January 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 January 31, 2014

  • New points system, Earnhardt Jr. would had won championship in 2013: In announcing major changes to the Chase for the Sprint Cup on Thursday, NASCAR chairman Brian France touted an emphasis on winning as a primary reason behind the format. But it turns out last year's champion, if the new rules were applied, would have been #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who didn't win a race. According to economist Andrew Maness, who runs the nascarnomics.com site, Earnhardt would have made the final race along with Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon. NASCAR's Mike Forde confirmed the lineup. The driver who won the most races last season, Matt Kenseth with seven, would not have been eligible for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(USA Today)(1-31-2014)

  • Bowyer working on new contract with MWR: In a perfect world, Michael Waltrip Racing would have Clint Bowyer's contract extension signed prior to the Feb. 13 start of Speedweeks. Bowyer, 34, is one of the top free agents this season. With eight career Cup wins and five Chase appearances in the past seven seasons, the Emporia, Kan., native would bolster any organization's roster. "It's obviously something we're talking about," MWR team owner Rob Kauffman said. "Clint's been a great asset to the team. We love having him. It's his third season, and I think everyone wants to keep the band together." Bowyer said he's committed to getting a deal completed so the negotiations do not become a distraction once the 2014 season begins. "We working on it now, trying to get it renewed," he said. "It's time to perform and make sure we maintain that level of success so we can re-up these sponsors and get a contract signed. We should have something soon." When asked whether an extension for Bowyer was based on re-signing 5-hour Energy, the #15 team's sponsor, Kauffman said, "It's not predicated on 5-hour, it's predicated on having adequate funding, but we can deal with that. I think the 5-hour folks are quite happy. It's been a successful run for them. They have to make a decision based on what makes sense for their business, but we're cautiously optimistic that everything will fit together."(in part from FoxSports)(1-31-2014)

  • Teams test at Nashville: many drivers tested at Nashville Superspeedway for one or two days this week: #5-Kasey Kahne, #13-Casey Mears, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #21-Trevor Bayne, #22-Joey Logano, #27-Paul Menard, #31-Ryan Newman, #43-Aric Almirola, #66-Jeff Burton, #83-Ryan Truex, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #99-Carl Edwards.(driver / team twitter accounts)(1-31-2014)

  • Daytona 500 Can Be Viewed Live on Mobile Devices: For the first time ever, FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, is set to offer live, streaming coverage of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23. FOX Sports GO features two separate live streams of the 56th running of the Great American Race: the customary FOX Sports broadcast in English and the FOX Deportes telecast in Spanish. Customers of participating video providers may access the live streams of the Daytona 500 through the FOX Sports GO app for iOS devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGo.com.(FOXSports)(1-31-2014)

  • Ingersoll Rand Partners with Swan Racing: Swan Racing announced that it has signed a partnership deal with Ingersoll Rand, the maker of innovative tools and equipment, to be an associate sponsor on the #26 and #30 Toyota Camrys for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Specifically, the company will provide cordless and compressed air tools to be used in the garage and pit areas for both teams. "Ingersoll Rand's tools and equipment will have a direct and positive impact on Swan Racing's performance on the track each week," said team owner Brandon Davis. "This is the kind of partner who is helping us to be a better team and to compete against the best drivers in the world." Ingersoll Rand's specialty racing tools have been a familiar sight in NASCAR garages from the beginning. NASCAR pit stops were revolutionized in 1960 with the introduction of the Ingersoll Rand 405 and then again in 1972 when the company added the twin hammer impact mechanism as it became the best-selling impact wrench of all time. Today, nearly every pit crew on the NASCAR circuit relies on the Ingersoll Rand ThunderGun for quick tire changes.(Swan Racing)(1-31-2014)

  • Michael Schumacher leaving coma: Michael Schumacher's doctors have started trying to wake up the former Formula Champion from the medically induced coma he's been in since a skiing accident last month, his manager said Thursday. The 45-year-old Schumacher suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock in the French resort of Meribel on Dec. 29. The seven-time F1 champion has been in an induced coma in Grenoble University Hospital since then, although his condition stabilized following surgery after initially being described as critical. "Michael's sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking up process which may take a long time," Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement. Schumacher was being kept artificially sedated and his body temperature was lowered to between 34 and 35 degrees Celsius (93.2 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit), to reduce swelling in the brain, reduce its energy consumption and allow it to rest. Kehm said she was only providing an update now on Schumacher's condition to clarify media leaks, and that no further details would be provided.(ESPN)(1-31-2014)

  • Arrowhead leaves Burton, Turner UPDATE: Sources say that Arrowhead, the primary sponsor for Jeb Burton in the #4 Chevy has abruptly withdrawn its support to Turner Scott Motorsports, suddenly leaving the driver and team in limbo with the 2014 Camping World Truck Series season-opener less than a month away. Reported troubles within the Arrowhead corporate structure have been cited for the sudden and unexpected departure from the South Boston, Virginia driver. In August 2013, federal agents from the USDA's Office of Inspector General and the IRS raided Cherokee Tobacco LLC, the operating company of the Arrowhead electronic cigarette brand, seizing business records. It is currently unknown if the apparent drop of sponsorship is linked to that investigation. After a surprisingly strong freshman season in the Camping World Truck Series, which included a season-high six poles, a win at Texas Motor Speedway, five top-fives and 11 top-10s en route to a fifth place finish in the final championship standings, Burton had been eyed as a champion hopeful this season. Burton under the reins of Mike Hillman Jr. posted one of the fastest laps in preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway two weeks ago adorning the Arrowhead brand. The duo finished fifth in their Daytona debut last February. Turner Scott Motorsports could not be reached for comment and it is unknown if the #4 team will compete in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 on February 21.(Catchfence.com)(1-27-2014)
    UPDATE: Turner Scott Motorsports announced today that Arrowhead, the primary sponsor of the #4 entry driven by Jeb Burton in the Camping World Truck Series, has defaulted on payment to the team. As a result of Arrowhead's unfortunate and untimely failure to make a critical payment, Turner Scott Motorsports will not be able to field Burton and the #4 truck full time for the 2014 season. The loss of the primary sponsor also means that the company must begin making staff reductions. It is anticipated that the reductions will affect up to 20-percent of the current TSM workforce. The company is moving as quickly as possible to give the affected employees the maximum opportunity to seek employment with other teams.
    "The breakout success of Jeb Burton and the entire #4 team in 2013 makes these decisions especially painful," said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. "However, we will do everything we can to put Jeb on the racetrack with our organization going forward. He is a great talent and has a great career ahead of him. Despite this setback, Turner Scott Motorsports remains strong overall and will compete for championships in both the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. We are extremely proud of the talent of our workforce here at TSM, and it is very difficult for us to lose anyone within our organization. We understand the way that this affects the lives of everyone involved, and we will do our best to assist in placement elsewhere in the sport."
    "Obviously, these are tough circumstances for everyone involved, not just for me, but also for my teammates who are affected," said Burton. "I am working with Turner Scott Motorsports to identify any potential opportunities for me to get on the track this year."
    Turner Scott Motorsports is still preparing to compete in the 2014 season with multiple entries in both the Nationwide Series and NCWTS. The team will compete in the NNS with two full-time teams, including Kyle Larson and a second driver to be named in the near future. TSM will compete in the NCWTS with one full-time team (Ben Kennedy in the #31) and one part-time team (Brandon Jones with other drivers to be named later).(Turner Scott Motorsports)(1-31-2014)

  • Hensley, Turner Scott part ways: FoxSports reporter Ray Dunlap reported on his Twitter that Jeff Hensley was released from his duties as crew chief with Turner Scott Motorsports. Last season Hensley guided Miguel Paludo and the #32 team to four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. Additionally, Paludo announced on his Twitter that as of now he does not have a ride for the 2014 season. Taylor Malsam will reportedly join Turner Scott this season. (1-31-2014)

  • Ground Hog Day Special at Pocono: On February 2nd, the eyes of the world will be fixed on Gobbler's Knob as we wait to see if Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, will see his shadow. Will there be six more weeks of winter or can we expect an early spring? In honor of Groundhog Day, Pocono Raceway is offering a 12% discount on Sunday Terrace Platinum, Terrace Vista and Terrace seats for this year's Pocono 400 & GoBowling.com 400! PLUS, based on Phil's prognostication, you could receive a FREE Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass! To purchase tickets and become eligible to receive a free Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass, log on to poconoraceway.com and enter promocode: PHIL.
    If Phil does not see his shadow, this means there will be early Spring and Pocono Raceway will celebrate by providing everyone who purchases a ticket through this promotion with one FREE Pit/Paddock Pass, per transaction. Folks only have until 5:00pm on February 1st to be eligible for this exclusive offer.(Pocono Speedway)(1-31-2014)


    News from January 30, 2014

  • NASCAR Announces Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Format Change: NASCAR announced a new championship format today that will put greater emphasis on winning races all season long, expands the current Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field to 16 drivers, and implements a new round-by-round advancement format that ultimately will reward a battle-tested, worthy champion. "We have arrived at a format that makes every race matter even more, diminishes points racing, puts a premium on winning races and concludes with a best-of-the-best, first-to-the-finish line showdown race - all of which is exactly what fans want," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "We have looked at a number of concepts for the last three years through fan research, models and simulations, and also maintained extensive dialogue with our drivers, teams and partners. The new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be thrilling, easy to understand and help drive our sport's competition to a whole new level."

    Changes announced by France to the championship format include:
    - A victory in the first 26 races all but guarantees a berth in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup - a change that will put an unprecedented importance on winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race all season long
    - Expanding the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers, with those drivers advancing to what now will be known as the NASCAR Chase Grid
    - The number of championship drivers in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship will decrease after every three Chase races, from 16 to start in the Chase Grid; 12 after Chase race No. 3; eight after Chase race No. 6; and four after Chase race No. 9
    - The first three races of the Chase (27-29) will be known as the Challenger Round
    - Races 30-32 will be known as the Contender Round
    - Races 33-35 will be the Eliminator Round and race No. 36 will be the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship
    - A win by a championship-eligible driver in any Chase race automatically clinches the winning driver a spot in the next Chase round
    - Four drivers will enter the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with a chance at the title, with the highest finisher among those four capturing the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

    Eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup: The top 15 drivers with the most wins over the first 26 races will earn a spot in the NASCAR Chase Grid - provided they have finished in the top 30 in points and attempted to qualify for every race (except in rare instances). The 16th Chase position will go to the points leader after race No. 26, if he/she does not have a victory. In the event that there are 16 or more different winners over 26 races, the only winless driver who can earn a Chase Grid spot would be the points leader after 26 races.
    If there are fewer than 16 different winners in the first 26 races, the remaining Chase Grid positions will go to those winless drivers highest in points. If there are 16 or more winners in the first 26 races, the ties will first be broken by number of wins, followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver points.
    As was implemented in 2011, prior to the start of the Chase, all Chase Grid drivers will have their points adjusted to 2,000, with three additional bonus points added to their total for each win in the first 26 races.

    Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Structure After the third Chase race, the Chase Grid will be left with 12 drivers. After the sixth Chase race, the field will drop to eight drivers, and following the ninth Chase race, only four drivers will remain in championship contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title.
    The first round (races 27-29) will be called the Challenger Round. If a driver in the Chase Grid wins a Challenger Round race, the driver automatically advances to the next round. The remaining available positions 1-12 that have not been filled based upon wins will be based on points. Each will then have their points reset to 3,000.
    The second round (races 30-32) will be called the Contender Round. Likewise, if a driver in the top 12 in points wins a race in the Contender Round, the driver automatically advances to the next round. The remaining available positions 1-8 that have not been filled based upon wins will be based on points. Each will then have their points reset to 4,000.
    The third round (races 33-35) will be called the Eliminator Round. If a driver in the top eight in points wins a race in the Eliminator Round, the driver automatically advances to the next round. The remaining available positions 1-4 that have not been filled based upon wins will be based on points. Each will then have their points reset to 5,000.
    Additionally, drivers who are eliminated in the Contender and Eliminator Rounds will have their points readjusted. Each eliminated driver will return to the Chase-start base of 2,000 (plus any regular season wins bonus points), with their accumulated points starting with race No. 27 added. This will allow all drivers not in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title to continue to race for the best possible season-long standing, with final positions fifth-through-16th still up for grabs.
    Four Drivers, First-to-the-Finish Championship Finale The 36th and final race of the season will be the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Simply stated, the highest finisher in that race among the remaining four eligible drivers will win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. Bonus points for laps led will not apply in the season finale, so the official finishing position alone will decide the champion.
    All rules outlined above also apply to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner championship structure.(NASCAR)(1-30-2014)

  • Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Format Change FAQ: NASCAR Q&A about the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup:
    Q. Does this new Chase format emphasize winning?
    A. Absolutely. The easiest way to make the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is to win. And winning is also the fastest way to advance in the Chase and become one of the four drivers competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Q. How will the Chase Grid drivers be selected?
    A. Positions 1-16 on the Chase Grid will be determined by the drivers with the greatest number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins after the first 26 races. However, the 16th position is reserved for the points leader if he/she does not have a win.
    Q. How will the Chase Grid be seeded?
    A. All drivers will have their points total reset to 2,000 points. Drivers receive 3 additional bonus points for each win during the fir st 26 races.
    Q. Is there a minimum points standing that a driver who records a win during the first 26 races must achieve to make the Chase Grid?
    A. Yes. A driver must be in the Top 30 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points following the first 26 races AND have attempted to qualify for all of the first 26 races.
    Q. What if a driver is prevented from competing in one or more of the first 26 races due to injury or illness?
    A. NASCAR, for rare instances, can waive the requirement of attempting to qualify for all of the first 26 races as long as the driver is in the Top 30 in points.
    Q. Which races are the advancement races?
    A. Once the field is reset after the 26th event, there are advancement races following the 29th event (Dover); 32nd event (Talladega); and 35th event (Phoenix). There will be four drivers competing for the Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead.
    Q. Will lap leader bonus points still be applied?
    A. In all but the final race, bonus points for laps led still will be awarded in the Challenger, Contender and Eliminator Rounds. However, at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, the four drivers will start the race tied and there will be no bonus points .for laps led, etc. The highest finisher among that group will be the champion.
    Q. What happens to a Chase Grid driver's points if he/she doesn't advance to the next round?
    A. Drivers who don't advance to the next round will have their point totals reset to the Chase-start base of 2,000 (with any regular-season wins bonus points), plus the additional points they've earned during the Chase.(NASCAR)(1-30-2014)

  • Gordon to unveil new Axalta scheme UPDATE: Jeff Gordon will unveil Axalta Racing's #24 Chevrolet SS paint scheme on Thursday, January 30th at the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 5:00 pm/et. At the event, Gordon will receive a donation from Axalta Coating Systems for Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. The new scheme was designed by artist Sam Bass.
    See images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(1-30-2014)

  • Brian Vickers Cleared by Doctors, awaits NASCAR clearance: #55-Brian Vickers has been cleared by doctors to drive after missing the final five races of last season because of a blood clot - the second time since 2010 a blood clot forced him out the car. Vickers must still gain NASCAR clearance to compete. Vickers missed much of the 2010 season after blood clots were discovered in both lungs and his left leg in May. He was placed on blood thinning medication and didn't race again that year. He also had heart surgery in July 2010 to repair a small hole. Vickers' latest blood clot came after he suffered a mid-foot sprain in a crash at Bristol in August - about a month after he won at New Hampshire. He wore a boot to help the sprain but that caused the blood clot by constricting his right calf. He was put on blood thinning medication, ending his season.
    Vickers said doctors have told him that there's a "low percentage'' that he'll get another blood clot if it is "unprovoked.'' Vickers noted that his most recent blood clot was the result of the boot he wore. Had it not been for that, he likely wouldn't have suffered a blood clot last year.
    Now that he's cleared, Vickers will test for Michael Waltrip Racing at New Smyrna Speedway next week. This year marks his first full NASCAR Sprint Cup season since 2011. That's also the last time he ran in the Daytona 500. "To get back down there is going to be special,'' Vickers said Thursday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour. "I'm curious to see if it's going to feel the same this year, that excitement, that energy and that love, as it did the first time I went to Daytona. I have a feeling it will. I think being gone for so long and going through so much since the last time I was there, it's going to have a similar feel to me. That's a great feeling.'' It's not just Daytona that excites the 30-year-old Vickers, who had run a partial schedule the past two seasons. "It's not often that you hear a racecar driver excited about testing,'' he said. "I'm really looking forward to testing next week. I'm really looking forward to getting out there and getting in a car and making laps. That's something I haven't done in three months.''(Motor Racing Network)(1-30-2014)

  • #15 sponsors announced: Michael Waltrip Racing announced an expanded sponsorship roster for 2014 today during the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway media tour. The announcement included that 5-hour ENERGY enters its third consecutive year as primary sponsor of Clint Bowyer's #15 Toyota. Bowyer will carry the 5-hour ENERGY logos for 24 races in 2014. PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil returns this year with the PEAK logos will adorn Bowyer's #15 Toyota at the Auto Club in March, Talladega in May and Chicago in Sept. PEAK also announced the second year of its "PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge," a nationwide search to find a racer who has what it takes to be a professional driver. AAA Mid-Atlantic will serve as the primary sponsor on Bowyer's #15 Toyota at the April race at Richmond and the Oct race at Martinsville. AAA Mid-Atlantic continues as a major associate on all MWR Toyotas in 2014. AAA remains the Official Roadside Assistance, Travel and Insurance Agency Partner of MWR. Charter will serve as the primary sponsor on Bowyer's #15 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte. Charter, the fourth largest cable operator in America, will serve as an associate sponsor on all MWR Toyotas in 2014. Kansas Strong will team up with MWR and native Kansan Bowyer to promote its message about the role oil and gas plays in advancing Kansas and sustaining the nation's energy supply. The logo will adorn Bowyer's fire suit throughout the year and on the #15 Toyota at the two Kansas races.(MWR)(1-30-2014)

  • Skittles Returns to NASCAR with JGR and the #18 team: The Skittles brand ­ made by Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc. ­ will make its comeback to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the 2014 season as part of Mars, Inc.'s longtime partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing. The Skittles #18 Camry will take the track for two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season, piloted by NASCAR star Kyle Busch on March 2 at Phoenix and March 16 at Bristol. For the first time in more than 10 years, the Skittles brand will join the lineup of Mars, Inc.'s world-class sponsors at Joe Gibbs Racing including, M&M'S, Doublemint and Snickers in the 2014 season.
    "We're proud to bring one of America's most iconic candy brands back to NASCAR and eager to see what victories 'The Rainbow' brings this season as Kyle Busch takes the wheel of the Skittles #18 Camry," said John Starkey, Sr. Director of Confections at Wm. Wrigley Co. "Sometimes 'The Rainbow' likes to mix things up and now seemed like a great time for Skittles to return to the track to have some fun."
    "I am honored to help Skittles make a comeback to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Busch, driver of the #18 Camry. "Skittles was one of my favorite candies growing up and still is today, so I am thrilled to be driving the Skittles paint scheme this season." Skittles brand first made its NASCAR debut in 1998 in partnership with MB2 Motorsports with the #36 Pontiac and driver Derrike Cope. In 1999, driver Ernie Irvan took the wheel of the Skittles #36 Pontiac and went on to take the top starting spot at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(JGR), image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(1-30-2014)

  • Nemechek partners up to form new team UPDATE, with MWR: Veteran NASCAR team owners Jay Robinson and Joe Nemechek of NEMCO-JRR have partnered with a group of five business leaders including Atlanta based, Nat Hardwick, managing partner of Morris|Hardwick|Schneider and CEO and Chairman of The Board of LandCastle Title, to form Identity Ventures Racing. Identity Ventures Racing will be led by managing partner, Jay Robinson, crew chief, Scott Eggleston and driver, Joe Nemechek. The team will be fielding Toyotas with engines supplied by Race Engines Plus. "I am very confident about the future of our race team. We have a very accomplished group of partners, with vast experience in business and marketing which will bring new opportunities to our sponsors and the team." stated managing member, Jay Robinson. Hardwick stated, "As both an entrepreneur and sports fan at heart, I am excited about the opportunity to step out into an entirely new arena on both fronts. The team at Identity Racing has a winning combination of experience, business sense, and passion for the sport; I look forward to being a part of the team."(Identity Ventures Racing)(1-30-2014)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing announced a partnership with Jay Robinson Racing enabling the #66 Toyota Camry to race in all 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup events. Waltrip will drive the #66 in the Daytona 500 and again in the May Talladega race. Jeff Burton will race the #66 in six to eight races during the season, including his first race on March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Robinson has named Joe Nemechek as the primary driver for the remainder of the races.(MWR), not sure if this deal has anything to do with Identity Ventures Racing or if the #87 team will run in 2014.(1-30-2014)

  • 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Honors Spectrum of Skills: During a ceremony that celebrated talents and personalities from a wide array of eras and racing levels, five legends added their names - and astounding legacies - to the list of inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Their induction - the fifth in the hall's history - now puts the number of inductees at 25. Those inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., tonight included Maurice Petty, Fireball Roberts, Jack Ingram, Tim Flock and Dale Jarrett.
    Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises, powered his brother Richard Petty to most of his NASCAR premier series record 200 wins and all seven of his championships. Petty, who has the honor of being the first engine builder inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, became the fourth member of the Petty family to be enshrined - joining Richard, father Lee Petty and cousin Dale Inman. "It's an honor and a privilege for me to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame," Petty said. "Who would have thought growing up that there would be guys, four of us, out of a small, rural country community that would be in the (NASCAR) Hall of Fame."
    Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, who was inducted by his grandson Matt McDaniel, was considered by many as the first superstar of NASCAR. A seven-time winner at his home track of Daytona International Speedway - including the 1962 Daytona 500 - Roberts earned his nickname as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school. Roberts passed away in 1964. "We are proud that our grandfather, who sacrificed his life to racing, is being honored by NASCAR, the organization that set the scene for a life well lived," McDaniel said. "There is no doubt that our grandfather would have shared this special night with everyone who influenced and had an impact on him during his career, including his family, friends, colleagues and fans."
    Jack Ingram, arguably the greatest driver in NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series history, won championships in two different series throughout his prolific career. From 1972-74, he won three consecutive Late Model Sportsman - the precursor to the current-day NASCAR Nationwide Series - and two NASCAR Busch Series titles, including the inaugural championship in 1982. Overall, Ingram racked up more than 300 NASCAR wins and 12 track championships. "I'm honored to be here tonight ...it's beyond words," Ingram said. "This is a major lifetime achievement for me. While I've won driving the car, I had plenty of help and support along the way; otherwise I wouldn't be here tonight."
    Tim Flock, another member of a successful racing family, raced during NASCAR's formative years - and became only the second driver to win multiple championships. Along with titles in 1952 and '55, Flock scored 18 victories in 1955 - a single-season record until Richard Petty broke it with 27 wins in 1967. Flock, with brothers Fonty and Bob and sister Ethel Mobley, are the only four siblings to start a NASCAR event (Daytona Beach & Road Course, July 10, 1949). Flock passed away in 1998. "I bet my darling and all the passed drivers are having one huge race up in heaven tonight," said Frances Flock, Tim's widow. "My darling passed away 16 years ago. He would be so proud and humbled to receive this honor tonight and is still remembered for his racing career."
    Few exceled on the big stage like Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR premier series champion. Among Jarrett's 32 career premier series victories were three Daytona 500 wins (1993, '96 and 2000) and two Brickyard 400 victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (1996 and '99). With his induction, Jarrett joins his father Ned as the fourth father-son combination in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The others are Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., and Lee and Richard/Maurice Petty. "I'm honored to accept this induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame," said Jarrett. "I have always considered it a privilege to represent NASCAR during my career. ... I am honored that many of you could join me here tonight. Just know that if we worked together during my 31 years of driving or the last six years in the world of television, I have thought about you and appreciate the opportunity we had to work together. Your efforts and sacrifices are the reason I'm here tonight."
    Each of the five inductees had an inductor who officially welcomed them into the hall. The inductors for the five inductees: Maurice was inducted by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty; Fireball Roberts was inducted by his former engine builder Waddell Wilson; Jack Ingram was inducted by fellow competitor Harry Gant; Tim Flock was inducted by Humpy Wheeler, with whom he worked at Charlotte Motor Speedway for 30 years; and Dale Jarrett was inducted by country music superstar Blake Shelton, with whom he has been friends for the past decade.
    Active drivers introduced each inductee video during tonight's program. The list of drivers who participated: Aric Almirola for Maurice Petty; Jeff Gordon for Fireball Roberts; Jimmie Johnson for Jack Ingram; Kevin Harvick for Tim Flock; and Tony Stewart for Dale Jarrett.
    Prior to tonight's Induction Ceremony was the presentation of the second Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, awarded to Chris Economaki. Known as the "Dean of American Motorsports," Economaki, who died in 2012 at age 91, was the editor, publisher and columnist for National Speed Sport News for more than 60 years, a weekly racing publication he began selling at race tracks at the age of 14. He began his television broadcast career with ABC in 1961 and with CBS Sports helped make the Daytona 500 one of racing's marquee events.
    See more info on the 2014 class on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 page.(NASCAR)(1-30-2014)

  • Biffle and Edwards in final year of contracts: With the contracts of #99-Carl Edwards and #16-Greg Biffle up for renewal at the end of 2014, signing the two Roush Fenway Racing drivers for another term - before their statuses become a distraction - could be more taxing than worrying whether either veteran qualifies for one of the 16 places in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. "It's our intent and goal to re-sign both of them," Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark said Wednesday. "They've spent their careers at Roush, and we hope they retire (here). We've had those discussions and they've been actively involved in a lot of the changes and stuff that have been going on, so they're pretty optimistic about the future. I think they're pretty optimistic about the future, but I don't have any concrete news to report on it."(FoxSports)(1-30-2014)

  • Hendrick still looking for sponsorship for Earnhardt Jr. UPDATE: Car owner Rick Hendrick says that he's not worried that Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 team does not have sponsorship for 13 races less than a month before the Daytona 500. "We've talked to a lot of people,'' Hendrick said Tuesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour. "I want a long-term deal that fits and isn't a conflict with the other guys.'' He's said that they've had potential sponsors who have conflicted with sponsors already with Hendrick Motorsports. "We will listen to anybody, and we're always looking, but there's no like, golly we've got to find somebody,'' Hendrick said. National Guard returns and will be Earnhardt's sponsor for 20 races. PepsiCo's brands will serve as a primary sponsor for five races, leaving 13 races (36 point races and two non-points races).(Motor Racing Network)(1-29-2014)
    UPDATE: Rick Hendrick will wait patiently for the right sponsor to come along for Dale Earnhardt Jr., spending his own money or leveraging other business partners to fill the races for the sport's most popular driver. Hendrick has routinely said he wouldn't discount the price for Earnhardt, the son of the NASCAR Hall of Famer and the winner of the most popular driver award in each of the last 11 seasons. He emphasized that the Hendrick Motorsports team has no timetable or deadline to land a new deal. "We will listen to anybody and we're always looking, but there's no (feeling of), 'Golly, we've got to find somebody,' because we've got two really good sponsors," Hendrick said. "I'm wanting a long-term deal that fits that isn't a conflict with the other guys. We don't put any timetable on it. We have plenty of time."(Sporting News)(1-30-2014)

  • #2 crew chief Wolfe extends contract: Paul Wolfe signed a four-year contract extension with Penske Racing earlier this month. The crew chief, who has honed his skills in that role since 2006, joined forces with #2-Brad Keselowski in 2010. Together, the pair won the Nationwide Series title that season and went on to win the first Sprint Cup championship for Roger Penske in 2012. "I'm excited -- and committed," said Wolfe during the Sprint Media Tour on Wednesday. Penske Racing signed Wolfe's deal to run concurrent with Keselowski, who re-signed in October.(FoxSports)(1-30-2014)

  • Kurt Busch still considering Indy 500 run UPDATE2: Sprint Cup driver #41-Kurt Busch said he expects to have "a pretty good indication" by the end of January if he will make what he expects is his last attempt to enter the Indianapolis 500. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion completed IndyCar's rookie orientation program for the race last season in a car prepared by Andretti Autosport and said he has a standing offer from that team -- plus another -- to enter the May 25 spectacle. Doing so would make the Stewart-Haas Racing driver the first since Robby Gordon in 2004 to contest both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's Memorial Day weekend offering, on the same day. Busch said he has a "couple of strong leads for advertising partners" but is concerned over a lack of testing time and that the Indianapolis 500 is the first oval event on the 2014 IndyCar schedule. His age, he said, might make this his last shot. "Testing, we still would probably need to go to Fontana [Calif.], or we're just going to have to bite the bullet and show up at Indy and let 'er rip," he said. "But I turn 36 this summer and to me that's like an artificial drawing-a-line in the sand of 'I'm getting too old.' I can't teach myself new tricks. You can show up at Indy as a 20-year-old and go and do that. So I'm thinking this is probably the cutoff year."(ESPN)(1-19-2014)
    UPDATE: Kurt Busch says there is a "70 percent'' chance he'll compete in the Indianapolis 500 this year. Busch said Monday during the opening day of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour that progress has been made to make him the first NASCAR driver to to run in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day since Robby Gordon last did a decade ago. Busch said that Stewart-Haas Racing co-owners Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have given their approval to his attempt. "It's actually grabbed better traction the last couple of weeks, it's gotten me more excited,'' Busch said. "The teams that are showing interest, the sponsors and the opportunity is there. I think we've even rounded up some partners that will make transportation better. I don't know when we'll have a decision but we now have to understand how NASCAR's qualifying procedures will work and the time I cannot be out of the Cup car to go to do Indianapolis stuff. We have to make sure we balance that.'' Busch said he's had interest from Andretti Autosport, the team owned by Michael Andretti, and another team he declined to name.(Motor Racing Network)(1-28-2014)
    UPDATE2: Chip Ganassi Racing has had a preliminary discussion with Kurt Busch about running the Indianapolis 500. "I've talked to him," Ganassi team President Steve Lauletta said Tuesday. "I don't know if it's going to work for us. We haven't gotten to a point where we know if we can run a fifth car for the Indy 500. If we did that, then we'd be able to have a more detailed conversation. But we haven't made that decision yet."(Associated Press)(1-30-2014)

  • Changes to Keselowski's team brings hope: Brad Keselowski hopes a change in the culture of his pit crew will help propel his #2 Team Penske Ford back into championship contention. After winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 2012, Keselowski missed the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup last year, for a variety of reasons. But the most readily identifiable weakness of the #2 team showed up during pit stops. During the offseason, Team Penske took measures to correct the deficiency. Keselowski's Ford will have two new tire changers and a new tire carrier this year. In addition, owner Roger Penske has hired former University at Buffalo wrestling coach Jim Beichner to oversee the training and conditioning of the pit crews.(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-30-2014)

  • Trevor Bayne doing well but doesn't want an MS campaign to support his racing: #21-Trevor Bayne doesn't mind telling his story about racing with multiple sclerosis, but he's not interested in having that define him. Bayne, who won the 2011 Daytona 500 but then missed part of that season because of fatigue and double vision, announced in November that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He has not had any symptoms in the offseason and is ready for the 2014 season, the Roush Fenway Racing driver said Monday during the Sprint Media Tour. Bayne, who finished sixth in the Nationwide Series standings in 2013, will run the full Nationwide season while also competing in at least a dozen Cup races for Wood Brothers Racing. While Roush Fenway landed AdvoCare as a sponsor for Bayne's Nationwide car, he obviously could run more Cup races with more sponsorship. For now, Bayne isn't interested in doing any campaigns that center around his multiple sclerosis. "I don't want to be a racecar driver because I have a campaign behind him - I want to earn my spot here," said Bayne, who often talks about his deep religious faith. "That doesn't really interest me at this point, but I definitely want to be a spokesperson for anybody going through anything tough and see that with Jesus, you can overcome anything. That's my message. It's not just about MS." Bayne said he trains three hours a day, which includes running and swimming as well as biking. He has not had to alter his training program. "Healthwise I feel great. ... With no symptoms, there's no worries," Bayne said. "If I got down the road in six months and I noticed something, I would definitely see a doctor about it. At this point, I haven't had to do any of that. I do go back for checkups regularly and get their input because it would be not so smart not to do that. So far, it's all been positive. I can go hard in training and push myself way harder out of the car than I do in the car."(Sporting News)(1-30-2014)

  • Wendy Venturini expands co-anchor role with PRN, to debut new podcast: The Performance Racing Network (PRN) announced the launch of "Racing Home" with Wendy Venturini and her expanded role with the network for 2014. The new web series that will debut January 30 on GoPRN.com and iTunes will feature behind-the-scenes interviews focusing on the NASCAR family and its members. Venturini knows a thing or two about being a part of the NASCAR family and has been around the sport since she was young, following her father as he competed in the NSCS and the ARCA Re/Max Series. In addition to her NASCAR family roots, Venturini also boasts a long and impressive resume covering the sport for DirecTV, SPEED, FoxSports1 and PRN. In addition to hosting "Racing Home" Venturini will expand her role with PRN even further in 2014 by co-anchoring the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) broadcasts for PRN from Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway and will also become the first female to co-anchor a NSCS broadcast when she does so during the Sylvania 300 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Sept.(PRN)(1-30-2014)

  • Ty Dillon to fly with the Thunderbirds: Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops/WESCO/Yuengling Light Lager Chevy Camaro in the Nationwide Series, is scheduled to take flight with the historic United States Air Force Thunderbird team in a F-16 Fighter Jet on Feb. 18 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dillon, who will be competing full time in the Nationwide Series this year, was invited by the U.S. Air Force after his brother, Austin Dillon, took flight last February. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to depart from Daytona Beach International Airport for a short flight around the Daytona Beach area. The Thunderbirds, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, perform approximately 40 maneuvers in a demonstration. The highly-maneuverable, multi-role fighter jets, known as the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons, typically perform 80 air demonstrations per year. The jets are equipped with GoPro cameras to capture in-flight moments.(RCR)(1-30-2014)


    News from January 29, 2014

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and TV Tonight: the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Charlotte, NC is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 and to be broadcast live at 7:00pm/et on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty and Fireball Roberts are the five 2014 inductees.

