    Other drivers with a win, should make the Chase:
    25) #41-Kurt Busch [1 win], 151, -108
    26) #4-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 138, -121
    See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Texas Race & Points Report (pdf).(4-7-2014)

  • Current 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Seeding:
    [after Texas, race 7 of 36 if Chase seeding started after this race]
    1) #99-Carl Edwards, 1 win, 3rd in points
    2) #22-Joey Logano, 1 win, 4th
    3) #18-Kyle Busch, 1 win, 5th
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1 win, 6th
    5) #2-Brad Keselowski, 1 win, 8th
    6) #41-Kurt Busch, 1 win, 25th
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick, 1 win, 26th
    (no wins, in by points)
    8) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1st
    9) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2nd
    10) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 7th
    11) #55-Brian Vickers, 9th
    12) #27-Paul Menard, 10th
    13) ##31-Ryan Newman, 11th
    14) #3-Austin Dillon, 12th
    15) #11-Denny Hamlin, 13th
    16) ##14-Tony Stewart, 14th
    (4-7-2014)

  • Earnhardt Jr. comments on his lap 12 wreck at Texas: on lap 12 of the Duck Commander 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, #88-Earnhardt Jr. went low on the front stretch, getting into the grass, which was wet. The left front of the car buckled and the left front tire blew sending the #88 up the track and into the outside wall hard. The car caught fire but Earnhardt Jr. got out and was fine. The car was not and retired from the race. Earnhardt Jr. comments via a Team Chevy transcript:
    Q) ON WHAT HAPPENED:
    Earnhardt Jr. "Just didn't see the grass. Didn't know the grass was down there. With the way the A-post is on these cars you can't really see that good to that angle. I just didn't have a good visual of where the apron and the grass was and got down in there pretty good. You can't run through there they way they have these cars on the ground like that. Just a mistake on my part. I just didn't know I was that close to the grass, and made a mistake."
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
    Earnhardt Jr. "I drove the car down there. I didn't know we were that close the grass and was following the #43 (Aric Almirola). I thought I was taking a decent line through the dogleg. We were going low around the No. 42 (Kyle Larson) so I was lower than normal and just misjudged it. It tears the car up pretty good when you run through the grass."
    Q) SOME DRIVERS WERE COMPLAINING OF A WET TRACK AT THE OUTSET. WAS THAT A FACTOR?
    Earnhardt Jr. "It was no factor. I just made a mistake."(Team Chevy)(4-7-2014)

  • Texas race starts: The Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, which was scheduled for a green flag start at 3:16pm/et on Sunday April 6th, and was postponed due to rain to Monday, April 7th has started as of 12:11pm/et. The first 10 laps will be run under a green/yellow, where the first 10 laps will be run under yellow to get some heat and rubber in the track. If all is good, NASCAR will throw the green flag at lap 11 and then have a competition caution 25 laps after that with a 2nd competition caution scheduled for 35 laps later. The race is being shown on FOX and online via radio at PRN's site goprn.com.
    The air from the track dryers, caused damage to some cars, mainly blew up the hood cowl flaps. #2-Keselowski had the most damage, the crew taped down the hood. Other cars that had their cowl flaps checked: #1-McMurray, #10-Patrick, #18-Busch, #51-Allgaier, #31-Newman, #15-Bowyer, #5-Kahne, #48-Johnson, #20-Kenseth. NASCAR allowed any cars that came in to check the cowls to retain their starting spot.
    The The National Weather Service forecast (updated as of 11:52am/et on 4/7/2014) for the Fort Worth, TX area on Monday is:
    A 30 % chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66. West northwest wind around 5 mph.
    See other links on the Texas Race Info page - weather links section.(4-5/6-2014)


    News from April 6, 2014

  • Rain postpones race at Texas: The Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, which was scheduled for a green flag start at 3:16pm/et on Sunday April 6th, has been postponed due to rain to Monday, April 7th and is scheduled to air on FOX at 12:00pm/et. FOXSports1 is scheduled to air a 30 minutes pre-race show at 11:30am/et.
    Driver Introductions and pre-race ceremonies were done Sunday afternoon. Track drying was attempted by the Air Titan 1 and Air Titan 2 as well as some jet dryers, but rain started again and there were some weepers on the backstretch.
    The The National Weather Service forecast (updated as of 6:52pm/et on 4/6/2014) for the Fort Worth, TX area on Monday is:
    a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
    See other links on the Texas Race Info page - weather links section.(4-5/6-2014)
    UPDATE: Fans at Texas Motor Speedway will be able to get weather updates regarding the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, which is scheduled for a 2:00pm/ct [3:00pm/et] start today, and its surrounding activities via the "Big Hoss TV" video board broadcast.
    "Big Hoss TV," which utilizes FM frequency 97.7 FM and 454.700 on the scanner frequencies for its audio broadcast, will provide fans with the latest updates on weather and status of pre-race activities. For those with a view of "Big Hoss TV" at the speedway, the world's largest high-definition LED video board will provide a scroll during the day with weather updates and activity schedule.
    "Big Hoss TV" also will provide entertainment for campers in the meantime, ranging from a rebroadcast of the thrilling 2010 AAA Texas 500 and a live appearance on screen by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fans will be asked to tweet #IWannaRace and one lucky fan will be selected to come to the control suite of "Big Hoss TV" and play against him in the video game NASCAR '14 on the board.
    NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway have a large contingent of track-drying vehicles to combat the inclement weather consisting of five state-of-the-art Air Titan 2 trucks, three Air Titans and six jet trucks. Given the track-drying equipment, an expected break in the weather and that Texas Motor Speedway has lights, all efforts will be made to get in the race today.(TMS)(4-6-2014)

  • Updated Race Coverage of the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway has been re-scheduled for Monday, April 7, 2014.
    Television (TV): FOX at 12:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show on FOXSports1 at 11:30 am/et; green flag approx. 12:15pm/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Friday, April 11, 3:00am/et on FS1

  • Teams could use the "Big Hoss TV" for strategy: It sits on the backstretch, dwarfing the facility's standard-sized billboards as it rises up against the Texas sky. At 94.6 feet tall and 218 feet wide, "Big Hoss TV," the largest High-Definition LED video board in the world, personifies the attitude here at Texas Motor Speedway -- bigger and bolder. 'Big Hoss' has been busy this weekend, whether it's broadcasting the day's on-track activities or playing "Smokey and the Bandit" Thursday night in the midst of a lightning storm. The screen is more than just eye candy for Texas Motor Speedway. The video board's size and clarity means that it could come into play on Sunday as the Duck Commander 500 unfolds. The screen, built to give fans a better race-day experience, may also have the watchful eyes of drivers, crew chiefs and spotters upon it. "We've had Sprint Vision televisions around the track before, and sometimes we'd be able to catch up or watch during yellows," #18-Kyle Busch said. "Certainly the crew guys or even the spotters can pick up on it on 'Big Hoss,' and the spotters being up on the roof and watching the leaders or watching different lines -- you can see all that from the roof, but they can see a little bit better (on 'Big Hoss') from the cameras zooming in on the cars and see what's going on. So yeah, it's definitely an option to use that."(NASCAR.com)(4-6-2014)

  • Dillon to standby for Dillon at Texas UPDATE: Rookie of the Year contender, #3-Austin Dillon, is feeling a little under the weather. His brother, Nationwide Rookie of the Year candidate and past Texas race winner in the Camping World Truck Series, Ty Dillon, ran a few laps in the #3 DOW Chevy during Happy Happy practice at Texas in case Austin needs relief during the race Sunday or qualifying Saturday afternoon.(FS1 Practice Coverage)(4-5-2014)
    UPDATE: While the weather at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday morning was cloudy, Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon was definitely under the weather. Apparently having flu-like symptoms, Dillon took to the track for 28 practice laps - recording a best of just 186.220 mph (at 28.998 seconds), far off the pace of the fastest of the pack - and brought the car back into the garage. But Dillon would get a second burst of energy late in the session, climbing back into his No. 3 Richard Childress Chevrolet and pumped out a much more respectable effort of 192.623 mph, good for 23rd on the speed charts. Younger brother Ty watched Austin's early practice runs from atop the team's hauler and then climbed into his brother's car, prepared to take some practice laps of his own. Ty went out and ran just four laps, with a top lap of 30.810 seconds, which was under 180 mph. Crew chief Gil Martin feels Austin Dillon will be able to race Sunday unless he has a relapse. And if Ty starts the race, Austin would not get any Sprint Cup points, which would hurt - especially since Austin is currently ninth in the standings heading into Sunday's race, 48 points behind series leader #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NBC Sports)(4-6-2014)

