Nature's Bakery (28) scheduled to be primary sponsor in 2016:
Daytona, Sprint Unlimited - 2/13
Las Vegas - 3/6
Phoenix - 3/13
Texas - 4/9
Bristol - 4/17
Richmond - 4/24
Kansas - 5/7
Dover - 5/15
Charlotte, Sprint Showdown - 5/20
Charlotte - 5/29, Camo
Pocono - 6/5, FOX Sports GO
Michigan - 6/12
Sonoma - 6/26
Daytona - 7/2
Kentucky - 7/9
New Hampshire - 7/17
Indianapolis - 7/24
Watkins Glen - 8/7
Bristol - 8/20
Darlington - 9/4, Double Chocolate Brownies
Richmond - 9/10
Chicago - 9/18, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
New Hampshire - 9/25
Dover - 10/2
Kansas - 10/16
Talladega - 10/23
Martinsville - 10/30
Phoenix - 11/13
TaxACT (4) scheduled to be primary sponsor in 2016:
Auto Club - 3/20
Martinsville - 4/3
Texas - 11/6
Homestead - 11/20
Aspen Dental (4) scheduled to be primary sponsor in 2016:
Atlanta - 2/28
Talladega - 5/1
Michigan - 8/28
Charlotte - 10/8
Mobil 1 (1) scheduled to be primary sponsor in 2016 at:
Pocono - 7/31
Contract Status: Driver: 2018?; Primary Sponsors: Nature's Bakery starts 2016-2018?, Aspen Dental, 2016?; TaxAct, 2017?
Aspen Dental returns to sponsor Patrick at Michigan: As the Sprint Cup Series visits Michigan this weekend, Aspen Dental returns as the primary sponsor of Danica Patrick's #10 Chevy. Sunday's race marks the third of four events (also Charlotte in Oct) where Aspen Dental will serve as the primary sponsor on Patrick's racecar this season. In addition, Aspen Dental is an associate sponsor on the #10 Chevrolet for all non-primary races. While Patrick's #10 Chevy will be blue and silver this weekend in Michigan, her car will also feature the names of more than 500 U.S. veterans. Aspen Dental dentists and teams from Maine to Washington - and hundreds of dental practices in between - volunteered their time and talents to give back to veterans in their communities during one, big "Day of Service" on Saturday, June 25. As part of the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative which provides dental care for veterans, it marked the third annual "Day of Service," during which nearly 400 participating Aspen Dental offices donated more than $2.1 million dollars in dentistry in a single day, empowering more than 4,000 veterans with a healthy smile. Aspen Dental will also host five veterans and their guests as VIPs for Sunday's race at the 2-mile Michigan track. In addition to the festivities in Michigan, Aspen Dental Management, Inc., recently announced it will be giving 1,000 veterans and guests the opportunity to be honored with a special VIP experience at the upcoming Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 Oct. 8 in Charlotte in a celebration of service and support of access to dental care. Beginning Aug. 29, veterans can visit www.Smile4YourService.com and sign up to attend the race and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience as Aspen Dental will honor their selfless service to our country and bring attention to the fact that many unfortunately do not receive the dental care they desperately need and deserve.(SHR), see images of the car/scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page (8-24-2016)
Mobil 1 sponsoring 3 SHR cars at Pocono: A live-broadcasted virtual race, a one-of-a-kind time lapse experience and another leg of an endless road trip are all upcoming digital video events to celebrate ExxonMobil's expanded partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing at Pocono. These three pieces of Mobil 1 online content will be released during the days leading up to race weekend, culminating with full primary sponsorships of #4-Kevin Harvick, #10-Danica Patrick and #14-Tony Stewart for the Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Additionally, Mobil 1 will be the presenting sponsor of the race's NBC Sports Network TV broadcast. "The same brand having marquee placement on three cars for one of NASCAR's top teams during the same race is rare, so we are marking the event by bringing more Mobil 1-branded action to race fans before and during the Pocono Sprint Cup race," said Kai Decker, global motorsports manager at ExxonMobil. "Our Mobil 1 Pocono digital content ranges from light-hearted to thrilling and provides behind-the-scenes access we think fans will love."(Mobil 1 PR)(7-26-2015)
#10 pit crew gets van broken into at Sonoma: For the second year in a row, the #10 crew has their team van broken into in California. Talking with crewmen on the team, they say the burglary happened while they were at an event for their sponsor Natures Bakery. The crew were guests at a pro Volleyball event and they parked on a main road next to plenty of people. When they returned to their vehicle after the event, a window was busted and bags were taken. Most of the guys had their cell phones and wallets on them but plenty of valuables were gone. One crew member said, "They got everything they could grab without opening the doors. Its seemed to be a smash and grab type of robbery." We did ask about hard cards and were told only one hard card was stolen during the ordeal.(Pit Talks)(6-28-2016)
Kennedy & Patrick named in ADWEEK'S '30 Most Powerful Women in Sports': Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corporation and Vice Chairperson of NASCAR, was named one of ADWEEK'S '30 Most Powerful Women in Sports' in their July issue, on newsstands June 27. The inaugural '30 Most Powerful Women in Sports' list is presented in ADWEEK'S annual Sports Issue. Kennedy is featured along with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver #10-Danica Patrick, and other elite athletes, league executives, sports media personalities and sports marketing executives. The winners will be celebrated during the Clio Sports gala in New York on July 7th.(ISC and ADWEEK)(6-27-2016)
Drivers ranked on ESPN World Fame 100: It started off with a simple question: Who's the most famous athlete in the world? Ben Alamar, ESPN's director of sports analytics, devised a formula that combines salary and endorsements with social media following and Google search popularity to create the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings. The names might be familiar, but where the planet's biggest stars land on the list could surprise you. The #1 athlete is soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. Motorsports drivers on the list include:
57. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR)
58. Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)
59. Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)
63. Danica Patrick (NASCAR)
75. Fernando Alonso (Formula 1)
77. Tony Stewart (NASCAR)
94. Kyle Busch (NASCAR)
97. Kimi Raikkonen (Formula 1)
Patrick to be CMS Music Award presenter: On Wednesday, June 8, #10-Danica Patrick will join the likes of actors Vince Vaughn and Rob Riggle, and country music artists Cole Swindell and Kellie Pickler, as a presenter for the "2016 CMT Music Awards." The event is scheduled to air live on CMT at 8:00pm/et.(SHR)(6-1-2016)
Mobil 1 Motor Oil Gears Up for More "Three Wide" Action with Stewart-Haas Racing: Building upon the "Tony's Next Chapter" series, Mobil 1 motor oil, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR, is back with fresh digital content for NASCAR fans. The "Endless Road Trip" and "What's Your Take?" video series bring together #4-Kevin Harvick, #10-Danica Patrick and #14-Tony Stewart to provide fans a window into the playful relationship between the drivers, as well as a sense of their personalities when away from the racetrack. "Endless Road Trip" chronicles the between-race road trips of Harvick, Patrick and Stewart as they venture to several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series destinations. Each episode depicts the uniqueness and local culture of different U.S. regions. Altogether, the road trip distance reaches approximately 15,000 miles, representing the guaranteed engine protection for up to 15,000 miles between oil changes using Mobil 1 Extended Performance motor oil. The series launched before the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29 and will include seven installments:
" Charlotte - Coca-Cola 600 on May 29
" Michigan - FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 12
" Sonoma - Toyota/Save Mart 350 on June 26
" New Hampshire - New Hampshire 301 on July 17
" Indianapolis - Crown Royal Presents "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 on July 24
" Pocono - Pennsylvania 400 on July 31
" Richmond - Federated Auto Parts 400 on September 10
Fans can follow Harvick, Patrick and Stewart on the "Endless Road Trip" using #Mobil1RoadTrip on Facebook and Twitter.(Mobil 1)(5-28-2016)
Danica Patrick to run a camo scheme in Coke 600: This Memorial Day weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the #10 Nature's Bakery Chevy of Danica Patrick will feature a special camouflage paint scheme in honor of the men and women who have died in military service for the United States. While Sunday is a special day in the motorsports world, in Charlotte the focus will instead be on those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our country and our freedom. For the second consecutive year, the NASCAR community will come together to honor fallen U.S. Armed Forces members with "600 Miles of Remembrance" in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. As part of that tribute, this weekend the #10 Nature's Bakery Chevy team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is honoring Lance Corporal Benito Ramirez, who died May 21, 2006 in the Anbar Province of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ramirez's name will be featured in place of Patrick's on the windshield header of the team's car. Patrick's comments: "I think it's very fitting that Nature's Bakery decided to go with a special camouflage scheme on Memorial Day weekend to pay tribute to the men and women who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. They are true heroes. We're also honoring a 21-year-old Marine, Lance Corporal Benito Ramirez, who was killed in combat in 2006. He has direct ties to the Nature's Bakery family, so I know it means a lot to everyone at Nature's Bakery to have him featured on the car. And I know I speak for everyone on the #10 team when I say it is an honor to have his name on the car, as well."(SHR), see images of the car on the #10 team paint schemes page.(5-25-2016)