  • Ryan Blaney to make Cup debut, run more NNS races: Team Penske announced that 20-year-old Ryan Blaney will expand his driving duties beginning in 2014. The third-generation driver will compete in 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races with Team Penske in 2014 and will also make his debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), running at least two events behind the wheel of the #12 SKF Ford Fusion with the first coming at Kansas Speedway in May. Blaney's first Nationwide Series start of 2014 is scheduled to come at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 22. The remainder of his NNS schedule will be announced at a later date. In addition to Kansas, Blaney's other scheduled Sprint Cup Series start will come at Talladega Superspeedway in October. "I am excited to continue my racing career with Team Penske," said Blaney, who's earned one win, two top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 10 starts behind the wheel of the #22 over the last two years. "I'm really looking forward to racing more in the Nationwide Series and it will be a dream come true for me to race in the Sprint Cup Series. I want to thank Roger Penske, our team sponsors and everyone at Team Penske for this opportunity and for believing in me." In addition to his expanded schedule for Team Penske this season, Blaney will also continue to race full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR), the team owned by Blaney's Team Penske teammate. Blaney, the son of Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney, has produced two wins, one pole and 16 top-10 finishes in 28 Truck Series races for the BKR team over the last two seasons. He finished sixth in the series point standings last season. "We believe Ryan is one of the most promising young drivers in NASCAR and we want to continue his growth and development with Team Penske," said team owner Roger Penske. "Ryan's win at Kentucky in the #22 car last year showed what he is capable of and we hope to experience many more moments in Victory Lane with him in the coming seasons."(Team Penske)(1-29-2014)

  • McClure joins Front Row for Daytona 500 UPDATE: Eric McClure has been announced as the driver of the #35 Front Row Motorsports Ford for the Daytona 500. Hefty and Reynolds Wrap will be the sponsor.(Front Row Motorsports Twitter & Eric McClure Twitter), McClure has three Sprint Cup Series starts, one each in 2004 (Talladega), 2005 (Las Vegas) and 2006 (Talladega) with a best finished of 26th at Talladega in 2004.
    UPDATE: Eric McClure will make a return to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, joining Front Row Motorsports for the season-opening Daytona 500 in the #35 Ford Fusion. The veteran driver will carry the support of Hefty/Reynolds Wrap as primary sponsor in what would be his first start in "The Great American Race." The Sprint Cup team announced the one-race McClure-Hefty/Reynolds Wrap partnership at the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C., as the team discussed its expanding partner program and on-track performance growth. McClure is an 11-year veteran of NASCAR's Nationwide Series. He earned a career-best eighth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway last February in the Nationwide Series' season opener. The 35-year-old Chilhowie, Va., native also has three career Sprint Cup starts. The Daytona 500 would be his first Cup start for Front Row Motorsports. "This is an exciting time for me and certainly our sponsoring brands as well," said McClure. "In our sport, and for my family, there is nothing greater than the Daytona 500 and this opportunity will enhance our program in a unique way. Front Row and I have a history together; they have always represented their partners and ours in a professional manner. They are very strong on the superspeedways and I enjoy this type of racing more than any other. Racing in the Daytona 500 has always been a dream of mine and I look forward to getting to Daytona, working with this team, and trying to achieve this goal."(Breaking Limits/FRM)(1-29-2014)

  • U.S. Air Force Refuels Partnership with RPM's #43: The U.S. Air Force will once again join Richard Petty Motorsports and the iconic #43 Ford as a vehicle to connect with America's best young adults for the sixth consecutive season. Aric Almirola will pilot the Air Force Racing Ford for the two most patriotic race weekends of the year: Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway. In addition, Almirola will continue to support at-track swear-ins for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and entertain active duty military guests. As part of the partnership, the U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the historic #43 for the entirety of the 2014 season. The Air Force will continue their experiential marketing at NASCAR races, bringing the #43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and "Hangar 43" interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also continue to hold swear-in ceremonies of Airmen in the Delayed Entry Program at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, giving fans an up-close, in-person look at the moment when groups of young Americans commit themselves to serving their country.(Breaking Limits for RPM)(1-29-2014)

  • Nationwide to sponsor Stenhouse in 2014: Nationwide Insurance has finalized its 2014 sponsorship of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with season opening events at Daytona International Speedway. Nationwide's primary sponsorship of Stenhouse in the #17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion includes seven races, while maintaining its associate sponsor status for the balance of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "Our partnership with Ricky was an easy decision and race fans can expect to see more of him when we introduce our new season kick-off campaigns in a few weeks," said Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer for Nationwide Insurance. "Our company has been an active NASCAR sponsor for 15 years, but fielding our first car in 'The Great American Race' will make the 2014 season even more special for our members, agents and associates."
    Stenhouse will drive the #17 Nationwide Insurance Ford Fusion in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on Feb. 15 in the Sprint Unlimited, Feb. 20 in The Budweiser Duel and on Feb. 23 in the Daytona 500. Other races include March 16 at Bristol, April 12 at Darlington, April 26 at Richmond and June 1 at Dover. "To be with Nationwide Insurance and reunited with my two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series championship crew chief, Mike Kelley, for seven races, will be pretty special for us," said Stenhouse. "I am thrilled Nationwide is partnering with me this year and look forward to creating something magical together again."(RFR), see an image of the scheme on the #17 Team Schemes page.(1-29-2014)

  • Hendrick still looking for sponsorship for Earnhardt Jr.: Car owner Rick Hendrick says that he's not worried that Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 team does not have sponsorship for 13 races less than a month before the Daytona 500. "We've talked to a lot of people,'' Hendrick said Tuesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour. "I want a long-term deal that fits and isn't a conflict with the other guys.'' He's said that they've had potential sponsors who have conflicted with sponsors already with Hendrick Motorsports. "We will listen to anybody, and we're always looking, but there's no like, golly we've got to find somebody,'' Hendrick said. National Guard returns and will be Earnhardt's sponsor for 20 races. PepsiCo's brands will serve as a primary sponsor for five races, leaving 13 races (36 point races and two non-points races).(Motor Racing Network)(1-29-2014)

  • Austin Dillon Makes Guest Appearance "Nashville": In an all-new episode of ABC's Nashville, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #3-Austin Dillon guest stars when country superstar Luke Wheeler (Will Chase) surprises music legend Rayna James (Connie Britton) by showcasing James' brand on a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The episode entitled, "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right," premieres on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 10:00 pm/et. "It was definitely a fun experience spending the day on the set with the cast of Nashville," said Dillon, who will pilot the #3 Dow/Cheerios Chevrolet under the Richard Childress Racing banner this season. "I feel most comfortable in a race car but it's cool to have experiences like this where you can be on the set of a popular television show and meet new people. The director kept telling me to slow down because I was reading my lines too quickly. I guess I do everything fast." Dillon, along with other members of the cast, will Tweet live during the episode. For a behind-the-scenes look at Dillon's Nashville experience, please visit NASCAR.com.(RCR)(1-29-2014)

  • RCR and ECR Engines Form Partnership with Lucas Oil Products: Richard Childress Racing has entered into a long-term partnership with Lucas Oil Products, effective immediately. This marks a return to the NASCAR track and garage for the Indianapolis-based lubricants company. "Richard and I have a lot in common, as we both like long-term relationships and neither of us want to settle for anything but the best," said Forrest Lucas, founder and CEO of Lucas Oil. "Knowing that Richard wanted a long-term oil partner and consistent high-performance with research and development support for his engine program, I wanted to commit our resources in R&D and production. He committed his personnel to help with the development and we think we'll have the premier oil performance in the sport. Richard has a great staff from top to bottom and that's what we need. We look forward to being back in NASCAR and using this partnership to tell the 'Lucas story' and what our products stand for. We've already developed a strong relationship with RCR and ECR."
    RCR and ECR Engines will benefit from having a lubricants partner with strong roots in racing and one that understands the high-powered competition platform. In turn, the technology can transfer over to short-track racers and everyday consumers. "We're very proud to be associated with a company like Lucas Oil and represent their market-leading products," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "Forrest and his group have been great to work with and have developed some incredible products for us to compete, win races and contend for championships in NASCAR. All levels of racing have benefitted from the work and commitment Forrest has made to the racing community. We are looking forward to winning races with Lucas Oil inside our cars and promoting the Lucas brand on the outside of the cars."
    Lucas Oil becomes the official motor oil of ECR Engines and a technical partner to both RCR and ECR Engines. Their oil will run in RCR's #3 and #31 entrants in the Sprint Cup Series and in all of RCR's Nationwide Series entrants this year. "We have been testing their products diligently for quite some time now with strong results," said Richie Gilmore, COO of ECR Engines. "Everyone at Lucas Oil has gone above and beyond to make sure this partnership was going to work on both ends. They have durable, reliable products and we have had nothing but great results with everything we've tested."(RCR)(1-29-2014)

  • K-LOVE Joins Leavine Family Racing for Daytona 500: K-LOVE will sponsor Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) during the season-opening Daytona 500, the race team announced Monday during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. K-LOVE will be making its sponsorship premiere at Daytona with the Concord, N.C.-based team; the announcement has also revealed that K-LOVE will appear on the #95 Ford Fusion for a total of three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this season as a primary sponsor, including the road course race at Sonoma Raceway and another race to be determined, and it will also serve as an associate sponsor throughout the season. "We are excited for the new season and our partnership with Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing," said K-LOVE chief creative officer David Pierce. "K-LOVE has supported Michael for five years and we appreciate his skills and his heart both on the track and off. Michael is always encouraging people in their life and we're excited to encourage his success again this year!"
    While the race team continues to secure other sponsorships, team owner Bob Leavine is thrilled to be coming to the DAYTONA 500 with K-LOVE on board. "K-LOVE represents the values we have at LFR," Leavine said. "This is a partnership that is beneficial to everyone involved."(Leavine Family Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #95 Team Schemes page.(1-29-2014)

  • Childress: 2000 conversation with Earnhardt played role in decision to bring back the #3: Team owner Richard Childress' decision to run the #3 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with grandson Austin Dillon behind the wheel wasn't made lightly. And as Childress reiterated Tuesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, the decision wasn't made recently either. In fact, when Childress and seven-time Sprint Cup champion Dale Earnhardt discussed the prospect of Earnhardt's retirement in 2000, the future of the #3 Chevy was part of the conversation. "That decision was actually made 14 years ago, when Dale and I were talking about his retirement, what he wanted to do when he retired, how he wanted to help me with the 3 and the team to go out and put a driver in it that could go out and win championships and win races," Childress said. "It was not in the plans at all to put anybody in the car until the right person was there. Yeah, if Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. had wanted to do it, or Kelley Earnhardt, or Kerry or now Jeffrey, whoever-it would be an Earnhardt or one of my family who would get in that 3 car. But that decision was made 14 years ago, as me and him sat in an old car there in the rain one day, talking about his retirement." Earnhardt never got the chance to retire on his own terms. In February 2001, he lost his life in a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500, and the #3 has been absent from the Sprint Cup series since. Dillon has run the number in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, winning a championship in each, but its return to NASCAR's foremost series is an event of special significance - and of no small controversy in some quarters of "Earnhardt Nation." The debate aside, however, Childress already looks forward to the day the #3 makes its competitive return. "That decision to bring the 3 back - it's going to be really neat to see it out there that morning [at Daytona] when I walk out there," Childress said.(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-29-2014)

  • Hendrick wants Earnhardt's input on new crew chief: Although #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he doesn't need to give car owner Rick Hendrick any input on his 2015 crew chief, Earnhardt might not have a choice. Hendrick is planning on demanding that Earnhardt play a role in who will replace Steve Letarte when Letarte goes to NBC after this season. Earnhardt told the media the day after Letarte's announcement that he had confidence in Hendrick and his Hendrick Motorsports executives to make the right choice and that his input wasn't needed. "He told you that, but I'm sure at the end of the day, he'd say, 'Why did you pick him?'" Hendrick said with a laugh Tuesday during the Sprint Media Tour. "He has a lot of confidence in us to make the right decision. But at the same time, the chemistry has got to be there. We want him involved. We're going to get him involved."(Sporting News)(1-29-2014)

  • Truex Jr. introduced as #78 driver, but on vacation: Officials from Furniture Row Racing participated in the mid-afternoon session of the 32nd annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. Martin Truex Jr. takes over driving duties of the #78 Furniture Row Chevy for the 2014 season. Furniture Row Racing is located in Denver, Colo., and is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team headquartered west of the Mississippi. The team is also the only single-car team to earn a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (2013). "I think every team in the garage area, especially with the new format that's coming out, everybody wants to be in that Chase and everybody wants to race for a championship," said Truex Jr. "At the end of the day we all talk about it. That's what we're here for is to race for a championship." Truex Jr. said he's learned a lot about his new team over the off-season that gives him a lot of enthusiasm heading into 2014. "I think that the coolest thing about this team is they're such a close, tight-knit group of guys and they've come so far as a race team," he said. "I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to being a part of that and trying to help 'em grow to that next level."(CMS Notes)
    AND A scheduling snafu had Martin Truex Jr. planning to be on his annual family vacation at the same time Furniture Row Racing expected him to participate in NASCAR's annual media tour. Truex solved the problem Tuesday by using Skype to participate in his new team's news conference. It made for one of the more entertaining moments in the 32 years of Charlotte Motor Speedway's tour as a grinning Truex answered questions from a postcard-like scene in Anguilla. Everyone else was hunkered down in the Charlotte Convention Center awaiting a rare Southern snowstorm. He told his viewers: "It's not snowing and I'm pretty damn happy." Almost on cue, someone's arm appeared in the corner of the screen and handed Truex a tropical drink.(Associated Press)(1-29-2014)

  • Michael Schumacher remains in coma, latest update: FIA president and former Ferrari boss Jean Todt has returned to the Grenoble, France hospital bedside of his friend, seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, who was critically injured in a skiing accident in the French Alps on Dec. 29. Schumacher has been in a medically induced coma for almost a full month, raising doubts he will ever recover from the accident. However, the Blick newspaper in Germany reports that journalists, particularly those in Germany, have been warned about making any speculation of Schumacher's prognosis from his head injury with a letter from lawyers representing the great German's family. In the meantime, Bild am Sonntag newspaper quoted Schumacher spokesperson Sabine Kehm as saying Schumacher's wife Corinna only wants the 45-year-old former Formula One driver's closest friends to be around him. One of the closest of all is 67-year-old Frenchman Todt, who heads F1's governing body.(AutoWeek)(1-29-2014)

  • Sad News - Reino Tulonen: Reino Kalervo Tulonen, 89, of Fitchburg, died Jan. 26th at HealthAlliance Leominster Hospital, after an illness. "The Flying Finn", as he came to be known, began his racing career in 1946 and continued for thirty years. He raced many types of cars including; big cars, midgets, stock cars and late models. His most successful car was a cut down that he designed and built himself. Most of his car racing was done in New England, but he also drove in Canada, Darlington, NC, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Over the years, Reino won many races, with trophies reflecting his skill as a race car driver and articles describing his daring exploits on the track. He was awarded the 1964 Champion Class A Driver by the Atlantic Auto Racing Association. In 2005, he was inducted into the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame in recognition of a life time of racing. Tulonen made four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, all in 1951, with a best finish of 5th.(service info at masciarellifamilyfuneralhomes.net.(1-29-2014)

  • McClure to attempt Daytona 500; will not run full NNS season UPDATE:: Eric McClure has teamed with Front Row Motorsports for a chance to run the Daytona 500. McClure will attempt to qualify for next month's season-opening race in the #35 Ford Fusion. The car will be sponsored by Hefty/Reynolds Wrap. McClure has three career Sprint Cup starts, but has never raced in the Daytona 500. He's an 11-year veteran of the Nationwide Series, but says he won't run a full season this year and will share his seat with Jeff Green. He said Wednesday he believes this will be his last year racing in NASCAR. McClure says he's had a new perspective on life since his 2012 accident at Talladega. The father of five daughters says the wreck still haunts his 7-year-old.(Associated Press)(1-29-2014)
    UPDATE Eric McClure still suffers from his Talladega crash in 2012, with arthritis in his back and feet as well as other side effects from an accident that left him with a concussion and internal injuries. Last year, he missed six races to deal with those and other health issues. He came close to calling it a career. McClure plans to run up to 28 Nationwide races this year, likely taking off one race a month because his body has shown that it can't handle the rigors of the 33-race schedule.(Sporting News)(1-29-2014)
    UPDATE 2: For the eighth consecutive year, Team McClure, Inc and driver Eric McClure announced it will continue its partnership with Hefty and Reynolds Wrap for the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season. In addition, they have added another exciting element to their partnership...participating in the "Great American Race", the Daytona 500. Returning to TriStar Motorsports for his fourth consecutive Nationwide Series season, McClure will pilot the #14 HeftyReynolds Wrap Camry in a minimum of 28 of the 33 scheduled events, beginning with the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 22. Former series champion Jeff Green will pilot the remaining races in the #14 Camry; his schedule will be announced at a later date. The Hefty brand, in its eighth consecutive year as a full-time sponsor in NASCAR competition, not only remains one of the longest-running sponsors on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit, but the partnership with McClure has superseded most sponsor/driver relationships in the series to date. NASCAR veteran Wes Ward has returned to the TriStar Motorsports organization and will again serve as crew chief for the Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Racing team during the 2014 season. It will not only mark Ward's 24th year of NASCAR competition and his third with the TriStar Motorsports organization, it will also mark his second being at the helm of the #14 team. In addition to sponsoring McClure in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Hefty and Reynolds Wrap have partnered with Front Row Motorsports to run the 55th Annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 23 with McClure piloting the #35 Ford Fusion for the three-car organization.(TMI), see an image of the car on the #14 team paint schemes page.(1-29-2014)

  • Blaney to run 15 races: Team Penske announced that 20-year-old Ryan Blaney will expand his driving duties for its championship-winning program beginning in 2014. The third-generation driver will compete in 15 Nationwide Series races with Team Penske in 2014 and will also make his debut in the Sprint Cup Series, running at least two events. Blaney's first Nationwide Series start of 2014 is scheduled to come at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 22. The remainder of his NNS schedule will be announced at a later date. Blaney joined Team Penske in 2012 and has raced in select Nationwide Series events for the organization over the last two seasons. He earned his first NNS victory when he won in the #22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang at Kentucky Speedway last September. Blaney was one of four drivers to win races behind the wheel of the #22 Team Penske NNS car last season en route to earning the team's first Nationwide Series owner's championship.(Team Penske)(1-29-2014)

  • Weller to return to SS, second team uncertain: SS Green Light racing is pleased to announce that Ohio native Jimmy Weller will return to the Camping World Truck Series team for 2014. Weller spent 2013 splitting time racing near his Ohio home and the SS Green Light Racing shop learning the ins and outs of NASCAR racing while making five starts for the Mooresville, NC based team including a best finish of seventeenth at the season ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.The SS Green Light Teams will run primarily Chevy Silverado trucks in 2014 with power from Mark Smith's Pro Motors. Weller will compete in a minimum of twelve races behind the wheel of the No. 08 Silverado beginning with the 2014 opening Nextera Energy Resources 250 on February 21st at Daytona. As they did at Homestead-Miami, Engine Parts Plus of Detroit, MI will provide support to Weller and the SS Green Light team at Daytona and select races throughout the 2014 NCWTS season. With two guaranteed starting spots based on 2013 points, team owner Bobby Dotter is currently recruiting fully or partially funded drivers to complete the 22-race Camping World Truck Series 2014 season.(SS Green Light Racing)(1-29-2014)

  • University of Tennessee announces Battle at Bristol Ticket Allotment is gone: University of Tennessee fans took advantage of the opportunity to be part of college football's biggest game ever, as The University of Tennessee department of athletics today announced all of the school's initial ticket allotment has been reserved for the Battle at Bristol, between UT and Virginia Tech, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We knew when we came to an agreement with the schools this was going to attract a tremendous amount of attention," said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. "But the buzz that continues since the announcement in October, the enthusiasm of the fan bases from the schools, and the reaction to securing tickets, has exceeded the expectations we had." The initial allotment for Tennessee for the "Battle at Bristol" was 40,000 tickets and deposits for 35,000 of those seats have been secured by the school. The remaining 5,000 tickets under of the allotment will be allocated to UT students in the weeks leading up to the game in 2016. "The overwhelming response to the Battle at Bristol speaks to the passion of our amazing Tennessee fans," said Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart. "Our fans' excitement and their strong and immediate response to the Battle at Bristol game, which is still 31 months away, says everything you need to know about the most devoted fan base in the nation." Virginia Tech has yet to open reservations for its ticket allotment. For more information on the Battle at Bristol game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech, please visit www.battleatbristol.com.(BMS)(1-29-2014)


    News from January 28, 2014

  • Changes to the All-Star Race Schedule announced: Charlotte Motor Speedway officials have announced changes to the May 16-17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race schedule. During the second day of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, officials announced that the Sprint Showdown will be moved to Friday, May 16, preceding the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Before the green flag falls on Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, drivers will set the field for the main event with a three-lap qualifying that includes a mandatory four-tire pit stop and no pit road speed limit.
    "These changes mean fans get even more bang for their buck here at The Greatest Place to See the Race," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "In addition to watching the trucks battle on Friday night and rocking with a pre-race concert with Jake Owen on Saturday, fans will be treated to back-to-back nights of Sprint Cup Series action as drivers leave everything on the track with a $1 million payday on the line."
    The schedule change means that fans can watch both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers battle on Friday night, May 16. It is the only date on the NASCAR schedule where both truck and Sprint Cup drivers will compete in non-qualifying contests on the same night at the same venue.
    Drivers already eligible to race in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race include: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #99-Carl Edwards, #20-Matt Kenseth, #5-Kasey Kahne, #18-Kyle Busch, #4-Kevin Harvick, #34-David Ragan, #14-Tony Stewart, #16-Greg Biffle, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #55-Brian Vickers, #31-Ryan Newman, #22-Joey Logano, #2-Brad Keselowski,#1- Jamie McMurray, #24-Jeff Gordon, #11-Denny Hamlin and #41-Kurt Busch.
    Eligible drivers who win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race prior to the Sprint All-Star Race will be added to the field as well as the top two finishers in Friday night's Sprint Showdown and the Sprint Fan Vote winner.
    Once the field is set, drivers and teams will turn their attention to the most highly-anticipated qualifying run of the season, a timed run of three laps including a mandatory four-tire pit stop with no pit road speed limit. With the new schedule, the Sprint Showdown winner and second place finisher as well as the Sprint Fan Vote winner will make qualifying runs.
    All NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race ticket holders can also enjoy a free concert featuring country music mega star Jake Owen before the green flag falls on the winner-take-all $1 million dash for cash.
    Tickets for Friday night's double-header with the Sprint Showdown and the N.C. Education Lottery 200 start at just $25. Fans can catch all the action of the Sprint Showdown, N.C. Education Lottery 200, Sprint All-Star Race qualifying, the Jake Owen pre-race concert and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with weekend frontstretch ticket packages starting at just $99. Just $10 down reserves a seat at The Greatest Place to See the Race, and interest-free payment plans are available. Call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com for details.(CMS)(1-28-2013)

  • Dale Jarrett unsure of future plans: Dale Jarrett stepped right out of a racecar and into the ESPN broadcast both, having worked as ESPN's lead NASCAR analyst since 2008. He has one more year left on his contract before ESPN ends its NASCAR race telecast rights. The 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee isn't sure what he will do in 2015. "Obviously this sport of NASCAR has been my world and I don't know (about 2015), honestly," Jarrett said. "I don't have any feelings as to what may happen. I would love to (stay). I don't think I need to look at moving on and trying anything else." But what will he do? NBC already has announced its broadcast team and Fox seems fairly set with its group. "There doesn't look like there's going to be anything in the broadcast world," Jarrett said. "I'll have to figure something out. If it's going and working with a race team or something like that, that's something I'm going to have to start putting some feelers out there and talking to some of my friends and see what may be available."(Sporting News)(1-28-2014)

  • McDowell, Leavine Racing have sponsor: Leavine Family Racing is looking to make headway in 2014. The team enters its fourth season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a new driver, Michael McDowell, and a renewed focus on ensuring strong qualifying sessions to make it into the 43-car Sprint Cup Series field in all 20 of its scheduled races this season. "I'm not even sure I'm allowed to say this, but I'm glad I don't have to start and park anymore," said McDowell. "We really need to find out what works best for us in qualifying and we'll get that figured out. But running 20 races will allow us to really manage our program and build to the future." As will its alignment with K-Love, a contemporary Christian music radio programming service that can be heard by over 12 million listeners over 440 FM stations and 47 states. K-Love will sponsor all 20 races for the #95 Ford this season. "To be able to have that kind of fan base and the values of their programming really speaks to me on a personal level," said McDowell. "Not only does it fit into my beliefs, but that connection is important to building existing and future partnerships, too."(Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour Notes)(1-28-2014)

  • Kurt Busch still considering Indy 500 run UPDATE: Sprint Cup driver #41-Kurt Busch said he expects to have "a pretty good indication" by the end of January if he will make what he expects is his last attempt to enter the Indianapolis 500. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion completed IndyCar's rookie orientation program for the race last season in a car prepared by Andretti Autosport and said he has a standing offer from that team -- plus another -- to enter the May 25 spectacle. Doing so would make the Stewart-Haas Racing driver the first since Robby Gordon in 2004 to contest both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's Memorial Day weekend offering, on the same day. Busch said he has a "couple of strong leads for advertising partners" but is concerned over a lack of testing time and that the Indianapolis 500 is the first oval event on the 2014 IndyCar schedule. His age, he said, might make this his last shot. "Testing, we still would probably need to go to Fontana [Calif.], or we're just going to have to bite the bullet and show up at Indy and let 'er rip," he said. "But I turn 36 this summer and to me that's like an artificial drawing-a-line in the sand of 'I'm getting too old.' I can't teach myself new tricks. You can show up at Indy as a 20-year-old and go and do that. So I'm thinking this is probably the cutoff year."(ESPN)(1-19-2014)
    UPDATE: Kurt Busch says there is a "70 percent'' chance he'll compete in the Indianapolis 500 this year. Busch said Monday during the opening day of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour that progress has been made to make him the first NASCAR driver to to run in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day since Robby Gordon last did a decade ago. Busch said that Stewart-Haas Racing co-owners Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have given their approval to his attempt. "It's actually grabbed better traction the last couple of weeks, it's gotten me more excited,'' Busch said. "The teams that are showing interest, the sponsors and the opportunity is there. I think we've even rounded up some partners that will make transportation better. I don't know when we'll have a decision but we now have to understand how NASCAR's qualifying procedures will work and the time I cannot be out of the Cup car to go to do Indianapolis stuff. We have to make sure we balance that.'' Busch said he's had interest from Andretti Autosport, the team owned by Michael Andretti, and another team he declined to name.(Motor Racing Network)(1-28-2014)

  • Danica not interested in running Indy 500: Even though new Stewart Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch hopes to realize his lifelong dream to race in the Indianapolis 500 this May - and then double up by competing later the same day in NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte - count Danica Patrick out of doing the same. "I love the Indy 500, it's an amazing event and everybody should go see it at some time," Patrick said during Monday's opening of the 32nd NASCAR Media Tour. "But as far as me as a driver, I'm not seeking it out anymore." She considered attempting to do the fabled "double" last year, but efforts fell short due to logistics, not to mention she was trying to keep her focus solely on her first full season on the Sprint Cup circuit. "I'm not saying I wouldn't take the opportunity if I felt like I was in a position to win a race, but after last year when it didn't work out, I'm no longer trying to make that happen," she said. (NBC Sports)(1-28-2014)

  • Haas interested in Formula 1 team UPDATES: NASCAR Sprint Cup car owner Gene Haas has applied to own a Formula 1 team, Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed Thursday. A report on the German website auto motor und sport reported that Haas is one of three new applicants to field a Formula 1 team as soon as 2015. "We have responded to the FIA's 'call for expression of interest' regarding a Formula One entry on behalf of Haas Racing Development,'' co-owner Gene Haas said in a statement. "We respect the FIA's evaluation process and will share more details in the coming weeks." Haas is founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The FIA issued its "call for expression of interest'' in November. It's a new selection process to identify a new team to compete in Formula 1 at the start of the 2015 or '16 season. Applicants had to file paperwork and submit an administrative fee of $5,000. Responses were due Jan. 3. The German website reported that Haas' plans are to design a car in-house but to have it initially designed by Dallara. Ferrari would be the engine partner. Former Red Bull team manager Guenther Steiner would oversee the team.(Motor Racing Network)(1-16-2014)
    UPDATE: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone does not think multi-millionaire NASCAR team owner Gene Haas can afford to enter Formula One in 2015. A published report by the Sporting News on Jan. 16 estimated that Haas's net worth was $740 million in 2011. The business partner in NASCAR's Stewart-Haas racing operation announced recently that he has responded to the FIA's 'call for expressions of interest' in filling the vacant slot in pit lane. In addition to his NASCAR operation, Haas heads one of the best wind tunnels in the world, and according to the German media outlet Auto Motor und Sport, he would start in F1 with a healthy three-digit million budget. But F1 chief executive Ecclestone told Racer he thinks it "most unlikely" Haas will enter F1, because of the sport's huge costs. "They (Haas) have been talking about it for three years," F1 business journalist Caroline Reid quoted Ecclestone as saying. "Somebody can have $10 billion in the bank, but it doesn't mean they are going to spend it."(Autoweek)(1-25-2014)
    UPDATE: He was speaking at NASCAR's annual Sprint Cup media tour, but most of the questions directed toward Gene Haas involved Formula One. On Monday, Haas repeated his desire to form America's first F1 entrant since Penske Racing competed in the world's premier form of motorsports from a base in England from 1974 to 1978. He is determined to field a start-up team out of the Charlotte area, most likely from a new facility that would be built on land he owns near Kannapolis, N.C. "We've looked at buying a team, but there are problems associated with that," Haas told ESPN.com. "First of all, it's tremendously expensive, with a lot of existing personnel you're responsible for. Some of them have a lot of debt you would have to pay off. So they all have their issues. "Starting our own team has its problems too, but the good thing is that it would be an American team," he added. "That really was the No. 1 fundamental priority -- to have an American team competing in a European series." Haas acknowledged that one problem he needs to overcome is the stigma left by USF1, an attempt at starting an American F1 team in 2009 that was granted entry to the 2010 F1 season but never came close to getting off the ground. NASCAR star Tony Stewart, the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, voiced his support for his partner's efforts to break into F1 -- though he quickly clarified that he is not part of the proposed team. Haas said the next deadline for the application process is Feb. 10, and he expects to learn by the end of March whether he will be able to move ahead with his plans for an American Formula One team. "We have a shot," he said. "I don't think it's a great shot; it could go either way. Bernie is always encouraging, but I think he's a little skeptical about whether we could really do it. He's seen teams make these applications that fail, and I don't think he wants to go through that again."(ESPN)(1-28-2014)