  • Haas's US team to be given green light into F1 by next year UPDATE: Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that a new team run by an American businessman is on track to join Formula One next year. It will become the sport's 12th team and the first from America since the 1980s. Formula One has not had an American driver since 2007. The team is run by Gene Haas, the joint owner of the championship-winning Stewart-Haas Racing team [#4, #10, #14, #41], which competes in America's NASCAR stock car series. "I think Haas will be accepted," said Ecclestone, the sport's chief executive. "They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it." In addition to his stake in the NASCAR team, Haas is also the founder of leading American engineering firm Haas Automation, which has annual revenues of around $1bn (£600m). It gives him the resources to fuel his bid and he is already using it to attract top names, as Günther Steiner, a former technical director of the four-time Formula One champions Red Bull Racing, is understood to be involved.(The Independent)(4-3-2014)
    UPDATE: Formula One commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone says a U.S. backed team headed by Gene Haas is among two new teams the sport is likely to admit next season. Speaking on Sunday ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ecclestone said he had held discussions with the sport's governing body, the FIA, and there was agreement about expanding the grid next season. "They will be accepted, and we've also accepted another team as well, although whether they'll make it or not is another story," Ecclestone said when asked about a possible Haas entry. I've spoken to (FIA President) Jean Todt and we agreed yesterday." The initial deadline for a decision on new 2015 entries expired at the end of February, but an agreement between Ecclestone and the FIA would likely be able to override that deadline.(ESPN/AP)(4-6-2014)


    News from April 5, 2014

  • Rain could be an issue on Sunday: The Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, with a green flag scheduled for 3:16pm/et, could be affected by rain. The National Weather Service forecast for the Fort Worth, TX area on Sunday, April 6th is a chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 8am. High near 57. East northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. On Sunday night, Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 8pm, then a slight chance of showers between 8pm and 2am. Low around 45. North wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. See other links on the Texas Race Info page - weather links section.(4-5-2014)

  • Stewart wins the Texas pole for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after the five minutes final round. #14-Stewart wins the pole with a third round lap of 195.454mph for his first pole of 2014 and 15th of his career. Stewart has won from the pole twice. Stewart is the 7th different pole winner in 7 races this season, the most since 1998.
    #4-Harvick broke the track record of 196.299mph in the first qualifying session, set last April by Kyle Busch. Harvick ran a lap of 198.282mph, the fastest ever at a 1.5 mile track.
    #2-Keselowski will start 2nd followed by #4-Harvick, #16-Biffle, #99-Edwards, #11-Hamlin, #21-Bayne, #31-Newman, #9-Ambrose, #22-Logano, #41-Busch and #24-Gordon.
    Fastest in the second qualifying session was #16-Biffle at 196.235mph
    Fastest in the first qualifying session was #4-Harvick with a track record of 198.282mph
    #22-Logano is the only driver to advance to the final round in all seven races this season.
    Missing the race are: #66-Nemechek, #33-Stremme, #83-Truex, #33-Yeley.
    See starting lineup, links, notes, qualifying results by round and more on Jayski's Texas Qualifying / Starting Lineup page.(4-5-2014)

  • Seven races, seven different pole winners in 2014: #14-Tony Stewart won the Coors Light Pole at Texas, making it seven different pole winners in the first seven races. That hasn't happened since 1998 [qualifying canceled, driver does not win the pole].(4-5-2014)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Texas:
    #14-Tony Stewart won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th Annual Duck Commander 500 with a lap of 27.628 seconds, 195.454 mph.
    This is his 15th pole in 528 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his second pole in 24 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2014 and his fifth in 12 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    #4-Kevin Harvick (third) posted his third top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his second in seven races this season.
    #42-Kyle Larson (14th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    #4-Kevin Harvick set a new track record of 198.282 mph in the first round of qualifying.(NASCAR Statistics)(4-5-2014)

  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is being over, after 10 minutes. No driver ran faster than the track record of 196.299mph, set by #18-Kyle Busch last April.
    #16-Biffle 196.235
    #14-Stewart 195.787
    #4-Harvick 195.702
    #2-Keselowski 195.838
    #22-Logano 195.369
    the rest of the top 12: 21 24 99 31 41 11 9;
    out of the top 12: 27 42 1 48 43 78 88 13 3 51 55 10
    (4-5-2014)

  • First Round of Qualifying for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 25 minutes. eight drivers broke the track record of 196.299mph, set by #18-Kyle Busch last April.
    #4-Harvick 198.282
    #21-Bayne 197.477
    #99-Edwards 196.915
    #3-Dillon 196.850
    #31-Newman 196.578
    Drivers who will miss the race: #66-Nemechek, #33-Stremme, #83-Truex, #33-Yeley.
    (4-5-2014)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #41-Busch 194.630 (in the backup car) #99-Edwards 194.616
    #4-Harvick 194.328
    #16-Biffle 194.014
    #43-Almirola 193.979
    slowest: #44-Yeley 179.045 & #34-Ragan 184.508
    Notes: #34-Ragan and #41-Busch are in backup cars. Ty Dillon ran a few laps in the #3 Chevy for his brother Austin, who is feeling ill. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, April 5th at 3:10pm/et and be televised on FoxSports2 (FS2) and via live radio at goprn.com.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average and more on the Texas Happy Hour Practice Speeds page.(4-5-2014)

  • Dillon to standby for Dillon at Texas: Rookie of the Year contender, #3-Austin Dillon, is feeling a little under the weather. His brother, Nationwide Rookie of the Year candidate and past Texas race winner in the Camping World Truck Series, Ty Dillon, ran a few laps in the #3 DOW Chevy during Happy Happy practice at Texas in case Austin needs relief during the race Sunday or qualifying Saturday afternoon.(FS1 Practice Coverage)(4-5-2014)

  • Billy Standridge ill: former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge has cancer and is seriously sick but is in good spirits. Billy made 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts from 1993-1999 with a best finish of 14th in the 1995 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. See more and leave a well wish / comment at Billy's blog: Billy's Battle, a site for posting and sharing information for Billy Standridge. Billy commented on the page: "I just want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. This has been a hard time but the support has lifted my spirits. Thanks again."
    Jayski.com was the listed sponsor of the #47 Ford at Talladega in October 1997. I made a page back in 1997 with some notes and images at Jayski's Talladega Experience page.(4-5-2014)

  • Latest on tires at Texas: Tires remained the hot topic at Texas Motor Speedway, where NASCAR and Goodyear took the unprecedented step of discussing the compound selected for Sunday's race before a single lap had been turned. Goodyear's multi-zone tread tire is making its season debut at Texas, where speeds inched toward 200 mph in Friday's opening practice session. There was one major incident, 100 minutes into practice, when #41-Kurt Busch wrecked hard into the outside wall. Busch, winner of last week's race at Martinsville, appeared to blow a left rear tire before losing control of his Chevrolet and crashing. His car caught fire, and as his Stewart-Haas Racing team pulled out the backup, Busch said the left rear tire started to separate on the backstretch. The left side tires being used at Texas are the same ones Goodyear has used at the last two races here. The multi-zone tread tire combines two distinct rubber compounds on right-side tire, with the outside 10 inches of tread designed for traction, and the compound on the inside two inches is designed for durability.(Associated Press)(4-5-2014)

  • First Graders Wish Truex Luck : A first-grade class in Canada is doing all it can to help Martin Truex Jr. change his luck this season. After a flat tire caused Truex to crash in practice last month at Auto Club Speedway - one in a series of early-season misfortunes that have him 28th in the points - he wrote on his Facebook page: "Does anyone have a good luck charm I can use for...oh I don't know, the rest of the season?'' That's when the children in Carla Bangma's class at Front of Yonge Elementary School acted. They made a video for him singing "Bring It All Back.'' The song features lyrics such as "Your time is coming around, so don't you stop trying" and "Don't stop, never give up, hold your head high and reach for the top.'' The connection between the class and Truex, though, goes back to Bangma's son Bryson, who turns 11 years old next week. Bangma and her family, which includes three boys with Bryson the oldest, traveled 45 minutes to a NAPA store just to see Truex's car when he was with the sponsor. Bryson got a hero card of Truex and, according to his mother, "that was it. My son was addicted. When we went home ... after visiting the car, it was on TV and he could see that (Truex) was real.''(Motor Racing Network)(4-5-2014)

  • Bell Helicopter featured on the #1 at Texas: To change the way the world flies with superior vertical lift that saves lives, preserves freedom and provides customers with exceptional value. Bell Helicopter will be featured as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. An industry leader with unmatched name recognition, Bell Helicopter was the first to obtain certification for a commercial helicopter. Over its rich history, Bell Helicopter has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to customers around the world. Bell Helicopter is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas (CGR), see imaged of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(4-5-2014)

