2015 Races  that Energizer is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Atlanta - 3/1
2015 Races  that AXE is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Texas - 4/11
2015 Races  that Viva Vantage is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Sonoma - 6/28
2015 Races  that Coca Cola is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Daytona - 7/5
2015 Races  that Suave Men is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Pocono - 8/2
2015 Races  that Mello Yello Throwback is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Darlington - 9/6
2015 Races  that Clorox is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Contract Status: Driver: 2015+; Primary Sponsor, Target: 2015+
No third team for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016: Despite speculation that Chip Ganassi Racing would add a third car for next season, the team confirmed Friday that they will remain a two-car operation. Officials with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates confirmed Friday that the organization will field just two fulltime teams in the Sprint Cup Series next season. Ganassi currently fields cars for #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Kyle Larson and that won't change next year despite the addition of Rob Kauffman as an investor to the organization.(Motorsport)(8-21-2015)
Kauffman says MWR will cease operations after 2015 season: Rob Kauffman, an amateur racer who is a highly successful businessman, said Friday he had enough of pouring his own money into Michael Waltrip Racing without seeing results and announced that MWR would cease operations after this season. Kauffman, who saved MWR from closing in 2007 by purchasing half the team from Waltrip, announced Wednesday that the team would not field Sprint Cup cars in 2016. "Michael Waltrip Racing wouldn't have existed through today without substantial and continued financial support from me," Kauffman said Friday before Sprint Cup practice at Bristol Motor Speedway. "From a business standpoint, that didn't make sense any longer. You can't have a top-10 budget and top-10 resources and not be in the top 10 for a sustained period of time. It's a performance-related business. It's all about performance. It's a great sport but a very difficult business model. From a business decision, it just made sense to not go forward with that organization, which is not commercially viable." MWR expanded from two cars to three in 2012 when it added Bowyer, but that lasted only two years after Bowyer and MWR were embroiled in a race-manipulation scandal at Richmond in the final regular-season 2013 race. "Certainly that was a pretty heavy body blow to our organization," Kauffman said. "It caused a big restructuring; 2014 was at some level a large reset year for everybody, also [on the] financial [side]. As we got into the late spring in 2015, from a performance standpoint, the company wasn't where it needed to be, and that kind of forced some decisions and thought processes over the summer." Kauffman wouldn't say whether a three-car organization would have produced better results. "My crystal ball, unfortunately, is not clear," Kauffman said. "In a parallel universe, I'm not sure what would have happened."(ESPN)(8-21-2015)
Cartwheel featured on #42 at Bristol: This weekend at Bristol, Kyle Larson's car will feature a new paint scheme for his NSCS ride, but a familiar look from last season. Larson's #42 Chevy will feature Target's mobile savings, Cartwheel, which served as the primary paint scheme for most of Larson's races last season in the XFINITY Series. The Cartwheel app allows users to choose from hundreds of offers from across multiple categories that can be saved and used from a mobile phone. Cartwheel users to date have saved over $281 million and counting (CGR)(8-21-2015)
Mello Yello Returns to the Track on Larson's #42 Chevy at Darlington: After racing on the big screen in Days of Thunder in 1990 and the NASCAR circuit for four seasons, the classic Mello Yello paint scheme is set to return to the track over Labor Day weekend for the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Kyle Larson's #42 Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Chevy. The throwback paint scheme will be featured during a race weekend that is meant to highlight Darlington's rich racing history. The Mello Yello paint scheme was first made famous while being driven by Tom Cruise in the NASCAR-based movie Days of Thunder, and also served as the primary paint scheme on Kyle Petty's #42 car from 1991 - 1994 in NASCAR's top series. And, although Larson wasn't alive for the release of Days of Thunder and had barely started watching racing when Petty drove the Mello Yello car, there is a connection between the 23-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) driver and the classic paint scheme - Felix Sabates. The long-time NASCAR team owner fielded Petty's #42 car at SABCO Racing, and is currently a co-owner with Chip Ganassi on Larson's #42 Target Chevy.
Notes of Interest:
" No Stranger to Racing: The racing roots of Mello Yello date back to its 1979 launch, when it was introduced as the "World's Fastest Soft Drink" and sponsored Frank Oglesby's dragster. Over the years, the popular Coca-Cola beverage has remained no stranger to motorsports. In addition to being on the fictitious car driven by Cruise in Days of Thunder, and on Kyle Petty's #42 car, Mello Yello has served as the title sponsor for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) since 2013.
" A Tale of Two Kyle's: Although Kyle Petty had 20 previous starts at Darlington before he debuted the Mello Yello paint scheme in 1991, his first race in that car at the track shares something in common with Larson's first start at the "Lady in Black." Both drivers started those respective races in the teens and gained nine spots to finish in the top-10. Last season, Larson, in his first NSCS start at Darlington, improved nine spots from a 17th place start to finish eighth.
· Bobby Oliver, Director of Citrus Brands, The Coca-Cola Company: "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to put the iconic Mello Yello paint scheme back on track this weekend at Darlington Raceway. Mello Yello has been associated with motorsports for many years, and to highlight the brand at such an historic racetrack is great. We're looking forward to having Mello Yello back on the #42 for the first time since 1994, and are happy to have the chance to partner with Kyle and Target Chip Ganassi Racing for this unique race."
" Felix Sabates, Co-Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: "Running the Mello Yello paint scheme for the throwback-themed race weekend at Darlington Raceway will be great. For me, having run this car with Kyle Petty earlier in my career, it is very special to see it on track again with Kyle Larson. I'm sure this car will help add to the excitement that's already surrounding this year's Southern 500."
" Kyle Larson, Driver #42 Mello Yello Chevrolet SS: "This paint scheme has such a cool history between the movie and Kyle Petty having run it for Felix, so I'm really excited to drive it. Days of Thunder is definitely one of my favorite racing movies, and I know it's a favorite for a lot of fans too. The connection with Felix is pretty cool. Even though I was too young to watch Kyle Petty driving the Mello Yello car, I know people will remember the scheme from those days, as well as his crazy hair from back then. There's just a lot of fun stuff surrounding this car, so I'm really glad that the Target team is able to run it for Darlington's throwback race. I think the fans are really going to like it."