  • Harvick living with his mother-in-law: If fans thought Kevin Harvick living in his motorhome after a Nov. 27 fire at his house was rough, his new living quarters would make some people cringe. He's living with his mother-in-law. Actually, it's really not that bad for Harvick, his wife DeLana and 18-month-old son Keelan. "We're living at DeLana's mother's house - it's been awesome," Harvick said Monday during the Sprint Media Tour. "It's been fun, honestly. I get along with her mom great." The fire started when a floor joist underneath the fireplace caught fire between the downstairs ceiling and the upstairs floor. The fire alarm woke up the family and saved the house from being burned to the ground. The Harvicks won't get back into their house until May after the fire heavily damaged the $4.78-million home. Harvick was living in Oak Ridge, N.C., and his mother-in-law lives in Kernersville, just about 10 minutes away.(Sporting News)(1-28-2014)

  • Gardner Denver named title sponsor of Road America race: Gardner Denver, a leading worldwide manufacturer of highly engineered compressors and pumps for various industrial, medical, environmental, transportation and food industries, will serve as title sponsor for the June 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America, The Gardner Denver 200 Fired Up by Johnsonville. The Gardner Denver 200 Fired Up by Johnsonville will feature a 50-lap format on Road America's legendary 4-mile, 14-turn road course. The feature event will be run in-between races from both the Pirelli World Challenge and the SCCA Trans-Am Series, providing fans a full day of action-packed racing. Road America marks the first of three road courses on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule and The Gardner Denver 200 Fired Up by Johnsonville could provide a look into how drivers will perform in the other two: Watkins Glen International and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, both in August. The event has also been known to draw an influx of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars and various sports car series veterans, eager for seat time and a chance to capture a win at one of the nations' most storied circuits.(Road America)(1-28-2014)


    News from January 27, 2014

  • Stewart cleared to return at Daytona UPDATE: Fox Sports Tom Jensen tweeted that #14-Tony Stewart has been cleared to be back behind the wheel for the first practice in the Sprint Unlimited. That practice is scheduled for Friday, February 14.(1-26-2014)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart says his broken right leg will only be 65% healed by the time he's cleared to drive for Daytona Speedweeks, but the three-time NASCAR champion still believes he'll be fine once he gets back in the car. Stewart has a titanium rod in his leg, which will provide it enough strength to press the pedals -- which he said he's done "a million times already" in the race shop. But Stewart still won't be cleared to drive until Feb. 14, the day before NASCAR's season-opening Sprint Unlimited exhibition race. Because Stewart's leg isn't fully healed, the driver acknowledged there's a risk he could aggravate the injury to his leg, which he badly broke in an Aug. 5 sprint car crash in Iowa. But he cited injuries to Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. last season as proof healthy drivers can break bones, too. "This is an injury that's not healed 100% -- there's no bones about it," Stewart said before realizing he made a pun and chuckling. "But it is reality that it could get injured again."(USA Today)(1-27-2014)

  • Sprint Media Tour kicks off Monday: After a week of industry news and media opportunities with teams, tracks, sponsors and drivers, the Sprint Media Tour Hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway culminates with NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France's State of the Sport on Thursday in the Great Hall of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "This four-day event provides media outlets across the country and around the world with newsworthy content as fans gear up for the 2014 NASCAR season," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It takes a lot of support and cooperation from Sprint, the race teams and NASCAR to make it possible, and we've been proud to produce this preseason kickoff for more than 30 years. I'm always as excited as our fans to hear what the drivers and owners have to say about the upcoming season." The schedule is:
    Monday, Jan 27: Press conferences by Stewart-Haas Racing, Leavine Family Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing
    Tuesday, Jan 28: Press conferences by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Richard Childress Racing, Furniture Row Racing, and Hendrick Motorsports
    Wednesday, Jan 29: Press conferences by Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Front Row Motorsports, Wood Brothers Racing, and Team Penske. That evening is the NASCAR Hall of Fame post-induction ceremony
    Thursday, Jan 30: Press conferences by Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing, followed by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France's State of the Sport.(NASCAR.com), Events will be streamed live at NASCAR.com.(1-27-2014)

  • NMPA inducts Hall of Fame members: Mario Andretti, the only driver to win the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One world championship, headlines this year's class of inductees for the National Motorsports Press Association NASCAR Hall of Fame. Joining Andretti are Ray Evernham, a championship-winning crew chief and former NASCAR team owner, and award-winning journalist Steve Waid. The three were officially inducted into the Hall on Saturday evening.
    Andretti was named on 80 percent of the ballots cast by the NMPA membership, Evernham 75 percent and Waid 67 percent. Receiving votes but not named on the required 65 percent minimum for induction were team owner Joe Gibbs and former Busch Series competitor L.D. Ottinger. The NMPA Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The first class was inducted in 1965, and this year's group brings its membership total to 94.(NASCAR.com)(1-27-2014)

  • Auto Racing is fourth most popular sport: Pro football is the most popular sport in America for at least the 30th straight year. That's according to a survey taken this month by the Harris Poll, which has been asking adult fans, ages 18 and over, about their favorite sport since 1985. In 2014, 35 percent of fans call the NFL their favorite sport, followed by Major League Baseball (14 percent), college football (11 percent), auto racing (7 percent) [not specifically NASCAR], the NBA (6 percent), the NHL (5 percent) and college basketball (3 percent). In 1985, the first year the poll was taken, the NFL bested MLB by just one percentage point (24 to 23 percent), but since then interest in baseball has fallen while the NFL has experienced a huge rise in popularity. Nine percent fewer fans call baseball their favorite sport over the 30-year span, the biggest drop of any sport. The polling numbers suggest that the sport hasn't been able to recover from a popularity standpoint from 1994, when a strike forced the cancellation of the World Series. One other significant drop was in professional golf. Throughout Tiger Woods' pro career, which began in 1996, no less four percent of the U.S. adult population called golf their favorite sport. But since 2010, the first year after Woods' extramarital affair scandal, only two percent of Americans have called it their favorite sport.(ESPN.com)(1-27-2014)

  • Mike Wallace, Travis Carter driving for new team at Daytona: Gregg Mixon has reunited with his former NASCAR Nationwide business partner James Whitner of Bakersfield, CA. to form a new NASCAR Nationwide Series team. The team is JGL Racing. It will run two cars full time in the 2014 season. JGL has purchased Penske cars and will be utilizing the Penske Engine Lease program. The team is proud to announce It's driver line up for the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Former Daytona winner Mike Wallace will be behind the wheel of the #28. He will be bringing years of successful speedway experience to the table. Mike's teammate will be Travis Carter's son Matt Carter driving the #93. Matt is making his return after a short absence from the sport. JGL has also joined forces will veteran racer Carl Long, who will be Director of Competition. We are very excited for the season to begin. Sponsorship packages will be available on both cars.(JGL Racing PR)(1-27-2014)

  • Young to run full season: Young's Motorsports announced today that Tyler Young will compete full-time in 2014 behind the wheel of the #02 Chevy Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series. Young, who made his Truck Series debut in 2012 and has 11 career starts in NASCAR's third division, will make his Daytona International Speedway debut in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday February 21, 2014. Young's 2014 season will be led by veteran crew chief, Bryan Berry. Berry, a Homestead, Fla. native, is an 11-year veteran of the NCWTS and has 178 starts to his resume, including eight top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.(Young's Motorsports)(1-27-2014)

  • Arrowhead leaves Burton, Turner: Sources say that Arrowhead, the primary sponsor for Jeb Burton in the #4 Chevy has abruptly withdrawn its support to Turner Scott Motorsports, suddenly leaving the driver and team in limbo with the 2014 Camping World Truck Series season-opener less than a month away. Reported troubles within the Arrowhead corporate structure have been cited for the sudden and unexpected departure from the South Boston, Virginia driver. In August 2013, federal agents from the USDA's Office of Inspector General and the IRS raided Cherokee Tobacco LLC, the operating company of the Arrowhead electronic cigarette brand, seizing business records. It is currently unknown if the apparent drop of sponsorship is linked to that investigation. After a surprisingly strong freshman season in the Camping World Truck Series, which included a season-high six poles, a win at Texas Motor Speedway, five top-fives and 11 top-10s en route to a fifth place finish in the final championship standings, Burton had been eyed as a champion hopeful this season. Burton under the reins of Mike Hillman Jr. posted one of the fastest laps in preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway two weeks ago adorning the Arrowhead brand. The duo finished fifth in their Daytona debut last February. Turner Scott Motorsports could not be reached for comment and it is unknown if the #4 team will compete in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 on February 21.(Catchfence.com)(1-27-2014)


    News from January 26, 2014

  • NASCAR drivers shut out in Rolex 24: After more than 2,400 miles and 23 1/2 hours of racing, the most prestigious North American sports car race came down to eight minutes and a final five-lap sprint. The first race of the unified United SportsCar Championship - the NASCAR-owned and IMSA-sanctioned series born from the merger between American Le Mans and Grand-AM - ended with a NASCAR flair. A late, full-course caution swallowed Joao Barbosa's 13-seccond lead and gave Max Angelelli a last-ditch chance to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Barbosa never gave him a chance, pulling away on the restart with 8:23 to race Sunday to give Action Express Racing its second victory in four years. Co-driver Sebastien Bourdais won the Rolex for the first time, while Christian Fittipaldi won for the second time.
    Ford was shut out in its debut of its new EcoBoost engine. The #01 car of Chip Ganassi Racing team [including Jamie McMurray] wasn't able to defend its race win because of a series of problems that plagued the car starting very early in the race. Ganassi's #02 entry [including Kyle Larson] was taken out of contention when it developed a flat rear tire while Scott Dixon was running second with roughly five hours remaining.
    Michael Shank Racing's entry [including A.J. Allmendinger], the 2012 race winning team, was halted by a broken gearbox.
    CORE autosport finished a lap ahead of 8Star Motorsport to win the Prototype Challenge class.
    Porsche North America claimed the GT Le Mans class with its No. 911 RSR entry.
    The crowded GT Daytona class had the most thrilling - and controversial - finish of the race. The victory initially went to Flying Lizard Motorsports when IMSA officials penalized Level 5 Motorsports for avoidable contact on the last lap. But hours after the race ended, IMSA reversed its decision and gave the victory to Level 5.(Associated Press)(1-26-2014)

  • Gidley and Malucelli taken to hospital after crash UPDATES: Memo Gidley and Matteo Malucelli were admitted to a Daytona Beach hospital Saturday night for further testing following a two-car accident right before the three-hour mark of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. IMSA officials said both drivers were awake and communicating, but gave no other information about their conditions. Gidley was driving for the pole-winning GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team. He had to be cut out of the #99 Corvette, which crumpled like an accordion when he plowed into the back of Malucelli's Ferrari. The cars were heading into the kink in the infield portion of the track facing directly into the sun. Malucelli's car had apparently lost power -- his team said he radioed he was pulling out of the way -- as the cars headed into a high-speed turn. At the same time, Gidley tried to lap a slower car. He pulled out to the left and tried to duck under the lapped car, apparently didn't see Malucelli off the pace, and drove directly into the Ferrari at nearly full speed. The race was red-flagged as emergency workers tended to both drivers. They were placed onto stretchers, loaded into ambulances and taken to Halifax Health Medical Center, located roughly a mile outside the race track.(Associated Press/ESPN)(1-26-2014)
    UPDATE: GAINSCO Racing tweeted early Sunday morning, "Memo Gidley underwent surgery on his left arm and left leg and he is currently under observation and further evaluation at Halifax Health.(1-26-2014)
    AND: Additional updates from the GAINSCO Twitter account, Memo Gidley underwent surgical procedures on both his left arm and left leg last night at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gidley also has an unstable fracture in his back which will require additional surgery before he can be released from the hospital. He continues to be evaluated.(1-26-2014)
    UPDATE 2: Matteo Malucelli, one of two drivers injured in a stunning crash Saturday during the Rolex 24 At Daytona, was released from an area hospital Sunday, a racing spokesman said. Malucelli plans to fly home to Italy on Monday, said David Hart, spokesman for the International Motor Sports Association which sanctioned the weekend race.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(1-26-2014)

  • Stewart cleared to return at Daytona: Fox Sports Tom Jensen tweeted that #14-Tony Stewart has been cleared to be back behind the wheel for the first practice in the Sprint Unlimited. That practice is scheduled for Friday, February 14.(1-26-2014)


    News from January 25, 2014

  • Dodge not planning return to NASCAR anytime soon: It's the question all Dodge stock-car fans want to know: When will the manufacturer return to NASCAR? Not in 2014, that's for sure. While Dodge continues to discuss stock-car racing, according to Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, "the timing isn't right." But Gilles is well aware that stock-car enthusiasts miss the Dodge brand in NASCAR's garages” so never say never. "We haven't forgotten about NASCAR," Gilles told FOX Sports on Friday. "We have a lot of pressure on our capital right now. The Dodge brand has a new chief (Timothy Kuniskis, president and CEO of Dodge Brand), right? He's an enthusiast. He owns a Charger himself, it's his daily drive. He has an older one and a new one. He gets it. He understands. But timing is everything. To get back in the sport is not an insignificant investment. It's something that we've said no to. This year is out of the question, but the future, anything could happen. The fans want us back, so we'll see."(FoxSports)(1-25-2014)

  • Rolex 24 gets underway at Daytona: Jamie McMurray has a knack for coming up big in big-time events. So he has that going for him this weekend in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, as he tries to become only the third driver to win that event and the Daytona 500. The other two: Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt. Two potential career milestones serve as a personal backdrop to a much-larger portrait. McMurray is part of another two-car all-star driver lineup fielded by the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates organization in the headlining Prototype class. In the #01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley prototype, McMurray joins five-time Rolex 24 winner Scott Pruett, three-time winner Memo Rojas and reigning Indy Lights champion Sage Karam. The team's #02 has former and reigning Indianapolis 500 champions Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan teamed with former American Le Mans Series great Marino Franchitti and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Kyle Larson. The Rolex 24, being run for the 52nd time on Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course, starts Saturday at 2:10pm/et, with broadcast coverage beginning on FOX. The always-prestigious endurance event is boosted this year as the season-opening race for the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the series resulting from the merger of the ALMS and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series. Television/on-line coverage for the Rolex 24:
    • Saturday: 2:00-4:00pm/et on FOX; 4:00-9:00pm/et on FOX Sports 2
    • Overnight (Saturday-Sunday): 9:00pm-7:00am/et ET on IMSA.com (includes live images, in-car cameras and announcers)
    • Sunday, Jan. 26: 7:00am-3:00pm/et on FOX Sports 1.
    (NASCAR Wire Service)(1-25-2014)

  • Haas interested in Formula 1 team UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup car owner Gene Haas has applied to own a Formula 1 team, Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed Thursday. A report on the German website auto motor und sport reported that Haas is one of three new applicants to field a Formula 1 team as soon as 2015. "We have responded to the FIA's 'call for expression of interest' regarding a Formula One entry on behalf of Haas Racing Development,'' co-owner Gene Haas said in a statement. "We respect the FIA's evaluation process and will share more details in the coming weeks." Haas is founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The FIA issued its "call for expression of interest'' in November. It's a new selection process to identify a new team to compete in Formula 1 at the start of the 2015 or '16 season. Applicants had to file paperwork and submit an administrative fee of $5,000. Responses were due Jan. 3. The German website reported that Haas' plans are to design a car in-house but to have it initially designed by Dallara. Ferrari would be the engine partner. Former Red Bull team manager Guenther Steiner would oversee the team.(Motor Racing Network)(1-16-2014)
    UPDATE: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone does not think multi-millionaire NASCAR team owner Gene Haas can afford to enter Formula One in 2015. A published report by the Sporting News on Jan. 16 estimated that Haas's net worth was $740 million in 2011. The business partner in NASCAR's Stewart-Haas racing operation announced recently that he has responded to the FIA's 'call for expressions of interest' in filling the vacant slot in pit lane. In addition to his NASCAR operation, Haas heads one of the best wind tunnels in the world, and according to the German media outlet Auto Motor und Sport, he would start in F1 with a healthy three-digit million budget. But F1 chief executive Ecclestone told Racer he thinks it "most unlikely" Haas will enter F1, because of the sport's huge costs. "They (Haas) have been talking about it for three years," F1 business journalist Caroline Reid quoted Ecclestone as saying. "Somebody can have $10 billion in the bank, but it doesn't mean they are going to spend it."(Autoweek)(1-25-2014)

  • Rusty Wallace among inductees in Motorsports Hall of Fame: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America will induct its 26th class of racing legends Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at Detroit's historic Fillmore Theater. Those being honored include Ole Bardahl, Raymond Beadle, John Bishop, Ricky Graham, Arie Luyendyk, Marshall Teague and Rusty Wallace. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is racing's Cooperstown, memorializing achievement in all forms of motorized competition. Over the years, 209 motorsports luminaries have been inducted. The 99-person nominating panel itself reads like a who's who of racing, including names like Mario Andretti, Don Garlits, Craig Breedlove and Richard Petty.(Motorsports Hall of Fame)(1-25-2014)
    AND: Two of the greatest names in racing soon will share the same address. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, motor racing's Cooperstown, announced today that it will move its operations and collection of historic racing machines and memorabilia from the Detroit area to the "World Center of Racing," Daytona International Speedway by January 2016. The move coincides with the scheduled January 2016 completion of DAYTONA Rising, the speedway's $400 million frontstretch renovation project currently underway. Plans call for the Hall of Fame's displays featuring cars, images, stories and bronze sculptures of 209 icons of American motorsports to be located in the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building, which was formerly known as the "DAYTONA 500 Experience." Vehicles and artifacts representative of the diversity of motorized competition celebrated by the Hall of Fame, including Open Wheel, Stock Cars, Motorcycles, Aviation, Drag Racing, Sports Cars and Powerboats, will be exhibited as a regular part of the tours admission at Daytona International Speedway all year long.(DIS)(1-25-2014)


    News from January 24, 2014

  • CSX Returns to Ragan's #34 for four races: After a successful season promoting rail safety with David Ragan in 2013, CSX will again partner with the race-winning driver and Front Row Motorsports' #34 team for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season. The partnership will include primary sponsorship of Ragan's Ford Fusion for four races -- at Daytona International Speedway in February, Darlington Raceway in April, Michigan International Speedway in August and Richmond International Raceway in September. CSX will also be a major associate on the #34 at Pocono Raceway in August and at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. The familiar "I Brake for Trains" bumper sticker will once again be on the back of Ragan's car for all 36 races of the Sprint Cup schedule. The transportation company utilized its sponsorship of Front Row last year to successfully communicate the dangers of trespassing on railroad tracks to its target demographic of males age 18 to 34.(Front Row Motorsports)(1-24-2014)

  • Big Name Inductors and Active Drivers add to NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: A brother, a contemporary, a rival, a colleague and a friend will all take the stage to induct this year's Class of 2014 into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Richard Petty, Waddell Wilson, Harry Gant, Humpy Wheeler and Blake Shelton will induct the fifth class - Maurice Petty, Fireball Roberts, Jack Ingram, Tim Flock and Dale Jarrett - on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The five legends, who account for 15 NASCAR championships, will also be joined on stage by five current stars, combining for 15 national series championships of their own. Aric Almirola, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart will all take part in the evening's festivities. The Induction Ceremony begins at 7:00pm/et and will air live on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
    As long lasting as they are varied, this year's inductee-inductor relationships are uniquely special - each with a story all its own:
    • Maurice Petty built the engines that propelled his brother Richard to seven NASCAR championships and most of his 200 wins.
    • Fireball Roberts won the 1963 Southern 500 with an engine built by Waddell Wilson.
    • Jack Ingram and Harry Gant had a fierce rivalry that helped build the popularity of what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
    • Tim Flock worked with Humpy Wheeler at Charlotte Motor Speedway for more than 30 years.
    • After an introduction by former teammate Elliott Sadler nearly a decade ago, Dale Jarrett and country music star Blake Shelton have become close friends.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will kick off with a media red carpet entrance in the Great Hall at the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 4:15pm/et. The formal presentations begin during the Induction Dinner, where the inductees will receive their NASCAR Hall of Fame jackets. Chris Economaki will also be honored as the third recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.(NASCAR)(1-24-2013)

  • Ray Evernham to host TV show on automobiles: This January Velocity takes viewers on a tour through American culture through the lens of one its greatest inventions: the automobile. Three-time NASCAR champion Ray Evernham hosts this cross-country trek, chasing down the cars that had a profound impact on shaping our national identity. From the inception of American racing at the turn of 20th century, to the Woody wagons that defined California culture in the 50's and 60's, to the infamous drag strips of the 70's, automotive history has left an indelible imprint on the American experience. AMERICARNA lifts the hood on legendary four-wheeled treasures that continue to have a profound influence on our cultural DNA. AMERICARNA debuts Tuesday January 28 with a special double episode premiere at 8:00 and 8:30pm/et.
    The premiere episode brings Ray together with a surfing legend and revolutionary waterman, Laird Hamilton. The focus of the episode is the iconic Woody Wagon - a staple in the beach community - popularized by in the 50's and adopted by surfers nationwide as a fitting chariot to transport their gear. Additional episodes feature historical automotive insight from famed director Ron Howard (Arrested Development, The DaVinci Code, Apollo 13) , music legend Mike Love (The Beach Boys), Country superstar Brad Paisley, and Hot Rod racing guru Don Prudholme.(Victory Management Group)(1-24-2014)

  • Busch, Jones to share driving duties: Kyle Busch Motorsports announced today that 17-year-old Erik Jones will split driving duties with team owner Kyle Busch for the defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner's Champion #51 Toyota Tundra team in 2014. Jones' 12-race schedule will begin March 29 at Martinsville Speedway, while Busch will be behind the wheel for 10 races beginning with the season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Feb. 21. ToyotaCare - the complimentary maintenance plan provided with the purchase or lease of every new Toyota - returns as a primary sponsor in 2014 and will adorn the hood of the #51 for 14 races, seven with each driver. Veteran crew chief Eric Phillips will call the shots for the #51 Tundra team in 2014. Phillips' 27 career victories ranks second in Truck Series history.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(1-24-2014)

  • UNOH to sponsor New Hampshire return: As part of its marketing platform to promote the world's first High Performance/Motorsports degree curriculum that takes students from the classroom to the racetrack, the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) signed an agreement today to become the entitlement sponsor of the Camping World Truck Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20. The UNOH 175, which will drop the green flag at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, will mark the return of the Camping World Truck Series after a two-year hiatus.(New Hampshire Motor Speedway)(1-24-2014)

  • Auto Club Speedway partners with Metrolink to again provide train sevice: Race fans looking for a stress-free, convenient and affordable way to get to Auto Club Speedway's Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race need not look any further! Auto Club Speedway has again partnered with Metrolink to provide direct train service to the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 23 at Auto Club Speedway. Metrolink train tickets to the Auto Club 400 are only $19 for one (1) round trip train ticket. Metrolink will operate three trains originating from Oxnard, Lancaster and Oceanside with limited stops in between for faster service. Metrolink's Speedway trains stop at a specially constructed station just off the back straight-away at the race track. From there, passengers will board a free tram that takes them to the entrance gates. Trains depart Auto Club Speedway one hour after the end of the race, or checkered flag.(Auto Club Speedway)(1-24-2013)


    News from January 23, 2014

  • NASCAR reinstates Ty Norris: NASCAR announced Thursday that it has reinstated Ty Norris, an executive with Michael Waltrip Racing. Norris had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR last Sept. 9 as part of the penalties assessed to MWR following the sanctioning body's review of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sept. 7 at Richmond International Raceway. Norris remains on indefinite NASCAR probation.(NASCAR)
    AND Statement from Ty Norris, Executive Vice President at Michael Waltrip Racing: "I appreciate NASCAR's action today and respect their position. I am focused forward and dedicated to the success of Michael Waltrip Racing and the continued growth of a sport that has been my home for the past 24 years."(1-23-2014)

  • Farm Rich returning to sponsor Ragan: Farm Rich, the primary partner that adorned the #34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports' first trip to Victory Lane, will return to the team for a second straight season. The frozen snacks and appetizers brand will be the primary sponsor of David Ragan's Ford Fusion at Phoenix International Raceway in March. In its first-ever foray into NASCAR last May, Farm Rich enjoyed being thrust into the spotlight as Ragan earned Front Row's first team victory in a dramatic, come-from-behind win in the Farm Rich Ford at Talladega Superspeedway. The company later returned as the primary sponsor for a second race with Ragan at Richmond International Raceway in September. A leading brand of Rich Products Corporation, Farm Rich is based in St. Simons Island, Ga., and features a successful portfolio of products sold at grocery and club stores nationwide. The Farm Rich logo will appear on Ragan's uniform throughout the 2014 Sprint Cup Series schedule.(Front Row Motorsports)(1-23-2014)

  • Ryan Truex gets 5 race sponsorship deal: Race fans heading to Speedweeks or watching on television will have to keep a keener eye for the No. #83 BK Racing Toyota Camry. The traditional BK Racing colors have been replaced with black, header pipes and flames of Johnson City, TN and Oxnard, CA based Borla Exhaust. For over three decades, Borla has been the leader in the manufacture and design of high-performance exhaust systems for racing and the street. Borla Exhaust will also adorn the #83 BK Racing Toyota Camry in four additional races to be announced at a later date during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(1-23-2014)

  • JR Motorsports installs solar panels: JR Motorsports has completed the construction and installation of solar panels atop its race shop and office, diversifying the ways in which the company gets its energy. The solar energy will reduce the company's power usage from the grid by about 44 percent. A team from Argand Energy Solutions, a local Charlotte company, began last November on the installation of 836 modules, which covers approximately 42,000 square feet of rooftop space. In correlation with the rooftop panels, JR Motorsports is installing a monitor in the JR Nation Retail Store that will show in real time how much energy is being produced.(JR Motorsports)(1-23-2014)

  • Phoenix names Nationwide race sponsor: Cotton Incorporated and Phoenix International Raceway announced a partnership for an at-track denim recycling initiative and entitlement to the Blue Jeans Go Green 200 presented by Cotton, The Fabric of Our Lives Nationwide Series race on Saturday, March 1. The Blue Jeans Go Green 200 will be supported by an at-track recycling program in which race weekend attendees will be able to drop off any type of denim at one of four recycling collection bin locations that will be set up around the track. Phoenix International Raceway is proud to provide a 20 percent discount on tickets to the November 2014 PIR NASCAR Nationwide Series race to fans who recycle denim with Blue Jeans Go Green during the Spring race weekend. The denim will then be converted into UltraTouch Denim Insulation by Bonded Logic, located in Chandler, Ariz. To date, Blue Jeans Go Green has diverted more than 600 tons of waste out of landfills and generated approximately 2 million square feet of UltraTouch" Denim Insulation to assist with building efforts in communities in need. Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona will be one of the primary beneficiaries of insulation manufactured from denim collected during the Blue Jeans Go Green 200 race weekend.(PIR)(1-23-2014)

  • Luke Bryan to headline Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show: The reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan will electrify the crowd during the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, the prelude to the start of the "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 23. Bryan will perform several of his hits on pit road of the "World Center of Racing" prior to the start of the 56th annual Daytona 500 - the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the DAYTONA 500 can enjoy Bryan's DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show up close as well as driver introductions. In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around Luke Bryan has been created that includes a Daytona 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Luke Bryan's performance. Packages start at $164. Fans that already have race tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for $99.(DIS)(1-23-2014)


    News from January 22, 2014

  • New Qualifying Format announced: In a move aimed toward enhancing the fan experience watching at the track and at home, NASCAR has announced a new group qualifying format for its three national series that is more compelling, more closely emulates actual on-track competition and underlines the sport's on-going commitment to innovation.

    At tracks measuring 1.25 miles in length or larger, qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award will consist of three rounds:
    • The first qualifying elimination round will be 25 minutes in duration and includes all cars/trucks. The 24 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap from the first qualifying round will advance to the second round.
    • The remaining cars/trucks will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.
    • The second qualifying elimination round will be 10 minutes in duration and the 12 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap time will advance to the third and final round. The fastest remaining cars/trucks earn positions 13th through 24th based on their times posted in qualifying in descending order.
    • The third and final qualifying round will be five minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.
    • There will be a five-minute break between each qualifying round.

    At tracks measuring less than 1.25 miles, qualifying for the Coors Light Pole Award will consist of two rounds:
    • The first qualifying elimination round will be 30 minutes in duration and includes all cars/trucks. The 12 cars/trucks that post the fastest single lap time from the first qualifying round will advance to the second and final round.
    • The remaining cars/trucks will be sorted based on their times posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.
    • There will be a 10-minute break between the two qualifying rounds.
    • The second and final qualifying round will be 10 minutes in duration and the fastest single lap time posted will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.