Danica Patrick Takes Part in Outdoor Adventure with Fans: this past Thursday (5/19), #10-Danica Patrick joined Nature's Bakery sweepstakes winners Sam Bednarski of Salt Lake City, Utah and Jessica McFarlin of Elgin, Illinois at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte to take part in rock climbing and a zip-line experience. In February, Nature's Bakery launched the Choose Your Journey Sweepstakes, which gave fans the opportunity to win a unique trip to experience two outdoor activities with Patrick in Charlotte, along with a VIP trip to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend. In addition to participating in two outdoor activities with Patrick, contest winners Bednarski and McFarlin will also receive a tour of Stewart-Haas Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, VIP access to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and a year's supply of Nature's Bakery on-the-go snacks and foods that complement health-conscious living and everyday active lifestyles, including its popular whole wheat and gluten-free Fig Bars.(TSC)(5-22-2016)
Romain Grosjean could run a NASCAR race this summer UPDATE: Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean's debut in NASCAR could happen as early as this summer, after Stewart-Haas Racing revealed it is now working on a plan to get the Frenchman a race entry. "We may give it a go. I think it would be really cool," he said after sitting in a Sprint Cup car on the day he was announced as a Haas F1 driver. "It's definitely on our wish list," Joe Custer, chief operating officer of Haas F1 said. "We just have to make it work - whether it be this year, next year, whenever that is. We're not sure. He's made it clear that he wouldn't want his debut to be on an oval - where he's never done it before. There's so much going on. We have to figure out the testing opportunities and all the things that would make it a success." Either road course race on the Sprint Cup schedule would be ideal for the 30-year-old racer with Sonoma (June 26) and Watkins Glen (August 7) both during off weeks for F1. But while Sonoma falls at the end of the Canada/Baku back-to-back run, the Glen race falls in the middle of the F1's summer break between the German GP (July 31) and the Belgian GP on August 28. "I'm not sure when it would happen, but it's on our list," explained Custer. "We would like to have him test. He would be a rookie. I don't think there are any barriers to any of this. We just have to figure it out and get it on the schedule. Then, five cars or four cars? Or does he work with another team in the garage. All of that. We have to work out the details and have enough time to make it happen."(Motorsport)(5-9-2016)
UPDATE: Romain Grosjean believes that his best chance of making his NASCAR debut will come at the Sonoma road course race at the end of June. Grosjean expressed an interest in trying out NASCAR after joining Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas' new Formula 1 operation for its debut season in 2016. "When it's going to happen, I don't know. It's 21 races, it's quite a tight schedule already in Formula 1. Of course you don't want to start on an oval, I wouldn't feel very comfortable." Grosjean's best opportunities for a road course appearance come with the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma on June 26 and the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen on August 7. However, the race at The Glen would cut into F1's summer break. "That's a problem," Grosjean said. "Sonoma is better I think." Should Grosjean be able to make his debut though, it would not come with Stewart-Haas Racing. NASCAR rules only allow four cars per team and no exceptions for rookie drivers as used to be the case. A possible scenario for Grosjean would be racing with the SHR-supported HScott Motorsports team.(NBC Sports)(5-13-2016)
Parts failure leads accident with Patrick, Stewart, McMurray: A gear failure sent #10-Danica Patrick into a fiery spin, triggering a three-car accident that resulted in Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray spinning in the oil left by Patrick's car and hitting the wall hard in the opening minutes of practice Friday at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, who missed the first eight races this year because of a broken back, walked gingerly after getting out of the car. Patrick said she was fine and that McMurray was nursing a sore elbow. Zipadelli said the Patrick car blew a rear-end gear and that SHR driver Kurt Busch experienced a vibration at the start of practice. The team plans to change gears in its other cars.
Stewart and McMurray hit outside walls on the frontstretch that are not covered by energy-absorbing barrier. Dover added 479 feet of SAFER barrier on the inside backstretch wall and on the inside of Turn 3 prior to the race weekend as that area was identified as needing immediate attention. There are SAFER barriers on the inside wall down the frontstretch but only in the turns. NASCAR conducted a safety review of all tracks to help develop a plan to add SAFER barriers where deemed necessary. "It shouldn't even be a question whether or not tracks have SAFER barrier all the way around," Patrick said. "It should be mandatory. It shouldn't be a financial decision." Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said he assumed that every wall had a SAFER barrier at Dover but understood the philosophy that the drivers run up against the wall on the frontstretch at the track. He said drivers would adjust to a new groove if Dover added a SAFER barrier to that portion of the track. "The outside wall doesn't bother me too much that it doesn't have the SAFER barrier on it," Johnson said. "It's not like a mile and a half where we have the D-shaped front straightaway and you actually get away from the wall and, if something went wrong, have a terrible angle at the wall. "With all that said, I'd take a soft wall over a hard wall any day in any situation. ... I'm not overly concerned here. I guess I understand why there isn't on the frontstretch here."(ESPN.com)(5-12-2016)
Patrick says Talladega crash was hardest of her career: On yet another race day when cars thought they could fly, among the results was a battered race car finishing third, #34-Chris Buescher going for a wild ride into the sky and #10-Danica Patrick taking a hit she called the hardest in her career. Although cars were airborne, perhaps the most dangerous wreck of the day occurred late in the race when Patrick's car, bumped from behind by #95-Michael McDowell, slid in front of the track, hit Matt Kenseth hard and then sailed at near-full speed into the backstretch inside wall, her Chevrolet erupting into flames. Kenseth also hit the wall very hard while flipping, riding the wall upside-down and rolling back on the track. Patrick was in the infield medical center an unusually long time. She finally emerged, obviously shaken by not only her incident but also the overall crazy atmosphere of the day. A half-hour after the accident, she said her chest hurt when she breathed and that she had bruises from the wreck. She said a chest x-ray showed no serious injuries. "I'm pretty sure I got hit, and the car spun toward the inside wall," Patrick said. "It hit really hard. Everything - the steering wheel - is way out of place. I hit my foot. Hit my arm. There was fire inside the car. It kind of knocked the breath out of me a little bit." Patrick said the fire inside the car caused her to be "probably the most scared" she has been in a race car. "I haven't had fire on the inside before," she said. "It got to the glove a little bit. Honestly, I was thinking about my hair. I have a lot of hair, and I don't want to lose it. That was the worst one (wreck) so far. I have decent bruises on my arm and foot. I hit a wall at 200. And my chest hurts when I breathe."(USA Today)(5-2-2016)
Pit crew changes at Stewart-Haas: In an effort to improve pit stops, Stewart-Haas Racing has moved around several crew members between its teams. This past weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway saw different faces on different teams. So let's start with the easy stuff: The #4 (Kevin Harvick) and #41 (Kurt Busch) looked to be the same as at Daytona. Both teams have been performing at a top level for years, and we didn't see any changes as of Richmond. Now the fun stuff. The #10 car of Danica Patrick had a different front carrier, rear changer, and rear carrier. The team moved rear carrier Matt Holzbaur to the front and added rear changer Jonathan Sherman and rear carrier Jeremy Howard. Both Sherman and Howard came from the #38 team (Landon Cassill), which is pit supported by SHR. The #14 of Tony Stewart got a new front changer in Ryan Mulder. Mulder was moved from the rear of the #10 to the front of the #14. The #38 team got a new front changer, front carrier, rear changer and rear carrier. Bryan Jacobsen moved from the #14 is now on the front with Jeff Shoaf. Anchoring the rear is now Chris Jackson and Tyler Bullard. From what we can tell, no new pit crew members were hired or fired, just a restructuring of crewmen.(PitTalks)(4-29-2016)