(Chip Ganassi Racing), see images of the car on the #42 Team Schemes page.(8-19-2015)
Sabates says no deal with Kaufman yet: When Rob Kauffman announced at the beginning of August he had purchased an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, many in the NASCAR community wondered what it meant for the future. Kauffman is also a co-owner in Michael Waltrip Racing, but it was made clear the two organizations would operate separately throughout the rest of the year. A source close to the situation indicated this weekend at Michigan International Speedway the deal between Kauffman and the Ganassi organization is far from done, something Felix Sabates confirmed to FOXSports.com Sunday morning. "Basically we're talking. We don't have anything concrete," said Sabates. "We'd like to do something with (Kauffman), because I think he can add a lot to our team. We don't have anything signed." With MWR running Toyotas and Ganassi running Chevrolets, Kauffman has a unique predicament on his hands. The source indicated MWR has already been cut off by Toyota in all areas, with the exception of providing motors. Sabates could not speak to how Kauffman will handle the manufacturer situation, but said believes Kauffman eventually will have a decision to make. "I don't think it will work for him to have both (Chevrolet and Toyota teams), but you never know," he said. Sabates said expanding to a three-car organization has no bearing on the on-going discussions with Kauffman, but the overall goal is to expand the team. "Our goal is to expand either next year or the following year," he said.(Fox Sports)(8-17-2015)
Kaufmann talks to the press: A brief statement by Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman raised more questions than it provided answers about the future of MWR. Earlier in the week, a statement released by MWR indicated Kaufmann was buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, fueling speculation that driver Clint Bowyer and sponsor 5-Hour Energy would move to Ganassi. Standing behind the hauler of the #55 MWR Toyota driven by David Ragan, however, Kauffman gave the impression that co-owner Michael Waltrip was somehow involved in the process and that there might be synergy between the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations. "First and foremost, the thing that's important to realize is that Michael Waltrip and I co-own Michael Waltrip Racing together," Kauffman said. "We're business partners and great personal friends, so any idea that I'm leaving or taking anything is actually misplaced. What we're actually doing is integrating the businesses, trying to get the most competitive product on track, do the best for all of our partners-that's really our focus. It's a competitive business, as everybody knows. It's competitive on track as well as off track." Kauffman indicated there are many details still to be determined. "In terms of our plans, whether we have three cars, four cars, two roofs, one roof-that's all yet to be determined, and how we do in the 2015 season will help determine whether that happens," Kauffman said. "If we do a great job, that'll be one outcome. If we do a less great job, probably another." Kauffman stepped into the hauler without taking questions from the throng of reporters clustered outside.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-2-2015)
Suave Men featured on the #42: This weekend at Pocono, Larson's familiar #42 Target Chevy will be getting restyled to feature Unilever brand Suave Men, which is America's number-one men's shampoo brand. This will be the third Unilever themed car that Larson has driven in the NSCS. He has previously driven cars featuring AXE Peace and AXE White Label.(CGR), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #42 Team Schemes page.(7-31-2015)
Statements from MWR, CGR, Sabates, Waltrip & Toyota:
Statement from Michael Waltrip Racing: "Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The companies will continue to operate separately and compete against each other for the remainder of the 2015 season. They are also currently evaluating ways to field the most competitive race teams possible to provide an excellent platform for their partners and employees for the 2016 season and beyond. More details will follow in due course".(MWR)
Statement from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates "We confirm that Rob Kauffman has agreed to acquire an interest in the team. Further discussions regarding the 2016 season and beyond are underway."(CGR)
Felix Sabates Statement to SXM NASCAR "I'm not going anywhere. This is about making our team stronger, a three car team is stronger than a two car. But the rumors that Rob is buying me out are not true, my last race will be five years from September 9th. I will be 75 years old then and will be done."(SXM NASCAR)
Statement from Michael Waltrip: "My focus is on 2015 and fulfilling the commitment we have made to our partners and Toyota which is placing our teams in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. There are a lot of details yet to be sorted regarding 2016. I will work closely with Rob Kauffman and our sponsors to formulate the best way forward."(MWR)(7-30-2015)
Statement from Toyota on Rob Kauffman Announcement: "We've spoken with Rob Kauffman and understand he has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Rob has not disclosed the plans for Michael Waltrip Racing past the 2015 racing season. Toyota and TRD remain focused on winning races and championships with our team partners this year." ~Ed Laukes, Vice President marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS)(7-31-2015)
MWR to Chevy? Ragan to return? What about Vickers? UPDATE 3 denied?: What in the world will Toyota Racing's Sprint Cup program look like next year? One persistent, hot rumor features a manufacturer swap of sorts, with Rob Kauffman, currently the principal owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, taking his racing interests and partnering with a Chevy team. Furniture Row Racing is currently eyeing the Toyota camp with an ardor that has progressed well beyond flirtation.
Two potential partnerships mentioned for Kauffman are Chip Ganassi Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Ganassi absorbed Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Martin Truex Jr. into the fold back in 2009. RCR expressed interest in acquiring a minority partner after Chartwell Investments expressed a desire to sell its stake in the company in 2012. Kauffman did not offer a definitive reply when asked about a possible realignment.
Furniture Row's Barney Visser has been more forthcoming. The Denver, Colorado-based team owner hopes to make a manufacturer decision in the next few weeks to accommodate a possible restructuring with Toyota for next year.
Although FRR currently receives no financial support from Chevrolet, the team's move could open the door for Kauffman to enter into a technical alliance with RCR, with whom the #78 currently shares data. However, sources told Motorsport.com that Ganassi appears to be the frontrunner for Kauffman's capital at this time.
Michael Waltrip Racing's driver lineup likely hinges on Aaron's continued support with the #55 team. Both Kauffman and Clint Bowyer, who is in the first year of a three-year contract, are high on driver David Ragan. Aaron's has been a sponsor of Michael Waltrip's since 2000 but has yet to renew with MWR. A decision on the company's involvement could come in the next six to eight weeks.
Last week Brian Vickers expressed interest in returning to racing. Given the unpredictability of Vickers situation, Kauffman isn't sure whether they could accommodate the driver. "...The most important thing right now is his health. I haven't really had a conversation with him regarding coming back to racing and the like. It's a big medical issue that I haven't been involved with up until now.," Kauffman said. "He loves racing, so I'm sure he does (want to return), but I think it would be a challenge to try and figure something out--but I would never say never."(Motorsport)(7-23-2015)
UPDATE: David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday that the manufacturer has its sights set on more teams making the 2015 Chase while also looking ahead to its 2016 lineup. Michael Waltrip Racing with Clint Bowyer's #15 team and David Ragan's #55 are the manufacturer's two highest-ranked drivers without wins, sitting 15th and 24th respectively in the standings. Based on points, the #15 driver is currently in the provisional Chase Grid, but if Busch makes the top 30, Bowyer will be bounced without a win. As the manufacturer attempts to add those MWR teams to this year's Chase, Wilson wasn't certain about the organization's future with Toyota.
"We are talking to a number of organizations about the future, and certainly in the near-term, we're not sure what Michael Waltrip Racing is going to do," Wilson said. "They've yet to announce their plans. Certainly we have had a rich history in the sport together. We got our butts kicked together in 2007, our first year, and you forge very close and personal relationships when you have those trials together. Whatever they decide to do, we certainly wish nothing but the best for them."