    The new qualifying format does not apply to the Daytona 500, which will preserve its historic and unique qualifying format. Additionally, it does not apply to non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events or the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Eldora Speedway. NASCAR previewed the concept of group qualifying with its national series teams late last fall and expects the new format will be a well-received improvement by its fans, competitors, tracks, sponsors and media partners. "We believe the timing is right for a new qualifying format across our three national series," said Robin Pemberton, vice president for competition and racing development. "This style of group qualifying has all the makings of being highly competitive and more engaging to our fans in the stands and those watching on television and online. For the drivers and teams, we believe this new qualifying will fuel even greater competition leading into the events. Additionally, it provides our tracks, broadcasters and other key partners with a greater opportunity to develop more entertaining content for our race weekends."(NASCAR)
    NASCAR has also furnished a Fact Sheet & FAQ document to explain the process.(1-22-2014)



  • Wurth to sponsor Keselowski: Wurth will serve as a primary sponsor of the #2 Team Penske Ford Fusion for four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2014. Team Penske announced that the #2 Wurth Ford, with former series champion Brad Keselowski behind the wheel, will make its debut on March 23 at the Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, Calif. Wurth will also be an associate sponsor on the #2 Team Penske Ford for the balance of the 2014 season. The Wurth Group first partnered with Team Penske in 2012 and the leading automotive, industrial and woodworking supply company has served as a primary sponsor for the team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and an associate partner on the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion over the last two seasons.(Team Penske)(1-22-2014)

  • Bono Manion is Annett's new crew chief UPDATE: Kevin "Bono" Manion is the new crew chief for Michael Annett and the #7 Pilot Flying J Chevy at Tommy Baldwin Racing. The 41-year-old Boylston, Mass., native will oversee Annett's rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series. Manion's reunion with Baldwin is the result of a two-decade friendship that developed while the two worked on modifieds in the Northeast. Before the pair moved to North Carolina in fall 1995, Baldwin promised Manion that one day he would own a Cup team. As Manion says, the racers' relationship has "come full circle." When Martin Truex, Jr. left Earnhardt Ganassi Racing after the 2009 season, Manion was assigned to Jamie McMurray's team in 2010. Together, Manion and McMurray won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 as well as the fall race at Charlotte. Despite winning at Talladega Superspeedway in October, Manion was relieved of his post at season's end.(Fox Sports)(1-22-2014)
    UPDATE: Tommy Baldwin Racing has hired veteran Kevin "Bono" Manion as the crew chief for Michael Annett and the # Pilot Flying J Chevry SS. With Manion on board, the team seeks to take the program to the next level as team owner, Tommy Baldwin, will have the ability to focus on business and management aspects of the team rather than as both owner and crew chief. Manion is excited to make his move to TBR, the opportunity to work with Michael in his rookie season and a team that is more hands on.(Rising Star Management)(1-22-2014)

  • Snider and Stavast join NBC Sports: NBC Sports Group has reached agreements with motorsports reporters Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast, who will contribute to NBC Sports' upcoming NASCAR studio and live race coverage on NBC and NBCSN. Snider and Stavast, each of whom have years of motorsports experience, will operate out of Charlotte, N.C., home to many of the sport's race teams and drivers. The appointments of Snider and Stavast follow previous NBC Sports NASCAR on-air announcements pertaining to new lead race announcer Rick Allen and analysts Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte. There are no further broadcaster-related announcements expected in the near term.
    In addition to his NASCAR duties, Snider will continue as lead pit reporter on NBC's IndyCar coverage. Snider's relationship with NBC Sports extends several years and covers multiple sports, including NASCAR, IndyCar, Football Night in America, the Beijing Olympic Games and Professional Bull Riding. Snider has been a pit reporter for TNT's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage since 1998. In addition to his NASCAR duties, he also contributes to Turner's NCAA Men's Division 1 Championship and NBA Playoff coverage. Snider co-produced HBO's 24/7 series featuring Jimmie Johnson and co-hosted The Morning Drive on SiriusXM's NASCAR channel. Snider was raised in High Point, N.C. and currently lives in Charlotte.
    Stavast started her broadcasting career as a sports anchor at an NBC affiliate in Colorado before shifting to the field as a TV reporter. Her first motorsports assignment surrounded Championship Off Road Racing for NBC and SPEED. Over the last several years, Kelli has covered NASCAR's GRAND-AM and Whelen Modified Tour, the Baja 1000, Red Bull Air Race and Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Previously, she served as a reporter for ABC/ESPN and FOX, covering American Le Mans Series and Stadium Super Trucks. Stavast is also a reporter for NBC's auto show coverage from Los Angeles, New York and Detroit. Originally from Colorado, Stavast now resides in Charlotte, N.C.(NBC Sports)(1-22-2014)

  • North Carolina Motorsports Association honors Jarretts: Stock car racing's renowned Jarrett family was recognized Monday night during the eighth annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Award Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank at the Embassy Suites Hotel. With more than 300 members of the motorsports community in attendance the North Carolina Motorsports Association hosted the gala event, which concluded with the presentation of the group's traditional Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award to the Jarretts. Family patriarch and former NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett, his wife Martha, their sons Dale, who will join his dad in the NASCAR Hall of Fame next week, and Glenn, daughter Patti and grandson Jason were honored for the family's accomplishments on and off the race track.
    Also part of the ceremony were the presentation of seven Motorsports Industry Awards. NASCAR President Mike Helton took the stage to present the NCMA's Motorsports Media Recognition Award to the late Jim Hunter, a former sports writer, public relations representative and longtime NASCAR executive. Helton revealed that the award will also be rebadged the Jim Hunter Motorsports Media Recognition Award. Other Motorsports Industry Awards went to Stocks for Tots, Rev Racing, The World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Motorsports Authentics and Carolina Speedway.(National Speed Sport News)(1-22-2014)

  • Kenseth to drive for Resers & GameStop in Nationwide: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Reser's Fine Foods and GameStop will return in 2014 to sponsor Matt Kenseth in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota. Reser's Fine Foods will appear on JGR's #20 Toyota seven times during the 2014 season starting with the season opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 22. Meanwhile, GameStop will return for their seventh season with JGR in the Nationwide Series with 10 races that start in Las Vegas on March 8 and conclude with the season finale at Homestead on November 15.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-22-2014)


    News from January 21, 2014

  • Alliance Truck Parts to sponsor Keselowski: Team Penske announced that Alliance Truck Parts will join the #2 Ford Fusion team for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series. After successfully partnering with Team Penske in the Nationwide Series for the last several seasons, Alliance Truck Parts will transition to become a primary sponsor for the #2 Ford Fusion, driven by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski. The distinctive bright yellow Alliance Truck Parts colors will adorn the Team Penske Ford for eight races in 2014 beginning with the race at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2. An industry-leading provider of heavy duty truck parts for the commercial transportation industry, Alliance Truck Parts will also be a prominent associate sponsor on the #2 Ford throughout the 2014 season.(Team Penske), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(1-21-2014)

  • Allgaier named driver of #51 for Phoenix Racing: Phoenix Racing announced that Justin Allgaier will be the driver of the #51 BRANDT Chevy SS during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Allgaier, who finished fifth in the 2013 Nationwide Series championship points, will be a candidate for the NASCAR Rookie of the Year award. "This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I intend to make the most of it," said Allgaier. "I am very grateful to Harry Scott and BRANDT for having faith in me to compete against the best drivers in the world." BRANDT will be the primary sponsor for the #51 for 21 races during the 2014 season. The agriculture retailer and manufacturer of agricultural specialty products has been active in NASCAR since 2011 and sponsored the #51 for four races in 2013. Joining BRANDT on the car are The National FFA, TradeMark Nitrogen, Nutrients for Life Foundation, Precision Tank and Grigg Brothers. Together, these partners are supporting the only true ag-focused car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Allgaier, 27, joins Bobby Labonte as teammates at Phoenix Racing. Labonte will drive the #52 for several races in 2014, including the season-opening Daytona 500.(Phoenix Racing)(1-21-2014)

  • Love's Travel Stops expands sponsorship of Gilliland Love's Travel Stops will significantly broaden its partnership with Front Row Motorsports in 2014, partnering with the Sprint Cup Series team for 14 races on David Gilliland's #38 Ford. Fans will first see the return of the bright yellow, red and black paint scheme at the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Love's Travel Stops first teamed up with Front Row Motorsports in 2013, sponsoring three races in the company's first venture into NASCAR. Gilliland pushed the brand to the center of attention at Talladega Superspeedway in May, when his Love's Travel Stops Ford shoved teammate David Ragan to the front of the field to earn Front Row's first victory in a 1-2 Ragan-Gilliland finish. Love's Travel Stops, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., is family-owned and operated with more than 310 locations in 39 states and is currently ranked No. 9 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(1-21-2014)

  • Johnson wins 2013 Driver of the Year Award: Jimmie Johnson was voted the 2013 Driver of the Year by an elite panel of broadcasters and journalists. As a result of the vote the six-time Sprint Cup Champion eclipsed his teammate Jeff Gordon who was the only other four-time winner of the Driver of the Year award .Mario Andretti, who was the first annual winner, and Darrell Waltrip are tied with three awards apiece. The DOTY is America's original race driver's award. Johnson, the 38-year old California native, continued to make NASCAR history with his 2013 championship Only Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt have more with seven Cup titles. Johnson's previous Driver of the Year awards were in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. Journalist and broadcasters, who voted in a secret ballot for a single driver, gave Johnson 12 votes, John Force - the 1996 DOTY winner - received six votes, and World of Outlaws driver, Daryn Pittman, received one vote. In a related development the NHRA's John Force won the fourth quarter voting.(Driver of the Year Foundation)(1-21-2014)

  • Update on Steve Byrnes: RaceHub co-host/longtime NASCAR on Fox personality Steve Byrnes tweeted Monday afternoon, "My Radiologist called this afternoon. Great news...scans look good! Thank you all for you support, prayers and kindness. We are humbled!!!". Byrnes took a medical leave of absence in September of 2013 to battle cancer. He will return to RaceHub next week and plans to be back at Daytona.(1-21-2014)

  • Leavine Family Racing names furniture provider: Leavine Family Racing announced a partnership with Triangle Office Equipment, a family owned company based in Chapel Hill, NC, that offers a full line of office furniture and architectural products. The partnership will bring Triangle Office Equipment furniture and services into the Leavine Family Racing front office and throughout the team facilities, and will bring a completely new look to the Concord, N.C.-based facility. Triangle has been in business for over 45 years and this will be their first entry into the motorsports market.(Leavine Family Racing)(1-21-2014)

  • Ingersoll Rand returns to TriStar; Will Kimmel in for 5 races: For the second consecutive year, TriStar Motorsports welcomes Ingersoll Rand back for the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Ingersoll Rand, a global leader in air compressors, tools, fluid management and material handling equipment, will serve as an associate sponsor on all of TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry's for the 33-race Nationwide Series schedule. Additionally, Ingersoll Rand will run five primary races with the #44 TriStar Motorsports Camry, with their first race at Phoenix International Raceway on March 1, 2014. ARCA Racing Series regular, Will Kimmel, will be in the cockpit of the #44 Ingersoll Rand Toyota Camry throughout the five primary events. Kimmel, the nephew of 10-time ARCA Racing Series Champion Frank Kimmel, has had an enduring relationship with Ingersoll Rand since 2012. Kimmel, who races for his family owned team Kimmel Racing, scored seven top five and 19 top-10 finishes across his six year tenure in the ARCA Racing Series. Phoenix will be Kimmel's second Nationwide Series start. After Kimmel's first Nationwide Series race at Phoenix in March, he will check-off an item on his bucket list two weeks later and try to tame the half-mile concrete oval of Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. The remaining three of Kimmel's Nationwide Series starts are still to be determined and will be announced at a later date.(TriStar Motorsports)(1-21-2014)

  • Blade Runner Blake Leeper named honorary race official for Daytona 500: Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper, known as the "American Blade Runner," will serve as Honorary Race Official for the 56th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway. As Honorary Race Official, Leeper will be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the honorary race official cars ahead of the 43-car field for the 200-lap, 500-mile prestigious race. Leeper's story is nothing short of remarkable. He was born with a birth defect that stopped growth below his knees, yet he was able to build muscle above the knee and began playing sports at the age of five. In 2008 Leeper started intensively running after the Challenged Athlete Foundation presented him with a grant for state-of-the-art blade prosthetics. He won the silver medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games and the gold medal in the 400m Relay at the IPC Worlds in Lyon, France. Leeper is currently training for the 2016 Rio Olympics for Team USA, where he would become the first double-amputee American to compete in the Olympic Games.(DIS)(1-21-2013)


    News from January 20, 2014

  • Bowman, Truex to drive for BK Racing: BK Racing has signed Tucson, AZ native Alex Bowman and Mayetta, NJ native Ryan Truex to pilot the team's #23 and #83 BK Racing Toyota Camry's and compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Bowman will drive the newly renumbered #23 entry and comes off his rookie season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series which saw him win two poles and finish 11th in the final standings. Truex made four starts between the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series this past season. Both Bowman and Truex tested for BK Racing in the NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona last week and have already begun to create a relationship with their respected teams and crew chiefs. Bowman and Truex will make their team debuts in the season-opening 56th annual Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway on February 23. Dave Winston will crew chief the #23 BK Racing entry with Alex Bowman while Dale Ferguson will crew chief the #83 BK Racing entry for Ryan Truex. BK Racing has also finalized an agreement with Borla Exhaust as a primary sponsor for the Daytona 500. The deal signifies a multi-race sponsorship for the 2014 season. More details to follow this week. In an effort to better align with long-time partner Dr Pepper, BK Racing will renumber the #93 to the #23 in 2014. The number is synonymous with the regular Dr Pepper's original 23 flavors. However the #93 will remain with the team on a part-time basis.(BK Racing)(1-20-2014)

  • Kvapil's legal case postponed: According to the Sporting News' Bob Pockrass, Travis Kvapil's domestic violence case has been continued until to Feb. 28. Kvapil was charged last October with misdemeanor assault on a female [his wife] and false imprisonment. His status with BK Racing for this season has not been announced.(1-20-2014)

  • Ickler joins Red Horse: Brian Ickler will return toCamping World Truck Series competition this season, driving Red Horse Racing's #7 Bullet Liner Toyota Tundra. Bullet Liner will serve as a primary sponsor on the #7 Tundra. With over 200 dealers, Bullet Liner products are primarily used for pickup truck beds, tailgates, wheel wells and other similar vehicle protection applications. Ickler has 22 career starts in the Camping World Truck Series, with six Top-5 and 10 Top-10 finishes, along with a pole at Michigan International Speedway in June of 2009.(Godfather Motorsports)(1-20-2014)

  • Jones, TSM to return with limited schedule: 2013 was a busy year for Brandon Jones, who made seven starts in the K&N Pro Series East, three in the Camping World Truck Series, and nine starts in the UARA-Stars Series. The 16-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia will challenge for the Rookie of the Year award in the NKNPSE in 2014, while continuing to fine-tune his skills by running a Late Model and NCWTS entry when the schedule permits.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(1-20-2014)

  • Custer to run upwards of 10 truck races in 2014 with help of Schrader, Shear UPDATE: K&N Pro Series East driver Cole Custer is looking forward to his next step up the NASCAR ladder when he graduates to the Camping World Truck Series next year. Custer, 15, made a nice impression Friday by winning the pole for the North American Power 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a lap of 128.240 mph. It was his first start at the Magic Mile - behind the wheel of the #00 Ken Schrader Racing Chevy. In addition to running in the K&N Pro tour, Custer is planning to compete in eight to 10 truck races after he turns 16 on January 23. Drivers under the age of 18 can run only on tracks of a mile-and-a-half or less. Veteran crew chief Joe Shear Jr. will oversee Custer's truck program, which will feature Turner Scott Motorsports equipment but will continue to race out of KSR. Shear, 45, worked in the same role with Johnny Sauter for the past seven seasons before they parted ways in August.(Fox Sports)(9-20-2013)
    UPDATE: Cole Custer will get more than his driver's license when he turns 16 on Thursday. The talented youngster from Ladera Ranch, Calif., has earned a part-time ride in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Haas Racing Development. Custer will race the #00 Chevy Silverado in nine races in 2014. He'll make his debut at Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250 on March 29. While Custer's trucks will be fielded by HRD, he'll have the benefit of Hendrick engines and Turner Scott Motorsports chassis. Joe Shear Jr. will work as his crew chief.(Fox Sports)(1-20-2014)


    News from January 19, 2014

  • Clauson wins Chili Bowl: Bryan Clauson won the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals on Saturday night in Tulsa, Okla. To win the 2014 Golden Driller trophy, Clauson had to hold off four-time and defending champion Kevin Swindell, who finished second after starting 14th. "I'm just really relieved I didn't throw it away because these guys are really good," Bryan Clauson said after the final race. I said it last night in the Press Conference that I felt like I had a car that could compete for the win tonight from the time we unloaded the car. It was really going to be a matter of not burying ourselves." The 28th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals saw the record for driver attendance tied at 281 set in 2009. Oklahoma native Christopher Bell finished third. Alex Bright and Dave Darland rounded out the top five.(Racin Today)(1-19-2014)

  • Kurt Busch still considering Indy 500 run: Sprint Cup driver #41-Kurt Busch said he expects to have "a pretty good indication" by the end of January if he will make what he expects is his last attempt to enter the Indianapolis 500. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion completed IndyCar's rookie orientation program for the race last season in a car prepared by Andretti Autosport and said he has a standing offer from that team -- plus another -- to enter the May 25 spectacle. Doing so would make the Stewart-Haas Racing driver the first since Robby Gordon in 2004 to contest both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's Memorial Day weekend offering, on the same day. Busch said he has a "couple of strong leads for advertising partners" but is concerned over a lack of testing time and that the Indianapolis 500 is the first oval event on the 2014 IndyCar schedule. His age, he said, might make this his last shot. "Testing, we still would probably need to go to Fontana [Calif.], or we're just going to have to bite the bullet and show up at Indy and let 'er rip," he said. "But I turn 36 this summer and to me that's like an artificial drawing-a-line in the sand of 'I'm getting too old.' I can't teach myself new tricks. You can show up at Indy as a 20-year-old and go and do that. So I'm thinking this is probably the cutoff year."(ESPN)(1-19-2014)

  • Sad News - Al Hammond: Albert S. "Al" Hammond, 70 of South Paris, Maine died at his home early Thursday morning. Al had worked as a truck driver and mechanic . Al was a race car driver, racing over 50 years at Oxford Plains Speedway and other tracks up and down the east coast. In 1971 he raced at Daytona International Speedway. Al had 91 careers wins and won everytime he raced in Arundel. His life was racing and in 2009 he was inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame. He served on the board of directors for the Maine Vintage Race Car Association, was a member of Granite Lodge AF & AM in West Paris and served in the National Guard. Al is survived by his wife Delores of South Paris, a son Ryan Kane and his wife Rae-Ann of Oxford and their children (Chandler Funeral Homes)(1-19-2014)

  • Blue Angels to perform flyover at Auto Club Speedway: The world renowned pride of the Navy and Marine Corps, United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, will perform a flyover prior to the start of the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 23. It is the only sporting event flyover on the Blue Angels 2014 schedule. With its storied history and precision flying, the mission of the Flight Demonstration Squadron is to showcase the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach. An estimated 11 million spectators view the squadron during air shows each year. Additionally, the Blue Angels visit more than 50,000 people a show season (March through November) during school and hospital visits. The Blue Angels are scheduled to fly 68 performances at 35 locations in North America during the 2014 season, making this their 28th year of flying the F/A-18 Hornet.(Auto Club Speedway)(1-19-2014)


    News from January 18, 2014

  • NASCAR considering changes to the Chase, points system: NASCAR is planning a vast restructuring of the points system in its premier Sprint Cup Series that would greatly emphasize winning races and feature eliminations in its Chase playoff system, according to multiple sources briefed on the plan this week. In addition to expanding the Chase field from 12 to 16 drivers, a win in the season's first 26 races would virtually ensure a driver entry into the championship Chase. If there were more than 16 winners, the 16 with the most wins and highest in points would gain entry.
    Once the Chase field was set, a round of eliminations - similar to the NCAA tournament - would take place after the third, sixth and ninth race of the Chase, culminating with the championship determined by a winner-takes-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Under the proposed system - which could still change before an expected announcement later this month - winning would become virtually a necessity to make the Chase and win the championship.
    According to sources briefed on the proposal on Friday, 16 teams would make the Chase, with positions first going to full-time series contenders who won a race through the first 26 races of the season. Should 16 drivers not win races, the remaining slots would be filled by the drivers highest in points.
    Once the field is set for the Chase and re-seeded, the four lowest in points among Chase contenders would be eliminated from title contention after the third, sixth and ninth race in the Chase. The four remaining contenders would enter the season finale reset with the same amount of points. The driver who earned the most points in the season finale would be the series champion.
    Participants have been told changes could still occur in the format but the proposal addressed this week was the direction NASCAR was now seemingly headed.(Charlotte Observer)
    NASCAR Statement: "NASCAR has begun the process of briefing key industry stakeholders on potential concepts to evolve its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship format. This dialogue is the final phase of a multi-year process that has included the review of extensive fan research, partner and industry feedback and other data-driven insights. NASCAR has no plans to comment further until the stakeholder discussions are complete. We hope to announce any potential changes for the 2014 season to our media and fans very soon."(NASCAR)(1-18-2014)

  • Mechanical Issues drop Robby Gordon from Dakar Rally: Robby Gordon's 10th attempt at Dakar Rally glory has come to an end in the sand dunes of Chile. Despite earlier issues in the Rally with fuel vapor locking on the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires HST Gordini, the issue that put Gordon and his team out of the 35th Dakar Rally was a compromised air filtration system. At the start of Thursday's 11th stage, Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch raced only 18 kilometers into the stage when they realized the issue at the engine's air intake and returned to Antofagasta, Chile to make repairs. At that time more than 80 cars had withdrawn from the race and only 65 remained. Being more than 10 hours down to the leaders and facing more than 10 hours of repairs would make Gordon's withdrawal from the Rally justifiable. But in typical Gordon style, he and his team's never-give-up attitude kicked in and they worked until 12 a.m. Friday with hopes of driving the HST Gordini and support trucks through total darkness in the desert in an attempt to make it to the start of the next stage within one hour after the last car left for Friday's 12th stage. Despite their best efforts, and although repairs were made, time did not allow the team to make the 749-kilometer trek through the dunes to El Salvador in a timely fashion.(Speed Energy PR)(1-18-2014)

  • Michael Schumacher stable, remains in induced coma: Michael Schumacher remains in stable condition following a skiing accident that left the Formula One great with severe head injuries and in a coma since Dec. 29, his manager said on Friday. The statement from manager Sabine Kehm does not mention the word "critical" for the first time in describing the condition of the seven-time world champion. Schumacher has been in an induced coma in a Grenoble hospital since the crash in the French Alps. "Michael's family is very happy and confident with the work of the team of doctors treating Michael, and they trust them completely. Michael's condition is still considered as stable," Kehm said in an email.(USA Today)(1-18-2014)

  • Dale Jr's Whisky River Jacksonville closes: Whisky River, the St. Johns Town Center-area restaurant/nightclub owned by NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr., has closed. Doors at the restaurant were locked during a visit at 1:30 p.m. Friday. And though lights were off inside the restaurant, one of four flatscreen TVs on the restaurant's emptied patio was on, tuned to ESPN. By mid-afternoon, Whisky River's Facebook page had been removed and the restaurant's website simply read "Whisky River Jacksonville has closed." Bar Management Group, which operated the restaurant for Earnhardt, issued the following statement to Times-Union news partner First Coast News: "After four years, the management company behind Whisky River Jacksonville has decided to close this location, and is working with the landlord with respect to its closing."(Florida Times-Union)(1-18-2014)

  • Mingus full-time with WinTron in 2014: Officials from Win-Tron Racing announced today that the team will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series full-time this season with Rookie of the Year contender Mason Mingus. Mingus, 19, will drive the team's #35 entry in all 22 races this year, beginning with next month's season-opener, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 from Daytona International Speedway on February 21. Win-Tron Racing, headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, will convert from Chevy to Toyota for Mingus's freshman NASCAR season. The team also announced that Call 811 Before You Dig will return as the primary marketing partner this season.(WinTron Racing)(1-18-2014)

  • Madison Rising to Sing National Anthem for DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona: Madison Rising, a patriotic, guitar-heavy band, will sing the National Anthem for the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Daytona International Speedway. Madison Rising is fronted by lead vocalist Dave Bray, a U.S. Navy veteran who served as an 8404 FMF Corpsman for the 2nd Battalion/2nd Marines stationed out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. Drummer Sam Fishman and bassist Steve Padelski make up the rest of the New Jersey-based band. Founded on the principles of independence, personal responsibility and liberty, the band brings American-rock back to popular culture with their passionate performances. Madison Rising's self-titled debut album was released in October 2011 landing them spots in the top 100 best-selling rock albums on iTunes. Their rendition of the National Anthem became a YouTube sensation in 2012 with more than 5 million views. Most recently, their long-awaited second album was released in November 2013 titled "American Hero," which is dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces, police, firefighters and first responders. The album contains 10 songs, including their popular rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."(DIS)(1-18-2014)


    News from January 17, 2014

  • Max Papis forms Whelen Euro team: Max Papis Racing to announced its presence in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, fielding the #99 racecar for the 2014 season. Team Principal and Italian native Max Papis, who has the most NASCAR starts for a European driver, and his wife/car owner, Tatiana Fittipaldi Papis, have a personal connection with the NASCAR family. "Being a NASCAR team owner is a very important step in my professional career," said Papis. "I am excited to create a working platform that will act as a bridge between racing in the United States and Europe, creating opportunities for drivers and technicians to experience the best of the two worlds combined." Kevin Gilardoni will drive the No. 99 racecar in the Elite division. The 21-year old Italian driver has competed in the Eurocup Megane Trophy and Formula Renault 2.0 series, showing great talent and potential with multiple wins, pole positions, and podium finishes in the past three seasons. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will begin its third season under the NASCAR banner with the season opener April 12-13 at Valencia in Spain. The six race-weekend schedule also includes stops at England's Brands Hatch, Germany's Nürburgring and the championship weekend at France's famed LeMans. In addition, the series competes on the first purpose-built oval for stock cars in Europe, Tours Speedway in France.(Max Papis Racing)(1-17-2014)

  • Ernie Elliott restructures engine business: Power by Ernie Elliott announced the company has officially restructured and is offering full service leasing programs to NASCAR'S top-3 divisions, ARCA Racing Series, and other motorsport divisions. The company develops and builds high performance Chevrolet and Toyota engines with legendary engine builder Ernie Elliott at the helm. Ernie Elliott's accomplishments include holding the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying record of 212.809mph, 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship, 51 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles, 39 wins, 148-top 5's and 291-top 10's. His engine building expertise has also earned him three ARCA Championships including 37 wins. Located in Dawsonville, GA, the Power by Ernie Elliott facility is a fully equipped engine shop with the latest technology utilized to achieve top results.(Power by Ernie Elliott)(1-17-2014)

  • Ellis joins FDNY Racing for 2014: FDNY Racing has signed rising NASCAR star Ryan Ellis to drive their #28 Chevy Silverado for the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series campaign. The veteran team plans to compete in selected NCWTS events, including the series' first race on Feb 21st at Daytona. The FDNY race team, led by veteran NASCAR owner Jim Rosenblum, was formed in the wake of the 9-11 tragedy as a way to honor first responders and a means to help support their families. The FDNY race team members are all volunteers who pay their own expenses and all proceeds from the team's operations are donated to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widow's and Children's Fund.(FDNY Racing)(1-17-2014)

  • Kaitlyn Bailey named Darlington Lady in Black: The votes have been tallied and local Darlington, S.C. native Kaitlyn Bailey has been selected as Darlington Raceway's next "Lady in Black". Bailey, as the "Lady in Black" will serve as the face of Darlington Raceway throughout 2014. She will represent the track at various community and media events, parties and the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend on April 11-12, 2014. Bailey will play an integral part in the track's efforts to focus on the fans and serve as an ambassador in the community. Bailey was selected from over 50 candidates that submitted an online application for the contest back in the fall. Five finalists were introduced at the track's inaugural Speed & Feed BBQ Cook-Off and Car Show presented by Piggly Wiggly event on Nov. 8-9, 2013, which drew thousands of fans to the track Too Tough to Tame. Bailey is a 2009 graduate of Mayo High School in Darlington and will receive her political science degree in May from the University of South Carolina.(Darlington Raceway)(1-17-2014)


    News from January 16, 2014

  • Haas interested in Formula 1 team: NASCAR Sprint Cup car owner Gene Haas has applied to own a Formula 1 team, Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed Thursday. A report on the German website auto motor und sport reported that Haas is one of three new applicants to field a Formula 1 team as soon as 2015. "We have responded to the FIA's 'call for expression of interest' regarding a Formula One entry on behalf of Haas Racing Development,'' co-owner Gene Haas said in a statement. "We respect the FIA's evaluation process and will share more details in the coming weeks." Haas is founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The FIA issued its "call for expression of interest'' in November. It's a new selection process to identify a new team to compete in Formula 1 at the start of the 2015 or '16 season. Applicants had to file paperwork and submit an administrative fee of $5,000. Responses were due Jan. 3. The German website reported that Haas' plans are to design a car in-house but to have it initially designed by Dallara. Ferrari would be the engine partner. Former Red Bull team manager Guenther Steiner would oversee the team.(Motor Racing Network)(1-16-2014)

  • NASCAR, manufacturers talk tech at Detroit auto show: NASCAR, manufacturers and teams have collaborated to make a handful of changes to their cars for the coming season, and though many of the tweaks may be small -- they could wind up paying big dividends. Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development, said cars will be closer to the ground at all but the fastest of tracks the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits. He was among the panelists for Wednesday's Tech Talk forum at Cobo Center, home of the 2014 North American International Auto Show. Other changes include a steeper rear spoiler, squaring of the front splitter and slightly higher trim of the rear fascia, but Stefanyshyn said those alterations probably will be harder to spot.
    The lack of severe changes comes a year after the series began running the Gen-6 race car, the result of a collaboration between NASCAR and the three manufacturers that field NASCAR Sprint Cup cars. Jamie Allison of Ford Racing, David Wilson of Toyota Racing Development and Jim Campbell of Chevy Performance Vehicles and Motorsport also were panelists, and all three said that sense of collaboration still exists -- even though all three nameplates want to be first to the checkered flag.
    Two of the most enlightening tidbits from the discussion included Allison noting that a lack of testing time means simulators are used more and more to prepare cars for different tracks. In many cases, he said, the driver's first time in the car on a new track is with a setup prepared with extensive computer help.
    A variety of metrics, Stefanyshyn added, also are used to measure the flow and general competitiveness of a race. A variety of factors, including the number of passes for the lead and the distance between the first and fifth, 10th or 15th cars in the running order, are among the factors NASCAR uses to grade the overall entertainment factor in a race.(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-16-2014)

  • Kyle Busch's cars to be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson: Two of Kyle Busch's personal collector cars are set to be auctioned off this weekend as part of Barrett-Jackson's 43rd Annual Scottsdale Auction. Busch's vehicles, a Velocity Yellow 2006 Z06 Corvette and an Orange 1969 Camaro SS, are scheduled to roll across the auction block this Sunday, Jan. 19, during Fox Sports 1's live coverage from 5:00-7:00/pm/et. Busch's two vehicles:
    Barrett-Jackson lot #1657 - 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2 Door Coupe: 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 powered by a 7.0 Liter V8 engine that produces 505hp. Busch acquired the vehicle in 2005 from Rick Hendrick's City Chevrolet. Rarely driven, this vehicle is in pristine condition featuring Velocity Yellow exterior and black leather interior with a 6-speed manual transmission and aftermarket CD stereo.
    Barrett-Jackson lot #1658 - 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe features a 350cid engine with 4-speed manual transmission and has been owned by Busch since 2006. Runs and drives great. Fresh orange paint on the outside and fresh white upholstery on the inside. 17" American chrome plated 5-spoke wheels. New tires and new brakes.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(1-16-2014)

  • ML Motorsports shutting down? UPDATE: hearing that #70 ML Motortsports has laid off most of its employees, is selling equipment and has put their Warsaw, IN race shop for sale.(1-15-2014)
    UPDATE: According to the Warsaw, IN Times Union Facebook page, "ML Motorsports owner Mary Louise Miller confirmed today in a telephone interview that the Warsaw-based NASCAR Nationwide Series team is closing its doors after 15 years. The team was founded in 1998 and competed in the ARCA Series from 1999 to 2005, winning six races (4 with Chad Blount, 2 with Jason Jarrett). In 2006 the team moved up to the Nationwide Series, and had its best finish of 5th at Talladega Superspeedway with Mark Green behind the wheel in 2008. Miller cited the lack of a corporate sponsor as the reason for shutting down the team."(1-16-2014)

  • Jeffrey Earnhardt to drive Vietnam War 50th Commemoration car: NASCAR Nationwide series driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, grandson of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, will be bringing an important message to the racetrack. He will be carrying the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Seal on his #4 Chevy Camaro for the 2014 NASCAR season. "The President of the United States signed a proclamation to honor Vietnam Veterans for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and we'll be delivering that message for their commemorative partner Warrior 50", said Jeffrey Earnhardt. "This is a huge honor and I'm humbled to pay tribute to that generation of great Americans. We'll be racing to honor those who served during a challenging time in our history and I look forward to showing the NASCAR fans appreciation to our Vietnam Vets and their families." Warrior 50 is a non-profit organization that will be honoring our Vietnam Veterans at NASCAR tracks and in communities all across this country. Jeffrey Earnhardt's first race featuring the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Seal will be on February 22 at Daytona International Speedway.(Jeffrey Earnhardt Inc), see an image of the car on the #4 team paint schemes page.(1-16-2014)

  • Daytona 500 tickets most expensive in 5 years: In a little over two weeks, the two best teams in the NFL will face off in the Super Bowl and come February 3rd, there will be a new owner of the Lombardi Trophy. The 3rd will also mark three weeks until the SuperBowl of stock car racing, also known as the Daytona 500. If we want to compare the respective SuperBowls, at an average price of $263, Daytona 500 tickets on the secondary market are 93% less than the current average price for Super Bowl tickets.
    Because of its prestige and importance, as well as the atmosphere of excitement that comes with the beginning of a new season, the Daytona 500 tickets are almost always the most expensive NASCAR tickets. Over the next three years, however, Daytona is looking to eliminate 46,000 seats, which means that ticket prices will be a lot more expensive in 2016 when the renovation is complete. If you have not already purchased tickets for the 2014 event, there are some tickets left in the primary market as well as a large selection on the secondary market. The price for tickets in the primary and secondary market, however, are pretty close to each other. This year's average secondary market ticket price of $263 is the highest of the past five years, since TiqIQ began tracking pricing data for the race. Prices for this year's event are up 4.4% over last year's average price of $253, but up substantially more from the 2011 and 2010 average prices of $195 and $171.(Forbes)(1-16-2014)


    News from January 15, 2014

  • Smithfield Foods extends relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports: Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Richard Petty Motorsports, along with NASCAR officials, announced a three-year extension and increased investment in Smithfield Foods' NASCAR program with Richard Petty Motorsports. The company and its family of brands, including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney, Nathan's and Smithfield, will return as primary sponsors of the legendary #43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for 29 races in 2014 and beyond under a contract that extends through the end of the 2016 season. The agreement increases support from 15 events in 2012 and 25 in 2013 to 29 events in 2014-2016. The partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been a very effective marketing platform for the world's largest pork processor, with in-store promotional activities and tie-ins yielding successively incremental sales results. "I believe in the power of NASCAR and Richard Petty Motorsports. My challenge to RPM was to help Smithfield connect our brands with the sport's 80 plus million fans," commented Larry Pope, President and CEO of Smithfield Foods. "Our results completely validate our participation." Mr. Pope further offered, "I also expect that our increased investment will yield significant infrastructure steps that lead to our shared vision of Petty Rising to be realized." As identified by Mr. Pope, this long term commitment from Smithfield Foods will help support Richard Petty Motorsports' aggressive investment in competition, including the immediate development of a research and development group led by veteran NASCAR team engineer Scott McDougall.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-15-2014)

  • Dave Blaney to be inducted into National Sprint Car Hall of Fame: The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame announced the names of its eight inductees for 2014. The ceremony will be held in Knoxville, Iowa on May 31st. Sprint Cup Series driver, Dave Blaney, is one of the drivers that will be inducted.(National Sprint Car Hall of Fame)(1-15-2014)