Turbocharged Tooth Fairy for Patrick at Talladega: This weekend, Danica Patrick's #10 Chevrolet SS will sport blue and silver for Aspen Dental's second of four primary races this season. The car will have a different look than it did in Atlanta, featuring a "Turbocharged Tooth Fairy" logo on the a hood, a nod to Patrick's role in Aspen Dental's newest TV campaign that started airing earlier this month. Aspen Dental dentists and teams recognize that going to the dentist isn't always at the top of the "to-do" list. And so, as a part of the Aspen Dental Weekend at Talladega, a "Turbocharged Tooth Fairy Squad" will be roaming the grounds at the track to not only ask fans, "What would it take to get you to go to the dentist?" but also deliver on some of those wishes on the spot. It's all a part of Aspen Dental's commitment to doing whatever it takes to make dentistry easier.(Stewart-Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #10 team paint schemes page.(4-28-2016)
Chicago race will be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400: Nickelodeon announced that it is the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 18, dubbed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Danica Patrick has signed on to drive a special car for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, which will feature a weekend of action, activities and fun for the entire family with the iconic Heroes in a Half Shell. NASCAR star Danica Patrick, a Roscoe, Illinois native, helped kick off the partnership in true Turtles style. She unveiled her #10 April O'Neil/Nature's Bakery Chevrolet SS at an event at Wrigley Square in Millennium Park with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then took her car for a spin down Michigan Ave. She will join a number of other drivers with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles paint schemes for the Sept. 18 race. This Sept. 15-18 marks the sixth consecutive year that Chicagoland Speedway will kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Nickelodeon partnership will include sponsorship of the 2017 kick off race, as well. Patrick's unique car was designed by Chicago artist Hebru Brantley, who will also design the race trophy, additional Turtles-branded paint schemes and other visual elements. Brantley breaks down the walls of cultural boundaries through his art and inspired by his 1980s Chicago upbringing, Brantley's work touches on tough subjects in a way that may be easily digestible to the viewer, by telling his stories through youthful characters and their adventures. Brantley's work can be described as pop infused contemporary art inspired by Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, KAWS and Keith Haring.(Chicagoland Speedway), see an image of Patrick's car on the #10 team paint schemes page.(4-26-2016)
Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick tangle in Saturday practice: #10-Danica Patrick and #11-Denny Hamlin had had their differences in the past, but what happened in Saturday morning's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Bristol Motor Speedway had nothing to do with old grudges. Nevertheless, contact between their two cars bent the sheet metal on both vehicles, Hamlin's on the right front and Patrick's on the left rear. Patrick, on new tires, was struggling with the handling of her #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy and had difficulty holding the bottom. She had just let Clint Bowyer's #15 Chevy pass her to the inside, and as she approached Turn 1, Hamlin was closing fast behind her.
Patrick entered the turn low but didn't hold the bottom, and as she drifted up off the bottom lane, Hamlin opted to try an inside pass but ran out of room. The resulting collision, though not a violent impact, was enough to do cosmetic damage to both cars. "I had just come out on tires," Patrick said. "They were cold and I wasn't very good anyway - I was pretty loose. I came down the front straightaway and I put my finger out the window to point him by, but he hit me on entry. I don't know if he... it looked like he came pretty close when he went to go to the inside, too. Man, I love Denny, but he makes a lot of mistakes behind me. I don't know if he misjudged it, or I was going slower than he thought, but I put my finger out the window and pointed him by. I had no intention to race him. I was not fast enough. I don't know, but the guys are going to try and fix it."
From his vantage point, Hamlin couldn't see Patrick's signal. "I was on the outside of her on the straightaway, so I couldn't see the left side of her car," Hamlin said. "I went to go low, but I don't know if she had stuff on her tires. It looked like she was struggling and had stuff on her tires for a few laps there. I tried to go low and obviously we hung bumpers." Patrick's troubles weren't over. In Saturday's final practice prior to Sunday's Food City 500, she was still fighting a loose handling condition and brushed the wall near the apex of Turns 3 and 4 approximately five minutes into Happy Hour. After repairs, Hamlin's #11 Toyota, on the other hand, was fast enough to top the speed chart during final Cup practice with a lap at 126.129 mph.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-16-2016)
Patrick comments on Auto Club fine: Frustration boiled over two races ago in California when [Danica Patrick] was hooked by Kasey Kahne and slammed into the wall. Patrick walked up the apron of the track to hold her hands out, palms up, when Kahne drove by -- and NASCAR promptly fined her $20,000 for walking on the apron or track toward moving cars. "I understand NASCAR has to do whatever they can to protect their drivers and making sure that we don't put ourselves in harm's way," Patrick said. "Did I feel like I was in danger? Absolutely not. It's my own body. I don't want to put my body in danger at all. But then you start working into gray areas of, well, what's too close and what's not close? So I get their position. But some of the most exciting throwback videos you see of NASCAR is of drivers getting all rowdy and getting mad. ... You can't do things that completely eliminate the spirit of the sport." The rule was instituted after Tony Stewart accidentally struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint-car race in August 2014. Ward was out on the track, and Stewart has said he didn't see Ward until just before his car struck the 20-year-old. Patrick's fine was the same as the one issued last year to Trevor Bayne, who crossed the track after an accident just to get to the infield before safety workers got to him. "I get that it's 2016, and we can get smarter and better, and there are certain things that cross the line, and I guess that they deemed that I did," Patrick said. "When I did it, it wasn't like I thought, 'I don't care if I get fined, I'm going to walk out [there].' It literally didn't enter my mind. So I think that's the challenge. ... When I did that, I was just really giving the universal 'WTF' sign to him like, 'I can't believe you just did that to me.'"(ESPN.com)(4-8-2016)
NASCAR's Richest Teams and Drivers: Forbes has released its annual ranking of Sprint Cup teams and drivers based on earnings. Once again, Hendrick tops the charts. The top 10 teams and drivers and their estimated value:
Highest earning NASCAR teams:
Hendrick Motorsports $375 million
Joe Gibbs Racing $256 million
Stewart-Haas Racing $195 million
Richard Childress Racing $175 million
Roush Fenway Racing $155 million
Team Penske $140 million
Chip Ganassi Racing $75 million
Richard Petty Motorsports $55 million
Front Row Motorsports $26 million
BK Racing $24 million
Highest earning NASCAR drivers:
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. $23.5 million
#48-Jimmie Johnson $22.2 million
Jeff Gordon $21.6 million
#4-Kevin Harvick $15.5 million
#11-Denny Hamlin $15.1 million
#18-Kyle Busch $15.0 million
#10-Dania Patrick $13.4 million
#14-Tony Stewart $12.8 million
#19-Carl Edwards $12.1 million
#20-Matt Kenseth $11.9 million
Total earnings equals salary/winnings plus endorsements and licensing
In addition, Forbes estimates the actual cash value of a NASCAR charter to be $15-$17 million.(Forbes)(4-1-2016)
GM exec says Chevy's success forced Ford to get Stewart-Haas: Mark Kent, GM's director of racing, has described Ford's joining forces with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017 as a "bold move" but has pledged support to the team to season's end. Kent told Motorsport.com: "Ford hasn't won a drivers' or manufacturers' championship in over a decade. So obviously they've been looking at Chevrolet and realizing it takes great teams and great depth to be able to win championships. We've been able to win the last 13 manufacturers' titles and nine of the last 11 drivers' championships. So Ford realized they had to do something. They made a bold move." While Kent acknowledged the achievements of SHR, he stated that the team's use of Hendrick Motorsports equipment had also made the team susceptible to outside offers. "Satellite teams are obviously the easiest takeover candidates," he observed, "because they don't build their own chassis, don't build their own engines and so it's easier for them to switch alliances.(Motorsport)(3-25-2015)
Auto Club Speedway penalties announced: NASCAR has announced penalties following the race weekend at Auto Club Speedway.