  • Jeff Gordon Treatment Room Opens at Children's Blood & Cancer Center at Dell Children's Medical Center: Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation (JGCF) is pleased to announce the dedication of the newly redesigned Jeff Gordon treatment room at the Children's Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) located in Austin, Texas. CBCC is part of the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas -- the only dedicated, free-standing pediatric facility serving the healthcare needs of children in the 46 county Central Texas region and beyond. The Jeff Gordon treatment room -- themed winning through teamwork -- features custom graphics created by Red Eye Designs of Charlotte, NC, depicting Gordon's #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS making a pit stop at last month's race in Las Vegas. The room was repainted in a complementary color matching the iconic flame design on Gordon's car while the cabinetry features specially designed graphics that replicate the tool boxes used by the No. 24 team. The funds to sponsor the room were raised by the Austin Chapter of the JGCF Promise Circle with a significant contribution made by the Austin office of CBRE Group, Inc., a global leader in real estate services. The Promise Circle is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers who work in their communities with leading cancer treatment centers, and their mission is to serve as advocates for children with cancer and to provide support services to these children and their families. The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation has contributed more than $14 million to support children battling cancer and invests in research, provides access to treatment and offers patient support programs.(JeffGordon.com)(4-5-2014)

  • Hertz and 811 on the #22 at Texas: The Hertz Corporation, one of the worlds' leading car rental and transportation companies, will serve as a co-primary sponsor of the #22 Ford Fusion of Joey Logano this weekend, along with Shell-Pennzoil. Hertz has been a proud supporter of Team Penske and the #22 NASCAR Nationwide Series Mustang since the beginning of 2013. April is National Safe Digging Month, and #22 Shell-Pennzoil / Hertz Ford Fusion driver Joey Logano will run 'Call 811' logos on the car during all three races in April to encourage fans to call 811 before starting outdoor digging projects. As part of the effort, the Common Ground Alliance will give one race fan the chance to watch Joey Logano race at the Quicken Loans 400 at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, AZ on November 9, 2014.(Penske Racing)(4-5-2014)

  • Manager: Schumacher has 'moments of consciousness: Michael Schumacher is now showing "moments of consciousness and awakening," more than three months after suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident, the retired Formula One star's manager said Friday. Schumacher, 45, fell while skiing in France on Dec. 29 and hit the right side of his head on a rock, cracking his helmet. Doctors operated to remove blood clots from his brain, but some were left because they were too deeply embedded. Schumacher's condition stabilized after he was placed in a drug-induced coma. In late January, doctors at a hospital in the French city of Grenoble began the process of withdrawing sedatives to try to wake him up. "Michael is making progress on his way," Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement Friday. "He shows moments of consciousness and awakening." Schumacher earned acclaim for his uncommon and sometimes ruthless driving talent, which took him to a record 91 race wins. He retired from Formula One in 2012 after winning an unmatched seven world titles. The accident happened on a family vacation in the Alps as Schumacher was skiing with his 14-year-old son.(Associated Press)(4-5-2014)

  • Duck Commander 500 winner to receive Victory Lane duck calls: Members of the winning team in Sunday's Duck Commander 500 will receive unique Victory Lane duck calls from Duck Commander in addition to the traditional Texas Motor Speedway six-shooters and custom-made cowboy hats. The winning Sprint Cup team, along with Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage and Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson, will all participate in a celebratory duck call. Two different duck calls will be presented to the winning team. The driver, crew chief and team owner will each be given a Black Wood Duck Call made from a rare African wood featuring Duck Commander President Phil Robertson's patented double reed system. The rest of the team will be given the Classic Commander Duck Call made with a Cypress wood barrel and a Cedar insert. This all-wood call has been a staple for the Duck Commander brand since 1972 and was the first call that Phil Robertson had patented.(TMS)(4-5-2014)

  • MIS uses jets dryers to melt snow in preparation for the 2014 season: More than 80 inches of snow has fallen at Michigan International Speedway this year. And with just a week to go before NASCAR's fastest track opens its gates for a Goodyear Tire Test, it was time to call in the big guns to melt ice and snow from the track. Michigan International Speedway maintenance crews used old-fashioned know-how Monday, enlisting the help of jet dryers to melt snow drifts and sheets of ice on some areas of the racing surface. The ice was several feet thick in some places, especially in shaded areas of the track. And while temperatures are expected to be warmer this week and next, it was important to get a jump on melting the ice before cars test. The jet dryer was first used in the early-70s to melt snow at Michigan International Speedway. It evolved to eventually be the primary means NASCAR used to dry racetracks after rain-delays. Today, jet dryers have been replaced by NASCAR's innovative Air Titan technology. MIS President Roger Curtis expects all the snow and ice will be gone by next week.(MIS)(4-5-2014)


    News from April 4, 2014

  • Coverage of Group Qualifying for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 3:10pm/et.
    There will be three group sessions since it is a 1.5 mile track. For the new group qualifying rules, see my Qualifying Rules Page.
    Television (TV): FS2, 3:00pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Performance Racing Network (PRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

  • Qualifying Order for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed. This is the order drivers can go through inspection.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #88-Earnhardt Jr.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #21-Bayne.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw about an hour before the first practice.
    See the complete list on the Texas Qualifying Page.(4-4-2014)

  • Friday practice for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 193.237
    #16-Biffle 192.055
    #31-Newman 191.564
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 191.327
    #55-Vickers 190.934
    slowest: #44-Yeley 179.480 & #30-Kligerman 183.243
    Notes: #34-Ragan got loose after having fuel pressure issues and spun into the infield grass, tearing up the nose of the car and said he will go to a backup car. #41-Busch lost a left rear tire late in practice and slammed the wall, he will go to a backup car.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average and more on the Texas Practice 1 Speeds page.(4-4-2014)

  • Brother's Back-to-back wins: With #41-Kurt Busch's win at Martinsville on March 30,2014 and #18-Kyle Busch's win a week before at Auto Club Speedway, the Busch brothers have now won back-to-back races six times, the most by any brother duo in NASCAR history:
    Back-To-Back Victories
    Kurt, Kyle Busch - 6
    Tim, Fonty Flock - 3
    Bobby, Donnie Allison - 2
    Tim, Bob Flock - 2
    Bobby, Terry Labonte - 2
    Brett, Geoff Bodine - 1
    Bob, Fonty Flock - 1
    Donald, Herb Thomas - 1.

  • Cassill gets a sponsor of Texas: Hillman Racing announced that Gallery Furniture will be the primary sponsor of the #40 Chevy driven by Landon Cassill this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Gallery Furniture - featuring solid wood, upholstery, and furniture made in America, superb customer care, and same-day delivery service in the Houston Metropolitan Area - will mark its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sponsorship with Cassill behind the wheel of the #40 Gallery Furniture Chevrolet in Sunday's Duck Commander 500. Gallery Furniture owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, a prominent figure in the Houston community, created a marketing stir with his recent Super Bowl promotion, in which he offered customers who bought at least $6,000 worth of furniture the chance to receive a full refund if the Seattle Seahawks won. More than 1,000 customers scored free furniture valued at $7 million through the wildly successful promotion. Known for its ever-increasing selection of "Made in America" furniture, Gallery Furniture is marking its first foray into NASCAR sponsorship with Hillman Racing as a marketing vehicle to reach the 75 million NASCAR fans as well as thousands of fans in The Metroplex attending the men's NCAA Final Four basketball tournament.(Mike Hillman Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #40 Team Schemes page.(4-4-2014)

  • NASCAR puts pressure of preserving tires on teams: NASCAR will not regulate tire pressures at Texas Motor Speedway, and if drivers have tire failures during Sunday's race officials believe they won't be able to blame Goodyear. Hoping to give more control over setups and strategy to race teams, NASCAR is refusing to get involved in monitoring whether teams choose to follow recommendations set each week by Goodyear. There were multiple tire issues at California two weeks ago, and many drivers tried to blame the product Goodyear brought to the track. NASCAR insisted the issues were self-inflicted and a product of teams going far beyond the air pressure limits recommended by the manufacturer. With a handful of drivers predicting similar problems this weekend at Texas, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said each team controls its own fate. "We want to be open enough to give the teams opportunity to adjust and have different setups out there and be more aggressive or less aggressive whenever they sit fit," Pemberton said Thursday. "We want the teams to be able to push the limit, and that's what we expect out of them. If a guy has a tire issue that is self-inflicted and gets out of the car and blames Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., that's a bad deal. That basically is what some of them tried to do at California." Goodyear each week presents teams minimum pounds per square inch pressure recommendations based on both testing and data from previous tires. NASCAR has maintained the majority of failures at California occurred when teams decided to go below the recommended pressure. Goodyear this week presented teams a chart of recommended inflation pressures and times before a possible failure based on testing data. Pemberton said it is up to the teams to walk the fine line of pushing the limits Goodyear gives them in an effort to rise in what's shaping up to be a very competitive season.(Associated Press)(4-4-2014)

