February 2015 NASCAR News Archive

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

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    News from February 28, 2015

  • Harvick comments on engine failure in AMS Happy Hour: #4-Kevin Harvick's Jimmy John's Chevy experienced an engine failure during the final practice session, answers a few questions:
    ON WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE PRACTICE SESSION:
    Harvick: "Mainly the Hendrick engine guys just wanting to know what I felt. This is a very rare occasion. This is the first one I have ever had. The engine shop does a great job. I am just glad that it happened today. Our Jimmy John's/Budweiser team is doing a great job and the car is handling good. If we were going to have something happen, this is a good place to have it happen because you can pass."
    ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT STARTING IN THE BACK TOMORROW? IT'S GOING TO BE A HECK OF A RACE WITH THE NAMES BACK THERE:
    Harvick: "It will just make for a better show."(Team Chevy)(2-28-2015)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #22-Logano chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #4-Harvick took pit stall 21, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    #1-McMurray, who starts 3rd took the 43rd and last pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #1-McMurray, who starts 3rd.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-28-2015)

  • #44 car stolen outside hotel UPDATE3 found: A trailer carrying a NASCAR racing team's car was stolen overnight in Morrow, GA, according to the driver of the vehicle hauling the trailer [NJ plates]. The driver says the unmarked white Xtreme Racing trailer had the #44 car inside and was stolen from a hotel sometime overnight. Local authorities have been notified.kfvs12.com.
    AND A spokeswoman for Team Xtreme (#44 car) confirms Atlanta car and trailer were stolen from outside the team hotel.(Jeff Gluck/USA Today twitter)
    MORE Travis Kvapil's car for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway has apparently been stolen. A spokeswoman for Team Xtreme confirmed a Missouri TV station's report that the #44 car and its hauler disappeared from outside the team's hotel [Drury Inn & Suites] in Morrow, Ga. overnight. KFVS reported the trailer was white and unmarked and said the hauler driver reported it missing. Team Xtreme, owned by John Cohen, qualified for the Daytona 500 last week and finished 32nd with driver Reed Sorenson. But Kvapil is in the car this week with Sorenson driving for another [#29 RAB Racing] team. NASCAR teams tested at Atlanta on Thursday, meaning all the other cars are already secured inside the track (USA Today)
    UPDATE: Sgt. Larry Oglesby of the Morrow (Ga.) Police Department told ESPN.com that they are treating the car's disappearance as a stolen vehicle after a report was filed at 5:50am/et at the Drury Inn. Team owner John Cohen, who was not at the track, told ESPN.com by phone that the team will have to withdraw from the race and was still trying to gather information as to what had happened. The first practice for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is scheduled for 1:00pm/et Friday, and teams typically must present a car for inspection an hour or two prior to the start of Sprint Cup practice.(ESPN.com)
    UPDATE2 Statement by Team Xtreme Racing: Team Xtreme Racing can officially confirm that we have withdrawn the #44 entry from the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #44 hauler was sent ahead of the bad weather that hit the Charlotte area on Wednesday night and parked at Atlanta Motor Speedway. With minor work remaining on the #44 Chevrolet, the car was brought separate from the hauler, in an enclosed 26-foot trailer pulled by a pickup, which arrived at the team hotel in Morrow, Georgia on Thursday night at 11:00pm/et. Hotel surveillance video shows the theft occurred at 5:32am/et. According to the police report a silver or grey Jeep Cherokee was spotted leaving the hotel at the time of the theft. "While this is obviously a setback for this weekend, our plans remain to compete in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season," said team owner John Cohen. "We are working closely with the Morrow police in hopes that our truck, trailer and race car are safely returned".(2-27-2015)
    UPDATE3: The Team Xtreme #44 Chevy that had been stolen from a Georgia hotel parking lot was found early Saturday morning. Gwinnett County police found the car in Loganville, Georgia -- northwest of Atlanta, according to Team Xtreme Racing. The team tweeted several photos of the #44 car Saturday, one day after it was stolen from a hotel parking lot near Atlanta Motor Speedway, the site of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Cohen told ESPN.com that the car was located off Lenora Road in Loganville. Only the car was found; police did not recover the other contents of the trailer, which included a spare engine valued at $100,000 and racing equipment valued at $17,500. Cohen was relieved that at least the car, which he said is the most consistently fast in his fleet, was found. "You can't buy that back or time put into it," he said. The recovery of the car will help the low-budget team go forward with its plans to race at Las Vegas next weekend.(ESPN)(2-28-2015)

  • Annett to run the #33 at Atlanta: Michael Annett will race in Sunday's Folds of Honor/Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta after all. Pending NASCAR approval, Annett will drive the #33 Pilot Flying J Chevy for Circle Sport Racing according to HScott Motorspors team owner Harry Scott,. Annett, 28, just started his sophomore Sprint Cup Season with HScott Motorsports in the #46 Chevy this season. However Annett was one of 13 cars that were unable to make it through NASCAR technical inspection in time to qualify on Friday. His good friend Brian Scott, who qualified 32nd but is running for the championship in the XFINITY Series, relinquished his ride to Annett. "Many thanks to (team principal) Mike Hillman, Sr. and Brian Scott," Harry Scott added in the text to Motorsport.com. Annett finished 13th last week in the Daytona 500. He is currently 12th in the Sprint Cup point standings.(Motorsport)(2-28-2015)


    Jeff Gordon gets a special gift from AMS's president Ed Clark.(Harold Hinson Photo)

  • Gordon recieves gifts from Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Jeff you're going to be receiving quite a few things this year, I'm sure, as people pay tribute to you," track president and general manager Ed Clark said. "Atlanta has a special bond with Jeff Gordon. He started here and some of the most memorable moments in Atlanta Motor Speedway have involved Jeff. He's had five wins and celebrated four championships here. He's a real ambassador for the sport and someone we're all real proud to have been able to work with. You're not going anywhere, so this isn't a goodbye, but we have two things we want to present to you." The first was a framed replica of this year's souvenir program featuring Gordon signed by the entire full-time track staff. The big unveiling, literally, was a maroon and yellow bandolero for Gordon's kids, Ella and Leo. "Leo is going to want to sleep in this," Gordon said on inspection. "I have a feeling this might end up in his bedroom for a year or two before he can drive it. But that's awesome. I was watching practice for XFINITY earlier and I saw the 'Thanks 24' out there in the grass. It put a big smile on my face. You're right, it's a very special place to me." Gordon said he'd never forget his first race - or his first driver's meeting at Atlanta. His first race was Richard Petty's last and the King gave all the drivers a money clip with their starting position on it. Which Gordon still has. "I wasn't that proud of (my starting position) at the moment," Gordon said with a chuckle. "I think we started 21st. But I'll remember that forever."(AMS)(2-28-2015)

  • Kyle Busch released from hospital: Kyle Busch has been released from a Charlotte, NC, hospital and is home, wife Samantha tweeted, and a Joe Gibbs Racing spokesperson confirmed Friday morning. Busch spent three nights in a Daytona Beach, Fla., hospital after he suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a fractured left foot in last weekend's NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona. Busch slammed into an inside wall not protected by a SAFER barrier. He was transferred to North Carolina on Tuesday. He had surgery on his right leg last Saturday and surgery on his left foot Wednesday.(NBC Sports)(2-28-2015)

  • Gordon talks about not being able to qualify at AMS: #24-Jeff Gordon, who was going for his third consecutive pole [Homestead, Daytona], did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt.
    Q) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN AT THE RACE TRACK AND NOT BE ABLE TO QUALIFY?
    Gordon: "First time ever. There's a first time for everything, I guess. This is absolutely embarrassing. I just feel so bad for my guys and for 3M. To not even get a chance to go out on the race track is ridiculous. I know the fans deserve an apology. I don't know how many cars there must be back here (the garage) that never even got a chance to go on the track. I know we went through twice. When you have this many.....I've seen five or six or even 10 cars that have issues going through (tech) with certain little things. But this many cars that didn't go; that's not on these teams. And they deserve better than this. I can't believe how disappointing this is. I assume I made the race; I mean, who knows what even happened with the points and what's going on? There are guys that don't have the points that are going home that never even got a chance to even get out there. It's a big letdown for me and for our series, right now, that this happened. There is no way that this should ever happen."
    ON QUALIFYING:
    Gordon: "There is something wrong. Or there is something wrong with the system. Or there is something wrong with the amount of time they allot to get through. There is no way this many good cars, talented people that they can't figure out how to get these cars through inspection. These guys are too smart. Yes we are pushing limits, but there is something wrong here. I'm embarrassed; I'm embarrassed for our series right now that this just happened. I'm really upset for my sponsor 3M that just came on for this weekend where we didn't even get a chance to qualify. We are just fortunate - I'm assuming we aren't going home because of points from last year. I know there are a lot of teams out here that aren't going to be that fortunate. I hate it for these guys that work so hard. We were excited about qualifying today. I thought we had a great shot at being up front. This is absolutely ridiculous."(Team Chevy)(2-28-2015)

  • Kenseth discusses not being able to qualify at AMS: #20-Matt Kenseth did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt, a few comments by Kenseth
    What caused the issues with tech inspection?
    Kenseth: "Yeah, I don't know. Obviously, they weren't organized enough to get everybody through tech it appears, so I don't know. We've got all the people up there to watch qualifying and they don't really get top watch everybody qualify, so it's kind of confusing and disappointing for sure."
    Are you upset to start in the rear of the field?
    Kenseth: "It's better than not starting. I feel bad for whoever didn't get through there and didn't make the race. I'm glad they're still on last year's points instead of this year's points or probably we wouldn't have made the race either, so I'm not really sure what the issue was, but when I walked up 10 minutes before qualifying was scheduled to start and it was only 14 cars on pit road, so I have a hard time believing it was the teams."
    Do you know why this happened?
    Kenseth: "I don't really know. I'm not educated enough on that to give you a good answer. I think you'd have to ask Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) or somebody there. I don't really know. I don't typically go with the car through inspections, so I don't know."(Toyota Racing)(2-28-2015)

  • Hamlin motorcoach hit by rolling SUV: A driver parking his white SUV adjacent to the driver motorcoach lot mistakenly left his car in gear Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, allowing it to roll backward through a fence and into the side of #11-Denny Hamlin's personal coach. A team spokesman said Hamlin's rolling house sustained superficial damage and that no one was injured.(USA Today)(2-28-2015)

  • Harvick wins XFINITY race at Atlanta: #88-Kevin Harvick won the Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. #22-Joey Logano finished second, followed by #33-Ty Dillon, #60-Chris Buescher, #9-Chase Elliott, #33-Paul Menard, #2-Brian Scott, #20-Matt Kenseth, #7-Regan Smith, and #42-Kyle Larson.
    There were 3 cautions for 12 laps and 4 lead changes among 3 leaders. Complete results are on the Atlanta race results page (pdf).
    (2-28-2015)

  • Atlanta XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Kevin Harvick(i) won the 24th Annual Hisense 250, his 45th victory in 317 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his fourth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 14 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Joey Logano(i) (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in five races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2015.
    Ty Dillon (third) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Darrell Wallace Jr. (11th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Chris Buescher leads the point standings by 0 points over Ty Dillon.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-28-2015)

  • XFINITY Driver standings following Atlanta:
    1) #60-Chris Buescher 83
    2) #3-Ty Dillon 83
    3) #16-Ryan Reed 75, -8
    4) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr. # 66, -17
    5) #43-Dakoda Armstrong 57, -26
    6) #44-David Starr 56, -27
    7) #2-Brian Scott 56, -27
    8) #9-Chase Elliott 55, -28
    9) #0-Ross Chastain # 55, -28
    10) #51-Jeremy Clements 53, -30
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(2-28-2015)

  • Joey Logano on XFINITY pole at Atlanta: #22-Joey Logano won the Coors Light pole for the Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 184.162mph. #2-Brian Scott will start second. The rest of the top 12: #7-Regan Smith, #42-Kyle Larson, #20-Matt Kenseth, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #39-Ryan Sieg, #88-Kevin Harvick, #9-Chase Elliott, #98-Sam Hornish, Jr., #33-Paul Menard, and #54-Erik Jones. Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Atlanta starting lineup page (pdf).(2-20-2015)

  • Atlanta XFINITY Qualifying Notes:
    Joey Logano(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 24th Annual Hisense 250 with a lap of 30.104 seconds, 184.162 mph.
    This is his 27th pole in 136 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in five races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Brian Scott (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2015 and his second in six races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Regan Smith (third) posted his third top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his first in two races this season.
    Daniel Suarez (21st) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-28-2015)

  • Hisense to sponsor Charlotte race; Hamlin: Hisense announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing as the primary sponsor of the #20 Toyota Camry driven by Denny Hamlin for two races in the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series. The brand has also announced it will sponsor the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 23. The consumer electronics manufacturer made these announcements on the heels of its first foray into NASCAR with the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Hisense is the No. 2 UHD (ultra-high definition) television manufacturer in the world and the No. 1 television manufacturer in China for the past 11 years. Globally, it has produced over 129 million televisions and is the fourth most sold TV brand in the world. Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin will run the NASCAR XFINITY Series races in the #20 Hisense Toyota Camry at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 24, and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday, August 21. These will be the first primary paint schemes for the brand in NASCAR. Hisense's Charlotte Motor Speedway entitlement will occur on Saturday, May 23, as a part of its Memorial Day weekend festivities.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-28-2015)

  • Crafton wins Atlanta: #88-Matt Crafton won the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after leading a race high 85 of the 200 laps. It was his sixth career win. #33-Ty Dillon finished second, followed by: #11-Ben Kennedy, #33- Ty Dillon, #51-Daniel Suarez, #19-Tyler Reddick, #98-Johnny Sauter, #4-Erik Jones, #31-James Buescher, #17-Timothy Peters, and #8-Joe Nemechek. There were 3 caution flags for 13 laps and 6 lead changes among 5 leaders.
    #11-Ben Kennedy started the race from the pole, led only the opening lap, but ran within the top-five throughout the day before finishing third.
    Complete results are on the Atlanta race results page (pdf).(2-28-2015)

  • Atlanta Race Fast Facts:
    Matt Crafton won the 7th Running Hyundai Construction Equipment 200, his sixth victory in 340 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and eighth top-10 finish in 14 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Ty Dillon(i) (second) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2015.
    Ben Kennedy (third) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Tyler Reddick leads the point standings by 2 points over Matt Crafton.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(2-28-2015)

  • Driver standings following Atlanta:
    1) #19-Tyler Reddick, 87
    2) #88-Matt Crafton, 85 -2
    3) #4-Erik Jones, 80, -7
    4) #98-Johnny Sauter, 72, -15
    5) #31-James Buescher, 63, -24
    6) #99-Bryan Silas, 60, -27
    7) #11-Ben Kennedy, 58, -29
    8) #07-Ray Black, Jr., 58, -29
    9) #8-Joe Nemechek, 58, -29
    10) #08-Korbin Forrister, 53, -31
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(2-28-2015)

  • Owner Standings following Atlanta are posted (pdf).(2-28-2015)

  • Keselowski on pole at Atlanta: #29-Brad Keselowski won the pole for Saturday's Truck Series return to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200. Keselowski earned the pole with a speed of 177.045mph. #11-Ben Kennedy will start second, followed by: #4-Erik jones, #13-Cameron Hayley, #51-Daniel Suarez, #05-John Wes Townely, #54-Justin Boston, #8-Joe Nemechek, #31-James Buescher, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #19-Tyler Reddick, and #14-Daniel Hemric.
    Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #4-Erik Jones with a speed of 179.557mph.
    #19-Tyler Reddick was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 178.332mph.
    UPDATE: #29-Brad Keselowski will start 10th and #11-Ben Kennedy will start from the pole. NASCAR ruled Keselowski did not get back to the line before time expired in qualifying.(2-28-2015)
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(2-28-2015)

  • Atlanta Qualifying Notes:
    Brad Keselowski(i) won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 7th Running Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 with a lap of 31.314 seconds, 177.045 mph.
    This is his second pole in 63 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in four races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Ben Kennedy (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2015 and his first in one races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (third) posted his first top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his second in two races this season.
    Erik Jones (third) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-28-2015)

  • Hill joins MAKE UPDATE 2: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the track this weekend in Hampton, Georgia for the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200. Timmy Hill will make his 1st NCWTS start at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #1 Life On The Line Movie Chevy will unload a chassis named "Babe" as all of MAKE's Chassis are named after pigs. Babe was last on track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for MAKE. Life On The Line is a major motion picture film about the hardworking men, women, and the families of the electrical line industry. This film stars John Travolta, Kate Bosworth, Devon Sawa and Sharon Stone. The story is centered around a crew of High voltage Electrical Linemen and the struggles these linemen and their families face every day while on and off their jobs.(See an image of the truck on the #1 Team Paint Schemes page)(MAKE Motorsports)(2-27-2015)
    UPDATE: Due to some changes Morgan Shepherd will be driving the #1 Life On The Line Movie Chevrolet starting today during qualifying.(MAKE Motorsports)(2-28-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Hill commented on his Twitter, "Things didn't work out as we all hoped this weekend. I will not be driving in the race this evening. Thanks everyone for the support! To clarify, I made the decision after practice yesterday to not drive the Truck today. I do appreciate all the support and I hope to have something to announce very soon on some upcoming races!"(2-28-2015)

  • Cobb team vehicle damaged: As if Friday's Team Xtreme stolen race car and Denny Hamlin's motor home incident were not enough, more off-track news broke early Saturday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The McDonough (Ga.) Police Department is currently investigating an incident involving a team van belonging to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Jennifer Jo Cobb. Cobb told FOXSports.com on Saturday morning that she was awoken at 2 a.m. ET after hearing a loud bang outside her hotel. She went out to check on her personal vehicle, and when everything appeared OK, she went back to sleep.However, when her crew members gathered to head to the track for the day at 5 a.m. ET they discovered the van was involved in a hit-and-run incident. According to Cobb, a car hit two others cars in the parking lot, including the team's van. The driver left the vehicle at the scene and apparently fled. Calls to the McDonough Police Department were not immediately returned. The team was able to make their way to Atlanta Motor Speedway and work on the #10 Chevy prior to knockout qualifying. (FOXSports.com)(2-28-2015)

  • NASCAR Contingency Program Infused With New And Returning Brands: As race teams make final preparations to start the 2015 season, NASCAR announced today its diverse lineup of 2015 NASCAR Contingency Program sponsors for all three national series. This year's program is highlighted by the renewal of longtime sponsors and the addition of a new brand to the stable of participating contingency partners.
    The MOOG Steering and Suspension brand, a Contingency Sponsor of NASCAR for nearly 50 years, will now extend its reach to consumers by becoming a NASCAR Official Partner. MOOG parts have been the choice of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion since 1966, an unprecedented winning streak. The MOOG brand will continue to provide Contingency Sponsorship for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The brand will also sponsor the MOOG Problem Solver of the Race and Year awards in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series which is awarded to the eligible crew chief that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half of the race utilizing the 40 best lap times (10 best lap times for road course events).
    New to the field of Contingency Sponsors this year will be Ingersoll Rand, the Official Power Tools of NASCAR. The Ingersoll Rand Power Move Award will be given to the team that advances the most positions during the last 10 percent of each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. In the event of a tie, the winner will be the highest finishing eligible team. Cars must display the Ingersoll Rand contingency decal to be eligible. The annual award will be given based on cumulative positions gained during each weekly race. This award recognizes crew chiefs that bring the same level of intensity and reliability when it matters most - when victory is on the line.
    Edelbrock will continue to provide Contingency Sponsorship to Top 5 finishers carrying the Edelbrock decal in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series through 2019. Edelbrock began its NASCAR association as the first company to sign a multi-year contingency sponsorship agreement. In 1993, Edelbrock became an Exclusive NASCAR Performance Partner and its intake manifolds are currently approved for NASCAR competition and used by teams in all NASCAR national series.
    "The NASCAR Contingency program is rich in history and participating sponsors have direct access to our teams, connection with our loyal, passionate fan base and prominent visibility in our sport," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president, Industry Services. "We are pleased to see the continued level of commitment from both new and returning partners to the program this year."
    The NASCAR Contingency program strives to build strong relationships with high quality, performance-driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories, and award money to teams via per race and year-end awards. Competitors become eligible for prize money by displaying sponsor decals on the front fenders of their race cars and trucks. In some instances, use of a sponsor's product is required.
    Below is the 2015 national series contingency sponsor lineup and special awards:
    3M - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series*
    - 3M Lap Leader Award
    American Ethanol - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series*, Camping World Truck Series*
    - American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award (NSCS)
    - American Ethanol Award to Series Champions (XFINITY Series & NCWTS)
    ARP Fasteners - XFINITY Series
    COMP Cams - Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
    Coors Light - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series*, Camping World Truck Series* (Keystone Light)
    - Coors Light Pole Award
    Duralast Brakes - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series*
    - Duralast Brakes Brake in the Race Award
    Edelbrock - Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
    Flowmaster - Sprint Cup Series
    Freescale - Sprint Cup Series*
    - Freescale Wide Open Award
    Goodyear Tires - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series*, Camping World Truck Series*
    - Goodyear Tires Award to Series Champions
    Holley Throttle Bodies/Carburetors - Sprint Cup Series (throttle bodies), XFINITY Series,
    Camping World Truck Series
    Ingersoll Rand - Sprint Cup Series*
    - Ingersoll Rand Power Move Award
    K&N Filters - Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
    Lincoln Electric Welders - Sprint Cup Series, Camping World Truck Series
    MAHLE Clevite - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series*, Camping World Truck Series*
    - MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race/Year Award
    Mechanix Wear - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
    - Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award (Quarterly/Year ­End)
    Mobil 1 - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series*, Camping World Truck Series*
    - Mobil 1 Driver of the Race/Year
    MOOG Steering & Suspension - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
    - MOOG Problem Solver of the Race/Year
    MSD Ignition - XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
    Renton Coil Spring - Camping World Truck Series
    Sherwin-Williams - Sprint Cup Series*
    - Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap Award
    Simpson Firesuits - XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
    Sunoco - Sprint Cup Series*, XFINITY Series*, Camping World Truck Series*
    - Sunoco Diamond Performance Award to Series Champions
    - Sunoco Rookie of the Year
    *Indicates Special Award sponsor with a year-end bonus.(NASCAR)(2-28-2015)

  • Jeff Gordon pushing forward on Fort Erie track: Representatives from Jeff Gordon say they remain committed towards the development of the $400 million Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie. Pending approvals from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Province of Ontario, officials expect to file this spring for the necessary permits to resume construction for the massive track complex along Bowen Road and just off of the Queen Elizabeth Way. The track, whose centerpiece is a Gordon-designed signature speedway, could see its first race take place by 2017. "Jeff has very precise and intimate ideas on how he wants the CMS oval designed and built," said John Bickford Sr., Jeff Gordon Inc. vice president and general manager. Bickford is Gordon's stepfather. Billed as a motorsport innovation park, Canadian Motor Speedway will have a 3/4 mile banked oval track and a 2-mile graded road course. The grandstand will hold 60,000 race fans plus an enclosed club seat section for another 5,000 fans and 40 luxury suites.(Buffalo Busniess First)
    AND For the $400-million Canadian Motor Speedway to keep moving forward changes need to be made at QEW-Bowen Rd. interchange. "That overpass at Bowen Rd., does need to be upgraded," said CMS spokesman Erik Tomas. "But because it's going to be the main access and egress point to the speedway development, meetings are being conducted with the Ministry of Transportation to determine what has to go there, and whether that will be a two or four-lane design." Tomas said the track has spent a large sum of money on traffic studies, and even though there will be about 60,000 people in the stands initially for auto-racing events, it might not be necessarily to have an expensive four-lane interchange. The track might be able to do it with two lanes.(Niagara Falls Review)(2-28-2015)


    News from February 27, 2015

  • Logano wins Atlanta pole: #22-Joey Logano won the Coors Light pole for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway with speed of 194.683mph for his 1st pole of 2015, 1st at Atlanta and 9th of his career. Logano has won 2 races from the pole out of 8 previous poles.
    #4-Harvick is on the outside pole followed by #1-McMurray, #11-Hamlin, #19-Edwards, #42-Larson, #31-Newman, #9-Hornish Jr., #88-Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kahne, #47-Allmendinger and #2-Keselowski.
    Thirteen cars didn't get to make a run during the first round as they didn't get thru pre-qualifying tech inspection, including #24-Gordon, #20-Kenseth, #48-Johnson, #14-Stewart, #41-Smith.
    Missing the race were: #66-Wallace, #83-DiBenedetto, #46-Annett, #29-Sorenson.
    See round-by-round qualifying results, starting lineup, notes on the Atlanta Starting Lineup / Qualifying page.(2-27-2015)

  • Thirteen cars don't get to make a qualifying lap due to inspection issues: Former Sprint Cup champions #48-Jimmie Johnson, #24-Jeff Gordon, #14-Tony Stewart and #20-Matt Kenseth were among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As several teams had problems in the tech area, reportedly in the rear camber area, and had to go through inspection a second time, NASCAR delayed the start of qualifying for 15 minutes. But that wasn't enough as the 15-minute first round was completed before 13 cars could get through and then make a qualifying lap. With 36 spots available on speed and only 34 taking times, everyone who posted a first-round time got into the QuikTrip 500 on Sunday. The remaining nine spots were based on 2014 owner points. #46-Michael Annett, #66-Mike Wallace, #83-Matt DiBenedetto and #29-Reed Sorenson never took a lap and missed the race pending post-qualifying technical inspection.
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director Richard Buck said the laser inspection bay was open during the test Thursday and many teams were pushing the tolerances looking for mechanical group as part of the new aerodynamic rules. He said every team had gone through tech at least once 17 minutes before qualifying started and with a television window, there was no consideration of an additional delay beyond 15 minutes. He said 20 teams had to go through at least two times -- about twice the average on a normal race weekend last year. "Their job is to push it to that very limit," Buck said. "Our job is to treat everybody fairly and give everybody an opportunity to come through that inspection room. But their responsibility is to come through there right but to the limit. I think that's what you saw today, was everybody pushing the limits." It was not rare last year for a car or two not to get through inspection, but more than a dozen cars was virtually unheard of since NASCAR went to group qualifying last year. All the cars that didn't get through inspection before the end of the first round still had to go through inspection and be approved.(ESPN in part)(2-27-2015)

  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #4-Harvick 194.118
    #22-Logano 193.941
    #11-Hamlin 193.670
    #1-McMurray 193.353
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 193.285
    the rest of the top 12: 42 19 31 9 5 47 2;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 27 78 3 51 18 10 16 17 13 55 43 95
    (2-27-2015)

  • First Round of Qualifying for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, after 15 scheduled minutes.
    #22-Logano 194.240
    #11-Hamlin 193.245
    #19-Edwards 193.245
    #42-Larson 192.989

  • #78-Treux Jr. 192.868
    the rest of the top 24: 1 5 18 3 31; 88 2 27 55 4 13 47 9 51 17; 16 10 43 95;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 15 38 32 34 6 23 62 33 98 30 7 14 20 24 26 29 35 40 41 46 48 66 83
    Drivers (4) who will miss the race: #66-Wallace, #83-DiBenedetto, #46-Annett, #29-Sorenson.
    (2-27-2015)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, February 27, 2015 at 5:45pm/et.
    Television (TV): FS1, 5:30pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Performance Racing Network (PRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: February 28, 2015 at 3:00am/et on FS1



  • Qualifying Order for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed.
    The driver scheduled to line up first on pit road is #66-Wallace.
    The driver scheduled to line up last on pit road is #7-Bowman.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    Cars are lined up on pit road, nose in, by this order.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com's Atlanta Qualifying Page.(2-27-2015)

  • Friday practice for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest two and some notes:
    #42-Larson 192.989
    #4-Harvick 192.607
    #18-Ragan 192.547
    #22-Logano 192.373
    #11-Hamlin 192.366
    Most laps run: #47-Allmendinger, 22; #2-Keselowski, 21
    slowest: #30-Hornaday 178.689 and #66-Wallace 179.394
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 Consecutive Lap Average (only 3 drivers) on the Atlanta Friday practice speeds page (pdf).(2-27-2015)

  • Nemechek to Drive #34 CSX 'Play It Safe' Ford at Atlanta: Joe Nemechek, a 23-year Sprint Cup Series veteran and 1992 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, will drive the #34 CSX "Play It Safe" Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be Nemechek's 39th Sprint Cup Series start at Atlanta and his first event with Front Row Motorsports. The Atlanta race marks the debut of the 2015 CSX primary paint scheme on the #34 Ford. The company is using the NASCAR program to once again promote its safety message to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks among the millennial generation of 18- to 34-year-old males, the demographic mostly likely to be involved in a crossing collision and to trespass on tracks. "David (Ragan) has been and still is an outstanding spokesperson for our campaign. Our goal with the 'Play it Safe' program is to save lives by reminding motorists and pedestrians not try to beat a train at a grade crossing or walk along railroad tracks. It's a message so important that everyone can be a part of promoting it," says John Claybrooks, CSX Director of Brand, Digital Media & Marketing Communications. "We look forward to Joe carrying this important message for us as well." Nemechek has three top-five and seven top-10 finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(FRM/Breaking Limits)(2-27-2015)

  • #44 car stolen outside hotel UPDATE withdraws: A trailer carrying a NASCAR racing team's car was stolen overnight in Morrow, GA, according to the driver of the vehicle hauling the trailer [NJ plates]. The driver says the unmarked white Xtreme Racing trailer had the #44 car inside and was stolen from a hotel sometime overnight. Local authorities have been notified.kfvs12.com.
    AND A spokeswoman for Team Xtreme (#44 car) confirms Atlanta car and trailer were stolen from outside the team hotel.(Jeff Gluck/USA Today twitter)
    MORE Travis Kvapil's car for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway has apparently been stolen. A spokeswoman for Team Xtreme confirmed a Missouri TV station's report that the #44 car and its hauler disappeared from outside the team's hotel [Drury Inn & Suites] in Morrow, Ga. overnight. KFVS reported the trailer was white and unmarked and said the hauler driver reported it missing. Team Xtreme, owned by John Cohen, qualified for the Daytona 500 last week and finished 32nd with driver Reed Sorenson. But Kvapil is in the car this week with Sorenson driving for another [#29 RAB Racing] team. NASCAR teams tested at Atlanta on Thursday, meaning all the other cars are already secured inside the track (USA Today)
    UPDATE: Sgt. Larry Oglesby of the Morrow (Ga.) Police Department told ESPN.com that they are treating the car's disappearance as a stolen vehicle after a report was filed at 5:50am/et at the Drury Inn. Team owner John Cohen, who was not at the track, told ESPN.com by phone that the team will have to withdraw from the race and was still trying to gather information as to what had happened. The first practice for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is scheduled for 1:00pm/et Friday, and teams typically must present a car for inspection an hour or two prior to the start of Sprint Cup practice.(ESPN.com)
    UPDATE2 Statement by Team Xtreme Racing: Team Xtreme Racing can officially confirm that we have withdrawn the #44 entry from the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #44 hauler was sent ahead of the bad weather that hit the Charlotte area on Wednesday night and parked at Atlanta Motor Speedway. With minor work remaining on the #44 Chevrolet, the car was brought separate from the hauler, in an enclosed 26-foot trailer pulled by a pickup, which arrived at the team hotel in Morrow, Georgia on Thursday night at 11:00pm/et. Hotel surveillance video shows the theft occurred at 5:32am/et. According to the police report a silver or grey Jeep Cherokee was spotted leaving the hotel at the time of the theft. "While this is obviously a setback for this weekend, our plans remain to compete in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season," said team owner John Cohen. "We are working closely with the Morrow police in hopes that our truck, trailer and race car are safely returned.(2-27-2015)

  • Updated Entry List for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #18-David Ragan, #29-Reed Sorenson, #32-Mike Bliss, #33-Scott, #34-Joe Nemechek, #41-Regan Smith, #55-Brett Moffitt, #62-Gaughan, #66-Mike Wallace, #83-Matt DiBenedetto, #95-McDowell.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in 2014 owners points): #19-Edwards, #29-Sorenson, #30-Hornaday, #46-Annett
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is cancelled (top 36 in 2014 owners points then 37-42/43 by 2015 owners points): #29-Sorenson, #30-Hornaday, #98-Wise, #66-Wallace; #19-Edwards would make the race as a 2014 winner if qualifying is cancelled.
    withdrew: #44-Kvapil withdrew after the car was stolen from a hotel.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski.com's Atlanta Entry List

  • Refresher on the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Package:
    -- Reduction of horsepower to 725 via tapered spacer
    -- Roller valve lifters to replace flat valve lifter
    -- Lower rear differential gear ratios targeting 9,000 RPM
    -- Rear spoiler adjustment to 6 inches high (2014 height: 8 inches)
    -- Optional driver adjustable track bar
    -- 38-inch wide radiator pan
    -- Minimum vehicle weight drops 50 lbs. via ballast reduction (2014 weight: 3,300 w/o driver)
    -- Updated qualifying formats for all tracks
    (2-27-2015)

  • Atlanta Notes & Facts - Friday - poles:
    ˇ Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Atlanta in 1960 with a speed of 133.870 mph.
    ˇ 48 drivers have Coors Light poles at Atlanta, led by Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman with seven each.
    ˇ Winning consecutive Coors Light poles has happened eight times at Atlanta, among six drivers.
    ˇ Ryan Newman holds the record for most consecutive poles at Atlanta with six; spring of 2003 through 2005.
    ˇ 14 of the 107 (13.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kasey Kahne in 2006.
    ˇ The fifth starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Atlanta Motor Speedway; the most recent was Jeff Gordon in 2011.
    ˇ 26 of the 107 (24.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from the front row: 14 from the pole and 12 from second-place.
    ˇ 60 of the 107 (56.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta have been won from a top-five starting position.
    ˇ 85 of the 107 (79.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    ˇ Seven of the 107 (6.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    ˇ The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Atlanta is 39th, by Bobby Labonte in the fall of 2001.
    ˇ Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway five times; most recently the fall of 2010.
    ˇ One active driver has posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (9/01/2013).
    (NASCAR)(2-27-2015)

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on the Atlanta Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • If Ragan wins, he can get in the Chase: David Ragan doesn't know how long he'll get to drive the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota, but he'll relish every opportunity he can to compete for one of NASCAR's elite teams. Front Row has loaned Ragan to JGR as the replacement for the injured Kyle Busch, who has had surgery on a compound fracture in his right leg and on a broken left foot suffered in a crash Saturday during the Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. JGR officials have not said how long Busch will be out. While no more surgeries are scheduled, Busch must be able to work pedals with both his feet because he likes to brake with his left foot. He remained hospitalized in a Charlotte area hospital Thursday. Ragan will drive the car for the next "several weeks," and JGR officials will re-evaluate the program at some point to see if they want to give development driver Erik Jones a shot. "As far as the length of time Kyle will be out, I don't think anyone really knows that yet," Ragan said Thursday after a test day at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I know for the next several weeks, I'll be in the 18 car. I don't know that we have really a hard time frame on it just yet. There's a lot of moving parts and pieces and certainly it all goes back to how quickly Kyle can heal up and get back driving for them." If Ragan can win a race, he would be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup as long as he finishes the regular season in the top 30 in the standings. Ragan is expected to have returned to Front Row well before the Chase starts in September, creating a possible windfall for Front Row Motorsports to have a driver in the Chase.(ESPN)
    AND Supposedly the plan is for Ragan to drive the car for nine races before Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Jones would take the wheel of the #18 in the May 9 race at Kansas Speedway. Ragan then would return to the #34.(NBC Sports)(2-27-2015)

  • Medallion Bank to Sponsor #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford: Medallion Bank announced a strategic partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) to support RPM and the #9 Ford team driven by Sam Hornish Jr. Medallion Bank, a recreational and home improvement lending institution will serve as the primary sponsor of the #9 in select events throughout 2015 beginning this weekend at the Atlanta. Medallion Bank, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is owned by Medallion Financial Corp., a publicly traded specialty finance company and co-owner of RPM. Medallion Bank specializes in recreation loans, home improvement loans, asset based loans and taxi medallion loans. For recreation loans, Medallion Bank offers an alternative financing option to other lenders' credit scoring requirements. Its home improvement loan program gives contractors flexible financing options for homeowners wishing to make improvements.
    Medallion Bank has reached an agreement with Camping World to serve as a co-primary sponsor for the race at Las Vegas in March and again at Phoenix in March 15. This is the first of many business collaborations that will benefit Medallion Bank, its dealers and RPM.(RPM), see an image of the Medallion Bank/Camping World scheme on the #9 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2015)

  • Bliss debuts with Go Green Racing: Going into Atlanta Motor Speedway Mike Bliss will make his first start with #32 Go Green Racing. Said Bliss:"I'm ready to go & excited to get behind the wheel of the Rimrock Design Ford for this weekends race. We are hoping that being there for the test will help us for the race and it gives me a chance to work with the Go Green Racing team." Rimrock Designs joins GGR: "I can't express enough how excited Rimrock Design is to be sponsoring the #32 Ford for this weekends race at Atlanta," said owner Micah Linton. "We are looking forward to getting the Rimrock brand out to the public by partnering with Go Green Racing for this great event. On behalf of myself, and my great staff ,I want to thank Archie St.Hilaire for this tremendous opportunity." Rimrock Design Inc. specializes in providing full service tile & flooring solutions for commercial construction and renovation projects. Our professional strength lies in our strong partnerships with manufacturers and never ending commitment to industry research and knowledge which affords us an unprecedented competitive advantage.(GoGreenRacing)(2-27-2015)

  • Logano fastest in happy hour: #22-Joey was quickest during happy hour for the Hisense 250 with a speed of 182.105mph. He was followed by:#62-Brendan Gaughan, #33-Paul Menard, #18-Daniel Suarez, #9-Chase Elliot, #20-Matt Kenseth, #88-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brian Scott, #7-Regan Smith, and #54-Erik Jones. All 40 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Atlanta practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-27-2014)

  • Logano fastest in first practice: #22-Joey Logano was fastest during opening practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 182.807mph. #3-Ty Dillon was second, followed by: #88-Kevin Harvick, #20-Matt Kenseth, #54-Erik Jones, #1-Elliott Sadler, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #7-Regan Smith, #62-Brendan Gaughan, and #2-Brian Scott. Just 27 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Atlanta practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-27-2014)

  • Bit-O-Honey to sponsor Chris Buescher at Talladega: Fresh off last weekend's stellar second-place performance at Daytona International Speedway, Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Bit-O-Honey will partner with Chris Buescher at Talladega Superspeedway for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 on May 2.. Buescher raced in the front of the pack all day at Daytona, leading 12 laps and finishing just .089-seconds outside of first place. Buescher has finished second in two of his last three restrictor-plate races, including a runner-up finish last season in his first race at Talladega. Buescher teamed with Bit-O-Honey for a 13th-place finish last season at his home track of Texas Motor Speedway. The honey flavored taffy and almond candy was first manufactured in 1924 and is now produced by Pearson Candy Company in Minneapolis. Pearson Candy Company, founded in 1909, is also known for other classic brands such as the Salted Nut Roll, Mint Patties, Nut Goodie and Bun Bar.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-27-2015)

  • Chris Banker Joins Watkins Glen as Public Relations Manager: Watkins Glen International announced the addition of Chris Banker as Public Relations Manager, effective immediately. Banker comes to WGI by way of New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., where he served as Manager of Communications for the past two years. Banker will be assigned a wide range of responsibilities in his new role at The Glen. His primary duties will include drafting press releases, managing the media credential process, pitching media on story opportunities, and scheduling on-air appearances with local and regional affiliates for drivers and WGI staff. During event weekends, Banker will assist with the operation of the WGI media center along with pre- and post-race activities. "We are excited to welcome Chris to the Watkins Glen International team and know he will be a valuable asset to us moving forward," WGI President Michael Printup said. A 2012 graduate of York College of Pennsylvania, Banker earned a degree in Public Relations. His previous experience also includes time with Comcast Spectacor, a sports and entertainment firm in Philadelphia, PA.(WGI)(2-26-2015)


    News from February 26, 2015

  • 2nd session of Open testing for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, after 115 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest two and some notes:
    #24-Gordon 188.424
    #31-Newman 188.418
    #4-Harvick 188.066
    #42-Larson 187.939
    #5-Kahne 187.621
    #18-Ragan, subbing for Kyle Busch, was 19th fastest.
    Most laps run: #2-Keselowski, 81; #1-McMurray, 79
    slowest: #62-Gaughan 177.613 & #66-Wallace 177.670
    43 of 48 teams have made runs.
    no speed listed: #23-Yeley, #26-Burton, #30-Hornaday, #44-Kvapil, #83-Dibenedetto.
    For fastest speeds, laps run, best ten consecutive lap average, see the Atlanta Test Session 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-26-2015)

  • 1st session of Open testing for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest two and some notes:
    #1-McMurray 191.549
    #42-Larson 190.195
    #4-Harvick 189.850
    #15-Bowyer 189.720
    #20-Kenseth 189.675
    slowest: #66-Wallace 175.510 and #34-Nemechek 176.241
    #18-Ragan, subbing for Kyle Busch, was 15th fastest, running 18 laps.
    Most laps run: #20-Kenseth, 29; #88-Earnhardt Jr., 26
    42 of 48 teams made runs.
    no speed listed: #23-Yeley, #26-Burton, #30-Hornaday, #44-Kvapil, #83-Dibenedetto, #98-Wise.
    The 2nd test session is scheduled for 3:00-4:55pm/et. No TV coverage for either session.
    For fastest speeds, laps run, best ten consecutive lap average, see the Atlanta Test Session 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-26-2015)

  • NASCAR changes rule regarding reporting criminal charges: On Wednesday, NASCAR issued a series of technical bulletins to teams, with most of the additions to the rule book focused on aspects of the cars such as the minimum weight of front and rear hubs, approved brake ducts and other miscellaneous items. However, the first item on the bulletin was listed as "Section 2.11 Required Notice." Under the Membership section of the rule book, this new addition states, "Any NASCAR Member charged with any violation of the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR ... prior to the next scheduled Event or within 72 hours of being so charged, whichever is earlier." This amendment to the rule book has been implemented throughout NASCAR's top national touring series, as well as down to the weekly racing series. Tom Bryant, director, racing operations communications for NASCAR, told FOXSports.com Thursday the new language now requires members to report criminal misdemeanors to the sanctioning body, something that was not the case before Wednesday. "We expect our NASCAR members to maintain a certain standard of professional behavior and this is another mechanism to ensure we're doing that," said Bryant. "NASCAR has made it very clear to our entire membership and the broader industry that any actions of abuse will not be tolerated in the industry," NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell said last Friday in Daytona while addressing Kurt Busch's suspension. "I want to make it clear that any inference that there is a culture or a tolerance for this type of behavior is patently false."(FoxSports)(2-26-2015)

  • Daytona 500 and Daytona Speedweeks TV Ratings: After suffering through a daylong weather delay in 2014, the Daytona 500 began working its way back last weekend, scoring 13.4 million viewers on FOX, a +44% increase over last year's 9.3 million. A total of 23.5 million viewers watched all or part of Sunday's telecast. Additionally, 11 days of Speedweeks programming on FOX Sports 1 enjoyed a 14% increase in average viewership (293,000 vs. 257,000).
    NASCAR shoulder programming surrounding the Daytona 500 was strong overall on Sunday, Feb. 22, as NASCAR Raceday averaged 973,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, a 31% increase over last year's 742,000 for a one-hour edition of the show. NASCAR Victory Lane posted 464,000 viewers, up 21% over the last post-Daytona run in 2013 (383,000). The week leading up to the Daytona 500 was the third most-watched in FOX Sports 1 history and the highest since last season's National League Championship Series.
    FOX kicked off the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season Saturday, Feb. 14 with the SPRINT Unlimited averaging 5.6 million viewers, a 60% increase over 2014 (3.5 million) when it aired on FOX Sports 1. The race powered FOX to a first-place finish in prime time among broadcast networks across all key male and adult demos including A18-49 and A18-34.
    A variety of sports programming led FOX Sports 1 to its eighth most-watched Saturday since launch, averaging 490,000 viewers on Saturday, Feb. 14. Motor sports programming started at 10:30 am/et with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice from Daytona drawing 698,000 viewers, up 27% from the equivalent practice last year (551,000). Saturday afternoon's ARCA Racing Series race from Daytona was the most-watched program of the day on FOX Sports 1 with 919,000 viewers.
    Daytona Pole Day Qualifying, airing Sunday, Feb. 15 on FOX, averaged 3.4 million viewers, up 17% from 2014. The first ever "group qualifying" format at Daytona is the highest rated and most watched session since 2009, with Jeff Gordon scoring the pole for his final race at Daytona International Speedway. The four-time champion announced he will be retiring at the end of the 2014 season.
    The 2015 Budweiser Duel at Daytona scored 3,018,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, a slight dip from last year's 3,122,000 prime time debut, but strong enough to be No. 1 in ad-supported cable from 7:00-10:30 PM ET in total viewers and Adults 18-49 on Thursday, Feb. 19. Earlier in the day, a slate of Daytona practices (Sprint Cup Final, NCWTS and NCWTS Final) averaged 244,000 viewers, a 16% increase in viewership (vs. 210,000) compared to the same three Thursday practice sessions last year.
    On Friday, Feb. 20, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Daytona garnered 1,550,000 viewers, a 3% increase from last year's 1,502,000 viewers. Earlier in the day, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying posted a 15% gain over 2013 (472,000 vs. 409,000).
    The first 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series race under the new television deal on FOX Sports 1 delivered 2,944,000 viewers on Saturday, Feb. 21, an 8% increase over last year's race on ESPN and good for the most-watched sports event on ad-supported cable on the weekend. The race was the 13th most-watched telecast in FOX Sports 1 history.(FOX Sports)(2-26-2015)

  • Biffle talks about 2015 rules package: Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ortho Ford Fusion, gave his impression on the new rules package for 2015 between sessions of today's test at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "My Ortho Ford Fusion drove pretty good and had a lot of grip. I felt like I needed a little bit more front turn, but as the session went it seemed like we didn't really slow down and everybody else did, which was a good thing. We're hoping we can get a little more speed right out of the gate for this next session and then hold consistent. My car didn't feel hugely different. I could tell it's got less power, but it wasn't like, 'Oh my gosh, this is a whole different car.'"
    ANY DIFFERENT HANDLING CHARACTERISTICS WITH A SMALLER SPOILER? "No. It felt pretty normal, so it's not a huge change, which is good for the sport and good for what we've got coming up."(Ford Racing)(2-26-2015)

  • Larson talks about the new track bar setting: #42-Kyle Larson, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed the opening session of the test and other topics. The transcript in part:
    TALK ABOUT YOUR CAR AND TALK ABOUT HOW THINGS WENT FOR YOU IN THE FIRST PART OF THIS TEST:
    Larson: "We were all pretty anxious to get out there I think. This is really what I feel like is the start of our season because this is the majority of the size race tracks we run on. I was excited to get out there, first car out. The track had a lot of grip at first, so that is why Jamie (McMurray) and I are both up there I think. It was fast. I felt like the car really didn't drive much different here than how it did with the old rules package. This track is pretty tough to run on anyway. The characteristics between the way the cars handled were about the same. That is good, nice that Chip Ganassi Racing is one-two after this first test. I hope we can carry this speed on throughout the rest of the weekend and rest of the year."
    DID YOU TRY THE ADJUSTABLE TRACK BAR AT ALL THAT YOU CAN WORK ON? HOW WAS THAT?
    Larson: "Yeah, that last run I did. I had played with it before at other testing that we did at the end of last year. Really so far when I played with it I thought it affected my exit of the corner. Where I was hoping it would kind of free up my center of the corner. It didn't really touch that just got my exit really loose, when I went up with the track bar. I would say I learned that kind of stuff and how far you can go with it. I think that will be a really neat tool that we get to use as driver. Because when I ran midgets and stuff like that we had shock adjusters. In winged sprint cars you have wing valve adjusters. It is nice that they allow us to put a little bit more into the driver's hands."
    DO YOU HAVE TO TELL THE CREW CHIEF WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH THAT ADJUSTMENT OR DO YOU JUST DO IT?
    Larson: "I think they can see it right now during the test on the screen. Yeah, once we get done with today I will have to remind them how far I'm moving it up or down. We have a little gauge on our screen that tells us how far we are moving it. It is easy to keep track."
    WHERE DID YOU GUYS ELECT TO PUT THE SWITCH FOR THE TRACK BAR ADJUSTMENT AND HAS YOUR CREW CHIEF GIVEN YOU ANY INSTRUCTIONS OR ORDERS ON HOW MUCH YOU CAN USE IT?
    Larson: "No, he hasn't given me any order on how far or how much I use it. I think that is all up to me right now. Maybe once I start going too far with it he will crack the whip. My gauge is right next to my seat on my left side, down near my leg brace, kind of. It is easy access. I don't know where other drivers have it, but that is where Jamie (McMurray) and I have ours."
    IS IT A DIAL?
    Larson: "It's just a switch. I push the switch forward to move it up and back to move it down."
    IN ADDITION TO WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THE CAR INSIDE YOU ARE ALSO LOOKING AT A LOWER HORSEPOWER. DID THE CAR FEEL ANY DIFFERENT ON THE RACE TRACK BECAUSE OF THE CHANGE IN HORSEPOWER?
    Larson: "I really didn't notice anything. I thought it still came up to speed pretty well. Maybe it doesn't carry to the end of the straightaway as hard as what it did before, but we have less downforce too, it still feels fast. Maybe once we get to like a Michigan or a track where we will probably run even more wide open now we will notice more. I really didn't notice much difference between this year versus last year."
    GOING BACK TO THE TRACK BAR IS THAT SOMETHING YOU ANTICIPATE ADJUSTING SOME AS YOU GO IN A TIRE RUN OR DURING CAUTION OR TUNING YOURSELF UP FOR A GREEN/WHITE/CHECKERED? HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO USE IT DURING A RACE?
    Larson: "Yeah, for sure, when I ran some testing with it at the end of last year I would do a 30 lap run and I would adjust it quite a bit. It just depends on how your car is handling. If your car is really good you might not touch it that much. As far as green/white/checkered and things like that I definitely think that will come into play. Where you either move it up or down or whatever it may be to get the most speed out of your car at the end."
    DOES THIS MEAN WE WON'T SEE CREW MEMBERS FOOLING WITH THE TRACK BAR ADJUSTMENT DURING PIT STOPS?
    Larson: "Well I think they can still make wedge adjustments and things like that. I think we will do the track bar ourselves. Yeah, I mean fewer mistakes on pit road probably since they will be doing fewer things. It is easier for us just to move a switch than for them to crank some rounds in it."(Team Chevy)(2-26-2015)

  • Rinnai on board the #35 with Whitt for Atlanta: Cole Whitt, driver of the #35 Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters Ford, comments on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Atlanta is still a pretty new track to me, but I'm looking forward to going there. I expect it to have a lot of speed. But we'll definitely have tire fall-off. It's one of the coolest things about Atlanta. We fall off so much there. There are cars that could be a half second faster than somebody for one lap. But then five laps into a run, they could be a full second slower than you. It's probably the track we go to that has the biggest swing as far as tires. We're happy to have Rinnai on our #35 Ford Fusion for the Atlanta race. Rinnai is the number-one selling brand of tankless water heaters in the U.S. and Canada, and we're proud to showcase them to the NASCAR audience."(Breaking Limits/FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #35 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2015)

  • Travis Kvapil joins Team Xtreme: After competing in the Daytona 500 for the first time in the organization's history, Team Xtreme heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway with added confidence in their young program. Travis Kvapil climbs into the #44 Phoenix Warehouse Chevrolet this weekend after competing in the Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona. Returning to Team Xtreme for a multi-race deal throughout the 2015 season is Phoenix Warehouse of New Jersey and California. Phoenix Warehouse is a full-service logistics warehouse and distribution company founded in 1976. Their clear objective has been and remains, "Provide comprehensive and superior logistic services to a myriad of industries." Kvapil says: "Atlanta is a fast track - it is also one of the few tracks we go to that we use up the entire track. From the bottom white line to riding up alongside the wall, it gives you options to figure out where your car handles the best. Tire management and pit strategy will be keys to succeeding in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500."(140Buzz / Team Xtreme)(2-26-2015)

  • New sponsor for JTG Daugherty Racing at AMS: "This week we are Fueled with Flavor," AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Chevy, said "I can't think of a better weekend to unveil our #47 Better Than Bouillon Chevrolet scheme than Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's going to be so cold there and I'll be opening up a jar of Better than Bouillon - which is a Southeastern Mills brand - to make some chicken noodle soup. You can use it for so many different meals. Visit www.betterthanbouillon.com to learn more about all of the ways you can use it. I really like this paint scheme, it looks fast."(JTG Daugherty), see an image of the scheme on the #47 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2015)

  • Matt DiBenedetto joins BK Racing starting at Atlanta: Matt Dibenedetto joins BK Racing as the driver of the #83 Burger King Toyota, starting at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Matt DiBenedetto, a first generation driver, started his NASCAR career as a development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2009-2010. Competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and Xfinity Series, Dibenedetto made a name for himself in the racing community. After much success, Matt's opportunity got cut short due to a tough economy and lack of sponsorship. Starting in 2011, Dibenedetto has done extensive Sprint Cup testing for various teams and last year competed in the Xfinity Series for The Motorsports Group (TMG) and got some of the teams best finishes in their 9 year history. Dibenedetto will share the #83 ride with last weeks driver, Johnny Sauter, for several races throughout the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. "I am so excited to get an opportunity to drive in the Sprint Cup Series for BK Racing. I truly can not put into words how thankful I am for Ron Devine, Anthony Marlowe, and the whole organization giving me a chance to be a part of their team. I look forward to proving my ability behind the wheel and I hope to grow with the team for years to come."
    "BK Racing's third full-time entry is a great platform to allow young talents like Matt DiBenedetto to gain experience," said Ron Devine, "I'm happy to know that we'll be working with someone who has a strong appreciation for the ride, is self made, and has the confidence of his peers." Joining Dibenedetto this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway is Jeb Burton in the #26 Maxim Fantasy Sports App Toyota and JJ Yeley in the #23 Dr Pepper Toyota. Burton looks to make his debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Sunday's Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500.(BK Racing)(2-26-2015)

  • The End Of The Beginning for Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon goes back to where it all began this weekend for perhaps his final race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the 1992 season finale at AMS, sprouting a storied career highlighted by four championships and 92 wins entering his last full-time campaign. The #24 Hendrick Motorsports driver placed 29th in the Hooters 500 that November afternoon, a finish he has rarely replicated since. Gordon leads all active full-time drivers with five wins in his 41 starts at AMS. He also boasts 16 top fives (39%). 26 top 10s (63.4%) and two poles. Gordon last won at Atlanta in 2011.(NASCAR)(2-26-2015)

  • NASCAR Productions and SPIKE TV Present 'I Am Dale Earnhardt': NASCAR Productions and SPIKE TV have joined forces to create a captivating and revealing documentary on the life of a legendary American sports hero - Dale Earnhardt. The original film, "I AM DALE EARNHARDT," premieres exclusively on Monday, March 2 at 10:00pm/et/pt on SPIKE TV. With in-depth and insightful interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport, unforgettable highlights from Earnhardt's greatest moments on the track, and rare footage of Earnhardt's life off-the track, the film is an up-close-and-personal look at the man behind the iconic mustache. Among those interviewed for the film include some of the biggest names in NASCAR such as Jimmie Johnson, Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR)(2-26-2015)

  • Atlanta Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same Goodyear tire set-up at Atlanta this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup and Xfinity teams have run at this track the last two seasons . . . this left-side tire code has actually been run at Atlanta since 2012 . . . this right-side tire code incorporates Goodyear Racing's multi-zone tread technology, which debuted at Atlanta in 2013 . . . the tire features two distinct tread compounds -- one for endurance and heat resistance on the inboard two inches of the tread and one for traction on the outboard 10 inches . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Atlanta . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see full tire notes, tire codes, pressures, set limits on the Atlanta Race Info page - Goodyear section.