#10-Danica Patrick has been fined $20,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through the completion of the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Points Races. She violated section 10.4.2.1.a "At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron. At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle."
Kyle Busch was fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four NASCAR Championship Points Races through April 27 for his actions following the XFINITY race. He violated section 10.4.2.i -"The second and third place drivers must report to the media center for post-race interviews upon the conclusion of the Race unless otherwise authorized by NASCAR"
In addition, the following warnings were issued:
#19-Carl Edwards: Failed laser inspection twice in pre-race;
#95-Michael McDowell: Trailing arm did not meet specifications;
#20-Matt Kenseth: Failed template inspection twice in pre-qualifying;
#3-Austin Dillon, #20-Matt Kenseth, #21-Ryan Blaney, #27-Paul Menard: Failed laser inspection twice in pre-qualifying.
See the Auto Club Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(3-24-2016)
Penalties coming for Danica, Kyle Busch, Kahne, Pearn? Does NASCAR's competition brass fine Danica Patrick for walking on a hot race track during the Auto Club 400? Do they believe Kasey Kahne's explanation of what happened in the wreck with Patrick? Do they fine Kyle Busch for an in-car radio rant (XFINITY race)? Patrick walked up toward Kahne's car under caution and held out her hands in a "what was that?" fashion as Kahne drove around under caution after turning her and sending her hard into the Auto Club Speedway wall. NASCAR instituted a rule in 2014 after the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy -- Ward, in a non-NASCAR sprint-car event, walked on to a track and was struck and killed by Tony Stewart, who has said he did not see Ward until the last moment -- and has fined drivers for leaving the area of their cars to motion at drivers as they pedal under caution. Last year, Jennifer Jo Cobb was fined $5,000 for walking up the track during a Camping World Truck Series race at Dover. Sprint Cup fines are typically larger than truck fines, although whether Patrick walked far enough up the track for NASCAR to consider fining her will likely be discussed this week.
Fines and penalties typically now are announced Wednesday afternoon instead of Tuesday afternoon as in previous years. It is unlikely Kahne will face any additional penalties but it is so rare that a driver gets hooked like that, NASCAR probably wanted at least to talk to him.
As far as Busch, he tweeted that he expects a fine this week. That fine most likely will stem from an in-car radio rant after the Xfinity Series race where he thanked NASCAR for fixing the race by not throwing a caution for his flat tire on the final lap. Busch declined to talk to the media after the race Saturday and tweeted Sunday night in response to a fan comment that "By not doing interview, I'll b getting a discount on my fine on Tuesday."
NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell also told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday that NASCAR will look into #78-Martin Truex Jr. crew chief Cole Pearn's tweet following the race. He tweeted Logano can't see through his "squinty ... eyes."(ESPN)(3-21-2016)
Contact from Kahne puts Patrick into the wall: A collision with #5-Kasey Kahne ruined a promising afternoon for #10-Danica Patrick in Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Patrick started 31st and had worked her way up to 19th before wrecking hard into the Turn 1 wall on Lap 121 after contact from Kahne's Chevy. Kahne was a lap down at the time, thanks to an earlier unscheduled pit stop. "We were on a restart, and I had a run on him so I went down low," said Patrick, who finished 38th. "If you get too close to them (a car you're trying to clear) then it will drag you both back. I was going low. I saw him chase me down the track, and then the next thing I know I was getting spun up the track. I was passing him. He was behind me in the right rear. I don't know what kind of day he was having. I just heard he was a lap down, actually. I feel bad if he felt like he was put in a position to have to be that desperate a lap down. ... I was having a pretty good recovery day, kind of like last weekend. I was just running good race laps and on the lead lap at the end of the race back up into the top 20 from a bad starting position."
Kahne said the accident was unintentional but avoidable. "I passed her in (Turns) 3 and 4, and then she had the momentum off the top and went back under me going down the front stretch," he explained. "So I went just to kind of catch a side draft to make sure I was in position getting into Turn 1, and it didn't hold me up when I got there because I was the one coming, and I just got too close and the car was moving around and we hit and she had a bad wreck. I felt really bad because it was far from anything than just trying to hold my position. I've never had an issue with Danica at all. It was an avoidable accident in the middle of the straightaway that was far from anything but just trying to hold my position that I had just gained." Kahne and crew chief Keith Rodden were summoned to the NASCAR hauler after the race. "I don't see the NASCAR hauler very often, other than signing in on Friday mornings," Kahne said. "They just wanted to make sure that everything was OK from my perspective and there were no hard feelings prior to the wreck or anything like that. Not at all."(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-21-2016)
Haas F1 Team Earns Points in Debut Race: the Haas F1 Team, owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Gene Haas [Stewart-Haas Racing #4, #10, #14, #41], made history before and after the 32nd Australian Grand Prix Sunday in Melbourne. The organization's debut in Round 1 of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship marked the first time an American team had competed in Formula One since 1986. And after ending a 30-year drought for an American squad in Formula One, Haas F1 Team ended another drought for an organization's maiden F1 race. After starting 19th, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished an impressive sixth, earning the team eight points in the constructor standings.(full post at haasf1team.com)(3-20-2016)
TaxAct returns to #10 car at Auto Club: TaxAct, the official tax preparation software partner of Stewart-Haas Racing and driver Danica Patrick, will return to the track this weekend for the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. To celebrate the 2016 debut of the #10 TaxAct Chevy and gear up for the end of tax season, TaxAct has joined forces with SHR to give race fans another opportunity to save money when filing their taxes with the launch of "Premium Finish." TaxAct is offering race fans the chance to purchase its top-tier online tax preparation and filing solution at a highly discounted price. If Patrick or any member of the SHR team grabs a top-10 finish in select upcoming races, fans can register to file their 2015 federal and state tax returns using the TaxAct Online Premium Bundle for only $10 (originally priced at $49.98). This gives filers access to the federal and state forms needed to complete their return no matter how complex their situation, all in, for $10. In the event none of the SHR drivers finish in the top-10 in those selected races, a $10 discount off federal returns will be extended to honor the savings opportunity. Tax filers can get a "Premium Finish" starting Sunday with the running of the Auto Club 400, with applicable discounted pricing available through the following Saturday. TaxAct will offer additional opportunities for NASCAR fans to file returns with "Premium Finish" pricing for the races following the Auto Club 400 up to the tax filing deadline on April 18, 2016 (or April 19, 2016 for residents of Massachusetts and Maine). These races include Martinsville on April 3, Texas on April 9 and Bristol on April 17. Fans can lock in their "Premium Finish" price by visiting TaxAct.com/Ten. With TaxAct's Price Lock Guarantee, filers are guaranteed to pay the price offered at the time they register, no matter when they choose to file. *Offer and prices subject to change (SHR), see an image of the car on the #10 team paint schemes page.(3-16-2016)
Penske expects to work closely with Stewart-Hass next year: Legendary team principal Roger Penske has welcomed Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford's NASCAR lineup for 2017, and suggested that there will "be some collaboration" between the two. Speaking to the media at the IndyCar Series opener at St Petersburg, Penske said the numerical advantage of more Fords was only one aspect of the potential benefit of SHR joining Ford's roster. "If you have four of one thing you're going to be better than if you had two, and I think what Ford looked at is the number of cars Chevy and Toyota had," said Penske. "They looked to expand their footprint. As far as we're concerned we feel good about it. If Ford is successful, it's gonna help us. With two cars, it's hard to carry the banner as we did last year."