  • Penske joins Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame: Roger Penske couldn't be in Fort Worth to accept credit for his induction to the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Instead, he sent word that his place belongs to the employees of Team Penske, the racing operation that has won 23 national championships. "I know what Roger would say," said right-hand man Walt Czarneck, executive vice president of Penske Corporation. "He'd say, 'I'm the face of our company, but it's really the people of our organization who deserve this. They're the ones who have the desire, who have the commitment, who are proud of the organization. That's why we've been able to achieve what we have.' " Penske became the 16th member of the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame and the third car owner inducted in the past five years, joining fellow NASCAR owners Jack Roush (2012) and Joe Gibbs (2009). Also honored Thursday night was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was presented the Major Gen. Thomas Sadler Award for humanitarianism. His appearance in Roanoke last fall helped raise more than $30,000 for Speedway Children's Charities, the charity arm of Texas Motor Speedway. Others receiving awards were Kyle Busch, who was named the TMS racer of the year; three-time Indianapolis 500 champ Dario Franchitti, who received the O. Bruton Smith Legend Award to recognize a career cut short by injury; and James Buescher, who earned the Sportsmanship Award for his work in recovery efforts in Moore, Okla.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(4-4-2014)

  • Six races, six different pole winners in 2014: #18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole at Martinsville, making it six different pole winners in the first six races. That hasn't happened since 1998. Qualifying at Texas is scheduled for Saturday, April 5th at 3:00pm/et on FoxSports2.(4-4-2014)

  • Twelve Cup Team lose practice time at Texas: Twelve NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. The penalties are for being late to qualifying inspection line last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The teams penalized are: #20-Matt Kenseth, #99-Carl Edwards, #42-Kyle Larson, #15-Clint Bowyer, #31-Ryan Newman, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #40-Landon Cassill, #26-Cole Whitt, #7-Michael Annett, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #36-Reed Sorenson and #30-Parker Kligerman. Cup teams have 1 hour, 50 minutes of practice Friday, beginning at 6:00pm/et (FS1). The clock on these 15-minute penalties begin when the cars are ready for practice. The penalty for each team doesn't begin until the car is ready for practice.(MRN)(4-4-2014)

  • March of Dimes scheme for Hamlin at Texas: To help raise awareness for the March of Dimes and March for Babies walks around the country, Denny Hamlin and Dallas Cowboys All-Pro tight end Jason Witten will host the March of Dimes national ambassador family for a VIP experience during the race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. For the seventh-consecutive NASCAR season, FedEx is working with the March of Dimes for a special #11 FedEx Office/March of Dimes paint scheme, in an effort to help give every baby a healthy start in life. Aidan Lamothe is the 2014 March of Dimes National Ambassador. Born 12 weeks premature, Aidan weighed just 3 pounds and spent 7 weeks in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU). With the help of the March of Dimes, he is now a healthy 6-year-old.(FedExRacing), see images of the scheme on the #11 Team Schemes page.(4-4-2014)

  • Willie's Duck Diner featrued on Bowyers car at Texas: Duck Commander, founded in 1972 by Phil Robertson, builds custom duck calls for hunters. His son Willie, along with his family, expanded the business. Several of those ventures, including Duck Commander, are featured on Bowyer's #15 Willie's Duck Diner Toyota at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Located in West Monroe, La., the diner boasts a family-style atmosphere and features several recipes made famous by Robertson's mom, Miss Kay. Buck Commander, a lifestyle experience for whitetail deer hunters, was started by Robertson with Major League Baseball's Adam LaRoche, Ryan Langerhans and Tombo Martin as well as country music stars Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean. Duck & Dressing is a lifestyle boutique run by Robertson's wife, Korie, and daughter Rebecca, located in Monroe, La. Willie's Duck Diner, located in West Monroe, La., offers a friendly, family-style dining experience. Serving some of Miss Kay's delicious recipes including her famous meatloaf and pecan pie, the diner offers a wide variety of menu options that are sure to please. Duck Commander is a family-owned and operated business started by Phil Robertson based in Monroe, La. Duck Commander started making duck calls in 1972 and has since expanded to include numerous other products and brands including the No. 1 rated cable show "Duck Dynasty" on A&E. Buck Commander is a lifestyle hunting brand consisting of Major League Baseball's Adam LaRoche , Ryan Langerhans & Tombo Martin; country music stars Luke Bryan & Jason Aldean as well as Willie Robertson. The group focuses on the camaraderie and lifestyle associated with hunting with family and friends. Duck & Dressing is a lifestyle boutique owned by Korie and Rebecca Robertson in Monroe, La. The store offers simple, edgy, southern chic clothing (MWR), see images of the scheme on the #15 Team Schemes page.(4-4-2014)

  • Texas' The Arbor Car Wash and Lube Joins Germain Racing at Texas: Heading into the Lone Star State, Germain Racing, announced that Texas' owned The Arbor Car Wash and Lube will be an associate sponsor on the #13 GEICO Chevy SS driven by Casey Mears for the 2014 "Duck Commander 500" at Texas Motor Speedway. The Arbor Car Wash and Lube is a leader in offering Castrol Oil changes and car washes in the Austin, TX, area. They have highly trained professionals that will assist you in choosing the correct oil for your vehicle. The Arbor Car Wash and Lube offers all Castrol products including Castrol Edge, GTX SynBlend, GTX High Mileage, and GTX. They also carry a full line of air filters and wiper blades as well as numerous options in car washes. After finishing 24th in Martinsville, VA, last week, Germain Racing driver Casey Mears and owner Bob Germain Jr. are tied for 20th in the Sprint Cup Series points standings after six races in the 2014 season.(Germain Racing)(4-4-2014)

  • Time Warner returns to sponsor Kahne: Time Warner Cable will adorn the hood of Kasey Kahne's #Chevy this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, and will be the primary sponsor on the car for three more Sprint Cup Series races this year: All-Star Race in Charlotte in May, Indianapolis in July 27 and New Hampshire in Sept. 21.(HMS), see an image of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(4-4-2014)

  • Penske says team still interested in expansion into V8 Supercars, Ambrose?: Roger Penske has reiterated his interest in a future V8 Supercars involvement, and says that sports cars could also be on his team's horizon. Penske has been linked to a possible V8 team since late last year, when both he and Team Penske president Tim Cindric made a number of trips to Australia to meet with V8 Supercars officials and representatives of teams including Dick Johnson Racing and Ford Performance Racing. The team is already heavily invested in stock cars (NASCAR) and IndyCar, and Penske said that he has very clear ideas about what forms any future expansion would take. "I think that if we did anything [new] at some point, we'd like to get into the sports car side," he said. "Once we understand the rules that would be something we'd like to do. But with supporting Brad [Keselowski] on the Truck side, with Nationwide, and with IndyCar, I think we're full. We're potentially looking at Australia. As soon as you talk to them that's the first thing they want to know: 'Are you interested in V8 Supercars?' So that might be something we do at some point." While it has been reported that a Penske V8 entry could be up and running as early as next year, Penske stopped short of nominating a timeframe. "We're just looking at it," he said. "Tim went to a couple of races, and I've talked to people. It's early." Penske said that one of his current concerns were the changes taking place in the Australian automotive landscape, where all three of the major manufacturers that currently build cars there have announced plans to close or reduce their operations. Those closures, coupled with the Australian market's growing preference for smaller-engined vehicles, could have future ramifications for the V8 Supercars series. Penske is hoping that it could also create an opportunity that he can capitalize upon. "The issue that you have is that the manufacturers are pulling out of manufacturing in Australia - Holden is coming out, Ford is coming out, Toyota is coming out," Penske said. "And now, V8s aren't what people are buying - people are buying turbocharged, direct-injected 1.8 liters or 2.0 liters. And you've got Mercedes in [V8 Supercars] now, Volvo is in, Nissan is in, so it's starting to open up. So it will be interesting to see whether there is an opportunity for us with some manufacturer." Marcos Ambrose, who won two V8 titles with Stone Brothers Racing before switching to NASCAR, has been linked to Penske's V8 plans.(Racer)(4-4-2014)

  • Elliott wins Nationwide race at Texas: #9-Chase Elliott won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway for his 1st career win in just his 6th career start. He becomes the youngest race winner at Texas Motor Speedway and the second youngest in series history (to Joey Logano) at 18 years, 4 months, 8 days. #54-Kyle Busch finished second followed by#42-Kyle Larson, #5-Kevin Harvick, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #20-Matt Kenseth, #7-Regan Smith, #22-Ryan Blaney, #3-Ty Dillon, and #11-Elliott Sadler
    There were 5 cautions for 26 laps and 14 lead changes among 9 leaders. Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf).
    (4-4-2014)

  • Nationwide Texas Race Fast Facts:
    Chase Elliott won the 18th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, his first victory in six NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    Chase Elliott is the second-youngest winner in series history, at 18 years, 4 months and 8 days.
    Kyle Busch(i) (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2014.
    Kyle Larson(i) (third) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Chase Elliott (first) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Chase Elliott leads the point standings by 2 points over Regan Smith.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-4-2014)