  • Atlanta Notes & Facts - Thursday - history:
    ˇ Originally called Atlanta International Raceway, the track was then a 1.5-mile paved speedway.
    ˇ The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta was on July 31, 1960, won by Fireball Roberts from the pole.
    ˇ The track was re-measured to 1.522 miles in the spring of 1970.
    ˇ It was renamed Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1990.
    ˇ The track layout was reversed and the track was re-configured to 1.54 miles between the two races in 1997.
    (NASCAR)(2-26-2015)

  • Atlanta Traffic Plan for the race weekend: During this week's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the south side of Atlanta may experience increased highway congestion. Atlanta Motor Speedway provides a free shuttle and tram service from all parking lots to each gate.
    Basic Traffic Plan for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend (Feb. 26-March 1):
    Southbound fans traveling via Interstate Highway 75 have a choice of major routes to take: either Georgia Highway 19/41via Exit 235 or Georgia Highway 20 via Exit 218. Northbound fans traveling via Interstate 75 can choose from Hampton-Locust Grove Road at Exit 212 or Georgia Highway 20 at Exit 218. Fans are encouraged to choose their route based on where they would like to park on property. Fans will be directed to a certain lot based on the direction from which they enter the speedway. Trams, shuttle buses and sidewalks will allow fans to easily access their seats, regardless of where they park on property. Fans are advised that the direction from which they enter speedway property is the same direction to which they will exit.(AMS), for more details and links see Jayski.com's Atlanta Motor Speedway Track News and Links page.(2-26-2015)

  • RCR Partner Chartwell Seeks Equity Sale: Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, a premier sports enterprise focused primarily on NASCAR race teams, has advised its employees, drivers and key sponsors that RCR's minority partner, Chartwell Investments and RCR have hired Houlihan Lokey to assist in exploring strategic alternatives for the sale of its equity position in the company. Houlihan Lokey is serving as financial advisor to RCR. Questions regarding the process should be directed to Lee Ann Gliha (RCR).(2-26-2015)

  • Kyle Busch Undergoes Successful Surgery On Left Foot: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), underwent successful surgery this afternoon on his left foot, which was injured in an accident during last Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina. Busch is resting comfortably and will remain hospitalized for observation.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-25-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Atlanta
    #24-Jeff Gordon.............................. 106.0
    #48-Jimmie Johnson........................ 104.9
    #19-Carl Edwards............................ 100.1
    #14-Tony Stewart............................... 98.1
    #20-Matt Kenseth.............................. 97.9
    #11-Denny Hamlin............................. 97.4
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr........................ 92.7
    #42-Kyle Larson................................ 91.1
    #16-Greg Biffle.................................. 90.8
    #4-Kevin Harvick................................ 90.4
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (16 total) among active drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)

  • Car Numbers that have produced three or more Daytona 500 victories:
    Car Number (wins) - Drivers (years)
    o #43(7) - Richard Petty (1964, '66, '71, '73, '74, '79, '81)
    o #21(5) - Tiny Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), A.J. Foyt (1972), David Pearson (1976) and Trevor Bayne (2011)
    o #28(5) - Fred Lorenzen (1965), Buddy Baker (1980), Cale Yarborough (1983 and 1984) and Davey Allison (1992).
    o #88(4) - Bobby Allison (1982), Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000), Dale Earnhardt Jr.(2014)
    o #4(3) - Ernie Irvan (1991), Sterling Marlin (1994 and 1995)
    o #15(3) - Bobby Allison (1978), Michael Waltrip (2001 and 2003)
    o #17(3) - Darrell Waltrip (1989), Matt Kenseth (2009 and 2012)
    o #24(3) - Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2005)
    o #22(3) - Fireball Roberts (1962), Ward Burton (2002) and Joey Logano (2015)

  • AC/DC's lead singer buys Mustang from Petty's Garage: AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson has bought his first Mustang GT from Richard Petty's Garage, based in Randleman, NC "This Mustang has just taken my breath away," said Johnson, according to Ford. "It really is one of the best cars I've ever driven. I didn't have an American car, but I do now!" Ford is teaming with Petty's Garage to create a new 627-hp Mustang GT, according to Auto World News. Two versions will reportedly be built this year. The car that Johnson bought comes in at $92,210. Orders for the limited edition Mustang can be placed at any Ford dealership.(MyFox8)(2-26-2015)

  • Cope picks up Atlanta sponsor: Derrike Cope Racing and the #70 Chevy announce an Atlanta sponsorship with Wade Tractor & Adrenalin Power Sports in association with Polaris, New Holland, Bad Boy Mowers and ARGO. Owners, Jimmy and Melissa Wade have been operating the business since 1996 and sell New Holland Tractors & Construction equipment as well as Bad Boy Mowers zero turns. The Adrenalin Power Sports business is a Full Line Polaris & GEM Dealership, and they recently took on Argo Amphibious vehicle line. They are located at 1218 Enterprise Way, Griffin GA and can be found at adrenalinpwr.com.(Derrike Cope Racing)(2-26-2015)

  • Almirola & Hornish in the #98 UPDATE: Kenny Wallace said on FoxSports' coverage of XFINITY practice that he had talked to Fred Bigai, owner of the #98 team, and that the team was planning on running 16 races this season. Richard Petty Motorsports' Cup drivers Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish, Jr. will split the races the team runs.(2-20-2015)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports and Biagi-DenBenste Racing announced they will extend their partnership to enter both Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. in three NASCAR XFINITY Series races this season. Almirola raced with the team during the season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway, finishing seventh. Hornish will take the reins of the #98 Biagi-DenBenste Racing Ford Mustang at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and again at the Auto Club Speedway on March 21. Almirola will return to the XFINITY Series at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7. Both Almirola and Hornish are seasoned veterans in the XFINITY Series and bring the opportunity for the Biagi-DenBenste Racing team to win races early this season.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(2-26-2015)

  • Cobb, Krystal form partnership: The Krystal Company and their more than 350 locations in the southeast region has teamed up with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner/driver Jennifer Jo Cobb and her #10 Driven2Honor race team for this week's Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. After qualifying 11th and finishing 18th in last week's NCWTS race at Daytona International Speedway, Cobb is currently 14th in the overall points. She holds many records in the series including highest finish by a female driver, most starts by a female driver and NASCAR's only female owner/driver. She was voted by fans among the top-5 most popular drivers in the series in 2014. Krystal will be bringing Cobb to restaurants in areas without a major NASCAR track to meet fans this spring.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing)(2-26-2015)


    News from February 25, 2015

  • Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Grand Marshal Named: Major Dan Rooney, the founder and CEO of Folds of Honor, will serve as the grand marshal of Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 1. Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, founded Folds of Honor in 2007 after returning home from his second tour of duty in Iraq. The charity is dedicated to providing educational, opportunities to family members of those who have been killed or disabled while on active duty. For more information about Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR weekend or to purchase tickets, call the AMS ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(2-25-2015)

  • Open Test Session Gives Fans a Four-Day Weekend of NASCAR at AMS: NASCAR will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway one day earlier during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend. NASCAR will conduct an open test session for its Sprint Cup Series teams on Feb. 26, giving teams an opportunity to gain valuable track time in advance of the season's first race on an intermediate track with the new rules package. The Speedway welcomes fans to attend the event and watch from the grandstands and enter at Gate 13. Admission is free with a Sunday grandstand ticket or a $10 donation to the Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. For more information on the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend, call 877-9-AMS-TIX or go to atlantamotorspeedway.com/tickets.(AMS), this test session will not be televised.(2-25-2015)

  • High-Performance Energizer EcoAdvanced AA Battery featured on #42 at Atlanta: As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) for the first race of the season at an intermediate track, and first race with the new rules package, Energizer is set to serve as the primary partner on Kyle Larson's #42 Chevy. Energizer will be highlighting a first. Following several years of development, Energizer recently introduced the EcoAdvanced AA battery, which is a first-of-its-kind battery made with four percent recycled battery material that delivers long-lasting power while creating less impact on the planet. Although this will only be the second time that Larson has raced the Energizer Chevy, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Energizer have enjoyed a strong relationship for nearly 20 years (Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(2-25-2015)

  • Congrats - Regan Smith: #41 SHR Cup driver / JRR XFINITY driver, Regan Smith announced on Twitter: "Welcome to this world Rhett Lee Smith 5lbs 14oz 18"long May all your dreams become reality :(2-25-2015)

  • Fox swaps networks for Martinsville and Richmond: FOX Sports announced the Sunday, March 29 (1:00pm/et) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 from Martinsville Speedway will air on FOX Sports 1, in turn moving the Saturday, April 25 (7:00 pm/et) Toyota Owners 400 night race from Richmond International Raceway to the FOX broadcast network. With approval from NASCAR, the swap is being made to avoid a potential conflict with another live event on FOX Sports 1 that leads into the Richmond event. Martinsville now marks the debut of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX Sports 1.(FOX Sports)(2-25-2015)

  • #10 Team Issued a Written Warning For Rules Infraction at Daytona: The #10 team [Danica Patrick, Stewart Haas Racing] that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been issued a Written Warning for a rules infraction discovered during opening day inspection Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway. Written Warnings are outlined in Section 12.5.3.1 in the 2015 NASCAR rule book. This warning is for violation of Sections:
    12-1 - Actions detrimental to stock car racing
    20.11.2.2.2.1.b - Unapproved left-side driver heat shield; the outer exterior exhaust heat shield panel must follow the horizontal surface plane of the left side floorboard forward section to the bottom edge of the left side toe board.(NASCAR)(2-25-2015)

  • Who will drive the #34? UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports needed a replacement, but... David Reutimann is kicking himself. The former Sprint Cup driver had the opportunity to race for Front Row Motorsports this weekend in the #34 Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, Reutimann, who is traveling in California, told Motorsport.com on Tuesday he had not renewed his NASCAR license for 2015. Reutimann says he hopes to return to racing at some point. Renewing his NASCAR license and getting his physical would be a good place to start.
    Bobby Labonte has been mentioned as a fill in for David Ragan this weekend. Sources confirmed that the team has talked to the 2000 NASCAR champ. With 48 entries for the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Labonte's past champion's provisional would come in handy.(Motorsport)(2-24-2015)
    UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports tweeted: "Happy to have Joe Nemechek on board this weekend, driving the #34 @CSX #PlayItSafe Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(2-25-2015)

  • Bowyer latest Cup driver to be guest analyst of FOX: Clint Bowyer is the latest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver confirmed as a race analyst for FOX and FOX Sports 1's coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015. Bowyer is scheduled to offer analysis alongside Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip for the NASCAR XFINITY Series races from Auto Club Speedway in March and Charlotte in May. Bowyer is the fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver announced as part of a rotation in the FOX and FOX Sports 1 booth for FOX Sports' coverage of the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.
    Bowyer's appearances in the booth bring to 12 the number of NASCAR XFINITY Series races for which FOX Sports has confirmed a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver as guest analyst. Also scheduled as guest analysts this season are reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, who debuted in the booth last weekend at Daytona; four-time champion Jeff Gordon; 2012 champion Brad Keselowski; and Danica Patrick. The five drivers assist Alexander and Waltrip in calling their respective races.
    Keselowski is up next this weekend from Atlanta, offering analysis alongside Alexander and Waltrip on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2:00pm/et on FOX Sports 1. Below is a list of 12 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES races on FOX and FOX Sports 1 for which Cup Series drivers are scheduled to serve as guest analysts:
    Race Date/Airtime Network Driver/guest analyst
    Daytona Feb. 21 (3:30 PM ET) FOX Sports 1 Harvick
    Atlanta Feb. 28 (2:00 PM ET) FOX Sports Keselowski
    Las Vegas March 7 (4:00 PM ET) FOX Sports 1 Harvick
    Phoenix March 14 (4:00 PM ET) FOX Keselowski
    Fontana March 21 (4:00 PM ET) FOX Sports 1 Bowyer
    Texas April 10 (8:30 PM ET) FOX Sports 1 Gordon
    Bristol April 18 (1:30 PM ET) FOX Sports 1 Gordon
    Richmond April 24 (7:30 PM ET) FOX Sports 1 Keselowski
    Talladega May 2 (1:30 PM ET) FOX Gordon
    Charlotte May 23 (2:30 PM ET) FOX Bowyer
    Dover May 30 (2:30 PM ET) FOX Harvick
    Michigan June 13 (1:30 PM ET) FOX Sports 1 Patrick
    *subject to change
    This season, FOX Sports adds coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES for the first 14 races of the year. FOX Sports 1 telecasts 10 of the events while FOX broadcasts the races from Phoenix, Talladega, Charlotte and Dover.(FOX)(2-25-2015)

  • Sad News - Thee Dixon: Thee Carlin Dixon, of Durham, NC, the first African American team owner in NASCAR, passed away on Feb. 20, 2015. He was 76 years old. In 1989, he fielded his first Winston Cup entry, under the banner of Mansion Racing, with Mike Potter driving. In 1990, Dixon attempted two races with Mike Skinner. Carl Long and Dixon made three of an attempted twelve starts in 2001 and one of five in 2002. Dixon didn't field another Cup car after. His best Cup finish was 28th in the 1992 AC Delco 500 at Rockingham with Skinner. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.(Frontstretch / hwdfuneral.com)(2-25-2015)

  • Sad News - Michael Colabucci Sr.: On Monday, February 23, 2015, Michael Anthony Colabucci Sr., passed from this world. Born to Lawrence and Angela "Tootsie" Colabucci on December 16th, 1962 in Washington, D.C., Mike attended Frederick Douglass High School. He was the beloved husband of Maureen; father of Mike Colabucci, Jr.; and survived by one granddaughter; brother of Brian, Kevin, Patrick, Lauren and Lesley. He also loved his 2 dogs, Toby and Bucci. Michael worked for 3 decades in the automotive business as a salesman, manager, general manager and dealer. He spent the majority of his career with Lustine Chevrolet in Hyattsville, MD and most recently in Waldorf, MD. He loved automobiles and in his younger days raced motorcycles, stock cars and competed in the NACAR Craftsman Truck Series. Family and friends are invited to Mike's Life Celebration on Friday, February 27 from 9:30am until a Mass of Christian Burial is offered at 11:00am at The Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 11704 Duley Station Rd., Upper Marlboro, MD. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions my be made to Little Sisters of the Poor, Jeanne Jugan Residence, 4200 Harwood Rd., N.E., Washington, DC or to Servants of the Lord, 1714 Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.(2-25-2015)

  • Penalties issued following Daytona: The #20 and #29 teams that competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have been penalized for rules infractions discovered during post-race inspection Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway. These infractions are P2 level penalties which are outlined in Section 12.5.3.2 of the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book. The infractions violate Sections:
    12-1 - Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
    20.14.5 - Jack Screws: Monoball(s), excessive taper, bevels, or other devices on the end(s) of the front and rear jack screws will not be permitted;
    20.14.5.2 - Rear Jack Screws: Rear jack screws must have a minimum 0.875 inch flat surface, perpendicular to the rear jack screw, for attachment of the rear upper coil spring mounts.
    As a result of these violations crew chiefs Doug Howe (#20) and Chad Kendrick (#29) have been fined $2,500 and placed on NASCAR probation through the end of the calendar year. Both teams have also been docked 10 Championship Driver and Owner Points (#20 - Scott Lagasse Jr. and Robert Newberry; #29 - Austin Theriault and Brad Keselowski).(NASCAR)(2-25-2015)


    News from February 24, 2015

  • Who will drive the #34? Front Row Motorsports needed a replacement, but... David Reutimann is kicking himself. The former Sprint Cup driver had the opportunity to race for Front Row Motorsports this weekend in the #34 Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, Reutimann, who is traveling in California, told Motorsport.com on Tuesday he had not renewed his NASCAR license for 2015. Reutimann says he hopes to return to racing at some point. Renewing his NASCAR license and getting his physical would be a good place to start.
    Bobby Labonte has been mentioned as a fill in for David Ragan this weekend. Sources confirmed that the team has talked to the 2000 NASCAR champ. With 48 entries for the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Labonte's past champion's provisional would come in handy.(Motorsport)(2-24-2015)

  • ISC to review safety at all facilities: Statement from International Speedway Corporation (ISC) President John Saunders:
    "Beginning with our two superspeedway motorsports entertainment facilities, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, ISC is developing a significant plan for the installation of additional impact-absorbing technologies including but not limited to SAFER barriers (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction). We will utilize all available tools to ensure the safety of the drivers and our fans. It will remain our top priority. A thorough review of our other ISC facilities will continue with the focus to prioritize each track's most critical areas first. This includes but is not limited to our upcoming races at Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. ISC is working very closely with NASCAR and industry experts to identify areas for additional safety protections. As we finalize our plans, we will communicate them to the drivers and necessary stakeholders ahead of our races at each ISC facility."(ISC)(2-24-2015)

  • Ragan to sub for Kyle Busch? UPDATE: #34-David Ragan has been contacted by Joe Gibbs Racing about driving the #18 Toyota while Kyle Busch recovers from a compound fracture in his right leg. JGR is considering a plan that would share the ride between Ragan and Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Jones, who is under contract to the team, while Busch recovers from his injury. There is no timetable on the return for Busch, who spent a third consecutive night in a Daytona Beach hospital after being hurt in a Saturday crash during the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona.
    Ragan has driven the #34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series the past four seasons. He has two victories in Cup, at Daytona in 2011 for Roush Fenway Racing and at Talladega in 2013 for Front Row. Ragan met with JGR officials Tuesday morning at the team's Huntserville, N.C., headquarters. Team owner Joe Gibbs met Monday morning with Jones, who has four career victories in the truck series, about taking over the No. 18, but there are concerns about how it might impact the 18-year-old's future sponsorship prospects if he struggled in Busch's absence.
    Jones races full time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the truck series and is running 10 races in the Xfinity Series for JGR. He is a likely candidate to take over Busch's part-time schedule in the #54 Toyota on the Xfinity circuit. Among the plans being considered would be to put Ragan in the #18 for several races and then allow Jones some time behind the wheel after he has more Xfinity and truck experience.
    It wasn't clear immediately how Ragan's Ford relationship might be affected, but multiple sources said JGR had received approval from Ford and Roush Fenway Racing to put driver Elliott Sadler in the #18 for the Daytona 500 before electing to run truck series champion Matt Crafton. Requests for comment from Ragan and Front Row Motorsports hadn't been returned Tuesday morning.(NBC Sports)(2-24-2015)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces that David Ragan will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch was released this morning from Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL and transferred to a hospital near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina for further treatment. Busch sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident. No specific timetable has been announced for Busch's return to the race track. It is expected that Ragan will pilot the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota for at least the next several weeks. Ragan's current race team Front Row Motorsports and sponsor CSX accommodated the move by Ragan and Ragan is expected to return to the team later this season. Additional updates on Busch's condition will be provided as necessary. In addition, JGR announces that Erik Jones will pilot the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend in Atlanta. An announcement on who will drive the Monster Energy Camry following Atlanta will be made at a later date.
    "We appreciate being able to work with Front Row Motorsports and CSX for David's (Ragan) availability," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are fortunate to be able to have someone of David's caliber behind the wheel while Kyle recovers. Erik is a big part of our future at JGR and we will be increasing his schedule in the XFINITY Series beginning this weekend in Atlanta and seeking the earliest opportunity to provide him Cup experience. We appreciate all the support we have received from the NASCAR community including our fans and we look forward to getting Kyle back in the car as soon as possible."
    "Everyone at Mars is thankful that Kyle is doing well and we continue to wish him a speedy recovery," said William Clements, vice president of sponsorship and sports marketing for Mars Incorporated. "While we can't wait until Kyle returns behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota, we are excited to work with David and we're pleased JGR was able to work it out for him to step in during Kyle's absence."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-24-2015)

  • Special scheme on the #55 at Atlanta, Moffitt gets the call: Brett Moffitt will drive Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Aaron's 60th Anniversary Dream Machine Toyota replacing Brian Vickers who'll make his 2015 debut next weekend in Las Vegas after recovering from heart surgery. Michael Waltrip finished 26th at Daytona last weekend driving the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine. Atlanta-based Aaron's will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a special paint scheme on the #55 this weekend. Aaron's joined MWR in 2000 serving as a primary sponsor in Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races. With more than 2,100 stores across the country, Aaron's helps customers own the life they want. Though Moffitt owns a few Sprint Cup starts, he's never had a chance to demonstrate his talent with a full-time team, crew and car that's competing for wins and a championship. Moffitt sees this weekend's race as a chance to show the world he belongs with the sport's young stars. In five years of fulltime NASCAR Pro Series East competition (2009-13), Moffitt won nine of the 61 races he entered. In 2014, Moffitt made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Dover International Speedway, where he started 18th and finished 22nd. He has since competed in six additional Sprint Cup events.(MWR), see images of the car on the #55 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2015)

  • Fresh From Florida debuts at Atlanta on the #43: In the off-season, Richard Petty Motorsports took on the responsibility to hang their own bodies. This weekend, the #43 Fresh From Florida team will bring a brand new body to their first intermediate race of the season. The team is eager to use this race as a benchmark for their new body program. Aric Almirola and team will have the opportunity to test out the car on Thursday during a test session at Atlanta Motor Speedway before the regular race weekend begins on Friday. This weekend, the Fresh From Florida campaign will makes its 2015 debut on the famed #43. The campaign, led by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products.(RPM), see am image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2015)

  • Logano on Letterman: See the video clip of #22-Joey Logano, winner of the 2015 Daytona 500, on Late Night with David Letterman from Monday, Feb 23rd at cbs.com.(2-24-2015)

  • Kyle Busch spends another night in the hospital UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch will spend a third night at Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach, where he is recovering from leg and foot injuries, according to a team spokesman at Joe Gibbs Racing, who said Busch is "resting comfortably."(FoxSports)(2-24-2015)
    UPDATE Kyle Busch's wife Samantha tweeted with a pic: Off to NC! Thank u to everyone at Halifax for taking such good care of Kyle! Leaving Daytona.(2-24-2015)

  • Shell Saver Cardholders Can Save When #22 Ford Fusion Wins: This past weekend Joey Logano took the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion to victory lane at Daytona, and now it's current Shell $aver CardSM customers' time to win! Shell Saver Cardholders can save 22 cents per gallon on all three grades of Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines, and Shell Diesel. Savings apply up to 25 gallons at participating stations and are good for purchases made this upcoming Wednesday, or as we like to call it WINsday, February 25. The season-long WINsday promotion will be applicable after every points race in which Joey Logano takes the checkered flag. For additional information go to shell.us/winsday.(Shell)(2-24-2015)

  • Atlanta Motor Speedway Statement on Protective Barriers: Following discussions yesterday between Atlanta Motor Speedway and NASCAR officials and a subsequent review of the existing SAFER barriers at the facility, AMS will add a number of additions to its existing barrier system. The protective wall at the exit of pit road near Turn 1 will be extended, and a tire barrier will be added along the inside wall of Turn 4 to offer supplementary safety protection. The installations will add a total of 130 linear feet of additional protective barrier prior to this weekend's NASCAR events. Further review regarding future installation of additional SAFER barriers at the facility will take place following Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Atlanta Motor Speedway is dedicated to providing the safest possible facility for its fans and drivers.(AMS)(2-24-2015)

  • Nashville Superspeedway sale deadline extended for fifth time: The closing deadline on the sale of Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County by Dover Motorsports to NeXovation Inc. has been extended to March 27, according to recent filing. NeXovation Inc. announced in May an agreement to purchase the race track from Dover and its subsidiary Nashville Speedway U.S.A. Inc. for nearly $46 million - $27 million in cash and the assumption of about $18.8 million in bond obligations owed to Wilson County. It's the fifth time the closing has been extended. The most recent deadline had been set for Feb. 25. NeXovation has already paid $1.7 million in non-refundable payments that will be applied to the purchase price. The filing Dover filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission states NeXovation paid $200,000 for the latest extension, which is non-refundable, but will not be applied toward the purchase price. NeXovation has now paid $400,000 total for the last two deadline extensions, that is nonrefundable and won't be refunded nor applied to the purchase price.(Tennessean)(2-24-2015)

  • France: Safety, performance are NASCAR hallmarks: On Monday, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France explained the secret to the sport's success in creating a level playing field and expressed the importance of safety. He also told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that Joey Logano leads a group of young drivers coming up in the sport. "Everybody gets an opportunity on equal footing to compete, and that's a very hard task for us because we have 43 teams, three manufacturers and a lot of smart people trying to game any rules package that we put forward," France said. "To get an advantage, that's what they do. That's what they should do. When we're able to boil through all that and make sure that everybody is on equal footing, that's when we win, and if we do that in a safe way, then we really win." France addressed the caution flag that ended the Great American Race with a multi-car wreck on the backstretch at the World Center of Racing. "We obviously err on the side of safety," France said of the yellow flag that ended the race after the field received the white flag on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. "That's of course what we're going to do. In this case, (NASCAR officials) believed that they couldn't clear it off, and it was just too dramatic. "We would have loved to finish it perfectly under green, but that wasn't the case. I don't think it really would have changed anything in this case. Joey (Logano) had broken out and established himself. It would have been very difficult to overcome him under any situation."
    France also addressed Kyle Busch's crash in Saturday's XFINITY Series race and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III's pledge to ring the track with SAFER barriers. "Joie Chitwood said it best that, 'hey, look, that's unacceptable,'" France said of not having a SAFER barrier on the frontstretch where Busch crashed. "We're going to own that and move forward. That's how we're wired. That's a cornerstone of what we do. Safety and performance are the hallmarks of NASCAR." He added, "If we don't get safety right, then nothing else really matters."(NASCAR.com)(2-24-2015)

  • Kentucky Speedway adding SAFER barriers to walls: Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger says track officials have long considered adding more Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barriers to the Sparta, Ky., track's walls. "And then with what happened to Kyle Busch, it ratcheted up the urgency," Simendinger said Monday. Simendinger said Monday that by this July's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend, his track plans to add the so-called soft to its back stretch. "Sometimes you have to see what can possibly happen before you realize that you've got a problem that needs to be corrected," Simendinger said. "Obviously it's an expensive thing to do. It takes time. But it's something we're committed to. I've always said safety is our No. 1 thing, so that's what we're going to do assuming we can get the work done between now and our races," set for July 9-11. Already, SAFER barriers cover Kentucky's entry to corners through exits -- spots consultants deemed most likely to result in contact with race cars. Along the backstretch, the new walls could catch spinning cars off Turn 2. Ultimately, Simendinger says that "as an industry" NASCAR-sanctioned tracks will eventually cover every inch of exposed concrete wall. But it comes at a hefty cost -- approximately $500 per square foot. "It's something we work hand-in-hand with NACAR and their consultants on," he said. "...But there's not that many people that make SAFER barriers, so we've got to make sure we can get it, get it installed and do it properly."(Courier Journal)(2-24-2015)

  • Talladega adding SAFER barriers after Kyle Busch crash: Two days after Kyle Busch -- one of NASCAR's biggest stars -- broke his leg and foot in a head-on crash into a concrete wall at Daytona International Speedway, the president of the facility's sister track said more SAFER barriers will be installed before it hosts racing in May. "We'll look at our facility and reassess how we can make it better for the competitors as we've done with the catchfences and other things over the past 20 years," Talladega Superspeedway president Grant Lynch told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "I think based upon what happened ... there will be a big focus on Talladega," Lynch said. At 2.66 miles, Talladega -- located about 55 miles east of Birmingham, Ala. -- is the biggest oval track in NASCAR and one of the fastest speedways in the world. Violent, multi-car crashes are practically staples of racing at the facility, which hosts two NASCAR weekends each year. Its 2015 dates are May 1-3 and Oct. 23-25. "I think we've put more (SAFER barriers) up than anybody, but that stands to reason because we're the biggest track with the most inside and outside walls," Lynch said. "We're certainly near the top percentage-wise for our company (International Speedway Corp., which owns 12 venues). Lynch said he didn't know what percentage of Talladega's walls is barrier-protected now. "As we've seen unusual wrecks happen, we've added more as we go," he said. "This is another opportunity to say, 'Let's ratchet it up again and take a good, hard look at the safety factors and see where we need it.' "(USA Today)(2-24-2015)

  • Jones to fill in for Busch at Atlanta: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces that David Ragan will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is expected that Ragan will pilot the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota for at least the next several weeks. Ragan's current race team Front Row Motorsports and sponsor CSX accommodated the move by Ragan and Ragan is expected to return to the team later this season.
    In addition, JGR announces that Erik Jones will pilot the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend in Atlanta. An announcement on who will drive the Monster Energy Camry following Atlanta will be made at a later date.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-24-2015)

  • Bliss back in the #19 #19-Mike Bliss will make his tenth NASCAR XFINITY Series start this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After sitting out the season opener for the first time in 15 years, Bliss is looking to shine at the 1.54-mile speedway for the Hisense 250. With over 190 starts at speedways ranging from one to two miles in length, Bliss has over 45 top-10 finishes at these tracks.(TriStar Motorsports)(2-24-2015)

  • TriStar Motorsports and their Official Energy Drink partner, Celsius, will join forces for the Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Blake Koch will pilot the #8 Celsius Negative Calorie Cola Camry on Saturday afternoon. Celsius is the world's first negative calorie energy drink.(TriStar Motorsports)(2-24-2015)

  • Berryhill's future races in doubt: #17-Tanner Berryhill tweeted Monday afternoon, "If you haven't noticed, the #17 is not on the entry list for ATL. My team has been in such a financial crunch for so long..and missing the race at Daytona sent us over board. The new qualifying format killed any chance we had of racing this year..I plan to work hard to find sponsors, but until then I will not be racing unless an opportunity allows me to do so. Thanks for the support."(2-24-2015)

  • Smithley, HEROBOX.org partner with Mittler team for Atlanta: Garrett Smithley will be returning to his old stomping grounds at the Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend to make his NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series in the #63 HEROBOX.org Chevy Silverado. The 22 year old first started his racing career at AMS behind the wheel of a Bandolero, followed by Legend cars, just down the road from his hometown in Peachtree City, GA. Not only is Garrett a 'local', his partner for the race, HEROBOX.org also is based in Peachtree City, only 25 miles from the speedway. In addition to HEROBOX.org appearing on Smithley's #63 Mittler Brothers Chevy Silverado he continues his growing associations with SegPay, MUVI/Veho, Airtype and Enduring Gratitude. HEROBOX.org will invite veterans from the Atlanta area to the Atlanta Motor Speedway as their special VIP guests to see Garrett Smithley in action at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.(See images of the truck on the #63 Team Paint Schemes page)(Garrett Smithley Racing)(2-24-2015)

  • Sieg pulling double duty in Atlanta UPDATE: Georgia native Ryan Sieg will race in both the XFINITY and Camping World truck races this Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sieg, who is running full time in the NXS, only plans on racing in this truck series race this season. The Big Green Egg, Pull-A-Part, and iHeartRadio will be primary sponsors for the truck series effort which will remain the #39. The XFINITY car will have sponsorship from Uncle Bob's Self Storage. Additionally, JoeUSA.com will be an associate sponsor for both races this weekend.(RSS Racing)(2-23-2015)
    UPDATE: Another Georgia based company has stepped up as an associate sponsor of the #39 Chevy for this weekends race in Atlanta. Woodard Pools of Waycross, GA will be an associate sponsor of the the Ryan Sieg driven truck. Davy Woodard and long time truck series owner Billy Ballew will assist this weekend in a joint effort with RSS Racing.(RSS Racing)(2-24-2015)


    News from February 23, 2015

  • Entry List for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #18-David Ragan, #29-Reed Sorenson, #32-Mike Bliss, #33-Scott, #34-Joe Nemechek, #41-Regan Smith, #55-Brett Moffitt, #62-Gaughan, #66-Mike Wallace, #83-Matt Dibenedetto, #95-McDowell.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in 2014 owners points): #19-Edwards, #29-Sorenson, #30-Hornaday, #34-Nemechek, #46-Annett
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is cancelled (top 36 in 2014 owners points then 37-42/43 by 2015 owners points): #29-Sorenson, #30-Hornaday, #98-Wise, #66-Wallace, #44-Kvapil; #19-Edwards would make the race as a 2014 winner if qualifying is cancelled.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski.com's Atlanta Entry List


    During the Daytona 500 Champion's Breakfast, DIS President Joie Chitwood III
    presents Joey Logano with a steel-and-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch

  • Logano Gets Champion's Treatment at Daytona 500 Champion's Breakfast: Newly crowned Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano was off-and-running again Monday morning. It started early with the annual Champion's Breakfast in the Bill France Room at Daytona International Speedway, where Logano was presented with the traditional champion's jacket. He also was surprised with a new first-year presentation for Daytona 500 champions: a steel-and-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch. The timepiece will come in handy. Logano has a jam-packed schedule of media activities this week, including appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight and the TODAY show Tuesday, plus a trip to ESPN's studios in Bristol, Conn.
    "I didn't sleep much [last night], that's for sure," Logano said. "I didn't go to sleep, really. My mind just kept thinking about the whole race, how it all played out. I just kept reliving the moment over and over again. It's amazing ... the Daytona 500. It's something that's very special. And now, I'm excited about the [media] adventure that's ahead of me."
    At Monday morning's breakfast, Logano, crew chief Todd Gordon and car owner Roger Penske spoke with media prior to another tradition being renewed: installing the Daytona 500 winning car - in this instance the yellow-and-red #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford - inside the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building. The car will be part of the Speedway tours program and will be returned to the team at the 2016 Daytona 500, a tradition that began in 1996.
    During the Champion's Breakfast, DIS President Joie Chitwood III presented champion's jackets to Logano, Gordon and Penske; the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy to Penske; and the Cannonball Baker trophy to Gordon. Chitwood and Logano also unveiled the logo for next year's 58th annual Daytona 500.(DIS)(2-23-2015)

  • SHR says #41 will race at Atlanta UPDATE: A spokesperson for Stewart-Haas Racing says that the #41 Chevy will compete this weekend at Atlanta but no driver has been confirmed. Regan Smith drove the car to a 16th-place finish in Sunday's Daytona 500 in place of Kurt Busch. NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch on Friday after a Delaware Family Court Commissioner concluded that "it is more likely than not'' that Busch committed an act of domestic abuse against ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll in September. The commissioner made the pronouncement after granting a protective order for Driscoll. Busch lost two appeals to NASCAR on Saturday to get back in the car. A NASCAR spokesperson said the sanctioning body would send guidelines to Busch on what he must do to be reinstated. The #41 car's primary sponsor for most races is Haas Automation, which is owned by car owner Gene Haas. That led to some questions of it Haas would continue to run the car after Daytona.(NBC Sports)(2-23-2015)
    UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Regan Smith interim driver of its #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend Feb. 26-March 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Smith will begin driving the #41 car during the open test session on Thursday. The race on Sunday will be Smith's seventh Sprint Cup start at Atlanta. His most recent Sprint Cup start at the 1.54-mile oval was on Sept. 2, 2012 when he finished 14th. Atlanta will be Smith's second race in the #41 car. He drove the Haas Automation Chevrolet to a 16th-place finish last Sunday in the Daytona 500. Smith already had some history with Stewart-Haas Racing prior to Daytona. He subbed for Tony Stewart in the team's #14 car last August at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. An interim driver for the #41 team at next weekend's Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and subsequent races has not been determined.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(2-23-2015)(

  • Erik Jones meets with Joe Gibbs about subbing for injured Busch in #18 ride: Erik Jones has emerged as the leading candidate to replace injured Kyle Busch in the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones, who drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series and is under contract with JGR, met Monday morning with team owner Joe Gibbs to discuss taking over the ride. Busch is out indefinitely after suffering a compound fracture in his right leg in an Xfinity Series crash Saturday at Daytona. JGR could make an announcement on an interim driver as early as Monday afternoon. Jones, 18, is scheduled to run a full truck season for KBM and a 10-race Xfinity schedule for JGR. There are no major scheduling conflicts that would preclude him from driving in NASCAR's premier series until the Martinsville Speedway weekend in late March. The team is expected to receive approval from NASCAR to put Jones in a Sprint Cup car. He wasn't approved for the Daytona 500 as NASCAR typically doesn't allow drivers to make their Cup debut in a restrictor-plate race at Daytona or Talladega without having raced at a lower-tier event at those tracks.(NBC Sports)(2-23-2015)

  • NASCAR cites 'competitor safety' in throwing the final caution: NASCAR officials say they felt the backstretch crash Sunday on the final lap of the Daytona 500 had enough hard hits with the wall that they had to throw the caution as leader and eventual winner Joey Logano entered Turn 3. It resulted in a somewhat anticlimactic finish with the race ending on a judgment call under yellow-flag conditions without a scramble to the finish line. But it was a finish that NASCAR said was necessary for safety reasons. NASCAR rules dictate that once the leader has taken the white flag, it will not restart the race if the caution comes out. Drivers keep their position as long as they maintain a reasonable speed to the finish line. "We make every effort to finish a race under the green flag," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "However, when cars get disrupted and hit the wall as they did on that last lap, we are going to react in the best interest of competitor safety."(ESPN.com)(2-23-2015)

  • Crafton finishes 18th in first Cup start: Now that the Daytona 500 is history, and Matt Crafton brought home an 18th-place finish in an emergency relief role for injured Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing will have to turn its attention to the future. Busch suffered a broken right leg and a broken left foot after his #54 Toyota slammed nose-first into a concrete wall inside Turn 1 during Saturday's XFINITY Series race. Unknown at this point is the number of races Busch will miss as he recovers from his injuries. Whether Crafton races again in the #18 Toyota as Busch mends, he's due a vote of thanks from JGR for an excellent effort under exigent circumstances. Crafton flew back down to Daytona on Saturday night and started the Daytona 500 without the chance to run a single practice lap. "Pretty gnarly," Crafton said of the experience. "It was very, very tough, but that's what we get paid to do, drive race cars and figure it out quick. It was a learning curve. The first half (of the race) we just rode around and tried to learn, learn, learn. I made a mistake. I had a pretty good surge up top, and I tried the bottom and shuffled myself all the way to the back. I should have had a little better finish there at the end, but it is what it is."(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-23-2015)

  • Daytona 500 Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:11 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:47 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 136
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 78
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 127
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 78
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 9
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 4
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 2
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos 'floating' in corners of the screen): 69
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 5 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:11 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:47 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 216
    Minutes of race broadcast: 158
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 58
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 3
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 158 Total comm. brdcst time 58
    See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(2-23-2015)

  • Tough Day for Stewart in 17th Daytona 500: #14-Tony Stewart was sidelined in the Daytona 500 with suspension problems due to multi-car accident on lap 41, ended up completing 72 laps, finishing 42nd. Some comments by Stewart:
    MISSED QUESTION?
    Stewart: "As long as we were two wide, then when it got three wide that particular lap it got away from me, and I got out of the gas and couldn't even get the front end caught up when I got out of the gas. I'm not sure if Ryan (Blaney) wasn't there, I still was going to hit the fence."
    GOOD EFFORT BY YOUR CREW TO REPLACE THE WHOLE FRONT END.
    Stewart: "It was fast enough to stay with the pack there. I actually just stayed with MIke Wallace to help my buddy out there. We ran as many laps as we could that would get us....we couldn't run any more laps and gain anything. It's the biggest race of the year and the last thing you want to do is stay out there and have something else happen to get in the middle of something. Let's just let those guys have their day."
    HOW FRUSTRATING:
    Stewart: "Well, it is just part of it. Yes, it's not what we had planned, but we stuck with the plan from the start of the race and that was to stay up front as much as we could. We knew the first two runs of the race we were probably going to have to adjust on the car; I just didn't make it far enough into the second run there to get a chance to adjust on it."(Team Chevy)(2-23-2015)

  • XFINITY Entry List:There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Derek White will be in the #13;
    Chris Cockrum moves to the #15;
    Mike Bliss gets back into the seat of the TriStar #19;
    Paul Menard will drive the RCR #33;
    Carl Long is in the #40;
    The #54 for Joe Gibbs is TBA. Kyle Busch was scheduled to drive;
    Kevin Harvick will be in the #88 for JR Motorsports;
    Morgan Shepherd is entered in his #89;
    Jimmy Weller will drive the #90.
    Sam Hornish is in the #98 for Biagi.(2-23-2015)
    See the complete list on the Atlanta entry list page.