  • Ray named Dir. of Business Development at TSM: Kevin Ray is the new director of business operations for Turner Scott Motorsports. For the past seven years, Ray was team manager for Red Horse Racing in the NASCAR Truck Series. He oversaw the three-truck operation that last year included Timothy Peters, John Wes Townley and German Quiroga. Ray's responsibilities will more than double at Turner Scott Motorsports. The organization fields two full-time Nationwide Series teams, two truck teams and entries in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. As a second-generation racer, Ray said he is looking forward to the challenge that includes overseeing the development of Kyle Larson, Jeb Burton, Dylan Kwasniewski and Ben Kennedy. The 36-year-old native of Eastaboga, Ala., made 20 starts in ARCA over eight seasons. His career-best finish of fourth came at his home track, Talladega Superspeedway, in 2005. That same season, Ray made his only Nationwide Series start. He qualified 35th at what is now O'Reily Raceway Park and finished 21st.(Fox Sports)(1-15-2014)

  • Martins Motorsports to run two full-time teams: The Nationwide Series is welcoming an exciting team into the fold for the 2014 season. Martins Motorsports, based in Nashville, TN, will be a rare full-time participant in the entire 33-race Nationwide Series schedule. One of the drivers for Martins Motorsports will be a competitor lauded by his peers as one of the most underrated, talented drivers in the sport, Willie Allen. Allen, from Bon Aqua, Tennessee, burst onto the NASCAR scene in 2007 by driving the #13 ThorSport Racing truck to a 15th place position in the Camping World Truck Series standings and winning the Rookie of the Yea® award. Joining forces with Allen will be another rising talent in the sport of NASCAR, Tommy Joe Martins. Martins, like Allen, is a driver with experience in the top ranks of NASCAR, competing in the Camping World Truck Series in 2009 and 2011. The Martins Motorsports cars will be represented by car numbers #67 and #76. Allen will be the driver of the #76, while Tommy Joe Martins will be behind the wheel of the #67 car.(Standing Ovation/Martins Motorsports)(1-15-2014)

  • Malsam to Turner Scott: FoxSports reporter Ray Dunlap reported on his Twitter that Taylor Malsam will return to the Camping World Truck Series this season, driving the #33 Chevy for Turner Scott Motorsports. Coinstar will serve as the sponsor.(1-15-2014)

  • BKR Switches crews: FoxSports reporter Ray Dunlap reported on his Twitter that BKR (Brad Keselowski Racing) will switch crews for the #19 and #29 Ford trucks teams. Chad Kendrick and crew moves to the #29-Ryan Blaney truck and Doug Randolph moves to the #19 Ford of rookie Tyler Reddick.(1-15-2014)


    News from January 14, 2014

  • Fan Appreciation Day at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame on Feb 1: For the first time since its 2010 opening, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will offer fans unlimited access to the attraction ... FREE OF CHARGE. On Saturday, Feb. 1, fans will be admitted into the Hall for free as part of NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day - a full day of special activities that includes autograph and Q&A sessions with current drivers and NASCAR Hall of Famers. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Greg Biffle headline a group of more than 20 NASCAR national series drivers scheduled to interact with fans during this first-of-its-kind event in Uptown Charlotte, N.C. Several NASCAR Hall of Famers, including Class of 2014 inductees Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett and Maurice Petty, will also be on hand. Fans will have free access to the Hall on a first-come, first-served basis in lieu of needing a ticket. However, fans need to secure free tickets for the driver autograph sessions in advance at nascarhall.com, where they can also find schedules and details about NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day.
    Several new exhibits will be on display, including a revamped Glory Road; newly rewrapped Gen-6 racing simulators; a Champions exhibit honoring Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon and Matt Crafton; and a Memorable Moments exhibit highlighting recent significant NASCAR milestones. In addition, fans will be among the first to see the new Hall of Honor exhibit featuring artifacts from the Class of 2014, which will open Thursday, Jan. 30.
    Immediately following NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will close for a special Junior Johnson Midnight Moon Sign & Shine. The event will feature a private Q&A and autograph session with Junior Johnson and other NASCAR Hall of Famers, and a free tasting at the Midnight Moon moonshine bar. Fans purchasing NASCAR Hall of Fame memberships at NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day will have access to the event.
    Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com. Admission is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Memberships are available starting at $125. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. For more details, visit nascarhall.com. More info at nascarhall.com.(NHOF)(1-14-2014)

  • Swan Racing Adds New Investor: Swan Racing announced the addition of Anthony Marlowe as a minority owner. Marlowe, a successful business leader from Iowa City, IA, has been involved in NASCAR as a sponsor with different teams since 2011. His leadership and his experience with business-to-business deals will be increasingly valuable to the team as it seeks additional partnerships. "Anthony is an entrepreneur like me," said team owner Brandon Davis. "He has the same work ethic and the same approach when it comes to finding creative and innovative solutions. Anthony is the perfect fit for the team and will be an integral part of it going forward."
    "This is a remarkable day, which for me marks the intersection of my passion for NASCAR and my dream of owning part of a professional sports team at the highest level," said Marlowe. "I kept a close eye on Swan Racing during its inaugural season last year and was so impressed with Brandon Davis, the way they do business, and their pursuit of excellence that I wanted to be part of his Cup team for the long-haul."
    Marlowe joins other successful investors in Swan Racing including former NFL great Bill Romanowski. Romanowski, who played 16 seasons in the NFL, was an early investor in the team. Additionally, Romanowski's business, Lean1 Health Shakes, is a primary sponsor for Swan Racing.
    Marlowe, 34, is co-founder and president of TMone (pronounced T-M-one), a domestic customer relationship management (CRM) firm supporting Fortune 500 companies. He is also the managing member of Iowa City Capital Partners, which is a private investment firm that provides equity funding to companies. Inc. Magazine recognized Marlowe in 2007, at the age of 28, as one of the 25 youngest CEOs of the 5000 fastest growing companies in America.(Swan Racing)(1-14-2014)

  • NASCAR-themed car wash: A business with a name tied to high-speed auto racing is scheduled to open this month in Elmwood Park, IL, hoping to attract lots of cars to looking for a speedy wash. The owners of NASCAR Car Wash, located at 7525 W. Grand Ave., are hoping their business will capitalize on the high traffic along Grand Avenue. Dean Tomich, who runs the day-to-day operations of NASCAR Car Wash, headquartered in Joliet, thinks they made the right choice. He said after looking at several communities, Elmwood Park seemed like a good location to expand the business. The company has other NASCAR Car Washes in Illinois and Michigan and is planning to expand into other states. The NDP Group holds the license to build the NASCAR Car Wash brand.(Elm Leaves/Sun-Times)(1-14-2014)

  • Truck teams can use 2013 or 2014 models at some tracks: To ease the financial burden of new truck construction, pursuant to major changes in the body design this year, NASCAR will allow Camping World Truck Series teams to run their choice of 2013 or 2014 models at speedways measuring 1.25 miles or less. #29-Ryan Blaney, expected to be a championship contender in a truck fielded by Brad Keselowski, says his team will run only new models this year. "I think we're going to go all new this year," Blaney said Monday at Daytona. "We've been in the (wind) tunnel, and we've seen how much improved they are, how much faster they are, just how much better downforce they (have) and all that stuff. We're planning on using all brand-new trucks, except for the Eldora race (on dirt). We're going to use an old one for that race. But as far as everything else goes, we're going to go with the new 2014 stuff."(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-14-2014)

  • Trucks conclude two-day test at Daytona International Speedway: Despite a damp race track and a leery forecast that sent a number of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series packing and heading north on Tuesday morning, five teams remained for the final day of NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. Trucks were able to roll onto the 2.5-mile superspeedway shortly before 12:45 pm/et to log additional data as they prepare for next month's season-opener, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday, Feb. 21. The teams of FDNY Racing (#28-Ryan Ellis), Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing (#10-Jennifer Jo Cobb) and ThorSport Racing (#13-Ross Chastain/#88-Matt Crafton/#98-Johnny Sauter) elected to use the afternoon to finesse their trucks, which have new body styles implemented by NASCAR for the 2014 season. The ThorSport Racing trio led Tuesday afternoon's session in a tight three-pack drafting group with defending Daytona race winner Johnny Sauter atop the board, reigning truck series champion Crafton second and Chastain third. Ellis and Cobb rounded out the top five respectively, both in single-truck runs. Sauter's best lap came early at 183.921 miles per hour, significantly slower than the fastest lap produced yesterday.
    #4-Jeb Burton, starting his second season, ended up leading the two-day test's speed chart with a 191.144 mph lap Monday afternoon in the draft, ahead of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East graduate and Daytona Beach native #31-Ben Kennedy. #5-John Wes Townley, in his new ride for Wauters Motorsports, was third followed by Crafton and Kyle Busch Motorsports' #54-Darrell Wallace Jr.
    Despite some unknowns of the new body styles in the garage area, the initial feedback from most teams were positive. "We just need to work on a few things and they (ThorSport) want to be better, so I gladly stayed and helped," said Chastain, who hopes to return to Speedweeks with the team next month in a third entry. "We're just trying to work on the new rules package and these new bodies, trying to be ready for when it comes race time. I think we've already learned something today that will definitely help. The trucks feel real good out there, which should make it a good race come February." In all, 15 teams and 20 drivers participated in the test.(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-14-2014)

  • Daytona Tuesday afternoon Truck Series test session results:
    #98-Johnny Sauter 183.921
    #88-Matt Crafton 183.895
    #13-Ross Chastain 183.880
    #28-Ryan Ellis 176.025
    #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb 173.437
    Only five trucks stayed and tested in the afternoon session after the morning session was rained out.
    See fastest speeds, laps run the Tuesday afternoon Daytona Truck Series testing results (pdf) page.(1-14-2014)

  • Daytona Tuesday morning Truck Series test session was canceled due to rain. The trucks have been able to get out on the track to start the afternoon session as of 12:30pm/et.(1-14-2014)

  • Richmond Sprint Cup Series Tickets on sale: Tickets for Richmond International Raceway's April 25 & 26 NASCAR weekend go on sale Wednesday, January 15; however, fans who sign up to receive Ticket Holder e-mail communication can purchase two days early. Click here to subscribe and stay connected. A limited number of frontstretch seats will be available. NASCAR returns to RIR April 25 & 26 with three races in two nights. You've got to see Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and all your favorite drivers beating and banging at RIR on Saturday night, April 26 in the TOYOTA OWNERS 400. Advance tickets start at $35. New for 2014: tickets for kids 12 & younger are $25 off the adult price in ALL grandstands at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Be sure to click here to sign up to purchase early. The weekend begins Friday, April 25, with a full day of on-track activity and two races "under the lights"! Don't miss Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr., Brian Vickers and many up and coming drivers in the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Tickets start at $30 in advance, and kids 12 & younger are admitted FREE in general admission. For additional information, please visit www.rir.com or call 866-455-7223.(RIR)(1-14-2014)

  • World's largest HD sports venue video board takes shape at TMS: The massive steel beams that will compose the skeletal structure of the world's largest HD sports venue video board being created by Panasonic will be raised over the next three weeks of construction at Texas Motor Speedway. The steel-beam skeleton will serve as the foundation and framework of the video board known as "Big Hoss TV" that will weigh 108 tons and rise 12 stories above the center of the backstretch at the world-class, Fort Worth-based motorsports venue. With dimensions of 218 feet wide and 94.6 feet tall, the video board display area will feature 20,633.64 square feet of HD imagery to earn it the official title of world's largest. The lower section of steel uprights currently is moving into place and that phase is expected to be completed by Jan. 21. The upper uprights immediately will follow and are scheduled to be completed by Jan. 31. The electrical infrastructure of "Big Hoss TV" also is underway and is expected to be completed by the middle of next week. Power to the base of the video board is scheduled for completion by mid-January. Once the skeletal structure is in place, the framework modules will be put in place through the first three weeks of February. The 83 giant module cabinets currently are being built at Jones Sign in De Pere, Wis., near Green Bay, and will be transported to Texas Motor Speedway upon completion. These cabinets serve as the frame for the LED modules containing 14 million LED lamps that will follow in the next phase of construction. "Big Hoss TV" is scheduled to be completed by March 1 and officially will be unveiled during the Texas 500 NASCAR doubleheader race week scheduled for April 3-6. During race weekends, the video board will feature live race coverage, leaderboard information, driver and race statistics, instant replays, interactive entertainment and more.(TMS)(1-14-2014)


    News from January 13, 2014

  • NASCAR '14 Is Coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation3 system and PC on February 18: Deep Silver announced that the racing game NASCAR '14, developed by Eutechnyx, will launch in North America on February 18, 2014 on the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and PC for the suggested retail price of $49.99. Pre-order offers at Walmart, Gamestop, Best Buy, Target and Amazon may include diecast cars, exclusive paint schemes and more. Fueled by high-octane intensity and the opportunity to relive the best NASCAR moments from both the 2013 season packed into the game plus regular downloadable content updates as the upcoming season progresses, NASCAR '14 offers fans the most complete NASCAR experience yet. Recently NASCAR revealed that more than 700,000 votes were cast worldwide in the "Drive for the Cover" contest as fans voted Tony Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion to appear onto the cover of NASCAR '14. The injury that kept Stewart off the track didn't stop fans of the driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing from beating another fan favorite, four-time champion Jeff Gordon. Stewart plans to return to the track for the Daytona 500 race in February, the same month NASCAR '14 hits store shelves.(Eutechnyx)(1-13-2014)

  • Clements to drive the #51 for the full season for JCR: Jeremy Clements Racing (JCR) announced that the team will run full time in the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series, with Jeremy Clements driving the #51 Chevy. The 2014 season will mark the fourth full time season for both JCR and Jeremy Clements. Clements closed out the 2013 season 16th in the point standings, with 2 top 10 finishes at Talladega and Mid-Ohio. "I am looking forward to the start of the season and getting back on the track," said Clements. "We have been working tirelessly at the shop to get the cars ready and aggressively working to secure sponsorships. I have high expectations for this season." Ricky Pearson will return as crew chief of the #51 Chevrolet, for his fourth NNS season with JCR. The team continues to pursue marketing partners for the season, and announcements of those partnerships will be made at a later date.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(1-13-2014)

  • NASCAR Nationwide Series Drivers Draft New Formulas For Daytona Success: New year. New faces. New sponsors. New rules. All that and more combined to make the NASCAR Nationwide Series Preseason Thunder test a crucial success this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Twenty-five cars turned laps on the 2.5-mile high banks Saturday and Sunday, tuning up for the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300. Teams adjusted to new cooling systems designed to eliminate tandem drafting, and they searched for new ways to find top speed at the World Center of Racing.
    "With this form of racing you're going to have to be more strategic throughout the whole race," said #6-Trevor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner who's competing for the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. "I don't think you can wait until five laps to go and hook up to somebody and go barreling to the front." If this test is any indication, the 22-year-old Bayne may have his hands full with a pair of 18-year-olds during Speedweeks. On Sunday morning, #31-Dylan Kwasniewski tested a Turner Scott Chevrolet and posted the fastest speed of the weekend (190.022 mph). That came on the heels of Saturday's afternoon session, which saw an 18-year-old #9-Chase Elliott best his father Bill by four one-thousandths of a second to top the speed charts in JR Motorsports Chevrolets. Both Chase Elliott and Kwasniewski are products of the NASCAR Next program. Bill Elliott will likely be a future member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    "It was good to see everybody get out there and get right to drafting," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development. "I'm really pleased with the test. Our conversations that we've had with the drivers have been positive and Wayne (Auton, NASCAR Nationwide Series Managing Director) is getting good feedback from the garage. It looks like a good effort on everybody's part to do all the right things out there. It looked really nice."
    #9-Chase Elliott (189.950), #99-James Buescher (189.921), #5-Bill Elliott (189.885) and #62-Brendan Gaughan (189.881) followed Kwasniewski on the speed chart in the Sunday morning session - the fastest of the weekend. Drivers maximized their drafting opportunities on both days as they worked in packs at high speeds. They gathered key data they can use during Speedweeks, which will include a yet-to-be-divulged multi-car qualifying format for both the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. It will be announced later this month. Teams also tested a new rear spring package and 4.5-inch spoiler, designed to give the cars more stability in the pack. Their feedback will now be reviewed to help NASCAR make tweaks heading into next month's action.
    NASCAR Preseason Thunder continues Monday and Tuesday when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series turn their first laps in re-designed Chevrolets, Fords and Toyotas. Testing both days is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am and conclude at 5:00 pm. Fans can watch the testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. For more information on tickets for the races at Daytona, race fans can visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS & NASCAR)(1-13-2014)

  • Daytona Testing: there is no TV coverage of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Daytona, but it can be followed at NASCAR.com Leaderboard.(1-13-2014)

  • Daytona Monday morning Truck Series test session results:
    #31-Ben Kennedy 182.168
    #4-Jeb Burton 182.083
    #17-Timothy Peters 178.271
    #5-John Wes Townley 178.175
    #54-Darrell Wallace Jr. 177.901
    19 drivers/cars tested during this session. The slowest was #7-Todd Peck at 172.186.
    See fastest speeds, laps run the Monday morning Daytona Truck Series testing results (pdf) page.(1-13-2014)

  • Truck Series testing at Daytona - Jan 13-14: NASCAR Preseason Thunder continues Monday and Tuesday when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series turn their first laps in re-designed Chevrolets, Fords and Toyotas. Testing both days is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am and conclude at 5:00 pm. Fans can watch the testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. For more information on tickets for the races at Daytona, race fans can visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS & NASCAR)(1-13-2014)

  • John Hunter Nemechek to run 10 Truck Series races in 2014: After turning heads in the first two races of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in 2013, 16-year-old John Hunter Nemechek is ready to compete at the front of the field with a more aggressive schedule in 2014. Nemechek will pilot the #8 Toyota Tundra in 10 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events with SWM-NEMCO Motorsports. The 10-race slate consists of all the tracks the second-generation driver can compete on under NASCAR's age requirements, but the mix of short tracks and one-mile ovals coupled with a road course and a dirt track makes for an exciting opportunity for Nemechek to gain more NCWTS experience. "Our goals for the year are to finish top 10 in each race," said Nemechek. "I know it's going to be tough racing against all the veterans that we'll compete with each race, but I think we'll have the team to do it. It's all about getting as much experience as I can while continuing to move up into the bigger cars." Nemechek, son of NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek, kick-started his foray into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a pair of starts near the end of the 2013 season. The former Allison Legacy Series National Champion and Super Late Model standout finished 16th in his Truck Series debut in October at Martinsville Speedway, followed by a 21st-place result at Phoenix International Raceway in November. Opening his NASCAR National Series career with races at two of the series' most diverse venues helped Nemechek prepare for a more aggressive approach to his Truck Series schedule in 2014. "Getting my feet wet with the races at Martinsville and Phoenix definitely prepared me for this season. I know more of what I'm looking for in the truck set-up wise and how to get the truck faster. It's a lot about preparation and the people you have working around you. We're definitely looking forward to putting all the right parts to the puzzle together to run well this year."
    The formation of SWM-NEMCO Motorsports in 2013 was borne of the passion of Sid Mauldin, founder of Texas-based SWM Gun Runner. Mauldin, a longtime supporter of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, continues a battle with stomach and liver cancer today. Still, Mauldin lived out a dream of team ownership in 2013 by partnering with Joe Nemechek to form SWM-NEMCO Motorsports. That dream continues into 2014 with John Hunter Nemechek behind the wheel. "Sid has meant a lot to my racing career," added Nemechek. "It was always his dream to own a race team and I was blessed to get this opportunity to drive for him. He's still with us, doing well and really excited to see what we can do on the track this year." John Hunter Nemechek, born just shy of three months after the untimely death of his uncle and namesake, John Nemechek, who lost his life in a NCWTS event at Homestead-Miami Speedway in March of 1997, will carry the family's familiar #8 in 2014.
    Joe Nemechek will play an integral role in his son's 10-race NCWTS schedule in 2014. An announcement regarding the team's crew chief will be made in the coming weeks. John Hunter Nemechek will also compete in a number of Super Late Model events in 2014, with an exact schedule to be announced.
    The events on John Hunter Nemechek's NCWTS calendar include Martinsville in March and October, Dover in May, Gateway Motorsports Park in June, Iowa in July, Eldora Speedway in July, Bristol in August, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in August, New Hampshire in September and Phoenix in November.
    "One of the races I'm really looking forward to is Eldora," added Nemechek. "That will be a lot of fun. I'm also looking forward to the road course race up in Canada. I love road course racing as much as I enjoy oval racing. Even though I'm not old enough to compete on the speedways or superspeedways, these 10 races are at a really fun mix of tracks. I can't wait to compete with the veterans of the series and give it my all to run up front with the best of them."(51 Sports.(1-14-2014)

  • Coulter joins GMS Racing for 2014: GMS Racing announced that driver Joey Coulter has joined the organization to pilot a full-time entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Coulter, who enters his fourth full season in NASCAR, will compete for the 2014 championship behind the wheel of the #21 Chevy Silverado. "I can't wait to get this season started," said Coulter, who will participate in the Truck Series test session at Daytona International Speedway on Monday. "The GMS Racing guys have been putting in a lot of hard work the past few weeks to get us prepared for this year and I truly believe we can compete for the championship. That is our goal and we expect to be in hunt all season." Beginning with the 2014 season, GMS Racing enters a technical alliance with Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing (RCR). In addition, Coulter's team will utilize Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines to provide top-notch horsepower. GMS Racing acquired the assets of RCR's truck program, marking a reunion for Coulter in equipment, as the 23-year-old drove a Chevrolet Silverado for RCR for two seasons (2011, 2012), posting one win, three poles and 28 top-10 finishes. Coulter's program will be led by crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz, who brings experience in both the Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series to the team. "GMS Racing is proud to have Joey (Coulter) driving one of our Chevrolet Silverados this season," said Nic Moncher, team manager. "He has become a proven talent week in and week out and we believe under the guidance of Jeff (Stankiewicz), the duo will become a dynamic threat on and off the track. The alliances GMS Racing has formed with Chevrolet and RCR along with Joey's driving ability will only help solidify our presence at the track each week." Truck number and sponsor details will be announced at a later date (are listed as #21 in Daytona testing). GMS Racing is formerly known as Gallagher Motorsports.(GMS Racing)(1-13-2014)


    News from January 12, 2014

  • Todd Parrott Back Seeking Work: After his recent reinstatement, champion crew chief Todd Parrott is back in the NASCAR garage. Parrott was at Preseason Thunder testing Friday and Saturday at Daytona International Speedway talking to teams about possible jobs. It's the first time he's been in the garage since NASCAR suspended him Oct. 17 for violating its Substance Abuse Policy. Richard Petty Motorsports released Parrott after he was suspended. NASCAR reinstated him Jan. 7, allowing Parrott to enter the garage. "It was pretty embarrassing to be gone for what happened,'' said Parrott, who declined to reveal the cause of his suspension. "It was good to be back (Friday) in the garage. Lot of people came up to talk to me. I'm a lot better person than I was two-and-a-half months ago.'' He was reinstated after completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. Parrott said the time away from the sport also helped him with reflection. "I learned more about myself, the downtime, not having to go to the shop, not having to go to the racetrack, being at home with my family,'' he said, adding he's lost about 25 pounds since. "I thought about a lot of things, a lot of things I've done in the sport, what I want to do.'' Parrott, who turns 50 next month, has 31 victories as a crew chief and guided Dale Jarrett to the 1999 series title. He first started as a crew chief in 1995.(Motor Racing Network)(1-12-2014)

  • More on NBC's broadcast team: The team which will bring NASCAR telecasts back to NBC in 2015 is close to being finalized. Dave Burns and Mike Massaro - both members of ESPN/ABC's NASCAR broadcast team - will make the move to NBC Sports in time for the deal. Burns is expected to become part of NBC's pit road reporting team in NASCAR, while Massaro is expected to become an in-studio host, sources said. Burns currently serves in a similar role with ESPN as does Massaro, who has hosted the show "NASCAR Now" and worked pit road during race telecasts. Earlier this week, NBC completed its broadcast booth lineup with the announcement that current crew chief Steve Letarte will join driver-turned-analyst Jeff Burton and play-by-play announcer Rick Allen. Spokespersons for ESPN and NBC declined comment.(Charlotte Observer)(1-12-2014)

  • Keselowski Gets Wallace Back In The #2 For Test: NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, turned laps in his old ride, the #2 Ford for most of the day at Daytona Testing Friday. Wallace and Brad Keselowski talked about putting the legend back on the track.
    RUSTY WALLACE, NASCAR Hall of Fame Driver - "I gotta tell you. I just want to thank everyone back at the shop that made this happen. Everyone in the Penske organization, Tim Cindric, Roger Penske. I really wanted to get back into the car and get a good feel of this Gen-6 car here at Daytona. Not only did they let me run a couple of times, but they let me run most of the day today and the car is fantastic. It is real smooth and nice and the crew was so kind. I hope I helped them out some. I gave them a lot of feedback. This guy here next to me has been really good to me all week long and I really appreciate it."
    BRAD KESELOWSKI, #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion -- WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK AND WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU TO SEE ALL THE SMILES ON EVERYBODY'S FACES. EVEN DOUG YATES CAME OVER TO TAKE SOME PICTURES. "It is really cool to me. Rusty is probably the reason why Miller Lite and Penske stayed together and got to the point where I have this opportunity. I like to think that I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for guys like Rusty and what he has done for the 2 team. It is our way of showing respect back. That is so important. There are a lot of people that make this program possible and Rusty is certainly one that was a large part of it. We want to show respect back to them and we wanted to do that today with Rusty and it was my pleasure."
    ANY CHANCE YOU MIGHT HAVE RUSTY GO TEST SOME MORE FOR YOU? "That is up to him. He did a great job today. If Rusty wants to drive my car he can drive it any time. Just don't take my paycheck."
    RUSTY WALLACE CONTINUED - I THINK THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN OFFER. "Yeah, we need to go to Talladega and Daytona, that is no problem. Trying to hold this Blue Deuce wide open at Charlotte or Vegas might be above my pay grade at the moment. I need more reps to get that courage back up. What a great day this was. I had so much fun. It capped off a really good week and now it is go home, reload and head to Barrett Jackson to sell that beautiful car out there. Today was a special day for me. I broke a sweat, figured out how to lose a little weight. I figured it out, you just sit in that hot car. We got a pretty good lap out of the Miller Lite car today, I am proud of that."(Ford Racing)(1-12-2014)

  • Sunday Nationwide Series afternoon Daytona test session results:
    #84-Chad Boat 187.778
    #32-Kyle Larson 187.703
    #16-Ryan Reed 187.496
    #43-Dakoda Armstrong 187.473
    #60-Chris Buescher 187.461
    Only 18 drivers/cars tested during this session. The slowest was #2-Brian Scott who ran 178.253.
    This concludes Nationwide testing. The Camping World Truck Series take to the track on Monday, January 13th and Tuesday, January 14th.
    See fastest speeds, laps run the Sunday afternoon Daytona testing results (pdf) page.(1-12-2014)

  • Sunday Nationwide Series morning Daytona test session results:
    #31-Dylan Kwasniewski 190.022
    #9-Chase Elliott 189.950
    #99-James Buescher 189.921
    #5-Bill Elliott 189.885 (subbing for Earnhardt Jr.)
    #62-Brendan Gaughan 189.881
    24 drivers/cars tested during this session. The slowest was #13-Harrison Rhodes who ran 174.135mph in a Dodge.
    See fastest speeds, laps run the Sunday morning Daytona testing results (pdf) page.(1-12-2014)


    News from January 11, 2014

  • Changes Coming to Cup qualifying: The Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series each will change its qualifying format this season, doing away with single-car runs, NASCAR confirmed Friday. Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition, announced the change but would not reveal details. He said that format changes will be announced later this month - among several moves NASCAR is expected to announce throughout January. Pemberton said that the changes in both series qualifying formats would include the season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR won't say if the format will change to qualifying races, group qualifying, the knock-out qualifying system used in Formula 1 or some other format instead of running one car at a time on the track. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series also is expected to have changes made to its qualifying procedure this season. Pemberton said the Daytona 500 qualifying format for the Cup series will remain the same with single-car runs on Feb. 16 on the Budweiser Duel at Daytona on Feb. 20.(Motor Racing Network)(1-11-2014)

  • Zipadelli offered to return as Stewart's crew chief: #14-Tony Stewart and Greg Zipadelli won 33 races and two NASCAR championships together over a successful decade together. They split after the 2008 season when Stewart left to become co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. He's entering this season with his third crew chief in six years, evidence he's struggled to find the same chemistry he had with Zipadelli all those years. So Zipadelli told The Associated Press he offered last year to return to the pit box with Stewart - an idea the driver did not entertain. Zipadelli is currently the vice president of competition at SHR. He manages all four of SHR's Sprint Cup teams in that role, and says Stewart didn't want him to move. But he admits he misses the adrenaline of being a crew chief.(Associated Press)(1-11-2014)

  • HANS wins judgement against rival manufacturer: NASCAR's preferred maker of head-and-neck-support devices deserves $302,000 from a competitor that infringed on its patent, in violation of a settlement, a federal judge ruled. Robert Hubbard, a retired professor of biomechanical engineering at Michigan State, began developing the head-and-neck-support, or HANS, device in the 1980s to protect against basilar skull fractures that race-car drivers can sustain if their heads whip forward in a crash. Hubbard's company, HANS Performance Products, sued Kevin Heath Enterprises (KHE) in 2010 for infringing on its patent, and the companies reached a settlement the next year that required KHE to discontinue making its neck support device, the DefNder G70, or any device "no more than colorably different" from the DefNder G70. Kevin Heath, as president of KHE, signed the agreement in his official capacity, but during negotiations, he registered a new company, NecksGen Inc., which began marketing a similar neck brace in 2012. The NecksGen device is sold worldwide, except in Georgia, as Heath hoped to avoid another lawsuit by HANS there. Nevertheless, U.S. District Judge William Duffey Jr. in Atlanta found Health and NecksGen in contempt of the consent order Monday because "the NecksGen device is no more than colorably different than the DefNder G70 device."(Courthouse News)(1-11-2014)

  • ISC Official honored with Lifetime Achievement Award: Ernie Thurston, the Corporate Coordinator of Track Safety & Emergency Services for International Speedway Corporation was posthumously honored by NASCAR with the Jim Bockoven Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented at NASCAR's annual Track Services and Security Summit in Charlotte earlier this week. Thurston, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was a long time civil servant having worked for the Schuyler County NY Sheriff's Department and the Watkins Glen NY Fire Dept. He joined ISC in 1989 while working for Watkins Glen International and later relocated to the Company's headquarters in Daytona Beach. Most recently, Thurston was responsible for coordinating safety and emergency services for all of ISC's business units nationwide. He passed away in November 2013. The Jim Bockoven Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the contributions of an individual made to the improvement of Track Services over the course of a career spanning 10 years or more. These contributions affect the overall operations at the majority of NASCAR tracks. This honor is not awarded annually, so the recipient's contributions must be considered to be exemplary.(ISC)(1-11-2014)

  • Saturday afternoon test session results:
    #9-Chase Elliott 187.993
    #5-Bill Elliott 187.974
    #7-Regan Smith 187.950
    #3-Ty Dillon 187.805
    #6-Trevor Bayne 187.743
    25 drivers were on track during the session. See complete results on the Saturday morning Daytona testing results (pdf) page.(1-11-2014)

  • Saturday morning Nationwide test session results:
    #31-Dylan Kwasniewski 183.408
    #99-James Buescher 183.397
    #32-Kyle Larson 182.786
    #11-Elliott Sadler 179.827
    #3-Ty Dillon 179.394
    21 drivers were on track during the session. See complete results on the Saturday morning Daytona testing results (pdf) page.(1-11-2014)

  • NASCAR bans tandem drafting: NASCAR has outlawed tandem drafting on restrictor-plate tracks in 2014 for the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series, which saw some brutal accidents at the end of the races at Daytona and Talladega last year. The sanctioning body was able to eliminate tandem racing - where one car pushes another car around the track to increase the speed of both cars - in Sprint Cup with engine-cooling rules that make it difficult to orchestrate a tandem draft without overheating the engine. It will try those engine cooling rules plus smaller spoilers in the Nationwide and truck series this year but also have issued an edict to the drivers in its two top development series not to tandem draft. Drivers can still bump-draft but can't be bumper-to-bumper pushing beyond a tap. At the end of the Nationwide race at Daytona last year, Kyle Larson's car got airborne and sent pieces of car parts and debris flying into the speedway's catchfence. The fence buckled at the crossover gate - which can be removed so fans can get to and from the infield - and debris from Larson's car injured more than 30 fans. At the end of the truck race at Talladega in October, several drivers were involved in a last-lap accident that destoryed several trucks. While wrecks often happen no matter the style of racing, tandem drafting includes the danger of a driver's view being blocked when pushing another car. And any sudden move from the car being pushed often will result in a crash. With limited visibility and less reaction time than normal (as well as often having drivers with less experience), NASCAR opted to ban the practice. Pemberton said the ban will be strictly policed.(Sporting News)(1-11-2014)

  • New crew chief for Sauter: ThorSport Racing, which in 2013 had a breakout season with championships in two national stock car series, will open the 2014 campaign next week with a two-day NASCAR Camping World Truck Series test at Daytona International Speedway, led by veterans Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter. At the test Sauter will work with new crew chief Gene Wachtel, an engineer and motorsports veteran with Sprint Cup and Truck Series experience, for the first time at a racetrack. Wachtel began working with ThorSport at the end of 2013. For ThorSport, former three-time champion crew chief Dennis Connor, who played an integral role in the second half of last season as Sauter's crew chief on the #98 team, will be at the test coordinating the trucks' activities.(ThorSport Racing)(1-11-2014)


    News from January 10, 2014

  • Dillon fastest in Sprint Cup testing at Daytona: Austin Dillon knows there will be pressure racing the #3 car made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt. Today, he just raised the stakes with his first test in that car at Daytona International Speedway. The Richard Childress Racing driver planted the historic #3 atop the speed charts on the first and only day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at the World Center of Racing. His 195.109 mph led all drivers in single-car runs during this tune-up for the 56th running of the Daytona 500.
    "I'm honored to be in the 3," said Dillon, who is driving a number that Dale Earnhardt drove to victory 24 times at Daytona. The defending NASCAR Nationwide Series will be a top contender for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2014. "This is special and walking into this [NASCAR Sprint] Cup garage this weekend is pretty cool. There are so many heroes in this garage for me, and just being in this garage is going to be pressure."
    A rainout Thursday raised the pressure on all drivers Friday, as teams made the most of a testing session that was reduced to a single 8-hour window. Two of the sport's biggest stars turned their first Daytona laps with new teams, including past Daytona 500 winners Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman. Harvick now drives the #4 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, while Newman is behind the wheel of the #31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.
    Forty-one drivers turned laps in Gen-6 Chevrolets, Fords and Toyotas, which are entering their second year of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. Those cars featured a new 4.5-inch spoiler, designed to add more rear downforce for stability. Results were positive. Thirty-three cars topped 190 mph and the new aero package performed well in traffic, which was tested in the draft during the final hour of testing.(NASCAR)
    The top 5 speeds:
    #3-Austin Dillon 195.109
    #33-Brian Scott 194.582
    #27-Matt Crafton 194.342
    #43-Aric Almirola 193.828
    #42-Kyle Larson 193.411
    See fastest speeds and laps run on the Preseason Thunder Speeds (pdf).(1-10-2014)

  • added more 2014 schemes #2 White Miller Lite, #17 Fifth Third Bank, #42 Target, #15 Peak, #95 Leavine Family Racing, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, #78 Furniture Row Racing and #31 Caterpillar schemes.

