Races [16+2*] that Monster Energy is scheduled to be the primary sponsor (on the hood) in 2016:
Daytona, Sprint Unlimited - 2/13*
Atlanta - 2/28
Las Vegas - 3/6
Phoenix - 3/13
Texas - 4/9
Richmond - 4/24
Talladega - 5/1
Charlotte, All-Star Race - 5/21
Sonoma - 6/26
Daytona - 7/2
Kentucky - 7/9
Pocono - 7/31
Bristol - 8/20
Michigan - 8/28
New Hampshire - 9/25
Dover - 10/2
Kansas - 10/16
Phoenix - 11/13
Races [19+1] that Haas Automation is scheduled to be the primary sponsor (on the hood) in 2016:
Daytona, Can-Am Duel 150 - 2/18*
Daytona - 2/21
Auto Club - 3/20
Martinsville - 4/3
Bristol - 4/17
Kansas - 5/7
Dover - 5/15
Charlotte - 5/29
Pocono - 6/5
Michigan - 6/12
New Hampshire - 7/17
Indianapolis - 7/24
Watkins Glen - 8/7
Darlington - 9/4
Richmond - 9/10
Chicago - 9/18
Charlotte - 10/8
Talladega - 10/23
Texas - 11/6
Races  that State Water Heaters is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Martinsville - 10/30
Contract Status: Driver: 2017+; Primary Sponsors: Monster Energy (starts 2016 thru 2017?]; Haas Automation (team owner company)
Members of SHR help out family of stricken crewman: The family of a Stewart-Haas Racing team member who suffered a stroke on New Year's Day is getting a helping hand from fellow team members with the Kannapolis, North-Carolina based organization. Les Huntley, a front suspension mechanic for SHR and second gas man for #10-Danica Patrick last season, was left with paralysis on his left side in the wake of his medical emergency. As of a week ago, Huntley was still not walking, nor able to use his left arm and hand. Members of SHR spent their Saturday providing assistance to Huntley's family as they move into a new home.(FoxSports)(1-31-2016)
Kurt Busch wants to run Indy 500 again: Kurt Busch says he wants to return to run the Indianapolis 500, but nothing has been put together yet. The biggest challenge for Busch is the lack of competitive seats still available with four months remaining until Race Week begins. Busch only wants to return to the event if he can improve on his sixth-place finish from 2014 with Andretti Autosport. "Possibly. It's on the backburner," Busch said of his interest in the prestigious IndyCar event. "That's especially true since it's the 100th running. There's a lot of sponsorship opportunities, be it Haas Automation, Chevrolet or Monster Energy. "But for now, my focus is on Stewart Haas Racing, the #41 car and locking ourselves into the Chase as soon as possible this season." Busch maintains that his interest in returning to the 500 is sincere, and that he doesn't feel pressured to put together a package this early in the season. He would like the conversations to take place, if they are going to happen, sooner rather than later but hasn't placed a deadline on himself or his potential partners yet.(AutoWeek)(1-23-2016)
Stewart-Haas Racing crew member suffers stroke: Les Huntley, a front suspension mechanic at Stewart-Haas Racing who also served as the second gas man for Danica Patrick's #10 team, suffered a stroke New Year's Day, the team confirmed Monday. Huntley has paralysis on the left side and is expected to have long road to recovery. Huntley, who is from Renwick, Iowa, worked on front suspensions for all the Stewart-Haas Racing cars.(NBC Sports)(1-4-2016)
MWR's pit crew coach hired by Stewart-Haas: Pit coach Walt Smith has been hired by SHR to help out in the pit department for the upcoming 2016 season. We know that sounds vague but we haven't heard his exact role yet. We do know he's been hired just not sure on weather he will take over as the Cup coach, adviser, recruiter, or all of the above. Walt is a coach that has seen plenty of years on pit road. He is a very accomplished coach and has spent years with HMS, DEI, EGR, and MWR. As far as the current situation at SHR, they are in good shape.! From what we know, coaches Joe Piette and Kevin Sharpe are both staying there and why wouldn't they? They've won championships with Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick while also winning Mechanix Wear back to back pit crew MVP awards with their #4 and #41 teams.(Pit Talks)(12-9-2015)
SHR announces new crew chiefs for Stewart, Patrick: Stewart-Haas Racing has made new appointments within its competition department as the championship-winning race team wastes no time preparing for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Michael Bugarewicz has been promoted from race engineer on the #4 team to crew chief for the #14 team of Tony Stewart. The 33-year-old from Lehighton, Pennsylvania, replaces Chad Johnston, who has left SHR to pursue a new opportunity. Bugarewicz joined SHR in 2014 where in his role as race engineer, he helped Kevin Harvick secure his first Sprint Cup championship. Bugarewicz began his NASCAR career in 2005 at Roush-Fenway Racing in the engineering department, assisting a variety of teams as a race engineer in the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series. Before coming to SHR, Bugarewicz was the race engineer on Roush-Fenway's No. 17 team, where he worked with Matt Kenseth (2011-2012) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2013). Bugarewicz graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering (2004) and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering (2005).