  • Nationwide Driver standings following Texas:
    1) #9-Chase Elliott#, 224
    2) #7-Regan Smith, 222 -2
    3) #3-Ty Dillon#, 214 -10
    4) #11-Elliott Sadler, 208 -16
    5) #6-Trevor Bayne, 206 -18 -2
    6) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 193 -31
    7) #11-Brian Scott, 192 -32
    8) #31-Dylan Kwasniewski#, 179 -45
    9) #99-James Buescher, 176 -48
    10) #16-Ryan Reed#, 141 -83
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-4-2014)

  • Nationwide Owner Standings following Texas are posted (pdf).(4-4-2014)

  • Team have problems with inspection: Four drivers, including Thursday's practice leader #3-Ty Dillon, continually failed pre-qualifying inspection and did not get on track for the first 25-minute group session. #54-Kyle Busch, #42-Kyle Larson and #60-Chris Buescher also did not log a qualifying lap in advance of Friday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300. Those four drivers will start 36-39th in the field. NASCAR Vice President for Competition Robin Pemberton said 17 teams with the same issue initially failed pre-race inspection. "Basically, it was mostly the camber and tow issues on the rear-end housing," Pemberton said. "The majority of those teams had the same issues (Thursday) during their inspection for practice."(NASCAR.com)(4-4-2014)

  • Kevin Harvick on Nationwide pole at Texas: #5-Kevin Harvick won the Coors Light Pole for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 184.963mph. #2-Matt Kenseth will start second followed by: #7-Regan Smith, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #11-Elliott Sadler, #9-Chase Elliott, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #6-Trevor Bayne, #22-Ryan Blaney, #31-Dylan Kwasniewski, #99-James Buescher, and #44-David Starr.
    Harvick was also fastest in the first qualifying session at 184.900mph and the second at 185.605mph.
    Did Not Qualify: none
    The starting lineup is posted on the Texas starting lineup page (pdf).(4-4-2014)

  • Texas Nationwide Qualifying Notes:
    Kevin Harvick(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 with a lap of 29.195 seconds, 184.963 mph.
    This is his 25th pole in 305 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his first pole in 16 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Matt Kenseth(i) (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2014 and his 10th in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Regan Smith (third) posted his third top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fourth in six races this season.
    Chase Elliott (sixth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-4-2014)

  • Guinness Book of World Records to certify "Bigg Hoss TV' as worlds largest LED video board: One may assume that Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage's claim of having the world's largest, high-definition LED video board may be hyperbole, but the Guinness Book of World Records is going to set the record straight. During Sunday's pre-race festivities for the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Guinness Book of World Records adjudicator Philip Robertson will be on hand to present Texas Motor Speedway with a certificate officially certifying "Big Hoss TV" as the world's largest, high-definition LED video board. "Big Hoss TV" will officially make its debut and be certified at 12:16 p.m. CT during the pre-race activities on the frontstretch stage leading into the 2 p.m. start of the Duck Commander 500. The Panasonic-built video board, which is located in the center of the backstretch grandstand area, will feature a staggering 20,633.64 square feet of HD display - roughly a half acre -with overall dimensions of 218 feet wide by 94½ feet tall. The actual height of the structure will rise to nearly 125 feet above ground level with its support structures and weigh more than 108 tons. The display showcases 281 trillion different colors, 4.8 million pixels and 14 million LED lamps.
    Frontstretch tickets are still available for fans wanting to catch a glimpse of "Big Hoss TV" during the Duck Commander 500 weekend. Tickets for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race and Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race are available by calling the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(4-4-2014)


    News from April 3, 2014

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

  • SMS Audio to Sponsor Kligerman's #30 at Texas: Swan Racing announced that the #30 Toyota will feature an SMS Audio and Klarbrunn Vita Ice paint scheme for this weekend's Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. SMS Audio, which signed an exclusive two-year deal with Swan Racing as a team associate sponsor, is an American consumer electronics manufacturer of headphones and audio products, founded by entertainer and entrepreneur Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. "Riding with 50 Cent might be just the thing the #30 needs to have a break out race at Texas Motor Speedway," said Kligerman. "I'm excited that both SMS Audio and Vita Ice will be prominently displayed on the car - it looks great." Klarbrunn Vita ICE is a zero calorie sparkling water with added antioxidants and vitamins, perfect for refueling on the track. SMS is participating in a weekly product give away on Swan Racing's Facebook account at www.facebook.com/SwanRacingCompany. Fans just need to "Like" the page and correctly answer a trivia question. Winners will be selected randomly among those who correctly answer the questions.(Swan Racing), see images of the scheme on the #30 Team Schemes page.(4-3-2014)

  • Haas's US team to be given green light into F1 by next year: Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that a new team run by an American businessman is on track to join Formula One next year. It will become the sport's 12th team and the first from America since the 1980s. Formula One has not had an American driver since 2007. The team is run by Gene Haas, the joint owner of the championship-winning Stewart-Haas Racing team [#4, #10, #14, #41], which competes in America's NASCAR stock car series. "I think Haas will be accepted," said Ecclestone, the sport's chief executive. "They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it." In addition to his stake in the NASCAR team, Haas is also the founder of leading American engineering firm Haas Automation, which has annual revenues of around $1bn (£600m). It gives him the resources to fuel his bid and he is already using it to attract top names, as Günther Steiner, a former technical director of the four-time Formula One champions Red Bull Racing, is understood to be involved.(The Independent)(4-3-2014)

  • Six different winners in first six races: #41-Kurt Busch set a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup era record the moment he hit the finish line to close last Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway - six different winners in the first six races. And incredibly, #20-Matt Kenseth and #48-Jimmie Johnson - the top two winners from the 2013 season - aren't among that group. The last time there were seven different winners in the first seven races was 2003. The record for different winners to start the season is 10, in 2000. In neither of those seasons were there more than 16 winners after 26 races. There were 13 different winners after 26 races in 2000, and 16 different winners after 26 races in 2003 (and the points leader at the time, Matt Kenseth, was indeed one of them). So, historically speaking, it's a very safe assumption that the six different winners thus far will be safely in the Chase after Richmond.(NASCAR)(4-3-2014)

  • "Aggie Brilliance" paint scheme for Gordon at Texas: To celebrate a new partnership between Axalta Engineering and Texas A&M College of Engineering, Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevy will feature a special "Aggie Brilliance" paint scheme during this weekend's event at Texas Motor Speedway (HMS), see images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(4-3-2014)

  • Johnson to appear on The Queen Latifah Show: While #48-Jimmie Johnson was in Los Angeles two weeks ago he stopped by "The Queen Latifah Show" for a guest appearance. The show is scheduled to air Friday, April 4. Check local listings for air times.(HMS)(4-3-2014)

  • Texas Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Texas this weekend . . . this is the first time teams will run this right-side tire code . . . this right-side tire employs Goodyear's multi-zone tread technology, which combines two distinct tread compounds on the same tire . . . the outside 10 inches of the tread features a compound that is designed for grip, while the inside two inches of the tread is toughened to enhance durability on the part of the tire sees the most heat and takes the most abuse . . . these teams have run this left-side tire code at Texas since 2011 . . . this left-side code was also run by these teams at Chicagoland, Darlington and Homestead in 2013 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, trie pressures and set limits on the Texas Race Info page - Goodyear section.(4-3-2014)

  • ESPE Dental Give Kids A Smile featured on the #16 at Texas: Greg Biffle is ready to return to victory lane. The last time he took home the checkered flag, it was in the #16 3M ESPE Dental Give Kids A Smile Ford Fusion. And when he brings that car to Texas in April, he will have his sights set on taking home the trophy - and bringing smiles to a lot of fans around the country. Biffle likes the 1.5 mile ovals such as Texas, and won the spring races there in 2005 and 2012. In 20 starts at the track, he has eight top five and 12 top-10 finishes, and has led some 733 laps at the track. This is the fourth year that Greg Biffle has helped put good dental health for kids on the fast track and driven a special Give Kids A Smile car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. When Biffle drove the #16 Give Kids A Smile car in 2013, he took it to victory lane at Michigan. As part of the Texas race weekend, Biffle and the No. 16 3M race team will host a special dental education program at the racetrack on Friday, April 4. Nearly 125 students and teachers from Our Lady of Perpetual Help elementary and middle school will visit the track for a fun, educational day that includes:
    Education program on good dental health and cavity prevention
    Visit to the 3M Mobile Innovation Center
    Chance to meet the #16 3M race team
    Photos with the 3M DeeBo mascot
    Lunch
    Special dental health gift bag
    "The No. 16 3M ESPE Dental Give Kids A Smile car is very special to me, and so is the Give Kids A Smile program," said Biffle, a father of a toddler. "Not only were we able to take home the victory at Michigan in it, we were able to reach so many people with the message about good dental health for children. I'm excited to have Give Kids A Smile back on the car, and look forward to seeing it back in victory lane."(RFR), see an image of the scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(4-3-2014)

