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NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
APRIL 2011

Go to a certain date in this month:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,
16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31


    News from April 30, 2011

  • Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch won the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 2nd win of 2011 and 21st win of his career.
    #11-Hamlin finished second followed by #4-Kahne, #6-Ragan, #99-Edwards, #33-Bowyer, #43-Allmendinger, #48-Johnson, #14-Stewart and #83-Vickers. Pole sitter #42-Montoya was involved in two incidents with #39-Newman and finished 29th, 5 laps down. There was no confrontation after the race. Montoya hopped on a waiting golf cart and headed out of the track, while Newman walked to the NASCAR hauler to complain about Montoya's driving. #36-Blaney finished 13th and moves into the top-35 of owners points and a guaranteed spot at Darlington.
    There were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers; 8 cautions for 60 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 90,000 down a bit from 93,00 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, May 4 at 12:00pm/et See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards page.(4-30-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Richmond, race 9 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 335
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 326, -9
    3) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 305, -30
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 301, -34
    5) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 300, -35
    6) #22-Kurt Busch, 289, -46
    7) #33-Clint Bowyer, 284, -51
    8) #39-Ryan Newman, 277, -58
    9) #17-Matt Kenseth, 276, -59
    10) #14-Tony Stewart, 275, -60
    The two wild card's
    11) #43-A.J. Allmendinger, 263, -72 [11th]
    12) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 240, -95 [1 win]
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(4-30-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Darlington:
    Three teams are tied for 35th, #32, #13 & #71. The #32 gets the 35th with three best finishes of 15th, 22nd & 24th, the #13 is 36th with three best finishes of 15th, 22nd & 25th, the #71 is 37th with a best finish of 19th. With the #21 still in the top-35 [attempts do not matter if in the top-35] but skipping Darlington, the #13 will have a guaranteed spot at Darlington.
    32) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 140, +8
    33) #7-RGordon/RGM, 137, +5
    34) #36-Blaney/TBR, 136, +4
    35) #32-Schrader/FAS Lane, 132, +0 point ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers would need to qualify by speed after race 5:
    36) #13-Mears/Germain, 132, 0 points out of top 35
    37) #71-Lally/TRG, 132, -0
    38) #37-Raines/Front Row, 98, -34
    39) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 91, -41
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(4-30-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Richmond:
    #18-Kyle Busch won the 57th Annual Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400, his 21st victory in 231 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his third victory and 11th top-10 finish in 13 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    #11-Denny Hamlin (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 11 races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2011.
    #4-Kasey Kahne (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 15 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    #71-Andy Lally (26th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #99-Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 9 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(4-30-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #42-Montoya chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #78-Smith took pit stall 17, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    #33-Bowyer, who starts 3rd took the 30th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #09-Cassill, who starts 34th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-30-2011)

  • Montoya's contract status: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya was asked about his contract status with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and next season. Montoya is in the final year of his current contract, the transcript in part:
    Q) ITS THAT TIME OF THE YEAR WHERE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS REALLY HEAT UP, ARE YOU PLEASED WITH WHERE YOU ARE?
    Montoya: I cant do anything right now. With the way my contract is I cant really talk or anything. Im just waiting. Ive talked to Chip (Ganassi, team owner) a little bit and were moving along.
    Q) ARE YOU GOING TO STAY WHERE YOU ARE? Montoya I think things are good here right now. Were running good. Yeah.(Team Chevy)(4-30-2011)

  • Earnhardt Jr. not concerned about All-Star race: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked about the All-Star race during a press conference at Richmond:
    Q) BASICALLY THERE ARE THREE RACES LEFT FOR YOU TO WIN AND QUALIFY FOR THE ALL-STAR RACE, PROBABLY PRETTY GOOD CHANCE YOU GET IN ON THE FAN VOTE, BUT IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO QUALIFY BY WINNING THE RACE?
    Earnhardt Jr. No, not really. That weekendI dont take it for granted that well get the fan vote; anything can happen. So, were just going to go and enjoy that weekend. That weekend is pretty fun. I would rather, personally make it through the fan vote because the qualifying procedure is a little bit of a pain in the tail, but, from a drivers standpoint anyways, Im sure that is probably not everybodys opinion. Having to qualify and then sit around and wait for everybody else to qualify and run up and down pit road like hooligans is not a lot of fun. The most important thing is just focusing on the points races, the races that matter toward the championship. When we get to All Star weekend, however things are lined up is how things are lined up. That is just a fun weekend regardless. It will be interesting being on the other side of the fence, trying to find a way into the race and going through that experience myself personally to have an appreciation for what that is like versus just showing up and being locked in. It could be interesting and good for me to have that experience as well.(Team Chevy)(4-30-2011)

  • Bayne Undergoing Medical Tests UPDATE: Roush Fenway's [and Wood Brothers Racing's #21] Trevor Bayne has been hospitalized and is undergoing tests for symptoms that are thought to be related to the insect bite he sustained earlier this month. "Trevor was not feeling well early this week and he is currently being evaluated for lingering symptoms that may be related to his previous insect bite," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "Unfortunately Trevor will not be available to drive the #16 Ford for us this weekend in the Nationwide race at Richmond [Bayne was not scheduled to run the Sprint Cup race as the #21 Wood Brother's team runs a limited schedule]. As of now, our plans are to use a substitute driver from the Roush Fenway family of drivers in place of Trevor at Friday night's race. Obviously Trevor wanted to be in Richmond and he's upset about not being able to compete. However, his health is our top priority and we insisted that he have these tests to get to the bottom of his symptoms. We will work to provide you with further updates as they become available." The 20-year old driver was treated and released earlier this month after a reaction from an apparent insect bite on his left elbow that he suffered earlier that week while at home in North Carolina.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-28-2011)
    UPDATE: Trevor Bayne remained hospitalized a second night Friday as he undergoes tests for symptoms thought to be related to an insect bite suffered earlier this month. He suffered nausea and fatigue earlier this week before going to the hospital for the second time this month, a Roush Fenway Racing official said. Bayne was hospitalized April 10 upon returning to North Carolina from the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. "[Bayne] is undergoing a very comprehensive and thorough battery of tests,'' said Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, on Friday night at Richmond International Raceway. "The doctors will finish those tests and, hopefully, get the results back and figure out what the diagnosis is. In a perfect world, what's going to happen is that they're going to come back and say, 'Roush Fenway, you overreacted.' In our view, the racing is kind of irrelevant right now when you're talking about the health of a 20-year old kid.'' Bayne was scheduled to have competed in Friday night's Nationwide race. He was replaced by Chris Buescher.(Roanoke Times)(4-30-2011)

  • U.S. Army Racing Joins Forces with Revolution Racing: The U.S. Army announced a partnership with Revolution Racing and NASCARs Drive for Diversity (D4D) program for the 2011 season. During the upcoming racing campaign, the Army will serve as one of the primary sponsors for Revolution Racing in NASCARs K&N Pro Series races and as an associate sponsor for the entire roster of Revolution Racing drivers in both the K&N Pro Series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (US Army Racing). More info on my Driver Development News and Links page.(4-30-2011)

  • Fire destroys Smokey Yunick's former garage UPDATE: The last remaining portion of legendary race car builder Smokey Yunick's former garage complex was destroyed Monday night as smoke and flames poured from the building onto North Beach Street [Daytona Beach FL]. "It's a shame to see it go," said Carrol Smith, who lives nearby. "That corner will be really empty." The relic of the innovative mechanic burst into flames about 7 pm, according to fire officials, and by 8:30 pm little of the building remained with the exception of portions of the block walls. Smoke was so thick at times the fire trucks battling the blaze couldn't be seen through the plumes. "I think this is it," Smith said to a friend sitting with her on the back of a pickup at the Riverside Trailer Park. "There was Smokey's, the Streamline Motel where NASCAR was really born, and their was a garage in Ormond Beach that's just marked with a sign that it used to be there." The age of the building and its former use as a garage made the blaze hazardous for firefighters. "We're not sending any of our guys in there," said Daytona Beach Fire Department spokesman Lt. Larry Stoney. "We're fighting this from outside. It's going to be difficult to figure out the cause of the fire." Yunick, who died in 2001 at age 77, wasn't shy about his mechanical skills, calling his business the "Best Damn Garage in Town." There were two sides to the shop. He worked on trucks on one side and race cars on the other. Inside the gray walls of his sprawling facility, Yunick made several significant gains for the automotive industry. Some of his inventions included variable-ratio power steering and the extended tip spark plug, a design utilized in most automobiles today. When Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, Yunick's machines made an immediate impact. He built the cars that carried Marvin Panch and Fireball Roberts to Daytona 500 victories in 1961 and '63, respectively.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal, some interesting info there)(4-26-2011)
    UPDATE: The inferno that swept through the former garage of famed NASCAR mechanic Smokey Yunick was intentionally set, the State Fire Marshal's office said Friday, and a reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest. Nina Ashley, a spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal's office in Tallahassee, said the fire was "incendiary," which means it was set intentionally. It has not been classified an arson, however, because the intent is not clear. A sign was posted Friday afternoon outside the property -- which Yunick once called the "Best Damn Garage in Town" -- offering a $5,000 reward for information.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-30-2011)

  • The Aflac Duck gets a new voice: Following a month-long search that included celebrities, actors, professional voice over artists and individuals from the general public, Aflac today introduced 36 year-old Dan McKeague of Hugo, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, as the new voice of the Aflac Duck. The married father of three submitted his audition online and was informed that he had been selected after a review of more than 12,500 live and online auditions. McKeague will make his vocal debut immediately in Aflacs latest commercial titled Pigeon, wherein the Aflac Duck represents insurance coverage that includes major medical and Aflac, while a pigeon represents coverage that includes only major medical coverage without the financial protection of Aflac. Aflac is a primary sponsor for Carl Edwards in the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.(Roush Racing)(4-30-2011)

  • NASCAR Unites launched: Through the newly launched NASCAR Unites charitable platform, this weekend the NASCAR community will support disaster relief efforts taking place as a result of this week's tornado outbreak in the Southeastern part of the United States. By logging on to nascar.com/Unites fans can support these efforts by volunteering or making a donation. NASCAR also filmed a call to action television spot earlier Friday featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip and Mike Helton that aired during the Bubba Burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on SPEED and will air during tonights Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on FOX. Both events will be run at Richmond International Raceway.(4-30-2011)

  • Update on Kasey Kahne's knee: a transcript in part from Toyota Motorsports from a press conference at Richmond, with #4-Kasey Kahne answering questions on his recent knee surgery:
    Q) How did your knee surgery go and how are you feeling now?
    Kahne: "It went really good. I thought just doing it Monday right after the Talladega race would be good. I'd have plenty of time to recover. They just had to fix my meniscus again. It actually feels pretty good."
    Q) Will your knee injury affect you in the race car?
    Kahne: "I hope it doesn't, but it's still a little bit sore. I think it may be sore throughout the race, but really as far as affecting the speed or the way that the race plays out, I don't think it will affect that at all."
    Q) How long have your knees been an issue?
    Kahne: "I always had really good knees and then just last year they started really bothering me. It had been building up for a while. I got them fixed in November. And then my right one, I reinjured it in probably about January or February -- probably February and I've just been waiting until I had time to get it fixed. It's been kind of a pain, but at the same time it's part of things happen. It's part of bones and cartilage and all of that stuff I guess. I've had some struggles with it for a little while, but I think hopefully it's fixed now and be good to go from here on out."
    Q) How did you reinjure your knee?
    Kahne: "I finished a workout and I slipped off the bench and just my feet kind of gave out -- I don't know how I did it. I mean, I know exactly how it happened, I don't know exactly why. It just happened and I laid there for about five minutes, and then the last two months I've hoped that it would get better and it didn't so I got it checked again and I had blown basically the stitches that held it together that they fixed the first time. I had blown those stitches out, so it was just hanging in there again."
    Q) Did your slip cause you to blow your knee out or did you blow your knee out and then slip?
    Kahne: "It was definitely because I slipped and then put the pressure on them and it couldn't handle it. They were fine until that."
    Q) Do you have to wear a brace on your knee?
    Kahne: "No, by bracing it doesn't really make it feel any better. It's just inside. It's not really a twist. It just has to heal."
    Q) Did you have to make any adjustments to the seat in your race car after this surgery?
    Kahne: "I sat in the car a couple of days ago and it felt fine. I think the pressure of going through a corner -- your leg like leaning on the side -- that might affect it some and just going up and down with your throttle the whole night. You know, it might gain a little swelling and be tight or something. But, that would be about it. It should be good."
    Q) Do you have any more surgery scheduled?
    Kahne: "No. I hope not. I don't want any more surgeries. I'm over it. It's not that much fun."(Toyota Motorsports)(4-30-2011)

  • NASCAR Adds Key Talent to Executive Team, Aligns Organization To Drive Industry Growth: To drive strategic priorities and overall industry growth, NASCAR announced key additions to its executive leadership team and several organizational changes designed to better position the sanctioning body for long-term growth and to meet the immediate needs of key industry partners. The changes are effective immediately. See the full announcement on my NASCAR Personnel page.(4-30-2011)

  • Wedding at Richmond: a marriage will take place at Richmond International Raceway prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. William Rodriguez and Buffie Richards will tie the knot in Gatorade Victory Lane at 3:00 p.m. The two met at Wal-Mart, where Richards works, and struck up a conversation that has led them to Americas Premier Short Track. We are getting married at Richmond International Raceway because we have always thought of it as our home track, said Richards. Both are hardcore NASCAR fans, with Rodriguez favoring the Fords and Richards preferring Chevrolets. The groomsmen will don Ford blue oval t-shirts and the bridesmaids will sport Chevy bowties. The happy couple will return to Spotsylvania, VA for what will hopefully be many years of happy marriage and racing rivalry. Tickets for the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race are still available, and start at $45 in advance. For tickets and information, log on to www.rir.com, call 866-455-7223 or visit a ticket booth at the track this weekend.(RIR)(4-30-2011)

  • Buy Watkins Glen Tix, get flowers for Mom: Mothers Day is a very special occasion that allows everyone to show their mom how appreciated they are; but dont you deserve something for being so thoughtful in return? Watkins Glen International says the answer is a most definite YES and, thanks to Tropical Images, has a great offer for race fans. Any fan that purchases tickets for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen weekend, August 11-14, between Wednesday, April 27 and Friday, May 6 will have the ability to send a dozen roses to mom in time for Mothers Day! The deadline for taking advantage of this great offer is fast approaching and Mothers Day is Sunday, May 8, so act now! Fans looking to treat their mother to beautiful roses and treating themselves to a full weekend of racing excitement need to log on to The Glens official website, www.TheGlen.com. Prior to entering the website, a special page will open which will include the link for this great offer. Simply click the link and follow the onscreen directions to make your ticket purchase and supply the address for the recipient of the flowers.(WGI)(4-30-2011)

  • Dierks Bentley to Perform Pre-Race Concert at Sprint All-Star Race: Grammy-nominated country music superstar Dierks Bentley is set to perform a pre-race concert for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, May 21, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Dierks Bentley All-Star Concert presented by Budweiser begins at 2:30 pm in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Frontstretch tickets with the best views of pit road and the world's largest HD video board, coming to the speedway in May, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race or two for just $99 to the to the Coca-Cola 600. Tickets can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(4-30-2011)

  • Jake Owen to Entertain Fans before at Kansas: In addition to the thrills on the track, race fans will experience an Eight Second Ride, coupled with a dose of Yee-Haw, when country superstar Jake Owen takes to the stage prior to the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Owen, a Florida native, is expected to perform hits from his first album, Startin With Me, and his sophomore effort, Easy Does It. The RCA Nashville recording artist is a CMA-ACM-Grammy nominated entertainer known for his southern style and charm, he cites Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr. and Conway Twitty as those who inspire his music. Tickets for the STP 400, which includes the Jake Owen pre-race concert, are available now. Individual tickets for the OReilly Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on June 4th are also on sale. Fans can purchase tickets to Kansas Speedway by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com.(Kansas Speedway)(4-30-2011)


    News from April 29, 2011

  • Montoya wins Richmond pole: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya won the Coors Light pole for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 128.693mph. It is his 2nd pole of the season and the 7th of his career. #78-Smith starts 2nd followed by #33-Bowyer, #4-Kahne, #5-Martin, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #99-Edwards, #20-Logano and #27-Menard.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #30-Stremme, #66-McDowell, #87-Nemechek, #38-Kvapil, #36-Blaney, #60-Skinner, #46-Yeley and #37-Raines.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #92-Keselowski.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Richmond Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(4-29-2011)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, April 29, 2011 at 5:35pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 5:30pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128, via nascar.com only
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Richmond Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 11:00pm/et

  • Friday's Happy Hour practice: for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #42-Montoya 125.360
    #29-Harvick 125.354
    #99-Edwards 125.145
    #78-Smith 124.867
    #33-Bowyer 124.378
    slowest: #46-Yeley 113.203 & #7-Gordon 120.773
    incident: #46-Yeley lost an engine early in the session.
    See speeds, laps run, aveage speed, best ave 10 laps on the Richmond Practice Speeds Page.(4-29-2011)

  • Happy Hour Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Richmond:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #60-Mike Skinner, 17th
    #30-David Stremme, 24th
    #36-Dave Blaney, 30th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 32nd
    #66-Michael McDowell, 35th
    #37-Tony Raines, 37th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 39th
    #92-Brian Keselowski, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 44th, lost an engine early in Happy Hour

  • Friday's first practice: for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over, after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 125.465
    #99-Edwards 125.313
    #33-Bowyer 124.994
    #27-Menard 124.711
    #39-Newman 124.608
    slowest: #71-Lally 120.085 & #92-Keselowski 120.930
    incident: #11-Hamlin scraped the wall, but no major damage.
    See speeds, laps run, aveage speed, best ave 10 laps on the Richmond Practice Speeds Page.(4-29-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 19th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 27th
    #36-Dave Blaney, 28th
    #30-David Stremme, 29th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 35th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 38th
    #37-Tony Raines, 40th
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #92-Brian Keselowski, 43rd

  • K Love featured on the #66: K Love is featured on the hood and quarter panels of the #66 HP Racing Toyota driven by Michaell McDowell. K Love communicates the Gospel through mass media, such as their website and radio. See an image of the car on the #66 Team Schemes page.(4-29-2011)

  • 2011 Dale Earnhardt Day Friday, April 29th - TODAY: Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced 2011 Dale Earnhardt Day on Friday, April 29th, at the DEI Facilities in Mooresville, NC. An annual celebration of the extraordinary life and legacy of Dale Earnhardt, this event is held annually on his birthday. Fans will be treated to special access to extra exhibits, including the never before exhibited private oil painting of Dale Earnhardt by renowned artist Denny Dent. Dent was known for his remarkable "Two-Fisted Art Attack" style of painting. This original portrait permanently hangs in the Corporate Offices of DEI and will be placed on public display for the first time, accompanied by the 5-minute video of Dent actually painting the portrait on stage during a special event. The DEI Museum will be opening a new display on that day of many of the gifts and tributes that were sent to and left at DEI and in other venues across the nation in honor of Earnhardt's life. There will be a national unveiling of the 2011 "Intimidator" Camaros, by Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet.
    One of the 2011 "Intimidator" Camaros will be featured in a fundraising raffle to benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, with ticket sales starting on Dale Earnhardt Day, and will be awarded to one extremely lucky person at the end of the raffle. Lots of music will be in store, with live performances by "Eddy Francis & Freight Train", and an encore showing of the 2003 Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Film. Autograph Sessions will be held throughout the day, with guests including Kerry Earnhardt and Taylor Earnhardt. An annual tradition of Dale Earnhardt Day, cupcakes will again be provided to all in attendance in honor of The Intimidator's birthday. Dale Earnhardt Day, will run from 9am until 5pm, on Friday, April 29th. Admission is free, and plenty of parking is available.(NCMA), for events and more info, see the daleearnhardtinc.com site.(4-25-2011)

  • Crew chief swap at Gibbs? UPDATE 2 - DENIED: supposedly a crew chief swap has been discussed and is imminent between the #11 and #20 Joe Gibbs Racing teams. The swap would send #11-Denny Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford to #20-Joey Logano with Logano's crew chief Greg Zippadelli to the #11 garage.
    2011 has been a dismal year for Hamlin having scored just one top-10 finish through the first eight-races of the season. Logano is 66-points out of a playoff spot in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Expect to see the change within the next few weeks if not sooner.(Captain Thunder)(4-27-2011)
    UPDATE: JGR spokesman says that reports of crew chief shuffle for Hamlin and Logano are false.(Bob Pockrass/SceneDaily Twitter)(4-28-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin said rumors of a potential Joe Gibbs Racing crew-chief swap for them are not true. Both drivers, speaking Thursday before the Denny Hamlin Foundation Short-Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway, virtually laughed when asked about the rumors. Hamlin said he talked to team owner Joe Gibbs about the rumors Wednesday. Hamlin has worked with crew chief Mike Ford for his entire Sprint Cup Series career, which started with a handful of races in 2005. "It was news to me," Hamlin said. "The Coach [Gibbs] called me as soon as he saw it and I was like, 'Maybe I should be part of this decision.' "And he was like, 'There is no decision.' Mike is my guy. He will always be my guy." A JGR spokesman also denied that any swap was planned.(SceneDaily)(4-29-2011)

  • Denny Hamlin wins his own charity late model race: After a thunderstorm kept the crowd down for Denny Hamlin's charity race, the host put a move on Kyle Busch on the final lap and finally won his own event. Busch had dominated all night, but when the race went back to green after a caution with three laps to go, Hamlin surged from fourth to second right away, stalked his teammate with Joe Gibbs Racing and passed him on the backstretch when Busch ran out of fuel. "I'm glad he ran out of fuel because it might have got ugly," Hamlin said. "Trust me, if Kyle wouldn't have run out of gas, I would have done everything possible to get around him." Michael Waltrip finished second, followed by Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Frank Deiny Jr. Hamlin, who said last week that the race raised over $100,000 last year, said he will wait to see how much money was raised this year, then give 10% to help tornado victims. Where that money will go specifically will be determined by where there is the most need, he said. His usual charities -- the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, St. Jude Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital in Richmond -- will receive the other 90% of money raised. The victory was the first for Hamlin in his fourth Short Track Showdown, and came after he qualified on the pole, then opted to start at the back of the 36-car field. When it was over, he gave his racing helmet to a fan.(Associated Press)(4-29-2011)

  • Richard Petty teams up with Tag Heuer: Known throughout the world for his signature sunglasses and cowboy hat, NASCAR legend Richard Petty has partnered with TAG Heuer and can now be seen sporting the TAG Heuer brand of sunglasses everywhere he goes. "I've been thoroughly enjoying my TAG Heuer sunglasses," stated Richard Petty "The fit is great, the quality and workmanship is outstanding and I couldn't ask for a better pair of glasses for protection of my eyes. Whether I'm at the race track or working around the farm, my TAG Heuer sunglasses are always on." Richard Petty is the owner and chairman of Richard Petty Motorsports.(RPM)(4-29-2011)

  • Best worst finish: Who has the "best" worst finish through eight races in the Sprint Cup Series? That would be Kurt Busch, whose worst finish, 18th, came at Talladega, the most recent race of the season. Only drivers who have started all eight races qualified for this week's chart.
    Rank.; Driver; Points position; Best worst finish
    1.; Kurt Busch; 5; 18
    2.; Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 3; 24
    3.; Ryan Newman; 7; 25
    4.; Jimmie Johnson; 2; 27
    5.; Carl Edwards; 1; 28
    6.; Juan Pablo Montoya; 9; 30
    ; David Reutimann; 26; 30
    8.; AJ Allmendinger; 15; 31
    9.; Joey Logano; 24; 33
    ; Brad Keselowski; 27; 33
    11.; Tony Stewart; 12; 34
    12.; Clint Bowyer; 10; 35
    ; Greg Biffle; 16; 35
    ; Jamie McMurray; 23; 35
    15.; Matt Kenseth; 8; 36
    ; Jeff Gordon; 13; 36
    ; Mark Martin; 14; 36
    ; Jeff Burton; 22; 36
    19.; Marcos Ambrose; 21; 37
    20.; Kyle Busch; 6; 38
    ; Paul Menard; 11; 38
    ; Bobby Labonte; 25; 38
    ; Brian Vickers; 28; 38
    24.; Denny Hamlin; 17; 39
    ; Kasey Kahne; 18; 39
    ; David Ragan; 20; 39
    ; Regan Smith; 30; 39
    ; Robby Gordon; 31; 39
    25.; Kevin Harvick; 4, 42
    (Sporting News)(4-29-2011)

  • AMS Donating $1 to Red Cross From Each Friday Night Drags Grandstand Ticket Sold: Atlanta Motor Speedway is giving fans an opportunity to assist the American Red Cross relief efforts while also enjoying the season opener of Friday Night Drags and MCR Safety Show-N-Shine on April 29. Atlanta Motor Speedway will donate one dollar from each grandstand ticket sold at the Speedway's summer drag racing series season opener. The American Red Cross is helping thousands of people after Wednesday's deadly tornadoes destroyed neighborhoods throughout the South, and is operating shelters in nine states including Georgia and Alabama. Red Cross volunteers are also providing meals, basic health and emotional support and relief supplies for their neighbors in need. They will continue to be there in the weeks to come, helping disaster survivors get back on their feet again. The Red Cross depends on financial donations to meet the immediate emergency needs of families affected by disasters such as the recent storms. For more information about Friday Night Drags and Atlanta Motor Speedway, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(4-29-2011)

  • Pocono Raceway to receive Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence: Pocono Raceway will be one of the recipients of the 2011 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, presented each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The award highlights the best in environmental innovation and expertise throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the highest statewide honor bestowed upon businesses and organizations for environmental performance and innovation.
    Pocono Raceway is receiving this award for the development of a three megawatt, ground-mount photovoltaic solar energy system that went online in September 2010. The 25-acre solar installation, with its 39,960 photovoltaic modules drawing energy from the sun, has become the primary electric energy source for the Raceway while adding enough electricity to the local power grid to power 1,000 homes. The Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence will be added to a list of awards already bestowed on Pocono Raceway for its solar facility and other environmental initiatives.
    The recipients will be honored at a dinner tonight (April 28) at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg, PA. The Honorable Michael Krancer, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, will serve as the keynote speaker and Richard Allan, Acting Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources will speak. Janelle Stelson, News Anchor for WGAL, Channel 8 television will be the program emcee. Brandon Igdalsky, Raceway President and George Ewald, Raceway Vice-President will accept the award on behalf of Pocono Raceway.(Pocono Raceway)(4-29-2011)


    News from April 28, 2011

  • Eric McClure, family survive tornado: Nationwide Series driver Eric McClure survived the "most helpless and scary" moment of his life Wednesday night when one of the deadly tornadoes that have wreaked havoc on the South ripped through his home in Abbington, Va. "It looks like a war zone, a mine field," said McClure, who spent about four hours huddled under a basement staircase with his wife, three children and two dogs. "It's a debris field as far as you can see. It's shocking. We have never experienced anything like that before," he said. While the house sustained major damage, McClure and his family survived the ordeal without injury. So far, 16 fatalities have been reported in Glade Springs, about eight miles from McClure's home. As of Thursday, 210 deaths had been reported throughout the South, with 131 reported in Alabama.(see full David Newton article at ESPN.com)(4-28-2011)

  • Bayne Undergoing Medical Tests; Will Not Race in Richmond: Roush Fenway's [and Wood Brothers Racing's #21] Trevor Bayne has been hospitalized and is undergoing tests for symptoms that are thought to be related to the insect bite he sustained earlier this month. "Trevor was not feeling well early this week and he is currently being evaluated for lingering symptoms that may be related to his previous insect bite," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "Unfortunately Trevor will not be available to drive the #16 Ford for us this weekend in the Nationwide race at Richmond [Bayne was not scheduled to run the Sprint Cup race as the #21 Wood Brother's team runs a limited schedule]. As of now, our plans are to use a substitute driver from the Roush Fenway family of drivers in place of Trevor at Friday night's race. Obviously Trevor wanted to be in Richmond and he's upset about not being able to compete. However, his health is our top priority and we insisted that he have these tests to get to the bottom of his symptoms. We will work to provide you with further updates as they become available." The 20-year old driver was treated and released earlier this month after a reaction from an apparent insect bite on his left elbow that he suffered earlier that week while at home in North Carolina.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-28-2011)

  • Crew chief swap at Gibbs? DENIED: supposedly a crew chief swap has been discussed and is imminent between the #11 and #20 Joe Gibbs Racing teams. The swap would send #11-Denny Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford to #20-Joey Logano with Logano's crew chief Greg Zippadelli to the #11 garage.
    2011 has been a dismal year for Hamlin having scored just one top-10 finish through the first eight-races of the season. Logano is 66-points out of a playoff spot in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Expect to see the change within the next few weeks if not sooner.(Captain Thunder)(4-27-2011)
    UPDATE: JGR spokesman says that reports of crew chief shuffle for Hamlin and Logano are false.(Bob Pockrass/SceneDaily Twitter)(4-28-2011)

  • The Entry List for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    NOTE: the #21 is NOT entered, so the #71 moves into a guaranteed starting spot.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #30-David Stremme (0/0)
    #36-Dave Blaney (37/8)
    #37-Tony Raines (38/8)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (39/8)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (41/8)
    #60-Mike Skinner (45/8)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/8)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (43/8)
    #92-Brian Keselwoski (46/4)
    In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 36,37,38,46,66,87,60,92
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 30
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Richmond Entry List.(4-25/28-2011)

  • Richard and Judy Childress Receive Awards for Charity Work: Richard Childress received two awards for his charitable work in early April - one for his support of our troops from the Armed Forces Foundation and one for his family's work with the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. While in Washington, D.C. for the seventh annual Armed Forces Foundation Congressional Gala, Mr. Childress took the opportunity to visit several injured soldiers at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md. Most of the soldiers suffered from traumatic blast injuries and recently received the Purple Heart. At the gala later that evening, Mr. Childress received the Bill and Beverly Young Humanitarian of the Year Award. He has visited U.S. military troops across the nation, as well as in other countries, including Iraq, Bosnia, and Spain.
    A few days later, the Winston-Salem branch of the Exchange/SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) organization awarded Richard and his wife, Judy Childress, with the 2011 Founders Award for their exceptional commitment to the health and well being of children. Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neill presented the award to Mrs. Childress and cited the Childresses' work helping children since launching the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in July 2008. The Institute is working to save the lives of children who experience serious injuries and help them recover quickly through research, education and prevention. April is Child Abuse Prevention month.(RCR)(4-28-2011)