  • Race Week Arrives in Atlanta: After a stirring season-opening weekend in Daytona, the 2015 NASCAR season shifts 400 miles north to Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. One of the most storied tracks on the circuit and a favorite among drivers, Atlanta Motor Speedway promises to continue the intense competition seen in the season's opening event, as drivers get their taste of the 2015 intermediate rules package. Kevin Harvick, last year's NACAR Sprint Cup Series champion and tonight's second-place finisher in the Daytona 500, will get things started with a special race week-opening burnout in his #4 Chevrolet in front of Phillips Arena in Downtown Atlanta Monday afternoon. On-track action gets underway Thursday with the first open team test of the new NASCAR season. Sprint cup teams will get their first true taste of the 2015 rules package with a four-hour practice session from 1:00 to 5:00pm/et (no TV). Sprint Cup Series drivers will then vie for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 pole position Friday evening, beginning at 5:45pm/et in the Drive Sober Georgia Qualifying Day. The racing cranks up with a unique same-day doubleheader Saturday afternoon with the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series hitting the AMS asphalt in the Hisense 250 and the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200. Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race highlights the weekend and caps off Atlanta's 2015 NASCAR week in what is shaping up to be an intriguing second race of the season. For more information about Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR week or to purchase tickets, call the AMS ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(2-23-2015)

  • Richard Petty to be inducted into Speedway Lane Hall of Fame HOF: Richard Petty, a seven-time NASCAR champion, winner of over 200 career races and a 2010 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, continues to collect numerous accolades for a legendary career behind the wheel of a stock car that began nearly 60 years ago. Petty will be inducted into the City of Hampton, Georgia's Speedway Lane Hall of Fame in a ceremony at 6:00pm/et on Thursday, Feb. 26 at Downtown Hampton's Depot Park, as the home city of Atlanta Motor Speedway honors the racing legend to kick off its four-day 2015 NASCAR weekend. Established in 2013, Hampton's Speedway Lane Hall of Fame honors influential drivers with strong ties to Georgia and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Its current members include Fayetteville, Georgia's Rex White and Dawsonville, Georgia's Bill Elliott, both 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees.
    Special guest speakers at the induction ceremony will include Petty, Hampton mayor Steve Hutchison and Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark. Additionally, a special tribute will honor the late Captain Herb Emory, longtime local Atlanta traffic reporter, impassioned civic activist and icon in the motorsports press community. Following the ceremony, Petty will serve as the grand marshal of the 3rd Annual Hauler Parade, as NASCAR XFINITY Series transporters cruise through Downtown Hampton prior to entering Atlanta Motor Speedway's main infield tunnel. The parade will kick off at 6:30pm/et, beginning near Depot Park and proceed down Main Street. Fans of all ages are invited to attend the parade and experience the charm of Downtown Hampton, as the thrill of NASCAR arrives for its annual stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hampton, approximately 25 miles south of Atlanta, is easily accessible from Interstate-75 via Highway 19/41 by taking Exit 235 or via Highway 20 by taking Exit 218. For more information about Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR weekend or to purchase tickets today, call the AMS ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(2-23-2015)


    News from February 22, 2015

  • Joey Logano wins the Daytona 500: #22-Joey Logano won the DAYTONA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway in a green-white-checkered finish for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Daytona and his 9h career win. The race win was worth $1,581,453.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., #11-Hamlin, #48-Johnson, #13-Mears, #15-Bowyer, #78-Truex Jr., #5-Kahne and #16-Biffle.
    Pole winner #24-Gordon dominated early in the race, leading 87 of 200 laps until getting caught up in a wreck on the final lap, finishing 33rd.
    There were 27 lead changes among 12 drivers. There were 7 cautions for 26 yellow flag laps with a 7 minute red flag before the green-white-checkered finish.
    The average speed was 161.939 mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    (2-22-2015)

  • Race Fast Facts - Daytona:
    #22-Joey Logano won the 57th Annual Daytona 500, his ninth victory in 221 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 14 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #4-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 29 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2015.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his 18th top-10 finish in 31 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Joey Logano leads the point standings by 5 points over Kevin Harvick.
    This is Team Penske and car owner Roger Penske's second Daytona 500 victory, his first was in 2008 with driver Ryan Newman.
    Joey Logano is the second youngest driver in series history to win the Daytona 500 at the age of 24 years, 8 months, 29 days. The youngest driver to win the Daytona 500 is Trevor Bayne at the age of 20 years, 0 months, 1 day.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(2-22-2015)

  • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Standings:
    [after Daytona, race 1 of 36]
    1) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 47
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick, 42, -5
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 42, -5
    4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 41, -6
    5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 40, -7
    6) #13-Casey Mears, 39, -8
    7) #15-Clint Bowyer, 37, -10
    8) #78-Truex Jr., 37, -10
    9) #5-Kasey Kahne, 35, -12
    10) #16-Greg Biffle, 35, -12
    11) #38-David Gilliland, 33, -14
    12) #9-Sam Hornish Jr., 32, -15
    13) #46-Michael Annett, 32, -15
    14) #3-Austin Dillon, 30, -17
    15) #43-Aric Almirola, 29, -18
    16) #27-Paul Menard, 27, -20
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc)
    See the Unofficial Points Standings page (pdf).(2-22-2015)


    ESPN.com's Racecast - Live Coverage and Chat
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  • Race Coverage of the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, February 22, 2015.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 12:00pm/et; green flag approx. 1:31pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    Monday, February 23, 2015 at 3:00am/et on FS1;
    Monday, February 23, 2015 at 10:00am/et on FS1;
    Monday, February 23, 2015 at 8:00pm/et on FS2;
    Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 10:30am/et on FS2

  • Daytona 500 Sunday Pre-Race Schedule:
    -- 11:00 a.m.: NSCS Driver / Crew Chief Meeting
    -- 12:43 p.m.: NSCS Driver Introductions
    -- 1:11 p.m.: Intro Presentation of Colors & Invocation: Patrick Air Force Base DEOMI Joint Services Honor Guard
    -- 1:11 p.m.: Invocation: First Baptist Church of South Daytona, Ronnie Barton
    -- 1:12 p.m.: National Anthem by: 19/Interscope Recording Artist, Phillip Phillips
    -- 1:13 p.m.: Fly by TOT: United States Air Force Thunderbirds
    -- 1:19 p.m.: "Drivers, Start Your Engines" by: Star of the upcoming comedy "Unfinished Business": Vince Vaughn
    -- 1:31 p.m.: Scheduled Green Flag for the Daytona 500
    eastern time (NASCAR.com)

  • See the UPDATED starting lineup for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on the Daytona 500 Starting Lineup Page

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #24-Gordon chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole winners].
    Outside pole sitter #48-Johnson took pit stall 43, the final pit stall.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr., who starts 3rd took the 21st pit stall, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 2nd.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on the Daytona Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Joe Gibbs Quotes about Kyle Busch's accident at Daytona: Joe Gibbs, owners of Joe Gibbs Racing and the car of #18-Kyle Busch, who was injured in a wreck at Daytona in the XFINITY Series race on Saturday, met with the media on Sunday morning, February 22, 2015, the transcript:
    Joe Gibbs, team owner, Joe Gibbs Racing Opening Statement:
    "First of all, I want to say that what really impresses you at a time like this is the NASCAR family. Last night - our drivers are intense competition and all the race teams are intense in competition. Something like this happens, it was just an outpouring of spirit, prayers - we had drivers coming by last night while we were at the hospital. We had NASCAR officials and everybody coming by and certainly I think that's one of the most impressive things about our sport and the way we adjust to things and the way we rally behind people particularly when we have a situation like we had last night with Kyle (Busch). I'd like to address a couple of things with him - I talked to him before surgery and then we waited until after surgery. Kyle, to be quite truthful, was kind of light-hearted and joking around with me and talking about wanting to get back in the car right away before surgery. Afterwards the doctors came in and Sam (Busch, wife) stayed there with Kyle last night and for us, we waited to get a report from the doctor. He said everything went very well. The major portion of what they did yesterday was his lower right leg where the injury was - they took care of that. They're going to wait on his foot - his left foot - and it remains to be seen there what the situation is, but that will probably be taken care of. They said there's not a rush on that and we'll probably be dealing with that in Charlotte with Dr. Anderson. I felt like considering everything that happened last night, I felt like everybody banded together. Certainly, we appreciate all the prayers and I would like to say this, we've been in racing for all the Gibbs family - J.D. (team president) and Coy and everybody -- we've been in racing 24 years and up until this point we've had one driver miss four weeks. I think that says a lot about the safety of the sport and I think yesterday in that wreck, the great thing was that Kyle had nothing from the knees up. Everything was fine and I think NASCAR does a great job of adjusting to things like this and making decisions. I think this will be the same in this case. I know the race track had a press conference yesterday and made some statements about that and I think this is probably one that again will make some good decisions again based on that. NASCAR certainly knows that the most important asset that we have is our drivers and I really applaud the fact that we have had some of the wrecks and everything that we have in sport and yet the safety factor has really been outstanding with some of the improvements that have been made. This will be a learning experience for everybody and I'm sure that the tracks will be a part of that and will probably reach the point with everything to do with the walls and everything -- we'll probably have those protected. I know there's been some decisions made today on that too. I appreciate all that and the way NASCAR handles anything like this. They took our helmet last night, they took the HANS device and they take all those things when we have a wreck like this and do an in-depth study of it. We appreciate that."
    Have you thought about drivers past this race and how long will Kyle Busch be out of the car?
    "We haven't put thought into other than just today. We were thrilled to get Matt (Crafton) - I should have brought the fact that Matt has driven some of Kyle's stuff. He's a veteran guy and we felt like it was the perfect fit. We sent him over to the race shop last night. He met our person in charge of seats and they sat in all of our cars and he's real comfortable with Kyle's seat. We brought him down last night and he climbed into the car today and he told me, 'everything's perfect.' I appreciate Matt. As far as time or length, I don't have a good understanding of that with the doctors and everything -- I think we're just going to pray for him to bounce back. I can tell you this, Kyle's already telling Sam, he said, 'Hey, I just want to get back to racing.' He has a great spirit about things like that."
    Have you determined how many races Kyle could miss and still be eligible for the Chase?
    "I really hadn't got into that other than I had a brief conversation last night about it and I'm not even sure that I'm clarified on all the rules and what would take place. I think our focus, we had so much going on last night, it was just to get everything arranged as best we could for today. I'm sure there will be some conversations on that going forward."
    (Toyota Racing), see the full transcript on the #18 Team News and Links page.(2-22-2015)

  • Steve O'Donnell and Joie Chitwood III discuss SAFER at Daytona: From a NASCAR Press Conference held at Daytona International Speedway Saturday evening after Kyle Busch was injured in a wreck where his car impacted the inside wall entering turn 1. The wall currently has no SAFER Barriers. The transcript of that press conference: Kerry Tharp: "Good evening. We have with us NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell, and also Joie Chitwood, who is president of Daytona International Speedway. At this time let's hear from Joie."
    JOIE CHITWOOD III: Obviously the first thing is that our thoughts and prayers go to Kyle. Last thing we want to see is a competitor injured here at the Daytona International Speedway. Our thoughts and prayers go to him. The Daytona International Speedway did not live up to its responsibility today. We should have had a SAFER barrier there today, we did not. We're going to fix that. We're going to fix that right now. We've got the team out tonight. We're going to install tire packs along that 850-foot linear square feet of wall, so we're ready to go racing tomorrow. Following that, the Daytona International Speedway is going to install SAFER barrier on every inch at this property. This is not going to happen again. We're going to live up to our responsibility. We're going to fix this and it starts right now.
    KERRY THARP: Steve.
    STEVE O'DONNELL: From our perspective, obviously I want to echo what Joie said. Thoughts and prayers with Kyle and his family. Certainly wishing him a speedy recovery. As Joie said, from our perspective, what happened tonight should not have happened. That's on us. We're going to fix it. We're going to fix it immediately. I think you heard from Joie where we stand from Daytona. I think we all know that racing is an inherently dangerous sport, but our priority is safety and we'll continue to put things in place that make this sport as safe as possible.
    KERRY THARP: We'll take a handful of questions.
    Q. Is there a reason beyond cost why this hasn't been done before, why all the walls haven't been covered?
    JOIE CHITWOOD III: I don't have a good answer for that. SAFER barrier should have been there tonight. We're going to fix that. We don't want to see any competitors injured here. We have to fix that. We can't allow this to happen again.
    Q. Steve, since you guys have been the ones that have worked closest with the group that deals with the SAFER barriers, have y'all ever been told it would be unwise to place SAFER barriers in certain parts of a racetrack?
    STEVE O'DONNELL: We have. I think it goes to NASCAR is not the only sanctioning body that races at a specific track. I can use Eldora, for instance, where a SAFER barrier was looked at, but wouldn't have been the safest solution. One of the other challenges is there's a lot of other racing series that race at the racetracks we race at, but I wouldn't say it's a very common occurrence.
    Q. Joie, you talked about fixing it now. How much discussion has there been over time over fixing this previously, how much debate, looking at financials or whatever to get it fixed before?
    JOIE CHITWOOD III: For us, we really can't look at financials as a reason for this. We have to have a venue which we can put on NASCAR racing and have competitors be safe. We've put in SAFER barriers over a number of years. Again, we have to fix this right now. We're going to fix it for tomorrow. We have the team out there with the tire packs. We're going to be ready for tomorrow's race. Come Monday, we're going to start the plan so we can put SAFER barrier everywhere here. Finances don't come into play. That's really not a question. We're going to get this fixed and be sure we're ready for the next event here.
    Q. Steve, we just heard Joie say that he's going to put SAFER barriers all around this track. There are a lot of tracks on the circuit that do not have SAFER barriers. Is this going to become a NASCAR mandate or is this something that NASCAR is going to start talking to tracks about covering more of its walls with barriers from this point moving forward?
    STEVE O'DONNELL: I'll answer the last part first. We always have those conversations with the racetracks. The racetracks know that and work together with us on the SAFER barrier recommendations. What we've said here tonight is we will accelerate those talks with the tracks. We want this sport to be as safe as possible for not only our drivers, but everyone who participates in the sport and the race fans as well.
    Q. Steve, we talk about the obligations or the recommendations from the sanctioning body. From a financial standpoint, does NASCAR help out the tracks when it comes to installing the barriers?
    STEVE O'DONNELL: The tracks pay for the actual installation. I would say our responsibility in that process is looking at the latest technology that may be in place through our R&D center, our safety experts. But then it's working with the racetracks to actually install them.
    Q. Joie, do you know in terms of feet or percentage how much wall is covered and how much isn't?
    JOIE CHITWOOD III: I know that we've installed SAFER barrier in five different years. At this point I don't have the exact number, but it's in tens of thousands of linear feet. The first installation was 1995, 100 linear feet. We've continued to add ever since. We added 2400 linear feet last year following the Daytona 500.
    Q. Do you know in percentage how much of the wall is covered and how much isn't?
    JOIE CHITWOOD III: I do not.
    KERRY THARP: Joie, Steve, thank you very much for your time. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.(NASCAR)(2-2-2015)

  • Some Daytona 500 Facts:
    ˇ Drivers who have won the Daytona 500 in more than one car manufacturer:
    Driver - Manufacturer (Number of wins in that manufacturer)
    o 4: Richard Petty - Plymouth (3), Dodge (2), Oldsmobile (1) and Buick (1)
    o 3: Cale Yarborough - Chevrolet (2), Mercury (1) and Pontiac (1)
    o 2: Bobby Allison - Buick (2) and Ford (1)
    o 2: Dale Jarrett - Ford (2) and Chevrolet (1)
    ˇ Drivers who have won The Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500 in the same season:
    Driver - (Year)
    o Bobby Allison (1982)
    o Bill Elliott (1987)
    o Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000)
    o Jeff Gordon (1997)
    ˇ Car Numbers that have produced three or more Daytona 500 victories:
    Car Number - Drivers - (Years)
    o #43 - Richard Petty (1964, '66, '71, '73, '74, '79, '81)
    o #21 - Tiny Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), A.J. Foyt (1972), David Pearson (1976) and Trevor Bayne (2011)
    o #28 - Fred Lorenzen (1965), Buddy Baker (1980), Cale Yarborough (1983 and 1984) and Davey Allison (1992)
    o #4 - Ernie Irvan (1991), Sterling Marlin (1994 and 1995)
    o #15 - Bobby Allison (1978), Michael Waltrip (2001 and 2003)
    o #17 - Darrell Waltrip (1989), Matt Kenseth (2009 and 2012)
    o #88 - Bobby Allison (1982), Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014)
    o #24 - Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2005)
    (NASCAR)

  • Pieter's Pals featured on the #95 at Daytona: the #95 Leavine Family Racing Chevy carry a Pieter's Pals logo on the car in the Daytona 500. The #95 featured Pieter's Pals at Charlotte in October. on his birthday this Sunday. #95 driver Michael McDowell's son Trace went to school with Pieter Swart, a 5 year old with cancer passed away in September 2014. Today [Feb 22nd] would had been Pieter's 6th birthday. The team is also celebrating by asking folks in participating in the Lego drive to honor Pieter.(LFR Facebook)(2-22-2015)

  • Harley J. Earl trophy for winning the Daytona 500, who was Earl? If there's one trophy a driver dreams of putting his hands on, it's the Harley J. Earl trophy. Awarded to the winner of the Daytona 500, the Harley J. Earl trophy is one of the most prized possessions in motorsports. Named after Harley J. Earl, a famous General Motors designer and friend of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., the Harley J. Earl Perpetual Trophy rests year round inside The Daytona 500 Experience , "The Official Motorsports Attraction of NASCAR," and bears the name of every Daytona 500 champion.
    Each year, the Harley J. Earl Perpetual Trophy makes a trip outside the attraction to the hallowed grounds of Gatorade Victory Lane at the "World Center of Racing" for a meeting with the Daytona 500 champion.
    While the Daytona 500 champion doesn't take home the Harley J. Earl trophy, the winner of the "Great American Race" is awarded a replica Harley J. Earl trophy, which has a black base with a scaled-down replica of the Firebird One that Earl created in 1954 at the peak of his career with General Motors.
    For the 50th running of the Daytona 500, the trophy was painted gold. The Harley J. Earl trophy is just one of three trophies awarded on the day of the Daytona 500.
    The winning crew chief of the Daytona 500 champion is awarded the Cannonball Baker trophy, which is named after the famous coast-to-coast racer who was elected the first national commissioner of NASCAR in 1948 while the owner of the winning Daytona 500 champion is awarded the Governor's Cup.(DIS PR)
    Richard Earl, a former Wall Street broker and youngest grandson of Earl, makes his living selling Harley Earl-designed cars. " 'Motoramic masterpieces' is how I like to refer to them," he said.

  • Engine Rule at Daytona: the engine rule is a little different at Daytona 500 [just like qualifying] then the other 35 races, teams must run the same engine from Saturday's first practice session through the Budweiser Duel 150 mile qualifying races. If a team makes a change before the Duel, then it must start at the rear of the Duel 150 field and the Daytona 500 (as of 2015). After the Duel 150 races, teams can make an engine change before the Happy Hour practice session. After that, if an engine change is made, the driver will start at the rear of the Daytona 500.

  • Double Yellow Line at Daytona = do not pass: In order to emphasize the yellow-line rule at Daytona International Speedway where passes are not permitted, NASCAR has made the single yellow line into a double-yellow line. The second yellow line was painted on the inside of the existing yellow line.

  • IndyCar is monitoring Kurt Busch case: IndyCar says it is closely monitoring the Kurt Busch situation and ''will act firmly and strongly in responding to all matters of domestic violence." Busch attempted the double last May, running in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. He finished sixth in a Chevrolet for Andretti Autosport, but has not applied yet for this year's race. Andretti Autosport had said he was welcomed back after last year's run.(USA Today)(2-22-2015)

  • First time no Busch's in a Cup race since 2001: At least one of the two Busch (#18-Kyle, #41-Kurt) brothers has raced in every Daytona 500 since 2000. Sunday's event will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race without a Busch brother since the 35th race of the 2001 season, at Atlanta.(NASCAR Wire Services)(2-22-2015)

  • Glen Wood at Daytona for 69th Consecutive Year: Daytona wouldn't be Daytona for Wood Brothers Racing if team patriarch Glen Wood wasn't sitting in front of the hauler holding court with the who's who of NASCAR racing. Wood, 89, is attending his 69th consecutive race on Florida's Atlantic coast. Starting in 1947 as a spectator to watch Curtis Turner drive, through driving to victory himself in the last three races run on the sand, to being the owner of a dominant team in the '60s and '70s, to being a proud father watching his sons follow in his footsteps, Wood hasn't missed a February in Daytona since shortly after World War II. "The first trip down here in 1947, we came not knowing anything about the place," Wood recalled. "It was just something off the wall to do. We heard about this big race by the ocean and we'd never heard of that. So we drove down here." His memory as sharp as ever, Wood remembers the two wood-slat bridges that led from the mainland to Daytona Beach. "Once in a while you'd hit a slat and it would break," he said with a chuckle. Rather than miles of high-rise hotels, he remembers small cabins and one-floor motels lining the Atlantic. The landscape wasn't that much different in 1953 when he and his brother, Leonard, brought a Ford from Virginia to the beach for the first time. Leonard Wood, who at age 80 still is active with the race team, fondly recalls his brother's wins on the beach. Len Wood, one of Glen's two sons and a team co-owner, says his father's attendance record at Daytona is important for team continuity. "For us, him being here 69 years in a row is part of our history, part of our tradition," he said. "He's a link back to earlier days when guys like Pearson, Foyt, Gurney and Yarborough drove for us. We brought the team (now comprised of several Team Penske personnel as a result of the technical alliance between the organizations) up to Stuart in January to give them a bit of a history lesson. Hopefully when they put on that 21 uniform they'll think about the past and try to make Ryan Blaney the next big star."(Wood Brothers Racing)(2-22-2015)


    News from February 21, 2015

  • Statement from Toyota on Kyle Busch Accident: "Kyle Busch is a key member of our Toyota NASCAR family and it goes without saying that everyone at Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development), U.S.A. has Kyle in their thoughts and prayers. Kyle is as tough a competitor as you'll find in motorsports and I'm confident he'll recover quickly and return to the track with an even greater passion to win. We know fellow Toyota driver Matt Crafton will represent not only Toyota, but Joe Gibbs Racing well in today's Daytona 500." Ed Laukes, Vice President marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A.(Toyota Racing)(2-22-2015)

  • Kyle Busch injured in XFINITY Series race at Daytona, will NOT race in Daytona 500 UPDATE: Kyle Busch will miss the Daytona 500 with a right leg injury after a hard crash into a concrete wall during an Xfinity Series race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Busch, in obvious pain, had his right leg placed in an air cast before being transported to Halifax Health Medical Center. He was awake and alert at the hospital, Joe Gibbs Racing officials said. He was supposed to start fourth Sunday in the Daytona 500. A replacement driver hasn't yet been named.
    The accident occurred when Busch was racing directly behind JGR teammate Erik Jones. Jones got turned and Busch got clipped. Busch's car sped across an area of the track used as an entrance to the road course portion of the speedway and then slammed hard into a concrete wall. Busch climbed out of the car before laying down on the grass near his car. The wall did not have a steel-and-foam energy-reduction barrier (SAFER), which NASCAR has had installed in the turns and other areas at tracks but has consistently been criticized for not having everywhere on the inside and outside walls on ovals.
    If Busch cannot start Sunday's Daytona 500, he would not be awarded any points. NASCAR, which requires drivers to compete each week to be eligible for its season-long championship, would have to grant Busch an exemption to not start a race he qualified for as well as to miss any future events and still be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.(ESPN)
    AND #18-Kyle Busch will miss Sunday's Daytona 500 following a hard crash in the closing laps of Saturday's Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Busch was caught up in a 10-car crash near the end of the frontstretch on Lap 112 of the 120-lap event, his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota careening head-on into a section of infield wall that had no SAFER barrier. After the crash, Busch was transported directly to Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach. Medical updates are pending. He is being evaluated for injuries to his right leg. Joe Gibbs Racing has not named Busch's replacement or indicated how long he will be out (FoxSports)(2-21-2015)
    UPDATE: Matt Crafton will replace Kyle Busch in the Daytona 500, a person familiar with the arrangement told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter. Crafton, the Camping World Truck Series champion, went to Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday night to get fitted for a seat in the #18 car. The team thought of using Xfinity Series driver Erik Jones, but NASCAR overruled it based on his inexperience in a Cup car. Busch and Crafton are not only both Toyota drivers, but also close friends. Crafton was a groomsman in Busch's wedding.(USA Today)
    Statement from Joe Gibbs Racing: Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident. Busch was transported to a local hospital for treatment immediately following the accident and is currently undergoing surgery on his right leg. Busch's injuries will sideline him for an undetermined period of time. Veteran Matt Crafton will serve as the interim driver for Busch's #18 Toyota during Sunday's 57th Daytona 500. An interim driver has not been determined for the following race March 1 at Atlanta or for any future races. Additional updates will be provided as needed.(JGR).(2-21-2015)
    Kyle Busch Undergoes Successful Surgery Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), underwent successful surgery tonight to repair a compound fracture to his lower right leg suffered earlier today during the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Busch is resting comfortable and will remain hospitalized for observation. There will be no additional updates tonight. Joe Gibbs Racing owner Joe Gibbs is scheduled to address the media at 9:20am/et in the media center at Daytona International Speedway.(JGR)(2-21-2015)

  • National Motorsports Final Appeal Hearing Statement regarding Kurt Busch: This evening, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss, heard and considered the appeal of driver Kurt Busch. The penalty concerns Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12.8: Behavioral penalty.
    The penalty stems from activities last year involving Kurt Busch that resulted in a decision by the Family Court of the State of Delaware to issue an Order of Protection of Abuse against him. The penalty is an indefinite suspension. Earlier today, a three-person National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld the original penalty assessed by NASCAR.
    Tonight [Saturday, February 21, 2015], Kurt Busch presented his position to the Final Appeals Officer. Representing NASCAR was Jim Cassidy, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. The Appellate Administrator is NASCAR Vice President George Silbermann.
    Upon hearing tonight's testimony, Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, made the following decisions:
    ˇ The appellant violated the Rules set forth in the penalty notice and the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel was correct;
    ˇ The penalty was within the scope of the guidelines;
    ˇ The National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer upholds the original penalty levied by NASCAR
    The decision of the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties. Kurt Busch now has exhausted his appeal options under the NASCAR Rulebook, and the indefinite suspension remains in effect. He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice.(NASCAR)(2-21-2015)

  • Kurt Busch's appeal to be heard Saturday UPDATE 3 both appeals denied: #41-Kurt Busch's attorney said he plans to "immediately" appeal NASCAR's suspension of his client. NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch on Friday after a Kent County (Del.) Family Court Commissioner concluded that "it is more likely than not'' that Busch committed an act of domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, in September. NASCAR said that Busch could appeal the suspension and that it would "expedite" the process. A ruling on the appeal likely will come before Sunday's Daytona 500. Busch's appeal will be heard on Saturday by a three-member panel. He cannot have a lawyer argue the cause on his behalf, but can have other representatives with him during the hearing. Additionally, Busch can appeal the panel's decision to Bryan Moss, Final Appeals Officer.(NBC Sports)
    UPDATE: Busch has appealed, and the hearing begins Saturday at noon at NASCAR headquarters (in Daytona). Regardless of the outcome, SHR plans to stick with Regan Smith for the Daytona 500.(Associated Press)(2-21-2015)
    UPDATE 2: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of driver Kurt Busch. The penalty concerns Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12.8: Behavioral penalty.
    The penalty stems from activities last year involving Kurt Busch that resulted in a decision by the Family Court of the State of Delaware to issue an Order of Protection of Abuse against him. The penalty is an indefinite suspension. The Appellant appealed both penalties. Upon hearing the testimony, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel decided that the Appellant violated the rules set forth in the penalty notice. The Panel therefore decided to uphold the original penalty assessed by NASCAR. The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Mr. Paul Brooks, Ms. Lyn St. James, Mr. Kevin Whitaker. Kurt Busch presented his position to the panel. Representing NASCAR was Jim Cassidy, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. The Appellate Administrator is NASCAR Vice President George Silbermann. Kurt Busch has the right to appeal the decision to the Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss. Kurt Busch must inform NASCAR of his intent to do so within the guidelines provided to him. The Final Appeals Officer has indicated that he would hear the final appeal, if requested, this evening at the International Motorsports Center in Daytona Beach, Florida.(NASCAR)(2-21-2015)
    UPDATE 3: Busch has one last-ditch appeal available, NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said, and NASCAR Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss will hear the Stewart-Haas Racing driver's case Saturday night at 7:30pm/et.
    "We are very disappointed that our appeal was rejected by NASCAR's appeal panel," Busch attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement. "We are re-appealing immediately, per the proscribed process. We have significant and strong evidence that contradicts the commissioner's conclusions. In the end we are confident that Kurt will be vindicated and he will be back racing. Until then we will continue to fight on his behalf by ensuring that the entire truth is known."
    The NASCAR appeals panel rarely overturns behavioral penalties because of NASCAR's broad behavior rule: "NASCAR membership is a privilege. With that privilege comes certain benefits, responsibilities and obligations. Correct and proper conduct, both on and off the race track, is part of a Member's responsibilities."
    NASCAR has no specific penalty for behavioral infractions, which is different than its six-level scale it uses to determine penalties for technical violations. "Behavioral infractions differ from technical infractions in that each is handled on a case-by-case basis, viewed in context, with an understanding of the prominence of the sport, the large fan following that the sport has garnered, the large corporate and sponsor support that the sport attracts, and also with an understanding of the passions that the sport can evoke, as well as, the competitive nature of most NASCAR members," the rule book states.
    The final appeal is different than the initial one because now Busch has the burden proof rather than NASCAR. Busch must show that he did not violate a rule, that the penalty is not within the scope of NASCAR guidelines and/or he was denied his rights during the initial appeal. Moss, the former president of Gulfstream, can ask questions and call any witnesses he wants.
    NASCAR Chairman Brian France also can step in at any time and lift the suspension.(ESPN)
    2nd Appeal Denied: Kurt Busch lost a second appeal of his NASCAR suspension Saturday night, leaving his immediate NASCAR future in doubt. Busch lost an appeal to a three-member panel Saturday afternoon, but appealed that decision to NASCAR's Final Appeals Officer. The second appeal also was denied and the suspension upheld Saturday night. Busch likely would now have to get a court order to block the suspension and allow him to continue racing. "We are unhappy with the latest decision to deny our re-appeal, but we will continue to exhaust every procedural and legal remedy we have available to us until Kurt Busch is vindicated," Busch attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement late Saturday night. "Along the way we intend to continue to call attention to the facts and witnesses that will shed light on Ms. Driscoll's true character, motivations and history."(Sporting News)(2-21-2015)

  • Happy Hour (final) practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest:
    #11-Hamlin 202.106
    #5-Kahne 202.025
    #16-Biffle 201.853
    #9-Hornish Jr. 201.816
    #34-Ragan 201.712
    slowest: #23-Yeley 187.586 and # 83-Sauter 188.001
    most laps run: #42-Larson, 38; #17-Stenhouse Jr., 32
    35 of 43 cars made laps
    not practicing: #'s 2, 10, 21, 22, 44, 47, 55, 66
    14 drivers ran 10 consecutive laps, #17-Stenhouse Jr. was the fastest of those at 199.560mph.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive laps speeds on the Daytona 500 Happy Hour practice speeds page (pdf).(2-21-2015)

  • FOX Sports to air more NASCAR in Canada: FOX Sports announced the re-branding of SPEED International, its motor sports and automotive network in Canada and the Caribbean, as FOX Sports Racing, bolstering the high-octane programming lineup to deliver additional motor sports and big-event competition programming for 2015 and beyond. FOX Sports Racing returned to Rogers in Canada on Friday, February 20. Additionally, FOX Sports Racing continues to be available to pay-TV subscribers in the Caribbean. With a 2015 schedule that includes 785 events and nearly 900 hours of competition-driven programming, the FOX SPORTS RACING lineup is highlighted by a full season of live NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing, practice and qualifying sessions from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series events. For a look at the complete FOX Sports Racing programming lineup, please visit: FOXSportsRacing.com.(FOX Sports)
    ALSO: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will be televised in Canada on the TSN network, see the Sprint Cup and XFINITY series schedules at tsn.ca.(2-21-2015)

  • NASCAR Announces Nominees For 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class, Landmark Award: Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners and drivers. Their roles and responsibilities may have differed, but they all have one trait in common - each made an everlasting mark on NASCAR history. On Friday, NASCAR announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2016, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees - legends all - who excelled in various disciplines, at various levels.
    Among them are three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Ray Evernham; 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Harry Hyde; 1992 NASCAR premier series champion Alan Kulwicki; winner of a combined 96 NASCAR national series races, Mark Martin; and 1986 NASCAR west series champion Hershel McGriff. The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2016 class will be Wednesday, May 20.
    The five nominees for the Landmark Award are Harold Brasington, H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NASCAR Hall of Fame enshrinement.
    Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:
    Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR's premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
    Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949
    Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
    Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
    Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
    Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion
    Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion
    Terry Labonte, two-time NASCAR premier series champion
    Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition
    Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
    Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
    O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
    Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
    Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner
    The five nominees for the Landmark Award are as follows:
    Harold Brasington, founder of Darlington Speedway
    H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
    Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence
    The 22-person Nominating Committee are as follows:
    NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
    NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton; Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell; Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook (Note: Due to Jerry Cook's inclusion on the ballot for the NHOF Class of 2015, he was recused from voting for the Class of 2016 nominees.)
    Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; West Coast representative Ken Clapp.
    Media: Mike Joy, FOX.
    (NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(2-21-2015)

  • Team Xtreme Heads to Their First Daytona 500: With a seventh place finish in the 2nd Budweiser Duel, Reed Sorenson and the #44 Golden Corral Chevy of Team Xtreme Racing have locked in to the Daytona 500. After a week that included a crashed primary car, countless hours to prepare a backup at the team shop in Mooresville, NC and a second journey back to Daytona; the feat of making the Daytona 500 was extra sweet for the team. "I'm real proud of these guys," Sorenson said. "Monday morning, we didn't know if it would be possible to pull it off. But we did. I'm extremely happy for all the guys back in Charlotte that worked on this car and all the work these guys had to do when they got here. They had a lot left and did an awesome job putting it together. It's a big deal for a team like this to make the Daytona 500. I'm proud of everyone, and now we can have fun. We have nothing to lose in the race and we're gonna give it all we've got."
    A NASCAR team owner for over six years, John Cohen noted that he has never attended the Daytona 500 before, waiting for the day that his team was a part of the race. "I don't think I can put into words what this means to me. This team worked so hard to get a back-up car ready - the odds were stacked against us - but we came through when it counted. I'm so grateful and proud to have a team that never gave up and allowed us to make the race."
    Guiding Sorenson through the action in the Duel and on Sunday is veteran spotter Mike Calinoff, a two-time Daytona 500 winner with Matt Kenseth, Calinoff says, "These qualifying races are all about positioning yourself for the end. It was a bit nerve-racking because I've never been part of a scenario where we had to race in. But we overcame a lot of adversity and put ourselves solidly in the show. I'm happy for John because I know that being a car owner in NASCAR, especially for the Daytona 500, is very fulfilling. I can't wait until Sunday."
    In addition to Golden Corral, the team is sponsored by Fastwax.com, a high-performance cleaning wax in an aerosol can. In less than 30 minutes, you can wash and wax an average sized car. One can on Fastwax will wax four average sized cars. Sorenson will start the 57th running of the Daytona 500 from the 14th position.(Team Xtreme/140 Buzz)(2-21-2015)

  • Dr Pepper to Partner with BK Racing for 2015: Dr Pepper partners with BK Racing as the primary sponsor on the #23 Toyota of JJ Yeley for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The one of a kind soft drink, whose involvement with BK Racing started in 2011, will be back on board the #23 Toyota Camry as a primary sponsor for multiple races throughout the 2015 NASCAR season. Starting with their "hometown track," Texas Motor Speedway in April, the brand's iconic colors will be a little different this year. "We are thrilled to partner with BK Racing and continue our partnership for the fourth consecutive year," explains Kelton Graham, vice president of sales for the Burger King account at Dr Pepper Snapple Group. "The NASCAR community and Dr Pepper have a strong connection through our loyal fan base. We are happy to partner with BK Racing and can't wait to celebrate with them in Victory Lane in 2015."
    "I am excited to have Dr Pepper on board the #23 Toyota Camry this year," commented driver JJ Yeley. "We have some really awesome things planned this year with Dr Pepper, and I think the fans will love the new look. I don't want to give too much away, but make sure you stay tuned for the new paint scheme!" Dr Pepper associate branding will also appear on all BK Racing's [#26, #83, #93] cars throughout the 2015 season. "Dr Pepper has been a trusted partner of ours for years, and we place a lot of value and significantly appreciate their loyalty," said Ron Devine owner of BK Racing. "As we continue to augment our digital and creative capabilities we look forward to further integrating with the Dr Pepper brand."(BK Racing)(2-21-2015)

  • Danica Patrick says she has no interest in leaving US for F1: #10-Danica Patrick continues to downplay suggestions she might be in line for a Formula One seat with Haas F1 Team. She already drives in NASCAR for Stewart-Haas, the team co-owned by F1 2016 newcomer Gene Haas. And while the 32-year-old Patrick's move from American racing to F1 would lead to enormous publicity for the sport and for any team that would take a chance on her, Patrick says she's never even been asked to make the move. "Many, many people have always said that I will move to F1 one day," she said. "But no one ever talked to me about it. That's OK, because I wouldn't go anyway. It's not so much that I am not interested in driving a Formula One car. But in order to do it properly, I would have to leave the U.S., and for me that is out of the question. Also, I only want to do things if I have a chance to win, and as an outsider, that would be so difficult in Formula One."(AutoWeek)(2-21-2015)

  • National FFA Week begins: Saturday, February 21 kicks off National FFA Week, which continues through Saturday, February 28. The FFA logo rides on the #51 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy's decklid each week with Justin Allgaier behind the wheel. BRANDT has partnered with the FFA to help promote agriculture in our nation's youth.(HScott Motorsports)(2-21-2015)

  • NASCAR launches NASCAR Acceleration Nation: The school of NASCAR is officially in session. NASCAR announced the launch of NASCAR Acceleration Nation, the sport's first-ever national learning and entertainment platform created just for kids. NASCAR Acceleration Nation will impact children across the country through an in-school Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) program, created together with Scholastic. Classroom content will focus on teaching the aerodynamic principles of Drag, Downforce and Drafting, the NASCAR Three D's of Speed. The fun and dynamic AccelerationNation.com will engage kids with exclusive content and NASCAR-themed games and activities, while the NASCAR Acceleration Nation Experience will bring the platform to life for children and families at race tracks. NASCAR and its Research & Development Center teamed up with Scholastic to develop the motorsports industry's first national in-school education program. The STEM supplemental materials were designed for elementary and middle school students and feature lessons and activities for each of the NASCAR Three D's of Speed. The easy-to-use learning materials address state and Next Generation Science standards and will be distributed as kits to 7,400 classrooms nationwide in the program's first year, reaching nearly 200,000 students. In addition, all classroom materials and content will be available for teachers to download from a microsite accessed from AccelerationNation.com. The NASCAR Acceleration Nation Experience is a 6,400-square-foot footprint designed to entertain children and families during a number of NASCAR national series race weekends. At the interactive experience, kids can sit in the driver's seat of a customized NASCAR Acceleration Nation stock car to learn more about the cars competing on the racetrack. For more information about NASCAR Acceleration Nation, and to download the in-school STEM materials, visit AccelerationNation.com.(NASCAR)(2-21-2015)

  • Florida Power & Light and Daytona to add Major Solar Installation to DAYTONA Rising Project: Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced plans to install commercial-scale distributed solar power at the "World Center of Racing," complementing the ongoing $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The plan comprises the installation of more than 5,000 solar panels on multiple canopy-like structures that will offer areas of shade for race fans while generating zero-emissions energy. The solar panels will be located outside the frontstretch, in the Sprint FANZONE and in one of the Speedway's parking lots. The electricity generated will help power the Speedway's operations and FPL's 4.7 million customers via the grid. FPL is a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc., the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the Official Renewable Energy Provider of both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. As part of a long-term partnership agreement, NextEra Energy Resources is continuing its entitlement sponsorship of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that is held annually during Budweiser Speedweeks.
    When the installation is complete, DIS will rank fifth-largest among U.S. professional sports facilities for solar energy capacity, according to data from the Solar Energy Installers Association. The project's total generating capacity is expected to be approximately 1.7 megawatts, making it one of the largest distributed solar installations in Florida. The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year - equivalent to an average vehicle driving 2,000,000 laps around Daytona International Speedway. FPL plans to begin construction on the solar installation by this fall, with the goal of connecting it to the grid by the end of the year. The installation will include high-tech data-gathering equipment that will provide FPL with real-time and long-term data to help the company continue incorporating more solar power into the grid in the future.(DIS)(2-21-2015)

  • Reed wins XFINITY race at Daytona: #16-Ryan Reed won the Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway. It was his first XFINITY Series win and the first XFINITY Series win at Daytona for Roush Fenway Racing. His teammate #60-Chris Buescher finished second, followed by #3-Ty Dillon, #33-Austin Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #44-David Starr, #98-Aric Almirola, #42-Kyle Larson, #4-Ross Chastain, and #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
    There were two big wrecks during the race. The first coming with 27 laps to go involved 12 cars. #7-Regan Smith got the worst damage, flipping his Chevy. He was unhurt. Then with 7 laps to go, a wreck involving 10 cars included #54-Kyle Busch sliding into an interior retaining wall nearly head on. He was helped from his car and transported to the hospital for further evaluation.
    There were 4 cautions for 17 laps, 2 red flags and 24 lead changes among 9 leaders. Complete results are on the Daytona race results page (pdf).
    (2-21-2015)

  • Daytona XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Ryan Reed won the 34th Annual Alert Today Florida 300, his first victory in 40 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in three races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Chris Buescher (second) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2015.
    Ty Dillon (third) posted his second top-10 finish in four races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Darrell Wallace Jr. (12th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Ryan Reed leads the point standings by 4 points over Chris Buescher.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-21-2015)

  • XFINITY Driver standings following Daytona:
    1) #16-Ryan Reed, 47
    2) #60-Chris Buescher, 43 -4
    3) #3-Ty Dillon, 42 -5
    4) #44-David Starr, 38 -9
    5) #4-Ross Chastain, 35 -12
    6) #43-Dakoda Armstrong, 33 -14
    7) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr. #, 33 -14
    8) #51-Jeremy Clements, 30 -17
    9) #90-Mario Gosselin, 29 -18
    10) #55-Jeffrey Earnhardt, 28 -19
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(2-21-2015)

  • Austin Dillon on XFINITY pole at Daytona: #33-Austin Dillon won the Coors Light pole for the Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 190.251mph. #29-Justin Marks will start second. The rest of the top 10: #84-Chad Boat, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #98-Aric Almirola, #20-Erik Jones, #43-Dakoda Armstrong, #16-Ryan Reed, #28-J.J. Yeley, #6-Chris Buescher, #1-Elliott Sadler, and #7-Regan Smith.
    Did Not Qualify: #0-Harrison Rhodes, #15-Carlos Contreras, #17-Tanner Berryhill, #19-Scott Lagasse, Jr. #70-Derrike Cope, #85-Bobby Gerhart, and #87-Joe Nemechek. The starting lineup is posted on the Daytona starting lineup page (pdf).(2-20-2015)

  • Daytona XFINITY Qualifying Notes:
    Austin Dillon(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 34th Annual Alert Today Florida 300 with a lap of 47.306 seconds, 190.251 mph.
    This is his 11th pole in 79 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his second pole in five races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Justin Marks (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2015 and his first at Daytona International Speedway.
    Chad Boat(i) (third) posted his first top-10 start at Daytona International Speedway.
    Cale Conley (17th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-21-2015)

  • Qualifying Results (pdf)
  • Patrick to join FoxSports in XFINITY broadcast booth: Danica Patrick is scheduled to be full-race analyst during FOX Sports 1's coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY Series from Michigan on Saturday, June 13, creating another first for the popular driver. It is believed to be the first time a woman has served in this capacity during a NASCAR race broadcast. Patrick's Stewart-Haas Racing teammate and reigning Spring Cup champion Kevin Harvick is the first of four announced Sprint Cup drivers to rotate in the FOX Sports 1 booth for the network's inaugural year of NASCAR XFINITY Series coverage, offering analysis from Daytona International Speedway. Also scheduled as guest analysts this season are four-time champion Jeff Gordon and 2012 champion Brad Keselowski. The four drivers offer analysis alongside play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander and analyst Michael Waltrip.(FoxSports)(2-21-2015)

  • NASCAR and FOX release creative campaigns for season: Riding a surge of momentum generated by the most thrilling Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ever, NASCAR and FOX are releasing a broad portfolio of original creative promoting the return of the most unpredictable and dramatic experience in sports. Variations of nine unique spots across two national series comprise NASCAR's robust season launch campaign, including three exciting pieces of creative showcasing the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The new ads were designed to reach casual and avid fans and feature appearances from many of the sport's notable drivers. NASCAR and FOX worked with a pair of agencies to develop the creative across the two national series. NASCAR partners Ogilvy & Mather New York created the prolific NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign while Pereira O'Dell New York, FOX's agency partner, worked on the NASCAR XFINITY Series spots.
    The first of three NASCAR XFINITY Series spots will debut during the series' race on Saturday, Feb. 21. The original creative, to be released over the next several months, will drive home the narrative that "Names Are Made Here" and feature popular, up-and-coming drivers.(NASCAR)(2-21-2015)

  • Richardson has no plans for 2015: #23-Robert Richardson, Jr.'s R3 Motorsports has closed its doors. The team's shop is being leased, and though he has said he is not "retiring," it appears he won't be racing unless a sponsor approaches him. Throughout his career, the former football player ran eight Cup Series events and brought his family-run team to the sport's top division at one point. In 129 career starts in the XFINITY Series, Richardson has one top-10 finish, which came at Daytona in 2013. This is the first time since 2007 that he will not run the season-opener in NASCAR's second-tier division.(Fronstretch)(2-21-2015)

  • Dexter Bean looking to run additional races: It took a few laps for Dexter Bean to knock the rust off. The 28-year-old racer from Westby, Wis., hadn't driven a heavy, full-sized stock car in six years and 2 1/2 weeks ago Bean had no inkling he would again. Bean's deal to try to qualify for Saturday's Annual Alert Today Florida 300 came through family connections. His wife and Mario Gosselin's are sisters, and Gosselin was putting together King Autosport's two-car effort for Daytona. Gosselin was supposed to drive the second car alongside Martin Roy, but Roy was injured in a skiing accident, opening up a seat. Future races probably are dependent on money. Bean is aiming for one of the Xfinity races at Iowa. "Definitely hadn't given up, but the sponsorship thing was terribly hard - everybody will tell you that - and it still is," Bean said.(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)(2-21-2015)


    News from February 20, 2015

  • Kurt Busch Suspended Indefinitely by NASCAR UPDATE2 Smith to Drive: #41-Kurt Busch has been suspended indefinitely, according to ESPN's Marty Smith and multiple reports. Earlier Friday it was ruled that Busch smashed his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll's head against his motor home wall Sept. 26 at Dover International Speedway, according to the conclusions of a Kent County (Del.) family court commissioner who granted Driscoll's request for a protective order Monday. Busch was scheduled to race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, where he was slated to start 24th in the Daytona 500, the sport's biggest event.(ESPN)
    see more about the findings at ESPN: Court: Kurt Busch smashed ex's head and Delaware News Journal: Busch likely committed an act of abuse, judge says.
    Sources report XFINITY Series driver Regan Smith is expected to replace Busch in SHR's #41 Chevy in the Daytona 500.
    NASCAR Indefinitely Suspends Driver Kurt Busch: NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch for actions detrimental to stock car racing following the release today of a supplemental disposition setting forth the findings and conclusions that formed the basis for the Family Court of the State of Delaware's decision on Monday to issue an Order of Protection from Abuse against him. Busch, driver of the #41 car, was found to be in violation of:
    ˇ Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
    ˇ Section 12.8: Behavioral Penalty
    "Given the serious nature of the findings and conclusions made by the Commissioner of the Family Court of the State of Delaware, NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch, effective immediately. He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice. Kurt Busch and his Stewart-Haas Racing team are fully aware of our position and why this decision was made. We will continue to respect the process and timetable of the authorities involved."(NASCAR)
    Statement from Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Motorsports and Performance Vehicles: "Chevrolet has suspended its relationship with Kurt Busch indefinitely. We will continue to monitor the events surrounding Mr. Busch and are prepared to take additional action if necessary."(Team Chevy)
    Statement from Stewart-Haas Racing Regarding Kurt Busch The following is a statement from Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer regarding Kurt Busch. "We understand NASCAR's position regarding Kurt Busch and accept their decision. We are in the midst of finalizing our plans for the Daytona 500 and we will announce those details as soon as we're ready."(SHR)
    UPDATE: Busch's attorney Rusty Hardin said the suspension will be appealed. "We are extremely disappointed that NASCAR has suspended Kurt Busch and we plan an immediate appeal," Hardin said in a statement. "We assure everyone, including NASCAR, that this action against Mr. Busch will turn out to be a travesty of justice, apparent to all, as this story continues to unfold." An expedited appeal could occur before the race Sunday. Hardin, who cannot represent Busch in the NASCAR appeal because the appeal process does not allow for lawyers to represent NASCAR members, reiterated his hope that the family court commissioner reconsiders his opinion based on additional evidence that would show Driscoll is not credible.(ESPN)
    UPDATE2: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Regan Smith interim driver of its #41 Haas Automation Chevy for the Daytona 500. Smith has some history with Stewart-Haas Racing, as he subbed for Tony Stewart in the team's #14 car last August at Watkins Glen. Smith was the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and won the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington. He is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and finished second in the 2014 championship standings. Smith, 31, is from Cato, New York. An interim driver for the #41 team at next weekend's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta and subsequent races has not been determined.(SHR)
    See all the past news about the case and updates on the #41 Team News and Links page.(2-20-2015)

  • Friday final practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the fastest:
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 194.405
    #5-Kahne 193.528
    #48-Johnson 193.096
    #10-Patrick 192.810
    #21-Blaney 192.781
    slowest: #34-Ragan 188.553 and #35-Whitt 189.278
    25 of 43 cars have made runs.
    notes: #10-Patrick, in a backup car, had smoke appear from under the car, ended up being a loose water line or gasket, the team made repairs and the car went back out on the track.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Daytona 500 Practice 7 Speeds page (pdf).(2-20-2015)

  • Friday first practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the fastest:
    #24-Gordon 193.079
    #55-Waltrip 192.485
    #78-Truex Jr. 192.345
    #2-Keselowski 192.279
    #22-Logano 192.258
    slowest: #47-Allmendinger 189.921 and #46-Annett 190.142
    only 14 of 43 cars made runs, doing single car runs.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Daytona 500 Practice 6 Speeds page (pdf).(2-20-2015)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #24-Gordon chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole winners].
    Outside pole sitter #48-Johnson took pit stall 43, the final pit stall.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr., who starts 3rd took the 21st pit stall, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 2nd.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-20-2015)

  • 2015 Budweiser Duels Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Thursday's races. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the first race at 7:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag for the second race at 10:32 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. FS1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 99
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 48
    Number of times FS1 utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos 'floating' in corners of the screen): 37
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 1 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:32 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 212
    Minutes of race broadcast: 170
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 42
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 170 Total comm. brdcst time 42
    See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(2-20-2015)

  • Sprint Unlimited places 3rd in Saturday's TV Ratings UPDATE:
    The big winner Saturday night: TNT with coverage of the NBA State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. The NBA averaged 6.1 million viewers and upstaged everything on broadcast prime time. The preliminary averages there: NBC with 5.4 million, Fox with 4.7 million for the NASCAR: Sprint Unlimited from Daytona Beach, CBS with 4.6 million and ABC with 2.4 million for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." NBC aired a "Dateline" rerun (5.6 million) and the "Saturday Night Live Valentine's Special" (5.1 million).(Orlando Sentinel)(2-17-2015)
    UPDATE: After plunging on Fox Sports 1 last year, overnight ratings rebounded for NASCAR's Sprint Unlimited on FOX. The NASCAR Sprint Unlimited earned a 3.2 overnight rating on FOX Saturday night, up 78% from last year on FS1 (1.8) but down a tick from 2013 (3.3). Despite the big increase, the 3.2 is the lowest ever for the Sprint Unlimited on the FOX broadcast network. Head-to-head, the Sprint Unlimited trailed coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night on TNT (4.4). It is possible that NASCAR could come out ahead in the final tally; NASCAR typically sees an increase from the overnight to the final rating, while the NBA telecast dropped from a 4.4 to a 3.4. In other NASCAR action, Daytona 500 qualifying drew a 2.1 overnight on Sunday - up 24% from last year (1.7), up 11% from 2013 (1.9), and tied with 2009 as the highest for the event since 2008 (2.4).(Sports Media Watch / ShowBuzz Daily)(2-20-2015)

  • Despite Late Crash, Danica Patrick Qualifies -- Then Tempers Flare: #10-Danica Patrick took a long, deep breath and finally exhaled after qualifying for the 57th Daytona 500 on Thursday night. But not before letting #11-Denny Hamlin have it. The two had a lengthy and animated conversation on pit road after Patrick overcame a late-race spin through the field prompted by a nudge from Hamlin in the corner to finish 10th and make the race. It was the second such incident in two days -- Hamlin and Patrick crashed in Wednesday's practice. "I don't want to have these issues, but if we're going to have these issues, we're going to deal with them," Patrick said afterward. "We can't be putting ourselves out of the race on someone else's expense and nothing happens to him. I like to race hard, but there's no point in being out there wrecking each other. I just wanted to let him know I was disappointed, of course." The pit-road conversation lasted at least three minutes, with Hamlin taking an explanatory pose, his arms outstretched and his palms turned up. Hamlin's explanation: He was racing Patrick the same as he would anyone else. "If you're in this Cup series, you earned your way here and you can handle a lot of situations," Hamlin said. "I got close to her and her car got loose again. I just tried to explain that to Danica. I can't just say, 'Oh, it's you, so I've got to stay away 2 feet because your car's loose.' We're trying to move forward." Tony Stewart, Patrick's car owner, apparently wasn't buying it. Stewart appeared to yell something at Hamlin. "Tony came down and said, 'You need to watch the replay,' which is good to hear," Patrick said. "My boss obviously was sitting on the pit box and saw it. We're going to have to figure it out because this isn't going to end well."(ESPNW)(2-20-2015)

  • Daytona Notebook:
    ˇ There have been 135 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 56 have been 500 miles, 52 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races.
    ˇ Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona.
    ˇ Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.
    ˇ Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959; he led 38 laps and won by 2 feet.
    ˇ Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
    ˇ 58 drivers have posted poles at Daytona.
    ˇ Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona.
    ˇ Bill Elliott, Buddy Baker and Cale Yarborough are tied for the most Daytona 500 poles with four each. Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with two Daytona 500 poles.
    ˇ Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with three poles at Daytona.
    ˇ 57 drivers have won at Daytona.
    ˇ Richard Petty leads all drivers in victories at Daytona with 10.
    ˇ Jeff Gordon has six victories at Daytona, more than any other active driver.
    ˇ The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner.
    ˇ 17 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole; the last to do it was Kevin Harvick in the 2010 July race.
    ˇ A driver has swept both the Daytona 500 and the July race only five times at Daytona International Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (2013), Bobby Allison (1982), LeeRoy Yarborough (1969), Cale Yarborough (1968) and Fireball Roberts (1962).(NASCAR)

  • Kurt Busch asks to re-open order; Driscoll to appear on Fox & Friends: Three days after a Kent County (Delaware) Family Court commissioner issued a protective order sought by Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll against the NASCAR driver, Busch's legal team filed a motion to reopen the hearing and delay the scheduled release Friday of the commissioner's conclusions on why he found that Busch had committed acts of domestic violence against Driscoll. Busch's attorneys filed the motion Thursday with new evidence that alleges that Driscoll did not tell the truth when testifying about the alleged Sept. 26 attack at Dover International Speedway. Busch continues to allege that Driscoll was out to ruin him and intimidated witnesses, an allegation that Busch's attorney Rusty Hardin made in a statement Thursday. Hardin has asked this latest allegation to be investigated by the Delaware attorney general. "This evidence bares Ms. Driscoll's motives to ruin and seek revenge on a person in whom she had invested so much and who no longer wanted to be involved with her," the motion states.(ESPN)
    AND Patricia Driscoll, the ex-girlfriend on NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is alleging that she isn't the only female in the NASCAR community who is the victim of abuse. Driscoll makes the allegation and explains why she decided to seek a restraining order against Busch in an interview on Fox & Friends scheduled to air Friday Feb. 20.(Examiner)(2-20-2015)

  • Biffle and Roush visit a school: #16-Greg Biffle and team owner Jack Roush will both be at Westside Elementary School at 8;30am Friday morning on behalf of ScottsMiracle-Gro's GRO1000 program. GRO1000 is ScottsMiracle-Gro's commitment to create 1,000 community gardens and green spaces by 2018. Designed to educate consumers about Ortho products, "What's Buggin' Biffle" takes on everyday challenges and gives homeowners real-life answers. The web-series gives fans a peek under Biffle's hood to see what's buggin' him both on-and-off the track. Check out www.drivebugsaway.com for the latest episodes.(RFR)(2-20-2015)

  • New biography tackles the tale of NASCAR founder "Big Bill" France: In the midst of NASCAR's Daytona Speedweeks, it's an ideal time to take a look at the newest book on the sport: "Big Bill: The Life and Times of NASCAR Founder Bill France Sr.," by H.A. "Herb" Branham, longtime journalist and NASCAR public relations executive who now runs the International Speedway Corporation's Archives and Research Center in Daytona Beach. Branham already wrote "Bill France Jr.: The Man who Made NASCAR," so this 357-page authorized biography (Fenn M&S, part of Penguin-Random House, $27.95, hardcover) is a natural prequel. "Big Bill" is a mandatory read for anyone interested in the history of NASCAR. Branham's conversational style lends itself to a fast, often funny read about a man who managed to do for stock car racing what multiple other men have done for other forms of motorsports, from Ted Johnson and the World of Outlaws to Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One: Identify the available pieces, organize them in a way no one else had been able to before, and advance the package to the next level.(see full article at Motorsport)(2-20-2015)

  • Mike Wallace fastest in happy hour: #26-Mike Wallace was quickest during happy hour for the Alert Today Florida 300 with a speed of 187.009mph. He was followed by: #2-Brian Scott, #84-Chad Boat, #51-Jeremy Clements, #4-Ross Chastain, #25-John Wes Townley, #8-Blake Koch, #19-Scott Lagasse, Jr., #24-Eric McClure, and #92-Dexter Bean. 31 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Daytona practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-20-2014)

  • Kyle Busch fastest in first practice: #54-Kyle Busch was fastest during opening practice at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 191.681mph. #29-Justin Marks was second, followed by: #26-Mike Wallace, #6-Bubba Wallace, #3-Ty Dillon, #7-Regan Smith, #28-J.J. Yeley, #39-Ryan Sieg, #16-Ryan Reed, and #42-Kyle Larson. 44 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Daytona practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-20-2014)

  • Almirola & Hornish in the #98: Kenny Wallace said on FoxSports' coverage of XFINITY practice that he had talked to Fred Bigai, owner of the #98 team, and that the team was planning on running 16 races this season. Richard Petty Motorsports' Cup drivers Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish, Jr. will split the races the team runs.(2-20-2015)