Billy Scott has been named crew chief for the #10 team of Danica Patrick. The 38-year-old from Land O' Lakes, Florida, comes to SHR from Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) where since 2014 he was the crew chief for the No. 55 team, which featured drivers David Ragan, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip, among others. He also served as crew chief for MWR's #15 team and driver Clint Bowyer from June 2015 through the end of the season. Prior to that role, Scott was a race engineer working under crew chief Rodney Childers, who joined SHR in 2014 and promptly led Harvick to the Sprint Cup championship. Scott came to MWR in 2008 after working in a variety of racing disciplines, including NASCAR, sports cars and sprint cars. It was during his work in the Truck Series in 2003 when Scott decided to focus on engineering. He attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 2005.
Daniel Knost has been promoted to a senior leadership position within SHR. As manager of vehicle dynamics, Knost will oversee a number of the organization's technical efforts, with a specific focus on track simulation and racecar performance. The 36-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, has been a crew chief at SHR for two years, spending 2014 with the #41 team of Kurt Busch and 2015 with the #10 team of Patrick. Knost joined SHR in 2008 when it was Haas-CNC Racing after earning Master of Science and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Knost graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.
Childers remains as crew chief for the #4 team of Harvick and Tony Gibson remains as crew chief for the #41 team of Busch.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(11-30-2015)
Best average finishes of 2015: Even if you win the most races in a year, you're not guaranteed a championship or the best average finish over the season's 36 races. Just ask #22-Joey Logano, who finished 2015 with the second best avg finish after winning six times. NASCAR Talk takes a look at the top 10 avg finishes among Sprint Cup drivers who competed in all 36 points races. 2015 Sprint Cup Champion #18-Kyle Busch missed the first 11 races of the season due to injury and finished with an avg finish of 10.8, which would be the third best. His brother, #41-Kurt Busch, missed the first three races due to suspension and finished the season with an avg of 11.1. That would tie him with the fifth best. Even with the Busch brothers removed, #20-Matt Kenseth, who was suspended for two Chase for the Sprint Cup races, would just miss out on the top 10 with his avg of 14.3.
#4-Kevin Harvick; 8.7 - Were you expecting someone else? Harvick won three times in 2015 but the real mark of his consistency was finishing second 13 times, the most since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison did it 15 times in 1970. He topped his average from his championship year, which was 12.9. He also tied his best avg., also finishing with 8.7 in 2010. That year Harvick also won three races.
#22-Joey Logano; 9.2 - Logano, the wins leader in 2015 with six, earned a top-10 average for the first time in his seven full-time seasons. His average has risen every season since ending 2011 at 19.1.
#2-Brad Keselowski; 11.1 - Keselowski finished the year with just one win (Auto Club Speedway), but he also only fell victim to one DNF (engine failure, Daytona I). Thirty-five races later, the Team Penske driver had his best avg finish since the 10.1 he earned in his championship year in 2012.
See the rest at NBC Sports.(11-29-2015)
Mechanix Wear names their pit crew of the year: Mechanix Wear has named their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crew of the year. This year the award goes to the #41 of Stewart Haas Racing for driver Kurt Busch. Each quarter the crew chiefs voted on their pick of the best pit crew. At the end of the year the four pit crews that won each quarters voting were eligible for the year end award. This marks the second year in a row that Coach's Joe Piette and Kevin Sharpe of SHR have won this award. Last year the #4 of SHR won it and now the #41. Congrats to SHR and everyone involved in their pit department.