  • Earnhardt Jr. talks about Letarte leaving after 2014 season: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway Friday morning and discussed the departure of Steve Letarte as crew chief in 2015. The transcript in part:
    Q. Obviously with Steve just leaving, can you talk about your thoughts, and how long have you known, and what you think about the situation?
    DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Yeah, it's definitely a unique situation. He actually included me in on the discussion before the end of last year, and I had a pretty good understanding, whether he knew or not, what he was going to do. I had a pretty good understanding what his decision was going to be when I left Homestead. So I've had time to really wrap my brain around it. It was hard because we are such good friends, and I really do enjoy working with him a lot. But at the same time I'm happy for him because it gives him the opportunity to spend time with his family. It's something that's really important to him, and the way these races are broadcast and how they're presented to the fans is a big part of how the sport remains healthy, and I think that he's going to be incredible in that role. I think that he'll -- I think that he'll be really good. I'm excited for him because I know he's really looking forward to it. You can tell when he talks about it how genuinely enthused he is about the opportunity. And at the same time, you know, I'm not worried about this season and how focused we may be. I know that he's really good at separating things and keeping things compartmentalized, as Jeff Gordon likes to say about Steve. I know that we're going to be fine as far as how we'll compete this year and how dedicated and how we might move through the process of the season. I expect us to do nothing less than improve on what we've been doing and steadily keep moving toward our goals. But it's definitely going to be emotional and difficult at times, just because we really enjoy working together. But I'm excited about the year. I'm excited about our chances as a team. We've got a great group of guys. Steve is a great crew chief that's going to get us a good opportunity to try to win some races. And I think that the team, just based on the personalities and how well we all get along and mesh and how much fun we really had last year, I think that everybody can buckle down and do their jobs, and I think we can do well.
    Q. What do you fear the most about losing Steve as a crew chief? In other words, kind of what are such his strengths that you're like, man, how are we going to do this without him?
    EARNHARDT JR.: Yeah, I think the one thing that I fear is just trying to get a guy in there that's equally as talented. I think -- I'm not really -- Steve is a great cheerleader and definitely built up my confidence and changed me as a race car driver and as a person. Working with him has really helped me grow. I think you guys have all seen that over the last several years. I think I can carry that with me, what I've learned about myself and what I've learned about the job and what my job is and what my responsibility is to Steve and the crew chief. I think I can carry that with me - hopefully I can at this age. Hopefully I've learned something and learned enough to do a better job for the next guy. I think that my fear is just can we replace Steve. It's a guy that's going to be hard to replace. I'm not worried about the specific qualities that Steve has, but just will we be able to get a guy in there of equal talent, and how well will we be able to make that transition seamless. It's going to be a real challenge to do that, and I guess that's my only concern.
    Q. At this stage in your career how much input do you want to have on who your next crew chief is? Will you make suggestions? Will you have say in the final decision? How will that work?
    EARNARDT JR.: I won't make any suggestions at all. I will leave that up to Rick, Doug. I would love to have input from Chad Knaus and Steve. I think that Steve knows what makes this teamwork. Steve knows how I can be successful and how the individuals within the team can be successful. I think he'd be a good guy to sort of pick at and hope that Doug and Rick would include him in that conversation at times. I think it's important that Chad has got a lot of influence because he knows how well the shop works together and what the culture is in the shop and how a guy, a particular guy may mesh in that environment. But I don't really want to have any influence on the choice. I want -- I think that those guys are the ones that can make the choice and have the most success with that decision. I'll just kind of -- it was Rick and upper management that decided to put me with Steve. I didn't know how that was going to work out. I didn't know much about Steve. I knew him and Jeff were not really clicking at that point in time in their careers, so I didn't know exactly what was going to happen, but I just wanted to trust their judgment, and that's what I'm going to do.(Team Chevy)(1-10-2014)

  • Stewart plans to at Daytona in February: #14-Tony Stewart met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway and discussed his health, the preparedness of Stewart-Haas Racing for 2014 and many other topics, the transcript in part:
    THE MODERATOR: Talk a little bit about what it feels like to be back and be here at Daytona.
    TONY STEWART: It would be nice if it was dry right now. But it's Daytona and it's February, and you get this when we come down sometimes. But it's nice to be back at the track, would definitely like to be in a car this week, but we're still on schedule to be clear the day before the Shootout, so we'll be down here for two days hanging out and watching our teams run.
    Q. How is your health compared to how you feel? What are the doctors saying?
    STEWART: Not bad. The weather -- I'm a pretty good barometer right now. Seems like if the rain comes or snow or cold comes, I know it right before it changes. But I feel pretty good. I still have a little ways to go, but we've got four weeks to get ready the rest of the way. Even when we get here in February, it's not going to be 100 percent. Physically I'm not going to feel 100 percent, but I'll be able to do my job 100 percent, so that's the main thing. I don't mind it taking a little longer for the physical side to heal, as long as I can drive a race car when I need to when I get back.
    Q. Can you talk about how challenging it's been for you both from a mental and a physical standpoint in getting back?
    STEWART: Yeah, I guess the hardest part is just not knowing where I'm supposed to be. I mean, I've never had an injury like this so I don't have anything to compare it to. I kind of base everything on a week-to-week deal, and on Sunday I kind of evaluate where I was the Sunday before and go from there. It's been kind of a challenge, I guess, from that standpoint. The physical side of it is an obvious deal. It's getting everything healed back up and going through rehab and doing everything we're supposed to do. But just not knowing exactly what I'm supposed to feel like, if something hurts why is it hurting. I've not had those experiences before. The therapist gets his phone -- I think he sets it on his nightstand at night because I call him at night and ask him a lot of questions. But having those guys around, it kind of takes the psychological side and kind of puts a lot of that at ease.
    Q. When you mentioned that you'll be cleared the day before the Sprint Unlimited and that you might not feel 100 percent but will be able to give 100 percent, can you kind of -- do you have any idea how much your most recent surgery, kind of, if not for that do you think you would be closer to feeling as good as well as being able to perform at the start of the season?
    STEWART: Honestly, that second -- or the third surgery wasn't really much of a setback in all reality. We were actually ahead of schedule with the therapy when we had that surgery, so it basically just pushed it back to where we were right back on schedule again, and now it just feels like we're back ahead of schedule again. Twice we've been able to kind of push ahead of schedule it seems like, so pretty confident from that standpoint that that wasn't a setback at all. It's still a question mark of what's it actually going to feel like when we get in the race car and try to drive wide open for lap after lap.
    Q. Is this pretty much the schedule that you hoped for when this all happened?
    STEWART: Yeah, we're actually just a tick ahead of schedule still. It's the second time since the injury happened that the therapist has said we're ahead.(Team Chevy)(1-10-2014)

  • TRD U.S.A. Appoints David Wilson President and GM: Effective immediately, David Wilson is promoted to president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development). Previously, Wilson, who has been with TRD since 1989, was acting president and general manager of the organization since last June. Prior to that, he held the title of senior vice president. "David Wilson has been an integral part of the success of our Toyota Racing efforts, and we are pleased to promote him to this important leadership position at TRD," said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "We look forward to many more trophies in NASCAR, NHRA and other racing series." Wilson is responsible for all TRD activities in North America, including engine development and manufacturing and chassis design/development, as well as team and sanctioning body relationships for Toyota teams participating in National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), United States Auto Club (USAC), National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and off-road competition. His responsibilities include overseeing two TRD facilities: the engine manufacturing location in Costa Mesa and the chassis engineering center in Salisbury, N.C.
    "We have an outstanding group of TRD associates in Costa Mesa and Salisbury, and the entire organization is looking forward to the start of the 2014 racing season," said Wilson. "Together, TRD and all our race team partners are looking forward to getting the season started, winning races and battling for championships. Since TRD was established in 1979, we've had many racing firsts and highlights, and we look forward to adding to that list of accomplishments in the future."
    During the 2013 season, Toyota drivers registered a single season record of 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, including three victories during the 10-race Chase championship playoff. Toyota's 41 wins across all three NASCAR national touring series in 2013 were the most among the three manufacturers competing in the sport. Since Toyota began participating in NASCAR at the start of the 2004 season, Camry and Tundra drivers have recorded a total of 263 wins (63 NSCS, 88 Nationwide Series and 112 Camping World Truck Series).
    Since its inception in 1979, TRD has developed cutting-edge race engine technology for a wide range of motorsports activities. The state-of-the-art operation includes complete engine design, development and assembly, as well as production and development of engine component manufacturing.
    Together, Toyota and TRD have earned many illustrious accomplishments in American racing history, including a win in the 2003 Indianapolis 500 with Gil de Ferran, multiple victories in the Daytona 24 Hours and the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000. Toyota has also earned manufacturer's and driver's championships in the Indy Racing League, NHRA, Grand-Am, CART, IMSA, SCORE, USAC, MTEG, CORR, TORC and LOORRS. In stock car competition, Toyota has earned six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series manufacturer's championships (2006-2010 and 2013) and three consecutive Nationwide Series manufacturer's titles (2008-2010).(TRD PR)(1-10-2014)

  • Penske Racing changes to Team Penske: Beginning in 2014, all Penske Racing teams will compete under the "Team Penske" brand. This includes all teams racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, as well as the IndyCar Series. You will notice that the Team's website - TeamPenske.com - and all of its social media and online properties now reflect this transition.(Team Penske)(1-10-2014)

  • Daytona unveils new pedestrian crossover gate: Daytona International Speedway will use a redesigned crossover gate for the Daytona 500 after a crash during a Nationwide race last year scattered debris injuring at least 28 fans. Track president Joie Chitwood stressed the gate was in development for several years before Kyle Larson's Chevrolet sailed into the catchfence and struck a gate on the last lap of the Feb. 23 race. Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway reinforced its crossover gates with extra cables after an engineering firm reviewed data from the crash and made recommendations. Chitwood said the new gate, which shuttles fans beneath the fence instead of using a staircase to go through it, was as safe as any of the reinforced gates, and its primary goal was to help usher a crowd of 10,000 more quickly off the infield grass after prerace concerts and festivities.(USA Today)(1-10-2014)

  • Ford Racing discusses new Ford nose: NASCAR got the 2014 season underway in earnest Thursday at Daytona International Speedway with the annual preseason testing. While mother nature delayed the start of the day, Ford Racing caught up with NASCAR program manager Pat DiMarco and Ford Racing aerodynamcist Bernie Marcus to discuss changes to the Fusion race car and how the new NASCAR rules package affects the Ford cars for 2014.
    PAT DIMARCO, Ford Racing NASCAR Program Manager - CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THE CHANGE IS TO THE FRONT NOSE OF THE FUSION FOR 2014?
    "There were concerns in 2013 about debris collection on the lower radiator inlet on the Fusion. We have addressed that by moving the radiator screen out to be more flush with the bumper. There is no performance advantage which has been verified in the wind tunnel with the other OEMs. This is purely for debris collection and to eliminate the need to pit in case we have a hot dog wrapper or something on the grille and it makes it easier to get the debris off from behind another car."
    WERE YOU ABLE TO QUANTIFY HOW MANY TIMES THAT WAS AN ISSUE LAST YEAR? "We never lost a race or lost positions on the racetrack because of it. We did have a harder time and there were concerns at points but just from a pure safety factor to be 100-percent sure that we don't get into that situation since these cars will live on for awhile we addressed it early on with NASCAR and the other OEMs and it is a non-issue."
    TO BE CLEAR, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE COSMETIC LOOK OF THE FUSION GRILLE?
    "The grille bars on the car are staying identical to what they were in 2013. It is only the lower inlet which is the dark black area on the car which will be flushed out. To the average Joe sitting and watching, they won't even really be able to tell on TV what has changed."
    BERNIE MARCUS, Ford Racing Aero Specialist - FROM AN AERO PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DOES THIS CHANGE DO TO THE CAR?
    "Nothing. It was purely done for debris purposes and the aero numbers did not change. Nothing on the aero side changed by doing this."(see the full PR at FordRacing.com)(1-10-2104)

  • Brian Keselowski to run #92: Brian Keselowski reports on his Twitter that he will officially run the #92 in 2014. Keselowski says he will have news about a new partnership starting this year and a new name for the race team soon.(1-10-2014)

  • Earnhardt family honored for 20 years of Kannapolis education support: The Kannapolis Education Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary and honored the legacy of Dale Earnhardt Sr., who provided the group's seed money, during a fundraising breakfast at the North Carolina Research Campus on Tuesday [Jan 7th]. Members of the Earnhardt family were at the breakfast and received the Friend of Education Award in memory of Dale Earnhardt Sr. Kelley Earnhardt, vice president, business manager and co-owner of JR Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s daughter, also presented a $5,000 donation from The Dale Jr. Foundation to the Kannapolis Education Foundation.(full story at Independent Tribune)(1-10-2014)

  • Sad News - Ernie Derr: Ernie Derr didn't need to brag about his racing career. He let his records in racing speak for himself. Derr helped put Keokuk (Iowa) on the map with his accomplishments. He was a 12-time International Motor Contest Association champion and is the winningest driver in the history of the circuit. Derr was a master mechanic and a dirt track whiz. Derr died Wednesday in his home. He was 92. Derr dominated IMCA racing from 1959 to 1962, claiming four consecutive titles. He won 101 races during that four-year span, including 30 in 1959 and 28 in 51 races in 1962. Derr cut back on his racing after the 1971 season. He ran a limited schedule in the USAC series through 1976 and ended his racing career at the Fall Jamboree at Knoxville in September 1977. Complete records of Derr's achievements aren't available because they were destroyed in a fire, but he finished with more than 300 feature wins in his illustrious career.(in part from the Daily Gate City). Derr ran one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 1953 at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, IA finishing 11th. See the full obituary, service info at DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Center.(1-10-2014)

  • Changes Coming to Nationwide qualifying: The Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series each will change its qualifying format this season, doing away with single-car runs, NASCAR confirmed Friday. Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition, announced the change but would not reveal details. He said that format changes will be announced later this month - among several moves NASCAR is expected to announce throughout January. Pemberton said that the changes in both series qualifying formats would include the season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR won't say if the format will change to qualifying races, group qualifying, the knock-out qualifying system used in Formula 1 or some other format instead of running one car at a time on the track. Nationwide and Camping World qualifying will each be held Feb. 21 at Daytona. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series also is expected to have changes made to its qualifying procedure this season.(Motors Racing Network)(1-10-2014)

  • WESCO renews sponsorship of Ty Dillon: WESCO International, Inc. and Richard Childress Racing announced their primary sponsorship of Ty Dillon's #3 Chevy Camaro during the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. WESCO is a leading provider of electrical, industrial and communications MRO and OEM products, construction materials and advanced supply chain procurement services. Beginning in 2012, WESCO served as primary sponsor for two Nationwide Series events with Dillon and continued their sponsorship into the 2013 season for six races. Additionally, WESCO was an associate sponsor on Dillon's Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In 2014, WESCO will join Bass Pro Shops and Yuengling Light Lager as primary sponsors on Dillon's Chevrolet Camaro in the Nationwide Series.(RCR)(1-10-2014)

  • Nationwide Series Preseason Thunder At Daytona Entry List
    #2-Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing)
    #3-Ty Dillon (Richard Childress Racing)
    #6-Trevor Bayne (Roush Fenway Racing)
    #7-Regan Smith (JR Motorsports
    #9-Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports
    #11-Elliott Sadler (Joe Gibbs Racing)
    #13-Carl Long (Carl Long)
    #16-Ryan Reed (Roush Fenway Racing)
    #17-Tanner Berryhill (Vision Racing)
    #22-Ryan Blaney (Team Penske)
    #23-Ryan Ellis (Rick Ware Racing)
    #28-Matt Carter/Harrison Rhodes (Carl Long)
    #31-Dylan Kwasniewski (Turner Scott Motorsports)
    #32-Kyle Larson (Turner Scott Motorsports)
    #37-Mike Debenedetto (Vision Racing)
    #43-Dakoda Armstrong (Richard Petty Motorsports)
    #52-Joey Gase (Jimmy Means)
    #55-Jamie Dick (Viva Motorsports)
    #60-Chris Buescher (Roush Fenway Racing)
    #62-Brendan Gaughan (Richard Childress Racing)
    #73-Derrike Cope (Derrike Cope)
    #84-Billy Boat (Billy Boat)
    #85-Bobby Gerhart (Bobby Gerhart)
    #88-Bill Elliott (JR Motorsports
    #98-David Ragan (Biagi denBeste Racing)
    #99-James Buescher (RAB Racing)
    (NASCAR)(1-10-2014)

  • Jeffrey Earnhardt joins JD Motorsports for full season: Jeffrey Earnhardt will take another big step in his stock car racing career in 2014, teaming with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller to run the full Nationwide Series schedule for the first time. Earnhardt and veteran Nationwide Series owner Johnny Davis announced the partnership Friday. Earnhardt will join teammate Landon Cassill to run the complete Nationwide schedule in Chevys fielded by JD Motorsports with Gary Keller. Earnhardt will run car #4, while Cassill will be in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller #01. Earnhardt, 24, has run partial Nationwide and Camping World Truck schedules in past seasons, but this will mark his first full-schedule run in any NASCAR national series. Davis said the team welcomes opportunities to work with new marketing partners as Earnhardt joins the team.(Johnny Davis Motorsports)(1-10-2014)

  • Blake Koch joins TriStar Motorsports for 2014: Entering their fifth season of NASCAR Nationwide Series competition, TriStar Motorsports announced the addition of Blake Koch to its full-time driver roster for the 2014 season. Koch, a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, is fresh off an impressive 11th place finish at the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. "I'm extremely excited, blessed and proud to join TriStar Motorsports," said Koch. "Mark Smith has been in NASCAR for a long time and is respected by everyone in the garage. His team has evolved into a quality race team with continuous growth and a great reputation. There are talented people in place to build fast race cars and we will have strong Toyota engines supplied by his company, Pro Motor Engines. I'm also looking forward to working with teammates that I can lean on like Mike Bliss and Eric McClure. Daytona can't come soon enough!". The 28-year-old ran a limited schedule in 2013, yet still finished 25th in the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Point Standings, marking his best season-ending finish since joining the series in 2009. Koch will join returning TriStar Motorsports drivers, Mike Bliss and Eric McClure as TriStar Motorsports continues to grow its NASCAR Nationwide Series program. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more announcements concerning Koch's 2014 sponsor line-up.(TriStar Motorsports)(1-10-2014)

  • Ragan to drive for Biagi-DenBeste at Daytona: David Ragan, a race winner in NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide series, will make his return to Nationwide racing with Biagi-DenBeste Racing in the DRIVE4COPD 300 Feb. 22 at Daytona International Speedway. Making his 100th career Nationwide start, Ragan will drive the #98 Curb Records Ford at a track where he has visited Victory Lane. In eight seasons in the Nationwide series, Ragan has earned two wins and two poles, and 16 top-five and 46 top-10 finishes. The 28-year-old driver also has two wins in his eight-year Sprint Cup career, including a victory at the Daytona Beach superspeedway.(Breaking Limits)(1-10-2014)

  • Ellis to test with Rick Ware: Ryan Ellis will be starting the 2014 season off with a two day test of Rick Ware Racing's, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Chevy Camaros at Daytona International Raceway on January 11 and 12. The test is part of a broader agreement where Ellis anticipates a substantial 2014 NNS program with RWR under a sponsorship agreement to be announced soon. The 24 year old Virginian impressed many observers last season when, after years of Professional Road Racing, he made an unexpected late-season jump into the Nationwide series. Ellis won the 2011 Grand Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series, (CTSCC) race at Daytona, breaking the existing qualifying track record and leading every race lap in the process. He was the fastest CTSCC qualifier at Daytona again last year as well. But since those races were held on Daytona's infield road course, this NNS test weekend will be his first laps using all four of Daytona's storied high banks.(Ellis PR)(1-10-2014)

  • Camping World Truck Series Preseason Thunder At Daytona Entry List:
    #07-Jimmy Weller/Michel Disdier/Todd Peck (SS Green Light Racing)
    #4-Jeb Burton (Turner Scott Motorsports)
    #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb (Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing)
    #13-Ross Chastain(ThorSport Racing)
    #17-Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing)
    #19-Tyler Reddick (Brad Keselowski Racing)
    #24-Brennan Newberry (NTS Motorsports)
    #28-Ryan Ellis/Clay Rogers (FDNY Racing)
    #29-Ryan Blaney (Brad Keselowski Racing)
    #31-Ben Kennedy(Turner Scott Motorsports)
    #35-Mason Mingus (WinTron Racing)
    #39-Ryan Sieg (RSS Racing)
    #51-Kyle Busch (Kyle Busch Motorsports)
    #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr. (Kyle Busch Motorsports)
    #77-German Quiroga (Red Horse Racing)
    #82-Sean Corr (Empire Racing)
    #88-Matt Crafton (ThorSport Racing)
    #98-Johnny Sauter (ThorSport Racing)
    (NASCAR)(1-10-2014)

  • Changes Coming to Truck qualifying: The Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series each will change its qualifying format this season, doing away with single-car runs, NASCAR confirmed Friday. Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition, announced the change but would not reveal details. He said that format changes will be announced later this month - among several moves NASCAR is expected to announce throughout January. Pemberton said that the changes in both series qualifying formats would include the season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR won't say if the format will change to qualifying races, group qualifying, the knock-out qualifying system used in Formula 1 or some other format instead of running one car at a time on the track. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series also is expected to have changes made to its qualifying procedure this season. Pemberton said the Daytona 500 qualifying format for the Cup series will remain the same with single-car runs on Feb. 16 on the Budweiser Duel at Daytona on Feb. 20.(Motors Racing Network)(1-11-2014)

  • 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Broadcast Schedule released: All 22 events of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be televised on FOX Sports 1 with the exception of one race: the October 18 event at Talladega Superspeedway, which will air on FOX at 3:30 p.m. ET. The entire 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be broadcast by Motor Racing Network and can also be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90. The series will return to racing at Gateway Motorsports Park for the first time since 2010. Gateway, a 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Ill., just outside of St. Louis, hosted truck series races from 1998-2010 with only one repeat winner in its 13-race history - Ted Musgrave, who won in 2001 and 2005. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kevin Harvick won the most recent Gateway race. in July of 2010. Now independently owned by St. Louis-native Curtis Francois, a former racer with significant ties to the local community, Gateway will hold its 2014 race on June 14 in primetime at 8:30 p.m. ET. The schedule also includes two tracks which made wildly successful debuts in 2013 - Eldora Speedway (July 23, 9 p.m. ET) in Rossburg' Ohio and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Aug. 31, 1:30 p.m. ET) in Bowmanville, Ontario. In 2013 Eldora, the 0.5-mile dirt track owned by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, held the first NASCAR national series dirt race since 1970. A standing room only crowd of 20,000 fans watched history, as 2011 series champion Austin Dillon captured the victory. This event will be the first of two Wednesday night races for the series, joining Bristol Motor Speedway's popular mid-week race on Aug. 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The schedule features one date shift, with the series racing at Kansas Speedway on May 9 at 8:30 p.m. ET, the first night race for the series at the 1.5-mile venue. The balance of the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule, the series' 20th season, maintains a familiar feel, opening with Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET and culminating on Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. ET at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(NASCAR)(See the complete broadcast schedule on the 2014 Camping World Truck Series Schedule page.()(1-10-2014)

  • Kennon joins NTS: Hearing that Gere Kennon joined NTS Motorsports as crew chief in place of Bruce Cook. Kennon last served as director of competition and crew chief at Sharp-Gallaher Racing, which recently shut down. Kennon is said to have brought with him numerous crew members of the former Sharp-Gallaher team to NTS. In 2013, Cook called the shots for the #9 Chevy at NTS driven by Ron Hornaday, Jr. for the majority of the season before Nelson Piquet, Jr. took over for the season finale in Homestead.(1-10-2014)


    News from January 9, 2014

  • Fans To Vote On Race Format For The 2014 Sprint Unlimited At Daytona: For the second year in a row, fans will decide upon a number of competition elements for the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, the 75-lap, non-points race that kicks off the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season on Saturday, February 15. Starting today [Jan. 9, 2014], fans can cast their votes to set the overall format and determine key racing elements. Fans will again set the number of laps in each of the three segments, while also voting on how drivers will line up at the start of the race and how they will line up for the restart of the final segment.
    "We are excited to build off of the success of last year's event and give our fans another opportunity to help make key decisions that will enhance the excitement around this highly anticipated race," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development. "This interactive element is unique to NASCAR - and all of sports."
    Fans can submit their votes within the official NASCAR app, NASCAR MOBILE, or at NASCAR.com/SprintUnlimited. Voting is unlimited and all votes cast through NASCAR MOBILE will count twice. The voting window for the race format will close on Saturday, February 15 at 6 p.m. ET, while voting for the starting order and final segment restart order will close at various times during the race broadcast. Voting results will be announced live during the FOX Sports 1 race broadcast.
    Voting Categories:
    Race Format: Number of laps in each race segment (Voting ends at 6:00pm/et on Saturday, February 15)
    Option A: 30 laps/35 laps/10 laps
    Option B: 30 laps/30 laps/15 laps
    Option C: 30 laps/25 laps/20 laps
    Starting Order: How drivers will line up to start the race (Voting ends at 7:30pm/et on Saturday, February 15)
    Option A: Most Career Poles (most to least)
    Option B: 2013 Driver Points Standings
    Option C: Final Practice Speeds (fastest to slowest times)
    Restart Order for Final Segment: How drivers will line up for the final segment (Voting ends at the conclusion of the second segment)
    Option A: Fastest lap in the race (first and second segments both count)
    Option B: Most laps led (first and second segments both count)
    Option C: Mandatory pit stop (drivers lineup how they come off pit road)
    "Our ultimate goal is to use Sprint's wireless technology to bring NASCAR Sprint Cup fans closer to our sport, and this is the latest example," said Steve Gaffney, vice president of corporate marketing for Sprint. "This effort, the Sprint Unlimited, gives fans the opportunity to sit in NASCAR race control and make calls on key elements of the race. We encourage fans to grab their wireless device and seize this unique opportunity."
    "We look forward to partnering with NASCAR and Sprint to host the second Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway," said Joie Chitwood III, Daytona International Speedway president. "Our passionate race fans helped create an exciting event last year from start to finish. With two new voting categories and real-time results, this year's fan-driven event will be as exciting as ever."
    Twenty NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers are eligible to participate in the 2014 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. Each driver raced his or her way into the starting lineup by winning pole positions in 2013 or by winning past Sprint Unlimited events.
    2014 eligible participants include:
    · Denny Hamlin (4 poles)
    · Kyle Busch (3 poles)
    · Joey Logano (2 poles)
    · Jimmie Johnson (2 poles)
    · Matt Kenseth (2 poles)
    · Ryan Newman (2 poles)
    · Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2 poles)
    · Jeff Gordon (2 poles)
    · Carl Edwards (2 poles)
    · Marcos Ambrose (1 pole)
    · Kurt Busch (1 pole)
    · Kevin Harvick (1 pole)
    · Brad Keselowski (1 pole)
    · Mark Martin (1 pole)
    · Jamie McMurray (1 pole)
    · Danica Patrick (1 pole)
    · Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (1 pole)
    · Terry Labonte (past winner: 1985)
    · Ken Schrader (past winner: 1989 and 1990)
    · Tony Stewart (past winner: 2001, 2002 and 2007)
    Tickets for the Sprint Unlimited are available online at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(NASCAR)(1-9-2014)

  • Preseason Thunder Rolls Into Daytona: All three NASCAR national series will test at Daytona International Speedway from Thursday, Jan. 9 to Tuesday, Jan. 14. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast Preseason Thunder testing live on Thursday and Friday from 1:00-5:00 pm/et, and on Saturday, from 3:00-7:00 pm/et (same day delay). The test sessions are scheduled to run each day from 9:00 am -12:00noon/et and 1:00-5:00 pm/et.
    Fan Fest The Preseason Thunder Fan Fests are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 9, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Saturday, Jan. 11, for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Drivers will participate in the Fan Fest, scheduled from 5:30 - 9:30pm/et both nights. Tickets are available at the gate and are $25 per person for Thursday, and $10 for Saturday. Kids 12 & under are free throughout testing.(DIS)
    Teams/Drivers scheduled to test:
    #1-Jamie McMurray
    #2-Brad Keselowski & Rusty Wallace
    #3-Austin Dillon
    #4-Kevin Harvick
    #5-Kasey Kahne
    #7-Michael Annett
    #9-Marocs Ambrose
    #10-Danica Patrick
    #11-Denny Hamlin
    #13-Casey Mears
    #14-Mark Martin (subbing for Tony Stewart)
    #15-Clint Bowyer
    #16-Greg Biffle
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    #18-Kyle Busch
    #20-Matt Kenseth
    #21-Trevor Bayne
    #22-Joey Logano
    #24-Jeff Gordon
    #26-Cole Whitt
    #27-Paul Menard
    #30-Parker Kligerman
    #31-Ryan Newman
    #32-Reed Sorenson (for Terry Labonte)
    #33-Brian Scott
    #40-Landon Cassill
    #41-Kurt Busch
    #42-Kyle Larson
    #43-Aric Almirola
    #48-Jimmie Johnson
    #51-Justin Allgaier
    #52-Bobby Labonte (2nd Phoenix Racing car)
    #55-Michael Waltrip
    #66-Jeff Burton
    #77-Dave Blaney
    #83-Alex Bowman
    #87-Joe Nemechek
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    #93-Ryan Truex
    #95-Michael McDowell
    #99-Carl Edwards
    #92-Brian Keselowski (but didn't test)
    Teams/Drivers not scheduled to test:
    #34-David Ragan
    #35-Front Row Motorsports
    #36-J.J. Yeley
    #38-David Gilliland
    #47-A.J. Allmendinger
    #78-Martin Truex Jr.
    #98-Josh Wise
    (NASCAR.com)(1-8-2014)
    DAY 1 of testing was canceled due to rain. On-track testing on Friday will run through the lunch break.(1-9-2014)