  • The Numbers for the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400:
    1 fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway (three times, most recent, 3/1/70)
    1 fewest cars on lead lap at finish (22 times, most recent 10/12/75)
    2 fewest leaders (six times, most recent 2/23/75)
    2 fewest lead changes (seven times, most recent 2/23/75)
    4 number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    4 fewest laps led by race winner (2/23/86)
    6 fewest caution laps (6/5/60)
    12 most leaders (four times, most recent 5/6/07)
    13 most wins by driver (Richard Petty)
    15 most cautions (twice, most recent 5/2/09)
    22 wins from the pole; 35 from the front row (109 races)
    25 most lead changes (twice, most recent 3/3/96)
    32 most cars on lead lap at finish (9/7/08)
    47 different pole winners in 109 races
    48 different race winners
    43 most running at finish (9/7/08)
    90-120 minutes amount of time it takes to dry the .75-mile track after a significant rainfall
    123 most caution laps (two times, most recent 9/8/74)
    488 most laps led by race winner (9/13/70 Richard Petty 500-lap race)
    1946 Ted Horn won the first race on half-mile dirt track (10/12/46) in open-wheel car
    1953 Lee Petty won the first NASCAR Grand National Division, now Sprint Cup, race on the half-mile dirt track (4/19/53).
    1955 Paul Sawyer and driver Joe Weatherly purchased the track
    1964 race run under temporary lights (3/10/64)
    1968 last race on dirt track won by David Pearson (3/24/68)
    1968 first race on paved track won by Richard Petty (9/8/68)
    1969 -- track remeasured from .625-mile to .5625-mile; remeasured from .5625-mile to .5-mile; remeasured again from .5-mile to .542-mile prior to the first race of 1970
    1988 track reconfigured to its current .75-mile layout
    1991 permanent lighting added prior to fall event won by Harry Gant (9/7/91)
    1999 International Speedway Corporation (ISC) acquires track
    Richmond Int'l Raceway has had several names since it opened in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track:
    Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds (1946-1955)
    Virginia State Fairgrounds (1964-1968)
    Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway (1969-1988)
    Richmond International Raceway (1988-present)
    2011 Caution Update
    4 fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    16 most cautions this season (Daytona)
    67 number of cautions in the first eight races of 2011; 37 for accidents
    331 of 2,509 number of laps under caution in 2011
    445.593 of 3,163.080 miles under caution in the first eight races.(Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(4-28-2011)

  • Inception Motorports to debut at Richmond: in late March 2011, it was announced that David Stremme would return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) this season and join forces with the newly-formed Inception Motorsports. Stremme will debut the #30 Inception Chevrolet at Richmond in the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400. Echostar is on the hood. See an image of the car on my #30 Team Schemes page.(4-28-2011)

  • Stewart to visit Wounded Warriors: Office Depot announced that #14-Tony Stewart will make a special visit to U.S Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia on Thursday, April 28. Stewart will visit with Wounded Warriors and hold a private autograph session for service members during the Quantico ServMart Customer Appreciation Day celebration event taking place on base at Barnett Field. A replica of Stewart's #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 show car will also be on-site. Stewart's appearance at the base is in conjunction with Quantico's Third Annual Customer Appreciation Day. This event is sponsored in part by the General Services Administration and its vendors, including Office Depot. Marine Corps Base Quantico's mission is to optimize readiness by providing operation and training support, infrastructure and community services (Office Depot)(4-28-2011)

  • North Carolina Senate picks stock car racing as state sport: The North Carolina Senate has voted to establish stock car racing as the official state sport. The Senate voted 46-3 on Wednesday to crank up the legislation and drive it toward the House after it sat in a committee for nearly two weeks. Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca of Henderson County said lawmakers put the brakes on rival efforts to name the college basketball played at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the state sport. North Carolina is home to more than 90% of NASCAR Sprint Cup teams and to Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Associated Press)(4-28-2011)

  • Competition Update:
    The record for lead changes at Richmond is 25, set twice, most recently in 1996. With four of the eight races having the lead change record either broken or tied, Richmond's mark might be doomed.
    Some other notes of interest
    There have been seven different winners in the first eight races, most since 2003.
    There has been an average of 14.6 leaders per race, most through eight races in series history.
    There has been an average of 38.5 lead changes per race, most through eight races in series history.
    There has been an average of 4,511 green flag passes all around the track per race, most through eight races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.
    There has been an average of 54 green flag passes for the lead all around the track per race, most through eight races since 2005.(NASCAR)(4-28-2011)

  • Richmond Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Richmond this weekend . . . teams in both of these series ran this same combination of left- and right-side tires at Phoenix earlier this season. . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear tire test at Richmond last October 12-13. . . drivers participating in that test were Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton and Regan Smith . . . compared to what was run at Richmond last season, this left-side tire features a slight construction change, while this right-side tire features a softer compound . . . both changes are designed to give the cars more grip . . . NASCAR teams will also race on this same tire set-up at New Hampshire this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. The estimated pit window is every 95-100 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear), see pressures, number of tires, tire codes and more on my Richmond Race Info page - Goodyear Section.(4-28-2011)

  • Donate and Drive 'DEGA, to Aid in Alabama Disaster Relief: Talladega Superspeedway announced plans to aid the American Red Cross in relief efforts from the devastation of yesterday's storms that tore through Alabama with a $100,000 commitment. Race fans can do their part as well and get a chance at tackling the high-banks of Talladega in turn. For a $50 donation to the American Red Cross race fans will be able to drive their personal vehicle around the high-banks of Talladega Superspeedway, May 6 -8. Cash and check donations will be accepted at the gate of Talladega Superspeedway with all proceeds going to the Alabama chapter of the American Red Cross. More info at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS) and to donate to the Red Cross to help anyone involved in the storms, go to redcross.org.(4-28-2011)

  • Sprint Cup Qualifying Will Move To Saturday at Martinsville: A schedule tweak in the spring Sprint Cup schedule at Martinsville Speedway will also be used for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 weekend Oct. 28-30. Qualifying for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 will be held on Saturday, October 29 along with time trials for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Until last spring Sprint Cup qualifying had been held on Friday. Friday will still be a vital part of race weekend with practice session for both the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck series set for Friday, October 28. There will be almost six hours of track time between the two divisions on Friday. "We weren't sure what to expect when we made the switch for our spring events, but we got a really positive response from fans," said Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell. "From the feedback we got, it seems like most fans enjoy being able to see Cup and Truck qualifying and the Truck race on Saturday. It gives so many more people the opportunity to see qualifying that hadn't been able to attend in the past because they couldn't get Friday off from work." Tickets for all three days of the TUMS Fast Relief 500 weekend are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com. Tickets for Friday's practice session are $10. Tickets for Saturday's Kroger 200 are $30 in advance and $35 the day of while tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 start at just $25.(Martinsville Speedway)(4-28-2011)

  • VA Governor proclaims April 2011 as Virginia Motorsports Month: Joined by Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz and Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell today declared April 2011 as Virginia Motorsports Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In his recognition, Gov. McDonnell cites Virginia's rich motorsports history and serving as home to more than 20 local speedways, raceways and motorsports parks, including Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway both of which host two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events annually. Virginia is the only state to currently host four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each year. Virginia has also produced many contributors to NASCAR history, including Wendell Scott, the first African-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and two current Sprint Cup driversJeff Burton and Denny Hamlin. Additionally, Wood Brothers Racing the latest winner of the Daytona 500 was founded in Virginia and was based in the Commonwealth for 53 years. It is the oldest continuously operating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. In total, the NASCAR weekends at both Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway generate annual economic benefit of $584 million for the Commonwealth.
    The governor's proclamation comes during race week at Richmond International Raceway, which begins Thursday with a doubleheader featuring the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, followed by the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Tickets for Thursday are $25; children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult. The weekend continues Friday when the NASCAR Nationwide Series returns for the BUBBA burger 250 race "under the lights." Friday's ticket includes Wawa Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series, as well as NBC12 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series. Advance tickets start at $30; children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult.
    On Saturday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars hit the track as Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 "under the lights." Advance tickets for Saturday start at $45. All tickets can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(4-28-2011)


    News from April 27, 2011

  • Big Red Partners with Tommy Baldwin Racing: Tommy Baldwin Racing is pleased to announce that Big Red, Inc. will partner with the team for five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the 2011 season. Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Big Red Chevy beginning at Infineon Raceway June 26. The #36 will also carry the Big Red colors at Kentucky, Indianapolis, Chicago and Texas. Big Red, with its distinctive flavor and widespread distribution in 44 states, was one of the nations fastest growing soft drink brands in 2010. Big Red and its subsidiaries have held key sponsorships in many professional sports, including the PGA, LPGA, MLS, NBA, NFL and MLB, and actively participate in various youth development grassroots sports programs such as cycling, soccer and baseball. Big Red, Inc. subsidiary ALL SPORT Body Quencher was the primary sponsor of the #36 Chevy at Martinsville Speedway and an associate sponsor at Talladega Superspeedway this season. We are very excited to work with Big Red this season, said TBR owner Tommy Baldwin. We have worked very hard to build a successful race team. To have companies like Big Red support us is a privilege.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(4-27-2011)

  • Baldwin names 19 race sponsor for #36 team: Golden Corral and Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced a partnership for the remainder of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season. Golden Corral will be the primary sponsor of the #36 Chevy for 19 of the 28 remaining NSCS races and associate sponsor for the other nine races. Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Golden Corral Chevy beginning this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Through the remainder of the season, Golden Corral and TBR will run the Racing for Americas Families promotion for each race. Each time the #36 Golden Corral Chevy finishes in the top-10, Golden Corral will offer a one-day Kids Eat Free promotion the immediate Monday following the top-10 event. Details of the offer include:
    Free kids buffet with an adult buffet purchase at regular price at participating locations.
    Limit of two (2) free kids meals per adult buffet purchased.
    Requires a printed copy of official race results from a newspaper or website.
    In addition to the Kids Eat Free promotion, Golden Corral will make a $5,000 donation to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) on behalf of its operators. We are thrilled to team up with TBR and Dave and extend our already successful partnership, said Ed Gleich, VP of National Marketing for Golden Corral. This is a great way to reward families and recognize the Disabled Veterans who have honorably served our country. Golden Corral supported TBR in both the Daytona 500 and Aarons 499 superspeedway races. Blaney drove the #36 Golden Corral Chevy to the front in both events, including leading 21 laps at Talladega Superspeedway.
    We are thrilled to have Golden Corral come back and support us for the rest of the season, explained TBR owner Tommy Baldwin. Golden Corral is a well-established company, and we are proud they recognized our teams hard work and performance. We look forward to competing for a top-10 for the Racing for Americas Families promotion and will work hard to build successful programs with all of our partners.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(4-27-2011)

  • At Richmond International Raceway:
    Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
    The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953.
    The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
    The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
    The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
    The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
    Track was re-measured to a half-mile in April 1969; then to .542-mile in September.
    The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
    The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
    The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
    There have been 109 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond since the track opened in 1953.
    The current 400-lap race length was established on the .542-mile measurement in March 1976.
    Buck Baker won the pole in 1953.
    Lee Petty won the first race in April 1953.
    There have been 48 different pole winners, led by Bobby Allison and Richard Petty (eight).
    Jeff Gordon (five) leads active drivers with five poles.
    47 different drivers have posted victories at Richmond, led by Richard Petty (13).
    Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Terry Labonte (three) lead active race winners.
    Car owner Richard Petty has won 15 races at Richmond, more than any other team.
    63 of 109 races have been won from the top five starting positions, including 22 from the pole.
    The last driver to win from the pole was Kyle Busch in May 2010.
    13 of the past 16 races have been won from the top 10, but three of the last six have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
    The furthest back in the field a race winner has started was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in 2008s spring race.
    Kyle Petty became the first third-generation NASCAR race winner when he won his first race, at Richmond, on Feb. 23, 1986. Richard Petty posted his first Richmond victory in 1961 and Lee won the very first Richmond race in 1953.
    Three active drivers have a finish inside the top 10: Kyle Busch (5.2), Denny Hamlin (8.0) and Clint Bowyer (9.8).
    Five of the last six races have had a margin of victory less than one second.
    There have been 271 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Virginia.
    161 drivers in NASCARs three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Virginia.
    There have been 18 race winners from Virginia in NASCARs three national series.(NASCAR)

  • Crew chief swap at Gibbs?: supposedly a crew chief swap has been discussed and is imminent between the #11 and #20 Joe Gibbs Racing teams. The swap would send #11-Denny Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford to #20-Joey Logano with Logano's crew chief Greg Zippadelli to the #11 garage.
    2011 has been a dismal year for Hamlin having scored just one top-10 finish through the first eight-races of the season. Logano is 66-points out of a playoff spot in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Expect to see the change within the next few weeks if not sooner.(Captian Thunder)(4-27-2011)

  • RCR still looking for sponsorship in a few races for #33 car: #33-Clint Bowyer, was the guest on the NASCAR Weekly Video Teleconference. One question concerned sponsorship of the #33 in 2011:
    Q. I was watching the Texas race, and you ran real well there, and afterwards when you were doing an interview, you were sort of inviting other people, or companies, to come and sponsor your car. I just wondered if you could talk a moment about the landscape for getting sponsors, how difficult it is, how challenging it is, in these economic times.
    CLINT BOWYER: Very challenging. It's challenging for every race team. I mean, everybody is -- haven't been on easy street really, but for lack of a better term, things have been pretty easy to come by sponsors and things over the years. And through the economy the way it is and a lot of things happening, you know, it has made it a lot more difficult, and we do have some open races toward the end of the year. It's important to me to make sure that I do everything I can possibly do, not only in the race car but like I did there at Texas outside the race car to make sure that I help Richard and everybody at RCR sell sponsorship. We're as big a part of it as anybody, and if we're not doing our job, it makes their job even more difficult.
    and as for Bowyer's Contract:
    Q. Since last week they [RCR] announced Burton had re-signed, that kind of leaves you at RCR as the lone guy over there at RCR to re-sign for next year. I was wondering if you've made any progress on that in the last three months.
    CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, we haven't -- I've talked to Richard a couple times, and hopefully we're getting close object that. I've just been having fun at the racetrack, focusing on what I can do. I haven't won, but we've been running well. The last four races have been really solid for us. If you go have fun at the racetrack then I feel like the rest will come. We've been doing that and doing a good job at that, and hopefully we can get our sponsors locked in and get everything put in place and not have to worry about it.(Team Chevy)(4-27-2011)

  • Special scheme for Truex at Richmond: Martin Truex Jr. will climb behind the wheel of the #56 NAPA Ultimate Tune-Up Toyota for Saturdays NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond. The special scheme launches NAPA AUTO PARTS big May promotion which gives consumers up to $75 back when purchasing specific NAPA tune-up related products. Qualified purchases can be made at NAPA stores or installed at NAPA AutoCare Centers or participating installer shops. NAPA Racing will host Honorary Pit Crew Member Marvin Gurganus. He is the general manager of the Colony Tire parts division in Edenton, N.C. He will be honored in NAPA pre-race festivities and have his name decaled on the #56 Toyota. Crew chief Pat Tryson on Preparing for Richmond: The NAPA team tested in Orlando, Fla., at Walt Disney World Speedway on April 12-13. We wanted to try some different stuff with the rear bar and some front suspension packages to dial in the short tracks like Richmond.(MWR), see an image of the car on my #56 Team Schemes page.(4-27-2011)

  • Testing at Indy next week: Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led #22 Penske Racing team are among those teams testing for Goodyear at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week (May 4-5) in preparation for the July 31 Brickyard 400. They will have their PRS-750 and PRS-738 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Chargers on hand for the testing. The 750 is a brand new car and the 738 is the car we raced at Phoenix, said crew chief Addington. This is one of the most important tests of the season and were happy that well be one of the teams there helping out our friends at Goodyear.(Tom Roberts PR). other teams scheduled to test: #21-Bayne (Ford), #27-Menard (Chevy), #42-Montoya (Chevy), #56-Truex Jr. (Toyota)(4-27-2011)

  • University of Miami NASCAR Kinetics Team Triumphant: The University of Miami's first-year NASCAR Kinetics team pulled into Victory Lane having been declared the winner in the Spring 2011 edition of the "NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion" competition. The UM team placed first, trailed by Oklahoma State University and Coastal Carolina University, in their first semester participating in the competition. This groundbreaking program gave teams an opportunity to work through real-world business challenges facing the motorsports industry. The national marketing challenge came down to the wire, with students from UM's Sport Administration program defeating 11 universities from across the country.
    The NASCAR Kinetics competition consisted of two marketing innovation case studies and an official viewing party for a NASCAR race. Through a promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway, these potential leaders in the racing industry hosted an official NASCAR viewing party during the race at Texas. The UM team was the top performer in both case studies and received the highest marks for their April 9th "M&M's Makes Race Day Fun" viewing party held at Smoke't Southern Kitchen & Tap across from the Coral Gables campus.
    "We felt confident the whole time" said team leader Justin Leiser, "but we didn't expect anything; we knew the competition was going to be very close." A senior from Clearwater, Fla., Leiser combined classroom knowledge as well as insight he gained during past internships with Homestead-Miami Speedway and International Speedway Corporation's corporate marketing team. "It was an amazing opportunity to put experience into action and provide NASCAR and its partners with creative marketing ideas. We worked well as a team, threw a fantastic viewing party and to be declared the winner is a huge thrill for us."
    The winning participants also included senior Alex Bryant of Durham, N.C., a past public relations intern of Homestead-Miami Speedway as well as senior Ethan Alpern of Encino, Calif., sophomore Lucas Schutt of Trumansburg, N.Y., and senior Matt Small of Rutherford, N.J., all of whom volunteered during NASCAR's Ford Championship Weekend in Homestead, Fla. last November. With the victory, NASCAR will fly the team and their faculty advisors from the University of Miami School of Education, Dr. Windy Dees and Dr. Warren Whisenant, to Charlotte on May 18 for five days to be guests for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. While there, the students will have the opportunity to meet marketing representatives of NASCAR sponsors and get a behind-the-scenes look at NASCAR facilities from officials.(HMS PR)(4-27-2011)


    News from April 26, 2011

  • New sponsor for Allmendinger at Richmond: Nautica, a part of VF Corporation and a leader in branded quality apparel, will serve as primary sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford for Saturday evenings NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. We feel good that an organization as well known as Nautica has decided to showcase its brand on the #43 Ford, said team owner Richard Petty. We welcome them to the RPM family and look forward to showing them everything the sport has to offer this weekend in Richmond. The #43 team has shown great promise this season and AJ is a force to be reckoned with every week. Were excited to have Nautica here this weekend and we think NASCARs legions of fans will be enthusiastic as well. The #43 Ford will carry the familiar Nautica logo all weekend at the three-quarter-mile track. Allmendinger has made eight starts at the track and posted his career best finish of eighth at the venue last fall after starting from the third position. Founded in 1983, Nautica is a leading global lifestyle brand ranging from mens, womens and childrens apparel and accessories to a complete home collection.(RPM Facebook)(4-26-2011)

  • Newman's Car to Pay Tribute to U.S. Army Medical Personnel: Ryan Newman's U.S. Army Chevrolet for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway will pay tribute to the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD) and the men and women who comprise the specialized Army Health Care Team. Newman's #39 Chevy will display Army Medicine on the hood and rear-quarter panels during the Crown Royal Presents Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 short track event. The AMEDD logo will also be included on the hood. "Showcasing Army Medicine on U.S. Army Chevrolet presents an excellent opportunity to not only recognize and honor the dedicated men and women of the Army Health Care Team but to raise awareness of the more than 80 medical career specialties available in the U.S. Army," said Col. Derik Crotts, Director of Strategic Marketing, Communications and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command.
    The U.S. Army Health Care Team is made up of six corps, each with a specific function.
    * Dental Corps -- oral surgery, prosthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and orthodontics
    * Medical Corps -- more than 40 specialties, including internal medicine, neurosurgery, pathology and psychiatry
    * Medical Service Corps -- behavioral psychology, entomology, hospital administration and nuclear engineering
    * Medical Specialist Corps -- patient care, wellness education, injury prevention
    * Nurse Corps -- critical care nursing, medical surgical nursing and community nursing
    * Veterinary Corps -- animal medicine, veterinary public health, food inspection and research
    As an incentive for medical-career students to join the Army Health Care Team, the U.S. Army offers a range of financial assistance and educational benefits.
    "Before I get to Richmond I plan on visiting our brave Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center," noted Newman. "I am so impressed with the professional care and medical services that are provided to our heroes. It's a moving and inspiring experience each time I visit Walter Reed and it will be an honor to drive a car that will pay tribute to all the personnel of the U.S. Army Medical Department."(US Army Racing), see an image on my #39 Team Schemes page.(4-26-2011)

  • Fire destroys Smokey Yunick's former garage: The last remaining portion of legendary race car builder Smokey Yunick's former garage complex was destroyed Monday night as smoke and flames poured from the building onto North Beach Street Daytona Beach FL]. "It's a shame to see it go," said Carrol Smith, who lives nearby. "That corner will be really empty." The relic of the innovative mechanic burst into flames about 7 pm, according to fire officials, and by 8:30 pm little of the building remained with the exception of portions of the block walls. Smoke was so thick at times the fire trucks battling the blaze couldn't be seen through the plumes. "I think this is it," Smith said to a friend sitting with her on the back of a pickup at the Riverside Trailer Park. "There was Smokey's, the Streamline Motel where NASCAR was really born, and their was a garage in Ormond Beach that's just marked with a sign that it used to be there." The age of the building and its former use as a garage made the blaze hazardous for firefighters. "We're not sending any of our guys in there," said Daytona Beach Fire Department spokesman Lt. Larry Stoney. "We're fighting this from outside. It's going to be difficult to figure out the cause of the fire." Yunick, who died in 2001 at age 77, wasn't shy about his mechanical skills, calling his business the "Best Damn Garage in Town." There were two sides to the shop. He worked on trucks on one side and race cars on the other. Inside the gray walls of his sprawling facility, Yunick made several significant gains for the automotive industry. Some of his inventions included variable-ratio power steering and the extended tip spark plug, a design utilized in most automobiles today. When Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, Yunick's machines made an immediate impact. He built the cars that carried Marvin Panch and Fireball Roberts to Daytona 500 victories in 1961 and '63, respectively.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal, some interesting info there)(4-26-2011)

  • Waltrip to compete in Triathlon: Michael Waltrip will compete in the Monticelloman Olympic Triathlon in Lake Monticello, Va. on Sunday just hours after watching his two NASCAR Sprint Cup teams race Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. The two-time Daytona 500 winner enters his first triathlon after competing in several marathons including the 2000 Boston Marathon. Sundays triathlon includes a .9-mile swim course, a 24-mile bike course and 6.2-mile running course around Lake Monticello. The competition comes a week after Waltrip tested a Ferrari in France for the 78th running of Junes 24 Hours of Le Mans - the worlds most famous endurance race. He and MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman will join Rui Aguas as the three drivers in the #78 AF Corse Ferrari in the GTE class. Waltrip will also race in Thursdays Short Track Showdown late model race at Richmond to benefit the Denny Hamlin Foundation and in Julys inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. In 2011, Waltrip won the truck race at Daytona and hes raced in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Daytona and Talladega.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(4-26-2011)

  • NASCAR appeal claims Mayfield trying to avoid responsibility: NASCAR says Jeremy Mayfields legal appeal to his suspension for a failed drug test is an attempt to entirely avoid any responsibility for, or consequence from, testing positive for methamphetamine, according to its response filed Monday in federal appeals court. Mayfield, who claims in court documents that his May 2009 drug test was a false positive from a mixture of over-the-counter allergy medication Claritin-D and the prescription medication Adderall for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is suing NASCAR for breach of contract, unfair trade practices and defamation. U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen ruled in NASCARs favor in May 2010, and after having requests for Mullen to reconsider the ruling denied, Mayfield filed his appeal last month.(full article at SceneDaily)(4-26-2011)


    News from April 25, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    NOTE: the #21 is NOT entered, so the #71 moves into a guaranteed starting spot.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #30-David Stremme (0/0)
    #36-Dave Blaney (37/8)
    #37-Tony Raines (38/8)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (39/8)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (41/8)
    #60-Mike Skinner (45/8)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/8)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (43/8)
    #92-Brian Keselwoski (46/4)
    In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 36,37,38,46,66,87,60,92
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 30
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Richmond Entry List.(4-25-2011)

  • 1st Quarter Driver of the Year named: #18-Kyle Busch won races in all three of NASCAR's top divisions tallying the most first-place votes in the 1st quarter Driver of the Year 2011 balloting by leading broadcasters and journalists in the United States. The driver of the #18 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup series, #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and is the owner/driver of the #18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck series credited his teams for his early 2011 success. "It's been a great start to the season in all three series' and that's because of the great people we have at JGR and KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports)," said Busch. "This award is testament to all of those guys. Each of my teams have done a great job bringing me good cars to the racetrack each week and if we haven't won, we've been in contention more times than not. In particular, Dave Rogers and all the guys on the M&M's Toyota team and everyone at JGR are working very hard and we hope to have a shot at bringing home a Sprint Cup championship at the end of the year." Busch, 25, won the Bristol Motor Speedway Sprint Cup race, four Nationwide races and one Camping World Truck race in the first quarter voting.
    Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said "calling Kyle Busch versatile would be an understatement. He certainly proved that he is a triple-threat to win on any given weekend. And he's only 25-years-old. I wouldn't be surprised if, some year soon, I will be handing him the Driver of the Year trophy."
    In the voting Busch took nine first-place ballots and totaled 121 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. NASCAR drivers swept the virtual podium with Carl Edwards garnering six first-place votes and 89 points and Kevin Harvick also earning six first-place votes and 84 points. A total of 14 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 45th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 21 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Busch will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at Infineon Raceway on the SaveMart 350 weekend.(Driver of the Year Foundation)(4-25-2011)

  • 2011 Dale Earnhardt Day Friday, April 29th: Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced 2011 Dale Earnhardt Day on Friday, April 29th, at the DEI Facilities in Mooresville, NC. An annual celebration of the extraordinary life and legacy of Dale Earnhardt, this event is held annually on his birthday. Fans will be treated to special access to extra exhibits, including the never before exhibited private oil painting of Dale Earnhardt by renowned artist Denny Dent. Dent was known for his remarkable "Two-Fisted Art Attack" style of painting. This original portrait permanently hangs in the Corporate Offices of DEI and will be placed on public display for the first time, accompanied by the 5-minute video of Dent actually painting the portrait on stage during a special event. The DEI Museum will be opening a new display on that day of many of the gifts and tributes that were sent to and left at DEI and in other venues across the nation in honor of Earnhardt's life. There will be a national unveiling of the 2011 "Intimidator" Camaros, by Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet.
    One of the 2011 "Intimidator" Camaros will be featured in a fundraising raffle to benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, with ticket sales starting on Dale Earnhardt Day, and will be awarded to one extremely lucky person at the end of the raffle. Lots of music will be in store, with live performances by "Eddy Francis & Freight Train", and an encore showing of the 2003 Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Film. Autograph Sessions will be held throughout the day, with guests including Kerry Earnhardt and Taylor Earnhardt. An annual tradition of Dale Earnhardt Day, cupcakes will again be provided to all in attendance in honor of The Intimidator's birthday. Dale Earnhardt Day, will run from 9am until 5pm, on Friday, April 29th. Admission is free, and plenty of parking is available.(NCMA), for events and more info, see the daleearnhardtinc.com site.(4-25-2011)

  • Waltrip & Kauffman test at Le Mans: Michael Waltrip Racing co-owners Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman spent Sunday at the historic Circuit de la Sarthe in France testing the AF Corse Ferrari F430 they will race in the 24 hours of Le Mans on June 11-12. After arriving at the track on Friday, the Americans rode bicycles around the 8-mile circuit learning the layout. It was the first time on the track for Waltrip and Kauffman who prepared by studying videos. Their teammate Rui guas of Portugal started the morning session in the #71 Ferrar. He did the 10 laps required to race as a rookie at Le Mans setting his fastest time at 4m.09s.351. Rain on part of the track delayed Kauffman's initial stint behind the wheel, but once he started he improved his laps times from 4m.47s.452 down to 4m.41s.650. He was forced to pit with a puncture in the right rear tire. With a new tire he returned to do a time of 4m.34s.241, before another flat tire ended the session. "That sure is a quicker lap in the car than on the video. It is pretty cool out there," said Kauffman who paired with Waltirp and Aguas for a podium finish in Spa last year. As it is the practice session nobody is really trying to race. I wanted to go for it conservatively but not be a roadblock. Pretty cool track!"
    Waltrip posted three full laps before the lunch break. His fastest lap was 4m.30s.563. After lunch he found his bearings around the circuit and at the end of his 10 laps, his best time was 4m.17s.770. "Before lunch, when I got in the car, I realised I did not know the track as well as I thought. After lunch I ran more confidently and knew which direction the track was going in. I drove very conservatively and basically got to know the track and got more confident," said the two-time Daytona 500 winner. I said before the test my goal was to get familiar with the track and be sure to have that in my brain, so that when I come back I can go faster. Once I knew where the turns were I was having a great time, discovering where I can pick up time. I know I can find another ten seconds easily." Kauffman went back in the car for more laps and bettered his time to 4m.21s.765. Rui guas moved his time to 4m.06s.162.
    MWR's participation in international racing events is part of a worldwide business strategy and a way to promote the team on a global stage. In the last year, MWR's international effort has included visits to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, Toyota Motorsports Festival in Japan as well as races and tests in Dubai, Belgium and Portugal.(MWR)(4-25-2011)

  • NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Project plants 100 tree's: NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and International Speedway Corporation joined forces with the Daytona Beach International Airport as the beneficiary of NASCARs Green Clean Air tree planting project. NASCAR Green Clean Air is a unique program that plants 10 trees for each Green Flag that drops during races, capturing 100% of the carbon produced by the on track racing at the events. The initiative, the largest tree planting program in sports, debuted at 11 tracks in the 2009 Sprint Cup season, and in 2010, expanded to plant more than 1,000 trees to balance the carbon produced by racing. In 2011, the initiative expanded to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, and now encompasses over 20 tracks nationwide. As a result of the 53rd annual Daytona 500 in February, 110 trees are being planted in three locations throughout the property at Daytona Beach International Airport. On Wednesday, approximately 80 NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation, Daytona International Speedway and Americrown employees planted the trees, which were purchased locally from Nature Scapes in Flagler County. International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III, Dr. Mike Lynch, Managing Director of Green Innovation for NASCAR and Volusia County Chair Frank Bruno participated in a tree planting ceremony.(DIS)(4-25-2011)


    News from April 24, 2011

  • Lally Competes in Georgia Mixed Martial Arts Event: Andy Lally, driver of the TRG Motorsports #71 Interstate Moving Services Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series used the off weekend to compete in the COPA America Submission Grappling Championship held in Duluth, Georgia on Saturday [Aptil 23]. The COPA America Submission Grappling meet is comprised of different weight, age and skill levels. There is no punching or kicking allowed. Competitors are scored on throws, takedowns, sweeps, reversals, knee on chest, mount, pass guard, rear mount and advantages for near points or near submissions. "I train at Creighton MMA in Georgia," Lally said. "I've got some incredible instructors that I train with every day when I am home. I've been training at an MMA gym for a while with my primary focus being Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's a great cardio workout and it's something I've been interested in for a long time. I'm a big fan of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and competitive fighting. Aside from expanding my training, maybe I can find some time in the off season to give it a try on an amateur level for fun. For now, tournaments like these are what I'll look forward to. A bunch of guys I train with will be there as well, so it should be a fun day. Kevin has been good with me for all the years we've been together as far as understanding that I get bored easily and can't just jog on a treadmill to stay fit. I have lots of little goals in life and although I know my primary focus is NASCAR, I still feel like there are things that I will kick myself if I don't try. There is always a risk for injury in a lot of things I do, but I will try to be smart and stay out of trouble. I want to be a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt some day and competing helps continue to drive me to be better." The Copa America Submission Grappling Championships embraces all forms of grappling from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Submission Grappling, SAMBO, Catch Wrestling, to NO-GI Jiu Jitsu, providing a safe comfortable environment for competition with numerous divisions for any age and skill level, and maintaining the highest quality staff and referees available, COPA is able to give competitors what they deserve in a tournament experience, for more information visit www.cagc.us.(TRG)(4-24-2011)

  • Central Michigan lets students test drive career with NASCAR: Alison Wright is studying sports management at Central Michigan University and hopes to work at a major arena when she graduates. This semester, she's working with one of the nation's largest pro sports leagues, thanks to a program that offers college students training with the NASCAR. Central Michigan is one of 12 schools nationally and the only one in Michigan involved in the program. Wright and four other sports studies students are working this term with NASCAR, which touts itself as the only sports league that immerses college students in the sports business world. The program is expected to add more schools next year, possibly including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. "The point is to give students some real-world experience working with a top sports organization," said Steve Adler, a CMU sports management instructor and faculty adviser of the NASCAR program. "To have that experience is going to do nothing but help these students land jobs." The program is like an internship because it teaches students about sports marketing through case studies and projects based on challenges facing NASCAR, its partners, tracks and other businesses in the industry. It also puts schools in direct competition to win a grand prize trip to NASCAR's All Star Race in Charlotte, N.C. NASCAR will announce this week the school that wins the all-expenses-paid trip to meet with NASCAR executives and drivers. "This is an opportunity for students to gain direct experience working in the sports industry," said Sarah Werden, a consumer marketing account executive for NASCAR. "They are working on their career while they are still in school. How many college students get to say they worked for NASCAR?"(Detroit News)(4-24-2011)


    News from April 23, 2011

  • Mayfield's Dogs Attack Mail Carrier: When a mail carrier tried to deliver a package too big for Jeremy Mayfield's mailbox, she tried to drop it off at the home's front door, but when she went to the house, police say she was attacked by five dogs. The pit bull-lab mix dogs are currently in quarantine at the Catawba County Animal Shelter. Firefighters said it was at former NACSAR driver Jeremy Mayfield's home where mail carrier Mary Bolton was attacked. Firefighters said she was hospitalized with bite marks and cuts all over her legs, arms and shoulders. Neighbors were stunned to hear news of the attack. Police have confirmed that Mayfield came outside to intervene, scooping up the badly injured carrier and taking her back inside the home. The police chief in Catawba said the dogs are being quarantined for ten days because he is not sure they are up to date on rabies shots. No decision has been made yet on what will happen to the dogs or if anyone will face charges.(WSOCtv.com)(4-23-2011)

  • UM enters the final lap in NASCAR: Though South Florida boasts the Homestead-Miami Speedway, few would argue the region qualifies as "NASCAR Country." The flavor here isn't down-home Southern, but instead tropical, not to mention international. One college convert at a time, a group of University of Miami students have spent this past semester trying to change that sharpening their sports-marketing skills in the process. It's all part of a national collegiate competition called NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion. The program functions in many ways like an internship, with students many of them majoring in sports administration or similar fields working through case studies and planning a promotional viewing party from start to finish as a way of developing big-league career skills. This semester marks the first time UM has been among the competing schools.
    The winning five-member team will be announced Friday and will receive a VIP trip to an all-star race in Charlotte, N.C. Two other Florida schools are also in the hunt the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida. The remaining schools run the gamut from campuses where NASCAR is hugely popular (Coastal Carolina University, for example) to not-so-popular (historically-black Howard University). The case-study portion of the competition focused on creating effective promotional campaigns for NASCAR sponsors such as Growth Energy the "Official Corn-based Ethanol of NASCAR."(more info and full article at the Miami Herald)(4-23-2011)


    News from April 22, 2011

  • Kahne has surgery on knee again: Kasey Kahne tweeted that he had knee surgery again on Monday [April 18th] as he re tore his meniscus. Kahne says the knee just about feels better now then it has the last month and that he will be driving at Richmond [in The Sprint Cup race]. Kahne has surgery on both knee's in November 2010 to clean up the area surrounding the knees.(4-22-2011)

  • Johnson to run the #5 in All-Star race? UPDATE confirmed: hearing Jimmie Johnson will run the #5 Lowe's car in the All Star Race to promote a special promotion for Lowe's 5% discount for using their credit cards. Could be one reason Mark Martin is running the #25 in the event. Have seen nothing to confirm this yet or any images.(4-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Jimmie [Johnson] will drive a special #5 Lowe's Chevy in the All Star race to promote 5% off every day or special financing on purchases over $299 on Lowe's Home Improvement's consumer credit card purchases. Pictures of the special paint scheme will be unveiled exclusively here (facebook) on May 15.(Lowe's Racing Facebook)(4-22-2011)

  • Brian Keselowski to attempt next three races: Brian Keselowski will resume his driving duties in the #92 Dodge for the Sprint Cup race Richmond International Raceway. After suffering from emergency gallbladder surgery, Keselowski had to take a step back and recover. Keselowski was not able to drive at Bristol and had long time driver/friend Dennis Setzer step in and take over. Keselowski was forced to withdraw from Auto Club Speedway and was not yet medically cleared to race at Martinsville. Once again Dennis Setzer stepped in and drove the #92. An unfortunate wreck during practice at Martinsville put the K-Automotive Motorsports #92 out of contention early that weekend [the team had no backup car] and contributed to withdrawing their entries from Texas and Talladega. K-Automotive Motorsports took that time to rebuild and regroup and are now ready to get back on the track and go racing. Brian Keselowski has fully recovered and has been granted clearance by his doctors and NASCAR to return to his drivers seat in the #92 K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge. Plans are for Keselowski to drive Richmond, Darlington and Dover.(Brian Keselowski site)(4-22-2011)

  • TBR set thru Kansas, unknown after UPDATE: on Monday's NASCAR Now on ESPN2, #36 Chevy Sprint Cup Series team owner Tommy Baldwin said his team will race all events through Kansas and are working on more sponsorship so driver Dave Blaney can run the full season. Baldwin says he will evaluate things after Dover when the teams come back to the Charlotte area.(4-19-2011)
    UPDATE: After leading the second-most laps (21) last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway and coming close to scoring at least his first top 10 since 2008, Dave Blaney is hoping he and the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing team can continue to run whole races and gain on the momentum that has been building for the third-year Sprint Cup Series team. "Yeah, we've got some [races] lined up. Hopefully, we'll have something firmed up with Golden Corral soon to run a few more. And Accell Construction has been with us for a few races and are going to do a few more," Blaney told News/Talk WSB during a test Wednesday at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson. "We'll keep doing that see how many races he can get sponsored and see how many we can afford to run. You know, funding determines how hard you can run, how much equipment you can afford to burn up." #36 team owner, Tommy Baldwin, told ESPN's NASCAR Now earlier this week that the team has funding through the June 5th Kansas Speedway race, but then would have to evaluate his Cup program after that. Blaney says that team will at least be able to go to all of the races. "For sure. We are going to go to all of them, no doubt. It's just when you get there, can you swing racing hard all day. That's the question. We have [raced hard] every race this year and hopefully can keep that going." In other words, Blaney says that the #36 team will start-and-park at races that it does not have adequate funding, a practice that is prevalent amongst smaller teams in each of NASCAR's top-three national series. The #36 has only started-and-parked once this season, after doing so in the majority of races last year.( wsbradio.com)(4-22-2011)

  • Sprint Fan Vote Closes in on One Million Votes at Halfway Mark: Sprint announced Thursday that voting continues at a record pace in the 2011 Sprint Fan Vote, which allows fans to place a driver into the field of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. In the four weeks since voting began on March 23, NASCAR fans have cast more than 900,000 votes for their favorite Sprint Fan Vote eligible drivers. If voting continues at this pace, the final vote total will eclipse the 1.5 million mark set during last year's Sprint Fan Vote window. The top 10 drivers in the Sprint Fan Vote standings (in alphabetical order) are A.J. Allmendinger, Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Vickers. Although David Ragan and Michael Waltrip are just outside the top 10, a strong voting effort this week by fans of either driver could boost them into the list of top vote recipients. Voting continues until 5:00pm/et on Saturday, May 21. More info on how and where to vote on my 2011 All-Star Race page.(4-22-2011)(Sprint)(4-22-2011)

  • Sad News - Jonathan Bunting: Jonathan William Bunting, age 33, of 1702 Brittany Way, Archdale, NC died Wednesday, April 20, 2011. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm at Central Carolina Community Church with Rev. Edward J. Arroyo officiating. Jonathan was a native of Asheboro and a 1996 graduate of Asheboro High School. He was a member of Central Carolina Community Church and was employed with Roush Fenway Racing in Concord, NC. He is survived by his wife, Charity Trogdon Bunting; son, Thomas William Bunting of the home; daughter, Alexandria Kate Bunting of the home. More info, the obit and services at the Pugh Funeral Home site.(4-22-2011)

  • FedEx Corp to sponsor Dover race; support Autism Speaks: FedEx Corp., Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway announced that the Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway on May 15, 2011 will be named the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks. As part of the race sponsorship, and to help increase public awareness of autism and raise funds for continued research, there will be opportunities for fans to show their support through special ticket packages and unique race-weekend experiences. In addition, FedEx will make a donation of $100,000 to Autism Speaks if Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry, wins the race. The FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks marks the first time they have sponsored a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
    Fans are encouraged to show their support for Autism Speaks by taking advantage of the following opportunities.
    Special FedEx 400 Race Charity Ticket Package: The package, priced at $111, offers two tickets (regularly priced at $84 each) to the May 15 event with proceeds going directly to Autism Speaks. Supplies are limited and fans are encouraged to visit www.DoverSpeedway.com/FedEx400 or call the Dover ticket office at 800-441-RACE and mention FedEx 111.
    Race Weekend Experience Auctions: The premier package is highlighted by the opportunity to wave the green flag to start the Cup race after joining the Sprint Cup drivers on stage for driver introductions. The package also includes two all-access pit passes, a garage tour, overnight accommodations in the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, luxury suite passes, and a green flag signed by the starting lineup of the race. A second package features two seats in the unique Monster Bridge. Proceeds from the auction go to Autism Speaks. Visit DoverSpeedway.com and click on the Autism Speaks button to place a bid.
    Support Autism Speaks Directly: Fans can text autism to 25383 to donate $10 instantly. Standard messaging charges apply and the donation will appear as a charge on your cell phone bill. In addition, donation locations will also be set up during the race weekend for those fans interested in donating on-site to Autism Speaks.(FedEx)(4-22-2011)

  • Group seeks NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Iowa: A group of Iowans have banded together in hopes of bringing a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. The Green Flag Alliance, a coalition that includes Newton mayor Chaz Allen, says it's seeking to boost fan interest and sponsorship support in hopes of landing stock car's premier circuit. The group says it's the perfect time for the Speedway to host a Sprint Cup race after landing two lower-tier NASCAR Nationwide races for 2011. The group says that analysis from other markets indicates that a Sprint Cup race can generate as much as $150 million to the local economy.(Associated Press/USA Today)(4-22-2011)

  • Construction work at Kentucky Speedway affects testing: Construction work at Kentucky Speedway has prompted a two-day IndyCar test to be canceled and pushed back a NASCAR tire test to be pushed back. The IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights had an open test planned for May 9-10 at the track. Teams were notified about the cancellation Wednesday and told IndyCar is looking into scheduling a one-day test at a similar oval. Goodyear invited seven NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to a May 17 test at Kentucky Speedway to confirm the tire setup for the inaugural Quaker State 400 on July 9. That tire test now will take place June 1. The date change could affect the driver lineup. As of last week it included #16-Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing, Ford), #29-Kevin Harvick (Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet), #2-Brad Keselowski (Penske Racing, Dodge), #38-Travis Kvapil (Front Row Motorsports, Ford), #20-Joey Logano (Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota), #5-Mark Martin (Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet) and #00-David Reutimann (Michael Waltrip Racing, Toyota).
    The culprit isn't the racing surface but construction going on around it. The rescheduling comes after crews recently removed the inside retaining wall from the exit of pit road, through Turns 1 and 2, and down much of the backstretch. "We're doing some grading there and also putting in a new wall with the SAFER barrier," Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said. "This is just to make it better and safer. That's what it's all about." Workers framed the pit stalls earlier this week and poured concrete Thursday. While The pit stalls will be concrete, but pit road itself will be asphalt. The changes are part of a massive effort to get the track ready for its Sprint Cup debut, and to handle the more than 100,000 fans expected to attend the July 9 race. "I think we've made some great strides," Smith said. "We've improved parking tremendously and the road system a great deal. Adding 12 more elevators and the extra camping and concessions and souvenirs, all the things we're doing there to accommodate the crowd, that's what we're about."(Cincinnati Enquirer)(4-22-2011)


    News from April 21, 2011

  • Johnson Accepts Driver of the Year Trophy: This past weekend at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, NASCAR president Mike Helton and Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver of the Year Foundation presented #48-Jimmie Johnson, the Sprint Cup's five-consecutive time champion with the 2010 Driver of the Year trophy at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame dinner. Johnson was also presented a Tissot timepiece. In its' 45th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique and the oldest award of its' type. A panel of 20 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. The winning driver receives a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch. Barry Schmoyer is businessman and sportsman based in Sarasota, FL.(Driver of the Year PR)(4-21-2011)

  • Kurt Busch helps give VIP treatment to fan: Josh Carden has become quite a "celebrity" in central Alabama over the last few months and that status is certainly nothing that the senior at Thompson High School cared to be a part of. Nonetheless, with the support of folks in the racing community such as Eli Gold (MRN Radio) and Grant Lynch (Talladega Superspeedway)and many othersJosh's life is beginning to take a turn for the good after the youngster has experienced such an unbelievable run of bad luck. Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch was "blown away" to hear that Josh was a huge fan of his. Gold has been a leader in the fund-raising aspect for Josh and Lynch launched an effort to give Josh total VIP treatment during this past weekend's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
    "Now that was a real tug on the heartstrings," Busch said on Saturday morning after purposefully "dodging" Carden's group behind the #22 transporter. Busch wanted to be in full uniform when he emerged from his transporter to encounter Josh. "This kid has all this he's working against and he's still the happiest fellow on the grounds of Talladega Superspeedway. It was a real eye-opener. His folks were there and even his bus driver. He's replaying how we won the Bud Shootout just like it's the audio from the racequite amazingand says we're gonna' do well out there in qualifying. We qualified eighth and I really think we might have gotten a bit of luck from Joshyou never know, It was a bit faster of lap that we thought we'd run." Josh identified Kurt as his favorite driver and will have a special "Kurt Busch Room" in his new homethanks to Gold, Lynchand all the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team sponsors involved. "Josh told me that I was his hero," said Busch, "but after learning his story, meeting him and spending time with him, I'm saying that Josh Carden is my hero."(Tom Roberts PR)(4-21-2011)

  • Lowe's makes donation to help out folks from NC tornado; Pit Crew Visits: In honor of the heroic efforts of Lowe's store employees during the April 16 tornado in Sanford, N.C., Lowe's announced this week it will donate $250,000 to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund. Lowe's stores nationwide also will accept customer's cash donations to the American Red Cross from April 20 to May 22. Lowes.com also will serve as a donation point for customers who wish to contribute to the American Red Cross, making it convenient for people who want to join Lowe's in making a difference in communities affected by disaster. The donations will support the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund to provide support to the thousands affected by the natural disasters nationwide, including the tornadoes in North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi; the wildfires in Texas; and the flooding in North Dakota.
    In Sanford, no employees or customers lost their lives during the severe weather thanks to the quick response from Lowe's employees inside the store. All Sanford Lowe's employees have been offered the opportunity to work in surrounding stores no jobs will be lost as a result of this disaster. In addition to these efforts and Lowe's support of the American Red Cross, Lowe's Employee Relief Fund will continue to assist the company's own employees faced with rebuilding nationwide. The Lowe's Employee Relief Fund, which was created in 1999, has contributed $12 million in assistance to more than 11,000 employees and their families. Lowe's matches each contribution dollar for dollar to make employee donations even more powerful.(HMS)
    AND Anne-Marie Rhodes, a Sanford native and the 2007 Miss Sprint Cup, joined NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson's pit crew on a tour of damage to the Lowe's Home Improvement store and neighborhoods hit by Saturdays' tornado.(Sanford Herald) and see an article with images by Rhodes at Motor Racing Digest.(4-21-2011)

  • Sad News - Wayne Redmond: Wayne L. Redmond, 52, passed away on Sunday, April 17, 2011 at Iowa Methodist Mecial Center in Des Moines. Redmond worked for AERO Race Wheel in Estherville for many years, which put him in touch with many NASCAR drivers and crews. More info and service info at laufersweilerfuneralhome.com. For an article about Redmond, see OneDirt.com.(4-21-2011)

  • Toyota Skinner Round-Up Raises $125,000: Last months Toyota Skinner Round-Up presented by Rue & Ziffra Personal Injury Attorneys raised $125,000 for five Volusia County, Fla., charities. The two-day event, organized by NASCAR driver Mike Skinner and his wife Angie, included a Hoe Down Bash at Daytona International Speedway followed by golf and poker tournaments the next day at Spruce Creek Country Club in Port Orange, FL. Volusia County charities benefitting from the event include the Council on Aging, Concerned Citizens for Animal Welfare, Greyhound Pets of America, Halifax Foundation and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Since the Toyota Skinner Round-Up began in 2005, the event has now raised more than $625,000 toward these charities.
    The Hoe Down Bash included a live concert by Nashville recording artist Stacy Mitchhart along with a musical set performed by Edwin McCain, sponsored by Brighthouse Networks. Fans were able to sample food from more than 10 Volusia County restaurants that participated in the popular Taste of Daytona, which was free of charge with the purchase of an event ticket. Fifteen items were auctioned off live to the crowd, including a six-seat EZGO golf cart, a Charlie Daniels autographed fiddle, a vacation package to the American Idol finale in Los Angeles, a trip to the 5F Ranch in Texas and much more. Over 100 silent auction items were also available for fans to bid on during the event.
    Celebrity guests who came out for the event included, Mitchhart, McCain, three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon, as well as fellow NASCAR drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. and Steve Park. Daredevil Robbie Knievel, country music comedian Cledus T Judd and NASCAR Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody also attended the event which honored former NASCAR executive Jim Hunter, who was a close friend of the Skinners and passed away last Oct.
    We would like to thank everyone for supporting the Toyota Skinner Round-Up again this year, added Skinner. Angie and I could not do this without the help of the sponsors, volunteers and celebrity guests who make this such a successful event. Also, a big thank you to all of the supporters who came out to the Hoe Down Bash at Daytona International Speedway and to the golf and poker tournaments at Spruce Creek Country Club. For more information on the Toyota Skinner Round-Up presented by Rue & Ziffra Personal Injury Attorneys, including how to donate additional funds, visit www.MikeSkinner.com.(4-21-2011)

  • Hamilton Jr. & Chaffin team up to keep Fairgrounds Speedway open: A pair of local [Nashville] racers with longtime connections to Fairgrounds Speedway Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Chad Chaffin have been awarded a contract to lease the track and keep it open for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The state fair board awarded the lease to Hamilton and Chaffin on Wednesday following their bid that guarantees a minimum of $53,100 annually to the fair board. Their bid also has a minimum of $8,001 for each night race, with up to five of those races allowed each season. It also includes a guarantee of $1 per ticket for each day race with a minimum of two races required. Tony Formosa Jr., who operated the track last season, made a bid of $5,000 per race without a minimum guarantee. The lease calls for two of the races to be run on the same weekend that the flea market is held at the fairgrounds and one during the Tennessee State Fair. Chaffin said he is confident enough profit will come from the track to cover the guarantee. Formosa declined to comment on his bid and why he did not include a guarantee. Hamilton already operates two other tracks in the area Highland Rim in Greenbrier and Riverview in Carthage. He said getting all three of the tracks in the area on a schedule that does not conflict with each other will be a key in growing the auto racing fan base, which will benefit each facility.(Tennessean)(4-21-2011)

  • Ticket Options for Darlington: The 2011 Showtime Southern 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway will be even more fan-friendly with special ticket pricing and new seating sections geared towards families and military service men and women. The new pricing structure will include discounted youth tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Showtime Southern 500 for the first time in the track's 60-plus year history. Fan-friendly ticketing options for 2011 include:
    New Youth Pricing All youths, 17 and under, are free in general admission seating for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 and just half price in reserved seating for the Royal Purple 200 and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Showtime Southern 500.
    Expanded Family Sections Family Sections are now located in each grandstand and are alcohol and tobacco free.
    New Military Pricing Active and retired service men and women can purchase tickets to any Darlington Raceway event for just half price. Each Showtime Southern 500 military ticket order will receive a free Darlington Raceway camouflage t-shirt. All military members are encouraged to wear these shirts on Showtime Southern 500 race day in order to be recognized during pre-race ceremonies.
    Experience Nationwide Race Day as a VIP: New in 2011, the T4 Zone is VIP fan hospitality for the Royal Purple 200 and includes: admission to the T4 Zone tent from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm, pre-race pit access, full meal and snacks, unlimited soda and water until scheduled race start, two beer coupons to all guests 21 years of age and older with valid ID, Darlington-branded gift and official souvenir program.
    Earn your Stripe in the Darlington Stripe Zone: The Stripe Zone returns in 2011 and as the ultimate Showtime Southern 500 VIP fan hospitality and includes: a pre-race pit pass, appearance from a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, full meal and snacks, unlimited soda and water until scheduled race start, four beer coupons to all guests 21 years of age and older with valid ID, Darlington-branded gift, official souvenir program and live entertainment.
    For more information on ticket packages or to purchase tickets, call the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or go online at darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.(Darlington Raceway)(4-21-2011)

  • Perform the National Anthem at New Hampshire: New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the New Hampshire chapter of Speedway Children's Charities have the perfect opportunity for aspiring performers to belt out the national anthem, with the first-ever Speedway Star performing competition on Saturday, April 23. "The Magic Mile" and WGIR's "The Morning Buzz" will give two people the opportunity to perform the national anthem in front of thousands of screaming race fans at either the New England 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, July 16, or the F.W. Webb 175 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Sept. 24. Seventy-five contestants will audition in front of a celebrity panel of judges including; Roadkill from WGIR's "The Morning Buzz," Rock 101's Scorch and Adam Furious; Justin McIsaac of WHEB and rock guitarist Gary Hoey, beginning at 10 a.m. through 2 p.m., during the speedway's FANtasy Drive 2. At the end of the day six finalists will be selected and videotaped performing the Star Spangled Banner, then posted on the New Hampshire Motor Speedway website for fans to vote. The two people receiving the most votes will be chosen to perform. Registration is just $20 per person and is held on the day of the event only. All proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire chapter of Speedway Children's Charities.
    NHMS' Season of Speed is fast approaching and tickets for all 2011 events can be purchased by calling the NHMS ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931. Additional information, including camping availability and prices, can be found online at www.nhms.com.(4-21-2011)


    News from April 20, 2011

  • NASCAR Sets Dates, Sites For 2011 Postseason Shows: NASCAR has announced dates and sites for its 2011 postseason championship celebrations. Riding the momentum of 2010's highly successful awards shows, all of this year's events will return to the same sites. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony will again be held at Wynn Las Vegas. This year, the ceremony is set for Friday, Dec. 2 and will feature the top 10 drivers in the final series standings. The event will culminate NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas.
    As in previous years, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony will be accompanied by a number of events designed with fans and media in mind starting with the immensely popular "NASCAR Victory Lap," an annual procession of the top 12 drivers in their race cars on Las Vegas Blvd., followed by NASCAR After The Lap, a Q&A event with the top 12 drivers; and the yearly NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. Details for these events as well as many others that will provide a lead-in to the ceremony will be announced later this year.
    In addition, the combined awards banquet for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take place in South Florida at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, one of the jewels of the South Beach area. The date is Nov. 21, the Monday following the season-ending Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    NASCAR's celebration of the top short-track drivers from throughout North America will return to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. for a special week of activities concluding with the crowning of NASCAR's developmental series champions. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet will be Friday, Dec. 9. The NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Banquet celebrating the champions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (East and West), the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and the NASCAR Mexico Series presented by Toyota will be held the following day, Saturday, Dec. 10.(NASCAR)(4-20-2011)

  • Johnson to run the #5 in All-Star race? hearing Jimmie Johnson will run the #5 Lowe's car in the All Star Race to promote a special promotion for Lowe's 5% discount for using their credit cards. Could be one reason Mark Martin is running the #25 in the event. Have seen nothing to confirm this yet or any images.(4-20-2011)

  • Bill Elliott Uncertain about plans: Bill Elliott isn't sure when he'll be driving again. He started the season with Phoenix Racing and had planned to run 17 races with the team throughout 2011. But since his release from Phoenix last month, he's only qualified and started the Talladega race for #46 Whitney Motorsports. Elliott used a past champion's provisional to get the team in the race, then turned the driving duties over to J.J. Yeley during the event. "I'm taking it one day at a time," Elliott said. "I don't know [what I'll do]. I'm just kind of on the sidelines going fishing, you know what I mean? Ain't much been happening. If you look at where the economy and stuff is, that's pretty much status quo."(SceneDaily)(4-20-2011)

  • Gander Mountain returns to sponsor Gilliland: For the second time in the 2011 race season, Gander Mountain announced that the outdoor retailer will be the primary sponsor of Front Row Motorsports' (FRM) Sprint Cup entry. The Gander Mountain #34 Ford Fusion will appear at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30, piloted by David Gilliland. Gander Mountain returns as a racing sponsor for the third season due to the number of NASCAR fans who also enjoy hunting, fishing and camping, according to Steve Uline, Gander Mountain's executive vice president of marketing. "David Gilliland is an avid outdoorsman, as are many NASCAR fans," he said. "An appearance in this race and a chance to promote Gander Mountain's on-line firearms store on the #34 car fits perfectly with the number of avid hunters who will enjoy the action under the lights in Richmond." Gilliland drove the Gander Mountain car for the first time in 2011 at Texas on April 9.
    Gander Mountain, with 116 stores in 23 states, is the nation's largest retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle apparel, products and services. The company offers thousands of products in its on-line store and now includes free standard shipping every day. In addition, the on-line site now offers a firearms department with a broad selection of ammunition, rifles, handguns, shotguns and accessories.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits) see an image of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(4-20-2011)

  • Wood Brothers to skip next three races: #21-Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers team, who have planned a limited Sprint Cup schedule this year, will skip the next three Sprint Cup races and return to the track on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with sponsorship from the Good Sam Club. Bayne and the Woods are guaranteed a starting spot in the All-Star race because of their victory in the season-opening Daytona 500.(Wood Brothers Racing)(4-20-2011)

  • More races for Schrader and FAS Lane Racing; Team looking for road racer: FAS Lane Racing announced this week NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader will run at least three more races with the team. Schrader, 55, will run the next two races on the schedule at Richmond and Darlington, followed by the Coke 600 Memorial Day weekend. The rookie team has qualified for seven out of eight races so far with driving duties split between Schrader, Mike Skinner, and two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte. The 1985 Cup Series Rookie of the Year hasn't run this many races since 2008, when he participated in 15 events. So far, in three 2011 starts with FAS Lane his best result is 22nd at Martinsville.(Frontstretch)(4-20-2011)
    UPDATE: FAS Lane Racing owner Frank Stoddard announced that the driver's seat for his #32 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is open and available for the two road course events on the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. The Toyota/SaveMart 350 will be held at Infineon Raceway on June 26th and the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dip at The Glen is at Watkins Glen International on August 14th. "We have some exciting opportunities available for these two road course races," stated Stoddard. "We have had some pretty good success on the road courses in the past and I am very confident that our package this year gives us a great opportunity to run up front in these two races. We want to find a driver and sponsor combination that gives us the best chance for success." In the past Stoddard has teamed with road racing specialist Boris Said but that duo will not work together for these two events in 2011. This presents a great opportunity for another road racing specialist or driver who loves the twisting and turning action of road course racing. FAS Lane Racing has used veteran NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte, Mike Skinner and Ken Schrader through the first eight races of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. The team will continue using a variety of drivers as it enhances the growth of the program.(FAS Lane Racing/Integrity Sports Marketing)(4-20-2011)