  • RPM to Display Decals for Autism Awareness in Support of Gray Owens: Richard Petty Motorsports Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams will adorn a decal for Autism Awareness for the month of April to support Gray, son of #43 Crew Chief Trent Owens. With April being Autism Awareness month and April 2 Global Autism Awareness Day, the team, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, will join the campaign to raise awareness for autism. Gray, who is now six years old, was diagnosed early and now goes through therapies to cope with the disease. His dad, Owens, knows the importance of bringing awareness to autism to help find prevention and a cure. "It's a very important month personally with having a son with autism," Owens explained. "My son was diagnosed when he was a year and a half, and he's six years old now. There's not a cure for it. It's a disease that's hard to understand, and it's very difficult from the side of getting therapies and getting help. Every autistic child is completely different, so just to have that awareness to the general public in the past few years for the month of April has been good. Through campaigns like Autism Awareness month, there is more awareness than there was ten years ago. My hope is they find a way of prevention. I would love for them to find a cure - that would be awesome, but I think the more we make people aware just how present the autistic kids are in society now, the better. A new report just came out that one in 68 kids are diagnosed with some form of autism, which is pretty staggering when you think about it." Showing that RPM is truly a family-run operation, Owens is humbled by the support from his team and acknowledges everything the NASCAR Industry has done over the years to raise awareness. "It's very cool that the whole organization will run the decal in support. That means a tremendous amount to me, personally. Just see all the things that not only this race team is doing but also the things NASCAR has done over the years with Autism Speaks. I won a race in the trucks in Rockingham last year running an Autism Speaks paint scheme. That was a real highlight to my career to this date. I enjoy speaking about my son's autism. We don't try to hide it. We enjoy trying to let the world know, so everybody can kind of get behind it and be supportive and try to find a cure."(RPM)(4-3-2014)

  • Sad News - Sandy Grossman: FOX Sports President & COO Eric Shanks on the passing of legendary sports television director Sandy Grossman: "Sandy was part of the original heart and soul of FOX Sports. He was a brilliant director and a thoughtful colleague. He mentored many of us here and throughout the sports TV industry, and we learned more from him than he could imagine. On behalf of everyone at FOX Sports, we extend our deepest condolences to Sandy's family who are in our thoughts and prayers. He'll be greatly missed."(FoxSports)(4-3-2014)

  • Dillon fastest in Nationwide happy hour: #3-Ty Dillon was quickest during the rain-shortened happy hour for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 with a speed of 180.361 mph. He was followed by: #7-Regan Smith, #60-Chris Buescher, #9-Chase Elliott, #54-Kyle Busch, #22-Ryan Blaney, #20-Matt Kenseth, #5-Kevin Harvick, #62-Brendan Gaughan, and #16-Ryan Reed. 39 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Texas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-3-2014)

  • Dillon fastest in first Nationwide practice: #3-Ty Dillon was fastest during opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 180.505 mph. #54-Kyle Busch was second, followed by: #6-Trevor Bayne, #22-Ryan Blaney, #60-Chris Buescher, #7-Regan Smith, #9-Chase Elliott, #5-Kevn Harvick, and #19-Mike Bliss, and #11-Elliott Sadler. 40 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-3-2014)

  • Viva Motorsports forms partnership with SS Green Light Racing: Viva Motorsports announced a partnership with SS Green Light Racing for the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, starting April 11th at Darlington International Raceway. The partnership between the two teams will enable multiple drivers to get behind the wheel of the #55 Chevy Camaro throughout the full 2014 NNS season. The driver lineup will include current driver Jamie Dick, while additional drivers will be announced at a later date. This is not the first time Viva Motorsports and SS Green Light Racing have teamed up together; in 2009 Jamie Dick made his debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driving for team owner Bobby Dotter and SS Green Light Racing. Viva Auto Group will continue to support the efforts, with additional sponsorship being announced in the near future.(Viva Motorsports)(4-3-2014)

  • Cowboys Witten to drive Duck Commander 500 pace car: Dallas Cowboys perennial All-Pro tight end Jason Witten will be honored by Texas Motor Speedway by receiving the opportunity to drive the official pace car to start Sunday's Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Witten, with the guidance of NASCAR pace car driver Brett Bodine, will be behind the wheel of the Chevrolet SS Official Pace Car that will lead the 43-car field to the green flag for the Duck Commander 500. "I'm honored to be asked to drive the pace car on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway," Witten said. "I'll be in town to cheer on Denny Hamlin and the #11 FedEx team and raise awareness for their special March of Dimes paint scheme, and it will be a cool experience to get behind the wheel before the drop of the green flag." NASCAR has granted Texas Motor Speedway special permission to allow Witten to drive the car pending a mandatory on-track orientation prior to the Duck Commander 500. Tickets for the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend, which also includes Friday evening's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race, are available by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or by call the TMS ticket office at (817) 215-8500.(TMS)(4-3-2014)


    News from April 2, 2014

  • Fan Vote Opens for NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015: Fan voting for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 opens today on NASCAR.com and runs through Tuesday, May 20 at noon ET. The five nominees receiving the highest percentage of votes will comprise the Fan Vote ballot. This ballot will be included among the 54 submitted by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel to determine the Class of 2015. Voting Day for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 is Wednesday, May 21, 2014. "The NASCAR Hall of Fame is the only hall of its kind where fans have had a voice in the induction process since its inception," said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR chief communications officer. "And the reason is simple. NASCAR fans are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the sport and its history, and have demonstrated that with their selections for the first five classes." The twenty nominees were voted upon by the 22-person Nominating Committee at its first-ever in-person meeting Feb. 21, and will appear on the Fan Vote ballot at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(4-2-2014)

  • France says 'significant' engine changes coming: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that modifications to the engines -- which would likely bring a reduction in horsepower -- are the next step in further enhancing the sport's on-track product, although he was unsure if such changes would be in place for next season. "We're going to make that happen, and that's part of the overall rules packages that we design that hopefully control costs, hopefully make the racing better," France said. "The engine is an integral part of that. We also have to be in step as much as possible with the car manufacturers and where they're going with technology and different things. It all has to come together, and that's the next significant part of the rules package. ... The engine will get a significant change. I'm not going to say (for) '15, but we are certainly sizing that up. It's very important for us to get that right." According to representatives of NASCAR's three manufacturer partners, who took part in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, a potential reduction in engine horsepower is still in the very early stages. Sprint Cup Series engines generate 850 horsepower, and are built by five manufacturer-specific companies -- TRD and Triad Racing Technologies (Toyota), Roush-Yates Engines (Ford) and Earnhardt Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet). Most of the changes made in recent years have focused on the cars, beginning with the rollout of the more brand-identifiable Generation-6 vehicle for the 2013 season, and an aerodynamic package that was further refined before this year.(NASCAR.com)(4-2-2014)

  • Goodyear to run multi-zone tread right-side at Texas: One of the technical highlights of the 2013 NASCAR season was Goodyear's introduction of its multi-zone tread tire. After running the concept that combines two distinct rubber compounds on the same right-side tire at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway last year, this week the tiremaker adds Texas Motor Speedway to its roster of tracks at which this technology will be used. Goodyear's multi-zone tread tire combines one compound that is run on the outside 10 inches of the tread that is designed for traction with another compound on the inside two inches that is designed for durability. The inside compound is toughened up because that is the part of the tire that sees the most heat and takes the most abuse.
    Like Atlanta, Texas has proven to be one of the toughest tracks on the NASCAR circuit. On the one hand, it is abrasive and wears tires quickly. On the other hand, it produces high speeds and high loads. That combination makes Texas the ideal track for the multi-zone tread technology. "With this 2014 rules package, we expect speeds and loads to be up at Texas," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. "Like at Atlanta last year, we didn't want to sacrifice grip on a worn racing surface. We decided to bring our multi-zone tread to enhance the durability on the right-side, and we are coming back with the Texas left-side we've run there in the past to maintain grip. This season, we've already broken track records on the two intermediate tracks we've raced so far - Las Vegas and California. There's no reason to think Texas won't be more of the same."
    In preparation for NASCAR's early season races, Goodyear has worked throughout the off-season, testing and confirming its tire recommendations with the new rules package. Because of the scheduling demands of producing 150,000 NASCAR tires each season, at-track testing is not always an option. That make's Goodyear's lab testing, which replicates actual race conditions, more important.
    "We conducted lab durability testing with this package to verify the performance of this tire set-up, including the validation of our air pressure recommendations," said Stucker. "Our test process enables us to utilize track and car data to simulate actual race conditions. When time does not allow for a track test, this modeling, in essence, allows us to do the same thing. Once we generate this data, confirming our recommendation and at which air pressures the tires need to be run, we share that information with the teams. The teams have the ability to use this inflation data, along with the tire characterization data we supply each week, to make choices to optimize endurance and performance. Teams have asked for some flexibility with how they set up their cars. This information is just another tool in their toolbox."
    Goodyear will recommend minimum inflation pressures of 23 psi (front) and 21 psi (rear) on the left-side and 51 psi (front) and 47 psi (rear) on the right-side at Texas. As always on fast, abrasive tracks, tire management will be important this weekend at Texas. With its new multi-zone tread right-side tire, Goodyear has enhanced its durability while maintaining a good amount of grip. That should prove to be a good combination for the racing.(Goodyear PR)(4-2-2014)