1st quarter: #20 Joe Gibbs Racing / Matt Kenseth
2nd quarter: #41 Stewart Haas Racing / Kurt Busch
3rd quarter: #19 Joe Gibbs Racing / Carl Edwards
4th quarter: #22 Team Penske / Joey Logano
Each quarterly winner received $5,000. The end of the year winner receives $100.000.
The #41 Stewart Haas Racing pit crew:
Pit Coaches: Joe Piette and Kevin Sharpe
Jackman: Sean Cotten
Gasman: Rick Pigeon
Front Tire Changer: Shane Pipala
Front Tire Carrier: Jon Bernal
Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
Rear Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
Kurt Busch re-signs with Stewart-Haas Racing, sponsorship from Monster Energy: Monster Energy is moving to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series while Kurt Busch is staying at Stewart-Haas Racing. The energy drink manufacturer has teamed with Busch in a multiyear agreement that will see Monster Energy co-sponsor him and the #41 Chevy SS with Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion and owner of 27 career victories, will debut this new sponsorship during the Oct. 30-Nov. 1 Sprint Cup race weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevy SS will then become a fixture beginning with the 2016 season, whereupon Monster Energy will be the alpha sponsor (hood) for 17 races and the bravo sponsor (quarter panel) for 18 races with one full primary race sponsorship.
"I'm very happy to be back with Stewart-Haas Racing and proud to take Monster Energy to the Sprint Cup Series," said Busch, who has won three races and three poles since joining SHR in 2014. "This is exactly where I want to be and I have two partners who want to win as much as I do."
Monster Energy passes on traditional forms of advertising and instead earns significant brand exposure through its roster of extreme athletes. Busch, renown for a tenacious driving style that has earned him multiple wins in a Sprint Cup career spanning more than 15 years, fits the bill for Monster Energy.(Stewart-Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #41 team paint schemes page.(10-21-2015)
Congrats to Kurt Busch and girlfriend Ashley Van Metre on their engagement. Busch tweeted the news Wednesday evening. The couple have dated since last year. Van Metre is one of the top polo players in the United States.(8-27-2015)
Kurt Busch wins rain-shortened race at Michigan: #41-Kurt Busch won the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 3rd win at Michigan and 27th career win. The race was called after 138 laps because of rain.
#88-Earnhardt, Jr finished 2nd, followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #20-Kenseth, #22-Logano, #2-Keselowski, #1-McMurray, #27-Menard, #6-Bayne, and #15-Bowyer.
Rain plagued the race all day. There were 3 red flags that lasted more than 2 hours before the race got to halfway. Another band of heavy rain hit on lap 137 and after another red flag, NASCAR called the race. The race is the first to be shortened because of rain since Daytona in July 2014.
Pole sitter #5-Kahne finished 15th. #18-Kyle Buch hit the wall on lap 54 and finished 43rd. Harvick had a tire go down late and finished 29th, only second finish outside the top 10 this season.
Harvick maintains the drivers points lead with 576, 15 points over #78-Truex, Jr.
There were 17 lead changes among 11 drivers. There were 5 cautions for 38 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 116.688mph.