  • Michael Waltrip to race at Le Mans UPDATE testing: Michael Waltrip will drive a Ferrari for the Italian team of AF Corse in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11-12. Waltrip, Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas will compete in the GTE Pro Class. Waltrip plans to test next weekend at the Le Mans course in France. He also tested at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France in March.(ESPN.com)(4-16-2011)
    UPDATE: #15-Michael Waltrip will head to France Wednesday to test for June's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
    WALTRIP ON LE MANS: "Le Mans is a circle with a whole bunch of quirky turns stuck in the middle of it like a chicane and then two lefts and a right. That means one thing, there is going to be a whole lot of speed. Every time you get to a corner you're going to be hauling ass. The challenge for me is learning the circuit. There are a lot of turns, there's very few places where there is just one turn. It's like you get there and there are three or four turns right when you get there and then you fly down another mile or so to hit another set of turns."
    RACING WITH FASTER PROTOTYPES: "I went to Portugal and tested with the (Le Mans prototypes) on the track so I'd have that experience. They've toned the LMP cars down a little bit. They've taken some power away from them. Being out there with those guys is interesting because every time I've raced in my life I've been in equal cars and when I started racing the road race stuff I was passing cars that were slow, and that was really hard because you couldn't predict where they were going. Now, I'm going to be in the slow car and I don't want those LMP guys thinking 'I don't know where he's going' so what I've been told and what I learned in Portugal is to just run and they will find a way around you. That's what my goal will be, to just to sort of figure it out. We're going to get there on Friday just to ride bicycles around the track again to try to look at it and learn it. It should be a great experience."(MWR)(4-20-2011)

  • Farmers Insurance to sponsor Martin: Farmers Insurance has joined Hendrick Motorsports as a five-race primary sponsor of the Chevys driven by Mark Martin in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with plans to kick off the relationship by fielding a special "throwback" paint scheme. The agreement secures primary placement for Farmers Insurance in five events and associate-level sponsorship on Martin's cars throughout the remainder of this season. The NASCAR team sponsorship is the first for Los Angeles-based Farmers since February 2009, when it executed a one-race program at Fontana, CA.
    At the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Farmers Insurance will launch its program with a special #25 Farmers Insurance Throwback Chevy. The paint scheme will resemble the red #25 cars fielded by Hendrick Motorsports for the first time in 1986 -- 25 years ago. That season, the combination of driver Tim Richmond and crew chief Harry Hyde won seven races and eight pole positions.
    Returning to his customary car number, Martin also will drive the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy in four points-paying Sprint Cup Series races: June 5 at Kansas, June 12 at Pocono, June 26 at Infineon Raceway and Aug. 27 at Bristol. "We're excited about this new partnership with Farmers and the opportunity to represent its nearly 24,000 employees and more than 50,000 agents," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "It's an innovative company with very strong corporate values, and I'm confident that we'll continue to work together for a long time to come. When you have a partner that's essentially new to the sport, kicking off a program with a nod to the past is a unique approach. The #25 was my dad's car, and it's always held a special place in our history. Farmers choosing this paint scheme for its first race with Mark and Hendrick Motorsports means a lot, and I think our fans will really like it."(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image on the #5 Team Schemes page.(4-20-2011)

  • Jimmie Johnson To Guest-Star On FOX's "Breaking In" tonight: Five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #48-Jimmie Johnson will guest-star in an upcoming episode of the new hit FOX comedy series "Breaking In" this Wednesday, April 20th at 9:30 pm ET/PT. "Breaking In" is an offbeat half-hour workplace comedy about a high-tech security firm that takes extreme and often questionable measures to sell its protection services. Created by Adam F. Goldberg and Seth Gordon, the series centers on a team of uniquely skilled oddball geniuses hand-picked to work for a manipulative mastermind. The series stars Christian Slater as larger-than-life Contra Security head honcho Oz, Bret Harrison as computer hacker Cameron, Odette Annable as alluring bad girl Melanie, Alphonso McAuley as fanboy/mad genius Cash. Johnson, the 35-year-old El Cajon, Calif., native, plays himself in the episode as the storyline is built around his race team needing security assistance. "It was a very cool experience, and I'm excited to see how this week's episode turned out," said Johnson. "Fred Savage was really encouraging and gave me great direction and I had a blast with Christian Slater. I think the hardest part was not laughing at Michael Rosenbaum [who plays character Dutch]. That guy is what you'd call high energy. The whole experience was great. I hope the fans enjoy seeing me do something different, but trust me, I won't be leaving my day job any time soon." Slater, who served last month as the Grand Marshal for the Auto Club 400, was very impressed with Johnson's acting ability. "Jimmie was just as smooth on the set as he is on the track. Everyone was excited to have him be part of the episode," said Slater. "It was even more special for me as he made my son's birthday by autographing a pair of racing shoes." Part of Wednesday's NASCAR-focused episode was shot at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Johnson was also on the Sony-based set of "Breaking In" to film portions of the episode. "Breaking In" is produced by Happy Madison Productions, Adam F. Goldberg Productions and Sethsquatch, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Goldberg, Gordon and Doug Robinson serve as executive producers, while Goldberg serves as writer. Fred Savage is the episode's director.(NASCAR)(4-20-2011)

  • This season remains wide open: Seven different drivers have won the first eight races this season. That's the most competitively balanced start to a season since 2003, when nine different drivers won the first nine races. That stat is part of a handful of interesting numbers, facts and figures this season. For instance
    Four of the eight races have either set or tied a lead change record, including Talladega which tied an all-time NASCAR record of 88 lead changes.
    There has been an average of 14.6 leaders per race, most through eight races in series history.
    There has been an average of 38.5 lead changes per race, most through eight races in series history.
    There has been an average of 4,511 green flag passes all around the track per race, most through eight races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.
    There has been an average of 54 green flag passes for the lead all around the track per race, most through eight races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.(NASCAR)(4-20-2011)

  • RIR adds more fan amenities: Richmond International Raceway continues to add more fan-friendly amenities for the 2011 season, highlighted by the addition of 42" televisions throughout the concourse under the grandstands and convenient payment options.
    Concourse Televisions
    More than twenty 42" televisions will be installed throughout the concourse, underneath the grandstands.
    PayPal
    Fans who purchase race tickets online at www.rir.com now have the option to submit payment via PayPal.
    Credit Card Payments
    Many concession stands at the track will accept major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Stands that accept credit cards will be marked.
    Additional fan-friendly amenities previously announced include:
    Larger Coolers Allowed
    Fans may continue to bring their own food and beverage inside the gates at Richmond International Raceway. The new maximum allowed cooler size is 14x14x14 inches large enough for 36 12-oz beverages.
    Wider Seats
    Nearly all of the grandstand seats have been widened and now measure 22 inches wide.
    Backpack Policy
    Guests may carry in their items in backpacks or daypacks similar to those used by school kids. Each guest is allowed to carry in one backpack. The 2011 NASCAR season at Richmond International Raceway kicks off April 28-30 with four races in three nights! Tickets are on sale now for the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race "under the lights" on Saturday, April 30th. The weekend kicks off with a doubleheader on Thursday night, April 28th, beginning with the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, followed by the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Thursday's tickets are $25 and all seats are general admission. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult on Thursday. For tickets, log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-7223.(RIR)(4-20-2011)


    News from April 19, 2011

  • RCR and Caterpillar Renew Partnership; Burton re-signs: Richard Childress Racing and Caterpillar have reached agreement to continue their partnership on the #31 Chevy which began with the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevy, has also reached agreement on a multi-year contract extension with RCR. The South Boston, Va., native made his RCR debut August 22, 2004, at Michigan International Speedway driving the #30 Chevy (started 28th, finished 12th). "We are very pleased to continue our relationship with Richard Childress Racing and Jeff Burton," said Bill Finerty, Vice President of Americas Distribution Services Division for Caterpillar. "Cat Dealers, customers and employees all take pride in watching the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet compete at a high level in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."
    "I'm excited to continue my relationship with both Richard Childress and Caterpillar," commented Burton. "Over the past few years, I've had the opportunity to meet and work with a lot of great people at Caterpillar and I look forward to providing their employees, dealers and customers continued success both on and off the track. Continuing my career at RCR was a top priority for me and it's great to have the support of Caterpillar behind us." Caterpillar has been a sponsor in NASCAR since 1993. Cat was a team sponsor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series from 1995 - 1996 before moving to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1997. Its relationship with RCR began in 2009. "RCR is very happy to announce the continuation of our partnerships with both Caterpillar and Jeff Burton on the #31 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Richard Childress, President and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "Cat Racing has proven to be successful both on the track, with Jeff and his team's achievements, and off the track, with the creative programs provided to its customers. We look forward to building on the success of the partnership between Caterpillar, Jeff Burton and RCR for years to come."(RCR)(4-19-2011)

  • Tire testing at Dover: hearing that #24-Jeff Gordon, #43-A.J. Allmendinger and #11-Denny Hamlin are Goodyear tire testing at Dover International Speedway, Tuesday, April 19th. Also Brett Moffit is testing his NASCAR K&N Pro Series car. Rain could postpone or scuttle the test.(4-19-2011)

  • TBR set thru Kansas, unknown after: on Monday's NASCAR Now on ESPN2, #36 Chevy Sprint Cup Series team owner Tommy Baldwin said his team will race all events through Kansas and are working on more sponsorship so driver Dave Blaney can run the full season. Baldwin says he will evaluate things after Dover when the teams come back to the Charlotte area.(4-19-2011)

  • Drivers testing at Richmond for Denny Hamlin Showdown: Race fans in Richmond who can't wait for NASCAR to return are in luck. Several NASCAR drivers are making an early return to Richmond International Raceway this Wednesday, April 20, before the April 28-30 Spring NASCAR Race Weekend. They are testing in preparation for the Thursday, April 28 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Denny Hamlin, Hermie Sadler, Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell, Curtis Markham and Jason White are confirmed to hit the track Wednesday from noon to 6:00 p.m. Grandstands are free and open to the public by accessing Gate 70. The fourth annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown makes its debut at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday, April 28. The race features many NASCAR drivers, including Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano, Travis Pastrana and Trevor Bayne, battling with some of the best Late Model drivers in the area.(RIR)(4-19-2011)

  • Sad News - Dorothy Marks Powell: Dorothy Marks Powell of 401 Circle Drive, Ahoskie, died in her home on Friday, April 15, 2011. Powell is the mother of Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. Funeral services are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 20 at the First Presbyterian Church of Ahoskie. She is survived by her sister, Jennie Marks Delagrange of Scotland Neck. She is also survived by her sons, Allen Whitaker Powell of Raleigh and Russell Christopher Powell of Las Vegas, Nevada; daughters-in-law, Elizabeth Tayloe Powell of Raleigh and Mary Phetteplace Powell of Las Vegas; grandchildren Emma Whitaker Powell of Raleigh; Russell Christopher Powell, Jr. of New Haven, Conn., Thomas Whitaker Powell of Boone, N.C., Jack Allen Powell of Wilmington, N.C., Myers Christian Paulsen of Reno, Nev. and Lauritz Gaines Paulsen of Las Vegas. Memorial donations may be made to the Food Pantry, PO Box 159, Ahoskie, NC 27910, the Ahoskie Public Library, 210 E. Main St., Ahoskie, NC, or the entity of choice. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening, April 19, from 6-8 p.m., 401 Circle Drive, Ahoskie.(4-19-2011)

  • Sad News - Neil Mahr: Neil Irving Mahr, 72, of Pottstown, PA, husband of Patricia A. (Berkey) Mahr, died Friday, April 15, 2011, at Lenox Hill Medical Center, Manhattan, NY. Born in Pottstown, PA, he was a son of the late Irving O, Mahr Jr. and the late Frances V. (Smith) Mahr. Neil was a graduate of Pottstown High School in 1956. Neil was the owner of Mahr Printing and "Superpress" located in Sanatoga, PA. He enjoyed Drag Racing most of his life and raced Top Fuel into the late 70's. After his racing career he became involved in marketing NASCAR memorabilia. He was the creator of the first official NASCAR calendar and NHRA calendar featuring the top drivers of that era. He later opened "Brookfest Campground", one of the largest campgrounds in Michigan, next to Michigan Speedway. He retired in St. John US V.I., where he founded and established Villa Mahr, a vacation getaway. For service info and more info see the Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home & Crematory site.(4-19-2011)

  • Darlington weekend has positive impact on civic groups: The arrival of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina means a big economic impact on the entire area. A 2009 study estimated the annual economic impact of Darlington Raceway at $54 million across the state. In addition to that $54 million impact, local civic groups also benefit greatly from Darlington Raceway. On a Sprint Cup race weekend the track and Americrown - the official concessionaire and souvenir provider of Darlington Raceway - employ more than 40 local civic groups to staff various posts around the track including concession stands, guest service tents, parking lots and entrance gates, among other things. For their time and effort these groups each receive a donation to help support their organization. In 2010 Darlington Raceway and Americrown donations to local groups exceeded $100,000.(Darlington Raceway)(4-19-2011)


    News from April 18, 2011

  • Talladega overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR on FOX delivered a 4.6/11 on Sunday for racing from Talladega, FOX's best NASCAR rating in six weeks dating back to a 5.3/11 for the Las Vegas race on March 6. Yesterday's 4.6/11 is down -6% compared to last year's 4.9/11 when the race aired a week later. The race peaked at a 5.9/13 from 4:30-4:45pm.
    For the season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is averaging a 4.9/11, +2% better than last year's 4.8/10. Because last year's Talladega race was run a week later, that 2010 rating is not yet included in the year-ago average. One factor in yesterday's NASCAR decline was lower ratings in Charlotte and Raleigh, cornerstone NASCAR markets that were severely impacted by a violent storm this weekend. Viewing in Raleigh was down -28% (5.8 vs. 8.1) while Charlotte was down -20% (10.3 vs. 12.9). See 2011 ratings and comparison chart on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(4-18-2011)

  • With Biffle signed, Roush will now focus on Edwards: With #16-Greg Biffle now signed to a new three-year contract, Roush Fenway Racing will turn its focus to retaining Sprint Cup points leader #99-Carl Edwards. Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark said on Sunday he is cautiously optimistic a deal can be reached with Edwards, the biggest free agent on the NASCAR market. He hopes the deal can be reached before mid-summer. Edwards is free to talk to other teams. Sources said he has visited with Joe Gibbs Racing, which would have to expand to a fourth team to accommodate such an addition. But most in the garage believe Edwards will re-sign with Roush Fenway, the team he has driven for since his Sprint Cup career began in 2004. Biffle is among those who are confident that Edwards will remain his teammate.(ESPN.com)(4-18-2011)

  • Two records tied at Talladega: Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway tied two Sprint Cup Series records - number of lead changes and closest margin of victory. There were 88 lead changes at the start/finish line, tying an all-time NASCAR record set in last season's April event at Talladega. The final lead change occurred on the last lap - eight of the last 12 Talladega races featured a last-lap lead change. Jimmie Johnson edged Clint Bowyer by .002 seconds, which matches the closest margin of victory since the inception of electronic scoring in May 1993. That mark was originally set at Darlington Raceway on March 16, 2003, with Ricky Craven beating Kurt Busch. Since 1993, every race at Talladega finishing under green - 29 in all - has had a MOV under .400 seconds. Passing numbers - for the lead and otherwise - also were high. There were 159 green flag passes for the lead all around the race track, with a total of 11,025 green flag passes throughout the field.(NASCAR)(4-18-2011)

  • Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate Returns to Richmond: Miller Lite is bringing the ultimate tailgate party to fans at Richmond International Raceway prior to the Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate features live music, tailgate games and great tasting Miller Lite and smoked barbecue on sale. Located near the Midway on the Amphitheater Hill, the Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate is the place to be for fans 21 years of age and older before the green flag drops Saturday night, April 30. This festive and enjoyable destination is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a southern rock band performing from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., corn hole tournaments, a Miller Lite show car and mechanical bull riding.(RIR)(4-18-2001)

  • Michigan launches scoreboard opportunities for fans: Show that special someone you care with a personalized birthday message on the Michigan International Speedway scoreboard this summer. MIS is excited to announce its new scoreboard message capabilities, allowing fans a chance to see their birthday message on the scoreboard during race days. For a $25 donation to MIS Cares, fans can have a special message posted on the scoreboard for the entire crowd to see. This new race weekend feature is intended to be a fun and exciting way for fans to celebrate their special birthday event at MIS this June or August. Messages will be shown prior to pre-race ceremonies throughout the weekend. All personalized messages will be a maximum of 50 characters and are limited to the first 25 sold for each weekend. The deadline to make a purchase for the June race weekend is May 15, 2011. The deadline for the August race weekend will be July 15, 2011. For more information or to purchase a scoreboard message please visit www.mispeedway.com/scoreboardmessages.(Michigan Speedway)(4-18-2011)


    News from April 17, 2011

  • Johnson wins at Talladega: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 1st win of 2011, and the 54th of his career. Johnson, #33-Bowyer, and #24-Gordon came across the finish line 3 wide, with Johnson .002 seconds ahead of Bowyer and .039 second ahead of Gordon. The finish ties Ricky Craven's 2003 Darlington win as the closest finish since electronic timing was implemented.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished 4th, #29-Harvick, #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #5-Martin, #34-Gilliland, and #20-Logano.
    There were 88 lead changes among 26 drivers; 6 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps.
    The attendance is listed as 115,000, down from last years 123,500.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, April 20 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Talladega Race Results/Awards page. (4-17-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Talladega:
    Jimmie Johnson won the 42nd Annual Aaron's 499 , his 54th victory in 335 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his second victory and ninth top-10 finish in 19 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Clint Bowyer (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2011.
    Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 18th top-10 finish in 37 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Andy Lally (19th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 5 points over Jimmie Johnson.
    The margin of victory of 0.002 ties the closest margin of victory (Darlington - 3/16/2003) since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993.
    The 88 lead changes ties the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series all-time record of lead changes set at Talladega (4/25/2010). (NASCAR Statistics)(4-17-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Talladega, race 8 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 295
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 290, -5
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 276, -19
    4) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 268, -27
    5) #22-Kurt Busch, 267, -28
    6) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 257, -38
    7) #39-Ryan Newman, 253, -42
    8) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 252, -43
    9) #42-Juan Montoya, 246, -49
    10) #33-Clint Bowyer, 245, -50
    11) #27-Paul Menard, 242, -53
    12) #14-Tony Stewart, 240, -55
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(4-17-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points: going to Richmond (after 8 races):
    There were no changes to the top 35, but the #13 team is now just 2 points ahead of #71.
    31) #78-Smith/FRR, 142, +28
    32) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 140, +26
    33) #7-RGordon/RGM, 128, +14
    34) #32-Schrader/FAS Lane, 120, +6
    35) #13-Mears/Germain, 116, 2 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #71-Lally/TRG, 114, -2 out of top 35
    37) #36-Blaney/TBR, 105, -11
    38) #37-Raines/Front Row, 87, -19
    39) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 77, -29
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(4-17-2011)

  • Gordon pole extends streak: #24-Jeff Gordon won the pole for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, his 70th career pole, 3rd all time. It is the 19th straight season [every season he has been full time in Cup] that Gordon has won a pole, one behind the record of 20, held by David Pearson [1962-1981]. Gordon has also won 19 races from the pole, 6th all time, one behind Bobby Allison. Richard Petty holds that record at 61 followed by Pearson at 37. See more pole records, stats and all time pole list on the All-Time Poles page and for 2011, see the 2011 Pole Winners page.(4-17-2011)

  • Stenhouse on standby for Edwards: Babies don't always wait for races to finish. #99- Carl Edwards' wife is pregnant with the couple's second child and is due this month. Not wanting to miss the moment, Edwards has a plan in place so he could leave Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega at a moment's notice. Roush Fenway Racing has Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on standby to take over in case the driver of the 99 car splits to be at his wife's side. (Fox Sports)(4-17-2011)

  • Biffle signs contract extension: UPDATES: #16-Greg Biffle has agreed to a contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing. An official announcement of Biffle's extension could come as early as this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, sources said. As recently as April 1, Biffle said he was "90 percent sure" he would re-sign with Roush and hoped to have a new deal completed by midseason. A team spokesperson on Wednesday said she could not confirm Biffle had agreed to an extension.(Charlotte Observer)(4-13-2011)
    UPDATE: 3M is set to extend its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing and driver Greg Biffle for another three years. 3M has backed Biffle's Ford since 2005, and is currently in the final year of its existing contract. There has been no official announcement from either the company or the team, but sources speaking ont he condition of anaonymity say the deal will be announced in the near future. A cryptic message on the hood of Biffle's #16 Sprint Cup Ford today at Talladega Superspeedway reads, "3 For Three More Years."(Sirius Speedway)(4-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that both 3M and Greg Biffle have renewed their contracts for three more years. The new contracts will take 3M, Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing through the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. 3M has been a Roush Fenway partner since 2005 and Biffle began his NASCAR career with the team in 1998. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed. I am thrilled with the prospect of continuing the relationship we have with 3M and what that, paired with the talent of Greg Biffle, means for the success of the #16 team at Roush Fenway Racing, said team owner Jack Roush. Our endeavors with 3M have been successful both on and off the track and will ideally culminate with a championship season for Greg and 3M in the near future. On February 27th, 2005 3M made its debut on Roush Fenway Racings No. 16 Ford with Post-it brand on the hood. That day Biffle led 46 laps on his way to victory lane at Auto Club Speedway. (Roush Fenway)(4-17-2011)

  • Race Coverage of the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is scheduled for Sunday, April 17, 2011.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:19pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Wednesday, April 20 at 12:00pm/et

  • Mike Dillon returns to track: This weekend has been the best medicine possible for Richard Childress Racing vice president of competition Mike Dillon, who's officially back at a NASCAR race track for the first time since early March. Dillon was sidelined, and briefly hospitalized, when a blood clot was discovered in one of his lungs, between the NASCAR weekends at Las Vegas and Bristol. He was released from the hospital March 19 and since then, life as he had known it hasn't existed. Dillon was hospitalized and had to go on blood thinners. In conjunction with that, doctors forbade him from traveling by air, due to sitting at length and the danger of clots forming at altitude. Talladega was Dillon's first full-fledged race trip since Las Vegas, March 4-6. The interesting fact was he and Tina traveled by motorhome -- something Dillon said he'll do "to everything that's within about eight hours" until he's once again cleared to fly.(NASCAR.com)(4-17-2011)

  • Where's Robby? Robby Gordon was MIA at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, leaving Sam Hornish Jr. to qualify the #7 Fast Five/Speed Energy Dodge. Gordon was enjoying the scenery at the Long Beach Grand Prix in Southern California. Following qualifying, Hornish's time was disallowed when the car did not pass the height sticks in inspection for being too low in front. What was Robby Gordon Motorsports' penalty? The #7 Dodge will have to start from the back of the field. Not really a big deal. With Gordon not qualifying his own car, he was going to have to drop back at the start of the race regardless.(Fox Sports)(4-17-2011)

  • Gordon moves to 3rd in career poles with record slow speed: #24-Jeff Gordon won his 70th career pole Saturday and led a Hendrick Motorsports sweep of the top four spots at Talladega Superspeedway -- only the third team in NASCAR history to monopolize the first two rows for a Cup race. Gordon turned a two-lap qualifying average of 178.248 mph for the Aaron's 499. He broke a tie for third place on the career list with Cale Yarborough and trails only Richard Petty (123) and David Pearson (113). But the four-time series champion wasn't all that thrilled about another landmark: the slowest speed ever to claim the pole at Talladega. It wasn't even close. Gordon was more than 6 mph slower than the previous mark, a pole-winning speed.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(4-17-2011)

  • Henrico County, Virginia Issues Proclamation for NASCAR Week The Henrico County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation recognizing NASCAR Race Week April 24-30 in the county where Richmond International Raceway resides. Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz was on hand at the Board's meeting to accept the proclamation from Frank J. Thornton, Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors and Fairfield District representative. "Now, therefore, be it proclaimed, that the Board of Supervisors of Henrico County, Virginia hereby recognizes April 24 - April 30, 2011 as NASCAR Race Week and calls this observance to the attention of all Henrico citizens," the proclamation concludes. NASCAR Race Week in Henrico County features the start of the 2011 race season at Richmond International Raceway April 28-30 with four races in three nights.(RIR)(4-17-2011)


    News from April 16, 2011

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #24-Gordon chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #48-Johnson took pit stall 17, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    #5-Martin, who starts 3rd took the 16th pit stall, thefirst stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #15-Waltrip, who starts 12th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-16-2011)

  • Four drivers from same team start 1-2-3-4: Only three times in NASCAR Spint Cup history has an organization swept the top four starting spots for a race. Owner Pete DePaolos cars started 1-5 at Concord, N.C., in 1956; cars owned by Jack Roush claimed the top four spots on the grid at Fontana in 2005 and Hendrick Motorpsorts at Talladega in April 2011:
    DePaolo Engineering, Concord NC, December 1956: Curtis Turner on pole, then Joe Weatherly, Marvin Panch, Ralph Moody and Bill Amick.
    Roush Fenway Racing, Fontana, September 2005: Carl Edwards on pole, then Mark Martin, Kurt Busch & Greg Biffle.
    Hendrick Motorsports, Talladega, April 2011: Jeff Gordon on pole, then Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin & Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    (4-16-2011)

  • Jeff Gordon wins Talladega pole: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light pole for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 178.248mph. It is his 1st pole of the season and the 70th of his career, which is third on the all time list. #48-Johnson starts 2nd followed by #5-Martin, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #27-Menard, #09-Cassill, #6-Ragan, #22-Busch, #83-Vickers, and #21-Bayne.
    Hendrick Motorsports swept the top 4 qualifying positions, only the third time that has been done in NASCAR history.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #15-Waltrip, #87-Nemechek, #38-Kvapil, #97-Conway, #35-Park, #36-Blaney, #71-Lally, and #46-Elliott (who used the past champions provisional).
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #60-Skinner, #37-Raines, #66-McDowell.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Talladega Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(4-16-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Talladega:
    Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 42nd Annual Aaron's 499 with a lap of 53.723 seconds, 178.248 mph.
    This is his 70th pole in 625 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Gordon surpasses Cale Yarborough for third-place on the all-time pole winners list.
    This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his second pole in 37 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2011 and his 13th in 19 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Mark Martin (third) posted his 22nd top-10 start at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his fourth in eight races this season.
    Andy Lally (37th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    Hendrick Motorsports becomes the third team in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to qualify four cars in the top four starting positions (Pete DePaolo 1965 - Charlotte; Jack Roush 2005 - Auto Club).(NASCAR Statistics)(4-16-2011)

  • Red Line Oil sponsoring Elliott at Talladega: For the second time this season, Red Line Synthetic Oil Corp. will be the primary sponsor of the Whitney Motorsports #46 Chevy Impala where it will be driven by NASCAR legend "Million Dollar" Bill Elliott at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Aaron's 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 17, 2011. Elliott is subbing for full-time Whitney team driver JJ Yeley, who raced into the field at this year's Daytona 500.(Red Line PR)(4-16-2011)

  • Michael Waltrip to race at Le Mans: Michael Waltrip will drive a Ferrari for the Italian team of AF Corse in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11-12. Waltrip, Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas will compete in the GTE Pro Class. Waltrip plans to test next weekend at the Le Mans course in France. He also tested at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France in March.(ESPN.com)(4-16-2011)

  • France sues ex-wife, alleges extortion attempt: NASCAR chairman Brian France has sued his former wife, accusing her of tape recording telephone conversations to extort money from him. In a lawsuit filed Friday, Brian France claims his ex-wife, Megan France, has recorded multiple telephone conversations with him without his consent. He is asking a federal judge to issue an injunction barring Megan France from engaging in additional "intercepts of wire communications" between the two and distributing the contents of the recordings. Brian France alleges his ex-wife has offered not to disclose the recordings - keeping them private - if he pays her "substantial sums of money." Megan France's lawyers could not be reached for comment.(Charlotte Observer)(4-16-2011)

  • Martin to appear in Dover's Monster Mile Club: Mark Martin will be the special guest of a hosted question and answer session in the Monster Mile Club at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 15, 2011. The Monster Mile Club, an all-inclusive hospitality option including driver appearances, an opportunity to walk on the track before the race, and unlimited food with beverages, is available for $99 and can be added on to any Sunday race ticket. The Monster Mile Club opens at 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 15 with a continental breakfast. Trackside tours begin at 8:30 a.m. and the hosted question-and-answer session with Martin will follow later in the morning, at approximately 10:15 a.m. An all-you-can]eat lunch will be served at 11 a.m. prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 1 p.m. Monster Mile Club ticket holders will also receive a souvenir gift and a race program.(Dover Speedway)(4-16-2011)


    News from April 15, 2011

  • Happy Hour practice: for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over. Rain started just minutes after the session started. Only 8 drivers made it on track:
    #24-Gordon 190.412
    #5-Martin 190.412
    #38-Kvapil 175.012
    #11-Hamlin 158.344
    #20-Logano 156.786
    #66-McDowell 156.215
    #2-Keselowski 153.649
    #17-Kenseth 126.201
    See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Talladega Practice Speeds Page. (4-15-2011)