  • Reddick wins at Daytona: #19-Tyler Reddick won the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday. #4-Erik Jones finished second followed by #20-Scott Lagasse, #29-Austin Theriault, #07-Ray Black, Jr., #92-David Gilliland, #99-Bryan Silas, #88-Matt Crafton, #51-Daniel Suarez, and #98-Johnny Sauter. There were 6 caution flags for 28 laps and 14 lead changes among 7 leaders.
    #33-Ty Dillon started the race from the pole and finished 11th after leading for 37 laps.
    Complete results are on the Daytona race results page (pdf).(2-20-2015)

  • Daytona Race Fast Facts:
    Tyler Reddick won the 16th Annual NextEra Energy Resources 250, his first victory in 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in two races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Erik Jones (second) posted his first top-10 finish at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2015.
    Scott Lagasse Jr.(i) (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Erik Jones (second) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Tyler Reddick leads the point standings by 6 points over Erik Jones #.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(2-20-2015)

  • Driver standings following Daytona:
    1) #19-Tyler Reddick, 48
    2) #51-Erik Jones, 42, -6
    3) #29-Austin Theriault, 41, -7
    4) #07-Ray Black, Jr., 39, -9
    5) #99-Bryan Silas, 37, -11
    6) #88-Matt Crafton, 37, -11
    7) #98-Johnny Sauter, 34, -14
    8) #08-Korbin Forrister, 32, -16
    9) #02-Tyler Young, 32, -16
    10) #6-Norm Benning, 30, -18
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(2-20-2015)

  • Owner Standings following Daytona are posted (pdf).(2-20-2015)

  • Dillon on pole at Daytona: #33-Ty Dillon won the pole for the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night with a speed of 188.774mph. #94-Travis Kvapil will start second, followed by: #19-Tyler Reddick, #29-Austin Theriault, #31-James Buescher, #11-Ben Kennedy, #4-Erik Jones, #84-Chris Fontaine, #20-Scott Lagasse, and #23-Spencer Gallagher.
    Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #23-Spencer Gallagher with a speed of 190.146mph.
    #13-Cameron Hayley was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 186.656mph..
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(2-20-2015)

  • Daytona Qualifying Notes:
    Ty Dillon(i) won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 16th Annual NextEra Energy Resources 250 with a lap of 47.676 seconds, 188.774 mph.
    This is his fifth pole in 50 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in three races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Travis Kvapil (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2015 and his sixth in nine races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Tyler Reddick (third) posted his second top-10 start at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first this season.
    Austin Theriault (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-20-2015)

  • NEMCO gets new partnership: NEMCO Motorsports is proud to announce a one-year agreement with Findit.net as a full-season associate partner of the #8 Chevy Silverado, driven by Joe Nemechek and John Hunter Nemechek in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. FindIT is a wireless coin-sized device that attaches to commonly misplaced items. Using the iPhone or Android FindIT application, a user can quickly locate lost or misplaced items in seconds when the application causes the device attached to the item to ring. The company looks to increase consumer-facing sales within national retail locations as well as with business-to-business efforts. The Findit.net sponsorship agreement with NEMCO Motorsports runs for one year with an option to renew.(NEMCO Motorsports)(2-20-2015)

  • Australian-owned team announces plans UPDATE 2: NASCAR is coming to Salisbury (North Carolina), according to the head of an Australian based team that hopes to field a truck in the Camping World Truck Series, and a car in the Nationwide Series. Roo Motorsports is expected to announce that it will set up its racing headquarter in the Speedway Industrial Park just off I-85. The park is now home to a quarter midget race track and other businesses. Robert Van Geons, head of RowanWORKS, the economic development platform for Salisbury and Rowan County told WBTV about the announcement. Roo Racing will be the first Australian owned race team to compete in a NASCAR touring series, according to Van Geons. Scott Saunders is slated to be the driver for the team. Scott is a relatively unknown Australian Motorsports star due to most of his racing career being outside of Australia, according to his web site. Since 1996 at the age of 9, Scott has been racing and has won National and World titles in Karting. Scott holds a US Karting record as one of only a hand full of drivers to win 4 USA IKF Grand National Championships.(WBTV).(9-29-2014)
    UPDATE: Roo Motorsports is officially setting up shop in Salisbury at the Speedway Business Park just off I-85. The announcement was made Monday night. In addition, the team announced the Naming Rights sponsor for the 2015 Camping World Truck Series of NASCAR. Sax Suspension is an Australian suspension manufacturer specializing in the development and production of advance suspension components for on road and off road vehicles. Their products have been available in limited supply in the USA, and this partnering arrangement coincides with a hard launch into the US marketplace.Roo Motorsports is the first wholly owned Australian NASCAR team to enter the competition. Founded by team owner, Noel Saunders, Roo Motorsports will compete in the Camping World Truck Series for 2015 and beyond.(WBTV).(9-30-2014)
    UPDATE 2: Due to the financial position of Sax Suspension, unfortunately the partnership is unable to proceed. This has been an unfortunate turn of events as we looked forward to an exciting 2015, however as any good team does, we are taking stock of our current position and preparing to move forward as we continue our journey. Our sincere thanks to the rest of our team partners, family, friends and fans keeping the dream alive!(Roo Motorsports)(2-20-2015)

  • BBM to promote Pipeline Safety: Mason Mingus and his #15 Billy Boat Motorsports team, competing in the NASCAR Camping Word Truck Series, announced today a partnership with the Danielle Dawn Smalley Foundation, whose mission is to increase safety and awareness for those who live, work, and play near pipelines and oil and gas sites. In doing so, the Smalley Foundation will be the "Official Foundation of Mingus and the #15 Team" throughout 2015.The Smalley Foundation is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 2002 by Danny Smalley, the father of Danielle Dawn Smalley, who was killed in a pipeline explosion in Kaufman County, Texas, in 1996. For more than 15 years, the Foundation has been committed to preventing other people from losing their lives in such incidents. Mingus will spread the Smalley Foundation message throughout the spring and summer as he competes in the 23-race NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule from coast to coast. Mingus will feature the Foundation on his website, and the Foundation will use Mingus and the #15 Billy Boat Motorsports team in awareness and education tools that reach its target audiences.(Billy Boat Motorsports)(2-20-2015)

  • Kvapil gets Daytona sponsor: Chargebacks911, a dynamic risk management company, will be supporting the #94 Chevy Silverado team, with driver Travis Kvapil, at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 20th in the NextEra Energy Resources 250. Premium Motorsports will make its debut in The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Travis Kvapil will drive the #94 Chargebacks 911 Chevy Truck in Daytona. The new team branding mimics the goals of Chargebacks911, making this sponsorship a meaningful partnership. Both organizations strive to be the best in the industry by implementing creative solutions and unparalleled work ethic.(Premium Motorsports)(2-20-2015)

  • Amy Purdy to pace Daytona 500: Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. and Daytona International Speedway announced that 'Dancing With the Stars' finalist and Paralympics bronze medalist Amy Purdy will serve as the official pace car driver for the 2015 Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22. Purdy, a top-ranked adaptive snowboarder in the U.S., will pace 'The Great American Race' in the bold, new Toyota Camry that was redesigned for 2015. "Another exciting moment in my relationship with Toyota," said Purdy. "As a race fan, I'm thrilled to be invited to be the Honorary Pace Car driver at the biggest race of the NASCAR season - the Daytona 500. This is another opportunity to try something new and be bold in my own life. I can't wait to visit my fellow Toyota athletes and step into their world by getting behind the wheel of the Camry pace car." Purdy had a typical childhood until losing her legs at the age of 19 as a result of meningitis, which led to an adulthood of extraordinary accomplishments. The Las Vegas native is a three-time World Cup Para-Snowboard winner, founded the non-profit Adaptive Action Sports organization and appeared on 'Dancing with the Stars' in 2014 where she competed in the finals. This year's Daytona 500 will mark the second time the Toyota Camry has paced 'The Great American Race' (2012, 2015). Camry drivers have combined for five wins in Daytona - one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory and four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series - but Toyota is yet to win the Daytona 500. Toyota is an official partner of Daytona International Speedway and is working closely with the track and its parent company, International Speedway Corporation, to enhance the fan experience at the famed facility. Toyota became the first founding partner of the track's 'Daytona Rising' redevelopment project when they signed an 11-year agreement for the naming rights to one of the track's new fan injectors, which will serve as primary entry points into the 2.5-mile speedway. The Toyota fan injector at Daytona will include over 20,000 square feet of Toyota engagement and fan experience that will vertically span four concourse levels.(Toyota Racing)(2-20-2015)

  • Driver, Marketing Executive Form New Sports Agency - White-Gaulding Partners: NASCAR driver Jason White and marketing veteran Dwayne Gaulding announced the formation of White-Gaulding Partners ("WGP"), a new specialist sports marketing agency. WGP will service all sports marketing opportunities, but will initially focus on motorsports, emerging young drivers and corporate sponsorship procurement. NASCAR team owner Rob Kauffman is an early investor in the new enterprise. "There is so much young driving talent around the country and we want to focus on these underserved but potentially high growth opportunities," said WGP co-founder Jason White. "We want to work with the stars and corporate leaders of tomorrow."
    "I have been able to spend some time with Jason the past couple of years and I know he is a tireless networker," said Kauffman. "When he and Dwayne shared their vision with me a few months ago, I was happy to step up and support them, there is a niche in the market for WGP and I will be happy to assist them in any way I can to help WGP be successful."
    "There are so many companies looking for avenues into sports marketing," said WGP co-founder Dwayne Gaulding. "I'm excited about using our resources and athletes to help these companies find their way into a perfect fit."(PR)(2-20-2015)


    News from February 19, 2015

  • See the starting lineup for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on the Daytona 500 Starting Lineup Page.(2-19-2015)

  • Johnson wins Budweiser Duel 2: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the second Budweiser Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 2nd career Duel win. #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #19-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #78-Truex Jr., #21-Blaney, #44-Soresnon, #66-Wallace #51-Allgaier and #10-Patrick.
    There was a late race accident when #11-Hamlin tapped #10-Patrick, causing the #10 to spin collecting #32-Labonte and #62-Scott. Patrick was able to get back on track and race her way into the Daytona 500, but Scott failed to make the race and Labonte had to use a past champions provisional.
    Four drivers deep in 2013 owners points or low qualifying speed, raced into the Daytona 500: #21-Blaney (6th), #44-Sorenson(7th), #51-Allgaier(8th), #66-Wallace(9th), #10-Patrick(10th), #38-Gilliland(13th) and #34-Ragan(14th). #32-Bobby Labonte used the past champions provisional to make the race.
    Missing the Daytona 500: #7-Bowman, #26-Jeb Burton, #29-Marks, #30-Hornaday, #62-Scott & #98-Wise.
    There were 3 cautions for 12 yellow flag laps. There were 7 lead changes among 5 drivers. The average speed was 144.724mph.
    See race results on the Budwesier Duel 1 Race Results page (pdf).(2-19-2015)

  • Earnhardt Jr. wins Budweiser Duel 1: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the first Budweiser Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. It was Earnhardt Jr.'s 4th Budweiser Duel race win. Daytona 500 pole winner, #24-Gordon finished 2nd, followed by #14-Stewart, #15-Bowyer, #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, #1-McMurray, #40-Cassill and #35-Whitt. Six drivers deep in 2014 owners points or low qualifying speed raced into the Daytona 500: #40-Cassill (9th), #35-Whitt(10th), #95-McDowell(12th), #23-Yeley (13th), #46-Annett(14th) and #33-Ty Dillon (16th). Daytona 500 pole winner #24-Gordon ran up front all race and finished 2nd, leading 6 laps. Four drivers who didn't race into the Daytona 500 will make the race via speed or 2014 owners points (provisional spot): #20-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #43-Almirola and #6-Bayne. #47-Allmendinger, #13-Mears and #83-Sauter could still make the race depending on the finish of the 2nd Duel.
    #30-Hornaday and #29-Marks will not race in the Daytona 500.
    There were 3 cautions for 13 yellow flag laps. There were 9 lead changes among 5 drivers. The average speed was 144.462mph.
    See race results on the Budwesier Duel 1 Race Results page (pdf)(2-19-2015)

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the AAA 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on the Daytona Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Qualifying Races Coverage of the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway are scheduled for Thursday, February 19, 2015.
    Television (TV): FS1 at 7:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 5:00pm/et; green flag approx. 7:20pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    Friday, February 20 at 3:00am/et on FoxSports1
    Friday, February 20 at 7:00am/et on FoxSports2
    More information on the Budweiser Duels page

  • Drivers Locked into the Daytona 500: Thirteen drivers are locked into the Daytona 500: #24-Gordon (pole), #48-Johnson (outside pole), #43-Almirola (speed, any round 202.340), #17-Stenhouse Jr. (speed), #19-Edwards (speed), #1-McMurray (speed), #4-Harvick (2014 owners points, 1st), #31-Newman (points, 2nd), #11-Hamlin (points, 3rd), #22-Logano (points, 4th), #2-Keselowski (points, 5th), #20-Kenseth (points 7th) and #14-Stewart (past champion provisional).
    Next ten fastest after the four locked in by speed are: #55-Waltrip, #18-Busch, #3-Dillon, #5-Kahne, #33-Ty Dillon, #20-Kenseth, #78-Truex Jr., #83-Sauter, #23-Yeley and #9-Hornish Jr.
    Next ten highest owners points positions (not locked in by speed) after the six locked in by 2014 points are: #6-Bayne (using #99 owners points from 2014), #88-Earnhardt Jr., #18-Busch, #47-Allmendinger, #16-Biffle, #41-Busch, #5-Kahne, #42-Larson, #15-Bowyer, #3-Dillon and #27-Menard
    Other drivers besides Stewart who could use the champions provisional NOT already locked into the race would be: #41-Busch and #32-Labonte. All other past champs are locked in.
    Six drivers have to race into the field or fall back on speed as their team is not high enough in 2014 owners points to use a provisional: #21-Blaney, #46-Annett, #44-Sorenson, #29-Marks, #34-Ragan (team swapped owners points with #35 team) and #30-Hornaday.
    Four drivers will not be able to use speed to get into the race: #66-Wallace, #30-Hornaday, #11-Hamlin (speed disallowed in qualifying) and #88-Earnhardt Jr. (speed disallowed in qualifying).
    See round-by-round qualifying speeds and best overall speeds (any round) on the Daytona 500 Qualifying page.
    See Budweiser Duel 150 starting lineups on the 2015 Budweiser Duel 150's News and Info page.

  • Daytona TV: The final practice sessions for the Budweiser Duels is scheduled to be shown on FS1 at 12:00pm/et on Thursday, Feb. 19. The Budweiser Duels is scheduled to air on FS1 at 7:00pm/et on Feb. 19. Practice for the Daytona 500 airs on Feb. 20 at 11:00am/et and 2:00pm/et and on Feb. 21 at 10:30am/et on FS1. See the TV Listings page for NASCAR TV Listings

  • Gordon has no plans to race in Sprint Cup Series in 2016: #24-Jeff Gordon is backing away from the possibility of running more races after this year. Gordon announced last month this will be his final year as a full-time driver, but he did not use the word retirement. On Thursday, he said it's "highly unlikely" he'll race a Sprint Cup car in 2016. He says it is difficult to put together a ride for one race and be competitive enough to win. He said trying to get a one-off ride with Hendrick Motorsports would be disruptive to the organization.(Associated Press)(2-19-2015)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Nominees to be Announced: The 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 and five nominees for the second Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR will be unveiled live on NBCSN's NASCAR America, Friday, Feb. 20 at 6:00pm/et. Five of these nominees and one Landmark Award recipient will be voted in as the NASCAR Hall of Fame's seventh class on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.(NASCAR)(2-19-2015)

  • NASCAR Clarifies Chase Eligibility: To be eligible to compete in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, drivers must start each race for which they have qualified, unless the sanctioning body finds reason to waive that requirement. That change, announced in a bulletin on Wednesday morning modifies the language of Rule 17.6.2.1.a, which last year required drivers to attempt to qualify for each event to retain Chase eligibility. Under the current provision, drivers still must attempt to qualify for each race, but they also must start every race for which they qualify successfully, unless NASCAR authorizes otherwise. A driver does not lose Chase eligibility for attempting to qualify for a race and failing to make the field. The clarified rule would apply in a situation where #41-Kurt Busch, for example, were to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, race in the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday (as he did last year), but fail to return to Charlotte in time to start the Cup race. In that event, NASCAR would be unlikely to grant a waiver. On the other hand, NASCAR already has indicated that #55-Brian Vickers, who will miss the first two events of the season while recovering from offseason heart surgery, retains his Chase eligibility because of a medical exception.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-19-2015)

  • Earnhardt Jr. tops NASCAR's Highest-Paid Drivers: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. ranks as the NASCAR's top earner for a seventh straight year with earnings of $23.8 million (Jeff Gordon was the last driver to finish ahead of Earnhardt in 2007). NASCAR's licensed merchandise sales have plummeted, but Earnhardt remains the sport's biggest star and top seller. His 2014 Daytona 500 Race Win die-cast was the best-selling die-cast in the history of Lionel Racing. Earnhardt had five of the top six selling model cars last year. Forbes earnings estimates include salaries and endorsements, as well as the drivers' share of winnings/bonuses and licensing income for the 2014 season. The top 12 banked $187 million last year, versus $192 million in 2013. There is a dramatic drop in driver earnings after the top 12 with sponsorship money and the best drivers flowing to the elite teams in recent years. #48-Jimmie Johnson ranks No. 2 with earnings of $22.5 million last year. Johnson is in the final year of his contract with Hendrick Motorsports, but is working on an extension through 2017 to match the term of his car sponsor Lowes.
    #24-Jeff Gordon banked $18.6 million last year, third best in the sport, and his merchandise sales were the second highest. Expect a bump this year after Gordon announced in January that 2015 would be his last year driving full-time in NASCAR. Rounding out the top five earners are #4-Kevin Harvick ($15.5 million) and #11-Denny Hamlin ($15.2 million). #10-Danica Patrick ranks No. 8 with earnings of $13.8 million.(see full story and list at Forbes.com)(2-19-2015)

  • NASCAR's Most Valuable Teams: NASCAR's most valuable team, Hendrick Motorsports, is now worth $350 million, and it boasts the sport's most valuable sponsorship portfolio. Last year the team collected nearly $120 million from sponsors alone, while only two other teams generated that much in total revenue. The biggest source of that earning power is the four stars that Hendrick has behind the wheel: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #5-Kasey Kahne.
    Second behind Hendrick and closing the gap is Joe Gibbs Racing, up 18% to a value of $201 million this year. Gibbs has maintained strong relationships with companies like FedEx, Dollar General and Mars, which sponsors Kyle Busch's famous M&Ms car. And in 2015 the driver lineup of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Matt Kenseth will be joined by #19-Carl Edwards as Gibbs expands to four cars. It will be only the third team to do so this year, joining Hendrick and Stewart-Haas, which went to four last season.
    And Stewart-Haas, now at a value of $186 million, is third on the list. That 26% surge in value over last year should be little surprise to fans of the sport. The team has been consistently improving, and revenue has climbed from $68 million in 2010 to $120 million last year. The most recent increase was thanks in large part to Kevin Harvick, who joined the team last year. Harvick not only brought a 22-race sponsorship with Budweiser over from Richard Childress Racing - last year the team ranked second in total sponsorship income with around $87 million - but he also then won the 2014 Sprint Cup in the premier of NASCAR's new Chase format. Harvick's stellar season was worth $12.8 million in total winnings; only one other driver managed to break $9 million.(see full story and list at Forbes.com)(2-19-2015)

  • NASCAR Names Kim Lopez Chief Starter for 57th Daytona 500: NASCAR announced that long-time official Kim Lopez will be the chief starter for Sunday's 57th running of the Daytona 500. She will become the first woman and first Hispanic to flag the Great American Race. Lopez, 33, is in her 11th season with NASCAR and has flagged races for the past seven years in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. She also flagged two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races last year, but couldn't attend the Daytona 500 following the birth of her daughter just three weeks before the race. "I think this is awesome," said Lopez, a native of Bronx, New York. "You have little girls who can now look up and say 'I can do this someday, I can be this someday. If I put my mind to it and work hard, I can make it happen.'" The chief starter plays an essential role during the race, displaying the eight flags that tell the best drivers in the world to start, slow down, move over or stop. It's a role that Lopez won't take for granted on Sunday when the field maneuvers beneath her at speeds of more than 200 mph. Lopez also will have the honor of waving the checkered flag when the winner crosses the finish line and etches his or her name in NASCAR history. "Kim will serve as chief starter, because she's among the best in the world at what she does," said Chad Little, NASCAR managing director, Technical Inspection and Officiating. "She has pursued her dreams in uncharted territory and we're excited to see her dreams come true when she flags the Daytona 500."(NASCAR)(2-19-2015)

  • Congrats - Jason Burgess: Congratulations to BK Racing's Jason Burgess and his wife Vanessa, on the birth of their new born twin's, Kaylei and Roman.(BK Racing Facebook)(2-19-2015)

  • Quotes about Wednesday's practice crash at Daytona: #10-Patrick, #11-Hamlin, #13-Mears, #16-Biffle, #26-Burton and #46-Annett were involved in a multi-car accident during Wednesday's first Daytona 500 practice session. Patrick, Annett and Burton will go to back-up cars and start at the rear of the field in Thursday's Budweiser Duels. Hamlin, Mears and Biffle sustained minor damage to their cars. Some quotes:
    #10-Danica Patrick's comments:
    Q) WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE ACCIDENT?
    Patrick: "It's unfortunate. I know it was a car. I know it was a good coming from the shop. And with this new format that we have with qualifying and the race and everything, we knew we were going to have to race hard through the Duels anyway. That's not going to change. It just makes extra work for everybody having to get everything ready with the other car. Hopefully we'll get out soon and we'll go make sure everything is all right and we'll make sure it's good on time."
    Q) WE JUST SAW YOUR BACK-UP CAR COMING OUT IN THE GARAGE. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE BEFORE WE SEE YOU BACK OUT ON THE TRACK?
    Patrick: "That's a good question. Hopefully we get out by the end of second practice. If not, we didn't plan on running tomorrow, but I would imagine that would mean we might run tomorrow. But hopefully we should get out here in the second practice and we'll have 40 minutes to make sure everything is okay. We probably won't get through our list of things that we wanted to try to make sure on single car runs that we were getting the most speed out of it. But, at the end of the day when you're in a pack, you see cars with damage all over the place and they manage to hang on just fine. So, we've just got to make sure everything is okay to roll for tomorrow."
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED? ARE YOU OKAY?
    Patrick: "I'm fine. I'm obviously disappointed and I know that it was a good car and it's never a good thing to crash. But, I was just riding along and it turned, so it's the nature of pack racing and that's what makes it challenging, too. Sometimes there's not much you can do about it. I could have collected more people and it wouldn't have been anything that they were a part of. But that's just group racing at Daytona. That's the gamble that we all face. That's what makes it exciting and very frustrating. So, we knew we were going to have to run hard in the Duels no matter what, and that just doesn't change."
    Q) DENNY HAMLIN KIND OF TOOK RESPONSIBILITY. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CHANCE OF GETTING IN THE DAYTONA 500
    Patrick: "I was following the #6 (Trevor Bayne). He (Hamlin) pulled out in front of me in our lane out of (Turn) 2; I was riding behind him and the car sort of started turning toward the right and the back end was coming around and then it swapped ends. So, it just looked like he was trying to pull out and make a third lane in the middle and it felt like it mush have caught my bumper."(Team Chevy)
    #11-Denny Hamlin's comments:
    Q) How aggressive were drivers in practice?
    Hamlin: "People say in practice that you can't make aggressive moves, but we also have to put ourselves in decent positions where we're going to have to figure out what our car is doing. I went through the middle and it was really wide - it just closed as soon as I had already got inside of her (Danica Patrick) and the lane closed. It knocked me into the 13 (Casey Mears) and we had some attrition after that."
    Q) How much damage was sustained to your Camry?
    Hamlin: "It's nothing that we have to go to a backup car for, but it messed up other cars. That's the tough part about it. You always have to give a little bit extra room in practice. There's typically not a whole lot of blocking in practice and things like that - that you'll see in the race. Also, you do have to go three-wide in those situations because you have to figure out what your car is going to do. That's just a miscalculation one way or another on one of our parts. Unfortunately some cars got torn up."(Toyota Racing)
    #16-Greg Biffle's comments;
    Q) WHAT DID YOU SEE WHEN THAT WRECK WAS HAPPENING IN FRONT OF YOU?
    Biffle: "That wreck wasn't in front of me, it was all over me. It was in front of me, behind me, beside me, and then I got hit in the left-rear. I thought the wreck was done and I still got hit. It scared the death out of me because I already wrecked once pretty good and I don't want to wreck again."
    Q) HOW DO YOU APPROACH THESE PRACTICE SESSIONS?
    Biffle: "We feel good about the way our car drafts and does all that, so we're pretty much done with all that. We're just gonna work on single car speed. It looks like we're off two or three tenths on speed compared to the fast cars, so we're gonna work hard and diligently to see if we can find that little bit of speed left in our Fusion."
    Q) HOW EXTENSIVE IS THE DAMAGE FROM THE WRECK?
    Biffle: "It's very light, just some left-rear bumper cover damage, so it's pretty light."(Ford Racing)(2-19-2015)

  • Gordon pole extends streak record: #24-Jeff Gordon won the pole for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, his 78th career pole, 3rd all time. It is the 23rd straight season [every season he has been full time in Sprint Cup] that Gordon has won a pole, extending his record, which had been 22 seasons. Gordon has also won 20 races from the pole, 5th all time, tied with Bobby Allison. Richard Petty holds that record at 61 followed by Pearson at 37. See more records and stats on Jayski.com's All Time Pole Winners & Records page.(2-19-2015)

  • Daytona 500 Tidbits I:
    ˇ Dale Earnhardt had 12 top fives in his 23 Daytona 500 starts, more than any other driver. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in Daytona 500 top-five finishes with seven (eighth most all-time).
    ˇ Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty each posted a series leading 16 top 10s in the Daytona 500.
    ˇ Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip lead all active drivers in Daytona 500 top-10 finishes with nine.
    ˇ Only 10 drivers have an average finish of 10th or better in the Daytona 500, five of those competed in the Daytona 500 only once.
    ˇ Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a 12.7 average finish in 15 appearances, the best of the active drivers who have competed in more than one Daytona 500.
    ˇ 28 of the 35 drivers, who have won, participated in at least two Daytona 500s before visiting Victory Lane.
    ˇ Six drivers made 10 or more attempts before their first Daytona 500 victory: Dale Earnhardt (19), Buddy Baker (18), Darrell Waltrip (16), Bobby Allison (14), Michael Waltrip (14) and Sterling Marlin (12).
    ˇ The driver with the all-time most Daytona 500 starts without a victory is Dave Marcis with 33 races; the active drivers with the most starts without a Daytona 500 win is Joe Nemechek (19) and Tony Stewart (16).
    ˇ Kevin Harvick's 0.020-second margin of victory over Mark Martin in the 2007 Daytona 500 is the 12th-closest overall since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993, and the closest in a Daytona 500.
    ˇ Nine of the 56 Daytona 500s (16.3%) have been won from the Coors Light pole. The last to do so was Dale Jarrett in 2000. Jeff Gordon is the only active driver to accomplish the feat (1999).
    ˇ Cale Yarborough (1968, 1984) and Bill Elliott (1985, 1987) are the only two drivers to win the Daytona 500 from the Coors Light pole more than once.
    ˇ 16 of the 56 Daytona 500s (28.5%) have been won from the front row.
    ˇ 27 of the 56 Daytona 500s (48.2%) have been won from a top-five starting position.
    ˇ 41 of the 56 Daytona 500s (73.2%) have been won from a top 10 starting position
    ˇ Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 from the 39th starting position in 2009, the deepest a race winner has started.
    ˇ Five reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions have gone on to win the Daytona 500 the following season: Lee Petty (1959), Richard Petty (1973), Cale Yarborough (1977), Jeff Gordon (1999) and Dale Jarrett (2000).
    ˇ Five drivers have won the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season, Richard Petty has done it four times: Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013), Jeff Gordon (1997), Richard Petty (1964, 1971, 1974, 1979), Cale Yarborough (1977) and Lee Petty (1959).
    ˇ Danica Patrick on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2013 became the first female in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to win a Coors Light pole for the Daytona 500 posting a speed of 196.434 mph.
    ˇ Janet Guthrie previously held the record for top starting position by a female NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, starting ninth twice in 1977 - at Talladega Superspeedway on Aug. 7, 1977 and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.
    ˇ In 2012, Danica Patrick became the third female driver to compete in a Daytona 500 joining Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson.(NASCAR)

  • RCR partners with Stetson: Richard Childress Racing and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #3-Austin Dillon will add an icon of everyday American lifestyle to their look with the addition of well-known hat maker Stetson to their wardrobe. Dillon, who is currently in his sophomore year of competition in the Sprint Cup Series driving for RCR, first began wearing cowboy hats as a child in his native North Carolina. He has also been seen wearing cowboy hats during family trips to his grandfather's vacation home in Montana, on hunting expeditions throughout the country and at various racetracks on the NASCAR circuit. Recently, Dillon has encouraged friends in the entertainment and professional sports industries to embrace the look by sending them their own cowboy hats to wear. Stetson has roots dating back to 1865 when John B. Stetson started his business with $100. Since then, Stetson has become the standard in hats, the essence of the spirit of the West and an icon of everyday American lifestyle. The Stetson hat factory in Garland, Texas is one of the largest in the country and produces a line of hats in hundreds of different styles and colors.(RCR)(2-19-2015)

  • Midland Radio partners with Viva Motorsports: Midland Radio Corporation announces its partnership with #55-Viva Motorsports for the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series. As part of this new relationship, the company's two-way radios - renown for their clear transmission, reception and sound - and, its action cameras will be will be used by Viva Motorsports and will be key for communication between its drivers, which include recently added driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, and the rest of the team when on the track. The Viva Motorsports team will be using the Midland X-Talker two-way radios for communications between driver and the team during practices, qualifiers and races. The radios have up to a 38-mile communication range, 36 channels and 121 privacy codes. Ideal for a long day at the track, the radios are also equipped with an extra-long battery life and are powered by two long-lasting rechargeable batteries or three AAA batteries.(Midland Radio PR)(2-19-2015)

  • Lack of sponsorship shuts down RAB Racing's #99 team: On Friday night, James Buescher will return to his NASCAR roots and compete in the season opener of the Camping World truck series at Daytona International Speedway. He will join Matt Crafton, going for an unprecedented third consecutive title, as former series champions in the field. Buescher will be the most thankful driver in the race. "I'm really excited for this opportunity," said Plano's Buescher. "For a while, I didn't know what the future held." When Buescher, 24, climbed out of his car after the final race last season in the Xfinity series, formerly known as Nationwide, he wondered if his promising NASCAR career had run aground. Buescher finished 10th in his first full season in the series as his team went through the usual first-year learning experience. What mattered most was that RAB Racing had lost a major sponsor, Rheem Manufacturing. Without the resource, RAB shut down Buescher's team. As a free agent, Buescher attracted interest from teams at all three top NASCAR levels, but nothing came together. It often was a question of finances. Organizations liked Buescher for his driving skills, but the hard truth is that openings are decreasing because sponsorships have become more difficult to arrange. It is a constant headache for young drivers such as Buescher. He was on the outside looking in until about two weeks ago, when NTS Motorsports came up with a deal in the trucks series with the #31 Chevy Silverado. Buescher will be reunited with Chris Rice, his crew chief for 14 races last season.(Dallas Morning News), RAB Racing is running the #29 this week at Daytona. Additional plans for the team have not been announced.(2-19-2015)

  • Sauter fastest in final practice: #98-Johnny Sauter was fastest in final practice for the Next Era Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 190.617 mph. He was followed by #13-Cameron Hayley, #29-Austin Theriault, #33-Ty Dillon, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #50-Cody Ware, #99-Bryan Silas, #02-Tyler Young, #8-Joe Nemechek, and #51-Daniel Suarez. 35 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Daytona practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-19-2015)

  • BKR adds sponsor: Brad Keselowski Racing today announced its partnership with UCoat It for the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. UCoat It will be an associate sponsor for both of the organization's two full-time entries in the 23 race series. The company will not only be visible on both the #19 and #29 Ford F-150 race trucks but will also play a major role in the construction of the team's new Statesville, N.C., facility.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(2-19-2015)

  • Hill fastest in first practice: #82-Austin Hill was fastest during opening practice of the 2015 season at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 188.509 mph. #94-Travis Kvapil was second, followed by #05-John Wes Townley, #88-Matt Crafton, #33-Ty Dillon, #20-Scott Lagasse, #14-Daniel Hemric, #17-Timothy Peters, #31-James Buescher, and #45-Matt Tifft. 36 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Daytona practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-19-2015)

  • Buescher happy for part-time role with NTS, hoping to expand: On Friday night, James Buescher will return to his NASCAR roots and compete in the season opener of the Camping World truck series at Daytona International Speedway. He will join Matt Crafton, going for an unprecedented third consecutive title, as former series champions in the field. Buescher will be the most thankful driver in the race. When Buescher, 24, climbed out of his car after the final race last season in the Xfinity series, formerly known as Nationwide, he wondered if his promising NASCAR career had run aground. Buescher finished 10th in his first full season in the series as his team went through the usual first-year learning experience. What mattered most was that RAB Racing had lost a major sponsor, Rheem Manufacturing. Without the resource, RAB shut down Buescher's team. As a free agent, Buescher attracted interest from teams at all three top NASCAR levels, but nothing came together. It often was a question of finances. Organizations liked Buescher for his driving skills, but the hard truth is that openings are decreasing because sponsorships have become more difficult to arrange. It is a constant headache for young drivers such as Buescher. He was on the outside looking in until about two weeks ago, when NTS Motorsports came up with a deal in the trucks series with the #31 Chevy Silverado. Buescher will be reunited with Chris Rice, his crew chief for 14 races last season. Buescher is set for five races, none at his home track of Texas Motor Speedway. The organization hopes to put together sponsorship for him to compete for another championship in the full season. The spread-out schedule for the trucks helps. After Daytona, there will be only two races in the next 11 weeks. That gives NTS time to attract the needed support for when the season begins in earnest in May.(Dallas Morning News)(2-19-2015)

  • Hill to run Daytona with Empire UPDATE : 2014 NASCAR NEXT inductee Austin Hill will continue his climb through the racing ranks, after an exclusive announcement to Race Chaser Online Thursday evening that he will be competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway for Empire Racing. Hill, who will also compete in this weekend's ARCA Racing Series event at the World Center of Racing, will make his third career Truck Series start (he ran two events during the 2014 season) with backing from the Sean Corr-led team. Corr also revealed that the team has plans following Speedweeks as well. "I don't know if I can release the name, but I do know we have a driver running the truck for us at the Atlanta race, after Daytona."(Race Chaser Online)(2-13-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Next driver Austin Hill continues his climb through the racing ranks, coming off a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win at New Smyrna Speedway last Sunday to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener Friday at Daytona International Speedway for Empire Racing Group. Hill, who also competed in last weekend's ARCA Racing Series event at the "World Center of Racing," will make his third career Camping World Truck Series start in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 driving the #82 Empire Racing Group Ford.(Empire Racing)(2-19-2015)

  • Kapoya Energy Drinks partners with Silas: After a career-best season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last year, Bryan Silas and his T3R2 team hope to stretch that momentum into Friday's season-opener with the announcement of Kapoya Energy Drinks as the primary sponsor of the team's #99 Chevy Silverado for the NextEra Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Kapoyatruck2Kapoya is a Florida based company and is known for their unique and original flavors, giving you the premium zero to five calorie(s) energy drinks. With Kapoya's unique taste, you are sure to "Feel the Kick." Unlike other energy drinks, Kapoya is sugar-free and features no taurine and essential B-Vitamins, allowing you to perform at peak levels. Friday night's race will mark their first foray into NASCAR. After a year where Silas recorded two top-10 finishes en route to a 10th place finish in the championship standings, the 27-year old driver is anxiously awaiting to see what his family-owned team can deliver this season. Cal Boprey who joined the team at Dover International Speedway last June will return as crew chief for the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.(See images of the truck on the #99 Team Paint Schemes page)(T3R2)(2-19-2015)


    News from February 18, 2015

  • 2nd Wednesday practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 40 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #7-Bowman 200.495
    #5-Kahne 200.459
    #6-Bayne 200.387
    #27-Menard 200.374
    #62-Scott 200.285
    slowest: #34-Ragan 189.661 and #98-Wise 189.785
    only 29 of 49 cars made runs.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Daytona 500 Practice 4 Speeds page (pdf).(2-18-2015)

  • 1st Wednesday practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #18-Busch 200.776
    #48-Johnson 200.530
    #6-Bayne 200.053
    #5-Kahne 199.858
    #31-Newman 199.645
    slowest: #30-Hornaday 188.913 and #17-Stenhouse Jr. 191.290
    43 of 49 cars have been on the track.
    Notes: a few minutes into practice #10-Patrick and #11-Hamlin made contact, sending the #10 sliding down and into #46-Annett, also collecting #26-Burton. The #10 team will go to a backup car, The #46 team is getting the #51 backup out to get ready for the Budweiser Duels.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Daytona 500 Practice Speeds page (pdf).(2-18-2015)

  • Transportation Impact Partners with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2015: Another addition to Richard Petty Motorsports' (RPM) sponsor line-up in 2015 was announced. Transportation Impact will join RPM as a full-season associate sponsor on the #9 Ford driven by Sam Hornish Jr. Headquartered in Emerald Isle, N.C., Transportation Impact is a privately held parcel spend management firm that helps their clients reduce shipping costs through small package negotiation and parcel auditing services. The company has partnered with RPM and the Petty Family Foundation over the past several years and is looking to grow their relationship with RPM in 2015. Transportation Impact believes in giving back to those in and around its community. Since 2008, the company has placed emphasis on charitable contributions and public service, giving back to organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The American Heart Association and the Petty Family Foundation. They've donated more than a quarter-million dollars to charity, and their staff has volunteered hundreds of hours of community service.The partnership is effective immediately with the Transportation Impact Logo being placed on the B-post of the #9 Ford.(Breaking Limits/RPM)(2-18-2015)

  • Dale Earnhardt Candlelight Tribute Feb 18th UPDATE: Every year since 2001, on February 18th fans around the world light a candle in respect of the legendary Dale Earnhardt. February 18, 2015 marks fourteen years that an annual candlelight tribute has been held at DEI to honor the late seven-time NASCAR Champion. Fans honor and pay special tribute to him on the grounds of Dale Earnhardt Inc. That evening the building itself will be closed and illuminated with candles, and a Guest Book will be available for signing and sharing special memories of Dale. Fans are invited to visit from 6pm until 8pm, at Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Highway 3, in Mooresville, NC. Those unable to attend are encouraged to light a candle at home that evening in remembrance of Dale Earnhardt's remarkable spirit and life, and all fans of Dale Earnhardt are asked to help "Continue the Legend" through their support of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation and of Dale's passions: Children, Education, and Environmental/Wildlife Conservation. The Showroom and Retail Store will be open during their regular hours on this day, from 11:00am -2:00pm.(DEI)
    UPDATE: Due to current and forecast deteriorating weather conditions, this year Dale Earnhardt fans are encouraged to light a candle at home that evening in remembrance of Dale Earnhardt's remarkable spirit and life, and all fans of Dale Earnhardt are asked to help "Continue the Legend" through their support of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation and of Dale's passions: Children, Education, and Environmental/Wildlife Conservation. The Showroom and Retail Store plan to be open during their regular hours on this day, from 11:00am -2:00pm, weather permitting.(DEI)(2-17/18-2015)

  • Harvick Looks To Join Hall of Fame Group: #4-Kevin Harvick will look to pull off the almost unheard of "NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship-followed-by-Daytona 500-win" double. Only five drivers have accomplished the feat, and none since 2000. The five: Lee Petty (1958 championship, 1959 Daytona 500); Richard Petty (1972 championship; 1973 Daytona 500); Cale Yarborough (1976 championship, 1977 Daytona 500); Jeff Gordon (1998 championship, 1999 Daytona 500); and Dale Jarrett (1999 championship, 2000 Daytona 500). All those drivers are in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, except for Jeff Gordon - who will assuredly be honored one day. Harvick owns a varied history in the Daytona 500. He won the closest Daytona 500 in the race's history in 2007, edging Mark Martin to the finish line by a margin of .020 seconds. Still, he's suffered DNFs in two of the last four Daytona 500s, finishing 42nd in 2011 (engine) and 2013 (accident).(NASCAR)(2-18-2015)

  • Daytona TV: Practice sessions for the Budweiser Duels will be shown on FS1 at 2:00pm/et and 3:15pm/et on Wednesday, Feb. 18 and at 12:00pm/et on Thursday, Feb. 19. The Budweiser Duels will air on FS1 at 7:00pm/et on Feb. 19. Practice for the Daytona 500 airs on Feb. 20 at 11:00am/et and 2:00pm/et and on Feb. 21 at 10:30am/et on FS1. See the TV Listings page for NASCAR TV Listings

  • Daytona International Speedway History:
    ˇ Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
    ˇ The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
    ˇ Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
    ˇ Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under the lights ever since.
    ˇ The track underwent a repave in 2010.(NASCAR)(2-18-2015)

  • Budweiser Duel Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Budweiser Duel 150 Sprint Cup Series qualifying races for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway have been made. To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.

  • Added ALL the schemes from Daytona 500 practice/qualifying:
    #1 Cessna/McDonald's, #2 Miller Lite, #3 DOW, #4 Budweiser, #5 Farmers Insurance, #6 AdvoCare, #7 Nikko/Toy State, #9 Twisted Tea, #10 GoDaddy, #11 FedEx Express, #13 GEICO, #14 Bass Pro Shops, #15 Five-Hour Energy, #16 Ortho Bug B Gone, #17 Fastenal, #18 Crispy M&M's, #19 ARRIS, #20 Dollar General, #21 Motorcraft, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, #23 Dr. Pepper / MAXIM, #24 Drive to End Hunger, #26 LiveDeals, #27 Menards / PEAK, #29 American Born Moonshine, #30 Smokey Mountain Snuff, #31 Caterpillar, #32 C&J Energy Services, #33 Cheerios/Kroger, #34 KFC, #35 Speed Stick GEAR, #38 Love's Travel Stops, #40 Carsforsale.com, #41 Haas Automation, #42 Target, #43 Smithfield, #44 Golden Corral, #46 Pilot Flying J, #47 Kroger / USO, #48 Lowe's, #51 Brandt, #55 Aaron's, #62 Shore Lodge, #66 Crazy Vapors / X8 Energy Gum, #78 Furniture Row, #83 Dustless Blasting, #88 Nationwide Insurance, #95 Thrivent Financial, #98 Phoenix Construction,

  • NASCAR adjusts Daytona qualifying format: NASCAR announced on Wednesday that it will update the procedure for this week's NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying at Daytona International Speedway. "We continue to work in collaboration with the industry to implement the most exciting and competitive qualifying format, especially as it relates to Superspeedways," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said. " As a result, we have made a few adjustments to the format for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series events later this week at Daytona. We will continue to review the qualifying format for future Superspeedway events."
    For Camping World Truck Keystone Light Pole Qualifying (Friday, 4:45pm/et, FOX Sports 1) and XFINITY Coors Light Pole Qualifying (Saturday, 12:15pm/et, FOX Sports 1), the field will be broken into four groups with a quarter of the field in each group.
    In Round 1, groups will be set based on a random draw. Each group will be staged by NASCAR officials at the exit of pit road, and each vehicle must have its left-side tires on the outside line of a pit boxes. The vehicles will be staged with adequate spacing between vehicles to allow each driver the opportunity to roll off of pit road at his or her discretion. Once the vehicle starts rolling, it cannot stop. It must proceed to the track. The vehicles may go one at a time or in a group, but they must keep rolling once they start.
    Each group will have two minutes and 30 seconds -- half the previous allotted time -- to complete a lap. There will be a three-minute break between each of the four groups in Round 1 and then a 10-minute break between Rounds 1 and 2. The fastest 24 times advance to Round 2.
    In Round 2, the 12 odd-ranked vehicles (fastest to slowest) in Round 1 will be in the first group, and the 12 even-ranked vehicles (fastest to slowest) in Round 1 will be in the second group. The staging process will be the same, and each group will have two minutes and 30 seconds to complete a lap with a three-minute break between groups. After a 10-minute break, the top 12 advance to Round 3.
    In Round 3, the top 12 vehicles will have two minutes and 30 seconds to complete a lap.
    All other qualifying rules will apply with normal cooling procedures and the lineup set per the rule book.
    The rules update comes three days after Daytona 500 qualifying, which saw a wreck in Round 1 and drivers waiting until the last possible second to cross the start/finish line to complete a lap. On Sunday, Jeff Gordon, the last driver to cross the under the flagstand before the red and black flags waved in the final round, won the Coors Light Pole for the Great American Race.(NASCAR)(2-18-2015)

  • Busch to run 26 XFINITY races: Kyle Busch returns this week to the seat of the #54 Monster Energy Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry. Last year in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Busch produced a successful seven-win season that included seven poles, an 11-year streak of first-place starting positions. In 2014 Busch maintained ownership of the laps-led leader (1,769 laps, 29.18%) and miles-led leader (1,958.94, 23.80%).(Joe Gibbs Racing)
    Busch's schedule for 2015 includes 26 NXS races: Daytona (Feb), Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix (Mar), Texas (Apr), Bristol (Apr), Richmond (Apr), Charlotte (May), Dover (May), Michigan, Daytona (July), Kentucky (July), New Hampshire, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen, Bristol (Aug), Darlington, Richmond (Sep), Chicago (Sep), Dover (Oct), Charlotte (Oct), Kansas, Texas (Nov), Phoenix (Nov), and Homestead.(2-18-2015)

  • Lilly Trucking returns to Rick Ware Racing: Days before the green flag of the NASCAR season, Rick Ware Racing announced that Lilly Trucking will return as a major sponsor for the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. Lilly Trucking specializes in reliable transportation of fine machinery and machinery parts for the paper industry. As part of their relationship with Rick Ware Racing, Lilly Trucking will be associate sponsors in two NXS entries for Saturday's Alert Today Florida 300. In addition to hoisting its signage with the #15 of Carlos Contreras, Lilly Trucking will also carry associate placement on the #13 driven by Georgia native Chris Cockrum. In addition to associate sponsorship roles this season, Lilly Trucking will carry title sponsorship rights in select NASCAR XFINITY Series races this season. A fixture in the Rick Ware Racing family, Lilly Trucking will expand its role in the organization by being a co-sponsor on the #50 Burnie Grill / BUBBA burger Chevy Silverado driven by Cody Ware in the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener from Daytona. Furthermore, the company will also back Ware's teammate Donnie Neuenberger in the #1 Chevy Silverado in a joint effort with MAKE Motorsports.(Rick Ware Racing)(2-18-2015)

  • 10th anniversary for Red Horse: Celebrating 10 years in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundras will carry a commemorative 10th Anniversary decal on the B-post throughout the season. Since entering Truck Series competition in 2005, RHR has logged 429 starts, earning 13 wins, 86 top-five finishes, 181 top-10 finishes and 11 pole awards, and has an average starting position of 13.3 and an average finishing position of 14.2.(Red Horse Racing)(2-18-2015)

  • Tilted Kilt joins SS for Daytona: The first time Korbin Forrister ever ran on a paved racetrack he was testing an ARCA series car in the world's most famous high-banked track. Since that day the Georgia driver has dreamed of returning to the Daytona International Speedway to compete in a NASCAR race. That dream will come true on Friday night when he takes the wheel of the SS Green Light Racing #08 Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery Chevy Silverado for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250. Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery will adorn the hood and quarter panels of Forrister's Chevy Silverado for the NextEra Energy Resources 250. Veteran crew chief Tripp Bruce will be calling the shots for Forrister from atop the SS Green Light Racing pit box this season.(SS Green Light Racing)(2-18-2015)


    News from February 17, 2015

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona
    #18-Kyle Busch, 96.2 (1 win, 0 Daytona 500 wins)
    #20-Matt Kenseth, 91.6 (2, 2)
    #41-Kurt Busch, 90.5 (0, 0)
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 90.3 (3, 2)
    #14-Tony Stewart, 87.9 (4, 0)
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 87.1 (6, 3)
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 87.0 (3, 2)
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 86.4 (0, 0)
    #15-Clint Bowyer, 83.7 (0, 0)
    #22-Joey Logano, 82.5 (0, 0)
    Note: Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2014 races (18 total) at Daytona (active drivers only).
    Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)

  • Team Xtreme's backup plan includes a backup car for the Duels: Reed Sorenson thought his opportunity to race in the Daytona 500 would be one and done entering qualifying on Sunday. After Sorenson blocked #15-Clint Bowyer - and went into the spin cycle process - it appeared the #44 Golden Corral Chevy and Team Xtreme Racing's hopes to run in the 500 were over. "We don't have a backup car as of now," Sorenson said on Sunday after the wreck. But Sorenson got a reprieve. "We had a car back at the shop we weren't going to bring it unless we needed it," Team Xtreme owner John Cohen told Motorsport.com on Tuesday. "The car will be coming down tonight." Sorenson will start 20th (but fall to the rear of the field for using a backup car) in the second Duel for Team Xtreme Racing. In July, he started second in the Daytona Cup race. His best finish on the 2.5-mile track is fifth - in the 2008 Daytona 500.(Motorsport)(2-17-2015)

  • Sprint Unlimited places 3rd in Saturday's TV Ratings:
    The big winner Saturday night: TNT with coverage of the NBA State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. The NBA averaged 6.1 million viewers and upstaged everything on broadcast prime time. The preliminary averages there: NBC with 5.4 million, Fox with 4.7 million for the NASCAR: Sprint Unlimited from Daytona Beach, CBS with 4.6 million and ABC with 2.4 million for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." NBC aired a "Dateline" rerun (5.6 million) and the "Saturday Night Live Valentine's Special" (5.1 million).(Orlando Sentinel)(2-17-2015)

  • Dale Earnhardt Candlelight Tribute Feb 18th: Every year since 2001, on February 18th fans around the world light a candle in respect of the legendary Dale Earnhardt. February 18, 2015 marks fourteen years that an annual candlelight tribute has been held at DEI to honor the late seven-time NASCAR Champion. Fans honor and pay special tribute to him on the grounds of Dale Earnhardt Inc. That evening the building itself will be closed and illuminated with candles, and a Guest Book will be available for signing and sharing special memories of Dale. Fans are invited to visit from 6pm until 8pm, at Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Highway 3, in Mooresville, NC. Those unable to attend are encouraged to light a candle at home that evening in remembrance of Dale Earnhardt's remarkable spirit and life, and all fans of Dale Earnhardt are asked to help "Continue the Legend" through their support of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation and of Dale's passions: Children, Education, and Environmental/Wildlife Conservation. The Showroom and Retail Store will be open during their regular hours on this day, from 11:00am -2:00pm.(DEI)(2-17-2015)

  • Ray Evernham starts 2nd season of Americana Tonight: This February, Velocity returns on its cross-country road trip to open the garage doors and lift the hoods of four-wheeled treasures that have had a profound effect on American culture. Three-time NASCAR champion crew chief Ray Evernham returns as host of AMERICARNA, scouting the incredible hidden stories of American automotive history that defined our cultural identity. From the last car Elvis Presley drove to the epic memoir of the Ford Mustang, and a tour of prototype cars in the General Motors vault, AMERICARNA presents a look at our national story through the lens of one of its greatest inventions: the automobile. Season two of AMERICARNA world premieres on February 17th with two all-new episodes back-to-back at new 10:00 PM (ET/PT) and 10:30PM (ET/PT). "Cars have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, both personally and professionally", said Ray Evernham. "I'd like to think that my experience very much mirrors the American automobile experience. Cars are an undeniable part of our history and this season of AMERICARNA tackles some of the most extraordinary accounts from America's automotive story."(VMG)(2-17-2015)