  • Congrats Derrike Cope: 1990 Daytona 500 winner, Derrike Cope, got married March 30th to Elyshia Rennison.(Derrike Cope Facebook)(4-2-2014)

  • Special DOW scheme for Dillon at Texas: Austin Dillon will be supporting #NASCARGreen by sporting a Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle paint scheme this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles are a revolutionary innovation in sustainability, protecting your home as a roof while generating electricity with energy from the sun. That's why NASCAR, which has the largest sustainability program in all of sports, is a great place with see Powerhouse. The shingles are also one of the most aesthetically attractive options in the solar industry. Dillon has been vocal about the #NASCARGreen initiative, and is encouraging fans to participate by planting a tree and taking energy conservation steps in their own homes. See how by visiting NASCAR.com/green (RCR), see an image of the scheme on the #3 Team Schemes page.(4-2-2014)

  • Teams to test at Michigan: a few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday, April 8 & Wednesday, April 9. Scheduled to test are: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #16-Greg Biffle, #15-Clint Bowyer, #21-Trevor Bayne and #31-Ryan Newman. The Turn 1 grandstand seats will be open for fans free of charge on April 8-9.(MIS)(4-2-2014)

  • #99 Crew man has surgery to replace a torn Labrum: Rear Tire Carrier Jon Moore of Roush Fenway Racing is going into surgery today (March 31st) to replace a torn labrum. Moore currently pits for the #99 of Carl Edwards and is expected to miss around 12 weeks over the wall. Moore decided to get the surgery done once Edwards won the race at Bristol. The recoverery time is expected to take 12-weeks, so Moore plans to be back for the Chase. Moore's replacement is Rapheal Diaz, of the #16 Roush Fenway Racingt NNS team of Ryan Reed. Pit Talks caught up with Moore to see how things were going, see the full interview at Pit Talks.(4-2-2014)

  • Eckrich "Operation Inspiration" campaign returns at Texas: Aric Almirola and the #43 Eckrich Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) Ford team head to the mile-and-a-half Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for Sunday's 500-mile event at the Texas Motor Speedway fresh off a top-10 finish at Martinsville. This weekend will be the first of six primary sponsorship races for Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. It also marks the return of the Eckrich "Operation Inspiration" campaign that supports and honors military families. RPM and Almirola have worked with Eckrich over the past three race seasons to surprise military families and reward them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. With hundreds of military families already honored, Eckrich and its award-winning "Operation Inspiration" campaign will now reach millions of people from coast-to-coast in 2014 thanks to a new partnership with leading country music network CMT. In efforts to bring awareness to the heroes behind our heroes, Eckrich will partner with the CMT Hot 20 Countdown to highlight and show appreciation for our military families during three special Operation Inspiration-themed episodes that will air throughout the summer in advance of Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. The CMT Hot 20 Countdown is a weekly, two-and-a-half-hour series hosted by CMT favorites Cody Alan, Alecia Davis and Katie Cook, who count down the 20 biggest country music videos of the week with the hottest news stories, in-studio live performances and candid interviews from country music's biggest superstars and up-and-coming artists. Eckrich will add to the excitement of each sponsored episode with special guest appearances and stories of military families and their sacrifices. "Operation Inspiration" will continue to give back to military families this year not only on CMT, but also in conjunction with NASCAR, country music and college football events. Eckrich will highlight military families in conjunction with its nine sponsored NASCAR races across the country. Herbstreit will also continue his support of Operation Homefront as a spokesperson and guest during special events throughout the year. You never know when a military family will be recognized and how, which is what has made this campaign one of the most exciting in the company's history. From May 1st through July 4th, Eckrich will donate five cents for every purchase of specially marked products up to $250,000. Consumers can also donate directly to Operation Homefront by texting* "INSPIRE" to 27722 to donate five dollars. For more information on Operation Inspiration please visit www.eckrich.com/operationinspriation.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(4-2-2014)

  • Jimmy John's to sponsor Chicago Nationwide race: Chicagoland Speedway announced Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches as the title sponsor of its NASCAR Nationwide Series Race on Saturday, Sept. 13. The Jimmy John's Freaky Fast 300 Powered by Coca-Cola will serve as the precursor for the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 14. The Champaign, Ill., based sandwich company, which will also sponsor Kevin Harvick for 12 races in the Sprint Cup Series, has made a visible commitment to the NASCAR Industry. Founded in Charleston, Ill., and based in Champaign, Ill., Jimmy John's has over 1,800 locations. What makes Jimmy John's different from the rest is that it's honest, it's good, it's fast, at a decent price.(Chicagoland Speedway)(4-2-2014)

  • Texas World Speedway to be replaced by houses: The College Station City (Texas) Council unanimously gave conditional consent to create a new municipal utility district that will replace the Texas World Speedway just outside of College Station. The plan will now go to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for its approval, during which time a series of agreements will come before city council to ready services and sync up the development plans with the city's building standards. The developer is asking for the city to provide water and sewer services to the community. The concept plan for the development will span about 550 acres in College Station's extra-territorial jurisdiction, and add about 1,400 single-family homes, 27 acres of commercial development, 14 acres for a future College Station school district school and 73 acres of detention and greenways. The Brazos County Appraisal District values that land at $5.4 million, but the projected build out value is $514 million. Three of the public speakers spoke on behalf of the racing community that would miss the track. Mayor Pro Tem Karl Mooney said the speedway just hasn't been able to keep up with the times.(The Eagle)(4-2-2014)

  • $10 Will Hold You Seat at Martinsville Speedway: There are many reasons to purchase tickets for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 early, but the biggest incentive may cost. For as little as $10 down, you can lock in your seats for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 on October 26. This offer is good through April 15. Ticket prices for the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup range from $37 to $79. Always a pivotal stop in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, this fall's Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 could be bigger than ever with the new Chase format. It will be the first race in the Eliminator Round to help trim the Chase field to just four drivers for the season-finale at Homestead-Miami. To reserve your tickets for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 and set up a payment plan, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(4-2-2014)


    News from April 1, 2014

  • Under Armour enters NASCAR with Hendrick & MWR: The sporting goods company, Under Armour, has signed multiyear sponsorships with Hendrick Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing. It becomes the official apparel provider for both teams, outfitting everyone from the pit crew to the front office in Under Armour-branded apparel. The deals don't include the teams' drivers, and financial terms weren't available. Last year, Under Armour signed a one-year, trial sponsorship with Hendrick Motorsports and outfitted the team's pit crews. It opted to expand that deal this year with a three-year extension that will see it outfit not only the pit crews but the rest of Hendrick's 500 employees. It provides everything from footwear and hats to polos and pullovers. It also has branding on Hendrick pit crew members' fire suits (Under Armour does not produce fire suits) and on the team's pit wall banners, haulers, pit box and pit toolbox. The deal doesn't include Hendrick's drivers - #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson or #5-Kasey Kahne - but Under Armour does have rights to use their likeness as well as the likeness of their car and number, which it could use on apparel.
    Under Armour signed with Michael Waltrip Racing because it saw similarities between its identity as an upstart brand that's challenged established apparel companies and the team's identity as a relatively new, gritty team that's pushing its way into the upper echelon of NASCAR. Terms of the two-year sponsorship are similar to the deal with Hendrick. Under Armour will supply pit crew apparel and team and executive apparel and receive the same mix of pit assets it is getting from Hendrick. It also will become the presenting sponsor of a new athletic facility and gym that MWR built at its headquarters in Cornelius, N.C., which has been branded as the MWR Performance Center Presented by Under Armour. The deal is the first apparel sponsorship for MWR. The team previously bought its apparel from Oakley.(SportsBusiness Journal)(4-1-2014)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Daytona 500 win available On DVD: On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, fans will be able to relive Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s second Daytona 500 win via a limited collector's edition DVD, produced by NASCAR Productions. The DVD highlights the #88's path to victory, overcoming obstacles such a long rain delay and a late caution flag to set up a frantic finish, ultimately resulting in Earnhardt Jr. hoisting the Harley J. Earl trophy in Victory Lane. The DVD will be available for purchase on the NASCAR.com Superstore.(4-1-2014)

  • #44 to run Texas, has new crew chief: per Xxxtreme Motorsport Twitter, Xxxtreme is on the Texas (Entry) List. NASCAR will add it. And Joe Lax will be there new crew chief for the #44 Xxxtreme Motorsport crew chief for driver J.J. Yeley. Walter Giles had been the crew chief since mid-2013. The #44 Chevy is currently not listed on NASCAR Entry List for the Texas Sprint Cup Series race.(4-1-2014)