Wilson has acknowledged discussions with #78 Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser about the Denver-based team's potential manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota. But the TRD president suggested that Furniture Row, like Toyota itself, was focused on its 2015 Chase efforts. "Regarding Furniture Row Racing, again they haven't announced their plans for next year certainly," Wilson said. "I imagine they're focusing on getting Martin Truex well-positioned in the Chase as well and competitive."(NASCAR.com)(7-29-2015)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing principal Owner Rob Kauffman is close to purchasing Felix Sabates' stake in Chip Ganassi Racing, according to multiple industry sources, which would cause Kauffman to drop his affiliation with MWR if the sale is completed. Kauffman, who has been with MWR for eight years, would take on Sabates' minority stake in the team, while CGR principal Owner Chip Ganassi would continue to retain majority control, according to sources. It is unclear if Sabates will hold onto a small stake to retain his affiliation with the team or if he will be dropping the affiliation entirely.
Sources said that Kauffman would take one of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries at MWR - the #15 Toyota driven by Clint Bowyer - with him to CGR. Because MWR's sponsors, including 5-Hour Energy, Aaron's, Peak, AAA and Maxwell House, have yet to determine their next move, it is unclear whether the operation, which also has the #55 currently driven by David Ragan, would form an alliance or merge with another team, or pursue some other option. CGR execs had no comment; MWR did not respond to e-mails by presstime.
Ganassi Racing currently has two Sprint Cup entries - the #1 McDonald's / Cessna Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray and the #42 Target Chevy driven by Kyle Larson. The combined three-car entity will remain with Chevrolet, which is the current supplier to CGR in the Sprint Cup Series. Kauffman also is chair of the Race Team Alliance, which was founded last year. Whether his role with the RTA will be affected is unclear.(Sports Business Daily)(7-29-2015)
UPDATE 3: Felix Sabates, part owner in Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR operation, disputed a published report Wednesday by Sports Business Daily claiming Rob Kauffman was close to purchasing Sabates' stake in the team. "I am not going anywhere," Sabates said. "I am having too much fun. Plus, I have unfinished business. I need to sit at the head table in Las Vegas."(Motorsport)(7-30-2015)
Coca Cola scheme for Larson at Daytona: Kyle Larson's #42 Chevy will carry a "Share a Coke" theme this weekend at Daytona for the Coke Zero 400 (CGR), see an image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(7-2-2015)
Kyle Larson visits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevy for Chip Ganassi Racing, visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, June 30, in advance of the Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26. Larson drove media around the famed 2.5-mile oval in a 1994 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Pace Car from the inaugural Brickyard 400, then visited the Hall of Fame Museum for a tour with IMS historian Donald Davidson and Verizon IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon, also of Chip Ganassi Racing.(IMS)(7-1-2015)
Purple colors for Larson at Sonoma: Voted Product of the Year in 2015, Viva Vantage paper towels have blown consumers away with their remarkable stretch and scrubbing power. This season, the revolutionary brand will make its NASCAR debut as the primary sponsor of Kyle Larson's #42 Chevy at Sonoma Raceway.(Lionel Racing), see image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(6-22-2015)
Larson OK with taking chance to win: Given his position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, Kyle Larson understands that his #42 Chip Ganassi Racing team may have to go for broke to win a race and qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR sprint Cup. That's exactly what happened on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, when Larson's crew chief, Chris Heroy, kept the car on the track in hopes it would be leading when an impending thunderstorm arrived. With a push from eventual race winner Kurt Busch, Larson indeed took the lead moments after a restart on Lap 130 of the Quicken Loans 400, but Larson had to pit for fuel on Lap 133, handing the top spot to Busch. Less than two minutes later, the anticipated deluge arrived. NASCAR threw a caution on Lap 136, red-flagged the race on Lap 138 and shortly thereafter declared Busch the winner. "We could see weather coming there off of (Turn) 4 and just praying that it would get here in time for me to stay out and be in the lead when the rain did hit," Larson said. "Hey, I applaud my guys for trying. We are pretty deep in points (18th after Sunday's race) so we have to take risks like that to make the Chase. I'm happy with the call-just wish the rain would have come three laps sooner."(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-15-2015)
Ford Returning to Le Mans with Chip Ganassi Racing: Ford announced it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year. The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans - referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency - starting next year. Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro). The new race car is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar unveiled in January. Both the production car and race car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford went on to repeat its victory at Le Mans in 1967, 1968 and 1969. The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competition debut in January 2016 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida. The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans. Drivers will be announced later. Joining Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS.(Ford)(6-12-2015)
Larson could run the Indy 500 one day: Team owner [#1, #42] Chip Ganassi is leaving the door open for rising NASCAR star #42-Kyle Larson to someday compete in the Indianapolis 500. The 22-year-old Larson was signed by Ganassi as a developmental driver in 2012, shot through the Truck Series and Xfinity Series, and began racing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series last year. He has also raced for Ganassi in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Ganassi said Friday that he spoke with Larson "just yesterday" about eventually racing in the Indy 500. Ganassi has won the race four times, and has five cars in Sunday's edition. Asked how the conversations with Larson go, Ganassi replied: "They go good all the time. We haven't said no to him. We haven't said yes, either."(Associated Press)(5-23-2015)
Bullseye on the hood of the #42 in the Showdown: This weekend, Kyle Larson will have a special passenger on-board the #42 Target Chevy. The familiar Bullseye logo that usually covers Larson's hood will be replaced by Bullseye the dog, the equally as recognizable Target mascot. The bull terrier first appeared in Target ads in 1999, and continues to be a popular guest at Target-sponsored events around the country. Bullseye's signature look of a red bullseye over the left eye is completed with a vegetable-based cosmetic paint applied by a professional make-up artists.(CGR), see images of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(5-15-2015)
Larson feels fine: #42-Kyle Larson smiled with a bottle of an electrolyte drink in his hand Thursday, showing no ill effects from a fainting spell that kept him out of the March 29 race at Martinsville Speedway. About the only lingering effects from his March 28 fainting spell are texts from car owner Chip Ganassi on what to eat. The 22-year-old Larson fainted following an autograph session March 28, a day before the Martinsville race, and was held out of the event so doctors could run tests to rule out any serious health issues. The tests came out negative and has doctors theorizing that he fainted from dehydration. He is set to practice Friday and race Sunday in the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. "That morning, I had tacos and chicken noodle soup," Larson said Thursday at TMS. "Later that night when I went to the hospital, I had pizza because that's all they had there. [Ganassi] says I need to lay off the pizza and tacos diet. ... My nutritionist Chip Ganassi is on me." Larson already has returned to the seat of the race car. He spent all day Wednesday testing a Sprint Cup car at Richmond International Raceway and then part of Thursday in a Legends car as part of a mentoring program for sponsor Axe. "I feel fine," Larson said. "I'm good. I'm staying hydrated. All is good. It was nice to get a day in before I got out here -- they ran all those tests -- just to make sure everything is good in the race car. It went fine. It went smooth. No problems at all."(ESPN.com)(4-10-2015)