  • Earnhardt Jr. to appear on Rachael Ray Show TODAY: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will appear on the Rachael Ray Show this Tuesday [February 17th], and the show's producer, a Concord native, said he was thrilled to meet his childhood hero. "We just had the best time," said Chad Carter, of Concord, a producer on the show. Though Carter has met many celebrities in the show's nine-year run, he could barely contain his excitement when Dale Jr. entered the set. "In our neck of the woods you got Jesus, Elvis and Earnhardt, and not necessarily in that order," Carter said. "It was kind of a magical day." He gave Dale Jr. a welcome basket and left a letter of appreciation produced on a 1940s typewriter, which Dale Jr. posted shortly thereafter on www.nascar.com. "We think of Junior as North Carolina's finest," Carter said. "Every staff person that came into contact with him ... said he was so nice and courteous. He was the thing that you wanted your hero to be." In the upcoming broadcast, Dale Jr. joins Ray and co-host Regis Philbin, to talk about the upcoming Daytona 500 race, according to information provided by show staff. Check local listings for times, the show airs at 10:00am/et on WJZY - Myfoxcarolinas.com in the Charlotte area. Can also see a clip of the show at rachaelrayshow.com(2-17-2015)

  • Kennedy, Local Motors team up: Red Horse Racing announced today that Local Motors, a cutting-edge technology company, will partner with Ben Kennedy in 2015. The multi-race sponsorship of the #11 Local Motors Toyota Tundra will kick off with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 20. The partnership between Local Motors and Kennedy introduces co-creation to the NASCAR world. Similar to crowdsourcing, co-creation has been perfected by the Local Motors team, who uses the concept to bring groundbreaking vehicles to market at breakneck speeds. Notable Local Motors vehicles that have been co-created include the Rally Fighter, the world's first co-created car and the Strati, the world's first 3D-printed car. Co-creation will offer fans of racing unprecedented access to interact with the driver, the race team and the #11 Local Motors Toyota Tundra. Using the Local Motors web-based application, fans will have the opportunity to be part of the race experience like never before. The fans are invited to co-create alongside Kennedy and the RHR team online, where they can join discussions about the technical aspects of the races, meet and converse with other fans, upload and share photos, offer ideas on how to improve, and participate in a variety of challenges - all to benefit the team, the sport and vehicle innovation at large. The first challenge, launching this April at LocalMotors.com, will be a Design Challenge to crowdsource a custom graphic for one of Kennedy's race helmets. The winning design will be chosen by fans, Kennedy and the RHR team, and will debut at the May 15 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Later challenges will include aspects up to and including vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, race set-ups and more.(See an image of the truck on the #11 Team Paint Schemes page)(Red Horse Racing)(2-17-2015)

  • Atlanta race gets sponsor: Leading earthmoving and material-handling equipment manufacturer, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, Inc., has been named the title sponsor of the Feb. 28, 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The event will be named the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200. The race, preceded by the Hisense 250 XFINITY Series race, will be the second in a unique Saturday NASCAR doubleheader, as the Camping World Truck Series returns to Atlanta for the first time since 2012. Located in Norcross, Georgia, a key business hub in the state, Hyundai Construction's facilities include a warehouse and office space for the company's finance, sales and service operations for its construction equipment and forklift product lines. The Hyundai brand has a global reputation as a leader in providing its customers with innovative, high-quality equipment that serves all facets of the construction industry.(Atlanta Motor Speedway)(2-17-2015)

  • Daytona International Speedway To Hold DAYTONA Rising "Open House" For Fans On Wednesday, Feb. 18: Daytona International Speedway will hold a DAYTONA Rising "Open House" for the general public on Wednesday, Feb. 18, enabling race fans to locate their seats before next weekend's events and personally preview the new seating sections and amenities. The "Open House" will take place between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and is free of charge. In addition to getting a preview of DAYTONA Rising, fans will also be able to witness two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice sessions (2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. - 3:55 p.m.). Fans can enter the facility through Gate 18, 22 and 32 with parking available in the Turn 1 Plaza and on the backstretch. Earlier in the day, current DAYTONA 500 ticket holders will get an exclusive open house preview between 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ryan Newman, A.J. Allmendinger and Clint Bowyer serving as special guests. Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-17-2015)


    News from February 16, 2015

  • Judge orders Kurt Busch to stay away from Driscoll UPDATE NASCAR Statement: A Kent County Family Court judge has ordered NASCAR's Kurt Busch to stay away from his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, according to a court order filed Monday. The order, good until 2016, says Busch has to stay 100 yards away from Driscoll, her home and workplace. At NASCAR races he has to maintain the maximum "practicable" distance from her and not attempt to contact her, according to the order issued by Commissioner David Jones. Busch is also not allowed to contact Driscoll by phone, email or any other means and has to be evaluated for mental health problems related to anger control and impulse control. He also may not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition. The commissioner's written opinion explaining the reasoning behind the order will be released Friday. Carolyn McNeice, Driscoll's attorney, said she and her client were pleased with the decision. "Ms. Driscoll can now know that she will not receive any unwanted communications from Mr. Busch and feel that she is safe after nearly 5 months," McNeice wrote in an email. The decision concludes a long, drawn-out no-contact order hearing between Busch and Driscoll.(Delaware News-Journal)(2-16-2015)
    UPDATE: Busch attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement he was not surprised by the decision and that Busch plans to appeal the verdict. He has 30 days to appeal once the full opinion and conclusions are issued by the end of the week. "We are deeply disappointed because we believe the evidence of Ms. Driscoll's total lack of believability was overwhelming," Hardin said. "It is important to note that the commissioner's ruling is a civil family court matter and totally unconnected to any criminal investigation or finding. ... Mr. Busch's conduct was totally reasonable and legal under the circumstances. He never intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused her any injury." Hardin also said that he has new evidence that will challenge Driscoll's credibility and has handed it over to the attorney general's office. Carl Kanefsky, a spokesman for the Delaware attorney general's office, said Monday that there is no timetable for the investigation to be completed. "We deeply regret that Ms. Driscoll has been allowed to abuse the justice system in such a flagrant way," he said.(ESPN.com)
    AND Stewart Haas Statement: "These are serious allegations and we do not take them lightly. We are relying on the authorities in Delaware and their collective experience to identify all the facts. They are the experts in these matters and their decision, specifically the one that will be made by the Attorney General, will determine our course of action."(2-16-2015)
    NASCAR Statement "NASCAR has been closely following the civil proceedings in Kent County Family Court regarding driver Kurt Busch and therefore is aware of the court order issued today. We now await the full findings of the Commissioner and any actions by the Attorney General of Delaware related to the allegations against Busch. As we stated earlier, NASCAR fully recognizes the serious nature of this specific situation and the broader issue of domestic violence. We will continue to gather information and monitor this situation very closely, and we expect our members to conduct themselves properly."(NASCAR)(2-16-2015)

  • NASCAR: no plans to fines drivers for comments about qualifying: An interview (in part) with Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's chief racing development officer and executive vice president, some Q&A's about Sunday's qualifying for the Daytona 500:
    STEVE O'DONNELL: I wanted to make a few comments on the qualifying session today. I think as everybody knows, this format was put together by NASCAR with feedback from the industry, but ultimately to be as exciting as possible. We used it last year in Daytona for the summer race. We made some adjustments from there. Going into Talladega, obviously learned throughout that. Then came into Daytona with some minor adjustments for the Daytona 500, as well. So if you look at group qualifying as a whole, we felt it worked really well, but certainly there's some challenges on superspeedways. One of the reasons we moved away from single-car qualifying, I think you've heard from the drivers as well, a lot of things go into it as well, aero packages, different setups, not based on a race setup. You also heard Jeff Gordon talk about putting it back in the drivers' hands more. That's something we like. We don't want to see wrecks of any kind. Not lost on us how much work goes into these cars by the teams, the efforts for our biggest race of the year. I close by saying I believe we've got a really good track record of making adjustments where we need to, so we'll certainly evaluate what took place today, we'll continue to get feedback from the industry, from the drivers as we did to get to where we were today. With that, I'm happy to take any questions anybody may have.
    Q. You mentioned you made some minor adjustments after Talladega last October. There were a lot of complaints there. What adjustments did you make? Were there things that happened today that you wish you would have addressed?
    STEVE O'DONNELL: That's a good question. When we looked at it, some of the things you saw that took place on pit road today we were hoping to avoid. Then some of the drivers, how they enter a track on a superspeedway, we put in rules in place for today's session to avoid incidents candidly. Blocking, we were going to monitor. We said we could look at things to disallow times, but that was more on how you entered the track coming up to speed. Some of those were put in place, but I think those are areas we need to continue to look at.
    Q. Steve, Brian [France] has talked about in the past that he's fine with drivers making comments, but don't disparage the product. Certainly some of the comments that came out today, what is NASCAR's stance on the comments of Clint Bowyer or Tony Stewart? Are they clear or are they facing any type of penalty for comments made today?
    STEVE O'DONNELL: I think what Brian said is you can take us on. We're NASCAR, that's part of our job. When I look at the comments that Clint made or Tony made, those are based on wanting to see the best racing out there. So certainly tough to hear. But those are things we have to have conversations with them on and work with those guys to figure out if there's a better way to do it. We will do it. But it's not something we're going to fine the drivers for today.
    Q. When determining whether to make changes to this format, how much of it is driver input and how much of it is fan input?
    STEVE O'DONNELL: I would say we look at input from the entire industry. You're going to take fan feedback. We're going to talk to the drivers, the owners, crew members. That's a little bit of how we got to where we are today, going away from single-car qualifying, taking input from all of those folks we talked about. It's a balance for us. Ultimately it's our job to make a decision. Not always does everybody agree with that decision, but we've got to make that decision at the end of the day.
    Q. I understand you still want to get feedback from the industry and evaluate things. As it stands now, was NASCAR happy with how today's session unfolded?
    STEVE O'DONNELL: I think it's a balance. Jeff Gordon on the pole, certainly his last Daytona 500, is great. Seeing the incident that took place is not. So it's a balance. We've got to take everything kind of in stride. We see new things every day, have to make decisions on that. Overall I think we're happy about the excitement of the qualifying session, but we've got to look at if there's adjustments we can make to continue to improve that, we're going to do that.(NASCAR)(2-16-2014)

  • Fast lap is big stress-reliever for Carl Edwards: For the first time during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, #19-Carl Edwards was able to crack a relieved smile. Edwards had just run a lap at 202.315 mph in the first round of group knockout qualifying for next Sunday's Daytona 500. Third fastest in time trials - all rounds combined - Edwards earned a guaranteed starting spot in the 57th edition of the Great American Race. Edwards entered 2015 with a new team, Joe Gibbs racing, but without 2014 owner points that would have given him a provisional slot in the 500, had he failed to advance through time trials or Thursday night's Budweiser Duel at Daytona. Small wonder it was a happy, relaxed Edwards who took the dais in the Daytona media center after Sunday's qualifying session. "We had not really talked about it much publicly," Edwards said. "There were a lot of meetings and a lot of anxiety over the fact that we could possibly miss the Daytona 500. I think we've had four or five meetings trying to come up with a strategy for qualifying. To have the third-fastest time of the day - I believe we are locked into the show, which is huge, to say the least. With (sponsor) Arris coming on board in such a huge way - Stanley (Tools) - it was going to be really tough to explain to them if we had trouble in the qualifiers. Now we can go out, be aggressive (in the Duels), have fun and try to start up front."(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-16-2015)

  • Fastwax partners with Team Xtreme: Fastwax.com announced that they have partnered with Team Xtreme Racing as an associate sponsor for the upcoming Daytona 500. Fastwax is a high-performance cleaning wax in an aerosol can. In less than 30 minutes, you can wash and wax an average sized car. One can on Fastwax will wax four average sized cars. "We are excited for our return to the Sprint Cup Series; Team Xtreme Racing is a perfect fit for our brand," said Paul Baukus of Fastwax. "As we expand our ventures in the motorsports arena we always look at who will be a good representative for a company such as ours. We are happy to be part of John Cohen's efforts with Reed Sorenson behind the wheel."(140buzz)(2-16-2015)

  • New Girlfriend for Kurt Busch: #41-Kurt Busch has a new girlfriend, moving on in his personal life even as legal issues stemming from a dispute with his ex linger. Busch posed for pictures with Ashley Van Metre at his #41 car throughout the weekend at Daytona International Speedway. He was all smiles before the Sprint Unlimited and Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying - and even directed some photographers into proper position for a better picture.(Associated Press)(2-16-2015)

  • Budweiser Duel Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Budweiser Duel 150 Sprint Cup Series qualifying races for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway have been made. To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-16-2015)

  • U. S. Women's National Soccer Team Named Honorary Starter for the Daytona 500: Abby Wambach, Kelley O'Hara and Christie Rampone will represent the U. S. Women's National Soccer Team as the Honorary Starters of the 57th annual Daytona 500. In addition to serving as the Honorary Starters for the 200-lap, 500-mile race that kicks off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the trio will also be introduced at the driver's meeting and participate in pre-race ceremonies. "We're honored to welcome three members of the U.S. Women's National Team as Honorary Starters for the DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We're looking forward to having these phenomenal athletes wave the green flag on both 'The Great American Race' as well as the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season." Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-16-2015)

  • XFINITY Entry List:There are 47 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's season-opening Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway. A few notes:
    Jeff Green is in the #10 for TriStar;
    Austin Dillon will drive the RCR #33;
    The #55 is listed as TBA, but is expected to be Jeffrey Earnhardt;
    Mike Harmon will drive his #74;
    Bobby Gerhardt is in his #85;
    Joe Nemechek will drive the #87;
    Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is in the JR Motorsports #88;
    Morgan Shepherd will drive his #89;
    Aric Almirola returns to the #98 for Biagi.(2-16-2015)
    See the complete list on the Daytona entry list page.

  • D.A.B. Constructors sponsoring Nemechek at Daytona: Joe Nemechek will pilot the #87 D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. Chevy in this year's NASCAR XFINITY Series season for NEMCO Motorsports, commencing with the Alert Today Florida 300 on February 21 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). Nemechek and the NEMCO Motorsports team are ready to "restart" the year, targeting an even better result than last February at Daytona International Speedway. One year ago, Nemechek started the race with a 24th-place qualifying position, and finished in the 12th position. This week in the season-opener for the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Nemechek, the 1992 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, returns to the famed superspeedway in a Chevy. NEMCO Motorsports reunited their partnership with Chevy in January. Nemechek has 19 starts at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with the iconic manufacturer. In 52 combined NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at both Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway, Nemechek has recorded four wins, 11 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s. He has led a total 416 laps on NASCAR's current restrictor-plate tracks. The 2015 season will mark the 27th season that Nemechek has competed in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Nemechek wheeled the NEMCO Motorsports #87 in six races in 2014. Steven Gray assumes the role of crew chief for the #87 Chevy Camaro team this year. Nemechek will run a limited NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule in the #87 Chevy along with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races for NEMCO Motorsports.(NECMO)(2-16-2015)

  • Gosselin, Bean driving for Kin Autosport at Daytona: Mario Gosselin will fill in for Martin Roy in the #90 Chevy for King Autosport in this week's NASCAR XFINITY Series slate at Daytona International Speedway. Gosselin is the crew chief for the #90 team, but with Roy out because of a shoulder injury, he will get behind the wheel. The #90 Chevy is slated to be a full-time car for the Florida- and Montreal-based team. The team is also running a second car, the #92 Chevy, at select events in the XFINITY Series this season. Dexter Bean will pilot that car at Daytona. Gosselin is no stranger to NASCAR competition. He has run two Sprint Cup Series events, three XFINITY Series events and 47 Camping World Truck Series events in his career. Bean has made five career NASCAR national series starts, with three coming in the Camping World Truck Series and one each in the Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series.(NASCAR.com)(2-16-2015)

  • White and Cockrum driving for MBM: MBM Motorsports Partners Carl Long and Derek White are returning this season with the addition of new partners Rick Ware and Curtis Key. Driving in the #40 Dodge will be Driver/Partner Derek White, a resident of the Kahnawake reservation just outside Montreal, Canada. Driving the #13 Chevy is Chris Cockrum from Conyers, Georgia. Joining the team for 2015 sponsors are Grafoid Inc. and Braille Battery. Grafoid is a global leader in graphene innovation and industrial scale application development and; its wholly owned subsidiary, Braille Battery, Inc. - well known to the NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, and IMSA racing circuits for reliable lightweight, high performing Lithium-ion and AGM starting batteries. Also joining the team as an Associate Sponsor on both cars for 2015 is Workwear USA. Advance Communications Group will also be on the #13 Chevrolet for Daytona. There will be more MBM/Rick Ware Driver/Team combos all year long.(Motorsports Business Management)(2-16-2015)

  • Keen Parts renews with Chad Boat: Billy Boat Motorsports announced that Keen Parts has renewed its partnership with the team and Chad Boat, driver of the #84 Chevy Camaro in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. CorvetteParts.net, the leader in Corvette parts and accessories, will appear as an associate sponsor on the #84 during the 2015 season. Boat is set to run select NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2015 starting with the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 21. The 22-year-old heads to Daytona coming off his 2014 rookie campaign in the now NASCAR XFINITY Series. The 2015 season will also see Boat make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in the #16 Chevy Silverado for BBM. The Phoenix, Arizona native is scheduled to run select NCWTS races beginning at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, alongside teammate Mason Mingus who will run the full NCWTS 2015 season for BBM.(Billy Boat Motorsports)(2-16-2015)

  • Dylan Lupton to run some XFINITY races? UPDATE: 2014 proved to be a career-changing season for former Bob Bruncati Motorsports driver Dylan Lupton, after the developing racer announced he will be competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for an unannounced team in 2015. The move will be a chance that allows Lupton, 22, to embark upon a career in the NASCAR national series ranks after two seasons in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West - a stint that saw him pick up two victories (at Kern County Speedway and Evergreen Speedway). "I can tell everyone a little bit about my 2015 plans - but not all the details. First off, I will not be returning to the K&N West Series or the K&N Series for that matter. I will be racing part-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series - I cannot release the details of the tracks or team that I am running with though. But we have aligned verbal commitment to a racing team." Lupton does not expect the adjustment to the new cars to be to be a difficult one, especially after watching fellow K&N drivers Chase Elliott and Dylan Kwasniewski be successful after jumping to NASCAR's second-tier series. Along with his performances in the K&N West Series, a huge part in giving Lupton the recognition to get noticed in national spotlight was his induction to the 2014 NASCAR NEXT class, something he credits a lot for the new opportunities he has been presented with.(Race Chaser Online)(1-26-2015)
    UPDATE: Athenian Motorsports announced that Dylan Lupton will drive the #25 Chevy in seven NASCAR XFINITY races this season. Lupton, a 21-year-old native of Wilton, Calif., is scheduled to make his XFINITY Series debut at Phoenix International Raceway on March 14th. Lupton brings a sparkling background to NASCAR's junior circuit. In 14 starts last year in the NASCAR K&N West Series, he claimed one victory and wound up in the top 10 in each event, including nine top-five finishes. Last April, Lupton was one of just 12 drivers named to the elite NASCAR Next class. Athenian Motorsports will field a full-time entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for veteran driver John Wes Townley, who will also pilot AMS' #25 Zaxby's Chevry in 26 XFINITY Series events. In addition to the spring race in Phoenix, Lupton will also drive the #25 Chevy at Richmond in April and Chicagoland Speedway in June. He'll be behind the wheel three times in August, including Iowa Speedway, Mid-Ohio and Road America. The seventh race will be at Kentucky Speedway in September.(Athenian Motorsports)(2-16-2015)

  • Truck Series Entry list: There are 34 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday's Next Era Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway. A few notes:
    Donnie Neuenberger is in the #1;
    Norm Benning will drive his #6 Chevy;
    Te #08 is TBA;
    Scott Lagassee is driving the #20;
    Ty Dillon will drive the #33;
    The #50 for MAKE Motorsports is listed as TBA, but was announced as Cody Ware;
    Daniel Suarez will drive the #51 for Kyle Busch;
    Jordan Anderson will drive the #74 for Mike Harmon.(2-16-205) See the complete list on the Daytona entry list page.

  • Boat set for partial run in trucks: Chad Boat is set to run select NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2015 starting with the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 21. The 2015 season will also see Boat make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in the #16 Chevy Silverado for BBM. The Phoenix, Arizona native is scheduled to run select NCWTS races beginning at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, alongside teammate Mason Mingus who will run the full NCWTS 2015 season for BBM.(Billy Boat Motorsports)(2-16-2015)

  • Cobb starting 5th full-time season: Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing enters its 5th full-time season of competition this week beginning in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextERA Energy Resources 250 on Friday, February 20 at Daytona International Speedway. In mid-2015 Cobb will celebrate her 100th NCWTS race and is honoring female military members through her foundation, Driven2Honor, with fundraisers and events tied to the historic start. Joining JJCR to kick off this monumental season are associate sponsors Arrow Truck Sales, Black Shale Development, and Proactive Occupational Medicine. The team specializes in affordable sponsorships for small to medium size businesses and will partner with dozens of companies throughout the year.(JJC Racing)(2-16-2015)


    News from February 15, 2015

  • Earnhardt Jr.'s car fails post qualifying tech inspection: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief, Greg Ives comments on the #88 being too low in post qualifying inspection:
    ON BEING TOO LOW FOLLOWING POST QUALIFYING INSPECTION FOR THE DAYTONA 500:
    Ives: "Obviously NASCAR does a great job inspecting the cars and they found that our ride heights after qualifying were too low. They did their due diligence of allowing us to go through their processes of how they deal with it. In the end we still ended up low. It's unfortunate for the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS team. We were definitely not trying to do anything intentional here. I don't feel it was an advantage that got us to our 10th place position, but it is definitely something that can be frowned upon and not looked as being compliant to the rules and that is what we need to stick to." The #88 Nationwide Chevy will start from the 25th position in Thursday's qualifying race.(Team Chevy), #11-Hamlin's car also failed post qualifying inspection and will start the qualifying race from the rear.(2-15-2015)

  • Bowyer rips new Daytona 500 qualifying format, other driver comments: #15-Bowyer and #44- Sorenson tangled in the first round (group A) of qualifying for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, triggering a wreck that destroyed both cars as well as damaging #32-Labonte, #11-Hamlin and #23-Yeley. Bowyer made some comments about the new qualifying format:
    Q) What happened in the accident?
    Bowyer: "First of all I wasn't behind the 44 (Reed Sorenson), he came flying around and came up on the apron, jumped up in front of me and then runs over the 51 (Justin Allgaier), stacks us all up and I run into him. It's idiotic to be out here doing this anyway. It makes no sense in being able to put on some cute show for whatever the hell this is, then you have a guy out there in desperation doing this crap like this. There's no reason to be out here. These guys have spent six months working on these cars, busting their asses on these cars to go out there and have some guy out of desperation do that crap, but it ain't his fault. It's not, it's NASCAR's fault for putting us out here in the middle of this crap for nothing. We used to come down here and worry about who was going to sit on the front row and the pole for the biggest race of the year and now all we do is come down here and worry about how a start-and-park like this out of desperation is going to knock us out of the Daytona 500. We've been in meetings for 45 minutes just trying to figure out what in the hell everybody is going to do just so we can make the race. There's no sense in doing this."
    Q) Is there blame to be placed for the accident?
    Bowyer: "It wasn't his fault, he's desperate and trying to get into the biggest race of the year. We need to be focused on qualifying and who is going to sit on the pole for the biggest race of the year and the front row just like we always have. There's no reason to be putting a show on and trying to make something out of something that doesn't need to be. We put a hell of a show on for the Daytona 500 and unfortunately these guys have worked the last six months for nothing."(Toyota Racing)
    Reed Sorenson's comments on the accident:
    Q) DO YOU HAVE A BACK-UP CAR?
    Sorenson: "Not right now, we don't. I don't know if we'll try to get a car up here or what they'll try to do. But as of right now, we don't have a back-up car."
    Q) CLINT BOWYER WAS REALLY UPSET. WHAT DID HE SAY TO YOU AFTERWARDS?
    Sorenson: "Yeah, he came up to the window. He was pretty upset. He has a right to be upset. I was trying to block. I think what he saw is what I was trying to do. I was just trying to stay in front of him to get that good lap. I didn't think that he was all the way up to me yet. And, listening to my spotter, I was going high, and then he says going low and I went low as soon as he said that. The next thing I know, I'm spinning. I guess I didn't think he was quite that far up. It's just a product of trying to run that one good lap and I was trying to stay in front of that line. That was our only shot to run a good lap was to stay in front of him. You see blocking here all the time. It's part of this racing and now it's part of the qualifying here."Sorenson: Q) CLINT BOWYER SAID IT WAS NASCAR'S FAULT AND THAT THEY SET IT UP THIS WAY. DO YOU THINK QUALIFYING SHOULD BE DONE ANOTHER WAY?
    Sorenson: "Well, like I said, I was trying to do everything I could to stay in front of Clint (Bowyer). Normally, in a race, I probably wouldn't be that aggressive unless it was the last lap and you're trying to win the race; just like (Matt) Kenseth did last night (in the Sprint Unlimited). He blocked (Martin) Truex to win. And for us, trying to get in the race, it's that big of a deal where I was treating it like it was the last lap every race. And that's how aggressive you have to be; especially when you're not guaranteed (a spot) in the race and you're on the outside looking in. That's the way this qualifying is. It forces you into that."
    Q) IS IT TOUGH NOW WITH THE RISK VERSUS REWARD THAT YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE A BACK-UP CAR?
    Sorenson: "Yeah, and if that was the case, we could have decided on pit road and not gone out there at all if we weren't going to take a chance. We took that risk. And now, looking back on it, I don't know the answer to that question because maybe the same thing would have happened in the Duels. So, this was one of our two chances to get in the race and we were trying to do everything we could to do that."(Team Chevy)
    Team Xtreme Racing tweeted that: "We are in the process of getting a back up car to Daytona. Thanks for all the well wishes and Support."
    #78-Martin Truex Jr. thoughts of qualifying: "My thoughts are they need to do something different. I don't know, it's just doesn't seem like it's a good show. It's not fun. It's kind of chaos. I don't know, seeing cars get tore up and other stuff. I'm not a fan of it, but hey it is what it is. It's fun at every other race track it's just plate tracks we need to figure something else out. With that being said 12th is okay. We took a little gamble there at the last round and we missed our time calculation by about four seconds on when we had to leave pit road to be the only one to get a time. Everybody ended up getting there on time. We screwed that up a little bit, but all in all everything is good."(Team Chevy)
    #31-Ryan Newman: "I wouldn't say it's frustrating. The frustrating part is dealing with this whole system which makes no sense whatsoever. It's hard to stand behind NASCAR when everybody I talk to up and down pit road doesn't understand why we're doing this. Maybe I need to be sat down and educated a little bit. Not what we wanted for our Caterpillar Chevrolet, no doubt, but we also avoided the next two crashes that come in qualifying, which should never occur."(Team Chevy)
    (2-15-2015)

  • Jeff Gordon wins Daytona 500 pole: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with speed of 201.293mph for his 1st pole of 2015 and 78th of his career. Gordon has won 20 races from the pole out of 77 previous poles.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson will start 2nd on the outside pole. The rest of the top 12: #11-Hamlin (speed disallowed), #20-Kenseth, #18-Busch, #5-Kahne, #19-Edwards, #33-Ty Dillon, #3-Austin Dillon, #88-Earnhardt Jr.(speed disallowed), #1-McMurray and #78-Truex Jr.
    #11-Hamlin was fastest in round 1, group A at 199.840; #43-Almirola was fastest in round 1, group B at 202.370mph. #48-Johnson was fastest in round 2 at 201.925mph.
    During round 1, group A there was a wreck when #15-Bowyer tried to pass #44-Sorenson, came back up and turned the #44, sending both cars into the wall. #32-Labonte rear-ended the #15 and had heavy damage. Other cars damaged were #11-Hamlin and #23-Yeley. Labonte and Yeley advanced to round 2, but cars were too damaged to run.
    Both #11-Hamlin and #88-Earnhardt Jr. failed post-qualifying inspection and will start at the rear of the field in their respective duels as they had their times disallowed.
    Speeds counted from any of the three qualifying rounds which locked #43-Aric Almirola, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #19-Edwards and #1-Jamie McMurray.(NASCAR Newswire)
    CORRECTION: Thirteen drivers are locked into the Daytona 500: #24-Gordon (pole), #48-Johnson (outside pole), #43-Almirola (speed, any round 202.340), #17-Stenhouse Jr. (speed), #19-Edwards (speed), #1-McMurray (speed), #4-Harvick (2014 owners points, 1st), #31-Newman (points, 2nd), #11-Hamlin (points, 3rd), #22-Logano (points, 4th), #2-Keselowski (points, 5th), #20-Kenseth (points 7th) and #14-Stewart (champions provisional).
    See round-by-round qualifying speeds on the Daytona 500 Qualifying page.
    See Budweiser Duel 150 starting lineups on the 2015 Budweiser Duel 150's News and Info page.(2-15-2015)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Daytona:
    #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the The 57th Annual Daytona 500 with a lap of 44.711 seconds, 201.293 mph.
    This is his 78th pole in 762 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his fourth pole in 45 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2015 and his 19th in 27 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Hendrick Motorsports has swept the front row of the Daytona 500 four times: 2015, 2011, 2010 and 1989.
    Jeff Gordon's pole speed is the first official pole above 200 mph at Daytona since 1987 (Bill Elliott, 210.364 mph)
    (NASCAR Statistics)(2-15-2015)

  • Qualifying Progression:
    driver that was fastest after the first session, the second session and the pole winner from the final session of group qualifying.
    First Session, group A: #11-Hamlin, 199.840mph, starts TBD
    First Session, group B: #43-Almirola, 202.370, starts TBD
    Second Session: #48-Johnson, 201.925mph, starts 2nd
    Final Session: #24-Gordon, 201.293mph, starts 1st on the pole
    with #48-Johnson, 201.135mph on the outside pole

  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over after 5 scheduled minutes.
    #48-Johnson 201.925
    #11-Hamlin 201.839
    #1-McMurray 201.649
    #24-Gordon 201.342
    #3-Dillon 201.108
    the rest of the top 12: 33 20 18 19 88 78 5;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 83 16 6 9 43 17 2 21 22 55 23 32
    (2-15-2015)

  • Daytona 500 Qualifying Round 1: Round 1 of qualifying for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over. With 1:22 left in the round 1 group A, #15-Bowyer tried to pass #44-Sorenson, came back up and turned the #44, sending both cars into the wall, #32-Labonte rear-ended the #15. Other cars damaged were #11-Hamlin (the fastest in this round) and #23-Yeley. #11-Hamlin was the fastest at 199.840mph followed by #3-Dillon 199.607mph. The top 24 will be decided once Round 1 Group B goes out and runs their speeds.
    #43-Almirola ran the fastest in group B with a speed of 202.370 mph:
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 202.334
    #19-Edwards 202.315
    #48-Johnson 202.297
    #1-McMurray 202.247
    the rest of the top 24: 55 18 88 5 20 11 3 83 24 29 9 21 16 32 2 6 22 78 33;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 27 7 47 31 4 41 14 10 13 62 46 51 42 38 95 26 15 44 29 34 35 98 40 66 30
    Driver who will miss the race: will be decided in the Budweiser Duel 150's.
    (2-15-2015)

  • 2015 Sprint Unlimited Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 8:15 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:18 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 67
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 40
    Number of times Fox utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos 'floating' in corners of the screen): 43
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 45 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 8:15 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:18 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 123
    Minutes of race broadcast: 94
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 29
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 94 Total comm. brdcst time 29
    See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(2-15-2015)

  • Harvick confronts Logano for late tap: #4-Kevin Harvick and #22-Joey Logano traded heated words following the Sprint Unlimited after Logano got into the back of Harvick's car with two laps remaining. The two drivers were nose to nose (Harvick still having his helmet on) after they had gotten out of their cars following the 75-lap exhibition event at Daytona International Speedway. At one point, Logano appeared to lunge toward Harvick before they were separated and returned to their cars. "He's just Kevin," Logano said. "He's an instigator, right? It's the same thing he is every other time he talks to someone. It's the same old crap. It just happens all the time. It's no big deal." Harvick was upset because he felt Logano's move was silly. "He thinks he was helping, but you can't just drive somebody straight in the corner into the fence," said Harvick, the 2014 Sprint Cup champion. "He kind of did the same thing to me at Talladega. I told him, 'The karma train is coming after you.' And it bit him right in the [butt]. ... I just didn't appreciate just getting straight drove into the wall." Logano finished sixth; Harvick was 11th.(ESPN)(2-15-2015)

  • Newman ruled ineligible for Daytona 500 front row: After suffering a blown engine during today's second practice for the Daytona 500, #31-Ryan Newman must start from the rear of the field in his Budweiser Duel qualifying race on Thursday. But per NASCAR Talk's Dustin Long at Daytona, Newman has also been ruled ineligible for a front row start in the Great American Race by NASCAR because of the resulting engine change. Daytona's group qualifying session will determine the front row on the 500 grid. Thursday's Duels will help set the remainder of the field.(NBC Sports)(2-15-2015)

  • BK Racing partners with Maxim Magazine and Maxim Fantasy Sports: BK Racing announced a new partnership with Maxim Inc. and Maxim Fantasy Sports for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "We are thrilled to sponsor the BK racing team and look forward to an exciting 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Our new Maxim Fantasy Sports app is a fun and easy way to play fantasy sports online and win real money - download the app today and start winning" says Maxim COO Robert Price. Maxim is especially cutting-edge in the sports entertainment industry. It is launching its Fantasy Sports App for serious sports fans wanting to take the experience to the next level. Maxim's Fantasy Sports App allows users to pick between athletes in head to head fantasy matchups and play for real money.
    BK Racing co-owner Anthony Marlowe adds, "We couldn't have a better sponsor for the Daytona 500 and the 2015 season. Maxim Magazine and Maxim Fantasy Sports App are leading the pack in sports media along with other entertainment, and delivering a truly new and exciting experience.
    Maxim Inc. and Maxim Fantasy Sports have signed on with BK Racing for several races during the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Maxim branding will be displayed on various BK Racing cars throughout 2015. Maxim and Maxim Fantasy Sports are starting off as the primary sponsors on the #23 Maxim Fantasy Sports App/Dr. Pepper car driven by J.J. Yeley at Daytona. The MAXIM branding will then debut on BK Racing's #26 Toyota of Rookie of the Year hopeful Jeb Burton at Atlanta. "I am excited about my #23 Maxim Fantasy Sports App/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry for Daytona," commented driver JJ Yeley. "We have an awesome looking paint scheme, and an even better sponsor. I think the NASCAR fans will love the new Maxim Fantasy Sports App, which gives them an opportunity to enjoy fantasy sports games for real money and do so with many different sports." NASCAR Rookie of the Year contender, Jeb Burton, also commented, "I am looking forward to having Maxim and Maxim Fantasy Sports join BK Racing and the #26 this season. We have a lot of great new sponsors joining the team this year and giving us the backing we need to be competitive on the track."(BK Racing), see images of the car/scheme on the #23 Team Schemes page.(2-15-2015)

  • Gase names Daytona sponsor: Joey Gase and Jimmy Means Racing announce Agri Supply will be the hood sponsor on the #52 car for the Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21st. Agri Supply started over 50 years ago providing tractor parts and accessories and quickly expanded to farm machinery replacement parts. They have added cookware and cooking supplies as a part of a huge outdoor cooking department along with a large stock of hunting gear. Agri Supply also sells over quarter of a million lawnmower blades and mower parts as part of the core lawn and garden department. Visit one of their eight stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia or online at www.agrisupply.com. TransLife, Lions Eye Institute and www.finddieselengines.com will also be teaming up with Gase and Jimmy Means Racing for Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity race.(Joey Gase Racing)(2-15-2015)

  • Diecast Hunters partners with Neuenberger for Daytona: Diecast Hunters and DiecastHunters.com, an online web forum for all fans of NASCAR and NASCAR diecast have announced they will be an associate sponsor on Donnie Neuenberger's #1 Eagle Convenience Stores Chevy for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway. DiecastHunters.com is an online web forum intended to help diecast collectors locate diecasts they are looking for or talk about all forms of auto racing. DiecastHunters.com is supported by official Lionel Dealers and features an online store to buy officially licensed NASCAR merchandise. Diecast Hunters has over 2000 members between their Facebook and online forum. They will be celebrating their first anniversary with their logo proudly placed on Donnie's racecar and truck.(Diecast Hunters)(2-15-2015)

  • Race Fever scratched in Corning NY: Race Fever, the annual block party on Corning's Bridge Street that kicks off NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Watkins Glen International - won't be held anymore, the Gaffer District announced Friday. A new event on Bridge Street, to be called Taste of Summer, will replace it on the city's downtown event schedule. Taste of Summer will be held July 23. Race Fever was discontinued due to the "exorbitant cost" of booking Sprint Cup drivers to sign autographs, Gaffer District officials said. Without the appearances by NASCAR stars, the crowds began to dwindle. Race Fever couldn't have been held this summer anyway, due to construction on the city's planned $465,000 "traffic-calming" project on Bridge Street. The project, expected to begin Aug. 1, will include pedestrian safety improvements and streetscaping. Race Fever was usually held during the second week of August. This year would have been the 30th Race Fever. The event - which featured show cars and NASCAR memorabilia vendors - began in 1985 after NASCAR returned to Watkins Glen. For many years, it was held on Market Street. During the height of its popularity, open containers of alcohol were allowed on the streets. The discontinuing of Race Fever may impact Corning Meals on Wheels, a volunteer-run non-profit that delivers daily meals to homebound seniors.(Corning Leader)(2-15-2015)


    News from February 14, 2015

  • Kenseth wins the Sprint Unlimited: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, his first win in the event. #78-Truex Jr. led 28 laps (the most) and finished 2nd, followed by #19-Edwards, #13-Mears, #42-Larson, #22-Logano, #24-Gordon, #18-Busch, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #10-Patrick. Only 12 of 25 cars were still running at the end of the race as there were four wrecks causing 17 caution laps and two red flags. There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers. Pole winner #27-Meard was involved in a big wreck and finished 21st.
    See race results, segments 1 results, links and info on the Sprint Unlimited page.(2-14-2015)

  • Truex 'wins' first segment: When #2-Keselowski made contact with #42-Larson and slid thru the grass, causing a caution on lap 23, that ended segment #1 of the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. The caution was scheduled for lap 25. Segment 2 wnet green on lap 30. The rundown at the end of segment 1:
    The Results:
    1) #78-Martin Truex Jr.
    2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    3) #4-Kevin Harvick
    4) #14-Tony Stewart
    5) #43-Aric Almirola
    6) #41-Kurt Busch
    7) #24-Jeff Gordon
    8) #16-Greg Biffle
    9) #27-Paul Menard
    10) #22-Joey Logano
    11) #42-Kyle Larson
    12) #20-Matt Kenseth
    13) #5-Kasey Kahne
    14) #11-Denny Hamlin
    15) #13-Casey Mears
    16) #1-Jamie McMurray
    17) #48-Jimmie Johnson
    18) #19-Carl Edwards
    19) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    20) #10-Danica Patrick
    21) #31-Ryan Newman
    22) #18-Kyle Busch
    23) #3-Austin Dillon
    24) #15-Clint Bowyer
    25) #2-Brad Keselowski, accident
    NOTE: pit road penalties using new system: #31 passing thru too many pit boxes; #1 crew over wall too soon; both to rear on restart.(2-14-2015)

  • Second practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 115 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #95-McDowell 199.322
    #48-Johnson 199.313
    #33-Dillon 199.300
    #5-Kahne 199.080
    #24-Gordon 199.058
    slowest: #46-Annett 192.025 & #30-Hornaday 192.299.
    42 of 49 drivers made runs
    no runs / speed: #'s 1, 4, 15, 20, 41, 43, 55
    NOTES: #31-Newman and #78-Truex Jr. both trailed smoke about 20 minutes into practice. Newman lost an engine and the team will change it. So Newman will start at the rear of the field for the Budweiser Duel. The #78 had a cracked oil pan and the team plans to make repairs without changing the engine.
    See the speeds, laps run on the Practice 2 Speeds (pdf).(2-14-2015)

  • Engine issues with the #31 and #78 in Daytona practice: #31-Newman experienced an engine failure during the 2nd practice for the Da\ytona 500 on Saturday, some quotes from Newman:
    THIS PRACTICE SESSION A LITTLE BIT OF WORK FOR YOUR GUYS:
    Newman: "Something just happened in the bottom end of the motor going into Turn 3. Everything was going as planned until then. The Caterpillar Chevrolet tried to diesel on me and it doesn't like to diesel. We will change the motor, figure out what happened to this one and get ready for tonight with a different race car and qualifying tomorrow."
    AND #78-Truex Jr.'s Furniture Row Chevy experienced a crack in the oil pan during the second NSCS practice session for the Daytona 500. The team will NOT change the engine.(Team Chevy)(2-14-2015)

  • First practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 115 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest:
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 202.643
    #9-Hornish Jr. 202.193
    #6-Bayne 202.193
    #43-Almirola 201.979
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 201.767
    slowest: #44-Sorenson 186.831 and #30-Hornaday 189.290.
    48 of 49 drivers made runs
    no runs/speed: #78-Truex Jr.
    See the speeds, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds (pdf).(2-14-2015)

  • added all images of all 25 cars running in the Sprint Unlimited to the 2015 Sprint Unlimited Schemes page.(2-14-2015)

  • Race Coverage of the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, February 14, 2015.
    Television (TV): FOX at 8:00 pm/et;
    Pre-Race show at 6:00 pm/et (FS1); green flag approx. 8:29pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    Monday, February 16 at 3:00am/et on FoxSports1;
    Monday, February 16 at 10:30am/et on FoxSports1;
    Monday, February 16 at 9:00pm/et on FoxSports2;
    Wednesday, February 18 at 12:30pm/et on FoxSports2

  • Qualifying Order for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted. 49 cars/drivers are listed.
    The driver scheduled to line up first on pit road is #2-Keselowski.
    The driver scheduled to line up last on pit road is #3-Dillon.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    Qualifying will consist of three rounds with the first round divided into two groups based on a random draw. Vehicles drawing an odd number will be in the first group with even numbers in the second group.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com's Daytona Qualifying Page.(2-14-2015)

  • The Sprint Unlimited Tidbits II:
    - One driver has swept the Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 from 1979-2014: Bobby Allison (1982).
    - Seven drivers have won the Sprint Unlimited (1979-2014) and the championship in the same season. Dale Earnhardt is the only one to have accomplished it multiple times (four times):
    Tony Stewart (2002)
    Jeff Gordon (1997)
    Dale Earnhardt (1993, 1991, 1986, 1982)
    - Four drivers have won consecutive Sprint Unlimited races (1979-2014). None went on to win that year's Daytona 500.
    Kevin Harvick (2009-10)
    Tony Stewart (2000-01)
    Ken Schrader (1990-91)
    Neil Bonnett (1983-84)
    - The format for The Sprint Unlimited has changed 13 times since its inception into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1979.
    - Danica Patrick is the only female driver to have competed in the Sprint Unlimited (1979 - 2014) - she started 12th and finished 16th last season.(NASCAR)

  • The Sprint Unlimited Manufacturer Recap:
    Manufacturer, Victories, Last Victory - Driver Chevrolet, 20, 2013 - Kevin Harvick(a)
    Ford, 7, 2004 - Dale Jarrett
    Toyota, 2, 2014 - Denny Hamlin(a)
    Buick, 2, 1982 - Bobby Allison
    Oldsmobile, 2, 1980 - Dale Earnhardt
    Pontiac, 2, 2002 - Tony Stewart(a)
    Dodge, 1, 2011 - Kurt Busch(a)
    (a) = active driver
    * This season 14 Chevrolets, six Toyotas and five Fords are entered into the Sprint Unlimited.(NASCAR)

  • New officiating system debuts at Daytona: In 2015, NASCAR will become the first major sport to employ an officiating system where the primary officials will not roam the field of play but instead huddle in a transporter that will travel from track to track. Other sports have instant replay, where an official uses video to rule on disputed calls. NASCAR will go way beyond that, using a combination of video and a computer software program that determines penalties followed by an automatic review by a human. The drivers, crew chiefs and teams have had tutorials on the system. It appears impressive, with its 45 high-definition cameras perched in clusters high above the racetrack capturing video and sending it to a hauler located in the television compound so it can operate with server capacity totaling 960 gigabytes of total ram. It appears well-thought-out; the officials screen the pit stops, and crews are alerted to penalties in real time. The officials have the ability to start and stop the video as well as fast-forward, rewind, zoom in and zoom out.
    NASCAR Officiating Trailer Fact Sheet
    - 53-foot 2014 custom Featherlite trailer
    - Eight officials at work/review stations
    - Four admin/technical work stations
    - Work/shop area
    - 24 tons of air conditioning; enough to cool a 12,000-square-foot building
    - 960GB of total ram between all servers; equal to 240 desktop computers
    - 60 video cards (2 per server); each with the ability to process 134 billion textures per second
    - 40TB of storage; equivalent of 10,000 high-definition, full-length feature movies
    - Ability to move 90GB of network traffic; enough bandwidth to move 18,000 songs per second
    NASCAR virtually guarantees more accuracy with the new system, especially with two specific rules: (1) a driver, on entry and exit, cannot enter a pit box more than three stalls away from the driver's own pit stall; and (2) a tire changer, tire carrier and jackman cannot have their feet on the ground in the pit stall until the approaching car is one stall away. In the past, the official assigned to a pit stall would not have the vision to see those penalties. Now the software program will see that violation much easier than an official would standing on pit road, and much easier than the pit crews actually performing the work.(See full article at ESPN.com)(2-14-2015)

  • Jeff Burton's son wins race: Harrison Burton, the 14-year-old son of veteran Sprint Cup winner Jeff Burton, scored his first NASCAR Super Late Model victory, leading the final 10 circuits of the 35-lap feature race on the opening night of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at the half-mile oval. "It means the world to me," Harrison told reporters. "I'm just so glad to race clean and have fun with it. We've been kind of hunting our way in. We've been third, second, third and fourth. We've been all up in there. It's about time we got one. Hopefully, more are coming our way." Jeff Burton, a 21-time winner in NASCAR's premier series who also is an analyst for NBC Sports, celebrated with his son in victory lane. He fields his son's team from a shop based in Concord, NC.(NBC)(2-14-2015)

  • Highlights of NASCAR's changes on pit road in 2015:
    " Number of officials on pit road during race reduced from 43 to 10.
    " 45 HD cameras will be mounted on the grandstand side of each track and directed toward pit road to monitor pit stops and officials call or clear penalties.
    " Every camera looks at two pit stalls and the cameras record 100 percent of the race.
    " Video feeds from cameras are fed to a production truck in the TV compound where eight NASCAR officials monitor stops for violations.
    " Pit road speeding penalties will still be called from race control based on scoring loops.
    " Pit stalls are laser measured
    " Missing Lug Nuts are no longer a penalty.
    " Fueling can start once car is stopped.
    " Fueling can continue until car leaves pit stall.(2-14-2015)

  • Stewart flagged for not weighing in: #14-Tony Stewart opened Speedweeks with a weighty -- and heated -- issue. Stewart was visibly upset Friday as he stormed through the garage after getting black flagged for failing to step on a scale before getting behind the wheel. Stewart was one of 25 drivers practicing for Saturday night's exhibition Sprint Unlimited, but one of just three who didn't weigh in before the session started. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch also had to return to the scale after getting in their cars. Stewart didn't heed the initial call. NASCAR eventually flagged Stewart, ordering him back to the garage to get weighed. But he refused, and when he did finally park his car after his practice run ended, Stewart and crew chief Chad Johnston were called to the NASCAR hauler for what likely was a stern lecture about following the rules. They emerged 10 minutes later, and Stewart headed straight for the scale. Stewart refused to answer questions about what happened on the track and in the hauler, but was overheard telling teammate Kevin Harvick's crew that he was called in because he didn't weigh in and didn't heed the black flag. Each driver is required to step on the scale so the minimum car weights can be calculated. Heavier drivers, like Stewart, can have slightly lighter cars.(ESPN)(2-14-2015)

  • NASCAR no longer regulating minimum air pressure requirements: NASCAR will not regulate minimum air pressure requirements this season, giving crew chiefs more control of how little they put in their tires but also increasing the risk of a blowout. Goodyear will continue to provide teams with a minimum tire pressure recommendation. Previously, NASCAR mandated the right front tire pressure and, in some cases, left-front tires. Now, it is up to teams to determine how low they inflate their tires. Robin Pemberton, senior vice president of competition, said NASCAR is allowing teams to police themselves in this area. "With Goodyear constantly working on their communications with the teams on tire durability, it's putting it in the team's hands for different strategies,'' he told NASCAR Talk Friday at Daytona International Speedway. "How low they think they can go.'' Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tires sale, said: "(Teams) have to make those calls. We try to give them as much data as we can for them to make those types of decisions.'' Pemberton said officials are working on having a tire pressure monitoring system on the dashboard to give drivers a warning when tire pressure is too low. Pemberton said that the system is "a ways away" from happening.(NBC Sports)(2-14-2014)

  • X8 Energy Gum to sponsor Mike Wallace and #66 team: X8 Energy Gum will sponsor The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series #66 team with Mike Wallace driving the Toyota Camry in the Daytona 500. "We are thrilled to have veteran driver Mike Wallace on team X8! A racer myself, it's always nice to watch a season pro handle the speedway," said X8 Brands Co-founder and CEO, Robert DiMarco.(Premium Motorsports), see images of the car on the #66 Team Schemes page.(2-14-2015)

  • Phillip Phillips to Sing National Anthem for Daytona 500: Singer/songwriter Phillip Phillips, will sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. "We're excited to have Phillip Phillips be a part of the pre-race ceremonies and sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Phillip is a talented singer, guitarist and songwriter and we are looking forward to his rendition of the National Anthem in front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on FOX." Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-14-2015)


    News from February 13, 2015

  • UPDATE Entry List for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 49 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #21-Ryan Blaney, #29-Justin Marks, #30-Ron Hornaday, #32-Bobby Labonte, #33-Ty Dillon, #44-Reed Sorenson, #62-Brian Scott, #66-Mike Wallace, #83-Johnny Sauter, #95-Michael McDowell.
    Drivers who need to get in by qualifying speed or race into the Daytona 500 via the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races and have no provisional available to them (lowest in 2014 owners points): #19-Edwards, #29-Marks, #30-Hornaday, #34-Ragan, #44-Sorenson, #46-Annett
    Drivers who would miss the race in the unlikely event that both qualifying and the Budweiser Duels are cancelled (least 2014 race attempts): #19-Edwards, #21-Blaney, #29-Marks, #30-Hornaday, #34-Ragan [switched owners points with #35], #46-Annett
    NOTES: #19-Edwards is a new team and has no owners points, no deals or switches were made.
    Front Row Motorsports switched owners points between the #34-Ragan team (32nd) and #35-Whitt team (48th, 10 attempts).
    #44-Sorenson is not listed on NASCAR's entry list but the team made an announcement that they will make an attempt.
    UPDATE: #87-Nemechek has withdrawn and #44-Sorenson has been officially added to the entry list.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski.com's Daytona Entry List

  • Happy Hour practice for the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest:
    #24-Gordon 196.764
    #11-Hamlin 196.524
    #18-Busch 196.202
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 196.168
    #43-Almirola 196.113
    slowest: #5-Kahne 189.338 and #1-McMurray 190.545.
    Only 14 of 25 cars have made runs.
    No speed for: #'s 3 10 13 15 16 17 19 20 27 31 78.
    See the speeds, laps run on the Practice 2 Speeds (pdf).(2-13-2015)

  • First practice for the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest:
    #41-Busch 200.749
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 199.769
    #4-Harvick 199.075
    #22-Logano 197.928
    #5-Kahne 197.824
    slowest: #2-Keselowski 191.734 and #48-Johnson 191.853.
    See the speeds, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds (pdf).(2-13-2015)