  • First Friday practice: for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over after 55 minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #14-Stewart 194.239
    #39-Newman 194.235
    #48-Johnson 193.713<>BR #18-Busch 193.713
    #43-Allmendinger 193.080
    slowest: #71-Lally 174.490 & #37-Raines 173.027. no speed: #66-McDowell.
    notes: There was a brief caution 15 minutes in because of some rain showers. The session was been extended for 10 minutes becuase of the threat of rain in the area.
    See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Talladega Practice Speeds Page. (4-15-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #46-Bill Elliott, 32nd
    #15-Michael Waltrip, 35th
    #35-Steve Park, 37th
    #97-Kevin Conway, 39th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 40th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 41st
    #36-Dave Blaney, 42nd
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 43rd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #71-Andy Lally, 44th
    #37-Tony Raines, 45th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 46th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Biffle signs contract extension: UPDATE: #16-Greg Biffle has agreed to a contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing. An official announcement of Biffle's extension could come as early as this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, sources said. As recently as April 1, Biffle said he was "90 percent sure" he would re-sign with Roush and hoped to have a new deal completed by midseason. A team spokesperson on Wednesday said she could not confirm Biffle had agreed to an extension.(Charlotte Observer)(4-13-2011)
    UPDATE: 3M is set to extend its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing and driver Greg Biffle for another three years. 3M has backed Biffle's Ford since 2005, and is currently in the final year of its existing contract. There has been no official announcement from either the company or the team, but sources speaking ont he condition of anaonymity say the deal will be announced in the near future. A cryptic message on the hood of Biffles #16 Sprint Cup Ford today at Talladega Superspeedway reads, 3 For Three More Years.(Sirius Speedway)(4-15-2011)

  • Burton expects more teams to communicate at Talladega: UPDATE: From Tuesday's NASCAR Teleconference:
    Q. At Daytona there was quite a bit of communication, starters, drivers, teams blending and that sort of thing. More of that at Talladega? Did we set a precedent for that at Daytona or will it be about the same?
    JEFF BURTON: I think it's going to be more of it. I think that it's really an interesting dynamic to be quite honest. We had a meeting this week talking about, you know, who you want to try to get on your radio, and it's pretty odd. I mean, typically it's teams that try to communicate within the team. But for a Childress car to be talking to a Hendrick car, or a Hendrick car to be talking to a Roush car, and a Roush car to be talking to a Gibbs car, we've never seen that. It's pretty interesting how that all is going down and who is going to who and talking and saying, can I put you in my radio. And with the etiquette: When do you go to a competitor's radio frequency? All of that's a moving target. I don't know, I'm a fan of it because I think honestly it's safer doing it with one spotter and two cars. I think it's actually safer. However, I'm not a fan of it because it's supposed to be us against them, you know. We are not supposed to be working together. (Laughing). (Chevy PR)(4-13-2011)
    UPDATE: The radio inside the four-time Sprint Cup champion's #24 Chevy can accommodate 16 team channels in Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. But Gordon says it's been programmed only for Hendrick Motorsports teammates #48Jimmie Johnson, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #5-Mark Martin and the Stewart-Haas Racing Chevys of #14-Tony Stewart and #39-Ryan Newman (whose chassis and engines are supplied by Hendrick). A prevalence of two-car trains made for strange bedfellows at the Daytona 500 as many rival NASCAR teams shared radio transmissions with one spotter calling the action for two drivers drafting nose to tail. It's expected many will employ the same strategy at Talladega. "We had people coming to us last week wanting our radio approval, and we're like, 'No,'" Gordon said Thursday. "We're not ready to do that. Having somebody be able to get on your channel is more complicated than some people are making it out to be. I'm not for that. We want to stay in control of what's said and be able to talk to the crew chief. I have one of the best spotters, so I want my spotter to be leading the way as much as possible. So we're very hesitant when it comes to that."(USA Today)(4-15-2011)

  • 2012 Hall of Fame nominees to be named Tuesday: The 25 nominees for the 2012 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be announced Tuesday, April 19 on NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED. Host Steve Byrnes will reveal the list of those chosen for consideration to the third class beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Voting for the five inductees to the 2012 class will be held in October, and the inductees will be enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in January 2012 on SPEED. The network also will carry the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring Lee Petty, Bud Moore, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson and Bobby Allison, May 23, 2011, at 8 p.m. ET, preceded by live pre-event coverage on NASCAR Race Hub at 7 p.m. ET.(SPEED)(4-15-2011)

  • Expect 197-198 mph speeds at Talladega: The day of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway in February was one of anxiety for NASCAR officials. They watched as Sprint Cup drivers, hooked up in the new Daytona version of the two-car draft, shot speeds into a relative stratosphere, spinning gauges to 206 miles per hour. That was very fast. That also was not acceptable. So NASCAR stepped into its occasional role as speed police, eventually changing the engine restrictor plate that helps control speeds at Daytona and Talladega and toying with the cooling systems that teams use to feed air to the engine compartment, with the aim of occasionally disrupting the two-car tandems. The plan worked, and a modification of it will be in use this weekend during practice and qualifying for the Aaron's 499 and the race itself at Talladega Superspeedway. After Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR dropped the size of the restrictor plate by 1/64 of an inch to 7/8 for this weekend. A minor impact on speed is expected. John Darby, Sprint Cup Series director, said he expects speeds this weekend to be in the 197-198 mph neighborhood "with an occasional lap at 200 to 201."(SPEED)(4-15-2011)

  • CARQUEST on the #5 at Talladega: CARQUEST Auto Parts, a major partner on the #5 team since 2005, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevy this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The red, white and blue paint scheme will be featured in a total of eight races this season.(CARQUEST), see an image of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page(4-15-2011)

  • Numbers for Talladega Superspeedway:
    0 - fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway (three times, most recent 10/6/02)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (twice, most recent 4/26/09)
    1 - fewest cars on the lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 5/6/79)
    2 - laps led by race winner Kevin Harvick last spring
    8 - cautions in last year's spring race
    10 - most wins (Dale Earnhardt Sr.)
    11 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    13 - wins from the pole; 32 from the front row
    29 - most leaders (5/25/11)
    40 - most cars running at finish (4/22/01)
    41 - drivers have posted wins in the 83 races
    62 - most caution laps (5/7/72)
    88 - most lead changes (5/25/10)
    153 - most laps led by race winner (Pete Hamilton, 8/23/70)
    BONUS: In addition to Talladega Superspeedway (83 races), six other Alabama tracks hosted 19 Sprint Cup events from 1951 to 1969. New Mobile Speedway was the first Alabama track hosting the series with two races in 1951. No other Sprint Cup races were held at the .750-mile dirt track. The final race at Montgomery Speedway was run on December 8, 1968, but was recorded as the second race of the 1969 season behind a race at Middle Georgia Raceway (Macon) on November 17, 1968. The first race actually held in 1969 was at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway on February 1, 1969 before the series converged on Daytona where the two qualifying races as well as the Daytona 500 were counted as part of the 54-race 1969 season.(Dodge Motorsports) (4-15-2011)

  • Talladega Unveils New Shower and Restroom Facilities: Talladega Superspeedway unveiled a new shower and restroom facility outside of Turn 1 that will service the Family and FREE South campgrounds. "The shower house that previously served this area was built in 1988 when Mike Helton was President of Talladega Superspeedway," said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. "While it served us well for many years, it was quite small with only four showers (2 men's and 2 women's). The new shower house has 18 showers on each side and more than 30 restroom facilities on each side. It's a substantial improvement. We've also converted the old shower house into a Security and Guest Services building that will service the South side of the track." The new shower facility measures approximately 6400 square-feet compared to approximately 800 square-feet for the old facility. An array of Rheem tank-less hot water heaters provide instant hot water throughout shower house. Additionally, Geico and Camping World will have displays near the new shower house to provide camping services for race fans. To purchase or for more information on tickets to Talladega Superspeedway or this event, please visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(Talladega Superspeedway)(4-15-2011)

  • Bayne, Patrana headline Party Zone fan hospitality at Richmond: If you want to watch NASCAR practice and pole qualifying from pit road and the opportunity to get up close and personal with NASCAR celebrities on Friday of race weekend, Richmond's Party Zone fan hospitality option is the ticket. The Party Zone fan hospitality on Friday, April 29 delivers a pre-race pit pass, full dinner buffet and question-and-answer sessions with NASCAR celebrities, including 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, motocross superstar Travis Pastrana and more. The Party Zone fan hospitality, available on Friday, April 29, prior to the BUBBA Burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race is $65 per adult and includes an exclusive pre-race pit pass (2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.), as well as admission to the Party Zone. Kids pricing (12 years of age and younger) is available for $10. The Party Zone does not include a race ticket.(RIR)(4-15-2011)


    News from April 14, 2011

  • Mike Joy Winner of 2011 McLemore Award: NASCAR on FOX anchor Mike Joy has been named the 2011 winner of the Henry T. McLemore Motorsports Journalism award. The McLemore is the most tenured motorsports journalism award, beginning in 1969 with inaugural winner Bloys Britt, who wrote for the Associated Press for 17 years, beginning in the late 1950s. It is an award voted upon by one's peers, and today's voters are past McLemore winners. It will be presented tonight at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame dinner and awards ceremony in Talladega. Joy has spent his entire adult life as a motorsports journalist. Raised in Windsor, Conn., Joy's career started in 1970, working as the public address announcer at New England short tracks. He rose through the ranks of MRN Radio and chronicled the growth of NASCAR by announcing races on CBS, TNN, ESPN, TBS and now FOX, along with ancillary programming on SPEED. His television career began on pit road, where he defined the position. He moved from pit road to the CBS anchor booth in 1998, where he called Dale Earnhardt's historic Daytona 500 victory. Joy resides in North Carolina with his wife Gaye and their two children, Scott and Kaitlyn.(TrueSpeed Communications)(4-14-2011)

  • Labonte running decal for killed servicemen:When #47-Bobby Labonte finally straps in for the race, his car will have a special decal to commemorate Matthew Ira Lowe, 33, of Plantation, Florida, and Lt. Nathan Hollingsworth Williams, 28, of Oswego, New York, that were killed when their F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed during a training flight in central California in a farm field. Lowe, the pilot, earned the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal during his career. Williams, a naval flight officer who managed the plane's weapons systems, earned the Air Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment ribbon and Pistol Marksmanship Medal. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families during this difficult time," Labonte said. "We wanted to do something as a team to commemorate both of them for serving our country. We are running a special decal on the C-post at Talladega."(JTG Daugherty Racing)(4-14-2011)

  • Earnhardt Jr. winless streak at 100: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a perfectly round winless drought: 100 races. That's a career-long stretch for a driver with a hefty 18 career wins. He owns the statistics that make him a favorite at the 2.66-mile track: five wins, a second-best Driver Rating of 92.7 and laps led in the last 10 races, and in 20 of 22 career starts overall. The last 100 races have not been kind to Earnhardt, but 2011 has a different feel. Earnhardt has finished in the top 10 in two consecutive races, and four of the last six. He is currently sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings, the highest he has been this late in the season since 2008. That season, he won his last race, and made his last Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.(NASCAR)(4-14-2011)

  • Fans can get photos on Red Bull cars at Charlotte: There aren't many people in this world who can race a car at speeds more than 200 miles per hour, but there sure are a lot of people who'd like to. That dream can now become a reality for Red Bull Racing buffs everywhere. Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne are encouraging their fans to e-mail in photos they'd like to see speed around the track with them for the May 29th race in Charlotte, North Carolina. Submitted photos will be incorporated into the paint scheme on the body of both the #83 and #4 Red Bull Racing Toyotas. Fans can get an up close and personal look at the photos on the cars when they're revealed at Red Bull Racing Fan Day at The EpiCentre in Charlotte on May 27th. Check out www.redbullracingusa.com/shutterspeed for more info.(Red Bull Racing)(4-14-2011)

  • Cat Financial scheme for Burton: Cat Financial's associate sponsorship of RCR's #31 Chevy kicks into high gear this weekend as Jeff Burton and the #31 team transform their track-type tractor #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet into a primarily yellow, red and black Cat Financial racing machine for the Aaron's 499. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation is the financial arm of Caterpillar Inc., a Fortune 500 company, a technology leader and the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, natural gas and diesel engines, and industrial gas turbines.(RCR)(4-14-2011)

  • Drivers to star in A&E's "The Glades": On April 11-12, Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted Arts & Entertainment Television Network for filming of its police-drama "The Glades" and the episode will air later this summer. A cast and crew of more than 250 turned Homestead-Miami Speedway into an outdoor TV studio for a taping of "The Glades" second season. Homestead-Miami Speedway played itself as the host of NASCAR's series-crowning finales during Ford Championship Weekend featuring Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano. The garage area and the 1.5 mile Homestead-Miami Speedway functioned as a movie set for this summer's "Moonlighting" episode. A&E Network summarizes its TV hit this way: "THE GLADES" is a one-hour drama featuring actor Matt Passmore who plays "Jim Longworth," a sly Chicago cop who relocates to a slower-paced small town in Florida where the sun shines, the golf is plentiful, and the crime less ubiquitous, so he thinks. In this episode, when Longworth investigates a NASCAR-related murder, he goes head to head with NASCAR's top drivers, and takes a few laps around the track.(HMS)(4-14-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Talladega:
    #1-Jamie McMurray: Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion has elected to bring Chassis #1009. This chassis raced in both races at Talladega last season where it finished second and 36th. This chassis also ran in this year's Daytona 500 where it came home 18th.
    #2-Brad Keselowski: The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-634 during Sunday's Aaron 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. This is a brand-new chassis to the #2 fleet.
    #6-David Ragan: Primary: RK-723 Last ran Daytona - finished 14th; Backup: RK-717 Brand new chassis
    #9-Marcos Ambrose: The #9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 715 for the 500-mile event at Talladega Superspeedway. This DEWALT Ford Fusion was run previously this season at Daytona International Speedway.
    #14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-634: This car debuted during Daytona Speedweeks. It set the 10th fastest time in Daytona 500 qualifying, which slotted it fifth for the Gatorade Duel. In that race, Stewart drove Chassis No. 14-634 to a 12th-place finish, which gave him a 25th-place starting spot for the Daytona 500. While he never led a lap in the season-opening race, Stewart was a top-10 mainstay that is until the final lap, when he was shuffled out of the draft en route to a 13thplace finish. It has had numerous sessions in the wind tunnel since its return from Daytona, and the Aarons 499 at Talladega Superspeedway will mark Chassis No. 14-634s third career start.
    #17-Matt Kenseth: Primary: RK-713 (Last run at Daytona)
    #18-Kyle Busch: Chassis No. 292: This chassis will make its second career start in Sundays Aarons 499 at Talladega. No. 292 made its debut this past February in the season-opening Daytona 500, where Busch started 10th and finished a solid eighth.
    #20-Joey Logano: The #0 Home Depot Team is taking chassis #293 to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for the restrictor-plate race. Logano drove this chassis in the season-opening Daytona 500 where the No. 2 car spun late in the race and clipped the right rear of the No. 20 Camry causing extensive damage. Logano came into the pits for repairs and was able to finish in the 23rd position. The back-up chassis is chassis #212 which Logano drove in the 2010 Daytona 500.
    #22-Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led Penske Racing "Double-Deuce" team will be racing their "PRS-640" Shell-Pennzoil/AAA Dodge Charger this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The "PRS-641" will serve as the backup car for this weekend. Busch has also yet to race this car.
    #27-Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 338 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 27 Chevrolet Impala was a brand new addition to the RCR fleet for the 2011 season. Menard recorded the fourth-quickest lap during the Daytona 500 time trials in February and went on to finish ninth in both the Duel 150 qualifying race and Daytona 500.
    #29-Kevin Harvick: The #29 Budweiser Chevy team will utilize chassis No. 343 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Harvick led twice for a total of five laps with this car at Daytona International Speedway in February's Daytona 500 before the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet's engine expired on lap 22.
    #31-Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 331 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend's Aaron's 499. Built new for the 2011 season, this No. 31 racer first competed in the second Duel 150 qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway where Burton drove it to victory. He then raced this Caterpillar Chevrolet in the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 that ended eight laps shy of the halfway mark for the Todd Berrier-led team when the engine suddenly expired, crediting them with a 36th-place finish.
    #33-Clint Bowyer: will pilot chassis No. 294 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 33 Chevrolet Impala has significant restrictor-plate track success, including a top-five finish (fourth) in the 2010 Daytona 500 and a trip to Victory Lane in last October's Talladega 500 after starting from the front row.
    #39-Ryan Newman: Chassis No. 39-606 makes a return trip to Talladega Superspeedway this spring after making its first start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway last fall. Last October, Newman qualified eighth at Talladega and attempted to make a late-race charge, but finished the afternoon in 23rd. Although it wasnt the finish the team had hoped for, it marked the first superspeedway finish for the driver and team in more than a year. After taking a trip to Daytona International Speedway in February as the teams backup car, Chassis No. 39-606 will return to action for the first time in the 2011 season this weekend in Alabama.
    #42-Juan Pablo Montoya: Crew Chief Brian Pattie and team will bring Chassis #1101 to Talladega Superspeedway. This is the same chassis the No. 42 used at Daytona International Speedway during the season-opening Daytona 500 where Montoya finished sixth.
    #43-A.J. Allmendinger: The #43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 722 for this weekends event at Talladega Superspeedway. This Best Buy Ford has been run previously this season at Daytona International Speedway.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson: will pilot chassis No. 628 in Sunday's restrictor-plate event. He crossed the finish line 27th with that chassis at the Daytona 500 in February. Johnson finished fourth in backup chassis No. 618 during February's Budweiser Shootout.
    #99-Carl Edwards: RK-677, Last raced at Budweiser Shootout, Feb. '11
    (from team PR's/sites if reported)(4-14-2011)

  • Kentucky Speedway, Coca-Cola announce five-year partnership: Hot sunshine and the hottest-ever Kentucky Speedway action will have race fans working up a thirst during the 2011 season as they cheer on their favorite NASCAR and open-wheel drivers. Thanks to a new five-year partnership with Coca-Cola North America, the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR, Coca-Cola, has become the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage provider to Kentucky Speedway and will refresh its fans' hard-working thirst each time they visit the 106,000-capacity Speedway Motorsports, Inc.,(SMI) facility in Sparta, Ky. Coca-Cola and Kentucky Speedway will team to create a series of entertainment and promotional programs designed to enhance the fan experience while generating exposure for the venue's six-event, two-weekend 2011 season. Kentucky Speedway and Coca-Cola will introduce their new partnership to fans by delivering a buy-one, get-one-free ticket offer redeemable for either the July NCWTS or NNS races to those who purchase specially-marked 20-can multipacks of Coca-Cola. Multipacks will be on store shelves in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio as well as in Lexington and Louisville, Ky., beginning June 1, 2011.(Kentucky Speedway)(4-14-2011)

  • Kenseth Headlines Green Flag Zone at Richmond: The Green Flag Zone fan hospitality, available on Saturday, April 30, prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is $90 per adult and includes an exclusive pre-race pit pass (2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.), as well as admission to the Green Flag Zone, which offers: Appetizers (2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.), Dinner buffet (3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.), Six adult beverage tickets for fans 21 and older (with a valid ID), Unlimited sodas and water, Question-and-answer sessions with Matt Kenseth, Rutledge Wood, Miss Sprint Cup, Hermie Sadler, Matthew Hansen and track president Doug Fritz, Live musical entertainment. Kids pricing (12 years of age and younger) is available for $45, which includes all of the above except the adult beverage tickets. Guests must have a ticket to the Saturday, April 30 race to purchase. The Green Flag Zone does not include a race ticket.(RIR)(4-14-2011)


    News from April 13, 2011

  • Jeff Gordon on the Golf Channel: #24-Jeff Gordon is scheduled to be a guest on Golf Channel's brand new morning program, "Morning Drive," Thursday, 4/14 at 8:30am/et. The Morning Drive is hosted by sports broadcast veterans Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams.(PR)(4-13-2011)

  • Biffle signs contract extension: #16-Greg Biffle has agreed to a contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing. An official announcement of Biffle's extension could come as early as this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, sources said. As recently as April 1, Biffle said he was "90 percent sure" he would re-sign with Roush and hoped to have a new deal completed by midseason. A team spokesperson on Wednesday said she could not confirm Biffle had agreed to an extension.(Charlotte Observer)(4-13-2011)

  • Special Scheme for Hamlin at Talladega: The #11 Toyota will carry a special paint scheme for the second consecutive weekend, as the familiar black and blue FedEx Office colors turn blue and white to coincide with the "Print Big, Save Big" sale currently running at all FedEx Office locations. The Orlando South FedEx Office district is currently the best performing district in the "Print Big, Save Big" promotion and will have its "0110" numbers on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota this weekend. (FedEx Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #11 Team Schemes page.(4-13-2011)

  • STP jumping back into racing: UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, STP will announce its return to big league racing, an aggressive sponsorship plan that will have the old familiar "racer's edge" mantra back in NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the NHRA, plus multiple racetrack sponsorships. It begins with NASCAR's split weekend of June 4-5, when the Saturday night Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway will be the STP 300 and the following Sunday afternoon's Sprint Cup race will be the STP 400. That same weekend, Richard Petty's famous #43 car, driven by A.J. Allmendinger, will carry The King's iconic 1972 STP paint scheme, marking the first time that car has carried those colors since a two-race deal in 2006. In addition, STP has signed track sponsorship deals with International Speedway Corp. properties, including Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, Michigan, Chicagoland and Kansas. The company has also inked a multiyear sponsorship of Infineon Raceway, including title sponsorship of its Wednesday night drag racing series.(ESPN.com)(4-13-2010)
    UPDATE: When STP and Richard Petty first signed a deal in 1972, it forever changed the sponsorship landscape within the sport of auto racing. To mark its 39 year history in racing, the STP brand is building its presence in the sport through multiple series' including NASCAR, NHRA, World of Outlaws, Infineon Speedway, and at several International Speedway Corporation (ISC) tracks. STP's racing portfolio includes:
    • Multi-year title sponsorship of the Nationwide and Cup races at Chicagoland Speedway and Kansas Speedway, respectively. This year, the STP 300 Nationwide Series race will take place on June 4 and the STP 400 Cup race will run on June 5.
    • The STP-branded #43 car will make its return to the track driven by Richard Petty Motorsports driver, AJ Allmendinger, during the STP 400. The No. 43 STP Ford Fusion will be a modern replica of the 1972 paint scheme featuring the original Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red.
    • Primary sponsor of two-time NHRA Full Throttle Nitro Funny Car Champion Tony Pedregon for three races (Las Vegas, Houston and Infineon) and an associate sponsorship for the balance of the season.
    • Multi-year track sponsorships with a number of ISC properties including Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, Michigan, Chicagoland and Kansas.
    • Multi-year track sponsorship of Infineon Raceway and title sponsor of Wednesday Night Drags and Bracket Drags.
    • Continued sponsorship of Tony Stewart Racing and four-time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz and the World of Outlaws Series.(MATTER, Edelman/STP)(4-13-2011)

  • Vickers Unsure of 2012 Plans: With the health conditions seemingly behind him and Chase prospects, for now, looking dim, the most intriguing story surrounding Vickers and Red Bull Racing is whether they will remain together in 2012. "I haven't made any decisions yet. I like Red Bull. I've enjoyed my time there as a Red Bull brand. I think I fit the brand and the brand fits me. There's no doubt about that. It is a high energy, be yourself, love life, extreme athlete, extreme sport kind of brand. And they allow me to do the things that I love to do and that is great," said Vickers in a phone interview with News/Talk WSB. "Most importantly, we've got to win races and I think that is what we both want. And hopefully we can both figure that out together and I can finish my career out at Red Bull. If we can't, then there's other options on the table and maybe we'll look at those. For right now, I'm committed to Red Bull and to this season and that's where my focus is as of right now." A possible factor in Vickers' decision may be who Red Bull Racing picks as his teammate next season. "Obviously, Kasey [Kahne] is going to be gone next season and we're going to have to fill that car. It's definitely going to be an interesting year for Red Bull Racing."(WSB Atlanta)(4-13-2011)

  • Golden Corral returns to TBR: Tommy Baldwin Racing will team up with Golden Corral in the Aaron's 499 for the second installment of the Racing for American Families promotion. Golden Corral joined forces with TBR earlier this season in the Daytona 500. TBR driver Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Golden Corral Chevy at Talladega Superspeedway. As part of the Racing for American Families promotion, Golden Corral will offer a one-day "Kids Eat Free" promotion on Monday, April 18th if Blaney and the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet finish in the top-10 in the Aaron's 499 on April 17th. In addition to the "Kids Eat Free" promotion, Golden Corral will make a $10,000 donation to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) on behalf of the #36 Golden Corral Chevrolet race team.(TBR)(4-13-2011)

  • Steve Park returning to the #36 at Daytona: Tommy Baldwin Racing will team up with NASCAR veteran Steve Park for the second annual modified tribute car at Daytona International Speedway. Park will run the #36 "Old Blue" Chevy to tribute owner, car-builder and mechanic Len Boehler in the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday, July 2nd. Boehler started BRE Racing Inc in 1957. From the late 60's to the early 70's, Boehler ran a coupe modified that was beat up with dents, rusty and built with junkyard parts but had a fast big-block engine. Competitors called the car "Old Blue" and the name stuck. "Old Blue" won six NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championships from 1967-69 and 1994-96 and collected over 400 feature wins in the team's 54-year history. Beginning Monday, April 18th, fans will have the opportunity to be a part of history by sponsoring the #36 "Old Blue" Chevy with contributions from $20 to $10,000. All proceeds exceeding $100,000, the cost to race the Coke Zero 400, will be donated by Tommy Baldwin Racing to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(TBR), Park ran the #36 last year at Daytona in July in a Richie Evans Tribute car and is also entered in the #35 Chevy this weekend at Talladega for Tommy Baldwin.(4-13-2011)

  • Burton expects more teams to communicate at Talladega: From Tuesday's NASCAR Teleconference:
    Q. At Daytona there was quite a bit of communication, starters, drivers, teams blending and that sort of thing. More of that at Talladega? Did we set a precedent for that at Daytona or will it be about the same?
    JEFF BURTON: I think it's going to be more of it. I think that it's really an interesting dynamic to be quite honest. We had a meeting this week talking about, you know, who you want to try to get on your radio, and it's pretty odd. I mean, typically it's teams that try to communicate within the team. But for a Childress car to be talking to a Hendrick car, or a Hendrick car to be talking to a Roush car, and a Roush car to be talking to a Gibbs car, we've never seen that. It's pretty interesting how that all is going down and who is going to who and talking and saying, can I put you in my radio. And with the etiquette: When do you go to a competitor's radio frequency? All of that's a moving target. I don't know, I'm a fan of it because I think honestly it's safer doing it with one spotter and two cars. I think it's actually safer. However, I'm not a fan of it because it's supposed to be us against them, you know. We are not supposed to be working together. (Laughing). (Chevy PR)(4-13-2011)

  • NASCAR, Walmart Join Forces In Support Of U.S. Military Families: NASCAR and Walmart have partnered to produce a public service announcement (PSA) campaign recognizing the sacrifices and challenges military families face throughout the United States. These PSAs, which will feature a number of NASCAR drivers and be shown in more than 500 Walmart locations, will highlight opportunities for NASCAR fans and Walmart customers to support military families in their local communities. Scheduled to launch Memorial Day Weekend, the NASCAR-produced spots will direct viewers to a website - www.joiningforces.gov - where they can learn more about opportunities to support local efforts.(NASCAR)(4-13-2011)

  • Record lead changes at Talladega? Whenever a lead change takes place on the race track, the NASCAR control tower announces it thusly: New Leader, the [car number]. There were many such announcements at the two Talladega races last season. The April race had an all-time NASCAR record 88 lead changes; the October race had 87. The October race got off to a quick start there were 10 lead changes in the first 10 laps. The record for number of different leaders was also broken last April 29 different drivers led at least one lap. Figure on a similar ratio this weekend. The lead change and leader records both fell in the seasons first restrictor plate race the Daytona 500. That jump-started a season that has already seen three races with records in lead changes, and another Texas, last weekend that came two lead changes short of tying the record. Many competition numbers are highs through seven races. For instance
    There has been an average of 13 leaders per race, most through seven races in series history.
    There has been an average of 31.4 lead changes per race, most through seven races in series history.
    There have been six different winners in the first seven races, most since 2003.
    There has been an average of 3,581 green flag passes all around the track per race, most through seven races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.
    There has been an average of 39 green flag passes for the lead all around the track per race, second-most through seven races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.(NASCAR)(4-13-2011)

  • Oreos on the #42 Talladega: This weekend the #42 Target Chevy will carry the Oreo brand on its quarter panels. Oreo is manufactured by the Nabisco Division of Kraft Foods and can be purchased at local Target stores. The Oreo cookie has been America's most popular cookie since it was introduced in 1912. More than 345 billion Oreo cookies have been consumed to date. More than 7.5 billion Oreo cookies are consumed each year, which comes out to 625 million per month and 20.5 million per day.(EGR)(4-13-2011)

  • Mayfield claims NASCAR forced SPEED to edit interview: Jeremy Mayfield accused NASCAR of forcing the SPEED Channel to edit Mayfield's one-on-one interview with Steve Byrnes. Mayfield said, " I had a great interview with the SPEED Channel about a month ago with Steve Byrnes, the best one ever. It was going to be great! I couldn't wait for them to air it. It was honest. From his point of view, he was asking me honest questions that I could answer, he wasn't trying to set me up...everything was great - and then NASCAR gets wind of it. Paul Brooks (from NASCAR) calls the President of the SPEED Channel and says, "If you air this show with Mayfield on it, it's going to jeopardize our relationship." So, they took out everything I said, anything that amounted to anything at all - took it all out and basically made me look like an idiot on TV like I wasn't saying anything."(Captain Thunder)(4-13-2011)

  • Rodney Atkins having pre-race concert at Richmond: One can always find their fair share of Patriotism at a NASCAR event but when Rodney Atkins takes the stage in Richmond, it will be at an all-time high. Continuing his ongoing partnership with Crown Royal to salute those who proudly serve, country music artist Rodney Atkins will honor military hero United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Matthew Hansen, in an hour-long concert prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30th. Ticketholders who are 21 years of age and older will have the opportunity to view the concert on the frontstretch of America's Premier Short Track. To receive passes for on-track access, ticketholders are invited to visit a booth located in the white VIBE tent on the midway, adjacent to the Old Dominion Building on Saturday, April 30, where they will receive a Crown Royal t-shirt and a lanyard, providing them access to the stage area for the concert. Ticketholders who do not have on-track access passes can still experience the concert from the grandstands.(RIR)(4-13-2011)