On the potential for collaboration with Stewart-Haas, Penske added: "I think that we'll do what we've done with Roush, we've put cars in the windtunnel - our car and their car to see where we are. We'll do benchmarking, we have to race these guys every weekend. I don't think [Hendrick's star crew chief] Chad Knaus gives Stewart-Haas guys the playbook or vice versa. The things that will help overall, I think there'll be some collaboration in some way, and we're glad to see that.(Motorsport)(3-12-2016)
Roush Yates already prepping for Stewart-Haas addition: The addition of Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford in 2017 will mean an increased workload for Roush Yates Engines, the company that supplies Ford power to teams in all three of NASCAR's national series. But it means much more than the 60 or so additional engines the supplier will have to produce, according to CEO Doug Yates. "For us, that's four more top-notch cars, opportunities to win races and championships," Yates said Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "But the work starts now because we've got to get ready for next year." Yates, son of famed engine builder and former team owner Robert Yates, said his company currently has approximately 250 engines in its fleet for Sprint Cup teams. "We'll start building them up but next year, with four cars will mean about 60 more engines... Today we build about 750 Cup, XFINITY and Truck engines a year. At our road race shop we build about 250 a year. Obviously we will have to add some people. We feel like we have a good process, we just have to add volume." The benefit, he said, is it will be "a good opportunity to allow us to bring on more resources for the R&D side, more testing, more engineers. Just add depth to every department. It's exciting.(NASCAR.com)(2-28-2016)
Stewart-Haas Racing switching to Ford in 2017: Ford Performance announced Stewart-Haas Racing will switch to Ford as its auto manufacturer partner starting with the 2017 NASCAR season. The multiyear agreement means that, beginning with Daytona Speedweeks in February 2017, the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing team will race the Ford Fusion with Ford engines prepared by Roush Yates Engines.
"We are thrilled to be able to add a championship-level team like Stewart-Haas Racing to our Ford NASCAR program," said Raj Nair, executive vice president and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Company. "Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have the same passion for winning that we do, and bring a strong stable of drivers and personnel that fit into what we're trying to do in the sport."
"We have said very clearly that we are not in NASCAR just to race, but to win races and championships," said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "We believe the addition of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017 will give our program a major boost in terms of being in contention for both drivers' and manufacturers' championships every year.
"We believe that our NASCAR engineering experience and tools match up very well with the expertise and personnel that Stewart-Haas Racing has in house right now, and that we will both benefit from this partnership going forward."
Stewart-Haas Racing will join a Ford NASCAR lineup for 2017 that includes Team Penske, Roush Fenway Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Front Row Motorsports. Roush Yates Engines is Ford's technical partner for NASCAR race engines.
Stewart-Haas Racing will continue its current manufacturer relationship throughout the 2016 season.(Ford Racing)
AND: Stewart-Haas Racing, winners of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 30 point-paying races, will campaign Ford Fusions beginning in 2017. The four-car team will compete with Ford engines prepared by Roush Yates Engines.
"I am proud of our association with Chevrolet as they helped build our organization into the team it is today," said Tony Stewart, co-owner, Stewart-Haas Racing. "This new partnership with Ford allows us to strengthen our position in the sport and ensure the long-term stability and success for everyone who is a part of Stewart-Haas Racing."
"Motorsports is an extremely challenging environment where in order to maintain success you have to constantly innovate. It's true in NASCAR and it's true in business," said Gene Haas, co-owner, Stewart-Haas Racing. "We've enjoyed great success with Chevrolet, but this opportunity with Ford allows us to evolve while continuing to compete at the highest levels of the sport."
"From the very beginning of Stewart-Haas Racing we have fostered an environment of competitiveness, performance, teamwork and family," said Brett Frood, team president. "This future partnership enables us to continue delivering across these silos and exceed our commitments to our fans, partners and employees."(Stewart-Haas Racing)
Transcript: Read what was said in Wednesday morning's press conference on the Stewart-Haas Racing Ford press conference transcript page.(2-24-2016)
Mobil 1 Going "Three Wide" with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2016: Throughout the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Mobil 1, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR, will spotlight Stewart-Haas Racing's #4, #10 and #14 cars with primary hood sponsorships. At the same time, ExxonMobil wishes Tony Stewart a speedy recovery from his back injury and looks forward to welcoming the three-time series champion to the track for his final season as a Sprint Cup driver. In addition to Mobil 1 hoods on select SHR cars throughout 2016, Mobil 1 will continue to serve as a co-primary sponsor of Stewart's #14 Chevy and season-long associate sponsor of Harvick's #4 Jimmy John's Chevy, Danica Patrick's #10 Nature's Bakery Chevy and Kurt Busch's #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevy. Mobil 1 lubricant technology will be used in all four SHR cars during the 2016 season. While SHR drivers will represent the Mobil 1 brand to NASCAR fans in 2016, the technology partnership between Mobil 1 and SHR has never been as basic as a logo on a car. The 2016 Sprint Cup season continues a symbiotic engineering relationship used to create lubricant packages and push technology limits. This relationship helps the team win races and Mobil 1 improve the quality of lubricant products for consumers. Mobil 1 and SHR's partnership is approached as any other new research and development project: data driven, extensively evaluated and tested. In addition to its association with SHR, Mobil 1 is entering its 14th season as the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR."(Mobil1)
See images of the cars on the #4 Team Schemes page, #10 Team Schemes page and #14 Team Schemes page.(2-19-2016)
Pit crew changes for Patrick: Danica Patrick and the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS team will have a new look on its pit crew for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Nate House will take over for Tony Cardamone at jackman with Cardamone moving from jackman to gasman. House filled in for Cardamone for several races in 2015 while Cardamone recovered from a back injury. Continuing on the team from last year are front changer Eric Maycroft, front carrier Jeff Shoaf, rear carrier Matt Holzbaur and rear changer Ryan Mulder, who was on the team for nearly half of last season.(PitTalks/NASCAR.com)(2-7-2016)
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)
Nature's Bakery Launches Fantern Program: With the start of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season fast approaching, Nature's Bakery, primary sponsor of Danica Patrick and the #10 Chevy team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is launching the company's first promotion tied to the new partnership: the Nature's Bakery Fantern Program. Nature's Bakery was founded in 2010 by the father-and-son duo of Dave and Sam Marson with a mission of making delicious, convenient, on-the-go snacks that complement health-conscious living and active, everyday lifestyles. The company's signature tagline is: "Energy for Life's Great Journeys," and with the new Fantern program, Nature's Bakery plans to energize fans with an opportunity to participate in a great at-track journey. The unique fan internship experience will be offered at 26 race weekends throughout the year, starting with the March 3 Sprint Cup race in Las Vegas. The Nature's Bakery Fantern will have a hybrid role on the #10 team, as a "fantern" is the blending of a fan and an intern into one position. The program will provide a hands-on opportunity to gain a unique and valuable experience tied to a subject matter fans are curious to learn about. U.S. residents can visit www.NaturesBakery.com/Fantern to apply to be a part of the #10 Nature's Bakery team.(SHR)(1-29-2016)