AXE White Label debuts at Texas with Kyle Larson: Kyle Larson looks to stay cool and confident at Texas Motor Speedway with Target partner AXE as the primary sponsor on the #42 Chevy SS. The paint scheme will highlight the new AXE White Label grooming line and the AXE White Label Collective, a mentorship program designed to give people the coaching and opportunities needed to "take the leap" and turn aspiration into action. As part of the relationship with Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Larson will mentor several racing fans, both at Texas Motor Speedway and closer to the team's home base in Concord, N.C. This is not Larson's first involvement outside of the race car with AXE. As last season started, Larson was featured in a national commercial for the AXE Peace line, which also served as the primary partner on Larson's #42 Chevy during NASCAR's first stop at Richmond International Raceway last year.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #42 team paint schemes page.(4-9-2015)
Latest on Kyle Larson UPDATE3: #42-Kyle Larson watched Sunday's NASCAR race on a laptop in a hospital after failing to get medical clearance to drive after fainting during an autograph session. Larson was in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was taken for further testing. "He's good. No change since he woke up from fainting," team owner Chip Ganassi said from the IndyCar Series season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida. All tests have come back negative, and the team maintains Larson feels fine. But doctors at Carolina's Medical Center, where Larson traveled to by helicopter Saturday night after leaving Martinsville Memorial Hospital, are giving him a battery of tests. Larson is also seeing a neurologist in North Carolina as a precaution. "You are trying to do the right thing and you want to be safe, and you want to err on the side of safety," Ganassi said. "I want to respect the professionals and respect what they are saying, but we want to be realistic, too." Dr. Jerry Petty, a neurosurgeon who works closely with many NASCAR teams, has visited Larson. A member of NASCAR's care center team also has assisted.(Associated Press)(3-30-2015)
UPDATE Larson still in hospital: As of 6:00pm/et Monday [March 30th], #42-Kyle Larson remains in a Charlotte hospital, where tests are ongoing to determine why he fainted during an autograph session Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. A spokesperson for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates told FOX Sports 1 reporter Alan Cavana that the team hoped Larson would be released sometime Monday night. The team spokesman said so far all of the tests have come back negative and that Larson is feeling well and in good spirits. Larson missed Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, where his seat was filled by Regan Smith, who finished 16th. With six races complete on the season, Larson is 24th in points.(FoxSports)(3-30-2015)
UPDATE2: Statement from Target Chop Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates regarding Kyle Larson: "After extensive testing and observation over the last few days, Kyle Larson was released from the hospital last night and has finished up final tests today. He is currently waiting for final doctor recommendations in order to clear him to return to all NASCAR related activities."(CGR)(3-31-2015)
UPDATE3: Kyle Larson has been cleared to race after last weekend's fainting spell and will return to the track next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Chip Ganassi Racing made the announcement Thursday, three days after Larson was released from a Charlotte hospital where he underwent extensive testing. "I feel great right now, and I felt perfectly fine shortly after I fainted the other day," Larson said in a NASCAR teleconference Tuesday. "But yeah, I just had to get a lot of tests run on me to make sure nothing serious was wrong with me, and all the tests came back negative. Yeah, the whole time I felt fine, and hated it that I couldn't race this weekend in the Target Chevy, but Regan (Smith) did a really good job, and just got to thank all the doctors and nurses for how thorough they were with me."
Larson, the 2014 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, was hospitalized Saturday after fainting during an autograph session at Martinsville. "Well, I felt fine before we went to the autograph session," Larson said. "I got through to the end of it, and I was just talking to one more fan, the last person there really, and just started getting light-headed and tried to lean forward and maybe see if that fixed it, and then I passed out. "I don't know, it was just kind of a weird morning just because I was almost late to practice, so I just rushed myself that morning and didn't take very good care of myself throughout the day and just ended up dehydrating myself. Just got to do a better job of taking care of myself, and that should never happen again.".(CGR)(4-2-2015)
Larson taken to hospital Saturday after fainting UPDATES: #42-Kyle Larson fainted toward the end of an autograph session at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday and had to be taken to a local hospital for evaluation. A Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates official told Alex Cavanna of FOX Sports that Larson was "being checked out at a local hospital. He was awake and alert on the way to the hospital." The Ganassi official added that the team believes he will be fine, although doctors were still completing their evaluation of him at the time the statement was made. The official also said that "at the moment," the team has "no reason" to believe Larson won't be in the #42 Ganassi Chevrolet for Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville.(FoxSports)(3-28-2015)
UPDATE: NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Larson will need to have "medical clearance from the attending physician" to race in Sunday's STP 500.(USA Today)(3-28-2015)
UPDATE 2: "After evaluating him, doctors at Martinsville Memorial Hospital felt that everything checked out well for Kyle Larson, however, just to be safe, they felt he should also be evaluated by a neurologist. Martinsville Memorial Hospital did not have one available so they decided to have Larson make the short trip to Carolina's Medical Center (CMC) in Charlotte to be evaluated by one. Larson arrived late this evening to Charlotte, feels fine and is just awaiting a final evaluation at CMC which we hope to have the results of later this evening."(Chip Ganassi Racing)(3-29-2015)
UPDATE 3: After fainting yesterday at an autograph session in Martinsville, VA, Kyle Larson was first evaluated at a local hospital in Martinsville and ultimately evaluated at a Charlotte hospital. Although all tests came back negative and Larson feels completely fine, the doctors felt he should be held for more testing today. Subsequently, Larson will be unable to race today in the STP 500 in Martinsville. Regan Smith has agreed to fill-in for Larson today in the #42 Target Chevrolet SS.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(3-29-2015)
Chip Ganassi Racing expands into Red Bull Global Rallycross: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced the formation of a two-car team in the Supercar class of Red Bull Global Rallycross with new partner Loenbro and drivers Brian Deegan and Steve Arpin. CGRT joins the vibrant and growing series and looks to continue its history of on-track success while also complementing the team's continued focus on reaching millennials as a vehicle to grow interest in motorsports. CGRT joins forces with energy services and construction company Loenbro, which serves clients throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond, to field the two-car team out of CGRT's Concord, N.C.-based shop that houses their NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series programs. Founding brothers Paul and Jon Leach are entrepreneurs who built a company on a foundation of strong core values and a tireless effort to exceed clients' expectations, and have had life-long personal interests in the world of motorsports. The 16-time X-Games medalist Deegan will pilot the #38 RockStar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST, with teammate Arpin in the #00 ENEOS Ford Fiesta ST. Arpin will run the full 12-race calendar, with Deegan competing in seven races. The two will also compete in X Games Austin this summer as it returns to Circuit of the Americas from June 4-7.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(3-19-2015)
Chip Ganassi Racing makes changes on #42 pit crew: Chip Ganassi Racing has made major changes to one of their top cars. 4 of the 6 crewmen on #42-Kyle Larson have been moved to another team that CGR supplies crews for (#7, #46). Tire Changer Chris McMullen, Carrier Doug Riepe, Jackman Mark Jannsen and Changer Dennis Terry were all told this week that they would not be on the #42 in Las Vegas. No word which team these crew members went to.