  • Kansas Speedway partnering with Harvesters on June 3: Kansas Speedway is partnering with Harvesters - The Community Food Network to benefit Harvesters' BackSnack program. Fans that attend the June 3 practice sessions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Kansas Speedway will be able to make a monetary donation to the BackSnack program when they enter the gates at Kansas Speedway. The BackSnack program, provides backpacks of healthy, kid-friendly food to low-income children who are at risk of being hungry on the weekends. Harvesters provides the food and backpacks, and a community partner cleans and fills the backpacks with food each week. Schools distribute the backpacks on Fridays to students who then bring them back on Mondays to start the process again. This year alone, the BackSnack program is feeding more than 13,000 students each weekend in Harvesters' 26-county service area. It takes $200 to provide one backpack to one child for the entire school year. Volunteers from Harvesters will be on hand to collect the donations at the Speedway or race fans can donate $10 to Harvesters by texting FOOD to 41010.(Kansas Speedway)(4-13-2011)


    News from April 12, 2011

  • Richert named crew chief for Lally, TRG: Doug Richert has been named crew chief on the #71 Interstate Moving Services Ford for TRG Motorsports. Richert will take over the reins for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 to be run at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 17. Richert is a championship winning crew chief and is best known as the crew chief for Dale Earnhardt's first Cup championship as well as guiding Greg Biffle to 10 Cup victories. In addition to having experience across the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series', Richert is also a familiar face on the SPEED Channel.(TRG)(4-12-2011)

  • Bayne may have sponsor to run All-Star race: UPDATES: The Wood Brothers are close to a sponsorship deal that will put Daytona 500 champion #21-Trevor Bayne into the May 21 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I think it will work," said Len Wood, one of the co-owners of the team. "There's been interest in the last 36 hours." Wood said he should know something for sure early next week, but wouldn't identify the sponsor other than to say it was a familiar name in racing. "We've got somebody who wants to run the race," Len Wood said. On Tuesday, Eddie Wood said the team didn't plan to enter the non-points event without sponsorship. Len Wood said the publicity did not spark the interest from the sponsor that has stepped forward, but acknowledged a number of people want the team in the race. Among those are Charlotte Motor Speedway, which hosts the race, and Ford, the team's manufacturer.(ESPN.com)(4-2-2011)
    UPDATE: Wood Brothers Racing is expected to add two more races to Trevor Bayne 's schedule, including the May 21 Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team is completing a deal for additional sponsorship that would push the rookie's schedule in the Sprint Cup Series to 18 regular season races and the All-Star event. The announcement could come as soon as this week. The additional sponsorship also includes the April 17 race at Talladega Superspeedway.(Augusta Chronicle)(4-8-2011)
    UPDATE 2:Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne will enter the May 21 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as Wood Brothers Racing has secured sponsorship for the event. The Wood Brothers have lined up Camping World and Good Sam Club to sponsor the 20-year-old Bayne in the non-points event. Until sponsorship was lined up, Bayne, who qualified for the race with his surprising victory at Daytona, was not slated to take part. Camping World and Good Sam Club will also sponsor Bayne's car in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. (ESPN.com)(4-11-2011)
    UDPATE 3: Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and his Wood Brothers Race Team will carry the colors of the Good Sam Club in the Aarons 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 17 and in the NASCAR Sprint All Star Race on May 21. Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Good Sam Club and its sister company Camping World, said hes thrilled to have Bayne and the Woods on board for a big weekend in April, which includes both the NASCAR race and Good Sam Days, where the camping clubs one million members can enjoy special deals at Camping Worlds online store at www.campingworld.com and free food and hospitality at Camping World stores. Then, at the All Star race, the #21 also will carry a Camping World logo, but the most prominent space on the car will go to the Good Sam Club, which Lemonis said is most appropriate.(Wood Brothers Racing)(4-12-2011)

  • Terry Labonte returns to the #32: FAS Lane Racing announced that C&J Energy Services will sponsor the teams #32 Ford this weekend for the running of the Aarons 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. The team also announced that two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte will be back in the drivers seat. Labonte piloted the #32 Ford in the season opening Daytona 500 to a solid 15th-place finish. C&J Energy Services is based in Houston, but founded in Corpus Christi, Texas which is also the hometown of Terry Labonte.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(4-12-2011)

  • Judge rules against NASCAR in plane crash suit: A U.S. District Court judge has thrown out NASCAR's lawsuit against Cessna over a July 10, 2007, plane crash that killed five people near Orlando. Judge John Antoon II issued the ruling Friday, granting summary judgment in favor of Cessna, stating that any responsibility by Cessna for the crash expired after 12 years. The Cessna 310R involved in the crash was constructed in 1977 and co-piloted by Bruce Kennedy, husband of NASCAR Executive Vice President Lesa France Kennedy. Bruce Kennedy, his co-pilot and three others on the ground were killed in the fiery accident in Sanford, Fla. The pilots reported smoke in the cockpit and were attempting to make an emergency landing. NASCAR, through its insurance company, has paid the families of the victims (as well as the property owners who had damage resulting from the crash) an undisclosed settlement. NASCAR and its insurance companies were asking for Cessna to contribute to those payments.(Scene Daily)(4-12-2011)

  • At Talladega Superspeedway:
    Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968.
    The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 14, 1969.
    The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989.
    Fourth repaving completed on Sept. 19, 2006.
    There have been 83 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Talladega Superspeedway since the track opened in 1969; two a year every year except the inaugural season, which had just one.
    Richard Brickhouse won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
    Bobby Isaac won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole in September 1969. Isaac won the first three poles there.
    35 different drivers have won poles. Bill Elliott leads all drivers with eight poles.
    41 different drivers have posted victories, led by Dale Earnhardt Sr. (10). Eighteen drivers have won more than once.
    Jeff Gordon leads all other active drivers in victories, with six. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is second among active drivers in victories with five.
    Richard Childress Racing has won 11 races, more than any other organization. Hendrick Motorsports, with 10 wins, can match that mark this weekend.
    32 of 83 races have been won from a top-two starting position, including 13 from the pole; 23 have been won from a starting position outside the top 10. The most recent driver to win from the pole was Jeff Gordon in 2007 (spring).
    The furthest back in the field a race winner started was 36th, by Jeff Gordon in 2000.
    Mark Martins pace in the 1997 spring race set an all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup record for the fastest race ever. He won the caution-free race with an average speed of 188.354 mph and covered the 500-mile distance in two hours, 39 minutes and 18 seconds.
    Last seasons spring race set the all-time and track records for lead changes (88) and lap leaders (29). The previous highs were 75 lead changes (set on May 6, 1984) and 28 lap leaders (set on Oct. 5, 2008). Both previous records also were set at Talladega.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. had four consecutive victories (October 2001 through April 2003), the most ever by a driver there. Buddy Baker (three May 1975 through May 1976) is the only other driver to win more than two consecutive races there.
    Since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993, every race that has ended under green has had a margin of victory under half a second.(NASCAR)(4-12-2011)

  • Storms cause damage at Texas Motor Speedway: The Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500, the first Saturday night race at Texas Motor Speedway, turned out to be a winner on several fronts; including the timing of a storm front that blew through overnight Sunday that caused damage to some of the structures remaining from Saturday night's event. "It was one of those typical Texas storms carrying heavy winds, rain and even hail," said Media Relations Director Mike Zizzo Monday. "The majority of the damage sustained was to temporary structures around the facility that were remaining after Saturday night's race, mainly third-party vendors. Fortunately, there were no injuries." According to some witnesses, including several who were still camping in the infield, the high winds blew down tents turned over some RV's and trailers and tossed around tables and chairs. The damage to the speedway included the loss of signs, fencing and some flag poles.(NASCAR Examiner)(4-2-2011)


    News from April 11, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #15-Michael Waltrip (47, 1)
    #35-Steve Park (0,0)
    #36-Dave Blaney (38/7)
    #37-Tony Raines (37/7)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (39/7)
    #46-Bill Elliott (40/7)
    #60-Todd Bodine (44/7)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/7)
    #71-Andy Lally (36/7)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (43/7)
    #97-Kevin Conway (49/1)
    In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 46,71,37,36,38,66,87,60
    missing the race would be [3]: #'s 15, 97, 35
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Talladega Entry List.(4-11-2011)

  • Texas overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on FOX posted a 3.7/7 for a Primetime telecast of the Texas 500 on April 9, 2011. Though that's up +9% over last year's 3.4/7 for the primetime race from Phoenix, it's off -12% from FOX's last Texas race (4.2/10) in 2009 [the 2010 spring race was postponed until Monday due to rain]. NASCAR dominated the Primetime landscape with Saturday's race powering FOX to a win for the night averaging a 3.7/7 (8-11p) beating CBS (3.3/6), NBC (2.8/5), and ABC (2.3/4). Through seven races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 4.9/11, up one-tenth over last year's 4.8/10. See 2011 races and a 4-year race by race comparison chart on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(4-11-2011)

  • Bayne may have sponsor to run All-Star race: UPDATE: The Wood Brothers are close to a sponsorship deal that will put Daytona 500 champion #21-Trevor Bayne into the May 21 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I think it will work," said Len Wood, one of the co-owners of the team. "There's been interest in the last 36 hours." Wood said he should know something for sure early next week, but wouldn't identify the sponsor other than to say it was a familiar name in racing. "We've got somebody who wants to run the race," Len Wood said. On Tuesday, Eddie Wood said the team didn't plan to enter the non-points event without sponsorship. Len Wood said the publicity did not spark the interest from the sponsor that has stepped forward, but acknowledged a number of people want the team in the race. Among those are Charlotte Motor Speedway, which hosts the race, and Ford, the team's manufacturer.(ESPN.com)(4-2-2011)
    UPDATE: Wood Brothers Racing is expected to add two more races to Trevor Bayne 's schedule, including the May 21 Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team is completing a deal for additional sponsorship that would push the rookie's schedule in the Sprint Cup Series to 18 regular season races and the All-Star event. The announcement could come as soon as this week. The additional sponsorship also includes the April 17 race at Talladega Superspeedway.(Augusta Chronicle)(4-8-2011)
    UPDATE 2:Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne will enter the May 21 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as Wood Brothers Racing has secured sponsorship for the event. The Wood Brothers have lined up Camping World and Good Sam Club to sponsor the 20-year-old Bayne in the non-points event. Until sponsorship was lined up, Bayne, who qualified for the race with his surprising victory at Daytona, was not slated to take part. Camping World and Good Sam Club will also sponsor Bayne's car in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.(ESPN.com)(4-11-2011)


    News from April 10, 2011

  • Bayne admitted to hospital: UPDATE: Trevor Bayne was admitted to Carolinas Medical Center-University in Charlotte, NC, on Sunday morning after returning home from the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. According to a Roush Fenway Racing team spokesman Corey Wynn, Bayne's illness has not been diagnosed. But the 20-year-old winner of this year's Daytona 500 had tweeted earlier: "Not sure if its a spider bite or a tick bite . . . But either way I'm in a hospital bed with a needle in my arm! #nobueno". Bayne began exhibiting symptoms Tuesday. On Friday, he was taken to the infield care center at Texas Motor Speedway, where he was administered antibiotics. Then, Saturday night, he went to the emergency room when the Roush plane returned to Charlotte, and he was admitted to the hospital. (Fox Sports)(4-10-2011)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing's Trevor Bayne was treated and released Sunday from Carolina Medical Center University Hospital in Charlotte after a reaction from an apparent insect bite on his left elbow that the 20-year old driver suffered last week while at home. "Trevor has been treated and released from the hospital and is fine to continue with his daily activities - including driving a race car," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "Doctors are still waiting for the test results to determine for sure what caused the reaction, but Trevor has been treated, is at home and he is doing fine." Additional information should be available at the end of the week. Bayne competed in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway over the weekend. He is scheduled to compete in both events this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway (Ala.).(Roush Fenway PR)(4-10-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Samsung Mobile 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on during these races, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 115
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 76
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 50
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 pm
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:09 pm
    Total minutes: 219
    Minutes of race broadcast: 164
    Minutes of commercials: 55
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of mystery cautions (debris not shown): 1
    For driver focus, past races, links see the 2011 TV Commercials Page.(4-10-2011)

  • Space shuttle pilot taking a piece of Texas Motor Speedway into space: NASA astronaut Doug Hurley was presented a TMS flag Saturday, which he plans to carry with him on the final space shuttle mission this summer. Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to close out the 30-year shuttle program. A season-ticket holder at Texas Motor Speedway since 2005, Hurley said he planned to bring the flag back to the track when he comes back for the November Sprint Cup race.(Associated Press)(4-10-2011)

  • Coca-Cola 600 Tickets donated by fans and businesses through Let the Troops Race Ticket Program: For the second consecutive year, fans and companies are responding with strong support for Charlotte Motor Speedway's invitation to honor American troops by donating more than 4,000 tickets as part of the Let the Troops Race ticket program. Through this patriotic initiative, fans who buy tickets to the May 29 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway via phone, online or in the speedway's ticket office can also purchase an additional ticket for just $20 to send a member of the U.S. Armed Forces to the Memorial Day Weekend race. Tickets will be distributed through the United Service Organizations to active servicemen and women. The Let the Troops Race ticket program runs through May 13.(CMS)(4-10-2011)


    News from April 9, 2011

  • Kenseth wins at Texas: #17-Matt Kenseth won the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2011, his first win since Auto Club in February 2009, and the 19th of his career.
    #33-Bowyer finished second followed by #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #27-Menard, #9-Ambrose, #6-Ragan [pole sitter], #48-Johnson, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and #22-Busch.
    There were 31 lead changes among 13 drivers; 5 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps.
    The attendance is listed as 168,400, up from last years 92,200 during the spring when the race was held Sunday afternoon.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, April 13 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Texas Race Results/Awards page.(4-9-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Texas:
    Matt Kenseth won the 15th Annual Samsung Mobile 500, his 19th victory in 407 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2011. He breaks 76-race winless streak. Last win Feb. 22, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway.
    This is his second victory and 12th top-10 finish in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Clint Bowyer (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 11 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2011.
    Carl Edwards (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 13 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Andy Lally (32nd) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 9 points over Kyle Busch.(NASCAR Statistics)(4-9-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Texas, race 7 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 256
    2) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 247, -9
    3) #17-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 243, -13
    4) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 243, -13
    5) #22-Kurt Busch, 240, -16
    6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 235, -21
    7) #39-Ryan Newman, 233, -23
    8) #42-Juan Montoya, 232, -24
    9) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 228, -28
    10) #14-Tony Stewart, 213, -43
    11) #27-Menard, 209, -47
    12) #33-Bowyer, 201, -55
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(4-9-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points: going to Talladega (after 7 races):
    The #13 teams moves into the top 35 and the #37 team falls out
    31) #34-Gilliland/Front Row, 114, +25
    32) #78-Smith/FRR, 112, +23
    33) #32-Schrader/FAS Lane, 110, +21
    34) #7-RGordon/RGM, 104, +15
    35) #13-Mears/Germain, 93, 4 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #71-Lally/TRG, 89, -4 out of top 35
    37) #37-Raines/Front Row, 87, -6
    38) #36-Blaney/TBR, 87, -6
    39) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 62, -31
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(4-9-2011)

  • Raikkonen interested in running Cup races: UPDATE: Kimi Raikkonen is testing well in NASCAR. So good, in fact, that he is already matching lap times with Kyle Busch, the owner of the truck the Formula One world champion will race. Raikkonen did more testing Thursday in Rockingham, N.C., after two days earlier this week at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia attended by Busch. All this comes less than a week after Raikkonen signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports to make his NASCAR debut next month in a Trucks Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "The test went really well at Gresham. Kimi is a race car driver, so he does know how to drive race cars and drive them well," Busch said Thursday. "I got to see it firsthand, and then got to get in the truck myself and run some laps just to kind of see where I compared to where he was at on tires and stuff, and we ran identical lap times. So he's right there, he knows what he's doing." Busch said Raikkonen has also expressed interest in running Sprint Cup and Nationwide races, but Busch said will be re-evaluated after the first race in the truck. "As far as the Nationwide and Cup stuff goes, we haven't had any discussions on that," Busch said. "He has asked after the truck debut in Charlotte, which is what our first focus is, kind of evaluating and seeing where he's at and how he feels and what he wants to do."(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(4-8-2011)
    UPDATE: With former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen preparing for his Camping World Truck Series debut with Kyle Busch Motorsports, it would seem the natural progression to Nationwide and Sprint Cup would be with Joe Gibbs Racing, the team that fields cars for Busch in those series. But JGR President J.D. Gibbs said it would be hard for his organization to run a fourth car in either series and it would be more likely that JGR could provide equipment for Busch, and allow him to field the team himself through his KBM effort.(Scene Daily)(4-9-2011)

  • Hamlin gets new front tire changer: From Friday's media availability at Texas:
    Question: What are your thoughts on the recent pit crew change your team made?
    Hamlin: "Everyone always says I'm critical, I just said that we stunk and we did. A lot of people say they stink at times, but it's something -- it's a shame but you have to make changes sometimes. Maybe it's not the talent level is not a question, I felt like that wasn't the question for us. You just sometimes have to make a change for chemistry sake. We had the same pit crew for the last two to three years and we've been up and down. At their best, they are the best, but it was trying to get to that point. We have changed a guy. We brought up (Nick Krizmanich, front tire changer), he's from the #11 Nationwide team, we're trying out him and one other guy and he kind of seemed a step above the rest. We're going to have a new aspect of our race team this weekend. I'm excited about it, it's a change and obviously it's going to take time for chemistry to kick in. Me and Mike (Ford, crew chief) talked about that. There's probably going to be stops throughout this weekend where it's not going to be the best but hopefully it's a step in the right direction for the long run."(Toyota PR)(4-9-2011)

  • Petty says team now has good foundation: Richard Petty Motorsports hasn't had a great year on the track so far, but off the track team co-owner Richard Petty can see a big difference. Petty now has operational oversight of the team that bears his name, something he didn't have for the previous two years under the ownership of George Gillett and the Gillett family. Performance aside, Petty can feel the difference in the shop. "All the guys working on the cars and stuff act like they enjoy what they're doing more," Petty said Thursday night at Texas Motor Speedway. The team does not have the debt that it had in the past and while it is designed to eventually make money, it can create its budget based off sponsorship revenues and race winnings to cover operations of the team and not to pay off loans. "We've got a better foundation," Petty said. "And I know the foundation is pretty good. The last three years, it's not been that steady. We feel like with the team, we've got something to build off of now that's going to be steady. We've got to work hard to build something."(Scene Daily)(4-9-2011)

  • Pole is Ragan's first in 153 starts: 102 is the number of starts #78-Regan Smith will have in the Cup series when he takes the green flag on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, making him the full-time active Cup driver with the most starts without a pole in the Sprint Cup Series. #6-David Ragan had the most starts among active Cup regulars without a pole until he grabbed the poled Friday for Saturdays Samsung Mobile 500, which will be his 153rd Cup start.(Sporting News)(4-9-2011)

  • TIFCO and TRG expand relationship: TRG Motorsports and TIFCO Industries have expanded their associate sponsorship arrangement on the # 71 Interstate Moving Services Ford for the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race to be run at Texas Motor Speedway. TIFCO Industries provides their customers with substantial cost savings in the way they purchase, stock and replenish their maintenance and repair products. TIFCO utilizes a national network of Service Representatives to distribute quality maintenance products and provides services to thousands of customers in a variety of markets.(TRG)(4-9-2011)

  • Kentucky race to be Feed The Children 300: Kentucky Speedway's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend will evolve into an awareness platform for Feed The Children when the non-profit relief organization serves as title sponsor of the NASCAR Nationwide Series "Feed The Children 300" on Friday, July 8. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., Feed The Children delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities worldwide to children and families who lack such essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disaster. From distribution centers in Elkhart, Ind., Houston, Texas, Nashville, Tenn., North Brunswick, N.J., Oklahoma City, and Ontario, Calif., Feed The Children is able to provide help and hope to all 50 states. Feed The Children food boxes hold approximately 25 pounds of canned and shelf-stable foods. Essential care boxes contain soap, shampoo, deodorant, tissue, shaving cream and similar personal items. Recipients are identified through local community partner agencies. The organization will help better the lives of families in Kentucky Speedway's home Gallatin Co., and the surrounding region by delivering an estimated 200,000 pounds of food and supplies in events connected to the "Feed The Children 300." Feed The Children also will partner with Speedway Children's Charities to deliver food and essentials to those in need in areas surrounding Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. In all, Feed The Children's distributions in partnership with Speedway Children's Charities will reach 10,000 families with enough food and supplies to stretch around the Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile track four times.(Kentucky Speedway)(4-9-2011)


    News from April 8, 2011

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #6-Ragan chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #99-Edwards took pit stall 14, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    #33-Bowyer, who starts 3rd took the 13th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #17-Kenseth, who starts 4th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-8-2011)

  • Ragan wins Texas pole: #6-David Ragan won the Coors Light pole for the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 189.820mph. It is his 1st pole of the season and the 1st of his career. #99-Edwards starts 2nd followed by #33-Bowyer, #17-Kenseth, #78-Smith, #48-Johnson, #9-Ambrose, #20-Logano, #16-Biffle, and #22-Busch.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #66-McDowell, #13-Mears, #95-Starr, #46-Yeley, #60-Skinner, #87-Nemechek, #36-Blaney, and #71-Lally.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #38-Kvapil.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Texas Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(4-8-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Texas:
    David Ragan won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 15th Annual Samsung Mobile 500 with a lap of 28.448 seconds, 189.820 mph.
    This is his first pole in 153 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his first pole in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway. Ragan won a Nationwide Series pole here in 2007.
    Carl Edwards (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2011 and his fifth in 13 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Clint Bowyer (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his second in seven races this season.
    Andy Lally (43rd) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-8-2011)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2011 at 6:40pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 6:30pm/et
    Radio: Performace Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128, via nascar.com only
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Texas Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 12:30am/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
    The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #37-Raines.
    The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #6-Ragan.
    The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #71-Lally with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #13-Mears.
    Qualifying order is set by practice speeds, with the top 35 drivers going out from slowest to fastest, then the non-top 35 drivers go out, slowest to fastest from practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Texas Qualifying Page.(4-8-2011)

  • Happy Hour: for the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #4-Kahne 183.899
    #27-Menard 183.892
    #99-Edwards 183.755
    #22-Busch 183.692
    #78-Smith 183.617
    slowest: #38-Kvapil 178.566 & #37-Raines 175.177.
    notes: There was no TV coverage of Happy Hour. There were no incidents reported.
    See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Texas Practice Speeds Page. (4-8-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 25th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 28th
    #13-Casey Mears, 31st
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 32nd
    #60-Mike Skinner, 34th
    #95-David Starr, 36th
    #36-Dave Blaney, 37th
    #71-Andy Lally, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 43rd
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Bayne may have sponsor to run All-Star race: UPDATE: The Wood Brothers are close to a sponsorship deal that will put Daytona 500 champion #21-Trevor Bayne into the May 21 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I think it will work," said Len Wood, one of the co-owners of the team. "There's been interest in the last 36 hours." Wood said he should know something for sure early next week, but wouldn't identify the sponsor other than to say it was a familiar name in racing. "We've got somebody who wants to run the race," Len Wood said. On Tuesday, Eddie Wood said the team didn't plan to enter the non-points event without sponsorship. Len Wood said the publicity did not spark the interest from the sponsor that has stepped forward, but acknowledged a number of people want the team in the race. Among those are Charlotte Motor Speedway, which hosts the race, and Ford, the team's manufacturer.(ESPN.com)(4-2-2011)
    UPDATE: Wood Brothers Racing is expected to add two more races to Trevor Bayne 's schedule, including the May 21 Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team is completing a deal for additional sponsorship that would push the rookie's schedule in the Sprint Cup Series to 18 regular season races and the All-Star event. The announcement could come as soon as this week. The additional sponsorship also includes the April 17 race at Talladega Superspeedway.(Augusta Chronicle)(4-8-2011)

  • Raikkonen interested in running Cup races: Kimi Raikkonen is testing well in NASCAR. So good, in fact, that he is already matching lap times with Kyle Busch, the owner of the truck the Formula One world champion will race. Raikkonen did more testing Thursday in Rockingham, N.C., after two days earlier this week at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia attended by Busch. All this comes less than a week after Raikkonen signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports to make his NASCAR debut next month in a Trucks Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "The test went really well at Gresham. Kimi is a race car driver, so he does know how to drive race cars and drive them well," Busch said Thursday. "I got to see it firsthand, and then got to get in the truck myself and run some laps just to kind of see where I compared to where he was at on tires and stuff, and we ran identical lap times. So he's right there, he knows what he's doing." Busch said Raikkonen has also expressed interest in running Sprint Cup and Nationwide races, but Busch said will be re-evaluated after the first race in the truck. "As far as the Nationwide and Cup stuff goes, we haven't had any discussions on that," Busch said. "He has asked after the truck debut in Charlotte, which is what our first focus is, kind of evaluating and seeing where he's at and how he feels and what he wants to do."(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(4-8-2011)

  • Nemechek looking to make 900th start: #87-Joe Nemechek needs two more starts for his 900th career NASCAR start. He'll have to make the race on speed for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Saturday night. He's locked into the field in Friday's Nationwide race.(NASCAR)(4-8-2011)

  • Numbers for Texas Motor Speedway:
    1 - number of wins from the pole (Kasey Kahne - 2006) in the previous 18 Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway; four from the front row
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton - 4/15/07)
    4 -fewest leaders for a race (11/8/09)
    5 -fewest cautions for a race (twice, most recently 11/8/09)
    6 -number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at TMS
    6 - fewest cars on lead lap at the finish of a race at the 1.5-mile track (11/8/09)
    7 - number of cautions in last year's spring race at TMS including three for spins and two for accidents
    17 -most leaders for a race (4/2/00)
    26 -fewest caution laps for a race (twice, most recently 11/8/09)
    73 -most caution laps for a race (4/6/97)
    40 - most cars running at finish of a race (twice, most recent 11/2/08)
    120 -minutes, amount of time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall.
    278 -most laps led by race winner (11/5/06)
    2,500 -approximate number of tires Goodyear will mount for Sprint Cup teams during the weekend; teams may receive as many as five sets of tires for practice and 11 sets for the race.
    2011 Caution Update
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    56 - number of cautions in the first six races of 2011; 32 for accidents (56 cautions in the first six races in 2010; 29 for accidents)
    283 of 1,987 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    345.753 of 2,162.000 - miles under caution in the first six races
    BONUS: Three Texas tracks have hosted 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races with Texas Motor Speedway the site of 20 races since 1997. Meyer Speedway in Houston hosted one race in 1971 and Texas World Speedway in College Station hosted eight from 1969 to 1981.(Dodge Motorsports)(4-8-2011)

  • New Musical Talent Added to Aaron's Dream Weekend at Talladega: Talladega Superspeedway has added a pair of rising stars to the Aaron's Dream Weekend musical lineup. Ashton Shepherd will perform the national anthem on Sunday, April 17 prior to the Aaron's 499 and Tim Dugger will open for Gretchen Wilson on Saturday, April 16 for the infield concert. Shepherd, a native of Coffeeville, AL, has been performing since childhood. Her second album, "Where Country Grows", is due out June 7. Dugger, also an Alabama native, has been performing with his band every weekend since the age of 14. His current CD, "Sunday Drive", features video from Richard Childress Racing and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Dillon.(TSS)(4-8-2011)

  • North Wilkesboro under the lights for first time: On Saturday, April 9th, the 300-lap green flag event known simply as "The Race" will crown its winner under the lights for the first time since Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway opened in 1947. Thirty-five generator set light towers, similar to those that provide light for road crews working at night, will allow fans to enjoy the fifth-eighths mile speedway's intense action in true Saturday night short-track fashion as 45 drivers battle for the $75,000 first place prize. Daytona 500 winners Geoff Bodine and Sterling Marlin are among the nearly 100 drivers who have entered the event, which will receive the green flag at 6 pm Saturday. Tickets are still available, more info at historicnws.com or savethespeedway.net.(4-8-2011)


    News from April 7, 2011

  • Thursday practice: for the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 100 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #6-Ragan 185.816
    #14-Stewart 185.701
    #42-Montoya 185.280
    #1-McMurray 185.230
    #16-Biffle 185.128
    slowest: #95-Starr 177.626 & #37-Raines 173.986.
    See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Texas Practice Speeds Page.(4-7-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #13-Casey Mears, 28th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 30th
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 32nd
    #60-Mike Skinner, 33rd
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 36th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 38th
    #36-Dave Blaney, 40th
    #71-Andy Lally, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #95-David Starr, 43rd
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Sugar Free scheme for Dale Jr: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to run a AMP Energy Sugar Free special paint scheme at the Darlington and Dover NASCAR Sprint Cup races in May. See an image of the car on the #88 Team Schemes page.(4-7-2011)

  • Sam Bass designs air show trailer: Sam Bass, the first officially licensed NASCAR artist, and Steve Kapur, pilot and marketing officer for the GEICO Skytypers, pose in front of one of Sams latest artistic designs. Sam's specialty in motorsports and music related projects has recently expanded into the air show business. The GEICO Skytypers added a 53 tractor/trailer to their program for the 2011 season. The team tasked Sam with utilizing his expertise to design elements highlighting the various portions of their air show performance. "Ive had the privilege of working with Sam on a number of projects over the past several years," states Kapur. Once again, he has perfectly captured the essence of our program by utilizing our existing branding assets and combining them with the unique physical components of our program." The GEICO Skytypers, the only civilian squadron currently flying WWII aircraft in air shows, will perform at 12 air shows throughout the 2011 season, many of which will honor the Navy Centennial of Aviation. They kick off their air show season this week [April 9th] at the Charleston Air Expo in Charleston, SC.(Sam Bass)(4-7-2011)

  • Quaker State sponsoring Menard for 4 races: Long-time Paul Menard sponsor Quaker State will continue its relationship with the driver during the 2011 season. Quaker State will come aboard as primary sponsor of the #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevy for four races during the 2011 season. "I've had a long-standing relationship with Quaker State and they've been a great sponsor to work with over the years," commented, driver Paul Menard on the sponsorship. "This year they are on-board the #27 for four races - both events at Texas Motor Speedway, at Daytona in July and at Atlanta Motor Speedway. We are running a slightly different paint scheme on the Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet this weekend, which is going to look really sharp under the lights. Quaker State and Menard have a relationship on and off the track that dates back 15 years. Their on track partnership began back in 1995 when Menard ran in the IRL Series. As Menard changed gears and made his way into NASCAR, Quaker State followed beginning with a two-year stint in the Nationwide Series and then into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(RCR)(4-7-2011)