Danica Patrick talks about new crew chief: Danica Patrick didn't have input in choosing new crew chief Billy Scott, but a few days around him in the Stewart-Haas Racing shop last week have her encouraged. "Billy's great; I feel like he has a lot of common sense about everything," Patrick told NASCAR Talk Saturday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in her first public comments about Scott, whose hiring was announced Nov. 30. "I feel he's going to do a really great job. He's crafting a good team." Scott will become the third crew chief in three seasons for Patrick, whose #10 Chevrolet team was involved in an offseason overhaul at SHR that also ushered in a new crew chief (Michael Bugarewicz) for teammate Tony Stewart. In her lone full season with Daniel Knost, Patrick finished a career-best 24th in the Sprint Cup points standings. But she slipped to two top 10s (from three in 2014, including a career-best sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway) and didn't finish higher than 15th after the May 31 race at Dover International Speedway. Scott, a 2005 graduate of UNC Charlotte, also is a degreed engineer, but Patrick said she wasn't involved in his hiring process. "I really left it up to the team," Patrick said. "I did everything I could last year to make the most with Daniel wholeheartedly, and the team just thought that it would be a better fit and good adjustment to change that. I trust them. I have to; that's what they do. I drive the car. The best thing I can do is make the most of every weekend. When they ask my opinion on things, I give them the opinion on what I think is good, what I think is bad, and let them do their job." Scott, who worked Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip as a Michael Waltrip Racing crew chief last season, will be working with engineer William Lee, one of several holdovers from last year's #10 team. Scott also has a good working relationship with fellow workaholic crew chief Rodney Childers, who left MWR two years ago to join Kevin Harvick's 2014 championship team at SHR.(NBC Sports)(1-12-2016)
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)
Danica Patrick's father returns to his go-kart roots: #10-Danica Patrick's father is back to business in the go-kart game. T.J. Patrick has started a new kart team with the sole purpose of developing promising talent. Can he mold the next Danica Patrick? "I don't know about that," said the 56-year-old Patrick at Daytona International Speedway. "We just want to help kids and get them up to speed by showing the tricks we showed Danica, and hopefully it pans out in the long run for them." Patrick is one of hundreds of competitors racing in the Daytona KartWeek program, which features three styles of racing - sprint course, road racing and dirt oval. Patrick's team will compete on the .75-mile sprint course this week. T.J. Patrick and his wife, Bev, managed their daughter's racing career through 2010. Now she is represented by IMG World. Danica started in go-karts and wound up in IndyCars, where she established her name in the 2005 Indianapolis 500 by starting fourth, leading several laps late in the race and finishing fourth. She won an IndyCar Series race in 2008. She transitioned to NASCAR and has logged the last three years in the Cup Series driving the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy. She recently signed a multi-year extension, thanks in part to replacing longtime sponsor GoDaddy with Nature's Bakery.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-29-2015)
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)
Danica Patrick among most searched athletes of 2015: #10-Danica Patrick has earned a top-five finish on Yahoo's list of the most-searched athletes of 2015. Despite a 24th-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, Patrick is the fourth most-searched athlete of the year according to data compiled by Yahoo, Polyvore, Flickr and Tumblr. Patrick is the lone NASCAR representative on the list. The top 5:
Ronda Rousey, Lindsey Vonn, Maria Sharapova, Danica Patrick, and Caroline Wozniacki.(Fox Sports)(12-7-2015)
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 #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 #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)
Danica may get a new crew chief in 2016? UPDATE In her third full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Danica Patrick has shown some improvements from her first two years as driver of the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy. Those improvements might not be enough for crew chief Daniel Knost to keep his job, however. Speaking with FOXSports.com in an exclusive interview on Sunday morning in the Homestead-Miami Speedway garage, Knost -- who worked was crew chief for SHR's Kurt Busch for 33 races being tapped to call the shots for Patrick's team late last year -- was non-committal about what his role will be in 2016. "I'm still working with the company on what all I'm going to be doing," said Knost, who has a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and worked as an engineer for SHR before becoming a crew chief. "I'm working with the company on what my future role is going to be for many years out. We've got a good, solid group. I want to see most of that stay together. Inevitably there is some change in racing on all teams, and quite frankly, when you have a program like what Stewart-Haas has got, a lot of people are interested in what you're doing so it's hard to maintain a really good team for a long time, just because opportunities open up for people."(see full article at FoxSports)(11-23-2015)
UPDATE: Billy Scott is expected to take over as crew chief for Danica Patrick and the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy in 2016. Sources say that Scott will replace Daniel Knost, who started with Kurt Busch and the #41 Haas Automation Chevy in 2014 before moving to the #14 car with four races remaining in the season. Scott honed his skills as a mechanic in the Camping World Truck Series prior earning his engineering degree. Following graduation, he joined Robert Yates Racing in 2005 before joining Michael Waltrip Racing in 2008. After working under Rodney Childers as team engineer on the #55 Toyota, Scott prepared to take over crew chief's role in August 2013. Childers left MWR for Stewart-Haas Racing and Scott apprenticed with interim crew chief and vice president of competition Scott Miller. In 2014, Scott was promoted to crew chief for Brian Vickers. This season, Scott worked with Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Michael Waltrip and Vickers (Motorsport)(11-23-2015)
Special final GoDaddy scheme for Danica: Nearly nine years ago, GoDaddy, now the world's largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, partnered with Danica Patrick, a promising star who was heating up the track in the IndyCar Series. That relationship grew over the years and continued as the driver transitioned from open-wheel cars to the stock-car ranks of NASCAR. As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series enters the penultimate race of the 2015 season and Patrick's longtime sponsor plans to exit the sport at the conclusion of the year, her #10 GoDaddy Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will feature a special paint scheme at both Phoenix and Homestead. The paint scheme celebrates the company's long bond with Patrick by featuring memorable photos from their nine-year partnership, including her history-making pole award for the 2013 Daytona 500. In addition, the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet also features the hashtag #GoingTheDistance to reference the fact that just as Patrick and the #10 team "go the distance" on the track, GoDaddy and its employees "go the distance" for customers. Last week, the GoDaddy Racing Twitter account shared a video thanking Patrick and NASCAR for helping the company build its brand over the years, and the company encourages fans to share their favorite GoDaddy Racing memories on social media with the #GoingTheDistance hashtag.(SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page (11-11-2015)
TaxAct Extends Partnership with Danica Patrick: TaxAct has extended its partnership with Danica Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing. The multi-year agreement means that TaxAct will continue as the official online tax preparation partner of SHR and Patrick will be behind the wheel of the #10 TaxAct Chevy SS for four races annually beginning with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, with associate sponsorship status for Patrick in all other Sprint Cup races. For years, TaxAct has offered the tools and resources necessary to help millions of Americans easily navigate the complexities of tax and finance at a fair price. This tax season, TaxAct is taking it a step further by giving filers with simple returns the ultimate deal: TaxAct Free. Americans can now use TaxAct Free to file their federal 1040A or 1040EZ and state returns at no cost.(Stewart Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #10 team 2016 paint schemes page.(10-30-2015)