  • NBC Sports Group adds Crew Chief Steve Letarte to NASCAR Broadcast Team: NBC Sports Group's upcoming NASCAR coverage continues to take shape as another prominent figure from the sanctioning body's elite series joins NBC and NBCSN's expanding broadcast team. Current Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Steve Letarte, who once stood at the helm of Jeff Gordon's famed #24 race team, and now leads the crew behind the ultra-popular #88 car driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., has reached an agreement to join NBC's multi-platform NASCAR coverage beginning in 2015. The announcement was made today by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN, and will be discussed in further detail at a Media Conference scheduled for 8:30am/et tomorrow [Jan 10, 2014] at Daytona International Speedway. "I've always been impressed with Steve Letarte's interviews, and feel smarter after hearing him break down the crucial elements of each race," said Flood. "It wasn't long into our first meeting about this potential role on our broadcast team when I realized that Steve is going to be 'Must See TV.'" Letarte will join fellow analyst Jeff Burton and race announcer Rick Allen across NBC Sports Group's exclusive coverage of NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series action on NBC and NBCSN, which includes races, pre- and post-race shows, qualifying, and studio programming.
    "As soon as I met with Sam Flood and his team at NBC Sports it became obvious to me how excited they are to be covering NASCAR in 2015 and beyond. Their excitement, along with my love for racing, solidified my decision to move away from the pit box and into the broadcast booth," said Letarte. "I want to thank Rick Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for the opportunities they have given me over the last 18 years, and I want to reaffirm my commitment to Dale Jr. and the entire 88 team to go win races and challenge for the championship in 2014."
    Letarte has worked for Hendrick Motorsports since he was just 16 years old. In 1996, after graduating from high school early, Steve started traveling with the No. 24 race team, driven by Jeff Gordon, as a full-time mechanic and tire specialist. His impressive work ethic moved him up the ranks quickly, assuming the role of car chief in 2002, and then crew chief for the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion in 2005 when Steve was 26. After five successful seasons with the No. 24 team and Gordon, Letarte embarked on a new challenge and joined Hendrick's No. 88 team driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Letarte and the No. 88 team started the 2011 season strong by capturing the pole at the Daytona 500, and went on to qualify for the Chase, the first time for Earnhardt since 2008. In 2012, Letarte and Earnhardt combined for their first win together, on Father's Day at Michigan International Speedway. Throughout the 2013 season, the No. 88 team solidly remained in the Top 10 in points and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup yet again. Steve and his wife, Tricia, live in North Carolina with their two children.
    On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content beginning in 2015.
    With this partnership, NBC's 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race schedule includes a designation as the exclusive home to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, when the elite national series races through its final 10 events of the season. The Chase culminates with the season-ending championship event, which returns to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Of NBC Sports Group's 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will be carried on NBC annually, with 13 airing on NBCSN. Four of NBC Sports Group's 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN.
    In addition to NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races, NBC also obtained exclusive rights to practice and qualifying sessions for NBC's national series events during their portion of the season, as well as rights to broadcast the NASCAR K&N Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series, the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and NASCAR's season-ending banquets. Further, NBC is granted Spanish-language rights, certain video-on-demand rights and exclusive TV Everywhere rights for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events.(NBC)(1-9-2014)

  • Statement from Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports: "You never want to see a talented and all-around quality person like Steve (Letarte) move on, but we understand this is an exciting opportunity for him and his family. He has all the tools to be a terrific broadcaster, and I know our fans will enjoy hearing his perspective. We're looking forward to a successful year in 2014 with Steve and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) leading the #88 together. They have some of the best chemistry in the garage, and we know they'll build on last season and continue to be a championship-contending team. We don't expect to address the crew chief position until after the season. Everyone with the team is focused on 2014 and committed to having another great year."(Hendrick Motorsports)(1-9-2014)

  • Letarte Heading For TV Booth In 2015 UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will have a new crew chief in 2015. GodfatherMotorsports.com has learned that crew chief Steve Letarte will relinquish his spot atop the #88 team's pit box at season's end to accept a new position as a television analyst with NBC and NBC Sports Network, beginning in 2015. Multiple sources say Letarte will join Rick Allen and driver Jeff Burton in the broadcast booth for the final 20 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, as well as the final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events. The network also holds rights to select NASCAR Regional Racing Series events, Mexico's NASCAR Toyota Series, the annual NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and various post-season awards banquets. Letarte has served as crew chief for NASCAR's Most Popular Driver since 2011, with one win, 24 Top-5 and 54 Top-10 finishes in 106 starts. Earnhardt finished fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings last season, despite failing to win a race. He recorded Top-5 finishes in five of the final eight races and is expected to challenge for the 2014 title. An official announcement of Letarte's new position is expected this week in Daytona Beach. Reached for comment, Letarte said, "I will be the crew chief for the #88 Chevrolet in in 2014. That's all I know right now."(Godfather Motorsports)(1-9-2014)

  • NASCAR Names Richard Buck NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director: NASCAR has named Richard Buck as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series managing director. Buck will serve in the role held the past 12 years by John Darby, who will remain at NASCAR as managing director, competition. Buck and NASCAR's two other national series managing directors - Wayne Auton (NASCAR Nationwide Series) and Chad Little (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) - now will report directly to Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president, competition and racing development. Buck currently serves as vice president, racing operations for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), a role he will maintain through the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona (Jan. 25-26), at which time he will assume his new position. In addition to his role with IMSA, Buck has been serving as the managing director of NASCAR's Touring Series, the all-important grassroots racing program that has developed numerous top-flight NASCAR drivers over the years.
    "Richard Buck has demonstrated a deep and unique knowledge of motorsports, and his versatility and innovative approach to competition should serve the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage extremely well," said Mike Helton, NASCAR president. "His wide range of expertise will be of great benefit to our premier series. NASCAR is in the midst of exciting change in the Competition area, and Buck will be instrumental in providing us with fresh insights and implementing many of the changes in the years ahead."
    A native of Phoenix, Buck worked from 1980-2000 as a crew chief, team manager and director of operations with open-wheel racing teams. As a crew chief, he is a multiple-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. Prior to joining NASCAR in January 2005, Buck worked with teams in all three NASCAR national series.
    "I'm eager and ready to pursue this unique opportunity to serve as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series managing director," said Buck. "I appreciate the faith that NASCAR's management team has entrusted in me for this role. As we prepare to launch the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, I'm thrilled to expand my role in the sport of NASCAR, and I look forward to helping the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition team continue to produce the best racing in the world."
    Buck will maintain his current role as IMSA prepares to hold the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona during the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season. With his pending departure, IMSA will realign its competition structure, with Scot Elkins, IMSA vice president, competition and technical regulations, to work even more closely with NASCAR's top executives in racing, including Steve O'Donnell, executive vice president, racing operations; Gene Stefanyshyn, vice president, innovation and racing development; and Pemberton. They will form a joint NASCAR / IMSA Competition Committee to meet routinely to share ideas, best practices and resources on innovation and development regarding the two different types of racing. Additionally, as Buck has been serving as NASCAR's managing director of its Touring Series, he will relinquish that role and NASCAR will promote Brad Moran to that position. Moran has been serving as the Touring Series director.
    Darby will retain responsibilities as managing director, competition, helping to transition the NASCAR Competition model as it evolves to incorporate more technology and innovation originating at the NASCAR Research & Development Center. Over the past 12 years, Darby has been an instrumental part of a significant number of enhancements for NASCAR, including the introduction last year of the Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car and an innovative laser inspection process.(NASCAR)(1-9-2014)

  • Disabled Vietnam vet gets a new van from Darrell Waltrip and Toyota: Charlie Harvey wept. "I get to go see my mom," the retired Army Corporal and Vietnam vet said, wiping away tears as he accepted his new 2013 Toyota Sienna SE van with VMI Access360 Northstar In-floor Conversion. Harvey, who has suffered three strokes in the last 16 years and is dependent on a wheelchair and scooter for mobility, was presented with the new van Wednesday by NASCAR Hall of Fame member Darrell Waltrip at Waltrip's Harrisburg, N.C. shop. The van was first prize in the Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute national contest, which was open to all disabled U.S. veterans and entered by more than 850 U.S. military vets. Harvey's name was drawn as the winner on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2013. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. donated the van, while VMI donated the Access360 Northstar system.(FoxSports)(1-9-2014)

  • Chip Ganassi changes team name, drops Earnhardt from NASCAR operation: When Sprint Cup testing begins Thursday morning at Daytona International Speedway, there will be one well-known NASCAR name missing among the list of team owners. Earnhardt. The #1 and #42 Sprint Cup teams, which were run the last five years under the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates banner, will now return to their former name: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The sign outside the North Carolina shop already has been changed, and stickers on the cars and patches on the driver and crew uniforms will carry the Chip Ganassi logo instead of the EGR logo. Ganassi officials confirmed the change Wednesday but had no comment on the financial structure of the current organization, which fields Sprint Cup cars for Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson. Teresa Earnhardt, widow of seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and owner of Dale Earnhardt Inc., has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the team and with the change apparently no longer has any financial stake in the NASCAR operation. There will be no change in the operation of the Ganassi teams, as Teresa Earnhardt has had little influence on the organization's day-to-day operations. Ganassi began using Hendrick Motorsports engines in 2013 in its two Cup cars.(in part from the Sporting News)(1-9-2014)

  • BK Racing and ZAK Products increase partnership: As BK Racing embarks on its third season in NASCAR's premier level on February 23 with the 56th running of the Daytona 500, the team will have increased support from Irving, TX based ZAK Products. ZAK Products is the #1 Professional Maintenance Fluid of NASCAR and is an industry leading automotive chemical maintenance product line, offering a comprehensive value proposition to franchised automobile dealerships and professional installers across the U.S. and Canada since 2002. ZAK's professional grade product line is designed to drive customer loyalty by empowering installers with the training and tools needed to consistently deliver value to the consumer. Their products are specifically formulated to exceed the needs of today's vehicles, including fuel, cooling, climate control, and lubrication systems.(BK Racing)(1-9-2014)

  • FanVision Acquires TrackScan, Gains Control Over Device Distribution: FanVision has acquired TrackScan, a company that distributes radio scanners at NASCAR and IndyCar races. Financial terms of the deal were not available. The acquisition gives FanVision, which makes handheld video controllers for sporting events, control over distribution of its controllers at races. The company hopes that will allow it to provide better customer service for fans who rent its controllers. TrackScan, which was started in '93 in North Carolina, has a fleet of trailers that set up at NASCAR and IndyCar races. Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross owns FanVision.(Sports Business Daily)(1-9-2014)

  • #32 gets a sponsor for testing: The #32 Ford of Go Fas Racing, the new partnership between FAS Lane & Go Green Racing, will have Tender Beef Jerky USA aboard at Daytona International Speedway for the two day testing Thursday and Friday Tender Beef Jerky USA is a Florida based company owned by two passionate NASCAR fans, Luc & George.(Go Fas Racing PR)(1-9-2014)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Unveils 18 New Historic Cars on Glory Road: After nine exclusive stock car sneak peeks over the past two months, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is unveiling a complete makeover of one of its signature exhibits, Glory Road, on Jan. 11. Encircling the Great Hall, Glory Road has served as one of the Hall's most prominent focal points since opening in 2010, featuring 18 historic stock cars from the first 60 years of NASCAR. Speedways from across the country are illustrated here as well, where guests can touch the texture of various tracks and feel the intense banking that drivers face week-to-week. In preparation, the Hall has closed its doors from Jan. 6-10 for installation of the exhibit. The changeover requires extensive cranes and rigging equipment to mount the cars on the surface of Glory Road, which gradually builds to the extreme 33-degree banking found at Talladega Superspeedway. Also coming to the Hall this January, the layout of the Race Week exhibit, which features the Kobalt Tools Pit Crew Challenge and newly wrapped Gen-6 racing simulators, has been revamped for eased navigation for visitors. Portions have also been modernized to reflect the technological evolution of NASCAR. A new Champions exhibit in Race Week will highlight 2013 season titleholders for NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon and Matt Crafton. An updated Kobalt Tools Kid Zone also offers new interactive features including a kid-friendly Pit Crew Challenge specially constructed for pint-size NASCAR fans.
    Downstairs in the High Octane Theater Lobby, a new Memorable Moments exhibit will showcase recent significant milestones in history from the 2013 NASCAR season. The exhibit will be updated often to highlight history in the making in NASCAR.
    The complete lineup of the new cars installed on Glory Road include the following:
    1. Generation 1 Marshall Teague's 1952 Hudson Hornet (revealed Dec. 26)
    2. Generation 1 Buck Baker's 1957 Chevrolet 150 "Black Widow" (revealed Oct. 12)
    3. Generation 1 Wood Brothers' 1961 Ford Starliner
    4. Generation 1 Fred Lorenzen's 1966 Ford Galaxie "Banana Car" (revealed Dec. 17)
    5. Generation 2 Ned Jarrett's 1966 Ford Fairlane (revealed Nov. 17)
    6. Generation 2 David Pearson's 1969 Ford Torino Cobra Talladega
    7. Generation 2 Bobby Allison's 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle (revealed Dec. 7)
    8. Generation 2 Cale Yarborough's 1976 Chevrolet Laguna S-3
    9. Generation 2 Richard Petty's 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    10. Generation 3 Darrell Waltrip's 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Aerocoupe
    11. Generation 3 Dale Earnhardt's 1990 Chevrolet Lumina
    12. Generation 4 Jeff Gordon's 1994 Chevrolet Lumina (revealed Nov. 5)
    13. Generation 4 Rusty Wallace's 2000 Ford Taurus (revealed Dec. 10)
    14. Generation 4 Bill Elliott's 2001 Dodge Intrepid R/T
    15. Generation 4 Jimmie Johnson's 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS (revealed Nov. 29)
    16. Generation 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 2008 Chevrolet Impala SS
    17. Generation 5 Tony Stewart's 2011 Chevrolet Impala (revealed Nov. 12)
    18. Generation 6 Matt Kenseth's 2013 Toyota Camry
    More detail on each car can be found at nascarhall.com/explore/glory-road. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com.(NHOF)(1-9-2014)

  • Rheem to sponsor Buescher: Rheem Manufacturing Company announced that it will serve as primary sponsor for RAB Racing's #99 Toyota Camry driven by James Buescher. Rheem will be onboard the #99 for 27 races starting with the season opening event at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 22. Rheem partnered with Buescher during the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Rheem is pleased to continue their long standing support as a major NASCAR team sponsor; Rheem is one of the few sponsors in the sport today that has visited victory lane in each of NASCAR's national series, including the Daytona 500. Rheem is the only North American manufacturer that produces a comprehensive line of advanced, energy efficient heating, cooling and water heating solutions for homes and businesses throughout the world.(RAB Racing PR)(1-9-2014)


    News from January 8, 2014

  • Blaney may have Cup ride UPDATE: as far as Dave Blaney's 2014 plans, he's building a second sprint car and plans to do a lot more sprint car racing starting in Florida next month. He'll do some Sprint Cup racing as well for a new team. Dave Blaney won two sprint car races in the region last year including Port Royal Speedway's season opener and PA Sprint Speedweek at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland (The News Item)(1-7-2014)
    UPDATE: Dave Blaney is reviving the #77 Ford for Sprint Cup team owner Randy Humphrey. It's expected to be a full-time ride for 2014. Blaney also raced a #77 Ford for Jasper Racing in 2002-2003. Veteran crew chief Peter Sospenzo will oversee the operation. "We dealt with each other at Front Row (Motorsports)," Blaney told FOX Sports. "I always liked him, but we never raced together before. Obviously, it helps that we'll have Doug Yates engines and picked up some really nice cars that Casey Mears drove before Germain switched to Chevys. So we're off to. Good start."(FoxSports), Humphrey and Sospenzo ran the #19 Toyota with Mike Bliss doing most of the driving in 2013.(1-8-2014)

  • NASCAR Simplifies Manufacturer Points System For 2014: NASCAR announced that it has restructured its manufacturer points system for 2014, simplifying it for fans, competition and the industry, while amplifying the already passionate rivalries between each auto maker. The new points system - which applies to all three national series - mirrors the owner championship points structure. Points will be awarded to the single highest finisher for each car manufacturer in each championship event according to the finishing position awarded for each race. Specifically, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, points will be awarded as follows (43-1, plus bonus points). Points will be awarded in a similar manner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (43-4, plus bonus points) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (43-8, plus bonus points).
    Three additional bonus points will be awarded to the manufacturer that wins the race. The single highest finisher for each manufacturer will receive one additional bonus point for leading a lap, and one additional bonus point for leading the most laps.
    Example: In a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, if a Toyota finishes in each of the top three positions and the winning Toyota leads the most laps, and a Chevrolet finishes in fourth position without leading a lap, Toyota will receive 48 points and Chevrolet will receive 40 points.
    "We have always focused on intensifying the natural rivalries between our manufacturers - both on the race track and in the showroom," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development. "We believe aligning the points system with the owner points will create better understanding for the entire industry, and bolster interest and excitement with our fan base, which has shown intense manufacturer loyalty throughout the sport's history."
    At the end of the season, if two or more manufacturers have the same number of points, the manufacturers' championship will be awarded to the manufacturer with the greatest number of first-place finishes. If there is a tie in victories, the greatest number of second-place finishes, third-place finishes, etc. will break the tie. If a tie still remains, the manufacturer having the earliest win of the current season will prevail.(NASCAR), see how Manufacturer Points were awarded last season and previous season on the 2013 Manufacturers Championship page.(1-8-2014)

  • Rusty Wallace to drive #2 'Retro' Ford in Daytona test: Team Penske and Miller Lite announced that Rusty Wallace, NASCAR Hall of Famer and the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will drive the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion this Thursday, January 9 during a NASCAR test at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The occasion coincides with the 25th anniversary of Wallace's 1989 championship and the approaching 40th anniversary of the original Miller Lite beer. The Hall of Fame driver and current ESPN analyst will be wearing a firesuit with the original Miller Lite logo during the test. This retro firesuit will also be worn by Brad Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite Ford team crew members at the upcoming Daytona 500 as well. The Miller Lite Ford Fusion will also feature a commemorative white Miller Lite paint scheme for the "Great American Race". "I am pretty pumped up about this," said Wallace. "This is a big deal, and I can't wait to get the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford up to speed - especially at Daytona. This will be my first time driving the new Gen-6 car, and I think it will give me a better perspective on how I cover the races for ESPN as an analyst. This is going to be a lot of fun, yet there is also a business component too. I can't thank Miller Lite, ESPN and Team Penske enough for giving me this opportunity. Man, what a fantastic way to start the year." The last time Wallace piloted the storied #2 Penske machine was at the season ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway November 20, 2005. "This is a terrific way to pay homage to the heritage and prestige of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford," said Keselowski. "To have Rusty Wallace, a NASCAR champion and a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, assist Miller Lite in recognizing the long association they have had with Team Penske and NASCAR is something special. I feel privileged to be a part of it." Miller Lite and Team Penske began their over two decade long relationship with Rusty Wallace driving the storied No. 2 car. During his time behind the wheel of the Miller Lite machine, Wallace earned 39 victories. "Miller Lite is proud of our heritage and partnership with Team Penske," said Ryan Reis, senior director of marketing for Miller Lite. "Having Rusty Wallace on board to celebrate the original light beer and our rich tradition with NASCAR is something our fans are excited about."(Team Penske), see an image of the #2 Miller Lite Retro scheme on my#2 Team Schemes page.(1-8-2014)

  • Brian Scott to run the Daytona 500 UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing announced on their Twitter that Brian Scott would attempt to make the Daytona 500 in a 4th Richard Childress Racing Chevy, the #33 Shore Lodge Chevy with Nick Harrison as the crew chief.(1-7-2014)
    UPDATE Nationwide Series regular Brian Scott will enter the Daytona 500 in a #33 Sprint Cup Series car fielded by Richard Childress Racing, the team announced Tuesday. Scott's entry will give RCR four entries for the Great American Race, joining those of #31-Ryan Newman, #3-Austin Dillon and #27-Paul Menard. Nick Harrison will serve as crew chief for the #33 car, and Shore Lodge -- which also backs Scott's #2 entry on the Nationwide tour -- will serve as sponsor. Scott has made one previous Sprint Cup start, last fall at Charlotte, finishing 27th in the #33 car. The Idaho native will also run the full Nationwide slate for RCR again this season.(RCR)(1-8-2014)

  • France Answers Fan Questions on 'NASCAR Live': NASCAR Chairman Brian France says he'd like to see more primetime races, that series officials want to find ways to make winning more valuable and he's looking forward to the #3 returning to the Sprint Cup Series this season. France made those comments Tuesday night on Motor Racing Network's "NASCAR Live" show. France spent an hour with host Eli Gold and took phone calls from fans throughout the country.
    France said there have been discussions with the TV networks about start times. "If anything, we're trying to go a little bit later,'' France said. "We're, obviously, trying to get more prime-time events and be in the widest possible audience that's available on television, although I certainly understand that creates some hardships as well with people trying to get back.''
    Another topic was related to the points. France told the media in December that he wanted to find ways to incentivize winning. He mentioned that notion again during his "NASCAR Live'' appearance when asked about the length of races. "We're working on the (race) format of the future, maybe it's a little bit different, maybe it's more than a little,'' he said. "We also, I would tell you, we are not satisfied that we have the exact balance we want with winning, consistency, points, running for a championship. (see full story at Motor Racing Network)(1-8-2014)

  • Bill Elliott to test at Daytona for JR Motorsports: When Chase Elliott slides behind the wheel for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series test this weekend, he knows his legendary father will be right there behind him - perhaps even literally, since they'll both be on the race track. Chase Elliott will be one of three JRM drivers at the test, joining teammate #7-Regan Smith and his dad Bill, who will shake down a car for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. will take part in the Sprint Cup portion of Preseason Thunder slated for Thursday and Friday, but schedule conflicts will prevent the 11-time winner of NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award from taking part in the Nationwide test.(NASCAR.com)(1-8-2014)

  • Darrell Wallace Jr. on Forbes' '30 Under 30' list: On the heels of a wildly successful rookie season in which Darrell Wallace Jr. became the first African-American driver to win in one of NASCAR's national series since 1963, the 20-year-old can now add another prestigious accolade to his resume after being named to Forbes Magazine's "30 Under 30: The Best in Sports" list. Wallace, driver of the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Tundra, joins Olympians Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Sidney Crosby and others among the highly-touted list.(NASCAR.com)(1-8-2014)

  • 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series Broadcast Schedule released: For the third consecutive season, the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule will consist of 33 races on intermediate venues, road courses, superspeedways and short tracks, and all will air on the ESPN family of networks. All races are broadcast by either Motor Racing Network, Performance Racing Network or Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, and also air on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90. Three road course races will again be showcased, including Road America (June 21, 2:45pm/et, ABC), Watkins Glen International (Aug. 9, 2:15pm/et, ABC) and Mid-Ohio (Aug. 16, 2:45pm/et, ESPN), which is located less than 60 miles from Nationwide Insurance's Columbus, Ohio headquarters.
    Changes to the schedule include three date shifts from the 2013 edition: Darlington Raceway will hold its race a month earlier (April 11, 8pm/et, ESPN2), while the first Iowa Speedway event is now slated for May 18 at 2 p.m. ET:00pm/et on ESPN (it had previously been held in June). Texas Motor Speedway's date moved one week earlier in the calendar to April 4 at 8:30pm/et on ESPN2; the Texas and Darlington date changes coincide with the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. Chicagoland Speedway's standalone event will return to a night race (July 19, 8:30pm/et, ESPN2) for the first time since hometown driver Justin Allgaier won there in 2011.
    Daytona International Speedway hosts the season opener on Feb. 22 at 1:15pm/et on ESPN while the series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway is set for Nov. 15 at 4:30pm/et on ESPN2.(NASCAR), see the complete boarcast schedule on the 2014 Nationwide Series Schedule.(1-8-2014)

  • Gase to return to Jimmy Means Racing: Joey Gase will be returning to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2014 with #52-Jimmy Means Racing after the team ended the 2013 season on a good note at Phoenix International Raceway. Gase has partnered up with Db Sales Company and Donate Life for his sponsors for select races throughout the 2014 season. The team is still working hard on securing a primary full time sponsor for the 2014 season. "The goal for the season is to finish in the top 30 in owner points and top 20 in driver points" Gase said. Also, Gase would like to beat his previous top finish of 19th and regularly finish in top 25 on a weekly basis.(Joey Gase PR)(1-8-2014)

  • Hauler parade, free NASCAR test session kick off Vegas NASCAR Weekend: The annual parade of haulers down the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and a free day of NASCAR Sprint Cup testing will kick off the annual NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway beginning Wednesday, March 5. The hauler parade will start at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, March 5 on the south end of the Strip. It will proceed north to Sahara Avenue before heading north on Interstate 15 to the speedway. On Thursday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will be testing the new rules package from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The grandstands and Neon Garage will be open for free to all race fans. "These are two great fan events to start the race weekend," said LVMS president Chris Powell. "The hauler parade has brought thousands of fans to the Strip to watch the team transporters make their way to the speedway. The test session will be very vital for the teams as they prepare for both the Kobalt 400 and the remaining superspeedway races." The speedway also is planning on having a question and answer session on Thursday following the test session with several of the Sprint Cup drivers. Tickets for all races as well as Neon Garage passes, Lucky 7 parking and driver introduction passes are available at www.lvms.com or by calling 1-800-644-4444.(LVMS)(1-8-2014)

  • 2014 Talladega Superspeedway Fan Advisory Network Team: Talladega Superspeedway has selected 20 race fans to serve as members of the 2014 Talladega Superspeedway Fan Advisory Network (TSS FAN). The TSS FAN will continue to focus on creating constructive dialogue with the Talladega Superspeedway administration team, helping to make a better racing experience for all fans. "We are excited to welcome the 2014 Talladega Superspeedway FAN members," said track Chairman Grant Lynch. "Our goal is to use this team of dedicated race fans to help guide us in making improvements to our facility that will benefit all fans who attend our event weekends. Their input is indispensible, and we look forward to working with the new team this year." The new TSS FAN members, from 10 different states, will serve a one-year term which includes the Aaron's Dream Weekend May 2-4, and the Talladega 500 weekend October 17-19. NASCAR returns to Talladega Superspeedway in 2014 with the Aaron's Dream Weekend, which is set for May 2-4. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will take to the track on Saturday, May 3 while NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series machines take the green flag on Sunday, May 4. For ticket information, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(1-8-2014)


    News from January 7, 2014

  • NASCAR Reinstates Former Crew Member Todd Parrott: NASCAR has reinstated former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew member Todd Parrott upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Parrott had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on Oct. 17, 2013 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy (NASCAR). Before his suspension, Parrott was the crew chief for the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and driver Aric Almirola.(1-7-2014)

  • Swan Racing announces car numbers: Swan Racing today announced that it has secured approval from NASCAR to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the #26 in addition to the #30. Cole Whitt will pilot the #26 Toyota Camry while Parker Kligerman will drive the #30 Toyota Camry. Both Whitt and Kligerman will compete for the NASCAR Rookie of the Year award.
    The team also announced that Randy Cox will be will be Whitt's crew chief. Cox was Whitt's crew chief for 12 races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last season in which they scored four Top 10s. Steven "Bones" Lane has been elevated the competition director and will serve as crew chief for Kligerman. Lane was the crew chief of the #30 in 2013. Swan Racing competed with the #30 for all races in 2013 but for the season opening Daytona 500 in which the team entered the #26 with a special paint scheme dedicated to the 26 victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The team will enter both cars in all 36 NSCS races in 2014. "Things are shaping up for the team," said general manager Bray Pemberton. We expect to make more announcements in the near future about new partners and sponsors."(Swan Racing)(1-7-2014)

  • Brian Scott to run the Daytona 500: Richard Childress Racing announced on their Twitter that Brian Scott would attempt to make the Daytona 500 in a 4th Richard Childress Racing Chevy, the #33 Shore Lodge Chevy with Nick Harrison as the crew chief.(1-7-2014)

  • RPM to make 'significant sponsor extension' announcement: The primary sponsor for Aric Almirola's #43 entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has scheduled a Jan. 15 media luncheon in Manhattan to announce a "significant sponsor extension in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series." According to a media release, the event at the Hudson Theater will feature Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope. Smithfield and its products were featured as the primary sponsor for a majority of Almirola's Sprint Cup races in 2013 after beginning its sponsorship in 2012. RPM primary owner Andrew Murstein -- president of Medallion Financial Group, a company that provides loans to finance the purchase of New York City taxi medallions -- as well as co-owner Petty and Almirola will be in attendance.(NewsDay)(1-7-2014)

  • Swan Racing assembles a new pit crew with veteran leadership: Swan Racing has made a major step in improving their team with the newly revamped pit crew for 2014. Finding quality pit crew members is a premium now a days and Swan Racing has done a great job in collecting some very skilled members. The team includes Front Changer Mark "Hollywood" Armstrong, Front Carrier Jay Gay, Jack Man Mitch Lash, Rear Changer Brody Essick, Rear Carrier Chip Goode, and the Gas Man is still TBD.(more at Pit Talks)(1-7-2014)

  • Blaney may have part time Cup ride: as far as Dave Blaney's 2014 plans, he's building a second sprint car and plans to do a lot more sprint car racing starting in Florida next month. He'll do some Sprint Cup racing as well for a new team. Dave Blaney won two sprint car races in the region last year including Port Royal Speedway's season opener and PA Sprint Speedweek at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland (The News Item), no word on who the new team is.(1-7-2014)

  • Mayfield pleads guilty to possession of stolen goods: Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield has pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods and one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Mayfield will serve no jail time, but will have to pay $88,124.41 in restitution to the victims. $60,000 of that was paid Monday, with the rest being paid Tuesday, officials told WBTV. He will serve a 45-day suspended sentence and 18 months of unsupervised probation. Mayfield's home in Catawba County was searched in 2011 and items alleged to be stolen were taken by law enforcement as evidence. Mayfield was suspended indefinitely from NASCAR in May 2009 after testing positive for methamphetamine.(WBTV)(1-7-2014)

  • Latest update on Michael Schumacher: Doctors treating Michael Schumacher say his clinical state "is considered as stable" but that he remains in a "critical" condition. Schumacher has now spent eight nights in a coma at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble following his ski accident on December 29. After his manager Sabine Kehm asked on Saturday for the media to not speculate on his condition, the hospital released a statement on Monday confirming that there would be no further information released for the immediate future. "The clinical state of Michael Schumacher is considered as stable and is constantly monitored by the medical treatments that are administered to him," the statement said. "However, the medical team responsible underlines that they will not stop to consider Michael's condition as critical. The privacy of the patient demands that we are not going into details of his treatment, and this is why we do not plan any press conferences nor give out written press releases, anymore for the time being."(ESPN F1)(1-7-2014)

  • Chad Boat to run partial NNS schedule: Billy Boat Motorsports announced that they will field the #84 Chevy driven by Chad Boat in the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series. The newly formed program, which operates out of a state-of-the-art facility in Mooresville, North Carolina, will run a minimum of 15 races this season. "I'm excited for the opportunity to compete at the next level in my career," stated Boat. "We have a great team at Billy Boat Motorsports and I'm thankful for their hard work putting this program together. I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the #84 Chevrolet this season." Boat began his motorsports career at the age of five running quarter midgets in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. At just 15-years old, he was well on his way to a promising racing career after earning multiple championships across different series and winning races at the national level of the USAC open-wheel ranks before making the transition to stock car racing in 2011. Over the last three years, Boat has accumulated 26 starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and 10 starts in the ARCA Racing Series, where he scored four top-five and six top-10 finishes. The now 21-year old will contend for Rookie of the Year honors this coming season in the NNS. The Billy Boat Motorsports organization will be led by veteran NASCAR crew chief Dan Deeringhoff who has 168 starts, four wins, and the 2008 Nationwide championship under his belt as a NNS crew chief. Boat is scheduled to make his NNS debut on Friday, April 4th at Texas Motorsports Speedway and will continue throughout the remainder of the season in a minimum of 15 races. In an effort to get the rookie more track time, the team will head to Daytona International Speedway this week to take part in Preseason Thunder, NASCAR's annual test session at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(1-7-2014)