Taking their places on the #42 CGR team will be Front Changer Nick Krizmanich, Jackman Graham Molach, Rear Changer Steve Tautges and Rear Carrier Gene Cornwell. Krizmanich is a veteran changer who spent time at JGR #11 and Team Penske #2 before heading over to CGR. Tautges has been with CGR for a few years now after making the switch from HMS and Gene Cornwell was a longtime carrier on the #24 until making his move to CGR this year. Front Carrier Aaron Schields will stay on the fronts for the #42 as well as longtime Gasman "Big" Ed Watkins. Supposedly veteran tire changer Dennis Terry has chosen not to be moved to another CGR team and is now a free agent.(PitTalks)(3-6-2015)
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)
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)
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)
Sabates guarantees his drivers will make the Chase: Chip Ganassi Racing co-owner Felix Sabates has guaranteed that both #42-Kyle Larson and #1-Jamie McMurray will make the post-season Chase in 2015. The flamboyant Sabates took to the podium Thursday during NASCAR's pre-season Media Tour and predicted that his two-car team would secure a pair of Chase berths this season. "I've never guaranteed anybody anything in all the years I've been in racing," Sabates said. "But I'll guarantee you that both of these guys will be in the Chase."(MRN)(1-30-2015)
Chip Ganassi Racing wins Rolex 24 at Daytona: Scott Dixon drove a gritty and lengthy final leg Sunday to lead Chip Ganassi Racing and its "star car" to a record-breaking sixth victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The three-time IndyCar champion relieved Kyle Larson, NASCAR's reigning rookie of the year, with 3 hours, 32 minutes remaining in the twice-round-the-clock endurance race. Dixon was tasked with conserving fuel and making no mistakes in pursuit of the Rolex watch. The Iceman delivered, and made it look easy, too. He totaled more than seven hours behind the wheel of the Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley Prototype, and had teammates Larson, Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray and Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan watching with little worry as he closed out the victory. The win gave team owners Ganassi and Felix Sabates their sixth win in 12 Rolex attempts - most in the 53-year history of the race. It was the second win for Dixon, who was part of the 2006 victory with Casey Mears and Dan Wheldon. It was the first Rolex win for McMurray, Kanaan and Larson, who felt he was so underwhelming in his debut last season that he let his team down and never wanted to return to the sports car race. Instead, he drove his own impressive three-plus hour stint in the middle of the night, then put together a brief but error-free run Sunday morning to get the team into the time window to turn the car over to Dixon. McMurray joined AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti as the only drivers to win the Daytona 500 and the Rolex.(Associated Press)(1-25-2015)
Chili Bowl winner gets NASCAR ride: HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks announced that USAC National Midget champion and open wheel standout, Rico Abreu, will join the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team in 2015. Abreu, 22, competed in more than 100 open-wheel races in 2014 in the United States and New Zealand. He posted 26 wins across 410 winged and non-winged sprint car, 360 winged sprints, and USAC midget competition in which he also won the national championship. Abreu most recently won the 2015 Chili Bowl Nationals last weekend. Abreu's #98 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East entry will be led by veteran K&N crew chief Mardy Lindley. Lindley has amassed five-career victories in three seasons, along with the 2013 K&N title with driver Dylan Kwasniewski. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season gets underway on February 15 at New Smyrna Speedway. Abreu will kick-start his experience in stock cars and on pavement by competing in the Pete Orr Memorial Super Late Model event also at New Smyrna Speedway this Saturday, February 24.(PR)
AND Sources tell ESPN The Magazine that these races will serve as the first stages of a driver development agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing, whom Larson drives for in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ganassi did little to keep the secret on Saturday night, following the Chili Bowl finish by excitedly posting in his second-ever (and since deleted) tweet: "There's a name you'll be hearing more of. Stay Tuned!" Also among the most notable post-Chili Bowl congratulatory tweets was one from NASCAR VP of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell: "Congrats @Rico_Abreu looking forward to seeing you in #nascar."(ESPN)(1-21-2015)
Abreu wins Chili Bowl: Rico Abreu scored one of the biggest wins of his racing career Saturday on one of short-track open-wheel racing's biggest stages. Abreu took first place with a bold pass of leader Bryan Clauson on the 27th of 55 laps and held on to win the Chili Bowl, one of the nation's major Midget races. It was the first Chili Bowl victory for Abreu, who runs both sprint-car and Midget series. Former Chili Bowl champion Kevin Swindell finished second after he made mid-race contact with his father, Sammy, also a previous Bowl winner. Damion Gardner was third. Sprint Cup driver Kyle Larson, a teammate of Abreu's, spun out twice during the race and finished seventh.(USA Today), J.J. Yeley finished 17th and Chad Boat was 21st in the final.(1-18-2015)
Several NASCAR connections in the Chili Bowl UPATE: Three Sprint Cup drivers are among those with NASCAR ties entered in this week's Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, one of the biggest annual events for racers of sprint midget cars. Cup drivers #42-Kyle Larson, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and JJ Yeley will compete in the event at the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa. Qualifying races to set up the lineups for Saturday's championship day will run Tuesday-Friday for the more than 300 drivers in the event. Larson, Stenhouse and Yeley also will compete in a 16-driver invitation-only all-star event Tuesday night. Among those in the invitation-only event is four-time Chili Bowl champion Kevin Swindell, who has competed part-time in the XFINITY Series. Former Cup and Xfinity Series driver Kenny Wallace is competing for the first time in the event. Among other drivers with NASCAR connections competing are Xfinity drivers Tanner Berryhill and Ryan Ellis and Camping World Truck Series driver Cole Custer.(Sporting News)(1-13-2015)
UPDATE: Kyle Larson scored his second checkered flag of 2015 by winning the opening night of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. After winning the second round of the Winter Heat Showdown at Cocopah Speedway on Jan. 3, Larson showed no signs of slowing down. He rebounded from a Heat Race crash in Tuesday's qualifying night at the Tulsa Expo Center to win the C, B and A-Features. The "A" victory locked Larson into Saturday night's championship event. "I thought it'd be tough to get to the 'A'," Larson said. "I could get through the 'C' and thought it would be close on getting to the 'A' from the 'B'. If I was to get to the 'A', I thought if I could finish in the top-six or seven, it would be a solid recovery. Everything seemed to fall my way after that Heat Race accident." Qualifying for the 29th Chili Bowl Midget Nationals continues Wednesday with 82 drivers scheduled to qualify.(Motor Racing Network)(1-14-2015)
Felix Sabates honored by Allegro Foundation: The Allegro Foundation and its board of directors will [honored] NASCAR team owner Felix Sabates at its sixth annual Ambassador's Ball Saturday night at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. The foundation combines movement instruction with medical and educational expertise to create new techniques to teach children with disabilities and enhance their quality of life. The foundation [honored] Sabates, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, for his support for the organization over the past decade. All proceeds from the ball go directly to Allegro's free movement education programs for more than 700 children with disabilities throughout the Charlotte and Fort Mill, S.C., areas.(Charlotte Observer)(1-11-2015)
Jack Men changes so far in 2015 season: There are a lot of teams making moves in the off season and the Jack Man position seems to be one that is getting a lot of attention. Below is a list of changes for 2015 with more to come.