Aspen Dental to sponsor Patrick in four races in 2016: Aspen Dental Management, Inc. has extended its partnership with Danica Patrick and Stewart Haas Racing, doubling the number of races in which Aspen Dental serves as primary sponsor. The deal means that Patrick will be behind the wheel of the blue-and-white #10 Aspen Dental Chevy for four races annually beginning with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, with associate sponsorship status for Patrick in all other Sprint Cup races. Aspen Dental practices are one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the United States, with more than 500 locations across 32 states. In the past two years, Patrick has served as an ambassador for Aspen Dental practices across a multitude of channels, from launching Aspen Dental's Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative to deliver free dental care and oral health education to people in need, to appearing in A Taste of the Future, a hidden camera video designed to raise awareness about the long-term consequences of delaying dental care. Patrick's #10 Chevrolet will feature Aspen Dental branding this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. The design of her Aspen Dental Chevrolet carries special significance, as it is augmented by the names of more than 2,200 veterans being honored by their family and friends via a social media campaign earlier this year. Throughout 2015, Aspen Dental practices have been helping veterans get their smiles back on track through the Healthy Mouth Movement, providing more than $2 million in free dental care to thousands of veterans. In total, the Healthy Mouth Movement has delivered more than $3 million in free dental care since it was launched in 2014.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(9-18-2015)
Stewart-Haas extends partnership with Atlas Copco North America: Stewart-Haas Racing has extended its partnership with Parsippany, New Jersey-based Atlas Copco North America. Atlas Copco has served as SHR's official compressed air supplier since the team's inception in 2009 and has grown to become a technical partner of the organization. Last season, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, provided new compressed air equipment and installed its SMARTLINK monitoring technology into SHR's new, state-of-the-art race shop expansion located adjacent to the team's existing headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina. SMARTLINK provides 24/7 remote monitoring of the team's compressed air system to ensure continuous uptime and peak performance.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(8-28-2015)
SHR working on additional sponsorship for Patrick: Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Brett Frood said Tuesday the team is working to fill the eight-race gap on Danica Patrick's #10 car next season with the same companies that have shared space on the hood with GoDaddy the past two seasons. Nature's Bakery was announced as Patrick's new primary sponsor in a multiyear deal starting in 2016. "We're working through the final solutions on that, and hopefully we'll have some upcoming announcements," Frood said. "Those current partners, it's worked well, so we hope to continue that." GoDaddy, which announced in May that it wouldn't be renewing its primary sponsorship after this season, funded all of Patrick's races during her 2013 rookie season in Sprint Cup but had sold off a handful the past two years to Aspen Dental and TaxAct. Frood indicated that both companies could return next year, possibly in slightly larger roles. TaxAct already had increased its investment this season, buying the hood for Patrick's race at Texas after she finished seventh in the company's car the previous week at Martinsville. "For us, it's just figuring out partners that make sense where we can help elevate their business and at the same time make sure we can be as competitive as possible and have the resources to continue going fast," Frood said.(NBC Sports)(8-19-2015)
Danica Patrick press conference Tuesday UPDATE re-signs Patrick and Nature's Bakery as sponsor: Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a press conference regarding #10-Danica Patrick for Tuesday at 11:00am/et. Fox Sports' Tom Jensen tweeted, "Sources tell @NASCARONFOX she'll have a sponsor who is new to sport" and the "new sponsor could be for as many as 30 races, per sources.".
The press conference will be live streamed on NASCAR.com.(8-17-2015)
UPDATE: hearing the sponsor could be Nature's Bakery: "on-the-go snacks and foods that complement health conscious living". Patrick teased the paint scheme on her Twitter.(8-17-2015)
UPDATE 2: Stewart-Haas Racing announced the re-signing of driver Danica Patrick in a multi-year deal (using 3 years), also signing new NASCAR sponsor Nature's Bakery to a multi-year deal. Nature's Bakery will be the sponsor for 28 races in 2016, starting at Daytona in February. All team owner Tony Stewart would say about the term of the contracts for Patrick or Nature's Bakery is, multi-year, but more than two years.
Press Release: Nature's Bakery, a rapidly-growing snacks and food brand headquartered in Reno, Nevada, has joined Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to become the primary sponsor of driver Danica Patrick and the #10 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2016 season. The multiyear sponsorship agreement will see Nature's Bakery and its signature tagline, "Energy for Life's Great Journeys", adorn Patrick's #10 Chevy for 28 races a year.
Nature's Bakery was founded in 2010 by the father-and-son duo of Dave and Sam Marson with a mission of making delicious, convenient, on-the-go snacks that complement health-conscious living and active, everyday lifestyles. Their lineage in the food industry can be traced back to the 1960s when Dave's father, Richard Marson, opened a family bakery. Growing up in the bakery, Dave passed his passion and skills along to his son, Sam, whereupon the two combined their knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit to form Nature's Bakery.
"Danica Patrick is one of the most fit and health-conscious drivers in all of racing and she embodies the Nature's Bakery customer," said Dave Marson, founder of Nature's Bakery. "We make great products that complement Danica's lifestyle and the always on-the-go environment in which she competes. Nature's Bakery provides 'Energy for Life's Great Journeys' and we're very proud to embark upon this NASCAR journey with Danica and Stewart-Haas Racing."
"It's an honor to represent Nature's Bakery and also a great deal of responsibility," Patrick said. "They have ambitious goals and they're going to rely on me and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing to deliver. I have ambitious goals too. It's why I came to NASCAR and, specifically, to Stewart-Haas Racing. There's still a lot I want to achieve in this sport and I'm looking to continue my professional journey with a brand as determined as I am."
Patrick is motorsports' most recognizable athlete and the most marketable personality in NASCAR according to Repucom's 2015 Davie Brown Index. Her success on the racetrack, which includes an IndyCar Series victory and a Daytona 500 pole, transcends her into the mainstream, proven by a 2014 Harris Poll which named Patrick the second-most recognized female athlete in the United States, behind only tennis star Serena Williams.
"All you need to say is 'Danica' and people know exactly who you're talking about," Dave Marson added. "She has immersed herself and succeeded in a very intense sport and been recognized for her efforts. By offering convenient, easy-to-find and affordable products that people can feel better about eating, we've carved a niche for Nature's Bakery in the fast-growing, packaged snack-food industry. With our partnership with Danica and Stewart-Haas Racing, we're able to take that niche mainstream."
"Danica has proven she belongs in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we're very happy to have her a part of our team for years to come," said Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. "Nature's Bakery is a natural fit with Danica. She has played an important role in the growth of all the businesses associated with her and our growth as a race team. Our partnership with Nature's Bakery is all about growing their business. In Danica, we have the best possible person to help Nature's Bakery achieve its goals."(SHR)
See an image of the scheme on the 2016 #10 Team Schemes page.(8-18-2015)
GoDaddy Shifting Out Of NASCAR: GoDaddy Inc., the world's largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, is leaving NASCAR at the end of the 2015 season, as the company looks to diversify its marketing investment across more channels and regions. The move marks another milestone in GoDaddy's marketing evolution, in which the company is balancing brand awareness with a more personalized data-driven marketing approach while expanding its global footprint. While GoDaddy is not renewing its primary sponsorship of the #10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and driver Danica Patrick, the company is negotiating to keep Patrick as a GoDaddy spokeswoman under a personal services agreement.