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).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-14-2015)
Driscoll being investigated by FBI, IRS: FBI and IRS officials are investigating Patricia Driscoll, former girlfriend of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, over allegations she has mishandled money as executive director of the multimillion-dollar Armed Forces Foundation, three sources told Outside the Lines. The investigation follows an Outside the Lines report on May 22 that detailed a host of questionable practices by Driscoll during her ongoing 12-year run as executive director of the foundation, which has ties to sports-related entities, including NASCAR. Driscoll also is facing a federal whistleblower complaint filed by a former foundation employee. Documents show that Patricia Driscoll, in effect, used the Armed Forces Foundation as a bank to lend money for or pay various personal expenses, including bills for a private company she owns. Driscoll has declined to be interviewed by Outside the Lines multiple times. A crisis communications firm hired by the foundation, though, and the foundation's general counsel have adamantly denied any wrongdoing on her part. After the Outside the Lines report published, the foundation and Driscoll hired Atlanta-based attorney L. Lin Wood to "evaluate potential libel claims for false and defamatory reporting," stating that "the one-sided reporting of ESPN makes accusations that are blatantly and demonstrably false." Spokespersons for the FBI and IRS declined to comment. See much more at ESPN.com.(6-13-2015)
Documents: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend used veterans' charity as bank: An ESPN Outside the Lines investigation has found several questionable practices at the Armed Forces Foundation charity under Patricia Driscoll's (CEO) direction in the past decade. Driscoll is the former girlfriend of NASCAR driver #41-Kurt Busch. The couple made headlines last year when Driscoll accused Busch of strangling her and smashing her head into a wall during an argument. Driscoll was recognized as president of the Armed Forces Foundation, a charity aligned with NASCAR and various sports-related entities that aims to help veterans in need. Documents show the Armed Forces Foundation has, in effect, been repeatedly used as a bank to lend money for or pay various personal expenses, including bills for a private company Driscoll owns. The foundation claims it spends 95 cents of every dollar raised on directly supporting service members and their families, but analysis of documents shows the figure is closer to 72 cents. Outside the Lines has learned, on Thursday morning a representative of a former foundation employee contacted the FBI in Washington, alleging that Driscoll broke laws while running the foundation.(see full story at ESPN.com)(5-22-2015)
Kurt Busch wins at Richmond: #41-Kurt Busch won the rain-delayed Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st win of the season, 2nd win at Richmond and his 26th career win. The race was originally schedueld to be ran on Saturday evening, but persistent race forced the postponement until Sunday afternoon.
#4-Harvick finished second, the rest of the top 10: #48-Johnson, #1-McMurray, #22-Logano, #5-Kahne, #20-Kenseth, #24-Gordon, #15-Bowyer, and #78-Truex, Jr.
#25-Chase Elliott, making his second Sprint Cup start, finished 16th.
Harvick continues to hold the Chase points lead. He and Johnson each have 2 wins on the season but Harvick has 357 points to Johnson's 299.
There were 12 lead changes among 5 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 53 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 97.157mph.
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).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(4-26-2015)
Family court will not reopen Kurt Busch case: Kurt Busch's request to have his protective order hearing reopened by a Kent County Family Court commissioner was denied Tuesday. The decision by Commissioner David Jones, while not in Busch's favor, now allows Busch to proceed with his planned appeal of the decision to a family court judge. Busch's legal team filed the motion to reopen the hearing Feb. 19, four days after Jones granted the protective order and one day before Jones released his findings and conclusions on why he had determined that Busch had likely committed an act of domestic violence on ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. In the motion to reopen the hearing, Busch's legal team said it had three witnesses -- including Beverly Young, whom Driscoll has referred to as her mother although they are not biologically related -- who had come forward willing to testify to place doubt on Driscoll's testimony and show that Driscoll was out to ruin Busch. Jones denied the motion Tuesday, ruling that the witnesses could have been compelled to give depositions in December or January and that their testimony would not have changed his opinion. "The newly discovered evidence, when considered in the context of the evidence presented at trial, would not establish that [Driscoll] was motivated by desire to ruin [Busch] when she first reported the allegations of abuse," Jones wrote. Driscoll issued a statement Tuesday stating she was pleased with the decision.(ESPN.com)(3-17-2015)
Haas always believed Kurt Busch: Gene Haas said Sunday he never wavered in his support of Kurt Busch in the aftermath of the controversy over whether Busch assaulted ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll at Dover International Speedway in September. "I always believed Kurt," Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Haas told ESPN.com at the track Sunday morning. "I still believe him today." NASCAR suspended Busch two days prior to the Daytona 500 after a Delaware family court commissioner determined that Busch likely committed an act of domestic violence against Driscoll on Sept. 26. Haas said his primary frustration over his driver's NASCAR suspension was the timing of the legal decisions. "When he got pulled out at Daytona, that was pretty devastating. ... That was very upsetting," Haas said. "NASCAR was very up-front with us. They told us everything that was happening. I think they had to react. The upsetting part is that we just had no control over those things. We had no control over NASCAR, over the media, over the court systems. We were just adrift in a boat going down a rapid river, and we just had no idea what was going to happen."