#5 of HMS replaces Jack Man Trey Burklin with long time HMS Jack Man Eric Ludwig
#9 of RPM replaces Kevin Wing with Gabe Martin from the #10 team
#10 of SHR-We arn't sure about this but we heard Tony Cardamone will be replacing Gabe Martin who is now at the #9
#18 of JGR replacing retired Jeff Fender with David Odell from the #78
#19 of JGR has hired Trey Burklin from the #5
#27 of RCR replacing Carey Wimbish with Sam Abney
#42 of GR is replacing long time Jack Man Mark Jacobs with Mark Janssen
#43 of RPM is replacing Mike Brown with T.J. Ford from the #48
#78 of Furniture Row is replacing David Odell-who left for the #18- with Carey Wimbish from the #27.(Pit Talks)(1-6-2015)
Larson Wins Wild Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown Slide Fest on Night 2 : Kyle Larson outlasted sprint car veterans Stevie Smith and Danny Lasoski in an epic duel on the dirt Saturday in the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at Cocopah Speedway, which hosts the midpoint of the five-race event next Tuesday. "It ranks right up there mainly because I haven't been in a sprint car in a long time," Larson said after securing the $12,000-to-win top prize. "To beat Danny Lasoski and Stevie Smith in a duel like that was pretty amazing. I think it's a great event. It's a great race track. The purse is really good. I think this event will grow each year."(Inside Line Promotions)(1-5-2015)
Sad News: #42-Kyle Larson's grandmother passed away on Tuesday, December 30th. From Kyle Larson's Twitter: "RIP Grandma Patty. I know you missed Grandpa and couldn't wait to be with him again in heaven. I love you guys!" )(1-5-2015)
Congrats to #42-Kyle Larson and fiance Katelyn Sweet on the birth of their son, Owen Miyata Larson, born Monday night at 11:09pm. He was 7 pound 14 ounces and 19 1/2 in. long.(12-23-2014)
Larson, McMurray running Rolex 24 for Ganassi: Seven-time IMSA Champions and five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced the fielding of two Prototypes for the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers that represent some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Veteran Scott Pruett and new teammate Joey Hand will unite with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams' Verizon IndyCar Series race-winner Charlie Kimball and CGRT development driver Sage Karam to form the lineup in the #01 Ford EcoBoost/Target Riley, while CGRT Verizon IndyCar Series Champions and Indianapolis 500 Winners Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan join CGRFS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series reigning Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and NSCS race-winner Jamie McMurray in the #02 Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley. The 2015 CGRFS Rolex 24 At Daytona driver roster is an impressive group of international racing champions representing two Indianapolis 500 titles (Dixon-2008, Kanaan-2013), a Daytona 500 (McMurray-2010), four Verizon IndyCar Series Championships (Dixon-2003, 2008, 2013 and Kanaan-2004), seven Prototype Championships (Pruett-2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), and four Rookie of the Year honors in their respective series (Kanaan-1999, Dixon-2001, McMurray-2003, Larson-2014). The group brings with them 144 total wins.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(12-19-2014)
Target Shifting Funds, one Indycar team; one NASCAR team: Three-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon will return for a 14th season with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, though he will be one of only two drivers piloting the red and white bulls-eye cars next year. Target will go from two sponsored IndyCar entries to just one in 2015 as the retailer shifts spending to promoting its drivers. Target also sponsors #42-Kyle Larson, who just wrapped up NASCAR's top rookie honors in the Sprint Cup Series. "We are just reallocating dollars, there's no difference in anything else," said Dan Griffis, vice president of experiential marketing and alliances at Target. "I would put our investment in racing as the only full-time sponsor in both IndyCar and NASCAR, against any other sponsor in the sport." Ganassi and Target celebrated their 25th anniversary this year. The partnership began in open wheel, eventually grew to the sponsorship of two IndyCar entries, and expanded into both NASCAR as a primary sponsor and sports cars as an associate sponsor. "You don't know how fortunate I feel to begin another season partnering with Target in both IndyCar and NASCAR," Ganassi said Tuesday. "They have been far more than a partner for a very long time and have been so committed to the sport of auto racing. I am also very much looking forward to their new marketing campaign that supports the racing program. I know it will be fantastic." But as the retailer increased spending on the sponsorship of cars, it got away from the popular commercials it produced in the 1990s starring Vasser, Alex Zanardi, Montoya and an occasional cameo by Ganassi. Target will now try to recapture some of that buzz in new marketing strategies that will debut next year and feature Dixon and Larson. Griffis said the two drivers will not appear together in any broadcast spots, but each ad will have different versions.(Associated Press)(12-10-2014)
NASCAR Next Alumni Sweep Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards: For the first time since the NASCAR Next initiative was created in 2011, three of its alumni captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards in NASCAR's national series. Kyle Larson took home the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Chase Elliott added the accolade to his resume in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Ben Kennedy earned the recognition competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
"The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year class is a testament to the massive effort put towards developing our next generation of stars through the NASCAR Next initiative," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president of Industry Services. "We congratulate all three honorees and look forward to watching them accomplish great things in the future."
The winner of last season's NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, Larson, 22, is only the sixth driver to also claim the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He defeated runner-up Austin Dillon by 88 points behind eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. A graduate of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity (D4D) program, Larson placed second in three races and won a Coors Light Pole Award. He pilots the #42 Target Chevrolet SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Elliott - 18 years, 11 months and 18 days - became the youngest and first rookie champion in NASCAR national series history when he captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series title. The #9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet driver won three races and ended his season on a streak of 14 top-10 finishes. A native of Dawsonville, Georgia, Elliott will return to the series next season to defend his title. He finished 47 points ahead of second-place Ty Dillon in the final NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award standings.
Kennedy, 22, was the highest rookie finisher in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-best eight races. Kennedy tied Tyler Reddick atop the rookie standings, winning the tiebreaker thanks to a final championship points position of ninth. Kennedy drove his #31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado to a career-best third-place finish at Martinsville in March.