  • Menard to start first in Sprint Unlimited: Select fans were paired with each crew chief for a random drawing that determined each team's starting and pit road positions for the Sprint Unlimited. The drawings took place on Friday, February 13th at Daytona. #27-Menard will start from the pole as crew chief Justin Alexander chose the #1. The starting lineup for The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, Feb. 14:
    The Lineup:
    1) #27-Paul Menard
    2) #5-Kasey Kahne
    3) #22-Joey Logano
    4) #2-Brad Keselowski
    5) #18-Kyle Busch
    6) #3-Austin Dillon
    7) #16-Greg Biffle
    8) #4-Kevin Harvick
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin
    10) #78-Martin Truex Jr.
    11) #24-Jeff Gordon

    12) #31-Ryan Newman
    13) #41-Kurt Busch
    14) #19-Carl Edwards
    15) #10-Danica Patrick
    16) #20-Matt Kenseth
    17) #48-Jimmie Johnson
    18) #15-Clint Bowyer
    19) #43-Aric Almirola
    20) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    21) #1-Jamie McMurray
    22) #14-Tony Stewart
    23) #13-Casey Mears
    24) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    25) #42-Kyle Larson
    (2-13-2015)

  • Carsforsale.com to Sponsor Cassill in Daytona 500 and other races: Carsforsale.com, one of the Internet's largest online automotive inventory websites, announced that they will return as the primary sponsor of Landon Cassill and the #40 Chevy at the Daytona 500 this year. Building on a partnership established in 2014, Carsforsale.com has expanded its sponsorship to include multiple races during the 2015 season. "Carsforsale.com is eager to kick off another season of NASCAR and take our partnership to the next level with Landon Cassill and the newly re-branded Hillman Smith Motorsports team," said Sean Coffman of Carsforsale.com. "We are looking forward to another great weekend at Daytona."
    "Not only are we happy to have Carsforsale.com back for Daytona, but also that they're increasing their participation with HS Motorsports in 2015," said Landon Cassill. "We had a legitimate shot to take them to Victory Lane last year at Talladega and with our guys fine-tuning the car during the off-season, we're confident it will be even better this year."
    Carsforsale.com offers a portal for consumers to search for the perfect new or used car for sale from nearly 20,000 automotive dealers across the country. As Carsforsale.com continues to grow rapidly, NASCAR has consistently provided a platform to increase exposure to the brand. The Carsforsale.com, Landon Cassill and HS Motorsports partnership will span six primary races in 2015 including Las Vegas in March, Kansas in May, Michigan in June, Bristol in August and Talladega in October.(Hillman Smith Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #40 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2015)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup 2014 Season Commercial Statistics: The new NASCAR season is barely a pit stop away. Before we resume the high-octane excitement, here are some stats for you to peruse. These are the commercial statistics for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, showing which network had the most ads, the least ads, and other stats you may find interesting. These were culminated from CawsnJaws Commercial Breakdown Reports for the 2014 season.
    Total number of traditional commercials per network:
    Fox/FS1 (16 races): 1772
    TNT (6 races): 690
    ESPN (14 races): 1751
    ABC (3 races): 374
    Total for all networks: 4587
    Total number of minutes of race broadcast to minutes of traditional commercial times per network:
    Fox/FS1 (17 races): total: 3361 (race 2593 / commercial 768)
    TNT (6 races): total: 1136 (race 809 / commercial 327)
    ESPN (14 races): total: 2990 (race 2393 / commercial 537)
    ABC (3 races): total: 574 (race 436 / commercial 138)
    Total for all networks: 8061 (race 6231 / commercial 1770)
    Total number of side-by-side commercials during race broadcasts per network:
    Fox/FS1 (17 races): total: 162
    TNT (6 races): total: 0
    ESPN (14 races): total: 492
    ABC (3 races): total: 39
    Total for all networks: 693
    Total number of minutes of side-by-side commercials during race broadcasts per network
    Fox/FS1 (17 races): total: 95
    TNT (6 races): total: 0
    ESPN (14 races): total: 213
    ABC (3 races): total: 16
    Total for all networks: 324
    See more stats (missed restarts, mystery cautions), past races and links on the 2014 TV Commercials page.(2-13-2015)

  • NASCAR clarifies some rules: NASCAR, which announced last month that teams would not be allowed to flare the side skirts, released the penalty for that violation and other unapproved adjustments teams make during a race. Teams who make unapproved adjustments under caution will have to come back in under caution, fix the car, restart at the rear of the field and then do a pass-through on pit road at pit-road speed under green. Teams who make unapproved adjustments under green will have to come in under green and fix the car to NASCAR's satisfaction. If NASCAR identifies a crew member who makes the illegal adjustment, it will issue that person a warning on the first offense and increase the sanctions for additional offenses. The procedure was released Thursday morning in a wide-ranging bulletin issued to teams. NASCAR also put into writing what happens if two drivers tie at the finish of a race, a rarity considering that the combination of NASCAR's timing system and its cameras at the finish line typically allow for NASCAR to determine finishing order. But if NASCAR can't break a tie, the driver who has led the most laps will be awarded the higher finish. If no driver has led a lap, then it would be the driver who has spent the most laps in second. Then if still tied, whoever has run the most laps in third, then fourth, etc.
    In another rule clarification, NASCAR put into writing a policy that it could take away a driver's qualifying time if it determines that the driver impacted the qualifying lap of another driver -- such as coming off pit road and cutting in front of a driver already on the track during the group qualifying session.(ESPN)(2-13-2015)

  • Jeff Gordon among most marketable celebrities in sports: When Jeff Gordon retires from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after more than two decades, one of his many legacies will be his ability to deliver marketing results through mainstream media. "From Saturday night racing under the lights to Saturday Night Live, the four-time Sprint Cup Champion has provided a tremendous amount of exposure for NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, sponsors and charitable causes. Jeff Gordon's skills as an ambassador are surpassed only by his racing accomplishments," said Peter Laatz, Executive Vice President, Repucom. Repucom research shows that Gordon ranked first among all NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers in time on screen in 2014 with over 24 hours. Gordon and his sponsors also generated more than one billion online impressions. The fan base for Jeff Gordon is 14 million strong and one in five NASCAR fans identify Gordon as their favorite driver, according to Repucom. Gordon is ranked third among current NASCAR drivers, behind Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in overall marketability based upon Repucom's Celebrity DBI, an independent index that quantifies consumer perceptions of more than 5,000 celebrities worldwide. Repucom is a trusted advisor and sponsor in sports and entertainment intelligence solutions, allowing more than 1,700 businesses around the world to better understand and connect with their audiences and customers through media, sponsorship, communication and experiential platforms.(Repucom)(2-13-2015)

  • Phil Parsons Racing back to Ford: Phil Parsons Racing has switched back to Ford for the 2015 season after running Chevy in 2014. Phoenix Construction will be featured on the #98 Ford that Josh Wise will drive at Daytona in an attempt to make the Daytona 500. See images of the car on the #98 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2015)

  • By the Numbers: The Sprint Unlimited:
    .013 - Margin of victory in seconds by Kyle Busch over Tony Stewart in 2012, the closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    .058 - Margin of victory in seconds by Kurt Busch over Jamie McMurray in 2011, the second closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    .08 - Margin of victory in seconds by Dale Earnhardt over Sterling Marlin in 1995, the third closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    1 - Laps led by Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-84), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Dale Jarrett (2000 and 2004) and Kevin Harvick (2009) in the Sprint Unlimited races they won
    2.75 - Average finish by Dale Earnhardt, best by any driver with multiple starts
    5 - Drivers who have won the event in their first appearance (Buddy Baker, 1979; Dale Earnhardt, 1980; Jeff Gordon, 1994; Dale Jarrett, 1996; Denny Hamlin, 2006)
    6 - Number of Sprint Unlimited wins by Dale Earnhardt, the series leader
    7 - Number of fewest starters in the field for the Sprint Unlimited (1981)
    10 - Number of races led, the most since race began in 1979 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.)
    11 - Number of starts before winning, most since race began in 1979 (Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin)
    14 - Number of different leaders in the 2009 event, most since race began in 1979
    20 - Number of wins by Chevrolet in the Sprint Unlimited, leads all manufacturers
    21 - Most consecutive starts in the Sprint Unlimited by Jeff Gordon (1994-2014).
    27 - Kevin Harvick's starting position in 2009, the lowest by a race winner in the event's history
    28 - Number of lead changes in the 2011 event, highest number since race began in 1979
    44 - Laps led by Greg Biffle in 2005, the most by a driver who did not win the event
    47 - Laps led by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008, the most in a single Sprint Unlimited was the 2013 event won by Kyle Busch.
    197.802 mph - The fastest average speed of the race for the Sprint Unlimited was in 1987 won by Bill Elliott.(NASCAR)

  • Axalta Names Jeff Gordon Global Business Advisor: Axalta Coating Systems and Jeff Gordon announced a new multi-year partnership. Gordon will become Axalta's Global Business Advisor, and serve as special advisor to Charlie Shaver, Axalta Chairman and CEO, bringing his winning skills and innovative thinking to Axalta, its leadership team and its customers worldwide. Axalta and Gordon have a long history, which began through the company's sponsorship of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Although Gordon recently announced 2015 will be his final season as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Axalta will continue to sponsor and be the official paint supplier of Hendrick Motorsports. "After 22 years, our partnership with Jeff and Hendrick Motorsports is the longest running driver, team and sponsor combination in NASCAR history," said Shaver. "As a company that focuses on helping our customers win and delivering on our promises, Jeff embodies everything that Axalta represents and, as he contemplates his future outside of a race car, we see many additional areas where we can work together."
    Through the new partnership, Gordon will offer unique insights to Axalta global leaders in the Automotive Refinish, OEM, Commercial Vehicle and Industrial businesses. He will have the opportunity to directly contribute to specific global strategic initiatives; including goal setting and execution, and creating a winning culture.
    "As I started to think about what's next for me outside of racing, I found an opportunity to use other skill sets and discover things about myself that I didn't have time to focus on before," said Gordon. "Axalta has been a trusted partner for my entire career and I can't think of a more perfect partner to collaborate with in the years to come. I look forward to working with Charlie and his team."
    No stranger to a challenge, Gordon will bring incredible drive, passion and valuable insights to his new Axalta role. "While I am sad to see Jeff step away from the weekly challenge of racing, I am delighted to see him become more involved with the Axalta business," said Nigel Budden, Vice President, North America, Axalta. "I am also very excited about the options this now gives our Refinish Paint Business in North America to further develop and work with Hendrick Motorsports in our sponsorship."(JeffGordon.com)(2-13-2015)

  • Stewart says leg injury no longer an issue: #14-Tony Stewart, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, some questions were about his leg injury from a Sprint Car wreck in 2013:
    Q). How did you feel at the end of last season?
    TONY STEWART: I mean, not 100% leg-wise, but in the car I'm fine. I felt fine last year. Everybody wanted to blame it on the injury last year, and that didn't have anything to do with it when it came time to drive the car. We are in better shape than we were last year.
    Q). A year ago you came here with all the questions about how you were going to be able to handle the car, especially handling a track like this. Physically speaking to you feel much better than you were a year ago?
    TONY STEWART: Honestly I feel like we're wasting our time talking about how I feel because I didn't feel bad last year. I did outside the car, but inside the car I felt good all year. Physically driving the car it's not an issue at all. It's not 1/100th of a percent.
    Q). But therapeutically was it something you needed to get back behind the wheel?
    TONY STEWART: I think we talked about that last year. We're talking about 2015 now. You're talking about something that we talked about in 2014 that we already covered. I mean, it's not an issue. It's not something I'm thinking about. It's just kind of in the past. I'm ready to go.(Team Chevy)(2-13-2015)

  • Vickers discusses how he feeling and plans: #55-Brian Vickers met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, Vickers was asked how he felt after corrective heart surgery a few months ago. Vickers will miss the first two races of the season (Waltrip in at Daytona, Moffitt in at Atlanta). The transcript in part:
    Q) How are you feeling after surgery in December?
    VICKERS: "I'm feeling good considering everything. It's amazing with everything that's happened and how fast the recovery has been and how well I feel now relative to how I felt a month ago or two months ago much less."
    Q) How are your chest and the wiring healing?
    VICKERS: "It feels great. I had rehab, training - I've been kind of training quite a bit actually - and really just kind of pushing the boundaries every day of what I can do and kind of getting the chest healed and better and strengthened. I feel like I could be back in a car now, but they're still going to make me wait a few weeks."
    Q) Is it difficult to get back into racing shape?
    VICKERS: "I think there's a lot that people don't realize - what you have to go through and the physical aspect of racing. I've been training a lot and as much as I can - as much as the doctors will let me - trying to get ready for the season. It matters. It does make a difference and it won't stop once the season starts. I'll keep going."
    Q) Will you have an opportunity to get familiar with your Camry before the Las Vegas race?
    VICKERS: "Vegas practice will be my first time in a car. Having done it now several times - been out for a while unfortunately and then had to jump back in the car cold - the last two times I was able to test before I raced, but just based on the testing I felt pretty up to speed real quick. I'll only be a couple races behind this year on the rest of the field, so hopefully it won't be too much."
    Q) Do you still need any medical clearance before Las Vegas?
    VICKERS: "No. I'm good to go. There's no more doctors' visits. They said, 'Come March 5, go to the race track and have fun."
    Q) What's your role with the team during your recovery?
    VICKERS: "Support the Aaron's Dream Machine team really. That's my job. I would love to be in that car and because I can't be in that car - to be honest, I would rather not have to watch it because it's tough. You want to be in the race car. At the same time, I feel so blessed to have an amazing team, an amazing group of guys that support me through so much and I want to be there for them. Am I going to contribute in any meaningful way? Probably not - they're very good at what they do. They don't need me on the pit box bugging them and obviously Michael Waltrip (team co-owner) is going to be in the car. He is a phenomenal speedway racer. I think maybe I'll be able to help a little more in Atlanta with Brett (Moffitt, fill-in driver for Atlanta Motor Speedway). He's a great driver with a good head on his shoulders, but less experience, so maybe I'll be able to contribute a little more than there than here. Regardless, I want to be there for the team both weekends and support them the best I can."
    Q) What has the reaction been like to your Xarelto commercial?
    VICKERS: "It's been incredible. That whole opportunity to partner with Jannsen (Pharmaceutical Companies) and raise awareness has been huge. For me, it's a personal story for me, right? Not going to see a doctor - that's kind of what a lot of it is about is if you think something is wrong, go see a doctor. That's something I almost didn't do and it almost cost me a lot. That's not a mistake I've made twice. I only made that mistake once. It's been fun and that commercial just runs all the time. It's all over the place. I hear something about it all the time, but it turned out well."(Toyota Racing)(2-13-2015)

  • Roush Fenway Racing Bolsters Sales and Marketing Lineup: Roush Fenway Racing announced the hiring of three key executives to its marking team, bolstering its efforts in business development, strategic marketing and event marketing. The team has named Brian Cleek as senior vice president of sales and business development. Cleek brings over 12 years of proven partnership development experience, having worked for some of the most successful properties in professional sports, including the NFL, the New York Giants, ESPN, the Harlem Globetrotters and most recently the PGA of America and Ryder Cup.
    Roush Fenway also announced the additions of Bruce Mosley and Stacie Brenner to its executive team. Mosley, a seasoned sales and marketing expert, has joined the team as vice president of strategic marketing. He brings over 20 years of related experience to the position and was instrumental in successful NASCAR related retail activation programs with Kroger, Walmart, Sunoco and Office Depot. Mosley began his motorsports career as director of sponsorship with International Speedway Corporation, focusing on sponsorship and MRN media sales, and later oversaw the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light Racing team sponsorship program. Mosley also serves as Executive in Residence for Belmont Abbey College's Motorsports Management Program.
    Brenner, who most recently served as the director of business development/account services at Keystone Marketing, has been named director of event marketing at Roush Fenway. Brenner brings over 20 years of experience in marketing and event management to the position and will oversee Roush Fenway's event marketing and show car departments. During her robust marketing career she has worked with companies that include; Octagon, Nextel, Sprint, Hanes Brands and Mondelez International.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-13-2015)

  • SWAE Watches partners with Cope UPDATE: As a new exhilarating adventure for SWAE Watches, they announced a new relationship with the Cope Racing Team. "We are excited to be sponsoring Derrike and the #70 Charlies Soap Car for the 2015 Xfinity NASCAR season. Team SWAE will be heading out to Daytona for the season opener to celebrate the season opener and the new relationship with the Cope Racing Team." As a special offer to kick this relationship off right, SWAE is extending a tremendous discount for "THE VETERAN" watch (Derrike's favorite watch) to all the Cope Racing Team fans. Use the "SUPPORTOURTROOPS" discount code at www.swaewatches.com during checkout to get a special price.(Derrike Cope Racing)(2-9-2015)
    UPDATE: Derrike Cope Racing #70 to announced another associate sponsor coming on board for our 25th Anniversary race in Daytona 2015. Trayvax Wallet for Life will be on the TV panel at Daytona as well as Atlanta. The Trayvax wallet is made of the highest quality American materials to ensure a "wallet for life". Aircraft grade aluminum for the face plates, elastic straps that are used in fire suits, and sailboat string to sew it together.(Derrike Cope Racing)(2-13-2015)

  • MAKE expands to two teams, plans to run full schedule: MAKE Motorsports announced today the addition of a second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team to its 2015 lineup. MAKE Motorsports will field the #50 and #1 Chevy Silverados with plans to run both trucks full time. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series newcomer Cody Ware will pilot the #50 Chevy Silverado full time with primary sponsor Burnie beginning at Daytona International Speedway. The #1 Eagle Convenience Stores Chevy will be driven by Donnie Neuenberger in the season opener with multiple drivers scheduled in 2015. A third-generation driver, Ware competed in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship Series in 2014, collecting two wins and receiving Rookie of the Year honors in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo class. Ware also made four starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with a career-best finish of 15th at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In October, he made his NASCAR Camping World Truck series debut at Talladega Superspeedway. Burnie, the new all wood, self-burning grill, will be the primary sponsor on the #50 Chevy Silverado this season. Since Burnie officially launched in January 2015, its sponsorship with MAKE Motorsports marks the first opportunity to strategically partner with a like-minded organization to reach camping enthusiasts. The #1 Chevy Silverado will have several drivers at the helm in 2015, beginning with Donnie Neuenberger at Daytona International Speedway. Neuenberger has made 23 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, including five starts at Daytona. The primary sponsor on the #1 will be Eagle Convenience Stores with Lilly trucking and Bubba Burger as associates. MAKE Motorsports will sport the following associates on both trucks: BUBBA Burger, AKL Insurance Group, Elite Holdings, Lilly Trucking of Virginia, and WIX Filters.(See images of the trucks on the #1 Team Paint Schemes page and #50 Team Paint Schemes page)(MAKE Motorsports)(2-13-2015)

  • Tickets for April Texas race on sale: Texas Motor Speedway announced that individual tickets for April's Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend as well as pre-race concert passes for the Casey Donahew Band go on sale Friday. Beginning at 9:00am/ct Friday, individual tickets for the Duck Commander 500 - the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series nighttime race of the season set for Saturday, April 11 - start as low as $30 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets for the XFINITY Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday, April 10, also will be available beginning at $30 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. AMDRO Pre-Race LogoThe Casey Donahew Band will open the festivities for the Duck Commander 500as the headliner for the Loud and Proud Pre-Race Show presented by AMDRO. The Texas Country band will take to the stage at 4:45 p.m. for aone-hour concert. The Duck Commander 500 will begin at 6:30 pm/et. Fans can purchase a special $79 "mosh pit" ticket for the Loud and Proud Pre-Race Show presented by AMDRO, providing them exclusive stage-side access for the concert and access to the driver introduction stage. The "mosh pit" ticket must be accompanied by a Duck Commander 500 grandstand ticket. To purchase tickets or for additional information, visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com or call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.(TMS)(2-13-2015)


    News from February 12, 2015

  • Entry List for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 50 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #21-Ryan Blaney, #29-Justin Marks, #30-Ron Hornaday, #32-Bobby Labonte, #33-Ty Dillon, #44-Reed Sorenson, #62-Brian Scott, #66-Mike Wallace, #83-Johnny Sauter, #87-Joe Nemechek, #95-Michael McDowell.
    Drivers who need to get in by qualifying speed or race into the Daytona 500 via the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races and have no provisional available to them (lowest in 2014 owners points): #19-Edwards, #29-Marks, #30-Hornaday, #34-Ragan, #44-Sorenson, #46-Annett, #87-Nemechek
    Drivers who would miss the race in the unlikely event that both qualifying and the Budweiser Duels are cancelled (least 2014 race attempts): #19-Edwards, #21-Blaney, #29-Marks, #30-Hornaday, #34-Ragan [switched owners points with #35], #46-Annett, #87-Nemechek
    NOTES: #19-Edwards is a new team and has no owners points, no deals or switches were made.
    Front Row Motorsports switched owners points between the #34-Ragan team (32nd) and #35-Whitt team (48th, 10 attempts).
    #44-Sorenson is not listed on NASCAR's entry list but the team made an announcement that they will make an attempt.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski.com's Daytona Entry List

  • Stewart-Haas has contingency plan for #41 team, Stewart and Busch comment: #14-Tony Stewart said the Stewart-Haas Racing team has a contingency plan ready if #41-Kurt Busch cannot drive in the Daytona 500. Busch is still waiting to hear whether he will face charges for an alleged Sept. 26 assault of his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, some comments:
    Q). We ended last season with an investigation (#41-Kurt Busch domestic abuse) just starting to occur, and here we are starting a new season and it's still unresolved. I was just wondering as a team owner, do you have some contingency plan?
    TONY STEWART: Yeah, we do, but we're kind of waiting to see. I'm very hopeful that we won't have to worry about it. I mean, I feel bad he's in that situation right now and that they're both in that situation. But we have to be smart and we have to have a plan in place if it doesn't work out for whatever reason.(Team Chevy)
    AND #41-Kurt Busch, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, some comments:
    Q). Tony said earlier today that the organization had to make a contingency plan. They're hopeful they don't have to put anything into place. I guess the challenges or frustration that this has kind of gone as long as it has and having to deal with that, how does that impact you?
    KURT BUSCH: I mean, the days in court and now that we're going close to day 100 as far as all the proceedings go, normal situations that happen around these types of situations take 30 minutes. So sometimes preferential treatment can go the wrong way.
    Q). What do you mean by that?
    KURT BUSCH: Normal situations like this take 30 minutes, so we're going close to day 100, so we all have to be patient. We all have to understand that there's a process that we have to respect, and the fact that no announcement has come out, each day that goes by continues to be good news, and with the team and their support, they've been fantastic, Gene Haas especially, it's amazing to have the comfort level that I have as well as to have told them the truth and understanding of everything. It's easy to be here and be pumped up about the season that's 10 days away.
    Q). Do you feel at peace? Do you feel like you're going to be able to race and be okay?
    KURT BUSCH: Yeah, I feel like it's full throttle, full steam ahead.
    Q). Are you indicating she's getting preferential treatment; is that what you were saying?
    KURT BUSCH: Normal situations like this I've been told take 30 minutes, so mine is four court days and 100 days of waiting.
    Q). What's the waiting deadline for you? How do you deal with it?
    KURT BUSCH: Well, it's a matter of just knowing that the truth has been told, and we'll see how things unfold. The process, we have to wait on what their decision is going to be.(Team Chevy)(2-12-2015)

  • Added some more new 2015 schemes: #98 Phoenix Construction, #40 Carsforsale.com, #34 CSX, #42 Target, #44 Golden Corral, #95 Thrivent Financial and #21 Motorcraft schemes to the Sprint Cup Paint Schemes Gallery.(2-12-2015)

  • Hillman Racing announces Partnership: Mike Hillman, founder of Hillman Racing and the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series #40 team, has added West Coast businessman Gordon Smith as co-owner of the newly rebranded Hillman Smith Motorsports, which will continue to field the #40 Chevy for driver Landon Cassill. The addition of Smith as co-owner of HS Motorsports has allowed the organization to expand in the off-season securing additional RCR (Richard Childress Racing) race cars, ECR engines for the entire 2015 Sprint Cup season, as well as adding an in-house, on-site engineering group. Smith, through his aviation and maritime companies, began his involvement with team owner Mike Hillman and the #40 team at the start of the 2014 season. The new partnership kicks off this weekend with qualifying for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Hillman Smith Motorsports Racing is housed in a 22,000-square-foot facility in Mooresville, N.C., and will field the #40 Chevy in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition in 2015 with driver Landon Cassill.(Hillman Smith Motorsports)(2-12-2015)

  • CSX and Ragan Pair Up for Third Straight Year: Front Row Motorsports and CSX will partner for a third straight season in 2015, returning the railroad's "Play It Safe" public service message to David Ragan's #34 Ford. The partnership will put the CSX Ford on track for eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, which will include the short-track excitement of Bristol Motor Speedway in April, the Fourth of July holiday weekend at Daytona International Speedway, and the historic Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. CSX is one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers, with a network covering 21,000 miles of railroad tracks in 23 states and two Canadian provinces. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company will once again use Ragan's ability to connect with fans to promote the message to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks by braking for trains at railroad crossings and staying off railroad tracks. In addition, Ragan will visit several CSX facilities to talk about how safety is stressed in the risky world of automobile racing. Two years into the partnership, CSX and Ragan continue to spread cautious words of advice to NASCAR's fan base, especially the millennial generation of 18- to 34-year-old males, the demographic mostly likely to be involved in a crossing collision and to trespass on tracks.
    "I've really enjoyed working with all the great people at CSX," Ragan said. "I've gotten to visit some rail yards and meet the professionals who keep the trains moving and do it with safety as their top priority. We're excited to keep spreading the message about playing it safe around trains and railroad tracks with our #34 CSX Ford program."
    "If we save just one life, this program is well worth it," said John Claybrooks, CSX Global Director, Brand & Digital Media. "There are a lot of parallels surrounding the importance of safety on the race track and around railroad tracks. The #34 Ford is a great partner communicating this message thoughtfully and creatively."
    Bob Jenkins is proud of how his team is the right fit for CSX's needs. "It will be great to have David and CSX teamed up once again in 2015," Jenkins said. "They've done a lot of great work together, not just at the track, but in schools and rail yards talking with kids and CSX employees. We're really proud of the platform that we've been able to offer to get their message out. It's a great partner success story for our team."
    The CSX "Play It Safe" Ford paint scheme will make its first appearance of the 2015 season on March 1 at Ragan's home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development.(FRM/Breaking Limits), see an image of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(2-12-2015)

  • Albertsons to sponsor Scott in some Cup races: Albertsons and the Safeway family of stores, which combined is the second-largest supermarket chain in North America, will partner with Richard Childress Racing, Brian Scott and the #2 NASCAR XFINITY Series team in 2015. The stores operate under store banners Albertsons, ACME, Shaw's, Star Markets, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Tom Thumb, Randalls, VONS, Pavil-ions, Carrs and Safeway. In select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, Scott will drive the #33 Circle Sport Racing Chevy with Albertsons as the primary sponsor. Founded in Boise, Idaho, the 76-year-old grocery chain will feature its supermarket brands along with several vendor partners this season.
    "Albertsons is a company rich with history and known for its quality supermarkets, innovation and people," said Richard Childress, CEO and Chairman for Richard Childress Racing. "Joe Albertson opened his first store in 1939 and built the company with a simple philosophy: 'whatever you do, take care of the customer.' It's something we strive to do at RCR every day and we're proud to represent the Albertsons' legacy and their 250,000 associates. They are a terrific addition to our family of blue-chip partners here at RCR."
    Albertsons will be making its return to NASCAR after leading Brian Scott to his first career NASCAR victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Dover International Speedway in 2009. "The relationship between Albertsons and my family is a very special one," Scott said. "This partnership will give me the opportunity to expand those relationship with the company and gain new ones with their associates. Albertsons was a part of my first NASCAR win, and if all things go well, they'll be a part of my first XFINITY Series win as well."
    With more than 2,200 stores, 250,000 employees and 27 distribution centers across 34 states, Albertsons rich legacy in the grocery business synchronizes with the roots of NASCAR and RCR. "The partnership with Richard Childress Racing and Brian Scott is important to everyone at the Albertsons-Safeway family of stores," said Shane Sampson, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Merchandising. " Joe Albertson and Richard (Childress) both began their respective companies with humble beginnings, but with a focus on 'doing what it right for the customer.' We are proud to have Brian Scott representing the Albertsons legacy both on and off the track and look forward to this coming season."(RCR)(2-12-2015)

  • The Sprint Unlimited Tidbits:
    - The number of participants has ranged from a low of seven in 1981 to a high of 28 in 2009 (25 are eligible for this year's event).
    - The drivers with the most Sprint Unlimited appearances:
    o Mark Martin (24) o Bill Elliott (23) o Jeff Gordon (21) o Ken Schrader (19) o Rusty Wallace (19) - Jeff Gordon has appeared in the most consecutive Sprint Unlimited races, competing in 21 consecutive events from 1994-2014.
    - There have been nine multiple winners in the Sprint Unlimited:
    o Dale Earnhardt won six events, most all-time (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995).
    o Dale Jarrett won in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
    o Kevin Harvick won in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
    o Tony Stewart won in 2001, 2002 and 2007.
    o Other multiple winners: Neil Bonnett (1983-1984), Ken Schrader, (1989-1990), Jeff Gordon (1994 and 1997), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003 and 2008) and Denny Hamlin (2006 and 2014).
    o Bonnett, Schrader, Stewart and Harvick are the only drivers to win back-to-back Sprint Unlimited races. No driver has won three consecutive Sprint Unlimited events.
    - Buddy Baker (1979, the first race for the event), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Jeff Gordon (1994), Dale Jarrett (1996) and Denny Hamlin (2006) all won the first Sprint Unlimited in which they competed.
    - Only five times in the 32-year history of the race has the winner gone on to win the Daytona 500:
    o Bobby Allison (1982)
    o Bill Elliott (1987)
    o Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000)
    o Jeff Gordon (1997)
    - There have been four winners from the pole: Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989) and Denny Hamlin (2014).
    - Two drivers have swept the Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 pole and Daytona 500 from 1979-2014: Dale Jarrett (2000) and Bill Elliott (1987)(NASCAR)

  • Different look for Patrick's car in Sprint Unlimited: TaxACT, the maker of do-it-yourself digital tax filing solutions that help millions of Americans file their taxes, is teaming up with GoDaddy as a co-primary sponsor of the #10 Chevy of Danica Patrick for the Sprint Unlimited. The official tax preparation service partner of Patrick and SHR will also serve as the #10 team's primary sponsor for the March race at Martinsville (SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page.(2-12-2015)

  • Rock Band 311 & BK Racing Partner for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season: Multi-platinum rock band, 311, will be an official media partner of the BK Racing organization for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Throughout the 38 race weekend-schedule for the 2015 season, BK Racing and 311 will work together to bring a new experience to both the NASCAR community and 311 fans through social media Q&A's, giveaways and photo sharing. NASCAR fans that follow and mention both @311 and @BKRacing_2383 on Twitter or Facebook will be eligible to win 311 gear and VIP NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hot Passes throughout the 2015 season.(BK Racing)(2-12-2015)

  • Racing Rocks! with Riki Rachtman now airs at the NASCAR Hall of Fame: United Stations Radio Networks marks the start of the 2015 NASCAR racing season with the announcement that Riki Rachtman, the host of its long-running show, "Racing Rocks!" is now anchoring his weekly program from the radio studio at The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC. The program has been consistently airing on over 100 affiliated radio stations weekly since the Spring of 2003, and Rachtman moved to the Charlotte area just recently to be closer to the many key players in the auto racing industry for the kickoff of the 2015 NASCAR schedule in Daytona on February 22nd. "Racing Rocks!" is a two-hour weekly long-form program that provides rock fans coast-to-coast with news, exclusive insights and exclusive interviews with drivers and other stars of the racing circuit, all as part of its dedicated coverage of the world of NASCAR, primarily the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The show is produced at USRN by Dave Kaufman. In the driver's seat as the host of both versions of Racing Rocks! is well-known air personality Riki Rachtman, a serious NASCAR fan and highly recognizable rock radio and TV figure. Rachtman emerged on the music scene in the late 80's when he opened his legendary rock-and-roll venue The Cathouse and served for five years as the host for MTV's "Headbanger's Ball." Rachtman, who is well-known among NASCAR's elite drivers and crew chiefs, has contributed in the past to NASCAR.com and also anchored programs on Fox's Speed Channel. On Racing Rocks! each week, Riki Rachtman delivers his unique perspective on the news in the sport of NASCAR racing, and his content covers everything from race results and driver standings to the behind the scenes happenings in NASCAR. Rachtman's move to North Carolina also includes the addition of WRFX-FM (99.7 The Fox) as an affiliate of Racing Rocks! with Riki Rachtman. The station will begin airing the program on Sunday mornings this weekend (Feb 15) which is the final week of the NASCAR pre-season.(Racing Rocks PR)(2-12-2015)

  • Albertson's sponsoring Scott: Albertsons and the Safeway family of stores, which combined is the second-largest supermarket chain in North America, will partner with Richard Childress Racing, Brian Scott and the #2 NASCAR XFINITY Series team in 2015. The stores operate under store banners Albertsons, ACME, Shaw's, Star Markets, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Tom Thumb, Randalls, VONS, Pavil-ions, Carrs and Safeway. In select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, Scott will drive the #33 Circle Sport Racing Chevrolet SS with Albertsons as the primary sponsor. Founded in Boise, Idaho, the 76-year-old grocery chain will feature its supermarket brands along with several vendor partners this season. Albertsons will be making its return to NASCAR after leading Brian Scott to his first career NASCAR victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Dover International Speedway in 2009.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(2-12-2015)

  • Disney Speedway to close: Walt Disney World Speedway will close in late June to make way for transportation improvements. The Richard Petty Driving Experience and the Exotic Driving Experience will no longer operate at at WDWS. "Disney has other uses for the property, and they have the right to do that, and we respect that," said Bill Scott, executive vice president of attractions operator Petty Holdings LLC. "It's not without some sadness that we leave Walt Disney World Speedway. We had a great home here." Disney would not provide details on what transportation projects would require the speedway's closure. The speedway lies south of the Magic Kingdom parking lot and west of World Drive. Petty Holdings informed employees Wednesday afternoon about the closure. It has about 70 people working at the speedway, including instructors, photographers and people who check in visitors. The target date for closure is June 28.(Orlando Sentinel)
    Petty Holdings Statement: Petty Holdings, operator of Richard Petty Driving Experience and Exotic Driving Experience, confirmed that starting July 1, they will no longer operate their experiences out of the Walt Disney World Speedway. Walt Disney World has plans to use the land to make transportation improvements. "Our main focus at this moment is taking care of our staff and preparing them for the upcoming transition," said Petty Holdings Vice President Bill Scott. "Any reserved guests prior to July 1 will have the same fantastic experience that we have delivered since 1997 at Walt Disney World Speedway." Anyone booked after June 30 for Richard Petty Driving Experience or Exotic Driving Experience can call 1.800.237.3889 to reschedule their experience at any of their 14 locations nationwide - including the location at Daytona International Speedway. Petty Holdings currently has plans in process for exotics and stock car programs in Orlando.(2-12-2015)

  • Marcus Smith now CEO of SMI: The board of directors for Speedway Motorsports, Inc. has named O. Bruton Smith as executive chairman and Marcus G. Smith as chief executive officer in a realignment of executive officers, the board announced Wednesday. O. Bruton Smith, who has served as chairman and chief executive officer since Speedway Motorsports, Inc.'s initial public offering in 1995, will report directly to the board of directors, working closely with the board and the chief executive officer to engage in the overall leadership and strategic direction of the company, guide senior management, coordinate activities of the board and communicate with the company's key stakeholders. In an expanded role, Marcus G. Smith, who has served as Speedway Motorsports, Inc.'s president and chief operating officer since 2008, will work closely with the executive chairman to manage day-to-day operations of the company, provide overall leadership and strategic direction and communicate with key stakeholders. Smith will maintain his roles and titles of president of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, positions he has held since 2008. The realignment, approved Wednesday by the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. board of directors, is effective immediately.(Speedway Motorsports)(2-12-2015)


    News from February 11, 2015

  • 'RaceBuddy' Gets the Green Flag for Entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season: As part of its landmark 10-year media partnership with FOX Sports, NASCAR will give fans aiming to kick their viewing experience into high gear access to RaceBuddyM - a digital video complement to the race broadcast - throughout the entire 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season for the first time. Offering viewers multiple live in-car HD camera angles to choose between, RaceBuddy puts fans in control of the action on their computer, tablet or mobile device. RaceBuddy launches the 2015 season with the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday, February 14 at 8:00 pm/et and will be available for the first time ever during the Daytona 500. In addition to every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, fans will also have access to RaceBuddy for most NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2015. In addition to the multiple live in-car HD camera views, RaceBuddy - available for free at NASCAR.com and to subscribers of the NASCAR Mobile AppTM - offers a live leaderboard, real-time race data and live chat capabilities, making it the ultimate complement to FOX and NBC race broadcasts.(NASCAR)(2-11-2015)

  • Bowyer's sponsors so far for 2015: 5-hour ENERGY enters its fourth consecutive year as primary sponsor of Bowyer's #15 Toyota Camry. Bowyer carries the 5-hour ENERGY logos for 24 races in 2015. PEAK Anti-freeze & Coolant provides primary support at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, Talladega Superspeedway on May 3 & Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 20. AAA Insurance serves as primary at Richmond International Raceway on April 25 and at Dover International Speedway on May 31.(MWR), that leaves six races without a primary sponsor named yet. See images of the 5-hour ENERGY and PEAK schemes on the #15 Team Schemes page.(2-11-2015)

  • Crispy M&M's to return, featured on #18 in 2015: For Kyle Busch and M&M's Crispy, 2015 is the year of the comeback. In January, Busch's primary backer M&M's listened to the fans and launched the highly anticipated return of M&M's Crispy. Just one month later, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fans are also looking forward to another highly anticipated return - the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, which kicks off with Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited exhibition race and culminates Feb. 22 with the 57th Daytona 500. To celebrate the return of M&M's Crispy, Busch's colorful #18 M&M's Crispy Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will introduce a new green paint scheme celebrating the return of Busch's favorite M&M's candy. While 2015 is about the celebration of the return of M&M's Crispy, there are also some exciting new elements for Busch and his teammates that have them looking forward to a return to success for the #18 M&M's Crispy team. The biggest of the new additions is the promotion of crew chief Adam Stevens from the JGR XFINITY Series shop to new crew chief for Busch's and the M&M's Crispy team's championship efforts in 2015. While Busch and Stevens will work together for the first time in NASCAR's top series in 2015, the driver-crew chief duo already knows its way to victory lane. In fact, Busch and Stevens have combined for 19 wins, 46 top-five finishes, and 47 top-10s in 52 XFINITY Series starts together over the last two seasons. One other exciting addition to the team, approximately mid-May, is the expected arrival of Busch's wife Samantha's first child, a son, who is due around NASCAR's annual stop at Charlotte.(JGR). See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(2-11-2015)

  • Driscoll email called for psy-ops war to manipulate media: As #14-Tony Stewart, coped last year with the most tragic accident ever to happen to him, Patricia Driscoll, the woman now accusing ex-boyfriend and NASCAR driver, #41-Kurt Busch, of domestic abuse, boasted her training in psychological warfare was needed to help Stewart's public relations team manipulate and control the media, according to an email obtained by Kickin' the Tires. "I am writing you because what little know about me you may not know that I have a background in Psychological Operations," Driscoll wrote, in an email dated Aug. 12, 2014. "Part of my training and skill set is to break down large issues and be able to convince large and small groups of people to do what you want. I've worked in countries all over the world waging not only physical wars but mental wars, and I've helped get a lot of Congressman save their jobs when they did some stupid and not so legal things."(see full article at KickinTheTires)(2-11-2015)

  • Petree hired by FoxSports: FOX Sports announced the addition of former racer, team owner and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship crew chief Andy Petree to the newly created on-air position of rules analyst for the 2015 FOX NASCAR race season. With the imminent debut of NASCAR's new video officiating system on pit road, Petree is tasked with explaining any technical violations to the viewing audience, beginning this week at Daytona. "Not unlike what Mike Pereira does for us during or NFL on FOX broadcasts, we felt the new technical environment in NASCAR lends itself to creating a similar voice on the FOX NASCAR broadcast team," said John Entz, FOX Sports EVP of Production/Executive Producer. "Andy will work into the role of 'rules guru,' giving our audience a strong and consistent point of reference from the broadcast booth." NASCAR's new officiating system utilizes 45 cameras arranged in six-camera clusters on the grandstand side of a racetrack, with violations reported in real-time to the event broadcaster.(FoxSports)(2-11-2015)

  • Fast Talk from Daytona Beach returns: The Performance Racing Network will continue its season kickoff celebration from Daytona Beach, FL with the second annual "Fast Talk from Daytona Beach" presented by Outback Steakhouse. The free live event will take place at the Outback Steakhouse across from Daytona International Speedway February 18 and February 19, 2015. See drivers and more info on the Driver Appearances page.

  • Actor Vince Vaughn Named Grand Marshal for Daytona 500: Vince Vaughn, the star of 20th Century Fox's and New Regency's upcoming comedy "Unfinished Business," in theaters everywhere March 6, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. As Grand Marshal, Vaughn will announce the famous four words in motorsports, "Drivers, start your engines." Along with the starting command, Vaughn will participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race. "We are thrilled to welcome Vince Vaughn as Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We look forward to hearing Vince Vaughn's command as we kick off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in front of hundreds of thousands of fans and millions more watching on FOX."
    "Last year was an exciting one for NASCAR and I can't wait to help kick off the 2015 season as the DAYTONA 500 Grand Marshal," Vaughn said. "The DAYTONA 500 is one of the biggest events in all of sports and I feel honored to be able to be a part of it in it in such a major way."(DIS)(2-11-2015)

  • Clements Racing partners with ALS Association South Carolina Chapter: Jeremy Clements Racing and ALS Association South Carolina Chapter have announced their partnership for the 2015 season. ALSASC has named Jeremy Clements Racing as their official NASCAR team. Jeremy Clements Racing had the opportunity to support ALSASC last season, after driver Jeremy Clements offered to carry the organization's logo on the hood of the #51 Chevy at the Kansas race on October 4, 2014 in honor of Wayne Chapman, a local fan who passed away from ALS. Wayne's son, Jacob Chapman wrote to Clements and asked him if he would do something in memory of his father, who was also a fan. "It was an honor to pay tribute to a great man who had such an impact on our local community", Clements said. During the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season, JCR will carry of the logo of ALSASC on the #51 at select races and help to create awareness of this disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. According to the ALS Association approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.(Clements Racing PR)(2-11-2015)

  • Axalta to sponsor Phoenix XFINITY race: Phoenix International Raceway announced that Axalta Coating Systems will be recognized as the title sponsor of the track's March NASCAR XFINITY Series race. The Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200, a two-year entitlement, will officially kick off the NASCAR XFINITY series at PIR on Saturday, March 14 at 1:00pm local time. Axalta Coating Systems will be the official automotive and industrial paint of PIR. The leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, Axalta has a long history in the racing industry. In addition to being the sponsor of the #24 Axalta Chevy SS, driven by Jeff Gordon, Axalta is also the official paint supplier of Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing. The primer base coat is also used for JR Motorsports XFINITY cars, Kyle Busch Motorsports XFINITY cars and Kasey Kahne's dirt track sprint car.(PIR)(2-11-2015)

  • Johanna Long to run partial XFINITY, CWTS schedule UPDATE: Mike Affarano Motorsports announced Wednesday that Johanna Long will compete with the team in select NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series events in 2015. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to race this season with Mike Affarano Motorsports," said Long. "In a time when drivers are pressured to bring sponsorship money to teams in order to race, it was great to have my phone ring and be approached because of my talent." Long competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series part time in 2012 and 2013, and looks to continue to gain experience in the series. In 2012, she became the youngest female driver to compete in the Xfinity Series. Long will make her team debut in the currently unsponsored #03 Xfinity Series Chevy on Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway. Mike Affarano Motorsports, located in Salisbury, N.C., is new to the Xfinity Series. The team made major investments over the off-season to upgrade their inventory with former Turner Scott Motorsports cars.(Affarano Motorsports)(1-28-2015)
    UPDATE: Johanna Long's plans to return to a NASCAR driver's seat in 2015 have been put on hold. In a telephone conversation with espnW.com on Wednesday, Long said she and her Mike Affarano Racing team have decided not to race during the season-opening Speedweeks events at Daytona International Speedway this month as originally hoped. "The car we planned to run did not have the necessary updates that are required to pass the NASCAR certification process," Long said. She said rather than rush the updates onto the car, the decision was made to pull out of the Alert Today Florida 300, which is scheduled for Feb. 21. Asked when the car would be ready and able to race, Long said, "It's hard to put a time frame on it. We're just trying to get as prepared as possible for when we do make our debut." The plan was to enter the #03 Chevy in the Xfinity event at Daytona even though no primary sponsor had been inked.(ESPN.com)(2-11-2015)

  • Weller to run limited INFINITY schedule: After making his debut in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Richmond International Raceway last season, Jimmy Weller will return to the series to compete on a limited basis in 2015. The Hubbard, Ohio native will drive the #90 Geneva-Liberty Steel / My Video Library / Weller-Hughes General Contracting & Developing Chevy Camaro for King Autosports. Weller currently has four races included on his 2015 schedule, beginning with the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28. In addition to the race at Atlanta, the rookie's schedule will be rounded out with NASCAR XFINITY Series events at Richmond International Raceway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Weller also continues to seek sponsorship for additional events throughout the 2015 season.(Jimmy Weller PR)(2-11-2015)

  • Yeley returning to JGL for full season: From an interview with Frontstretch:
    Yeley: It is official. I will be coming back to drive the #28 Texas Spirits Toyota for the entire season in the XFINITY Series. That team made a manufacturer change - we actually ran a Toyota at Homestead. We were just so limited trying to run the Dodge bodies and the Dodge engines - without Dodge coming back in the sport, NASCAR really didn't want us to do a lot to the bodies. So, we made that change and Eric McClure will be my teammate. So it will be a two-car team, and I'm really looking forward to running for a championship on the XFINITY side. I'm very optimistic. We found out late last year, from a horsepower standpoint we were pretty far off on the torque numbers too. Knowing we are much closer on that side, plus the Toyota bodies are going to produce a little less drag and a little more downforce. Everything we've done in the offseason has been positive and to know we were a team that could consistently run in the top 15, shooting for top 10s, that's encouraging. The way that series is, you want to win races but consistency usually pays big dividends. If we make sure a couple of DNFs don't happen again, we're a team that could definitely go for the top 5 in points and potentially pick off a couple of wins here and there.(Frontstretch)(2-11-2015)

  • Sad News - Dane Miller: Dane Miller, a biomedical engineer and entrepreneur sometimes known as "Mr. Biomet," died today, company officials confirmed. Miller, one of four founders of Biomet Inc., was CEO of the Warsaw [Indiana]-based orthopedic devices manufacturer from its founding in 1977 until 2006.(Journal Gazette), Miller was the husband of Mary Louise Miller, co-owner of the former #70 ML Motorsports XFINITY team.(2-11-2015)

  • Uncle Bob's Self Storage to sponsor Sieg: RSS Racing announced Ryan Sieg will return full-time to the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015. The team will have primary sponsorship from Uncle Bob's Self Storage for 16 races, starting with the season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 21st. Uncle Bob's Self Storage will remain an associate sponsor for the remaining 17 races of the schedule. Ryan Sieg is coming off an impressive rookie season for the single car team. Sieg had only 6 finishes outside of the top 25.(RSS Racing), see an image of the car on the #39 team paint schemes page.(2-11-2015)

  • McClure to receive award: #24-Eric McClure has been named the A.L. Mitchell Young Alumnus of the Year by Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA. McClure is an 2000 graduate with a Mass Communications Degree.(2-11-2015)


    News from February 10, 2015

  • Justin Marks to attempt Daytona 500 with RAB Racing, American Born Moonshine to sponsor: American Born Moonshine, an authentic, all-American made moonshine brand, announced that it would partner with RAB Racing and Win-Tron Racing to make its first entry into NASCAR. Driver Justin Marks will join American Born Moonshine as they strive to conquer the "triple" this month at Daytona International Speedway. American Born Moonshine, founded by former Notre Dame Quarterback Patrick Dillingham and U.S. Marine Corps Captain and Iraq War veteran Sean Koffel, will be the primary sponsor of the #29 Toyota fielded by RAB Racing in the brand's first attempt at the Daytona 500. Marks will also drive the #29 American Born Moonshine Toyota Camry for RAB Racing in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition and the #35 GoPro Motorplex/American Born Moonshine Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
    "The partnership with RAB Racing and Win-Tron Racing is an incredible first step for us at American Born Moonshine to join the family of NASCAR and support Justin Marks," said Sean Koffel, co-founder, American Born Moonshine. "The foundation of our company was built on paying homage to the moonshiners and bootleggers of our country's past and NASCAR has played a central role in that story."
    American Born Moonshine, was launched by Windy Hill Spirits, a Nashville-based company founded in 2012 by Dillingham and Koffel to bring a moonshine whiskey to consumers that would honor the incredible tradition of American moonshiners. The two were inspired by amazing family moonshine stories and recipes shared by friends and fellow Marines that grew up in and around the Appalachian Mountains. While starting Windy Hill Spirits and American Born Moonshine, Dillingham and Koffel spent a year traveling the Appalachians and the greater South, spending time with families, hearing first-hand accounts of moonshining and bootlegging legends, tasting a lot of great moonshine, and developing an enormous appreciation for the role moonshine has played in American history.
    Marks, 33, will attempt to make his first career Daytona 500 start in the #29 American Born Moonshine Toyota fielded by RAB Racing. He'll also compete in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series events in American Born Moonshine-sponsored entries in the #29 Toyota for RAB Racing and the #35 Toyota Tundra for Win-Tron Racing, respectively.
    "We built RAB Racing around Justin in 2007 in the ARCA Racing Series," said RAB Racing owner Robby Benton. "He's remained a good friend as he progressed through his racing career and I'm proud to have him back in our cars for Daytona. It's great to bring in a new sponsor to the industry and introduce them to the strength of NASCAR and its loyal fan following. American Born Moonshine is a great fit for the NASCAR demographic and it will be nice to see the roots of our sport finding a way to advertise creatively in the modern era."
    Marks has one career Sprint Cup start at Sonoma Raceway in 2013. In his most recent XFINITY start last August, Marks posted a sixth-place finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Ohio. He's competed in 35 Camping World Truck Series races where he has earned two poles and four top-10 finishes. His sole victory at Daytona came in the GT division of the 2009 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Marks is also co-owner of HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks in NASCAR K&N Pro Series competition and owner of GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C.
    "This is the biggest week of the year for NASCAR and our team is ready to take on Daytona," said Marks. "We are thrilled to partner up with American Born Moonshine and are hopeful that this will be the first of many great runs with them."
    American Born Moonshine looks to continue to support NASCAR and its moonshining and bootlegging roots through select, personal partnerships throughout the sport, including the Official Spirits Sponsorship of Catwalk for a Cause, a Martin Truex Jr. Foundation event in May. They'll also enter grassroots racing with sponsorship of the Larson Marks Racing World of Outlaws sprint car team.(RAB Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #29 Team Schemes page.(2-10-2015)

  • Crazy Vapors to sponsor #66 and Mike Wallace at Daytona: Craig Perryman and Patrick King through their Crazy Vapors Company will serve as primary sponsor for Mike Wallace and The #66 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team for The Daytona 500 on February 22, 2015. Mike Wallace says, "I can't wait to get on the track in The Crazy Vapors #66, we are bringing back the same car that we had at Talladega. The team has continued working on the car through the winter and has been able to find a little more speed. Also, we believe the engine will be a little better so I feel like we have a really good shot in Daytona." Crazy Vapors is an electronic cigarette, e-liquid, accessory and online store. Crazy Vapors opened their first location in Augusta, GA in December 2012.(Premium Motorsports), see images of the car on the #66 Team Schemes page.(2-10-2015)