Haas said he never got to the point of having to decide whether to shut down the #41 car that he sponsors through his company Haas Automation Inc. Regan Smith drove the car for the first three races of 2015. "I was always optimistic that things would work out, so I don't think I ever got to that point," Haas said. "Six months down the road, I probably would have had a different opinion. ... Things have kind of worked a little bit in our favor [now] even though they didn't work in our favor [initially]."
While suspended, Busch and Haas remained in contact. "We talked every few days just to see what was happening," Haas said. "We were all kind of waiting for something to occur so you can react to it. Kurt was always adamant that he was going to be cleared. He never varied on that. I believed him. He never said anything different from the first day all this occurred."(ESPN.com)(3-16-2015)
NASCAR Lifts Kurt Busch's Suspension; will be Chase-eligible: NASCAR announced that, effectively immediately, the indefinite suspension of Kurt Busch has been lifted. He is eligible to return to NASCAR racing under indefinite probation subject to additional mandatory requirements that include but are not limited to participation in a treatment program and full compliance with any judicial requirements placed upon him. On Feb. 20, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 car, was found to be in violation of:
• Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
• Section 12.8: Behavioral Penalty
The decision to lift the suspension was made by NASCAR after Kurt Busch:
• Complied with all requirements in its reinstatement program;
• Completed the mandatory behavioral assessment sessions; and
• The behavioral health care expert who conducted the sessions recommended to NASCAR that Kurt Busch be allowed to return to competition.
Kurt Busch now will undergo additional steps to address the behavior for which he was penalized.
The requirement that a driver must compete in all Championship Events of the current season to be eligible for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has been waived for the period of Kurt Busch's suspension. Assuming he returns to NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, Kurt Busch would have zero Championship points to date after missing the Daytona 500 and the two most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"As we stated last week, the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges removed a significant impediment to Kurt Busch's return to full status as a NASCAR member," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. "We therefore have decided to move him to indefinite probation and waive the Chase requirement. He has fully complied with our reinstatement program during his suspension and the health care expert who conducted his evaluation recommended his immediate return. "We have made it very clear to Kurt Busch our expectations for him moving forward, which includes participation in a treatment program and full compliance with all judicial requirements as a result of his off-track behavior."(NASCAR)(3-11-2015)
Kurt Busch will not be charged by the Delaware Attorney General's office: Kurt Busch will not be charged by the Delaware Attorney General's office. Attorney General Matt Denn's office declined to file charges stemming from a complaint filed in November by the driver's ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. Thursday's decision concludes a months-long investigation that has kept the NASCAR world guessing what would happen to the driver known as "The Outlaw."
"After a thorough consideration of all of the available information about the case, it is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime during the Sept. 26 incident," Delaware Attorney General spokesman Carl Kanefsky said in an email. "Likelihood of meeting that high burden of proof is the standard for prosecutors in bringing a case. For this reason, the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges in this case."
Driscoll, president of the Armed Forces Foundation and a defense contractor, alleges Busch grabbed her by the throat and slammed her head three times against the bedroom wall of his motor home during a race weekend in Dover. A Kent County Family Court commissioner ruled in favor of Driscoll last week and granted a protection order against the driver in a separate civil matter. NASCAR, acting off that civil decision, suspended the driver indefinitely, two days before the Daytona 500.
The order, which expires in 2016, stipulates that 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. "We're very disappointed that the Attorney General's office chose not to prosecute, but it only makes the order for the (protection order) that much more important," said Carolyn McNeice, Driscoll's attorney. "I understand their position, but I am disappointed."(Delaware News Journal)(3-5-2015)
AND The decision by the Delaware Attorney General's office, might not affect Busch in the interim because he's under suspension by NASCAR. The sport indefinitely suspended the Stewart-Haas Racing driver before the Daytona 500 -- a decision that was upheld on appeal -- after a family court commissioner issued a detailed opinion Feb. 20 saying that Busch had committed an act of domestic violence against Driscoll. NASCAR hasn't announced the guidelines for Busch's reinstatement but is using a domestic violence expert to help determine Busch's path. Busch has agreed to the NASCAR guidelines. The burden of proof is different in the criminal and civil cases that stem from this incident.(ESPN)(3-5-2015)
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)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 20, 2016, 12:15 pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 12:15pm/et
Born in FEBRUARY
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