  • Mears continues testing at Darlington Tuesday: A test session at Darlington Raceway featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Casey Mears will be FREE and open to the public today, April 1, from 1 pm - 9 pm. Mears, who drives the No. 13 GEICO Chevy SS for Germain Racing, had already turned laps around the track Too Tough To Tame on Monday and will do so again today for the fans. Darlington Raceway will open two sections of the Colvin Grandstand on the backstretch of the track for fans to watch the test throughout the afternoon and evening under the lights. The ticket office will remain open throughout the night to accommodate fans who wish to purchase a ticket for the April 11-12 Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend, which is just days away. Fans need to use the Gate 3 entrance to the track off of Highway 151. The parking lot is located next to the track's administration building and certain sections of the Colvin Grandstands on the backstretch will be open for public viewing. Times of the test are subject to change. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12 and Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 on Friday, April 11 are now on sale, visit www.DarlingtonRaceway.com or call 866-459-7223 for more information.(Darlington Raceway)(4-1-2014)

  • TV Ratings for Martinsville down: Overnight ratings hit a season-low for NASCAR on FOX. Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup STP 500 from Martinsville earned a 3.8 overnight rating on FOX, down 5% from last year (4.0), and down a tick from 2012 (3.9). Excluding rainouts, the 3.8 is the lowest ever for the spring Martinsville race on FOX (2001, 2003-present). The 3.8 is also the lowest for any Sprint Cup telecast this season, falling below the previous mark of 4.0 set the previous week at Fontana. So far this season, all six NASCAR Sprint Cup races have had declines in overnights compared to last year. Despite the lower numbers, NASCAR was easily the top non-NCAA Tournament draw of the weekend on broadcast.(Sports Media Watch)(4-1-2014)

  • Six winners in six races: When NASCAR tweaked its Sprint Cup Series points system again for the 2014 season, the hope was that the winner-take-all format in the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway would virtually guarantee an exciting finish to the season. And by changing the criteria for making the Chase for the Sprint Cup, it was thought that the racing might be a little more intense during the 26-race Sprint Cup regular season. But the results so far in 2014 -- six different winners in six races, along with a host of great finishes -- surely have exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. How rare is it to start a season with six different winners in the first six races? Going back to 1985, it's only happened five times and the most recent occurrence was in 2003, more than a decade ago and the last year before the Chase format began. There's ample reason to believe the streak of new winners might go on a while longer: Last year's top two drivers, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth are winless so far in 2014, as are six more of 2014's top 12 finishers in points. Over the last three decades, the longest stretch of unique winners came in 2000, when the first repeat winner of that season was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the 11th race. Since NASCAR went to a 36-race schedule in 2001, there has never been a season with more than 16 different winners in the first 26 races. In fact, in the 13 seasons that NASCAR has had a 36-race schedule, only five times have there been more than 16 winners during the entire year.(FoxSports)(4-1-2014)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Texas:
    #20-Matt Kenseth............107.2
    #48-Jimmie Johnson..........106.4
    #16-Greg Biffle.............101.8
    #18-Kyle Busch..............101.6
    #14-Tony Stewart.............99.1
    #99-Carl Edwards.............97.5
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr........93.8
    #11-Denny Hamlin.............93.3
    #15-Clint Bowyer.............92.3
    #24Jeff Gordon...............90.6
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races(18 total) among drivers at Texas 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)(4-1-2014)

  • Texas Motor Speedway News & Notes:
    • Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995.
    • The first NASCAR national series race at TMS was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997 - won by Mark Martin.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on April 6, 1997 - won by Jeff Burton.
    • The track underwent a repave between the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
    • In 2011, the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was moved from Sunday to Saturday night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • Texas Motor Speedway hosted its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on November 6, 2005 - won by Carl Edwards.
    • There have been 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 - 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
    • 134 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas; 109 in more than one.
    • Four drivers have made all 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway - Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and Mark Martin.
    • Jeremy Mayfield was the first Coors Light pole winner, in 1998 with a speed of 185.906 mph. The inaugural Coors Light pole at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 was cancelled due to weather conditions.
    • 19 drivers have Coors Light poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. with two each.
    • Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway: Bobby Labonte (2003 and 2004) and Ryan Newman (2005 sweep).
    • 17 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson with three each.
    • Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
    • Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five and Joe Gibbs Racing with four.
    • Three of the 26 (11.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the Coors Light Pole; Kasey Kahne (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2012) and Kyle Busch (2013).
    • The third-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins than any other starting position in the field (five) - most recent: Jimmie Johnson last fall.
    • Six of the 26 (23.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the front row: three from the pole and three from second-place.
    • 20 of the 26 (76.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Four of the 26 (15.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas Motor Speedway is 31st, by Matt Kenseth in 2002.
    • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four.
    • Matt Kenseth leads the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 13; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 10.
    • Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are tied for the series lead in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 16 each; followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 13.
    • Jimmie Johnson leads active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8..476. Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas in the top 10.
    • Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Texas: Matt Kenseth (8.3) and Jimmie Johnson (8.7).
    • There have been three NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Texas Motor Speedway: fall 2006 (334/339), spring 2008 (334/339), and fall 2012 (334/335).
    • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions twice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway; the inaugural event in 1997 and spring 2007. The race has never been rain shortened.
    • Kevin Harvick has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (22).
    • Jeff Burton (4/06/1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4/02/2000) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career race at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • David Ragan (4/09/2011) and Martin Truex Jr. (11/04/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski (11/02/2008) and Trevor Bayne (11/07/2010) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • Two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
    • Nine of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Texas Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas in their first appearance; Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman won in their second appearance at TMS.
    • Jeff Gordon competed at Texas Motor Speedway 16 times before winning in the spring of 2009; the longest span of any the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    • Only three of the 12 winning drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Texas Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (16) Kyle Busch (15) and Kurt Busch (13).
    • Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 23.
    • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway was the (4/4/2004) race won by Elliott Sadler with a MOV of 0.028 second.
    • Matt Kenseth leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Texas Motor Speedway with 775 laps led in 23 starts.
    • One NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has won at Texas Motor Speedway in two different manufacturers: Jeff Burton (1997 - Ford; 2007 - Chevrolet).(NASCAR)(4-1-2014)

  • 4 cars at Texas for JR Motorsports: For the first time in JRM's 10-year history in Nationwide Series competition, the organization will enter four cars in this weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway. JRM has fielded three cars in the season's first five races. However, Texas will mark its first event with four entries. Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88), Chase Elliott (#9), Kevin Harvick (#5) and Regan Smith (#7) will all race under the JRM banner at TMS.(JR Motorsports)(4-1-2014)

  • Suspension parts taken following Martinsville UPDATE: Following Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR confirmed on the Truck Series' Twitter account that suspension parts were taken off of the #54 truck of Darrell Wallace, Jr., the #31 truck of Ben Kennedy, and the #98 truck of Johnny Sauter for further evaluation.(3-30-2014)
    UPDATE: Three teams that compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have been penalized for rules violations discovered during post-race inspection last Sunday (March 30) at Martinsville Speedway. All three teams - the #31, #54, and #98 - have been assessed a P3 level penalty for violating Section 20B-12.5 (D) (offset front hubs found in post-race inspection) of the 2014 NASCAR rule book. As a result, each team's crew chief - Michael Shelton (#31); Jerry Baxter (#54); and Gene Wachtel (#98) - have been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(4-1-2014)


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

Next Race: Daytona 500

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


Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL

FOX, 1:00pm/et
Motor Racing Network
SiriusXM Radio Channel 90

Qualifying:
Sunday, February 15, 2015, 1:10pm/et
FOX, 1:00pm/et
Live Radio online at motorracingnetwork.com

Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 21, 2015, TBA pm/et


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Born in DECEMBER:

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

20 Erin Marco, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, Kinsley Parsons

21 Michael McDowell, Travis Kittleson

22 David Pearson

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

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

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

26 Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick

27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh

28 Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns

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

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

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

Born in JANUARY

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

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

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

4 Trent Owens

5 Dexter Bean, Dennis Connor

6 B.A. Wilson, Malcolm Young

7 Marty Houston, Cindy Page

8 Bobby Hamilton Jr

9 Mark Martin, Stephen Leicht, Briggs Pemberton, Bob Rahilly, Stephen Hawkins, Jim Rosenblum

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

11 Brett Bodine, Jeff Hood, Shane Wallace

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

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

14 Mack Shirley

15 Scotty Hazlett, Chris Ostrander, Tim Andrews

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

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

18 Bill Davis, Christian Fittipaldi

20 Fireball Roberts, Ryan Pepe

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

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

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

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

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

26 Scott Wimmer, Paul Newman, Troy Welty

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

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

29 John Witske, Tommy Houston, Frank Mathalia

30 Wendy Venturini, Sean Caisse, Andy Eversole

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

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