  • Sorenson to drive for Xtreme Racing at Daytona UPDATE: Reed Sorenson is getting "xtreme" for the 2015 Daytona 500 as he joins John Cohen's Team Xtreme Racing. Sorenson joins the team after competing full-time with Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2014. Heading into the sport's most prestigious race of the season, Team Xtreme Racing is also proud to welcome Golden Corral onboard as primary sponsor of the #44 Chevy. Returning to the organization to resume crew chief duties will be 20-year NASCAR veteran Peter Sospenzo. "The 44 team has been hard at work over the offseason," said owner John Cohen. "We have made some big steps to further our efforts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and it all begins at Daytona. Hiring Reed Sorenson to drive for us at the 500 was the right move for our team, he excels at restrictor plate racing and we are excited to get to Daytona."(140 BUZZ)(2-9-2015)
    UPDATE: The Golden Corral is a one-off deal for Xtreme Motorsports. The sponsor will rejoin Tommy Baldwin Racing for the other three restrictor plate races on the #7 Chevy with driver Alex Bowman.(Motorsport)(2-10-2015)

    DiBenedetto to run some races for BK Racing: Matt DiBenedetto tweeted Monday, "I can announce that I have been signed with @BKRacing_2383 to run select races in the 83 Sprint Cup car! Blessed to have this opportunity." DiBenedetto ran 29 NASCAR XFINITY races last season, mostly with The Motorsports Group. He was previously a development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing.(2-10-2015)

    NASCAR partners with SportsData to distribute Live Timing & Scoring Data: NASCAR announced a partnership with sports content provider SportsData, the U.S. subsidiary of global market leader Sportradar, to distribute its live timing and scoring data to third-party digital outlets. SportsData, which has a customer base that includes Google, Facebook, Twitter and Bleacher Report, will be the first content provider to go to market with data from the NASCAR timing and scoring feed for an entire race weekend. The real-time data will be available for all three national series (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) and allow digital outlets to develop enhanced NASCAR digital products, such as:
    - Live race leaderboard, including driver position, caution data, lap number and more
    - Practice and qualifying leaderboards
    - Official post-race race results
    - Official post-race points standings
    - Weekly entry lists
    "Real-time data is imperative to today's sports fan," said Colin Smith, NASCAR Vice President, Digital Media. "While we will continue to offer live timing and scoring and other data sets on NASCAR.com, this partnership with SportsData will extend NASCAR's reach and allow an array of digital platforms to service sports fans more accurately and completely."(NASCAR)(2-10-2015)

  • Brennan Poole in the #42 for 15 races: HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi announced they have partnered with DC Solar Solutions as primary sponsor for multiple races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series on the #42 Chevy Camaro for the 2015 season. Brennan Poole, 23, will pilot the #42 DC Solar Solutions Chevy Camaro in 15 races in 2015. The Texas native will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7. Poole is a veteran of ARCA Racing Series competition. In 35 starts, the young driver has six wins, 18 top-five and 27 top-10s to go with four career poles. DC Solar Solutions is a newcomer to the sport of NASCAR. Their green technology specializes in mobile solar equipment, including generators, light towers, electric vehicle charging stations and telecommunications. Poole will drive the DC Solar Solutions Chevy Camaro 15 times in the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season (Las Vegas 3/7, Phoenix 3/14, Texas 4/10, Bristol 4/18, Richmond 4/24, Talladega 5/2, Dover 5/30, Chicagoland 6/20, Daytona 7/4, Kentucky 7/10, Loudon 7/18, Richmond, 9/11, Kentucky 9/26, Charlotte 10/9, Kansas 10/17). DC Solar Solutions will also serve as an associate partner on the No. 42 Chevrolet throughout the remaining schedule.(HScott Motorsports)(2-10-2015)

  • Lagasse driving for TriStar at Daytona: Joining forces for the first time, TriStar Motorsports and Scott Lagasse Jr. ink a deal for the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 21st. Lagasse, of St. Augustine, Fla., will pilot the #19 Alert Today Florida Camry with veteran Crew Chief Paul Clapprood calling the shots. The Florida Native will team up with the Florida Department of Transportation in their "Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow" initiative for their second season together, with their last race being the NASCAR XFINITY Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The campaign helps raise awareness that safety doesn't happen by accident, reminding everyone on the roadways to pay attention while following the rules of the road.(TriStar Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #19 team paint schemes page.(2-10-2015)

  • Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup joins JRM: JR Motorsports announced today the addition of Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup to its 2015 partner lineup in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Made and marketed by the same Wisconsin family since 1928, Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup will be featured as primary sponsor of Regan Smith's #7 Chevy in races at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 23) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 18). In addition to its primary placement, Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup will also be an associate sponsor for five races throughout the season, beginning next month at Auto Club Speedway (March 21). Events at Richmond International Raceway (April 24), Talladega Superspeedway (May 2), Road America (Aug. 29) and Chicagoland (Sept. 19) will follow.(JR Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(2-10-2015)

  • Marks to drive for RAB at Datyona: Real moonshine is coming back to its roots in NASCAR. American Born Moonshine, an authentic, all-American made moonshine brand, announced that it would partner with RAB Racing and Win-Tron Racing to make its first entry into NASCAR. Driver Justin Marks will join American Born Moonshine as they strive to conquer the "triple" this month at Daytona International Speedway. American Born Moonshine, founded by former Notre Dame Quarterback Patrick Dillingham and U.S. Marine Corps Captain and Iraq War veteran Sean Koffel, will be the primary sponsor of the #29 Toyota fielded by RAB Racing in the brand's first attempt at the Daytona 500. Marks will also drive the #29 American Born Moonshine Toyota Camry for RAB Racing in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition and the #35 GoPro Motorplex/American Born Moonshine Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.(Spire Sports PR), see an image of the car on the #29 team paint schemes page.(2-10-2015)

  • Marks, WinTron team up for Daytona: Real moonshine is coming back to its roots in NASCAR. Today American Born Moonshine, an authentic, all-American made moonshine brand, announced that it would partner with RAB Racing and Win-Tron Racing to make its first entry into NASCAR. Driver Justin Marks will join American Born Moonshine as they strive to conquer the "triple" this month at Daytona International Speedway. American Born Moonshine, founded by former Notre Dame Quarterback Patrick Dillingham and U.S. Marine Corps Captain and Iraq War veteran Sean Koffel, will be the primary sponsor of the #29 Toyota fielded by RAB Racing in the brand's first attempt at the Daytona 500. Marks will also drive the #29 American Born Moonshine Toyota Camry for RAB Racing in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition and the #35 GoPro Motorplex/American Born Moonshine Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.(See an image of the truck on the #35 Team Paint Schemes page)(Spire Sports)(2-10-2015)

  • Hayley joins ThorSport, Hensley to crew chief: ThorSport Racing is pleased to announce that NASCAR Next driver Cameron Hayley will pilot the #13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015. Hayley, who made his series debut in 2014 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ont., Canada, and has three series starts to his resume, will compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors this season. The 18-year-old driver began his racing career in karts at the age of seven and debuted in NASCAR by running a partial K&N Pro Series West schedule in 2011. Hayley, the youngest driver ever to compete in the K&N West series, posted top-five finishes in two of his four starts, including an impressive second-place finish in his series debut at Montana Raceway Park in Kalispell. His success led to a full-time K&N Series West schedule in 2012, where he posted five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Hayley was also named to NASCAR's Next class in 2012, a select group chosen by the sanctioning body that spotlights NASCAR's rising stars. The Calgary, Alta., native went on to make three NCWTS starts in 2014, amassing a career-best second-place starting position at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and amassing two top-10 finishes. Hayley's 2015 campaign will be led by Xfinity Series championship-winning crew chief, Jeff Hensley. As an 11-year veteran of the NCWTS, Hensley has 260 series starts to his credit including 13 wins, 31 poles, 72 top-five and 137 top-10 finishes. As the longest tenured team in the NCWTS garage, ThorSport Racing will kick off its 20th season of competition in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 20.(See an image of the truck on the #13 Team Paint Schemes page)(ThorSport Racing)(2-10-2015)

  • Aurora, Colorado considering change that could help racetrack developers: An Aurora racetrack has been unthinkable for years thanks to a rule that prohibits the city from offering financial incentives to a racetrack developer. That could finally change. The ordinance, which dates back to 1999, does the city no favors, says Councilwoman Sally Mounier. That's why she is proposing a referendum for the 2016 election that would ask Aurora voters to repeal the rule. Mounier said she's not motivated to put the issue on the ballot because she's been approached by a developer about a potential raceway in the city. "I'm doing this because I think it's the right thing to do, and the timing seems to be right," she says. "I think the (city) charter is not a place to discriminate against a particular business." She introduced the idea at city council's Management and Finance committee meeting Jan. 28 where it was unanimously approved by city council committee members. In 1999, a citizen group named Concerned Residents Against Speedway Havoc was successful in convincing voters to pass a November ballot initiative preventing the city from providing "indirect or direct subsidies" to any type of motor racetrack. "Those things are just huge, expensive to build," said Mayor Steve Hogan of the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to build speedways on the scale of the Indianapolis 500. "At some point in time if there were a serious proposal to get something like that into the area, it would be nice for Aurora to be able to cooperate with other interests to make it happen rather than saying we've got the land, but we can't help you. I think most council members then and now understand that if there ever were to be a NASCAR facility in the metro area, the best place would be on the east side of the metro area, and that's Aurora," he said. The International Speedway Corp., which owns and operates numerous NASCAR tracks across the country, announced in 2007 its intent to build a racetrack in the Denver area. Aurora became one of the likely candidates, with a parcel near the High Point development in far north Aurora near Denver International Airport, and another east of that site near Watkins. That project never came to fruition because of the economic downturn.(Aurora Sentinel)(2-10-2015)

  • Atlanta to honor Jeff Gordon with race weekend tribute: In 1992, few could have predicted that when Jeff Gordon strapped into the #24 car for Hendrick Motorsports at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his first Sprint Cup Series start on Nov. 15 of that year that he was embarking on a career more than two decades long to become one of the sport's foremost icons. Twenty-three years and four Sprint Cup Series championships later, Gordon will return March 1 to Atlanta, still driving the #24 for Hendrick Motorsports, to compete for his sixth career victory there, as his final full-time season behind the wheel begins in earnest. Through the years, both Gordon and his fans have made countless memories, many of which are rooted in his Atlanta success and the four championships he has celebrated at the storied track. As part of the weekend tribute to Gordon, Atlanta Motor Speedway has established a commemorative ticket package for his final race in Atlanta as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. Fans who take advantage of the extremely limited Jeff Gordon ticket package will receive $24 off individual tickets in the Upper Winners Grandstand, Upper Champions Grandstand or Upper Earnhardt Grandstand for the March 1 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Additionally, fans who renew their tickets for 2016 will be invited to special event with Gordon in attendance during next year's race weekend, as well as an automatic entry into the Atlanta Motor Speedway Insider's Club.(AMS)(2-10-2015)


    News from February 9, 2015

  • Gilliland's team withdraws from Sprint Unlimited; Stenhouse, Jr. in: #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is the fourth driver to be added to Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited to fill the 25-car field. Stenhouse is in the race after #38-David Gilliland's team withdrew. A spokesperson for Front Row Motorsports said the team did not have sponsorship for the event and elected to skip it. Others who were eligible to compete in the 75-lap exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway but won't are Brian Scott, Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger.(NBC Sports), see the complete entry list on the Sprint Unlimited race page.(2-9-2015)

  • Pockrass Joins ESPN.com: Award-winning motorsports writer Bob Pockrass has joined ESPN and will cover NASCAR for ESPN.com effective immediately. Pockrass, who has been covering NASCAR since 1991, will produce news stories, features, analysis, columns, blogs and more for the NASCAR section of ESPN.com. The 2015 NASCAR season begins at Daytona International Speedway later this week. Also, John Oreovicz, who has covered IndyCar, NHRA, NASCAR and other forms of motorsports for ESPN.com since 2004, has signed a contract with ESPN to continue his writing and reporting role. Oreovicz will join Pockrass in Florida to cover NASCAR Daytona Speedweeks for ESPN.com along with ESPN the Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee and ESPN bureau reporter Marty Smith.Pockrass was most recently NASCAR writer for The Sporting News, a continuation of his previous position as associate editor for NASCAR Scene and SceneDaily.com that began in 2003. During those years he was twice named Writer of the Year by the National Motorsports Press Association (2009, 2013) and received numerous writing awards. Pockrass, who was twice named to the SI.com "Twitter 100" of 100 sports personalities to follow on Twitter (2011, 2012), has also made dozens of television and radio appearances as a NASCAR expert. Pockrass began his journalism career as a sports reporter for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, covering Florida State football, college and high school sports and motorsports for the 100,000-circulation daily newspaper from 1991-2003. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a major in Journalism. "Adding an accomplished veteran in Bob Pockrass to ESPN.com's editorial staff is another step in ESPN's continuing to serve NASCAR's passionate and dedicated fanbase going forward," said Patrick Stiegman, ESPN vice president, editorial, digital and print media. "We look forward to having Bob's work appearing on our platforms."(ESPN)(2-9-2015)

  • Sorenson to drive for Xtreme Racing at Daytona: Reed Sorenson is getting "xtreme" for the 2015 Daytona 500 as he joins John Cohen's Team Xtreme Racing. Sorenson joins the team after competing full-time with Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2014. Heading into the sport's most prestigious race of the season, Team Xtreme Racing is also proud to welcome Golden Corral onboard as primary sponsor of the #44 Chevy. Returning to the organization to resume crew chief duties will be 20-year NASCAR veteran Peter Sospenzo. "The 44 team has been hard at work over the offseason," said owner John Cohen. "We have made some big steps to further our efforts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and it all begins at Daytona. Hiring Reed Sorenson to drive for us at the 500 was the right move for our team, he excels at restrictor plate racing and we are excited to get to Daytona."(140 BUZZ)(2-9-2015)

  • Helton named Vice Chairman of NASCAR; Dewar added to Board: NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France announced that Mike Helton has been named Vice Chairman of NASCAR and Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar has been added to the NASCAR Board of Directors, effective immediately. Helton has served as NASCAR President since 2000 and has been with the sanctioning body in various roles since 1994. In his new capacity, Helton will remain the senior NASCAR official at all national series racing events overseeing competition, work closely with France on long-term strategic planning and represent NASCAR in a wide-range of roles to further grow the sport. He remains a member of the board of directors. Dewar, who joined NASCAR in December of 2013 after a long career in the automotive industry and later as a consultant to a number of global companies, will assume additional day-to-day operational responsibilities in racing development, innovation and work with NASCAR partners and stakeholders.
    The moves announced are part of a long-term strategic plan spearheaded by France to strengthen NASCAR's senior leadership team and broaden the responsibility for key areas of the business. In December of 2013, NASCAR elevated Steve Phelps to Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and Steve O'Donnell to Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, giving both more direct oversight of key business areas. Phelps and O'Donnell also were relocated from NASCAR's Daytona Beach headquarters to the Charlotte region to oversee operations at NASCAR Plaza in uptown Charlotte and the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, respectively, and to strengthen alignment and communication with key industry stakeholders based in the Carolinas.(NASCAR)(2-9-2015)

  • BK Racing to announce driver of #26, Jeb Burton UPDATES: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team BK Racing will hold a press conference announcing both the driver and primary sponsor of the #26 Toyota Camry followed by Q&A session on Monday, February, 9 at 11:00am/et at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Great Hall (BK Racing).
    Hearing that Jeb Burton, so of Ward Burton, could be the driver of the #26. Burton ran the truck series in 2014 in the #13 ThorSport Racing Toyota with Estes as the sponsor. Burton was supposed to return to the team but the sponsor and team couldn't reach an agreement, so Burton is looking for a ride.(2-8-2015)
    UPDATE: BK Racing is set to announce Monday that Jeb Burton will join the team full-time as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015 and beyond. Burton is scheduled to replace Cole Whitt as the driver of the #26 Toyota for team owner Ron Devine, starting with his Sprint Cup debut in the season-opening Daytona 500. Team co-owner Anthony Marlowe confirmed the move Sunday afternoon to NASCAR.com, saying that it has signed a multiyear agreement with the 22-year-old driver. A formal announcement is scheduled Monday morning at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Burton is scheduled to be joined at Monday's news conference by his father, Ward Burton, who will assist BK Racing as a driving coach and team ambassador.(NASCAR.com)(2-8-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Jeb Burton has signed with BK Racing for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season, as the driver of the #26 Toyota Camry. Jeb Burton, the son of Daytona 500 Champion Ward Burton, will be competing in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as a Rookie of the Year Contender. Twenty-two year old Burton has had a great start to his racing career with one Camping World Truck Series win, seven Top 5's, nineteen Top 10's and seven Coors Light Pole awards. After finishing in the Top 10 55% of the time in the trucks series, and sitting on the pole 14% of the time, Burton looks to make an unforgettable debut in the top series in motorsports, starting February 22nd Daytona. BK Racing Co-Owner, Anthony Marlowe commented on Jeb Burton joining the team, "We are very lucky to have a great, young talented driver like Jeb Burton in one of our NASCAR Sprint Cup cars. It was important for us to find full-time anchor drivers for this season that are experienced and team-oriented. Jeb's success in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series along with his family's history in the sport makes his emergence into Cup a great story. The story, which also includes having a strong shot at winning Sunoco Rookie of the Year in 2015, has already proven to be very marketable. I look forward to seeing Jeb behind the wheel of the #26 Toyota Camry very soon. I think he is going to do great in the Daytona 500."
    "I am so thankful for the opportunity that BK Racing has given me," Jeb commented. "It has been a dream of mine to race in the Daytona 500 ever since I was 9 years old and I stood with my Dad in victory lane. I remember thinking to myself then in 2002, I would like to win the 500 one day. Now I have a chance at making that dream come true. I am looking forward to making the 500, providing the best possible finish I can by running and racing hard every lap this season. I also look forward to competing for the 2015 title of Rookie of the Year. Each week, I will be concentrating on finishing on the lead lap and learning as much as possible." Additionally, Ward Burton will be a team ambassador for BK Racing and join Jeb in select appearances throughout the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season.(BK Racing)(2-9-2015)

  • Technology expected to improve inspections this season: Up until last September, the only way for NASCAR officials to tell how quickly the inspection process was moving was to walk to each inspection station and see for themselves. No more. As in so many areas of life these days, there's an app for that. At the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, NASCAR unveiled a technology that lets officials see whether inspection is running on schedule thanks to a real-time app created by Microsoft. Using a tablet device in the NASCAR hauler office, Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck can monitor each inspection station, see which cars have been tagged for infractions and track the individual progress for each car.
    For example: With a couple of taps on the screen, Buck can learn that 48% of the cars have completed inspection and there have been five infractions (a fender or a side skirt that isn't quite within the tolerances, for example). If he wants to get more information, he can click on the number to see which cars have run afoul of the rules and why. "I can see the time-management portion of all the different stations," he said. "It'll be like, 'We're starting to back up here, what's going on? I need to start checking with that station and find out what the issue is.' Then I can look at the issue, and I make a decision whether I need to go intervene and go support my staff at that station and find a solution to it." Keeping track of the time is important, because NASCAR calculates down to the second how much time should be allotted for the inspection process, Buck said. Fans often only hear about inspection when a car hasn't gotten through as the clock ticks down to qualifying or the race.
    In past years, NASCAR would allow a team with an infraction to fix its issue and then get back in line, cutting in front of teams that hadn't been given a chance to go through even once. That allowed crew chiefs to do the minimum when it came to trying to fix infractions; if the adjustment didn't get them within the tolerances, they could just try again. But starting last year NASCAR decided a car with an infraction would have to wait until everyone got through. That change, along with the app, has helped NASCAR speed up the entire process.
    In addition to time management, NASCAR is gaining access to more information. Inspectors at the individual stations mark infractions with comments and digital photos. That goes into a database, including how the problem was fixed, and officials can use it to spot trends. Before the app, officials had to search through paperwork and handwritten forms to search for trends. That's important, because rule changes can be based on what direction the garage is going.(USA Today)(2-9-2015)

  • RPM makes changes to strengthen pit crews: In racing if you're not moving forward you might be moving backwards. That's not the case for Richard Petty Motorsports. During the off season RPM has made multiple changes to their #9 and #43 pit crews and also added a new coach. All the changes are definitely in a positive direction. The first major move of the off season was getting long time pit coach Gary Smith in place. Smith comes over from BK Racing last year and has decades of experience on pit road. Coach Andrew Carter of RPM left mid season last year to pursue a career outside of racing.
    #9 Team - Aaron Powell and Joel Coronel will be anchoring down the front as changer and carrier. Those two guys were on the team last year. Jacking the car this year will be Gabe Martin. Gabe was on the #10 last year and will be taking over in place of Kevin Wing who left to become a Gas Man at RFR. In the rear will be Changer Colin Fambrough and Carrier Donnie Marvel. Donnie is hurt at the moment so carrier Josh Chaney will be filling in until Marvel is back healthy. Fambrough was at Penske for the last 3 years before ending up at RPM. Gassing the car will be a new addition as well. Gas Man Ben Runge will be taking over for Ryan Dextraze. Runge is coming over from #13 team where he gassed last year.
    #43 Team - Holding down the fronts on the #43 is long time RPM Changer Greg Donlin and Front Carrier Lance Hanna. Jacking this year will be T.J. Ford. Ford takes over the position from Mike Brown. Ford was previously on the #48 for a couple years before coming over to RPM. On the rear will be long time super star Kyle Power and carrier James Houk. Both guys were at RPM last year as well. Gassing will be Justin Riesman. Riesman is coming over from the RFR and will be taking over for Joe "Hoss" Karazinski.(Pit Talks)(2-9-2015)

  • SWAE Watches partners with Cope: As a new exhilarating adventure for SWAE Watches, they announced a new relationship with the Cope Racing Team. "We are excited to be sponsoring Derrike and the #70 Charlies Soap Car for the 2015 Xfinity NASCAR season. Team SWAE will be heading out to Daytona for the season opener to celebrate the season opener and the new relationship with the Cope Racing Team." As a special offer to kick this relationship off right, SWAE is extending a tremendous discount for "THE VETERAN" watch (Derrike's favorite watch) to all the Cope Racing Team fans. Use the "SUPPORTOURTROOPS" discount code at www.swaewatches.com during checkout to get a special price.(Derrike Cope Racing)(2-9-2015)

  • James Buescher to run partial Trucks schedule: NTS Motorsports unveils a robust lineup for 2015, fielding full-time vehicles in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour, in addition to a part-time NCWTS entry and select starts in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. Headlining the NTS Motorsports lineup are 2013 Southern Super Series champion Daniel Hemric and 2012 NCWTS champion James Buescher, with Hemric competing full time and contending for 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. A third part-time entry will make additional starts on the NCWTS tour, with Gray Gaulding confirmed for eight races and Scott Lagasse, Jr. behind the wheel for two events. Buescher, who will be behind the wheel of NTS Motorsports' full-time #31 Silverado for select races, captured the NCWTS championship in 2012 on the strength of four wins, 10 top fives and 14 top 10s. Veteran Chris Rice will lead Buescher and the #31 crew, serving as both crew chief and NTS Motorsports' competition director. Buescher will have partners GunBroker.com and Great Clips on board his Silverado for his 2015 campaign.(NTS Motorsports)(2-9-2015)

  • Reser's to sponsor Kenseth in 5 races: Reser's Fine Foods and Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Reser's Fine Foods will return in 2015 to sponsor Matt Kenseth in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Reser's Fine Foods will appear on JGR's #20 Toyota five times during the 2015 season, starting with the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28. In 2014, Matt Kenseth earned one win, 10 top-five, and 15 top-ten finishes in the series. Kenseth will return in 2015 to pilot the Reser's Toyota for five races and will be paired with Michael Wheeler, who makes his debut in the role of crew chief after several years as an engineer on JGR's #11 Sprint Cup Series team. The #20 Reser's Fine Foods Toyota will appear in five races in 2015. The race schedule for the #20 Reser's Fine Foods Toyota is as follows: Atlanta (Feb 28), Phoenix (Mar 14), Dover (May 30), Chicago (Sep 19) and Kansas (Oct 17).(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(2-9-2015)

  • Buescher, Hemric, among drivers announced for NTS: Along with compiling a strong stable of drivers for 2015, NTS Motorsports has also added veteran team manager and West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee Rick Carelli to serve as the team's general manager. Chris Rice maintains his post as the organization's director of competition, pulling double duty as one of the team's NCWTS crew chiefs. Headlining the NTS Motorsports lineup are 2013 Southern Super Series champion Daniel Hemric and 2012 NCWTS champion James Buescher, with Hemric competing full time and contending for 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. A third part-time entry will make additional starts on the NCWTS tour, with Gray Gaulding confirmed for eight races and Scott Lagasse, Jr. behind the wheel for two events. Hemric, who will pilot the #14 Chevy Silverado, has three previous NCWTS starts, one of which was fielded by NTS in 2014. Hemric will have crew chief Ryan McKinney calling the shots from atop the pit box in both his NCWTS and ARCA campaigns. California Clean Power will sponsor Hemric at Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, as well as in the Daytona ARCA event, with additional sponsorship announcements forthcoming. Buescher, who will be behind the wheel of NTS Motorsports' full-time #31 Silverado for select races, captured the NCWTS championship in 2012 on the strength of four wins, 10 top fives and 14 top 10s. Veteran Chris Rice will lead Buescher and the #31 crew, serving as both crew chief and NTS Motorsports' competition director. Buescher will have partners GunBroker.com and Great Clips on board his Silverado for his 2015 campaign. In addition to its two full-time entries, NTS Motorsports will also field its #20 Chevy Silverado for several events in 2015. 16-year-old Gaulding will return to the #20 after competing in nine NCWTS events in 2014. Gaulding, who will once again be sponsored by Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, is scheduled to compete in eight events. Lagasse, Jr. is scheduled to be behind the wheel of the #20 for the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 34-year-old from St. Augustine, Florida will be supported by the Florida Department of Transportation's Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow initiative, in addition to the Boy Scouts of America. Veteran NCWTS crew chief Doug Howe will oversee both drivers from atop the pit box.(See an image of the #31 truck on the #31 Team Paint Schemes page)(NTS Motorsports).(2-9-2015)

  • Dover and Pocono partner up for Annual Daytona 500 Race Party: Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway invite race fans to kick off the 2015 NASCAR season at the third-annual Daytona 500 Race Party inside XFINITY Live! Philadelphia on Sunday, February 22, at 1:00pm/et. One of the biggest events in the motorsports world will be broadcast on multiple televisions at the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Bar and Grill. In addition to viewing "The Great American Race," fans in attendance can enter to win a number of great prizes, including tickets to both the May 31, 2015, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Monster Mile and the June 7, 2015, Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 at The Tricky Triangle, as well as autographed NASCAR memorabilia. The Daytona 500 Race Party will be held at PBR Bar and Grill, located inside XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, at 1100 Pattison Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19418. Fans attending may arrive as early as 12:00pm/et.(Pocono Raceway/Dover Speedway)(2-9-2015)


    News from February 8, 2015

  • BK Racing to announce driver of #26, Jeb Burton UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team BK Racing will hold a press conference announcing both the driver and primary sponsor of the #26 Toyota Camry followed by Q&A session on Monday, February, 9 at 11:00am/et at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Great Hall (BK Racing).
    Hearing that Jeb Burton, so of Ward Burton, could be the driver of the #26. Burton ran the truck series in 2014 in the #13 ThorSport Racing Toyota with Estes as the sponsor. Burton was supposed to return to the team but the sponsor and team couldn't reach an agreement, so Burton is looking for a ride.(2-8-2015)
    UPDATE: BK Racing is set to announce Monday that Jeb Burton will join the team full-time as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015 and beyond. Burton is scheduled to replace Cole Whitt as the driver of the #26 Toyota for team owner Ron Devine, starting with his Sprint Cup debut in the season-opening Daytona 500. Team co-owner Anthony Marlowe confirmed the move Sunday afternoon to NASCAR.com, saying that it has signed a multiyear agreement with the 22-year-old driver. A formal announcement is scheduled Monday morning at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Burton is scheduled to be joined at Monday's news conference by his father, Ward Burton, who will assist BK Racing as a driving coach and team ambassador.(NASCAR.com)(2-8-2015)

  • Fewer penalties issued in 2014: Teams brawled. Stars erupted. Tension grew. The overhaul of the Chase for the Sprint Cup was the most impactful of many changes in NASCAR last season, and the ripple effects were pervasive, particularly during the final 10-race playoff that featured eliminations, points resets and the debut of a winner-take-all finale between four finalists. Yet there was another fundamental shift in Sprint Cup philosophy that was as notable for its lack of discernible presence. For the first time in its 66-year history, the NASCAR rule book delineated predetermined penalties. A six-tier system - with a "P6" being the most draconian punishment - was introduced amidst predictions that crew chief suspensions, points deductions and whopping fines could become prevalent. The result? There were 81 penalties in Sprint Cup - the lowest number in a season for a series that averaged 205 penalties a year since detailed record-keeping began in 2000. Only one penalty resulted in a major crew chief suspension - a six-race benching for Darian Grubb after Denny Hamlin's #11 Toyota failed inspection after the Brickyard 400. That penalty wasn't appealed, which wasn't uncommon last season after several years of constant challenges. There was only one appeal across its national series in 2014 after an average of 12 appeals annually since 2000. That led to an absence of the oft-chaotic scenes surrounding appeals hearings at the R&D Center in Concord, N.C., where news media stakeouts to cover large infractions were common. (Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing won noteworthy appeals in 2013.) NASCAR officials credited the concrete penalty structure with helping reduce such contentious encounters.(USA Today)(2-8-2015)

  • Ryan Truex uncertain of 2015 plans: Ryan Truex hasn't had too much to do this offseason. The 22-year-old stock-car driver, and younger brother of fellow NASCAR driver Martin Truex Jr., is a free agent. With the Sprint Cup season starting Feb. 14 in Florida with the exhibition Sprint Unlimited race and the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, it's beginning to look as if the Stafford Township native will have to wait for his chance to race in 2015. Ryan, a Southern Regional High School graduate, left BK Racing in September. Ryan said at the time that both parties decided "to part ways and move toward the future." There hasn't been much to update since then, Truex said, but he still hopes to be in a racecar this season. He remains signed to a multi-year deal as a developmental driver with Richard Petty Motorsports, a contract he signed in 2013. "We're still working hard with that and working to find the funding and right partnership to go out and run, whether it's XFINITY or (Sprint) Cup," Ryan said while attending the Atlantic City Indoor Races last weekend at Boardwalk Hall. "I felt like we had so many opportunities to capitalize on some strong runs (last NASCAR season) and just had a lot of bad luck," Ryan said. "Michigan (June 15), for example, that kind of hurt having the injury (concussion) and having to sit out for a week. For sure, the most up and down year of my career, by far. I'm glad I can put it behind me and move on." Those results aside, Truex said the biggest thing he got out of last year was experience.(Press of Atlantic City)(2-8-2015)

  • Mark Martin no longer working with Roush Fenway UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Mark Martin, who was hired last July as a driver development coach for Roush Fenway Racing, is no longer with the organization. Asked Friday on Twitter if he would be working with RFR's crop of young drivers in the upcoming season, Martin responded, simply, "No." Martin, who drove for Roush Fenway from 1988-2006 -- the vast majority of his Sprint Cup career -- said at the time of his hiring as a driver development coach that he was happy to be reuniting with the organization where he earned 35 of his 40 career Sprint Cup wins. It was announced in mid-January that Martin, 56, has joined forces with late model dirt-racing legend Scott Bloomquist to field two entries in the Lucas Oil Late Model Championship in 2015. Bloomquist and up-and-coming driver Jared Landers will drive the two team cars, respectively, with both carrying sponsorship from Batesville, Ark.-based Mark Martin Automotive Group.(FoxSports)(2-7-2015)
    UPDATE: Mark Martin explained in a tweet Saturday morning why he no longer is working in a driver development role with Roush Fenway Racing. Martin tweeted: "I didn't want to go to the races. I've done enough of that for now. Except for dirt track." Martin answered a fan's question Friday on Twitter confirming that he was no longer serving as a coach for Roush. Saturday, he answered another fan's question as to why he wasn't coaching Roush's drivers.(NBC Sports)(2-8-2015)

  • New camping venue will be in place for Atlanta race weekend: A new entertainment venue and an ultimate camping experience giveaway highlight the camping opportunities for fans attending Atlanta Motor Speedway's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend Feb. 26-March 1. The Gathering Place pavilion, adjacent to the Legends Campground, will be a center of nighttime activity, featuring a large patio, a fire pit, picnic tables and a stage that will host free live music on Friday and Saturday nights after on-track activity concludes. Reserved camping areas at Atlanta Motor Speedway start at just $100, and options include tent and pop-up camping, coveted infield RV locations, lakeside spaces and even exclusive trackside locations complete with full amenities, views overlooking the AMS oval and both grandstand and pre-race pit passes. Handicap camping spaces are also available. Fans are encouraged to secure their camping plans early, as a limited number of reserved spaces are available. Camping areas outside the track and all unreserved areas will open on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 8:00am. Trackside camping areas open Monday, Feb. 23 at noon, while the infield opens to campers on Thursday, Feb. 26 at noon.(AMS)(2-8-2015)


    News from February 7, 2015

  • Johnny Sauter to drive for BK Racing at Daytona UPDATE: Johnny Sauter hopes to compete in the Great American Race - but he has to qualify first. BK Racing signed the Camping World Truck Series standout to run the #83 Dustless Blasting Toyota in the Daytona 500. Sauter, 36, has five Cup starts at the 2.5-mile track with three top 20 finishes. He won the truck opener at Daytona in 2013. Since the #83 finished 41st in the Sprint Cup owner points, Sauter will have to earn one of the 43 starting positions. Veteran crew chief Doug Richert will be the crew chief for Sauter's effort. The pair worked together at Pocono Raceway last August. Sauter was fitted for his seat at the shop on Thursday. He joins J.J. Yeley, who will pilot the #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota with Joe Williams calling the races. Yeley has 220 Cup starts. The 38-year-old Phoenix native finished 10th in the 2013 Great American Race. A press conference is scheduled for Monday to announce the third entry in BKR's driver lineup.(Motorsport)(2-6-2015)
    UPDATE: Johnny Sauter will pilot the #83 Dustless Blasting Toyota Camry for BK Racing in the 57th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday February 22nd, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway for the premier race of the season. Dustless Blasting will return to BK Racing in 2015 for the second season and will be a primary sponsor for at least 4 races, including the Daytona 500. In addition to the premier race of the season, Dustless Blasting will also be on the #83 Toyota at both Talladega Superspeedway races and Daytona in July.(BK Racing)(2-7-2015)

  • Mark Martin no longer working with Roush Fenway: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Mark Martin, who was hired last July as a driver development coach for Roush Fenway Racing, is no longer with the organization. Asked Friday on Twitter if he would be working with RFR's crop of young drivers in the upcoming season, Martin responded, simply, "No." Martin, who drove for Roush Fenway from 1988-2006 -- the vast majority of his Sprint Cup career -- said at the time of his hiring as a driver development coach that he was happy to be reuniting with the organization where he earned 35 of his 40 career Sprint Cup wins. It was announced in mid-January that Martin, 56, has joined forces with late model dirt-racing legend Scott Bloomquist to field two entries in the Lucas Oil Late Model Championship in 2015. Bloomquist and up-and-coming driver Jared Landers will drive the two team cars, respectively, with both carrying sponsorship from Batesville, Ark.-based Mark Martin Automotive Group.(FoxSports)(2-7-2015)

  • RPM names associate sponsors for Hornish at Daytona: Two more national brands announced they will join Richard Petty Motorsports, Sam Hornish, Jr. and the #9 Ford Performance team for the Daytona 500. Nature Blast and SafeZorb will serve as associate sponsors on the #9 and support Hornish as he looks to become only the third driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. Nature Blast is a breath of fresh air for cleaning supplies and the retail market. Their current product line includes more than five different cutting-edge cleaning products for home and professional use. The products are made in America are committed to protecting the planet - and will continue to develop new and innovative products that are responsible choices for the many generations to come. SafeZorb, a brand of StormZorb, is an all-purpose absorbent made with a high quality blend of minerals, designed for superior performance and manufactured to a fine granular specification. SafeZorb will absorb any hydrocarbon, petro-chemical or hazardous material except hydrofluoric acid. The product is also hydrophilic and does not break down in water or aqueous solvents or lubricants. Hornish will be making his RPM debut at the Daytona 500. The winner of the 2006 Indianapolis 500, he is looking to join legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti as the only two drivers to have won America's most popular auto racing events.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(2-7-2015)

  • DAYTONA Rising February Project Update: Following a successful 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway is now finalizing its race-ready preparations for Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 and the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 22. Fans will have an opportunity to preview some of the new amenities, including 40,000 new seats, two of the five injectors/entrances, new concessions, several of the neighborhoods or social areas and the new vertical transportation. Below is a recap of key race-ready activities since the last update in January:
    " Installed temporary trailers for ushers and staff
    " Set up more than 4,000 feet of construction fencing
    " Built temporary Americrown kitchens
    " Installed temporary lighting
    (DIS)(2-7-2015)


    News from February 6, 2015

  • Johnny Sauter to drive for BK Racing at Daytona: Johnny Sauter hopes to compete in the Great American Race - but he has to qualify first. BK Racing signed the Camping World Truck Series standout to run the #83 Dustless Blasting Toyota in the Daytona 500. Sauter, 36, has five Cup starts at the 2.5-mile track with three top 20 finishes. He won the truck opener at Daytona in 2013. Since the #83 finished 41st in the Sprint Cup owner points, Sauter will have to earn one of the 43 starting positions. Veteran crew chief Doug Richert will be the crew chief for Sauter's effort. The pair worked together at Pocono Raceway last August. Sauter was fitted for his seat at the shop on Thursday. He joins J.J. Yeley, who will pilot the #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota with Joe Williams calling the races. Yeley has 220 Cup starts. The 38-year-old Phoenix native finished 10th in the 2013 Great American Race. A press conference is scheduled for Monday to announce the third entry in BKR's driver lineup.(Motorsport)(2-6-2015)

  • Mears to compete in Sprint Unlimited: Casey Mears will join the 25-car Sprint Unlimited next week, a team spokesperson confirmed Friday. The Germain Racing driver will be the third competitor to be added to fill the field. #55-Brian Vickers, #33-Brian Scott and #47-AJ Allmendinger each were eligible for the event but those teams have pulled out. That's allowed #15-Clint Bowyer, #27-Paul Menard and #13-Mears to join the field.(NBC Sports)(2-6-2015)

  • Baldwin may not run #36 full-time UPDATE: Tommy Baldwin Racing may not field its familiar #36 Sprint Cup Chevrolet on a full-time basis in 2015, focusing instead on the team's #7 Chevy while forging a new partnership with Jay Robinson Racing to keep the #36 entry on track. Multiple sources tell GodfatherMotorsports.com that negotiations are underway to campaign the #36 under the Jay Robinson Racing banner in 2015, with TBR handling fabrication and preparation for the four restrictor plate races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. That move, if finalized, will result in the layoff of approximately eight TBR employees, all of whom have been invited to apply for positions at JRR's facility on Rolling Hill Road in Mooresville, NC. Baldwin reportedly informed team personnel of the move Monday, saying the deal will be finalized later this week. Baldwin stressed today that he has no plans to sell TBR, and is speaking with a number of parties in an effort to improve the performance of the #36 team. Baldwin has made a total of 321 career Sprint Cup Series starts since becoming a team owner in 2009, with a best finish of third at Talladega in 2011 with driver Dave Blaney. Michael Annett ran the full, 36-race schedule in Baldwin's #7 Pilot/Flying J Chevy last season, finishing 32nd in championship points. He is expected to return in 2015. Reed Sorenson drove the #36 Chevy to 34th in the final standings.(Godfather Motorsports)(1-6-2015)
    UPDATE: Catchfence.com reports that Jay Robinson Racing will have a "partnership" with Tommy Baldwin Racing and is expected to inherit the #36 owner points from 2014 to be transferred to the #62 for the season, including the Daytona 500. A spokesperson for Jay Robinson Racing (Premium Motorsports) would not comment on the situation but said the team would make announcements in the "next couple weeks" (also running the #66 Toyota for Mike Wallace at Daytona). Confirmed Thursday night by a Richard Childress Racing spokesperson, Richard "Slugger" Labbe, who stepped down as crew chief for Paul Menard following the Charlotte race last October, to take a leadership role in research and development, will lead Scott during Speedweeks 2015. Scott finishing 25th in the #33 Whitetail Club Chevy SS for Circle Sport Racing in last years Daytona 500. Circle Sport, which carries an affiliation with RCR will field an entry for Ty Dillon for the February 22 race. Shore Lodge, a longtime backer of Scott's NASCAR career is expected to sponsor him at Daytona. Scott's pole at Talladega in May 2014 earned him an a spot in the Sprint Unlimited, but sources confirmed that Scott is not scheduled to compete in the non-points event.(Catchfence)(2-6-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Premium Motorsports has purchased the assets of the 2014 NSCS #36 team from Tommy Baldwin Racing. The #36 team ran the full schedule in 2014 and finished 35th in the final point standings. For 2015 Premium Motorsports has changed the team's number from #36 to #62. The team will be fielding Chevrolets for the 2015 Season. Premium Motorsports is led by Veteran Team Owner Jay Robinson. Sponsor and driver announcements for the #62 team will be forth coming.(Premium Motorsports)(2-6-2015)

  • KFC sponsoring Ragan at Daytona: David Ragan will bring a familiar face to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' season-opening Daytona 500. The iconic image of Colonel Harlan Sanders will return to the #34 Ford Fusion as KFC and Front Row Motorsports team up for one of racing's biggest events Feb. 22 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. As NASCAR celebrates the 57th annual running of the "Great American Race," KFC and Ragan will celebrate 75 years of Original Recipe chicken, made from the world-famous recipe created by the Colonel and still used by KFC cooks across its 4,300 U.S.-based restaurants. The Daytona 500 partnership follows a successful pairing last season when Ragan and KFC caused fans to do double-takes as an in-car camera showed a KFC Go Cup of chicken inside the #34 Ford as Ragan raced at nearly 200 miles an hour around Talladega Superspeedway. Ragan returns to the #34 Ford for his fourth year with Front Row Motorsports and his ninth full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series. The 29-year-old driver has two wins in the series, including one at Daytona.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(2-6-2015)

  • Nemechek plans partial Cup schedule; unsure of Daytona 500: With the Daytona 500 two weeks away from Sunday, Joe Nemechek is skeptical on if his team will field an entry for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opener. Nemechek, who competed in 15 Sprint Cup races in 2014, says his team's primary focus for 2015 is the Camping World Truck Series. "Everything's based on funding," he said. "Right now, the Truck team is definitely priority." According to Nemechek, goals for his team in 2015 include running all 23 races, compete for the owner's championship and see son John Hunter Nemechek score his first career win in NASCAR's third-tier series. Nemechek partnered his Cup operation with Identity Ventures Racing in 2014, eventually being bought out of his role during the second half of last season. "I'm back to having my own team, which we are right now preparing cars for this year," Nemechek said. "We're only going to make a few starts this year, but we're getting geared up again to run a few races out of NEMCO Motorsports and our #87 Chevy." NEMCO Motorsports will field entries in all three of NASCAR's national touring series in 2015. But the organization's Cup effort will be a complete reboot, with Nemechek's team not having most of its fleet of cars from 2014. "We're basically starting over," Nemechek said. "Most of the cars that were current and were running [in 2014] are all with the other Cup team. "[It's] one day at a time. Both trucks are almost finished for Daytona, [we're] getting our [Xfinity] car together for Daytona, and still working on the Cup stuff. We'll see how far we get."(The Racing Experts)(2-6-2015)

    RCR names Daytona 500 crew chiefs for Ty Dillon and Brian Scott: Richard Childress Racing confirmed that two veteran, Daytona 500-winning crew chiefs will oversee the teams for Ty Dillon's and Brian Scott's runs in the Great American Race on Feb. 22. Todd Parrott, who won the 500 with Dale Jarrett in 1996 and 2000, will serve as crew chief the #33 Chevy with Dillon. Parrott also won the July race at Daytona with Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing in 1999 - the season the #88 team won the Sprint Cup title. In 20 seasons, Parrott led teams to 31 wins, 144 top fives, 230 top 10s and 23 pole positions. Parrott joined RCR at the end of last season to run its Xfinity Series program.
    Slugger Labbe will oversee Scott's effort in the #62 Chevy [earlier reports had Scott running the #29]. Labbe led Michael Waltrip to his 2003 Daytona 500 victory - six months after the pair won the July race. It was the first Harley J. Earl trophy for Labbe and the second for Waltrip. Together the pair won three restrictor plate races. Labbe guided Paul Menard to his first career victory three seasons ago at the Brickyard. Labbe stepped down as crew chief for the #27 Menard's team in October to oversee RCR's R&D dept.(Motorsport)(2-6-2015)

  • Motor Racing Network to cover Cup practice at Speedweeks: Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will provide unprecedented radio coverage of Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway this year as NASCAR kicks off its 67th season. MRN is adding more than 14 hours of Sprint Cup Series practice to its Speedweeks schedule, which opens Friday, Feb. 13. The network's expanded Speedweeks slate is just the start of a high-horsepower season that will feature broadcast coverage of all Cup Series practice sessions from each of the International Speedway Corporation-owned tracks as well as Dover, Pocono and Charlotte Motor Speedway during All-Star weekend - 15 facilities in all. On Saturday, Feb. 14, Motor Racing Network will air the ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil 200 from Daytona. After that, MRN will welcome JTG/Daugherty Racing Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger, a qualifier for the post-season Chase in 2014, to the broadcast booth for the Sprint Unlimited. He'll join Joe Moore and Jeff Striegle for the call of the season-opening non-points special event starting at 7:00pm/et. There'll be 10 straight days of coverage from "The World Center of Racing" culminating with the 57th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22. Air time will be 12 p.m., with live streaming at MRN.com. In addition to NSCS practice coverage in 2015, MRN will broadcast Cup Series qualifying from the same 15 venues. MRN, launching its 46th year on the air, will have Moore and Striegle anchoring race-day coverage throughout the season. Turn Announcers Mike Bagley, Dave Moody and Kyle Rickey are back with pit reports from Alex Hayden, Steve Post and Winston Kelley, who also is the executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Motor Racing Network recently announced the addition of former Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon and the return of veteran voice Eli Gold to its Sprint Cup Series lineup, which also will feature Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace. In addition to exclusive radio coverage of 25 Sprint Cup Series race weekends this year, MRN will broadcast 21 XFINITY Series events and all 23 races in the Camping World Truck Series. The network's 2015 slate will once again conclude in December with live coverage of the Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas.(Motor Racing Network)(2-5-2015)

  • Darrell Waltrip speaks at National Prayer Breakfast: On his birthday, NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip gave the keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning in Washington, DC, addressing a crowd that included President Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and 4,000 attendees from 170 countries. As Waltrip prepares to broadcast his 15th Daytona 500 on FOX, he paused to reflect on the path that brought him to 84 wins, tied for fourth on the all-time list with fellow Hall of Fame member Bobby Allison and behind Hall of Famers Richard Petty and David Pearson, as well as future member of the club Jeff Gordon. Waltrip recalled a conversation with Petty that made him think about changing his ways. "Richard Petty once told me, 'I don't know how you keep a sponsor. You're so unpopular with the fans. I don't know how you keep a sponsor.' This is Richard Petty. He's the icon of our sport. He's the king of our sport. I wanted to be king, but I went at it all the wrong ways," Waltrip said. "This is what people said about me. They said I was brash, ruthless, pushy, cocky, conceited, aloof, boastful, arrogant and just downright annoying," Waltrip said. "And I've go to tell you, those were people that liked me so you can imagine what people that didn't like me had to say about me." After dominating the sport and winning 24 races, 18 poles and two consecutive championships in 1981 and 1982, Waltrip suffered a crash in the 1983 Daytona 500 that changed his life. "When I finally came to or woke up, I realized that that wreck had knocked me unconscious," Waltrip said. "It scared the hell out of me, and I mean that literally. I realized that I could have been killed that day. What if I'd lost my life right there that day at Daytona? What would I have done? Would I have gone to heaven? "I thought I was a pretty good guy, but folks, let me tell you something. Good guys go to hell." The Waltrips started going to church together, and he said his life changed for the better. The National Prayer Breakfast has been held annually since 1953, when the United States Senate and House of Representatives met with President Eisenhower to discuss privately his experience with the "Almighty" on D-Day. Every U.S. president since Eisenhower has participated.(NASCAR.com)(2-5-2015)

  • Closing statements expected in Kurt Busch case UPDATES: Attorneys are expected to file their closing arguments Tuesday in the no-contact order hearing involving NASCAR's Kurt Busch. The written summations mark the closing stages of an atypical hearing that heard testimony from Busch's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, who alleged the driver smashed her head against the wall three times during a September race weekend in Dover, and from Busch, who claimed Driscoll was a trained assassin who could take him down at any moment. Dover Police Department closed their investigation into the incident last December and turned it over to the state Attorney General's office. The office has not yet announced a decision on the allegations.(Delaware News-Journal)(2-3-2015)
    UPDATE: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend repeatedly lied on the stand - making up stories about how he allegedly abused her - so she could destroy the NASCAR driver's reputation, his attorneys argued in their closing statements. "We respectfully request that the Court not reward her perjury and scorched-earth approach of destruction by granting her a protective order," his attorney Rusty Hardin wrote in his closing arguments. "There is only one person in this duo that needs protection, and it is not Patricia Driscoll - it is Kurt Busch." The written summations, filed by attorneys on Tuesday and Wednesday, mark the closing stages of an atypical no-contact order hearing between the driver and Driscoll, who owns her own defense company and runs the Armed Forces Foundation. [Busch's attornies] claimed in their closing arguments that Driscoll, told "legions of people" that she was a trained killer. And she never rebutted the driver's claims about her covert life because she knew people would come forward, according to closing arguments filed in Kent County Family Court. "She easily could have retaken the stand in rebuttal and denied Mr. Busch's testimony that she told him that she had killed people on behalf of the government," a passage from Rusty Hardin's closing arguments said. "She chose not to testify under oath that Kurt's testimony was false because she knew there were legions of people to whom she had repeated the same thing - some of whom believed her and some who did not." Kent County Family Court Commissioner David Jones is expected to make a ruling on the matter in the coming days.(Delaware News Journal)(2-4-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Kurt Busch and his attorneys engaged in a smear campaign to cover up the driver's alleged abuse of his ex-girlfriend, according to court documents filed in Kent County Family Court Thursday. In a rebuttal of closing arguments filed Wednesday, in which Busch's attorneys accused Patricia Driscoll of perjury, Carolyn McNeice, Driscoll's attorney, wrote that her client did not perjure herself. McNeice said that Busch's legal team sought to smear Driscoll's reputation to distract from the very real allegations that the driver grabbed her by the throat and slammed her head three times against the wall during a race weekend in Dover. "I suggest instead that Respondent [Busch] does not have a public relations problem; he has a domestic violence problem," McNeice wrote. "He committed an act of abuse and the Court should find in Mrs. Driscoll's favor."(Delaware News Journal)(2-6-2015)

  • Bubba Burger joins MAKE: MAKE Motorsports announces the addition of Bubba Burger to their 2015 sponsor lineup. BUBBA Burger has signed on for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Daytona kick off with the MAKE Motorsports racing operation with more throughout the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. BUBBA Burger has been a long time partner throughout NASCAR as well as in many other sports markets and we look forward to partnering with them in the NCWTS.(MAKE Motorsports).(2-6-2015)