"Sunoco has been a proud supporter of NASCAR's rising stars through the Sunoco Rookie of the Year program for the past decade," said Cynthia Archer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Sunoco. "This year's award winners represent the youthful exuberance and competitive drive that define this award and we couldn't be more excited to see what the future holds as their careers advance."(NASCAR)
See the 2014 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(11-17-2014)
Larson Comments on Newman's Move UPDATE...more: #42-Kyle Larson called #31-Ryan Newman's last-lap actions Sunday "a little upsetting" but said he understood Newman's desperation and "can't fault him for being aggressive there.'' Needing to pass Larson to secure the final spot in the championship round, Newman dive-bombed the rookie on the last lap at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman's car slid up the track and hit Larson's car, sending it toward the wall. That allowed Newman by, giving him a shot at the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. By advancing, Newman eliminated #24-Jeff Gordon from title contention. "Coming to the finish, there were a lot of cars racing really hard,'' Larson said in a statement provided to Motor Racing Network by Chip Ganassi Racing. "I knew (Newman) was right around me and knew he needed to gain some spots to keep from getting eliminated from the Chase. It's a little upsetting he pushed me up to the wall, but I completely understand the situation he was in and can't fault him for being aggressive there. I think a lot of drivers out here would have done something similar if they were in that position."(Motor Racing Network)(11-10-2014)
More comments: Larson, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed his conversation with Ryan Newman this week, the transcript in part:
Q) DO YOU WANT TO KICK RYAN NEWMAN'S BUTT AFTER LAST WEEK?
Larson: "No, I didn't want to kick his butt. He called me this week and we talked. I told him I was upset for 10 minutes then I realized Ryan (Newman) knew what was on the line for him. I think there are a lot of people out here that probably would have done the same thing that he did. At least he is in the Chase; it would be a great move if he goes on to win the championship. Like I said, I get over things pretty quickly."
Q) WOULD YOU HAVE DONE THE SAME THING IF YOU WERE IN HIS POSITION?
Larson: "It's hard to really say until you are in that position. I got a ton of criticism a couple of years ago when I did an even probably worse move at a late model race. Yeah, I don't know, it's hard to say, but there is a ton on the line at that point."
Q) DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE STILL LEARNING WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE?
Larson: "Yeah, maybe a little bit. I think in the Cup series most people race with respect, so I think I've gotten a lot better with that throughout my career so far, last year in Nationwide and this year in Cup. I feel like I've gotten a lot better with give and take and things like that. With this new format it kind of throws a little different curve into it, where in the Chase each race is so important, so you see people take chances like that. Yeah, it's hard to say if you would do the same thing in that point in time."
Q) AFTER LAST WEEK WITH WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND (RYAN) NEWMAN IN THE CLOSING LAPS ON SUNDAY IF YOU ARE RACING AROUND ONE OF THOSE FOUR WHAT DO YOU DO?
Larson: "I just race them how I have raced them all season long I think. Hopefully I don't get into any of them. I got into Ty Dillon here a couple of years ago and he was going for a Truck championship and I felt horrible after that. I don't want to go through that again. I'm going to try my best to get a win and if they are in front of me I'm definitely going to try and pass him, but not do anything stupid or crazy to ruin their chances of winning a championship. Because none of them have won a championship so I know how much it means to them."
Q) YOU TALKED TO RYAN VIA PHONE?
Larson: "Yeah, he called me Tuesday maybe."
Q) HOW DID THAT GO? WHAT WAS THE TONE LIKE?
Larson: "Oh it was fine. He said he was waiting for a coyote to stick it's head out so he could shoot it. He said he was out there on his farm, but I mean like I said I was upset for 10 minutes and I was over it. I understood the situation and what was at stake for him. He just kind of explained himself. I was totally fine. I like (Ryan) Newman a lot. I think he's a great driver. He came from an open wheel background so I have kind of always been a fan of his. Like I said I was over it pretty quick."(Team Chevy)(11-15-2014)
Chip Ganassi Racing signs PNC as sponsor: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. announced a new multi-year sponsorship agreement. The agreement is the second between Ganassi and PNC, which have also had a banking relationship that goes back 25 years. With the wide range of racing that CGRT participates in across three national touring series of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), the Verizon IndyCar Series and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (TUSC), the agreement provides PNC with business development and client entertainment opportunities throughout the year. The agreement will focus on the following five racing markets in 2014: Indianapolis, Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte and Richmond, Va. PNC, which has a business presence in all five regions, will use the high interest in auto racing and the CGRT relationship to offer unique events and behind-the-scenes activities to clients and prospects.(CGR)(5-23-2014)
Target CGR Partners With the Oscar Mayer: Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (TCGRFS) has partnered with the Oscar Mayer brand to help introduce P3 Portable Protein Pack to the NASCAR community. The packs of meat, cheese and nuts are designed for active consumers looking for a snack to help keep them going throughout the day. It is a perfect fit with the on-the-go lifestyle of NASCAR drivers and crews. Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevy, and his pit crew will be carrying the P3 Portable Protein Pack branding on their familiar Target uniforms and car throughout the Southern 500 weekend in Darlington, SC, while Oscar Mayer P3 Portable Protein Pack will use the backdrop of a NASCAR race weekend to teach fans the virtues of the P3 Portable Protein Pack product.(CGR)(4-12-2014)
Ganassi explains why 'Earnhardt' is no longer part of team name: For the first time since 1996, there will not be a team in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with "Earnhardt" in its corporate name. The string began in 1996 when the late Dale Earnhardt formed Dale Earnhardt Inc. In less than a decade, it had become one of the premier teams in Cup competition, with son and namesake Dale Earnhardt Jr. as its on-track figurehead. But once Junior left DEI for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, the once-feared company began by the man they called The Intimidator began to slowly disappear. Now, the Earnhardt corporate name is essentially extinct. After an ill-fated and short-lived merger with Ginn Racing in mid-2007, team owner Teresa Earnhardt lent her company's name and some of its assets to fellow team owner Chip Ganassi, forming Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2009. In the year before Junior left the family fold, Earnhardt's widow also lent her late husband's surname to Richard Childress Racing to form a new business - known as Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technology - designed to build motors for both RCR and other teams that would lease the engines. But as the Earnhardt name lived on with other teams, Teresa Earnhardt withdrew more and more from being active in racing. She continued to oversee the still-thriving souvenir business that memorialized her late husband and kept his name and legend alive, but that was about it.
Now in 2014, what was Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the last five seasons has reverted back to its original name prior to joining forces with Earnhardt, namely Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. And what was Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technology has quietly become simply ECR, with a team source telling MotorSportsTalk that "the E no longer stands for anything. It doesn't stand for Earnhardt. It's just ECR now."