  • Interstate Moving Services sponsoring TRG for two races; team completes switch to Ford: Interstate Moving Services has signed-on with TRG Motorsports as the primary sponsor on the # 71 Interstate Moving Services Ford for the Sprint Cup Series races at Texas and Talladega. The "surf green" colors will ride on the 71 Ford driven by Andy Lally at this weekend's running of the Samsung Mobil 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Interstate Moving Services is part of the Interstate family of companies encompassing a worldwide group of relocation management, transportation and logistics management solutions serving government, corporate, and individual clients. The Springfield, Virginia based company will be with TRG Motorsports as the primary sponsor for both Texas and Talladega. "This is a really big weekend for TRG Motorsports", said Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team owner. "In addition to welcoming Interstate as a new primary sponsor, we have also completed the switch to Ford Fusions with Roush/Yates power. This should provide our team with a big boost."(TRG), see an image on the #71 Team Schemes page.(4-7-2011)

  • FAS Lane Racing adds Big Red Sponsorship At Texas: Fresh off their third top-25 finish in the last five races, FAS Lane Racing is proud to announce they have secured sponsorship from Big Red, Inc. for this week's running of the Samsung Mobile 500 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Ken Schrader will once again be behind the wheel as he pilots the #32 Big Red Ford in the first Sprint Cup Series night race in the 15 year history of the Texas track.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(4-7-2011)

  • 2011 Competition Remains Balanced: Competition-wise, the first six races have offered storylines galore. A few.
    • Lead change records have fallen in three of the six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (Daytona, Phoenix and, most recently, Martinsville). The record for lead changes at Texas is 33, set last November.
    • There has been an average of 13 leaders per race, the most after six races in series history.
    • There has been an average of 31.5 lead changes per race, the most after six races in series history.
    • The average margin of victory is under one second: .720 seconds.
    • Prior to Kevin Harvick's win at Martinsville - his second consecutive victory - there were five different winners in the first five races for the first time since 2005.
    • Last year's two top race winners - Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson - remain winless.
    • Seven different teams make up the top seven in the points standings.
    • The top-four drivers in the standings all run different manufacturers.(NASCAR)(4-7-2011)

  • 900 NASCAR starts for Burton: This weekend's Samsung Mobile 500 will mark #31-Jeff Burton's 900th career NASCAR start. Over the course of 899 NASCAR starts, the South Boston, Va., native has accumulated 48 wins, 17 poles, 219 top-five and 393 top-10 finishes. Additionally, he helped capture RCR's 2007 NASCAR Nationwide Series owner's championship and has finished in the top 10 of the Sprint Cup Series point standings in eight of the 17 years he has run the series full time. This milestone places the veteran driver ninth on NASCAR's all-time starts list across their top-three national series and ranks him second to Mark Martin in active drivers.(RCR)(4-7-2011)

  • UPS Freight for Ragan at Texas: Ragan will drive the UPS Freight Ford in Texas. It will be the first race this season that Freight has appeared on the #6.(Roush Fenway)(4-7-2011)

  • Cheerios returns to the #33: After a four-race hiatus, the familiar Cheerios/Hamburger Helper paint scheme will return to the #33 Chevy this weekend for the 334-lap event.(RCR) see an image of the scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page(4-7-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Texas: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend on the Texas Race Info page - Chassis selection area.(4-7-2011)

  • Bristol Night Race tickets on sale: Bristol Motor Speedway's season-long celebration of its 50th anniversary culminates with the running of the IRWIN Tools Night Race, NASCAR's most popular event, Aug. 27, and single-event tickets and weekend packages now are available. Fans can enjoy 750 laps of action at the World's Fastest Half-Mile with the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250 Aug. 26, for as little as $99. Guests in town Wednesday, Aug. 24 for the Wednesday night doubleheader, featuring the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 Camping World Truck Series and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified event, can take in all four races under the lights in packages starting at $129. For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or toll free at 1-866-415-4158.(BMS)(4-7-2011)

  • 'NASCAR Kinetics' team looks to make its mark at HMS - free party: Homestead-Miami Speedway Partners with University of Miami NASCAR Kinetics for Viewing Party Official NASCAR viewing party Saturday, April 9th at 6:30 p.m. at 'Smoke't Southern Kitchen & Tap'. Five students from the University of Miami's School of Education were selected to participate in 'NASCAR Kinetics', representing the Hurricanes' first entry into the groundbreaking motorsports program. Each student chosen for the 'NASCAR Kinetics' program is tasked with fostering brand awareness throughout their college and community. Through a promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway, these potential leaders in the racing industry will be hosting an official 'M&M'S Makes Race Day Fun' NASCAR viewing party on the evening of Saturday, April 9th at 'Smoke't Southern Kitchen & Tap' beginning at 6:30 pm. The viewing party is open to the public and will feature free food, racing themed dinner specials, interactive games, as well as numerous giveaways for those in attendance. More info at visit HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com or call (866) 409-RACE.(HMS)(4-7-2011)


    News from April 6, 2011

  • Texas Winners List, Big Names All:
    Texas' wins list reads like the 2030 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee list. A quick By the Numbers .
    16 - Number of different winners in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas.
    14 - Number of winners who have made at least one Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
    2 - Only two Texas race winners haven't earned a Chase berth: Terry Labonte and Dale Jarrett. But both won championships (Labonte in 1984, '96; Jarrett in 1999) prior to the Chase's inception in 2004.
    7 - Texas race winners who have won series championships: Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Jarrett and Labonte.(NASCAR)(4-6-2011)

  • 2013 Sprint Cup designs moving forward: Development of the proposed new 2013 Sprint Cup Series body styles is progressing on schedule, as the sanctioning body works hand-in-hand with automakers to increase brand identity on the race track. Multiple sources say Chevy, Ford, Dodge and Toyota are expected to submit their final roof and rear deck lid designs in the near future, allowing NASCAR to move forward with the process of creating a unique body for each brand, while maintaining a similar aerodynamic footprint. The current Sprint Cup Series bodies are virtually identical, with the exception of a vinyl graphics package applied to the headlight, grille and rear taillight areas of each car. Beginning in 2013, however, the sanctioning body hopes to have each model be easily identifiable from the front, rear and sides. In an effort to allow manufacturers more design leeway, NASCAR will reportedly cease to distinguish between steel and lexan, allowing manufacturers to contour their NASCAR windshields and side windows identically to those found on their stock, production models. The change would allow teams to do away with the bulky, steel B-pillars required under current NASCAR rules, replacing them with thin "support strips" anchored to larger, lexan side windows. The move will greatly enhance brand identity, something automakers have lobbied hard for in recent years. It could also remove the main stumbling block cited by General Motors executives for not keeping their popular Chevy Camaro out of NASCAR competition. GM has staunchly refused to modify what it calls the "iconic body line" of the Camaro for NASCAR competition. But with new rules in place for the 2013 season, there is a chance the Detroit automaker could reconsider that decision.(Sirius Speedway)(4-6-2011)

  • Kurt Busch meets with military members: #22-Kurt Busch spent time with our military personnel Monday when he made a special tour of Marine Corps Base Quantico, the major United States Marine Corps training facility located near Triangle, Va. "What a great activity to do for a track appearance!" Busch said of his visit on behalf of Richmond International Raceway in support of the upcoming April 28-30 big NASCAR racing weekend. Before the event, Busch said "We'll be doing a meet & greet, spending time with the wounded and even observe some of the training at the mortar pit. These are all special people who give so much to our country. I know it'll be a lot of fun along the way, but it's a sincere honor to be able to make this visit and show our support."(Tom Roberts PR)(4-6-2011)

  • Farm America makes 2011 debut on #78: Furniture Row Racing, which is spearheading the Farm American program, announced that the team's #78 Chev will showcase the Farm American colors for the first time this season at this weekend's Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. Regan Smith's car at the 1.5-mile Texas oval will be known as the #78 Farm American ChevY, presented by Furniture Row Companies and Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers.(Furniture Row Racing) see an image of the car on the #78 Team Schemes page.(4-6-2011)

  • Different look for Menard at Texas: Slightly Different Colors on the Quaker State/Menards Chevy in the Lone Star State ... The #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevy of Paul Menard will sport a slightly different look this weekend, carrying a special paint scheme. "Quaker State green" and "Menards yellow" will don the Impala as the Sprint Cup Series races under the lights of Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night (RCR), see the car on the #27 Team Schemes page.(4-6-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Goody's Fast Relief 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on during these races, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 117
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 75
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 52
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 pm
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:15 pm
    Total minutes: 255
    Minutes of race broadcast: 203
    Minutes of commercials: 52
    Number of missed restarts: 0 but one did occur right as broadcast returned from commercialtoo close to call
    Number of mystery cautions (debris not shown): 0
    For driver focus, past races, links see the 2011 TV Commercials Page.(4-6-2011)

  • Fort Worth Mayor proclaims Friday "Go Green Day": Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief proclaimed Friday as "Go Green" Day to support the opening of Texas Motor Speedway's 2011 race season that commences this weekend with the running of the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR double-header weekend. Moncrief is encouraging Fort Worth residents, businesses as well as city employees to wear a green-colored item of clothing Friday and show support for the Fort Worth-based speedway that delivers the largest attended, single-day sporting event in the State of Texas with Saturday evening's Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The Fort Worth Water Gardens commemorated the start of race season by dyeing the water in the aerated water garden green. In addition to the Water Gardens honoring race week, Fort Worth's Avenue of Light will help commemorate the opening of Texas Motor Speedway's race season by going green beginning Thursday. Avenue of Light is a series of six soaring, stainless-steel, lighted sculptures by Cliff Garten Studio that are located on Lancaster Avenue between Lamar and Main/Commerce Streets in downtown Fort Worth. Energy-efficient, programmable LED light fixtures illuminate the sculptures by night, making it possible for the Avenue of Light to mark important civic events by changing the color of the light, including going green this week.(TMS)(4-6-2011)

  • Improvements at Watkins Glen moving forward: Despite constant weather changes ranging from snow to rain to sunshine, Watkins Glen International has been a hotbed of activity. The capital improvements project announced in December 2010 has kicked into high gear with construction currently taking place on three grandstands, new lighting poles, and the addition of new showers in two locations. The contracts for all projects to-date have been awarded to New York-based companies keeping the financial benefits inside the state and supporting the regional economy. The entire capital improvement project is scheduled to be completed prior to the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, August 11-14.(WGI)(4-6-2011)


    News from April 5, 2011

  • Johnson apologizes for questioning pit road penalty: #48-Jimmie Johnson apologized on Tuesday for ripping NASCAR for what he believed to be a bogus speeding penalty on pit road Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Johnson called out the governing body during his post-race interview and again on Twitter after the penalty left him with an 11th-place finish that left him one short of tying the NASCAR record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes at 18. On Tuesday, Johnson said he was mistaken, that the timing segment that NASCAR accused him of speeding through was different from what he believed during the race. "The fact is we were wrong," Johnson said. "I was referring to a segment I knew I couldn't get busted in. At the end of the day it wasn't the segment we were busted on." Johnson said he shouldn't have made the comments without all the correct information, although he said NASCAR could take care of misinformation by making pit road speeds instantly available for drivers and fans to see. NASCAR says it has no plans to do that.(ESPN.com)(4-5-2011)

  • NASCAR getting ready to test fuel injectors: The first on-track test of fuel injection in NASCARs Sprint Cup Series could come as early as July 7 at Kentucky Speedway, provided NASCAR finalizes specifications for system hardware and software in time for teams to prepare. Because the Cup series will race at Kentucky for the first time on July 9, NASCAR has OKd extra practice on Thursday, July 7. Cup teams are scheduled to spend four hours on the track that day, and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines chief engine builder Danny Lawrence hopes that will also provide the first test of fuel injection for the series. Hopefully theyll know (about specifications) in a week or two, because theres getting to be a pretty big push for people to run at the Kentucky test, Lawrence told Sporting News on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Theyre going to have a test day before the race, and if they have everything speced out by then, well try to run therethatll be our first deal. I know theyre working on it really hard, and hopefully, theyll have it figured out in a few days. NASCAR announced in February at Daytona International Speedway that McLaren and Freescale Semiconductor will partner in the development and manufacture of engine control units (ECUs) designed to manage fuel and ignition systems in Cup cars. Fuel injection will replace the carburetors that have been part of Cup engines since the series inception in 1949, with the transition targeted for the 2012 season.(Sporting News)(4-5-2011)

  • Newman's Car Will Pay Tribute To U.S. Army Reserve in Texas: Ryan Newman's #39 U.S. Army Chevy will pay tribute to the men and women of the Army Reserve in Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. The paint scheme on the hood and rear-quarter panel of Newman's car will showcase Army Reserve, which is the Federal Reserve force of the U.S. Army. Founded in 1908, Reserve Soldiers receive the same training as active-duty Soldiers and are offered the opportunity to serve near home until they are needed to deploy. Reserve Soldiers combine civilian experience with military training to provide specialized skills for military missions around the world. "This is another excellent opportunity for our high-profile U.S. Army NASCAR team to educate young Americans about the many career options available in the U.S. Army," said Col. Derik Crotts, Director of Strategic Marketing, Communications and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command. "For 103 years now, our Army Reserve Soldiers have been integral in preserving freedom and maintaining a strong nation in both their military and civilian roles."
    "It's an honor and inspiration for our U.S. Army Racing team to recognize the dedicated Reserve Soldiers," said Newman. "It's our goal to contend for the win and produce plenty of exposure for the U.S. Army Reserve. Of course, the coolest tribute would be to drive the Army Reserve Chevrolet to Victory Lane."(US Army Racing). See an image of the scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(4-5-2011)

  • Dale Jr. to run special VH1 scheme in All-Star race: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to run a special Dale Jr. Foundation VH1 Save The Music paint scheme in the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21st. Unless Earnhardt Jr. wins in one of the five remaining races before the event, he will have to race in to the All-Star race via the Sprint Showdown [being the winner or 2nd place car] or being voted in by the fans. Earnhardt Jr. has run every All-Star race since his rookie season, when he won the event in 2000. For more info on the event, see my 2011 All-Star race page. To see an image of the scheme, see the #88 Team Schemes page.(4-5-2011)

  • David Starr set to make Cup debut: Leavine Fenton Racing and David Starr are looking forward to making their debut NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway for the Samsung Mobile 500. Starr will pilot the #95 Leavine Fenton Racing Ford as he looks to put on a show for the hometown crowd. Texas businesses B&D Electrical and TWD Drywall will be on the car along with WRL General Contractors, Ltd. and Fenton Motor Group. "Words can't describe how big this is," David Starr said. "Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to attempt to qualify for a Cup race. The ultimate dream is to race in the biggest series in the world, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I can't make the word be big enough to what it means. I'm just honored, proud, and blessed to have the opportunity to do that with good equipment. Even though it's my home track, I'm racing against the most competitive drivers in the world, and to have the opportunity to race against the best in the world is pretty cool." The team announced their formation back on January 7. They will compete in Roush Fenway Racing chassis with Roush Yates Engines. There are only five fulltime employees at the North Carolina shop with veteran crew chief, Wally Rogers calling the shots on pit road and Mark Gregory as the spotter. Over The Wall Crew (OTWCrew) from Mooresville, N.C. will pit the car for the Texas weekend as well.(Leavine Fenton Racing), see images of the car scheems on the #95 Team Schemes page.(4-5-2011)

  • March of Dimes scheme for Hamlin at Texas: FedEx and #11-Denny Hamlin annually team up with the March of Dimes and unveil a special paint scheme to raise awareness of the organization during a NASCAR race weekend. This year Dallas-based, seven-year-old twins Josh and Jake Aron, who were born premature, were chosen to design the paint scheme that Hamlin will run on his #11 FedEx Toyota for the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The twins flew to North Carolina to meet Hamlin and lay out their paint scheme for the team in March and now will get to see their artwork first hand. The twins, along with their father Jaime, will be on hand Thursday, April 7, at 11:30 am when the car is rolled off the team transporter in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Texas Motor Speedway.(TMS)(4-5-2011)

  • Why did Cope withdraw from Martinsville? #75-Derrike Cope was entered to run last weeks Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway, but withdrew. An explanation on Cope's Facebook: "We had entered the Martinsville Sprint Cup race scheduled for this weekend...but we were unable to finish the car in time for us to properly prepare. We had a few issues that presented themselves and put us behind so we opted to withdraw our entry and try in the near future. The car looks great! We will work on some sponsorship as well as get the car on the pull down rig, chassis dyno, and possibly test on a short track somewhere to get more prepared before our next outing."(4-5-2011)

  • At Texas Motor Speedway::
    Construction began in 1995.
    The first NASCAR race was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997.
    The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was on April 6, 1997.
    There have been 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one per season from 1997 through 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
    Four drivers have competed in all 20 Texas races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
    Jeremy Mayfield was the first pole winner, in 1998. Qualifying for the inaugural race in 1997 was canceled.
    Jeff Burton won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
    14 drivers have scored poles, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon with two.
    16 drivers have won races, led by Carl Edwards, with three. Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton each have two wins.
    14 of 20 races have been won from a top-10 starting position. Only one has been won from the pole (Kasey Kahne in 2006).
    Matt Kenseth started 31st en route to his victory at Texas in 2002, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.
    Both Jeff Burton (1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000) scored their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Texas, and 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne made his first series start at Texas (11/07/10).
    Martin Truex Jr. scored his first series pole at Texas (11/04/07).
    Three of the last four races have had a margin of victory under one second.
    Denny Hamlin (8.8) and Matt Kenseth (9.3) are the only two active drivers to average a top-10 finish.
    Roush Fenway Racing leads all owners in victories, with seven. Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports have three wins each.
    There has been two season sweeps, by Carl Edwards in 2008 and Denny Hamlin in 2010.(NASCAR)(4-5-2011)

  • Special visitor at Texas for the race: Astronaut Doug Hurley, a Texas Motor Speedway season ticket holder, will be visiting the speedway to enjoy the historic first-ever nighttime NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race - the Samsung Mobile 500 - before making some history of his own. He will serve as the pilot of the four-astronaut crew of the Atlantis, which will launch June 28 from Kennedy Space Center and serve as the final flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program. Officially known as Space Shuttle Mission STS-135, the crew is slated for a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Hurley will honor his home track by flying an item from Texas Motor Speedway with him on this mission and Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage will present it to Hurley at a press conference Saturday, April 9, at 5:15 pm in the Samsung Mobile Infield Media Center deadline room. A special opportunity to visit with the pilot of the final shuttle launch in history and get his take on this historic mission as well as honoring his home track.(TMS)(4-5-2011)

  • Texas Motor Speedway pre-race concert by 3 Doors Down: Texas Motor Speedway is bringing its No Limits attitude to its musical entertainment for the Samsung Mobile 500 on Saturday, April 9, with a pre-race concert by modern American rockers, 3 Doors Down. 3 Doors Down will perform a free concert beginning at 5:00 pm on the frontstretch stage to highlight the pre-race activities leading up to the start of the first-ever Saturday night NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. While the concert is free to all Samsung Mobile 500 ticket holders, 3 Doors Down fans can get even closer to the music by purchasing a special $79 mosh pit ticket. The ticket provides a stage-side view for the bands performance, in addition to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver introductions for the Samsung Mobile 500. A mosh pit ticket must accompany a grandstand ticket for the Samsung Mobile 500. To purchase mosh pit tickets or tickets to the Samsung Mobile 500, visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com or call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500. (TMS)(4-5-2011)

  • Traffic / Construction updates for Texas Motor Speedway area: The Fort Worth Police Department provided a variety of traffic and highway construction updates for the public Monday that pertains to this weekends Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway.
    With both Fridays OReilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race and Saturdays Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race being the first-ever NASCAR night races in the speedways 15-year history, significant changes were announced to the contra-flow traffic plan prior to and following the conclusion of the races during a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway led by Fort Worth Police Department Capt. Bryan Sudan. Fridays OReilly Auto Parts 300 will begin at 7:30 p.m. CT and Saturdays Samsung Mobile 500 will start at 6:30 p.m. See an overview of the traffic and construction updates on my Texas Motor Speedway Track News, Stats & Links page.(4-5-2011)


    News from April 4, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #13-Casey Mears (37/6)
    #36-Dave Blaney (38/6)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (39/6)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (41/6)
    #60-TBA (43/6)
    #66-Michael McDowell (42/6)
    #71-Andy Lally (36/6)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (44/6)
    #92-Brian Kesekowski (45/4)
    #95-David Starr (0/0)
    In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 71,13,36,38,46,66,60,87
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 92, 95
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Texas Entry List.(4-4-2011)

  • Kimi Raikkonen, Left Turns Equal Right Move At GMP: Reporters and photographers were the first to open the gates at Gresham Motorsports Park this morning as they awaited the arrival of Kimi Raikkonen, former F1 Champion. Raikkonen arrived in America this past weekend to make his first test run at GMP today. He has signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports to run a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series and will make his NCWTS debut at Charlotte on May 20, 2011.
    The 2007 Formula One Champion is a native of Finland and currently drives in the World Rally Car Series since leaving Formula One in 2009. Raikkonen will be a familiar face to some of the NASCAR drivers including Juan Pablo Montoya and Nelson Piquet Jr., who were both former F1 drivers. "Gresham Motorsports Park is proud to have Raikkonen choose this track for his first-ever NASCAR test," said Gresham Motorsports Park's General Manager, Dan Elliott. "We know that Kimi will be successful no matter where he competes." Raikkonen plans to run a two-day closed test at GMP in preparation for his NCWTS debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway's Education Lottery 200 on May 20, 2011.(Gresham Motorsports Park)(4-4-2011)

  • Overnight TV Ratings for Martinsville: NASCAR on FOX posted a 3.9/9 for Sprint Cup racing from Martinsville. Last year's Martinsville race was rained out. Yesterday's 3.9/9 is down -5% compared to the 4.1/9 the Martinsville race earned two years ago. Yesterday's race averaged a 9 share most of the way, then popped to an 11 share at 5pm as it appeared that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would snap a winless streak of nearly 100 races, but Kevin Harvick passed Earnhardt in the final five laps to take the checkered flag in another of his patented hard-charging finishes. The fact that last year's race was rained out has a big impact on this year's season-to-date comparison because a mediocre Martinsville rating is now being factored into this year's average but not last year's. As a result FOX's advantage over 2010 is now just +2% on an average rating basis (5.1/11 vs. 5.0/10). A second way of measuring this season would be to look at total rating points, a metric that doesn't penalize FOX for last year's rainout. Total viewing of NASCAR is up +22% this year (30.7 gross rating points vs. 25.1 a year ago). See other race TV Ratings, four-year comparison on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(4-4-2011)

  • Truex walks away from violent crash: With average lap speeds under 100 mph, it's hard to imagine a crash as violent as the one Martin Truex Jr. experienced Sunday on Lap 221. The throttle of Truex's #56 Toyota hung wide open, and Truex plowed through Kasey Kahne's #4 Toyota into the Turn 3 wall with an impact that destroyed and ignited Truex's car. Truex, who walked away from the wreck, expressed gratitude to NASCAR and the racetrack for the safer cars and SAFER barriers that cushioned the impact of the wreck. "Ten years ago, I wouldn't be standing here, so I'm thankful for that," Truex said. "You can lock the brakes up, but there's nothing to do (when the throttle sticks). As unfortunate as it was that Kasey was involved, he really helped slow my car down when I hit him. It was probably a blessing. Hate that we took him out."(Sporting News)(4-4-2011)

  • NASCAR Looking at Fueling Heads?: There was some talk in the garage this weekend that NASCAR may begin taking a closer look into the fueling systems used by the Cup Series teams. As you've heard repeatedly all season, the teams are using a new style self-vented fueling system this season with the elimination of the catch can man. NASCAR's rules for the new system, which was developed by Schultz Products, allow for some modifications to the components. And besides making changes to pit stop choreography, many teams have spent a lot of time trying to find ways to make fuel flow faster with the new equipment. It sounds now as if NASCAR wants to see what they've been able to accomplish.(NASCAR Insiders)(4-4-2011)

  • Shane Hmiel returns home from rehab center: Shane Hmiel went home Friday from the Atlanta rehabilitation center he's been at since Nov. 17 as he continues to recover from a devastating sprint car crash that left him with a bruised spinal chord and other injures last year. Shane is expected to return to the rehab center and that this is just a break, his father Steve said. "It's like lifting weights, you've got to let your muscles rest, so they'll heal and that's basically where he's at,'' Steve Hmiel said. Also, Shane is set to go to the Mayo Clinic in two weeks. Steve Hmiel said that Shane can move his arms and he has limited motion his hands. He can bend his knee up, tap his foot and wiggle his feet but does not have strength in his legs as he remains in a wheelchair. He's also passed all his tests measuring cognizance, Steve said. For more info and quotes, see the article at the Virginian Pilot.(4-4-2011)

  • Canadian buys Baker Curb Racing team UPDATE 4 Denied: Toronto businessman Steve Meehan bought Baker Curb Racing Nationwide team in a deal that closed following the Mar. 19 race in Bristol, Tenn. Driver J.R. Fitzpatrick is a key element in a planned all-Canadian NASCAR outfit that promises to take him to the Sprint Cup. "I think it's fantastic. Steve is a really good guy, he's Canadian and he really wants to see Canadian corporate sponsorship and Canadian drivers, so I mean it's really cool," Fitzpatrick said. "He really believes in me and that's what I really like. Given that I do need the experience and the time at the tracks and, even if it can't be a full year, he is definitely going to push my career along and I am glad to be a part of it." With NASCAR's exposure and huge popularity, the team should be attractive to Canadian companies who want to use the series to promote themselves in this country and in the U.S., as well as companies from south of the border looking to get their names known in Canada. But with the ink still fresh, Meehan will back the effort mostly with his "love for racing" until the business development part of the plan gets going and the team starts attracting sponsorship. Although plans haven't been completely finalized, the short-term goal is to run a limited schedule in 2011 with a long-term objective of getting into the top tier Cup Series by 2013. "We will run primarily in Nationwide and likely a few Cup races in 2011 I think J.R. is comfortable running the road courses in Cup and with a little bit more experience and practice I think he could run an oval or two in Cup," said Meehan, 46, founder of the Investment Planning Counsel, which was acquired by IGM Financial in 2004 for $95 million in a cash and stock deal. "Our focus is to quickly evolve to a full-time Cup team and I think J.R. is sufficiently talented to get there with the right people behind him." Fitzpatrick has raced nine times in Nationwide since 2007, with seven of those starts coming on road courses. He also has 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts under his belt. Originally, he was slated to race April 8 in Texas, but the change in ownership has the team regrouping and instead planning to hit the stop three weeks away in Nashville.(Globe and Mail)(4-1-2011)
    UPDATE: Baker Curb Racing says that have not been sold. The team sold 1 transporter, 2 cars and some pit equipment, but nothing else. They are still functioning and seeking sponsors.(4-1-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Jason Sharpe, Fitzpatrick's business manager, said that while the driver will race in select Canadian Tire races this season, his main focus will be on a dozen NASCAR Nationwide Series races with one or two Sprint Cup races thrown in later in the year. Sharpe confirm ed that Toronto businessman Steve Meehan had purchased all but the name of the Baker Curb Racing Nationwide team and intends to take Fitzpatrick to the top with the goal of being full-time in Sprint Cup by 2013. Meantime, a press conference is planned in the near future to connect the dots. The new team is aiming to run the Nationwide race at Nashville April 23.(Toronto Star)(4-4-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Baker Curb again states that they have only sold equipment that they did not need. By no means have they sold the team. They continue to talk to sponsors and have equipment ready to race.(Baker Curb)(4-4-2011)
    UPDATE 4: Steve Meehan ... last week finalized the purchase of two NNS cars, a team transporter and some pit road equipment from Baker Curb Racing of Nashville, Tenn. It was originally reported that Meehan had bought out BCR, but that was not the case. "I should note however that I didn't buy the Baker Curb organization, I bought the assets," he told the Sun in an e-mail. "It was reported ... I bought the team which is an understandable mistake but I don't want any confusion about owning the corporation. Gary Baker still owns the name and the corporate entity." The good news is that J.R. Fitzpatrick, of Cambridge, Ont., who has driven the #27 Baker Curb Racing Ford twice already this season, has a deal with Meehan to be behind the wheel of the new outfit's car at Nashville Superspeedway for the Nashville 300 on April 23. (Toronto Sun)(4-4-2011)


    News from April 3, 2011

  • Harvick wins at Martinsville: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 2nd win of 2011 [and in a row] and 16th win of his career. It is Richard Childress Racing's first win at Martinsville since Dale Earnhardt won there in 1995.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished second followed by #18-Busch, #42-Montoya, #24-Gordon, #17-Kenseth, #1-McMurray [the pole sitter], #6-Ragan, #33-Bowyer and #5-Martin.
    There were a record 31 lead changes among 12 drivers; 11 cautions for 72 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 60,000 up a tad from last years 58,000 which was rain delayed until Monday when 40,000 came back to watch the race
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, April 6 at 12:00pm/et See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Martinsville Race Results/Awards page.(4-3-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Martinsville:
    #29-Kevin Harvick won the 62nd Annual Goody's Fast Relief 500, his 16th victory in 364 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2011. This is the second time in his career that Harvick has won consecutive races. The last was September, 2006.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 20 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 23 races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2011.
    #18-Kyle Busch (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 13 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    There were 31 lead changes, a new track record. The previous record was 25, set Sept. 28, 1980.(NASCAR Statistics)(4-3-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Martinsville, race 6 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 219
    2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 214, -5
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 207, -12
    4) #22-Kurt Busch, 205, -14
    5) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 204, -15
    6) #39-Ryan Newman, 203, -16
    7) #42-Juan Montoya, 201, -18
    8) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 199, -20
    9) #17-Matt Kenseth, 195, -24
    10) #5-Mark Martin, 181, -38
    11) #14-Tony Stewart, 180, -39
    12) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 170, -49
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(4-3-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points: going to Texas (after 6 races):
    31) #21-Bayne/Wood Bros, 108, +31
    32) #78-Smith/FRR, 105, +28
    33) #32-Schrader/FAS Lane, 99, +22
    34) #7-RGordon/RGM, 91, +14
    35) #37-Raines/Front Row, 77, 0 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    (#71 has best finish of 28th in 2011; #37 has best finish of 25th])
    36) #71-Lally/TRG, 77, -0 out of top 35
    37) #13-Mears/Germain, 75, -2
    38) #36-Blaney/TBR, 72, -5
    39) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 62, -15
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(4-3-2011)