  • Fitzpatrick leaving NASCAR: One of Canada's most exciting NASCAR Canadian Tire Series drivers - J.R. Fitzpatrick - is calling it quits and returning to grass roots late model racing. Fitzpatrick, of Ayr, Ont., became Canada's youngest national stock car racing champion when he won the CASCAR series (precursor to the NCATS) crown at 17 in 2006. In his eight seasons driving the No. 4 Equipment Express Chevrolet in the NCATS, Fitzpatrick won 11 times, posted 43 top-five finishes and 64 top-10 results in 89 starts, finishing second in the championship three times. Over that span he also went south and raced in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. His best finish came in 2009 when he drove the Kevin Harvick Incorporated #4 Chevy Silverado to fourth place at Daytona International Speedway. Fitzpatrick also drove for the Dale Earnhardt Jr. owned JR Motorsports Nationwide team registering four top-10 finishes in the #7 Chevy Camaro. At just 26 years old Fitzpatrick still looked to have a rosy future but a lack of big-time sponsorship held him back. Except for a one season when he was sponsored by Schick razors, Fitzpatrick's racing career was funded out of the pocket of his dad - "Big John" Fitzpatrick - and his heavy equipment moving company. With costs approaching $1 million a year to fund a top NCATS operation a driver needs top dollar sponsors. Fitzpatrick said it was for this reason he had to cut his NASCAR dreams. He called the decision "heart breaking" in a post on his social media account. "I will no longer be competing in the NASCAR Canada series," he said. "(It's) heart breaking. However I'm up for a new challenge." Fitzpatrick said he will concentrate on racing and winning the OSCAAR (Ontario Stock Car Association of Asphalt Racers) championship that races 13 events at oval tracks across the province.(Toronto Sun).(2-6-2015)

  • Fan Suites and Club One Access still available at Atlanta: Fans wishing to elevate their race day experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend have several suite-level options that provide unmatched amenities from high above all the high-speed action. The Champions Suites, located above the Champions Grandstand near the start/finish line, offer fans of all ages individually purchased theater-style seating in an indoor, climate-controlled atmosphere. Tickets include pre-race pit and stage-front access to the pre-race party, expansive buffet and beverage service, a souvenir race program, lanyard, private bathrooms and closed-circuit video. Additionally, the Champions Suites will allow for one complimentary Champions parking space for every four tickets purchased. Champions Suite tickets start at just $295 for Sunday only and $395 for both Saturday and Sunday. Club One, Atlanta Motor Speedway's most deluxe individual suite option, offers an all-inclusive experience with some of the most desirable sightlines available. A Club One ticket includes individual theater-style seating in an upscale, indoor environment, reserved parking and a pre-race pit pass with stage-front party access. Other amenities include high-end décor, an expansive complimentary buffet with beverage service, a souvenir race program, lanyard, a courtesy golf cart shuttle to and from the parking lot, driver and celebrity question-and-answer sessions, raffle prizes and closed-circuit video on more than 60 flat screens. Each Club One ticket also includes access to the Sight and Sound observation deck on the roof of Club One. With a view of the track at a vantage point between the exit of pit road and the entrance of turn one, the deck is located less than 100 yards from where each driver's spotter stands during the race. Access to the observation deck is available exclusively to Club One ticket holders. Club One seating is available for just $675 for Saturday and Sunday access or $545 for Sunday only.(AMS)(2-6-2015)


    News from February 5, 2015

  • Sprint Unlimited format unveiled: NASCAR announced that the season-opening 75-lap Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 14, will be split into two segments. A competition caution at lap 25 will separate the segments in the non-points event, scheduled for an 8:15pm/et start (live on FOX, Motor Racing Network Radio, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). New this year, select fans will be paired with each crew chief for a random drawing to determine starting and pit road positions. The drawings will take place on Friday, Feb. 13 at the FDOT Main Stage inside the Sprint FANZONE beginning at 3:30pm. The field of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will include 2014 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Sprint Unlimited race winners and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2014, and all 16 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers from 2014. If an eligible driver does not enter the race, the open position will be filled based on 2014 Championship driver points. The first five provisional drivers, respectively, are #15-Clint Bowyer, #27-Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose, #13-Casey Mears, and #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(NASCAR), for more details on the event, check out the Sprint Unlimited Race page.(2-5-2015)

  • Mike Wallace to attempt Daytona 500 in #66: per a tweet from Chris Knight of Catchfence: "@MikeWallace01 to attempt DAYTONA 500 with Premium Motorsports in #66 X8 Energy Gum Toyota." Wallace ran 5 races for the team last season, with a highest finish of 26th at Martinsville in October.(2-5-2014)

  • Jay Guy to serve as Annett's crew chief: Jay Guy will be the crew chief for Michael Annett and the #46 Pilot Flying J Chevy at HScott Motorsports. Since 1998, the 42-year-old crew chief has honed his leadership skills in both the Xfinity and Sprint Cup Series. Guy most recently worked with David Ragan at Front Row Motorsports where he led the #34 team - and the organization - to its first win in the spring race at Talladega Superspeedway. Over his career, Guy has worked with Team Penske, Wood Brothers Racing and Furniture Row Racing.
    Team owner Harry Scott also said during the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour last week that HSM will pursue a technical alliance with Stewart Haas Racing in 2015. While the team's primary partnership is with Hendrick Motorsports, who supplies HSM's engines and engineering, Scott calls the alignment with SHR "a more formal relationship" than in the past. Despite rumors to the contrary, Scott said he has "no plans in the near future" to move his Spartanburg, S.C. shop to the Mooresville, N.C.-area.(Motorsport)(2-5-2015)

  • Stewart still says no plans to run spint cars in future: Nearly six months after his role in an accident that claimed the life of 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., #14-Tony Stewart says he has no plans to drive a sprint car and may never get behind the wheel of a sprint car again. Appearing Tuesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Tony Stewart Live," the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion spoke out on a host of timely topics with the official start of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season less than three weeks away. Making Stewart's admission of his plans not to go sprint car racing anytime soon was his recent purchase of the All-Star Circuit of Champions, a traveling sprint car series that is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing. "I'm not going to be in a sprint car for a while, if ever again," Stewart, who suffered a broken leg in a sprint car in August 2013, said on SiriusXM. "This is a way to give back to the sport. I'm passionate about it. I'm really excited."(FoxSports)(2-5-2015)

  • Gilmore named president at ECR Engines: ECR Engines has promoted longtime Chief Operating Officer Richie Gilmore to the position of President. The championship winning engine builder will assume his new role effective immediately. Gilmore, 50, is a native of Rochester, N.H. and has been part of ECR Engines since it was formed in 2007 when Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. combined their engine development and production efforts. His responsibilities will still include overseeing the daily operations of ECR Engines, business operations and the engine lease programs currently in place. Since its inception with Gilmore at the helm, ECR Engines has won more than 200 races on various levels, multiple championships and continues to be a leader in engine development and production through innovative technology. Gilmore has been part of the NASCAR landscape since 1988 as an employee of Bob Whitcomb Racing before he went to work at Hendrick Motorsports as an assistant engine builder in 1990. Since then, he has been part of six Daytona 500 victories, numerous championships on all three NASCAR national series levels, Tudor United SportsCar Championship series, and various short track teams who use ECR horsepower.(ECR Engines)(2-5-2015)

  • ENOS returns to sponsor Larson: HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi announced a continued partnership with Japan's largest oil company, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., which will see its premium synthetic oil brand, ENEOS, as the primary sponsor on the #42 Chevy Camaro driven by Kyle Larson for eight NASCAR XFINITY Series races. In addition, ENEOS will be a full-time associate sponsor for the #42 NASCAR XFINITY Series team and the #2 Larson Marks Racing World of Outlaws sprint car team. Larson, the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Rookie of the Year, flew the ENEOS colors twice in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition last year and won their first race together at Charlotte Motor Speedway last May. ENEOS has a long and successful history in multiple racing series around the world. In continuing a partnership with HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi, Larson, who is the only NASCAR XFINITY Series driver of Japanese ancestry, continues showcasing their brand on an exciting stage.(HScott Motorsports)(2-5-2015)

  • LeafFilter sponsoring Koch at Daytona: TriStar Motorsports announced that LeafFilter Gutter Protection will serve as the primary sponsor for the #8 Toyota Camry for the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. Blake Koch will pilot the #8 LeafFilter Toyota Camry in the Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21st. LeafFilter is the number one rated professionally installed gutter guard system in America. The LeafFilter system features surgical-grade, stainless steel micromesh protection that is completely sealed shut, which allows nothing but water to flow into the gutters. By keeping gutters clog-free, LeafFilter's gutter protection system will prevent the headache of having to deal with roof, structural, and foundation issues.(TriStar Motorsports)(2-5-2015)

  • GEICO sponsoring spring Talladega race: The GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama roars back into action May 1-3. The GEICO 500 will serve as the anchor event of an exciting spring weekend that will also feature the Winn-Dixie 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, May 2, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 ARCA event on Friday, May 1. "GEICO is an incredible partner which continues to show their support of our facility with tremendous activation to promote both the GEICO 500 and Talladega Superspeedway. We can't wait for the first weekend in May!" said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. "We are excited to have a great partner like Talladega Superspeedway and the opportunity to sponsor a spectacular race like the GEICO 500," said Ted Ward, GEICO Vice President. "NASCAR is a great market for our customers and the GEICO 500 attracts over a hundred thousand passionate fans from all across the country who come to take in the action and excitement that the weekend brings." Last year's spring Cup classic at the 2.66-mile venue proved to be a pivotal event in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as Denny Hamlin claimed the checkered flag and a spot in the title battle in which he finished third. This year's GEICO 500 will be the 10th event on the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.(Talladega Superspeedway)(2-5-2015)

  • Sonoma Raceway Track Pass Now on Sale: Ever dreamed of driving your car around the Sonoma Raceway road course or of enjoying a VIP experience during race weekend? Sonoma Raceway will offer all that and more for the upcoming race season with the 2015 Track Pass. The Track Pass, which includes reserved-seat tickets to all major events at Sonoma Raceway, is the ultimate ticket package for race season. Not only will you enjoy an exclusive track-lap day in your own vehicle and a VIP Lot 2 season-long parking pass, you'll also secure the best seats for all six major events in 2015, including NASCAR's annual visit to Sonoma for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 (June 26-28), the NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 21-Aug. 2) and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale (Aug. 28-30). The 2015 calendar also includes the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival (May 30-31), NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel (July 24-26) and the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge (Oct. 3-4). The Track Pass is valued at nearly $1,000, but you can get yours for just $379. A limited number of VIP Lot 2 parking passes are available, so purchase early to ensure your VIP parking spot. There is a limit of one parking pass per account with the purchase of up to four Track Passes. Purchases of six or more Track Passes are eligible for one parking pass per pair of tickets. To find out more about the Track Pass, contact the Sonoma Raceway Ticket Office at 800-870-RACE (7223) (Monday-Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm), via live chat through www.racesonoma.com or by email at tickets@racesonoma.com.(Sonoma Raceway)(2-5-2015)


    News from February 4, 2015

  • Congrats: to #2-Brad Keselowski and girlfriend Paige White. Keselowski announced on his website that the couple are expecting a daughter.
    "The biggest announcement I have to make about the offseason actually has to do with Paige and me. We've been together for a little while now, and we've been incredibly happy. And things are about to get even better because we're having a baby girl together. Before I talk a little more about that, I do have one request of fans and the media regarding my daughter-to-be. Some of you like me. Some of you dislike me. You all share your thoughts with me via social media, or in person at the tracks. I have no problem with any of that, good or bad. I'm a public figure, and that's what I've signed up for. But the baby girl we're having hasn't signed up for any of that. So if you can keep the focus on me, that would mean a lot to us. Getting back to Paige and our new family, I know that we're not doing this in the traditional order of things. I will simply say this: I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life, and Paige is a very large part of that. She's an amazing person. She's soft-spoken, well-educated and smart. She's beautiful, which never hurts. Most importantly, she understands who I am and where I've come from in ways that most people wouldn't know or understand. Her family, which is extremely supportive and feels like an extension of my own, came from very humble beginnings, just like mine did. She's seen the world from a lot of different perspectives that most people never get to see."(2-4-2015)

  • Closing statements expected in Kurt Busch case UPDATES: Attorneys are expected to file their closing arguments Tuesday in the no-contact order hearing involving NASCAR's Kurt Busch. The written summations mark the closing stages of an atypical hearing that heard testimony from Busch's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, who alleged the driver smashed her head against the wall three times during a September race weekend in Dover, and from Busch, who claimed Driscoll was a trained assassin who could take him down at any moment. Dover Police Department closed their investigation into the incident last December and turned it over to the state Attorney General's office. The office has not yet announced a decision on the allegations.(Delaware News-Journal)(2-3-2015)
    UPDATE: Jon Offredo of the Delaware News-Journal tweeted, "Courts closed for the day. Unclear what was filed in the Busch/Driscoll hearing, as the documents are unavailable to press today."(2-4-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend repeatedly lied on the stand - making up stories about how he allegedly abused her - so she could destroy the NASCAR driver's reputation, his attorneys argued in their closing statements. "We respectfully request that the Court not reward her perjury and scorched-earth approach of destruction by granting her a protective order," his attorney Rusty Hardin wrote in his closing arguments. "There is only one person in this duo that needs protection, and it is not Patricia Driscoll - it is Kurt Busch." The written summations, filed by attorneys on Tuesday and Wednesday, mark the closing stages of an atypical no-contact order hearing between the driver and Driscoll, who owns her own defense company and runs the Armed Forces Foundation. [Busch's attornies] claimed in their closing arguments that Driscoll, told "legions of people" that she was a trained killer. And she never rebutted the driver's claims about her covert life because she knew people would come forward, according to closing arguments filed in Kent County Family Court. "She easily could have retaken the stand in rebuttal and denied Mr. Busch's testimony that she told him that she had killed people on behalf of the government," a passage from Rusty Hardin's closing arguments said. "She chose not to testify under oath that Kurt's testimony was false because she knew there were legions of people to whom she had repeated the same thing - some of whom believed her and some who did not." Kent County Family Court Commissioner David Jones is expected to make a ruling on the matter in the coming days.(Delaware News Journal)(2-4-2015)

  • Gordon talks more about TV plans: Four-time premier series champion Jeff Gordon was a guest Tuesday on "FOX & Friends," and he discussed more details of his new job as a FOX race analyst. "I am going to do three races this year for FOX and FOX Sports, XFINITY races," Gordon said. "I'm excited to get in the booth and see what it's like. Who knows what might come out of it?" Those three races comprise nearly a quarter of the 14 NASCAR XFINITY Series races that FOX and FOX Sports 1 will televise in 2015. When asked whether he would consider going into the booth full time after handing the reins of the #24 Chevy SS to Chase Elliott, Gordon reiterated that he'd be ready but knows he has a lot to learn this year. "I love to travel and I love racing," Gordon said. "I'm always going to be a part of Hendrick Motorsports. It's not going to be like focused on driving a race car, but I don't take it for granted. It is going to be tough to do, and we'll see. We'll find out this year."(NASCAR.com)(2-4-2015)

  • NBC Sports Group to broadcast regional touring races: NASCAR and NBC Sports Group announced an unprecedented broadcast line-up of NASCAR's popular regional touring series, with a 39-race telecast schedule for racing's premiere grassroots series as their landmark partnership begins this season. NBCSN's slate features all 25 K&N Pro Series races between the top developmental series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The coming season will also see triple the television exposure from previous years for the stars and cars of the exciting Whelen Modified Tours, NASCAR's only open-wheeled division, which competes at historic short tracks from New Hampshire to North Carolina. A total of 14 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events are included on this season's schedule. NBCSN's inaugural touring series event is the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season-opener at famed Florida short-track New Smyrna Speedway. The New Smyrna 150 will be contested on Feb. 15 and will air four days later on Feb. 19 on NBCSN. All 39 races are scheduled to be presented by NBCSN in one-hour shows the week following the event.(NASCAR)(2-4-2015)

  • Sabates closes Bentley dealership: For those who drive a Bentley, or hope to soon, High Point, NC is your likely destination, not Charlotte. Felix Sabates opened the first and only Bentley dealership in Charlotte in late 2013, but, as of last Friday, it's closed. In a letter dated Jan. 20, Sabates told customers, "My partners and I have decided after losing dollars above seven figures, it is in our best financial interest to discontinue the sale of Bentley automobiles in Charlotte. Bentley Motors makes great automobiles, but unfortunately a single high-end brand new car dealership cannot survive in this market, and we were limited by contract with our landlord with what brand of pre-owned cars we could sell." Sabates opened a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Pineville in 2006. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera endorses the dealer in a series of local TV ads. An employee at the Mercedes dealership who answered the phone this afternoon said Bentleys will be repaired and maintained there. In his letter, Sabates mentions a request made to Bentley to allow him to service Bentleys in Charlotte. Bentley has had a dealership in High Point since 1963. Geoff Eade, who runs that dealership, threatened legal action against Sabates prior to the Charlotte dealership's opening. Eade opted against a lawsuit and Sabates spent $500,000 overhauling a former Mini dealership on Independence Boulevard to sell Bentleys.(Charlotte Business Journal)(2-4-2015)

  • Sage Fruit renews sponsorship at JRM: Sage Fruit Co. renewed its associate sponsorship of JR Motorsports - the professional race team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. - which fields multiple teams and tours nationally in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. This will be the second year Sage Fruit has sponsored JRM. As part of the agreement, the "Sage Fruit" logo will have placement on the #88 Chevy during 2015. The #88 will be driven by Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Earnhardt Jr. and Ben Rhodes throughout the 33-race schedule. In addition, the "Sage Fruit" logo will also have placement on the race suit of Kahne for each of his Xfinity races.(Produce News)(2-4-2015)

  • More changes to Eldora race for 2015: In speaking with SiriusXM, Tony Stewart also revealed a big change for this year's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway, the dirt track he owns in Rossburg, Ohio. Instead of 20 drivers being guaranteed entry in the 30-truck field like last year, only five drivers will arrive at Eldora already locked in for this summer's main event. "With only five locked-in positions, there's a good opportunity to have more entries than we've ever had, if trucks are available, because guys know they legitimately can race their way in much easier than they what they did the last two years," Stewart said.(FOX Sports).(2-4-2015)

  • Kvapil, Chavous to drive for Robinson: NASCAR team owner Jay Robinson will make his Camping World Truck Series debut with former champion Travis Kvapil behind the wheel in two weeks at Daytona International Speedway. Following the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Feb. 20, Robinson will put champion dirt racer Wendell Chavous in the truck to run the remaining 22 races in a bid for Rookie of the Year. Sponsorship for the #94 Chevy will come from Vydox. Robinson, whose first career start as an owner came in 2000 with 2014 Sprint Cup champion crew chief Rodney Childers behind the wheel of a Busch Series car, claims more than 700 NASCAR national-series starts as an owner - but all in NASCAR's top two series, never in trucks. Kvapil, 38, is the 2003 Truck Series champion. He has 147 career starts and nine wins, including two at Michigan International Speedway, and a pair of runner-up finishes at Daytona in 2003-2004. He'll wheel a chassis that was Ryan Sieg's back-up truck in 2014. Chavous, 29, made his Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway last fall in Mike Harmon's Chevy, finishing 27th. He's a native of Hephzibah, Ga., with three dirt-track championships in two states and nearly 40 feature wins over the last four seasons. Kvapil's Silverado will be tuned by veteran crew chief John Monsam, who has victories in three different NASCAR series including nine Truck Series wins with Ron Hornaday, Mike Bliss, Rick Carelli, Dennis Setzer and Jon Wood. Monsam cut his racing teeth with NASCAR Modifieds in his native New England, scoring victories on his home turf with drivers such as ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven and Tom Bolles before moving south - where he's worked for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Roush Fenway Racing and Wood Brothers Racing.(MRN Radio).(2-4-2015)

  • Gilliland driving for Ricky Benton at Daytona: Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises announced that veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Gilliland will be behind the wheel of the #92 BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/Goodyear FleetHQ/Wynn's/Tim Cooksey Oil Company Ford F-150 when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes its first stop of 2015 at Daytona International Speedway for the NextEra Energy Resources 250. Gilliland has nearly 300 starts in the Sprint Cup Series and 56 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The Riverside, Calif. native will be attempting to make his fourth career NCWTS start, and first since 2009, with RBR at Daytona. "I have some friends at Roush-Yates Motors (RBR's engine supplier) and have worked with (long-time RBR crew member Mark) Huff," Gilliland said. They put me in contact with Ricky when they found out that he was looking for someone to drive his truck. With me running a full-time season with Front Row in Cup, it was important that any opportunity to run in any other series be with a Ford team. RBR fields one of only three Fords that regularly compete in the Camping World Truck Series.(Ricky Benton Racing)(2-4-2015)

  • BitPay sponsoring Boston at Daytona: Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that BitPay will be the primary brand featured on Justin Boston's #54 Toyota Tundra in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20. BitPay is the world's leading bitcoin payment processor which enables businesses to accept bitcoin payments. Its signature blue and white logo will adorn Boston's Tundra for the season-opening event. Bitcoin is a digital currency that has recently been making headlines. It is the fastest and most secure payment method in the world. Businesses such as Microsoft, Newegg, Wordpress and Tiger Direct are some of the 50,000 businesses accepting bitcoin payments through BitPay's platform. The financial technology company has chosen to enter NASCAR with KBM and Boston. This will be the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start for Boston with KBM, and his second career start in the series. He will be competing for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award this season.(Kyle Busch Motorsports), see an image of the truck on the #54 team paint schemes page.(2-4-2015)

  • Sad news - Evans Norris: Evans Norris, age 76, father of JR Norris the 2006 NASCAR All Pro Series/Southeast Series Champion and current Truck Chief on the #54 Kyle Busch Motorsports team, passed away on Sunday, February 1, 2014 in Hueytown, Alabama. Evans was a former Wheelen All American Series driver in the Hobby Class picking up two championships in 1964 and 1965 and was very instrumental in his son's NASCAR career.A viewing is set for Wednesday, February 4 from 5-7:00pm at Peoples Funeral Home in Hueytown, AL with the funeral Thursday, February 5, 2015 at St Stanislaus Catholic Church in Wylam, AL. In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to the Kyle Busch Foundation or the Victory Junction Gang in memory of Evans Norris. The Kyle Busch Foundation 351 Mazeppa Rd. Mooresville, NC 28115. Victory Junction 4500 Adams Way Randleman, NC 27317.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(2-4-2015)

  • Jimmie Johnson to appear at Martinsville Green Flag Experience: NASCAR fans want access to the biggest names in the sport and Martinsville Speedway is doing its part to ensure that happens. First it was Dale Jr., now it's Jimmie Johnson. When the six-time champion returns to NASCAR's shortest track for the STP 500 on March 29, fans will have the opportunity to see him at the Green Flag Experience. Johnson has joined Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the second driver to take part in the race morning tradition. Johnson will participate in a question and answer session for Green Flag Experience ticket holders before the start of the STP 500. The Green Flag Experience also gives fans the chance to watch driver introductions from the track, along with a morning full of fun and excitement on the track and under the large tent in The Plaza, located on the hill behind the souvenir display area. In addition to the emceed question-and-answer sessions with well-known NASCAR personalities and driver introductions, the Green Flag Experience offers fans the opportunity to walk the frontstretch on race morning, photo opportunities in the flag stand and mock victory lane, enjoy music, sign the start/finish line, games and prizes along with show cars and doughnuts, Danishes, coffee and juice. The cost of the Green Flag Experience is $30. The driver question-and-answer sessions, food, music, games and prizes, and show cars will be held in The Plaza from 8:00am until 12:00pm. The track portion will open at 9:15 and will remain open until the finish of driver introductions. The $30 charge for the Green Flag Experience does not include a ticket for the STP 500.(Martinsville Speedway)(2-4-2015)


    News from February 3, 2015

  • Zing Zang to return to Tommy Baldwin Racing UPDATE no: Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix, who sponsored Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 and driver Reed Sorenson for four races in 2014, announced on Facebook that: "Hey NASCAR fans! Green Flag! It's go time! We just signed with Tommy Baldwin Racing to support Reed Sorenson for the Sprint Cup season - starting with the Martinsville Speedway Race on March 29!" Doesn't say how many races.(1-18-2015)
    UPDATE: Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix announced on Twitter: Due to the recent changes within @TBR_Racing Organization, we are no longer able to sponsor the #36 car and @ReedSorenson36.(2-3-2015)

  • Closing statements expected in Kurt Busch case: Attorneys are expected to file their closing arguments Tuesday in the no-contact order hearing involving NASCAR's Kurt Busch. The written summations mark the closing stages of an atypical hearing that heard testimony from Busch's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, who alleged the driver smashed her head against the wall three times during a September race weekend in Dover, and from Busch, who claimed Driscoll was a trained assassin who could take him down at any moment. Dover Police Department closed their investigation into the incident last December and turned it over to the state Attorney General's office. The office has not yet announced a decision on the allegations.(Delaware News-Journal)(2-3-2015)

  • Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff to sponsor Hornaday: Smokey Mountain Chew Inc., the world's largest tobacco-free smokeless company, announced they have reunited with four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Ron Hornaday Jr. for the 57th annual Daytona 500. Hornaday, who recently signed with The Motorsports Group for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, will pilot the #30 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevy SS in NASCAR's biggest race of the season. Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff, who partnered with Hornaday for two seasons in the NCWTS in 2012 and 2013, will adorn the #30 Chevy SS as the Palmdale, Calif. native attempts to make his 46th Sprint Cup start, and only his second at Daytona. Hornaday, who has an impressive 55 combined National Series wins in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NCWTS, made his first Daytona 500 start in 2001 when he finished 17th, but hasn't made a NSCS start since 2003. In addition to the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff and Pouches will also adorn Hornaday's #30 Chevy SS in the NSCS at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, May 3.(The Motorsports Group), see an image of the car on the #30 team paint schemes page.(2-3-2015)

  • Tryson to crew chief for TMG, Hornaday: The Motorsports Group (TMG), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team with driver Ron Hornaday, announced they have added Sprint Cup Series veteran Pat Tryson, as crew chief for 2015. Though 2015 is TMG's rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series, the team continues to add veterans to the program. Tryson has a combination of 8 wins in the top tier of NASCAR from drivers Elliott Sadler, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch. In addition to his 8 wins in 504 Sprint Cup events as crew chief, Tryson stats include 62 top 5's, 132 Top 10's and 3 poles.(The Motorsports Group)(2-3-2015)

  • Bliss to drive #32 in select races: Go FAS Racing announced that Mike Bliss will join Bobby Labonte and Boris Said as drivers of the #32 Ford Fusion for select events in 2015. Bliss will make his first appearance for Go FAS Racing in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1st. "With the top tier teams expanding, we believe our best strategy is to fill our seat with veterans who have performed well in the past," said team owner Archie St.Hilaire. "This helps ensure we maintain a healthy standing in the points as the season progresses. Mike Bliss has proven time and time again that he can be competitive in the Sprint Cup Series, while bringing the car home in one piece, which is crucial for a small organization like us." The Oregon native won the 2002 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship, has made 169 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, earning seven top-ten's and one top-five finishes. Bliss earned a victory in his only season of competition in the IROC series in 2004, and has 13 NCWTS Wins, along with two NASCAR Xfinity Series Wins.(Go FAS)(2-3-2015)

  • NASCAR issues several rule updates: NASCAR issued a bulletin Monday with updated rules for the coming season for Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
    " Only drivers who are licensed and approved for competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be eligible to participate in a NASCAR-approved tire test.
    " NASCAR clarified that should a vehicle pit out of its assigned stall and the crew begins to remove the tire(s), the crew must reinstall the tire(s) before moving the car back into its assigned stall to avoid a penalty. This is for Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
    " Any crew member interfering with another crew's pit stop, causing the other team to incur a penalty or not, may incur a penalty. This is for each of the three national series.
    " Additional crew member(s), assigned to servicing the car or not, who purposely assist from an adjacent pit box on the work service side of pit road may be counted toward the limit of seven crew members over the wall. This is for each of the three national series.
    " NASCAR clarified the refueling procedure. Refueling can begin once the car is stopped in its assigned pit stall. The fueler may continue to refuel the car as it departs and crosses the front line of the pit box provided any equipment used and/or the fueler do not cross over the front or the side line of the pit box. Also, fueling cans or any other equipment must not be tossed or thrown over the pit service wall at any time. This is for each of the three national series.
    " NASCAR lists violating the private team test ban as a P6 penalty for all three series.
    " NASCAR mandates that the switch for the driver-adjustable track bar motor in Cup be located on the dash panel with the other accessory switches on the steering wheel or on the left or right side of the seat or seat leg extensions.
    " NASCAR clarified that added ballast must be in block form using minimum five-pound blocks. NASCAR clarified that the added weight must be in blocks.(NBC Sports)(2-3-2015)

  • Hendrick Motorsports names #88 pit crew: Hendrick Motorsports has confirmed the lineup for the 2015 #88 pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Motorsports.com has learned David Mayo will replace Clay Robinson as the front tire Changer. His new rear tire carrier is Dustin Lineback, who takes over for Kevin Harris and moved from the fueler's position. The rear tire duo will be returning changer Joe Slingerland and William "Rowdy" Harrell, who replaced Matt Ver Meer. Robinson, Harris and Ver Meer moved to Joe Gibbs Racing to pit the #19 Toyota for Carl Edwards. Nick Covey is Earnhardt's new jackman and Matt Tyrrell will fuel the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. Crew chief Greg Ives says the starters were named on January 22.(Motorsport)(2-3-2015)

  • Snap Fitness renews sponsorship of Hillman Racing: It's full speed ahead for Snap Fitness and Landon Cassill in the 2015 Sprint Cup Series. America's Fitness Brand will again be a primary sponsor for Cassill and his #40 Chevy. "I'm thrilled that our brand will continue working with Landon in 2015," Snap Fitness Founder and CEO Peter Taunton said. "He is a tremendous athlete and leader who is dedicated to working hard in order to reach his goals, which is an attitude we see in our clubs across the country." In 2014, Snap Fitness became the first wellness franchise to partner in NASCAR. "The exposure we garnered last year with NASCAR was astounding. Aligning America's Fitness Brand with one of the most popular sports in the U.S. was a complete triumph and total game-changer," Steele Smiley, chief officer responsible for brand strategy, said. "We are two brands that touch millions of people across the country, so renewing our partnership was a no brainer." This year's sponsorship will go beyond the racetrack. Snap Fitness will support Cassill's triathlon training in hopes of qualifying for the 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Austria. "I would not be the caliber of athlete I am without Snap Fitness," Cassill said. "The training I've done at Snap Fitness has truly transformed my lifestyle and helped my endurance behind the wheel. Snap Fitness is excited to start the season off in Atlanta as an early season race. Cassill called it one of the season's most exciting races and a great venue to kick-off the Snap Fitness sponsorship." Snap Fitness will sponsor the #40 Hillman Racing Chevy in the following 2015 races: Atlanta in March; the All-Star race at Charlotte in May; Charlotte in May; Michigan in August; and Darlington in September.(Hillman Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #40 Team Schemes page.(2-3-2015)

  • Atlanta tire test canceled: The March 2-3 NASCAR tire test at Atlanta has been canceled. That was to have been held Monday and Tuesday after the Atlanta race and just before the Cup series begins its three-week West Coast swing. Teams that were to have taken part in that test: Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing.(NBC Sports)(2-3-2015)

  • Accell Construction Returns to Tommy Baldwin Racing: Tommy Baldwin Racing is welcoming back a long-time sponsor for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Accell Construction returns to TBR to serve as primary sponsor on the #7 Chevy with Alex Bowman behind the wheel. The Oklahoma-based company will continue its partnership with TBR for the fifth consecutive season. "We are proud to continue our partnership with Accell Construction as we head into the 2015 season," said owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. "Steve and his company have been an integral part of Tommy Baldwin Racing's success and growth." Accell Construction owner Steve Todhunter commented on the continued partnership saying, "We are looking forward to the start of our fifth year in the Sprint Cup Series with TBR. The 2015 season is bringing a new dimension to TBR as Alex Bowman joins the team; we are excited to be a part of his journey."(TBR), no word how many races Accell Construction will be the primary sponsor on the #7 Chevy.(2-3-2015)

  • 'The Ultimate' DAYTONA 500 Moment? NASCAR Lets Fans Decide In New Digital And Social Campaign: Lee Petty in a "photo finish" for the ages. Fist fights on the backstretch. "The Intimidator's" long-awaited trip to victory lane. The DAYTONA 500 has produced some of the most monumental moments in sports history and now fans have the chance to decide which one is the best of the best.
    From Feb. 2 - Feb. 19, NASCAR is inviting sports fans to visit DaytonaMoments.NASCAR.com to vote for the event they consider the moment that defined the DAYTONA 500. The "Ultimate DAYTONA 500 Moment Challenge" will pit 16 distinct moments in "The Great American Race" history against one another in a four-round, elimination-style set-up, similar to the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format that debuted in 2014.(NASCAR)(2-3-2015)

  • Fan hit by cable at Coca-Cola 600 sues Fox Sports, CMS: A fan who says he was injured when an overhead camera cable snapped and whipsawed in the grandstand during the 2013 Coca-Cola 600 has filed suit against Fox Sports and Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Patrick Carpenter filed suit last week in civil court in Randolph County saying he was injured and scarred on his right arm and shoulder after the synthetic cable fell and was then snagged by passing race cars on the track. Patrick said he suffered permanent impairment of his right arm. Fox and the speedway declined to comment on the suit. Carpenter, represented by Michael Lewis and D. Stuart Punger of Winston-Salem, said in the suit that Fox and the speedway were negligent in not better inspecting and protecting spectators from the overhead cable and camera rig, called a CamCat. Carpenter was seated in the grandstand near Turn 4 when the accident occurred on Lap 121 of the May 26, 2013, race. About 10 people were treated after the accident. Carpenter is the first to file a suit. Fox suspended use of the camera rig at Sprint races and conducted an investigation into what occurred, although the remains of the cable were in poor condition after they were ensnared by 19 cars. Results of the investigation are not being made public because of litigation, said Fox spokesman Lou D'Ermilio. Carpenter's suit seeks more than $10,000 in damages.(Charlotte Observer)(2-3-2015)

  • David Starr to drive full-time for TriStar: TriStar Motorsports announced that NASCAR veteran David Starr has signed a multi-year agreement to pilot the #44 Toyota Camry full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series over the next three seasons with Zachry Group as the primary sponsor. "Words cannot express how excited I am to partner up with Zachry Group for the next three seasons in the NASCAR XFINITY Series," said David Starr. "It will be an honor and privilege to represent a company with such integrity and commitment to their customers, employees and communities where we work." Widely known and respected throughout the NASCAR garage, Starr ranks third on the all-time career start list in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with more than 315 races. Starr ran 13 races with TriStar Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2014, capturing one top-10, three top-15's and 11 top-25 finishes. This will be Starr's first year competing full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.(TriStar Motorsports)(2-3-2015)

  • Special scheme for Townley early in season: When NASCAR launches a new racing season later this month at historic Daytona International Speedway in Florida, Zaxby's new Chickenflage paint scheme will be seen circling the mammoth 2.5-mile speedway. John Wes Townley will wheel the #05 Zaxby's Chickenflage Chevy Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Series season opener at Daytona on Friday night, Feb. 20. Townley will return to racing's grandest stage the following afternoon when he competes in the first event of the year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the #25 Zaxby's Chickenflage Chevyt Camaro. The unique look, which Townley will sport in NASCAR Xfinity and Truck events during the months of February and March, coincides with the Athens, Georgia-based fast casual restaurant's promotion of its Boneless Wings Meal with new Spicy Honey BBQ sauce. In conjunction with the latest ad campaign featuring Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty, this limited-time offering includes a souvenir Chickenflage cup (available in restaurants) and tshirts (available online at zaxbys.com).(Athenian Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #25 team paint schemes page.(2-3-2015)

  • The Voice Winner Craig Wayne Boyd to Highlight Kobalt 400 Pre-race: Craig Wayne Boyd will put a smile on race fans' faces prior to the start of the Kobalt 400 on March 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The most recent winner of The Voice, Boyd will perform during pre-race festivities for the 18th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at LVMS. Boyd, who recently made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry, will play a 15-minute set, including his hit single "My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face" just prior to driver introductions. Boyd is making his mark in Las Vegas as he is also opening for the nine-show Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot! residency, which runs from February 25-March 14 at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Rascal Flatts will perform the national anthem prior to the start of the Kobalt 400. Tickets for all events remain available. Fans also may purchase driver introduction passes, which will allow them closer access to all pre-race activities, including the performance by Craig Wayne Boyd.(LVMS)(2-3-2015)

  • Martinsville Speedway's Mike Smith Recognized for "Helping Others": For Mike Smith the role of Director of Public Relations at Martinsville Speedway is one in which he always goes the extra mile to ensure everyone, from fans to media, leaves the track having a positive experience. His hard work does not go unnoticed. Smith was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Ken Patterson Helping Others Award by the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA), in conjunction with Talladega Superspeedway, at the NMPA's annual awards dinner. "Ken Patterson set the standard in working with the media and I'm beyond humbled to receive the award that honors his legacy. I'm very fortunate to work with a team at Martinsville Speedway that appreciates the media and understands their importance in what we do," Smith said. "When I was in the newspaper business, our track's founder H. Clay Earles always told me that next to race fans, the press was the most important people a track works for. It's a philosophy that I hold close." Named for the former Talladega Superspeedway Director of Public Relations Ken Patterson, the award recognizes a public relations representative in the motorsports industry who has exhibited the kind, generous qualities that Patterson always demonstrated. Patterson died in 2004 from complications of myelodysplasia syndrome. In addition to the award, Talladega Superspeedway will donate $1,000 in Smith's name to the Ken Patterson Educational Trust Fund.(Martinsville-Speedway)(2-3-2015)


    News from February 2, 2015


    Six More Weeks of Winter!
    as Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow
    Phil is 'correct' about 39% of the time in
    119 predictions in 128 years (since 1887)
    more info at:
    groundhogday.org


  • NASCAR Announcements: Little Named to Inspection/Officiating Post; Sawyer to Lead Truck Series: NASCAR announced two leadership changes in its Competition department, including the selection of Chad Little to the new role of Managing Director, Technical Inspection/Officiating and Elton Sawyer to Managing Director, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Both assume their new responsibilities immediately.
    "NASCAR recently has made significant investments in both the technical inspection and officiating areas of our sport," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "Those areas have become flagship examples of innovation, keeping NASCAR as a premier sport. Chad is an ideal candidate to provide oversight and lead us to further evolve in those critical areas. Similarly, we're fortunate to have a professional in Elton, who has substantial experience across the racing industry, to direct the popular NASCAR Camping World Truck Series."
    In the new role, Little will provide high-level oversight in all areas of technical inspection and officiating for the Competition department, bringing to bear NASCAR's Research & Development. The updated officiating model includes the introduction of NASCAR's new Pit Road Technology, which debuts during Speedweeks in Daytona later this month. Little, who has spent more than 10 years at NASCAR, most recently served as Series Director in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Weekly/Touring Series. A former driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Little brings a strong background in key areas of competition to this new role.
    Sawyer joins NASCAR after serving as Director of Team Operations for Action Express Racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship governed by IMSA. Prior to that role, he held competition roles at Red Bull Racing and Evernham Motorsports. Sawyer also spent part of his career driving in NASCAR's national series. "We're pleased with the development of our competition team," O'Donnell said. "Chad and Elton will join the collaborative model already in place at the R&D Center. They will work very closely with Gene Stefanyshyn and Robin Pemberton and the rest of our series directors to help NASCAR capitalize upon its strong momentum heading into the 2015 season."(NASCAR)(2-2-2015)

  • Allmendinger not planning running Sprint Unlimited UPDATE: per a Tweet from Chris Knight of Catchfence: "@AJDinger and JTG-Daughtery representatives confirm team as of today do NOT plan to participate in Sprint Unlimited @DISupdates". So #47-AJ Allmendinger doesn't plan on running the Sprint Unlimited race at Daytona on Feb 14th (FOX at 8:pm/et). So with #55-Brian Vickers (pole winner) and #47-Allmendinger (Chase driver) not running the event, the next two drivers in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship points would get into the Sprint Unlimited: #15-Clint Bowyer and #27-Paul Menard. And no word if Brian Scott, who won a pole at Talladega last May, will run the event. Scott supposedly will run the #29 RCR Chevy in the Daytona 500 but no word if he will run the Sprint Unlimited. If Scott doesn't run the race, the spot would go to #13-Casey Mears who was 26th in drivers points.(2-2-2015)
    UPDATE: #47-AJ Allmendinger will not compete in next weekend's Sprint Unlimited because his team was unable to find sponsorship for the exhibition event. JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter told MotorsportsTalk that NASCAR's late decision to include all 16 Chase drivers in the Sprint Unlimited left his organization with little time to find a sponsor. "It was nowhere on our radar until they changed the rules on it,'' Geschickter said Monday of competing in the Sprint Unlimited. "If we had won a pole during the season and knew we were in it, I'm sure we would have been well prepared for it. We appreciate being grandfathered in, but, obviously, have to manage our resources to deliver the best year-end points finish we can for our sponsors.'' Geschickter said he's not worried about missing additional track time at Daytona International Speedway by skipping the race. JTG Daugherty enters its second year as part of an alliance with Richard Childress Racing and will be able to get information and notes from other RCR alliance cars in that race. Geschickter says the team has three superspeedway cars ready for the season. "Obviously, if you go tear one up before the season starts, that's a big hit to a budget,'' Geschickter said. As for sponsorship this season, Geschickter says the team has only three races to sell. Those races are in the second half of the year.(NBC Sports), see news, rules and more on the 2015 Sprint Unlimited page.(2-2-2015)

  • NASCAR Announces Chad Seigler as Vice President, Business Development: NASCAR today announced the appointment of Chad Seigler as Vice President, Business Development reporting to NASCAR Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer Jim O'Connell. The appointment of Seigler follows his promotion to Vice President, Team Marketing Services in 2014 and the recent departure of Sean Downes, NASCAR's Managing Director, Business Development. Seigler will officially transition to his new role on Feb. 9. He will oversee revenue generation and lead a sales force comprised of representatives in New York, Charlotte, Daytona and Los Angeles. In addition to setting the business strategy, Seigler will play a critical role in securing the new NASCAR Sprint Cup entitlement sponsor, as well as other Official and Entitlement Partnerships. Seigler will continue to be based in the Charlotte office.
    "Throughout his tenure with NASCAR, Chad has used his unique skill set to develop relationships and help teams and tracks attract and retain sponsors," O'Connell said. "His experience working with the industry and with sponsors across all three national series - combined with the years he spent working in-house at our premier series entitlement partner - makes him the perfect choice for this critical role." In his current role, Seigler is a resource to some of NASCAR's biggest decision makers, overseeing a team of professionals that prospects, presents and solidifies team, track and driver sponsorship programs.
    Prior to joining NASCAR in 2007, Seigler was Manager of Industry Relations at Sprint NEXTEL, where he served as the day-to-day liaison to all NEXTEL Cup track venues and managed the series sponsor relationships with NASCAR drivers, teams and owners. He also spent five seasons with the Carolina Panthers as a Sports Marketing Executive, where he established and managed marketing partnerships with 15 regional and national brands for the NFL franchise. Seigler was named to Charlotte Business Journal's (CBJ) annual Forty Under 40 class for 2014. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Seigler earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He serves on The National Sports Forum Steering Committee and is currently a board member for the North Carolina Motorsports Association.(NASCAR)(2-2-2015)

  • Toy State to sponsor Tommy Baldwin Racing for five races UPDATE: Toy State has signed on as primary sponsor for the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) #7 car. The Nikko/Toy State car is currently being prepped for the 2015 Daytona 500. "For nearly six decades, Toy State and Nikko-branded toys have created the thrill of auto racing through imaginative play," says Andy Friess, senior vice president of global marketing. "We're taking these thrills from fantasy to reality through our sponsorship with Tommy Baldwin Racing." This sponsorship will cover the initial five races of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series. In addition to car graphics, all driver and team apparel and signage will bear Nikko and Toy State logos, along with the redesigned branding of the company's lights and sound brand, Road Rippers. "The Daytona 500 is the crown jewel of the racing year, making it the perfect venue to re-launch Nikko R/C to the U.S. market and introduce the new look of Road Rippers," says Friess. "It's going to be a great day at the races!" This announcement builds on Toy State's acquisition of Nikko last year. This year, Nikko-branded R/C vehicles will make their return to the U.S. market under the Toy State umbrella.(Toybook), see an image of the scheme on the #7 Team Schemes page(1-30-2015)
    UPDATE: With the announcement that Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) has signed driver Alex Bowman comes the next logical question, 'who is the sponsor?' Tommy Baldwin Racing is pleased to officially announce that Toy State has signed as primary sponsor for the #7 Chevy. A new sponsor to the sport of NASCAR, the Nikko/Toy State sponsorship begins at Daytona International Speedway and will continue for the first five races of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series. Toy State's extensive portfolio features their flagship Road Rippers and Nikko brands. The company also boasts brands that include Hot Wheels, WWE and James Bond 007 lights & sound and radio controlled vehicles, as well as Cat and Cat Preschool construction toys. "Bringing a new sponsor to the sport is considered to be one of the biggest challenges for race teams," said owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. "We are proud that Toy State has taken this path to re-launch the Nikko R/C brand. They are a perfect fit for NASCAR and our fans."
    "For nearly six decades, Toy State and Nikko-branded toys have created the thrill of auto racing through imaginative play," said Andy Friess, senior vice president of global marketing. "We're now taking these thrills from fantasy to reality through our sponsorship with Tommy Baldwin Racing."(TBR/140 Buzz)(2-2-2015)

  • Sad News - Mike Thomas: Michael Jay Thomas, 58 of Jackson, Georgia left this earth on February 1, 2015. He was born on May 4, 1956 in East Point, GA. He worked at Delta Airlines for 32 years, retiring in 2008 having never called in sick. In the 80's he joined NASCAR working for Bill Elliott and later Richard Childress Racing with driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr. In 1996, he began working with Kawasaki doing demo shows all across the country. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Mike Thomas Memorial Fund. Service info on Jayski.com's Sad News page.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(2-2-2015)

  • Jeffrey Earnhardt moves to Viva Motorsports: Viva Motorsports has signed Jeffrey Earnhardt to be behind the wheel of the #55 Fronius USA Chevy starting with the Alert Today 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt brings with him a wealth of experience for a young driver, having previously competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Rolex Series Grand-Am Sports Car Series and in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2009. Jeffrey Earnhardt, a fourth generation driver carries the Earnhardt legacy into the next step of his career. The grandson of legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. is quickly approaching his 100th start in the NASCAR ranks. Earnhardt looks forward to reaching that milestone and many more while driving a Viva Motorsports racecar. Partnership opportunities for the 2015 Xfintiy Series season are still available.(Viva Motorsports)(2-2-2015)


    News from February 1, 2015

  • Nationwide announces which races it'll be the primary sponsor on #88: via their Facebook and Twitter pages, Nationwide Insurance announced the 21 races that they will be the primary sponsor on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in 2015. See the list on the #88 Team News and Links page and on the NASCAR Paint Scheme page.(2-1-2015)

  • Added some more new 2015 schemes: #42 Target, #46 Pilot Flying J, #7 Nikko/Toy State and #25 NAPA schemes to the Sprint Cup Paint Schemes Gallery.(2-1-2015)

  • RCR settles lawsuit with McCall over move to Ganassi: Richard Childress Racing has settled its lawsuit with former engineer Matt McCall, who left the organization after the 2014 season to crew chief at Chip Ganassi Racing. RCR had sued McCall in North Carolina Superior Court in December, and lost its request for a temporary restraining order to keep McCall from working as crew chief for driver Jamie McMurray and from using RCR trade secrets. McCall had been the lead engineer for Ryan Newman, who finished second in the 2014 standings. The two sides were scheduled to return to the courtroom Feb. 10 (three days before the garage opens in Daytona), but a settlement was confirmed by RCR in a statement released to Sporting News: "Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing have reached an agreement pursuant to which Mathew McCall will remain the crew chief for Ganassi's #1 Sprint Cup team," the statement said. "Both organizations believe it is important for NASCAR teams to work together to honor and protect their respective proprietary and trade secret technologies, as well as one another's contractual commitments. The terms of the settlement are designed to further that objective. The remaining terms of the agreement shall remain confidential."(Sporting News)(2-1-2015)

  • National Corvette Museum Adds Three Inductees To Corvette Hall Of Fame: Herb Fishel, Rick Hendrick and Russ McLean are set to be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame this fall for their unwavering commitment and dedication to the Corvette and the Corvette brand over the years. Fishel, former director of Chevrolet Racing and Executive Director of GM Racing, will be added to the Corvette HoF's Racing category. As a kid he looked up to Zora Arkus-Duntov, the "father" of the Corvette, and would later join the Chevy team to direct their racing efforts. Under his guidance, the bowtie won 12 Indy 500s and took home class wins in the Baja 1000, Pikes Peak Hill Climb, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Daytona 500 and Indy 500.
    It should be obvious why NASCAR team owner and noted Chevy enthusiast Rick Hendrick has been included in the Corvette HoF. Starting out with a small car dealership, Hendrick is responsible for building up the Hendrick Automotive Group and later opening Hendrick Motorsports in 1984, a race team that has won numerous Sprint Cup championships for Chevrolet. Hendrick is also frequently the first person to buy a new Chevy performance model, including the 2015 Corvette Z06.
    GM's Russ McLean was added to the museum for saving the Corvette program from almost certain death. McLean was put in charge of the Corvette only to have GM execs turn around and tell him to kill it off. Instead of doing that, he quietly kept the program moving forward and helped push out the C5 model.(GM Authority)(2-1-2015)

  • Tickets on sale Monday for Michigan races: Tickets, campsites and travel packages for all Michigan International Speedway events, including both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends, Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson and Faster Horses Festival, are on sale Monday [Feb 2nd]. The track will continue to keep ticket prices low for 2015. Race fans who purchase early will have the best prices and the best seats. Tickets for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race start at $37, with children 12 and under free in certain sections, ensuring families a chance to see NASCAR at affordable prices. Guests can camp all week long for one price, starting at $145. The speedway will also continue its junior pricing program where kids 13-16 are half price in reserve seats. Visit www.MISpeedway.com for a complete listing of events and to buy tickets and camping today.(MIS)(2-1-2015)

  • Daytona International Speedway All-Access and VIP Tours To Showcase DAYTONA Rising Project: For a limited time, the Daytona International Speedway Track Tours will now bring visitors closer to the DAYTONA Rising project, the $400 million redevelopment project that will transform the "World Center of Racing" into motorsports' first true stadium. Beginning Feb. 2, the All-Access and VIP track tours will include a stop at the Florida Hospital Injector on the west end of the stadium. Guests will get an up-close look at the new amenities including vertical transportation and the wider, more comfortable seats available beginning with Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 and the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday. Feb. 22. The 90-minute All-Access Tour also includes stops at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garages and tech inspection, the driver's meeting room, Gatorade Victory Lane and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 2014 DAYTONA 500 winning car.
    The VIP Tour is three hours with the additional feature of a visit to the International Speedway Corporation Archives and Research Center that houses motorsports artifacts, past champion trophies, historic images and more. For complete ticket and schedule information on tours of Daytona International Speedway, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-1-2015)

  • Rudolph wins Gamblers Classic in Atlantic City: Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y. outran Ryan Flores of Davidson, N.C., and Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J., Saturday to win the 13th running of the Gamblers Classic 40-lap TQ Midget feature in front of a large crowd at the NAPA KNOW HOW Race Weekend inside Atlantic City's famed Boardwalk Hall. The three way battle also had profound ramifications in the Len Sammons Motorsports Productions TQ Midget Championship contest. By winning the race, Rudolph earned the tiebreaker after he and Flores, who was winless in the series, each ended up with 320 points.(Area Auto Racing News)(2-1-2015)


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