Ganassi spoke to MotorSportsTalk at Daytona International Speedway on Friday about how the relationship with Teresa Earnhardt essentially disappeared with time, to the point where it no longer made sense to keep her late husband's surname as part of the team. "I wish I could explain it but I can't explain it," Ganassi said. "I don't have a good answer for you. We had a relationship and I don't know what happened. We can't get her on the phone; it's hard to try to communicate with somebody. She obviously has some other things on her plate, I guess, and that's her prerogative. She was never active in the team. I think she wanted to keep the name out there to some extent, and I don't know what Richard's (Petty) relationship is there (to Richard Petty Motorsports), but it's kinda the same thing. There's no ill will, I just don't have an answer, to tell you the truth. She just wasn't there anymore."(NBC Sports)(2-22-2014)
Chip Ganassi changes team name, drops Earnhardt from NASCAR operation: When Sprint Cup testing begins Thursday morning at Daytona International Speedway, there will be one well-known NASCAR name missing among the list of team owners. Earnhardt. The #1 and #42 Sprint Cup teams, which were run the last five years under the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates banner, will now return to their former name: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The sign outside the North Carolina shop already has been changed, and stickers on the cars and patches on the driver and crew uniforms will carry the Chip Ganassi logo instead of the EGR logo. Ganassi officials confirmed the change Wednesday but had no comment on the financial structure of the current organization, which fields Sprint Cup cars for Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson. Teresa Earnhardt, widow of seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and owner of Dale Earnhardt Inc., has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the team and with the change apparently no longer has any financial stake in the NASCAR operation. There will be no change in the operation of the Ganassi teams, as Teresa Earnhardt has had little influence on the organization's day-to-day operations. Ganassi began using Hendrick Motorsports engines in 2013 in its two Cup cars.(in part from the Sporting News)(1-9-2014)
Montoya moving to IndyCar with Penske: Team Penske announced that Juan Pablo Montoya will join the team in 2014. Montoya will drive the #2 Team Penske IndyCar for the full season as he will join Will Power and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the team's IZOD IndyCar Series lineup beginning next season. Montoya, 37, is a native of Colombia and he is one of the most accomplished drivers in the world. His career highlights include race wins in Formula One, NASCAR and the CART Indy Car Series. He is the only driver to produce victories in the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Monaco Grand Prix. Montoya earned 11 IndyCar wins over two seasons as he captured the CART Series title in his rookie season of 1999 followed by a victory in the Indy 500 in 2000.
"I am really excited to join this legendary team beginning next year," said Montoya. "I have had the opportunity to drive for some of the best racing teams in the world and I have always admired Roger Penske and his organization. I consider it an honor to be offered the opportunity to drive for Team Penske."
"Juan is a proven winner at all levels of motorsport," said Roger Penske. "He has won a lot of races and championships and he has an extremely passionate fan base. We look forward to building on his successes together and we believe he will be a great addition to Team Penske."(Penske Racing)(9-16-2013)
Earnhardt Ganassi switching to Hendrick engines: The "Earnhardt" in Earnhardt-Childress Racing won't use the company's engines beginning in 2013. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will use motors leased from Hendrick Motorsports starting next season, a team representative told reporters at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. The move is surprising considering ECR was formed as a joint engine-building effort between Earnhardt Ganassi and Richard Childress Racing. EGR has struggled over the last two seasons with drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #1-Jamie McMurray, and team owner Chip Ganassi apparently felt a change was necessary in the engine program. RCR team owner Richard Childress said he wasn't surprised by Ganassi's decision to pull out of ECR and said he's been aware of the possibility for quite some time. Childress said his team will have "a couple" new customers next season - though he wouldn't say who - and also has an existing sponsor in Furniture Row Racing. ECR will retain its name because the teams "have a different relationship with the engines," Childress said.(SB Nation)(11-2-2012)
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, September 4, 2015, 4:30 pm/et
Born in SEPTEMBER
3 Brandon Lee, Pat Frossard, Jerry Pitts, Marc Mitchell, Russell Baxter
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7 ESPN, Andy Santerre, Donnie Allison
8 Jim Hunter, Frank Warren, Blake Bjorklund, David Ray Boggs, Larry Dickson, A J Cox, Buddy Shuman, Don Coble, Pam Coble
9 Felix Sabates, Jerry Nadeau, Jeff Hammond, Wayne Hamby, Phil Barkdoll, Joseph Fenning, Kyle Grissom, Kirk George
10 Bobby Hillis, Tommy Gale, Ralph Moody, John Kenny
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19 Skyler Rae Smith, Keith Barnwell
20 Juan Pablo Montoya, Carl Long, Lance Norick, Cory Kruseman
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22 Leonard Wood, Colin Braun, Anne M. Edwards, Steve Christman, Marc Reno, Chuck Efaw
23 Regan Smith, Jeff Buice, Gene Black, Oda Green, Ben Leslie, Jeff Shoaf, Bruce Springsteen
24 Glenn Allen Jr., Allen Bestwick
25 Jake Crum, Jack Donohue, Jimmy Florian, Scott Punch, Dan Koozer
26 Bill France Sr., Joe Nemechek, Rob Moroso, Wayne Cloth, Tina Dillon, Marty Robbins
27 Terry Satchell, James Houk
28 Ron Fellows, Anthony Seibert
29 Chase Montgomery, Stanley Smith, Margaret Carol Waltrip
30 Frank Kerr, Bruce Kirkendall, Jeffrey Baker
Born in OCTOBER
1 Steve Barkdoll, Cash Aaron Bowyer, Neil Castles, Neil Goldberg, Fred Graves, John Krebs, Mel Larson, Clarence DeZalia
2 John Roberts, Paul Goldsmith, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Luke Lambert, Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen
3 Chase Austin, Carolyn Carrier, Max Papis, Bray Pemberton, Joe Piette Jr., Bobby Santos, Sidney Wolfe
4 Sarah Burton, Heather Hammond, Rich Burgess, Liz Clarke, Clayton Brewer
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7 Pierre Bourque, Hank Parker Jr., Tina Yocono
8 Bill Elliott, Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace, Johnny Southall, Margaret Hallin, Joe Stella, Oliver Rivera
9 Darian Grubb, Ray Kilgore, Billy Wease, Freda Styers
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr, Coleman Pressley, Connie Larimore, Bill Feeney
11 Jimmy Hensley, David Starr
12 Ned Jarrett, Morgan Shepherd, Tim Sullivan, Lonnie Clouse, Ernie Gahan, Kitty 'Mom' Allison,
13 John Kernan, Michael Ehert, Tim Sauter, David Ifft
14 Jason Jarrett
15 Chris Economaki, Red Farmer, Eddie Gossage, Chad McCumbee, Aaron Johnston, Roland Wlodyka, Gober Sosebee