"We love Danica and all she does to empower and inspire people, especially women, which is why we are working to keep her in the GoDaddy family," said GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Phil Bienert. "We have the utmost respect for Stewart-Haas Racing, and they've been phenomenal partners. In fact, NASCAR has been a tremendous domestic platform to help us achieve an 81 percent aided brand awareness domestically, but at this stage, we need a range of marketing assets that reach a more globally-diverse set of customers. The fact Danica is having a record-setting season makes it tough to leave this motorsports sponsorship, without a doubt."
"GoDaddy has been an incredible partner for a very long time, almost nine years, and as I've said before, our brands have really grown up together," Patrick said. "It's pretty cool, from a marketing perspective, that we helped GoDaddy build such strong brand awareness here in the U.S. I'm excited to work with GoDaddy on a personal level moving forward, but will miss having their bright green color on my racecar next year."
"Danica is a superstar. She's making history in a male-dominated sport and that takes massive commitment, tenacity and passion," said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. "The way Danica approaches racing is remarkably similar to how our small business customers approach their work ... they're both chasing dreams in spite of huge obstacles. She's an inspiration to go getters everywhere. She's also helped inspire women around the world to dream big and keep working to make their dreams real. I would be thrilled if Danica stayed on as GoDaddy's spokeswoman and I want to personally thank Stewart-Haas Racing and NASCAR for their help in building the GoDaddy brand domestically."
In recent years, Patrick has worked to promote GoDaddy's online services for small business owners and helped with campaigns to fight breast cancer and attract more young women to study science, technology, engineering and math, also known as "STEM." "GoDaddy has been a great partner for us and for the sport overall," said Tony Stewart, SHR co-owner and teammate to Patrick. "There's a lot of season left on the calendar and it would be great to go out with a win ... that would really put the exclamation point on what has been a hugely successful relationship."(PR Newswire)(4-29-2015)
Patrick ties most top 10s by a woman: Danica Patrick knows sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. On a long Sunday afternoon at Martinsville, she was both lucky and good. Patrick enjoyed a seventh-place finish in the STP 500 with a little luck, good driving and a good car. One off her career best of sixth set in August at Atlanta, this marked her fifth top-10 finish, which ties her with Janet Guthrie for the most top-10s by a woman in the Sprint Cup Series. The finish was by far her best of the season -- she hadn't finished in the top 15 this year -- as she moved up seven spots in the standings to 16th. It was the first race this year where it appeared she and crew chief Daniel Knost made significant gains in getting the car better.(ESPN.com), see more stats on the Female NASCAR drivers page.(3-30-2015)
Stump named technical director at Stewart Haas: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has hired Rex Stump as its technical director, effective immediately. Stump comes to Stewart-Haas Racing after an 18-year career at Hendrick Motorsports. There, he founded the organization's research and development program and has been instrumental in chassis design and technology. Stump graduated from Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) in 1989 with bachelor's degrees in mechanical and automotive engineering. Upon graduation, Stump worked at General Motors and participated in the Sloan Fellowship program, pursuing a master's degree in structural analysis from Wayne State University in Detroit. While at General Motors, he began working with the Corvette team in developing the active-suspension of the C5, which was slated to debut in the early 1990s. When the active-suspension program was canceled and the C5 was delayed, Stump delved into motorsports, becoming a race engineer for Team Penske in 1991. Working with a group of engineers dedicated to improving the performance of the #2 team of driver Rusty Wallace, Stump helped advance Wallace from a two-win season in 1991 to a massive, 10-win season in 1993. By the end of 1993, Corvette had reactivated the C5. Stump returned to General Motors to assist with the project and stayed until the end of 1995, joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.(Stewart Haas Racing)(11-20-2014)
Patrick, second best finish by female driver in Cup: #10-Danica Patrick's sixth-place finish is the highest finish by a female at Atlanta. The previous record was Janet Guthrie's 10th-place finish on March 19, 1978. Only a fifth-place result by Sara Christian in a Sprint Cup race on Oct. 2, 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway tops Patrick's finish. Christian also finished sixth at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway on Sept. 11, 1949 and Guthrie finished sixth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977. Though she ended up one spot behind Christian's record, Patrick notched her third top-10 of the year as she finished seventh in May at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and eighth in July at Daytona. If she scores one more top-10 in 2014, she will tie Guthrie, who had four in 1977.(SHR PR)
See the Female NASCAR Drivers page.(9-5-2014)
Haas thinks Danica could succeed in F1: With #10-Danica Patrick still struggling in NASCAR, could she be headed back to open-wheel racing as one of the drivers for her boss, Gene Haas, who will launch a North Carolina-based Formula One team in 2016? That question was posed to Haas Saturday afternoon following qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, and while he sounded intrigued by the possibility, he also sounded as though it would be unlikely to actually happen. Asked if Patrick would be a good candidate for the Haas Formula One team, Haas said, "I think she would. I think she would. She would bring an awful lot of viewership. I think it would be great for America. I think she would be a great candidate." Haas then quickly added, "Whether that's going to happen or not ... that's, that's, that's ... you know I think that's kind of a long shot there, too."(FoxSports)(6-8-2014)
Michigan International Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, August 27, 2016, 11:30am/et
TV: CNBC, August 27, 11:30am/et
Born in AUGUST
25 Casey Atwood, T.J. Bell, Kelly Bires, Sara Christian, Shane Hall, Claude Holiday, Randy Hutchison, Dub Simpson, David Smith, Sarah Catlin Waltrip
26 Jayski.com, Ivan Baldwin, Ken Duan, Greg Engle, Ray Evernham, Adam Gravitt, James Hylton, Anthony Lazzaro, Daniel Rankin, Landon Rudd, Swede Savage, Mike Stolarcyk, Bill Weiman, Dorus Wisecarver, Wayne Woodward
27 Chris Brook, T. Wayne Robertson, Gloria Broadwater, Richard Broome, Billy Hodges, Chuck Rider, Mike Hillman, Claire B. Lang
28 Patty Eversole, Kelley Earnhardt, Randy LaJoie, Thomas Hatcher, Brandon Miller, Hoss Berry,
29 Wendell Scott, Jim Brady, Geneva Key, Tim Peters, Ken Stout, Paul Vanderlaan
30 Mike Helton, Sue Fiala, Mark Allen, Gordon Gibbs, John Erickson
31 Sara Eolin, Patti Jarrett Makar, Mike Nelson, Jerry Baxter Jr., Erin Beam, Wayne Orme, Mike Morneau, Angus Adamczyk
Born in SEPTEMBER
1 Marcos Ambrose, Hilly Rife, Denise Bierschwale
2 Matt Borland, Gene Nead, Corrie Stott, Brian Keselowski, Alli Owens, Bob Margolis
3 Brandon Lee, Pat Frossard, Jerry Pitts, Marc Mitchell, Russell Baxter
4 Chad Blount, Bob Jenkins, Mike Mulhern, Ken Butler, Bobby Wawak
5 Jack Daniel, Seth Ostrander, Scott Robinson
6 Jeff Green, Kenny Bernstein, Linda Smokested
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
11 Bill Whittington, Gary Graves, Joy Fair, Joe Lee Johnson, Bob Harris, Ellen Fuscellaro, Butch Zervakis
12 Myrna 'Mom' Adamczyk, Ricky Rudd, Jason Statham, Ken Ragan, Ron Keselowski, Ford Martin, Todd Cable, John Sacco
13 Mike Garvey, Carey Wimbish, Frank Kerr
14 Tony Furr, Dominic Dobson
15 Jimmy Fennig, Wayne Harron, Jim Smith, J.C. Stout, Paulie Harraka