  • Bill Elliott to test at Daytona for JR Motorsports: When Chase Elliott slides behind the wheel for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series test this weekend, he knows his legendary father will be right there behind him - perhaps even literally, since they'll both be on the race track. Chase Elliott will be one of three JRM drivers at the test, joining teammate #7-Regan Smith and his dad Bill, who will shake down a car for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. will take part in the Sprint Cup portion of Preseason Thunder slated for Thursday and Friday, but schedule conflicts will prevent the 11-time winner of NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award from taking part in the Nationwide test.(NASCAR.com)(1-7-2014)


    News from January 6, 2014

  • Different drivers testing for BK Racing at Daytona UPDATE: Alex Bowman, who subbed for David Reutimann in the #83 Toyota during the Charlotte Motor Speedway test in December, will continue in that role at Daytona International Speedway this coming week. Ryan Truex will shake down the #93 Toyota. Truex remains under contract with Richard Petty Motorsports but was given permission to test with BK Racing. "We're going to test those two to keep our options open," said Ron Devine, BKR team owner. On Sunday, Devine said both he and the team were impressed by Bowman's performance at the Charlotte test. He added BKR's driver lineup "is not set yet for 2014." Given the uncertainty surrounding his current drivers, that's understandable. Travis Kvapil, who competed in the #93 Toyota last year, has a pending court date Jan. 17 following charges of misdemeanor assault on Oct. 8. The case was continued from Nov. 19. Reutimann struggled to finish 33rd in the points standings last year. While Dale Ferguson will continue as the crew chief for the #93 team, Dave Winston [not Martin] will replace Doug Richert on the #83 squad. However, Devine says Richert will remain with the organization.(Fox Sports)(1-6-2014)
    UPDATE: After completing a full season with BK Racing in 2013, the decision has been mutually made to part ways between driver David Reutimann and BK Racing effective immediately. Due to the current uncertainty of the team's 2014 driver lineup, driver David Reutimann has decided not to pursue a seat with BK Racing for 2014. No official driver lineup for the upcoming season is currently available at this time.(BK Racing), Reutimann drove the #83 Burger King Toyota in 2013 for BK Racing.(1-6-2014)

  • Elliott and Hendrick meet with NAPA? UPDATE Chase Elliott to NNS with NAPA: hearing earlier this week that Chase and Bill Elliott, Rick Hendrick and Kelley Earnhardt Miller met with officials at the NAPA Auto Parts headquarters in Atlanta. No definite word on what the meeting was about. Chase Elliott, a Hendrick Motorsports development driver, is looking for a sponsor for whatever series he may run in 2014. His former sponsor, Aaron's, decided not to sponsor Elliott in 2014 and ramp up their sponsorship of Brian Vickers in the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Sprint Cup Series team for all the races in 2014 & 2015. NAPA Auto Parts had been a long time sponsor of Waltrip and his #56 team with soon to be former driver Martin Truex Jr. NAPA canceled their sponsorship of the #56 team and MWR after the "Richmond Scandal" in September. It'll be interesting to see what NAPA may do as rumors had them not returning to sponsor any NASCAR team in 2014 and sitting out the season and then rethinking their sponsorship plans. Have heard reports that NAPA did not want to sponsor a team in the Nationwide Series or Camping World Truck Series. Have heard that NAPA does not wish take over for Nationwide as the series sponsor what is now called the Nationwide Series when Nationwide leaves at the end of the 2014 season. Been told that NAPA only wants to sponsor a Sprint Cup Series team for a full season. Rumors also had NAPA moving over to the #78 Furniture Row Racing team with Martin Truex Jr. in some capacity.(11-15-2013)
    UPDATE Chase Elliott to run full season for JR Motorsports, NAPA Returns: Chase Elliott will compete full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports starting in 2014 and do so with NAPA AUTO PARTS as his full-season primary sponsor. With Elliott as its driver, the 2014 season will mark NAPA's 19th in NASCAR sponsorship. NAPA (National Automotive Parts Association) has more than 6,000 stores nationwide with more than 400,000 quality parts and accessories for automotive and industrial applications - the most extensive inventory in the industry. NAPA headquarters is in Atlanta, Ga., just a short distance from Elliott's hometown of Dawsonville, GA. "NAPA is pleased to continue its long standing involvement in NASCAR, the most popular form of motorsports in the United States supported by its many loyal and passionate fans," commented Dan Askey, President of NAPA. "Equally, we are proud to form this new partnership with JR Motorsports. Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Rick Hendrick and its many employees have developed one of the premier teams in the Nationwide Series. Chase Elliott is a young and talented, future star in the sport and will represent NAPA well both on and off the track. We welcome Chase and the entire JR Motorsports organization to the NAPA Family." Elliott will carry the #9 on his NAPA Chevy - the same number his father, legendary racer Bill Elliott, carried for much of his storied career that included the 1988 Sprint Cup Series championship. The 2014 season will mark the younger Elliott's Nationwide Series debut. He turned 18 on Nov. 28, becoming eligible for competition. "This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Chase Elliott said. "My family and I are still trying to believe it all. I couldn't ask to be partnered with anyone better than Dale Jr., Kelley and Mr. Hendrick, along with all of the people at their organizations who have put in countless hours to pull this together."(JR Motorsports/NAPA), see an image of the car on the #9 NNS team paint schemes page.(1-6-2014)

  • Hornish gets part time ride for 2014 UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will share seat time with Kyle Busch in the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Nationwide Series this season. Hornish could not be reached for comment.(Fox Sports)(1-6-2014)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that it has signed driver Sam Hornish, Jr. to drive the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2014. "I'm excited about driving the #54 Monster Energy car this year. It's a great opportunity for me," said Hornish. "It's the best possible situation for me to jump into great equipment and have the opportunity to go right out and win. After working with Penske for 10 years and now to have the opportunity to partner with Joe Gibbs Racing, I couldn't have asked for anything better. These are great people, top notch. To partner with Kyle, and all this team provides, with the support of Joe and J.D., it provides me with everything I need to succeed. It's also a phenomenal opportunity for me to partner with a market leader such as Monster Energy. The brand identity and fan following that goes along with this sponsor is super. I can't wait to get into that car!"
    The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens returning to call the shots from atop the pit box. Kyle Busch will return to pilot the Camry in 26 races, while Hornish will fill the driver's seat in the remaining seven races. "We're excited to have someone of Sam's caliber joining Kyle behind the wheel of the Monster Energy Camry this year," said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We think we have a great team there with Monster Energy and Sam will be an outstanding addition. We lost out on the owner's championship by just one point last year so our focus will be on trying to get that title back in 2014."
    Hornish has spent the past two seasons driving the #12 car for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series. Last season he recorded one win, 16 top-five and 25 top-ten finishes and captured four pole awards. In 99 career starts, Hornish has two wins, 28 top-five and 53 top-ten finishes. He also has made 130 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Hornish's first race behind the wheel of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota will be May 3 at Talladega. In addition he will race both Iowa Speedway races, Road America, Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, Mid-Ohio, and Kentucky Speedway on September 20.(JGR)(1-6-2014)

  • Chase Elliott to run full season for JR Motorsports, NAPA Returns: Chase Elliott will compete full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports starting in 2014 and do so with NAPA AUTO PARTS as his full-season primary sponsor. With Elliott as its driver, the 2014 season will mark NAPA's 19th in NASCAR sponsorship. NAPA (National Automotive Parts Association) has more than 6,000 stores nationwide with more than 400,000 quality parts and accessories for automotive and industrial applications - the most extensive inventory in the industry. NAPA headquarters is in Atlanta, Ga., just a short distance from Elliott's hometown of Dawsonville, GA. "NAPA is pleased to continue its long standing involvement in NASCAR, the most popular form of motorsports in the United States supported by its many loyal and passionate fans," commented Dan Askey, President of NAPA. "Equally, we are proud to form this new partnership with JR Motorsports. Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Rick Hendrick and its many employees have developed one of the premier teams in the Nationwide Series. Chase Elliott is a young and talented, future star in the sport and will represent NAPA well both on and off the track. We welcome Chase and the entire JR Motorsports organization to the NAPA Family." Elliott will carry the #9 on his NAPA Chevy - the same number his father, legendary racer Bill Elliott, carried for much of his storied career that included the 1988 Sprint Cup Series championship. The 2014 season will mark the younger Elliott's Nationwide Series debut. He turned 18 on Nov. 28, becoming eligible for competition. "This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Chase Elliott said. "My family and I are still trying to believe it all. I couldn't ask to be partnered with anyone better than Dale Jr., Kelley and Mr. Hendrick, along with all of the people at their organizations who have put in countless hours to pull this together."(JR Motorsports/NAPA), see an image of the car on the #9 team paint schemes page.(1-6-2014)

  • Hornish to share ride with Kyle Busch for Gibbs UPDATE: Last November, Sam Hornish promised he wasn't going to settle for any ride just to be able to "say I'm a race-car driver." Thanks to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hornish won't have to. Sources tell FOXSports.com that the three-time IndyCar Champ and Indianapolis 500 winner will share seat time with Kyle Busch in the #54 Toyota in the Nationwide Series this season. Hornish could not be reached for comment. Hornish finished second in the Nationwide points standings to Austin Dillon last year in his second full season on the tour driving the No. 12 for Penske Racing. He finished fourth in 2012. However, Penske Racing could not secure sponsorship for Hornish to continue in the ride. Busch ran 26 Nationwide races last season with Adam Stevens as his crew chief. He won 12 of the events in the #54 Monster Toyota. Busch is expected to run a similar schedule in 2014 with Hornish filling the balance.(Fox Sports)(1-5-2014)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has signed driver Sam Hornish, Jr. to drive the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2014. "I'm excited about driving the No. 54 Monster Energy car this year. It's a great opportunity for me," said Hornish. "It's the best possible situation for me to jump into great equipment and have the opportunity to go right out and win. After working with Penske for 10 years and now to have the opportunity to partner with Joe Gibbs Racing, I couldn't have asked for anything better. These are great people, top notch. To partner with Kyle, and all this team provides, with the support of Joe and J.D., it provides me with everything I need to succeed. It's also a phenomenal opportunity for me to partner with a market leader such as Monster Energy. The brand identity and fan following that goes along with this sponsor is super. I can't wait to get into that car!" The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens returning to call the shots from atop the pit box. Kyle Busch will return to pilot the Camry in 26 races, while Hornish will fill the driver's seat in the remaining seven races. Hornish's first race behind the wheel of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota will be May 3 at Talladega. In addition he will race both Iowa Speedway races, Road America, Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, Mid-Ohio, and Kentucky Speedway on September 20.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-6-2014)

  • Daytona Rising January Project Update: Daytona International Speedway has shifted its focus to race-ready preparation for the 52nd Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Budweiser Speedweeks 2014. Construction activities related to the Daytona Rising project will continue during this time. However, the Speedway's main goal is to accommodate and entertain hundreds of thousands of race fans during its premier events in the early part of the year. "We are proud of the progress thus far on the Daytona Rising project and equally excited to welcome fans for the start of the 2014 racing season," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "They will get an up close and personal look at all the progress we've made to date and hopefully, they will share in the excitement that we've felt since the groundbreaking in July. Our partners at Barton Malow and ROSSETTI have put us in a great position to continue momentum for the Daytona Rising project while preparing the facility so we can deliver unforgettable experiences for our loyal fans during our marquee events."
    Race-ready activities that are currently underway:
    · Relocating merchandise store building pad outside the frontstretch
    · Setting up hospitality village and the Budweiser 1876 Club
    · Building temporary suite tower lobby and temporary ticketing trailers
    · Mobilizing the Americrown temporary kitchen
    · Admission Gates relocation completed and ticket scanning systems tested
    · Paving within the construction site to support fan access and pedestrian traffic
    Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in December:
    · Steel installation near the middle bowl section of the frontstretch grandstand
    · First slab on the metal deck (first elevated concrete pour)
    · Completed pile cap installation
    Daytona Rising is a $400 million reimagining of the Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or "injectors," will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or "neighborhoods," along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. Race fans can follow the progress of the Daytona Rising project by visiting www.DaytonaRising.com. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-4-2014)


    News from January 5, 2014

  • Johnson wins November Hickok Belt Award: #48-Jimmie Johnson has been selected as the Hickok Belt Award winner for the month of November 2013. Voting was conducted by a select panel of members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). Johnson won the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship title with a total of six wins in 35 starts and finished 19 points ahead of second place driver Matt Kenseth. The win was Johnson's sixth Sprint Cup title within eight years, placing him within reach of the overall record of seven titles held by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Other finalists for the month of November in order of how the NSSA voters ranked them included: Nick Foles (football), Paul George (basketball), Novak Djokovic (tennis), Manny Pacquiao (boxing), Henrik Stenson (golf), Cam Talbot (hockey), Evgeni Malkin (hockey), Gary Stevens (horse racing), and Kory Sheets (football).
    Johnson's selection as the Hickok Belt Award winner for November 2013 recognizes him as "the best of the best" in professional sports for the month and makes him the eighth candidate eligible to receive the 2013 overall award, joining previous 2013 monthly winners David Ortiz, Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco, Miguel Cabrera, Lebron James, and Phil Mickelson.(Digital Journal)(1-5-2014)

  • Darrell Waltrip opens Buick GMC: Darrell Waltrip Automotive opened its new $14 million, 28,000-square-foot Buick GMC showroom and service center on Thursday to add to the 30-acre auto campus along Highway 96 in Franklin, TN. A grand opening will be in the spring. Waltrip, a NASCAR Hall of Famer, lead analyst on NASCAR for FOX and Franklin resident, opened his Honda dealership in 1985. The Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group also sells Volvo, Subaru and used vehicles. The campus also has two service centers specializing in Honda, Volvo and Subaru service. "Ironically, two of the best years I ever had in racing was driving a Buick. In 1981, 1982, I won 24 races and two championships driving a Buick Regal," Waltrip said. "When I heard we had the opportunity to get this point, we just went to work on it to see if we could put it together and we were able to." As a part of the expansion, Darrell Waltrip Automotive will add 100 jobs.(Tennessean)(1-5-2014)

  • Bud Moore/Bobby Isaac #15 NASCAR Torino to be Auctioned: Gran Torino Sport fastbacks are liked by plenty of folks even though they were built during the twilight of the performance era. The Clint Eastwood movie Grand Torino brought these vehicle to a younger audience, building more appreciation for this sleeper among collectible Fords. What may be the greatest version of them of all will be auctioned at Russo and Steele's Scottsdale event during January 15 - 19, 2014: the Bud Moore #15 Grand National stocker driven by Bobby Isaac.(Hot Rod Magazine)(1-5-2014)


    News from January 4, 2014

  • McMurray & Larson to run in Rolex 24: Seven-time and reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champions and five-time and reigning Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced its season-long program for the new IMSA-sanctioned TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in 2014, including their driver line-up for the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona. Long-time partners Telcel and TELMEX return as the primary sponsors of the #01 Ford EcoBoost Riley in the Prototype category for the USCC season-long effort piloted by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in their eighth year together, after finishing the GRAND-AM era as most-successful driving duo in Rolex Sports Car Series history.
    In addition, CGRFS will again field two Prototypes for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers that represent some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Pruett and Rojas will unite with CGRFS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) teammate Jamie McMurray and reigning Indy Lights Champion Sage Karam to form the lineup in the #01 Telcel/Target/Comfort Revolution Ford EcoBoost Riley, while the Team Target trio of drivers Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Kyle Larson join sports car star Marino Franchitti in the #02 Target/Telcel/Big Machine Records Ford EcoBoost Riley. CGRFS previously announced it would utilize Ford's 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost racing engine for the 2014 USCC season.(EGR)(1-4-2014)

  • DIY Network's Yard Crashers Casting Call at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Jan. 5: Homeowners and NASCAR fans living in the Charlotte area are invited to the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Sunday, Jan. 5 from 10:00am to 2:00 pm for the chance to receive a racing-themed backyard makeover and appear in an upcoming episode of Yard Crashers that will be filmed at a later date in early 2014. The DIY Network is partnering with Great Clips to look for one lucky homeowner to dig up, demolish and transform their backyard into a racing fan's dream space. Matt Blashaw, licensed landscape contractor and host of DIY Network's Yard Crashers, will be on site to meet and greet with fans and choose a family/yard for the racing-themed episode. To participate, homeowners must bring a picture of their current backyard and be ready to convince Matt Blashaw and the Yard Crashers crew why they are the worthy fan that should receive a free yard makeover racing style. There is no charge to participate in the casting call. Parking is available in the NASCAR Hall of Fame parking garage on Brevard Street. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(1-4-2013)

  • Former F1 Champ Schumacher Injured in Skiing Accident UPDATE4: Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is in a "critical" condition in hospital following a head injury suffered in a fall while skiing with his son in the French Alps. Schumacher was skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel when the accident happened on Sunday morning. Although he was wearing a helmet he suffered a serious head trauma and was flown to hospital in Moutiers by helicopter and was subsequently transferred to a bigger facility in Grenoble. He was reported to be conscious immediately after the accident he had lost consciousness by the time he reached hospital. A statement from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble said Schumacher had "suffered a severe head trauma with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical treatment" and that "he remains in a critical condition".(ESPN F1)
    UPDATE: Michael Schumacher's condition is still "critical" and he is being kept in intensive care at a hospital in Grenoble following a skiing accident on Sunday. In an update on Monday morning, surgeons treating Schumacher said he was operated on immediately to relieve pressure on his head after a brain scan on Sunday night. He is being kept in an artificial coma with treatment to limit a cerebral oedema and a second operation is not currently planned. Professor Jean-Francois Payen added: "We are working hour by hour, we cannot say anything more".(ESPN F1)(12-30-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Schumacher has shown a "slight improvement" but is still in a critical condition, according to doctors treating head injuries he sustained in a skiing accident on Sunday. On Tuesday the medical team at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble said his situation is "better controlled" than it was on Monday, but that he was not out of danger yet and remains in a medically-induced coma in intensive care. Schumacher's condition improved slightly on Monday, presenting an opportunity for doctors to carry out a scan on his brain later in the day. After evaluating the results the doctors were positively surprised and, with the agreement of the family, decided to undertake a second surgical intervention to reduce intercranial pressure. Following the two-hour surgery, which went according to plan, his doctors were able to say his situation has slightly improved since Monday.(ESPN F1)(12-31-2013)
    UPDATE3: Schumacher's condition has remained stable since Tuesday after spending a third night in a coma in hospital. Schumacher remains in a critical condition overall and is still in intensive care at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble. His manager Sabine Kehm made a brief statement outside the hospital on Wednesday morning, saying there would not be a another press conference with Schumacher's medical team until there is further news to report. "Michael's condition has been carefully supervised all night and has remained stable overnight until now," Kehm said. "This is good news for the moment, and I repeat for the moment, because overall the situation is still critical. He remains in an artificial coma and this is all I can say. I don't want to go into any further speculation about any outcomes or prospects."(ESPN F1)(1-1-2014)
    UPDATE4 Michael Schumacher remains in a critical but stable condition, with his management asking the media not to speculate about his condition. Schumacher spent a sixth night in a coma following his 45th birthday on Friday and his condition has not changed on Saturday. His family remains by his bedside while Ferrari fans held a vigil outside the Grenoble hospital on Friday in support of the seven-time world champion. His manager Sabine Kehm released a statement on Saturday saying no official update is expected before Monday. "Michael's condition remains critical but stable," she said. "We would like to clearly stress that any information regarding Michael's health not coming from the doctors treating him or from his management must be treated as invalid and pure speculation. The family cares only for Michael's health. Michael's helmet camera was voluntarily given to the investigating authorities by the family. That this should have been done against the wishes of the family is untrue. We ask you to respect the continued privacy of the family. In consultation with the doctor's treating Michael, it is not expected that there will be any press conference before Monday."(ESPN F1)(1-4-2014)

  • Daytona Rising January Project Update: Daytona International Speedway has shifted its focus to race-ready preparation for the 52nd Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Budweiser Speedweeks 2014. Construction activities related to the Daytona Rising project will continue during this time. However, the Speedway's main goal is to accommodate and entertain hundreds of thousands of race fans during its premier events in the early part of the year. "We are proud of the progress thus far on the Daytona Rising project and equally excited to welcome fans for the start of the 2014 racing season," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "They will get an up close and personal look at all the progress we've made to date and hopefully, they will share in the excitement that we've felt since the groundbreaking in July. Our partners at Barton Malow and ROSSETTI have put us in a great position to continue momentum for the Daytona Rising project while preparing the facility so we can deliver unforgettable experiences for our loyal fans during our marquee events."
    Race-ready activities that are currently underway:
    · Relocating merchandise store building pad outside the frontstretch
    · Setting up hospitality village and the Budweiser 1876 Club
    · Building temporary suite tower lobby and temporary ticketing trailers
    · Mobilizing the Americrown temporary kitchen
    · Admission Gates relocation completed and ticket scanning systems tested
    · Paving within the construction site to support fan access and pedestrian traffic
    Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in December:
    · Steel installation near the middle bowl section of the frontstretch grandstand
    · First slab on the metal deck (first elevated concrete pour)
    · Completed pile cap installation
    Daytona Rising is a $400 million reimagining of the Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or "injectors," will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or "neighborhoods," along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. Race fans can follow the progress of the Daytona Rising project by visiting www.DaytonaRising.com. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-4-2014)


    News from January 3, 2014

  • Bestwick to move to IndyCar Series broadcasts: Sportscaster Allen Bestwick will remain with ESPN /ABC after it loses its NASCAR contract and work primarily as play-by-play announcer for the network's broadcasts of IndyCar Series events. Bestwick currently serves in the same role for network's NASCAR broadcasts but ESPN/ABC will lose broadcast rights to those races at the conclusion of the 2014 season. NBC and Fox and their respective sports networks will broadcast all NASCAR events beginning in 2015. Bestwick will do both IndyCar and NASCAR events this season for ESPN/ABC. In 2015, Bestwick will do IndyCar broadcasts and work in other sports. An ESPN spokesman declined to comment (Charlotte Observer).(1-3-2014)

  • Race Track tax break to expire: Every year, there are a raft of "temporary" tax breaks, credits, and deductions that expire on Dec. 31. Lawmakers usually plan on extending them. But they don't always get to it on time. This year, Congress let about 55 different tax breaks expire on Dec. 31. In theory, Congress could still extend these (retroactively) for 2014. One such tax break was: A tax break to help NASCAR build racetracks. This tax break allowed anyone who builds a racetrack to receive a small tax benefit through accelerated depreciation. (It was called the "NASCAR loophole," but it doesn't just help NASCAR.) Supporters claimed the break is necessary so that NASCAR can compete on a level playing field with other theme parks. But it's gone now, unless Congress decides to extend. Cost to extend: About $50 million per year.(in part from the Washington Post)(1-3-2014)

  • Edwards to appear on Biggest Loser: "The Biggest Loser" kicks off the new year with special guest NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, "fan favorite" contestant Abby Rike and one eliminated player getting a "Second Chance" to get back in the game on a lively two-hour episode airing Tuesday, January 7 (8-10 pm/et) on NBC.(RFR)(1-3-2014)


    News from January 2, 2014

  • Dave Despain back on TV: Renowned motor racing broadcaster Dave Despain {formerly of SPEED's Wind Tunnel show] has signed a two-year contract with MAVTV American Real to host the network's five live events, beginning with the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire on Jan. 18, and a series of 30-minute, one-on-one programs interviewing drivers and other personalities from across the diverse American racing landscape. The 67-year old Despain was attracted to joining the burgeoning independent network owned by Forrest Lucas by the opportunity to return to working at the race track and hosting the "Dave Despain Show."
    "I'm really excited to get back to the grass roots of racing," Despain said. "And I'm also excited about being able to do a series of long-form interviews, the majority of which will feature the legends of grass-roots racing. We'll try to mix it up and have an interesting variety of personalities from all over the racing world.(AutoWeek)(1-2-2014)

  • 2014 Chevrolet SS passenger sedan available: The 2014 Chevrolet SS [which started running in NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2013] has been a long time coming-nearly two decades, in fact. It is the first rear-wheel-drive sedan powered by a V8 engine that Chevy has offered since it discontinued the Impala in 1996, which was antiquated even back then. "So what?" you might say. "Aren't large cars with large engines becoming obsolete?" Maybe, but there was a time when all Chevrolets were made like the 2014 SS. And although this new sport sedan will be sold only in small numbers-General Motors execs aren't saying how many, but it likely won't be much more than 5,000 a year, based on sales of similar vehicles like the Dodge Charger SRT8-it is poised to have a far greater impact on GM's corporate image.(full story and Q&A at Forbes.com)(1-2-2014)

  • Sad News - George Tet: Former modified racer George Tet died Dec. 31. He was 90 years old. Tet's real name was Tetsuo Fuchigami and he was the first Japanese to drive in a NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup, running three races in 1960-1961) car. In the 1950s he won at many tracks including Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, N.J., and Dexter Park in Queens, N.Y. He excelled in smaller engined cars, often beating the modifieds with his sportsman. For many years he ran a florist business, located by Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park, NY.(National Speed Sport News)(1-2-2014)


    News from January 1, 2014

  • Some Daytona Testing to be Televised: the 2014 version of NASCAR cars and trucks take to the track at Daytona for preseason test sessions, with FOX Sports 1 providing 12 hours of coverage over three days from Jan. 9-11. The NASCAR on FOX team of Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy call the action while NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars are on the track Jan. 9-10 (1:00 pm/et to 5:00 pm/et, Live), with Bob Dillner and Matt Yocum reporting from the pits and Jeff Hammond reporting from the garage. Setting up camp in the garage area, host Rick Allen and analyst Hermie Sadler offer a location for drivers, crew chiefs and other personalities to talk over the day's storylines. NASCAR Nationwide Series tests air on FOX Sports 1 from 3:00pm/et to 7:00pm/et on Saturday, Jan. 11, with Allen, Hammond and Phil Parsons in the booth, and Sadler, Dillner and Ray Dunlap reporting from the pits.(FOX)(1-1-2014)

  • Former F1 Champ Schumacher Injured in Skiing Accident UPDATE3: Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is in a "critical" condition in hospital following a head injury suffered in a fall while skiing with his son in the French Alps. Schumacher was skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel when the accident happened on Sunday morning. Although he was wearing a helmet he suffered a serious head trauma and was flown to hospital in Moutiers by helicopter and was subsequently transferred to a bigger facility in Grenoble. He was reported to be conscious immediately after the accident he had lost consciousness by the time he reached hospital. A statement from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble said Schumacher had "suffered a severe head trauma with coma on arrival, which required immediate neurosurgical treatment" and that "he remains in a critical condition".(ESPN F1)
    UPDATE: Michael Schumacher's condition is still "critical" and he is being kept in intensive care at a hospital in Grenoble following a skiing accident on Sunday. In an update on Monday morning, surgeons treating Schumacher said he was operated on immediately to relieve pressure on his head after a brain scan on Sunday night. He is being kept in an artificial coma with treatment to limit a cerebral oedema and a second operation is not currently planned. Professor Jean-Francois Payen added: "We are working hour by hour, we cannot say anything more".(ESPN F1)(12-30-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Schumacher has shown a "slight improvement" but is still in a critical condition, according to doctors treating head injuries he sustained in a skiing accident on Sunday. On Tuesday the medical team at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble said his situation is "better controlled" than it was on Monday, but that he was not out of danger yet and remains in a medically-induced coma in intensive care. Schumacher's condition improved slightly on Monday, presenting an opportunity for doctors to carry out a scan on his brain later in the day. After evaluating the results the doctors were positively surprised and, with the agreement of the family, decided to undertake a second surgical intervention to reduce intercranial pressure. Following the two-hour surgery, which went according to plan, his doctors were able to say his situation has slightly improved since Monday.(ESPN F1)(12-31-2013)
    UPDATE3: Schumacher's condition has remained stable since Tuesday after spending a third night in a coma in hospital. Schumacher remains in a critical condition overall and is still in intensive care at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Grenoble. His manager Sabine Kehm made a brief statement outside the hospital on Wednesday morning, saying there would not be a another press conference with Schumacher's medical team until there is further news to report. "Michael's condition has been carefully supervised all night and has remained stable overnight until now," Kehm said. "This is good news for the moment, and I repeat for the moment, because overall the situation is still critical. He remains in an artificial coma and this is all I can say. I don't want to go into any further speculation about any outcomes or prospects."(ESPN F1)(1-1-2014)

  • Sad News - Richmond Gage: Richmond Gage, a program chair and instructor for the Motorsports Management and Technology program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, died suddenly on Sunday. He was 51 years old. Richmond had a lengthy career in the motorsports industry, including serving as the Chief Stewart of the USAC Eastern Ford Focus Midget Series. He spent several years working on various NASCAR teams before joining Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to direct and instruct the first accredited degreed-program in motorsports in the United States. He was also the Director of the North Carolina Community College Motorsports Consortium. Gage is survived by his wife Carol, and daughters Alex and Sarah.(NSSN), more info on the Sad News page.(12-24-2013)
    Obituary: Richmond Bullen Gage III, 51, of Harrisburg, passed away suddenly on Sunday, December 22, 2013, at CMC-Main in Charlotte. He was born December 7, 1962 in Dunn, North Carolina. Richmond had a passion for racing. He enjoyed watching Formula 1 racing. He has worked with various NASCAR teams for over 25 years. He was presently Program Director of Motorsports Management at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. See the obituary and more info about services, donations, condolences on my Sad News Page)(1-1-2014)


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

Next Race: Hollywood Casino 400

Countdown to Race Time: 10/5/2014 ~2:16pm/et

Kansas Speedway
Kansas City, KS

ESPN, 2:00pm/et
Motor Racing Network
SiriusXM Radio Channel 90

Qualifying:
Friday, October 3, 2014, 5:45pm/et
ESPN2, 5:30pm/et
Live Radio online at motorracingnetwork.com

Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 2:00pm/et
FoxSports2 2:00pm/et



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added a RACK of new links
on OCTOBER 1, 2014
to the Article Links page, including.......



NOTE: the 20-25 links that seemed the most interesting to me are posted in the basic order they are shown on the Article / Column / Blog Links page with approx 10 days worth of links

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Born on Dates / Birthday's

Born in OCTOBER

1 Neil Goldberg, Fred Graves, Steve Barkdoll, John Krebs, Neil Castles, Mel Larson, Clarence DeZalia

2 John Roberts, Paul Goldsmith, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen

3 Max Papis, Chase Austin, Carolyn Carrier, Bray Pemberton, Sidney Wolfe, Joe Piette Jr., Bobby Santos

4 Sarah Burton, Heather Hammond, Rich Burgess, Liz Clarke

5 J.J. Yeley, Earl Barban, Brian Johnson, Austin Fox, Dave Rezendes, Rick Beebe, Courtney George, J.T. Putney

6 Mike McLaughlin, Dick McCabe, Phillip McGilton, Michael Marks

7 Pierre Bourque, Hank Parker Jr., Tina Yocono

8 Bill Elliott, Johnny Southall, Margaret Hallin, Joe Stella

9 Darian Grubb, Ray Kilgore, Billy Wease, Freda Styers

10 Dale Earnhardt Jr, Coleman Pressley, Connie Larimore, Bill Feeney

11 Jimmy Hensley, David Starr

12 Morgan Shepherd, Ned Jarrett, Tim Sullivan, Lonnie Clouse, Ernie Gahan, Kitty 'Mom' Allison,

13 John Kernan, Michael Ehert, Tim Sauter, David Ifft

14 Jason Jarrett

15 Chris Economaki, Red Farmer, Eddie Gossage, Chad McCumbee, Aaron Johnston, Roland Wlodyka, Gober Sosebee

16 Mark Petty, Mae Beaty, Tim Packman

17 Chocolate Myers, Doug Randolph, Tommy Kendall, Jarrod Breeze

18 Edward Adamczyk Sr, Jerry Bonkowski, Bart Creasman, Billy Myers

19 Tom Wilsey, Mark Dyer, Lisa Price, Brad Daugherty, Leslie Britton, Brian Rose, Greg Cindric

20 John Kosner. Fred Wanke, Todd Gordon, Wally McCarty, Clifford Allison

21 Bob Jeffrey, Pete Wright, David Gebhardt

22 Ed Dybalski, George Gillett Jr., Milan Garrett, Rick Benjamin, John Graham, Adam Davis

23 Humpy Wheeler, Larry Hartle

24 Dave Blaney, Jim France, Brian Vickers, Tracy Leslie, Jeff Price, Bill O'Dea, Andrew Turner, Patrick Lawler

25 Mike Hoffman, Ward Burton, Jon Wood, Taylor Lane Stricklin, Maggie Martin

26 Jimmy Pardue

27 Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance

28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman

29 Teresa Earnhardt, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy 'the dog' Adamczyk

30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.

31 Mike Casto, Kip Childress

NASCAR Related Contests