  • Penalty Report - Martinsville:
    Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
    #17, 1, Passing on a start or restart, Pass Thru
    #34, 53, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #83, 54, Speed-Exiting pits, Tail of Field
    #7, 56, Commitment Line Violation, Tail of Field
    #36, 108, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #36, 108, Intentionally causing a caution, Held 2 laps
    #9, 176, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #5, 181, Passing on a start or restart, Pass Thru
    #71, 205, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #9, 205, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #71, 225, Pitting out of order, Tail of Field
    #36, 231, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #9, 233, Pitting out of order, Tail of Field
    #47, 236, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #34, 236, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #47, 242, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #47, 242, Removing equipment from assigned pit area, Tail of Field
    #14, 247, Passing on a start or restart, Pass Thru
    #13, 352, Pitting out of order, Tail of Field
    #21, 353, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #1, 353, Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
    #39, 372, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of Field
    #48, 467, Speed-Entering pits, Tail of Filed
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-3-2011)

  • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Martinsville: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: #66-McDowell, 32nd
    Caution 2: #none as #36 caused the caution was 1st a lap down
    Caution 3: #56-Truex Jr., 40th
    Caution 4: #27-Menard, 38th
    Caution 5: #22-Busch, 16th
    Caution 6: #17-Kenseth, 6th
    Caution 7: #32-Schrader, 22nd
    Caution 8: #32-Schrader(2), 22nd
    Caution 9: #17-Kenseth (2), 6th
    Caution 10: #6-Ragan, 8th
    Caution 11: none awarded
    (4-3-2011)

  • Pit Road Times
    Martinsville Speedway
    Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500
    Provided by NASCAR Statistics
    Sun, April 03, 2011 @ 05:34 PM Eastern

    Car# Pit Stops Driver Laps Time Total Seconds Avg Seconds
    48 7 Jimmie Johnson 500 05:22.0 322.044 46.006
    42 7 Juan Pablo Montoya 500 05:23.2 323.222 46.175
    18 7 Kyle Busch 500 05:23.3 323.307 46.187
    33 7 Clint Bowyer 500 05:23.4 323.35 46.193
    11 7 Denny Hamlin 500 05:29.0 329.015 47.002
    24 8 Jeff Gordon 500 05:59.0 359.043 44.88
    5 8 Mark Martin 500 06:01.5 361.521 45.19
    88 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 500 06:13.4 373.35 46.669
    6 8 David Ragan 500 06:22.9 382.867 47.858
    1 9 Jamie McMurray 500 06:50.4 410.355 45.595
    29 9 Kevin Harvick 500 07:06.3 426.321 47.369
    17 13 Matt Kenseth 500 09:55.9 595.95 45.842
    00 7 David Reutimann 499 05:30.4 330.373 47.196
    99 7 Carl Edwards 499 05:32.7 332.709 47.53
    83 8 Brian Vickers 499 06:18.3 378.3 47.288
    43 9 A J Allmendinger 499 06:53.8 413.759 45.973
    20 10 Joey Logano 499 07:56.8 476.846 47.685
    22 11 Kurt Busch 499 09:04.0 544.035 49.458
    16 9 Greg Biffle 498 07:00.9 420.894 46.766
    2 9 Brad Keselowski 498 07:01.4 421.363 46.818
    39 10 Ryan Newman 498 07:56.9 476.924 47.692
    32 10 Ken Schrader 497 08:36.4 516.393 51.639
    7 11 Robby Gordon 497 09:31.0 571.049 51.914
    31 10 Jeff Burton 495 08:21.7 501.725 50.173
    09 13 Landon Cassill(i) 493 10:51.7 651.669 50.128
    37 13 Tony Raines 493 11:16.5 676.508 52.039
    47 14* Bobby Labonte 489 12:51.5 771.5 55.107
    71 8* Hermie Sadler(i) 488 08:21.2 501.182 62.648
    9 15* Marcos Ambrose 487 17:19.9 1,039.93 69.329
    36 11* Dave Blaney 486 10:12.7 612.67 55.697
    78 10* Regan Smith 476 08:14.4 494.372 49.437
    66 13* Michael McDowell 470 12:14.9 734.923 56.533
    34 13* David Gilliland 468 11:11.9 671.868 51.682
    14 13 Tony Stewart 462 08:36.6 516.641 39.742
    21 11* Trevor Bayne(i) 460 09:46.1 586.072 53.279
    13 10* Casey Mears 457 08:16.9 496.912 49.691
    38 7 Travis Kvapil(i) 443 05:56.6 356.555 50.936
    27 9* Paul Menard 261 09:49.2 589.23 65.47
    56 5 Martin Truex Jr. 219 03:55.4 235.445 47.089
    4 5 Kasey Kahne 219 03:57.1 237.124 47.425
    46 1 JJ Yeley 33 00:47.0 46.95 46.95

    * Includes time spent in the garage
    (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

  • added some Martinsville PAINT schemes: #00 Aaron's Outdoor, #1-WIDIA, #5 Quaker State, #7-Speed Energy / Fast Five, #9-DeWalt, #11-FedEx Ground, #18-Pedigree, #32-VA Mortgage, #36-All Sport, #39-Haas Automation, #46-Whitney Motorsports and #47-Lance Snacks to the PAINT Scheme Gallery

  • Brian Keselowski parked, scaling back a bit: #92-Brian Keselowski parked his car for the race in California last week because of a lack of funding but had hoped to make a solid return this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. For a guy trying to get over the March 17 removal of his gallbladder, he had another sick feeling Friday as Dennis Setzer crashed the teams car and he had to withdraw from the Cup race at Martinsville. He had only four cars before the crash, and now is down to three for the time being. Even before the accident he was unsure whether he would race the next two weeks. As of Friday, he didnt have a car ready for next weeks race at Texas Motor Speedway and he didnt have an engine for the following weeks race at Talladega. He could end up at both of those races or end up staying home. I dont want to go just to go, Keselowski said Friday prior to practice. I want to go and make the race, try to be as competitive as we can. I want to go prepared. Really, theres no race on the schedule earmarked over another one. Its pretty much, am I prepared? If Im prepared, then Ill go. If Im not, then Ill stay home until I am. I dont have enough money to [just] show up every week.(SceneDaily)(4-3-2011)

  • Tire issues again...this time at Martinsville: For the second time in three weeks, there are tire issues at a half-mile track hosting a Sprint Cup race. Unlike three weeks ago at Bristol Motor Speedway, where tires wore out in 25 laps or less, Goodyear does not plan to bring in a different compound for Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. But there are concerns among the drivers and teams because the surface is not rubbering in and the tires are showing extreme wear after 25 to 35 laps, some sooner. Goodyear officials said they switched compounds for Martinsville because the left-side on the old tire was "graining." To offset the tougher new left side, they made the right side softer to provide more grip. What they didn't count on was cooler than normal temperatures -- in the mid-40s Friday -- that made it tough for heat to build up. They are confident, with warmer conditions expected Sunday, that there will be no issues. Sprint Cup series director John Darby said there is no tire problem. "Here's what we know: The tire is different than what it was last year. The tire's not failing," Darby said. "The tire has some different driveability characteristics that everybody is dealing with. But it's a combination of a tougher left side and softer ride side, so the cars feel different. It's hard to make a judgment either way right now. We'll see what 500 laps of racing does."(ESPN)(4-3-2011)

  • McDowell's looking to adopt: #66-Michael McDowell and his wife Jami hope that within the next 18 months their family will expand with a child (or more) from Honduras. The couple has a son, 2-year-old Trace. They were seeking to adopt a child from Ethiopia but changes in that country have slowed the process and an opportunity to adopt a child from Honduras arose and they are pursuing that. "Adoption really wasn't on our minds maybe two years ago, (but) once we saw the need, we almost felt like it would almost be wrong of us to have our own child that's how convicted we were, not to say that anybody shouldn't have a child,'' McDowell said. "We just felt so strongly about it, it was what we were supposed to do and we've been working on it ever since.'' McDowell, who is 26 years old, said he hopes to "help bring awareness, even maybe to our community, of how a great a need there is. See full story, quotes and more at the Virginian Pilot.(4-3-2011)

  • Bayne's Beginning to Feel at Home in Southern Virginia: So far, Trevor Bayne's first racing adventure on the home turf of his Wood Brothers racing team is going just fine. He and the crew of his #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion are adapting to the tricky Martinsville Speedway, where they'll start 25th in Sunday's Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500. And he and crew chief Donnie Wingo got a warm welcome from an overflow crowd at the Wood Brothers' home shop in nearby Stuart on Friday night. "This is really, really cool," Bayne said of his weekend in southern Virginia. He especially liked the gathering in Stuart, which also featured three generations of the Wood Brothers family, including three original racing brothers Ray Lee, Leonard and Glen, along with their sister Crystal. "We thought we would do a couple hours from 7-9 (p.m.), and we ended up signing autographs until midnight last night for 4,000 fans," he said. "So it was a really good turnout. It's awesome to see the hometown support here."(Wood Brothers Racing)(4-3-2011)

  • Ward Burton's son racing: Jeb Burton's rise from the Limited Sportsman division to the Late Model Series at South Boston Speedway has come with the guidance of father, Ward Burton [former Cup driver and Daytona 500 champ], and national championship crew chief Neil Perkins. For those around the younger Burton, there isn't a better group of local short track racing figures to help develop the 18-year-old Halifax County High School senior as he continues to set his sights on advancing in the racing field. Though, the phone conversations he has with his uncle, Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, are what he enjoy the most as he finally gets a chance to hear from the driver who is still one of the best in the sport. "I talk to him and I ask his advice, I store it in my brain," Jeb Burton said. "He'll have time one day to come watch me race and I'm pretty sure he will. It's helping me, but I've got to help myself. I got to start giving a little bit better information. I'm just trying to get better. I know I can win races and I just want to win races every weekend." Jeb Burton said he has committed to racing in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown in late April at Richmond International Raceway. That event, which runs on a Thursday, kicks off the racing weekend at RIR and concludes with the Cup Series race Saturday night.(News & Advance)(4-3-2011)


    News from April 2, 2011

  • Race Coverage of the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, April 3, 2011.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:30 pm/et; green flag approx 1:13pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Wednesday, April 6 at 12:00pm/et

  • McMurray wins Martinsville pole: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Coors Light pole for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 96.509mph. It is his 1st pole of the season, his first pole at Martinsville and 8th of his career [he failed to win from the pole the 7 other times]. #39-Newman starts 2nd followed by #4-Kahne, #20-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #43-Allmendinger, #47-Labonte, #00-Reutimann, #29-Harvick and #78-Smith.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #36-Blaney, #38-Kvapil, #66-McDowell, #87-Nemechek, #60-Skinner, #37-Raines, #46-Yeley and #71-Sadler.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #92-Setzer who withdrew after wrecking in practice.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Martinsville Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(4-2-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #1-McMurray chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #39-Newman took pit stall 11, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    #4-Kahne, who starts 3rd took the 10th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #27-Menard, who starts 16th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-2-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Martinsville:
    #1-Jamie McMurray won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 62nd Annual Goody's Fast Relief 500 with a lap of 19.621 seconds, 96.509 mph.
    This is his eighth pole in 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his first pole in 17 races at Martinsville Speedway. This is also McMurray's first career short track pole.
    #39-Ryan Newman (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2011 and his 13th in 19 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    #4-Kasey Kahne (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his third in six races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(4-2-2011)

  • Bayne may have sponsor to run All-Star race: The Wood Brothers are close to a sponsorship deal that will put Daytona 500 champion #21-Trevor Bayne into the May 21 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I think it will work," said Len Wood, one of the co-owners of the team. "There's been interest in the last 36 hours." Wood said he should know something for sure early next week, but wouldn't identify the sponsor other than to say it was a familiar name in racing. "We've got somebody who wants to run the race," Len Wood said. On Tuesday, Eddie Wood said the team didn't plan to enter the non-points event without sponsorship. Len Wood said the publicity did not spark the interest from the sponsor that has stepped forward, but acknowledged a number of people want the team in the race. Among those are Charlotte Motor Speedway, which hosts the race, and Ford, the team's manufacturer.(ESPN.com)(4-2-2011)

  • JGR pinpoints some engine issues: #18-Kyle Busch says Joe Gibbs Racing has determined that problems with two of its engines last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California were valve-related. #20-Joey Logano's team switched his the morning of Sunday's race when valve leakage was discovered. Logano's team didn't think the engine would last for 400 miles. #11-Denny Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the race due to an unrelated value train issue, leaving last year's Chase runner-up with a 39th-place finish that dropped him to 21st in points. Busch said Friday that identifying the problem is a huge step in the right direction for JGR, which has had engine issues in all five races this season. "Is there concern? Of course," Jimmy Makar, JGR's senior vice president of race operations, said earlier this week. "We've had a lot more issues than we'd like to see, this early in the season especially. Probably the bigger issue is for the most part they are non-related. That makes things harder to figure out. If you had the same thing happening over and over again you could focus on it." Makar said only Hamlin's failure on Sunday showed signs of a potential bad part. He said the batch that the part came from would be quarantined for this weekend's race at Martinsville to see if any issues arise.(Associated Press)(4-2-2011)

  • TBR Teams Up with Veteran Rehab School: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced support of Manpower to Horsepower through a campaign leading up to Memorial Day Weekend. Manpower to Horsepower, a disabled veteran's vocational rehabilitation program, will have the organization logo on the #36 Allsport Body Quencher Chevy beginning at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. TBR and Manpower to Horsepower will work together in the upcoming weeks to show support to members of the military with the culmination of the partnership to include festivities during Memorial Day Weekend.(TBR)(4-2-2011)

  • Kimi Raikkonen to run Truck races for Kyle Busch: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that they have signed former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to drive a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the 2011 season. Raikkonen is scheduled to make his NASCAR debut as a teammate to owner Kyle Busch in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20.
    Raikkonen comes to NASCAR with a resume that includes the 2007 Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship. Over his nine year career in Formula 1, the Finnish driver registered 18 wins and 62 podium finishes. The 31-year old is currently competing for a World Rally Car Championship for his own team, ICE 1 Racing.
    "We are honored that Kimi Raikkonen, a former Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion and proven winner, has chosen to start his career in NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Busch. "Adding one of the most talented drivers in the world is a continuation of building a team of proven winners and champions at KBM. I look forward to assisting in Kimi's transition to NASCAR as both an owner and teammate."
    "I am really excited to have the opportunity to start my venture into NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Raikkonen. "Kyle is one of the best in NASCAR, and being able to draw on his knowledge will be a valuable asset as I make my transition to a new form of racing. He has put together an experienced team that builds fast race trucks. I look forward to being a part of a team that has proven to be a winner on and off the race track."
    "We are extremely excited to have Kimi Raikkonen begin his transition to NASCAR behind the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports' Toyota Tundra's," said KBM General Manager Rick Ren. "As NASCAR looks to expand their fan base and generate further interest in certain demographics, having a former Formula 1 Champion with worldwide appeal is a huge deal not just for KBM but for the sport as a whole." Details of sponsorship and a schedule of races that Raikkonen will compete in will be released at a later date.(KBM)(4-2-2011)


    News from April 1, 2011

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 12:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 12:00pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128, via nascar.com only
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Martinsville Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 8:00pm/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
    The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #32-Schrader.
    The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #6-Ragan.
    The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #37-Raines with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #36-Blaney.
    Qualifying order is set by practice speeds, with the top 35 drivers going out from slowest to fastest, then the non-top 35 drivers go out, slowest to fastest in practice(s).
    See the full qualifying order on the Martinsville Qualifying Page.(4-2-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice: for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #6-Ragan 96.268
    #24-Gordon 96.220
    #2-Keselowski 96.166
    #00-Reutimann 95.864
    #4-Kahne 95.811
    slowest: #32-Schrader 92.547 and #37-Raines 92.814

    incidents: #20-Logano wrecked and will go to a backup car. #92-Setzer lost the brakes and wrecked hard, he is ok, but the car is totaled and he says the team doesn't have a backup car, so will have 43 cars going for 43 spots on Saturday in qualifying.
    See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Martinsville Practice Speeds Page.(4-1-2011)

  • Happy Hour Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Martinsville:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #36-Dave Blaney, 29th fastest overall
    #66-Michael McDowell, 32nd
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 36th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 37th
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 39th
    #92-Dennis Setzer, 40th wrecked
    #71-Hermie Sadler, 41st
    #60-Mike Skinner, 42nd
    #37-Tony Raines, 43rd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    none as #92-Setzer, 40th fastest, wrecked and has no backup car.(4-1-2011)

  • 1st Friday practice: for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #18-Busch 95.617
    #20-Logano 95.612
    #29-Harvick 95.314
    #2-Keselowski 95.266
    #1-McMurray 95.228
    slowest: #34-Gilliland 92.583 and #37-Raines 92.737
    incidents: #48-Johnson spun in trun 2, but didn't hit anything and had no damage.
    See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Martinsville Practice Speeds Page.(4-1-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 29th fastest overall
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 31st
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 32nd
    #36-Dave Blaney, 33rd
    #60-Mike Skinner, 36th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 39th
    #92-Dennis Setzer, 40th
    #71-Hermie Sadler, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #37-Tony Raines, 43rd
    (4-1-2011)

  • Dodge teams up with movie Fast Five: The Dodge brand has teamed up with Universal Pictures for a multi-tiered partnership to support Universals upcoming action-thriller Fast Five and the 2011 Dodge Charger. The latest installment in Universals blockbuster franchise, Fast Five, will be released in theaters April 29. Dodge supplied multiple 2010 and 2011 Dodge Charger vehicles used in chase scenes throughout the movie and is sponsoring a Dodge/Fast Five advertisement that will air for the first time Saturday during the coveted Final Four advertising space. Making its debut at the Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 3, will be the #7 Fast Five Dodge Charger R/T driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Robby Gordon. The #7 Fast Five Dodge Charger R/T Dodge will race throughout the month of April during NASCAR races at Texas, Talladega and Richmond. As part of the partnership with Robby Gordon Motorsports, the first 200 fans to register at dodgemotorsports.com or speedenergy.com will receive a special Fast Five movie viewing with Robby Gordon on Saturday, April 30, in Richmond, VA.(Dodge)(4-1-2011)

  • Ex-Formula 1 Designer with MWR: Briton Mike Coughlan, the former McLaren Formula 1 Design Director, is now working in NASCAR as the director of vehicle design for Michael Waltrip Racing in Cornelius, N.C. The British-born engineer suspended from McLaren after the infamous 2007 Spygate scandal after Ferrari engineer, Nigel Stepney, passed on secret design documents to him. In a forward-looking interview Coughlan spoke with Auto123.com about his impressions since joining the NASCAR world. He came back to racing after helping design the Ocelot, a composite-based light tactical vehicle for Force Protection based in Ladson, South Carolina. Through former McLaren colleague Steve Hallam, he was contacted by MWRs Cal Wells who asked him to come back to racing. See interview at Auto123.com.(4-1-2011)

  • Martinsville Tire Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series in action this weekend will run the same tire codes, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the first time these teams have run either of these two tire codes . . . compared to what was run at Martinsville last year, this left-side tire features a tougher compound, while this right-side tire features a softer compound for more grip . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Martinsville. The estimated pit window for Sprint Cup cars is every 115-125 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear). For tire pressures, codes, number of tires brought, see the Martisnville Race Info page - Goodyear Section.(4-1-2011)

  • Canadian buys Baker Curb Racing team UPDATE: Toronto businessman Steve Meehan bought Baker Curb Racing Nationwide team in a deal that closed following the Mar. 19 race in Bristol, Tenn. Driver J.R. Fitzpatrick is a key element in a planned all-Canadian NASCAR outfit that promises to take him to the Sprint Cup. "I think it's fantastic. Steve is a really good guy, he's Canadian and he really wants to see Canadian corporate sponsorship and Canadian drivers, so I mean it's really cool," Fitzpatrick said. "He really believes in me and that's what I really like. Given that I do need the experience and the time at the tracks and, even if it can't be a full year, he is definitely going to push my career along and I am glad to be a part of it." With NASCAR's exposure and huge popularity, the team should be attractive to Canadian companies who want to use the series to promote themselves in this country and in the U.S., as well as companies from south of the border looking to get their names known in Canada. But with the ink still fresh, Meehan will back the effort mostly with his "love for racing" until the business development part of the plan gets going and the team starts attracting sponsorship. Although plans haven't been completely finalized, the short-term goal is to run a limited schedule in 2011 with a long-term objective of getting into the top tier Cup Series by 2013. "We will run primarily in Nationwide and likely a few Cup races in 2011 I think J.R. is comfortable running the road courses in Cup and with a little bit more experience and practice I think he could run an oval or two in Cup," said Meehan, 46, founder of the Investment Planning Counsel, which was acquired by IGM Financial in 2004 for $95 million in a cash and stock deal. "Our focus is to quickly evolve to a full-time Cup team and I think J.R. is sufficiently talented to get there with the right people behind him." Fitzpatrick has raced nine times in Nationwide since 2007, with seven of those starts coming on road courses. He also has 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts under his belt. Originally, he was slated to race April 8 in Texas, but the change in ownership has the team regrouping and instead planning to hit the stop three weeks away in Nashville.(Globe and Mail)(4-1-2011)
    UPDATE: Baker Curb Racing says that have not been sold. The team sold 1 transporter, 2 cars and some pit equipment, but nothing else. They are still functioning and seeking sponsors.(4-1-2011)

  • Numbers for Martinsville Speedway:
    1 fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway (three times, most recent 4/25/71)
    1 fewest cars on lead lap at the finish of a race at the .526-mile track (27 times, most recent 4/27/86)
    2 fewest leaders for a race (11 times, most recent 9/26/76)
    3 fewest caution laps for a race (4/25/71)
    4 number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    14 most leaders for a race (10/15/01)
    15 wins by Richard Petty, most by a driver
    19 races won from the pole; 34 from the front row
    21 most cautions for a race (10/21/07)
    26 most cars on the lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 10/22/06)
    28 cautions for two Sprint Cup races at Martinsville last year; 13 for Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 and 15 for TUMS Fast Relief 500
    75 minutes, minimum amount of time it takes to dry the .526-mile track after a significant rainfall.
    124 Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway since 1949
    127 ---most caution laps (10/21/07)
    265 number of cautions during 36-race 2010 season; 140 for accidents
    2011 Caution Update
    45 number of cautions in the first five Sprint Cup races of 2011; 28 for accidents
    211 of 1,487 laps run under caution in 2011
    307.881 of 1,899.000 miles under caution in the first five races
    AND: Nine Virginia tracks have hosted 270 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (does not include convertible events) through the years dating back to the early 1950s. Two tracks remain on the schedule Martinsville (124) and Richmond (109). Of the seven tracks that are no longer on the Sprint Cup calendar, Boston Speedway hosted 10 events, Langley Field Speedway nine and Old Dominion Speedway seven. The other four tracks had a total of 11 races.(Dodge Motorsports)(4-1-2011)

  • Raikkonen to NASCAR? UPDATE 3: after years of rumors, there is a report that 2007 Formula One champ, Kimi Raikkonen, will drive some NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this summer. Raikkonen has been out of F1 for a while and driving in the World Rally Championship. According to a newspaper in his native Finland, Raikkonen will drive some time this summer in NASCAR's Truck Series and eventually move to Nationwide and Sprint Cup. Raikkonen supposedly will drive for a new team called ICE1 that will have Foster Gillett as a partner. Gillett, of course, is the son of sports magnate George Gillett and until last year was running Richard Petty Motorsports.
    From Turun Sanomat: The world champion of Formula One and current rally star Kimi Raikkonen expands his field of experiences: The 31-year-old Finn is going to race in the most popular North American race series NASCAR. The NASCAR debut for Raikkonen will be before the becoming summer. Kimi is going to carry on with WRC Rally, too. He has agreed to do eight more rallies this year. There will bea brand new team to race in NASCAR level: ICE1 Racing. Raikkonen joins forces with Foster Gillett. He will be the major partner of the Finnish team. Among others Foster's family was the former majority owners of the Montreal Canadiens NHL franchise and the former co-owners of Liverpool football club. Last year Foster Gillett was operating with Richard Petty Motorsport in NASCAR. Now he is about to break new ground with Raikkonen and ICE1 Racing.
    "I'm really looking forward to get there to familiarize to the world of NASCAR. I have been following it for a long time. I know, it's a very tough and open top racing series. I just love the American spirit of racing. It feels just great to get involved with that. Obviously, it will be very challenging and great fun for me", Raikkonen told the Turun Sanomat. The negotations for the car for ICE1 Racing team are just about to be finished. Raikkonen will race both in ovals and normal track circuits.(Turun Sanomat)(3-29-2011)
    UPDATE - Evernham: Ray Evernham, a former partner of Foster Gillett at Richard Petty Motorsports was a little bit astounded when he learned of the rumor of Kimi Raikkonen coming to NASCAR with a new team owned by Foster Gillett. "I really don't know why Kimi would partner with people who continually fail with sports franchises," Evernham told Auto123.com. "I don't know how they could leave with so many unpaid bills and return to the sport," Evernham added. Evernham says he was not paid over $19USD million and brought a lawsuit against his former partner earlier this year in a state court in North Carolina.(Auto123.com)(3-29-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen has received approval from NASCAR to compete in the Camping World truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20th. Raikkonen is slated to make his debut in the truck series later this summer with a team that includes former Richard Petty Motorsports principal Foster Gillette as a partner. Gillett's father George was the owner of RPM before financial issues forced them to sell the remaining assets of the team to an investor group led by Richard Petty (CBS Sports)(3-31-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Raikkonen is set to have his maiden stock car test next week, driving for Kyle Busch's Truck Series team. Raikkonen is set to drive a Toyota Tundra for Busch, who has fielded the #18 Truck entry since 2010. Team officials confirmed contact with Raikkonen and also a test being set for Monday at Gresham Motorsports Park, a half-mile track in Jefferson, GA, where the former Ferrari and McLaren racer will get his first taste of an oval.(Autosport)(4-1-2011)

  • Sad News - John Wilson: John Thomas Wilson, age 62, of Kannapolis, passed away on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at his home. He was born on April 29, 1948 in Huntington Beach, CA to the late Frank T. and Dorothy Ristrom Wilson. Mr. Wilson is also preceded in death by his brother, Rick B. Wilson. John was a down to earth, fun loving guy who was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed riding his Harley. He was Head Engine Builder At Sabco Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Fischer Engineering and Gasoline Alley Engines.(Hartsell Funeral Home)(4-1-2011)

  • Lt. Gov. Bolling Helps Martinsville Speedway Unveil Fan Improvements: With the images of two of NASCAR'S pioneers towering above him, Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell unveiled one of the most fan-friendly complexes in the 64 year history of the track. With a 20-foot mural of Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles and NASCAR founder Bill France in the background, Campbell and those who had helped with the building project cut a checkered flag ribbon to allow local supporters and media to get this first look at the new buildings and all their trimmings. And what a first look it was, replete with neon signs, larger than life banners portraying scenes from the speedway's past and a much wider concourse. The centerpiece of the grand unveil was the huge new building which houses two sparkling concession stands and two restrooms that rival any in major league sports. The official opening of the facilities will be when the fan gates open at 9:00am Friday for the first day of the Goody's Fast Relief 500 weekend. The keynote speaker for the ribbon cutting was Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who was instrumental in helping secure funding for the project from the Virginia Tobacco Commission. The Tobacco Commission provided $1.5 million for the project, which was matched by Martinsville Speedway. Also participating in Thursday's event were Mark Heath, president and chief executive officer of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., Deborah Buchanan, Chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors and Danny Marshall, member of the Virginia Tobacco Commission. Local dignitaries and media got a tour of the two, large state-of-the-art concession stands, massive restrooms and got the first look at flashy neon signs advertising the Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog. The restrooms are family-friendly, with baby-changing stations. There are also smaller, family restrooms. Frith Construction Co. of Martinsville was lead contractor on the project, which employed about 50 fulltime workers for the past six months. Ninety-four percent of the subcontractors on the job were from the immediate area.(Martinsville Speedway)(4-1-2011)

  • Ed "Too Tall" Jones visits CMS to see World's Largest HD Video Board: The completion of the steel frame that will support the world's largest high-definition video board was marked Thursday with a topping out ceremony featuring special guest Ed "Too Tall" Jones, former Dallas Cowboy All-Pro defensive end. Construction continues on the massive screen created by Panasonic that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. "We opened the new stadium in Dallas two years ago that had the largest TV in the world up until today, so I wanted to see it," said Jones. "The one in Dallas was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen in my life, but this one just kind of tops it all."
    Jones placed an American flag on the final girder, which was hoisted more than 110 feet in the air and secured atop the 500,000-pound steel frame that will hold the 165,000-pound HD video board. The girder, measuring 40 feet wide with a 10 foot depth of bracing steel, was signed by dignitaries taking part in the ceremony, including Jones; Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway; and Richard Ballard, vice president of sales, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, as well as construction workers who have been part of the project.
    The HD video board construction is being completed by crews from Granite Contracting and Parker Crane Service of Concord, N.C.; Mid-Atlantic Construction of Charlotte, N.C.; and Eastern Sign Tech of Burlington, N.J. The approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will eventually rise 110 feet above the track on the steel support structure.
    The next construction phase on the world's largest HD video board will start the first week of April and will include the installation of the 158 panels that make up the 16,000 square foot screen. Thirteen sub-electric panels will also be installed, each of which will power a "panel riser," or a column of panels. Once construction is completed, more than nine million LED lamps will illuminate the Panasonic video board during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.
    The screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals. For continuous updates on the Panasonic HD video board, watch the construction webcam on www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(4-1-2011)


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